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Move Inc.

Realtor.com finally names their first economist, Jonathan Smoke

Jonathan Smoke has been named realtor.com’s first ever chief economist, which will help the company to compete with competitors who have long had this role filled.

jonathan smoke

Move, Inc. has just announced housing trends expert Jonathan P. Smoke as their first chief economist for realtor.com, a long awaited move for the brand whose partnership with the National Association of Realtors places them in a unique leadership role.

Smoke is a 20-year real estate veteran, and will lead a team of real estate analysts and report to Luke Glass, Move’s executive vice president of industry platforms.

“Jonathan brings to our team analytical horsepower, a depth of experience in all aspects of the housing marketplace, and a keen ability to communicate trends to experts and novices, alike,” Glass said.

Where does Smoke come from?

Move notes that Smoke has spent the past six years in key executive roles for Hanley Wood, a premier information, media, event, and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries, including chief economist and senior vice president, executive director of market intelligence, and senior vice president of products and innovation.

“Jonathan is a highly respected housing economist and has proven himself as a leader and a strategic thinker in creating innovative data and analytics related to housing,” said National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun. “He brings to the position more than 20 years of industry experience and a passion for creating leading edge insights into consumer needs, preferences, and demands, and will help drive realtor.com®’s reputation as the most accurate site for residential real estate listings and information.”

Smoke has an entrepreneurial history, founding a market research firm in 2006, operating RatingInsights.com, and HousingIntelligence.com after working for Beazer Homes corporate after a management consultant at Deloitte.

But most importantly, Smoke earned a master’s degree in business administration in 1994 from the University of Texas at Austin (Hook ‘Em!) and also relevant his is B.A. in economics from Rhodes College.

What this means for Move

Zillow has long had Chief Economist Stan Humphries as a major asset, and Trulia has Dr. Jed Kolko in the Chief Economist spot, both of whom are extremely sharp. The National Association of Realtors has Dr. Yun at the helm, who we consider to be the top dog in the field, as he was left to clean up the mess of his predecessor and earn back the trust of members and consumers alike (which I believe he has).

With realtor.com finally naming their first economist, they’ll be up to par with their competitors, and with the tremendous amount of historic data at his reach, we imagine Smoke will be in economic geek heaven at Move, and help to navigate the waters as the economy sputters in its attempt to rebound.

Now what remains to be seen is how Smoke differs from his counterparts. Will he shake things up and take risks with his forecasts, or will he be constrained and play it safe, echoing the once-mocked “it’s always a good time to buy or sell a home” mentality of the industry prior to the crash?

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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