Top producing agents and brokers often say real estate is about relationships, not sales.
And as the Internet becomes a larger part of everyone’s daily lives, those business-dependent relationships will be increasingly developed, nurtured and started online.
That’s why real estate’s most popular sites — Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com — are focused on building out agent profile pages to give consumers detailed insights including client ratings and reviews and transaction data that give agents a chance to showcase their strengths.
Today, Trulia revamped its agent profiles in a big way, presenting reviews instead of recommendations, five-star ratings instead of a “thumbs up,” along with a mobile-optimized design, larger photos, streamlined navigation and an overhauled display of agent transaction stats.
In addition, the new agent profiles now can include reviews — including critical ones — and ratings from any consumer, not just past clients.
Consumers can now rate agents on Trulia in five categories: Honesty & Integrity, Responsiveness, Local Knowledge, Negotiation and Process Expertise.
Trulia had previously only displayed “recommendations” from past clients on agent profile pages and not ratings and reviews, which rankle some agents who feel that they can be harmed by negative feedback made public. Agents have the option to remove reviews and ratings from their profile on an all-or-nothing basis.
Zillow, which entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Trulia for $3.5 billion in stock on Monday, has displayed consumer agent reviews and five-star agent ratings since 2010.
Realtor.com, which is building out an agent-profile platform that will highlight transaction data, team info and client recommendations to consumers, does not include ratings or reviews on agents but features client recommendations. The new realtor.com agent-profile platform is set to launch sometime in the next several months.
Last year, realtor.com experimented in two markets with an innovative agent search tool, AgentMatch, that tapped into transaction data sourced from multiple listing services to help consumers find top performing agents. Realtor.com put a halt to AgentMatch testing in December in the wake of agents’ concerns about the validity of statistics-based rankings. Realtor.com’s new agent-profile platform incorporates some of the lessons learned from AgentMatch.