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Association Moves

State association turns the tables, begins grading agent rating sites

Agent rating sites have long hoped to better connect consumers with qualified agents, but in Pennsylvania, they’ve decided to grade the graders.

agent ratings and reviews report card PAR

If you are tired of complaining about bogus agent rating sites, you’ll love what the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors (PAR) has just published. After years of research, PAR has just published a report card on the major agent rating sites. Surprisingly, some sites actually do a good job of rating agent performance… not surprisingly, some don’t.

For years, the Realtor organization has been trying to decide what to do about the public’s demand for agent ratings. After all, other industries – teachers, doctors, restaurants, lawyers, etc. – were already subject to public ratings, why not Realtors?

At all levels of the Realtor organization, members have debated this issue. Should the organization set up it’s own system, partner with a third party vendor to ensure unbiased data, or just let someone else do it and deal with the problems? These are the exact questions PAR wrestled with before deciding the marketplace was already flush with rating sites.

PAR decided the ship had already sailed on the Realtor organizations’ opportunity to set the standard for agent ratings. Instead, it seemed like the best thing to do was to sort through the morass of systems and help agents and the public know which sites provided the best, most realistic ratings.

Why Should We Care?

Ratings are, at the very least, influential to consumers. To agents, they are often irritating. As far as professionalism goes, they are critical. I have been writing about and championing agent ratings for years. In my personal opinion, we have to succumb to ratings if we really want Realtors to be judged as professionals.

Also, for years, I have said that we need to embrace ratings and make sure they are done correctly instead of allowing bogus sites to do it for us. After several attempts to have the Realtor organization be the agent ratings leader, I have realized it is better to leave agent ratings up to others. While some sites are weak and not realistic, a few others have gotten it mostly right.

I still think we, the Realtor organization, could do a better, more accurate job of rating agent performance. I realize that politically, this would be near impossible for us to accomplish. There are no other trade organizations that I know of that have offered the public a rating system for their members, so why should the Realtor organization be the first?

A Cry for Professionalism

Despite the fact that many members of the Realtor organization cry for an increase in agent professionalism, very few have been willing to accept an agent rating system. The best example is the Houston Association, but even that system is optional for agents. Nowhere is there a truly open, mandatory rating system that is embraced by the Realtor organization.

Sure, some agent rating systems can be gamed or even misleading, but what other alternatives do consumers have? At least now we have a report card for the rating systems that help both agents and the public to separate the good rating systems from the bad.

These rating systems may not be perfect, but they are a step in the right direction toward separating professional agents, from those that still need some work. While I still think the Realtor organization could have done a better job at rating agent professionalism, it is comforting to know that some of the existing sites at least provide us with a decent evaluation.

Now, we need to make sure agents are monitoring these sites. The public will be relying on this data, good or bad, so knowing which sites provide the best data is key to protecting your professional image.

[notification type=”note” title=”Special Note From The Editor:”]In addition to PAR’s report card on agent rating sites, you can offer your own ratings of the ratings sites (that’s one heck of a tongue twister) by visiting the Realuoso Expo on Agent Ratings Sites. More companies will be added in coming days as The Expo grows.[/notification]

Written By

Dave is a 20+ year veteran in Realtor® association management and leadership and is currently the CEO of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®. He is a writer, speaker, strategic planner, and life-long learner with a passion for creative thinking. Dave has published his first novel For Reasons Unknown and will be publishing his second by the end of the year.

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