FindTheBest, a data aggregator that helps people research everything from smartphones and cars to colleges and nursing homes, often helps consumers gauge quality by serving up ratings.
But the research engine, which recently migrated its real estate search tools off findthebest.com and onto a standalone website, findthehome.com, has decided not to take that approach in representing real estate agents to the public.
“We have scores across a lot of our products but not on this one because we don’t think we can publish really good scores on agents,” said Alex Rosenberg, senior director of new products at FindTheBest. “Transaction history is really an incomplete way to score an agent.”
FindTheBest, which boasts 25 million monthly visitors to its main website, findthebest.com, unveiled a database on findthehome.com today that lets consumers dig up performance statistics on more than 300,000 real estate agents, including an agent’s total number of active listings, the locations of those listings, their median price, and an agent’s total number of historical listings.
In conjunction with that product rollout, the company announced that it’s made its rich neighborhood content available for integration into real estate websites through an API (application programming interface) at no cost.
Sample search results on FindTheBest’s agent database
The firm says that a number of real estate website providers have already begun augmenting their listings with data through the API, including WebsiteBox.
FindTheBest’s new agent database seems designed to help consumers identify real estate agents who specialize in selling homes like theirs.
For example, users may filter by a real estate agent’s median list price, and view the number of deals they’ve transacted in specific neighborhoods.
FindTheBest’s “narrative technology,” also shows how an agent stacks up against competitors based on their transaction statistics.
“In total, Elizabeth Coulter has listed 16 properties on FindTheHome,” reads a description of a sample agent-profile page provided to Inman by FindTheBest. “This is above average relative to the typical agent in Ladue, as the average agent has listed 2 properties over this time.”
The transaction data that FindTheBest surfaces only go back to October or November, when the company began aggregating data for this project. The company has acquired that data mostly from the listing syndicator ListHub, its primary source of listings.
“We wish we had all the historical data going back for forever and that’s certainly something we’re probably going to try and find,” Rosenberg said.
FindTheBest is generating profiles for all agents who syndicate their listings to FindTheHome, and those profiles will be directly integrated into listings.findthehome.com, making it easier for homebuyers to evaluate and contact listing agents, FindTheBest said.
Real estate agents can manage their profiles for free and supply additional information including biographies, specialties, and more.
As FindTheBest continues to collect agent data from ListHub, the number of agents in its database will naturally grow.
“Since November, not all two million agents have listed properties,” Rosenberg noted.
FindTheBest’s Listing Enhancement API could also potentially help real estate agents engage more with consumers, by allowing them to provide a richer online search experience to prospective buyers.
The API, which is free, allows any website to complement listings with the local data that has characterized FindTheBest’s real estate search tools. That data includes hyperlocal school ratings, market trends, demographics, income, weather and property-specific information.
“Our currency is just branding and click-backs,” Rosenberg said. “We’re really trying to make a name for ourselves and be agent-friendly site in the space.”
Real estate website providers WebsiteBox, Tribus, IDX Broker and Agent Image have already taken FindTheBest up on its offer, and begun integrating the research engine’s neighborhood content into their products.
That’s brought FindTheHome.com visuals to more than 5,000 websites at launch, the company said.
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