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Assembling a Dream Team to Revive Realtor.com

realtor-dot-com-logoI’m going to have a bit of fun with Todd’s request to brainstorm about how Nar and Move could put Realtor.com back in the lead….

How do you take Realtor.com to the top?

Simple.

Assemble the greatest team possible, put them together, give them lots of money, and get out of the way…

In the real estate industry, who could be put on the same team to execute on that goal?

Pay Marc, Brian, and Joel at 1000watt enough money to drop all their other clients and spend all their time on Realtor.com (Move was former client of 1000watt).

Hire Jim Marks to comb through all the analytics and implement winning SEO and conversion.

Bring David Gibbons back from South Africa to manage community.

Grab Chris Smith to speak to every agent in the country.

Poach Jay Thompson for industry relations.

Nab Matt Lerner from WalkScore to manage high level tech decisions.

Find a KILLER product manager with 5+ years of consumer web experience. I’d recommend looking outside the real estate industry for this person.

Find 10 rockstar developers. Just look at the first 10-15 developers at both Zillow and Trulia, figure out who is no longer working at those respective companies — and go recruit them.

Get someone who has managed data for Zillow or Trulia, or even one of the larger IDX companies, to build and oversee a scaleable data model.

Now, the final piece. The charismatic visionary to send on a roadshow and sell all these individuals on the grand vision and strategy to take Realtor.com to the top and unseat Zillow and Trulia — and convince them all to drop everything to join the team. Who is there to tap for that position?

My bet? No one. This is where the strategy fails. Who is going to spend 5-10 years of their life obsessed with beating Z/T?

Only a founder.

The best bet? Bring back whoever founded Realtor.com. I spent a few minutes on Google trying to find out who that is and failed. Go recruit that person wherever they may be…it may be the only chance for Realtor.com to stay relevant.

[Update: here is summary of the early days of Realtor.com by Saul Klein]

[Update 2: the founder of Realtor.com was Stuart Wolff via Inman]

Well, I guess it turns out reviving Realtor.com is not so simple after all…

Who would be on your real estate dream team? Your comments are certainly welcome.

PS: We’ve started a series titled “Meet the Real Estate Tech Entrepreneur” — for the founders of real estate tech companies reading this who want to be profiled, please shoot me an email at drew at ohheyworld dot com.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Product & Marketing for 360modern. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • This is a tough one. It would take someone who is passionate about the Realtor brand, as well as cutthroat enough to make some really strong contrasting marketing to stand out. I think they’re starting to do some of that with the “Find It First” appeal to accuracy and timeliness.

    For all of those great people you mentioned, I feel like the #1 goal is spreading into every form of online media as quickly as possible. Locking down territory, creating data and listing agreements with new partners, and expanding the stickiness and capture of long-term users will win the SEO battle.

    • I really don’t think buyers know what “find it first” is..nor do they care. Is finding a property 6 hours early going to lead to a closed transaction they would have missed out on otherwise? I’m skeptical.

      • Agreed that the messaging needs to be stronger, but the message is good. The 6 hour estimation might be true in a few markets, but in many there is a difference of days between the direct MLS feed and the syndication.

        Considering half of homes in places like Seattle are selling in the first week, with pre-inspections, getting out to see the right house in the first day or two is critical in this market. The fear of missing out on the perfect home is a real motivator.

        It’s a defining difference, and they should drive it home. Whether or not it is critical to every buyer, if messaged correctly it will absolutely sell itself to buyers.

        • Maybe you’re right. I’m not in the weeds day in, day out like you are. You’re of course welcome to write your own thoughts on the strategy move/r.com can take.. 🙂

          Would love your thoughts on the follow up post to this one I just published.

          • It’s a big deal right now because of the ridiculous lack of inventory, but in a normal market it wouldn’t be much of an issue.

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  • I’m with you DG

  • You see my follow up post to this? Your thoughts about as a service to the industry are spot on..

    PS – sorry for this having been stuck in spam for so long

  • Thanks. and sorry this got stuck in spam..

  • Thanks for the comment Mike, and sorry you got stuck in spam.

    Agree they are hampered by their NAR agreement, and that has hurt them considerably in their fight against z and t.

  • I’m in. Any chance to work with David Gibbons or 1000 watt. Can I share the stage with @chrissmith though? Love that guy…

    • Sure, or see if you can kick him off it for a few minutes.

      • sarabonert

        Maybe I could come on and make coffee for everyone for the chance to watch the magic happen? 🙂

        • You can do far more than make coffee. Don’t sell yourself short 🙂

  • sarabonert

    Miss you David!

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