Real Estate Agent vs. Client Reviews: Why the Divergence in Opinion?

Nearly all established title companies in the Washington DC market boast a substantial number of online reviews.  However, unlike other service industries, the title industry invites highly divergent review ratings when comparing reviews by real estate agents versus the homebuyers and sellers. For example, take a peak at the Yelp reviews of a few of the largest title companies in the area and you’ll quickly find that homebuyers and sellers are more likely to deliver a scathing 1-star review as compared to a real estate agent who is more likely to deliver a glowing 5-star review.  In other words, clients are more often very dissatisfied with the services of the title company, whereas real estate agents are more often very satisfied.

Why is there such a divergence of opinion?

Among area title companies, this divergence of opinion is most prevalent in the reviews of those title companies who participate in an Affiliated Business Arrangement, or among those who pay real estate brokers for Marketing Service Agreements. So, perhaps the real estate agents are giving the title company a 5-star review not because the title company provides great service to their client.  Rather, that 5-star review could be influenced because the title company supports the agent’s brokerage by participating in a Marketing Service Agreement or Affiliated Business Arrangement.

With all of Yelp’s supposed built-in algorithms, wouldn’t it make sense to filter the 5-star reviews of referral sources whose opinions may be influenced by their company’s business interests? It seems that homebuyers and sellers, the folks paying the title company’s fees, would be better served by the reviews of fellow homebuyers and sellers and not the reviews of referral sources.

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