Are You GDPR Compliant? Deadline is Fast Approaching!

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Get It Done For Me Virtual Services DRE# SL641317
http://activerain.com/droplet/5bKs

More than two thirds of real estate companies are not even ready for this fast approaching deadline. 

 

I don't like to write these kinds of posts. I wish I could say, we can ignore those who want to bully us around in our businesses. I wish I could ignore the General Data Protection Regulation. Believe me, I tried. 

 

The deadline to comply is fast approaching on May 28, 2018. 

 

And for those of us who like to fight against unwarranted and discriminating regulations and would love to simply ignore another country being able to boss us around here in the U.S.,  we will be forced to comply or face the consequences: 

 

A $24,000,000 fine or 4% of all of our global earnings. 

 

Then the thought comes... well... how would the EU collect these fines? 

 

"Significantly, Article 48 of the GDPR could impede a company’s ability to comply with the U.S. legal process requiring the production of EU personal data." 

Find out more here: https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2017/12/11/the-general-data-protection-regulation-a-primer-for-u-s-based-organizations-that-handle-eu-personal-data/

 

I don't want to turn this into a rant even though small businesses may not even be able to comply!!! 

 

I am a firm believer that if you want to go to a website on the internet, that is your decision. You take the risk. It is your choice. While I use precautions and protect my website because I want you on my site---- I am not forcing anyone to click to my website. 

 

I vehemently disagree with the EU or any other country pushing their regulations on my business. 

 

How does this effect your real estate website? 

 

Let me make this very clear: I am NOT an attorney! Do not take this for legal advice.

 

 

 

After all I have researched and read on this subject it is highly recommended that when you hire an attorney it should be a EU attorney ( I wonder if EU attorneys were also in favor of this regulation) not a U.S. attorney because most U.S. attorneys don't have experience with EU laws and regulations. 

 

If you EVER have had a website visitor come to your website who lives in the EU and is a citizen of the EU- you are under the obligation to make sure to comply with GDPR. 

 

One way around it is to block ALL EU visitors. I thought that may be an answer but unfortunately this regulation is part of the member states regulations so it will even include UK once they break off of the EU. You can block all those visitors. 

 

But if you are a real estate agent in Florida or New York - a lot of the international clients and website visitors are going to be from the EU countries. So you may miss out on some international deals. 

 

Because as United States businesses we don't have to embumber our forms and webpages with a bunch of legal jibberish that scares visitors away we could have a gated entry for those in the EU. 

 

I thought about having a button that says: If you are a vistor who is an EU citizen, living in the EU, while visiting this website, click here. 

 

And then when they click, we provide all that wordy language for their eyes only. 

 

What if you are a brokerage and you allow your agents to have their own websites and they put IDX on their sites? 

 

The IDX company would be considered a "controller" and you would be considered the "processor" so you would be held liable for any notifications of any breach immediately to any lead who has a listing savings profile set up. 

 

If you are a brokeage and you run ads to your website and even if you check off that you don't want EU visitors to click, you can not stop that from happening, so you would have to comply. 

 

If the EU citizen lives here in the United States, the reg does not cover them. 

 

But now this regulation also allows for the EU citizens to sue you too- they get to do class action law suits if they discover you don't comply with the regulation. 

 

This is a MESS!!!!! 

 

I have read some pretty nasty regulations that can destroy small companies before but this takes the cake. 

 

Have you ever wondered why big companies much bigger than you... say they love the regulations??? 

 

They love it because it makes the bar of entry into the internet too high. It benefits them because they hire the people, the software, etc that makes them comply with GDPR. 

 

These regulations are complicated. The big companies hire attorneys and security officers and guess what... the regulation created a new job, a new role, called the "designated representative". So if you are a sole proprietor you are now burdened with yet another job to do on top of your already super busy day. 

 

This regulation is also retroactive. So you can't simply block out EU vistors. You must also find any you have had in the past. 

 

You may say that you don't have a forced optin at any point on your website BUT that does not excuse compliance unfortunately. 

 

You are now under the duty to be responsible for even the visitor's IP address! Yes, you read that right. You must guard their IP addresses. 

 

If your site ever got hacked you would be required to contact ALL of the EU visitors who have been to your site whether they opted in or not. Even if they bounced off your site! 

 

We have clients in the EU. One of them has introduced me to a compliance company who is going to train one of our VAs to apply the compliance to our websites. I will make this available to any of you who have WP websites, if you choose to go this route. Email me if you want me to let you know when she is trained and we have the templates.

 

If you are using Thrive Themes and Thrive Forms, Shane the developer and his team are working right now to make the forms compliant. So if you are using Thrive Architect - you will just need to replace the forms with the new ones. I am really considering separating the leads, U.S. Leads and Non U.S. leads. 

 

The idea behind the regulation is not bad, it is always the implementation of regulations that creates unintended consquences. It is not the claims themselves that are bad, it is the push and force in which to order people to obey with no regard to cost or damage it may cause a small company or a sole proprietor. 

 

I have been reading on big dog websites about how this is good because it makes companies step up their game... however... those same companies have the profits and the means and money by which to adhere to GDPR and so then they also have the time.

 

But you... instead of selling a house or listing a house, you will be busy trying to comply. It is like working for the regulators without pay- you are the one who is paying.

Get it done before the end of May.  

 

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Rainmaker
523,252
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

I had no idea all this was going on--Thanks for the post!!

Apr 10, 2018 06:11 PM #3
Rainer
71,445
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

sickening.

And it is why I closed my construction company. I just could not comply with all the regulations and did not see anyone else doing it. Had 15 employees. SO Now I sell Real Estate, and still get to work with homes and people, and I let my broker worry about these types of things.

 

Apr 10, 2018 06:27 PM #4
Ambassador
1,959,258
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
PK Real Estate Utah South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Ok Katerina, so if I do not have an IDX feed to my web site I do not have to comply with the GDPR...correct?

Apr 10, 2018 06:51 PM #5
Rainmaker
199,489
Monica Hill
RE/Max Associates - Wilmington, DE
the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware

I had no idea. And I'm curious about the answer to Wanda's question, too.

Apr 10, 2018 06:53 PM #6
Rainmaker
92,484
Kevin Hawkins
Bainbridge Island, WA

We've published this and a brief White Paper, free download, no reg required, in this article:

How Europe’s New Personal Data Rule Impacts Real Estate

http://waves.wavgroup.com/2018/04/02/how-europes-new-personal-data-rule-impacts-real-estate/

Kevin

Apr 10, 2018 07:27 PM #7
Rainer
67,251
Gabriel Gross
RealBird, Inc - Redwood City, CA
More leads, more exposure, more $s with RealBird

The immediate peril will be the troll lawyers - I am sure they are licking their chops.  Anyone remembers the patent trolls of the 90s and after?  $24Mill is a good take for them and there is lots of easy prey...

Apr 10, 2018 08:27 PM #8
Rainmaker
101,303
Dennis and Sunshine Smith
RE/MAX By-the-Sea (N Coastal San Diego) - Carlsbad, CA
Making a Difference 4U in San Diego Real Estate

Thanks for scaring us Katerina. It looks serious.

Kevin's White Paper says "Under this article, real estate companies and public-facing MLSs with websites containing inquiry forms and user registration are potentially collecting an EU citizens personal data and must comply with GDPR.
Another area of concern is how real estate agents enter their customers’ contact information into the MLS platform to receive ‘Just Listed’ notifications. The contact information could be from an EU citizen. Have you heard anything from your MLS on this? I have not.

Additionally, the industry has to tackle GDPR compliance with listing agreements and sales contracts which are processed and sent for digital signatures to EU customers and stored on US systems"

It looks like any agent that does business on the internet is subject to this!

Apr 10, 2018 08:43 PM #9
Rainer
239,484
Thomas F. Kennedy
Oz Realtors - Olney, MD
Esq. - Montgomery & Howard County Real Estate

I'm sorry, Katerina, but the lawyer in me says this is NOT something United States Realtor and brokerage should be worried about.

GDPR was made law 2 years ago in the EU and is intended strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the European Union. 

It is no more enforceable in the United States that a law made by the U.S. would be enforceable in the EU.

In my opinion, after reading the law, Realtors and Brokerages that operate in the United States are not bound by any EU law becasue of any incidental contact with them by an EU resident, particularly if occasioned by that EU resident.

That's my 2¢!

Apr 10, 2018 10:08 PM #10
Rainmaker
545,174
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

Katerina,  thank you for the information.  I haven't heard of any of this.

Apr 11, 2018 05:02 AM #11
Rainmaker
497,055
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FL Probate Agent, Hotel & Land Specialist

Katerina Gasset I will now be sending a communication to NAR.  For what they spent on the "new logo" this should be on their radar!

Apr 11, 2018 05:41 AM #12
Rainmaker
3,642,803
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Katerina,

Interesting article.  I will research this.  Thank you for sharing.  A

Apr 11, 2018 06:43 AM #13
Rainer
204,006
Michael Rasch
Florida Home Sales and Investments - Hallandale Beach, FL
Michael Rasch 305-741-1819

Hello all, due to the low-cost entry of our business and some other aspects of our business, this regulation is welcomed.

You have no clue until recently ( facebook and how they gave you away ) how much of your privacy you have lost. I am even amazed at what they still can find ( not all but something that I would not have guessed ). a good AI will find all. 

Want to learn if your daughter is pregnant, shop a target, make sure she has a target card. the moment she starts buying baby-related products, you'll see email for coupons ( look it up on Gmail, and I've tested it myself to fool the system, sure enough, I was going to have a kid 6 months out LOL ) 

Regulation is what saved southern Florida in the last storms, most properties that were built with the code made it and human lives were saved. The guy who said he lost his business because of regulation and the others we not complying, did you rat out your competitors? There is a good reason why we don't see illegal construction labor in southern Florida projects, it's because the fines are huge and will put you out of business ( you still see it in small DIY projects ) and people will rat the others out. Fairplay is all good. I don't want none code compliant work done ( your roof might be the one that breaks my window )

So, how hard is it to make your site compliant, well it's not that hard. first, secure your PC, Cell Phone, and your Tablet. then work backwards up the communications chain till you are clear ( I like to start at the router myself via my cell phone, but that's another choice ). 

Next is your email, use 3 different one's. 1 email is personal, 1 is business and 1 for surfing. Also, never use Yahoo or it's website, they still load ad's up that will bust your platform wide open. 

Now go anti virus... did you know AVG is for free and so are a bunch more. 

Surf using different browsers, I like chrome and firefox and use IE for only the MLS. 

well now you are secure, let's get to the site.  tada free first 5 steps https://www.evidon.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Evidon-How-to-Make-your-Website-GDPR-Compliant.pdf  does not cost much if you have some basic understanding, what it does cost is time setup.  

don't forget, you have a lot to hide because it's worth a lot to someone. 

Apr 11, 2018 07:04 AM #14
Rainmaker
323,461
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

The link in your article explaining this is not compliant.

Your websites are not compliant.

While this rule might apply to remax, zillow and other global sites, it is a stretch to think that it might apply to our sites because somebody in the EU might click on it. In order to have a class action suit filed against us we would have to have a whole "class" of individuals to join it the suit.

Unless you do business with EU members then it does not apply to you.

For anybody who is worried about this it is very simple fix and is not hurting any sites. A simple pop-up at the bottom of the page declaring the use of cookies is all that is required.

 

Apr 11, 2018 07:32 AM #15
Rainer
181,315
Greg Mona
RE/MAX Platinum Living - Scottsdale, AZ
YOUR Local Real Estate and Design Resource in AZ!

Thank you for sharing this Katerina Gasset. I, like many others who have already responded, had no idea this was even a "thing".  It is yet another example of unwieldy, overreaching and unreasonable regulations being jammed down our throats. Seriously, had you not posted this I would not have known about it. Nothing from our national or local Realtor associations, nor, quite frankly, from my own brokerage. It simply becomes more and more difficult for us in this industry and any small business owner to make it successfully. 

Apr 11, 2018 08:02 AM #16
Rainmaker
273,837
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

In a real estate market where Realtor.com projects that 1 in 12 homes are expected to list for over $1 million this summer, fears of being fined by the EU are the least of my worries!!  I'll focus my energies on trying to find homes that buyers can actually afford.

Apr 11, 2018 08:08 AM #17
Rainer
143,958
Monique Ting
INET Realty Honolulu, HI - Honolulu, HI
Your agent under the sun

That is just crazy... Makes me want to go live in a hut in a desert island with no internet!

Apr 11, 2018 11:02 AM #18
Rainer
4,214
Naji Boutros
Alta Realty Group CA - Santa Clarita, CA
Real estate? I can help with that!

I wonder if there is a way to simply block EU traffic. I'm not licensed anywhere other than California, I can't see international clients being a large part of my revenue.

Apr 11, 2018 11:19 AM #19
Ambassador
2,592,638
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

I will be on a call with Digital Marketer who will have legal counsel on the call and you bet I will be asking questions. I will do a follow up post to this if it warrants it after. 

 

Apr 11, 2018 03:14 PM #20
Rainmaker
652,751
Cynthia Larsen
Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA

So ... if we were to turn off lead capture where we are not asking anyone to sign up on our websites? Then we wouldn't be capturing any data ... is that right? I'm thinking of this as an temporary bandaid.

Apr 11, 2018 03:56 PM #21
Rainmaker
142,483
Rich Levin
Real Estate Grad School - Atlanta, GA

This was on my radar screen and I was trying to ignore it. It felt like ignoring a tornado. So, I really appreciate your posting on this. Please know that I am with you 100%. Thank you, 

Apr 13, 2018 07:23 AM #22
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