Posts Tagged ‘real estate agent rating site’

100% free profiles for real estate agents

December 30, 2008
Hopefully this will get your new year started on a positive note

Hopefully this will get your new year started on a positive note

The economy’s in the tank (no news there), and real estate sales are… well, at the bottom of that tank, with just 416 sales in Edmonton in December, so far. (The Edmonton Real Estate Blog is good for giving such sales updates.)

That’s why we at What-Customers-Say.com have decided not to charge for agent marketing profiles. Well, that’s not the only reason, but that’s a big & good one.

No charge for marketing profiles on What-Customers-Say.com
Yup, $0. Totally free. So whether you have a marketing profile or not (see an example of one here), there’s really no reason not to participate in What-Customers-Say.com — and let your clients help you with your marketing. …Not that we’re pressuring you to join! 🙂 We’re just knocking down barriers for those agents who can benefit from our services but may not be doing well enough to provide anything in return right now.

What does a “free profile” mean? 
Y’know when you sign up for a free version of something, like, say, some software application, and you get this really watered down version where you have to pay to add on all the stuff you really need? Well, we’re not going to put you through that. You get all the bells & whistles that are available today, including:

  • Your photo
  • Your marketing messaging
  • Your contact info
  • A property listing
  • Add-a-comment (testimonial) feature
  • Email updates every time someone leaves you a review
  • Details about activity on your account (on your sign-in page)

For free.

Well, how is What-Customers-Say.com going to make money?
Dunno. Got any ideas? 😉 We’ll see. But what matters right now and for as long as our little site is around is that Edmonton real estate agents, Sherwood Park real estate agents, St. Albert real estate agents… and every agent across Alberta & the country (as soon as we go national) will be able to get a free profile. And that profile — with all the wingdings listed above — will cost you a whopping nuthin’.

What do you think about that? Let us know!

~jw

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The most courageous real estate agents around

November 28, 2008
Kudos to those agents who have the courage to be early adopters of our real estate agent rating site

Kudos to those agents who have the courage to be early adopters of our real estate agent rating site

In the last few days — or since EREB sent out its email about What-Customers-Say.com — we’ve been having some good talks around here about the agents who will use our site and those who will not. We’ve also talked about the agents who’ve already asked to be removed from the site. (BTW, we’ll only remove until the point that you get a review; after that time, your name has effectively been “added” by a [legitimate only] reviewer.)

But what about those agents who already are using the site? Or what about those who, in the heat of everything, are actually creating profiles on What-Customers-Say.com?

It takes a lot of courage to step away from the [small] mob with its pitchforks and flaming torches and say, “Yes, I believe in my customer’s voice, and I’m going to support it. Even if it stresses me out every time I get a new review.”

So to everyone who continues to go out on a limb — in spite of pressure from the ill-informed not to be associated with us — and trust not only in their customers but also in the idea that What-Customers-Say.com actually is helping the best agents rise to the top, thank you. And kudos to you. As you certainly know, it’s the leaders, not the followers, who actually make real change happen.

~jw

PS: Lance Jones (a partner at What-Customers-Say.com) wrote this today, and I love how clear it is, so I want to post it:

Only 27 of ~290 reviews on our site are negative — so are dissenting agents sure that our site is about making realtors look bad?

I can’t blame agents for focusing on the negative

November 19, 2008
The kettle is black!

Said the pot: The kettle is black!

I’m a hypocrite. It’s official. The girl who’s all about honest feedback has had a [very minor] epiphany: I’ve been a touch frustrated that a very small number of real estate agents aren’t responding well to What-Customer-Say.com… and all the while I’ve failed to see that we at WCS are in the same position as those agents: Neither of us wants anyone to be negative about us.

Just as I expect the agents to take the negative as well as the positive, I should take the unhappy reactions to our site at least as well as I take the kudos we’ve received.

And we have received kudos
Some agents have written to say that this real estate agent rating site is a great idea. They’ve asked us to go to Victoria, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. (And we plan to! Learn more as we approach Jan 1 09.) We do little jigs everytime we get that great feedback. (more…)

What’s so scary about real estate agent rating sites?

November 15, 2008
Some Agents Don't Want to Hear What Customers Say

Some Agents Do Not Want to Hear What Customers Say

This week, thanks to all the media attention we’ve received, we at What-Customers-Say.com have been dealing with some… very interesting questions from agents. And by “questions” I mean angry or crying or passive-aggressive ranting. Here’s a sample (make sense of these verbatims if/as you will):

I personally believe it\’s the agents on this site who have an ego that needs to be fed..

…you\’re bordering on slander which I find very distasteful…

…I don’t know how it’s possible to ensure the postings are legitimate. You’ll end up having realtors post their own comments, and worse, comments about fellow realtors.

…should a posting occur for any of us at [brokerage name removed], positive, negative or otherwise, I would expect you won’t need another e-mail from us harassing you to remove it.

I would highly recommend you guys have some sort of agent focus group to get some feedback on what you’re doing.

There was an absolutely crazy email thread with an agent we’ve already discussed here, and I’d love to (more…)

Ratings galore! Ah, the beauty of good PR

November 11, 2008

front-pageWell, we had one article in the St. Albert Gazette in early September… but it was buried under what has become the infamous Beekeeper photo (infamous in our little world).

But today. Ah, today. It is good. A normally solemn day (Remembrance Day) was brightened by a very nice article by Bill Mah in the Edmonton Journal

The article was great. It was honest and accurate and fair, with a not-100%-glowing review from one of our top-rated agents, Bev O’Shea. Nice balance. We’ve been jumping around all day, watching the really great ratings (praising & criticising) roll on in. And the agent profiles. How nice!   (more…)

We just pulled a rating off our real estate agent rating site

November 11, 2008
One bad review in 100, isolated and removed

One bad review in 100, isolated and removed

We’ve officially pulled down our first “illegitimate” review. It was actually the lowest review on the site… but that’s not why we pulled it down. (Hopefully that’s obvious, given that we’re all about the customer voice.) Here’s why we pulled it down.

The reviewer rated an agent that s/he had not actually closed a deal with… and that’s still not possible on our site without fudging the dates of purchase or sale (and by “fudging”, I mean “making them up”). So, you basically have to fake the date to leave a review if you didn’t actually close… which means that it’s an illegitimate review and has to come on down.

We went through quite a bit of deliberation and discussions prior to actually pulling the review down. Given that that was our first experience with a “true” flagged review thus far — with nearly 100 reviews on the site — we’re anticipating a LOT of hands-on work in the future as more reviews get posted and flagged. But that’s what we’re willing to do. We’ll have the discussions we need to have with the people we need to have them with, and we’ll run flagged reviews through the filters we’ve created (and recreated!). We’ll take as much time as we need to and do as much work as we need to for this reason:

To ensure that we’re sharing the honest voice of the real customer.

Plain and simple. If it’s an honest review by a real customer (who completed the transaction), then it stays up. If not, then it comes down.

(And, I mean, if we only have to deal with this small bit of drama for one in every 100 reviews, then that’s cool with me.)

~jw

Wanna play? How making things fun will engage your clients

October 30, 2008
Remember fun? Use it to make clients happy.

Remember fun? Use it to make clients happy.

What are your most memorable, exciting moments? Were they in front of a computer? Or were they painting rocks with your kid brother, playing hide-and-seek in the dark… or hiking through slick forests in Hawaii with your partner, laughing about the giant duck-like shoes on your feet?

Guess what! Everyone counts the fun memories as some of their best memories. And almost no one thinks sitting in front of the computer is “fun”.

Yes, we get cool stuff out of sitting in front of the computer. We watch uber-funny commercials on YouTube, and we play Scrabulous (or whatever’s it’s called now) on Facebook with old friends.

But how do you make the entire experience of doing something on the computer fun?

Um, earth to Joanna, you’re supposed to be talking about real estate ratings…
Yes, I know. So here’s the thing: When you’re trying to get your clients to leave you good reviews, do you want them to go through a boring process or a fun process? Does it even matter? Well, if you think a person’s mood in any way influences how they talk about you at that moment, then, yes, I’d say it matters, wouldn’t you?

That’s why we tried to make the review process on What-Customers-Say.com as enjoyable as possible for your clients. Here are a few things we’ve done to make it non-boring:

  • Used bright, fun colours rather than sedate, “too professional” or “too sophisticated” colours
  • Used big blocks to help people find what they need to do, like the 3 big blocks on the home page
  • Kept the tone casual and familiar, not stuffy (more…)