New functionality allows homebuyers and sellers to post unfiltered agent reviews and lets consumers search for an agent based on reviews
EMERYVILLE, Calif. - May 22, 2012 - ZipRealty, (http://www.ziprealty.com; NASDAQ: ZIPR), a leading national real estate brokerage and provider of proprietary technology and comprehensive online marketing tools for the residential real estate brokerage industry, announced today that homebuyers and sellers are now able to post public, unfiltered reviews of their ZipRealty agent directly on the agent's profile page on the ZipRealty website. Prospective homebuyers and sellers can now also search for an agent based on the number and quality of reviews the agent has received. ZipRealty added this functionality as a result of extensive consumer research including surveys, focus groups and user testing conducted over the past two years.
"Serious real estate consumers have spoken loud and clear about agent ratings and reviews. Our research revealed that authentic and transparent consumer reviews are the number one factor in a consumer's decision to contact a real estate agent they found online. Consumers today place tremendous trust in the opinions of others, and online word-of-mouth feedback systems are increasingly prevalent in all arenas of consumer activity," said Lanny Baker, CEO of ZipRealty. "While the real estate industry in general has been slower to adopt online customer reviews, ZipRealty is excited to embrace this powerful consumer trend. Our ratings and review system has been carefully designed to answer customer demands while also enabling real estate agents to present themselves and their professional work in what we believe is the most effective and convincing method online."
ZipRealty agents can now invite their buyer and seller clients to post online reviews about their expertise and performance to the ZipRealty site at any stage during the transaction process or post-closing. ZipRealty has collected closed client reviews of agent service since 2001, and these historical reviews will also be publically posted on the agent's profile page. Although the majority of home buyers still choose to work with an agent because of a personal referral, more than 70 percent of the 2,500 consumers who answered the latest ZipRealty survey indicated that if a real estate agent was referred to them through offline word-of-mouth, they would do an Internet search on the real estate agent to find more information about the agent and their service before working with them.
"I've already had people say that the reviews on my web page were a major factor in their decision to work with me," said Rick Moore, a ZipRealty real estate agent in Seattle. "The reviews and my star-rating are easily noticed by web visitors and stand out on my web page, and at same time they keep me motivated to provide excellent service to clients that will drive future sales and conversions."
ZipRealty's proprietary technology allows agents to provide anticipatory service to their clients, and currently boasts a 96 percent satisfaction rating for closed clients. The company has long collected customer satisfaction information about its website and service. This new client review system, however, marks an important shift to a modern, consumer-friendly model that is completely transparent and unfiltered, making it easy for online homebuyers and sellers to feel confident contacting an agent they were referred to or met online.
Consumers increasingly trust online reviews. Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising-an increase of 18 percent since 2007, according to a new study from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years.
To learn more about ZipRealty, please visit http://www.ziprealty.com.
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About ZipRealty, Inc.
ZipRealty is a leading national real estate brokerage and provider of proprietary technology and comprehensive online marketing tools for the residential real estate brokerage industry. For home buyers and sellers who increasingly want control, choice and a seamless, customized service, ZipRealty offers Internet-enabled, state-of-the-art technology and complete access to accurate, timely information via their website and mobile applications, which real estate professionals can combine with their own local knowledge and personal expertise to offer an exceptional start-to-finish client experience. For real estate professionals who seek more productive ways to conduct business, ZipRealty provides technology and online marketing tools to enhance their online sales channel, including lead generation, conversion and service of their clients. ZipRealty's technology and online marketing products serve its full-service, owned-and-operated residential real estate brokerage business in 20 markets nationwide, as well as its Powered by Zip network of leading third-party local brokerages in eight markets.
Mindy M. Hull
Mercury Global Partners for ZipRealty
Tel. +1 415 889 9977
twitter: @mmhull or @MercuryGlobal
Mercury Global Partners for ZipRealty
Tel. +1 925 426 0646