Lies That Sell a.k.a. Trust is Not a Popularity Contest

Real Estate Technology with Content, coding, marketing, host.

The Setup

Industry insiders, to any industry, know when their "competitors" are lying in their advertisement. Sometimes it's just a matter of "how can they do that?" Other times you, as a competing professional know there is no possible way! For example Countrywide used to advertise "no one can do what Countrywide can do". I knew they *would* but also knew they should not. I remember a cW rep coming into my office, picking up a file that hadn't even been to processing much less underwriting and get a clear to close on it from his underwriter. Of course we went ballistic on him because regardless of whether or not CW approved it we had liability in the application to make sure it wouldn't bite us.

A History

During the 2000's we had a local competitor who has since been shut down by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance and has re-opened under another name. The guy was/is notorious for talking about how all other lenders are scum then proceeds to lie directly to his audience about closing costs. When you spend upwards of $50k per month on radio ads that's a big audience and thousands of people bought it hook, line and ... you know the rest.

The Reason for This Post

A few months ago someone claiming to be a tech savvy agent joined a non-industry (not real estate related) SEO chat I have participated in for a while. In fact this TSA was the only real estate related person in the chat other than me. Now I had already countered something this person was spewing several times in real estate circles and the only reason I can think of that this person joined the chat was because they saw I was participating in it and decided they would try their line in this chat. This chat of about 20 very *very* knowledgeable SEO experts.

When joining the chat the first thing this person typed was, "SEO is dead". I enjoyed the next 3 minutes immensely. Now keep in mind the job of this particular TSA is to get subscribers for their employer, to use their "clout" to influence agents to attend their real estate events and even to lead discussions in the real estate industry about being tech savvy.

Why is This Scary?

Imagine you hear an advertisement, in your market, for a real estate broker who says something like, "Homes that use wood are no longer available in this market". You would know something was very wrong with that advertisement, right? So when you hear of someone actually accepting that information and making a buying decision based on it - because this other broker is well known and popular - how would you respond? 

What We Have Here is a Misplacement of Trust

Too many mouths with too little actual experience selling too many tickets to too many events. A couple of years ago I attended a real estate event where all of the speakers were venders. Each of them had their own wares to sell and each contradicted the others who also had their service to sell. Meanwhile I, and many others, recognized there were truths in what they each were saying but in the remainder of what they said, mostly the parts where they were contradicting one another, there was little more than a series of augmentations and fabrications. Your grandmother called them lies.

Who Can You Trust?

The collective seems to be the only answer. You get pieces of truth from everyone and where the truths are constants you can more safely reach the conclusion those are trustworthy facts. A Venn intersection of truths doesn't happen from just one source - it requires a multiplicity of sources to be worth of trust. Remember who said, "trust but validate"? Seems he had something to do with a monkey.

In Summary

I know as difficult as it is to believe I have, on occasion, been ... wrong. Sometimes my facts are just wrong. Sometimes I have a singular experience on which to base my opinion. Sometimes everyone thinks one other person is wrong and in the end that person, the object of speculation, turns out to be the only one right.

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I started writing on Active Rain in 2006 when I was representing the mortgage industry. I am no longer in that industry and many of the older posts contain outdated information. Please do not contact me for LENDING or MORTGAGE questions but rather contact a licensed mortgage professional from your area. I have always been in marketing and branding and that is still what I do. Thanks for reading!

Comments (3)

Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


This is a great blog post.  So often, I feel llike you have to understand where the person who gives you the information is coming from.  Are they in sales?  Are they really only out for their own interests?  Not everyone in sales is ONLY out for their own interests, but some sure as heck are!

Think about who is telling you what and what they will gain from it.  

All the best, Michelle

Jan 07, 2012 06:21 AM
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

Thanks Michelle and you are right. Not everyone in sales is guilty and not everyone who is "guilty" is "always guilty". I post something similar to this from time to time because there are a few folk of questionable motive who continually give not only erroneous advice but bad advice then sell something - usually a product but sometimes just trust - as a result. Meanwhile those of us who stay in the cubicle making things actually happen end up wasting a tremendous amount of time correcting bad information to gullible yet intelligent people who should never have been exposed to the bad advice to begin with.

Oh, it happens on Facebook, Twitter and Active Rain, too. Can you believe it? ;)

Jan 09, 2012 05:05 AM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Remember, there are always some people who just love to be provocative.

Jun 30, 2014 02:56 PM