The Internet is an amazing place (can I call it a place?) – it pushes out incredible amounts of information every minute of every hour of every day. But what exactly do we do with that information? How do we find it, use it or dispose of it? For those of us accustomed to surfing the web, it’s second nature and we don’t even need to think about it. But how about those that have access to the Internet now and misuse or misinterpret the information?
My own mom who is pretty proficient with a computer sometimes calls me to help her find something. Today we received a call from a genuinely irate lady that just didn’t get it.
The Irate Consumer
She called me and demanded to know why in the world I would place her home for sale in the Internet without her knowledge or consent. In addition, I had grossly overpriced her home and she had no intentions of selling.
She had been looking through MSN.com and clicked on Real Estate/Rentals just for curiosity which took her to Realtor.com. Somehow this lady ended up putting her address to get a free value report and that’s when things got ugly.
Unintentional Bad Use of Information
It took me literally 20 minutes to decipher what she was doing and to explain that once she left the screen with her address – her property would no longer be there. That no one would be able to see the screen she was on and it was only information being provided to her would not remain permanently on the site.
If it took me that long to explain Realtor.com, imagine if she ever found her zestimate? (don’t tell David Gibbons I said that). So it takes us back to basics. Our team thrives in this business because of the educated consumer – because that consumer has the tools and the power to put useful information to good use. But what percentage of the population now has Internet Access and doesn’t know what to do with the information, or worse yet, they misinterpret it and make wrong assumptions.
A New Level of Reputation Management
This particular lady saw my name on the Realtor.com screen and was ready to trash me because I had listed her property without her consent!! Is it time to train the masses? We are reaching a point where information can be lethal (OK, I’m exaggerating) – I’m just glad I was there to answer the phone this one time and make things right, but it opened up my eyes to something I had not considered before – the unintentional misuse of information. A totally new level of reputation management.