Risks Of Social Media Among Real Estate Agents
Many people use social media for personal and business matters. While most people think nothing of posting text or photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites, licensed professionals need to be wary of how they use social media.
Social media posts have been known to create controversy, especially if someone posts something that’s political in nature. This can happen to those who are licensed in the real estate field. They may share things that can create drama, such as laws that favor real estate agents. While the agent may be excited about the new law, the agent’s friends, clients, and followers may not feel the same way. This can lead to a lot of criticism, causing a simple post to become a polarizing situation in which thousands of people are now sharing their political views.
Given how quickly social media posts can gain traction, it’s not uncommon for someone to post information on line that becomes a polarizing piece of content very quickly. This can be a tricky situation for real estate agents. They are bound by the National Association of Realtors’ Code of Ethics, which prohibits statements that imply discrimination in any way. But while agents are responsible for the content they post, they cannot control what others might say.
What can be done in these situations? Real estate agents should discuss these issues with their brokers to get advice on how to deescalate them. Sometimes a simple explanation and clarification of intent is all that’s needed. In addition, real estate brokerages should have clear rules in place ahead of time. Social media is a huge part of many people’s lives, so it’s not too far-fetched to have a plan in place to deal with possible social media controversies.
How can real estate agents and brokers avoid ethical issues when posting content online? They should develop clear company guidelines regarding social media. To ensure agents are aware of the “social media police”, they should be required to sign an agreement in the hiring package. Using direct links to third-party articles whenever possible is another good practice. Agents should not paraphrase them. If they have a personal opinion to share, they should make it known by using verbiage such as “In my personal opinion…”
Agents and other real estate professionals should also think about their audience. They should limit their commentary to groups of like-minded people in their social media contacts. In addition, they should also avoid making postings “sharable.”
Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Real Estate Sales Associate Licensing Lawyer
Real estate agents have to make a good impression on the public. If they engage in activities that are deemed unethical or controversial, it can ruin business.
A Tampa real estate sales associate licensing lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. can help you with administrative issues. David Rankin has represented hundreds of brokers and sales associates in DBPR/ Division of Real Estate investigations and before the Florida Real Estate Commission. Keep your license with our help. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (813) 968-6633.