This is pure speculation. Nothing verified. Just idle thinking…..
Typically when a leader in the MLS industry like the Houston Association of REALTORS sets out a new business strategy, if it works – many follow. As you may have heard, HAR is taking their Agent Ratings program to the next level. They started with QSC, and are now they are developing a solution that allows consumers to see which REALTORS have represented the most number of buyers and sellers in a given area (powered by transaction information from MLS data). The idea is that consumers will be able to see who the real expert is in an area….
So I started doing research on companies like QSC and others who are likely to benefit from expansion in the MLS industry. QSC is likely to be an early mover because they already have the proven application developed for the real estate industry. To find new companies that might enter the marketplace, I researched companies that rate Lawyers and other professionals – then I came across one that has Rich Barton of Zillow on the board. AVVO I do not have any reason to believe that Zillow is launching any Agent Rating solution anytime soon…. but I do not think that it would take a major leap for Rich to look at AVVO and think…..I wonder if this would work for Real Estate. Here is some more info on AVVO
Avvo rates and profiles every attorney, so that people can choose the right attorney. Lawyer profiles contain helpful information including a lawyers experience, areas of practice, disciplinary history, and ratings from clients. Profile data comes from many sources, including state courts and bar associations, lawyer websites, and information provided by lawyers.
Information meets guidance in the Avvo Rating–our effort to evaluate a lawyer’s background using a mathematical model that considers the information we know about a lawyer. This information is shown in the lawyer’s profile, including a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements, and industry recognition–all factors that, in our opinion, are relevant to assessing a lawyer’s qualifications.
In addition to his board directorship at Avvo, Rich is the chairman and chief executive officer of Zillow.com. Before creating Zillow, he founded the online travel site Expedia. Expedia was started within Microsoft in 1994 under Rich’s leadership, then spun out of Microsoft in 1999 as a public company. Rich served as the president, chief executive officer, and a director until March 2003. By that time, Expedia had grown to become the largest online seller of travel in the world. Rich also worked from 1991 to 1994 in various product management roles for Microsoft. He is currently a venture partner at Benchmark Capital and on the board of directors of Netflix.
Rich holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.