The Houston Association of Realtors announced the launch of a program that allows homebuyers and sellers to rate the performance of Realtors.

The "Client Experience Rating" program is free and optional for members of the Houston association, a regional Realtor trade group with about 23,000 total members.

The rating system features a star system with a five-point scale, and buyers and sellers are asked to rate Realtors in several categories:

  • Competency: "Explained process clearly; ensured paperwork was correct; use of technology; negotiation skills; attention to detail; represented and protected my interests."
  • Market Knowledge: "Knowledgeable of market, neighborhood and community."
  • Communication: "Kept me updated; responded in (a timely manner); communicated based on my preference."
  • My Experience: "Understood my needs; (gave me) personal attention; made me feel valued; on time and prompt."

About 1,000 members chose to participate within the first month of the program’s launch (see example), HAR announced, and their average rating was 4.93.

Several other real estate companies allow consumers to rate and/or review real estate professionals, such as Redfin (see article), ZipRealty (see article), Homethinking (see article), and RealtyBaron and AgentRank (see article), though HAR reports that it is the first Realtor association to launch a Realtor-rating program.

Under HAR’s program, the buyer’s Realtor and seller’s Realtor each receive an e-mail asking for their client’s e-mail address when a for-sale property listing’s status is changed to "sold," according to HAR’s Web site.

Clients can issue score-based ratings and can also enter detailed comments about their Realtor. HAR member Realtors receive an e-mail notifying them when a client has completed a rating survey, and the member can then choose whether or not they want all of their ratings displayed on the association’s HAR.com Web site — they can change their privacy settings for the rating program at any time, according to HAR.

"Asking clients to evaluate their Realtors in a number of areas enables our members to easily gauge what they’re doing well and identify areas of improvement," HAR Chairwoman Vicki Fullerton said in a statement.

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