The folks at Realtor.com must have read my blog post AgentMatch: Realtor.com's Misguided Use Of Statistics For Rating Real Estate Agents because they just terminated their pilot, admitting in an open letter from Realtor.com President Errol Samuelson that their attempt was "misguided". The AgentMatch Web site now has an announcement of the termination and an explanation of the thought process behind the decision to terminate it.
Here are some of the more interesting tidbits from Samuelson's letter:
During this testing phase we learned that we must resolve several important issues before moving any further ahead...We have concluded the AgentMatch pilot and are working with Realtors across the country to evolve the program and find a better way to highlight their unique attributes...We learned that using an algorithm to “match” consumers with REALTORS® is misguided. A computer cannot find the best Realtor for someone, just like a computer cannot place an accurate value on a home...We also learned just how much lies beneath metrics like days on market or list price to sale price ratio. Numbers don't lie, but they don't necessarily tell the whole story, either.
We intend to create the most accurate and complete resource for consumers looking for a Realtor online, and to continue moving the industry forward with innovative solutions...Innovation is not easy. It means accepting risk, and the occasional stumble.
If you will recall Realtor.com got a lot of grief over this program, which is actually rather ironic, considering that so many realtors actually use the meaningless statistics that this program focused on to market themselves: list to sell ratio, average market times, and sales volume. (Maybe they felt threatened that there would actually be a standard way of calculating these numbers.) But I was in agreement with the criticism of the program.
Nevertheless, I'm impressed that they owned up to the facts and took the appropriate steps. I think if they focus on realtor reviews and give realtors an opportunity to highlight what they actually DO for clients and how much they charge we might all be better off.
If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider's view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think I'm the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.