Realtor.com operator Move Inc. has hired Jonathan Smoke to interpret housing data and act as a public voice for the site as its first chief economist.
For the last six years, Smoke held various executive roles at real estate information and strategic marketing services company Hanley Wood, most recently as the company’s chief economist.
Realtor.com competitors Zillow and Trulia have long had their own chief economists. Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries and Trulia’s Jed Kolko have become high-profile sources in media stories and housing forums, giving their firms added exposure and credibility with consumers.
Smoke’s appointment concludes a monthslong search for 18-year-old realtor.com, which up until recently had been barred by the National Association of Realtors from having a chief economist. NAR changed its position sometime in the last year, giving Move its blessing to bring on a real estate spokesperson for the site.
“As the real estate industry and our relationship with realtor.com continue to evolve, both organizations agreed that two voices are stronger than one,” NAR spokeswoman Sara Wiskerchen told Inman News in February when news broke that Move was on the hunt for a chief economist.
NAR has its own chief economist, Lawrence Yun, who helps Realtors interpret housing trends for their clients.
“Jonathan is a highly respected housing economist and has proven himself as a leader and a strategic thinker in creating innovative data and analytics related to housing,” Yun said in a statement.
Smoke will be based in Washington, D.C., and lead a team of real estate analysts. He will report to Luke Glass, Move’s recently appointed executive vice president of industry platforms.
“Jonathan brings to our team analytical horsepower, a depth of experience in all aspects of the housing marketplace, and a keen ability to communicate trends to experts and novices, alike,” Glass said in a statement.