Starting today, Austinites and Rhode Islanders will have beta access to realtor.com’s profiles with Real Ratings. What was once “Find A Realtor” is being rolled out nationally, starting with two cities in testing to work out any bugs. Realtor profiles have been revamped, ratings and reviews have been added, and “Find a Realtor” search has been updated.
Under new ownership, realtor.com is taking another whack at the ratings and reviews of Realtors (NAR members), having taken their lumps and learned some tough lessons that we think have helped them create a product that removes subjectivity from data by offering ratings from verified transactions only which comprise the stars system seen next to Realtors’ names:
Recommendations can be from anyone, but the red houses with white stars (“Real Ratings”) are not impacted if a competitor leaves a nasty comment, or a broker praises their agent on their profile. It’s an all-in or all-out proposition so no one can cherry pick ratings and reviews, but can respond in public (just like on Yelp), and there is a dispute process.
We suspect there won’t be the same contentious feeling in the air as was felt with their the last attempt to present ratings and reviews.
Enhanced Realtor profiles
Realtor profiles include a large cover photo (like Twitter or Facebook), designations, activity price range and map, specializations, listings, recent blog posts, check-ins, and recommendations.
The company tells us their goal is to showcase your professionalism, and in tandem with NAR, be “the most credible resource” for finding Realtors. The new profiles seek to promote the agent, broker, and Realtor brand, which we believe is executed successfully in this beta.
They encourage all Realtors to go make sure their profile is complete so they are more likely to be found, especially since the most recent NAR data shows more consumers find an agent on realtor.com than anywhere else. Further, completing the profile can be a powerful SEO tool, so cross your fingers that your competitor isn’t reading this.
The new maps are pretty damn cool
Take a look at the following map and list results, and pay attention to what’s different (click to enlarge):
You get a gold star if you noticed the following three things: (1) buyers agents are finally surfaced equal to listing agents, (2) by default, search results are listed by activity instead of alphabetically which is much more fair, and (3) consumers have much more control through relevant filters.
Sorting can be done by highest rating, most listings for sale, most listings sold, and most recommendations. Filters are also improved, allowing consumers to filter by number of recommendations, star ratings, price range, whether or not they have a profile picture (hint, hint), buyer or seller agent, additional languages, and any certifications or designations.
The new realtor.com features will be rolled out later this year to all markets, and we predict that this time, it will be well received by the industry and by consumers.