Real estate franchisor Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has teamed up with agent review platform RealSatisfied to offer its more than 8,300 agent affiliates client feedback based on surveys sent out on their behalf.
The Realogy subsidiary hopes to use the feedback to better educate its affiliated agents and boost consumer satisfaction with the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand.
In August, RealSatisfied struck a similar deal with national real estate brokerage Carrington Real Estate Services, which has 35 offices and more than 1,300 agents in 25 U.S. states, to help its brokers coach their agents based on the results generated by the platform.
The real estate industry has long debated the pros and cons of agent ratings and reviews and the merits of sharing hard data on agent performance with the public.
Amy Chorew, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s vice president of platform development, said she chose RealSatisfied’s platform not for its review capability, but for the information the franchisor stands to glean from its client surveys.
The franchisor wants a clear and accurate picture of the brand’s strength, she said.
“We feel that we can more effectively target the brand’s education initiatives and resources if we better understand the strengths and weaknesses of affiliated agents as perceived by their clients,” she said.
“Our goal is to raise the satisfaction level of each homebuyer and seller experience. We anticipate that our relationship with RealSatisfied will help us to continue to grow and strengthen our brand to everyone’s benefit.”
RealSatisfied sends out client surveys at the close of every transaction. Completed surveys are uploaded to broker and agent dashboards for review.
Clients whose responses indicate they were very happy with an agent’s performance will be asked for a testimonial. Agents will have the option of syndicating those reviews to third-party sites such as Facebook, Twitter and realtor.com, as well as posting them to their own websites. Agents can also have their own RealSatisfied profile pages with customer ratings and testimonials.
“For me, it’s a way to enhance the consumer experience. I’m excited because it’s a third-party survey, and people feel like it’s not coming from their agent and they can talk freely,” Chorew said.
“RealSatisfied’s success rate in getting homebuyers and sellers to respond to the surveys is stellar, and their system is simple, intuitive and 100 percent digital,” she added.
Neither Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate franchisees nor their agents will have to pay any additional costs toward the service, Chorew said.
“Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s role is to provide the tools to give franchisees in the network the opportunity to be as successful as possible and to do what we can to save them time and money,” she said.
“In the consumer-driven world in which we live, having direct insights from our consumers is imperative as we work to help our affiliated agents and brokerages exceed client expectations.”
The franchisor beta-tested the product with one of its most prominent franchisees, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty in the New York metro area, and will start rolling out the service to its remaining franchisees in two weeks.
Last week, Joseph Rand, the New York brokerage’s managing partner, told a roomful of his colleagues at Real Estate Connect New York City that if the franchisor hadn’t begun offering the service, he would have been willing to pay for it himself because he thinks agent ratings are important.
“I want to know [about agent performance] and I think, at some point, clients are going to want to know,” he said at the time.
Also last week, RealSatisfied announced it had signed up its first Realtor association, the N.C.-based Pinehurst-Southern Pines Area Association of Realtors.
In November, RealSatisfied launched an “Agent Lite” version of its service that gives users up to three free recommendations.