2009 Matchmakers Survey

The Matchmaking Institute has conducted its first Annual Professional Matchmakers Survey.

The Matchmaking Institute established in 2003 the “Matchmakers Network”, the very first network of Professional & Certified Matchmakers, an industry trade association that gathers matchmakers and dating coaches around the globe who share the same commitment to providing outstanding services to their clients with a unique motto: under promise and over deliver. Matchmaking Institute’s Matchmakers Network is the premier matchmaking industry’s trade association and as of today the only active network of matchmakers.

The Matchmaking Institute has already approved 102 Professional & Certified Matchmakers (as of Jan. 2009):
70% come from the United States, 10% from Canada, 6% from Australia, 5% from Singapore, 3% from China/Hong Kong, 3% from Russia, the remaining coming from Israel, the UK, France, Ukraine, Mexico.

Our survey was sent last month to 2,643 matchmaking professionals.
492 acknowledged receiving the questionnaire between Dec 15, 2008 and Jan 14, 2009, out of which 90 completed the full survey.

Respondents represent 40 different markets in the US & Canada and, as such, represent a fair geographical scope of the matchmaking industry (based on respondents – response to their primary market). Therefore, the survey looks fairly representative of the global matchmaking market (for USA/Canada).

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– Out of those 90, 51 are Certified Matchmakers from the Matchmaking Institute.
– Out of those 90, 40 are a member of the Matchmakers Network, the Matchmaking Institute’s industry trade association.
– 11% of all respondents have more than 5 offices.
– 72% have only 1 office.
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– More than half have between 1 and 5 staff members.
– 25% of matchmakers work with less than 10 clients at a time, but more than 35% work with more than 100 clients at a time.
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– 45% do not show photos to their clients before a date, only a third show photos.
– 79% offer date coaching and 92% offer date feedback, which may be the primary differences between matchmakers and other online or offline dating agencies.
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– Most matchmakers tend to have more female than male clients with over 25% of respondents having a ratio of 40% Male / 60% Female.
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– The African-American as well as the Hispanic/Latino community seem to be underserved as no respondents specialize in those niche markets. Over 50% have only Caucasian clients while 35% believe their client base follows the general population.
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– 55% have between 1 and 9 new clients a month; 21% from 10 to 24 new clients; 12% between 25 and 99; and close to 9% have over 100 new clients each month.
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– 31% of clients pay less than $1,000 for an annual membership or for 10 to 12 introductions. But 32% pay between $3,000 and $5,000, while over 12% pay over $5,000.
– 70% have no income whatsoever from online dating. Most of their revenues come from personal matchmaking and coaching.
– Over 57% made less than $100K in gross revenues in 2007 and only 4.4% made over $10 million.
– Projections for 2008 show an increase from 18.9% to 24.4% regarding the number of matchmakers making between $100K and $500K, whereas a decrease from 57% to 48% of those making less than a $100K, showing an increase in the average gross revenues for professional matchmakers. Over 12% will make more than $1 million in 2008 and 6.6% will have a net income of over a million.
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The top 5 markets for Matchmakers are:
– New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island
– Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana
– Chicago-Naperville-Joliet
– Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta
– Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington

Their top secondary markets for those running more than 1 office are:
– Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana
– San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont
– Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
– Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington
– New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island

Markets matchmakers are looking at expanding are:
– Southeastern US
– Midwest
– Georgia/South Carolina
– Texas
– Asia

View Detailed Survey Results

Last, over 22% do not feel the economic downturn has impacted their business in a negative way ; over 52% just a little ; and 14% quite a bit. It seems that a majority of matchmaking businesses expect continued growth in 2009 as if they were recession-proof. With total estimated sales of over $250 million last year, the matchmaking industry is booming. More and more people who are looking for long term relationships are turning to personal matchmakers for confidential, safe and secure services, while online dating sites have seen subscriber-growth rates ebb for the last couple of years.

The Matchmaking Institute was created in 2003 by Lisa Clampitt and was established to set a code of ethics and strict quality standards in the matchmaking industry, to help build community effort, share resources, bringing together the new faces of modern-day matchmakers. It is the first such institute to offer a matchmaking training & certification and provide matchmakers with a community and support network of peers. The Matchmaking Institute also offers a service to introduce singles to Certified Matchmakers(TM). The Institute is governed by an independent board of Directors made up of industry luminaries including Paul Falzone, CEO The Right One & Together Dating, Julie Ferman, founder of Cupid’s Coach, Violet Lim, Founder of Lunch Actually, Charlee Brotherton, CEO Singles Station, and Lisa Clampitt, Founder of VIP Life.