Q&A. Opportunity for success? Or a law suit?

 Hello fellow Rainers. I don't normally post two days in a row but felt compelled today to write a quickie. This topic has been bugging me so thought I would throw it out here for discussion. I'm talking about the new Q&A feature on AR. If you haven't seen it, it's right up there on the AR tool bar. See it? OK, what this is, is an area where the consumer can post a question about Real Estate and we as members can respond. This is an excellent feature and I can see it being a great way to help the consumer out and also a good way to get business.

BUT and this is a big but, as professionals, we MUST approach these questions with caution. What I mean is, when answering a question, don't fake it. If you are not 100% sure about the answer, then don't answer the question. The person asking the question, is expecting and should be able to count on, getting a correct answer. Our Blog posts are opinions, our answers, on a consumer forum, should be correct.

Also, be careful not to give legal advice, unless you are an attorney, and don't give advice on taxes and so forth unless you are a CPA or accountant. AND remember that Real Estate laws vary from state to state. If you are licensed and practice Real Estate in Florida, what qualifies you to answer a question about Real Estate in Iowa?

Did you know if you are a REALTOR® it is against our Code of Ethics to give legal or tax advice? Did you know giving information on an area you have no knowledge of is also against our COE?

So folks be very, very careful what questions you answer and how you answer them. There is nothing wrong with not knowing the answer. There is a lot wrong with trying to fake it. Don't do it!! And please don't answer questions from a consumer 2,000 miles away, asking about market conditions. Stick to what you know. Stick to the market you are familiar with.

Am I the only one who has noticed this?

Oh, by the way, here are the Q&A Guidelines as per ActiveRain:

Guidelines:

  • Do not submit advertising or spam.
  • If you can't provide a quality answer to the question leave it to someone else.
  • Respect the privacy of the person posting the question.

So for me, I think I will only answer questions about Florida Real Estate and only if I am sure my answer is correct. What about you? 

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