There are several non-real estate "business" organizations that real estate professionals feel they must join in order to do business.....the Chamber of Commerce is one and the Better Business Bureau is another.
While I have not been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years, I have never felt the need to join the Better Business Bureau. In fact, I rarely see the BBB logo displayed at the businesses I patronize.
As a business practice, I do not respond to BBB complaints. It is WAY TOO EASY for disgruntled residents to complete a complaint form online with their side of the story. When I receive these complaints, I file them and do not respond. Sometmes the BBB follows up with a second request for my response which I again ignore.
A wise woman real estate broker explained her similar policy several years ago....as real estate professionals, we have numerous regulatory and trade organizations in our business....our state licensing board, our local Realtor association and our various trade associations such as IREM * all of whom have the knowledge and expertise to handle a complaint regarding a landlord-tenant issue and our licensing status. The BBB has no such expertise and no regulatory authority.....by filing their complaint, the complaintant gets to VENT and RANT....good for them.
By my responding to a BBB complaint, I would provide information to the complaintant which can be used in court AND rarely, if EVER, have I ever found that the BBB can resolve an issue or complaint to the benefit of a real estate professional.
The first time I did respond to a complaint, I got a follow up phone call from the local BBB requesting my money in order to join their organization and receive a GOOD RECOMMENDATION from them for future inquiries.....it sounded like extortion to me so I declined to join. Under further investigation, I checked to see what local real estate professionals were members * few and mostly newer ones * and what local retail businesses valued their membership. Again, very few.
Like advertising in the phone book yellow pages, I think that this is an unnecessary expense for most real estate professionals and monitoring our online reputations with Google and Yahoo alerts are a much better use of our time.
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM * GIBSON MANAGEMENT GROUP, Ltd.
"...to be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous