PropertyManagementMaven: Property Managers who join the BBB * is it worth it?

Property Managers who join the BBB * is it worth it?

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 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 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 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.



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Comment balloon 4 commentsWallace S. Gibson, CPM • August 29 2009 06:12PM


Wallace, we were approached in April this year by the BBB.  From the phone call received, we were informed that there were recently 8 good recommendations received about our company from outsiders with good reports.  I was flattered!  Upon learning the amount of money we'd have to pay to become "accredited" which was by their exclusive acceptance invitation which they initiated, my answer was that we'd have to get back to them later.  Since that time, much pondering was going on in my mind.

This post of yours has granted me a sigh of relief!  I will not join!  In addition to the NAR, we are members of a few  municipal chambers and other industry associations.  I am ONCE AGAIN taking your advice which is valued and appreciated.... thank you!

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC (Diane Rice, Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) over 8 years ago

Diane - GOOD FOR YOU.....while I am sure you could well have 8 good recommendations, these are, in fact, a fabrication to get their feed in your door so you will answer their call. If you were so GOOD, they should want to GIVE you their "accreditation" status.

You would be better served to set Google and Yahoo "alerts" for your and your company names and respond as Bob Machado recommended several month's ago in a post....I have adapted the letter he posted on his company's Google and Yahoo listing and have not gotten a negative/rant post since that time on either site....

BBB does serve a purpose; however, it is not useful for real estate professionals and will only have a negative impact on our bottom line.

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 8 years ago

Wallace - I did flag this post for a feature... I sure hope Active Rain takes me UP on it!  At one time we did have the alerts for Google set... but my mailboxes were overflowing, so it was discontinued.  I am counting on good references and good service, and our support groups to uphold our name for now.... anything after that, we'd just have to deal with it when it comes. 

I must go find that letter of Bob's!  Thanks again!


Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC (Diane Rice, Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) over 8 years ago

Fantastic information, Wallace!  I have actually never thought of this, but now I'm armed with sound advice.  Thanks!

Posted by Eric Boyd, FL Licensed Real Estate Broker / Property Manager (Step One Realty, LLC, 904-469-6335) over 8 years ago

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