I was contacted by an attorney for a real estate brokerage on the Orange County CA coast regarding a malicious attack on a luxury real estate brokerage.
The suspected individual who was an agent for this brokerage, refused to sign employment forms and that is when they parted ways…so they ended up giving him a referral fee for a deal that we closed that ended up going sideways – it was his friend/referral and they think there was some funny business going on. The attorney got involved with that and this individual signed an NDA – disparagement agreement and everything before he left so they covered their ends. Then a number of false negative reviews started the day after he signed the release.
The brokerage alleges this individual started a campaign of leaving false negative reviews to harm their online reputation. A number of negative reviews were left on Yelp. I was able to have all of these negative reviews removed as they came from newly established Yelp accounts from non-Yelpers. This means an individual signs up for a Yelp account and immediately leaves a negative review moments later only to be never heard from again.
Over this same period of time, 8 negative reviews showed up on Google from NEW Google accounts which were worded as negative personal attacks against this brokerage without describing a specific consumer experience. And in fact, a few of these reviews had some of the same sentence structure. I have flagged these reviews with Google and have an appointment in the AM to discuss. I am going to assume the investigators from Google will see these were all new accounts with no prior activity and could have possibly come from the same IP address.
When you look at all of the positive reviews on Yelp, Facebook and Zillow for this brokerage the negative reviews are inconsistent with the overall reputation of the brokerage.
I was given the name of the suspected attacker. He has 4 Zillow reviews even though the MLS shows no actual transactions for this real estate agent. I have ordered an audit from Zillow.
He tried representing himself as a “Baller” real estate agent with a publicized listing. He borrowed a car from a local luxury automotive dealer and posted a shot in front of this luxury property with he and the car. Turns out it is his parents house, where he lives.
To date, all we have is circumstantial evidence so I am not going to name him at this time. I will however when solid evidence comes in. This will be dealt with in the courts and he could lose his real estate license.
To me, he looks like a poser. Sour grapes for being an unethical Realtor. I will have a follow up post as we learn more.
I am TED. The original TED. Don’t mess with me. Don’t mess with my clients.