I Got Asked to Take Down a Post Yesterday

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Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977
https://activerain.com/droplet/4lVX

I Got Asked to Take Down a Post Yesterday

 

This has only happened one other time, a little over 6 years ago, but yesterday I received an email asking me to remove a post.

 

The email was from a new home builder in the San Diego area.

 

Encinitas new homesThey found a post I had written about a new home community in the Leucadia area of Encinitas that I posted a few months ago.

 

As a real estate blogger with a keen interest in my local housing market, keeping tabs on and sharing information about new homes has always been part of my writing.

 

To date I have written about a couple of dozen new home communities…sometimes multiple times with updates on construction, pricing and availability.

 

I’ve sold several new homes so it has been an important part of my strategy, and important information for me to know.

 

While they were “thankful” for the thoughtfulness, the request was to remove the post because they “don’t allow any agents to make postings about their communities and advertise for customers.

 

Too bad. Even if I don’t bring a client the post could generate business for them.

 

New homes for sale in San Elijo HillsThe only other similar situation happened 6 years ago when I received a letter via FedEx from an attorney in Chicago.

 

The long and short of it was a request to remove the posts I had done about a San Elijo Hills new home community named Montage, the same name as a high-end hotels and resorts developer which also owns a number of other trademarks.

 

The San Elijo Hills California Cove community was in violation of the trademark for having named their one new collection of homes Montage, they were sued, and the lawsuit was resolved and dismissed.

 

But, per the attorney, my write-up referencing Montage was likely to cause confusion between the California Cove community and the Montage hotels, resorts and residential developments, and could imply that the San Elijo Hills community was similar in luxury and quality, or had been developed by Montage.

 

So I did what was asked in a timely manner, and as requested notified the attorney of my actions.

 

Have you ever been asked to remove a post?

 

Why? And did you?

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 08/12/2014 09:44 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
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Groups:
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SAN DIEGO Real Estate Agents & Loan Officers
Adventures in Real Estate
San Diego Realtors®
Tags:
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Rainer
40,425
Mike Rankin
ClearPath Mortgage Solutions, Inc. NMLS #1394615 - Albany, NY
Mortgage Consultant

Someone would turn free advertising? Shocking! I have not been asked to remove a post (yet).

Aug 13, 2014 10:58 PM #119
Rainer
16,988
Meghan Riley
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Wilmington, NC
Wilmington NC Real Estate | The Cameron Team

Once. I wrote about a new shopping strip mall development that was going up in a nearby city where there weren't many shopping/retail options. I though people buying in that city would be interested to know and I just shared the facts they had in their press release. In my mind, I thought that the developer would be happy to have someone drumming up interest in what they were doing. It would show potential leasers that people were looking forward to the new building. But the developer wasn't and asked me to take it down. Still don't understand why.

Aug 13, 2014 11:01 PM #120
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Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

I have been asked to remove photos from someone (who I later found out was another agent who resided in that community).

That is odd that the developer would not like the additional press about the development.

Aug 14, 2014 01:02 AM #121
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Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Jeff - Wow, that's a first. I've had buyers tell me no publicity for a purchase they have made but never what happened to you. 

Aug 14, 2014 02:00 AM #122
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Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

wow Jeff that is too bad abd surprising. Their loss.

Aug 14, 2014 02:38 AM #123
Rainmaker
1,030,307
Christopher Lotte
Red 1 Realty - Lithopolis, OH
Central Ohio Realtor, 614-390-9243

Unless their community name is trademarked (or you were mentioning the builder name which was trademarked), I don't see how there would be much they could do to force you to remove the post..

Aug 14, 2014 03:07 AM #124
Rainmaker
795,364
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Jeff,

I have never heard of this happening before.  Sometimes I think people have too much time on their hands and you were the target this time!

Aug 14, 2014 06:15 AM #125
Rainmaker
215,954
Pamela Madore
The Pamela Madore Group - Amarillo, TX
Team Work Makes The Dream Work

It shows that someone is reading your blogs!

Aug 14, 2014 06:19 AM #126
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Regina - that's what I assumed. But I didn't think it was worth a big argument, or worse, in this particular case.

Nancy - now THAT is an interesting question about reviews - will have to check them out. What's also odd is that I have several other posts over the years about communities by this builder and it has never come up. I'm sure builders would prefer we not bring clients to save the money but we do help their business, especially when times were tough!

Myrl - that certainly could be part of it. As the response from them said, the don't want agents making representations on their behalf. Pplus they offer a co-op so clearly they are willing to work with us

Kat - one would think

Silvia - agreed.

Chris - I have no problem coorpeating with trademarked names, etc. That's what trademarks are all about

Gary - no doubt. That's what makes AR such a great place...sharing experiences and learnings that may help others

Jeff

Aug 14, 2014 11:10 AM #127
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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Jeff~ I took down a Featured post one time because a cyber bully started attacking the people who commented on my post and me for  the following 2 years.

Our MLS makes us declare to allow or not allow blogging about our listing. The default setting is NO Blogging and 99% of the agents don't allow there listing to be blogged about under penalty of a monetary fine...

Aug 14, 2014 01:49 PM #128
Rainmaker
3,060,493
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Seems short-sighted on the part of the builder, but I've heard of this kind of request in our area as well.

Aug 15, 2014 07:54 AM #129
Rainer
247,800
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

"they “don’t allow any agents to make postings about their communities and advertise for customers."  This sounds more like intimidation than any conflict of trademark. They DON'T ALLOW - really! I can understand if you misrepresented information but to say only we can talk about our community seams to be totally ludicrous. We discriminate against agents free speach about us! 

Aug 15, 2014 03:47 PM #130
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Ginny - the issue of taking pics of houses can be a thorny one. Glad you stood your ground

Fred - there certainly could be some reasons I am aware of. Later on Richard Weisser raises the same point. Definitely something to think about in our posting

Melissa - I would think that as long at it's clear is' your perspective, you are not representing the other side, and the information is accurate one would be OK. Happens with news reporting all the time

Joy - well I would much rather be asked to remove a post, and do so, than get sued for something I said

Jeff

Aug 17, 2014 07:05 AM #131
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Did you remove the post?  I don't think that in this case you did anything wrong or harmful to the builder of this community.

Aug 18, 2014 12:51 PM #132
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Roy - it happens. I can understand their feelings

Larry - in our busy market I suspect they are not concerned since new homes are selling well

Michael - that's not happened to me but I know a number of people who have had that issue

Jared - it WAS a turnoff

Lisa - I still feel it's shortsighted, too. but I can understand concern about things not being reported accurately. As far as the business, if they want it inhouse then don't offer the coop

Susan - good point

Clay - so true. Life goes on

Sharon - I take my own pics so I won't have to worry. Seems like that agent went overboard

Jeff

Aug 19, 2014 03:54 AM #133
Rainmaker
870,553
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Jeff,  Yes, I was once asked to remove a post.  It was several years ago for a new oceanfront condo 1000 Ocean in Boca Raton.   (If you watch Million Dollar Listing Miami, you may have seen it.)   I was told they had a brokers' portal and could use their info only.  I had my own photos but they were not interested.  I complied and took the post down.  It could only have helped their sales.

Aug 19, 2014 05:32 AM #134
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Suzanne - agreed. Somone in corporate has some logic

Mark - well that is the poitn ultlimately. So if now and then you goof, or someone wants something removed it is not a huge deal in the overall scheme of things. That said, there might be certain posts where I would stand my ground and refuse unless there is something legaloly involved

Raul - guess that is not always the case

Sharon T - that is an excellent point. I have had the same thing happen several times and I have no isse being asked to correct something that is wrong or add information

Chuck - the issue was that the community in question was in violation of the trademark usage, has been sued, and agreed to stop using the name. So asking me to remove the article with the trademarked name was not unreasonable. I had no idea there was an issue and had a photo of the signage the community had posted with the trademarked name.

Richie - I don't think they actually thought about where else this article might be.

Jeff

Aug 19, 2014 09:48 AM #135
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Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Jeff I had a similar situation and was threatened with a lawsuit.  I was working for another firm at the time, and the post did come down.  This developer lacked internet presence and my post actually introduced people to the complex.  Well that complex did not do as well as they had hope, and residence never received all the things they were promised.  In the end I was glad the post came down,

Aug 29, 2014 12:03 PM #136
Rainmaker
3,195,813
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jeff I totally missed this post as you can tell I am comment #137:)) ironically in the old regime of Z & T group one of my post was just removed...no questions asked, just stating the picture I used was not mine to use....anyway I never in my life could believe it since all my pictures are mine and the ones that are not are from free or should I say no licensing fees required...I asked which post it was but never got an answer....I know nothing like your situation never the less not very good feelings were similar:), Endre

Aug 05, 2015 03:54 PM #137
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Endre Barath, Jr. 

Sorry to hear, Especially sorry that they did not at least respect a request for more information. I don't miss them

Jeff

Aug 05, 2015 11:49 PM #138
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