Facebook is NOT your Principal Broker

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Pareto Realty TN #251071

Every query you pose on Facebook will yield multiple “Expert Responses.”

Yep! Pretty much everyone on Facebook is an expert who is eager to bestow upon questioners great wisdom from the trenches . . . or impart compelling opinions about what “conversation starters” should do given the described circumstances.

Some of this “knowledge” is relevant and worthy . . . and some, while eloquently crafted, is nothing short of DANGEROUS and ill-informed.

From my perspective as a Principal Broker, my most important role is as a consultant, coach, trouble-shooter, sounding board who is quintessentially available for my agents to consider strategy and legal and/or ethical courses of action. Our livelihood is what’s at stake because our burden of responsibility is to serve and protect from harm our home buying and selling clients as they navigate the most important transactions of their lives.

When one of my agents comes to me with a question or concern, I will not render an opinion until I am absolutely certain that I understand the scenario and every nuance of our clients’ goals and motives. In most cases, I review ALL written documents to be sure not to miss a vital term or piece of information.

Why am I so anal about this? Because, as a Principal Broker, I am “on the hook” of responsibility for the actions and behavior of each and every agent affiliated with Pareto Realty . . . Our reputation and legal compliance are easily compromised and difficult (expensive) to recover.

So . . . I read the various Forums (Groups) on Facebook and cringe as I witness agents and Principal Brokers posing complicated scenarios and receiving myriad “opinions” many of which are unfounded and even toxic and sometimes dangerously close to violation of client confidentiality, fair housing, or antitrust issues.

Facebook is NOT your Principal Broker . . . It’s a great place for “Brainstorming”, but always always always consult with you Principal Broker before taking action on Facebook “wisdom”.

Don’t trust!



Published by Barry Owen 

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love 

Posted by

Barry Owen

Principal Broker
Pareto Realty
Nashville, TN

Call me: 615-568-2123
email me: barryo@comcast.net




Simply & BOLDLY Living the FourFold Way in Open Space!

Quintessentially connected to the real estate industry to offer the ultimate experience for Home Buyers and Sellers in Middle Tennessee . . . Inquire within!


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Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

Excellent blog, Barry!  Brokers are on the hook and should look at every transaction and FB is certainly not known for accuracy! :)

Nov 06, 2019 08:20 AM #2
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

"Because, as a Principal Broker, I am “on the hook” of responsibility for the actions and behavior of each and every agents affiliated with Pareto Realty . . . Our reputation and legal compliance are easily compromised and difficult (expensive) to recover." 

Those are very important words for real estate professionals to understand!

Nov 06, 2019 09:20 AM #3
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

You know how they used to say “There are no dumb questions.” I am not sure that statement is true anymore. Why would you post an important business question on a public forum? Yet, I see it all the time.

It definitely makes you cringe.

Nov 06, 2019 09:48 AM #4
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Barry... an excellent way to put it. As brokers we often cringe when our clients depend on other "experts" in their home buying decisions. Using Facebook "experts" for advice is no different.

Nov 06, 2019 09:55 AM #5
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Carol Williams hi Carol... my recommendation for inclusion in your Second Chance Saturday post.

Nov 06, 2019 09:56 AM #6
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

So true. Any fool can write an answer on Facebook - and many fools do! The real fools are the ones who take that advice in place of going to their broker.

Nov 07, 2019 07:43 AM #7
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Point well made, Barry Owen ... everyone's an expert on Facebook until they are NOT....

Nov 09, 2019 04:42 AM #8
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

It's so refreshing to see a Principle Broker who takes his responsibilities seriously. One of the biggest downfalls in my deals that I'm seeing lately is new agents who have no supervision. Terrific post!

Nov 09, 2019 05:10 AM #9
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Barry. You point of view is focused and  correct in my view. 

Nov 09, 2019 05:56 AM #10
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

The INTERNET is not your Principal Broker! 

SO MANY AGENTS with no one minding the store, coming to us (we might shed light) or FB (HIGHLY UNLIKELY) for guidance.

As an AZ Designated Broker, I would MURDER an agent under my watch who went elsewhere first. 

So many brokers are just not training . . .

Thank you for this!

Nov 09, 2019 07:33 AM #11
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Excellent post.  This is true for so many subjects online under any banner.  Thank you.

Nov 10, 2019 04:21 AM #12
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

It makes me sad that so many agents will run to Facebook first instead of going to their broker. Their broker should be the first place they go. But many agents do not have a broker that is very involved or easy to get in touch with. My first broker was pretty much worthless. I know many other agents... Many many many... Who have a broker only in name. This is shameful.

Nov 10, 2019 05:47 AM #13
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh yes, I see this all of the time and as a broker, it will sometimes make my heart stop - OH NO, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!! The bottom line is though, the onus is on US. You're so right, Barry.

This has become a major problem in our business, as I'm sure it has others. Many banks/lending brokers won't allow their lenders to blog anything to do with business for that very reason. 

Great post and thanks to Carol Williams for highlighting it in her weekly features for us!

Nov 10, 2019 10:48 AM #14
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Barry,

OMG..I'm so glad that Carol Williams featured this in her Second Chance Saturday series. I'm trying to catch up and you are so right. This has become a major problem and I can see why some brokers are stepping in and asking their agents (whether they are brokers or not) "What are you doing??"

Nov 10, 2019 04:06 PM #15
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

And on social media sites, there are multiple states and localities represented by the people who are commenting. All of them do business differently. With different laws. That's not the place to get specific guidance about a deal.

Nov 11, 2019 06:04 PM #16
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Good post Barry! I would NEVER DISCUSS BUSINESS ON FACEBOOK! If I have a problem I go to my broker-in-charge

Nov 11, 2019 08:45 PM #17
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi Barry Owen   As a Principal Broker myself...I agree completely with your comments.

I am astounded at the poor advice shared on various group pages.  I am even more bewildered at the actual lack of knowledge of so many on the various topics.  I agree ...always ask your managing Broker or Principal and share the entire story when asking. 

Nov 12, 2019 05:56 PM #18
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

I see this a lot on facebook.  Why on earth would agents post scenerios on there first, without talking to the broker.  But it is being done.

Buyers think they know it all tooo from info on FB.  Once it is implanted it is hard to reverse their way of thinking.

Nov 12, 2019 06:22 PM #19
Michelle Cherie CarrCrowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Often it all seems easy and fun on FB. Talking with the broker about an actual scenario and getting advice is more relevant and valuable.

Nov 12, 2019 10:18 PM #20
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

I see questions on facebook and some of the answers are frightening!  If an agent is in doubt on anything they need to go directly to their Broker with all information in hand.  We also have a legal hotline that is free to use as well.  Facebook is definitely not the place for agent questions!  GREAT POST!!

Nov 13, 2019 06:40 AM #21
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