The real-estate world is full of sleaze-bags.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of amazing and wonderful people in the industry – people who really care about city building, the betterment of humanity, creating a better industry, treating their clients well, and generally just awesome people trying to do good. In fact, some of my closest friends have come out of this business. But, that said, there is just so much sleaze.
This morning my team received an email from a real-estate agent from Mississauga, Ontario pretending to be an internet marketing director for a project called Azura Condos by Capital Developments. This realtor asked us to change the contact information for the project from the builder’s phone number to his personal phone number, and asked us to change the URL for the development from the builders website to his own fake “VIP” website.
Of course, the BuzzBuzzHome data team is the best in the business and this was immediately flagged and no changes were made to the listing. But, as an additional precaution for the builder, we notified the builder directly / notified their marketing team / notified other website portals that might not be as quick to see this scam.
Within minutes we heard from the builder that this agent in fact is unknown and not a VIP realtor. Within minutes we heard from other portals that they received the same scam email.
If you are wondering why this is so sleazy, I’ll outline the issues below:
- First off, this Realtor thought he could falsify information on BuzzBuzzHome. We take our data accuracy very seriously, and I take personal offense to any person trying to damage our data quality;
- At BuzzBuzzHome we believe in transparency and creating the best new home buying/renting experience; we believe in consumer protections. This realtor is attempting to trick and fool consumers into thinking that they are contacting the builder direct, but in fact will be contacting the realtor; and,
- This person is trying to steal link juice from the builder – through changing the URLs from the builder website to his own, he is trying to be seen favourably by the search engines and thus trying to get his fake VIP website show up in searches in front of the actual builders website.
Sorry Ricky. Nice try. If you want to make a name for yourself, try working on creating value for your clients rather than deceiving them.
Header photo: James Bombales