I’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?
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.