A question we get a lot is this: There are many agent rating/review sites out there; how is yours different? That’s a great question, and here is our answer:
A Great Step in the Right Direction!
Agents review/ratings sites represent an absolute “step in the right direction” in terms of transparency, and we are happy they exist…
There is no question that ANY form of transparency is a positive thing for the real estate industry, where the public continues to rate our industry poorly (Google “real estate Harris Polls” or “real estate Gallup poll” and you will see what we mean).
Agent review sites give the quality agent a decided advantage; there is no question about that.
But They Do Have Limitations…
However, most agent review sites do have a few limitations, as follows:
- Because most of these sites are open to comment from anyone, you can never be 100% sure that they are honest and accurate. That’s because, in most cases, there is nothing to prevent disguised self-created reviews, disguised competitor-created reviews and uncorroborated anonymous reviews. Because these reviews are not objectively, independently Verified, you can never be entirely sure that what is being reported is entirely accurate
- Agent review sites are limited in that they only do one thing: report reviews from clients. They don’t do anything in terms of confirming your commitment to the job, your clean record of ethical conduct, confirming any minimum level of acceptable production or confirming the status of the your licensing
- And it appears that this view – that agent ratings sites is of potentially limited value – is starting to gain broader momentum in our industry. Here are two examples of what we’re talking about:
- This is a comment made by Josette Skilling, an Associate Broker at Century 21 Redwood Realty in Bethesda, MD, in an open Facebook group called “Raise the Bar in Real Estate:”
“I wish I believed that online evaluations will help but I’m seeing agents game that already with phony reviews. And I’m seeing good reviews for agents I’ve dragged along in the transaction. They get the benefit of a successful outcome because we are not going to put our clients’ sales at risk so we handle everything. And the clients don’t know the difference and refer the agent to someone else.”
- This is a blog post written on the prominent real estate technology website TechSavvyAgent.com, called “Why Online Reviews in Real Estate Don’t Work.” Watch the video and draw your own conclusions.
Things We Do That They Don’t…
We created the VPA™ Verification to augment agent review sites and to give the true professional even more leverage in terms of being able to show competitive differentiation and advantage. We do this by Verifying the things that agent review sites don’t look at that ultimately really do matter to buyers and seller when they choose agents. Specifically, we Verify:
- Full-time status
- Minimum production levels
- Peer reviews
- Record of ethical conduct
All these additional aspects of your Critical Client Service Characteristics are OBJECTIVELY VERIFIED directly with the independent, third-party source as part of the Verification process.
You may be thinking, “OK, but so what? Why do these “extra steps” matter to me? I’m a great agent with great reviews on a number of agent review sites. That should be enough to win me business, right?”
The Reason for the Extra Steps: Proving Competitive Advantage
Here’s the bottom line: we created the VPA™ Verification because we saw a void in the marketplace.
Specifically, we saw that no one was “testing” for the specific characteristics that buyers and sellers REALLY want in a real estate professional: honesty, trustworthiness and a great reputation.
So, that’s why we created the VPA™ Verification: to give honest, trustworthy and reputable real estate professionals a way to objectively PROVE that they have EXACTLY those qualities that buyers and sellers really want in an agent.
Because the hard reality is that agent review sites stop short and don’t provide the level of assurance that people really look for when choosing an agent.
Get Verified. And prove that you have EXACTLY what people want in a real estate professional…