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May 16, 2005

I'd like to welcome a new advertiser, Brick and Garden. They provide real estate services in the Greater Raleigh area.

I haven't met any of their employees and I have not done business with them. But in addition to the fine judgment they show in advertising on this blog, I can recommend their Web site, and one remarkable statement on their site in particular:

Further, we designed our website to help you.  Sure we use it to market ourselves and our properties, but we built it primarily to serve as a tool for our clients and future clients.  With that in mind, we never require that you provide any information in order to use our site.  We will not offer you "Free Reports" in order to capture your name, address, and phone number - if we have a report, we will post it online, or simply provide a link.  Want to search the Triangle's Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?  Go right ahead:  We do not require any information and we will not extort a "Do Not Call" exemption from you.  You are in complete control of how and when to share your personal information with us.

That, my friends, is quite different from how most real estate Web sites do business. Bravo, Brick and Garden, and best of luck to you.


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Tom Hanna

I'm sure the folks at Brick and Garden are great at what they do and it's terrific that they are supporting your blog, but I was a bit
surprised to see a free-market friendly economist let something like this slide and in fact point it out as a positive thing: "we will not extort a "Do Not Call" exemption from you."

Extort? The price of access to information on many real estate (and other) websites is a relatively cheap exchange of the reader's own information. The reader is free, so far as I can tell, to forego the information and leave those sites with nothing more than the click of a mouse. Calling it extortion is precisely the same as calling a grocer an extortionist for charging a hungry person for a loaf of bread.

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