Will Social Media Affect Property Values?

Real Estate Agent with thredUP.com

This whole Social Media thing is pretty awesome.  It's moving forward at warp speed at a point that is incredibly difficult to keep up with.  Every new site or update gives the average consumer and business owner the potential to have a larger voice and allow their story to be heard.

For a while now businesses have started to grasp the concept of needing to track their brand reputation online to keep from being bashed and blind folded.

A couple years ago I attended a conference where a speaker mentioned that "Web 3.0 will be just like Web 2.0 - But Web 3.0 will bring blood"

That really possibly seems to be the case.  Are we getting to a point where we need to reconsider our actions and content?  Not even necessarily from a business perspective, but from a consumer perspective.

Several times over the past few months I have noticed where homeowners, home buyers and sellers have gone online to gripe.  Which is all well and good for the time being, but what about in the future?

Two good examples:

  • I have noticed on a couple different Facebook Groups that homeowners will complain about a community or builder shortly after buying a home.  One even said that buying that home was the worst decision they had ever made.
  • Just this weekend on a popular Q&A site an upset home buyer was complaining about how their transaction was handled an was publicly disclosing problems with the home that were found after moving in.

I am sure that these points were placed on the Internet for their right to speech - We all have that right.  The problem with that, however, could possibly not so much be today - It could be a year, or two or five from now.

We are all getting used to doing our own research online to help us make educated decisions when purchasing anything from movie tickets to a house.  How advanced will these search functions be in the future?

Here is the possible scenario:

  • Homeowner that is upset with a builder gripes on a Facebook group that is open to the public.  This homeowner a year from now gets Relocated for work and puts his home on the market.  Potential buyer researches to find that he thought purchasing that home was the worst mistake he had ever made.

How is this potential home buyer now going to feel not only about that house, and that builder - But the community in general?  What about every other person that lives in the Community that had an excellent experience and would refer every person they know to be their neighbor.  We all have our opinions and perceive things differently than the next.

Or how about the home buyer that discloses problems with a home after purchasing and goes to sell the home 5 years from now?  Those items were likely disclosed on the very same site that the following listing agent will advertise it on.

As Real Estate Professionals and as the Social Media Wagon moves along - How would you handle a situation like this a few years from now? 

I think its safe to say that the users of the Internet and social media (being anyone reading this post right now) are the ones that are making it evolve every day.  With that being said I think that we should consider how we could be a little more responsible in how it evolves.  We all need and have the right to speech - But how far should that go?

Griping about Homeowner's Associations, Builders, Neighbors, Restaurants, Movies that we go to see and so on...where is this leading us?  Could Social Media be the make or break of Communities and Property Values in the not so distant future?

Comments (14)

Dena Stevens
Rocky Mountain Realty - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004

Stephanie, I've got a couple to thoughts here:

1) I think most consumers know (or will soon know) that not everything on the internet is truthful. Garbage in - garbage out

2) Knowledge is power. People are using all sorts of tools now for research. Is social media any more or less creditable than the newspapers were years ago? My great grandmother (like many other grandmothers) use to correct the Los Angeles Times and send the corrections back to them everyday - she had no use for them, but continued her subscription for years.

3)We still live in a buyer beware society, maybe more now than ever. The builder you write about either needs to defend himself, raise his standards or blow the internet comments off as garbage.

Maybe the internet & social media is holding us all to a higher standard?

Nov 09, 2009 03:34 AM
Greg VanLaere
Danville, IN

With social media we give up a little control over situations.  It is important to keep them in check and there is also the integrity of the one posting the comment.

Nov 09, 2009 03:38 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Hey Dena,  that particular builder is one of the best in the area at addressing concerns with their clients.  I do think that it is holding us possibly to a higher standard but my point is that not everything should be mentioned online.

I personally had a client once that terminated a contract due to something they found about the property on the internet.  We joked at the time that it should be part of a reality tv show or something...but the seller was not disclosing it at that time.

I really do think that we will see this to be more of an issue in the future.  It's the same as bashing something to a friend, only the friend base is larger online.  The saying is that for every bad experience the person will tell 50 people.  Only now its more like 1500.

Nov 09, 2009 03:41 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Hi Greg,  I agree.  It will be interesting to see at what point integrity will be noted as not so truthful with certain things.

Nov 09, 2009 03:45 AM
Dena Stevens
Rocky Mountain Realty - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004

So your theory is that one bad apple can soil everything? Maybe, but I would hope not.

I worked in department stores for years (and years) and the store managers always said the same thing. One bad experience with one customer would effect 400 people. I'm not sure I believe those numbers but it's a good point.

So how does the builder combat the bad press / social media? Or should he even try? Sometimes defending yourself sounds like an excuse. And excuses are bad energy.

Nov 10, 2009 08:22 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

No, not one bad apple.  More like a community of venting.

It is only loosely related to builders what I am trying to say.  It's directly related to everyone.  These were just examples of what I had seen over the past few months.

What I am saying is that if people are for example on a facebook group innocently venting about a neighbor, loud cars, proposed road being expanded, annoying kids in the neighborhood, whatever.

It could potentially come back to bite us.  That's all.  Just saying that while we have the freedom to say pretty much anything we want to on the internet, it doesn't mean we should.


Nov 10, 2009 11:47 AM
Dora & Vincent Kwok
HomeSmart Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
CNE - Chandler, Arizona Real Estate

Stephanie - Interesting point...yes social media can spread a negative or positive incident like wildfire to many...

Nov 11, 2009 02:55 PM
Sabrina Kelley
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Woodland Park, CO
Woodland Park Colorado Mountain Homes and Land

Social networking allows a forum where all can rant or rave. Some of the population are simply ranters even if all is really well. I also think that a savvy consumer will read multiple sources of information and form a clear conclusion based on various sources. As more and more people become attuned to the information age they will understand more clearly how to sort the results. A builder who is top notch in the industry and has numerous rave reviews will not necessarily fall foul because of one unhappy loudmouth.

Nov 18, 2009 08:49 AM
CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com


I just now found this post. I am giong to reBlog it. Again..a fine example of your work and outreach...

Jan 16, 2010 01:27 AM
Mark Lebkuchner / Home Loan Specialist
Warwick, RI

I enjoyed reading your blog, Stephanie.  I've known for a while that our business networks will become heavily influenced by social media.  Facebook & Active Rain have been a great help to me. 

Feb 21, 2010 01:38 AM
Sherry Siegel, Managing Broker, EcoBroker, ABR
BrokersGroup, serving Sequim and Port Angeles - Sequim, WA

Stephanie, your thoughts and research parallel what I've been feeling as I read public comments that follow news stories. The rush to judgment and name-calling is a public embarrassment. I do think our words can come back to haunt us now that what we've socially put out to the world seems to have the potential to linger long after we're gone. Glad you made this post open for the public.

Mar 13, 2010 07:14 PM
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |

Steph, my intent was to comment on your more recent post.  But comments are disabled.  Not sure if that's by choice or due to the topic of your post.  either way... <<sigh>>

Jul 05, 2010 10:55 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Hi Maggie, I know.  I can't figure out how to allow comments on it so I have to assume that they were not disabled by me.

Jul 05, 2010 10:57 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Maggie, I figured out how to allow comments. 

Jul 05, 2010 11:08 AM