reputation managementImagine yourself in this situation: You’re a Realtor with many years of experience, even more satisfied clients, and by and large, a happy career. Upon the urging of your brokerage, you’ve established a Google Business page, and encouraged people to leave reviews about their experiences with you on Yelp.

Then one afternoon, you see a new review on your Google Business page that leaves you confused, angry, and a little nauseous.

buzz0976: This woman is a con artist! She’s the worse realter Ive ever met and made me loose a bunch of money on ahouse in Dallas. terrible service!!! Liar!!!!!!

Who is buzz0976? What on earth is he or she talking about? And why is this online?

Maybe the situation stops there, and that negative comment gets buried over time. But maybe it does not stop. Some Realtors have been the target of personal attacks on social media and other sites, like RipoffReport.com, where anonymous posters have fabricated all manner of stories designed to destroy their reputation.

It happened to Ebby Halliday Realtor RoseMarie LaCoursiere, who recently endured months of online harassment by an anonymous poster whose intent was clearly character assassination. LaCoursiere says this person wrote dozens of negative reviews under different names across the Internet, from her Google Business page to RipoffReport.com.

“It’s very serious when you look at how the Internet, misused with intention, can destroy a person’s reputation” LaCoursiere said. “In essence, I really have no recourse or effective way to defend my good name if I turn a blind eye and keep silent, which is what is expected of me by my online attacker. That’s what a bully expects.”

The crux of all this is online reputation management. As carefully as you may craft your online brand, by-and-large, you lack control over what other people say about you online in social media and other websites.

Most situations are nowhere near as serious as LaCoursiere’s. But what can you do about personal attacks in social media, no matter the scope? How can you defend your good name?

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Two new reports paint a bright picture of the housing market in Midland and Odessa now and for the next three years.

The Local Monitor Reports, released today, cite a 7 percent increase in Midland home prices over the last 12 months, which puts the average home price at $183,463. In Odessa, prices have gone up 5 percent over the last year and the current average home price is $210,980. In the last three years, home prices were up 10 percent in both markets.

The good news doesn’t stop there. Both markets are scored significantly into the “low risk investment” category. The reports predict an 8 percent increase in home values over the next 12 months in Midland—compare that a national average of 4.6 percent. In the second and third years, prices are forecast to increase 9 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

In Odessa, they predict a 7 percent increase in home values over the next 12 months, and 9 percent in both the second the third years.

Why this rosy glow around the Midland-Odessa housing market? One word: Jobs.

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Midland home prices

Photo: Dan Moyle

Two new reports from Local Monitor Report are projecting big increases in home values in Midland and Odessa over the next three years, almost double the national average. Prices are predicted to rise even more.

Home values for Midland are forecast to increase by 8 percent over the next 12 months—compare that to national forecast of 4.6 percent. In the second and third years, values are forecast to increase 9 percent each year, a 26 percent increase in three years.

Midland home prices are projected to increase even more, at 30 percent over the next three years. In the last 12 months, prices have gone up by 7 percent, bringing the average home price in Midland to $183,463.

In Odessa, the report is predicting a 7 percent increase in home values over the next 12 months, and 9 percent in each of the next two years. That’s a total projected increase of at least 25 percent.

Odessa home prices are forecast to increase more, at 29 percent over the next three years. Odessa home prices have increased by 5 percent in the last 12 months, and the average home price is now $210,980.

All this adds up to a “low risk” categorization by Local Monitor Report for real estate investments in both Midland and Odessa, good news for homeowners and investors, alike.

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U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway wants to repeal the 40-year ban on American oil exports.

U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway wants to repeal the 40-year ban on American oil exports. (Photo: Texas Tribune)

Representatives in both the Texas house and in Washington want to end the 40-year ban on U.S. oil exports, a policy developed in the 70s in response to the wildly fluctuating energy market. However, some elected officials feel that policy is outdated and is slowing America’s economic growth. Considering low oil prices and the price per gallon of gasoline just now reaching more that $2.50 since its precipitous decline last fall, Midland and Odessa could certainly benefit from an expanded oil and gas market.

U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Midland) with U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) have filed HR 2369, the Energy Supply and Distribution Act, according to the Midland Reporter-Telegram. It’s a bill that would do away with the ban on oil and gas exports. An Alaskan Senator has filed a companion bill that will do the same.

Oil and gas firms pretty much unanimously support the legislation, and a Texas Senate resolution gives a resounding “amen” to the proposed repeal, too.

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1511 Seevers D

It’s not news that real estate in North Oak Cliff is hot, hot, hot, especially Kessler Park, Bishop Arts, and Winnetka Heights.

But there’s an up-and-coming neighborhood east of Interstate 35E and a half mile south of the Dallas Zoo that is darling and much less publicized: Beckley Club Estates. This community of about 150 houses, described as “a quiet haven of winding, tree-shaded streets, one-lane bridges, and gently sloping hills” is home to the newly listed property at 1511 Seevers Avenue.

This 2-2 Craftsman-traditional hybrid was built in 1935 and renovated this year by owner and listing agent Greg Hutchinson at Ebby Halliday Realtors. The main house is 1,259 square feet, with a 400-square-foot finished basement, and 250-square-foot guesthouse with full bath and kitchenette. Its list price is $260,000. (more…)

NTREIS Matrix

We asked our Facebook followers what they thought of NTREIS’ Matrix system, the update for the Tempos MLS system. While some agents seemed to love the new system, which now works with Mac OS and iOS devices, there are several problems that agents reported.

“Wow. Strange happenings. On my listing on desktop version of ntreis it says “Community Park”.
Go to ntreis mobile it says “Lanunity Park”.. How does that happen? No word from from tech dept after 2 weeks! Glad it sold right away…”

— Patrick

Read on for more user feedback:

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: As DART light-rail arrives at D/FW International Airport on August 18, Ebby Halliday Realtors announces Rail Station Proximity Home Search on ebby.com. (Photo: DART)

As DART light-rail arrives at D/FW International Airport on August 18, Ebby Halliday Realtors announces Rail Station Proximity Home Search on ebby.com. (Photo: DART)

Commuting time is a huge factor for many homebuyers, and mass transit is making strides for people who commute without cars. If you’ve had a hard time deciding on a home due to limited information about trains and buses, your home search just got easier.

The timing is perfect, too, as DART rail reaches from the suburbs to downtown and now to D/FW International Airport so now does Ebby.com deliver a new search feature that can show you great homes for sale that are close to light rail. It’s a popular feature in cities such as Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

“Whether it’s frequent trips to the airport, commuting to your job at the Medical Center, shopping at Mockingbird Station, or enjoying the occasional concert at the American Airlines Center in Victory Park, with ebby.com’s new Rail Station Proximity Home Search you’ll be the first to know about homes for sale – and for lease – near the rail station of your choice,” says Randall Graham, vice president and director of marketing for Ebby Halliday Realtors.

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