Lesson Learned - Who Is Doing Your Online Quality Control

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Barrington Realty Company License: 471.000044
http://actvra.in/4T5Z

I have enjoyed reading the posts so far but was struggling to find a lesson that taught me, until this morning! I am blown away, I have been doing marketing online for years now and here I am admitting to being remiss.

I am using a third party company to create some content for me on another platform, it's a mix of a search engine and a blog with social media overtones. Posts are written with photos to add to the SEO factors. Each post has a series of photos and I get a back link from each one to my main web site.

It's all good, and I also share posts I write on the platform as it is also like other social media platforms, like Twitter and Pinterest to name a few.

On my lazy Sunday morning I decide to have a look at the posts they have written for me this month and imagine my horror to see they have borrowed a photo from someone else. Not only is this a copyright infringement and can get me in big trouble, I am disgusted to find a copyright watermark on some of the photos from a very well known real estate photography company.

Here's one of my photos with my copyright watermark, the one I saw had their information in the same place which was how I knew.

So I get right on the computer and send the owner an email. Does he realize? Who is doing his quality control? What other posts do I have to worry about? All of them? You bet I do.

I should never have assumed the company was doing my online quality control. Stupid, stupid, stupid ME!

A few emails later the company will be redoing all of my content and using the photos I am about to send via Dropbox. For that I am glad because it would take me a long time to check them all.

I should never have assumed that because the platform is some-one elses, that they would be doing quality control that safeguarded me as well as them. Sadly due to poor training, maybe, or maybe she just ignored it, someone is losing their job tomorrow.

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Rainmaker
678,775
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

"search engine and a blog with social media overtones. Posts are written with photos to add to the SEO factors. Each post has a series of photos and I get a back link from each one to my main web site.

It's all good, and I also share posts I write on the platform as it is also like other social media platforms, like Twitter and Pinterest to name a few."

That is good to learn. Thanks for your tip.

Jun 05, 2016 01:41 PM #14
Ambassador
1,657,331
Tammie White
(615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

I'm surprised you didn't get the "it's fair game if it's on the internet" argument. Great catch. BTW, that person should lose their job.

Jun 05, 2016 02:02 PM #15
Rainmaker
480,436
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Nice kudos to your intuition that suggested you go do a look-see.

Better you now, than after a nasty phone call from someone else.

Jun 05, 2016 03:09 PM #16
Rainer
332,078
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH
CRS

Thanks for sharing!!!

Never assume that because the platform is some-one elses, that they would be doing quality control that safeguarded me as well as them. Sadly due to poor training, maybe, or maybe she just ignored it, someone is losing their job tomorrow.

Jun 05, 2016 09:17 PM #17
Rainmaker
912,406
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Wow, good thing you checked! I bet your heart starting beating faster once you saw that first watermark. Good thing they will do the right thing and fix it for you asap.

Jun 05, 2016 09:39 PM #18
Rainmaker
3,380,877
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for sharing the information . I am glad you noticed it and ot it corrected.

Jun 05, 2016 09:47 PM #19
Rainmaker
597,906
Jennifer Mackay
Keller Williams Success Realty - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Fortunately, my web guy and I have been together for many many years - good catch Corinne Guest, Managing Broker 

Jun 05, 2016 10:16 PM #20
Rainmaker
295,867
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Corinne, that is very scary, and an important lesson to share with the rest of us. Thank you for this...

Jun 05, 2016 11:06 PM #21
Ambassador
714,642
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

That's just sad. And one of the reasons I have trust issues farming out my work.

Jun 06, 2016 12:53 AM #22
Rainer
8,309
Juan Lacayo
The Keyes Company - Westchester, FL
I know my neighborhood.

This might help.  If you want to use a picture from the internet go to Google, and type say!... House for sale click on "images", then click on "Search Tools" a new tab browse down then select "usage rights" and select "labeled for Re-use" from the menu down. See illustration below.   OF COURSE CHECK WITH YOUR LAWYER, BROKER, OR LEGAL DEPARTMENT.

Jun 06, 2016 12:55 AM #23
Rainmaker
1,206,723
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Hmm, would have checked just to be sure they are sending things out correctly. Seeing the different pics would have freaked me out also. I saw your posts & didn't see anything or I would have reported it to you BTW.

Jun 06, 2016 05:03 AM #24
Ambassador
783,164
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Corinne Guest, Managing Broker 
Yes, as Managing Brokers - you and I have the same dream - that something we hire out will be done to OUR level of careful oversight!
All the best - Lynn

Jun 06, 2016 12:52 PM #25
Ambassador
3,221,694
Praful Thakkar
Keller Williams Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Corinne Guest, Managing Broker - indeed using copyright material - including pictures - as one's own is a big mistake....

We got to guide them while outsourcing...

Jun 06, 2016 02:50 PM #26
Rainmaker
1,036,868
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

We can't ever assume that someone else will take the same level of care with our business that we do, Corinne ... Even if being paid to "care".

If someone's head rolls because of this, I say rightly so. It also would make me worry about other judgement calls they may have taken or might make moving forward. This error would seem a rather basic concept ...

Jun 06, 2016 08:22 PM #27
Rainmaker
418,764
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL
REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL

Thanks for sharing!  Glad you caught it before it turned into a huge mess!  Excellent lesson for all of us!

Jun 06, 2016 08:44 PM #28
Rainer
47,158
Anne Corbin
Fritz Realty LLC - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

Glad to hear read your post. I was thinking about hiring a third party to work on my new website. I will definitely ask them questions about their usage of photos and how they avoid proprietary information.

Jun 07, 2016 03:14 AM #29
Rainmaker
758,687
Jan Green
HomeSmart Elite Group,Scottsdale, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Good thing you caught that mistake first!  A while back I happened to google search one of my posts and found it on someone else's website. I called the realtor to tell her that was my content. She apologized profusely, saying someone else did it for her.  We just never know!

Jun 12, 2016 07:26 AM #30
Ambassador
2,954,753
Debbie Reynolds
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, Your Clarksville Real Estate Professional - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Wow that is appalling and glad you caught it before your neck was in a sling. Thanks for sharing your lesson learned.

Jul 07, 2016 11:36 AM #31
Rainmaker
2,177,164
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Corinne Guest, Managing Broker "I should never have assumed that because the platform is some-one elses, that they would be doing quality control that safeguarded me as well as them."

Right on target - and - re-blog!

Jan 10, 2017 04:39 AM #32
Rainmaker
535,122
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Corinne Guest, Managing Broker - Nice catch! I can imagine your horror upon seeing your good name almost besmirched by a third party. I had a terrible experience with outsourcing SEO to a third party many years ago. I won't do it anymore.

Why they don't think you will check on their quality is beyond me. 

Jan 10, 2017 04:52 AM #33
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Rainmaker
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Corinne Guest, Managing Broker

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