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Professionalism

Agent’s Facebook comment ignites a firestorm, could mar the Realtor brand

When a Realtor comments that 49,000 more cops should die after two were slain in NYC, it goes viral – along with the Realtor brand.

Realtor Evan Carroll has lit a firestorm online with a personal comment on his personal Facebook page that has been used to invoke the Realtor brand. The Police Beat Facebook Page posted the image above, wherein Carroll states, “2 down. 49,000 to go. Not ‘an execution’ just a minor insurrection and a bit of humble revenge. #BreathingBetter #StandWithThePeople,” and the above photo of a protester is said to be Carroll. As of publication, the image has over 200 shares.

The problem for Realtors is this caption…

No one has a problem with a real estate professional being among the protesters, and he certainly wouldn’t be alone, but the problem for the Realtor brand is that Police Beat shares the screenshot of his comment and captions it, “Your kind of realtor?”

It didn’t say “how dare this man say this” or “what a hateful statement,” no, it actually invokes the Realtor brand, which has the potential to associate this kind of sentiment with nearly one million Realtors nationwide.

Consumers are revolting against Carroll

Hundreds of people have taken to social media to rebuke his statements, flooding his broker’s page with negative commentary, and sharing the image with comments like “all my law enforcement friends feel free to ignore calls to his house,” and “would you hire this Realtor?” His broker’s site has comments like, “Garbage business with an owner who supports the murder of Law Enforcement Officers. Avoid this business completely.”

Consumers are calling for Carroll to be “fired,” and although it is a common misunderstanding that Realtors work like hourly employees and can be given a pink slip, Carroll’s broker has the right to retract his sponsorship and drop his license, and he would have to find another broker.

About the broker

According to the Texas Real Estate Commission, Carroll is the only salesperson in this two person brokerage, and we’ve reached out for comment from Carroll and his broker Bryan Joseph Fagan, who appears to be a lawyer as well. The brokerage site is either down or permanently broken.

The Houston Association of Realtors, where Carroll is a member, tells us, “Statements made by individuals on their personal social media accounts do not represent the views of the association or real estate professionals as a whole.”

Regarding whether or not agents, brokers, or consumers have lodged any complaints with them, HAR tells us that they have “been made aware of the posting, yes.”

Contact info should never have been shared

Developer Sam Delane makes a keen observation on the viral image: “While what he’s said is not okay, at all, posting his address, his phone number… that’ll get you banned from Facebook. He’s got the first amendment right to be a jackass on facebook, and they allow it. They do not, however, allow you [the original poster the right to post] his personal contact information beyond just a link to his profile.”

Carroll talks like an IT pro, not a Realtor

Carroll’s website offers a quick glimpse into his standard tone, wherein this very active internet user with profiles on Reddit, IRC, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Github, and more. He explains on his site that other people with the name “Evan Carroll” are “infidel impostors” and says, “I will conclude this rant about the infidels by declaring war with them. Let my forces of good prevail.” Perhaps it is said in jest, but Carroll appears to use a tone quite common in the IT world from where he hails (and appears to remain active), but far less common in the public-facing real estate profession.

The takeaway

We all know that what we say online has ramifications, but we also know that we enjoy free speech. That said, Carroll’s thinly veiled death threats may paint the real estate profession, particularly Realtors, in a negative light, based on this very specific chain of events.

#EvanCarroll

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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