TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 02, 2016) - HomeStars, the leading online community connecting homeowners and home improvement professionals in Canada, has announced a significant overhaul to its contractor scoring system, providing homeowners with more relevant hiring information than ever before.

Previously, a contractor's overall rating was simply the average of all homeowner reviews ever written about them. The new Star Score reflects not just their review ratings but all the information that HomeStars has gathered about each company over the past ten years.

According to Nancy Peterson, Founder & CEO of HomeStars, "Star Score marks the first time HomeStars has provided homeowners with our recommendation of whom to hire. No other review site has gone this far to help consumers separate the best from the rest."

The Star Score ranges from 0 to 100% and is now displayed beside a star atop each company's page. It replaces the average rating out of ten that was used previously. Each contractor's Star Score is based on a proprietary algorithm that's constantly updated in real time and is based on their performance on four key measures:

Average Rating. The foundation of the new scoring system continues to be the published reviews written by homeowners about their home improvement experiences -- good, bad or indifferent. But reviews written more recently by frequent users are now weighted more heavily.

For example, a review that was written five years ago by a one-time user has much less importance than a review written last week by a trusted, gold-badged Star Reviewer. By weighting some reviews more than others, a contractor's rating is no longer simply the average of all reviews ever written about them.

Review Recency. This measures the time since the company last had a review published. The rate at which recency starts to affect a contractor's rating varies by category -- in the same way that duration of their jobs vary.

For example, if a plumber who can do several jobs each week has not had a new review in six months, their Review Recency rating is in the red (as shown in the multimedia image above), since their recent work has not been reviewed. Conversely, if a custom home builder who might be working on a single job for several months is reviewed less frequently, it will not lower their Star Score.

Reputation takes into account whether a contractor has ever attempted to post a fake review or bullied homeowners to remove a negative review. HomeStars has a zero-tolerance policy on review tampering and homeowner bullying.

The consequence of such inappropriate behaviour is that a company's score is lowered immediately. If the company continues tampering or other negative behaviour, its score will continue to drop. If, however, the company refrains from negative behaviour, the adjustments made to its Star Score will fade over time as its good reputation builds.

Responsiveness measures how responsive companies are to homeowner requests. Companies that are actively engaged on the site will score higher than companies that are less responsive to customer enquiries or reviews.

According to Tom Brookes, Director of Business Intelligence at HomeStars, "Star Score is a four-dimensional algorithm that uses ten years of reviews and internal intelligence to assign a score to each company that helps our readers make the most informed hiring decisions."

For more information on the new Star Score, please refer to the HomeStars blog.

About HomeStars

Celebrating its 10th year, HomeStars is the leading online community connecting homeowners and home improvement companies in Canada. It's a free service helping homeowners find reputable professionals through its database of two million companies and hundreds of thousands of reviews. Homeowners write reviews based on their home improvement experiences -- both good and bad -- to help others make better hiring decisions. The integrity team at HomeStars validates every review before it is published. Founder & CEO Nancy Peterson is on the global ISO committee to create standards for Online Consumer Reviews that will improve the quality of reviews and protect consumers against fraudulent practices. To learn more, visit @HomeStars on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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