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Realtors should back up their entire Facebook history

We’ve discussed backing up your Twitter account so that all tweets go to a Google Doc, making it searchable and keeping proper records. But what about Facebook?

There is an option that allows you to download your entire Facebook account and all of your history. Why should Realtors do this? If you’ve ever talked to a prospect, client (past or current) or discussed business, you’re vulnerable from a business stand point (and your E&O would agree). Each state differs on how long communications must be stored by Realtors, but most have legal requirements and social networks are not immune (although it is still a young medium).

How to back up a Facebook account history:

  1. Click “Account” in the top right and select “Account Settings.”
  2. Scroll down to “Download your Information” and select “learn more.”
  3. Click the green “Download” button then in the pop up click “Download” again.
  4. If you’re a long time Facebook user, it will take a while (especially if you’re on slow internet).
  5. Facebook will email you a .ZIP file with your history.
  6. When you get the email, right click and “Extract files” and you’ll notice there are several files separated out, keep them all.

Some have said that pictures don’t process very well and end up small, but the goal is to back up your communications for when a client (or worse, their lawyer) says “but I told you on Facebook…” and you can say “well, let’s take a look!”

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. theADVOCATEgroup via Facebook

    February 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Thank you – need this.

  2. Linda Aaron

    February 20, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Good suggestion about backing up your FB account but should Realtors really be discussing transaction details on Facebook in the first place?

    • Lani Rosales

      February 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Linda, you’d be surprised how many people are most comfortable communicating in one network or another. If you have a 22 year old client, they may insist on all communications via text or Facebook. We work with interns frequently who will not talk on the phone or even use email but are most reliable on Facebook’s messaging system. SO, the short of it is that some clients will insist on communicating in their most comfortable environment and at times, that is Facebook.

      Also, some clients may simply ask you questions there on the fly because they were already on Facebook. You may choose to respond via email but if they don’t check email, then you’re left looking unresponsive. Not your fault, theirs, but the point remains 🙂

  3. Tim White via Facebook

    February 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Oh God no.

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