Techie agent types have probably googled their name (or the name of a competitor) only to find a agent review website that says something like:
Barbie Baker is a San Diego real estate agent. Barbie Baker has no reviews. Click here to review Barbie Baker.
If you’re uncommonly lucky, you’ll hit an agent with a review:
1 person has reviewed Barbi Baker. Phoenix Rand said the following about Barbie Baker: “Barbie was a fantastic agent to work with and helped us find the right house! Wow!”
Now, if you’re an agent, you’re saying to yourself “I wish they had a phone number at least,” but if you’re a consumer with half a brain, you’re saying to yourself “One rave review – I bet Barbie wrote it herself.” And, no offense to San Diego Realtors, but odds are she did. It’s easy and jeez – who’s going to catch you?
Everyone likes to compare real estate to other industries (travel anyone?), and the clear direct comparison here is business / restaurant review – sites like City Search / Urban Spoon / Yelp / Menuism. But the comparison is only valid in the most superficial sense.
How many customers will write a review?
Take one of my favorite lunch spots: Kau Kau in Seattle. Say they serve 10 people an hour from noon until 8. That’s 80 people a day or 29,200 people a year. Urban Spoon has four reviews of Kau Kau. Menuism has two reviews of Kau Kau. That’s one review for every 7,300 or so transactions on Urban Spoon and twice that many on Menuism.
That means that the average agent should not have a single review – even Russell Shaw does not do that many transactions per year. And agents who have more than one review are suspect. They’re either reviewing themselves or they’re sitting down with their favorite clients and “helping” them write a review.
Do you see value in these sites for consumers?Related posts: