Industry NewsTechnology

ZipRealty allows unfiltered reviews of agents

Nearly half of agents on board with 'fully transparent' system

Technology-based brokerage ZipRealty has revamped its handling of consumer reviews of its agents, and is now allowing registered users to post unfiltered ratings and reviews of the company's agents nearly instantaneously.ZipRealty has collected client reviews of its agents since 2001, which are also being posted on participating agent's profile pages. The Emeryville, Calif.-based brokerage began providing public access to agent ratings in 2008, but those were based on surveys administered by a third-party vendor.ZipRealty CEO Lanny Baker said consumer attitudes have "changed pretty dramatically in the last three or four years" with the rise of Facebook and other social media sites. Focus groups with consumers who'd worked with ZipRealty and other brokerages showed consumers wanted a rating system like they have on Yelp and TripAdvisor, he said."This is something consumers asked for loud and clear -- and asked for over and over again," Baker said of the ability to po...