In building her firm’s Facebook page, REALTOR® A decided to include a link to a realtor.com page with all the listings in her city. Competing broker REALTOR® B in the same community happened upon the Facebook page and discovered the link to realtor.com, which included REALTOR® B’s listings.
REALTOR® B immediately filed an ethics complaint with the local association of REALTORS® alleging REALTOR® A had violated Article 12, Standard of Practice 12-4, which does not allow REALTORS® to advertise property without authority. Following review by the association’s grievance committee, the complaint was scheduled for a hearing before a hearing panel.
At the hearing, REALTOR® B argued that REALTOR® A was advertising without authority all the listings in the local MLS on her firm’s Facebook page by providing a link to the listings on realtor.com. REALTOR® A countered, saying that links are merely a method of “pointing” or “referring” to another site; that the information had not been altered nor had any information been deleted; and that people who view links to websites understand that.
After hearing all relevant testimony, the hearing panel went into executive session and concluded that by linking to a website which contained other REALTORS®’ listings, REALTOR® A had not engaged in unauthorized advertising and had not violated Article 12.
I’m not sure how valuable this article was since the incident was not a violation of the rules. Why would it be included? I’m disappointed. It would have been better to write about a violation so that members know what NOT to do.
I think we need to know things that are and aren’t violations. There are all sorts of things that people say are illegal, against the code of ethic and to me this help sort those things out. Remember there are agents of all experience levels that are REALTORS®.
I think what may be common knowledge to an experience agent, might be news to someone else.
Sam, I agree with you. It is good to know what we can do without the risk of incurring the rath of the panel! Laura, when you have been around long enough to have been weighted down by all the negatives, you will come to appreciate a breath of fresh are every now and then. I was glad it was deemed okay because I am doing the same thing! All the best to you both.
I wholeheartedly, and respectfully disagree. It is good to know the outcome in this case and is helpful to realtors using Facebook and other social media in their marketing efforts. We learn from all outcomes, not just violations.
Because it was a perceived violation. And since we all provide links at some point, it’s very relevant to our
Rapidly expanding tech world.
Members should know what to do too. 🙂
You sound like a brand new agent.
I appreciate your position. Sometimes it is good to hear the ones that were NOT a violation as well because people may be considering doing the same thing but were curious if it was ok. There are times that you may believe it is a violation and then see it is not. So it gives some clarity.
I find it ‘interesting’ as it pertains to something we’ve probably ‘thought’ might do us good as a ‘component’ of a marketing plan.
I appreciate very much your sharing this.
We as Realtors have to be very careful, because someone is always watching. Looking for violations.
Yeah. Another realtor with too much time on their hands.
Yes!!! I agree!
I appreciate the information we can use it as a guide line.
I’m very glad to have read this article. Realtor B is clearly insecure if he has to go hunting specious ways to attempt to tear down savvy Realtor A (who was just using social media effectively).
Who SHOULD have been investigated is Realtor B.
In the end, there is plenty of room at the top for excellent brokers! Only agents with a scarcity mentality are insecure when other agents out compete and out produce them. Cheers to Realtor A!
My thoughts exactly. I don’t understand how it even went so far as a HEARING.
Scott, every town is full of REALTOR® Bs. During my career I have written so many letters to explain to so many REALTOR® Bs the Code of Ethics and the Real Estate Licensing Act and still cannot convince them until their counselor or some trusted individual explains to them. Makes you wonder why REALTORS® ‘ reputations aren’t where they should be.
I agree as well there is plenty of opportunities for everyone -to much time on his hands
If REALTOR A is in default then so is realtor.com and Zillow.com.
Nope! They are not subject to the Code of Ethics.
This was super interesting, thank you! I have heard complaints along this line- but your listings are on THE INTERNET and can be seen- which is the intended purpose, to be seen. Why would you complain about free advertisement? This to me sounds like REALTOR B was jealous or REALTOR A which opens a whole other can of worms.
👍 congratulations Realtor A!! More power to you!!
Seems foolish for REALTOR B to complain about getting more exposure for their own listings. Why would this be a bad thing? I only see good coming from this and aren’t we supposed to cooperate with other brokers/agents to sell a listing? REALTOR B needs to get a life
Its always great to get confirmation of such a topic. I feel it is no different that using the IDX feed in your website. I think its crazy that agents/brokers would not encourage for other agents to promote their listings.
the article was useful