Chicago, IL – August 19, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — A new survey in the August 15th issue of Chicago Agent magazine illustrates that more than half of all agents surveyed believe that online agent rating systems, such as those on Zillow.com, Trulia.com and Angie’s List, are beneficial to the industry. However, only 17 percent of agents surveyed are actively participating in agent rating systems.
The survey, along with the cover story, “Defending Your Reputation” showed only 17 percent of agents participate in various types of online rating systems – 83 percent do not.
Despite these statistics, it appears that whether agent ratings systems are beneficial is split among agents. Forty-nine percent of readers say these online rating systems are beneficial to the industry, while 51 percent say they are not.
Research shows that a big reason for this close split, as well as the lack of participation in rating systems, could be that agents don’t have a good understanding of how online agent rating systems work.
In addition, some agents said they don’t participate in these systems because they fear that one negative review may tarnish their reputation.
Sheryl Marsella, managing broker of RE/MAX of Barrington, says in Chicago Agent’s cover story that despite several positive reviews on Trulia and Zillow, she received a negative review from a young couple eager to move into a high-priced area. One of the buyer’s mothers was supposed to co-sign for an FHA loan to help the couple, whose dual income on their own was not high, qualify for a mortgage loan for a higher-priced home.
Unfortunately, the mother backed out before closing, and the couple could not qualify for a mortgage.
“I know what really happened in this deal,” Marsella said. “The rest of the world, though, doesn’t. Do these rankings give you a true perspective of the type of agent with which you’ll be working? Not really. Do I think that people should put a lot of weight in these systems? Absolutely not.”
However, there are many agents out there who do know what agent rating systems are, and they actively participate in them, asking clients to review them on a regular basis to gain referrals. Matt Laricy with Americorps Real Estate has been active on Zillow and Trulia’s rating systems. He landed the biggest sale in his six-year career through the Zillow rating system. With 20 reviews in place and a perfect rating at the time, a client reached out to Laricy as he was seeking an agent. Laricy ended up making his largest sale to date to that client, and the client since has referred other buyers to Laricy, as well.
“After seeing my page, he said, ‘Why wouldn’t I want to work with you?’” Laricy said.
Also of note is that many of the Chicagoland agents who ranked at the top in Zillow or Trulia are not well-known or high producing agents, but instead understand the value of social media and proactively ask all clients to review them. Most of the top Chicagoland agents in terms of volume have not been ranked in the current agent ratings systems.
About Chicago Agent magazine
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