It's plagiarism and laziness when a realtor uses someone else's photo and/or text for a listing

By
Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel BRE 01367196

Why, or why, will some realtors still use someone else's picture to use in a listing, without at least attempting to see who took the picture and getting permission?

This is a pet peeve.

,,,,since we now have so many digital cameras of all shapes and sizes, at all budget ranges...

....and since many phones today have high-quality, high megapixel built-in cameras...

It smacks of laziness, lack of effort, lack of imagination, and in my opinion, a broken promise to do one's best to service a listing if one simply copies someone else's work, be it a photo or text description.

It's not that hard, folks!  Even a non-professional photographer with an old camera (some folks simply use their phones) can take decent pictures.

I took this photo using an "old" circa 2004 Lumix digital camera

It was nearly at dusk, and I was facing the sun. Thank goodness for the free Picasa photo editing software and the wonders of Microsoft Office Picture Manager, I was able to make this photo quite nice-looking. Nice enough that some folks have used it for their listings at the same building!

The Essex at 1 Lakeside Drive in Oakland CA

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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
California Alameda County Oakland Lake Merritt
Groups:
Club Chaos
ETHICS and the REALTOR
Great Shots!
Local Expert
The Vent
Tags:
using someone elses photos without permission
realtors copying other realtors
plagiarism
lazy realtors

Comments 9 New Comment

Rainmaker
1,056,618
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
LandlordWhisperer
Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

Our MLS owns the photos on their system.....not the agents OR the property owners.  The MLS has indicated that even OWNERS can not get the photos off the mls HOWEVER, as a member of the MLS, I can use them until I can take BETTER/NEWER photos.....

As a property manager I ROUTINELY, take photos of properties VACANT for future marketing efforts...Owners and DIY landlords need to learn this lesson

June 10, 2011 05:43 AM
Rainmaker
248,844
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA

When we enter pics in out MLS, those pics become property of the MLS. The MLS authorizes anyone to use them. When someone relists that property a few years down the road, MLS asks the question " Use existing photo?" and you check "yes". You can go back and change it later if you want, but many agents don't, and they don't have to.

 When one of our listings is sold, withdrawn, or expired, we have 30 days to make any changes to it, those include deleting any pics you don't want left with the listing, and deleting or changing any remarks you made.

June 10, 2011 07:12 AM
Rainmaker
238,246
Peggy Hughes
SF NYC LA
PHA/Peggy Hughes Associates - Professional Moving Organizer

Pacita - Isn't there some way to embed your name in the photo?  I'm not tech savvy, but it seems to me that could be one way to control use of your image.  Have a great weekend...

June 10, 2011 11:10 AM
Rainmaker
657,458
Pacita Dimacali
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
Alain Pinel

To all

Interesting that different MLS have different rules on use of photos and text description. In our local MLS, it is a violation to use someone else's photo without permission.

It seems that since most of us do take the time and care to present our listings in the best possible light, that it shouldn't open the door to others to simply take and grab someone else's. The lazy agent just seems cheap or can't be bothered to take care of his own listing the way he promised the seller.

June 10, 2011 02:17 PM
Rainmaker
657,458
Pacita Dimacali
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
Alain Pinel

Update: our MLS was able to get the offending agent to remove use of my photo on her listing. She still has to take her own picture of this building that rises magnificently across Lake Merritt. Ther eare just so many beautiful angles to this building -- surely she can take at least one photo for herself?

June 11, 2011 05:02 AM
Rainmaker
657,458

Pacita Dimacali

Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
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