Social Media Safety

 September 10, 2018
Social Media Safety

Social media is one of the most commonly used methods used today by REALTORS¬ģ to promote their listings and services. There are so many different strategies and philosophies out there when it comes to using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for business. But there are also some missteps to avoid if you don't want to end up in social media "jail," especially considering all of the recent awareness and subsequent changes Facebook has made to its content policies.

To keep your social media accounts "safe" from having your account shut down or deleted, and avoid a potential punitive fine or disciplinary action, consider these tips:

  • Use your official name/broker name:¬†When advertising a property, agents may not use any name or form of their name that differs from exactly what appears on their license or as previously files with the Department of Safety and Professional Services. Also, remember to include your associated brokerage as well.
  • Describe the property, not the potential occupant(s):¬†It can be very tempting to try to entice house-hunters by labeling a listing as "perfect for" a particular type of buyer, for example, "ideal bachelor pad," "great for a growing family" or "empty nester's dream." Phrases like these run the risk of violating Fair Housing Law, which can land you in a heap of trouble. To stay on the safe side, concentrate your descriptive details on the property and community features and avoid any suggestions of who might enjoy living there. One exception: when marketing a property in a 55-plus or "adult" community that qualifies for the "Housing for older persons" exemption, it may be acceptable to advertise it as such.
  • Use the REALTOR ¬ģ trademark appropriately:¬†The National Association of REALTORS¬ģ rules do not allow the use of descriptive words or phrases with the REALTOR¬ģ trademark. For example, it is prohibited to use the following phrases in advertising, on social media or anywhere else: Your Number 1 Realtor, Madison's Best Realtor, John "The Closer" Realtor, etc. Don't risk your page or profile being deleted due to violating this rule. Make sure you are following the NAR guidelines.
  • Follow your broker's policies regarding social media posting:¬†Many firms have social media policies in place to ensure compliance with state and national association rules, ensure consistency across the brokerage and protect their agents from unintentionally committing any violations. Check to make sure you are following these policies in all of your social media activities that relate to your business.
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