Ranking REALTORS or simply Informing potential clients?

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I have read SO MANY real estate industry articles over the years. Typically they are mostly self serving, and very rarely to I see one where I think the whole industry ought to READ and DISCUSS. The recent kerfuffle over Realtor.com’s AgentMatch program left me frustrated, along with many REALTORS who think like I do — that data has no method to sort out which is the BEST REALTOR for a given person. Period.

I argued this point until I was blue in the face last weekend. Today I read Sam DeBord’s post on Inman. Here’s one of many money quotes:

“Real estate is not a cut-and-dry business. There is no carbon-copy transaction. As much as data advocates decry this as a cop-out, and online traffic scrambles for one-touch buying and simplicity in all things, it’s a disservice to the consumer to pretend that a real estate sale can be packaged this way. – Sam DeBord”

YES. Precisely.

I RECOMMEND folks going to Inman and reading this before they go out and join advisory groups and do advanced navel gazing on Technologists behalf to try and find the perfect formula. It is not there. Not because REALTORS are evil, but because real estate is complicated. This post of Sam’s is SPOT ON.

Technology advocates push that REALTORS are all out there trying to deceive people and the truth of it is that most agents are simply out there trying to make a buck by serving others WELL.

And there is NO WAY to precisely find out with technology who the BEST REALTOR for an individual would be.

So education of the consumer is the best way to accomplish what big data cannot. The REALTOR can educate the consumer. The syndicators can try to educate the consumer if they care to. Or they can simply sell advertising. Their call.

But telling the consumer FALSELY that you can guide them to the BEST agent for them using nothing but data and the click of a mouse is fraudulent. Let’s call that as it is, K?

Kudos to Sam DeBord on a great job of writing.


 Ranking REALTORS or simply Informing potential clients?

About the author

wrote 109 articles on this blog.

Eric Blackwell owns and operates EricOnSearch, LLC , a growing online marketing company as well as Eric On Real Estatea consulting firm for teams and brokerages. He has been married to his wife Jen for 23 years and they have 4 children.


  1. says

    What kind of data could they possibly use? I presume only quantity of transactions? Perhaps designated specialization a and agent chose in their profile? Such as…residential real estate? If that’s true, I’d imagine a few years ago most buyers would be matched up with REO agents how effective would that be? Maybe there’s a more in-depth method to the agent match that I’m unaware of?

  2. says

    It’s as ludicrous as a “zestimate” to think that something as complicated as this could be determined by nothing more than a techie and a computer. It’s a service business and the REOs should be enough proof that sales volume alone should not be the determining factor of who is the best agent for the job.

  3. says

    It really is all about selling advertising isn’t it? I mean, any of these data driven analytical approaches, to what is ultimately a very personal and human decision (choosing the right agent), will fall short. It’s a nice novelty to drive more traffic, but it doesn’t serve the consumer well by any means.

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