Under Review...part two
The Pros and Cons of Agent Rankings
A few posts ago we covered the pros and cons of agent rankings. OK, mostly the cons. It seems we’re not the only ones who’ve had our eye on this ball. According to a recent story in Inman News, another website is making waves by making performance data about individual real estate agents available to the public.
This time it’s the San Francisco-based NeighborCity, who’s being sued by two regional M.L.S. operators, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems in Rockville, Maryland and NorthStar MLS in St. Paul, Minnesota, for allegedly violating copyright laws by using their data without permission.
The action comes on the heels of Redfin.com’s decision last fall to suspended its Scouting Tool feature, after some multiple listing services complained about the site’s use of their data and agents questioned the accuracy of Redfin’s information.
Which of course begs the questions...if the people who generate and report the data can’t agree on its validity, how can the general public be expected to?
Now, don’t get us wrong; we’re not trying to shield bad realtors from public view. Just one poorly performing or shady realtor harms the reputation of all realtors—especially when the public has so little knowledge of the service agents actually provide. But here’s the rub. For a site to provide a truly unique ranking service, it either has to use different data sets or extrapolate the same data in a different way. The result: a bunch of different sources, each claiming to be more comprehensive and correct than all the rest. Which only further confuses an already wary public.
So until there’s a single, independent national rating service supported and endorsed by the entire industry, agent rankings will seldom be more than, “We say, they say.” To which we say, enough.