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CompatibleAgent.com Launches in BC

A while back, I wrote a post entitled A Bold Statement, about local startup CompatibleAgent.com and their aspirations to be as widely known and used as MLS.ca in Canada within a year. Shortly thereafter, I received a response from the president of the company, Mark Stewart. Mark stands behind his product and his statements made in his advertising to REALTORS®, and firmly believes that the lofty target is achievable.

Mark offered me a trial membership to the service, which I took him up on – I’d love to see how well the service works. I told him I’d post occasionally about my experiences on the blog. Compatible Agent launched in BC on Monday, and plans a nationwide rollout over the next few months; a new province every 4-6 weeks. They’ve got a TV commercial airing daily on CHEK and Global.

The whole premise of the system is to match consumers with an agent that is compatible with their needs. For example, if younger clients tend to prefer to work with an agent their own age or similar, they will be able to search for this.

For now, just the agent search function is running – so they’ve  got a bit of work to do before the real estate portal they envision comes together. The site is easy to navigate and is fast and intuitive. Below is the welcome video on the site. My profile is here.

Tim Ayres

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A Bold Statement

Local Upstart REALTOR® Prospecting Site Thinks it has what it takes to rival MLS.ca

MLS.ca. Canada’s nationwide MLS. Every MLS listing, coast-to-coast. It’s practically a cultural institution, and millions of people use it to peek at their neighbour’s decorating scheme, or to view photos of houses before a military house-hunting trip in Halifax.

I received an e-mail last week (unsolicited, I might add) from a company calling itself CompatibleAgent.com, which contained a link to a video about their service. In a nutshell, it’s a searchable database and referral service for members of the public who are looking for an agent. They fill in a form, and are “matched” (read: referred as a lead) to an agent that is, well, compatible.

I received another e-mail today (again, unsolicited) which contained an incredibly bold (and misleading, I think) statement:

For those of you who have sent us feedback we thank you, and its obvious that Realtors believe this is a great idea…but the biggest concern you all have is a good one, and that is paying for advertising that is brand new, not yet established and that has an un-certain future. We do understand this and don’t blame Realtors for having this concern, therefore we as a company want to prove to you that CompatibleAgent.com is here to stay, that it is going to be a huge benefit to its members business and that we promise that we will be as widely used as MLS.ca within 1 year.

Wow. That’s ambitious. Here’s why I am skeptical: Alexa.com, which ranks Internet traffic, scores MLS.ca as the 78th most-visited Internet site in Canada. This puts it above The Globe and Mail, Workopolis, Bank Of Montreal, and slightly below 2 other banking websites. MLS.ca is the first result returned on Google.ca for Real Estate. CompatibleAgent.com purports they’ll accomplish this lofty goal through an extensive national TV, radio and print advertising campaign starting in June, making it a “household name.” I wonder if they researched this claim at all.

Even though they’ve slashed the price to join the service, I think I’ll wait and see. Show me some proof of your claim, and I’ll sign a 10-year contract!

Tim Ayres


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