Profile picture for chreewar

It's unnerving that there are no Realtors in my area that do not have a 5 star rating. Odd?

I have been looking for a good agent that will fight for my interests, not my prior experience.  How can I trust Zillow's ratings when there are none that are not perfect?
  • May 26 2011 - Fort Collins
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Answers (32)

Many agents are 'tied to the outcome' which, IMO means that they are really needing a buyer to close escrow on any house so they can earn a commission.  Find an agent who doesn't 'need the money at your expense', and that would be a great start.  Good luck.
  • June 07 2011
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The best way to find out if you like a Realtor is to have them do a buyers presentation for you. That way you can meet them, see what they have to offer and how hard they are willing to work for you. 
  • June 07 2011
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Michael, "The service manager hands me the customer review and basically tells me he needs five stars across the board. As the service was very good, I gave him five stars."

You missed a golden opportunity. You could easily have said I will only give a 4 star review UNLESS you cut my bill down a little. Those who feel they *really* need something are more likely to negotiate to get it.

I would almost be tempted to give a lower star review just because I was pressured to give the 5 stars.
  • June 03 2011
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Well I might've been born under a turnip truck, but even I'm smart enough not to ask a client to abhorred, hated and detested me to give me a review.

Not that I have any clients like that.....

The whole ratings thing reminds me of when I took my car to a dealership for repair. The service manager hands me the customer review and basically tells me he needs five stars across the board. As the service was very good, I gave him five stars. But to solely rely on a ratings system that is so easily gamed does a disservice to potential clients.
  • June 03 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
"87% of consumers would recommend or use their agent again (number from National Association of REALTORS® survey), so it is not surprising that the majority of the agent ratings you see are positive."

Yes A claim based on this Survey...

"NAR mailed an eight-page questionnaire in July 2010 to a national sample of 111,004 home buyers and sellers who purchased their homes between July 2009 and June 2010, according to county records. It generated 8,449 usable responses; the adjusted response rate was 7.9 percent. All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2010 with the exception of income data, which are for 2009. Because of rounding and omissions for space, percentage distributions for some findings may not add up to 100 percent."..Link

Don't bet your Large Financial Transaction or the validity of anything that mat affect it based on those results (7.9% Response Rate) would be my Opinion & Strong Suggestion

That Zillow says the Reviews have value should be no surprise or Deciding Factor in Determining value..it is their Product and they promote it to Agents as a "Lead Generator"

THE PUBLIC DETERMINES VALUE OF SOMETHING LIKE AGENT REVIEWS AND THAT JURY SHOULD BE AND IS STILL DECIDING WHAT VALUE THEY REALLY HAVE IMHO



 
  • June 03 2011
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Profile picture for Matthew Z LS
Great dialogue! Thanks for all the feedback. Please keep it coming.

Wanted to address @Jackie's comment about not being able to edit your ratings. Actually, reviewers are able to edit their rating/review. Each reviewer has a Reviews Written section in his/her profile. He/she just needs to log in and navigate to My Zillow and then select the Reviews Written link on the left nav bar. This is where the reviewer can check the status of the review (Pending Moderation, Published or Rejected), and also edit and resubmit it. Please note, once a rating/review is edited and resubmitted it is placed back into the queue for moderation. If the review meets our guidelines it will be published.

I also would like to point out @Dan's comment regarding rating star values. 5-stars is perfect while 4-stars is good and 3-stars is average. Thanks for making the point (keep this in mind Reviewers!).

Finally, @chreewar, a little tidbit for you, 87% of consumers would recommend or use their agent again (number from National Association of REALTORS® survey), so it is not surprising that the majority of the agent ratings you see are positive.

Thanks again,

Matthew
Agent Ratings and Reviews team
  • June 03 2011
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I suggest you pick up the phone and interview a couple folks, then if you are comfortable, meet them at their office for an informational interview. No strings attached.
  We are always striving to get 5 stars, but NONE of us is PERFECT, thats for sure--we all have room for improvement.
  • June 02 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
Sad....Don't use a Spammer no matter..

They either cannot be bothered with reading/knowing the rules or they don't care..

"Spam, advertising, or self-promotional content is not allowed in Zillow Advice. This includes, but is not limited to, any contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses, or website URLs"
Good Neighbor Policy.
  • June 02 2011
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Debbie, not only have you violated Zillows Good Neighbor policy by including contact information in your response but you are fishing for referral fees which is not what this site is intended for.
  • June 02 2011
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I doon't live or work in the Fort Collins area.  I would however, be more than happy to locate some agents who specialize in the area you are interested in and have you interview them to see if it is a good match for you.  I you are interested in my help please do not hesitate to contact me on my cell at [phone removed by Zillow moderator].  Hope to hear from you.  Would love to assist you in finding the right person for your needs.
  • June 02 2011
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As you can see that most of the people who have responded to your question about ratings, have no ratings. I am VERY proud that 43 of my past clients have taken the time to put together a review on my services. (Yes, Zillow checks the authenticity of these clients by cross checking the properties that I have sold). I don't have a perfect rating. I sucessfully helped one family in an area that I was not 100% familiar with, but my abilities and experience made them very happy buyers. They gave me 4 stars for area knowledge which was very fair. EVERY ONE of those past clients would have no problem talking to a prospective buyer if they had questions.
Real Estate agents can tell you how great they are till they are blue in the face, but when past clients take the time to create an account to post a review there is a great deal of value to that.
But to be fair to agents in your area, this is a recent addition to Zillow's web site and there are many agents who have not "got it" yet.
May I suggest that you look for an agent on "Active Rain". This is an agent blog site that will give you a well rounded view of an agent that may match your needs. Here is Fort Collins.
  • June 02 2011
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Profile picture for Brad Reddick
The best way is to actually talk to some agents. Ask them questions and pick the one that seems right to and for you.
  • May 31 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
I'm not like those other Sales-Type People..Pick me pick me pick me!
  • May 31 2011
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I wouldn't buy too much into the ratings system. Instead, I would get some referrals from friends, family or co-workers who were happy with their Realtor. 

Of course, I'd love to interview for the job. I pride myself in not being your "typical" sleazy type-A sales person. And my clients would agree. I actually LISTEN to your needs and will work my tail off to make sure everything is done with your best interests in mind.
  • May 31 2011
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I hope you have the intelligence to base your decision on more than how many stars someone has.

Happy funding, Rudi
  • May 27 2011
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
It is almost impossible for me to give a perfect score. Unless something (or someone) is so exceptional as to be almost unbelievable I never give the top score possible. I am always one notch lower.

If people give a 5 star rating for normal expected service what should be given for exceptional service and dedication which is not so often seen?

I was in a speech class years ago. The instructor never handed out 100's. He said those were reserved for things like the Gettysburg address and no one came close to that in his class.
  • May 27 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I think on Zillow that it is better to look at the questions that the agent has answered instead of the rating. If you see a whole page of [edited by Zillow moderator to remove hotlink to website] or answers that are not helpful, then I would pass.
  • May 27 2011
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ratings are nonsense and game-able, hence why I don't bother soliciting reviews. If I chose to, I could have 10 reviews and 5 star rating within days, but I'd prefer to be honest, and occasionally point out how silly the system is.  
  • May 27 2011
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chreewar,

Do not rely on anything but solid interviewing and personal referrals.  There are plenty of great Realtors in your area but you will need to do some work to find them.  There are as many types of agents as there people.  Good Luck!

Shawn
[edited by Zillow moderator to remove hotlink to website]
  • May 27 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Ask a lot of questions, read the reviews and look for useful information not just the polished responses. Good agents have good reviews, but someone else's good agent may not be a good fit for you anyway.

Get the information, interview more than one and then pick with your gut. Do not get pushed into an agent relationship before you are ready.
  • May 26 2011
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Profile picture for SteadyState
Zillow has not caught on to the tricks some agents use - recently I pointed out in another post that the REA stated that the REA sold a house but the reviewer gave a stellar review to the REA for buying a home! Go figure!

Ask the REA for three references from the recent past - be prepared to grill the references and make them uncomfortable.

Ask the REA for three references where the deal did not go through - be prepared to ask very specific questions.

Warning: Many references will say great things about the REA. Your job is to separate the fiction from fact. ASSUME THAT THE REFERENCE IS THE REA'S SPOUSE OR SIBLING.
  • May 26 2011
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Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
Look, I have a five star rating, I earned it, I work really hard for my clients,and so I bet a lot of realtors in your area are the same. Interview them. You dont have to sign an agreement, let them take you around and see what they are like...its like in any business, you walk into a store or a business with an expectation of excellence....sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesnt...
Good luck to you.
  • May 26 2011
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I think I miss 5 star by a shred but understand that Zillow is one of many sites and not a lot of agents even know how to use it.
  • May 26 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
Fish the Pond.... Fish the Pond

What Zillow hasn't caught onto is how many Agents have BS 5 Star Reviews...

Roberto....Carrie perhaps thought she was posting at Trulia..Spam Capital of the RE Sites..Home of the 20 line sign off



  • May 26 2011
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Thanks for your question "chreewar".  No, it is not odd.  Zillow has not caught on everywhere.

I frequently refer clients such as yourself to agents that hold higher designations than Zillow's 5Star.  If you would like a referral, I [content removed by moderator due to self-promotion]


Good luck, hope this helps!
  • May 26 2011
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carrie has a five star rating, and yet she just spammed all over herself, breaking zillow's policy on self promotion... 
  • May 26 2011
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You can always ask the agents you are interviewing for past client contact information so you can talk to them directly.  I know, for myself, I don't want to trouble my clients with post closing reviews as they are usually busy enjoying their new place, unpacking and settling into their home.  If you would like me to email you a list of past clients to contact, I'd be happy to do so.  Just send me an email at [content removed by moderator due to self-promotion]

Best wishes in your home search!
Kindly, Carrie Holmes
[Edited by Zillow moderator to remove contact link as per Good Neighbor policy]

  • May 26 2011
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Please don't put all of your decision based on the 'stars' you may be missing out on a great agent.  When a past client does a review they must click on a star for different area's of expertise.  Sometimes it is hard to see if the star is 'lit' and once that rating is submitted it can never be changed.  Other times someone may feel funny giving all five for some reason, however, if they took the time to give a review, they must like that agent.  No one is perfect but your agent should work hard for you and that is all they can be expected to do, good luck!
  • May 26 2011
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Profile picture for hpvanc
For the most part they are solicited reviews so I would expect them to all be good.  Carefully read the narrative content searching for the sales buzzwords and eliminate the agents that have reviews packed full of that kind of BS.  Then if their is enough narrative try to get into the mind of the reviewer and determine if you think the same way.

Eventually maybe people that are not asked by their agent will start providing reviews with more regularity, but until then the rating especially and for the most part the reviews themselves have no value.  I wish I knew of a better review site to suggest, but I don't.

If you are lucky you can also search for agents in your area and then review what they post on real estate forums such as this one to try to make a better judgement.  I have no idea about your area, but I did not find a real estate forum poster that I would use in my area.

Good luck.
  • May 26 2011
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I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the Zillow ratings alone...there are so many other factors.   Ask tough questions of all those you interview, try to speak to a couple of their former clients, check their record with the State, and give some credence to your gut in terms of who you feel right working with.



  • May 26 2011
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