I took a deep breath (and a walk around the office) before sitting down to write this.
I am a member of MANY on-line forums . . . and “real in-person” gatherings.
All of them have clearly defined themes which serve a variety of populations.
The ones relevant to me are about Open Space Technology, Real estate sales and Brokerage, Entrepreneurs launching and building businesses, myriad others relating to “Quality of life” (Motivational) , and ancillary businesses and/or web tools to support these main pursuits.
Over the years, I’ve noticed many of these forums morphing from being about “supporting” each other to . . . something else.
The naysayers, combatants, egotists (Knowitalls) seem to be “winning” in terms of filling these spaces.
Do nice guys really finish last?
Do the squeaky wheels always get the grease (and spoil it for everyone else)?
In recent years, my participation has shifted from a high level of engagement to less frequently and carefully guarded interaction.
In one particular real estate forum I once thoroughly enjoyed because of the rich dialog that happened frequently, the tone has shifted from being a safe place to discuss real issues in the marketplace to a dangerous mine-field of topics verging on “Anti-Trust”, ethical, and legal violations.
Many of these perilous topics are matters that should be addressed behind the closed door of individual Real Estate Firms and NOT in an open forum. These are issues for which Principal Brokers must step up and create their own “Policies and Procedures” which are “living” documents . . . That is . . . As the market conditions morph with myriad newfangled business models, the book of “The way we do things around here” must be a “Local to THIS office” manual.
Daily, I witness REALTORS coming to these forums looking for “Broker advice”.
Why aren’t they going to their Principal Brokers?
Well . . . This boils down to “convenience”. It’s MUCH easier to toss the issue into the mix of of a forum of “talking heads” than to hunt down the Principal Broker for a consultation.
Ah! The perils of this digital world.
If you see it on the internet, it must be true!
Instead, let’s change our perspective of these on-line groups – Support – Generosity – Building community – being professional.
When you find yourself in an on-line “place” in which you are neither contributing nor receiving anything of value, move on . . . take yourself to a more useful place.
BREATHE and engage authentically!