and There’s Too MUCH Transparency!
Transparency has been a buzzword in our online and blogging world for quite some time. And the emphasis on being transparent has become part of many company mission and value statements, as well as apparent in their ads and actions online and in the media.
People, in general, share ALL kinds of stuff these days under the guise of being transparent, not only with friends and family, but presumably for creating better and more open relationships with clients and prospects.
And, hopefully, in turn more business because people know, like and trust you.
It’s certainly not just in our real estate business, is it?! But we are not immune!
Indeed the focus of some people seems to be on sharing just about everything imaginable, with transparency on Facebook perhaps being the biggest culprit. Everything and anything is fair game these days!
I’m all for transparency, but within reason.
Perhaps you feel the same way too!
While what others interpret in different ways what’s appropriate and what’s not, you always should be mindful of what you are sharing, and with whom! What you might share with a friend or family member – a comment, a photo, a video, a story shared from someone else – may not be something you want a potential business partner or client to read.
Being careful what you say is as true online as it is in person, and maybe more so because of the vastly larger audience on the Internet who might hear you!
Indeed, in our online world the risks are pretty good that someone you might NOT want to read your commentary, or view your photo, or who might be turned off by them, could see this directly or through a share...and you wouldn’t even know.
We have heard stories about employers checking out their employees online (and some getting in trouble for their actions and comments), and the activities of potential new hires online.
Schools are looking at and considering what applicants do and say online during their admissions process.
I read a story…online of course…about a couple trying to buy a co-op in Manhattan who were declined by the Co-op Board because of certain online activity by a family member. Ouch!!
Interestingly, I’ve had several recent transactions where the agent on the other side commented at the outset, and during the sale, that “I’m all about transparency,” or something to that effect.
That’s sounds good, and if that means you will be open and honest in your dealings with me, and my clients, that’s terrific, as opposed to being secretive when you shouldn’t be…as in disclosures and misrepresentation!
But there is transparency, and then there might be too much transparency.
Talking real estate now, sharing some personal information is fine, but I don’t want the relationship with the other agent to get too personal during the transaction. I’m not going there and I prefer you don’t either. And there are things about your clients that I don’t need or want to know, nor do my clients.
But the other issue I have encountered with agents being transparent is sharing information about their clients, and in one case a fair amount of detail, unsolicited, about the other transaction the seller was involved in.
First of all it’s not my business. But more importantly it’s probably a breach of confidentiality with the client.
And I have to think…if you are that open to sharing what should be confidential, I have concerns. Clearly you don’t, because it appears willingness to be transparent has exceeded fiduciary responsibilities.
Sometimes you really should just zip the lip…face to face, on the phone, or online. Transparency can be a positive thing, but it can also get you in hot water.