We are well into the Information Era, where we all go online to research every purchase, from a toothbrush or pet food, all the way up to our car or home investment. And in cases where professionals facilitate those purchases, like real estate, consumers also research those professionals as a first step.
But where do consumers go to find a Realtor? Real estate professionals hope consumers will go to the site where they’ve invested their ad dollars or have positive reviews. Consumers just want Realtor ratings and review sites that are honest and transparent, just as they get when researching something as simple as toothbrushes.
The problem is that the only efforts that have been made to dig into the meat of Realtor ratings and review platforms have been by Realtor associations. Why is that a problem? Because their focus must be on how agent- or broker-centric each service is.
But what about consumers? Which sites best serve the consumer when searching for a real estate professional?
Our team dug up the data to craft our first ever report on the topic, and it wasn’t as cut and dry as we had anticipated. And our preconceived notions of who would be consumer centric and who would not be were completely obliterated. We were wrong.
If we were wrong, and we’re versed on these topics, will your assumptions be right? Will consumers’?
Which platforms can be trusted? We evaluate the top six platforms: Homelight, RatedAgent, RealSatisfied, realtor.com, Yelp, and Zillow/Trulia.
So how did we come up with these companies, and these criteria and results? Hours of discussion with the executive team, weeks of research on consumer preferences (resulting in the unanimous unshocking theory that they just want transparency), and much refining. We evaluated each business model, how the money flows, and how much cherry picking can be done by real estate professionals.
Consumers don’t realize that so much of the ratings and review game is simply a means of gathering testimonials for marketing purposes rather than offering transparent and complete data allowing a consumer to make a meaningful selection of the human that will handle the largest investment they’ll ever make. To that end, we even investigated whether or not consumers can be harmed by how each platform offers up data.
We believe trust is the number one factor in selecting a Realtor, and this report will help consumers understand the data they are choosing to trust.
No one at The Real Daily has any financial relationship with any of the companies evaluated, so you know we have no conflict of interest and no one to serve other than the greater good. Enjoy.