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J.D. Power, the market research firm best known for its customer satisfaction surveys of new cars, came out today with its first-ever survey of real estate agents. This has got to be a tough time to do this product launch.
The big winners were Keller Williams, which had the highest rank among home buyers. Prudential scored highest among home sellers. J.D. Power explains that it needs two winners because buyers and sellers are looking for different skills. Buyers want someone who’s available when they call, responsive to problems and helps negotiate a good deal. Sellers want someone who can market their property. Coldwell Banker and RE/MAX also scored highly.
A few interesting stats: Half of all customers found their agents through family or friends. Home buyers were shown an average of 13 houses before making a purchase. Sellers say their homes were shown eleven times.
In the interest of full disclosure, J.D. Power is, like BusinessWeek, a division of the McGraw-Hill Cos. (Although nobody forced me to write this column. I swear.)
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.