January 3, 2014

Deceptive Real Estate Websites and Blogs | Abusive Stealth Marketing

Deceptive Real Estate Websites and Blogs | Abusive Stealth Marketing

Real Estate Blind sites and unbranded stealth websites or blogs

As I search the Internet everyday looking at real estate sites and Word Press Blogs, it is amazes me what you will find!  On many sites it is impossible to tell if the owner of the website or Blog is a licensed real estate agent or broker.  The names of the licensed agent / broker, address of the brokers, nor the state the licensed real estate company is in is no where to be found anywhere!  This includes phone numbers.  This is what is called a "Blind Site!"  You cannot tell who owns or operates the site!  For the most part these sites nationally operate outside the real estate license laws!  What they do is illegal! Most states require real estate licensees to identifying themselves by their licensed name, license numbers broker, broker's address and perhaps phone number.   The requirements will vary from state to state but the idea is similar!  The state does not want the public to be misled!  For more information check your states real estate commissions guidelines, and your Realtor code of ethics.

These bold agents that think they are clever area really criminal in their deceptive practices.  They take the term "BLIND SITE" or unbranded websites to a new level!  An example of this is an agent or national marketer that operates a "FOR SALE BY OWNER SITE" that markets a mix of MLS listings and BY OWNERS, yet never mentions anywhere in site the agents or brokers name or that they are licensed-to-do business under a broker licensed in the state. Another example is that of a leads generator in an unbranded site! That is highly illegal!  Another most probably illegal practice that violates real estate license law in many states… is high profiled agents branded sites that are very well placed at the tops of the search engines, however in a million years you cannot tell who the agent is licensed with! Their company is nowhere to be found.  Anyone that sells real estate or received real estate commissions as a referral should be licensed.  So this type of behavior is not very smart! I hope for the agents sake and brokers sake that their personal marketing adviser is familiar with their state real estate license law! Some may view branding as bringing out ones creative side, others view it as a violation of law, and non compliance with state real estate licenses law.

Most state real estate licensure require identification with your licensed broker, the address and city you are licensed, and the office phone number.  Brokers are ultimately for reviewing all advertising, but they have totally ignored reviewing their agent sites. 

Example: It is very easy to find out who owns a website easily, and if they are licensed in your state.  Let's use www.Godaddy.com for the experiment because it is easy to find domain ownership. Start by copying and pasting the domain name of any real estate site,  and then viewing ownership of the site!  Search for a domain names for sale, when it says the name is not available, www.XXX.COM is not available (please click here for info) If they have not hidden their ownership, it will show the name of the website owner. For more information check your states real estate commissions guidelines for compliance, and feel free to review my article below.

"Do You Identify Your Broker, Your Licensure On Your Website?" - by Jim Crawford

Jim Crawford is a real estate speaker and trainer for real estate Internet marketing.

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Comments

  1. I seem to see this more and more,  and you are right Jim, it is quite deceptive.  Show your name and brand you represent and avoid getting yourself into hot water.

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