Zillow and Agent Ratings

by THE WAV GROUP on December 14, 2010

WAV Group has been talking about Agent Ratings for a long time now. We published a white paper on the topic in December of 2008.

Around the internet, everything gets rated – consumer products and services of every type. It was not a terribly hard forecast to imagine that someone would emerge to become the epicenter of the Agent Rating.

There have been a number of successful efforts in Agent Ratings – perhaps the leader in the space has.been QualityCertified or QSC.  They pioneered the landscape and have a methodology of insuring that real customers give real ratings. To my knowledge – they remain the only company that continues to make this service available to sales associates or brokers in real estate.

A few weeks ago, leading consumer portal, Zillow.com, who also powers property search for realestate.yahoo.com and a few hundred city newspapers – launched their Agent Ratings program. According to Hitwise – those sites combined for 7.5 million visitors this week. Traffic + Agent Ratings = Epicenter. But will it stick?

The Houston Association of REALTORS had the Traffic + Agent Ratings = Epicenter formula. After years of offering QSC as a member benefit, they built their own ratings system – and it was a good one. Unfortunately, the solution was cut back a bit in features because agents were not prepared to have their sales history and ratings published to the public. HAR, being a service driven REALTOR organization, listened to their members and removed many of the features of the program.

What says ye Zillow? The real estate industry is likely only beginning to learn about agent ratings at Zillow. 95% of agents probably do not even know that they are being rated there, or how they are rated, or how Zillow qualifies the person rating the agent’s service. They appear to be on the right track. Unlike Houston, where agents and brokers immediately asked for ratings and historical sales to be removed – I have not heard nary a whisper about the Zillow agent ratings program beyond this article on RE Technology by Phoenix broker,Jay Thompson.

Perhaps Zillow is in the best position to launch agent ratings – free of all of the political interference of organized real estate – it does not really seem to matter how agents feel about it – they just need to deal with it.

Like it or not – Agent Ratings have arrived. Be sure to have your agents fill our a free profile on Zillow and get them to ask their best customers to give them a thumbs up. Here is an article that explains how to do it.  Let me know if you need an RE Technology subscription to read the article – It will be my christmas gift to you – email victor at retechnology.com

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