It seems that there was a bit of a kerfuffle recently about a Facebook page that (gasp!) used the word REALTOR® in the URL.
Evidently someone had set up a Facebook “Like” page for REALTORS® and, presumably, mere real estate agents to join in to give and receive referrals. So far, so good.
It wasn’t until the registered trademark of the National Association of REALTORS® was used in the URL that things got a little dicey. No matter that it took the NAR awhile to catch onto this terrible offence and move to have the trademark removed from the URL and that some gazillion to a gazillion and a half Facebookers had “Liked” the page. A trademark is a trademark.
Facebook dutifully shut down the page and now all those “Likers” need to find another home to trade referrals — a home without the word REALTOR® in the URL.
Pass Me The Kleenex®, Please
First, I’d like to say that the National Association of REALTORS® has every right to enforce proper usage of their lawfully registered trademark. They have pages of guidelines, and it is no secret that they like to make sure that people don’t misuse the trademark and associated logos. In fact, they’ve done so well at this that the word REALTOR® has become the default reference, in the public mind, when referring to a real estate licensee whether they pay dues to the NAR or not.
Just like people refer to every photocopying machine as a Xerox® or every facial tissue as a Kleenex® so to with those of us in the real estate biz and the word REALTOR®. My only hope is that someday the NAR will come out with something that can explain the difference between REALTORS® and your run-of-the-mill real estate licensee beyond the fact that REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (i.e., we pay dues) and that we pledge to adhere to a Code of Ethics.
If You’re on Facebook You Must be a Great Referral Partner
More to the point, for me, is this: how effective is a Facebook “Like” page as a source for a decent referral partner.
True. I don’t know every REALTOR® in every geographic location and even if I go to what I consider to be more credible referral directories, it’s possible I could pick a real loser. Yet, it seems to me that picking someone from Facebook is way too random. Sure. If I know you through one of my professional networking groups or Designation groups or even company directory and you’re also involved in Social Media, it’s a big plus. However, I don’t know that being on a Facebook “Like” page with a gazillion other real estate licencees is the primary driver when I’m looking for a referral partner in Pocatello, ID.
Maybe I’m wrong about this. I know it’s worked for some people. But as an old [pre-real estate] boss was fond of saying, “Even a blind squirrel can find nut sometimes.”