Twitter may only give you 140 characters with which to express yourself, but that doesn’t mean that your local board of realtors is going to give you a pass if you tweet something that isn’t 100-percent ABOVE BOARD with their ethics regulations. Fortunately for you (if you’re a realtor, anyway, and honestly just in general to make sure you’re practicing good real estate business) the Realtors’ Code of Ethics, which tends to keep pace with other governing bodies’ regulations and ethics requirements, has recently been revised to accommodate the new needs of tweeting real estate professionals.
There are three major changes that could mean great things for your Tweet promotions, but make sure you handle them correctly or you could find yourself on the losing end of a lawsuit.
First, the issue of disclosure. Technically, until recently you were supposed to disclose your ENTIRE COMPANY NAME in every tweet, which, as you can imagine, made tweeting kind of a moot point for a lot of people. Now, however, you can simply link to a display containing information about your company, but make sure that link is in your tweets if you don’t want to find yourself facing ethics scrutiny. A lot of real estate professionals use their Twitter profile to publicize this information. It’s unclear from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) report on this subject whether or not that’s technically sufficient.
Second, and this is more of a timeframe issue, but it’s been changed because of the dynamic nature of advertising these days, if you find yourself dealing with a grievance complaint in a realtor’s association setting, then you only have about a month-and-a-half, 45 days, to wait before you get a resolution. That’s great news for everyone involved, but it does mean you had better keep up with all your deadlines because there won’t be a lot of timeline flexibility.
Thirdly, and this is important for your EMPLOYEES, ask that employees who may tweet about your business to add a disclaimer stating that their opinions are their own in their Twitter profile. This protects you not just from negative publicity if someone gets annoyed with you and tweets about it, but also protects you in the event that an employee tweets something about your company that could land you in ethical trouble. It may or may not completely cover your bases, but the NAR says it will certainly help.
Want to know more about how to legally AND effectively use Twitter in your real estate business? Check out our compilation of Twitter Tips and Legal Tricks in the REI Today Vault at www.rei.today/vault. It’s labeled with this episode number 93, and it’s full of information that will make your tweeting more effective and help keep you within the bounds of safety and ethics while you Tweet as well. Not yet a member of the REI Today Vault? Get your access right now! Join right now by texting REITODAY no spaces no periods to 33444. When you do, I’ll provide you with fast, immediate access to the report as well as a lot of other timely, insightful, PRACTICAL information that will help make your investing safer, faster, and more profitable.
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REI Nation, thanks for listening in and please always remember this:
Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.