Editor’s note: With realtor.com’s experimental agent rankings platform, AgentMatch, stirring up the debate about agent rankings, ratings and reviews, Inman News is inviting industry leaders to share their perspectives on the topic with readers. Last month, franchisor Keller Williams Realty Inc. urged its agents to petition their multiple listing services and request that they “not participate in AgentMatch.” In this guest perspective, Keller Williams President Mary Tennant outlines the company’s position. Want to participate in the discussion? Send your guest perspective to Inman News Managing Editor Matt Carter <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
KW has been very vocal in taking a stand in realtor.com’s latest product development, AgentMatch. (And thank you to Inman News, by the way, for joining the conversation as a thought leader in our industry.)
We also thought it necessary to reach out to Inman News readers and make sure that we had communicated KW’s stance correctly.
Keller Williams is staunchly in favor of transparency and reviews — it’s the flaws in the data that is currently being used for agent rankings on sites such as AgentMatch that we take issue with. As countless agents and brokers have said, the agent data shows only ONE piece of the picture for an agent’s ability to serve his or her clients. As many have pointed out, there will be inconsistencies in the data and the reporting that could harm agents who deserve to win business.
It would also show low rankings for agents who temporarily go out of production for personal reasons or those who don’t roll up production under a rainmaker. And for an industry that’s looking for new emerging talent, this ranking is decidedly stacked against new agents.
Ranking purely by production alone doesn’t come close to reflecting the professionalism and level of customer service an agent provides. Our agents are in a customer service business. No other service industry is rated on numbers alone. Plumbers aren’t rated on call to response time across the board. Restaurants aren’t rated on time from order to table across the board. Service and quality are experiences that can be reviewed and rated only by the consumer, as services such as Yelp and Angie’s List have proven.
We’re with you — transparency is key. If realtor.com wants to be the leader in this arena, it must figure out a way, by working with agents, to make the rankings reflective of information that will actually help consumers make an educated choice about whom to choose for their real estate experience. This feels like an attempt by realtor.com to win back traffic and consumers without trying to make it a win for our agents.
We will continue to strongly urge our agents to continue fighting AgentMatch via their MLS and by speaking out against the product.
Mary Tennant is president of Keller Williams Realty Inc.