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Civility, GroupThink, The Interwebs & The Practice of Real Estate

Real Estate Agent with Realty One Group Mountain Desert AZDRE# SA582422000

Oh the value of the interwebs - what an amazing tool to share knowledge, establish expertise & promote one's expertise! At our fingertips are an endless variety of blogs, sites & social media tools that are ingredients of the digital stew that feed and nourish our businesses...and can sour or taint one's reputation & public perception of the industry, collectively & individually, within seconds.

In any number of "private" groups, "members-only" forums, tweets, retweets, discussions and straight out in front of the public, there are opportunities galore to show our expertise, experience and mastery that we work so hard to achieve...while at the same time proclaim to the world that some of us are no better than the braying asses many in the public perceive practitioners in this business to be.

Time after time I have witnessed simple, earnest discussions devolve into name-calling, character assassinations, and worse. Accusations of ethical misconduct, pious declarations of "I never/I always (insert whatever here)" and endless instances of "piling on" fly around the electronic universe as individuals become a mob espousing "integrity," "ethics," "raising the bar," the merits of one business model vs another, how-to/where-to/whether-to/should-do/shouldn't-do and much more.

In many ways, we mirror what we see in our own society: polarized & unable to have a civil discussion without posturing, labeling & waving half-truths about like a victory flag for all to see. Generally, this kind of behavior is perpetrated by the few, tolerated by the many. I've left several groups because of the seeming inability to have a rational discussion on a number of topics without the thread being hijacked by a couple of shrill, vehement voices intent on asserting their point of view or spewing hatred or blind devotion to one way of thinking or another. I've been guilty of this myself occasionally - and finding that I wished I could erase that smarmy comment or snarky response afterward.

Is it any wonder why our profession is consistently lagging behind others in poll after poll of consumer trust? With the explosion of social media interfaces & freedom of the interwebs, the attention goes to the braying ass all too often. We have to Rise Above The Fray in our quest to "Raise The Bar." To get respect, one has to give it - and treat each other with such. Civility, Decorum & Willingness To Explore need to replace Intolerance, GroupThink & Irascible Behavior. 

C'mon folks - Rise Above The Fray. No matter how "locked-down," "secret," or "private" a group/forum or site may be, the internet never forgets. Lets agree to be the standard and the example, not the herd.

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All original material written by Kent Simpson unless attributed to source.©2007-2014



Cathren B. Kayce
Sarasota, FL

Great post Kent. "Generally, this kind of behavior is perpetrated by the few, tolerated by the many." This behavior is tolerated by most people, look at Reality TV! Real Estate is about people. You are also correct the internet never forgets. Think before you write, comment or speak. I'm going to write a post about my own situation about this very topic. It's an important one. Thanks for the post. 

Aug 10, 2015 10:11 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Very well said & I came over from RTB where someone posted your thoughts with regard to a blowup in that group.

Aug 10, 2015 10:21 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

 "Everyone is entitled to his own opinionbut not his own facts"

For some reason the internet attracts a lot of opinions masqurading as facts. The fact is no matter how many times they scream their opinions and personally attack those that disagree they're still only opinions which is why I always begin comments with IMO or IMHO. 

Aug 10, 2015 10:31 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Ken and many of these "closed" groups have thousands of members who might have been a potential referral partner.  Thanks for your well crafted reminder.

Aug 10, 2015 10:36 AM
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

I missed whatever prompted this and I'm glad.  It's disheartening to me how often people go to these groups for help and are shamed and chastised for asking questions or stating an opinion.  This is a great post and I thank you for writing it.

Aug 10, 2015 10:43 AM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Kate - I seriously doubt it. People hide behind the shield of the keyboard & think they're immune.

Catherine - thanks, and thanks for the follow!

Lyn - that's the blowup that was the proverbial straw for me.

Mitchell - that's one reason I l-o-v-e that commercial that has a girl saying "it has to be true, it's on the internet!"

Cindy - something people don't think about is that even though a group may be "closed" or private - folks can still read what is going on...they just can't comment or post.

Susan - you didn't miss much, just another typical blowup.

Aug 10, 2015 11:03 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Kent- well said.  We've all gotten caught up in these distractions and we need to remember that once it's out there... it's not going anywhere. 

Aug 10, 2015 12:26 PM
marti garaughty
garaughty.com - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...

garaughty, abstract art, graphic design, WordPress consultant

Aug 10, 2015 01:10 PM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Kathy - things said on the interwebs are like fruitcake, or old luggage - nobody wants 'em & impossible to get rid of.

Marti - wow, thanks! I haven't been around for a while - what a nice surprise!

Aug 10, 2015 01:16 PM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Kent, well said. We have to rise above the fray if we want to stay in business. 

Aug 10, 2015 01:50 PM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

...or be even remotely taken seriously, Pamela.  We need to stop eating our own.

Aug 10, 2015 02:27 PM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

Wow. Just wow. Perfectly said, Kent. A well deserved feature.

Aug 10, 2015 09:54 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Well said.  And, yes, I have witnessed these.  It is a shame and it really makes many look bad and lose the opportunity for referrals. 

Aug 10, 2015 10:27 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

One must get hold themselves or others will...Richfuscious

Aug 10, 2015 11:29 PM
Thomas F. Scanlon
Borgida & Company P. C., CPA's - Manchester, CT

Kent Simpson - Well done. To get respect, one has to give it. True that.



Aug 11, 2015 02:36 AM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Chuck Willman - gracias, amigo!

Debbie - sure, referrals are great & one's behavior online can have a great effect on other people's willingness to consider just that, but the point is wider reaching.

Richie - what else would Richfucius say?

Thomas - thanks!

Aug 11, 2015 03:07 AM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Loved reading your post, Kent. We certainly need to be held to higher standards above and beyond the norm in any of our professional groups.

Aug 11, 2015 08:25 AM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Jerry - thanks for the kind words. Holding ourselves (individually & collectively) to a high standard should be the norm.

Aug 11, 2015 08:52 AM
Nathan Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Davenport, FL
Your Central Florida Real Estate Expert

Being more tolerant and less judgemental are great rules of thumb for life and business alike. :)

Aug 11, 2015 11:34 AM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Nathan Tutas - sometimes it seems that we're all trying so hard to be right, the ability to agree to disagree & move on has flown to another planet!

Aug 12, 2015 06:52 AM