The Duty Of Confidentiality In Real Estate

In any Listing Agreement there is a point in time when the agency relationship ends.

A Listing Agreement, as it is widely known, is none other than a contract between the rightful titleholder of an interest in land (the 'Principal') and a duly licensed real estate firm (the 'Agent'), whereby the firm stipulates and Agreements to find a Buyer within a specified timeframe who is ready, willing and able to purchase the interest in land that is the subject matter of the contract while acting within the real of the authority that the Principal confers onto the Agent, and wherein beyondmore the Titleholder stipulates and agreements to pay a commission should the licensee ever be successful in finding such Buyer.

As in all contracts, there is implied in a Listing Agreement an element which is commonly known at law as an 'implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings'. This covenant is a general assumption of the law that the parties to the contract – in this case the titleholder and the licensed real estate firm – will deal fairly with each other and that they will not cause each other to suffer damages by either breaking their words Or otherwise break their respect and mutual contractual obligations, express and implied. A breach of this implied covenant gives rise to liability both in contract law and, depending on the circumstances, in tort as well.

Due to the particular nature of a Listing Agreement, the Courts have long since ruled that during the term of the agency relationship there is implied in the contract a second element that arises out of the many duties and responsibilities of the agent towards the Principal: a Duty of confidentiality, which obligates an agent acting exclusively for a seller or for a Buyer, or a dual agent acting for both parties under the provisions of a Limited Dual Agency Agreement, to keep confidential certain information provided by the Principal. Like for the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings, a breach of this duty of confidentiality gives rise to liability both in contract law and, depending on the circumstances, in tort as well.

Pursant to a recent decision of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia ( http://www.recbc.ca/ ), the regulatory body empowered with the mandate to protect the interest of the public in matters involving real estate, a question now arises As to whether or not the duty of confidentiality extends beyond the expiration or otherwise termination of the Listing Agreement.

In a recent case the Real Estate Council reprimanded two licensees and a real estate firm for breaking a continuing duty of confidentiality, which the Real Estate Council was due to the Seller of a property. In this case the subject property was listed for sale for over two years. During the term of the Listing Agreement the price of the property was reduced on two occasions. This notwithstanding, the property extremely did not sell and the listing expired.

Following the expiration of the listing the Seller entered into three separate 'fee agreements' with the real estate firm. On all three occasions the Seller declined agency representation, and the firm was identified as 'Buyer's Agent' in these fee agreements. A party preceded a lawsuit as against the Seller, which was related to the subject property.

The lawyer acting for the Plaintiff approached the real estate firm and requested that they provide Affidavits containing information about the listing of the property. This lawyer made it very clear that if the firm did not provide the Affidavits voluntarily, he would either subpoena the firm and the licensees as witnesses to give evidence before the Judge, or he would obtain a Court Order ruling to the Rules Of Court compelling the Firm to give such evidence. The real estate firm, believing there was no other choice in the matter, promptly complied by providing the requested Affidavits.

As a direct and proximate result, the Seller filed a complaint with the Real Estate Council maintaining that the information contained in the Affidavits was 'confidential' and that the firm had delivered a duty of confidentiality owed to the Seller. As it turned out, the Affidavits were never used in the court proceedings.

The real estate brokerage, on the other hand, took the position that any duty of confidentiality arising from the agency relationship ended with the expiration of the Listing Agreement. The firm argued, moreover, that even if there was a duty of continuing confidentiality such duty would not precede or otherwise limit the evidence that the real estate brokerage would be subject to give under a subpoena or in a process under the Rules Of Court . And, finally, the realty company pointed out that there is no such thing as a realtor-client privilege, and that in the instant circumstances the Seller could not have foretold the firm from giving evidence in the lawsuit.

The Real Estate Council did not accept the line of defense and maintained that there exists a continuing duty of confidentiality, which extends after the expiration of the Listing Agreement. Council rule that by providing the Affidavits both the brokerage and the two licensee had breached this duty.

The attorney-client privilege is a legal concept that protects communications between a client and the attorney and keeps those communications confidential. There are limits to the attorney-client privilege, like for instance the fact that the privilege protects the confidential communication but not the under information. For instance, if a client has previously disclosed confidential information to a third party who is not an attorney, and then gives the same information to an attorney, the attorney-client privilege will still protect the communication to the attorney, but will not protect the Information provided to the third party.

Because of this, an analogy can be drawn up in the case of a realtor-client privilege during the existence of a Listing Agreement, whereby confidential information is disclosed to a third party such as a Real Estate Board for publication under the terms of a Multiple Listings Service agreement, but not before such information is disclosed to the real estate brokerage . In this instance the privilege theoretically would protect the confidential communication as well as the undering information.

And as to whether or not the duty of confidentiality extends past the termination of a listing agreement is still a matter of open debt, again in the case of an attorney-client privilege there is ample legal authority to support the position that such privilege does in Fact extend indefinitely, so that arguably an analogy can be infringed as well respecting the duration of the duty of confidentiality that the agent owes the Seller, to the extent that such duty extends indefinitely.

This, in a synopsis, seems to be the position taken by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia in this matter.

Clearly, regardless of duty of confidentiality that stems out of a Listing Agreement survives the termination of the contract is problematic to the real estate profession in terms of practical applications. If, for instance, a listing with Brokerage A expires and the Seller re-lists with Brokerage B, if there is a continuing duty of confidentiality on the part of Brokerage A, in the absence of express consent on the part of the Seller a Realtor Of Brokerage A could not act as a Buyer's Agent for the purchase of the Seller's property, if this was re-listed by Brokerage B. All of which, therefore, would fly right in the face of all the rules of professional cooperation between real estate Firms and their representatives. In fact, this process could potentially destabilize the entire foundation of the Multiple Listings Service system.

In the absence of specific guidelines, until this matter matter is clarified pursuant to the best course of action for real estate firms and licensees when requested by a lawyer to provide information that is confidential, is to respond that the brokerage will seek to obtain the necessary consent From the client and, if that consent is not forthcoming, that the lawyer will have to take the necessary legal steps to compel the disclosure of such information.

The Importance of Shoes

Shoes have become an important part of our everyday lives. Shoes were originally designed to protect our feet from cold weather, sharp objects, and uncomfortable surfaces. The early version of the shoe is thought to be a sandal of some form. As man’s knowledge of tools and the working of leather grew, so did the sophistication and quality of the average shoe. Shoes are shaped by the physical and economic environment of their surroundings. For example, the ancient Egyptians wore flip-flops woven from straw while the Dutch wore shoes carved from wood to protect their feet from damp marshy land they worked in.

With the passing of time shoes have become an integral part of daily lives. Shoes have passed on from being an item of luxury to an item of necessity. Fashion also played a role in the evolution of the shoe. The human psyche craves for an individual and unique identity. The nobility and upper classes saw shoes as an opportunity to fulfill this desire. The shoes got more and more extravagant. Cloth, velvet and tapestries began to be used. This was the birth of the shoe industry as we know it today. Today shoes are classified according to their use. They are casual and dress, work, sport and corrective.

All shoes fall in the casual category due to their characteristics. The differentiating factor is the purpose of the shoe. Casual shoes are designed and intended to convey an attitude of relaxation and informality. Casual shoe design has evolved with the passing time. Today’s casual shoes resemble formal dress shoes in many aspects. The distinguishing factor is the color of the shoe. Casual shoes range from flip-flops to sneakers and boots. The materials used in the manufacture range from leather, canvas and rubber to the modern petrochemical derivatives like plastics and xylenes.

Formal dress shoes are of two varieties – laced and lace less. Traditionally they are made from leather and tended to be expensive. The use of plastics and modern manufacture methods has brought down prices. The upper classes still prefer leather over what they consider cheap plastic. Women’s dress shoes may be a variant of pumps or sandals. The style of clothing decides the category of the shoe in case of women. Unisex shoes are a new product in the shoe market.

Sport shoes are specialized shoes designed and created to enable better performance in a particular sporting activity. Sport or athletic footwear is used in a number of sports like football, basketball, cricket, and track and field events. Climbing shoes are also a specialized type to footwear unsuitable to any other sport and even to walking due to its design. It is usually donned at the base of a climb. Basketball and tennis shoes have rubber soles to enable better grip on their respective courts. Sports like football, soccer, baseball and hockey use shoes with metal spikes on the under sole to give better grip for quick starts and stops. Hiking boots or trail boots are designed to support the ankle to prevent injury and to give good grip on rocky surfaces.

Digital Signage – Powerful and Flexible Ways to Market Your Business in Tough Times

You gain new clients, increase average spend, save on print costs, introduce an elevated level of energy and vitality, and increase your profits. You have to have a good reason not to use it. Whether you're a hotel, Boutique, Pharmacy, Leisure Center, Car Dealership, Restaurant, or Take-Away, providing clients with eye-catching messages and information is vital.

Time to join your fellow SMEs who are tapping into the power of digital signage to attract attention, boost sales and avoid the costs associated with static, non-digital methods for presenting menus and promotions. Discover as many others have, the real benefits, savings and increased sales that exist within those pixels.

Impulse buying behavior

Where you have a market dependent on impulse ie Boutiques, Restaurants and Take-a-ways to name a few, you've got it made. Impulse buying disruptions the normal decision-making models in consumers' brains. The logical sequence of the consumers' actions is replaced with an irrational moment of self-gratification. Impulse items appeal to the emotional side of consumers. Some items bought on impulse are not considered functional or necessary in the consumers' lives.

Good signage solutions are designed to trigger these impulses, by exposing promotional messages at the right place and at the right time – you simply nudge consumers' to spot that something that stirs a particular passion in them – which in turn leads them straight to your tills .

Raise your company's profile

Many SMEs also realize that not only do they generate a great Return on Investment (ROI). Sure, we know they're eye-catching and that they can easily tempt passer-by's with mouth-watering images or up-sell on impulse using carefully crafted messages using the power of motion and change.

But now those screens are also saving money in creating a modernizing effect; At a lower cost than undertaking major leasehold improvements ie an "eye-catching" 40 "digital screen integrated into the design of your shop front, on display to anyone walking past." Digital Signage can introduce an elevated Level of energy and vitality to any shop front, adding a fresh look to your business promises. A more "high-end" appearance, this is easily achievable by any small business with a vision and desire to stand out from its competitors.

Not only does this provide SMEs with a prime promotional space on any busy high street, it also raises their profile. As digital signage becomes more established as a mainstream marketing technique it becomes more accessible to smaller businesses. The days of only seeing digital signage in Piccadilly Circus are over; The age of digital marketing is upon us.

Opportunity to profit from advertising time

These systems can also be used as a tool to generate advertising revenue by promoting other businesses and services; By selling advertising time on your digital display to other local businesses.

Revenue generation by advertising local non-conflicting businesses; A big brand like Budweiser may not get excited about advertising on your one – two screens inside your shop, but the local hairdressers or plumbers around the corner might. And with the local community Newspapers circulation falling – similar local retailers would be wise to follow.

Digital Signage can be an active element in anyone's marketing, unlike those never-changing listings within local directories and printed banners / signs – which when you add all these up – can cost the average retailer a fortune over time, and with a hard to measure ROI.

In tough times, you have to change the way you do business, by stopping the drip of less viable products that provide limited value to you. Digital Signage delivers real and measurable benefits to SMEs – proven business benefits.

Digital Signage = Smart Expenditure

The rising use of digital signage by small and medium-sized companies can be attributed to many factors, falling equipment costs – a 50% drop in the price of LCD displays over the last five years has previously made expensive solutions a realistic proposition for SMEs – Increased awareness and a realization of the competitive advantage that can be gained are all positive drivers. Smart expenditure, on this type of technology provides SMEs with a real affordable advantage in tough times.

The following excerpt from an article "Small businesses should make their technology pay" from SMEWeb.com (the online resource for SMEs in the UK) acknowledges this competitive advantage:

"Digital signage is another area which has seen leaps of progress over the past few years. And far from being a luxury, these screens can save thoughtful costs and so offer fast ROI – particularly for customer-facing businesses. Increase market share is to ensure your customers have the information they need about your company and products at the point of purchase.

Nowadays digital signage is far more than an elaborate poster; Used correctly it can provide real-time data; Stimulate demand by offering further information surrounding and complementary to products such as recipes or alternatives. Already they are being used extensively in restaurants and hotels – for example, to promote special dishes and update menus without the printing costs and allied transport overheads.

Small businesses need to be more responsive and quick off the mark than their larger counterparts – there's no better way to do this than using a digital sign which can be updated, either from a central location or locally, to reflect changing situations.

These are just two examples of the way that making smart investments in technology can make a real difference to the effectiveness of a business today. The challenge, particularly for SMEs, is to know what is available and how to implement them for the best return.

The key is to find a solutions provider that can give reliable advice and has a good relationship with a vendor so they can give you the inside track on the development of the product in future.

Hopefully we are through the tunnel of recession. However, it's worth coming up for air and taking a look at what there is to help smaller businesses. Far from being mere window dressing, the new electronics equipment just emerging onto the market can actually make a difference. "Time to open your eyes to the opportunities that digital signage has to offer.

Innovative Advertising Displays

You need a solution that addresses the fast growing need for digital signage displays in areas within the public eye, providing an effective form of advertising, information, communication or entertainment – you really need to be exploiting this, now.

Your best course of action would be to select one with a built-in media player and scheduling software; Allowing for simple plug and play methods for updating content, making them extremely user-friendly. Unlike many of your fellow SMEs, you will not be exploited into having to pay out for annual software licenses.

Using our Plug and Play displays, you do not need a computer or DVD support as the display has a memory card reader built-in. Simply insert an SD / CF Memory Card and power on. The screen automatically starts playing the images, video and music that are loaded onto the card.

You can easily set the position order and interval time (Breakfast, Lunch Hour Specials and Evening Dining) of each slide giving you complete control over every aspect of your digital signage – take a glimpse as to how easy our software is at Scheduling your playlists. The screen has a memory card locker to protect the memory card from public access. A wall mount also comes with the screen, so you can fix the screen on the wall without extra cost. Professional installation can be provided which also includes a walk-through of the product and its features.

Commercial grade displays are different from that of a TV purchased from your local electronic shop – these displays are more robust and rated to show content for more total hours, fit for purpose. All displays are designed for 24/7 use and have special LCD panels so that the color does not fade over time, as it would with other LCD panels found in TVs and PC monitors.

Their sleek, elegant tempered glass styling, ability to be in constant use (more energy-efficient) and wide viewing angle means that they offer many advantages over using home TVs for commercial display. As well as these benefits the Digital Advertising displays are also brighter than home TVs and have no buttons or controls on show. By placing a TV in a business environment, you typically lose or limit its warranty.

Additionally they can be easily networked or wirelessly connected to a PC for more frequent updates and even up to the minute RSS feeds.

Digital signage can be one of the most effective shopper marketing technologies in use in retail today; It can deliver the right message to the right place, at the right time, and in the right format; It has the power to impact sales, build brands and improve the customers' experience.

Cost of content and who controls it

There are companies that are claiming to be creators of Digital Signage, where the opposite being, there just jumping into the industry simply because it's hot. And with the analysts promising 33 percent or higher growth this year; This creates plenty of scope for others to follow.

One of their more noticeable mistakes, being content creation, an issue for these resellers, which in turn becomes an issue for their clients – these companies are simply not adept to creating interesting visual content – let alone the need and importance of refreshing content.

These companies often try to sell you expensive digital campaigns with their products – it should be noted that most of these content deals are just simple PowerPoint presentations that can be made by anyone with little experience. Alternately, most will provide you with contact numbers to very expensive Design Agencies that they have formed partnerships with – all this can be a real put-off for SMEs.

As an SME, you will want to cut costs when it comes to Digital Signage Content, so using in-house resources instead of giving the business to an outside supplier is one sure way of cutting costs. Most of us, have PowerPoint installed on our computers, and with powerful editing features such as adding videos, pictures and animations, you would be crazy not to use it for creating your own Digital Signage Content.

Integrating existing content such as logos, images, animations and video will be less time-consuming and inexpensive – this also ensures compliance with your existing image, listed by your company. Many SMEs may have internal / external marketing, printing and web design departments – these are great places to look for existing assets. Inevitable though, new content will obviously be required at some point in time.

Many providers and brands that may be part of your on-going promotions can also provide these assets. Existing logos and graphics can be retouched and animated, to provide a more dynamic and contemporary look. There is no reason why an SME can not produce and deliver a broadcast-quality experience to their clients, using in-house resources.

Small businesses in particular need to control the cost of content, to make their investment in a Digital Signage System, worthwhile. Therefore, when considering your Digital Signage Partner, it is best to choose a provider that will consider your size, budget and needs – one that specializes in designing low-cost media and content for SMEs.

A knowledgeable partner that has the time and desire to provide you with that one-to-one attention, dedicated to the highest level of customer satisfaction and service – walking you through every step of the specification and implementation process; Focusing on three things: improving sales, reducing costs and improving customer relations. A Digital Signage Partner with, a good proposal at good cost.

Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising is used to promote or advertise products and services using billboards, storefront signs, banners, wraps, decals, and other forms of signage. Vehicle wraps is a good example of how outdoor advertising works. It is a very effective and inexpensive tool for small companies who are looking to advertise their business in a specific area and within a limited budget. Without signs, it would be hard for customers to find a business or get information regarding products and services.

Outdoor signs are probably the first thing customers see and established an impression about the nature of a business. To leave a good impression on your visitors, you have to display your products, services, pricing etc. in a very attractive and creative way. Information should be displayed in a very simple and conspicuous way so that customers can quickly understand what your business is all about.

It is absolutely imperative for a business, whether small or large, to install signs as a source to build brand identity and authority. To make things simple, you can just visit your city and see what kind of sign boards grab your attention. It will give you a fair chance to develop an understanding of what type of signage would work for your business.

If you are running a business which involves a fleet of vehicles facilitating delivery of products and services, your company’s name, products, services, logo, contact information etc. should be clearly visible on your vehicles. A billboard might cost a handful of money. However, vehicles can be used as cheap mobile billboards.

Billboards are usually used to address a large audience. It is probably hard for small businesses to afford billboards as a source of outdoor advertising. However, a billboard, if designed properly, can be very useful in promoting campaigns, offers, or anything desired.

Banners is another tool to boost up outdoor advertising campaigns. It can be used as both indoor and outdoor signs. You can decide the size and content of banners depending on your requirements. A complete range of outdoor signs can be obtained from signage companies. It is not feasible to make a banner or billboard at home for it requires printing equipment and skills. Therefore, it is advisable to visit a reputable signage company to get perfectly designed outdoor advertising signs.

Despite the unprecedented advancement in technology, these simple outdoor advertising tools to promote products and services remain relevant and effective. So do not miss out the opportunity to promote your business with limited sources.