I had heard a very interesting story this weekend. Jim the real estate agent, was looking for a home for Morgan in the price range of $650,000. After 3 months of looking at properties he and Morgan found the perfect single family home in Huntington Beach, Ca. Negotiations ensued for quite some time. Morgan was asking for a $15,000 concession on price which would bring the home to the par average of comparable homes on the block. However, the seller was not budging.
Morgan had a Facebook account. Some how, some way Morgan found out the seller also had a Facebook account. One evening, Jim calls Morgan and gives him the great news: "...the seller is willing to drop the price by $13,000!" To Jim's surprise, Morgan said, "Not thanks. I don't do business with racists!"
It turns out, Morgan was reading the sellers "Status" updates. In the history, the seller wrote derogatory, slanderous, and anti-Semitic comments regarding the negotiation of his/her house. The comments were in the realm of: "This damn ***** (racial slur) wants to take $15k from me, *****...."
Morgan later found another home. Jim worked hard for this sale and was "inches" from it. Jim's, including the listing agent's, work was made that much harder because of the poor action of the seller on Facebook.
It's amazing the power of the internet and social media. Like any power it can be used for both harm and good. The question here is: should we censor our clients' social media (Facebook) activities?
How would you react as the buyer's agent? Or even better, what would you do if you found out your client was making negative comments on their Facebook account? Would you drop the listing?
Follow-up post (3/24): Twitter & Facebook Can Kill The Deal!