Remine, a real estate data and analytics firm that delivers data through multiple listing services, launched a new “agent matching” feature as part of its site revamp, but has subsequently pulled the feature following concerns raised by W+R Studios cofounder Greg Robertson.
Robertson, who runs the website Vendor Alley, took the feature for a spin and raised issues with the clunkiness of the feature, but acknowledged that it’s just the first version of the feature and building software if difficult while effusing some light praise on Remine CEO Mark Schacknies.
The feature takes public record data to give a brief overview of some homes for sale, matches with Google street view images, but doesn’t show the MLS listings. That is, until you sign up to “match with an agent.”
“On one level I can see some real innovation here from Remine,” Robertson wrote. “Start with public record data and bait site visitors to see real listings.”
“But I just can’t say that it’s completely kosher,” Robertson added. “Maybe, but if this is possible then why do other listing portals need agreements with MLS Providers? I mean Homes.com could just put a list of random agents on their site and get visitors to click on a button that says ‘match me with an agent’ and Bingo, MLS listings!”
Remine, in the wake of Robertson’s post and what seems like other questions from its clients, has since pulled the feature, to be revisited at a later date. Remine, which states its goal is to become the leading MLS system vendor, was clear in the statement about axing the new service, that they don’t want to become a public portal, competing with the likes of Zillow and realtor.com.
“Our goal is not to be or create a public portal, advertising-driven site or the like,” Remine Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Spinetto said in a statement. “We do not sell consumer leads to agents or brokers, nor do we collect referral fees from agents or brokers. We do not sell consumer data to mortgage companies.”
“Remine.com exists to serve your MLS members’ needs by providing a touchpoint where they can connect with their clients without fear of losing them,” Spinetto added.
Spinetto explained that the site isn’t advertised to consumers, despite having a consumer-facing component. Rather, consumers that access Remine can only do so through an invite by an MLS subscriber. Once that consumer gains access, the agent and brokerage responsible for the listing are given attribution during the entirety of the consumer’s visit to the site.
“Given concerns we have received about the ‘Agent Matching’ feature, we have decided to turn this off by default and only activate it again on a client-by-client basis with custom rules determined by each,” Spinetto said. “Furthermore, we will also be placing public records data behind registration/login so that the totality of the Remine.com experience is agent-directed.”