Social media has changed the way Realtors do business. Gone are the days of exchanging business cards with a Realtor at a conference and filing the card away for the day you have a referral, and equally gone are the days of handing out business cards at a trade show in the hopes that sellers call you when its time to list their house. We now live in a world where we can get to know people and build relationships through social media. But it’s not all sunshine and roses. For all the potential that exists to make connections and building our brand through social media, we have just as much potential to harm it. With that in mind here are my top 5 things we Realtors really need to reconsider doing on social media;
Posting details about your offers, clients, and work.
How many times have you seen a lawyer’s status update “Heading into court today to defend my latest murder case. Let’s hope I get him off!” #lovemyclients, #lawyerlife #wishmeluck. I’m going to guess: never? And there is a reason for that. It’s unprofessional to be publicly discussing, posting, or referencing anything to do with your client’s dealings. This is just as true on Facebook and Instagram as it is at the grocery store or a restaurant. We all have a fiduciary duty to our clients, which includes confidentiality. Although you might not be naming them, in small town real estate you would be surprised how few details it takes for someone else to guess at the people or property you’re speaking about.
Speaking negatively about other Realtors or clients.
Do I really have to explain why this is a bad idea? In this busy market I’m seeing a lot of this on discussion forums and people’s public pages. Just because a discussion group is “private” doesn’t make it confidential. Anything and everything written online can be made public, so think twice before you rant about that “pain in the ass client” or how you were “unjustly treated by the listing agent” on a group page. If you’re hoping to earn referral business bashing your clients or a fellow Realtor is a quick way to turn off the referral tap.
Intoxicated and Parting
I think it goes without saying if you want to portray a professional image it starts online. I can’t tell you the amount of times a client who isn’t on my social media has referenced something they’ve seen on my Instagram or Facebook. Client’s are trusting you to help them with what is typically the biggest financial decision of their lives, and its very common for consumers to research you online. If your profile photo is you intoxicated or doing something inappropriate your potential clients are going to see it and I can tell you it’s not a good look. It’s also not going to garner much respect from your fellow Realtors.
Politics and Religion
Best not to go there. Just like being overly negative, bashing something that someone else might passionately believe in is a great way to get unfriended and excluded. Now, anyone that knows me knows that can be political and often express my opinions. But one thing you’ll never see me do is bash a political party, a specific politician or an individual for expressing an opinion that is different than my own.. I would also add sexist, racially insensitive, and crude remarks should stay out of your status updates too!
Posting sold prices, percentages, or $5,000 over ask
Unless you have consent from both the buyer and the seller you can’t publically post sale prices. As listing realtors we are excited when we get a fantastic price for our sellers, but we also have to respect that there is a buyer on the other side. The buyer might not want everyone on social media to know what they paid for their new home. So let’s be respectful of the rules and both parties involved in the sale.
This OREA blog post contribution is from Jacqueline Penningtion. Jacqueline is a licensed real estate broker serving the Colborne, Port Hope, Rice Lake, Brighton and Cobourg areas. She uses her extensive training to develop marketing strategies and negotiation tactics to obtain the highest value for her clients’ properties. She’s received the Port Hope Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit, was recognized as RE/MAX Ontario Atlantics “Top 30 under 30”, and received the Ontario Real Estate Association YPN Leadership Award in 2015.