Among the eight awards given last month for ground-breaking technologies at Real Estate Connect San Francisco was REALTOR® Match, which received the award for Most Innovative Web Service. REALTOR® Match was funded by NAR and developed by HAR, although the service was removed from the HAR website based on member feedback. Despite this, Inman News stated that “this award honors the innovation as originally designed and launched.”
There were numerous companies at Real Estate Connect that are in the process of developing and launching similar services on their own websites. Based on the feedback received at the conference, this is definitely where the industry is heading, while REALTOR® associations may not be the platform for it.
REALTOR® Match is a performance-based agent search that allowed consumers to identify REALTORS® based on a number of criteria:
- Whether consumer is planning on selling or buying a home, or both
- What type of property the consumer is interested in
- Recent market activity time frame
- What geographic area the consumer is interested in
Results were based on real-time MLS activities and the consumer’s preferences. In short, the REALTOR® Match system provided consumers with the ability to select a REALTOR® based on both relevant and reliable transactional data from a REALTOR® resource (actual MLS transaction data) and consumer ratings and comments. The combination of quantitative and qualitative information provided an unbiased resource for consumers to use as one additional factor when choosing their REALTOR®.
The other recipients of the Inman Innovator Awards this year were: Most Innovative Brokerage or Franchise: The GoodLife Team (Austin, Tex.); Most Innovative New Technology: ZipRealty’s HomeScan; Most Innovative Blog: Tech Savvy Agent blog; Most Innovative Media Site: ProPublica Eye on Loan Modifications; People’s Choice Award: DocuSign’s ESIGNControl app; Innovator of the Year No. 1: Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC; and Innovator of the Year No. 2: Dale Stinton, CEO, National Association of REALTORS®.
These eight innovative companies and people are all using technology to break new ground in the world of real estate and marketing and are offering intriguing technologies in the areas of mobile devices, technology, web 2.0, social media and much more.
Each year, Inman News announces the launch of the Inman News Innovator Awards process with a call for nominations several months prior to the Real Estate Connect conference. Nominations are open to all and are submitted online. An Inman News review team considers the nominations and selects a list of finalists, and the finalists are drawn from the nominees and a list of other prospects suggested by the Inman News editorial team. The review team selects the winners from the list of finalists.
Since their inception in 1997, the annual awards have recognized companies including LendingTree, Coldwell Banker, Sawbuck Realty, Redfin, ActiveRain, vFlyer and Closing.com, and individuals including Frank LLosa of Frankly Realty and FranklyMLS.com, Craig Newmark of Craigslist and Mark Lesswing of the National Association of REALTORS®’ Center for REALTOR® Technology. HAR President & CEO Bob Hale was the recipient of the 2008 Inman Innovator of the Year Award.