Two recent disputes over domain names involve the same Virginia real estate broker, Patsy Strong (pictured). Strong first raised the ire of her former employer, Monticello Country Realtors Inc, when she refused to relinquish ownership of the domain name monticellocountryrealtors.com, which she had registered when she worked for the company. Strong then riled a competitor, Elizabeth “Betsy” Gunnels, by registering the domain names betsysellsfluvanna.com and betsysellsmonticello.com, which Gunnels said she was using on business cards and advertisements.
I remember a property I was selling several years ago in Madison. The property would have had magnificent mountain views if only for the trees that were growing along the border of the property – on the neighbor’s land. One day I had occasion to meet the neighbor and we started talking about the trees. Turns out he didn’t like my clients (lucky he didn’t know me enough to like or dislike me). He had planted the trees about thirty years prior – just to be ornery. What he did wasn’t illegal, but it just wasn’t nice. But boy did I respect his dedication.
The more I think about it, this story probably falls under the “not all publicity is good publicity” heading.
Update: read this comment at Inman.
What do you think?
Update 11/18/2006: SellsisusÂ° points out this pertinent rule change in NAR’s Code of Ethics 2007:
(3) Deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive or divert Internet traffic, or to otherwise mislead consumers.”