The creator of RealtyBaron, a site that offers agent ratings and reviews and allows agents to bid for business by negotiating commission rates and rebates online, has launched a new Web site built around its agent rankings formula.
AgentRank.com bases its rankings on agents’ experience, recent home-sale transactions and endorsements from past clients, among other variables. Consumers searching at the site can choose to search by location and can also specify whether to search agents by sales volume or number of endorsements.
Marc Dugger, who launched RealtyBaron.com in 2004, said there has been a demand by agent participants in the RealtyBaron bidding system to connect directly with consumers rather than solely through the bidding platform.
In the RealtyBaron auction-style platform, agents pay the company only when leads from the site end up as closed sales transactions.
Agents wanted "unfettered access to customers," he said. "This is what AgentRank essentially is — putting (information) out there with no advertising. Agents are listed and ranked just as they are on RealtyBaron," and consumers can contact agents directly through the site.
There are about 3,000 agents who are ranked at the RealtyBaron site, and Dugger said he is hopeful that the addition of the AgentRank site will prompt more agents to supply information so that they can be included in the search. There are links at the new site that allow agents to submit information to be included in the searches.
Dugger has also developed an application programming interface, or API, for AgentRank that will allow other sites to embed the ranking search tools in their own sites.
There have been a host of other sites that allow consumers to rate and review real estate agents and brokers, and some have been short-lived.
Brokerate.com, a ratings and review site created by Brownstoner.com blogger Jonathan Butler, is inactive and is now registered to Eurobox Ltd., a company in St. Petersburg, Russia. And AgentLine.com, an agent ratings site launched in 2006, is no longer active.
Unlike some review sites, RealtyBaron and AgentRank do not accept anonymous reviews, Dugger said.
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