Comments regarding ‘VREAA Removes A Post’ at vancouvercondo.info:
May 4th, 2010 at 9:13 am
In response to threats of legal action from a local realtor, we have taken the unusual step of taking down a post at VREAA.
The post ‘Bears Take It To The Streets – “Vancouver Housing Bubble Ready To Pop!” Signs In Downtown Core’ (30 April 2010) showed images of the recent campaign by unknown individuals to publicize the Vancouver RE bubble via signs on lampposts and stickers on realtor signs. The realtor objected to the images of the stickers on realtor signs, arguing that by posting these images we were inciting individuals to break the law.
May 4th, 2010 at 9:29 am
@vreaa: If you are publishing photos of what is going on, like a news magazine, you are not liable for anything. MOreover, you can’t be sued for inciting someone to break the law (which you are not doing anyway).
May 4th, 2010 at 9:34 am
They are just brutally threatening you. Be careful, some realtors are behaving like mafiosi. The whole industry is corrupt to the bone.
May 4th, 2010 at 9:41 am
wtf ? Take Down ?!? Its part of the history!
can you change the text and instead of promoting this behavior, state that is unacceptable and vandalism.
As fellow citizen that cares for his/her citizens you are just reporting another case of vandalism.
Please, don’t take it down, just add comment that is unacceptable.
another way is to post the name of that Realtor, and we can all call him to check on his services to purchase our properties asap.
paulb fan Says:
May 4th, 2010 at 10:00 am
Guys you have to understand. VREAA is anonymous and probably would like to remain so. And that scumbag of a realtor knows that and a lawsuit may expose his identity, even though he may win hands down if there is a lawsuit. So, IMHO, he has done what anybody in his position would do, including myself. Besides, lets face it, vandalism is vandalism. Anybody who posted those posters is most likely reading the message on all these forums. He can continue posting on the places like lamp posts et al to spread the message. posting them on realtor signs is stretching it a bit. For all you know, this particular realtor is trying to make an honest living, somebody with ethics like our PaulB (I know I know, thats more of an exception, then the rule – but nevertheless still plausible). thats my 2 cents.
May 4th, 2010 at 10:02 am
Threatening legal action is BS, he’s just trying to bully you. Can you imagine if the press could be sued for reporting the news? What an a**hole!
It’s still posted on Mish’s site
Best place on meth Says:
May 4th, 2010 at 10:10 am
Realtors name please.
Two can play the harassment game.
And that’s exactly what it is – harassment.
May 4th, 2010 at 10:15 am
Although I’m with you on being sympathetic to VREAA just taking it down (because, hey, being an outed anonymous blogger may not work well if you work with … well, people who own houses! *g*)
But threatening legal action over an image of a minor infraction with no people in the picture? This is not striking me as terribly ethical behaviour on the realtor’s part.
I also like Paul B, and I like Larry too, even though he’s not a serious bear – but I don’t expect either would throw their weight around regarding the archiving of phenomena about real estate. If I did think they’d done this, my esteem for them would fall. I’d be shocked to find out Chipman did this.
Overall, though, it’s a bit desperate and stupid.
Rather like standing on the beach blowing at a hurricane to try to keep it offshore.
May 4th, 2010 at 10:17 am
@Best place on meth:
Here you go,
[url of realtor that didn’t send e-mails]
May 4th, 2010 at 10:22 am
Post the realtors name. I have some questons for him.
Anyone that makes $7,000/hr for selling one strata titled unit deserves to answer questions.
Think about all the abuse car salesman take and they make a small fraction of what realtors make and yet the car salesman is equal to the realtor… Both commission salespeople.
May 4th, 2010 at 10:24 am
My first time seeing those stickers at Mish’s site.. classic. “Bubble Pricing”. Thats f*king hilarious!! I wonder if it was “Leone”??
May 4th, 2010 at 10:27 am
If anyone is interested in the VREAA gagging.
The post is still available in google as it is cached.
Here a link to the cached version.
Some of these pictures were either posted to Mike Shedrocks
blog or in the comments as well a Flicker users page.
While I understand the concern that the real estate agent has
choking free speech through harassment is not acceptable.
May 4th, 2010 at 10:32 am
For the record, the realtor who sent the e-mail was not ‘Leon Beauregard’, nor was it any of the realtors whose signs appeared in the images on my site.
Best place on meth Says:
May 4th, 2010 at 10:34 am
You have nothing to fear by publicly disclosing the name of the person harassing you.
It’s the right thing to do.
May 4th, 2010 at 10:44 am
@Vigilante’s links to the printouts to make into stickers/posters:
May 4th, 2010 at 11:05 am
While it’s shocking to see a blogger harassed I actually think for the VREAA it makes a very interesting data point. If you want a measure of what the sentiment and a big part of the narrative around real-estate in this town it’s kind of all condensed into this one little event.
Although I did take one of the pictures that may have gotten the attention I personally don’t agree with the stickers on the sign and find it a bit over the line. But this is nowhere near as questionable as the bulling of a blogger for reporting on such an event.
May 4th, 2010 at 11:30 am
Those stickers are hilarious, which one of you did it?! ;^)
Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of such behaviour. Vandalism is wrong.
May 4th, 2010 at 11:45 am
I wonder if the realtor who contacted VREAA about the photos has a first name that rhymes with “knob”?
May 4th, 2010 at 11:57 am
You absolutely have to give us the realtors name, and there would be nothing illegal about that.
This CREEP would wish he’d never been born.
May 4th, 2010 at 12:06 pm
One case of Molson’s finest delivered free to anybody who can come up with that reators name.
May 4th, 2010 at 12:30 pm
What, are you going to stickers all over his signs?
May 4th, 2010 at 12:30 pm
@sluggo: While I think that legal threats to someone reporting on an issue is a completely ass-headed move, I don’t support harrasing the idiot that did it. Don’t descend to their level. The best revenge is making sure the facts and real information gets out there.
Anybody who acts like this over stickers on a sale sign likely has other problems in their life, let them just stew in their own misery.
May 4th, 2010 at 12:37 pm
Its only a matter of time before those stickes go viral. Its too funny. I imagine some wag will begin putting the same message on real shits cars as bumper stickers. lets face it hiding the facts from the public is just sleazy attempting to hide behind the threat of legal action is just stupid. I think some smart guy is going to make the stickers available at a pick up spot so people can grab handfuls of them and post them everywhere in the province.
May 4th, 2010 at 12:51 pm
about this whole signage sticker thing…
so let me get this straight, a realtor is upset that their someone puts stickers on their signs. Gimme a break, realtors are the ones that vandalize our hoods in the first place by putting their for sale ad signs up all over the place. Some of them even have their ugly faces on them!!!!!
Does anyone here know what the rules are with these for sale signs? Can they be placed on public property/sidewalks ect. or do they have to be on the property for sale?
When i go for a walk with the little one in the stroller and find a realtor sign on the sidewalk, i usually kick it into the bush off the sidewalk, since it’s dangerous and they’re blocking off public space.
What about longterm fo sale signs. There’s one that i drive by daily and it’s been there for almost year or so (the guy trying to sell the lots off HWY1 on westview valley side, you know premium highway location in a lowered hole ;-)
May 4th, 2010 at 12:54 pm
Certified Bubble Pricing. Hahaha!
Good prank but I think greying out the Realtors’ names would have been appropriate for media coverage.
May 4th, 2010 at 12:56 pm
The fact that a realtor would threaten to sue over posting pictures of “bubble” stickers on realtor signs is the surest smoking gun you need that even the realtors know this market is done.
painted turtle Says:
May 4th, 2010 at 8:07 pm
Regarding the “Bubble Stickers” film noir:
So it is unacceptable to put a tiny sticker on a FOR SALE sign, but it is perfectly ethical to sell an overpriced home to an over extended family…
Interesting times, indeed…
May 4th, 2010 at 8:39 pm
@painted turtle: It’s also perfectly acceptable to give billions of tax payer dollars to failed banks, set up a permanent bailout scheme (CHMC), cheat on mortgage applications and lie to potential buyers about multiple competing offers. But report on some funny stickers and you are in big trouble.
May 10th, 2010 at 10:15 am
Just to resurrect a dead horse for a moment. The sign that I took a picture of with a bubble pricing sticker now has a bright red “sold” on top while the bubble sticker remains.
Related comments from robchipman.net
If I’m the homeowner (seller) I ‘ll sue the bastard who put the sticker there !
This isn’t an one-way free country.
10:1 says it was Patricia Houlihan who complained about the stickers. She is a lawyer and a realtor and her sign was ‘defaced’.
Let me guess, sticker is “best place on Meth”. LOL
I just love it
Hope we see a LOT more
As for a pamflet, well, it is a free country. As for a sticker, it should not be that difficult to remove, it is not a spray. I am kinda more disturbed with stickers “sold over asking” on the West Side houses. Some realtors like to brag about it, and us, ordinary working people, do not like the idea that even after winning 3. 5 mil lottery we could not afford to buy a house in Vancouver and retire. Oh well… thats life….
Not ‘best place on meth’ but another well known poster.
“Somebody decided that their opinion was important enough that it deserved to be plastered on the property of people who didn’t ask for it. If those kinds of people come knocking on your door Sunday morning you don’t call them guerrilla educators pricking your disinformation bubble. You call them Jehovah’s Witnesses.
What’s the difference?
The JVs don’t hide, and they go away without defacing your stuff when you ask them to.”
If that is the difference ROB, then you would not call “those people” JV’s even if they come knocking at your door. Your comparison was inaccurate and potentially and unecessarily offensive Rob.
Sorry about the typo. Changed it to JWs. No offense, potential or otherwise, meant by use of the intials.
The stickers are dumb, but shouldn’t be hard to get off. Ever heard of goo gone?
Though everyone can educate themselves most don’t. They all rely on the MSM and they all pump RE because RE makes up a large chunk of their advertisers. I can convince most non owners that housing is over priced here in 10 minutes.
The info is out there, but most don’t find it.
Still, these stickers aren’t the way to get the word out.
Think about one day, maybe 20 to 30 years down the road, you were going to sell your property and found those stickers on your signs, what’s your reaction?
I don’t think I am going to worry about anything in 20 or 30 years, let alone about some stickers on real estate “for sale” signs. Presently, I am very concerned about 200 thousand gallons of oil day that is pouring per day into the Gulf of Mexico. From CNN: “So far, an estimated 2.6 million gallons of oil, roughly 60,000 barrels, has spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, forming a slick the size of the state of Delaware.” That is a real problem for every living thing on the planet.
Real estate talk is, given present pricing, and in my case – just talk. It would be just talk even if I won 6/49.
Rob ain’t afraid of no big bad vague threat of legal action without a leg to stand on!
Just remember, you can tweak the nose of an individual realtor with little fear, but beware The Monopoly
Think about your mother then.
Its free speech and should be constitutionally protected. And its easy to remove. Just buy the Norco Stic “R” Flick “R” (TM) and strip away. It dices, slices, and Gordifies vegetables both in and out of the Legislature. And it fixes the trim on any car!
This isn’t free speech anymore than spraying “No to 2010″ across other peoples’ property is. It’s irrelevant how easy it is to remove. Try putting unflattering stickers on police cars and see how far that gets you.
Stickers are clear cut vandalism. However, that is quite different from vreaa being forced to remove the photos.
Personally I find the sticker vigilante action pretty pathetic, however, whoever decided to put them there should be able to explain his actions where ever that might be (court or so).
Having said that,
Rob, two thumbs up for posting the photos !
Oh, grow up people.
Is anyone who wants to buy a house going to be dissuaded by some dinky little sticker? Yeah, technically it’s private property. So call a cop.
And the stickerer is a duffus too. House prices are not going to change as the result of a grassroots movement. Leave it the the Invisible Hand, Dude. Mr. Hand will do a far more effective job than you could ever hope to do.
TD predicts house price drop in 2011:
I’m a little surprised at the reaction to some stickers being put on some signs. Have we reached a point where legal action is really the answer to someone putting stickers on signs.
This topic to me goes back to a bigger problem we face. The people with money can use our legal system to crush someone without money. Not saying they would stoop to this, but the real estate board could launch a case and drag it out until the person lost everything they own.
We’re at a point that the punishment for stickers on signs can be as high as losing your life savings.
You are bemoaning a state of affairs that only exists in the imagination. Assuming that sticker guys didn’t spend money fighting it, it would be unlikely to cost him or her more than a nominal fine.
By the way, Rob, is there any way to turn on numbering for comments, so we could know which comment replies to which?
So someone is threatened over some silly stickers and just because he didn’t have the guts to tell nameless Realtor to stuff it, somehow this morphs into a free speech issue? Seriously though? I hope you’re not typing that with a straight face.
Do you know the term SLAPP? If not, google it.
(Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.)
Court is very expensive, disruptive, time consuming and with a good lawyer the most outrageous decisions can come down. I don’t blame VREAA at all for caving to pressure. Easy to sit here as a commenter, less so when you are on the hook.
And yes, straight faced, it is a free speech issue. VREAA didn’t do the stickering, they merely talked about it, and are threatened with legal action for doing so. Libel and slander are fairly tightly defined, this is clearly not either one. This is merely recording and disseminating a factual account of events that happened, along with a moderate amount of opinion on said events, precisely analogous to what the newspaper will say tomorrow about the Canucks. (The emergency rooms will be full of twisted ankles tonight from band-wagon jumpers!)
Rob: Any threatening emails yet? I doubt it, you’re a feisty guy and being a realtor I think The Monopoly would not be too pleased about dissension in the ranks.
May 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm (Rob, we really do need post numbers)
Don’t put too much faith in the law. Its based on a social contract that reflects the agreement between people on how to live in a civil society. When the price of shelter rises to the point that the majority are excluded, then the social contract wil sufffer and protest, even in the (admirable) milquetoast canadian way of slappiing funny stickers on for sale signs, is inevitable. This is nothing…look at Greece.
Get serious! VREAA maintains a partisan site complete with insulting jibes and accompanying snickers. To have someone threaten a lawsuit is tame (as in, tame, tame, tame). Chirp and snigger from the sidelines long enough and I think you should expect someone to lose their temper eventually. Hardly surprising, and certainly not much of an event.
A threat isn’t legal action. Telling someone who’s annoying you to shut up isn’t always bullying. Didn’t anyone around here grow up with brothers?
“VREAA maintains a partisan site complete with insulting jibes and accompanying snickers. — Chirp and snigger from the sidelines long enough and I think you should expect someone to lose their temper eventually. Hardly surprising, and certainly not much of an event.”
Gee, that’s not being very nice.
So, now, everybody with an opinion is “partisan”?
And my analytic comments are “jibes, snickers, chirps and sniggers” and yours are, I suppose, ‘analysis’?
I happen to think that this RE market is a profoundly serious phenomenon, and my preambles at VREAA almost always contain appropriately serious points and arguments. And the anecdotes reflect the very real effects this bubble is having on individual citizens and families.
You may see my analytic points as gratuitous ‘jibes’ if you happen to disagree with them, but I suspect that history will judge them very differently.
Here’s my post from last December (2009) predicting the way in which the Vancouver RE bubble burst will affect us.
Note that the first few steps have now already been taken pretty much as predicted, and that the end result will be far from lightweight:
If you see this analysis as a collection of “jibes, snickers, chirps and sniggers”, then you are more “partisan” than I’d previously thought.
Can’t you see that these are factors that anybody serious about Vancouver RE has to take with some consideration?
To disregard them as “chirps” may be unwise.
Rob, you are not as congenial as usual. I think it shows some lack of style to go after another blogger.
It seems to me that the stickers’ business was funny, rather than dangerous. Shall we start forbidding all things?
People who want to buy should not be swayed by a funny sticker. If they are, it means they had their doubts to start with.
I think this market is doomed, and as I look at inventory levels I am in disbelief. Prices at least 30% down by next spring, probably more.
Sorry if I hurt your feelings. No offense meant. I’m not sure what part of my statement wasn’t nice, though, or which you disagree with.
You do maintain a partisan site, don’t you?
It does contain jibes and sniggers, doesn’t it?
And it stands to reason that if you provide a forum to insult enough people over a long enough time someone’s bound to take exception and yank your chain, don’t you think?
That’s all I’m saying.
I didn’t comment on your analysis, nor compare it to anyone else’s. That’s you changing the subject.
I didn’t say other people’s opinions are all partisan. That’s your construction.
I didn’t say you weren’t serious, not did I criticise any of your predictions.
Now, I understand that you take yourself pretty seriously, and I understand that your readers buy into the idea that you were unfairly bullied into being quiet. I’ve even read some that think that my free pass on posting the same pictures is further proof of some sort of realtor cartel. It might be worth taking a step back, though, and looking in the mirror before you cry foul.
“We salute the Vancouver housing bear/s who have taken a guerilla education campaign to the public via these signs. ”
You might have said something along the lines of “While we don’t applaud the tactics, we sympathize with the message…” That way it doesn’t look like you support someone vandalizing someone else’s private property, and trespassing on someone else’s private property to do so.
I understand that you may not think other people’s property rights are very important when compared to your opinion, but dismissing other peoples’values isn’t a way to make a lot of friends, and you shouldn’t be surprised when you take some flak for that. (Your analysis of the scene isn’t the issue, here, as you can see).
“Hahaha Brilliant.”- jesse, from your site. That’s got to qualify as a snicker.
““Certified Bubble Pricing” decals: brilliant!” – M, from your site. Snigger? Jibe?
“OMG this is hilarious,…” PaulB, from your site.
“Certified Bubble Pricing” sticker is hilarious…”- kabloona, from your site. Snicker?
“The “certified bubble pricing” signs are funny…” jesse, from your site. Snicker?
“Realturds…they have nothing to worry about…..McDoughnalds and Mall-wart are always hiring.” from Vacnouver_Bear. Insulting?
“If I was a realturd I would be protecting the gravy train at all costs as well. I mean what else would I do? There really are’nt any job postings for unscrupulous, immoral, lazy liars these days.” veej, your site. Insulting?
Is that enough evidence? You maintain a partisan site complete with snickers and jibes. How can you be surprised that you pissed someone off? Why do you rush to protect your serious analysis? Its the insults and snickers that got you in trouble, nothing else.
I’m not going after him, and all opinions are allowed. Crying foul over this is a little much, though, in my humble opinion. If you value free speech, stand up for it. If you don;t like getting the sharp end of things, don’t dish stuff out.
And for the record, I said it was a non-event. One goof posts stickers, VREAA chuckles, and another goof threaten legal action. Non-event.
As I said earlier “Hardly surprising, and certainly not much of an event.”