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No stars among agent-rating systems

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There's always a lot of talk about agent ratings and how that's supposed to make life great for responsible agents and for consumers. It's supposed to be a big holy grail of greatness in helping match up home sellers, homebuyers and real estate professionals. I don't really get it, though. Sure, on the surface it makes some sense. Agent reviews are a little like testimonials. And there is also the whole concept of "social proof" in our socially networked world. But when I really get down to examining it, I'm not sure I see how agent ratings help anyone. Except maybe the site or service that is hosting the ratings. And even then it's a little questionable. I'll throw out some of my thoughts on this and hopefully the readership here can school me on where I'm off track. The mechanics and patterns of rating systems I'll start off with the issues that are inherent in current rating systems, regardless of the industry. These issues present fundamental problems to rating ag...