My company has issued the following press release in response to all the news surrounding Realtor.com's limited debut of AgentMatch.
Buyers Brokers Only, LLC Supports the Release of Real Estate Agent Data for Consumers to Review, Compare and Analyze
December 6, 2013 – Haverhill, Mass.-based exclusive buyer agent real estate firm Buyers Brokers Only, LLC supports Realtor® groups and other organizations in their efforts to provide consumers with statistical data about real estate agents.
The real estate industry has been buzzing recently over Realtor.com's pilot agent-ranking platform known as AgentMatch. More than 800 multiple listing services nationwide provide Realtor.com with listings. Some, but not all, provide sales data. Using sales data from multiple listing services and other statistics, AgentMatch ranks real estate agents by zip code and neighborhood. Realtor.com unveiled the platform in early November, and AgentMatch presently is in pilot form in Las Vegas and Boulder, Colo. AgentMatch is geared toward home sellers.
Many real estate agents have voiced concerns over the AgentMatch platform. A large national real estate firm came out in opposition of AgentMatch and encouraged it agents and multiple listing services to not participate on AgentMatch. Real estate agents argue that rankings heavily weighted by sales volume is not in the best interest of real estate agents or consumers.
Buyers Brokers Only, LLC not only supports AgentMatch, but embraces efforts by other organizations and companies to provide consumers with more information about real estate agents, so that consumers can review, compare and analyze as much information as possible in order to make more informed decisions about choosing a listing agent or buyer agent. Consumers benefit from having access to not only sales data, but consumer reviews of agents.
“Information is power, and consumers should have as much information as possible when choosing a real estate professional,” said Richard Rosa, co-owner of Buyers Brokers Only, LLC. “Sales volume is by no means the sole criteria by which a consumer should choose his or her agent, but it is a factor and hiding it from the public is not the answer. Consumers want to review, compare and analyze sales statistics, consumer reviews and reports and agents' experience and education. It's all relevant, and savvy consumers will use it to determine which agents to interview. AgentMatch should add buyer agent sales data too.”
Other real estate-focused Web sites already provide ways for consumers to access sales data. Zillow and Trulia already publish transaction histories on agent's profiles. Review sites, such as Yelp and Angie's List, provide consumers with detailed reviews and reports written by consumers.
“The premise of all the arguments against publishing such data and ranking agents seems to be that consumers will be confused, but that's just not the case at all,” Rosa said. “The real estate industry should encourage consumers to perform due diligence and embrace tools that facilitate it. Technology is changing and new business models are emerging. Agents need to see this as an opportunity or risk becoming obsolete. Will every tool and Web site be perfect? Of course not, but improvements can and will be made because consumers will demand it.
“Although reasonable people may disagree over whether Realtor.com is the correct vehicle by which to disseminate this data and whether its particular ranking system is the best method, but there is little argument that consumers will, and should, access this information.”
ABOUT BUYERS BROKERS ONLY, LLC: Buyers Brokers Only, LLC, the largest exclusive buyer agent real estate firm in Massachusetts, helps home buyers purchase residential real estate in the Greater Boston Area and Southern New Hampshire. All its buyer agents also are lawyers, and all of them are 100 percent loyal to home buyers 100 percent of the time. Buyers Brokers Only's exclusive buyer agents do not practice dual agency or designated agency.