LinkedIn’s ProFinder may have hacked agent matching

Social network's new tool designed to 'digitize the referral process'
  • LinkedIn's ProFinder may have added the missing ingredient to online agent search.
  • ProFinder is accepting all 'high-caliber' agents into its referral network.
  • It matches consumers with agents based largely on their connections through LinkedIn, simulating the way consumers traditionally find agents through their social circle.

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Although homebuyers constantly hunt down properties online, they're much less likely to use websites to find real estate agents. Most buyers track down agents through personal connections, hiring licensed friends or family members or using professionals they're referred to by people they trust. LinkedIn's ProFinder, a platform that lets consumers request proposals from service providers, may have just introduced the missing ingredient to online agent matching by pairing homebuyers and sellers with agents based largely on their direct or indirect connections. The matching technique relies on LinkedIn's trove of user data on hundreds of millions of professionals and might not be something other agent-search tools can replicate due to LinkedIn's tight control of that data. Vaibhav Goel, the LinkedIn product manager overseeing ProFinder, said he's learned from conversations with agents that they sometimes spend up to 50 percent of their revenue on generating ...