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Zillow Launches A Free Online Agent Endorsement System

Zillow Launches A Free Online Agent Endorsement System

Today, Zillow launched Zillow Ratings and Reviews - or basically an endorsement system on the site for real estate professionals.  It is a way for consumers to review real estate agents they've worked with in the past to assist other consumers in the agent selection process.  But want to know the other big winner here?  Great agents!  They are the ones that will flourish and rise to the top. 

Zillow agnet ratings reviews and endorsements

How can I easily collect reviews from past clients?

  1. Email individual clients and ask them to fill out a review form on Zillow.  To streamline this process, you can pre-populate the form with the address of the home you helped them buy or sell, and fill in the service you provided (buyer's agent, seller's agent, etc).
  2. Email up to 50 clients a day with a standard form asking them to review you on Zillow.
  3. If a past client is viewing your Zillow profile, they can click the ‘write a review' button and will be directed to the ratings and reviews form.

Who can review me?

  1. Any client, past or present, can review you regardless of when the transaction closed.
  2. The reviewer must have an active profile on Zillow.
  3. Agents cannot review other agents.

How are reviews moderated?

Zillow's customer service team personally looks at every single review before it is published, to ensure that it adheres to Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy and is respectful and appropriate. If we feel a review does not comply with our Guidelines and Policies, or is generally inappropriate or off-topic, we won't post it.

Can I respond to reviews?

Yes. Agents will be notified when a review has been written about them and have the opportunity to publically respond to all reviews. Additionally, agents can flag reviews they feel are inaccurate or unjust for further review by Zillow's moderators.

What I really want to highlight is that Zillow understands the power of reviews for both consumers and agents, and has a dedicated customer service team in place that will personally look at EVERY SINGLE REVIEW before it is published.

 As I said in the beginning, this new endorsement system is going to be an excellent opportunity for great agents--similar to how great restaurants thrive on Yelp.  In the NAR 2010 Home Buyer and Seller survey that just came out, it said that 87% of consumers would recommend or use their agent again in the future.  Now these past clients can tell your future clients why! 

 

 

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Comment balloon 133 commentsSara Bonert • December 02 2010 10:30AM

Comments

Brad Andersohn also wrote a post about the new system too, if you want another perspective: Link to Brad's post

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Hi Sara, this is great to know.  I will get busy and start e-mailing present and past clients for a review.  We can all grow and get better with constructive criticism.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Judith Parker, CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC (ProStead Realty) over 8 years ago

Thank you Sara :)  I love it!!! nice service (for free)

Posted by Christina ONeal, Realtor - Ripon California (At Home Real Estate Group) over 8 years ago

thanks for the information.  This could be a great tool for growth.  I will utilize this.  Thanks for posting.

Posted by Stella Barbour, Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland (NoVa Brokers LLC) over 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing this great addition to the zillow platform! I will check it out

Posted by Ryan Case, 877-828-0710 (SCA Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Sara - I just saw this on your site this morning, I've already contacted a few clients to ask for reviews!

Posted by Debbie Summers (Charles Rutenberg Realty ) over 8 years ago

Great information. I will def start using this service.

Posted by Dustin McClure (Mossy Oak Properties Outdoor Realty) over 8 years ago

Nice add on to Zillow Sarah, but IMHO it would be great if we didn't have to keep asking our past clients to go to various sites for recommendations.  There's so many places out there already... I start feeling sheepish to keep asking my clients to do so over and over.

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) over 8 years ago

Great to hear the positive feedback - shoot me a note if you run into any questions.

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Sara,

Great post! I think the new feature is a great idea.

Posted by Jeffrey Ditri, New York City Residential Rental Specialist (JAD Realty Group, LLC.) over 8 years ago

Sara,

What prevents the use of false testimonials?

I have seen the same ones on the sites of different people. Obviously, it's just copy and paste!

Brian

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 8 years ago

I tried to do that, but I couldn't find any link to send the request.  Am I missing something or are they excluding inspectors from that?

Posted by Loren Green, Phoenix Home Inspector & Designer (Greens Home Design L.L.C.) over 8 years ago

#8 Lee and Pamela - This feature is discoverable on your profile page.  So someone could naturally find it.  However, I think many more will get to the feature though being told about it by their Realtor, at least at this point.

#11 Brian - Not exactly sure what you mean?  Perhaps you mean the agent themself cutting and pasting something on their own profile?  Agents can't review other agents.  You have to register and be registered to write or recieve reviews.  So if an agent tried to review another professional (including themself) the system wouldn't let them because of the type of profile they have. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

#12 Loren -Sorry, but right now we're focusing on helping agents and lenders grow their business via reviews and endorsements.  We haven't extended it to other real estate professionals yet, but if consumers ask for this over time we might.

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Love this idea. Now I have an easy way for my clients to give referrals that offer buyers/seller will see.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Nice idea....we'll see. I know there is a reason to have them register, but can see that becoming a deterrent.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 8 years ago

If this is another opportunity for friends to skew reality just like those that help select Zillows  "BEST" answers when that "best" answer is actually the poorest of the bunch...

...or like the list of agents who claim 99 years experience?

Posted by Mike & Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) over 8 years ago

Great?!?  IMHO Zillow has already done enough damage to the local area with it's COMPLETELY inaccurate zestimates that are now part of our local appraiser and lender's tool kits and consequent real estate market.  The data they've used came from only one or two sources that aren't as local as they advertise them to be. (We have multiple Boards of Realtors that cover this area, so all of them aren't incorporated into zestimates, the data is completely off.

So, now they're providing us the opportunity to provide feedback on agents.  Given the accuracy with which they've done past business, i.e. "zestimates" I'm curious as to how accurate the agent rating system will be.  For example, will one great rating be equal to another agent's 100 great ratings?

Posted by Carol Andersen, NW Floridanulls Real Estate Pro, TRC, ICREA (Navarre Beach Agency) over 8 years ago

#18 Carol - This statement isn't quite correct: "now they're providing us the opportunity to provide feedback on agents"  Agents can't review other agents.  Further, Zillow isn't doing any of the actual rating, past clients are.  So we don't have a 'formula' to rate anyone against anyone else. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Great addition to zillow, I am loving my Zillow leads these days!

Posted by Dana Scanlon, Bethesda MD- Award-Winning Bethesda Realtor (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 8 years ago

" ... similar to how great restaurants thrive on Yelp." 99% of the agents don't have the kind of volume necessary to make this a valuable tool. I really don't think it is going to have any impact.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 8 years ago

I am on the fence as I know there will be abuse by some. I will take a wait and see attitude.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Wow! Already contacting clients...

Posted by Carmen Isais (Barrett-Leber Realty) over 8 years ago

Good post Sara. Great to see agents embracing this feature so quickly. I've already seen a lot of tweets from agents asking clients to leave references and reviews for them on Zillow. Very smart of agents to do that so quickly. 

Good agents are going to love this feature. 

Posted by Spencer Rascoff (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Sarah this looks like an exciting new tool for empowering consumers, and it should help the best agents get more business. Lee & Pamela - interesting point about managing multiple review sites - I can imagine it's becoming a burdensome task.  Internet reviews are not going away though, so a well-moderated platform like this that allows agents to participate in a discussion about their business seems a useful addition.

Posted by vFlyer Blog (vFlyer Inc.) over 8 years ago

Not to be a naysayer, but.........My concern is that they way some people "game the system" (ie - make up false profiles on various RE websites simply to get more thumbs ups or best answers) those same agents will also find ways to create "false" clients who will give them fake rave reviews...or, they can simply ask their friends to sign in and leave a review.

Agents are hardly going to ask dissatisfied clients to leave a review, so the reviews may certainly be skewed on the positive side,

Just my 2 cents........time will tell.

 

Posted by Debra (Debbie) Rose, Experience**Integrity**Professionalism (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NJ Properties) over 8 years ago

Not a fan because of the huge potential for gaming and abuse.

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 8 years ago

#26 Debra - Good points, I agree with you that I think it will indeed skew positive - definitely at first when most people will be discovering the functionality through invitation. 

With regards to your comment about fake profiles, we actually have about two years of experience moderating this type of review system with our Mortgage Marketplace, where you can review lenders.  There have been some cases where people have created fake profiles in an effort to game the system, but they are pretty easy to track down when you see multiple profiles coming from the same IP address.  Given that all reviews will be read by an actual person, we should be able to catch a lot of this. And then there is the flagging system as a backup.

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Interesting blog post Sara!  The idea of agent ratings has received a fair amount of resistance but it's an idea whose 'time has come.'  I know that Yelp is increasing it's business ratings system and Google as well.  To date, the real estate community does not seem to be actively embracing this, although consumers are seeking this type of information on just about every service and commodity they acquire.

Posted by Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home! (Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate) over 8 years ago

yelp for zillow.  cool.  i'll check it out.

Posted by Doug Reynolds, Realtor - Sacramento, CA (Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Very cool! Thanks for posting.

Posted by Julie Baldino, Opening Doors to New Chapters... (Front Door Realty) over 8 years ago

Sara. I don't have any happy customers. The perception that I'm good at what I do is just that...perception. The reality is I suck. Ok maybe I don't really suck.

I have to say though that you guys really do have a lot going on over at Zillow. This is another good feature. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

 

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 8 years ago

Thanks for keeping us in the loop Sara!  I saw the headline about it this morning but hadn't looked into it yet.  It will be interesting to see how well it works out.

Posted by Dee Bundy, Helping You Make Colorado "Home" (Fort Collins Realtor @ C3 Real Estate Solutions) over 8 years ago

Usually when agents try to "create testimonials" that are false in our area the town is small enough that everyone knows it's false. So for me that's not a big drawback. My concern is that reviewers have to create a profile. I have had success with other sites that could submit the review once we requested it but not when a whole lot of effort is required on there part. People as a whole just aren't going to want to spend the time setting up a profile just to give a review. I hope you get a better response than I expect...good luck.

Posted by Larry Atkins (State Wide Realty Co.) over 8 years ago

#32 Bryant - Haha, maybe you bribe a few with a dinner out with you and TLW! :)  I am sure you could find one or two that have nice things to say.  Unfortunately, since agents can't review other agents, I can't endorse you with how much great advice you give out on your blog!

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Great Idea! I would love to participate.

Posted by Poonam Bhardwaj over 8 years ago

Great Idea! I would love to participate.

Posted by Poonam Bhardwaj over 8 years ago

Sorry, all I can say is good grief! What next? First what homes are worth and now what agents are best. This is so fraught with issues that I cannot believe that agents are jumping on this with very little knowledge of how it will work. We already see how the Zestimates "help us".  And again, someone faraway is going to judge whether the information is good or not.

Posted by John Elwell, You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results (CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago

This is awesome for the agent to take part in.... I wonder what's next for them to do.. I guess I have to be on the look out. Thanks for posting this Sara

Posted by Donna Paul, Long Island Home Specialist,All About Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty Gold Coast) over 8 years ago

The naysayers and zillow bashers never cease to amaze me...

First, and I bet Zillow would agree with me here, having agent reviews is hardly a novel idea. Zillow certainly isn't the first site to do it, and certainly won't be the last.

Second, yes, anything can be gamed. And some will do just that. But I think those who are so deeply concerned about gaming aren't giving Zillow, and more importantly, the consumer, enough credit. Gaming systems like this is risky business. Consumers are smart -- smarter than someone stupid and shallow enough to game a review system. Go ahead, game it and see what happens when you get caught. And eventually most will.

Agent reviews aren't going away. Consumers demand them. Systems will be put in place to facilitate agent reviews. Associations would be well advised to look at HAR and see how they implemented their review system, it eliminates much of the concern some have expressed here. Problem is, most associations are nowhere close to being as progressive as HAR, so other companies -- Zillow, Yelp, Google, etc etc etc will step in and fill to consumer demand.

 

Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Thank you Sara....I foresee many loopholes in that system....  I just wish Zillow didn't offer as comparables all of the commercial, coops, condos in the area along with single family homes.. It offsets the stats and then we then must spend an hour correcting those stats to our potential clients. Sorry. Gay

Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

I'm recalling a happy hour a few months ago in Ohio where we talked about the importance of such a feature, Sara:)  Looking forward to learning more about it to help agents maximize use, while overcoming the natural inclination to fear things like negative comments and "gaming the system".

Research has shown that 80% of reviews posted online are positive.  And if they aren't? There may be a legitimate reason why.  People are smart enough to make up their own mind, and if they see one scathing review in a sea of positive ones, they'll be more skeptical of the legitimacy of that review/reviewer.

Kudos to Zillow for taking the lead here! It's only a matter of time before it's expected across all real estate sites.  It already exists on Yelp, so why shouldn't it exist on other sites that are FOCUSED on real estate?

Posted by Dawn Hepper (Ciceron) over 8 years ago

#42 Jay - Thanks Jay.  Something as simple as tracking/banning IP addresses is a quick way to deter 'gamers' - and I don't mean the kind that are getting wii's for Christmas!

#44 Dawn - Hmm.. bringing up happy hour discussions are we?  :)  We've been working on this for awhile and got a lot of great feedback from people like those on our Broker Advisory Board.  A side- just did a training for the CB OH group yesterday, love that organization!  Sean and Joe rock, hope your program with them is going well.

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Hi Sara,

 

I have a few questions.

 

Can consumers rate agents that don't have a profile?

 

Can consumers rate agents from your mobile apps?

 

Can Brokers sign up to be notified when their agents are reviewed?

 

Congrats on the new product rollout!

Posted by Todd Carpenter (RealtyNex.us) over 8 years ago

I actually think this is an excellent idea.  (Maybe I should withhold judgment until a few reviews come in :-) ). The more transparency the better.  The informed consumer is the real estate professionals friend.  I tweeted the other day that we need a wiki leaks for real estate...this is a start.  Good luck with it!

Posted by Billy Jalbert (The Maui Real Estate Team, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Hi Sara, this is a good tool and I read Brad's post also.  Thanks,

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) over 8 years ago

#46 Todd- Great questions.

1) Can consumers rate agents that don't have a profile?  No.  And if an agent chooses not to be reviewed, they can delete their Zillow Profile (although that has larger marketing implications on the site). 

2) Can consumers rate agents from your mobile apps?  No, the functionality isn't on the mobile apps yet.  You could see if it you went to the z mobile site from a smartphone browser, but it would be hard to do as it isn't optimized yet.  

3) Can Brokers sign up to be notified when their agents are reviewed?  Interesting question, and I think I see where you are going with it.  I'm going to pass this along to our product team.  The answer right now though is 'no'.  This is mostly because we don't have 'broker profiles' on the site that agent would fall under.  So we wouldn't really know who's info to send to a particular broker entity.  We've actually gotten some interesting requests this week from brokers on how they'd like to be able to interact with this data, so it is something that's on the radar. 

 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

I agree with #22.  I'll take a wait and see approach, it seems like the same thing Ebay has and I always find myself paying close attention to reviews there.

Posted by Tracy McPeek over 8 years ago

Well, Redfin is using the reviews system. It's an interesting read for me as agent :) I like reviews on yelp, too. Many sites where you can book professional services are starting to use this approach. For example, gigmasters (site where you can hire artists / performers) They automatically email every customer after the gig asking for a review. Maybe active rain can become such platform, eventually. 

Posted by Anna Tolstoy (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Sara, what will prevent us from getting flamed by lunatics and competitors? How do I know that someone with a ton of great ratings isn't some liar with a bunch of buddies gaming the ratings for them? 

Yes, Redfin rates agents (I am a partner agent for Redfin) but not just anybody rates- they have to get set up with an agent first to be surveyed. Big difference. 

Why can't you guys get the listings and property data squared away before you start quantifying us? 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 8 years ago

To Jay #42: 

I love you, but I think there is ample reason to hold Zillow's feet to the fire about things. I have given Zillow credit when it's been due them. But I also am not about to embrace a new idea from them when their old initiatives are still so problematic. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 8 years ago

To J. Philip  #55,

I agree with you that there is the possibility that lunatics and competitors will be a problem and I would imagine (hint hint) that there will be some sort of a dispute resolution / feedback capability.  BTW, Zillow's property values on Maui are often way, way off, median error 38%.  It's a tough place to place a value, but I still applaud the effort that Zillow is making to bring more transparency to the industry...Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.

Posted by Billy Jalbert (The Maui Real Estate Team, Inc.) over 8 years ago

So while a good number of Agents may embrace this as they would anything they view as a Free Lead Generator just why should or would the Consumer? How does one even claim or suggest this is Consumer Driven?

As far as they (The Consumer) demand or want a place to see how Agents are Rated IMHO they do BUT they want one with some legitimacy and not one determined by Agents being encouraged or having it emphasized to them they should do it because it will get them leads(We know they will only solicit the They's the Bestest Ever one don't we?)

So they solicit 5-20-25-50 5 Star Reviews and that will be counterbalanced how? By Unsolicited Reviews? From where?

My view is Zillow is passing on a Real Opportunity, running past the Gold Mine, the Mother-load by not creating/having a Legitimate Rating System for Agents,,Verified Reviews from Verified Clients (Yes that would take time and Staff but perhaps it's time to actually work towards establishing Credibility instead of trying shortcuts to Leads)

The RE Industry has a Credibility and Image Problem IMO and the Public is becoming more informed every day so it is my opinion that in it's current suggested form this "Rating" system will be given by them the same value as most of them give All-Star Badges, VIP Badges, Local Expert Badges, Pro Badges, Top this or that...They will give it a big ROTFLOL and add that much more Lack of Credibility to what they already have....

Thanks for letting me share my Opinion

 

Posted by Dunes over 8 years ago

#54 Philip - Let's play out the fraud scenario, and see if this helps.  First you have to an active profile on Zillow to create a review (consumer) or to be rated (agent).  The system won't let agents rate other agents, so your competitors can not leave comments about you in the first place.

But what if someone creates a fake profile to do a review, is probably your next question?  Ok, say they create a fake profile.  When someone is writing a review, they have to give their name and the property you (the agent) assisted them on in buying or selling (this would take some research on their part). Then let's say they wrote something crude, and hit submit.  All reviews are manually looked at before being published to the site.  Our customer service would see the profanity and not post it - dead end there.  But maybe they just wrote something negative, it doesn't look fishy or contain bad language, and it makes it to the site?

Now we are at worst case scenario - your competitor has created a fake profile, researched enough to have named the profile as one of your past clients and has properly identified the home they bought, and made it through our customer service.  You, the agent rated, are notified of a new review.  You come look at it - and you know something is up, that person would never say that about you, or the name and address don't match up.  You, the agent, could flag the review and it goes back to customer service as a high priority red flag. 

From there we would do a lot of research on it.  For example, we could look at the IP address of the newly created profile, is it sourced as coming from a real estate office?  Or are there are bunch of fake profiles with the same IP with only one review (the IP will be permanently banned)?  Does the email used to create the account look suspicious?  Does the name of the profile and the property address match up?  If we were to email the "person that supposedly is your past client" and asked them to verify something as part of the investigation, would they check out?  Probably not.  And ultimately the review comes down. 

So hopefully this helps ease your mind about the fraud process.  With any system they'll be people who try to spam/game the system - but we are trying to make it as hard of a process for them as possible. 

 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Thanks for the information.

Posted by Terry Thorpe (Horizon Realty International) over 8 years ago

#57 Dunes - First, I believe you are not an agent, and therefore offering the viewpoint of a consumer?  If that is the case, thanks for offering your opinion.  I always find it interesting when non-agents pop over to Active Rain and give their opinion, it adds another dimension to the conversation. 

I think I get what your are trying to say and if so, in a perfect world, I agree with you. But unfortunately, probably every agent who has commented here could give you a story as to why, if you just opened the system wide up with no controls, there would be issues based on their every day dealings. 

By ensuring you are actually a past client means you likely had a full experience with the person you are reviewing - not one-off interaction along the way of the transaction.  It also is a big road block in deterring fraud. 

But again - thanks for your opinion.  I think it reinforces the fact that consumers are smart when it comes to reading reviews.  To use an example outside of real estate - I feel like when I am reading book reviews on Amazon I can tell which ones came from the publisher or author themselves.  However, once there are bulk of reviews, those fade out and the overall trend that the book is good kicks in with some reviews being especially insightful in helping make a decision. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Good information, but it kinda of reminds me of "Angie's list."  I think it would be used more for abuse than for credit.  Most people that have given me recommendations or thanked me for my services, sent a card or posted it on LinkIn.   I'll have to wait and see how it turns out in a few months.

Posted by Anonymous over 8 years ago

Trying to figure out where in my comment you deduced I was suggesting you should have a wide open system with no controls....

What I'm saying is you HAVE are offering to Agents a wide open system with no controls.....

I'm saying

1. You are offering to Agents a "Rating" which they can manipulate (By soliciting "Past Clients") to give favorable Ratings...Let's be honest no one is going to solicit a Bad Review/Endorsement...

2. You have no verification the "client" was really a client and you are putting no effort into verifying they are...Staff will be reading all Reviews, sure for content not to determine if the review comes from a legit source...

My issue isn't some Agent will do their own reviews or slam another Agent...

It's this simple..The Rating is Manipulated because they are CHOOSING/SOLCITING who Reviews them.  The "Rating" is MISLEADING because THE AGENT "PICKED" who reviews them

ZILLOW has made it Wide Open....

3. Zillow gets a Bunch of New Agents/Profiles who wish to be "Rated" and a Bunch of New Profiles by those "Rating"..Added Traffic and does so by offering the "Rating" as an opportunity to get LEADS...

4. This is not about providing the CONSUMER with a "Rating" system that has any value whatsoever because it based on SOLICITED REVIEWS.....This isn't about the Consumer at all IMHO..It's about offering Agents a tool for leads and offering a "Rating" system where they can be sure they have a High "Rating" and convincing them they in return for participating and creating a Profile will in return get leads....All for Free..

My position is it's just another Misleading tool like BS Badges being offered by Zillow to get more Profiles, more Traffic and to fill Zillows pool with fish to sell Featured this or that or ads or or or...You sell it by suggesting it's a Lead Generator and allowing/encouraging the Agents to Solicit their reviews. (They ain't gonna solicit bad ones)

My position is Zillow made this Wide Opened...

My Position is the moment the Consumer figures out it all has no real value (And they will and they will quickly) then ZILLOW and AGENTS just lose more CREDIBILITY

My position is if Zillow and Agents actually worked on figuring out how to thave a Legitimate "Rating" system they would GAIN CREDIBILITY and then would also be providing something Consumers want and would value

Zillow can and will do as they wish, as will the Agents but I'm suggesting that Focusing on doing something more CREDIBLE may/would be far more Beneficial to all than.

Posted by Dunes (Not an Agent) over 8 years ago

Sorry I misinterpreted your position.

1. Agree that they will likely skew positive, especially at first.  The review functionality is discoverable on the profile without an invite, so objectivity can be peppered in as consumers learn the functionality exists. 

2. In most situations, public record data we have does let us know the name of the person tied to the address of the transaction.  So this is verifiable. 

4. We've had reviews on Lenders in our Mortgage Market place for about 2 years now, and indeed those with 4/5 star ratings get contacted more than those with less. IMO (and Zillow's I believe I am safe in saying) the system was created primarily for the consumer.  Maybe the reviews were solicited, but now a consumer at least has those to help make a shopping decision - verses none from anyone at all.  Bad agents will have a hard time even getting any substantial solicited ratings. 

 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Response to

1. A positive "Guess" on how it will unfold IMO..Maybe-Maybe not

2. All you have verified is the name on the review matches the property..Several clicks, a minute or 2 and every Tom, Dick and Harry has access to the public records/data pretty much anywhere....

3/4. Not doubting anyone gets more leads with a Better Rating..I'm questioning the "Rating" and the claim the  Mortgage "Rating" system was created for the Consumer is Zillows claim and your position may be a bit biased  as an employee who is paid to.....There are plenty of discussions involving many mortgae people at Zillow that anyone who wishes to can find that disagree with that claim

"Bad agents will have a hard time even getting any substantial solicited ratings."

Not if they know they only have to use a different computer (IP#), a different email address and have the right name for the property since that's the only verification Zillow is using..So what? 10-15 minutes and 5 star review...Yahoo, let's Get them leads

To be blunt ;)...If it's being created FOR THE CONSUMER then why are you pitching it to Agents as a Lead Generator?..

Hey!!! Get your Endorsements in and Get your Leads...The better the Reviews the More Leads!!!!

 

 

Posted by Dunes over 8 years ago

why do agents on AR endorse zillow???????????? They will get you out of business soon.. when will everyone learn?

Posted by Rama Mehra, TOP 1% REALTOR IN THE TRI-VALLEY (Keller Williams Danville) over 8 years ago

Rama, what do you mean when you write "they will get you out of business soon"? Zillow is not a brokerage. We don't have agents who work for Zillow. We don't compete with agents or brokerages. 

Zillow sells ads, not houses. 

 

 

Posted by Spencer Rascoff (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Thank you all for the terrific feedback on this new and exciting feature. As Sara explained in the original post, we're quite excited about the potential that this feature has for good agents. The feedback on this post, on twitter, within Zillow Advice, and in our focus groups with agents and brokers before launching the feature has all been very consistent: good agents are excited about an opportunity to showcase their expertise by having past clients leave feedback for them. We truly believe that agent reviews and endorsements are both great for consumers and great for good agents.

Most of the concerns that have been raised center around potentially fraudulent reviews etc. Please know that we have spent a lot of time thinking this through and even the current version 1 of this feature has as many safeguards that we can think of. We have almost two years of experience on this issue, since we've had ratings and reviews of lenders in the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace for almost two years, and we have over 6500 reviews of lenders there. We aren't novices on this, and we've taken a lot of precautions to address these concerns. Most importantly, we've made the decision (and please know that it is a very expensive decision) to have every single review manually approved by a Zillow employee before it posts to the website. That's just one of the safeguards that we're using to ensure the integrity of the system.

Thank you again for the feedback, and for those of you who haven't yet started to ask your past clients to endorse you on Zillow, I encourage you to go and do so. Other agents are all over it already...

 

Posted by Spencer Rascoff (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Online reviews are the wave of the future for real estate agents.  I have many issues with Zillow, but I think reviews are a good thing.  The search for agents is based on listings, so good buyer agents can never make it to the top of the Zillow directories.  I would hope that a buyer agent with many 4-5 star reviews would have a shot at getting a better placement on Zillow.  Let's face it, higher placement means more contacts.

As for Dunes, it will work itself out.  Initially there will be a lot of positive reviews for agents but at some point disgruntled clients will get on there. I mean an agent with 40 positive reviews and three bad ones, must generally be good, right?  If an agent can only garner 5 positive reviews who has been in business for 10 years, doesn't that, in and of itself, say something? 

 

Posted by Melina Tomson, Principal Broker/Owner, M.S. (Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon) over 8 years ago

Fair enough Sara. 

As I said, I am already rated on my Redfin profile, and they have many safeguards. I hope yours prove as effective. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 8 years ago

Thanks for letting us know.  Posts like these are one of the reasons that I truly enjoy being in the ActiveRain community.

Posted by Tim Klingman, President (North Shore Homes, Inc. (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)) over 8 years ago

Sara,

Thanks for the heads up on this.  I will get busy on this right away!!

Posted by Marti White over 8 years ago
Zillow depends on us all to drive traffic to their site. What would happen if we did not play along?
Posted by Teresa Boardman (Boardman Realty) over 8 years ago
I got my emails from zillow this morning, but I had to read active rain first. I will check it out. You never know where the next client will come from.
Posted by Karen over 8 years ago

Talk about a hot topic!  I'd be "for" such a thing, and I'll think about asking my clients to look it over, but for the most part my clients are NOT going to want to create a full profile...

The point was raised that no one would ask an unhappy client to post a review.  Human nature being what it is, those particular folks will find their way there anyway, and especially if their beef isn't justifiable.

Victoria

Posted by Victoria CB Trees, Principal Broker (Victoria CB Trees Real Estate Services) over 8 years ago

Considering the mentality of buyers in today's market I see this as a tool for them to vent about the delay in a response for a short sale by the bank, delays in closings, etc. with us, the realtors, being the quickest, easiest puching bag.

Posted by Jim Pirkle (Harvest Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Dear Sara,

Sounds like an interesting idea. Karen has a point about consumer reluctance to register and many others have raised the worry about abuse. I hope you work out those points, so it becomes a valuable feature for you and us.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) over 8 years ago

Bottom line here is that young consumers like to read reviews. Whether we like them or not is kinda irrelevant. The next generation of home buyers and home sellers are going to be using these reviews as part of their decision making process.

Posted by Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist (eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales) over 8 years ago

One more thing for the Zillow folk...

I hope you have spent all that money on hiring people that can READ.  I can't tell you how many times I have sent emails to customer service somewhere, anywhere, and received back a canned response from a real person, that had nothing whatsoever to do with what I asked.  I received such a response just yesterday, and replied that my question was not addressed, and could it please be referred to someone that could read.  (Yeah, rather rude... sigh.)

I did feel bad about that until I received the response.  That person wanted to know what my question was.  It was in the thread of the email, further down...

So, again, I hope those reviewers can actually read, and comprehend.  That would be a bonus.

Victoria

Posted by Victoria CB Trees, Principal Broker (Victoria CB Trees Real Estate Services) over 8 years ago

Thanks for the heads up... certainly will be interesting on how it ends up. Unfortunately... I think there may be some cases of misunderstanding where somebody rails an agent and agents are not going to be able to respond due to this thing called the Code of Ethics or state laws such as we have in Nevada where we are not allowed to discuss details of a client / transaction for one year.

Let's face it.. if you have not had the client from hell then you have not been in the RE business (or done any business) for very long.

Posted by Paul Francis, Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes (Francis Group Real Estate) over 8 years ago

This sounds like a way for Zillow to get agents to provide them with their databases for free.  As any past client who want's to review you must set up their own Zillow profile, Zillow will gain a few million more eyeballs thanks to our hard work.

Sorry, but I'm going to pass.

Besides, do you have your client's permission to provide a third party with their contact information?

John

Posted by John Keene (Perry & Co.) over 8 years ago

My biggest grip I have about this system is I am giving Zillow my database to market their service so they can grow theirs even more. I am not ready to provide my database to any online service -- I will simply tell my clients and they can choose to go there if they wish or any other online option I provide - if any at all.

When it comes to rating like these we have to remember -- We are taking about people -- not a company or product we are talking a person and you are asking someone to rate someone based upon their "perception" of person their knowledge, process expertise (isn't that one main reason they hire us?), negotiation skills (again, it is usually based upon hearsay and what they think), and responsiveness well some want a response yesterday and some are ok with a few hours again it depends on the perceptions and expectations of the client.  The survey is skewed and every buyer and seller should be apprehensive of any online recommendation they read regarding a professional.

Yes, abuse and gaming is a very real and probably likely possibility.

Posted by J Kistler over 8 years ago

One more thing.  Did everyone see Spencer the Zillow employee's comment:

"Zillow sells ads, not houses."

Is that a tacit admission as to why their zestimiates can be so far off? 

I believe that is the point that Rama was trying to make about Zillow driving us out of business. It is difficult sometimes to convince a seller of what their home is really worth when Zillow assigns it an unrealistic zestimate.

The above quote may actually help the next time I have to explain to someone that I am the local expert.  Zillow is not.

John

 

Posted by John Keene (Perry & Co.) over 8 years ago

I don't think it is going to work because clients have to create a zillow account in order to post their review Who do you know who is going to sign up for Zillow spam just to get their review posted...a review which is of no benefit to them?

Posted by Raylene Lewis over 8 years ago

Very good point from Raylene Lewis...

Posted by Raul Rodriguez, Looking out for the client's interest and not my p (Covenant Partners Realty) over 8 years ago

Spencer I love that the Agents who agree with you that this is a good idea and are excited are "The good Agents" ;)

As far as this will work itself out...That's a hope for some, a sales pitch for others  and an opinion a number of people have....not a fact IMO

To me this is about Credibility & if it is really something that benefits the Consumer or is a legitimate response to their request/desire for Ratings rather than just something that takes advantage of that desire...

I freely admit and do not hesitate to say that my opinion there are a LOT of good things about Zillow, they have excellent Staff/Moderators and they work hard to make it a Site that actually helps Consumers (I think many Agents have missed the boat to be perfectly blunt in taking advantage of this and using it to increase the credibility of Agents/the industry by participating)....However I stand by the opinion about the "Rating" system that I have expressed here

 

Posted by Dunes over 8 years ago

We're focusing on buyers Sara. What's the best way to promote ourselves on Zillow?

Posted by Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux, Where Buying & Selling Works (Keller Williams Suburban Realty) over 8 years ago

Interesting Post.  I will have to look more at the Zillow situation. 

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Great post...I went on yesterday actually and invited my clients to please provide a referral for me on Zillow.  Love this type of thing!  I bet if there's any amount of success that Trulia jumps on board soon too...

Posted by Meredith Drews, Excellent Communication, Skilled Negotiations and (Keller Williams) over 8 years ago

Interesting post. I will do the wait and see approach as so many others. I do not have a great fondness for the Zillow 'zestimates' in our area. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have had to explain then explain again with the stat's (again) to my clients the holesin the Zillow pricing. Not knowing specific area, blending all property types together, etc. Frustrating. Yes I know it's just another resource for them to research it's just so generic. Similar to sending in an appraiser from 200 miles away to a community he knows nothing about.

Posted by Dianne McNeill over 8 years ago

Time will tell how this plays out and the effects it will have, but it seems like it is going to be a great tool.

Posted by Simon Mills (Mills Realty) over 8 years ago

thanks so much for sharing - I'm off to take a look now!

Posted by Rowena Patton, Asheville NC Real Estate (All-Star Powerhouse) over 8 years ago

Great tool! I have several people I work with outside my town that will happy to do a review for me. Also love the Zillow on the Adroid Smart Phone    Keep up the information.   Peggy Meeker

Posted by PeggyMeeker over 8 years ago
I agree that is a powerful referral source as I do think there are a lot of both buyers & sellers on Zillow checking out Zestimates of a home they are interested in...or sellers altering the info on upgrades, etc on a home they own. I believe It's a Realtor's responsibility to always check to see what a homes Zestimate is before writing an offer or heading into a listing presentation. Plus, the Zillow app on smart phones makes it so easy...it's a no brainer to include...no matter if the Zestimate is pretty close or way off. I say I'm going to try & get some past clients to fill out...& maybe my Zillow client (Brandon M) will see this & post something about his home buying experience w/me last year! 
Posted by Angie Bondurant over 8 years ago

I have received an e-mail from Zillow informing me about the new tool.

Guess what I imediately did?

I set out several e-mails. Cool Tool What?

Posted by Timo Yannopoulos, Buying and Selling Kansas City Homes (Platinum Realty Licensed in Missouri) over 8 years ago

Sara, I love this. I have written most of my former clients who have bought or sold with me and so far I have one referral but should get more.   It is wonderful  Zillow is great.  I will close on a property with a lead from Zillow back in mid September.  Thank you Zillow.  I will blog on this when the transaction is complete.

Posted by Pat Laracy Baker, Pat Baker Dream Home Maker (Realty Executives Boston West) over 8 years ago

Has anyone had any success (or failure) with advertising on Zillow?  There are a couple of Zip codes available in my area and I would appreciate any Feedback before I shell out the $$$

Thanks!

Posted by Rob E. Kirchner, Reno Real Estate Expert (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Thanks for the article and info!  Great post and yet another reason why agents help agents on AR!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 8 years ago

Ok, I'm going to enter the fray on this...

Like it or not Zillow is here and is an authority site for consumers.  They love it and for the most part what I find is that folks who are selling are understanding that these are estimates.  The word is right there in the title.  And it's our job as professionals to further educate those people who end up with us, by whatever means they get there, as to the real market value of their homes.  They get misinformation from many different sources and we are employed only because we can take the info apart and put it back together again.

There is no difference between countering the national news, Case Schiller, The Washington Post and Zillow.  Each has a different slant and NONE can beat feet on the street agents.  We are the experts and once in our capable hands the consumer is well served.

But what I have found is Zillow is an authority site.  And that authority transfers immediately to me in the leads that come to me.  When they understand that I can serve their needs and get them exactly the information they need to make financial decisions about their greatest assets, then the marketing has worked.  They were led to me and I can serve them.

This is no different than a postcard campaign that shows the latest sales in a neighborhood, mailed over and over.  It's no different than communicating with your sphere about the market and looking to drive business that way.  It's no different than optimizing your sites via SEO to drive business to you and it's no different than using blogs on Active Rain to communicate your effectiveness.

In fact, when you use all the channels together and create a presence in your target market, the consumer cannot help but be served by your expertise.  Because you are truly the expert in your own market.

I love Zillow.  I think they are a terrific company filled with dynamic, caring people who get marketing.  They are one giant postcard for all of us to use and as they continue to hone those marketing skills, I for one will ride right along with them.  They are in marketing not sales.  When everyone understands that statement they will stop beating their drums. 

Sara and Spencer, I'm glad you posted this and I wish you continued success.  I have every confidence you'll protect our interests as to gaming any systems. 

 

Josette Skilling

Posted by Josette Skilling (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 8 years ago

"I believe that is the point that Rama was trying to make about Zillow driving us out of business. It is difficult sometimes to convince a seller of what their home is really worth when Zillow assigns it an unrealistic zestimate."

No offense intended, but if an agent can't explain how they can value a home more accurately than a piece of software, they need to reconsider their chosen profession. Zillow posts, on their site, the accuracy range of Zestimates. Learn how they calculate Zestimates, print Zillow's own data, and explain the difference between software and you. It's really not that hard.

Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Wow, What a bunch of comments. Great job on getting this many. My only question is, will this review also have a section for the Inspectors as well. If not there should be, Hmmmmmm.

Clint McKie  

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 8 years ago

What a great heads up! Thank you! Can't wait to try it.

Posted by Lynn M. Bower, PA, ABR, GRI, RSPS, AHWD, PMN, CNE (John R Wood Realtors) over 8 years ago

Thanks so much for the heads up Sara!  I'll definitely look into this and see about getting the word out to my clients.

Posted by Randy Elliott, REALTOR : Lodi / Stockton, CA (RE/MAX Gold) over 8 years ago

Thanks for the information great to see what happens..

Posted by George P. Cruz Sr., PSL FL CDPE, TRC, CIPS (DR Horton) over 8 years ago

thank sara!  looks cool!  you guys always have such great ideas:)

Posted by Courtney Cooper, 206-850-8841 (Ben Kinney Brokerages Leadership at our Keller Williams North Seattle Office) over 8 years ago

A couple of you pose the question about clients registering for profiles.  Prior to this system even existing we've had millions (yes millions) of non real estate professional people register for profiles on the site.  Why would they do this?  The biggest two reasons are to subscribe to various property alerts or alerts for their own home and to participate in Zillow advice.  There are many other things they can do as well, so there is definitely a 'what in it to them to register' - and now writing reviews is on that list.  Finally, it is a pretty common practice to have to register or identify yourself when leaving reviews. 

#86 Bev and Bob - I sent you an email, but I'd start with Zillow Advice!

#97 Pat - Look forward to seeing that post!  If you think of it, please shoot me a note when you post it.  Would love to read it.

#98 Rob - Here is a sample of people who have indeed closed business from the Zillow's advertiisng program.

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

#102 Josette - Thanks for getting 'into the fray'.  In response to your last sentence, the answer is - you bet we will!

#103 FYI, link to pagein which Jay is referring to regarding Zestimate accuracy. 

#106 Clint - Sorry, but we are focusing on Lenders and Agents right now.  But will see where that takes us as far as other real estate categories.

#111 Courtney - Thanks!  Wish I could take all the credit - but that is far from the case!

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Why am I reminded of the childrens' story about the wolf in sheep's clothing?

But I have to admit that it is a clever way to access Realtors' databases.

Posted by Thomas McCombs (Century 21 HomeStar) over 8 years ago

To answer anyone who is asking about if this is effective or not, the answer is yes.  You will get many buyer leads but the effectiveness will be in your hands. If you do not respond right away, they will be gone.  If you are not knowledgable about your area, they will be gone.  If you pounce on people with an air of desperation, they will be gone.

If you serve them, and they are ready for you they are people who have started to figure out where they want to be and are looking for help.

Since this summer I have:

1) referred $1.2M for referral fees (was not in town to handle buyers).  Warm phone transfer to another agent.

2) closed a condo transaction (initial lead I worked on my iPad at Raincamp in DC)

3) written contracts totaling  over $1.5M that are in play

4) have several million in buyers who are active in the market

5) have an appt with a seller for a condo listing (not so common as buyers)

6) met an investor who is looking to flip potentially 40 houses per year

If your marketing channels are producing this kind of volume, then you probably don't need to bother with Zillow's zip code marketing.  Otherwise, you can do the math.

There is no easy way out here.  This method is time intensive and you need to be good at follow up and follow through.  And you have to be very aware of where buyers are in the cycle and how much they need you right now.  "I want to schedule a showing" is the default message but really means they are raising their hands and asking questions.  You need to be available to answer them and as I've learned the hard way you have to stay very close.

Some will raise their hands and then not answer you back.  Some will find you more than once and still not answer you back.  Do not put them on drip campaigns.  In fact, don't put anyone, ever, on a canned drip campaign.  Give them your undivided attention when they are ready for you and serve their needs.

Jay Thompson is very smart and very good at real estate.  Ditto, what he said :)

In terms of not playing with Zillow... the horse is out of the barn.  As Realtors in our zeal to market our listings to every corner of the earth we allowed Zillow to become what it is.  We gave them all our listings willingly.  And they spent millions that most of us don't have and built a tool that put eyeballs on those listings every day.  What better opportunity can we have than a highly visible platform that puts someone in our capable hands who is asking for information on a listing that is outdated and incorrect? 

Just like anything else, your mileage may vary :)

 

 

 

Posted by Josette Skilling (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 8 years ago

"But I have to admit that it is a clever way to access Realtors' databases."

And what, exactly, would Zillow do with said "database"? (I use that term loosely, as an email address hardly constitutes a database). Their revenue model is selling adds to real estate agents. I don't see the value in them having access (which, by the way, they wouldn't) to an agents "database".

 

Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Thanks Sara,

There was quite alot of satisfied Agents.

Posted by Rob E. Kirchner, Reno Real Estate Expert (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate) over 8 years ago

There is so much "information" overload in our world today.  If we read every blog, etc etc, when would we be selling real estate?  Now, Zillow asks us for another thing for us to do, contact our clients and ask them for a reference on Zillow, which unfortunately does have many inherent flaws.  So we are directing our clients to go to Zillow, where they most likely will surf around and check out our competitors listings or get the "value" of their home, then call us to discuss for a half an hour why the value is wrong????????????  So many websites, if we sent our clients to them all, they would fire us! Is this more about us or them?

I don't know, maybe I'm jaded, but this seems like more work for the agent, to promote Zillow, and really will it do us much good in the end run??

Maybe I'm just cranky and tired?

Posted by Debbie Lynn over 8 years ago

Sounds intertesting Sara!  Just getting people to take the time these days is another thing.  Thanks for your post.

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) over 8 years ago

Zillow is seeking agent approval by having agents send their clients to Zillow for these ratings. Makes me wonder exactly in whose interest this really is!

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE) over 8 years ago

Wow - interesting debate going on here!

In a way, I can see the value of a consumer being able to "tattle" on the agent who failed to return calls, left them to find their own home, etc.

And... I can see the value of great testimonials from satisfied clients.

But, those with concerns have pretty valid arguments as well.

Since I'm a reale estate writer rather than an agent, it doesn't affect me... but I'll be interested in seeing how it works out.

 

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 8 years ago

I just used this feature today, and had some great reviews from clients as far back as 2004. Seems like a very good feedback system for people looking for an agent to consider. Similiar to feedback on ebay, or other sites.

Looks like a great idea so far.

Posted by Eugene Lew (RE/MAX equity group) over 8 years ago

I think it will be a great way to review agents, hey if you're not returning phones, then that;s on you. The concern I would have though is how will Zillow use this info?

Posted by Francisco Garcia, Jr., 480-277-2922 http://franciscogarciajr.com (FG Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Sara - count me in the corner of those who "like" the idea and concept and hope very much that all your team's efforts to stop the problems and abuse in the system will be successful. Reviewers who are specific in their reviews (there is a comments section isn't there?) will be more useful for consumers looking to find a good agent. Similar to someone commenting "nice post" on a blog is not very useful comment. If someone gives one star across the board but has no specific information to back it up will be of no use. If any specific information given is not true it should hopefully be pretty apparent (by moderators before and disapproved post). Anyway, I like the idea and look forward to seeing it implemented. hoping for the best!

Posted by Craig Daniels, Technology Instructor/Project Consultant (Tech Training for You!) over 8 years ago

Ratings websites for real estate agents have been around for a couple of years however it didn't seem like most of them were being used much by agents or consumers.  With the popularity of Zillow, this might change!

I'll be sending out a request to my client database via Top Producer and using the create a hyperlink function within their email program.  It'll same something like "rate Eddie Perez on Zillow.com"

A quick FYI to those that use Top Producer, when I paste the direct link provided at zillow, an extra http// is added so I have to remove that first otherwise it will not work.

Thanks for the post!

Posted by Edward Perez (Sothbey's International Realty) over 8 years ago

So it's another marketing campaign for Zillow to get more viewers to their sights in order to increase or maintain their advertising revenue using content from RE agents' clients. Shouldn't Zilllow pay the RE agents a recurring monthly fee to attract viewers to their site?

Posting reviews or testimonials on the Internet is so unreliable and incredible as to the veracity of the post, therefore very suspect to say the least. I don't read testimonials on company's, products or services regardless if it's on the Internet, flyer's, or any publication because it's non verifiable, yet if it gets your phone to ring because of a review posted on Zillow, more power to you, just my opinion.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 8 years ago

Mark - Is there something wrong with a company making a profit? "New next best thing"??? Agent review sites have been around for years. ANd they certainly aren't going away.

The solution is pretty simple. If you don't want to be reviewed on Zillow, don't create a profile. If you don't want Zilow to make a profit, don't buy ad space.

I simply don't get this aversion to agent review sites so many seem to have. Seems like people must have something to hide. I wrote an article about it: Real Estate Agent Review Sites. On Zillow, Gaming and Whining

We're giving away our profession because Zillow rolls out an agent review system. Really?

Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) over 8 years ago

I saw the email from Zillow and then while I was out showing property they called me to encourage me to sue the system.

I was working with clients, so I asked them to write a review.  At that moment I did not realize the review had to be tied to a property.  I have to get that one closed so I can get a review!

Thanks for the suggestion to email my past clients.  It's another opportunity to touch them.  Joy

Posted by Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team, Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise! (Keller Williams Parkland/Coral Springs Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team) over 8 years ago

Sara,

I hope this works out for all involved.  I am not going to solicit my clients for ratings, but if they find their way to Zillow and decide to rate me that would sure be nice. 

Posted by Fran Gatti, Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity (RE/MAX Integrity) over 8 years ago

I registered for Zillow about a month ago because they are offering more benefits for the agents. I think it is a good benefit to enhance the agents profile and gain possible leads from it. I will add it to my current "follow-up" system. Like anything it will have its pros and cons...not sure how much possible leads pay attention to the testimonials, but I figure it doesn't hurt to have it there.

 

Thank you for sharing! 

Posted by DAdrea Davie, Stanislaus & San Joaquin Short Sale Agent (Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

Good to know.  I have been contacted by potential clients who state they called me because they read my  client reviews online. It does increase the odds that you'll be contacted.

Posted by Catherine Marrone, West Newbury MA real estate, Essex County (Integrity Residential Brokerage LLC) over 8 years ago

Thanks for the info.  I'll check out zillow.

Posted by Robert Lei, Sunnyvale Cupertino Santa Clara, Palo Alto Mountain View Saratoga Campbell (Century 21 (SUNNYVALE, CA) - (408) 893-2410) over 8 years ago

Wow, this sounds great...I'll check out zillow and see how I can utilize it!

Posted by Robert Adams (Keller Williams Realty, South Tampa) over 8 years ago

Hey Robert - let us know if you need any assistance.  I'm also doing a class today on the "10 top Zillow tools" I've discovered over the past couple months.  You're welcome to join us for that as well if you like. 

Just go to zillowacademy.com and register, it's free.  Happy Holidays~  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

This looks like a useful expantion of Zillow.

Posted by Dennis & Terri Neal, Your Home Sold in 45 Days or We Se (RE/MAX, Big Bear) over 8 years ago

sarah- thanks for posting this. I should have known- I looked on Zillow for a half a day for a tutorial- when all I had to do was search in activerain. I am grateful that I can show consumers that I stand out from the crowd, but can't help but feel a little resentful that we spend our lives making sites like zillow try to out compete eachother on the backs of agents toiling through all theses profile updates. Maybe zillow can offer discounts on premium services to agents who have complete profile pages??

Posted by Bill Carroll, IN REAL ESTATE, REPRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING (The Corcoran Group Real Estate Co.) over 8 years ago

Hey Bill - (#137) Regardless of if you are a premier advertiser or not - I can definitely tell you that agents that have at least created a free profile on the site get far more consumer contacts on the site than those that haven't!

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Its great and easy to use. I always mail a form to my clients after a closing for ratings and testimonials, but some never get around to filling it out. Now, I can send them the zillow link and most have responded with (rave) reviews.Thanks!

Posted by Dana Scanlon, Bethesda MD- Award-Winning Bethesda Realtor (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 8 years ago

Quick update here on the endorsement system - Consumers can now see which agents have reviews, all over the site.  When launched you had to go directly to the agent's profiles to see if they had reviews.  Now we are surfacing those agents with more good reviews on the site more prominently.  Brad wrote a blog post about it here - http://activerain.com/blogsview/2076682/agent-ratings-and-reviews-go-public-on-zillow  or if you just go to Zillow, you'll see what I mean.

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 8 years ago

Hi Sara-sounds like a great program-consumers certainly use Zillow a lot and this can help us

Posted by Tim Peterson, Realtor Safety Training Classes (Wisconsin Realtor Safety and Concealed Carry Classes) about 8 years ago

Don't you wish you could in fact review other Realtors on the site?   Now, that would be fun!  However, it probably wouldn't look good to consumers to have us beating up on each other all over the internet...which is what makes "Members Only" designation so important on ActiveRain.

Posted by Matt Robinson, www.professionalinvestorsguild.com (Professional Investors Guild) almost 8 years ago

how is this working for all of you?  so far, for me not bad but i find it's hard to get a good online review. most clients still prefer to write a testimonial letter.

Posted by Vianey Ojeda, Making a Complex Market Simple - TESTSELLYOURHOME. (The Hanover Group | kw®) over 7 years ago

Vlaney, I have asked a few clients to give reviews on Zillow. Since I already have a survey sent out to clients after each transaction, it's a bit much to expect them to take time to review me on Zillow, Trulia and all the other aggregators.

Zilllow is now allowing anyone to review an agent on Zillow. This is an alarmingly irresponsible action on their part and I hope that Zillow rethnks their position on this. Please refer to Leslie's post for details.

Most of the 'leads' I receive from Zillow are of very low quality; one could hardly call them leads at all. I understand that that is the nature of unverified internet inquiries and am okay with that part of it. But to allow one of these casual inquiries to write a review of an agent is outrageous.

Only clients should be allowed to review an agent and the agent should have the right, as we were promised, to approve the review before it is posted. Posting agent reviews written by casual web surfers is irresponsible, unprofessional, and possibly libelous.

If Zillow feels that a particular agent is not performing the way Zillow wants, Zillow should refund the agent and brokers' money paid to Zillow, cancel their listings from showing on the site, and stop sending that agent leads. If they want to keep taking the agent and brokers' money and using their listings, Zillow needs to treat the agents and brokers with respect.

 

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) over 7 years ago

Zillow is very good selling propertu and buying property
thansk to zillow villas in whitefield

Posted by Quality lifestyle about 1 year ago

Participate