Podcast: Beware of this common deceptive practice

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Real Estate

Beware of this common deceptive advertising practice.

 ( For the hearing impaired: Transcription below by artificial intelligence software - errors are inevitable)

You don't know what you don't know. I'm Steve Martin Smith, and I'm here to help you know, at least when it comes to real estate. Now, if you find this information helpful, you may want to explore more of our videos and podcasts at SteveMartinHomesGroup.com. Now on with today's topic.

Well it's 11:03pm and I'm tired. It's been a very busy day, but I do need to get this video done because I've wanted to do it for days. I'm going to get straight to the point. This has to do with what I consider deceptive advertising and I want to make sure that everybody that takes the time to watch my videos, listen to my podcasts, and read my newsletters has this information. You know that we try and put stuff out there to seriously help you. Whether you're going to end up using us or not is irrelevant. In the first week of my real estate course that I took in December of 2014, they taught me that my job is to protect the public. That is actually the job of all Realtors. That's why they have all these rules and laws in place. That's why we get fined so much if we do the wrong thing or could lose our license, because we're supposed to be protecting the public. Well, I'm about to let you know about an advertising process that I feel is deceptive, because although the reader doesn't have to take it the way they take it, many of them do. So here we go.

I received in my mailbox a flyer, that says Venice East Specialist. It's got a young man's name, and it says Venice East Specialist. Now, I've looked into this young man. He has never done a sale in Venice East. He has been licensed since December of 2017 and although he has sold in Venice, never in Venice East. I on the other hand, have sold 21 homes in Venice East since he got his license. If anybody's a Venice East Specialist, I'd say it's me. But that's not what this is about. What this is about is the fact that along with saying he's a fantasy specialist, he has this very common list of homes that have sold recently in Venice East. It goes back about six months. Now we've all gotten postcards or mailers that show a list of houses that have sold in the area, that has somebody's name on it. If you're not paying attention, you just might think that the person that sent you this is the one who sold these homes. Well, see these orange lines, I don't know if you can see it or not, I'm trying to show to you. Okay, anyway, these five homes, I sold in here. The other homes on here, he didn't sell those either. So somebody is going to call this guy thinking that - wow, he sells a lot of homes in Venice East, but he's never sold one. Do you think he's going to tell them? Maybe, if they point blank asked the question. But I find that people don't really ask that question. I go to a lot of listing appointments, and I am rarely asked how many homes specifically I have sold in their neighborhood, even how many homes have sold in their city. I sell all across Sarasota County, Charlotte County, Manatee - been selling all over the place for years. So it's very easy for me to feel comfortable in any of those environments.

Part of the reason why this irks me so much is because there was an elderly couple who lived a few streets over from me in Venice East a couple of years ago that received one of these postcards from somebody else, a young man with a different brokerage in town, who had never sold a home in Venice at all. He was a Charlotte County agent and he decides that he's going to tackle Venice East. What is it about Venice East, everybody tries to get in here. This couple comes back, they're snow birds, they come back from the north. And you know, they've been doing this for 25 years, they were in their 80s, one of their healths was failing, and they just knew this was going to be the last year for that. So, they decided they were going to sell they saw this postcard look at the young man, a good looking young man, sells a lot of homes in here, according to the postcard. They called him, and I've got to tell you, it was a complete disaster, to the point where he was extremely deceptive with them. He got the house under contract with somebody who he wrote the offer for, and he wrote it very one sided. I ended up getting involved in this at the homeowners request and helped them sort through the mess. They didn't even know for two days that the contract had died, and then he put it back on the market. This agent never told them. I think it's kind of a heart issue if you're going to be okay deceiving people with this type of advertising saying you're a specialist in something that you've never done before. Then how honest are you going to be in the rest of the process? No wonder a lot of people view Realtors as somewhere between a used car salesman and an attorney, right? Sorry, attorneys and used car salesman, but we all know that there's a fair amount of people out there that just don't trust any of us. It really stinks. Obviously, it angers me a bit.  I am just glad that you are watching this, and you know what, maybe you're a Realtor watching this. Maybe it's not just, you know, my normal customer base and friends that are seeing this. If you are a Realtor, and you're seeing this, reconsider the way that you advertise. If you need to be a little deceitful to get business, maybe you're in the wrong business. Okay, why don't you just try meeting people being nice and professional, and either they're going to click with you, or they're not.

But don't try and make it look like you've done things you haven't done. You know darn well that if you put a list of houses on your advertisement, people are going to think that you sold them. Figure out some way to get business another way because that's just BS. And yes, my text messaging is blowing up right now, but I'm just going to let it ride.  I wish you all well. I want you to make good decisions with the Realtors that you hire. I want you to make good decisions with the way that you advertise. If you are a Realtor, we need to really up our game in the honesty department. I hope that this encourages everybody to be paying attention to what you're saying and what you're hearing. If you feel you need to call me about any of this, obviously, this is what I do. You can email me, you can call me. I am happy, happy to help.

Thank you for watching and remember Steve Martin Homes Group for your slice of Florida.

Real Estate Agent Man, Real Estate Agent Man, Write down his cell phone number and do not forget his name. (941) 894-9800 SteveMartinSmith.com

Steve Martin Smith is a licensed Florida Realtor with REMAX Platinum Realty and Steve Martin Homes Group