Thursday, December 08, 2005

What Grade Would You Give?

Real estate is about to get its own Roger Ebert, and some real estate agents and brokers are going to hate it.

You can find consumer reviews for everything from movies, to appliances, to hotels and restaurants. But, despite the housing boom / housing bubble, there hasn't been much in the way of ratings for the real estate industry. And so, for that reason alone, the concept of appears to be one of the more interesting Internet ideas in home buying and selling.

It's a chance for you, the homebuyer or seller, to give a thumbs up, or down, to your real estate agent. Using both hard data, and consumer reviews, promises to make enemies in the real estate industry pretty fast if they do their job right. We'll have to watch this one to see how well they do.

Here's the announcement published today in a press release: today unveiled an online directory to help home owners choose an exceptional realtor to sell their house with. The free site helps home owners see what homes realtors have sold in the past, whether the advertised price differed from the final price and what prior customers said about the job they did.

"The housing boom has produced a flood of realtors from which home owners are increasingly challenged to choose from," said Niki Scevak, Chief Executive Officer of Homethinking LLC. "By distilling massive amounts of data and drawing upon the collective wisdom of prior home sellers, we are able to help home owners make an intelligent decision as to who should sell their most valuable asset."

Each year home owners in the US spend $70 billion on real estate broker fees. Furthermore, a realtor's expertise determines whether a house is sold for a good price or a bad one., in beta form, is currently monitoring real estate transactions and marketing data, as well as county records in California and will expand its data collection efforts nationwide in the coming months. Reviews by home owners are available on a nationwide basis now.

"In essence, amplifies real estate word-of-mouth marketing, both good and bad, providing an objective resume of what the particular realtor has done in the past and what their customers have said about them," Scevak continued. "For realtors, provides highly qualified home sellers over a medium on which they are more likely to convert into a sale: the phone."

About Homethinking LLC

Homethinking LLC was founded in 2005 by people genuinely interested in helping consumers make better decisions and is backed by a group of entrepreneurs and angels in the technology and marketing industries. The company is based in New York City.

— The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble