Scottsdale, AZ – Tired of being the one under a microscope, a local Scottsdale Real Estate agent has turned the tables on the service review paradigm.
Barry Wong, a residential Realtor with Prickly Pear Properties, says the time has come for consumers to enjoy the same level of scrutiny to which service providers are subjected.
“I’m not a toaster,” Wong stressed when reached for comment at his ‘mobile office’ in the parking lot of the Goodwill on Scottsdale Rd between Thomas and McDowell.
“Nor am I a used Pontiac or a sandwich shop,” Wong continued. “Yet everyone feels the need to put a numerical value on the ongoing, long-term service I provide nowadays.”
Asked to quantify the difficulty of ranking the unique, involved relationships that agents share with their clients on a scale of 1-10, Wong rated it an ‘8’.
“There are far too many variables from transaction to transaction, and relationship to relationship for clients to rate me effectively on a simple, translatable scale,” Wong argued. “Especially when much of the job takes place behind the scenes, the customer never realizes the true value of what has been provided.”
Wong was less conflicted by the ability to rank consumer behavior, however.
“It’s simple,” Wong noted. “They either screw you over or they don’t.”
Adopting a four star rating system for the online repository that he hopes will help his fellow professionals avoid the all too common, non-profitable encounters with shiftless time-wasters, Wong envisions a national platform that will fully illuminate this dark side of the sales equation.
“Four stars are for successful closings within six months of initial contact,” he explained. “Three stars will reflect clients who purchased or sold a home beyond the six month threshold.”
Not everyone is convinced that the attempt to level the playing field is a prudent course of action in an era of consumer empowerment.
“The online evaluation of those who would bring you business has never been attempted,” Gustav Merkins of the consumer advocacy group Are You High? claimed when reached for comment. “That’s because it is patently idiotic.”
“If I can save just one agent from driving all over town with some grifter with a history of shining salespeople on, it will all be worth it,” Wong asserted in the face of such naysaying.
Asked to clarify the significance of the final two points in the rating scale he created during a night of binge drinking on the heels of a lost listing, Wong obliged.
“Two stars are for customers who never buy or sell anything,” he confirmed. “One star is reserved for customers who grade agents poorly on online rating sites.”
“Look,” Wong concluded. “I am a firm believer that the customer is always right, except when he’s not. That’s where shame and public humiliation comes into play.”
— Paul Slaybaugh, BSRE News ©2011