Friday, October 16, 2009

Combating Real Estate FUD

I was listening to a Diggnation podcast the other day and the acronym FUD came up during the show. I don't recall in what context, but it stymied Kevin Rose, one of two hosts, for awhile for a definition of FUD. I believe he was stalling so he could google it, but I'm just guessing. ;)

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) is a tactic of rhetoric and fallacy used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics and propaganda. FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative information designed to undermine the credibility of their beliefs.[1]

Normally, if I'm not quite certain about a term or acronym I will then look it up on Wikipedia. Now I was very sure of FUD having been in IT for years, but curiosity was too much for me so I browsed the term anyway over on Wikipedia.

After reading the initial definition, I scrolled down to read more about the derivation of FUD and was suddenly taken back by what I then saw.

Real Estate Agents. In response to a growing number of homeowners forgoing the use of real estate agent services during the sale of their homes, National and Regional real estate boards have adopted a strategy of fear, uncertainty and doubt. Ads reinforce consumers anxiety over legal paperwork, and suggest that consumers are weak, intellectually lazy and fearful. That consumers can't possibly learn; and that it would be much safer to leave the process to a real estate agent. [1]

It all made sense now. The tweets. The facebook updates. The ads. Everything.

I see these fud-like sales tactics streamed across sites where once only located in newspapers or park benches. So instead of offering a one-off opinion, what is the action item then to curb fud selling or marketing?

This is where I am with this issue, simply asking questions. I forsee a case study for researching this issue with a published online white paper. Time to get to work...


1. Wikipedia

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