Are we going to give yet another marketing advantage away to third parties?
Hard times call for hard measures….we need to be aggressive as we can and leverage every marketing tool available to us. We need to provide consumers with the information they require. To stay at the center of the transaction real estate pros need to provide consumers the information they want in the way they want it.
What is the one of the most important marketing tools top producers can provide – feedback from past clients.
As noted in the WAV Group paper entitled Your Secret Weapon, Your Reputation, consumers do not really trust traditional advertising nearly as much as they used to. They look to credible sources to tell them the “truth”, not marketing hype filled with “look at me, look at me” messages.
Top producers bend over backwards to satisfy the needs of their clients arguably more than any other industry. When’s the last time you called your lawyer at 8:00 pn on a Saturday to set up an appointment for Sunday morning? There is a great opportunity to take credit for all of this hard work now. The Internet has opened up opportunities to share your great performance and client satisfaction via the Internet now. This type of feedback is espeically important for buyer’s agents who do not have listings to use as a promotional tool.
There are many third parties who have recognized the consumers desire for this type of client feedback. Consumers look to fellow consumers for guidance on choosing a REALTOR® just like they do when they buy a digital camera or choose a book. Companies like Agentratings.com are taking advantage of this trend. They are leveraging the reputations of realtors to create traffic to their site. They are happy to sell agents leads from consumers looking for an agent. Redfin is now offering agent ratings on their site as well.
Is the industry going to give away yet another powerful marketing tool – realtor reputations? We gave away listings years ago and now many companies use our own industry data to create value for THEIR shareholders, not for REALTORS®. Lets not let third parties own one of the most important assets agents work so hard to secure their reputation!
Check out a company like QSC(Quality Service Certified) instead. Built by REALTORS® for REALTORS®, they send feedback forms only to your clients and then you can share feedback with your potential new customers. You get to decide how much feedback is provided. You are in CONTROL of the information. Nobody can use your reputation to create traffic to their site. You maintain ownership and as a bonus, you can learn how to become a better agent, providing better service to your clients.
I really hope that we can get over the fear of negative ratings in time to maintain control of this important marketing tool!