Kirk Fournier of Sutton Group Quantum Oakville in Oakville, Ont. has been named the top agent in Canada for 2020 by Rate-My-Agent.com. The review site analyzes all the ratings and reviews on the site to compile a list of the Top 100 Real Estate Agents in Canada.

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“Unlike other agent ranking sites, agents can’t pay to have negative reviews removed or hidden and cannot pay to be included on the list of top-rated agents,” says Rate-My-Agent in a news release.

The company won’t disclose exactly how it verifies reviews “to protect the integrity of the process,” but it says “there have been many attempts by agents to game the system and rankings, which is why we keep our algorithms a closely held secret.”

This year the company has started penalizing agents caught cheating.  “It’s not fair to the agents who earn their reviews honestly, so we implemented a penalty system.”  As some agents have suggested, cheating should be reported to provincial regulators.

Kirk had 102 reviews and a “success ratio” of 100 per cent. Agents are rated on knowledge, professionalism, responsiveness, usefulness of website, value of service, marketing reach and lead generation, and home prep and staging advice.

Second place went to Amy Assaad of Royal LePage Du Quartier, Montreal.

The rest of the top 10 agents are:

3. Kate Broddick, Sutton, Brantford, Ont.

4. Jennifer Queen, Re/Max Professionals, Winnipeg

5. Mitch Stretch, Derrick Stretch Realty, Saskatoon

6. Jamie Swaile, Re/Max Performance, Winnipeg

7. LJ Aguinaga, LJ Immobilier Realties, Montreal

8. Ben Sweet, Meredith Miller and Darren Yee, Re/Max iRealty Innovations, Calgary

9. Stephanie Ostash, Royal LePage Kelowna, Kelowna, B.C.

10. Amber Jenings, Peak Point Real Estate Brokerage, Wiarton, Ont.

9 COMMENTS

  1. These ratings are for the top “reviewed” agents during 2020 per Rate-My-Agent’s questionnaire. Not every happy-or-unhappy-with-his/her-agent completes a review, post transaction. I get requests for reviews after every new car purchase—about every two or three years—from Honda. I’ve always been treated very well by my chosen salesperson, but I don’t always complete the review questionnaire. My ongoing business says it all though.

    I’m wondering how many other excellent Realtors there are out there for whom the rating process does not touch.

    BTW: My car salesperson is very honest, straightforward and, blunt. He is not what one might consider to be a highly personable guy, yet he sells very well. Some might even be turned off by his abruptness. Thus, he might not be a good candidate for high ratings on a questionnaire, depending upon the respondents’ own personality quirks.

    I would never willingly subject myself to a rating agency’s secret logarithms/stacked questionnaire. I suspect that if I were to be subjected to a rating questionnaire from REM readers re my approval rating herein, I would not be anywhere near the top of the heap. Maybe I’d be at the bottom. Don’t care. I don’t opine herein to be popular. I state what I believe to be true at the time. That’s how I operated as a Realtor. I did quite OK. I was happy with my place in the general scheme of things, ratings be damned.

    Ergo, Realtors ought to operate as their consciences’ dictate—if they have same—regardless of whether they will be judged accurately by a for-profit rating czar. If some get pissed at you, as a Realtor, for what you say, assuming it to be the truth, then don’t worry about what an at-arm’s-length rating agency might come up with. Solicited heresay is cheap. Unsolicited recommendations are gold. Don’t fret too much if you don’t make the manufactured cut. Do your best and leave it at that. There can only be one so-called winner in a manufactured contest. That does not mean everyone else is a loser. The market will decide whether one is a successful Realtor, or not…and the market regularly decides that far too many are not…accurately so.

    • Well said Brian. The market ultimately decides. The public also has a right to publish their feedback if they choose to, whether agents ask them to or not.

      • Hi Dave:

        Don’t get me wrong. Of course the public has the right to publish its feedback, solicited or unsolicited. We in Canada aren’t yet censored to the extent that free speech is regularly becoming censored as it is in the U.S. these days. Cancel culture ‘is’ perniciously worming its way into our Canadian sphere of public discourse as we speak, but so far, it’s not as bad as it is south of the 49th. But maybe I’m wrong about that.

        You have started a business that deals with opinions regarding how well a Realtor has treated a client upon the successful closing of a transaction. Thus, those opinions will mostly be positive. ‘How’ positive, is the question. That might simply boil down to how personable the Realtor in question was. Personality often colours how positively one regards another’s efforts, or not.

        I think anyone has the right to start a business model within a capitalist polity as you have done. You saw a niche and went for it. Thats’ what fowrard-looking entrepreneurs do. So, my post was not one designed to undermine your business genre. But speaking for myself, I would not want any kind of rating-agency to impose its opinion of what I am like as a Realtor and, thus, label me accordingly. We all have good days, and not-so-good days. Woe to him/her who gets rated on an off day.

        Your business will likely do well because I believe most Realtors care more about how they are viewed by a grading agency that did I. I didn’t particularly need the money on an ongoing monthly basis when in the field, so I guess that’s the defining difference between me—and others like me—and scores of others who are desperate for those commission cheques…last week. I could afford to be myself, and dispense with the act. I instinctively knew that I would make enough to survive at the very least. Most don’t know that. Thus, for the latter folks, a good rating could be worth something. Therefore, your venture could well serve to make some behave properly more often than they would otherwise. That’s a good thing.

        Maybe you should rate Realtors’ performances in much smaller geographic areas vs Canada-wide. There’s no way your number one person can be that much better, if any better, than scores of others across the country who haven’t been publicly rated.

        Question: Do you publish the names of those at the very bottom of your lists of subject Realtors? If not, why not? If so, good on you. And if you do, are you ready for litigation?

        • Thanks for clarifying Brian. Yes, we have ranked lists for every city with an agent – over 100 cities in Canada. We’ve considered filtering down to neighbourhoods based on the address of the transactions completed.

          To quote you, “your venture could well serve to make some behave properly more often than they would otherwise. That’s a good thing.” We certainly agree and hope that people will let their agent know their expectations at the beginning of their business relationship and let them know they’ll be posting an honest review afterwards.

          Every city and category on the site is ranked, so the agents with the ‘worst’ reviews are at the bottom. We don’t single them out with exposure in the media (Eg. Real Estate Magazine) because, in our opinion, that might be taking advantage of our position.

          Integrity is paramount to the credibility of the platform. Integrity demonstrated by our team, the review verification systems, how the public is treated, the agents, and the content (rankings) we publish.

          We also are not doing this for the pay cheque, Brian. So we’re prepared to put the whole company on the line to defend what is right, by litigation or otherwise.

          • It sounds like you’re on the right track Dave. Best of luck with your venture.

            On another note, your company name “Rate-My-Agent” struck a note with me just a few minutes ago and, it furnished me with a brilliant idea. Maybe you could create a spin-off business, registered as “Rate-My-Book”. To wit: You could start with a fantastic, recently-completed Sci-Fi adventure novel entitled…

            “Riley Youngblood and the Passport to Santalamanchia”.

            It’s a story about a hell-bent-for-leather fourteen-year-old kid who finds a strange passport and subsequently hitches a ride into another dimension of reality by way of Harry Macivor and his Hot Rod Taxi from Hell. They shoot through the Hole-In-The-Wall, then the Reality Barrier, whereupon things get very wild for young Riley. But he’s a wily kid in possession of too much nerve, a teen who knows not how to give in to dangerous over-bearing tyrants of another dimension. It’s very well written too, if I must say so myself. It’s available on the Amazon/Kindle ebook site…and it’s cheap. I guarantee you’ll get a real kick out of the story; it’s a real page-turner (says I, the shameless author):-)

            This is my challenge: Take a read…and rate the novel herein, publicly, for better or worse. I trust your judgement. Maybe we can start another new business venture:-) If you think it sucks, I’ll go back into my hole in my mother’s basement, in my bedroom, in the cold room under the front porch, and reload the recently-sprung mousetrap.

            Hint: The first few chapters are devoted to developing Riley’s personality, his character and, his penchant for pursuing outrageous adventures—here on Earth and on the other side—over the status-quo of hiding within the comfortable safety of politically-correct conformity. You just might be surprised at how entertaining the story is (says I immodestly).

            I hereby put my novel-writing reputation on the line.

            Bet’cha didn’t think you’d get a reply like this, did ya?

  2. But …. I think agents can stop publication of negative reviews (NB no money paid) because -in my one experience w a very bad review that was either a bad joke or a disgruntled “someone”- I was sent the review by email and asked to comment on it. I stated it was false and it wasn’t published. Maybe that is unique. But the promo only says “cannot PAY to delete negatives” . Perhaps a bad word choice … but perhaps purposeful.

    • Thanks for your comment Robert. Rate-My-Agent.com has a triple verification process for the reviews and that process is independent of agents’ requests. That means reviews are verified regardless of the agent requesting it or not and both positive and negative reviews are verified. The first step of the process is for the reviewer to confirm by email that their review is true, accurate, and that they take legal responsibility for it. The two other verification steps involve moderating the comments to ensure they adhere to our policies and auditing the reviews for patterns that help us identify fake reviews.

      What you’re describing doesn’t make sense as a process. My guess is that you’re making some assumptions that there were no other processes involved on the part of Rate-My-Agent.com, which is not true. We do require that the person who posted the review agrees to take legal responsibility for their review. If they’re not willing to do that or do not provide a legitimate email to confirm their legal responsibility, then the review will be removed.

      Our process is not perfect but we put a lot of effort into consistently improving it so that buyers and sellers can trust the reviews to help them find the best agent for them. There will be more improvements in the coming year.

      • Robert – I did a search on our email system and did not find any emails with your name. I also searched for your name on our site and did not find any profile that matches. Maybe you’re thinking of some other site?

  3. Thanks for publishing this! Last year we had a few comments so I thought I’d put a note here saying that we’ll be monitoring this for the next week or so to reply to any comments that are posted.

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