For those of you reading this who I’ve not yet helped or talked with, I’m Michelle Garrison, director of customer relations for Groundfloor. Since joining the company over six months ago, I’ve really enjoyed serving and getting to know our investors. Our executive team has asked me to take on an additional, new responsibility for Community Management. As part of that, I’m pleased to introduce our Community Standards Policy.

Groundfloor offers a unique financial product, in a unique way. No other “real estate crowdfunding” or “peer-to-peer lending” company out there allows non-accredited and accredited investors alike to participate directly in real estate loans with the full power of choice, without a middleman running your portfolio. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to participate in such private market investments this way. It is our company’s particular mission, purpose and values that have guided four years of effort and over $7 million in capital required to make this possible.

Our mission to “raise finance to the power of us” has much to do with the values and rules for behind our new community standards. We have always encouraged participation from and the contributions of our community of customers and onlookers. This is natural for a participatory product and platform such as ours. We often receive product suggestions from customers that we build upon to keep improving the platform and our service. We are grateful for the engagement of our users and for caring enough to comment and to help us continue to improve as a company.  And, of course, sometimes we’ve taken criticism, and have also used it as an opportunity to educate, inform and engage.

However, a few contributors along the way have unfortunately taken to using our community for purposes that are not congruent with our own. Our new Community Standards Policy establishes boundaries that when crossed will pose consequences to the posting privileges for these contributors. As we evolve and enforce the new rules, we can all look forward to a higher quality of discussion amongst a broader array of contributors. We’re aiming to foster constructive collaboration, while not becoming yet another outlet for bullies and fear mongers whose main impact is to silence and drive away others.

Our policy is posted and will be maintained online. Read it to learn more about the purpose, objective, values, rules and procedures as they currently stand. I will be responsible, in close collaboration with other members of the Groundfloor executive team, for overseeing the evolution and application of the policy. In the spirit of collaboration, let us know what you think in the comments below. We stand ready to consider additions, edits and clarifications that will further the purpose of fostering “dialog among and between people interested in Groundfloor, its products and the markets it serves.”