There’s Transparency, and Then There’s Transparency!

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

There’s Transparency...

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.

 

being transparent onlinePeople, 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!

 

people texting and sharing informationIndeed, 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.

 

what are you sharing online

 

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.

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SAN DIEGO Real Estate Agents & Loan Officers
Adventures in Real Estate
San Diego Realtors®
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Derrick Guevremont  - excellent advice. It can come back to bite us!!

Thanks for stopping by, again, Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty . Some of the sharing we see and hear could definitely be a breach of fiduciary duties.

Jeff

Jan 24, 2019 09:23 PM #51
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
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M.C. Dwyer  And we see that kind of stuff pretty often, don't we?

And that's a great example of what many do and why one has to be careful about online presence Mike Cooper, GRI  - buyers, sellers, vendors, and so on.

Jeff

Jan 24, 2019 09:26 PM #52
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Agreed..beyond lip zipping...transparency needs to be the "real you" not the imaginary team...the invisible listings,wishful expertise...be who you are.

Jan 25, 2019 03:38 AM #55
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
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Wendy Rulnick 

Ha ha. Good point!! We have all seen those OMG posts on Facebook that are flagrant violations of confidentiality or otherwise probably inappropriate.

Jeff

Jan 25, 2019 08:21 AM #56
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Dan Tabit  - your first statement says it all! Thank you!

Those are all excellent points Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner  And buyers and sellers sometimes do not consider that what they are sharing, in person or online, could put their transactions in jeopardy.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jeff

Jan 25, 2019 08:24 AM #57
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Rosalind Nicholas
RE/MAX Condos Plus Corporation, Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Toronto Condo Real Estate Agent, Toronto ON

I had a client, who did not understand, that she should be careful with talking about and sharing her opinion on properties that she had viewed or was viewing …….. and at that time, most of the properties she was viewing were ‘multiple offer’ situations ……

Jan 25, 2019 08:48 AM #58
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Thanks for your thoughts Marie-Denise Kratsios  I think the approach you described in right on target. More, perhaps, should do that!

Jeff

Jan 25, 2019 10:05 AM #59
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Hi Carol Williams  -  think we have all seen that, over and over!

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD  - Yep I have heard some doozies myself. Good points and examples! Being helpful has its limits.

Jeff

Jan 25, 2019 10:08 AM #60
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Thanks for another good story Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886  Some of the things we hard are pretty surprising, and obviously others don't have any concerns about what they are sharing and the impact it could have.

jeff

Jan 25, 2019 10:12 AM #61
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Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Everything shared should be signed off by the clients.  In the case that they can't, ask yourself if what you are about to disclose would be, or if it is even relevant to the current conversation or transaction.  Let's not overshare anywhere possible.  

Jan 25, 2019 10:24 AM #62
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Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

We've become used to "over sharing", Ah the social media world. Like you say some of those things we share may come back to haunt you.

Jan 25, 2019 12:18 PM #63
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson 

I guess some people are being who they are when they share more than they should. And perhaps the intention is often good but they are not thinking about the consequences.

Jeff

Jan 25, 2019 06:26 PM #64
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
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 Rosalind Nicholas  - that certainly doesn't help the buyer's situation now, does it?

Thanks! Enjoy your weekend!

Jeff

Jan 25, 2019 06:28 PM #65
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Good points Kevin Mackessy  Sometimes what people might think is being helpful could pose a problem.

Jeff

Jan 26, 2019 07:42 AM #66
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Michael Eisenberg 

Social media really has had a huge impact and not always in good ways. What we used to share with a close friend or two in person not gets shared with thousands!

Jeff

Jan 26, 2019 07:46 AM #67
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Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

i have definitely read things on social media that makes me wonde why they would reveal such private information.

Jan 29, 2019 06:47 AM #68
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Chuck Tanner
Keller Williams Realty - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker "Let's Get You Moving"

It has taken me a long time but I have finally realized to keep most of the conversation on business. When you get to personal it can bite you! I had a potential listing appointment a few years ago and somehow we got off topic and on a personal topic. When I called the next day to confirm our appointment her daughter said her Mom wasn't home. I think she was too embarrassed from our conversation the day before. Furthermore, I finally realized how much time was being consumed with idel chit chat. This year it is mostly business chit chat!

Feb 10, 2019 12:34 PM #69
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
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Chuck Tanner 

You raise a really good point in your example.  Getting too personal can create problem from either party's perspective, especially early on in the relationship.

Jeff

Feb 10, 2019 02:53 PM #70
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John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Transparency = honesty at every level.  One should keep things that are confidential outside of this term.

Feb 22, 2019 04:26 PM #71
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Good points John Henry  Not everything should be shared, for a variety of reasons...and certainly not anything that violates confidentiality.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Jeff

Feb 24, 2019 10:36 AM #72
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