Much to my surprise! Real Estate Pirates

“Argh there Mate’s, there are pirates in our mists…”

In my effort to stay current I use Google Alerts and love it! But it can unearth the darndest things. I want to share my thoughts and hope to start some dialogue with our brokers and others about our own real estate style of piracy.

Being an old salty dog and long time listing agent, I believe there is some priority in the listing process, meaning that I am the one that has to provide my seller with the necessary exposure to sell their property. As a managing broker I am the one who designs, implements, and pays for the unique selling and marketing of each listing. I live or die on my performance, competency level and techniques. Or I walk the plank!

Today however there are other agents who scrape our listings and blog about them on their own websites, and market them as their own listings! When a listing is on a website sometimes it is not that obvious to the viewer who the listing belongs to. While at first glance this may seem like additional exposure for our listings, however there are several reasons why this is a problem.

We are hired by our sellers because they believe we can do the best job selling their property. We spend extensive time and money learning about the property, preparing it for sale, collecting pertinent documentation, and ensuring that every detail about the property that we enter into the MLS or any websites is accurate. Our sellers trust us to protect their investment and their privacy. This pirating of listings is counterproductive, disingenuous, and ultimately damaging to our clients, our businesses, and our cooperative relationships.

So, what do you think? If you are an agent, I encourage you to post a comment here or send me your example of real estate piracy and how it has effected you and/or your clients. If you are a home Seller, how would you feel about this if it was your listing being pirated to other unauthorizedwebsites? I’m convinced that social networking and personal communication is not only necessary but healthy. But like any good thing it needs to be tweaked and governed. We as real estate professionals have to work together and respect each other so we can dig ourselves out of this tough market effectively and successfully.

Joel Ripmaster
Colorado Landmark, Realtors