Peter, I thank you for the very kind words. Now, I hope I don't screw up in what I am writing below and cause you to eat your words!
Matt, I don't know what to say to you. My response to Peter's original post had absolutely nothing to do with attempting to keep other Brokers off the board. Far from it; it was simply an affirmation that they should identify themselves as such.
In Maryland Real Estate Law, any advertising by Real Estate Agents and Brokers stipulate that they clearly identify themselves in such a way that they are able to be held accountable for their claims. I see no reason why, if a Broker here is offering advice, he/she should not do the same. Not necessarily as any kind of ethical or legal requirement, but simply as a matter of common courtesy.
Moreover, if the reader is given advice, it would seem logical that it would be best for him/her to know the source of the information. Who is giving this advice? How do they come by the knowledge on which they base the advice that is given? If the comment comes from a business person, that person should ideally also divulge their background, for that same reason. If a Buyer is looking for information on Gas Stations, and someone offers a comment, wouldn't that be far more valuable if the Buyer knew that the Broker/writer had dealt with Gas Stations before; or that the writer had owned a Gas Station, and that was the basis for the response? What is wrong with that?
But Brokers, in my opinion - and it is only my opinion - have a bit of an added responsibility in this area. We are selling ourselves; we are selling our expertise; we are selling our experience and knowledge. The bigger question is: Why should a Broker NOT disclose his/her position? What does he/she have to hide?
I am not criticizing you for a possible alternative position on the subject - whether you think a Broker should or should not disclose his/her identity is your choice, and you obviously have strong opinions of your own on the subject. I am uncertain you explained that in a way I can appreciate.
And what I REALLY cannot comprehend, is how you came up with the idea that this was some conspiracy to keep other Brokers from posting in the Community. I have read Peter's thread over and over again, and I cannot find a single place where this would seem to be his stated intent. And all I did was to state that, as a Broker, I agreed.
If I were looking to block others, I would be saturating the Community with inane comments, a number of times each day, every day of the week. I am not. Take a look. I attempt to contribute only when I feel I have something of value to offer. And I find Peter's comments to be germane and worthwhile. Neither one of us would seem to be attempting to monopolizing the boards and crowding others out.
The issue is not to prevent Brokers from posting comments; if Peter is correct in that a number of Buyers have felt tricked by a failure of some Brokers to disclose their true professions, then whether that was their purpose or not, it is a reflection on the rest of us Brokers. And it is a negative reflection.
The primary question is then: What is wrong with being honest?