The National Association of REALTORS has called the website Realtor-Complaints.com a “Scam Complaint Site,” in a recent post on its blog, and is warning agents not to pay to have “false” complaints removed.
Read that post here: Don’t Let Your Reputation—or Your Wallet—Fall Prey to Scam Complaint Site.
NAR’s article says that the “web site of suspicious origin is misusing the REALTOR® trademark in what seems to be an attempt to get money from real estate practitioners.”
The article goes on to site the investigative work conducted by an East Coast MLS and an NAR attorney that debunks the legitimacy of the “complaint” site.
The NNRMLS staff visited the site, and found that we could search REALTORS by state and the staff here found a list, (at least 142 pages long), of Nevada agents. If you click on an individual agent’s name the “complaint” lodged is nearly identical to all the others that can be found on the site, which are as follows: “We were transferring to [insert city name here] and seeking for a new home. This realtor (sic) kept on showing my family lousy communities. This is the perfect area to raise children. It has got certain tough areas though. Virtually any professional real estate broker can direct you clear of these kinds of areas if you have children. I have faith in my real estate agent to show me some safe and secure locations! Think about it!”
Appearing near the end of the complaint is a call to action “Are you [insert REALTOR name here]? Click Here to set the record straight and repair your reputation!”
When we clicked on the link we were given the choice to “Issue an official response to a Complaint” or “Remove the entire Complaint page completely,” choosing the latter brought us to a PayPal page that solicited a payment in exchange for removing the complaint. Clicking the former gives the opportunity, seemingly without cost, to post a rebuttal but the we were not allowed to edit the content which admits guilt for not returning phone calls, etc.
The NAR article says its ” attorneys are investigating and, if necessary, will take steps to have the site shut down. But it’s important to approach with caution any service that claims to either track or burnish your reputation.”
The post ends with likely the best advice, “…don’t be tempted to pay to have information removed. ‘It’s hard to imagine a legitimate site requiring you to pay to take down false information,’ [said NAR Attorney Michael Thiel.”
Andrew Cristancho Director of Marketing at Northern Nevada Regional Multiple Listing Service