Why Agent Reviews Take Top Priority in 2016

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Real estate agent reviews are typically a lightning rod of controversy when brought up around many industry sales professionals.

Why so serious about such a common service? I can review restaurants, areas, service providers and straight up people for who they are.

Over the past few years the subjective side of agent reviews, the information provided by a past customer regarding their experience with a given agent, have gained popularity. Third party real estate agent review service providers typically allow a review to be suppressed from public view by the agent, which kind of defeats the purpose. It’s great that your reviews are all sparkling testimonials, but they are not indicative of how well we will work together.

To quickly escalate the conversation from mostly cloudy into an atmosphere that generates lightning, introduce the empirical data side of agent reviews into the conversation. Huh?    

I’m looking to sell my historic single family home located in 29401 for around $650K, which priced is at the upper end of comparables for the neighborhood, but I’m willing to wait for it.  Are you the agent for me?

  • Do you have the experience to sell my style of home at the price I want in the neighborhood I live in?

  • Where do you rank amongst your peers using my specific criteria?

  • How can I confidently verify your otherwise publicly unverifiable representations of being the #1 agent in my market?  

Today I can’t, and that does not provide the level of transparency consumers demand before the trust to transact can be established. This is not sustainable.

As the silos that contain this type of information are connected to technologies and simplified into standards, a real estate professional's business will become everyone’s business. This is great news for a relatively small percentage of real estate professionals and frightening to the majority.

What are your thoughts on consumers gaining access to agent production data in a way that doesn’t personally identify any agent, except those in question to directly represent them? Better question: How are you going to get in front of this trend?


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LuxurySoCalRealty Compass San Diego
Compass - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Partner - The Private Client Network

Hi Kelly at BoomTown completely agree with you 

Dec 29, 2015 08:34 AM #1
Richard and Jean Murphy
Harborview Properties - Portland, ME
(207) 712-4796

Kelly, You pose an interesting question. In your hypothetical example of a seller looking for the agent/agency with the most experience in selling their "specific" property, this would come from interviews with different agents who would provide the quantifiable evidence. An agent called in to "pitch" their qualifications would show Ms. Seller that they sold 6 properties between $550,000 and $750,000 in her specific "neighborhood.

Fortunately for Realtors today, we are still a people business and an especially personable agent could convince Ms. Seller that they will "try harder" and that they possess the skills to market her property despite not having sold a single home in her neighborhood. 

Transparency is good. We do find, however, that most sellers and buyers are unfamiliar with the landscape of a real estate transaction and they depend on their chosen Realtor to make them "comfortable" during the process. Statistics cannot elicit this feeling. Only an experienced empathetic person can accomplish this.

If the transaction is all about the Benjamins, then lift the curtain and expose all the sold data and let the chips fall where they may. 

My personal feeling is that the best person should "win" the listing and have the opportunity to prove they are up to the task. We will "presume" they can do the job if they got in the door in the first place.


Dec 30, 2015 07:41 PM #2
David Barr
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty - Sarasota, FL

The premise that an agent who specializes in selling homes in "your neighborhood" overlooks the fact that your neighborhood is competing with others in the same price range.  

I see this all the time in my local market.  Last week I showed a resale home in a new home neighborhood.  The lister told me it was $30K below new construction and comparable resales, and she challenged me to find a better deal in that community.

Well, I did find a better deal for my customer in another new home community by the exact same builder, with the exact same floor plan.  The "neighborhood expert" agent had no idea what she was talking about.

An agent with a better overall knowledge and experience may be a better choice.

Dec 31, 2015 12:33 AM #3
John Manuwal
Keller Williams Northwest Montana - Kalispell, MT
Kalispell Montana Agent and Photographer

Word and numbers can be crafted by people that are good with them. You can make anything sound good if you want to. Sometimes a great agent that does not work hard or takes a easy will get outclassed by a hard working new person. Its hard to be great all the time.

Dec 31, 2015 01:38 AM #4
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

In competitive urban areas with real estate agents, brokers on every corner. Boatloads of part time real estate dabblers. It seems to be branding to be heard above the din. In small rural areas, less layers of players and all about how you do your job that differentiates.

If there are 36 image sockets, fill them all and make sure bright, wide, helpful. Not a cell phone image that looks like bear grease is smeared on the lens pin hole. Lots of extra narrative way way beyond the yes, no, maybe and room/bathroom count. Video, real video.

Plats, maps, and links to area info for the never been to your town before. Those folks needing info on your area before jumping out of the real estate buyers plane. To rip cord and drift into your marketplace.

Do a better job with far reaching, million watt transmission with no boundaries, no limitations for time of day, weather, location of your buyer or the device they hold, sit in front of... make it easy. Don't tease, be skimpy or generic leaving anything out. Be specific so each property listing is flushed out online and easily differentiated from all the others on the cake walk. Knock on doors, get more listings, have more sales. It is a delicious cycle.

Dec 31, 2015 03:19 AM #5
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

How will this affect the circle of an agents work cycle.  What I mean is, how about newer agents.  They are green, no experience, and this will not show.  Will they ever be able to gain experience?

I see both sides on this one.  What I don't like is 3rd party providers that can come in and make a ton of money, taking advantage, and not giving much in return.  

Dec 31, 2015 04:43 AM #6
Mark Trask
M. L. Trask Real Estate - Grants Pass, OR
Professional real estate services buyer and seller

This seems to be a double edged sword. There is benefit to the consumer if empirical data is accurate and available. However numbers can be manipulated to fit virtually every scenario conceivable. This is still a business about relationships first.  I really don't see anyway to fairly and justly quantify that  "gut" feeling that clients and agents get at first meeting or during the process which ultimately binds them together or puts them on separate roads. There are too many variables that numbers just can't reveal

Dec 31, 2015 09:57 AM #7
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

The reviews is one way to select the agent over others for bench marking.

The commission, how you present yourself is more important.

Zillow is most credible.  Unlike restaurants, Yelp is the last place you want to use the reviews .... Want to bad mouth an agent that is the source.  Even HD, LOWE I was surpised some of the very positive comments appear to be bogus.

In Public library there are plenty of professessional reviewers will write you one for money.

Dec 31, 2015 12:05 PM #8
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Real estate is still a word of mouth type operation........

Dec 31, 2015 12:05 PM #9
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