Zillow’s New Agent Rating and Endorsement Tool

Zillow’s New Agent Rating and Endorsement Tool

Today, Zillow launched the ability for consumers to review real estate agents they’ve worked with in the past. Millions of home shoppers visit Zillow every month, and many of them have not yet found a real estate agent to help them buy or sell their home. 

Access to reviews and endorsements of local agents can be an incredibly useful tool for consumers.

Reviews and endorsements by past clients are a powerful tool to grow business – they're the next best thing to a referral. Great agents will flourish with this addition.  With this launch, agents can solicit reviews from past or current clients, directly from their profile page on Zillow.

Zillow launched the first ever public feedback system for lenders with the launch of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace in April 2008.  On Zillow Mortgage Marketplace there are 6,500 ratings and reviews for lenders, and reviews have dramatically increased their customer contacts. Lenders with good reviews (4-5 stars) do even better - getting twice the contacts of those with lower ratings.

Zillow Ratings and Reviews

More than 12.5 million people visit Zillow each month.  Two-thirds of Zillow visitors are buying or selling now, or in the near future. 87% of consumers would recommend or use their agent again in the future, according to NAR’s 2010 survey of buyers/sellers.

Here's a post by Sara Bonert with some additional information.  You can get the jump on the new rating and reviews feature by going directly to http://www.zillow.com/reviews/request  since you're most likely very excited and motivated to get started and solicit some reviews immediately.  I'll also be hosting a training class over at ZillowAcademy.com with some additional Q&A soon. I hope you'll check the calendar and make some time in your schedule to join us.

Zillow’s goal has always been to help people make smarter real estate decisions by providing access to as much information as possible – be it home listings, home value information, comparable home sales or tools to find the best agent or mortgage lender.  This launch is another step in this direction of consumer empowerment.  It's also a great way to help the agents business by making their customers endorsements available.

Related Articles and posts:
Agent Reviews and Ratings FAQ
  
Review Guidelines
    
A Free On-line Agent Endorsement System

 

     

"Learn More. Get More. Do More. Be More."

Comment balloon 60 commentsBrad Andersohn • December 06 2010 12:17AM

Comments

just read Sara's take on this one too.  I love it :)  Thank you

Posted by Christina ONeal, Realtor - Ripon California (At Home Real Estate Group) almost 10 years ago

Thanks Christina - This will be a great tool and feature for both agents and consumers!  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

This is a great addition to Zillow. I'm happy that there will be another quick and easy way to be found by consumers.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for posting this news, I just alerted my clients about it. Seems like an excellent feature!

Posted by Colleen Sample, REALTOR, GRI, CDPE - Your Treasure Coast Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX of Stuart) almost 10 years ago

What a great idea, let the users do the reviews....good job.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) almost 10 years ago

Can anyone enter in a feedback for these agents? Can agent approve or deny the rating before it's posted? What about malicious doings? Our MLS.. HAR.com has this type of feature as well. The Realtor is given the opportunity to decline or accept a rating. As you can imagine some people can't be made happy!

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 10 years ago

Brad, you always give us information that is helpful, thanks so much!

Posted by Valorie Stover, Realtor for Casta del Sol, Mission Viejo,CA, Active Adult Community! (Casta del Sol Real Estate / HomeSmart Everygreen Realty) almost 10 years ago

Greg- I think Brad is traveling most of today, so I'll try to step in for him, and he can add color later if he'd like.

Anyone with a profile/account on Zillow can leave feedback on any agent with an active Zillow profile. Agents cannot review other agents.  When the person leaves a review, they must associate it with a home address and state the nature of the relationship (buyer/seller), to confirm they are a past client.  Only the Zillow moderator and the agent will see this address, it won't go live for privacy reasons.  Once the review is submitted, a person at Zillow will read it to check that there's no profanity, it looks legit, etc.  The agent who got the review will be notified via email.  That agent can publicly respond to each review.  They can also flag it if something isn't right and Zillow will investigate it.  So the 'malicious digs' shouldn't ever make it to the site. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) almost 10 years ago

Greg - Reviews are designed for buyers and sellers who have worked directly with an agent.  We have built several checks and balances into the process to ensure reviews work the way they were intended.

First, we have a dedicated customer service team that personally looks at every single review before it is published, to ensure that it adheres to Zillow’s Good Neighbor Policy and is respectful and appropriate. If we feel a review does not comply with our Guidelines and Policies, or is generally inappropriate or off-topic, we won’t post it.

Agents always have the opportunity to respond to reviews and provide context. This has worked very well in Zillow Mortgage Marketplace’s lender ratings over the past two years.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for another informative post!

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) almost 10 years ago

Thanks Brad for this post, very interesting. What are the safe guards against realtors ( some ) engineering the results in their favour or against others ?

What about tagging the responses to an MLS listed transaction ( as part of the checks and balances ) or is this just going to be about a feel good about this agent approach ?  I can see good and bad in this.

Wish Zillow success in helping the real estate industry ! ( When is it coming to Canada? )

Cheers

Nor Yeretsian

Posted by Nor Yeretsian, Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto (Envoy Capitol Realty Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Oh wow thanks for the heads up Brad. I am always looking to jump onto the next big social media push. I hope I can get in early and ask my previous clients to post a review for me. Thanks again!

Posted by Jessica Leimback, Broker,SFR,CNE,CSSPE (Agave Homes & Investments) almost 10 years ago

Nor - Agents will not be able to review other agents and gaming the system will be more than just difficult.  There are safeguards and preventative measures in place making sure that can't and won't happen. 

Regarding Canada?  Zillow does have the desire to go internationally one day, but it is long term aspiration right now.  However, when that day comes, Canada seems to be one of the more obvious places to move into first.  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

We will have to check it out and let our clients know about the feature.

Posted by Linda Graves Arnold, St. Louis Real Estate Pro - 314-422-2762 - Referr (Coldwell Banker Gundaker-St. Louis, MO) almost 10 years ago

Looks like a cool feature, Brad. Got an email frpm Zillow today. I'll be asking several recent clients imemdiately for an endorsement.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Brad, Definitely a great addition to Zillow - will check it out.  

Posted by Ellie Penaranda, Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co (239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty ) almost 10 years ago

I've already asked recent clients for an endorsement...  Looking forward to see it in action!

Posted by Debbie Summers (Charles Rutenberg Realty ) almost 10 years ago

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting

I have been really excited about this new feature ever since I heard we were going to launch it. I can't wait to see some of the success stories and results that I know are going to come from this. Please keep me posted and send me links as the reviews start coming in. 

I have been really busy down here at REMS in San Diego and I'm really looking forward to getting back home tomorrow.  :-)

G -- nite!

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

I'm glad to hear there are safeguards in place. There are way too many people out there that would take advantage of this to further their careers by trying to take someone else down.

Posted by Todd Clark, Principle Broker Oregon (eXp Realty LLC) almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad!  Todd's concern was mine as well but, I see that Zillow has safeguards in place to prevent misuse of the system as in yours and Sara's comment.  I do like Greg's idea of allowing the agent approval/disapproval of a comment though.  Don't know how difficult an adjustment that would be to make but, I like it!

I've already sent requests to a couple of folks to see if I could get something up immediately but, they haven't responded as of yet.  I'm anxious to get some up and showing on my profile as I think this is a great way to allow our clients to speak to how we run our businesses--NOTHING is more powerful to a reader; no amount of self-declaration, self-promotion does as good a job as a great testimonial!

Thanks to Zillow for being proactive and even cutting-edge for REALTORS--we appreciate it!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad,

It's true! I have heard that the next wave for real estate agents is that every consumer will rate every transaction with every agent.

Yelp, Incredible agents, now Zillow!

It is good in the long run...

Phil

Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) almost 10 years ago

I received the email announcement about this last night.  Not to sure how to keep this fair and equitable.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 10 years ago

Excellent!  Thank you, Brad, for (as usual) keeping us on the cutting edge of the news that affects us and our business! 

Kudos to Zillow for this great new feature!

Posted by Simon Westfall-Kwong, The Simon Westfall-Kwong Real Estate Group (Keller Williams Realty, North Central New Jersey) almost 10 years ago

Brad - I figured this was coming soon enough.  Just listen around the real estate tech world long enough and you'll hear everyone abuzz about the idea of ratings and reviews.  I see it as a good thing, as long as there are controls in place to be sure that shady dealings or outright lies with a malicious intent aren't flying around.  It will be very interesting to see how these review sites fare and in the end, who becomes the standard.  My guess is that Trulia and Realtor.com will be launching these soon enough as well.  Then associations, franchises, brokers...what I have to wonder is how many will be too many, will a new industry boom around it (such as a "review alert" system that will work on an agent's behalf to find, respond, correct, dismiss, etc. - if someone builds it, I want credit for the idea)?  A lot of questions in my head about them, even though I'm all for them.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) almost 10 years ago

Wouldn't it be interesting if someone bought a house, complained publicly about their agent saying they paid too much for such a dump with huge issues they 'should have known about', then decided to sell the house a year later? Future buyers could find their rant, see how unhappy they were with the house, and forget about negotiating position. 

I guess agents should look up potential clients before they take them on, to see if they've publicly ravaged past agents. Will there be a way to search for reviews by reviewers' name?

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) almost 10 years ago

I think it is a very good thing. Thanks for the post!

Posted by Samuel Kahuila, Burlington County, NJ (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach Realtors) almost 10 years ago

Todd - that is sad but true.  Why can't we live in a perfect world!?!  :-)

Debe - I forwarded your comment over to the staff at Zillow that have worked very hard over a long period of time putting this all together. As always, thank you so much for your feedback and comment.  You know how much I value, respect, and appreciate your opinion.

Phil - you're 100% correct.  In a single day yesterday, I saw exactly that on iTunes, Amazon, Yelp, Foursquare, Google maps, eBay, and GoDaddy.  Consumers love this and I myself being a consumer, love it and use it as well. I just put up a review myself at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego yesterday.

Gabe - Won't it be nice that you won't have to?  :-)

Trish - I too believe that this is a "great new feature" even though we've been doing this already on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace for over 2 years now.  Thanks for taking the time to read and share your comment.

Matt - I can't speak for the other sites but I know everyone here at Zillow both upfront and behind the scenes are very excited about this launch. I honestly believe great things will come from this for those who use it and provide great service...which by the way are most the folks that I know and try to surround myself with like yourself.  It's great to hear from you, hope all is going well.

Joetta - not sure that scenario sounds like an agent review, but I'm also not one of the folks or part of the team that reviews them. This new launch and feature is an agent review and endorsement, not a house review and endorsement.  I apologize if I didn't make that clear in this post.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Samuel - thanks for commenting, most everyone I have come across feels and believes the same. :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad.... I just sent out my first review request.  She closed on  Tuesday and it was a complicated and difficult short sale.  She was not a happy camper some days, but we closed.  So I guess we'll see if she thinks I problemed solved well enough. LOL  Of course... I've always been a risk taker.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 10 years ago

I'm excited to reach out to my clients and get their feedback posted.  I am hoping this is going to be a great tool.

Posted by Simon Mills (Mills Realty) almost 10 years ago

Okay, new question... once a client does review... how long before it shows up?

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 10 years ago

Tammy - I'm proud of you for being a risk taker, I bet the review will shine!!  :-)

Simon - I hope everyone who reads this gets just as excited and inspired as you to reach out to their clients as well.

Hi Tammy (again) lol~  Great question. 

Each review that comes in is personally moderated in the order they are received, so it could/should be a few days at the most.  Agents will receive an email notification when reviews are published.  If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate top ask.  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad, Thanks for the info.  I'm thinking... Hmmmm - need to think about this one.  Sometimes I jump in  too quick and don't go back to manage things on a site.  There are SOOOOO many sites to go to... Zillow, Trulia, etc....

Posted by April Hayden-Munson, Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad - I look forward to seeing how this new feature has been implemented on Zillow for its American operations.

Posted by FN LN almost 10 years ago

Thanks for sharing Brad. This sounds like a great idea!

Posted by Mike & Maria Patakas, Proven, Dedicated Realtors to Serve Your Needs. (Pacific Sotheby's International Realty - Palm Springs, CA) almost 10 years ago

Thought this was a nice way to ask for a review and wanted to share. This just came in this morning from the hotel I stayed at last night.  I like how they also shared their social networks at the bottom.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

A quick "shout-out" and thanks to Michael Johnson for reblogging this post, I liked his quote:

"Here is a great blog by Brad explaining the new Agent Rating and Endorsement Tool by Zillow.  This is a great opportunity to have your former clients express their love and appreciation for you so the world may know of your greatness.  ;-) "

 

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad,

No offense, but I'm not sure about how well this will work.  Unless it is required many people once they are finished and have bought or sold their home they are moving on.  My manager sends out a letter for feedback on agents with a return envelope (stamped and all) to make it easy and even getting these back are difficult.  People are too busy these days.  I find even with myself that I'll put things like this on the back burner for when I have more time and then eventually delete the email or throw the survey away because it was so long ago.

 

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) almost 10 years ago

Hi DeeDee - I know that the NAR sends out surveys to buyers and sellers each year and then provides a published report.  I think this is a much easier way to get information and these reviews will most likely get much more involvement and attention from both the agents and consumers.  Why?  For one, because there is no stamp, no letter, no snail mail.  And two, this is easy, free, and it's all online.

I predict this will work out very well, mark my words on this one.

With every launch and new idea or tool, there will always be the aggressive implementers, the watchers, the one who waits for proof, and then the followers who come kicking and screaming.  I saw plenty of this here in the rain. This launch and new feature will most likely be no different.   :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

I agree that getting responses via email rather than snail mail will be easier. The sample from the Hotel Del is excellent. I would take a minute to respond to that at the end of the day. Brad, the new Zillow rating system for agents sounds good; can't wait to see it in action.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Platinum Realty) almost 10 years ago

Brad - Thanks for the heads up.  This looks like a wonderful feature at Zillow.  Looking forward to see it in action. 

Posted by Rosalinda Morgan, "The Rose Lady" almost 10 years ago

Brad, I will have to check it out and I'm just curious if these clients don't post or take survey, will we just have a poor score? I think I read through them all and didn't see this question... or I missed it... Thx~

Posted by CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS, "Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren (California Coastal Estates) almost 10 years ago

I see way too much potential for abuse with these types of features....careful it does not become an Angie's List for the real estate industry....

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) almost 10 years ago

Love the idea. Think it will be big. My association tried to do this about a year ago BUT no SEO so nobody can find it.

Posted by Anne Hensel, Realtor - Broker - St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island (South Beaches Real Estate Professionals) almost 10 years ago

Brad,

Don't see this on the Zillow Academy calendar.  What is the class called?

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) almost 10 years ago

Great tools, I find it interesting that agents can't review other agents. (probably good)  how does it know??

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) almost 10 years ago

Hi Lauren - no postings or reviews on your Zillow profile does not leave a poor score, just no ratings or endorsements.

  

You can view some of the reviews and samples of ratings and endorsements on Zillow's Mortgage Marketplace

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Morning Anne - I think it will be BIG too.  Plenty SEO on Zillow, in fact I wrote this yesterday and the Google alert below was sitting in my in-box this morning.  Made me remember how excited I used to get when I saw the same SEO results here on ActiveRain.

Hi Irene - I will add the class this week, it will most likely be called "Ratings and Reviews - The Most FAQ's"

Cindy - "How does it know?"  We have a department of moderators committed to making sure "it knows" :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

One of my clients did this and I was notified. I feel rating realtors and broker is the next big online step. People want to know who they are working with before they start the process.

Posted by Lori Bowers, The Lori Bowers Group almost 10 years ago

I am not sold on these type of recommendation postings. Too many times people manipulate them and it doesn't give a clear review, word of mouth is the best review I could recieve...just my humble opinion

Posted by Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida (Glasswork Media Arts) almost 10 years ago

Gerry - people will try to manipulate this sure, they do everything, but their failure will be our greatest deterrent.  I'm confident in the Zillow staff and the experts that put the time and effort into putting this all together, they are a sharp bunch.

Word of mouth by a third party is "as good as it gets" in my opinion, and then there's "the written endorsement" the next best thing?!?  Right?  Think about it... combined, these are powerful wouldn't you agree?

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

In comment #38 I showed a sample of what the Hotel Del sent me as a request for a survey.  This was their follow-up email to me this morning, so I went ahead and filled out their survey.  I like that they didn't give up after just one request for a review.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Well Brad... I came back with the answer to my own question... FYI

My client emailed me at about 1:20 p.m. on the 3rd and said. "Done" & at 5:18 p.m. I got the email from Zillow saying it was posted.  That's pretty darn good turn around time. 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 10 years ago

Hi Tammy, I just let the entire Zillow team know you shared that, I know they'll really appreciate your comment. Thanks.

 

... oh yeah, I tweeted it too!   :-))

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them." - Galileo Galilei 1564-1642

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Don't see a class yet, Brad, but understand how busy you've been.  I need the webinar because I get a "Microsoft Outlook Web Access" screen when I try to use the Zillow ratings.  Must admit, that alone has me stumped!

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) almost 10 years ago

Hi Irene - I thought I'd wait till after the holidays since there's a few other classes already scheduled for DEC.  I could try to squeeze one more in I suppose...    I'll just contact you in the meantime to see what I can do to help until then.  (ring ring)  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Irene - nice talking to you today. 

Thanks for pointing out that the link in this post was bad.  I corrected it, Happy Holidays!  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad!  I just got a congratulatory call from my friend, Margaret Rome, who told me that she clicked on your link and read my review.  I just had to stop by and say thanks for that--of my two sent out, I only had one response but, it's the holidays and I'm sure the other one will make it around sooner or later.  There's nothing better than a testimonial from a client, that's for SURE!  This type of thing needs to be linked from our websites too.  We no longer need to transpose all of the testimonials that we receive but, just put this Zillow rating page as a link in the future--smart advertising I say!

Hope you have a wonderful New Year and that it's your best year YET!

Hugs...

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) almost 10 years ago

Debe - you're right, it doesn't get much better than a personal testimonial or referral, maybe word of mouth, but ratings and reviews are a very close second.  I'm sure you'll be getting many more of those in the weeks, months, and years ahead.  :)

Great to hear from you, Happy Holidays~

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Participate