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Everyone’s a critic at

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Editor's note: Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and chief executive officer, will deliver a keynote address during the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco next week. The conference runs from Aug. 5-7. Click here for program details. Everyone's a critic, or so the saying goes. And that saying is the basis of the business model at, an online community that features user ratings and reviews on a wide range of businesses and professionals -- including real estate brokerages and agents. In July 2004, former PayPal pals Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons reunited to launch "The inspiration for the site was the idea that word-of-mouth recommendations are the best way to find local businesses," said Yelp Chief Executive Officer Stoppelman in a recent interview with Inman News. The original version of the site had a component for user-generated reviews, but it was more focused around users asking members of the online community for...