Website helps sellers find an agent – Matt McCann

Matt McCann is the CEO of Local Agent Finder, a comparison website that is devoted to matching sellers with agents.  He explains how the extensive algorithms help with the matching process.
Transcript:
Kevin:  In an extended podcast you’ll find on the site right now, called A Million People Can’t Be Wrong, I catch up with the CEO for LocalAgentFinder, Matt McCann, and we talk about how his site, LocalAgentFinder, is making it easier for consumers to find the best agent to sell their property.
There’s a lot involved, as I found out when I was talking to Matt in his portion of the interview. You can hear the full 11-minute podcast, which will take you into a lot more detail about how Local Agent Finder can help you.
You’re going to find that podcast in the Your Investment Property channel. Just go to their channel. You’ll see it there, A Million People Can’t Be Wrong, and you’ll get the full version of this interview.
Here’s a portion of what Matt told me.
Matt:  What we’re trying to do is really help a consumer cross the threshold of getting an agent who is going to decrease the stress of selling a property or renting a property out, for that matter.
When we do that needs analysis, we ask a lot about the consumer themselves, or the homeowner in this case. We want to know about the property. We want to know where they’re at in terms of the stage in selling they’re at. We also want to know what they’re looking for in an ideal agent.
There’s a deep degree of information that we pull together to create a profile of what that homeowner is looking for for their transaction. In that, we then take that data and then compare it to our network of agents. In doing that, we’re trying to find the right set of agents for that person to consider and then ultimately short-list and obviously transact with.
To do that, we use our proprietary algorithm. Our algorithm takes into account objective market factors. It takes into account performance of listings, sales, and homeowner feedback that we’ve had from previous transactions with that agent, and marries that with what we call localization factors: how are those things relevant to the local area?
The group that we’re recommending, ultimately, to a homeowner are local experts who perform really well in that area. That then gives the homeowner, in that sense, a good set of confidence that what they’re going to receive from us, and ultimately, who they can choose to transact with are strong-performing agents who will really take some of that stress away from the buying process.
Kevin:  Do you charge the consumer for that service?
Matt:  We don’t. What we say upfront to consumers is the service doesn’t cost you anything; the way in which we get paid is that when an agent who uses our platform is successfully introduced to you, at that point, when you transact your property through them, then we get paid a fee at that point.
If you’re out there looking for the information and looking to be able to be assisted in employing an agent, then a service like ours will take a lot of the stress and, certainly, a lot of the legwork out of trying to find out those core pieces of information that you are looking for about an agent to be able to work out if they’re right for you.
Kevin:  It’s not necessarily the best agent; it’s the agents who would have agreed to pay you a fee because they wouldn’t all agree, would they?
Matt:  The way in which the platform works in relation to who is on the platform is different in that sense, as it is for all of the comparison services that exist today in Australia’s market, whether it’s health insurance or car insurance or life insurance.
Our job is to go out and convince as much of the industry that they should participate in the platform, and we’ve done a pretty good job of that over, really, the eight-year existence of the business, but particularly, in the last four years.
But ultimately, you’re right; the only people who are on our platform are those who have signed up to be part of our service. Today, that’s a little over 5200 agents. Obviously, we have representatives of all the major brands on our panel and some very high-performing agents. To that end, we look at things like the REB Top Agents List. There are number of representatives across those kinds of awards that sit within our panel and do very well out of our service.
Kevin:  Agents are now coming to terms with the fact that this is part of the new way that they’re going to be finding sellers as well, Matt.
Matt:  I absolutely agree with that. The changes we’ve made to the service are driving that as well, I think. The other key thing we’ve changed this year is we have a 300% increase in the number of conversations we’re having on the phone with potential homeowners. That just means you get a lot more data, a lot more insight into where they are in the process and how they want to be treated by an agent.
Those insights going to agents have seen a big shift in the quality of the opportunity we put in front of the agent, and so therefore, I think they’re much more ready to, obviously, take the opportunity and run with it.
Kevin:  Thanks for your time, Matt. Matt McCann is the CEO for LocalAgentFinder, LocalAgentFinder.com.au. Thanks for your time, Matt.
Matt:  No problem at all. Cheers.
Kevin:  And as I said, you’ll find the full 12-minute podcast, which goes into a lot more detail about how it works and how it can help you find the best agent in the area, you’re going to find that by going to the Your Investment Property Magazine channel on Real Estate Talk and just search for the words “A Million People Can’t Be Wrong.”

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