Notes From Readers: Brand Power

Readers of REALTOR® Magazine share insights and comments from recent events and articles.

June 1, 2009

The two ladies who formed "The Wonder Women Team" in Oklahoma City do a great job marketing their brand (Success Story, May 2009). However, I couldn’t help but notice how closely their team name resembles "Wonder Woman," the DC Comics superhero. When marketing ourselves, we need to be careful we don’t infringe on others’ copyrights and trademarks. When it’s as close as this, a legal opinion and perhaps permission of the owner might be prudent. Even if you’re on the right side of the issue legally, you can still spend an awful lot of money defending a lawsuit.—Tom Scott, Keller Williams Advantage Realty, Oviedo, Fla.

Teamwork? Yeah Right

When I read your May article "All on the Same Team," I almost laughed (Solutions, broker edition, page B8). I’ve been a sales manager for 35 years, and I can tell you that commissioned salespeople are a far cry from a basketball team, where there are incentives for working together. Salespeople are intrinsically in competition with practitioners at their own brokerage and other companies. When a commission is at stake, you can be sure that a salesperson would climb over the back of a colleague to get there first. You can have all the group dinners you want, but at the end of the day, commissions rule the real estate jungle.—Dane Faber, First California Realty Inc., Sausalito, Calif.

It's Smart to Stay Small

I really enjoyed the online article about REALTOR® Emeritus Geary Jones. I respect the fact that Jones kept the number of salespeople at his brokerage to a "controllable" minimum. Brokers need to keep tabs on what their salespeople are saying and doing and know their team shares their morals and ethics.—Connie McLean, ABR®, Cheswick Realty LLC, Fredericksburg, Va.

Don’t Pigeonhole Elderly, Disabled

I’m writing in reference to the "10 Essential Disclosure Rules" that appear on page 36 of the April issue. The points made are truly essential, and I’ve asked all my agents to read the piece. There is, however, a matter of phrasing in rule No. 3 that I found insulting. The rule advises practitioners against filling out disclosure forms for sellers, but provides advice for special situations in which "the seller insists you complete the disclosure form, or if the seller is elderly or disabled . . ." Your insinuation that elderly and disabled people are somehow less competent is troublesome. I know what you were getting at, but it could have been stated in a far less offensive fashion.—Paul Timmons Jr., Compass Real Estate Services LLC, Charleston, S.C.

Editor responds: Thank you for writing us, Paul. Our goal was to give guidance for instances in which a seller is physically or otherwise unable to complete the form. We’ve consulted NAR legal experts and revised our wording in the online version of the article. Visit and search for "10 Essential Disclosure Rules."

An Inspiring Read

While reading the March issue, I came across the Success Story about Linda Lifsey, a blind real estate practitioner in Ogden, Utah ("Trusting Her Senses," page 34). I was very inspired by her story and how she refuses to let her disability get in the way of success. It was a very interesting article; thanks for writing it.—Sekou (Suki) Wiggs, John L. Scott Real Estate, Seattle

Kelly Quigley

Kelly Quigley is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.