The Downside To Having Good SEO...

Real Estate Agent with I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group

Hi All,

One of the first acronyms I learned within days, practically within hours of entering the Blogging arena was SEO.  Search Engine Optimization was said (or rather typed) with a respect bordering upon reverence.  Having your presence in the Internet being noticed and noted by Google, Yahoo et al was considered the be-all and end-all of everything.  Well, today I learned why that may not be such a good thing...

I got a phone call from a very nice lady in another state who had found me on the Internet when she did a search looking for help with a Short Sale.  As we talked and she laid her story before me I felt worse and worse for her.  She is in what my mom used to call a "Mell of a Hess", two different properties in two different states and both are in jeopardy.  They are rapidly depleting their retirement account to keep up with the mortgages and are going under with lightening speed. 

To add additional pathos to the party, she told me that she had spoken with a "Loss Mitigation Negotiator" who told her that his company would be able to almost guarantee that they could help her with both properties, at no cost to her (unless the bank did not approve the deal which "almost never happens").  He also told her that she would have to sign "a couple of pieces of paper" to have them get started helping her right away, a Release to Convey Information and a Limited Power of Attorney. He is not a Real Estate Agent, but he would refer her to one (whose license is due to expire at the end of September by the way) to handle the sale.

I told her I understood about the Release to Convey as anyone will need that in order to negotiate on her behalf, and in fact I had told her when I was explaining generally how the Short Sale process works, that this would be one of the documents among many that she would need to fill out.  But, I asked her, why do they need Power of Attorney? 

She read me the letter that they sent her which said that although the document is not mandatory, not signing it would significantly delay her transaction and that they needed it so that they could "sign things for her to keep the deal moving smoothly".  I asked her if she had a computer, a printer and access to either a fax machine, a scanner or a Kinkos.  Yes, she has all of the above, she said.  "Then why do you need someone else to have that level of authority?  There is nothing that could come up in a typical Short Sale that requires almost instantaneous response. 

Well, she said that the man she spoke with was very nice (shocking, huh?) and that one of the things that attracted her to them was that they advertised that they could prevent Foreclosure and protect her credit.  Yes, I told her, I am sure he is a nice guy, and what they are saying is technically true (and the same thing that any Realtor who accomplishes a Short Sale does as well), a Short Sale, if successfully completed does prevent Foreclosure and "protects" her credit in that the Foreclosure would be a huge black mark and the Short Sale would only be a really dark grey one.

She needs help and I can't help her and yet Google told her I was the best person for the job.  And it hurts me that I can't.  I got into this business to make money, yes, but even more important to me than that, I got into it to help people.  That really matters to me more than the money ever could. 

I have spent the better part of the afternoon trying to track down some folks who work in the areas her homes are in (near Tucson AZ and Leesburg VA) who are experienced Short Sale specialists.  If any of you are, are know someone who is, please send me their contact info ASAP. 

So, I have decided that SEO ain't all its cracked up to be.  Sure it helps raise you head and shoulders above the crowd, and most of the time that is a wonderful thing.  But, sometimes it can put you (or at least part of you, the feeling, human part) in harms way. 

Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!


Comments (13)

Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Tisza, sounds to me that in the end she vary well may get the help she is looking for because of SEO----because of you.  Way better than she would have done with the Yellow Pages:)

Aug 27, 2008 06:14 PM
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

I think you did, indeed, help her. Now if you can find a specialist in her area; do a search on ActiveRain for something like "Tucson [and Leesburg] short sale specialist."

Aug 27, 2008 07:22 PM
Tisza Major-Posner
I.V.P.G. - Inland Valley Professional Group - Claremont, CA

Hi All,

Charles - I sure hope so, now all I need is for someone in the right areas to find me too.

Jim - Great minds do think alike, I started my search for folks to help her here, I just wish the agents that I have left messages for would give me a call back...

Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!


Aug 27, 2008 08:19 PM
Mary Pope-Handy
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno - Los Gatos, CA
CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES, Silicon Valley

Charles is right (I was gonna say that!), ultimately you DID get her the help she sought. And in most cases, if someone needs to be referred out, we can get paid a referral fee, so most of the time it should be win-win.

Let us know if you ever hear "the rest of the story". I'd love a happy ending :)

Aug 28, 2008 01:34 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Tisza, great SEO also helps the telemarkers who want to sell us leads to find us easily.  Good luck to your poor short sale lady. 

Aug 28, 2008 01:44 AM
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I sure hope this lady finds a successful resolution to her problem, and I think that by having your heart in the right place to begin with, you are absolutely a person that can help her find the help she needs.

Ann Allen Birmingham Realtor

Aug 28, 2008 05:26 AM
Aventura | Bal Harbour | Sunny Isles Beach | REALTOR® 786-229-7999
SIB REALTY, Llc // - Sunny Isles, FL

I know what you mean. I have a somewhat decent exposure quotient. The calls and e:mails that I get... many, I can live without. I guess that is the price of fame.

Aug 28, 2008 12:54 PM
Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors

Another down side is all of the damn soliciting phone calls!  I get at least 1-2 every single day!  If it says number not known, I DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE!

Aug 29, 2008 12:14 AM
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

Hey there, I  Lenn Harley is a Leesburg contact you should speak to..she knows the area and may be able to help.

Aug 30, 2008 01:43 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Tisza - Your frustration of not being able to help the woman that needed help, reminds me of a few years back when I was volunteering support for women confronting certain health issues.  There were a few times when I would hear from women, who were suicidal or very depressed.  I always felt totally inadequate and ill-prepared to handle such a situation. 

While explaining to them, that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, I would scramble around in the support arena, to quickly get them assistance local to their area.

The beauty of blogging - especially here on AR, is that there is the collective tribal mind, that can usually pop up with the right answer, or solution to those who may have questions outside your immediate sphere of knowledge!

Sep 08, 2008 03:35 AM
Shannon Ziccardi
"A Quick Note" Tennessee! - Clarksville, TN
"A Quick Note" Mobile Notary Tennessee!

Did you quit the business?

This post was in August.  It's now November.  Where've you been?



Nov 09, 2008 03:02 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Tisza - I enjoy reading your blog pieces so much!  I note you haven't posted in quite awhile.  I hope you are well and OK!

Dec 04, 2008 12:50 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Just remember, you can't be everything to everyone.  The fact that you care, and are trying to help bodes well for you, and with that attitude, you should be very successful in whatever you do.

Dec 17, 2008 11:48 AM