You are viewing our site as a Broker, switch your view below:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default
SERVICE: The Real Secret Weapon to Broker Profitability
Our industry loves shiny objects! We're also looking for the next goose that is going to lay golden eggs at our feet. This year, the promise of greatness has been tied to technology investments. From Opendoor to Compass to Keller Williams and a whole bunch in between, brokerages are lining up to claim their rightful place as a technology company. While these announcements have raised a few eyebrows, I'm worried that they are distracting us from the REAL secret weapon to broker profitability.
MORE >
Top 35 Real Estate Firms Win 'QE' Award for Service Excellence
The film industry has the Oscars. The music industry has the Grammys. Broadway has the Tonys. Journalism has the Pulitzers. And now the real estate brokerage industry has the "QE" (pronounced "Quie"). The "QE" is an industry first, the only award of its kind that honors real estate brokerage firms for exceptional customer service satisfaction. In recognizing America's Top 35 Real Estate Brokerages, this award actually "measures and independently verifies excellence in the delivery of the highest levels of customer satisfaction and service quality in real estate in North America," according to Quality Service Certification, Inc. (QSC), creators of this brand-new award.
MORE >
Reviews and What They Mean to Your Brokerage
MORE >
Effective Reputation Management with QSC
The beginning of a new year is a great time to also think about how to strengthen your real estate brand and accelerate your business in the coming year. Our online Technology Guide is the best resource for understanding leading-edge services and vendors to support your success. At the heart of every brand-building plan is reputation management—and we feature the only qualified source for obtaining feedback from real clients. The online reputation management system offered by Quality Service Certification (QSC) is the most effortless rating system for gathering client feedback and reviews. Individual Realtors can sign up on their own for an affordable annual fee or participate through their brokerage. How It Works Professionally designed and administered feedback surveys are automatically sent to clients at the close of every transaction. The survey covers 16 key industry-specific customer satisfaction points and can be completed by the client in minutes—it's free and clients don't even have to register to contribute their perspective. Client reviews through QSC are the most reliable in the business, as they are independently validated by a third party with years of proven experience in measuring customer satisfaction outcomes in real estate. Unlike other rating websites where agents can 'game' the system by soliciting feedback from fake clients or, even worse, writing poor reviews about competitors, QSC's data only comes from validated clients who have closed a transaction with their agent.
MORE >
The Science of Managing Service Standards
MORE >
What Is Net Promoter Score, and Why Should Brokers Care?
The growth of agent rating systems over the past five years has been extraordinary. It's great to see brokerages really start to measure these important metrics. However, we believe there is a more important metric than just a 5-star rating that should be used. This metric is called Net Promoter Score – a metric created by Satmetrix. First of all, what is Net Promoter Score? Simply put, it's the net score after taking all your company's promoters and subtracting all its detractors. So, for example, let's say in the month of May your company sold 100 homes. Of those 100 clients, 20 tell everyone they know about your company and how great it is. Seventy didn't have an amazing experience, but didn't really have a bad experience either, and therefore don't tell anyone they know about your enterprise. Ten people had a bad experience with your company and tell everyone they know not to use it. +20 for your promoters, 0 for your so-so people, and -10 for your detractors. Using this example you'd have a Net Promoter Score of 10.
MORE >
Are You Using Online Reviews to Generate Referrals? (7/19)
MORE >
How to Create an Online Reputation That Gives Clients Confidence! (6/9)
Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM PDT The latest numbers are in, and many agents are stunned: "Currently, 2 out of every 3 people are Google-searching agents beforechoosing to do business with one." That's why this week's live training features a "done-for-you" plan to create an online reputation that gives more clients the confidence to choose YOU! Here's just some of what you'll learn this Thursday: How you can get on the first page of Google Search, dominate the competition and impress prospective clients who find you online How to improve your online reputation in 30-days or less, so you can attract new clients who are looking for you online right now! Easy ways to improve your online presence (and how to always look professional and competent) ... even if you don't have a website! The essential social posting strategies to showcase your skills, knowledge and expertise to get more referred customers and "warmed-up" prospects Live Q&A session with two industry experts so you can get your most pressing real estate marketing questions answered Register now!
MORE >
The Power of Customer Reviews
MORE >
Is Facebook Really Taking on Yelp And Angie's List?
In mid-December 2015, articles started popping up on the web talking about a new initiative on Facebook called "Facebook Professional Services." Word is that Facebook set this new "feature" live sometime in November 2015, but made no blog posts or announcements about it. Recently, there have been quite a few articles written describing what Facebook Professional Services is, so I won't try to explain what it is. However, I do want to discuss if you should even care about this right now. Before getting started, here is a link to an article that does a pretty good job explaining what Facebook Professional Services is right now. It's worth taking a few minutes and reading that article so you have an understanding of what's going on. So, should you care about Facebook Professional Services? Yes. I'm putting Facebook Professional Services in the same category as Google+ when it first launched. It might go somewhere and it might not. But, Facebook is big enough that you should take the time to pay attention to this and take advantage of it.
MORE >
Are Online Reviews Scaring Away Your Leads?
MORE >
Brokerage Reputation Management Starts With Loving Yourself
Real estate brokers have a difficult time battling the challenges with reputation management. Brokers hire agents. Agents deliver services to the consumer. The consumer judges the brokerage on the service level of its agents. Brokers try to hire well to preserve their reputation. Around and around it goes. Many brokers to do not track their reputation as a Key Performance Indicator. They track unit volume, agent count, broker dollar, and so many other things. Only a few firms use services like Quality Service Certification or Real Satisfied or Testimonial Tree to measure satisfaction. Those brokerages who are following best practices are seeing information everyday that both delights them and disgusts them. As it turns out, satisfaction is a mixed bag. Even for those brokerages that are measuring satisfaction and reputation, they are limiting themselves to consumer feedback. That is good in many ways, but these firms are failing to measure another Key Performance Indicator. What is the level of satisfaction that managers and agents have with the brokerage? Only a few WAV Group brokerage clients are studying the root of all reputation management – themselves. Brokerage operators do not contest the understanding that a bad manager or a bad agent can spoil an office. Negativity is a dark cloud that curses the performance of any business. It is curious to me that brokers do not measure agent satisfaction in underperforming offices. They do not benchmark agent satisfaction across multiple offices. Every time we are hired to fix a broken office, it is typically a problem with attitude. A negative person or a bad attitude erodes everything. Recruiting fails because agents talk to other agents about the manager, or a troublesome agent who spoils the office. Sales fail because an agent who stops in the office to get ready for a listing presentation walks out with a hangover from a toxic office environment. Learning fails because agents do not want to come to the office for training. It is a downward spiral that leads to poor performance in everything that you do.
MORE >
Realtor.com to Port in Reviews from 3 Agent Ratings Services
MORE >
What Are Your Clients Saying About You? The Importance of Consumer Surveys for the Real Estate Industry
A good client referral can result in a whole lot of business for a real estate agent. One person has a positive experience and shares that with their sister, friend and neighbor; all of a sudden the real estate agent is listing another three properties. The same effect can happen with a negative client experience, except a whole lot worse. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2015 Member Profile, roughly 20 percent of a REALTOR®'s business comes from repeat clients and another 20 percent from referrals from happy customers. How do you know if your clients are happy with your services, unless you ask? Sure, word of mouth can help you build a positive reputation and grow your business. But if you're not asking your clients what they think of your services as a real estate professional, how will you really know what they're saying to their sister, friend and neighbor when your name is brought up? With 85% of consumers reading online reviews for local businesses (BrightLocal 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey), real estate professionals can now also benefit from the marketing power of online reviews. At its 2014 conference, NAR announced its intent to establish a Code of Excellence which would include standards for collecting feedback on agent performance. With this announcement, survey companies have gained traction in the industry. With most feedback happening after the close of a real estate transaction, many survey companies are partnering with real estate technology providers, such as Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies, to integrate consumer surveys into the transaction process.
MORE >
Trulia Gives Lesson in Agent Ratings
MORE >
Let Your Clients Market Your Services With Online Reviews
Are you using real estate agent reviews for your marketing? If not, you might consider it. Online reviews are big business for companies investing in major efforts to create positive reviews about their company on popular review sites. Not too long ago, the New York Times published the article, For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets 5-Star Product Reviews. Retailers, the article explains, have been offering major discounts to customers who write positive 5-star reviews on Amazon and other retail sites, in some cases offering a rebate that results in a free product. Say what you will about the ethics of such practices, what they demonstrate is that client reviews play a major role in a product decision or the choice of one real estate agent over another. Since the world wide web transformed from being somewhat editorially regulated to more participatory and user-generated (a.k.a. web 2.0), merchants and professionals have slowly opened up to product (or client) reviews on their websites as a way to market their goods and reputations. Yet, everyone involved still has concerns. Customers may worry that the reviews are canned (written by people hired by manufacturers) and professionals may worry that competitors will find a way to publish bad reviews on their sites. This is why merchants like Amazon and sites like ReachFactor have safeguards in place to verify the testimonials so that a customer can simply concentrate on what's being said about the product or professional. In the matter of real estate testimonials, it's stressful enough trying to find the right real estate agent for a home transaction than to have to worry about whether the agent's testimonials are legit and not reviews spam.
MORE >
Agent Ratings and Social Capital
MORE >
Keep Calm and Handle Bad Reviews
Online reviews influence potential clients. Nineteen percent of buyers used online recommendations to choose an agent last year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, up from 12 percent in 2013. So, what do you do when there's a negative review about your brokerage online? Don't ignore it. Sure, poor recommendations can be unfair, exaggerated, or just untrue, says marketing expert Marc Gordon, but it's important to keep your cool and address the claim. Handling the review head-on will help your brokerage look professional and strengthen your online reputation. Here are six tips to mitigate negative statements about your company: 1. Offer acknowledgement. No matter how negative a review is, Gordon says, it's important to thank the writer, acknowledge their feelings, and let them know that your company uses reviews to improve customer service. Tell the reviewer you want to rectify the situation and ask permission to contact them directly, Gordon suggests. Then, follow up promptly via e-mail or phone. 2. Do some research. Find out if the claims made in a negative review are true. If they're not, respectfully correct any misinformation in the review. If you have proof that a negative review wasn't written by a real client — or, if it's an attempt at blackmail — Gordon suggests contacting the review site and asking them to take it down.
MORE >
Online Reputation Management 101
MORE >
RatedAgent.com's New Redesign Targets Consumers and Mobile Users
Agent ratings website RatedAgent.com unveiled a new look this week. The site's overhaul features consumer-focused copy and a mobile-responsive design. The company has also updated their search functionality to make it easier for prospective home buyers and sellers to find a real estate agent in their area. RatedAgent.com is one of several agent ratings services on the market today. The site distinguishes itself by offering consumers impartial reviews from verified clients of real estate agents. Agents are unable to edit or delete reviews, giving home buyers and sellers an accurate depiction of an agent's quality of service. "The publication options of agent service performance do not allow for agent manipulation or selectivity of results. Consumers and agents are protected from fake, mischievous or misleading reviews," says Kevin Romito, President and COO of the site's parent company, QSC. "Companies can better manage service with metrics and real time reporting technology that cannot be done with other rating and review platforms--a real win-win-win scenario for consumers, companies and real estate professionals." For a more detailed overview of how RatedAgent.com works, see our product review.
MORE >
Brokers Should Update Their Contracts Now!
MORE >
Going Above and Beyond "The Deal"
Spending more time focused on counting new customers rather than serving and keeping existing customers is neither a new practice nor is it unique to real estate. It just grows increasingly less common in other industries. Historically, most real estate organizations have focused virtually their entire resources on maximizing: new customer acquisition, sales production, market share and volume. Their banner was, "Make the sale, do the deal, everyone wins!" However, organizations increasingly recognize the high cost associated with acquiring new customers. Even in the real estate industry, there is acknowledgement that the total cost of new client acquisition (advertising, promotion, a portion of sales commission) can exceed 30% of revenue. Realizing the clear economic benefits of repeat sales and referrals, organizations have allocated an increasingly larger portion of resources to "satisfying and keeping" existing clients. It is a common industry practice to measure, analyze and manage: revenue, expenses, productivity, volume, listings taken and listings sold. What's being done to manage service quality and retain customer satisfaction? While most real estate organizations talk about and brag about service quality, unfortunately, it remains more talk than reality.
MORE >
How Client Feedback Can Keep Your Business Booming
MORE >
Service Forensics: Diagnosis, Treatment, Survival
In medicine, post-mortem examinations often yield discoveries that help save future lives. In business, examination of customer feedback offers insights that can help keep customer relationships alive, too. As market conditions return to normal, strong business fundamentals remain the key for sustaining business success. If you believe that consumer-centric service is one of those key business fundamentals, then employing science and the careful examination of customer service performance is essential. Traditional analytical processes associated with real estate brokerage and home services are myopically focused on sales, productivity, expense management and profitability. It's always been about sales and productivity. They are important. But in a consumer-centric world, it's the total service process not just the sale that counts. Making the sale does not ensure a satisfactory service experience and does not ensure future sales or referrals. And the cost of acquiring new customers along with the costs and risks related to poor service demand a new orientation of high productivity and high customer satisfaction. The recent trend in agent ratings has lead to dozens, if not hundreds, of sites and services offering "consumer feedback." The problem is, nearly every available system in real estate attempts to shortcut the effort and expense serious research requires. Open sites, "invite only" and marketing companies can offer the perception of credible, reliable, and complete information but, in reality, feedback is gathered based on convenience, not research.
MORE >
The Value in a Quality Service Certification®
MORE >
Great Service and Keeping Customers for Life
Service is all about attitude, caring for, and keeping your customers happy. Isn't it? It's doing whatever it takes. In today's high tech world, great service requires more than a good attitude and good intentions. Competence, accountability, reliability, consistency, meeting deadlines, communication and fixing things when they go wrong are even more important than attitude and intentions. Consumers are much more interested in what is supposed to happen, in knowing what's going on and knowing what to expect. A happy, cooperative demeanor and a good attitude aren't enough for today's service professional. The service process and the details surrounding the real estate transaction are mysterious, invisible and even secretive for the average consumer. The transaction moves, stalls or falls apart largely unobserved and beyond the control or influence of the principals. This lack of understanding on the part of the consumer, in combination with an absence of well-defined responsibilities, creates low professional accountability. Being in the dark is not acceptable to today's consumer. The need to know is escalating to the need to participate. These factors, combined with the service "costing too much" translates into potential for high levels of consumer frustration and dissatisfaction.
MORE >
Real Time Real Estate
MORE >
How Are We Doing? Dare You Ask?
It happened towards the end of a business lunch at a popular lunch spot. There it sat, hidden from view between a glass of Diet Pepsi and a bowl of salsa, a small printed note on a card in a plastic stand. A simple question, "How are we doing?" Every one at the table immediately assumed that it read "How Did We Do?" but that was not the case. The card asked, "How are we doing?" and went on to provide instruction regarding texting the restaurant's manager. We immediately transmitted a text stating, "All is fine except the manager didn't stop by and say hello." Within 60 seconds the manager made an appearance and received an enthusiastic round of applause from those at the table who immediately began to consider the ramifications of this development for the real estate industry. Two days later, the local newspaper carried an interesting front page story about a major community event that included a midway with various rides and amusements. The story reported that local teenagers had created and populated a rating system that covered various midway activities. The rides had been rated on the basis of ride time, intensity, "nausea" scale and fun. The "take your chance" amusements had been rated on the basis of required skill, integrity, honesty and hustle. These two events clearly demonstrate a major dynamic that is impacting today's business world and consumer experience. Boomer generation adults, focused on their day-to-day lives, are not assimilating the vast level of transition that is occurring around them. When they do, they see it as an annoyance rather than a social adaptation.
MORE >
Turning Feedback into Referrals
MORE >
Survey: 72 Percent Trust Online Reviews
In these final few weeks of holiday shopping, you've probably read quite a few online reviews of products you're considering as gifts for family and friends. Tasked with choosing between fourteen different desktop water fountains with similar features, you might resort to making your final decision based on the number and quality of online reviews you find on the product sites. According to a survey by Search Engine Land, 72 percent of you are definitely doing that. Here is some data from the survey, courtesy of the Yelp blog: A majority of consumers use online reviews to make spending decisions. A single review isn't likely to make or break you. In fact, 65% of consumers (vs. 58% in 2010) are reading between 2-10 reviews when researching local businesses. According to the survey, 72% of consumers give the same weight to online reviews as they do to personal recommendations
MORE >
Embrace Your Online Reviews – Good and Bad!
MORE >
Your Real Estate Brand vs 2013: A World of Data and Reviews
Guest contributor Chris Drayer of RealSatisfied says: Perhaps scare tactics should be reserved for Halloween. However, in 2013, we will see the growing divisive nature of customer service and brand quality. Real estate brokers and brands beware. With empowered consumers searching for answers and online agent review sites full of polarizing data, like Homelight, there will be a greater divide between the haves and the have-nots in the form of stars, smiles, likes, testimonials, recommendations, or even LinkedIn's new influence score. Real estate has relied on the the referral model for over 90% of its leads for decades. Now, more of those referrals are checking up on you online before pinging you. So, what is at stake? If you are a single agent rookie – not much. If you have helped build a brand a team, or perhaps a company, you know it did not come easily. "Customers will not hesitate to defect to competitors or go social with their complaints if your business does not deliver on its service promise." - Anand Subramaniam
MORE >
Successful Brokers Measure Repeat Business, Not Just Closed Transactions
MORE >
You are YOUR Brand – Be Brand Strong Online
With the variety of ways to build your brand online, we decided to make it easy for you in today's blog. We want to share with your our favorite five ways to build a stronger brand online. Blogging. Establish yourself as a local expert with blogging. If blogging is included in your marketing efforts and you distribute your content on multiple sites, you will be exposing your brand across the web, therefore maximizing your presence and sharing your expertise. You'll also begin to enhance your search rankings for local real estate search key phrases. Endorsements. Being active on sites like Homes.com where we allow you to be endorsed or gain testimonials from your clients can be a HUGE advantage! These endorsements will allow the online community to see how others have succeded in working with you.
MORE >
The Empire’s Clothes
MORE >
4 Tips to Protect Your Brand’s Online Reputation
Have you Googled your brand lately? Did you like the results you saw? Having negative search results appear in the top 10 results of Google can be very disconcerting for a brand. It affects the sales funnel from initial organic click to sale. There are two main phases of online reputation: prevention and crisis. An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure Don’t have a reputation problem yet? Fantastic! However, inevitably, almost every brand faces a reputation challenge of some sort during its lifetime. Public relations practitioners encourage having a crisis communications plan in place to handle a crisis if one should arise. It can be difficult to effectively coordinate efforts during a crisis (the same is true for an online crisis). It’s best to be prepared before a crisis occurs. Here are four tips to help your brand protect its online reputation: 1. Claim social media profiles. First and foremost, it’s important to claim your brand on various digital properties. For instance, Google often highly ranks social media profiles in brand searches. Make sure you create a social media profile for each of the following social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Once your profiles are created, link to them via a Google+ profile page, placing the links in the “About” tab. A Google+ profile helps the search engine tie together all of the related sites to your brand. 2. Create a blog. If you don’t have a blog, start one. Blogs frequently rank highly in organic search results, as well as offer great content fodder to populate your social media profiles, helping drive website visits from multiple channels.
MORE >
Watch What You 'Say'
MORE >
Video: Facebook Friend Request Suspension? Work Around It!
Watch the latest video from Maya Paveza:
MORE >
Prospects Want Agent Ratings, Whether the Industry Likes It or Not
MORE >
Initial Thoughts on the Redfin Scouting Report
Some within the real estate vertical are aware that Redfin, a Seattle based real estate brokerage / software / tech company with a presence in 15 or so real estate markets across the country announced the unveiling today of its “Redfin Scouting Report”. And if you are in the real estate industry and not aware of what Redfin just announced, you should be. It is potentially a game changer of epic proportions. What is this Scouting Report that Brian Boero of 1000 Watt Consulting called, “the most disruptive online real estate play in years”? In a nutshell it’s a web based search that returns some sales statistics on real estate agents in the markets that Redfin serves (including the Phoenix metro area). One might even [gasp!] call these “performance statistics”. Those “stats” are…
MORE >
Find an Agent: The Sway (or Nay) of Online Testimonials
MORE >
Part 4: Are You Reaching For Reviews? (ReachFactor)
You're not afraid to walk up to a new house, knock on the door and hand a stranger a flyer. You're not afraid to self-promote online through websites, blogs and social media. You're not afraid to work with that high-maintenance seller and list their split-level. So why do many REALTORS® find it so intimidating to ask past clients to review them? In this Agent Ratings series we have showcased a number of different solutions and platforms that provide a means to generating and sharing agent ratings/reviews online. What's better than self-promotion? Client testimonials. Most people are willing to provide feedback to service providers, but most will not offer it unless asked. This doesn't have to be awkward, it can be a means of self-evaluation and a way to "look in the mirror" and make sure the REALTOR® you see is the same REALTOR® others see. This week I'd like to highlight a newer agent ratings platform called ReachFactor. I had an interview with ReachFactor's CEO and Founder, Suresh Srinivasan. He was very passionate about creating a solution that gives agents a way to collect feedback, improve customer loyalty, and leverage reviews to reach more buyers and sellers. Suresh says they've grown to several thousand clients already.
MORE >
C.A.R. Launches REALTORS Ratings Pilot Program
MORE >
A New Spin on Agent Ratings- Don't Criticize, Just Compliment
People like to evaluate and share experiences. When it comes to evaluating an experience and letting others know where they landed, the people that choose to take time out of their day are typically those who either had an exemplary experience or an awful one. Agent ratings serve two purposes: To give valuable feedback to an agent for him/her to understand areas of strength and areas that need to be strengthened To provide the agent with testimonials they can use to build their online reputation and establish local expertise As you are reading through this series about agent ratings and the available solutions to real estate professionals today, what is your motivation? Are you looking for a marketing tool? Are you looking for a way to stand out from your other local competitors? Or do you feel like you have reached a plateau as a professional and would like feedback to help you grow and expand your skill set? This series will help both types of people find the solution that fits their needs.
MORE >
Agent Ratings - How We Got Here
MORE >