Allagents starts to spill beans on Best and Worst 500 agents

Wednesday 22nd February 2012
Written by Rosalind Renshaw

Allagents, the highly controversial self-styled ‘trip advisor’ review site for estate agents, is to publish league tables of the top 500 and worst 500 agents in the UK, based on what the site insists is entirely genuine customer feedback.

The league tables are not yet available but last night, Allagents released ‘snapshot’ statistics showing that the smallest, single-office agents have done best, with 67% of places, leaving the larger chains trailing.

Only one firm with more than 30 offices is in the top 500 – apparently making it all the way to fourth place. Medium-sized businesses with 10-30 branches have done only a little better, with just 12 in the top 500.

However, small single-office agents also did worst in the 500 bottom placed agents, taking up 55% of places. Seven of the chains are in the ten most bottom placed agents. Individual branches have also been scored.

Allagents says it was clear that some of the big players have some highly rated branches: “What stands out is that without the burden of being dragged down by the overall chain performance, these branches could be up there with the country’s best rated providers.”

In a  mailer this week to agents, Allagents says: “These tables will revolutionise the estate agent industry and so the time has come for all estate and letting agents to embrace Allagents and take the opportunity to openly demonstrate to prospective customers why they should be doing business with you. Email all your clients and encourage them to write a review for you.

“There is no other site that can provide this data based solely on your customers’ experiences and the league tables will set the benchmark for how a client will choose their next estate agent or letting agent.”

The mailer also shows how Allagents is trying to up the ante, with featured reviews, advertising opportunities, its ‘transparent agent scheme’, plus a free property portal and an awards scheme. It says the awards scheme will be separate from the league tables.

Allagents has drawn considerable controversy from agents, with some claiming that negative reviews look made up or posted by rivals, and that positive reviews have been put up by the agents themselves – all practices denied by Allagents, which insists that it has controls in place.

(106) Comments

Added by PeeBee on 2012-02-28 14:55:09

Kevin C: Thank you for your response.

Did I say "cheap shot? Oh - yes, I did. Well... sorry but not, if you get my drift. Much of what you wrote DID read like a sideswipe - and to then say that you are making like an Italian cruise-ship Captain made it look all the more like a cheap shot. Now - maybe not - but I feel that your (and this isn't singling YOU out, Kevin - it is simply stating fact...) "I ain't gonna change anything" viewpoint is exactly why NOTHING ever gets changed - and that is a great shame.

Similarly, I think it is a shame that you feel that your career in Agency lies only with one or two companies. I am not knocking those companies - but they are simply cogs in the massive wheel of Estate and Lettings Agency, and no more 'important' than any other (except to themselves...).

I'm not expecting you to don cape and utility belt for the better of mankind. But in my opinion change has to come from within. Rating websites such as the one we originally set out to discuss will not 'change' Estate Agency - for all the reasons that have been put forward. NO level of customer service will stop an aggrieved buyer or tenant from blaming the Agent if they lose a house - but nothing is there to stop them from potentially damaging the reputation of that Agent with their ratings. NO degree of competence; of ability or of success will protect a good Agent against the postings of an unscupulous competitor or an aggrieved ex-employee.

And until these sites protect against THESE possibilities, then their reliance as a 'tool' in the decision making process of Vendors and Landlords is as dubious as many of the postings I have read thereon...

Sorry you're going, Kevin C. Maybe you WOULD have made a difference. We will now never know.
Added by Tues on 2012-02-28 12:26:27

Harry T ;

"it does appear to be having an impact on the industry"

Based on what? What signs or indicators give you this impression?
Added by Kevin C on 2012-02-28 01:17:05

Hi PeeBee

Yes, that was me!

Wow, I didn't even realise that, I first posted on here about a year ago. Time goes so quickly when you work in a "fast paced" environment! :-)

OK, I knew as soon as I said that I'm leaving the industry , this was going to lead to questions being asked. I have been offered an opportunity which is very tempting and the other options available in estate agency ...well, lets say I only want to work for Knight Frank/ Savills and I didn't make it. So thats my "little story".

I don't understand why you call it a cheap shot at the profession? Is it because I said that the industry needs to improve and then I'm choosing a different career path? Not justified IMO.


Maybe I wasn't clear in my previous posts, let me put things straight. In 1 year of estate agency, I said that I have seen dishonesty and unethical practices. "Report them to the authorities" you say. Well, I say to you "these shouldn't really be happening in the first place" and its review websites like AllAgents that will HELP prevent these "bad practices" from happening in the first place.


Don't get me wrong, I loved being an agent, the day to day duties, the contractors with their "sex jokes", the landlords wanting asking price etc ...I will honestly miss it all (well, ok not the long hours). However, I'm not SUPER AGENT, Protector of the lettings universe, Hope of all agents, Light to the Darkness of the lettings world! So not here to try change an industry all by myself. But I believe that the review websites can HELP with the changes.

My intention was not to offend my fellow agents on here but to point the finger at the cowboy agents that I've met in my short career as a Lettings Negotiator. And Fun Boy Agent did annoy me by calling me a JUNIOR!

Added by Harry T on 2012-02-27 17:52:53

I have been keeping an eye on Allagents and I can see its grown very rapidly over the last 6 months.

The only people with any teeth to change the industry is the public. The police have relied on the public for year to help them solve crimes through their TV programmes like crimewatch. Allagents appears to be the only platform out there to expose rogue agents and there is an argument now that this site could be the platform that empowers the public to force self regulation onto agents.

It's still early days yet, but it does appear to be having an impact on the industry
Added by PeeBee on 2012-02-27 16:06:09

'KC': I put two and two together and come up with the assumption that you are the same 'new entrant' who called himself 'Kevin' a year or so ago and I among others welcomed into the industry. The pieces fit - am I right?

Anyway - my powers of deduction are not the issue here - but your comments are.

Firstly, the thing with online forums like this is that people 'know' what they are told; or what they perceive. It's all third party. You state that you are, by all measures of the word, a relative 'newbie' into the industry, and most people will assume things about you from this statement - your real age; past experience and knowledge of all things worldly become secondary as you have announced yourself to be a wet-behind-the-lugs new kid on the block as far as those reading are concerned. To then have a scathing pop at many of those who would consider themselves to be older and wiser in the industry - on the back of the announcement that you are leaving for pastures new - is both a cheap shot at the profession that you entered BY CHOICE, and a sure-fire catalyst for good, honest Agents to defend themselves - so expect a backlash.

I am not sure what possible "dishonesty" and unethical practice you have been able to observe from your interactions with other Agents during your brief but apparently successful career in Lettings Agency - but surely it is your duty as a citizen to report matters of suspected or proven dishonesty to the authorities - not mutter about them on a site such as this, way after the act...

You say that the industry needs to improve. No argument there - but show me ONE industry that doesn't.

You have, as you state, worked in several fields. I am sure that they all had matters that required improvement. I would like to ask if I may, KC, why - when there is so much that you seem to be able to offer in terms of skillsets brought from other disciplines and the ability to work from within to improve what you see - you are leaving the industry?

I look forward to your response.
Added by KC on 2012-02-27 14:05:43

And I agree, Fun Boy Agent Allagents.co mas it is should not be supported! However, it should be "controlled" and monitored carefully.

As agents we need to make sure that we get "exposure" to landlords and vendors. I think that review website is a great vehicle for that. HOW you are exposed, now is up to you.

Like I said, if it starts to operate as an established review website like TripAdvisor, this will help good agents, vendors/ landlords and the industry image as a whole. Allagents need to sort out a code of practice and make it fair for everyone. Reviews should only be allowed after the address and details have been checked etc. and agents should be allowed to reply to any negative feedback. Honesty on both sides. They need to make sure that all the trolls with fake email addresses are out.

If this review website operates similarly to TripAdvisor, then the winners will be agents and clients. win-win.
Added by KC on 2012-02-27 13:50:51

@ Fun Boy Agent

Training required for Juniors? LOL Is it because I said I have been in the industry for about a year, you consider me as a Junior? Typical "corporate" mentality coming from you Fun Boy!

Off Topic, FYI In my first year as a Junior, I have taken business away from other "major corporates" and have achieved a level of knowledge which some Managers/ Seniors take years to gain. I have worked in several industries and at different levels, and I still think that Estate Agency as a whole needs some improvement. I have seen small independents getting cheap staff by promising a "generous commission structure and a world made up of chololates, rivers flowing with candies and Haribos" to trainees. From the people, that I have met within Estate Agency, I have seen how they can be dishonest and work with no ethic at all. OK not all agents are like that and sometimes, you do have to be a bit of a "shark" to survive in the business we're in. But come on, to that extent, its ridiculous! Anyways, I'm leaving the industry now and don't think I'll get back in it. Unless its an offer from Savills or Knight Frank!

Back on topic now!!!

Regarding the review websites, I did not say that I'm all in for allagents.com and that we should let them publish what they want etc. However, if we can establish an honest and moderated review website, this should help both customers and agents in the long run. WHY ARE YOU SO SCARED OF HONEST REVIEWS? I don't know your background but from what I read, you seemed to be from a "Foxtons" background?! Targets and Quantity! Client Harassment expert and professional stalker in nice suits!

Added by Anna Key on 2012-02-25 14:41:16

I am currently setting up four similar sites:
AllTenants.com
AllLandlords.com
AllVendors.com and
AllBuyers.com

and the list could be endless. The only thing I have against these types of sites is that there is no control over the trolls who cannot be held accountable.
Anyway, it's the way of the world and we'd better get used to it.
99% of our new business is from word of mouth and that's as it should be.
Added by Phillip on 2012-02-24 16:34:09

Hi PeeBee

I have documentation from their legal represenation that states where they operate from.

You can register a name anywhere as long as it's an address. You should already know this. A registered address can be the company that registered if for you or your accountant etc, it doesn't mean they are in the UK.

Look these reviews will creap into your SEO when that happens it will affect your business as people do a search for your website. These reviews are mostly false but hey if you think these people will go away just watch how their website grows.
Added by PeeBee on 2012-02-24 14:27:02

'The real Thurs, Wed, Tues':

Don't worry - the '@' gave him/her away as a Tw@tterer and not you. Your posting name is safe I reckon - all we now have to do is figure out who ELSE you are... ;o)

On the subject of that '@' business - am I the only person in the world that doesn't resport to that crap? Even my mucker Jonnie resorted to it earlier, I noted.

I always knew I was 'different' from other boys and girls...
Added by The real Thurs, Wed, Tues on 2012-02-24 13:30:11

I'd like to point out that the person now posting as @ Thurs 12.49 who by now will be Fri 10:03 on 2012-02-24 10:03:50 is not the same one as who posted Thurs 15.33 on 2012-02-23 15:35:41 and prior as Wed, Tues etc.

I need a new username, if someone's going to play copycat
Added by PeeBee on 2012-02-24 12:51:56

Previous poster:

"Anyone waiting to react to a poor review on a poor website is not very good at reacting to a situation that goes wrong."

Please explain. You do not know that a review - poor or otherwise - is posted until AFTER the event...

You cannot nip an event that hasn't yet happened in the bud as there is no bud there. Do you honestly believe that an aggrieved "customer" will not vent their anger if they have a chance to - ESPECIALLY when they can remain anonymous? Get real!

"If you run down an old lady; you stop, get out, say sorry and point out that the mad moo just walked out in front of you from bewteen two parked cars."

IF the "mad moo" did what you say, and caused the accident - then why would YOU apologise?

Not a good argument, I am afraid...
Added by @ Thurs 12.49 who by now will be Fri 10:03 on 2012-02-24 10:03:50

Anyone waiting to react to a poor review on a poor website is not very good at reacting to a situation that goes wrong.

If you run down an old lady; you stop, get out, say sorry and point out that the mad moo just walked out in front of you from bewteen two parked cars. You do not wait til your face is on crimewatch and you are being hunted down as a hit and run driver.
Added by Big Ted on 2012-02-23 22:09:47

@ EA anon

Except, only a few can get good reviews (no use if they all do) the rest get fed up and dump the site.
Added by EA anon on 2012-02-23 18:34:23

Whilst I don't approve of their site, they have a very good business model there that benefits both agents, consumer and Allagents

Agents generate the traffic to promote their site
Agents get good reviews and use as a selling tool against other agents
Agents join their transparent agent scheme and get free leads
Allagents get more traffic from transparent agents
Consumers are made aware of the site and avoid rogue agents
Allagents sell advertising to industry suppliers and agents

We know different, however From an outsiders point of view looking in, this is seen as a win win for everyone except the agents that don't promote it.




Added by Paul H on 2012-02-23 18:31:19

This website is only good for spotting agents that are cheating and conning people out of money and their are a few, bit not enough to justify the fake and harsh comments that the 'good' agents receive!


As many have said already the whole thing is flawed, it's simply a quick money making scheme and those agents with this companies website emblazoned all other theirs need their heads examined!
Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-23 17:33:33

DO NOT BE FOOLED!

Allagents news (aka EAT) write here the following:-

“These tables will revolutionise the estate agent industry and so the time has come for all estate and letting agents to embrace Allagents and take the opportunity to openly demonstrate to prospective customers why they should be doing business with you. Email all your clients and encourage them to write a review for you.

NO NO NO..... IT WILL NOT.

Not unless agents are silly enough to fall for this tactic.

Go look at the Streets Ahead feedback.
This agent is following the Allagent doctrine and line.

The feedbacks at the rate of 2 or 3 a day are mainly from existing Landlords and tenants or from people who have just phoned them as applicants.

There will be much pressure on the staff to get 'reviews', it has become their focus.

So again I say, of over 150 agents in my area, 1 has about 30 reviews, 1 has 10 reviews, another 9 have 1 or 2 reviews and the vast majority, about 140 agents have no reviews whatsoever.

So what do we point a finger at?

Who are the shady, manipulating, inverse, misrepresenting agents in the area? One shines out WAY above the rest.

That would be the one actively promoting and manipulating bogus, irrelevant, nonsensical and ultimately misleading reviews that are out of proportion to their activity on a site that the vast majority of agents are not actually promoting.

a) It cannot be a balanced view or set of reviews

b) An agent going to such lengths to gain reviews may well be dodgy in their outlook and values.

I am not saying this is so, it just could and probably does look that way to the public (if the reader has common sense).

If this site IS NOT SUPPORTED by agents promoting it, it cannot work.

SO DONT DO IT.

DO NOT LET THEM SCARE YOU.

That is our defence as an industry.
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-23 16:30:12

Phillip : read my post Added on 2012-02-23 11:38:08

"However I find AllAgents and sites like it unreliable sources or information on performance. Many examples of why have been given in this thread"

What i am saying is that although the Allagents site and the concept is poor, many vendors do want a way of comparing estate agents......not surprisingly many estate agents especially bad ones do not want this.
Added by PeeBee on 2012-02-23 16:23:47

Phillip: You state that AllAgents is based in Eastern Europe. According to sources including their website:

"1.This website ("allagents.co.uk") is provided by allAgents Ltd, registration no SC404564, with registered address at 26 Strath, Gairloch, Ross-shire IV21, 2DA"

From what I can gather, their IP is UK based also.

Please enlighten me as to the validity of your information.
Added by Phillip on 2012-02-23 15:42:54

Thurs didn't mean you worked for Allagents I meant Happy Chappy!

...sorry if it looked that way.
Added by Phillip on 2012-02-23 15:41:27

Happy Chappy you’re an idiot!

Thurs 15:33 see below

If I were paranoid I would say you worked for AllAgents.

Let me give you some information that will question your views.

1 - All Agents is based in Eastern Europe.
2 - All Agents don't charge a fee WRONG. They don't charge for becoming a 'Transparent Agent' but they DO charge for the Banners and web work.
3 - They are NOT transparent themselves because they publish no information about themselves. The mobile number is answered but the minute you question anything else they put the phone down.
4 - I have evidence of 20 estate agents where the reviews are false and driven by competitors and disgruntled employees. And taking these down has been a very expensive process.
5 - A review is NOT objective if you cannot reply. Allagents are living of fear as in the case of Streets Ahead Estate agent. These guys are feeding this pariah.

Thurs 15:33. You can’t stop them until someone puts up the money to challenge them. But what you can do is play fire with fire. I am just starting to do that. You see Allagents need money to market themselves, but they have one vital resource and that is ‘Content’ the more poor comments the greater their position in Google. Well this is when come in….
Added by Thurs 15.33 on 2012-02-23 15:35:41

Phillip - how do you suggest they be 'stopped', when any plea for a fair right to reply, even here, is greeted with a response along the lines of

"Well, you must have something to hide, then"

Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-23 15:23:49

The all seeing eye and IO....good posts and I agree.
Added by Phillip on 2012-02-23 15:16:56

Hi all

I have read some of your comments and people say don't worry it's a crap site...but you should. The estate agents who have signed up to the 'Transparent Agent' scheme are feeding this site and it's set to get big, very big as paranoia sets in and people sign up.

There is one thing you are missing: People don't need to come to the site the search engine optimisation will do it for them. Search for any estate agent in the 'BAD' list and you will see the 'All Agent' review there and that has done its job.

You also forget the reason why social media, Twitter and Facebook are so good commercially and that the reason why people buy on recommendation through social media sites. And the reason why people don't come through your doors. This site will be in every paper that matters soon.

Ignore this site at your peril. I warn you if they are not stopped, before it goes down it will take you with it.
Added by Industry Observer on 2012-02-23 14:58:11

@TASE

You should be The All Seeing Eye Reviewer and then you could be TASER, what some of us would like to do to Japan dave (please note small d for him as capital D Dave talks sense and cannot surely be the same person?)

Voice of Sanity and FBA well said, and THURS is as right as he was when WEDS

Now then

Anonymous wrote ""Just because this website will publish what you have allegedly done wrong, learn the lesson; you aren't expected to be perfect but you should be good at handling situations that go wrong.""

and THURS 1249 responded. But there is a further important point here.

And that is the word "allegedly" which is what this site is all about because it only prints one side of events, good or bad.

If it is "alleged" why is there a lesson to be learned? Who says that a situation has gone wrong - the complainant? What are they Judge and Jury (yes, OK I know often they are!!)

I know that the definition of having a grievance is a perception real or imagined but this is the whole point.

This site is a one way mirror.
Added by The All Seeing Eye on 2012-02-23 14:11:12

Guys relax.

I have just had a gander at said allagents site and what a total and utter pile of sh*t. If you really are worried dont be. I reside in Wimborne, Dorset (a town in it's own right, despite allagents putting Wimborne, Bournemouth). There are some 15 selling and letting agents in town and (try for yourself) not one of them comes up - so they are obviously not bothered and nor are the public. I tried Broadstone - a smaller but affulent suburb of Poole covered by some 11 agents, 5 agents came up and two of those closed down over a year ago (probably had a bad review!!) and there is one I have never heard of and I've worked in this area for 22 years!

DO NOT compare this pile of poo with Trip advisor which has an important place in the travel world and shows credibilty via good (and bad) reviews. There are always the disgruntled who love to moan - sometimes justifiably but most of the time they are nutters and when you deal with the public you come across plenty of those. Japan obsessed Dave springs to mind.

I can assure you of two facts. 1- The public go to sites when they are led (by advertising - in whatever form that applies) and down here in Dorset they (allagents) are a total non-entity, it may well be different elsewhere but take away the agents who go looking for such sites (as they dont make me money) and I only care about the general (house moving) public and what they see and then do.
2 - Any member of the public who sees this site as a genuine marker to your business is quite possibly not someone you really want to do business with.

As long as you do your job properly (no wisearse comments from the non agents - all agents know what they must do), advertise yourself well and ensure that your clients expectations are not only met but exceeded then you will always do well, even with the occasional unhappy customer/client (note to non agents - there is a considerable difference).

So my fellow agents, keep well, work hard and please, please dont concern yourselves - allagents will disappear and before you know it nobody will have ever heard of them (remember those wonderful sell your own home and dont pay agent fees websites that were going to revolutionise the house moving world and make us all redundant - No - well they once existed as well!)
Added by Baby Happy cries on 2012-02-23 13:28:56

Like the screaming brat seeking attention, finally shuts its gob if ignored, why rise to Happy Chappy, ignore it.
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-23 12:59:38

Why do allagents exist.....because they believe that customers want the EA market to be more transparent....i.e they do not trust estate agents (and to make money of course).....the example i gave was showing why they believe that is required.

I agree the site does not deliver what the vendors want but why are you mistrustful of there motives....what do you think the are?
Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-23 12:57:48

Seriously folks,

This doughnut calling himself 'happy chappy' is a complete and utter waste of space and is killing this informative EA website.

This bozo is using the forum as a 'chat room', almost everyone who posts gets 'engaged' by the parasite of 'off topic' subjects as the 'smartarse' attempts to be derisive and derogatory to each and every EA who is foolhardy enough to reply to him.

He attempts to draw you into a conversation.

This is:

a) Not what this site is for
b) Is boring everyone to death
c) Is driving readers away
d) Is irritating in the extreme

He is:

a) Showing no understanding of agency
b) Showing no comprehension of running a business
c) Goading people into argument
d) An absolute crackpot

He gets his jollies by acting as a 'NEGOTIATOR' who negotiates lower estate agency fees for buyers about to instruct an agent.

This is the work of a parasite.

He wants some of the fee you were going to get for himself and at your expense.

What is worse, he feels this makes him an expert able to comment on

a) Property pricing
b) Future markets
c) Issues with Rightmove and the portals
d) Aspects of running an Estate Agency business

e) YOU.. he feels he can comment on you.

What a pipsqueek, As a previous poster said, he needs to go find a forum or better 'chat room' that better suits his needs.

Hope the 'real' readers of this site do not get too turned off by this until he gives up. His persistence can only wreck this (what was) valuable forum and news service.
Added by Thurs 12.49 on 2012-02-23 12:54:06

Anonymous wrote ""Just because this website will publish what you have allegedly done wrong, learn the lesson; you aren't expected to be perfect but you should be good at handling situations that go wrong.""


Surely the point is, as stated earlier in this thread and in previous ones relating to AllAgents, that AA aren't providing an adequate right to reply, in that they don't reply to EA's concerns about false reviews, refuse to take down reviews which the EAs allege to be false, and that their website bears very little in the way of contact details? The AA owner, as stated in an earlier thread, prefers not to be named, merely going by the name 'Mike' ....

How can this be 'handled', when those hosting the reviews are unresponsive to those being reviewed?
Added by Tom Jungle on 2012-02-23 12:51:51

I think we need an www.alltenants.co.uk where we can write reviews about tenants! Who's up for it?
Added by Thurs 12.10 on 2012-02-23 12:15:46

Happy Chappy, you're getting seriously off-topic - these comments are about the AllAgents news story, not EA sales pitches/valuations/presentations in general.

If you want to discuss general EA topics, you need to find a general EA forum..... however

"You expect the vendors to believe a sales pitch" - carries the unspoken implication that it's not to be believed. The testimonials I show my clients are real, unforced, and in the clients' own words. What's not to believe?

Why ARE you here? I'm posting here because I'm basically mistrustful of AllAgents and their motives.

What's your motive?
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-23 11:48:18

You expect the vendors to believe a sales pitch, here is an example of why i warn them to be careful in there choice of agent.

From EAT
"An estate agent’s adverts which said it had become the leading agent in its area were reported to the advertising watchdog after a competitor complained.

On one flyer it said: “We have become Worksop’s leading estate agent having 32.56% of market share based on ‘most homes sold’ … Why choose any other agent in Workshop.”

The second flyer made a similar claim, while the agent’s website said it had become Worksop’s leading agent in 2011, with most homes sold. Further text stated: “It’s official. After just over three years since we opened, we are now pleased to announce we have become Worksop’s Leading Estate Agent having 35.68% of the market share based on ‘Most Homes Sold’ registered online in 2011.”

The ASA upheld the complaint in relation to the website.
Added by Homer on 2012-02-23 11:46:21

Happy Chappy

I wish I had a boss like yours that allowed me to write on internet forums all day. Do you actually get paid?

If so, they are so lucky to have you.
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-23 11:38:08

I'm sure some prefer to here your reassuring sales pitch
but its good to hear you would show your prospective clients the data if requested, because I would ask to see that data, you see I like to dig a little deeper than the sales pitch.

However I find AllAgents and sites like it unreliable sources or information on performance. Many examples of why have been given in this thread.



Added by Thurs 11.23 on 2012-02-23 11:23:35

..but back to AllAgents......
Added by Thurs 10.54 on 2012-02-23 11:01:06

Happy Chappy; I haven't specifically asked them what they would prefer, but I've seen first-hand how in the majority of cases, their eyes glaze over and they lose interest when quoted a sequence of numbers..... even a short sequence.

Based on past experience, I've tailored my ongoing style of interaction to suit, as described earlier.

So that's why I say I'm sure that they would prefer to see and hear words rather than numbers.

Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-23 09:59:40

"I'm sure prospective clients would rather read these written testimonials than compare dry statistics," Have you asked them?

"and I'd much rather show them the written testimonials" Im sure you would :0)
Added by Thurs 09.50 on 2012-02-23 09:57:46

From the EAT article - ""Allagents has drawn considerable controversy .......... practices denied by Allagents, which insists that it has controls in place.""


There's very few reviews for agents in my area - but of the few, there's a bundle for a letting agent which make for interesting reading - the first half dozen or so are unfailingly positive, and - coincidentally - every last one of them mentions the Company Name, in perfect grammatical form, in the first line or two of the review -
"I was so glad to be recommended to Company Name", etc. The positive reviews are all in perfect English.

The critical reviews tyoically DON'T include the company name, and are typically couched in what I'd call 'casual English', with less-than-perfect grammar...

Coincidence is all.

And we're expected to merely trust AllAgents when they say that controls are in place?
Added by on 2012-02-23 09:51:41

Do the job to the best of your ability, be honest and you have nothing to worry about.

Just because this website will publish what you have allegedly done wrong, learn the lesson; you aren't expected to be perfect but you should be good at handling situations that go wrong.

Admitting your errors and apologising is the most effective means of not getting a bad press.
Added by Thurs 09.26 on 2012-02-23 09:31:34

I'd rather have a written testimonial from a happy client in their own words than their dry statement that I sold their house in X days for Y% of asking price.

I'm sure prospective clients would rather read these written testimonials than compare dry statistics, and I'd much rather show them the written testimonials.

Yes, I show them the positives, but I'm no different from any other business in this respect. the car maker's adverts extol the benefits of their new car but don't mention previous recalls, labour disputes, etc. etc.
.
Added by Voice of Sanity on 2012-02-23 09:27:53

As stated many times any sites like this is only giving the perspective of one side.

It is obvious here that many in the industry are unclear in areas of their own profession of where liability lies and that adults are expected in law to act the same. If product is misused it is the abusers bill, if not fit for purpose the landlords.

To have a site complain about areas that are not under the agents control is unfair - do you complain about a restaurant if it rains - no it would be stupid. A client of my wife thinks her landlord is dodgy beacuse after 7 years of not increasing the rent once he has asked for the flat back so he can sell it.

That is a prime example of modern thinking - she can't see he has been generous for years just that her toys have been taken away. Also note that in this time and aware that rentals are increasing they didn't save any extra money for when the time came.

My office has been chosed for the Obbudsman check in the past - last 5 buyers and sellers info please reports posted. This is all available to the public and would be much better served as this information is pertinent, relevant and timely.

Anyone in a customer facing environment will know that an unhappy person will tell more people of their negative experience than a happy person will otherwise.

I for one will concentrate on making my clients happy, secure in the knowledge that for some whatever I do they will never be happy because reasons I will never know, but if the majority are then my job is done.
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-23 09:10:51

Hi Wed

Ok Profit is the primary measure of how any business measures ITS performance....agreed.

Profit is not how customers measure the peformance of a company - agreed, "Measures such as time to sell, selling price to asking price ratio, etc, are merely subsidiary indicators"...these are the measures of how your clients measure your performance and should be very important to you....i am sure they are :0)

If every estate agent made these indicators available to there clients there would be no need for sites like Allagents....not going to happen is it! :0)

"You don't have a clue what I said to any of my clients" I dont need to.... by accepting the instruction you said you would sell there house (in there minds anyway)
For instance when the client asked for a unrealistic price you accepted..(whatever you said is irrelevent to the client, YOU accepted)

Of course there are difficult vendors and there are factors beyond your control.....but managing thse is what seperates the good from the bad isn't it?
Added by Wed 20.21 on 2012-02-22 20:26:13

Happy Chappy; you're changing the question- first you ask ""how does he (the business owner) measure and rate his company performance and customer satisfaction?", and now you ask me "Do your customers measure your performance by the amount of profit you make for yourself?"

Of course the customers won't know whether or not I'm in profit, whether I'm loaned up to the hilt from the bank, or by how much I'm in the red or black either way.

And you're misquoting me - the profit isn't "profit I make for myself" - it's profit for the business, what's needed to
grow the business and also to make something over and above this to feed me, clothe me and put a roof over my head.

You don't imagine I'm running a charitable organisation, do you? I'm running a BUSINESS. Do you really understand what that means?

The core performance indicator for any business is whether or not the income meets the expenses and leaves something over to either reinvest in the business and/or fund the living essentials of those in the business (or in the case of listed companies, to provide a dividend for shareholders - but I'm not at that level).

Measures such as time to sell, selling price to asking price ratio, etc, are merely subsidiary indicators of the contribution to the basics of income vs. expenses.

You also said - "err yes you told them you could sell it, they instructed you and you didnt."

You don't have a clue what I said to any of my clients, you haven't a clue whether or not I forewarned them of the volatility of the market, whether or not I cautioned them that they might have a house of a style that isn't currently in demand (a FTB house/flat, maybe...?), or whether or not they insisted on marketing at an unrealistic price, despite my advice.

Just a few short examples, but you don't know whether or not the viewers I took to their houses walked away because they took a dislike to the owner and/or their neighbour, whether the owner left the house unkempt (against my advice about presentation), let the pets off the leash to bother the viewers (when I advised them not to have the pets around at viewings), or anything about other factors outwith my control. In short, despite my best efforts, and a high standard of customer service, it's perfectly possibly to have things derailed by the very client I'm trying to serve.

In essence, you're jumping to conclusions.
Added by Industry Observer on 2012-02-22 19:44:14

@ Hants EA

“A poor example but you're sticking with it eh? “

I’m not sticking with anything but you are correct about two things.

First macerators are dreadful things

Second the L&T 1985 is indeed very clear. The Landlord is responsible for the MAINTENANCE of systems. However if damage or breakage is tenant’s fault then whilst the landlord may effect the repair under the terms of a decently constructed tenancy agreement the cost would then be down to the tenant.

No different than if little Johnny flushes a flannel or similar down the other toilet and the drain gets blocked which frankly given the nonsense this macerator example has generated I suggest you switch to. Or bees or broken white goods all of which offer better examples as I said in my last posting but you chose to persist with the poor original, not me.

In each case if the tenant doesn’t think it is their fault they can slag off the agent to their hearts content. Quite why you so readily criticise a Landlord of whom you have no knowledge but who has paid for repairs in similar situations TWICE and even now is prepared to pay the lion's share when the system has been broken because of tenant misuse is beyond me.

If a fridge or a cooker is say 5 years old instead of brand new does that give a tenant more licence to be more careless in how he treats it, then blame the Landlord for supplying a second hand unit?

You didn’t answer whether you actually do lettings? I assume not as if you did you’d know that Warren v Keen is still the classic defining Case on tenant liabilities and is still applied in the Courts.

In fairness I didn’t say what had actually caused the problem out of politeness as much as anything, plus not expecting such arguments. Suffice to say the engineer’s report makes it quite clear that what went down should not have.

@London Agent

It’s about facts and the TRUTH

@Steve FL

Support again - crumbs!!

@PeeBee right as so often and

@FBA right all the way and I suggest everyone re-reads the last part of his 3rd paragraph in his 17:29:43 posting it is spot on.


Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-22 19:06:39

@Wed

"Performance. If income exceeds expenses, then I'm in profit and the measure is the extent of the profit,"
So your only performance measure is profit?
Do your customers measure your performance by the amount of profit you make for yourself?

How about time to sell, sold price to asking price ratio do you measure or have targets for these....if so do you make them available to your customers?

"Customer satisfaction; (I don't do rentals) if their house is sold, they're generally satisfied, and I have page upon page of testimonials from customers like these". So does every other agent in town....are they all as good as you?

"Those who didn't sell, who took their houses off the market for whatever reason will generally be dissatisfied"......err yes you told them you could sell it, they instructed you and you didnt.
Added by Wed 18.26 on 2012-02-22 18:34:41

Happy Chappy asked;

"how does he measure and rate his company performance and customer satisfaction?"

Performance. If income exceeds expenses, then I'm in profit and the measure is the extent of the profit, whether I can put any of the profit back into the business, and how much that leaves me for room & board and life's little luxuries. .

Customer satisfaction; (I don't do rentals) if their house is sold, they're generally satisfied, and I have page upon page of testimonials from customers like these. I'd rather have these handwritten testimonials from real live clients than anonymous postings on AllAgents.

Those who didn't sell, who took their houses off the market for whatever reason will generally be dissatisfied and no amount of fine customer service during the time they were on the market will change that. Some of these ex-clients will badmouth me all the way to doomsday, regardless of how well I served them while they were listed with me.
Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-22 18:07:20

To your credit Unhappy Chappy, you are consistently stupid.
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-22 18:00:49

"Would I trust it? Make a decision regarding putting my largest, most expensive single possession in the hands of a company or individual based upon what someone (and I mean SOMEONE...) - a random whoever - writes therein?" no you wouldn't.....so equally would you trust any and every estate agent based on nothing at all.....many do (sadly) and suffer terrible customer service, pay over the odds or worse.

,
Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-22 17:58:13

no
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-22 17:51:38

FBA - I agreed with you about the site content!

Now on to your other points!
I am very aware of the monies spent on market research, intelligence and competitor analysis by estate agents and many other industries. I not asking you how you think you are doing in the market, I am asking you how you rate customer satisfcation which is what this all agent site seems to be trying to do.

The company with the biggest market share is not always the with the highest customer satisfaction score.....but if it remains like this its a sure fire way to lose its position.

You are surprised by the vitriol, pot and kettle spring to mind....your remarks towards Hants Ea and London agent seem to suggest you undervalue employees just as much as some of your other posts would suggest you undervalue customers. Could it be you got some negative feedback on this ALL agent site and are smarting about it?
Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-22 17:29:43

I am surprised at the vitriolic nature of some posts (from some people). As an Agent I see no benefits to Estate Agents in the allagents site, none whatsoever.

Comments from people like Happy Chappy who have no concept of the industry from the inside looking out on a potential industry catalyst should be merely disregarded. Even people working in the industry but with little experience will not understand the dangers these allagents people pose. The Internet and what is on it is forever, no going back. When looking into this I even saw a complainer posting some negative dross in 2006 and the agent replied in 2008, is that funny or sad?

No good agent should support the site or promote it. It is plain and simple. The site is dangerous. The only purpose of and for this site is to make its creators money. The public gain no benefit from knowing who the most reviewed agent in Bristol is if they live in Grimsby. The creators of this site can move onto solicitors, car dealers, etc. etc once they have taken all they can from our industry and left us with an unwanted and poisonous legacy. Stop them now by ignoring them is my advice (but it is only advice, no need for vitriol).

Good Estate Agents will know what this site is about and will know their path to success, it can only happen if they are supported by the industry. No support from industry and they are not worthy of more than a cursory nod. As I pointed out earlier, they are hardly a factor in my area, not unless you are the one agent who is actively supporting them. I can see from the dates of posts the other agent who did support them once, with 10 reviews, gave up promoting them. Undoubtedly realising there is no gain.

For your education Unhappy, EA's pay a lot of money to have background and back door information that YOU cannot see. This info relates to competitor activity among other things. YOU have no idea how much we pay, to whom, and the info we get back. Stop being so vocal about things you clearly have no understanding of (please). Of course I know my competitors stock, sold, withdrawn, archived, exchanged, completed, etc. I make comment on what I know about, unlike you Sir. Same goes for the idiot who posted as 'Guilty', please... get a life man.

Very sad that this silly little website is getting so much publicity. It is publicity they want of course. Shame we get drawn in.

Oh Well! one born every minute, isn't there Hants EA and London Agent? (employees no doubt)
Added by SteveFromLeicester on 2012-02-22 17:28:30

HantsEA you are picking holes in IO's example but missing the underlying point.

Arguing about whether Section 11 would overcome Warren vs Keen when talking about a macerator is neither here nor there. The point that IO and others are making is that Allagents is full of complaints about letting agents which relate to things which are unquestionably out of the agent's control.

Agents do not withhold deposits - landlords do that. If the tenant feels he's been hard done to he can complain to the appropriate scheme's dispute resolution service.

Agents do not carry out maintenance on landlords properties, they take instructions from landlords and arrange for the work to be done if the landlord agrees. If the tenant isn't happy with the condition of the property he can complain to Environmental Health under the HHSRS Scheme.

Agents are obliged to act in the landlord's best interests, not the tenant's because it is the landlord, not the tenant who is paying him to manage the property.

If Allagents told tenants this instead of allowing them to simply write misguided attacks on the agent's business they would be doing everyone a service (and removing 90% of the negative reviews from their site). Until they do this I won't engage with them in any way shape or form.

Added by PeeBee on 2012-02-22 17:18:15

'another transparent agent': "This let's them see the impact its having on the poorer performing agents and helps them reassure them that this site can be trusted"

OH, COME ON! Do you REALLY expect people to believe this merde de taureau straight out of the AA Sales Training Manual?

From what I read here, those that are responding are not even listed!

Look - I'm not an Agent. Therefore, I have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to "fear" from this. I would be using this site as a CONSUMER. So maybe... just maybe... my opinion is worth something.

Would I trust it? Make a decision regarding putting my largest, most expensive single possession in the hands of a company or individual based upon what someone (and I mean SOMEONE...) - a random whoever - writes therein?

Not as far as I could chuck the computer...

Enjoy your 'transparent agency'. More fool you for swallowing the sales speil, in my humble opinion.
Added by another transparent agent on 2012-02-22 16:57:42

We not only refer prospective customer to allagents, but also to allagent stories on EAT. This let's them see the impact its having on the poorer performing agents and helps them reassure them that this site can be trusted
Added by PeeBee on 2012-02-22 16:42:41

Oh, bu99er!

I've had the gloves on with him; I've slugged it out with him on various matters; we tend to see more eye-to-knee than eye-to-eye; sometimes he is so out of order that I have questioned his ability to stand in an empty room and not start an argument; and he wages all-out thermonuclear war with posters who have little or no effect on him or his business - yet the best he can muster for a certain individual that thinks he can re-write the whole damn book is to call him "a plumb" and leave it at that...

...but I'm pretty much with FBA on this one. I don't do it often - but I'll back him up all the way.

Thanks, you lot. Most appreciated.

'London Agent': Are you? REALLY? Look at your post - "It's all about customer experience"? Sounds like a line straight out of the AllAgents call-centre manual for handling Agent complaints to me...

Hants EA - an Agent who "fears" HONEST, JUSTIFIED review from their customers does indeed have a problem. A major one. But this is not about that - is it? It is about abuse of the facility by those that use it to falsely denigrade for whatever purpose. As IO pointed out - the Channel 4 programme on Trip Advisor was a real eye-opener that any crackpot can make wild, unfounded accusations and damage reputations - even lives.

It should not be allowed in society. Claim what you want on the interweb about whoever you want - let's see them squirm.

Sorry - you call this "progress"?
Added by Barry Chuckle on 2012-02-22 16:29:27

Some EA's clearly running scared on this one. Must be becasue they're sh!t, and they know they are.
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-22 16:27:55

IO and Hants agent......I cannot add to the debate as you are both talking S*** :0)
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-22 16:22:33

"FBA is correct" about the site itself perhaps.....having such a simple rating system is a little pointless.
I agree such anon. and simple review sites are open to abuse....but it could be done much better...and this would be of benefit to good agents and vendors

I am not kicking FBA at all I asked a question, how does he measure and rate his company performance and customer satisfaction? Its the first question i would ask him if i was vendor looking for an agent.
Added by Hants EA on 2012-02-22 16:14:24

@IO

A poor example but you're sticking with it eh?

The Landlord and Tenant Act couldn't be any clearer, particularly where sanitation is concerned. The Tenant has a right to take a dump in his own house. If the Landlord has fitted dodgy plumbing, that's the Landlords problem, he still has to put it right. Local boy or not, the Act would overide a judgement from the 1950's.

Limit the cost to the tenant of installing dodgy services? That landlord sounds like an @rse and the agent would be better advised to politely tell him that.

Funnnily enough a macerator mascerates. Or tries to. They get blocked all the time. It's a terrible system.

Added by spartacus on 2012-02-22 15:42:02

You lot are like seagulls round chips. Using the subject to give FBA a kicking while you get the chance. Pathetic.
FBA is correct and we all know it. I could have friends and family post reviews over a period of time and be at the top of my area in a matter of weeks. That would tell you nothing about my firm other than I have access to lots of emails and ip addresses. You all conveniently ignored the poster that said he had written his own reviews that had got through, effectively destroying the credibility of the site.
I reckon the moron count on EAT is getting bigger by the day.
You know who you are.


Added by london agent on 2012-02-22 15:38:37

@industry observer

It's all about customer experience, not facts of law.
If facts are legally incorrect then having the right to reply would clear that up.

Its amazes me that we have agents out there that think they have a right to be able to take money from customers by telling them how good they are, yet find it hard to accept it when their customer tell them differently!

Added by Industry Observer on 2012-02-22 15:27:26

Yes not a brilliant example – how about these two then?
Tenant reports a swarm of bees has landed in a rose bush and wants to know what the landlord is going to do about it as she has two young children. Agent tells tenant (correctly Warren v Keen 1954) that this is an “incidence of occupying a property” and it is their problem.

Both kids get stung, tenant goes on Allagents and says “Avoid Bloggins & Co they don’t care they let my kids fall into harm’s way” or similar tripe.

Or the classic tenant’s guest turns the knob the wrong way on the washing machine and causes a breakdown needing a call out repair totalling £100. Had there not been any instruction booklet, safety instructions etc then tenant could disclaim liability. But there were full instructions – so the tenant is liable.

@ Hants EA

I sincerely hope you are an estate agent only and don’t do lettings as you clearly do not know where liabilities and responsibilities lie and will be doing your Landlord clients a disservice. This is as clear a tenant liability as I could give you as an example - and the Landlord is still prepared to limit the cost to the tenant.

Have a good look at section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (and also the Warren v Keen judgement by Lord Denning, a good Hampshire man if ever there was one. Better study the Defective Premises Act 1972; Occupiers Liability Acts 1957 and 1984 and of course the HHSRS Regulations while you are at it.

Saniflow macerator yes poor example – but Hants EA do you know what a macerator actually does. Hence why a 1” pipe should be more than sufficient. The one I recently experienced was in a hotel 2nd floor bedroom so hardly below the level of the mains sewer!!

@Transparent Agent

Looks like others have done the research for me and said it all.See Wed 12.59 and 13.01

@Sue

Thanks had forgotten the accomplice after the fact angle

Final word. One of the key questions on the dreaded Unfair Deposits questionnaire was "Have you ever had any part of a deposit withheld" and another" Did you think this was fair?"

That led to TDP - need I say more on unregulated comment?

Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-22 15:24:44

Does level of stock have any bearing on having happy clients???? If they have the least amount of stock maybe they sold it all and thats why they got good reviews? :0)
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-22 15:20:45

"If I promoted this site actively with my current Happy Landlord base, Happy tenant base and Happy ‘sold’ Vendors list" How do you measure and compile this list FBA?
Added by GUILTY on 2012-02-22 15:16:35

@ fun boy agent

"They will not get noticed by the public unless YOU promote them, BEWARE, don't do it"


I guess you definitely DO have something to hide!

The sooner your exposed the better!



Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-22 14:53:29

I looked a bit further and found exactly what I thought would be the case. ON THEIR WEBSITE

Over 150 agents in the area.

One agent has over 30 5* star reviews, no negative.

Another agent has 10 5* star reviews, no negative.

Of the remaining agents, 9 have comments (1,2 or 3), all negative, mostly letting tenants.

Over 140 agents have no feedback either way.

The agent with most positive reviews has just about the least stock available on Rightmove. Totally disproportionate to level of reviews.

If I promoted this site actively with my current Happy Landlord base, Happy tenant base and Happy ‘sold’ Vendors list, just going back through the books for 3 months, I would without doubt be number 1 in the area. In fact, I believe I could challenge Streets Ahead for top spot.

I have no intention of promoting this site though. It is a nonsense.

Please do not fall for these scare tactic marketing attempts that these folks are using via EAT to get the house buying and house letting public to become aware of their existance.

They will not get noticed by the public unless YOU promote them. BEWARE,

Don’t do it.
Added by SteveFromLeicester on 2012-02-22 13:50:39

Once again I find myself agreeing with Industry Observer.

Perhaps IO didn't quote a brilliant example but his point is absolutely spot on. Most complaints on AllAgents about letting agents are either "The nasty agent didn't give me my deposit back" or "The nasty agent didn't carry out repairs / maintenance to my property". If you don't believe me have a look for yourself.

As anybody "in the trade" knows, both of these "complaints" are highly unlikely to be the fault of the agent.

I'm not an estate agent so I haven't looked at estate agent reviews but I bet there is stuff like "The nasty estate agent allowed me to be gazumped" from people who don't understand that an agent is legally bound to pass a higher offer to the vendor etc.

As I've said before, if AllAgents provided some guidance to would-be complainers about the proper remedies open to them (e.g. Alternative (deposit) Dispute Resolution Schemes, HHSRS etc) along with an explanation of what the agent's job really is (as opposed to "professional blame-taker" which is what many people think an agent's job is) then the site could actually provide a valuable service.
Added by sue on 2012-02-22 13:42:35

AC -

Websites protected only if they don't moderate either. otherwise they are deemed to be editors and therefore responsible for the content on their site.
Added by Jimmy on 2012-02-22 13:13:21

IO, HantsEA is right. That was a poor example.

We already see a similar genre in the building industry. Trusting traders etc. The concept is subliminaly promoted by watchdog style documentaies on the tv. The websites make money with subscriptions. However the trader is portrayed posiitively, the clue being in the word "trust". Where Estate Agents fall down with this model is their own self generated badwill. If agents have bad reputations, please don't blame that on malicious posters.

Although this is not an easy service to regulate, it will ultimately succeed or fail based on public demand. Write your own good reviews if you want. It isn't the point. You should not seek to suppress this. You should just not support it. You certainly should never entertain paying for it.
Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-22 13:10:13

Hants EA and KC demonstrate admirably the lack of understanding juniors have of where Estate Agency income derives.

Training required for juniors.

Here is the proof. Hants EA and KC.
Added by Wed 13.01 on 2012-02-22 13:03:01

What form does the 'encouragement' to use the reply function take?

Do Allagents advise agents when a new review is posted relating to them? Do they encourage replies in a notification to the agent?

Or is this 'encouragement' merely a paragraph or two in their website somewhere?
Added by Hants EA on 2012-02-22 13:02:25

@IO

I know that the only reason to use Saniflo type pumped drainage is when squeezing in a bathroom where it shouldn't really go. ie below the level of the mains sewer or where the "developer" can't be arsed to run proper pipes. They are terrible.

Making excuses for the tenant? Not excuses really. Just pointing out that it's more likely a problem system rather than a problem tenant. I wouldn't install one in a million years and certainly not in a rental property where I couldn't control the amount of paper used or the density of the logs.

Maintenance is the landlords issue and they should deal with it instead of penny pinching. A negative review in this instance would be totally justified in my opinion.

If they were to review along the lines of:

"En-suite toilet broke three times during my tenancy, letting agent tried to charge me £300 for the privilege, reckonned I was "mis-using" the toilet, bunch of spivs".

Where's the problem?
Added by Wed 12,59 on 2012-02-22 13:00:33

Why would any agent want to respond to an anonymous posting, without some evidence that the poster is or was actually their client....?

Added by transparent agent on 2012-02-22 12:54:47

@ industry observer
You should really do your research first (or at least visit the website) before you make judgement or comments.

The website not only has a right to reply, but Allagents encourage agents to use it, even if it's just to say thanks.

If agents can't/ won't use the right to reply, then that speaks volumes of them.
Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-22 12:49:32

If this were a site that invited comment from genuine Landlords or genuine Vendors who had either let or sold through Estate Agency practices then it would have huge credibility.

While it invites comment from all and sundry it is nothing more than a poisonous monster.

If posters who disagree with me feel such a site in it's current form is good I am fine with this, no need to try and slate me.

I have my opinions on this site, what it is for (making the owners money), their route to market (through estate agents), the value to our industry (none), the relevance to local Landlords and Vendors (none) and the potential danger to both your business and mine (plenty).

These are my opinions, I am clear on this point.

I would like to be wrong and join your applause of this concept but it is sadly a vipers nest for tenants who will have been asked to go, failed on application etc and for buying applicants who will get gazumped, have vendors withdraw on them, etc.

It is totally flawed as a concept.
Added by Industry Observer on 2012-02-22 12:41:50

@HantsEA

I am ashamed you are in the same glorious county as me your post is so offensive on so many fronts.

First no-one is more in favour of free speech than me. Second no-one can teach me anything about customer service or very few can anyway, and no-one sets higher standards than I do in that respect. Which is why I will also always praise when I get good service anywehere - and let managers and regional managers know too.

But what I do demand is honesty and transparency. I have not visited this site and have no wish to and would get no benefit from it, but here is an idea for you. Why don't posters use their real name and at least the property address as they are naming the agent?

Honest and justified criticism and which can be responded to I have no issue with at all.

But I will guarantee you that the vast majority of the negative posts on Allagents (and similar sites) are probably well wide of the mark. Remember there are two sides to every story and any site visitor is only seeing one of them.

In terms of the specific macerator problem you are, litterally, talking out of your arse and have no idea what the property history is. Are you now making excuses for the tenant?

They knew how to use or not use it as did their guests and visitors so there is no excuse.

Personally I think your views are falling between stools!!!
Added by Hants EA on 2012-02-22 12:19:03

@IO

I find it incredible that you believe punters should not be allowed to air their views. In what other walks of life would you like to see free speech regulated and by whom? In which other industries should consumers experiences be silenced?

It's a good job that you are in your twilight years. Information and opinion about anything is available at the click of a mouse. Something we just have to get used to.

As for the example I think that the LL has tried to squeeze in an en-suite where it shouldn't really go in order to maximise rent. Saniflo type sytems as chosen are notoriously bad and this is not the tenants fault. Not in a million years.

I mean a proper flush, gravity and water pressure sometimes struggle to deal with my stools. I dread to think what a poxy pump and 1 inch pipe would make of them.

Added by IO on 2012-02-22 11:45:11

AC

You misunderstand - it is the original poster that is libellous and to be sued.

But I think you are wrong in one key sense. If the victim can show to the site that the original posting was a malicious falsehood and the site continues to display it then they will be liable also.

Not my specific area of the Law but this action has a name almost akin to guilt by association, or allowing an offence to be perpetrated etc.

Publish and be damned (or sued) applies to the web as well.
Added by Industry Observer on 2012-02-22 11:41:26

Dear me Ray Evans agreeing with me whatever next?!! Actually I saw the accusation against you elsewhere and thought it wrong!!

I just cannot believe what I am reading here - agents actually thinking this sort of site is a good thing? You must be barmy.

FBA - you were right first time, Landlords AND tenants are clients for letting agents, though in different ways legally and contractually I accept, and of course vendors AND buyers.


I am long in the tooth, and have been dealing with complaints, usually at a senior and serious level, for the best part of 40 years - initially for a building society and the last 20 years in lettings. I can tell you to things for near certainties.

1. No amount of customer loyalty will survive a 2% discount (Peter Drucker management guru I think)

2. You can not only not please most of the people most of the time, it is damned hard to please any of the people some of the time.


I find it incredible some of the things tenants (and Landlords) complain about when very often they have either been creators of their own problem or have totally misunderstood (and usually not appreciated) rectifying efforts made for them by the agent or landlord.

I will give you a prime example referred to me only this morning.

Macerator in property, tenant has broken it for the THIRD time finally for good. Landlord has paid previous two occasions, this time feels £510 for replacement and new unit is too much. But will discount for betterment and seeks probably no more than £300 from tenants.

Reasonable don't you think?

There were signs like in a hotel warning how to use (or not misuse) a macerator, and it was in the inventory and in the letters sent after first two repairs.

So is it fair if this tenant, who is now ignoring all attempts to contact them to discuss this (because it is in an ensuite and they have a main bathroom to use) posts on Allagents because they have been 'ripped off' by the landlord/agent who are also trying to find cheaper quotes anyway.

It would be a classic example - I could probably provide hundreds more.

You tell me and excuse the pun but this is the crap, inappropriate type posting you'll get here. Whoever posts praise - very rare.

The only posters of this sort of thing should be Regulators like TPO posting resultys of their impartial findings. Not subjective cheap shots from actual punters.
Added by Anonymous Coward on 2012-02-22 11:34:17

Websites are protected from issues of libel as long as the comments made do not belong to them AND they do not edit them in any way.

As soon as they edit or delete comments, they are potentially responsible for all comments made on the site and liable for libel charges.

Consider EAT here and the fact that some comments do get removed, but only in extreme circumstances.

SO...

If a bad/ fake review is put up on AllAgents, it is unlikely to get removed without a court order, because their business model cannot afford to take the risk.

Big Smile
Added by AceofSpades on 2012-02-22 11:31:00

We all know that they collate 'dodgy' information. It's zero surprise that they are now releasing these stats to show the 'best' and the 'worst' for their own PR.

Outside of EAT, have any of your clients mentioned them to you? Have you seen any marketing campaigns?

We have all the bells and whistles a market could ever need at the moment, yet the most powerful review is "word of mouth" - always will be.

If number 12 rave about you to number 11, number 11 have pretty much made their mind up by the time they need an agent.

Don't worry about this gold rush get rick quick scheme.
Added by on 2012-02-22 11:23:54

I second that! Fun Boy, your comments are well out of order and it is clear that you should have a good long hard think at your own business practices or get out of the game!
Added by Chas on 2012-02-22 11:18:12

Fun Boy

If you treat people with respect and professionalism then, even if they don't "get what they want", they will still appreciate dealing with you.
Judging by your posts on here, I suspect the reason you are getting so many negative reviews is because you act like a bit of a d!ck.
Added by Hants EA on 2012-02-22 11:07:46

@Fun Boy Agent

My agency will be up there like most others, probably with one or two rusty old reviews from 2008, like most others.

I am not worried. Feedback is to be embraced not sued out of existence. Sunlight is the best disinfectant etc. etc.

Your attitude belongs 30 years ago but times have changed my friend. Welcome to the digital age!
Added by spartacus on 2012-02-22 11:01:38

@DH
This site gives the rouge agents we are trying to stamp out a chance at bad mouthing their competitors. It also give rouge agents an area where they can make false claims about themselves misleading the public more than they already do.
What you are seeing here is critisism of THIS site. Not the concept.
Added by DH on 2012-02-22 10:52:19

@hants EA

Your are spot one! The only agents that are running scared here are the ones that have for so long managed to keep their dodgy business practices out of the limelight!

Its about time agents worked together to help the industry get rid of rogue agents once and for all.

Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-22 10:50:47

ooops, Landlords and vendors, these are your customers KC

correction, sorry.
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-02-22 10:49:28

FBA - just in case you did not see my post yesterday....I never recall saying i had extensive knowledge of the EA industry...thats one of the reasons why i come here. I'm getting there slowly....but i have said i am a very experienced negotiator...i am.

But Its funny the word you use for me (and others) is exactly what some of my clients (and therefore EA clients) call estate agents.....i try very hard to persuade them otherwise.....agents have a role to play and should be compensated for this but........exactly what that role is and how much to pay is the question.

A question for you, do you always pay the price on the ticket? If i was on a crusade to reduce the fees and improve service from property portals and i was succesful would i still be a parasite to you?

Apologies to all for this being slightly off topic and a repost
Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-22 10:26:36

Hants EA,

Post the name of your agency here, have 10 readers of EAT post negative, non true, rubbish reviews of your agency performance on it. You can report back in a month or so.

If you truly are not worried about this, do it. Put up or shut up.

KC, I believe in your year in the business you are yet to grasp who your customers are. They are your landlords and tenants.

99% of the posters on this crap site will be tenants and or applicants who did not get what they wanted. They will vent their frustration on this site.

The entire concept is totally flawed.
Added by Hants EA on 2012-02-22 10:20:18

@KC

I agree with you totally.

Any firm who feel threatened by customer reviews must honestly know that they are a cr@p business offering a shoddy service.

Most people will consult reviews when they buy stuff. The internet makes it easy. Why do EA's feel so scared?
Added by driver on 2012-02-22 10:19:26

Well one thing is for sure, if Romans win their best estate agent awards then no one can ever say they it's because they were cheating and wrote their own reviews .

Look at how serious they are taking it

http://www.romans.co.uk/EmailTemplates/Feedback_Request_Lettings_All_Agents.html
Added by Ray Evans on 2012-02-22 10:05:20

@IO on 2012-02-22 09:37:00

I have not agreed with everything you have posted previously but I do on this.

To those who think their business is being adversely affected demand the info. And if applicable SERVE the legal papers on the individual. Then watch the publicity!
Added by the name is sue the game is libel on 2012-02-22 09:52:29

@kc might be a good idea but i think the site itself is awful and biased towards their 'transparent ahents'. fun boy agent is right - they are trying to use us to get to their consumer base which is why 'transparent agents' (i bet they are ALL in the top 500!!) must put allagents logo on their site. tripadvisor can do best 500 and worst 500 in the world since its TRAVEL but someone using an agent doesnt need to know who the best and worst in uk is if none are in their area. i dont know about legal position but a group of hotels tried it against tripadvisor and failed but think its to do with how relaxed america is about this stuff. If footballers here can get paid out for 'false' (but probably true) accusations of having affairs im sure there is something that can be done.
Added by Andy Smith on 2012-02-22 09:49:57

KC...

I agree with these websites and welcome them if only they were honest and could assure all concerned that everything is above board.

I get the feeling that this website is chasing targets to become rich quick. In order to do this they need to do things the wrong way.
Added by Andy Smith on 2012-02-22 09:39:41

To test the sites credibility I posted 3 reviews for my own agency and they were all accepted.

The reviews are real which I copied from another review site, but I posted them on allagents using my own company e-mail addresses.

Like I said they were accepted, so it shows how easy it is to make them up for yourself.
Added by KC on 2012-02-22 09:38:12

Am I the only agent that approves of these review websites? From a customer's perspective, I think its a very good idea to have these review websites. So many times, businesses take the p1ss with their customers and its a good way to make things right IMO.

However, I think that they should let agents comment on the reviews aswell to justify any errors or fake reviews.

I have been in the lettings industry for about a year now and have encountered many other agents. I have to say that I have encountered several dodgy/ cowboy type estate agents from Directors of small companies to HR Managers of "corporate" agents. Lots of cowboys and car salesman types which we need to get rid of.
Added by IO on 2012-02-22 09:37:00

Actually have just remembered - the information would have to be divulged if it was needed in order to serve Court papers to commence legal proceedings.

Can't remember the name of the Statute at the moment but it will come to me. That is the route for any victim of this site - demand the source contact details on basis of needing them to serve legal papers.
Added by Industry Observer on 2012-02-22 09:34:50

Dave stop it - next thig you'll be spelling your name all lower case!!

I am an IT dimwit but even I could create an email address that Allagents would not be able to trace back to my own firm.

Sites like this are a complete waste of time - anyone who saw the TV prog on Trip Advisor and the lunatics that start their B&B stay by examining the loo brush and claiming they could get Legionnaires Disease from water left in a kettle (more likely if they drank the loo brush holder's contents!!) knows these things have to be taken with a huge pinch of salt.

Libel is the correct description and if an agent demanded to know the source of a review I am not sure Data Protection would make this privileged information that Allagents is entitled to withhold - same with the sites that ask punters to rate their Landlord.

Or for adverse comments on tenants
Added by James on 2012-02-22 09:24:10

What is the legal position regarding any review site?

Be them for agents, restaurants, hotels etc

Where does the business in question stand if they want their business removing ???
Added by Ian on 2012-02-22 09:21:05

Have asked them a number of times to take our agency and 1 fake review off. Still not done. Reporting them to trading standards when I get a mo.
Added by the name is sue the game is libel on 2012-02-22 09:20:03

Who is REALLY going to go through a list of 1000 agents? customers aren't going to look if they are in town x but all the ranked agents are elsewhere. And if you are looking through the bottom 500 i can only imagine you are doing so for a good old laugh rather than actually wanting to find out about agents. this site is a DISGRACE i have asked numerous times for my listing to be taken down due to FAKE comments about my company. i really cant wait for the day when we all band together and bring a class action suit for libel and shut them down for good because they are publishing information without our consent. footballers and politicians sue the dailies all the time for running undesirable stories about them i dont see this as any different.
Added by Dave on 2012-02-22 09:19:23

This happened in Japan, you mark my words.
Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-22 09:14:06

Scare tactic.

This is simply a PR device to entice Estate Agents to promote this abomination to their customer bases.

There is no other way these leeches can get to their target market.

Do this at your peril
Added by spartacus on 2012-02-22 09:02:33

'based on what the site insists is entirely genuine customer feedback.'

Not even close to the truth.
Added by z cars on 2012-02-22 07:04:47

dreadful, about time something was done about this.

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