The California Association of Realtors along with MLSListings, Inc. announced yesterday their joint pilot launch of the Realtor Ratings Program in an effort to create an industry standard across northern California.
“Despite the variety of real estate agent review sites, there is no single consistent standard for comparison among agents, nor in many cases, reliability of the reviews themselves,” explained Jim Harrison, president and CEO of MLSListings. “Through this program, we’re looking to create a system that combines third-party verification with real transaction participants, involving the agents and brokers in the process, and provide information that consumers can trust as a legitimate and thorough evaluation.”
“Not only is the REALTOR® Ratings program a way to make sure that REALTORS® are being rated accurately based on actual transactions, but it also helps raise the bar of professionalism in the real estate industry and provides accountability for the REALTOR®,” said C.A.R. Treasurer Don Faught.
Faught, in a video, describes the need for such a program, acknowledges that ratings are happening whether Realtors like it or not, and this is their (CAR’s) way of taking control of how their Realtors are being portrayed.
Northern California brokers from Intero Real Estate Services, Bailey Properties, Alain Pinel Realtors, Sereno Group, Realty World, and Legacy Real Estate have volunteered as local pilot participants, making the program available to their agents in several diverse markets from Monterey to the Peninsula, and across to Fremont and the East Bay. Clients of the participating agents will receive a survey of close to a dozen questions evaluating their complete transaction experience, and Quality Service Certification (QSC) will manage the data collection, analysis and display.
Realtors can offer a link to their ratings page via an email signature or web page banner, as well as neighborhood flyer and other promotional opportunities. Additionally, consumers will be able to view REALTOR® Rated agents via the QSC website directory. The pilot program is slated to run for the next several months, as participants evaluate its feasibility and ways to improve upon the process.
We wince at language like control, or ideals like placing Realtors in the driver’s seat. In essence, it implies that Realtors are not in control of whether they provide outstanding service and are not in control of their destiny in the eyes of consumers. Control ensures suspicion in the minds of consumers.
We believe it’s the right program with the wrong direction and communications plan. Ultimately, ratings should place consumers in control and consumers in the drivers seat to making more informed decisions. This above all else creates trust between the brand and the consumer, and with trust comes loyalty.
Is anyone thinking about the consumer anymore?