Just got back from the National Association of Realtors Convention and started getting back to my normal routine. Part of that routine is checking on my Active Rain blog. Well I was sure surprised when I saw the various posts about NAR's decision to beta test an Agent Match feature on Realtor.com.
If you want more information on this check out Pat Kennedy's blog: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4248067/is-nar-losing-touch-with-its-core-purpose- and others. From reviewing the comments very few are favorable and I agree that this is not where NAR needs to focus on. Whether NAR has a voting right on what the majority stakeholders of Realtor.com can do with the website or not - those Realtors that support Realtor.com by utilizing it as a marketing platform may want to rethink their choice. Money speaks volumes and if you are spending your money on the site and you are not one of the top 16 agents on their "Agent Match" tool - perhaps you need to rethink where your money is going.
As a single (unmarried) female I am familiar with Match.com, the internet dating site and other similar sites, so let me use those sites as examples.
You read the various profiles and you get to pick whom to contact. Of course there is a picture on most of the profiles. The ones that look really attractive, have a well written profile and market themselves on the site are probably the ones that get most of the dates or matches. There are sevices that you can hire to write your profile, professional photographers that will take your photo to make it look like a "candid" shot and many other ways to put your best foot forward on this or any dating site.
Unfortunately, these same people may not be the best "dating" material for your average single/divorced/unattached person to actually date. With so many variables involved, personality, past experiences, emotional stability, financial situation, etc. a "profile" is not the best way to meet a quality person.
Will consumers believe that the agent that sold the most homes in their area has the time to deal with their home buying needs? With those that have the most listings be the best fit for them? Do they understand what a buyer's agent is vs a listing agent? Will both agents involved in the transaction be given credit or just the lisitng agent?
Like dating, finding a real estate agent that fits your personality, needs and schedule can be a hit or miss affair. Is the agent with the most production the best fit for you? Or would your rather deal with someone that has a smaller production but is more hands on instead of passing you off to their showing agent, their transaction coordinator, their document picker upper, etc. Will your questions have to be answered only from 9 to 5 when you can only take care of your personal business after you get off work at 6:00 p.m.
You may have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the perfect "match" in your personal life so don't rely on "agent match" on Realtor.com to find an agent to assist you in your home search. If you do, don't be surprised if they are not your "match" since selling the most homes may not necessarily mean they are the best fit for your needs.
Whether "Agent Match" makes it out of beta testing after NAR's membership voices its views should be interesting. Hopefully, just like the Redfin debacle, Realtor.com, NAR and MOVE will realize that this is not something that their client base wants.