Question Details

Betina Forem…, Real Estate Pro in Austin, TX

Now that recomendations are a part of the site ranking, some agents are just trading recommendations with other agents?

Asked by Betina Foreman, Austin, TX Mon Feb 4, 2013

Has anyone else noticed that now that recomendations are a part of the site ranking that some agents are just trading favors with other agents? I looked at one agent that shot past me overnight, it seems and most of his reccomendations are from other agents. How can this be? Shouldnt a recomendation be from a past client??

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Interesting. I hadn't been on Trulia much lately but am starting to venture back. I'll have to take note of this. I also agree that recommendations should be from a past client although I think it is nice to receive a recommendation or a compliment from an agent who is a peer but I don't think it should be a way of gaming the system to gain a higher rank just as I don't believe you should be able to pay to rank higher. Some things in life should be earned but that's a whole other topic ;)
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
I have to agree that there are definitely some flaws with the Trulia system for and leave it open for those that choose to abuse it. For those agents trying to do the right thing and be involved in the real estate community and be recognized for those efforts it does at least provide a way. Some of the real estate sites recognize agents based only on how much the agent is willing to pay out. It can be very misleading to consumers and fustrating for us agents.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
Love your last answer Betina! Paying for placement isn't a sign of anything other then spending money. It has nothing to do with knowledge, experience or anything else. To me it's kind of a lazy person's way to get noticed. Of course those that pay will disagree with me.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
To answer Bob, yes I do. When you see an agent with 20 reccommendations all from other agents, that appears to be gaming the system.

For the record I have not asked past clients for reccomendations, but a few have ventured on here to give me a testimonial or positive review.

I don't beleive in paying for the "Pro" tag on Trulia as it is just paid placement and not a sign of how helpul they have been or any level of experience in the business. My ranking is based completely on being helpful to Trulia users.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
To those who were surprised by the rankings, why did you BUY the pro designation? Knowledge, experience and a dedication to your profession makes you a pro, not buying some designation.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
Hello Betina,

Yes, and I agree with you and would think buyers and sellers are also looking for recommendations that were derived from previous clients as well. Try not to pay too much attention to what others are doing to rank higher than you and just keep doing what you're doing.
Buyers and sellers are smart enough to see through this and will seek out a real estate agent that has the experience and skill set to get the job done.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
Hello Betina,

Recomendations from previous clients are best, but there is something to be said when you get a compliment from someone in your field. I can tell you I have worked with some out standing agents. Some of which I have kept close contact with long after the deal closes. Then there are those I hope and pray I NEVER cross paths with again.

When we do wrong there is no shortage of those who will call us out. If you have worked with an agent, and you find them to be a stand up professional why not give the a positive shout out?

Besides putting your name on the line to recommend someone is no joke. I would think any agent that does so, would do it very carefully.

Best Regards,

Kawain Payne, Realtor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
There are no restrictions on how you answer please beware the msg can be through with one liner or a story book.Stay positive in your comments .If the clients are willing to write good recommendations they value the agent as their client .Its commendable they have taken the time to show the appreciation .What anyone says is simply thier opinion ,just like mine is simply my view and other agents who post negative or positive is simply theirs.Have a wonderful day ,I would put the energy into good thoughts towards yourself and others..
I never have negative comments about any body it you put out good you receive good !

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
Hena: Being positive is it's own reward, but failing to police those who do not maintain high ethical standards hurts everyone who may eventually be hurt by that unbrideled negative behavior. Government regulators can't do it all. Karmic forces work well, but they take too long, and like all faith issues are not always clearly understood. Best wishes from S.F.
Flag Tue Feb 5, 2013
Gave you thumb up, I would give you 2 if I could.
Flag Tue Feb 5, 2013
I don't think another agent or manager should not be prohibited from posting a recommendation, but it is certainly is being abused by some agents here. It's the same with the VIP badge. There are many people here posting worthless one line answers just to get a VIP badge. There is one agent here who has answered over 20,000 questions. How would they have time to actually be selling real estate if the spend so much time here? I like trying to be helpful and as a result I was honored a few years ago as Realtor of the Year. Unfortunately when I try to be helpful here I get stuck with a badge that groups me with way too many people who provide worthless answers to questions. As far as recommendations, there is one response here from an agent that has 19 the last 2 weeks! It's the same thing with the thumbs up. I see a person give an answer that required no thought whatsoever and in 10 seconds they have 5 thumbs up. Give me a break. If this is the way they work on Trulia, would you trust them to represent you in a real estate transaction? I wouldn't.

I like Trulia, but there is certainly room for improvement. It would be nice if they figured out a better rating system. I'm glad you asked your question and gave me an opportunity to vent about some of the dishonest people on this site. When you do what some of these agents, mortgage brokers etc are doing you are being dishonest in my eyes and taking advantage of the system. Please don't hesitate to reply with your thoughts.

Donald A Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Director - Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
Sorry, I meant to say another agent should not be prohibited, not "not be" prohibited. An agent or manager should be able to make a recommendation, just don't abuse the system.
Flag Tue Feb 5, 2013
Recommendation from clients are the best yes, but a compliment from a colleague you've worked with is just as wonderful. I get compliments from agents all the time but I don't ask them to write a recommendation, that just seems like cheating and if an agent is okay with that then what is that really saying about them
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
to clarify for those who don't know how it works - go to the top of this page and click on "Find A Pro"..

It will bring you to the list of pros (doesn't matter what city or state).......check it out - the agents listed will be listed BASED on their number of recommendations...................the consumer COULD change the ranking option (sort option) - you will see it on the left to a drop down list.

Other ranking options are there, for example, for those who have the most "Best answers" or are "Featured" (meaning they pay for the orange PRO badge)......BUT - the first method trulia is using is to list according to the number of receommendations!

I think that misleads the public into thinking those listed may be the "best" agents....or most experienced, etc.......just my opinion
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
totally agree with you Betina, which is why I could care less about obtaining recommendations - a number of agents on this site and the "other" site game the system, so many of the so called reviews, or whatever you call them - are bogus anyway..........

There is an agent here who gave HIMSELF a recommendation - and, someone whose husband gave them a recommendation - and the system accepted both (I have flagged them, but they're still there)

what bothers me is that trulia now uses these "recommendations" (the number of recommendations one has) as the main way to rank agents, so that a consumer gets a sense that they have relevance and that those rankings imply expertise.....imo....they don't mean anything, and in a way, I think it dupes unsuspecting consumers
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
I wasn't aware that Trulia is ranking agents, doesn't seem like something consumers would understand or even care about. Just agents feeding their egos....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
I wasn't aware that Truila adjusts agent rankings for added recommendations. I really don't follow the rankings. I find that by just remaining active and contributing often with noteworthy remarks will make the buyers & sellers call you if they like what you have to say. I do agree they should not be from fellow agents just past clients.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
do you think some people are trying to cheat the system
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 6, 2013
Hello Betina,

like most everything in life, the system is not perfect. who says the client recommendation is truly a client anyways. Most of my clients do not use Trulia nor do I ask them for a recommendation here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
There are valid points both ways. I totally understand the value of working with another great agent. What if the recommendations from other realtors are counted, but at a lesser number of points than a client?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
All mine are from past and present clients ,satisfaction of service ,but if a agent worked with you and was happy to say something good about you and you returned the same favor ,that is just saying yu are o.k. to work with as a co-worker that is all that means .Client recommendation is satisfation and a satisfied client and a happy client is what we all want.HENA MARTIN BROKER
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
I don't think trading recommendations between agents is the intended use of that feature. It promotes people up the leader board above people that are actually helping the actual trulia users. It's like "salting the mine" and it's not right. Hopefully someone from trulia will give us their opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
I believe I deserve to be recommended by a number of agents and why not? It is typical in our local market for agents not to answer the phone, to ignore emails, to ignore offers, etc. If I was helpful and cooperative as a listing agent I deserve a recommendation and viceversa.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
I agree. I hope Trulia does as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
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