Whenever we see a “Best Of” or “Top 10” List, the first thing that crosses our mind is, “best for whom?” If you start reading that list and notice there are not any clear numbers behind it-a study or research-you may end up disagreeing with much of it. That is because we each have our opinions, and when we base a list on subjective aspects, it is impossible to get wide agreement.

For example, take a Top 10 List of restaurants in New York City. If the author based arguments on feeling or dining experience, then the reviews have less value. Even more, the list might be promotional in nature; paid advertising. Another thing to remember: the highest grossing producer does not always equal the best consumer experience.

Our list, however, is based on real facts and real conclusions from real customers. It highlights the important qualities people look for in their realtor: a service-oriented professional with the time and resources necessary to assure their clients the highest level of attention and the best service.

The real estate industry is loaded with tens of thousands of licensed agents who can legally list or show homes. Pierce County alone has over 1,500 agents and the marketplace is saturated. However, buying or selling a house is one of the most important and stressful decisions a person will make. It is natural that clients look for the best agents. And they pay extra attention to service levels and reputation. These are key factors we used to compile the Top 10 Best Real Estate Agents of 2015 for Pierce County.

You have probably noticed many consumer lists for real estate agents based on volume of sales and not on consumer satisfaction and realtor reputation. That is because these details are a lot harder to determine and are based on consumer’s online reviews.

However, considering that 30% of online reviews in various categories are false, we focus on prioritizing third-party-verified reviews (reviews from independent third-party verification organizations like TruWeb Verified). Groups like TruWeb Verified trace all reviews back to the consumer and authenticate that they are from actual consumers who confirm they did business with the agent.

Think of a real estate agent who invested in online advertising but not in their online image. If bad reviews start piling up online, that realtor’s reputation is going to be ruined, causing him to lose clients and listings. The 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey says that star rating is the #1 factor consumers use to judge a business. Considering 92% of consumers read online reviews, it’s pretty obvious online reputation is what makes or breaks a business .

Here is our list of Top 10 Real Estate Agents of 2015 for Pierce County. Third-party-verified reviews exist for three of them. Third-party reviews add an extra layer of credibility having been verified by an independent agency.


  1. Mike Runyan / REMAX Town and Country / Gig Harbor


Mike Runyan has a glowing reputation with buyers and sellers as well as competing agents. Runyan is the only agent that had verified reviews submitted from both agents and clients. He is the managing broker of the office in Gig Harbor and his verified accounts testify to his high level of customer service.

Clients were impressed by his integrity and professionalism, which they described as “without compromise,” while colleagues described him as “the best broker they’ve ever worked for.” With constant attention to details, real passion for what he does, and a genuine interest in his online image, it is easy to put agents like Mike Runyan in the Top 10.

Search Mike Runyans third party verified reviews on Google



  1. Maria Kalafatich / Windermere / Tacoma and Gig Harbor offices


“Maria literally changed our lives” is a pretty strong statement for a client to make about their real estate agent, but that is a verified quote from a Kalafatich client. With an average rating of five stars, Ms. Kalafatich is described as “smart, no nonsense, and diplomatic.” She is also appreciated for being honest and caring about maintaining a good reputation in Gig Harbor. Maria Kalafatich is the kind of real estate agent we all wish to work with, and she definitely deserves her spot as a Top 10 agent. Her willingness to go the extra mile to make a client happy has brought her great recommendations and a strong online reputation.

Search Maria Kalafatich third party verified reviews on Google



  1. Chad Hauer / Keller Williams Realty / Gig Harbor


Chad Hauer managed to rightfully earn his place in the Top 10 Realtors List thanks to “exemplary customer service, professionalism and a proactive approach to marketing properties.” Through third-party-verified reviews, Chad Hauer built a solid online presence as a dedicated real estate agent who proved his integrity in managing transactions and having extensive experience in the field.

Search Chad Hauer third party verified reviews on Google



  1. John Schlanbusch

John Schlanbusch has 23 years of experience in real estate and his clients describe him as “very professional, upbeat, easy to communicate with, always returning calls or email on a timely manner.” He averages a 5-star rating that earned him a spot in the Top 10 real estate agents of Pierce County.




  1. Andy Taylor

At only 34 years old, Andy Taylor has successfully branded his name as a leader in the residential real estate industry in Tacoma. He and his other ten full-time-agents/showing specialists gathered great reviews and a lot of gratitude from clients who managed to quickly buy or sell a home with their help. Andy Taylor is a professional who values client satisfaction.




  1. Ryan Meacham

Averaging a 5-star rating, Ryan Meacham makes a good impression online and is described as “prompt, professional, courteous, patient, and knowledgeable” by clients.




  1. Christopher Seim

Christopher Seim has been involved in every aspect of the real estate buying and selling process. He built a name for himself by going above and beyond selling to offer complete customer satisfaction. He is reviewed as being a knowledgeable and communicative real estate agent. He is highly recommended by many of his clients.




  1. Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams a spot in our Top 10 by partnering with Mark Pinto to create an amazing team. Together, they offer a distinctive client-centered approach that sets them apart from other conventional realtors.  Both agents are described as being “very knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.”




  1. Lisa Carlson

Lisa Carlson made our Top 10 Real Estate Agents List thanks to her fierce loyalty and dedication to providing clients with the best possible experience. She is described as a “dedicated, thoughtful and personable realtor” who “went above and beyond in keeping her clients informed throughout the process” and finding the right home for them.




  1. Cyrus Bonnet

Cyrus Bonnet managed to earn the respect of his clients by showing willingness to help them in making the best decision and providing professional services with a personal approach.




Before choosing your next real estate agent or deciding on another type of business, remember the importance of third-party-verified reviews. The fake reviews phenomenon has grown so large that it is not only affecting businesses, but is causing consumers to think twice before believing a review. To make matters worse, 87% of potential customers won’t even consider a business with low rating, and 40% of them will form an opinion by reading one to three reviews.

Knowing this should make every business realize how the fragile is the nature of online reputation.The image of a company could take a serious hit if they don’t start gaining the customers’ trust through real reviews real customers, verified by third party websites like TruWeb Verified.