Posts Tagged ‘what-customers-say’

What does that mean, consumer advocacy / activism?

November 26, 2008
Do you advocate on behalf of all customers... or just your clients?

Do you advocate on behalf of all customers... or just your clients?

It’s too bad that, prior to the advent of the Web — and, in particular, social media and elevating the customer voice — the only organizations that advocated on behalf of the customer were non-profit consumer advocacy groups. Because they weren’t bringing in any revenue, those groups weren’t really been able to finance marketing initiatives and other tactics to get the word out about defending customer rights and freedoms.

So, until the Web rolled around, no one really understood just how much power the customer ought to have. Even customers didn’t seem sure if they should question things or just accept the status quo.

But, now, if the consumer wants to find out information about his/her rights, about a product s/he is researching or, as it may be, about a real estate agent to whom a friend has referred him/her, they just (more…)


What’s next for our real estate agent rating site

September 18, 2008

There are sooooooo many sites out there to help agents market themselves. But I’m wondering why there are so few that really try to leverage customer/client reviews to help customers find the right agents. I mean, of course, that’s good news for us, given that that’s what is all about. 🙂

We’ve been learning a lot from looking very closely at some of those sites. Here’s where we plan to take our site within the next few weeks or, in some cases, few months:

  • Levels of membership for real estate agents —- from simply having a profile and one free listing (current) to enhancing your profile with agent links (show your network); pulling in/syndicating your reviews/recommendations from sites like LinkedIn, Naymz, and; a full page of listings (like a mini multiple listing service); and enhanced data to allow better, more granular search results.
  • Services for researchers! Wanna buy or sell a home and need to choose a real estate agent/broker, a mortgage broker, a landscaper, a contractor, a moving company, a stager, etc? Sign in to your personal home buying section and pull in names of services you find anywhere on line —- and pull in the profiles of agents on our site. Plus, manage your appointments with a calendar feature that sends text messages to your phone and the phones of those who need to be at the appointment (we’re planning to work with a company called Dub5).
  • Compare real estate agents side by side —- just select the ones you like most, and autopopulates a comparison chart based on what the agents have told us and their customers have told us.
  • Enhanced search results with more granular/detailed search criteria! Our agents are telling us what they want from us, and that includes the ability to have people find them by searching for languages spoken, neighborhoods of specialization (search by postal code or general area, like Millwoods or Terwillegar Towne), number of transactions they’ve closed… and more, including, of course, the search we already have: number of reviews, sales performance and overall rating.

As I write, we’re working on making it a lot easier to leave reviews without leaving too much identifying information. That means that, yes, we’re pulling out the section that asks you for the address of the property you bought/sold, the date(s) you listed and sold or bought and the price of the home. We still ask questions on those topics, but you don’t have to be so specific anymore. Watch for that change coming… um… any minute now. 🙂

What that means, of course, is more reviews — but also more nervous real estate agents. A big problem has been that many agents think people will try to bash their reputations by leaving really negative, fake reviews.

We’ll be working closer with agents to ensure that we implement the tools/features that give them confidence in our site (and allow us to quickly remove fake reviews) but that also make it easy for people to leave reviews AND for researchers to trust that the reviews on the site are a true-to-life mix of the good and the bad —- that is, unbiased.

Have ideas for how to make our site better? Start by checking it out at (rate your agent or try to find one… or create a profile if you are an agent), and then either email us at or post a comment here. You can also follow us on Twitter: 4customers

jw, lj, sl, dl