Tim Ball (EXP Realty, LLC.)

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Rainmaker
3,332,350
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Is your description uniquely "yours"?   Plagiarism lawsuits in real estate. I wonder.  Fair or right?  Likely not. Lawsuits?  Hmm...this could be a true "Honey, stop the car" moment if we want to keep the advertising reference that was made previously.  Interesting question. 

Jul 23, 2019 05:10 AM
Rainmaker
3,090,411
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Well, I wouldn't do it. I know our MLS does not allow using another agent's photos. As for copy, I'm not sure... it just doesn't feel right. I'd check with your MLS what the rules are.

Jul 23, 2019 04:45 AM
Rainmaker
760,081
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Is this right?

Well, life is not fair. Zdevil, franchises and local associations have made that crystal clear.

The problem with condos is they all share many of the same features. What you can do is call the agent and ask for the definition of the select words you used in your description.

Otherwise, although disappointing, your text is fair game. In a sea of common thought and diminishing creativity, stealing the creation of others is common practice among real estate professionals.

Congrats!  You created something worthy of stealing!

Jul 23, 2019 04:44 AM
Rainer
49,890
Ken Jones
Freehold, NJ

Tim Ball Whether or not it's "acceptable" is far less important than asking, "why would anyone want to copy another agent's MLS listing description?"

Are real estate agents so lazy or incapable of writing something so simple?

Do they not wish to distinguish themselves from the agent who has obviously failed to get the same property sold?

It's not likely that copying another's MLS description is illegal or unethical.

But, it's probably a pretty stupid thing to do.

Jul 23, 2019 05:06 AM
Rainmaker
705,051
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Yep, it happens all the time. Move on, go sell a house.

Send a note to the agent that you are flattered with the use of your prose.

Jul 23, 2019 06:55 AM
Rainmaker
4,991,208
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

why would anyone want to do that.... it's NOT right.... but it would also depend on what your MLS rules are... I doubt if that's acceptable anywhere.

Jul 23, 2019 06:23 AM
Rainmaker
1,945,252
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Lazy and unoriginal. Or flattering that no one can improve on your prose and narrative  Tim Ball . If it was hogwash it would not be duplicated in the copy and paste.

Jul 23, 2019 06:03 AM
Rainmaker
1,533,851
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

No, not really but you can't really call copyright on listing words. Photos are a totally different story. I know what you mean though about some agents not being able to complete a sentence about their own listing.

Jul 23, 2019 05:14 AM
Rainmaker
704,400
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

This is a great question! I don't know if you can claim ownership to words in this context. I have seen this over and over again.

I find people who cannot come up with their own words, thoughts, personalities, to be quite pathetic.

But this is good news for people who are original. Because they're always going to be a step ahead.

It's a signal to remember to change it up. Keep it fresh. Let the wannabes try to catch up. As if.

Jul 23, 2019 07:16 AM
Rainmaker
1,303,213
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

I'm not a lawyer, but it strikes me as unethical but probably not illegal. Certainly lazy.

Jul 23, 2019 06:21 AM
Rainmaker
734,480
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I don't think there's a law against it; don't believe plagiarism applies, but it's not right. Guess they just love what you write.

Jul 23, 2019 06:13 AM
Rainmaker
1,604,532
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Yes. It's not verbatim and you are not writing a novel. Take it as flattery Tim Ball , you are obviously good at it and inspiring to this other agent.

Jul 23, 2019 05:24 AM
Rainmaker
1,320,699
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

It's sad when agents are so uncreative that they can't come up with their own description.  There are so many ways to describe the same thing.  I never see a need to copy.    Agents that do this are lazy and uncreative, which is also a sign of their overall marketing skills.

Jul 23, 2019 07:47 AM
Rainmaker
411,133
Dan Pittsenbarger
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA
Improving Conditions

Typically at least a few words are changed. To answer the question, I would say yes as it happens all the time and it has been accepted as common practice.

Jul 23, 2019 07:30 AM
Rainmaker
1,013,845
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Hard to win a lawsuit. However, I have agents copy my photos and post on MLS. Same broker just got escorted out handing out business cards at my open house. SHe probably has been that way for 20 years.

Jul 23, 2019 05:57 AM
Rainmaker
3,272,632
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041 has this one nailed.

Jul 23, 2019 05:19 AM
Rainmaker
434,031
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

Is it worth it to let yourself get worked up over this? are there not more productive uses for your time, effort and energy? If you prioritize your activities this one should be at the bottom of the list.

Jul 23, 2019 04:57 AM
Rainmaker
3,012,246
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Send them an email and copy their broker.  Totally not acceptable.

Jul 23, 2019 04:51 AM
Rainmaker
4,442,548
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

I agree with Nina Hollander .  A

Jul 23, 2019 07:58 AM
Rainer
420,689
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

No I would not do it.  Surely they could come up with their own description. 

 

Jul 23, 2019 07:09 AM
Rainmaker
927,172
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Is it right to plagiarize? No. But sometimes, baring the fluff piece, there's only so many ways to describe amenities and floor plans. I don't police my MLS, I'm too busy.

Jul 23, 2019 07:00 AM
Rainmaker
455,228
Dee Toohey
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Longwood, FL
Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro

You can't copy anyone elses work without their permission.  I can't even legally copy and ask this question.  We must follow US Copyright laws.  

Jul 23, 2019 06:52 AM
Rainmaker
689,195
Peter den Boer
Atlanta Communities - Woodstock, GA
MBA,GRI, Associate Broker, Realtor

Nope, nope, and nope. Oh, unless you really want to show your new seller how incredibly lazy and non-talented you are.

Jul 23, 2019 05:31 AM
Rainmaker
113,951
Denise Copeland
Mirsky Realty Group - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Jupiter Abacoa Sales & Beach Front Luxury Homes

I suppose you could copyright the contents of your listing. I would be annoyed, but I’m not sure I could do anything other than that to stop them. 

Jul 23, 2019 04:51 AM
Rainer
15,173
Tim Ball
EXP Realty, LLC. - Eau Gallie, FL

I contacted my Board of Realtors to ask the very same question I posed to all of you.  The reply was that they do not condone that, and to let them know the listing number.  The listing must have been reviewed, because the verbiage has been changed.    Thanks for all of your replies.

 

Jul 23, 2019 03:39 PM
Ambassador
4,212,529
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I wouldnt recommend it, on the other hand I would not let it upset me either.

Jul 23, 2019 09:05 AM
Rainmaker
768,266
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

I wouldn't lose to much sleep over this. Imitation is a form of flattery I've heard.

Jul 23, 2019 08:26 AM
Rainmaker
2,454,564
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

In colleges across the Nation this was rampant until they came up with software that tests it for originality. In other sectors like Real Estate, people who have no marketing skills or are lazy or tempted take the E_Z way. The search for identity (who are you) is at risk when you copy or imitate

Jul 23, 2019 05:30 AM
Rainmaker
547,193
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT
PETER TESTA

Copy it verbatum, absolutely wrong. Doesn't say much about their work ethic either; writing a unique, appealing, verbose description is part of our job. 

If they took the listing from you (expired) & then took your words then it's even more aggregious!

If you have no thoughts of your own or there is just not that many things to say then I suggest PARAPHRASING, that'll work. 

Jul 23, 2019 11:26 AM
Ambassador
2,863,819
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

it's not what I would do, but I'd "let it go"

Jul 23, 2019 10:09 AM
Rainmaker
2,790,105
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

I echo what Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA said.  The MLS has rules and the board frowns on copy and pasting listing descriptions.  There are agents out there that do that with entire websites!!!  I know of 2 examples where they were so lazy and stupid they did not change the name or the phone number.  Holy Crow!!! 

Jul 23, 2019 09:34 AM
Rainmaker
1,237,786
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

In my area, it would not be allowed.  It happens and if the thief does not correct it once called out on it, the board will usually come down pretty hard on them.

 

Now with that said, if it's a section in the writeup about community pools, parks, etc. there are only so many ways to say "Neighborhood has community pools, etc."

Jul 23, 2019 09:22 AM
Rainmaker
4,077,625
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I would not, come up with your own.

Aug 07, 2019 04:53 PM
Rainmaker
1,551,479
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
www.SIBRealty.org 305-931-6931

No, it is not acceptable.

Jul 27, 2019 02:36 PM
Rainmaker
3,166,119
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I see it happen alot in our area.

 

Jul 26, 2019 11:52 AM
Rainmaker
1,115,250
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty

Not really. 

Jul 24, 2019 08:14 PM
Rainmaker
1,542,335
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Hell NO!

Jul 24, 2019 11:17 AM
Ambassador
3,313,437
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

It is not acceptable but, we do see it quite often. 

Jul 24, 2019 09:15 AM
Rainmaker
678,879
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA
ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

If your verbiage is unique and you have worked to make it different, it would be an affront to you to have it duplicated on another agent's listing. If it is descriptive of the features of the unit or community...well, there are a limited way of describing shared features...pool, community center, parking.

Yet, it is easy to see if the other agent just took the lazy way out out used your creativity or simply used common descriptors.

Jul 24, 2019 05:55 AM
Ambassador
1,640,593
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Not in my opinion.

Jul 23, 2019 11:48 PM
Ambassador
2,860,351
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

I would not suggest that to any agent. Create your own copy and also don't take my community photos for your use either. I see  this going on all the time.

Jul 23, 2019 03:09 PM
Rainmaker
745,235
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

It's probably allowed and could be acceptable. Sometimes it's the seller that writes the description that they want agents to use. If sellers didn't create, other agent might have said go ahead and use it. Otherwise, new agent can give it their own twist. Not something I'd worry about.

Jul 23, 2019 02:52 PM