When Letting It All Hang Out May Not Be A Good Thing

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty 0575737

TransparencyToday I wanted to write about and solicit your opinions particularly in the online world of social media about "transparency." That is revealing more the personal side of ourselves on blogs or social media like Active Rain or Facebook or with our tweets on Twitter. Sometimes this may not be a good thing. As one might say about your portrayal, "Too Much Information."

Particularly as a business person your image stays out there on the Internet. But especially Gen Y and the Millennials generation, some of them just don't seem to care about any perceived "reputation" they are tarnishing.

A recent blog I read on Active Rain talked about other Realtors "partying" it up and showed pictures on Facebook with everyone cavorting in not so flattering situations. It caused quite a stir.

The public does read this stuff, believe it or not. I guess we have the extremes of the ultra private business only people and the ones that don't care what they put out on the Internet. Maybe somewhere in the middle with some decorum and common sense is the proper place to be. It does seem like that buzz phrase from Vegas that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas should be what to follow but somehow these days it ends up on the Internet.

Are you shocked with what you read about others and FROM others with regard to transparency some days?


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tim Ludemann 12/02/2009 02:19 AM
  2. Trisha P Realty Group 12/02/2009 04:50 AM
  3. Sybil Campbell 12/08/2009 02:13 AM
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Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

In my social marketing / media I do like to let my personality show through. But you also have to be so careful what ends up in the public eye these days. Its a balance.

Dec 02, 2009 10:18 AM #74
Monika Depalo
REAL ESTATE Agent/Stager

Are you saying what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas? (Joke)

Dec 02, 2009 10:57 AM #75
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX



I wasn't on line most of yesterday! I almost missed this. It's great food for though.

I'm surprised at Bryant and Nathan, with them it's a mute point! Billy will tell all!

After more than twenty years in Las Vegas and having escaped to safety, what would you like to know? What I don't know I'll ad-lib, you won't believe it any how!


Dec 02, 2009 11:16 AM #76
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

I very much appreciate the ongoing dialogue and all the comments on this topic. Noting the Tiger Woods continuing saga, whether we are talking just online presence or technology in general, you are all over the place these days with technology. Tiger's situation had recorded voice mails, all sorts of saved text messages. And the problem with hiding something from his wife the other phone would present a NAME to his phone. Major problems with technology trying to hide anything these days. So you just have to be careful what you put out there or understand the consequences at the very least.

Liked that long term veteran here Broker Bryant even has his limits with Blogging Bertha : )

Dec 02, 2009 11:25 AM #77
Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Gary - So true... Once it's out there it's out there forever.... And don't ever forget that....

Dec 02, 2009 11:43 AM #78
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Gary~ It truly amazes me some of the things I see on facebook or on the internet.  We are professionals and need to remember that.... 

Dec 02, 2009 12:55 PM #79
Lori Churchill Cofer
Beasley Realty - Pullman, WA
Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA


I always believe in only putting "out there" what I am willing to share that would reflect positively...the internet is a powerful thing...

Dec 02, 2009 02:01 PM #80
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

As a fairly private Gen-Xer, I am shocked by what my younger associates feel comfortable putting online!  It's ridiculous.  It's like they don't care at all.???  Carefully scrutinized transparency is ok; an "anything goes" mentality is tasteless.

Dec 02, 2009 02:41 PM #81
James Lyon
Vista Pacific Realty - Sacramento, CA

So true, there is no taking it back or do-overs. Guess we should only say what we mean.

Dec 02, 2009 03:45 PM #82
Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA

Gary, A little decorum goes a long way. It is a matter of professional image, but I don't mean stuffiness.

Dec 02, 2009 04:56 PM #83
Anna Matsunaga
Team Momentum Keller Williams Realty Tacoma - Lakewood, WA
Seller specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert

I try hard to live my life in such a way that there is NOTHING that I would be ashamed of, and I am pretty transparent and I do share little details of my private life somewhat on line, but not things that really ARE private and would not be appropriate to tell some one I just met.  Any thing I say stays out there, I also am careful not to write anything negative about anyone.  I want to let people know  I am a real person and I live a life I am proud to let me kids and my parents know the details of, I think that goes a long way because I do not have to think alot when I post to a blog or my facebook if it is appropriate to post, I think more in terms always is what I am saying and doing with my LIFE appropriate, if it is it is not real likely to get me in trouble in any way.

And even when you are careful to live your life in a way that there is nothing to be ashamed of, you still must think if it is appropriate for people who do not know you or don't know you well to know.....

Thank you for writing about this very thought provoking subject!




Dec 02, 2009 05:14 PM #84
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Gary: Thanks for the post. We should all be transparent all the time. It says a lot about a person's character when they are. Thanks again!

Dec 03, 2009 01:05 AM #85
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTORĀ® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Friday night we have our annual inauguration for our local board. Ten years ago or so at this party, we had two drunk couples who ended up in divorce over some Tiger Woods like indiscretions, one title company employee drunk and took a swing at a bartender when he refused him more drinks, and he was fired. One Realtor who was so drunk she fell down on the dance floor three times, and there are even more stories. It is still talked about today, and will be a point of conversation tomorrow night. This kind of stuff never goes away.

Dec 03, 2009 01:29 AM #86
Marian Goetzinger
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC

Gary,  You are so right on.  I guess I'm getting old but there are some things that need to be private.  I don't go out of the house wearing my pajamas, (well, sometimes under my trench coat to the mail box) or invite the world into the bathroom with me. 

I've had to have some sit downs with my 16 year old granddaughter about what she puts on the internet.  I just hope she doesn't walk away thinking "Poor old grandma just isnt with it."

Dec 03, 2009 02:14 AM #87
Michelle Fradella-Barfuss
Marketing Coach - ERA Brokers Consolidated - Salt Lake City, UT
Author of "Top 10 Mistakes Agents Make When Market

Being "transparent" in your business means being human and yourself, and not all stuffy and business like.  Unfortunately many people cross the line with what they allow out there.  It's important that your prospects and clients know you for who you are.  That gives them the opportunity to connect with them on a more personal basis - we like people who are more like us.

That being said, however, many people don't consider what it is that they are allowing the world to see, and how that can haunt them in the future. 

My philosophy is, if you wouldn't want your mother, minister, or Jesus Christ himself, to see that - then what is it doing up there?  Many businesses use the internet these days to do a background check of potential employees when hiriing - would you want your next boss to see that on your resume?  Same goes for Real Estate clients - what imipression are you giving them when they are looking for an agent?


Dec 03, 2009 03:29 AM #88
Bristol Restoration
Bristol Restoration, Inc 661-294-1812 - Santa Clarita, CA
When you need it done right and done right now!

Can you please remove my picture from last years NAR convention in Vegas from your post. 

Dec 03, 2009 10:28 AM #89
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

Everything and anything I post, a blog, tweet or facebook message, is a reflection of me. I constantly remind myself of this. Great post Gary!!

Dec 03, 2009 05:06 PM #90
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Dear Gary,

I think you are spot on with this post. some people don't know when too much is enough. While transparency is good, it does not mean pull your skeletons out of the closet and post them online. TMI is always TMI!!



Dec 04, 2009 03:11 AM #91
Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate


I'm with you on this one 100%.  It's great to be open and honest and share as much as possible.  However, professional people must always remember that there needs to be somewhat of a decorum about their image.  A one sided mirror perhaps?  Great, great post with a well deserved gold star.  Lisa

Dec 06, 2009 03:17 AM #92
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

Gary, Gary Gary - I have been missing from Active Rain for too many days.  Hmmm. I wonder what migh have inspired this post my friend? Aside from the photo, thanks for getting the message across, maybe more eloquently stated than I had.   

Dec 07, 2009 11:30 AM #93
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Gary Woltal

Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
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