Back to the past from the future Bernice Ross, Inman blogger and 30 year real estate veteran turned public speaker and writer suggests against the social media elites that Realtors should remove clients as friends from their Facebook in order to avoid jeopardizing client confidentiality.
Doc! I have to tell you about the future!
So the news that Bernice returns from the future to tell us is not that we should manage (or learn to manage) friends that become clients in the social sphere, but just not to make friends that buy and sell homes with you at all- at least not on Facebook.
Back to 1988…
What Bernice fails to understand is that making friends/connections is the point of being on Facebook, and to make friends that might recommend you to their friends- it’s what we’ve all done offline for years. I recall the early days of email the same rhetoric from the old guard to mind your Ps and Qs on the internet or to just plain avoid the world wide web of nightmares altogether. OMG THEY’RE STEALING AWER DA-TA!
Bernice is entitled to her opinion, but in the real world, it is our recommendation that you meet clients wherever they wish to meet you. Back up your conversations, as well as have the conversation early on (once in the process of representation) on how you and your clients should best communicate.
Where we’re going, we’ll need roads?
As for the fear mongering on violating Facebook TOS by placing property listings on your personal page rather than your business page, it is true, but heavy handed- just mind the same TOS that your clients agreed to and you’re good to go. As for data mining by applications? Every time you login using Facebook (anywhere) you transfer your data to the Facebook (approved) trusted entity you’re logging into- again, you and your clients agreed to this via the same TOS when joining Facebook or giving permission to each individual app. Your clients are aware of their risks or they aren’t, it’s truly none of your business or concern. Obviously, common sense dictates we not discuss personal information in the public realm, and I doubt a Realtor would be foolish enough to announce a client did not qualify via Facebook status update.
This idea that we should be afraid of anything we don’t understand is why consumers rail against your commissions versus your value and fear mongering only perpetuates old school stereotypes of real estate professionals. Instead, our time is better served on learning about and managing advancing technologies and mediums, not fearing them.