Don’t you find it interesting that the rise of social media happened almost in unison with the 2007 housing market crash? It might not have been a coincidence so much as a necessity. Businesses needed cheap methods of getting in contact with their customers, and costly marketing tools were replaced by free blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more social media avenues.
It’s no surprise that these tools are still widely used even with the market returning. But since social media is still considered a form of marketing, sales associates need to make sure they are meeting all of the requirements of the License Laws, Rules, and Regulations of the Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC).
According to the GREC, here are some DON’Ts when using social media either personally or in your professional real estate activities:
- Don’t give advice concerning real estate matters to friends and contacts without establishing a client agency relationship first. You may inadvertently establish an agency relationship.
- Don’t blog by giving your opinion about specific real estate situations, transactions, or properties.
- Don’t advertise a listed property without meeting all advertising Rules and Regulations. This includes failing to include the firm name and phone number as it is licensed with the Commission in the same or larger size print as your name. When telling your friends on Facebook about a listed property you have for sale, you must still include the firm name and phone number information as you would in any other advertisement or marketing piece.
- Don’t criticize other real estate licensees or other real estate firms.
- Don’t advise a friend on how to handle the sale of their property or how to handle a situation with their listing agent.
- Don’t give misleading or inaccurate information in a blog, a fan page, a conversation page, or any other similar media.
- Don’t give a price opinion on any real estate unless you have met all the requirements of the License Laws, Rules, and Regulations in doing so.
Remember, when you post comments, opinions or information on blogs, social media sites, Twitter, or other Internet sites, it can end up on a multitude of sites. To a large extent, social media is information that can be copied, stored, obtained, and even searched later. It can be misconstrued or even taken out of context.
If you contract with someone to design and manage your blog and social media accounts, be sure to review the content, as you (and your Broker) are responsible for ensuring that that everything you publish is in compliance with the License Laws, Rules, and Regulations.
Do you have questions about social networks and GREC guidelines? Be sure to comment below.
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