I'm frustrated by what I see.
Imagine what a consumer feels if I'm frustrated. I work in this industry, so I know what's going on and read up on everything I can. I spend hours doing research for posts, ideas, and clients. I actually enjoy that side of real estate and real estate blogging. When I see misinformation being passed around on things like the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit recently, it really frustrates me. Not just because I then have to field questions from my clients and locals in my area who say "but I just read on ______ that it was extended," but also because I worry about those consumers who rely on someone's blog who didn't check their facts first.
As a real estate blogger, I feel the necessity to try and deliver the most timely and correct information to my clients as well as to those who aren't my clients, but choose to read my blog anyway. In some ways, I have even more responsibility to those non-clients. When a reader stops in to read an article I've written on the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit from Kalamazoo, I hope that my post helps them understand it and encourages them to seek a local blogger in their area who upholds the same ideas as I do and can be a great real estate agent for them.
But Matt, it's such a small percentage.
Most of the incorrect posts and tweets about the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit were done by a small number of agents when you look at the big picture. Most of the agents I consider friends and mentors didn't tell anyone that it was "passed." They wouldn't dare, but a quick search on Twitter for "tax credit extended" brings up all sort of results that say it "has been extended" (in all fairness, there are a bunch who say "has not"). What is even more shocking is that when you look at the "has been extended" tweets and then follow the links to the posts, they typically say "might be" or other such non-definitive words.
Our industry should strive everyday to be better and more educated. We should do everything in our power to help people make sense of real estate. Giving them false hope or misinformation is not a good way to do either. We require clients to trust us as we go about our work in helping them buy and sell their homes, yet we give them a great reason to distrust us with things like this. We will destroy our own industry if we let ourselves. "But Matt, I don't do this." Ok, so you're on my side then. So when you hear people giving out incorrect information - get involved, do what you can to fight the wrong information. You may not save everyone, but at least you'll be fighting to save our industry as a whole. And who knows, someone might just hear you and think, "hmmmm...I'd like to work with that person."