Frequently Asked Questions for Corporate Organizations
Welcome to our FAQs page for companies and organizations. Our goal is to anticipate and answer the most common questions you might have about Rate It Green and your Corporate/Organizational Account. If there is a question we have not answered, let us know!
- Why Register your Company with Rate It Green?
- Do I have to Register as an Individual Community Member?
- How do the two Membership Types differ?
- Is a Basic Membership really Free?
- How is it that my Company might Already be Listed in the Rate It Green Directory?
- What are your Listing Criteria for green building products or services?
- What if we Receive a Review that is Not Positive, or that We do Not Agree with?
- Can Companies Provide Ratings/Testimonials for other companies?
- What if I wish to change/edit a rating?
- Can we ask our clients to rate/review our products and services?
- Can we rate our own products and services?
- Who are Rate It Green's Visitors and Members, and What Information are they Generally Seeking?
- What is different about Rate It Green?
- What is your business model?
- How can our company get more involved?
Q: Why Register and List your Company with Rate It Green?
A: Registering allows us to provide our Visitors and Members with more complete information about your organization and any products and services you might offer. The information you provide assists people and organizations in their in their search for environmental products, services, and knowledge. All community members will learn more, and we can better help connect them to you! Registering is easy. Once you create an account, you can create a Company Profile and then Authorized Company Representatives can log in at their convenience and submit products, services, and other items into the Rate It Green Directory/database. Select company information is then available to the public as a part of your Company's Profile. However, individual employee names remain a part of a company's confidential information. And while upgraded listings support further site development, Rate It Green's Basic Listing will always remain free.
Q: Can I also Register as an Individual Community Member? (And, do I have to?)
A: Yes, you must now register as an Individual Member first to become the Administrator for a Corporate Account. This lets us serve our members much better overall. Benefits include reducing duplicate information, transferring accounts more easily between administrators, and more flexible and powerful records generally.
It is fine to complete the company registration and limit your personal participation in the site. Please do keep in mind that you and other Authorized Representatives are representing your company/organization on the site if you post any information publicly while logged in as a registered company. Your name will not appear but the site will show the following identity with all Corporate site submissions: "[Company Name] - Company Representative."
Q: How do the two Membership Types differ if I have one main account?
A: First, they don't really differ. You have one main account, which is your personal records. While we appreciate it if you become an active Individual Member of the site and complete all of the information available, there are whole sections of optional information you are not obligated to provide. Once you have completed the minimum account creation requirements, you can list companies and their items within the directory. Toggling back and forth between your individual Identity and the company you represent is easy - simply click on the "Use Site as:" message at the top right of every page when you are logged in.
Once an individual completes all registration pages, he or she can take full advantage of the benefits offered within the Rate It Green community. These activities include but are not limited to completing ratings/reviews within the Rate It Green Directory and posting on any public forum or board. To protect their privacy, all Individual Community Members create a unique Name and User Identity where they can choose how much of their identity to reveal, or not to reveal.
Companies are always identified by their organizational name (and never an individual name) when someone logged in as the Authorized Representative posts content or otherwise participates on the site. Registered Companies CAN post ratings/reviews and post on our forums. The posts will be identified as “[Company Name – Company Representative].” Please plan carefully before posting content with your company’s name on it.
Q: Is Membership really Free?
A: Basic listings really are and will always be free. However, Rate It Green does offer Enhanced, or Upgraded, listings for a fee. The idea is to create an inclusive community where everyone feels welcome and have a voice. So the free part is really essential to building as robust a community as possible. Companies that see the benefits from their participation and can afford to help support further programming are invited to do so by upgrading their listings and/or otherwise supporting the site financially. This said, there are many ways to get involved that do not cost money.
Q: How is it that my Company might Already be Listed in the Rate It Green Directory?
A: We add products and services into our system from time to time so that members may have basic information about products and services in the green building marketplace until we can provide additional information. These are "limited listings." in place so that our site can be productive for our members while we allow companies time to register. There are three ways a Company or Item (generally a Product or Service) can be listed on the Rate It Green site: 1. Rate It Green Team Members learn about the product or service during our research 2. Community Members suggest items for addition to the site, which Rate It Green will then research and add if appropriate 3. Companies/Organizations register and/or add their own products and services through the registration process. If your company is already listed, you may "take over" this listing by selecting your company name on a form during the registration process. You will be asked to review a list of company names and to select one of these or choose to "Create a New Account." Please contact us if you have any questions. If your company is already listed, registering allows you to provide more current and accurate information to our members so that we can be a more comprehensive resource for them as they search for information about green products and services. In other words, you get to provide the information that we will show our members and guests. Our Limited Listings are very basic precisely because we would like to allow you to present your company and its products and/or services in the way that works best for the organization. For this reason, many companies choose to have their Marketing and Communications personnel fill out this information.
Q: What are your Listing Criteria for green building products or services?
A: Our goal is quite simply to list EVERY green building related product or service out there. If an item is being sold as a green building related item, we want it listed on Rate It Green! It may sound surprising to say this, but we therefore don’t have listing criteria. The idea is to create this inclusive list and get everyone talking. What works best? What needs improvement? We believe that we can create the most helpful resource if we collect as much information as possible and help people share what they know. Keep in mind that this is a peer-review resource – our goal is that we generate enough ratings so that people will get an accurate average sense of what it is like to use and item and to work with a company or organization.
Q: What if we Receive a Review that is Not Positive, or that We do Not Agree with?
A: Keep in mind that the best review is an honest review because it really lets people know what to expect when working with your company. It doesn’t do any good for people and organizations to have expectations that do not match reality as they end up dissatisfied, where they might have been happy if they knew more accurate information heading into the relationship. A review can also provide critical feedback for improving your offerings. Maybe your company has some strengths and some areas where improvement is needed – would you rather not know? Or, would you prefer an opportunity to learn. One way to keep people satisfied is to make sure all of your claims are accurate. Rate It Green has a very strong interest in keeping comments constructive and promoting the growth of the whole industry. And we ask members to take care when posting on the site. But yes, public ratings means letting people offer feedback of what they feel needs to be improved as well as what they feel positively about. If you disagree with a rating and wish to reply, a team member can help you create a reply through the site. As a user-driven site, our moderation is ideally limited because we want to stay neutral and let our members do the talking.
We will of course investigate any situation where company believes a posting is unfair or even malicious. We can not reveal the identity of the user or let the manufacturer communicate directly with him or her offline, but we can investigate the situation and follow up as appropriate. If a comment is obviously inappropriate or if we find that someone works for a competitor or had created a questionable membership, we will edit or remove the comment as appropriate. If the situation is less clear, we will ask the user for more clarification and may suspend the rating meanwhile. Unfortunately, there will be times that someone makes a negative comment and believes it to be accurate. Our registration process provides one protection for members with items in the Rate It Green Directory/database. People who take the time to complete this process are more likely to be active and thoughtful community members.
Q: Can Companies Provide Ratings/Testimonials for other companies?
A: Absolutely! We originally were not planning to have companies provide testimonials, and these turned out to be some of our best early reviews. If there’s a company you enjoy working with, give them a shout out!
Q: What if I wish to change/edit a rating?
A: You can edit a rating, but you need to do this through a Rate It Green Administrator. Once content is posted of this type, we want to be very careful about modifying it and just make sure changes are consistent. For example, it may not make sense to edit a year-old review that many people viewed, and perhaps in that case we might work together to come up with a better idea for conveying a perceived change in item quality. Our team will work as hard as possible to balance the needs of all community stakeholders in this kind of a situation.
Q: Can we ask our clients to rate/review our products and services?
A: Yes! We encourage our Member Companies to reach out to their clients and ask for testimonials and reviews. This is great for your company as well as for Rate It Green as it builds the community for all of us. Please just let your clients know about the registration process they will be asked to complete to be able to post ratings/reviews on the site. No one likes to be surprised.
Q: Can we rate our own products and services?
A: We do not allow companies to rate/review their own items. For more information about our Ratings/Reviews generally, see our Directory FAQ page.
Q: Who are Rate It Green’s Visitors and Members, and What Information are they Generally Seeking?
A: Rate It Green welcomes everyone interested in green building to be a site Visitor or Community Member. Individual Members might be architects, engineers, contractors, designers, property owners or educators and their students learning about green building, or they might wish to share their knowledge to make it easier for others who are following in their steps.
Member Companies with green building products and services are likely seeking to post accurate listings to provide information for future clients. Other companies might be looking to learn more before adopting green building items or services, or to share their expertise.
The Green Building Industry is a rapidly growing field and is expected to constitute a $135 billion dollar market by 2015 (McGraw Hill, 2012). Our Members understand current building trends in energy and resource consumption are simply not sustainable, and they believe we can and should do better. They are also eager to take part in a market that can clearly be a leader and cornerstone of a shift to a green economy. Questions Rate It Green Individual Members want to explore include: Which green solutions are superior, and which need improvement? Which products are manufactured more responsibly? Which products are the easiest and safest to install and use? Which products can be recycled or reclaimed efficiently? And, which products are the most cost effective? In sum, what do people shopping for more sustainable products need to know? And, how can we each do our part to increase the momentum of the green building movement, as well as help manufacturers and service providers know what they can do better? Corporate Members are likely eager to know how best to meet the needs of their target markets. They can show off their offerings and gain valuable feedback through our Directory and ratings/reviews. They can also participate in engaging discussions through our online forums.
Q: What is different about Rate It Green?
A: Two of our top goals at Rate It Green are to create the largest green building directory and to become THE peer-review resource for the green building industry. If we can accomplish these goals, we believe we can achieve the greatest impact for all Members and Visitors.
Rate It Green differentiates itself from other current directory resources in providing a portal and in trying to connect as many people as possible to help continue the expansion of the green building industry. We want Rate It Green to be a comprehensive and open resource, so we determined that Individual Membership and our Basic Corporate Listings would always be free. This decision allows us to be all inclusive and to retain a sense of neutrality. This is also a key distinction between us and some other directory sites that charge and therefore may not list as many resources. Finally, we are connectors more than we claim to be experts. It is our members who will be judging products and not the Rate It Green management team. A top goal is to connect these people who can both share their expertise and ask for the information they need. And further, we wish to help these people and organizations find the products and services they are looking for.
Distinctions include: Rate It Green invites everyone in the green building community to join our community, from students and consumers to experts. Rate it Green offers one of the largest and most comprehensive green building directories. Rate It Green includes both products and services on the site and both commercial and residential products and services. Rate It Green offers a space for people to share thoughts and comments about products and services they have experience with. Put simply, we believe that the more information we can help create and help people find, the more the whole market benefits.
Joining Rate It Green is FREE and will always be free. Our team is proud of this distinction because remaining a free community allows us to include more people at the table who might otherwise not have a place and a voice.
Q: What is your business model?
A: Impact is #1 at Rate It Green. Based on our own experiences trying to find experience-based advice on green building materials, we decided that this resource was needed and could have a substantial impact in time, regardless of potential financial opportunities. It was therefore easy for us to make a commitment to free Individual Membership and free Basic Corporate Listings early in the development process. Though our mission is socially positive, Rate It Green is technically and currently a self-funded for-profit business. Rate It Green does accept advertising and sponsorship which can support some of the costs of developing this resource for the green building community. We take care to make the difference between editorial and advertising content quite clear, and there are pages where we determined that it is not appropriate to advertise. A large part of our future business model relies on being able to create valuable demographic information (anonymous – we never sell, rent or otherwise share private information) that describes the green building industry and can help predict future needs and trends. However, a strong demographic database information may take some time to develop.
Q: How can our company get more involved?
A: While we of course welcome advertising and sponsorship support, there are many ways to get involved with Rate It Green that do not cost money and are quite helpful. Top Corporate/Organizational opportunities include:
- Registering your company
- Adding products and services in the Directory/database
- Inviting clients to provide ratings/testimonials for your company
- Encouraging other colleagues and companies to get involved
- Rate/review other companies you have worked with
- Become an active in Discussions and Groups
- Share your expertise in some way (comments, feedback, up to site moderation and beyond!)
Similarly, top Individual opportunities include:
- Register and complete our membership process
- Post ratings/testimonials about products and services you have worked with
- Become an active Group and Discussion Member
- Tell your friends about Rate It Green!
- Share your expertise
- Consider becoming a Rate It Green Advisory Member (e.g. offering opinions, moderating forums, answering member questions)
- Send us suggestions and feedback any time
Your participation and ideas are always welcome.
Site Use and Policies: When you register with Rate It Green, you agree to be bound by our User Agreement and Site Usage Policies. Please review these policies carefully to make sure you understand your opportunities and obligations as a Community Member. Rate It Green is a community of people committed to making the world a better place by expanding the green building materials and design markets. As such, we expect members to act and communicate in an appropriate and constructive manner towards each other. Rate It Green reserves the right to take actions as appropriate in our discretion including but not limited to the editing of postings, removal of postings, or even the revocation of membership if company policies and community norms are violated.