By Beth McGuire
RISMEDIA, March 29, 2007-A new venture is afoot at Move, Inc., parent company of Realtor.com, but just what it is and how it will affect the real estate industry is being kept a tightly guarded secret. What is known, however, is who will head up the new venture-long time industry leader Allan Dalton, the widely popular former head of Move, Inc.'s Real Estate Division and former president of Realtor.com.
As Dalton relinquishes day-to-day responsibilities for Realtor.com, his new leadership role with the moving services giant, was announced by Move, Inc. CEO Mike Long during the company's Q4 investor relations call held back on Feb. 22. But exactly what the new venture will be and what Dalton will be doing, Long said, will remain under wraps until Q3 this year.
"As of today, [Dalton] will be leading a team that is developing an entirely new business venture that will be launching in quarter three of this year," said Long. "We do not plan to share details of this new business until product launch other than to say it could be transformational for both consumers and real estate professionals."
He continued: "Over the past four and a half years Allan Dalton has done a tremendous job building Realtor.com into our largest and most successful business. He is a proven builder of new businesses and has an unparalleled and well-deserved reputation as an innovator among real estate professionals."
He added: "This new venture represents a major opportunity and Allan Dalton is the perfect executive to build it."
Realtor.com: Then and Now
Realtor.com's financial troubles before Dalton joined the company over four years ago have been widely published. The company had over $4 billion in claims against it and a business model that wasn't working. Dalton is credited for helping to turn the company around financially, as well as in the minds of Realtors, of which Dalton is a staunch advocate.
"Allan has proven through the years to be one of the most brilliant marketing strategists I've ever known," said Dick Schlott, former owner of the New Jersey-based real estate giant, Schlott Realtors. "He's made a tremendous impact on the industry over the last 20-some years. I know for me, when I first got to know Allan, he was working with Joe Murphy Realtors in Bergen County [New Jersey]. He developed a marketing plan for all Murphy agents that was very clever and well-timed and it made the Murphy company a tough adversary. As a person, I don't think you can find a more outstanding individual than Allan. He really is a kind human being and I enjoy my friendship with him. I've known him 25 years and he's a credit to the industry."
Schlott credited Dalton for bringing the success of Realtor.com to levels previously thought unattainable.
"What he has been able to do through his marketing skills and the greatest respect that people have for him, is make Realtor.com a valuable and viable tool for so many Realtors today," he said. "If it weren't for him, the success of the company wouldn't be at the level it is today. He's had to overcome tremendous hurdles and with wonderful determination and ability, he's worked to overcome them and that takes a special individual."
Ron Peltier, HomeServices of America CEO commented on Dalton's passion for professionalism in real estate.
"After the years of Homestore management thankfully Mike Long and Allan Dalton were brought in to turn Realtor.com around," said Peltier. "In terms of his role and his reputation in the industry, he had the opportunity to communicate with brokers across the country in a passionate way, the mission and the agenda of Realtor.com. That was missing before Allan joined the company."
Peltier added that he's known Dalton a long time and what sets him apart from "just another operator" is his intense passion and real commitment to promoting the growth and professionalism of the business. "There's no one out there who's more passionate than Allan Dalton."
Dave Liniger, the outspoken co-founder of RE/MAX International, agreed, supporting their mutual mission that Realtor.com and Remax.com have in bringing leads to Realtors free of charge.
"Allan turned a bad situation there around into a company that is well-managed and has a high sense of integrity. Allan brought a sense of honesty to the Realtor.com organization. He is devoted to creating leads for real estate agents without charging them a referral fee."
Liniger is a vocal opponent of what he calls "interlopers," or third-party companies charging Realtors for leads they could otherwise acquire for themselves.
"I absolutely am a proponent of Realtor.com," he continued. "It has been a tremendous advantage for Realtors in general…We're in an era now where your listings have to get as much exposure as possible…you have to cast a wide net to get the most leads…but without paying the interceptors. To throw away a commission to pay for the lead is just stupid."
Like Schlott, Liniger also is long-time friend of Dalton's and noted that integrity and dedication to Realtors are two qualities he'll bring to his new role at Move, Inc.
"I've know Allan for many years," Liniger said. "He is a man with the utmost integrity; he's hard-working and incredibly dedicated to Realtors. He's one of the finest people at the top of any Realtor organization or company in business today."
Prior to joining Realtor.com in 2002, Dalton's extensive 25-year career in the real estate industry included 18 years as president and co-owner of an independent real estate brokerage with more than 20 offices. He also held senior executive positions with Coldwell Banker New England Metro, Coldwell Banker Hunneman and NRT. Recognized as a pioneer in creating innovative and effective marketing systems for real estate professionals and companies, Dalton was the creator of Century 21's national Customized Marketing System; ERA's national Value Added Marketing System and Value Added Career Development Book; and NRT/Coldwell Banker's Full Service Marketing System. Dalton was also the originator of the three major national marketing systems for the Better Homes and Gardens real estate division (now GMAC Real Estate).
For more information, visit www.move.com.