Are You LOSING BUSINESS Because of YOUR BLOG?

By
Real Estate Agent with Davis R. Chant, REALTORS RS301772

Or...Put the Shoe on the Other Foot.  Sorry, after I posted this I thought of a better title!

This has been said before, but I'm going to say it again.  I really think we need to be very careful about how we communicate online, because it is very easy to inadvertantly offend existing and future customers with our blogs.

I first became aware of this potential problem when a home stager wrote a blog about her newest client, and she posted before/after pictures.  Her client was LIVID as she was embarrassed to have her "dirty laundry" so to speak posted on the internet.  Even though the blogger protected her privacy by not naming her specifically, the customer still (rightfully) felt this was a breach of trust.

This is an extreme example - but there are other seemingly harmless ways we can offend our clients.  Forunhappy customer example:

I just read a blog with a title naming the property next to her listing as "an eyesore."  Then she goes on to say that after contacting that property owner about cleaning it up, the owner asked her to list the property for sale. She shared that the seller called her son a worthless bum and that she has other issues with her property that really are nobody's business.  This "eyesore neighbor" is now HER CLIENT - what if she or one of her friends finds this blog?

Would YOU be willing to contact an agent who is so willing to share YOUR dirty laundry on the internet?  I think more than one customer would say "I am not going to contact this person, heaven knows what she'll say about ME or MY neighbors!"

Not trying to pick on this one blog either - I've seen it dozens of times on many other blogs.  Friends, I just don't think it's cool to write this way about our clients and potential clients without their express permission.

Yes, it's fun and entertaining to share things like this, and I have lots of crazy stories that I could tell about the funky things I come across day to day - but I feel that to do so would be a bad business move.

I'm a REALTOR, I've got a fiduciary duty to protect my client's interests - not gossip about them online. 

 

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Homes For Sale & Local Info for Pike County, Wayne County, & Lake Wallenpaupack in Northeast PA.

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Karen Rice (that's me!) lists & sells in Tanglwood, Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, Hideout, Indian Rocks, Masthope, Fawn Lake, Tink Wig, Woodland Hills, Walker Lake, Hemlock Farms, & more in Pike & Wayne County.

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Rainer
10,246
Kathleen Lordbock
Broker/Short Sale & Staging Specialist - Crosby, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

Ouch be careful what you say and even more careful what you put in print.

Jan 18, 2009 12:20 PM #91
Rainmaker
231,014
KARIN SMITH
SMITH REALTY GROUP - Slidell, LA
BROKER/REALTOR

I'm happy you addressed this issue; I am new to Active Rain and wondered if blogging could negatively influence an agent's image.  I think this is a perfect example of how that could happen.  Having good character goes a long way!

Jan 21, 2009 11:15 AM #92
Rainer
34,084
Zilkia Olmeda-Martins
RE/MAX North - San Antonio - San Antonio, TX
GRI, Realtor, San Antonio Texas Luxury Homes

Karen, you make some excellent points.  I too am a new blogger and need the friendly reminder.

Jan 30, 2009 03:15 PM #93
Rainmaker
887,691
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

Tis is why companies are so touchy about their employees blogging.

Feb 03, 2009 12:31 AM #94
Rainmaker
85,636
Karen Butler
RE/MAX Coastal Properties - Fort Walton Beach, FL
Eglin AFB/ Fort Walton Beach /Destin Relocation

Karen, I'm new to the blogging thing, so on several occasions, I question myself before I post anything.

Feb 06, 2009 11:10 AM #95
Rainmaker
128,607
Tony and Libby Kelly
Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere - Lake Oswego, OR
CRS, ABR, ePro, SRES, CLHMS, CDPE

Great post.  Sometimes it is hard to remember but assume everything you put online will be read by EVERYONE!

Mar 12, 2009 04:55 AM #97
Rainmaker
595,531
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Ouch! Great examples! I see the same problems with some of the comments people leave. And you're right. We do need to be careful what we post online.

Mar 15, 2009 04:40 PM #98
Rainer
98,658
Judy Schneider
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA

Very well said!! It is nice to know that some people are conciderate of thier clients feelings. Hold on tight to those morals.

Apr 04, 2009 05:12 PM #99
Rainmaker
323,207
Cheryl Powell - The Powell Team
Southern Homes of The Carolinas - The Powell Team - Harrisburg, NC
Concord,Harrisburg & Charlotte NC Area Real Estate

Excellent points. Sometimes a line is crossed when the blogger feels the need to entertain or amuse.

Apr 12, 2009 01:13 AM #100
Rainer
204,614
Keith & Shannon French
www.KeithandShannonFrench.com - Catonsville, MD
Baltimore's Best for Rent To Own Homes

Hi Karen, Just joined AR and read this blog.  Glad it's still going!  After reading, I quickly checked our website Before & After Page to make sure we didn't have property addresses listed.  Then I felt ok for a minute and just figured I'd get your thoughts on our specific business.

We are a real estate investing company and have done quite a few "Buy, Rehab & Resells" over the last 5 years.  We have a Before & After photo album of our rehab projects.  Everyone who views it raves about it and has never raised the question of privacy, inappropriateness, etc.  We list the pictures with the Neighborhood & zip code (no address).  Some of the "Before" pics do show the house as it was with our Seller's items still in the property prior to their moving out.

We've never had a problem with this, but that's not to say that the potential isn't there.  We always tell our Sellers what we plan to do with the property and they are welcome to come see it upon completion.  We've only had one family do that and they were quite pleased that their family home had been renovated...seemed almost to relieve them of some guilt they were feeling because they couldn't afford to take care of it the way they wanted.

But going forward, I think we will make it a practice to not post pics of our initial visit to the property, but rather pics after they have moved out.  But many times our Sellers leave behind quite a bit of stuff that we have to clear out ourselves.  Do you think that's okay to post or should we wait to take pics after all items have been removed?  Thanks for any feedback from you or anyone else still keeping up with this blog!

May 16, 2009 07:44 AM #101
Rainmaker
543,593
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Shannon, I think you'll be 100% fine as long as your seller has given you permission to do so.  Most people probably won't be offended if their home gets a before/after feature - but it's always best to ask.

May 16, 2009 02:38 PM #102
Rainer
204,614
Keith & Shannon French
www.KeithandShannonFrench.com - Catonsville, MD
Baltimore's Best for Rent To Own Homes

Hi Karen, yes I agree and will make it a specific point to do so in the future.  Probably something to put on my BUY Closing Checklist.  Thanks!

May 16, 2009 04:51 PM #103
Rainmaker
414,620
Doris Freeman
RE/MAX REALTY SOURCE - Jackson, TN
Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett

Good post, keeping thing very general can also keep you out of this problem.  We need to remember One Person's Eyesore may be another Person's Castle.

Jul 12, 2010 05:01 AM #104
Rainmaker
257,850
Joyce Godwin, Realtor, CRS
RE/MAX Elite Properties; Serving Cypress, Spring, Tomball, NW Houston - Houston, TX
RE/MAX Elite Properties

Just assume the person you are writing about, may read your post -- then you will almost always say only positive things about them.  Or . . . decide not to write the post. 

Sep 02, 2010 01:10 PM #105
Rainer
36,895
Bonnie Allen
Classic Designs Home Staging - Knoxville, TN

Karen, thanks for your post, the bottom line is having respect for our clients and coworkers.  Some of the things we discuss with each other in our everyday dealings have no place being shown to the world. 

Sep 07, 2010 01:27 AM #106
Ambassador
617,064
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Came across this in the blogging etiquette.. Guess I am a bit late to the party. I love your writing style and ease of words. You certainly know what you're talking about. I have seen it a lot on here. There are some agents that I would NEVER refer anyone too because of the way they have treated their fellow co-workers.  Don't they think about that? The way I treat someone online can really affect if they refer me to others or not. Thank you for this and glad it got featured. The problem still lies in those that don't think they have done anything wrong.....

Jan 05, 2011 08:30 AM #107
Rainer
35,971
Joanne Louise Stevens
Keller Williams Realty Los Angeles-Brentwood - Los Angeles, CA
Realtor - Serving Brentwood and Surrounding Cities

Thank you for posting this.  This is a great reminder to watch what you put in writing online.  You never know who will read it.

Aug 04, 2011 03:36 PM #108
Rainmaker
618,096
Mike Young
203kOnLine.com, covering the USA - Las Vegas, NV
FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809

It is easy to get caught up some times but you have a great point, nice post.

Aug 06, 2011 06:29 AM #109
Rainer
151,481
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors
Nice blog and from the responses you've had you caught bloggers attention..good job for writing this blog.
Sep 26, 2011 05:06 AM #110
Rainmaker
2,846,334
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

WOW! Don't sleep on you! :) 109 comments!

Aug 10, 2013 12:47 PM #111
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