Give the Facts, But Not Too Many Details

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with eXp Realty RB-19250

I was reading a post from WooHoo Celeste "Sally Cheeseman today.  Professional Attitudes & Behaviors Online.

She discussed what we write about other agents.  It made a real good point.  Some agents post comments on the blogs about other agents, naming names and/ or companies in a negative light.

I feel strongly that this is totally wrong and a violation of our Code of Ethics (COE).  I feel it is perfectly acceptable to discuss behaviors and business practices openly as long as we leave off names.  I also get concerned when agents discuss things about their clients in a similar manner, especially when they include pictures of their homes that make it clear who they are speaking about.

Have you ever heard the words "law suit" or "ethics complaint"?  If you are writing and posting these kinds of details, get ready for your day to get a lot worse.  Once that attorney contacts you or the Board of REALTORS® your day is not going to get any better than it is at that moment.

If you feel like ranting, use a little judgment and common sense.  Discuss behaviors, professional standards and ethical behavior.  Leave off names and details that point out individuals are companies.

What you write tdayo will be floating around in cyberspace for many years.  Just remember "anything you say can be used against you."

Posted by

 

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Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

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Rainer
35,606
Jane Page Thompson
Aiken Properties - Aiken, SC

Good Post and a good warning, too.  I had read Sally's blog and have tried to be careful and when I did use an example that actually identified a specific person, I called them to let them know.  And the issue resolved itself with the call and we both thought that the educational benefit was there, so the post is still up.  It is not negative, only a "grey or gray" area issue.  Thanks for getting me thinking!

Sep 19, 2008 05:02 AM #31
Rainmaker
662,746
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Jane - You did the right thing by contacting them.

Sep 19, 2008 05:07 AM #32
Rainer
132,369
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

I couldn't agree more.  I have posted scenarios without naming names (but have had comments suggesting I should name names).  I won't do this for a number of reasons; the main reason being the nature of our litigious society.  The other is that I don't need to name names when other agents are involved; those that work in my area already know who they are. 

Sep 20, 2008 01:11 AM #33
Rainmaker
662,746
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Jon - You do make a good point.  There are some agents who are so out there, that others in the area will probably guess who they are.

Sep 20, 2008 03:50 PM #34
Ambassador
3,695,516
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Randy, forget the lawsuit, if a client recognizes him or herself as blog fodder, he (or she) will badmouth the agent at cocktail parites forever!  Never mind ever getting any referrals.  And that could cost a bunch of money!

Sep 21, 2008 01:09 PM #35
Rainmaker
662,746
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Patricia - You are right, it will wreck the offending agents reputation for sure.

Sep 21, 2008 01:20 PM #36
Rainmaker
76,381
Ronnie Margolis
KW Kauai - Kapaa, HI
Kauai Realtor - CDPE, ABR, RA - On Top of the Aloh

The COE is a high standard and we need to abide by it Randy. Especially in this cyberworld, we must use our disgression and be mindful and respectful of our peers whether we agree or disagree with their behavior.

Sep 22, 2008 07:07 PM #37
Rainmaker
662,746
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Ronnie - That is important.

Sep 22, 2008 07:45 PM #38
Rainmaker
1,543,127
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Even if you have something negative you could say, what is the point? Will you be a better peson for saying anything? Good post, Randy. We need to think first.

Sep 23, 2008 12:54 AM #39
Rainmaker
662,746
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Gary - If you have something negative to say, it should be only said if names are left off and it has educational value for those reading the post.  Otherwise it should not be posted on the internet.

Sep 23, 2008 06:04 AM #40
Rainmaker
76,381
Ronnie Margolis
KW Kauai - Kapaa, HI
Kauai Realtor - CDPE, ABR, RA - On Top of the Aloh

It always is an opportunity for us to take the higher road. It's a good lesson to learn in real estate and in life in general.

Sep 23, 2008 07:17 AM #41
Rainmaker
662,746
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Ronnie - I agree completely.

Sep 23, 2008 08:02 AM #42
Rainmaker
299,303
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Randy- That was a good Post by Sally.....and this is a perfect follow-up. I loved your advice...what we say can and will be used against us :)  As everyone else already said, we need to watch what we say.  If not for the Code of Ethics Violations but for our own image.

Sep 23, 2008 12:02 PM #43
Rainmaker
662,746
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Kathy - Well said, your reputation stays with you for years.  Ruin it and it is not easily repaired.

Sep 23, 2008 01:01 PM #44
Rainmaker
112,155
Brenda Harmon
Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas - College Station, TX

Never write anything on the internet you wouldn't want to read in the paper.

 

Sep 23, 2008 06:35 PM #45
Rainmaker
662,746
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Brenda - In today's world they are one of the same.  Our newspapers are also on the internet.  Whatever is on the internet could be out there indefinitely.

Sep 23, 2008 08:29 PM #46
Rainmaker
76,381
Ronnie Margolis
KW Kauai - Kapaa, HI
Kauai Realtor - CDPE, ABR, RA - On Top of the Aloh

It's especially important to be sensitive to others when you live in a small town. On Kauai, the way word travels from gossip is labeled "the coconut wireless". That's even more reason to be respectful and sensitive to others, especially those in your trade.

Sep 23, 2008 09:04 PM #47
Rainmaker
662,746
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Ronnie - Our market on Oahu is much larger, yet it is still a small town in attitude.  The coconut wireless is strong here also.

Sep 23, 2008 09:19 PM #48
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Reminds me of the first (of two) times that I got sued. Although I won, I had to spend thousands of dollars on my defense. My attorney prepped me by asking me questions that he thought the prosecutor would ask. My answers were always:

  • Yes, but...
  • I used to...
  • I would have except...

Etc.

After our first prep session, he looked at me and said, "You need to learn how to use two of the shortest yet powerful words in the English language: YES and NO."

Sep 25, 2008 12:48 AM #49
Rainmaker
662,746
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Russel - A good tip.

Sep 25, 2008 07:59 AM #50
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Rainmaker
662,746

Randy Prothero

Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645
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