Whether you are planning to dine out, make a hotel reservation, rent a car, see a movie or are considering countless other services, businesses or activities, one of the first things we do is consult the experience ratings from other people like ourselves.
Real estate consumers today rely heavily on ratings and reviews when preparing to make one of the biggest investments of their lives.In fact, more than 60 percent of respondents to a recent HAR.com consumer survey say that ratings and reviews of agents is an important factor in selecting a REALTOR®.
For nearly 10 years, HAR has offered members the Client Experience Rating (CER) – a simple and effective five-star system for evaluating the performance of our member REALTORS® at the close of each transaction. It encourages consumers not just to rate, but to comment specifically about their home buying or selling experience. If you are not taking advantage of CER, there’s a good chance you are missing out on business. And if you are concerned about the risk of getting a poor rating, it may surprise you to know that, according to a recent HAR survey, consumers actually prefer knowing that a REALTOR® has received an occasional rating of less than five stars because it makes the entire rating process more believable and transparent.
In the history of the Client Experience Rating program, the average HAR member rating stands at 4.95 out of 5.00.
Pamela Efferson, with Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan, has also relied on CER since HAR first introduced it. “It is great for instilling high client confidence from the beginning of the working relationship,” she says. “There is no better way to gain new clients than to have a third party sing your praises.”
Dan McCarver, with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene – Bay Area was one of the first HAR members to implement the Client Experience Rating. “Responses will not all be glowing, unfortunately,” he says, “I believe this proves that the system is fair and not polished up for the consumer. Some buyers and sellers provide extra remarks, which adds a personal touch and may be the kind words that will create another customer relationship. I give CER five stars!”
Amanda Ruchti, with Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS®, has been using HAR’s Client Experience Rating program since its inception. Her team is among the top 30 for number of CER transactions. Ruchti likes the fact that her agents get “honest, unbiased feedback from people who have used us in the past, which automatically gives us credibility.” She adds, “We also hold ourselves to a higher standard knowing that every client gets the opportunity to rate us at the end of each transaction, which I think makes us better REALTORS®.”
The Mark Dimas Team recently received its 600th CER review – a record among participating brokerage teams. The team was so excited about their achievement, they posted it on their Facebook page and received 225 likes from clients and friends. Broker/owner Mark Dimas calls the Client Experience Rating “a game-changer that sets our team apart from the competition.” Dimas and his agents have been using CER since 2011. “Every year, our buyer and seller leads from HAR reviews increase, and those are solid leads,” he says.
Top Producer, Mike Mahlstedt, with Heritage Texas Properties, has received nearly 300 ratings to date through HAR’s CER program. He offers this advice to REALTORS® hesitant about CER: “My recommendation is jump in NOW. Don’t wait. I think the biggest concern most agents have is getting a low rating from a client who can never be satisfied (and we all have them).
Research shows that while no one wants a bad rating, consumers say they mistrust perfect reviews, which lead them to believe that the system has been rigged.
“Using this tool at the beginning to build up a strong rating will ensure that a few ‘less than stellar’ reviews won’t affect your overall rating,” adds Mahlstedt. “You also look more impressive in front of your potential clients.”
I’ve been using the Client Experience Rating for years, and with all the benefits it provides my business, I am baffled by the fact that more of our members don’t use it,” says HAR Chair Cindy Hamann with Heritage Texas Properties.
“Think of this as the Yelp of the Houston real estate environment,” says Bradley Carlson with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene, who has received over 270 responses since he began using HAR’s Client Experience Rating program. “It allows consumers to see what real clients have to say about me.”
Tap into the power of HAR’s Client Experience Rating today and start connecting with new potential business tomorrow.
Go to http://www.har.com/content/cerating As An MLS Platinum Member to create your free account.
Marilyn Wilson of the WAV Group, who conducts consumer research for HAR, says REALTOR® ratings have become a critical method for sourcing and evaluating agents. “Two-thirds of the clients that we interviewed that have bought and sold properties find ratings very/extremely helpful,” she says.
Wilson adds that the Client Experience Rating has powerful marketing benefits. “It’s a very exciting and inspiring opportunity for agents to generate new business by sharing feedback from their past satisfied clients. If agents are looking for an extremely cost-effective way to generate new leads, simply invite past customers to provide a review of your amazing service and start drawing in new customers. What could be easier than that?”
Dimas agrees. “CER benefits include credibility for the agent, validation for the client that they made the right choice, accountability for yourself and staff to always deliver the best service and representation to the client, lead generation and brand marketing.”
Why use HAR’s CER rating program and not another? “There are many places to leave reviews like Zillow, Yelp, Realtor.com, Trulia, etc.,” says Dimas, “but everyone knows HAR is the best platform for Houston real estate, and it simplifies your review system to just one platform.” He also believes the review system will help raise the bar for the real estate industry.