Unfiltered Consumer Reviews of Agents Now on ZipRealty.com

Over the last two years we’ve been talking to home buyers and sellers from all across the country, learning about what we can do to make your home buying or selling experience the absolute best, from search to close. Not only have these conversations been really fun, but they’ve also been incredibly valuable. Thanks for chatting with us and sharing all your insights! We’re looking forward to keeping the conversation going.

One of the reccurring themes that kept surfacing was how frustrating the process of finding an agent can be – and not just any agent, but an agent you can trust.  Although over 90% of home buyers start their search online, we learned that many of you are hesitant to connect with an agent you “met” online, and end up working with someone that your neighbor’s sister’s coworker recommended instead… with very mixed results.

So, why the crapshoot?

It’s All About Trust

Thanks to years of “It’s the very best, believe us!” type advertising where the product or service doesn’t live up to the billing, a company simply telling you that that someone is great at their job won’t cut the mustard anymore.  Today, less than 15% of people believe advertising (Don Draper would be devastated), and more and more people are looking to online reviews for the facts.

Additionally, buying or selling a house is HUGE DEAL, and you want to make sure that the person who is helping you through that process really knows their stuff.  And while we know that some of the best agents around fly under the ZipRealty flag, we found that we weren't doing a great job of actually showcasing their exceptional talents, work ethic and stellar service to you on ZipRealty.com. Which means that rather than giving them a chance, many of you opted to go with your friend or co-worker’s recommendation instead, even though that agent might not have been best suited to you.

So, based on your feedback, we designed a system tailored specifically to helping home buyers and sellers find (and easily connect with) the agent that is right for you

More Useful Than Yelp?

Is that even possible? Well, maybe for finding a real estate agent – you’ll have to be the judge!  Yelp is a pioneer in consumer reviews, and today the site has millions and millions of visitors – and for good reason.  Still, we wanted to tailor our review system specifically to you: home buyers and sellers. Here are a few of the highlights that you’ve told us make our review system stand out:

  • Only clients who are registered on ZipRealty.com and are connected to an agent can leave a review for that agent, so you know they’ve actually worked with that person – it’s not just someone the agent asked to “review” them.
  • Because they’re registered, you can see the first name of the person who left a review, and if they were a first-time buyer, an investor, a home seller, etc. Plus, you can see the area they bought or sold in and the price range – this way you can tell if the person who is leaving the review is someone you identify with.
  • Bonus info! Clients can identify specific strengths about their agent – like negotiation skills, local knowledge, etc. – so you can quickly see who would be the best match for you.
  • You can easily search for agents with the most, or the best reviews – whatever is more important.

Your Feedback, Please

Send us your ideas on how we can continue to improve your home search or sale: team@ziprealty.com.

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Leota Higgins is the brand manager of ZipRealty. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and writes about consumer trends in real estate, ZipRealty products and more. Follow her on Twitter @leotahiggins