A Real Estate Discussion Blog


Social Media - Why You Don't Want "To Suck"

Thanks to Twitter and Jay Thompson being so popular, a potential of 3243 people now know that Jay thinks American Title in Casa Grande sucks.  And now you do too, just like that.  Social media is powerful stuff. 

For a positive spin, imagine how many people would have picked up on it if he had said they 'were awesome'.  They might have gotten a few extra calls from the tweet.




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Comment balloon 84 commentsSara Bonert • May 05 2009 04:22PM


Hi Sara.  Two posts I have read in two days...

I will just subscribe.

I am not sure that those on Twitter actively read each others tweets, do they?

Thanks for writing,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Coldwell Banker Residential) about 11 years ago

Ken:   You would be amazed at how such statements like Jay's become rapidly viral on Twitter and can pose a serious detriment to a company's reputation. I doubt they have anyone running a Google Alert for their company. Those who suck usually don't bother....

Posted by Rich Jacobson, Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker (Fathom Realty West Sound) about 11 years ago

Your Tweets can really either make or break some businesses when you have a major twinfluence.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) about 11 years ago

My goodness how bad news spreads. Scary stuff.

Posted by Claude Cross, Charlotte NC Homes For Sale (Homes By Cross, Inc. ) about 11 years ago

Jay has weight in his market and he is passionate. Good example of not being on his bad side, or anyone else like that. Jay is not by nature a negative person. Must have been some serious merde for him to do that. 

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 11 years ago

Your online reputation is very important in today's business.

Posted by Roger Johnson, Realtor - Hickory NC Real Estate (Hickory Real Estate Group) about 11 years ago

and in my company most of the agents don't believe in facebook and have never heard of Twitter - oh dear!

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) about 11 years ago

It's always amazing how we seem to be drawn to the negatives in life and yet when someting positive happens, the news is so slow to spread. We need to start focusing on the amazing things in life rather then dwelling on the negative.

Posted by Rochelle Edwards, Genuine Experience, Genuine Advice (S. Todd Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage) about 11 years ago

I agree that it's important to have a good online rep, but as someone with more than 85k twitter followers, I kinda doubt that my individual opinion will ever make or break a company. Each of those 85,000 people think for themselves. If they agree with what I'm saying, that's when things can get dangerous. 

Posted by Casey Wright (WingWire) about 11 years ago

May I play devil's advocate? Just because one party is being unprofessional.... doesn't mean you have to be too. Let their karma get them without any help from you.

Posted by Linda Ferrara (Coldwell Banker Enchantment Realty) about 11 years ago

Ha, that is really funny.

Twitter is one of those things that can be very powerful if you have a loyal following.

Posted by Mark MacKenzie about 11 years ago

Ken- Tweetdeck is an invaluable tool for monitoring all this kind of stuff.  (the background image of the screenshot in the post is my tweetdeck, if you aren't familiar)

Jeremy- Just read your post that says you are a Twitterholic, haha.  Great post. You are right about the influencers, and Jay is one. 

Claude- Yes, but good news can spread fast too.  See it happen all the time on Twitter!

Joe- You're right about Jay.  But one of the reasons that he is so great to follow is because he tells it like it is, no sugar coating, just the straight story.

Rochelle- Actually I am starting to see a bit of a shift in the media lately.  I think people are so sick of reading negative news, that they are craving and responding now to more positive news (as long as it is the truth).  I think we are starting to trend in the right direction and social media lets you spread whatever you want- good or bad.

Casey- 85K followers, wow! I don't think Jay tweet influenced over 3000 people, but I bet it had some influence on LOCAL Realtors. 

Linda- Always a good rule to follow.  If you don't know Jay, I can see your point.  If you do know Jay, this is what you like about it.  But you are right that you always have to really think about what you put out there!

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

Sara, do I hear what goes around comes around? Someone did mention karma!

Posted by Caren Wallace, Portland Caren Real Estate (Premier Property Group LLC) about 11 years ago

I would be careful about saying something so hateful about a company, but I don't know his circumstances either.

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

I am amazed at times what google pulls in when I do a search and yes, I have alerts.

Posted by Teral McDowell (Referral Patners LLC) about 11 years ago

Must have had something really bad happen.  I have always had great service from our First American reps.  Even when I have had problems, the sales team has been able to make things right for all involved.  It would be interesting to hear what kind of problems Jay was dealing with.  Does anyone know?

Even with the situation, I would be careful what I posted online against a company.  I think a lot have people have kit the nail on the head, "KARMA", be careful what you wish for or say.

Posted by Terry Meyer (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sound Realtors) about 11 years ago

Sara: Anything that is put on facebook, myspace or on a tweet is out there for a lot of people to see. It's kinda like the cat's out of the bag.

Posted by Sandy Childs, Realtor - Spartanburg, SC (Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago

I guess we just need to realize that twitter and a lot of social networking sites are more influential than we realize.  The bad news seems to travel faster then the good news....  either way, it is a form of advertisement. 

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) about 11 years ago

I had a very adamant response from a company I gave my candid opinion about on Twitter. They knew the power of what I was saying. I had responded to someone else's question about the company so was quite surprised that they contacted me about it. I was aware that I was making a statement to about a thousand people in my public response about the company but it was my opinion and I stuck to it.


Twitter and social media at large is a very powerful tool for both positive and negative brand building. The best thing to do is to pay attention and respond when you can to both the good and the bad that's out there. You can't participate in every conversation about yourself, your brand or your company but being active in the social media world gives you brownie points for showing that you care.

Posted by Erika Napoletano (InvestorLoft) about 11 years ago

I hope no one is saying i suck on twitter land. 

Posted by Marcus Valdez (Berkshire Hathaway Rocky Mountain Realtors) about 11 years ago

Yeah this is definitely the feedback that i would want to be getting. Kinda funny though

Posted by Aaron Poling, Working to get YOU the BEST Deal! (Long & Foster) about 11 years ago

It doesn't take long between the various social media sites for the word to get out good or bad. 

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 11 years ago

I'm not to sure about starting a 'words war'. on the net.......this stuff can get way out of hand no matter who you are etc.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) about 11 years ago

Jay, I'm certain, thought carefully about his comment. I think people who know him would know that. It's very effective, and I'm glad there are some avenues for "fighting back" because everyone seems to be getting screwed and a lot of companies operate from the premise that consumers can't do anything about it. Twitter helps to even the playing field.

Posted by Mara Hawks, Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL (First Realty Auburn ) about 11 years ago

Sara - Twitter is amazing for its virality (is that a word?). You have to wonder, though, whether saying this sort of thing can ultimately get you in trouble IF someone wants to make an issue, especially an attorney, even if it is true. I suspect we will beging to see more court cases stemming from Twitter and other social media as we have from blogging. Interesting times.

BTW I think a lot of Jay and suspect what he says could be true, at least based on his personal experience.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) about 11 years ago

Thanks for the reminder - I have almost 8,000 followers that I need to tell about my terrible experience at Camino Real restaurant in Pflugerville, Texas.  :)

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 11 years ago

I don't think I would say something like that on line any more.  It will open you up to a lawsuit

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) about 11 years ago

Hi Folks!

OK, here's the scoop on what lead me to Tweet, "Dear First American Title in Casa Grande - You guys suck."

I won't give you all the gory details because it would bore you to tears.

The highlights:

1) The title company lost the buyers earnest money check. How a title company loses a check is beyond me. The buyer (rightfully in my opinion) wanted them to pay for the stop payment on the check. After much going back and forth, they agreed. A stop payment was placed, and the buyer wrote a second check, which was immediately deposited. A couple of weeks later, much to our surprise, the title company apparently found the original check, and attempted to deposit it. The bank of course, rejected the deposit and charged my buyer yet another fee -- which the title company refused to pay, stating "it wasn't our fault".

But wait, there is more...

2) The buyers are located out of state. Despite being told this four times that we recall, they continue to deliver documents to the buyer to our office, and refuse to pay to send them to the buyers address.

3) Several calls from the buyers agent, and the buyers lender, and myself - the buyer agents broker -- to the title company are never returned.

4) On the day of the scheduled closing, the title company calls and asks, "When can the buyers come in to sign?" They are reminded yet again that the buyers live in Minnesota, and they can't just "come in and sign".

5) So they fed ex the documents to the buyer, and charge a $127 fee to do so.

6) Docs arrive at buyers (three days after they claim to have shipped them overnight) and there is no indication where buyers have to sign. No highlighting, no "sign here" little arrows or post-its that title companies use ALL the time.

7) The HUD-1 has the wrong list price, no commission fees, and no elimination of the original stop payment fee they agreed to. This despite all of these items being correct on the preliminary HUD-1 they delivered to us. Late.

8) Finally the title company gets all docs back today, 5 days after the scheduled closed at approximately 11:00am. They are "too busy to deal with it" and do not process anything.

Now you tell me, do they suck?

I think so.

And I said so.

(and for the record, First American in Tempe, AZ is my "preferred" title company. They are stellar -- which I have Tweeted in the past)

I could have given this whole sordid mess a WHOLE lot more exposure by writing something on my blog.

Was my Tweet "Unprofessional"? Probably. But you know what? Social media (to me) is about being real. It's not about presenting some facade. With me, what you see is what you get. I don't couch my emotions and I freely give my opinion. Some people like that, others not-so-much. The beauty of Twitter is, if you don't like someone, or what they say the solution is simple -- don't follow them.

Did my 3,243 followers all read this specific Tweet? Nope. The vast majority likely never saw it. But it was "retweeted" several times, exposing it to additional people. Again, if I'd really wanted a significant number to read about it, I would have posted something on Phoenix Real Estate Guy.

Why did I Tweet it?

I was venting mostly. I was also hoping some people would see it and I don't see anything wrong with sharing experiences on social media platforms. Trust me, a couple of higher ups at First American got a full account as well -- people in a far better position to fix the issues with this office.

For those that don't know me, I think I'm generally regarded as a pretty nice guy. I've used my blog (and Twitter) to help people that have absolutely nothing to do with real estate and that will never become a client. I've championed causes and helped raise money for complete strangers -- THAT is the a real power of this thing we call social media. And I do these things FAR more often than I "vent" or rag on some entity. If you look closely under the "Followers" number in Sara's graphic, you'll see I've sent more than 9,000 tweets. I suspect I could count on two hands (tops) the number of "unprofessional" ones (well, at least unprofessional with regard to calling out some company's failings).

I think Sara makes a very valid point in this post. Social media IS very powerful, and very far-reaching. If you are not monitoring everything that someone may be saying about you, or your business, then you are making a potentially critical mistake. I doubt is my Tweet will have much impact on this title offices business. I for one, will avoid them like the plague. I suspect a few more agents in my immediate area will do the same. Will that bankrupt these guys? Of course not. But as Sara mentions, great service could have had the opposite affect. If you're running a business (and virtually anyone reading this is) which of those two scenarios would you prefer?

Sorry for the ridiculously long comment!

Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) about 11 years ago

I would not want to say that online.  Scary what can and has happened online.  I was talking with my niece this weekend about some photos I think are too provacative and should be removed from her album on facebook. 

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) about 11 years ago

Jay,  I think I would feel the same here with that kind of service.  I am fortunate to work with the title reps I have.  They have all been in the title and escrow business for over 20 years and hope nothing like this ever happens.  I do agree, I would have probably wrote a tweet to get the attention of the title companies higher ups.  I would never want this to happen again(to them or the clients) if I were them.  I do think it is sad how one really bad experience has (or will) cost them some business.  I don't want to lose any business whether one or more transactions.  They are all important to me, as I am sure they are to you. 


Posted by Terry Meyer (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sound Realtors) about 11 years ago

Interesting point some have made about lawsuits. I'm not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV, but I think it would be virtually impossible to prove any real damages from a single tweet.

That being said, there are cases in the books of bloggers being sued for defamation and libel, and one does certainly need to be careful. A blog post is much more long lasting than a single transient tweet. Will someone, some day be sued over something they say on Twitter? Almost certainly (if it hasn't happened already). We live in a very litigious society. Sadly, I think that stiffles a lot of communication, but it's a fact of our society.

Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) about 11 years ago

The power of social networking and marketing... its viral and it's real and will affect every business out there- good or bad...

Posted by JB Brookman, High School Senior Portrait Photographer (JB Brookman Photography) about 11 years ago

@Rebecca - funny you should mention provacative photos online....

A candidate for Governor in Arizona was "caught" TODAY with some racy photos on his Flickr site (for those that don't know, Flickr is a photo sharing social media site). The story and photos were exposed (no pun intended) on.... Twitter.

Here's the article in the Arizona Republic (Arizona's leading daily newspaper)

And then there was the story shortly after Obama was elected where photos of his cheif speechwriter surfaced on Facebook that showed the speechwriter "fondling" a cardboard cut-out of Hilary Clinton - that almost cost him his job. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/12/obama-favreau.html


Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) about 11 years ago

As if the internet was not enough to worry politicians...now this... haha

Posted by Matthew K. Salem (Century 21 Real Estate Center) about 11 years ago

I'm not shocked that Jay said it...  Looks like it needed saying. 

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) about 11 years ago

You are entitled to your opinion. It was your experience that they sucked.  It's not like you said the people that work there are pedophiles or sociopaths.  I can think Wal-mart, McDonalds, and Addidas all suck if I want to. You do get to have an opinion and voice it. 

How you voice it is what constitues free speech vs. libel.  I don't think it is libelous to say a company sucks...BUT it is also why Google Alerts rock...

Posted by Melina Tomson, Principal Broker/Owner, M.S. (Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon) about 11 years ago

I get comments from blogs I wrote two years ago.  I still marvel how many people find me on the web. 

Posted by John Walters, Licensed in Louisiana (Frank Rubi Real Estate) about 11 years ago

I am yet to conquer Twitter.  Hey, I just added AR, Linked In,  texting and blogging last year!!  How many new things can I really take on???

You might think this post is funny....http://activerain.com/blogsview/1064358/Communication-101

Posted by Vicky Chrisner (Fieldstone Real Estate) about 11 years ago

@Lane - you know me. I call 'em like I see 'em. Offends some, I'm sure.

@Melina - Google Alerts definitely ROCK. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE should have them set up (at a minimum) for their personal name and company name. (Believe me, I know more about the Australian professional surfer named Jay Thompson than I'd really like to.)

I've found Google alerts can be *very* delayed when it comes to picking up specific Tweets (probably because roughly 20 bazillion tweets are sent a day -- even Google can't keep up). I highly recommend TweetBeep for Twitter alerts. TweetBeep is the Google Alert for Twitter.

@John - Google never forgets.... My blog is coming up on four years old and those ancient posts get read every day. It is amazing.

@Vicky - Baby steps! And don't feel like you have to partake in every possible option. Different things work for different folks. I *liked* your post!


Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) about 11 years ago

I think tweeting should be done w/ caution especially if it's something negative about a company. Has he tried to resolve his problem w/ the manager of that title company?  One negative review can really ruin someone's business. 

Posted by Vanna Siackhasone about 11 years ago

It is very important to guard comments and posts on the internet.

So Sara, that is a screen shot of tweet deck. Does it show the tweets in sequence like the normal feed, only in the column order? I think I like it, especially as some many I follow post so much. Sometimes it takes several pages for me to see what has been posted.



Posted by Richard Byron Smith, NMLS #184479, Mortgage Loan Officer (Mortgage Loan Officer, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS #2289) about 11 years ago

Sounds like the company deserved some negative venting. They obviously didn't have their act together!

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 11 years ago

Richard- Yes this is TweetDeck, it is awesome.  You can have up to 10 columns.  3 of them will probably be: a feed of all the people you are following, a column for anytime someone uses your name on Twitter, and a column for direct Tweets to you (only you can see these). 

The other 7 columns could be tracking keywords (for example, I track my company's name and the name of my local neighborhood), you could make groups of people you want to seperate from the master feed (for example, Jay is in a special group of real estate tweeters I follow) and you can also follow #'s (for example if you could have followed the C21 Annual meeting at #C21IBC or if you love the TV show 24 you can follow #24). 

TweetDeck helped unlock the mystery of how to use Twitter for me. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

Jay- Thanks for taking the time to explain the background of the orginal Tweet, I knew there had to be good reason behind it.  Social media aside- just another reason why one needs a Realtor!  Can you imagine the Buyer trying to get thru this solo? 

All- Thanks for the comments, some great discussion points in here that could be explored in many full posts. 

And because Jay didn't ask to get dragged into my blog, I wanted to give a should out for his blog- www.phoenixrealestateguy.com.  If you are looking for an example of how to run a local blog, this is a great one that I know has generated a nice return for Jay. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

Hopefully all of this Twitter, Facebook stuff leads to true transparency. Thanks for posting that!

Posted by Dana Voelzke, Loan Officer/ First time home buyer specialist (loanDepot (203) 733-9408) about 11 years ago

I love Twitter and log on to read even if it's only for a short period of time and read people's tweets. It really gives me inspiration for blogs and I learn things there...I also am picky about who I follow - I just don't auto follow anyone as I have found many people are spam-posters!


Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara -- I guess whoever created the phrase "bad news spreads like wildfire" must have had Twitter in mind...LOL

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) about 11 years ago


Glad you posted this update on Jay's origianl blog.  I missed the original and am glad to read it now.  Also, all of the discussion is really interesting. 

I say good for Jay and I agree with him that the title company 'sucks'.  I know of one in Florida that 'sucks' just as badly - did many of the same things several years ago and now they are out of business.  And that happened before social networking was an outlet for commentary on service industries.

So, you rock, Jay!  It's wonderful to know someone who has the gumption to say what they think without worrying they are going to get into trouble somehow. 

I'm going to go read your blogs and become a suscriber.


Posted by Lynda Hester (Prudential Georgia Realty - Rabun County, Ga.) about 11 years ago

Thanks to Jay, Sara, Twitter and now Active Rain.  Once it starts on the Internet, who knows where it will stop.  Certainly not with Jay's 3243 followers.  I'm not in the Arizona market so I will forget about the title company branch.  I also really like First American Title (in Latin America and Las Vegas).  The thing I hope not to forget is the far reaching potential of everything i write on the Internet.

Posted by Gary Coles (International Referrals), Latin America Real Estate (Venture Realty International) about 11 years ago

Nice illustration of how quickly opinions can spread through social media. At the very least, savvy businesses should set up Google Alerts and regularly search Twitter so that they can try to respond and resolve negative situations.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) about 11 years ago

Mental note, always pick up Jay's rounds. ;)

I've heard of title companies sucking, but that was a 'super suck' and very scary. They should have remedied the situation way before it could have festered. I'm certain every opportunity was given.

This post reminded me of an article I filed for safe keeping, just in case anyone ended up flamed online undeservedly:



"The Hawthorne Effect" was a study done in a factory many years ago to see if productivity increased with the perception of being observed. It did and does.

In that sense, Jay probably did a service to the title company by demonstrating that their errors cannot be hidden. :)


Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) about 11 years ago

I need to get set up on Tweetdeck or something like it.  I imagine enough people will catch this kind of comment that it will have a negative impact.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 11 years ago

the power of Twitter and the inernet in general... wonder what they did to upset him.. Hmmm Must have been bad..

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) about 11 years ago

"wonder what they did to upset him.. Hmmm Must have been bad.."

It's all right there in comment #28 Roland....


[Waves wildly at Candice!!]

Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) about 11 years ago

I know exactly how Jay feels; I had a similar vent about Countrywide Mortgage recently, not in regards to a client, but about what they've done - or HAVEN'T done - for me and my wife. But thats another story for another time.

I would also like to second Jay's endorsement of Google Alerts and TweetBeep, and add another nice tracking site: Trackle.com. I not only use it to keep track of what's said about us and our home town, but also for keeping track of our home's value (thru CyberHomes). You can track just about anything you can imagine with this site. I heartily recommend that everyone use all of these tools to enhance your reputation management. Oh, and TweetDeck rocks!!

Posted by Pat & Wayne Harriman, Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate (Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499) about 11 years ago

I have a Twitter and am very careful with what I post. Yes... social media is very powerful but as much as it may create... it may also destroy. Therefore I try to be very careful and try not to disparage another company. Every one is different. To each his or her own.

Posted by Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker, Licensed in Florida, Washington, and Hawai'i (Aloha Kai Real Estate) about 11 years ago

It would seem there are very few Real Estate Agents actively using Twitter in New Zealand. Certainly just like Real Bstate Blogs the idea is still to catch on (still trying to convince them myself - http://tinyurl.com/d3dbda ) but is finally growing once agents see the real reason for it is not too focus on just their new listings. Lets hope local Australsian Twitter Real Estate users don't go down a similar path. Whatever an agent says or does on Twitter they need to be mindful of what effects Facebook discretions are having on potential employees at the application screening stage. And thats not to say of future aggregrators that will, perhaps pull/store all social media comments, and then use some new and perhaps currently unthought of ranking system to rate / sort that data, and for example perhaps match a comment said to a promise that same Realtor makes on their own site, or uses in their brochures or self promotion / profile building media.

Posted by David Leggott (Summit Real Estate Ltd ~ Stoke - Nelson - New Zealand) about 11 years ago

There's something called accountability and doing the job you are supposed to do.  Sara, it's obvious a specific company let Jay and his client down and did not follow through with their responsibilities.  I see nothing wrong wrong with calling it what it is!  Thanks for posting!


Posted by Bruce & Mary Smith, REALTORS, Savannah Lakes Village McCormick SC (Savannah Lakes Homes) about 11 years ago

I agree 100% that all peripheral companies that work with us (ins., title, inspectors, etc.) need to be held accountable for their actions, especially when they are below par, unprofessional and cause us liability unnecessarily.


What other recourse do we have?  There are definite problems with the level of professionalism in our business and the businesses that serve the RE industry.


Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton




Posted by Scott Miller, ifoundyourhome.com (Best Connections Realty) about 11 years ago

Sara, fortunately, the Federal Communications Decency Act ("CDA") provides broad protection against libel liability to bloggers and listserv operators for comments and emails posted by third parties to their webpages. 

Posted by Melissa Juarez (Massachusetts Buyers Broker Agency, LLC) about 11 years ago

Sara, great posting; Jay, thanks for reminding us that there are always 2 sides to every story. and i do agree,you have to call it like it is.

If great service is received we all appreciate a little "thank you" or positive comment or referral. that's our business, but if we do indeed SUCK we all should know that there will be consequences and in this particular sounds like a "you Suck" was warranted.

I hope they hear about and do try to improve their service; after all what's point of receiving some feedback [specially negative] if the company or individual doesn't make an effort to learn and improve from it; they would be wasting an opportunity.

thanks for posting


Posted by Diego A. Perez (Connecticut Lawn Painting) about 11 years ago

thanks Melissa, I love free speech!

Posted by Diego A. Perez (Connecticut Lawn Painting) about 11 years ago

I don't know if I would vent in the same manner, but, word of mouth will not help this company locally. Boy, I would be PO'd after hearing Jay's comments. I've heard stories of incompetence, but, nothing that rivals that. Call it as you like, they earned it...

Posted by Frank & Jodi Orlando (Frank & Jodi Orlando Get Us A Home Realty Atlanta Homes Sale) about 11 years ago

Sara: Libel, like slander is never good business. Would you want someone flaming you out in such a fashion? If a person has a complaint or issue they should take it through the proper channels. It looks from the photo like like that person is an adult, from the language and behavior I'd guess he's a juvenile. If you think juvenile behavior makes a solid foundation for a business, then by all means you should pursue it with vigor.

Posted by Matt Grohe, Serving the metro since 2003 (RE/MAX Concepts) about 11 years ago

Bad publicity always travels faster than good publicity.

Posted by DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones, The NorthernVARealEstateLady & DMVRealEstateChick (Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc.) about 11 years ago

I dont care how many people Jay has following him..  If he has a problem with that company he should describe it, and this will benefit his tweetaudience.  Just saying "you suck" is juvenille and unprofessional.

Posted by BJ Matson (The Choice Group) about 11 years ago

That twittering is some powerful stuff! If I were that gentleman I would have taken a day to gather my thoughts before I'd post something on a social networking site such as twitter~

Posted by Mary Kent, Grand Rapids to the Lake Shore (Five Star Real Estate ) about 11 years ago

Hey Jay, you should tell Sara thank you for the plug!  After all, even bad attention is attention.  After reading this whole commentary (including your own) it sounds to me ,  like your "tweet" about First American Title isn't the hard core issue at hand but the fact that you might actually have an a opinion was your real Faux-Pah...what is social networking all about again?   I live in Rural America and there are a few title companies locally that I would love to add to your "First American Title" list.  If only I had the guts!!!


Posted by Sherrill Ellis, Realto about 11 years ago

@Matt Grohe - Libel? My Tweet doesn't come close to meeting any definition of libel that I'm aware of.  But I'm not an attorney and maybe you are.

If you'd have read my comment (#28) you'd have seen that I did take it through proper channels.

And I find it interesting that you consider me syaing "you guys suck" to be libel, yet it's apparently perfectly acceptable for you to call me and my behavior juvenile.

@ChoiceRealEstate.net - It's pretty difficult to describe the behavior of this company in 140 characters, which it the limit of Twitter. Several people that saw the Tweet asked for more info, which I provided them. That's kind of how Twitter works. As for saying I was "juvenile and unprofessional" you are entitled to your opinion, just like I am entitled to mine.

Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) about 11 years ago

@Sherrill - What's interesting to me is that some people seem OK with calling me "unprofessional" and "juvenile" and saying I committed libel right here on Active Rain -- which could be defined as a social network and is clearly "on the internet".

So if I say a company I've done business with "sucks", that is juvenile, unprofessional and libelous yet calling a person you don't know from Adam "unprofessional" and "juvenile" is perfectly OK? What an incredible double-standard that seems to be.

Yep, I said this particular office sucked. Well, in my opinion, they did. (Actually, I found their actions utterly incompetent which in my book goes well beyond "suck".) As I mentioned in my comment (and thanks for reading it), I could have done a whole lot more damage with a keyword filled, long lasting blog post than a one sentence transient Tweet.

I freely express my opinions and my feelings on social netwroks and my blog. Some people don't like that, and that's fine. I can't be the agent (or friend) for everyone. I am what I am and I'm not changing that. Given the business and friendships I've gained from my blog and social media activity it's pretty clear that more appreciate it than have a problem with it.

Posted by Jay Thompson (Zillow) about 11 years ago

Sara - After reading your blog - I was going to comment - Well Maybe They Really Do Suck!!!  I started scrolling down the comments and I came to Jay's comment and explanation - and lo and behold - THEY DO SUCK!  Realtors have to do the work of everyone and poor Jay probably got blamed for everything that went wrong - I guess the Realtors in this area won't be using 1 Am Title.  I say good for Jay!


Posted by Kathy Carson, Realtor, Lynchburg, VA, VA Homes - Lynchunberg,Bedford, Campbell (John Stewart Walker, Inc) about 11 years ago

That's kinda funny!

Posted by Shannon Lefevre, Shannon Lefevre, PA Your Naples Smart Girl (John R. Wood Properties) about 11 years ago

I have followed Jay on several Real Estate sites.  He is a good guy who tells it like it is.  Knowing how national companies work he may very well have scared me off from that local office.  The tweet would not have done it, but it might have had me ask questions.  His explanation would have done it.  I'm always open to hearing the other side.  I think we all understand with x amount of employees and x amount of files something can and will go wrong on occasion.  What he wanted was the Title Company to own up to it and make amends.  Pay what appears to be very few dollars and say, "We're sorry and will not let it happen again." 

I'm sick of bad service and I tell everyone about it.  (Hello AT&T) Wonder why I won't get an iPhone?

We need to comment on good service too.  Sometimes it is easier to notice the bad than it is the good.  Active Rain is pretty good at customer service.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 11 years ago

I know, I know, I am being prudish here...but, I don't think Jay should have tweeted the "you suck" statement, no matter how screwed up the transaction was...I have long advocated that REALTORS must raise our own standards to acheive the level of professionalism we want...could you imagine another service provider (such as your doctor, CPA or lawyer writing a "you suck" tweet? I can't

Posted by Realtordad about 11 years ago

In case anyone wondered the real magnitude of this... Jay's Twinfluence is over 9 million!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) about 11 years ago

Wow, reading comment 328 from Jay, I would have vented too. Absolutely NO excuse for any of that. Like any companies good and bad folks in it... your online reputation is so important.

Is anyone from the title company on Twitter?

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 11 years ago

The Twinfluence analyzer is really interesting--and gives one pause. Never know who could be watching . . . I have to remember that every time I want to say a client sucks. ;)


Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) about 11 years ago

Jay you were totally fine in your tweet - don't think you needed to justify your actions, although the fact that you did just proves what kind of guy you are.  I was was one of those that read it when you tweeted it and chuckled.

What you said was not an opinion it was just plain truth.

I am glad that your 3243 followers are aware those folks totally dropped the ball - it's not libel folks, it's called accountability. 


Posted by Tiffany Cloud (HomeSmart Real Estate) about 11 years ago

As a consumer, I guess what's fortunate (or unfortunate as the case may be) is that someone can tweet that "Jay sucks" and have it impact his business too.

Kinda scary to think that people can post whatever they want, wherever they want, without any accountability or legal recourse whatsoever though, especially on a site lke Tweet that doesn't allow more than 140 words to back it up.

For all the proponents here, it'll be interesting to see what a seller "tweets" when you're unable to sell their home because it's overpriced.

Unconscionable if you ask me.

But I'm just a homeowner who comes around here for helpful real estate advice, so what do I know?


Posted by Vicki T. about 11 years ago

I would have to agree that this title company sucks but that's not the point, is it?

Posted by Kelsey Barklow, 423/948-9154 (Hurd Realty) about 11 years ago

Sara thanks for the post and for getting Jay to give us the rest of the story...  I agree with him - SM is and should be REAL... 

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) about 11 years ago


A very good reason to "not suck."

Posted by Fran Gatti, Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity (RE/MAX Integrity) about 11 years ago

Jay and Sara, I was the one who said "Just because one party is being unprofessional.... doesn't mean you have to be too." And after reading through most of the comments in this stream, I have put a saying at the bottom of MY blog today - - to remind myself to: ""Never miss a good chance to shut up."

Thanks for the many lessons I have learned from this post. From the power of Twitter and the web, to Google Alerts, to finding out that my opinion is not required everywhere!  

Posted by Linda Ferrara (Coldwell Banker Enchantment Realty) about 11 years ago

Keep in mind that just because he has that many followers they could miss that tweet...but still the power of social media is widespread!

Posted by Sonya Loose, Helping Buyers & Sellers of Waterfront Property (Modern Realty) about 11 years ago