(Even if you don’t agree with everything I write, I hope you enjoy reading this frequently-updated blog. If so, please vote www.propertynewshound.com in this poll promoted by Primelocation here. Thank you)
There has been a spate of recent stories about social media democratising the process of reviewing and critically analysing everything from prostitutes to theatre plays, and restaurants to hotels.
This story, and this one, give a flavour of how established (and establishment) reviews are being outflanked by people using Twitter and Facebook as well as TripAdvisor and the like.
So as a logical extension of this, why are there no serious online public reviews of the performance of estate agents, developers, buying agents, surveyors (and, yes, even property hacks) in their roles as servants of those selling and purchasing homes?
One or two sites have been tried (market commentator Henry Pryor had a go in 2005 with this one for estate agents, and now there is a rather low-key attempt by another former estate agent with this one here, which perverse;y tries to get agents to pay to be rated).
But there is no industry-wide ratings service, free-of-charge and recognised as a service to the public. Why?
Is it because no one wants it, or because the public is happy with how the residential industry performs? Personally, I wouldn’t put money on the latter.
The creation of such a site would immediately win widespread public attention - often a good thing for an industry as a whole, if not the individuals in the eye of any particular storm. Perhaps best of all, it would at least make the industry LOOK more accountable.
No one suggests it should supplant the role of the Ombudsman, let alone any more powerful arbitration service which may one day exist. But it would make the buying and selling business modern and the give the public a voice where it often feels powerless.
If you would like to to comment on this article, click HERE to e-mail Graham.