I saw an article the other day about the real estate industry that really caught my eye. It was about a lawsuit that was filed against Realtors, and the information it contained was just totally wrong. I don’t think it was intentional, but if this sort of thing is happening in other industries, we are getting a lot of information that isn’t close to correct. I won’t publish the article out of respect for everyone involved. If you email me I will send it to you. Let’s look at how a real estate article can be wrong.
- The article was about a lawsuit, so one side was being sued by the other. The group of people filing the lawsuit spoke freely with the author, but the side being sued put out a general statement. And, ask yourself, if you were in that situation, what is the benefit of telling your side of the story? Anything you say will be used against you when you finally go to court. What was the author going to do when the people she reached out to refused to say anything?
- The information the author got was seemingly made up. They used commission numbers that weren’t even close to accurate. They also repeated allegations made by one of the parties without any critical thinking. Sort of like a broken record. They would accuse, and then not get a defense.
- The article referred to lawsuits that are incorrect with regards to how the business of real estate is conducted. A full paragraph is devoted to a justice department ruling that was about different issues. It wasn’t evidence related to the purpose of the lawsuit or how business is conducted in real life.
- The quotes the author was able to secure were from consultants and not people who practice real estate every day. I have reason to be skeptical of consultants for a lot of reasons. If you aren’t working in real estate sales every day, you start to lose sight of how the business works. It doesn’t happen overnight, but at some point you advocate sending recipe cards to the lady of the home who is staying home with the children. That world is so far gone.
- There’s a prediction of future apocalypse. As humans, we aren’t real good at knowing what the future will bring. I suspect people from the 1800’s would be amazed that you can talk to someone in a different country on your phone. I was promised a world of flying cars in the Jetsons with a robot maid, and that hasn’t happened either. Saying an entire industry will be destroyed is great for getting clicks. The chance that it’s accurate is another thing altogether.
- The main focus of the article is incorrect. As a regular writer, I’ve noticed that sometimes I can veer off topic and not be totally conscious of it. The article was about a lawsuit. It isn’t about the ability to negotiate fees. Still, the bottom third of the article discussion is all about negotiation of fees. The question becomes, if you can negotiate fees, does the article still make sense? The thing is, there is negotiation, and the article doesn’t hold up because it says there isn’t.
I’ve written in the past about how I look at the real estate news. I don’t usually quibble with articles I know to be marketing pieces. As we’ve gone through this article, I’m starting to wonder if it was in fact an article for the lawyers representing the plaintiffs. After all, it just seems too convenient that every piece of information is skewed against the defendants. Hopefully, I’ve indicated how a real estate article can be wrong even if there wasn’t a hidden agenda.