Do you support a meaningful public ranking of real estate agents in your area?

  • No (73%, 88 Votes)
  • Yes (27%, 33 Votes)

Total Voters: 121

Do you know that feeling, on the playground, when your classmates are picking teams and all you can do is stand there, waiting for your name to be called? It’s kind of the same feeling agents get when visiting, especially if the visitor is a real estate agent who doesn’t meet the site’s three-legged standard.

The third-party web site combines data from multiple listing services (MLSes) across the country as well as other third-party aggregators, providing home listings and information about communities. It also ranks real estate agents and guides buyers to the “best agent” to assist buyers in purchasing their dream home.

Agents are ranked based on how many properties they have listed and sold, how long their listed properties remained on the market and how the selling price compared to the listing price. Each agent is classified by property specialization (their experience with condominiums, multi-family housing, commercial property and even land), and given a number between 1 and 100 (100 being the cream of the crop).

Sounds great! Wait, really?

Currently, NeighborCity is facing lawsuits from two MLSes for using their information without permission, though NeighborCity claims as a registered brokerage it has permission to use MLS data on its web site.

first tuesday take

The malfeasance here is not their gathering of publicly available information, but their faulty evaluations of listing agents.

first tuesday supports the existence of third-party listing aggregators, such as Redfin, Zillow and Trulia, which afford a wide buyer audience for sales listings. Any MLS exclusivity is detrimental to the industry since buyers are intentionally deprived of direct access to property information.
However, their system providing agent rankings is another story.

Related articles:

Real(i)ty check: MLS access for non-CAR members

Severing ties with listing aggregators

NeighborCity’s business is based on the churn and burn mentality of boom times. This rapid-fire approach in a momentum market does not produce the same effect in today’s market.

Today, a seller’s agent’s value is determined by the ethics of:
• due diligence investigations coupled with up-front delivery of that property information to interested buyers; and
• expertise in contracting and closing transactions – difficult qualities to quantify.

Reviews (with words, not numbers) are going to tell a potential client much more information about the agent than a mathematical equation involving three value sets.

NeighborCity’s “objective” ranking system is incomplete, structurally misleading, and tells consumers very little about the quality of services an agent will provide. A dose of strong competition is good for improving agent conduct, but to spread the word, can we measure one’s performance without deceiving consumers, please?

Re: New Battle on Providing Real Estate Agent Performance Data from the New York Times