CODE OF CONDUCT
(WHEN DEALING WITH LEGITIMATE LOCATION AGENCIES)
1. Avoid ‘Procuring Cause’ issues by understanding the following:
a. The first agency to submit the hero location and is able to start the clearing process (negotiating with the owner in good faith, setting up a scout, and/or placing holds, etc.) is considered to have established procuring cause and gets the booking, period. The law is clear in this regard.
b. Never try to get two agencies to compete in a race to the bottom for a better rate; ironically, this often leads to the owner raising the rate on their suddenly 'in demand' property.
c. Never try to get an agency to snake a location after a different agency has started the process; this can only end in tears for your production.
2. Do not share links we make for you with anyone outside your organization. All pages contain trackers; we know who sees what and when. In a business where only 20% of our competitors are licensed and operating in full compliance with the law, there are many bad players out there. These bad guys have no problem seeing what links a legitimate agency has provided, then go in and try to snake the deal. This never ends well.
3. Never burn on a Director’s Scout appointment, due to the Director or Producer determining a location visited earlier that day will do. Not only is this extremely rude, but it does nothing to enhance your own reputation. Professional scouts and managers are able to convey to the creatives and producers the need to fulfill their obligations after an agency has aligned the planets to make everything up to that point happen. Very few things are more aggravating in this business than to receive a call saying something to the effect, “we’re good, cancel the scout”, a few hours (or less!) before the appointment. Agencies will have put in a LOT of work for you up to that point, and this sort of bad behavior is entirely disrespectful.
4. Do not circumvent the process and try to cut the agency out of the loop by attempting to strike a deal directly with a location owner or its management, even if it’s for added hours, days, or areas. A legitimate location agency is a registered real estate corporation, and protected by rules that make it very easy to come down on bad actors, and most owners know this. We generally have very good relationships and/or listing agreements with these properties, and they will usually tell us if anything is outside the bounds of expected behavior.
5. Always keep any and all agencies you are dealing with 100% in-the-loop in regard to change of direction, pushed dates, etc., etc. We realize this is a lot to ask, but bear in mind every agency you make a request of is putting their nose to the grindstone and working very hard to get you exactly what you are looking for. If you’ve asked a lot of agencies for help, expect to keep in contact with all of them so you do not needlessly waste their time.
6. Don’t abuse the agencies! In a perfect world, you choose one agency to work with and let them fulfill your needs until it’s determined you need to move on. Naturally, we understand you may prefer to work with two or three at a time in order to make sure you get the broadest coverage. But if you’re blasting your requests out to 5, 10, or…more… agencies, you should recognize that could likely be considered abusive and putting a lot of hard-working people hard at work for an extremely low-percentage chance of getting the booking. We prefer not to be part of any abusive blast; we are busy enough with servicing our regular clients. Most legitimate agencies are members of the MLS and can pretty much get you any location that is not under an exclusive arrangement with another broker, within reason, so except for unusual or difficult locations, there is rarely a need to put so many people on finding the perfect location for you.
7. Do not post location address and/or contact info an agency shares with you on social media, forums or public galleries. This can cause security issues for location owners and unfairly make an agency's proprietary data public. We put our trust in you - kindly honor that trust with discretion.
(Feel free to copy this, or suggest additional do’s and don’t’s)