As social networking sites become a standard advertising and marketing tool in the real estate industry, familiarity with best practices and risk management has become essential knowledge for real estate agents, according to the social media risk management session, "I Don't Give a Twit" today at the 2016 Realtors Conference & Expo.
According to the National Association of Realtors 2016 Member Profile, 70 percent of all Realtors now use social networking sites as part of their regular business practices, an increase from 65 percent in 2015. As more and more agents and brokers venture into the social media sphere, it is vital to have a thorough understanding how these sites are regulated, monitored and utilized, both by members of the real estate industry and clients.
Trista Curzydlo, principal member of C4 Consulting, spoke extensively during the session about how to minimize potential risk online and best practices to deal with the fallout from any social media missteps or negative online reviews.
"When we talk about social media and social media risk management, it is important to think about it in terms of who is viewing your online activity, as well as why and where online they are viewing it," said Curzydlo. "With 90 percent of buyers utilizing internet resources at some point during their home buying process, it is essential for agents and brokers to develop a social media policy with rules governing how these online tools are used to protect your online professional brand."
Curzydlo recommends the following best practices for maintaining control of a professional online presence:
Curzydlo also said real estate professionals should be educated about their intellectual property rights when it comes to photographs they take of their listings.