Former realtor.com executive Allan Dalton is back, having set his sights on taking a slice of the neighborhood discovery pie.
It’s potentially a very big pie — Nextdoor, in its most recent round of funding, was just valued at $1.1 billion. But Dalton’s new venture, TownAdvisor.com, still looks a little half-baked.
In a promotional video and radio interview posted on the company’s website, Dalton drops the names of established sites with familiar URLs — TripAdvisor.com (travel) and HomeAdvisor.com (home improvement).
On paper, TownAdvisor.com sounds promising, with Dalton staking out a mission to provide “a combination of aggregated and organic content that speaks directly to town, city and neighborhood selection.”
The site promises to connect users with real estate agents who are members of a “Real Estate Town Advocates Network.”
But pick a city at random — Boise, Idaho, for example — and the promised mix of “proprietary content, consumer-generated content, and carefully organized and contextually relevant public domain content” turns out to be a little skimpy.
Although Boise has a “Real Estate Town Advisor” — Helen Law of Group One Real Estate — there are no “resident reviews” yet, and a video of the town is still in production, the site informs. Most cities look about the same, although Sarasota, Florida, features a video written by Dalton and featuring “Town Advisor” Pam Charron of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty.
Dalton acknowledges the site is still “in its infancy,” but that just means users can look forward to “a series of additional features, functions and adjustments moving forward in both the short and long term.”
Although the site just made its national debut, it’s apparently been in the works for some time. According to Dalton’s LinkedIn profile, he founded TownAdvisor.com 2 1/2 years ago, in October 2012 (Dalton lists his day job as “director of strategic thinking” for Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty).
Dalton joined realtor.com operator Move Inc.’s predecessor, Homestore, in 2002, and served as realtor.com president through 2007. He resigned his position with a secretive Move venture in 2008.