The team @raterAgent finds over 1 in 6 attempted reviews are fake:

raterAgent’s latest analysis of its website submissions has found that 17% – just over 1 in 6 of all attempted reviews – are efforts by estate and letting agents, or someone that they know, to falsify their or their competitors’ reputation.

“It’s one of the reasons why we welcome the investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into review websites, announced last week,” say Mal McCallion, raterAgent Co-Founder and CEO. “We created raterAgent at the beginning of 2015 to be the place of safety for agents wanting to benefit from independent verification of their genuine customer reviews, untarnished by the rampant cheating that just isn’t caught elsewhere.”
The intentions of the lying agents are also laid bare in raterAgent’s analysis. 78% of the fake submissions are estate and letting agents – or their partners, friends, family or other representatives – 5-star reviewing themselves, whilst 14% are what raterAgent calls ‘1-star bombs’ hurled at a competitor.

“Faking reviews, whether to improve your own online standing or damage someone else’s, is not just a disreputable way to behave – it’s illegal in many instances and we’re volunteering to help the CMA and anyone else that wants to stamp out these practices,” adds McCallion. “We are meticulously building evidence against repeat offenders and there will come a time, I’m sure, when we will have to ‘name and shame’ which agents are continually flouting our rules regarding fake reviews. I’d urge those indulging in it to stop it – and, similarly, those quality agents looking for a review website where they know that everything possible is being done to remove their competitors’ false reviews, to use a trustworthy site such as raterAgent.”

raterAgent uses a ‘triple-lock’ check for fraudulent reviews. A unique algorithm processes every single review against 13 known cheating metrics, including (but not limited to) IP addresses, common fake phrase analysis and the agent’s cheating history, before giving each a grade out of 100 as to how likely it is to be fake. Then a Moderator Team goes through each meticulously, searching social media and electoral roll data – amongst many other factors that raterAgent keeps intentionally secret – for evidence of the reviewer’s existence and any relationship to the reviewee.

The third check is to write to the reviewer of any that are believed to be fake, asking them to prove that they have been involved with the agent. Failure in this results in the submission being marked as ‘fake’ and not allowed onto the site

“We’re building a uniquely trustworthy resource for agents to prove the quality of their service,” says McCallion. “Everyone knows that there are sites out there that facilitate and even positively encourage fake reviewing, mainly for commercial considerations. raterAgent champions trustworthiness because, in the end, that will bring genuine sellers and landlords to the site and enable the best quality agents to win new clients at a stronger fee.”

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

You May Also Enjoy

Rightmove logo
Breaking News

Average first-time buyer mortgage payment up 61% since last election

Rightmove’s latest first-time buyer study highlights that the average first-time buyer mortgage payment has risen by 61% since the last election year of 2019, from £667 to £1,075 per month as rates remain elevated The average first-time buyer mortgage payment has significantly outpaced wage growth, which is up by 27% over the same five-year period…
Read More
Home and Living

Top 4 Indications That Your Two Story Home is in Need of Pest Control

Have you noticed tiny pests crawling around your home? Pests are more than just a nuisance. They can cause damage and spread diseases. If you live in a two story home, it can be even harder to spot the signs of an infestation. Knowing what to look for is the key. In this guide, we…
Read More
Estate Agent Talk

Matching Your Needs: Choosing The Ideal Residential Property Management Services

Owning residential properties can be an excellent investment, but managing them can quickly become hard. From handling tenant issues to maintenance and rent collection, it’s a time-consuming task. Fortunately, there is a solution—property management services. They can handle these tasks for you, freeing you to focus on other priorities. However, with so many options available,…
Read More
Breaking News

Third of Private Renters Are Struggling to Afford Their Rents Says New Research

Over a third of all private renters are finding it difficult to afford their rent according to new research out today. Whilst overall 35 per cent of renters said they were finding it difficult or very difficult to afford their rent, this proportion increased to 56 per cent for those not in work due to…
Read More
Home and Living

Why Select High-Quality Shower Drains for Stunning Wet Room Design

A wet room is a fully waterproofed bathroom with an open shower area, where the floors and walls are designed to handle water exposure. One of the most important aspects to consider when designing a wet room is your shower drain. With a great range of available designs, homeowners and those in the construction industry…
Read More
Breaking News

Bank of England’s decision to hold the Base Rate – Industry Reaction

The Bank of England held interest rates at 5.25% for the seventh time in a row. The decision comes despite official figures yesterday which revealed inflation had fallen to the Bank’s target of 2% for the first time in nearly three years. Here are some thoughts from the property industry.   Rightmove’s mortgage expert Matt…
Read More