Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent (Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374)

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Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

That all depends of if they are using proprietary, trademarked or copy-write material. As an author, I think plagiarism is a sin, I don't want credit for another's work. But, I do recognize my ideas come from all the books I've read, classes I taken and pro's I've networked with. Let's face it, we all "borrow" language & catch phrases & ideas or are simply given those ideas from a stage or classroom. But, I wouldn't verbatim use anybody's material, I want my own identity. I laugh at all the unoriginal folks advertising Got Real Estate?, etc. for example-all I think of is how they had to steal the Got Milk? campaign instead being original...they seem lazy. I share my marketing with others I network with because I doubt I invented any of it. If they want to look more like me than them, I guess I'm flattered.

May 27, 2015 12:28 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

I consider it smart business.  Now, if someone is just taking a marketing piece and putting their picture on it, then it's stealing.  But most of our marketing ideas have come from others.  I "steal" ideas all the time, tweak them to improve them, and make them my own.  I'm not directly taking some one else's marketing or just replicating it with my own contact info, but I am being inspired by the business acumen of others.

May 27, 2015 04:24 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Definitely stealing.  Borrowing has permission and attribution.  As bloggers, Ron and I have permission to use photos from companies such as Apple as long as we provide attribution, which we do.  We buy some of the pictures we use, and some of the picture require attribution even when we buy them, and we do that too.  

It is easy to steal pictures on the web, and many feel that if it is one the web, it is free to use.  A

May 27, 2015 12:19 AM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

It would be guilty of stealing. 

May 27, 2015 12:18 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe


On marketing material you need to ask first.


May 27, 2015 12:34 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Stealing, unless permission has been given by the original author.

May 27, 2015 12:32 AM
Bill Cherry, Realtor - Dallas, TX
Broker & Wealth Coach

I've been writing on multiple subjects and history for many years.  It amazes me at how often I find my stuff directly lifted and used by another writer as if it were his own.  And then there are several web sites which have apparently made full .pdf files of my book, Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories, and made it available for printing or reading on line for free.  The copyright office apparently hasn't figured out how to stop it. How can any of it be considered anything less than stealing?

May 27, 2015 01:27 PM
Sarah Cole
Strategic Digital Marketing Consultant - http://www.coleconnectmarketing.com - Tully, NY
Strategic Social Media Consultant

Very hard to protect photo rights when they are put on the web.  Here's an article regarding just that - http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/05/25/a-reminder-that-your-instagram-photos-arent-really-yours-someone-else-can-sell-them-for-90000/

Marketing material may be a different thing entirely, but photos you post and especially on Instagram, beware.

May 27, 2015 08:53 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Wanda - certainly seems like stealing to me without knowing additional information.  

May 27, 2015 03:03 AM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Sales and Marketing materials - stealing.  Changing to fit their own needs - good idea.

May 27, 2015 02:37 AM
Kull Realty Group
Wellington, FL
Your local experts

You can get great ideas from competitors...but can't steal their material.

May 30, 2015 03:27 AM
Bob Publicover
Publicover Realty Group, inc - Stuart, FL
Thinking outside the box

Wanda, I think you answered the question, Stealing IS taking one's property without your permission.

May 29, 2015 02:35 AM
Debra Peters
Referral Realty - Manorville, NY
NY Real Estate Salesperson

I don't even like to think of the word, but I would also consider it as stealing.

May 27, 2015 01:57 AM
Cindy Davis
SD Home Source Realty - San Diego, CA


May 27, 2015 01:17 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY

Looks like I agree with the general concensus of stealing!

May 27, 2015 12:57 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Guilty of stealing, your marketing materials should be YOURS.

May 27, 2015 12:51 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Does your name, brand and telephone number appear on the material? If yes, thank them profusely, That is more than Zillow does for you and you let them steal your stuff FREELY and you willingly forfeit all current and future rights to that material. (that applies to everything you put on AR also.)

I leverage the materials other agents use ALL THE TIME! You can not keep a good idea in a box.  If I believe a 'FREE BOX OF CHOCOLATES' is working for that agent, I most certainly will give it a try. (In Florida, the box of chocolates does not work!)

Now, the challenge is to make your material theft proof. As an example. stealing my marketing material would be too labor intensive and require way too much market knowledge for any one to be tempted to steal. And, of course, there are those who will try only to realize their enterprise does not have the depth to support the strategy and they are revealed to lack fabric. In essence, it is a trap into which I invite those who can not create their own strategy.

In your example, it is simply what you should expect of a GREAT IDEA! (Imitation)  Rely on the fact that those who can not create are unlikely to develop any real competition for you. It may prove beneficial to 'reach out' to the offender and compliment them on the marketing material, with a great big smile of course.

The moral to the story: if you expose your sales and marketing material, expect a good idea to be copied. You need to make copying more difficult that creating.

May 27, 2015 12:48 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Sounds like stealing to me. Although if you use the idea (a prelisting kit, a type of postcard) not a copy of the product that's probably OK. Agents share great marketing ideas at conventions all the time

Feb 20, 2016 04:51 AM
Chris Mamone
Keller Mortgage - Tacoma, WA
Senior Loan Officer

That would be stealing. That drives me nuts. If I ever see a good idea I ask first if I can use it and adapt it to me. If they so no then I try to come up with something different. You have to make things personal to you it can't be the same as everyone else.

Aug 30, 2015 05:21 AM
Jim Joeriman
Coldwell Banker Riviera Realty, Inc - Lacey Township, NJ
Helping Agents Reach New Heights

This is obviously a great question that has also a great response rate.  I agree with all the "depends" posts.  At some point even ones creative work will mirror the creative work of another

Jun 03, 2015 10:59 PM
Jim McCord
Keller Williams Pinnacle Group - Cincinnati, OH
#1 Best Selling Author & Real Estate Coach

I'm more than happy to share my best real estate material...Click to see a 60 second video...

May 31, 2015 08:22 AM
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

It depends. When I read what you said actually happened that is an example of stealing.   As with anything, "it depends".  


Let's face it, there are only so many ways to come up with top 10 things to do in Spring..LOL.   Borrow and improve. Tweak. Make your own twist.


Copy word for word. picture for picture is stealing. 

May 31, 2015 03:08 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - if the material is exclusively created by some person/broker/entity, it should be considered as a violation of the copyright. However, there are so many software that can create similar marketing material. In such cases, it is not.

And of course, if no permission is taken and content is duplicated, it is a stealing - and can be punishable act - though, let attorneys work on it!

May 30, 2015 10:00 AM
Chris B Johnson REALTOR®
Allison James Elite - Moorpark, CA
5 Star Rated REALTOR® Quality, Not Quantity

With out permission, it is definatley stealing. most people will let you borrow ideas with permission because 90% of the time they borrowed the idea from someone else!

May 30, 2015 06:00 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

What type of marketing material?  

May 29, 2015 10:29 AM
Patrick Willard
Rio Rancho, NM

A broker I once worked for told me once that there's nothing original, everything has been done before. His responce to some direct responce ads I ran. If someone took something and copied it word for word, image for image, and just put their name on it I think that's stealing ( and lazy) but if they take the idea and tweak it and make it their own it would be hard to say that's stealing. Many "systems" being sold to us today take alot from systems that were around years ago.

May 29, 2015 02:25 AM
Bill Kennedy
Keller Williams Greenville Upstate - Greenville, SC
Homes For Sale Greenville SC

Do your research! Sometimes the most successful marketing campaigns I've seen are taken from youtube tutorials that agents post for others to emulate. So if the agent who is using it got it from there or somewhere similar, I wouldn't consider it stealing, I'd consider it free use. If someone creates some piece of insanely creative marketing material that I've never seen before and can't seem to find, I'd definitely ask permission to recreate it.

May 29, 2015 02:24 AM
Nancy Robinson Ranked #6 in MI
Century 21 Town and Country - Royal Oak, MI
#11 Century21 Realtor in the US, #16 in the World

When you put a good non copy writ-ed piece of marketing out there, its going to get copied or re worked.  And yes I do consider that stealing.

May 28, 2015 09:44 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Wanda - Like Thomas said, if the material is copyrighted, proprietary, or trademarked, and you are using it word for word (and have not paid for the rights), then that is stealing.

If you have read about marketing ideas and are using those ideas to generate your own marketing plan, or have paid for the rights to use someone else's marketing ideas, then you are not stealing.

Like Richard said, not all marketing ideas can be brand new ideas. Things like putting your info on water bottles is a perfect example of using a marketing idea that came from someone else, but I wouldn't call that stealing. 

May 28, 2015 04:04 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Oh I wouldn't like that at all. I designed several forms over the years and trained many agents. I have found other companies using the forms I created. It bothered me at first but then I realized they had no idea where they came from.

May 28, 2015 01:19 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

My initial response is steeling ... but I also feel I need more information.


May 28, 2015 10:17 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I guess my question is whether you refer to direct use of copyrighted material or the use of the message/idea that has been re-done to individualize. One is stealing, the other is "inspired"...

May 28, 2015 03:04 AM
Richard Robibero, e-Pro, ABR, SRS
Panorama R.E. Limited - Toronto, ON
Selling Your Home as if it were My Own!

Good question, but I think it needs to be explained.

Grabbing another Realtors photos or description without asking, it's stealing.

Using a marketing idea that someone else has used, consider it a form of flattery. Brochures, video, handing out water at open houses, it all came from someone else first.

May 27, 2015 09:18 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Without permission? ~ every single case like that would be stealing, no doubt about that in my world. Why not to ask?

May 27, 2015 02:09 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

I always ask permission to borrow.  I would consider that stealing!

May 27, 2015 12:57 PM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

If you borrow a screw driver from your neighbor, you bring it back when you're finished. But people steal all the time. Unless you're willing to haul their butts into court or file a complaint against them at your local Board of Realtors, there's not much you can do apart from sending your unemployed millenial over to their house at midnight to teepee it.

May 27, 2015 11:43 AM
Richard Arnold
Keller Williams Realty East Valley - Tempe, AZ
Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix

They didn't change the names?  Stealing, of course.  

If you are talking about generic templates provided by a third party, then the discussion is moot.


May 27, 2015 11:11 AM
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty - Tucson, AZ
Third Generation Full-Time Realtor® 520 471-6900

To some extent everyone is borrowing something from someone, not like we are coming up with something "new" at this stage of the game.

May 27, 2015 06:43 AM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

It depends on how original that content was. So much is not original, almost identical to multiple sources, and in that case I don't have an issue with it.

May 27, 2015 04:40 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

If it's without permission, it sure sounds like stealing to me!!

May 27, 2015 04:35 AM
Sharon Altier
Coldwell Banker Realty - Elmhurst, IL
Luxury Property Specialist, CSC, SFR

The definition of what you said is stealing. 


May 27, 2015 04:17 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin I would have to classify this as stealing.

May 27, 2015 03:23 AM
Raoul Loustaunau
EXP REALTY - Phoenix, AZ
urhomefinder.com myvaluetoday.com

I don't know there are so many people selling the same marketing to every one that would be hard to know if the really stoled it; and we are in a big pond our only competition is our lack or good effort to improve on what we are doing . not what some one else is doing that is equal to us. just my opinion have a great day Wanda

May 27, 2015 01:31 AM
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

No question here-stealing. If it were borrowed one would have to ask to "borrow" it, there is obvisously no intent to return anything.

May 27, 2015 01:28 AM