Mark Armstrong, CEO of RateMyAgent is my guest in this episode – a company that Mark says is often mistaken as a lead generator for agents, but which in fact is a digital marketing business. This is a fascinating story of how Rate My Agent has grown over the past five years from being, of all things, an auction tipping contest website to becoming a listed ASX company valued at $250 million and Australia's largest review site for real estate agents which has now launched in the US. As Mark explains, 99% of the population pretty much Google everything before they purchase anything. And that includes real estate. In this episode, Mark explains how Rate My Agent works to help agents become undisruptable by helping them amplify what we do well and share that with the world regardless of the review platform that it occurs on.
(01:37): Mark gives us the RateMyAgent elevator pitch – and it’s pretty tight!
(02:38): Mark tells the story of how RateMyAgent actually become as an online auction tipping contest.
(03:38): How the automation of auction tipping statistics led to the realisation that they had data showing agent performance, which led to the pivot towards RateMyAgent.
(04:48): Mark explains why reviews are so important to agents and how agents need to provide better proof points to customers to back up their statements about themselves that can be found online.
(08:08): How reviews play into the emotion of home selling and buying.
(09:00): The business model of RateMyAgent. Hint: it is NOT a lead generation model.
(10:07): Mark outlines the digital marketing support that RateMyAgent offers and their uptake.
(11:16): RateMyAgent currently has 80% of Australian agents on its platform and collects a review for one-in-three properties sold across the country each month.
(12:22): How agent response to RateMyAgent has changed over time and why reviews are so important to consumers.
(14:47): How RateMyAgent solves the ‘which review platform should I use?’ problem by integrating all reviews and putting agents in control by connecting reviews to transactions.
(17:01): Mark discusses the issue of whether reviews are out of control.
(18:49): Mark’s advice on how to respond to a bad review.
(23:51): How RateMyAgent supports agents.
(25:15): RateMyAgent is now ASX listed. Mark talks about what that journey was like.
(29:27): Mark talks about joining the REACH program and their expansion to the US and how the person with the most relationships, wins at business.
(30:47): Mark answers the question why the US – which invented reviews – needs an Australian review site.
(34:44): The importance of putting customer perspective first when it comes to reviews.
(38:21): Mark discusses what the future holds for real estate and reviews, including our growing ‘review maturity’.
(43:50): Mark gets out his crystal ball for the future of real estate generally including predictions of a two-tiered real estate model.