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Real Estate Investar Blog

Home buyers rate real estate agents on new site How's My Agent

developments.jpgA new website shining a light on good - and bad - real estate agents has drawn criticism from the head of the industry body.

Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith has doubts about the integrity of How's My Agent - a new platform where you rate and review real estate agents and property managers.

However, How's My Agent director Hans Vellara said it was not an "anti-agent website".

The website was developed for people to post reviews of their agents - whether they be good, bad or neutral, he said.

Lampen-Smith said the industry had "come a long way" in the past seven years, in terms of raised standards and increased professionalism.

"The REAA welcomes increased accountability for real estate agents," Lampen-Smith said.

"In this case, the Rate My Agent site doesn't appear to be offer a valid method of doing this - there is no way of tracing the comments made, and no certainty about who is behind the site in general."

Buyers and sellers should talk to the real estate agency concerned in the first instance "as this may be the quickest and easiest way to resolve the issue", Lampen-Smith said.

"It would be a shame if people chose to use an anonymous website only to discuss the performance of real estate agents rather than the more direct route of talking with the agent, their manager or the REAA - if appropriate."

The REAA is responsible for addressing complaints about the behaviour of agents.

It offers an independent complaints process and maintains a public register online of licensed real estate agents, which includes information about any complaints that have been upheld.

The How's My Agent website says that while the New Zealand industry was regulated by the REAA "we, as the average consumer, still like trust in the opinion of our fellow consumers.

The website would "give consumers a voice and help you make an informed decision".

Vellara said the website was started by a five individuals who became interested in the industry, after struggling to find a good agent while they were house hunting.

"When we were dealing with agents, we didn't know who was good or what they were like."

As a result, they developed the website so people could ask about personal experiences with specific agents, he said.

They also saw it as an opportunity for agents to promote themselves, and encourage clients to place good feedback on the website, Vellara said.
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