Is Social Media Killing Confidentiality?

Reblogger Dave Woodson
Real Estate Agent with Dave Woodson

I am going to do a follow up on this blog this week. I just wanted to post it here in case anyone missed it. 

 

Dave

Original content by Dan and Amy Schuman

Confidentiality

One of a real estate agent's main fiduciary duties to a client is confidentiality. I don't think anyone could dispute how important this is. So why then do so many people breach it on Facebook and other social media?

I have seen a ton of agents do it every day on Facebook, posting things like:

"My listing on __________ just got a showing for the first time in over month."

"Just sold my new listing in 10 days! Now sellers need to buy quick...does anyone have something coming up in the _________area?"

"My first-time buyers are negotiating on yet another home, hope the third time is a charm."

 

Before I discuss what is wrong here ( Note: I am NOT an attorney and nothing here should be construed as legal advice or interpretation of the law ), let me share this from the Ohio Revised Code 4735.51 regarding the definition of confidential information:

"All information that a client directs to be kept confidential or that if disclosed would have an adverse effect on the client's position in the real estate transaction, except to the extent the agent is required by law to disclose such information, and all information that is required by law to be kept confidential."

All of the examples above may seem fairly harmless, but could very well be deemed a breach of client confidentiality. Sure, this information may be irrelevant to many people on Facebook, but what if a local agent who you are "friends" with happens to see your posts. Could any of this information hurt your clients' position if in the wrong hands? I know if I were buying or selling a home, I wouldn't want my agent sharing anything about my situation on Facebook.

I'm not saying that agents are committing major crimes on Facebook and Twitter, I am merely suggesting that people think long and hard about their fiduciary duties before posting things. Just use common sense. I realize that everyone wants to tell the world how busy they are with buyers and sellers, but just be careful what you are sharing.

Confidentiality is owed to our buyers and sellers, so let's not let our exuberance over social media overshadow our sacred duty to our valued clients.

 

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If you enjoyed this article, here are some others that may interest you as well:

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About The Authors:

Dan and Amy Schuman service the Cleveland, Oh metropolitan area and specialize in Cleveland luxury homes and working with buyers relocating to Cleveland.

 

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Is Social Medial Killing Confidentiality is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©March, 2011

 

Disclaimer: The Schuman Team practices real estate in Ohio. Since many states have different laws and protocol regarding a real estate transaction, we recommend consulting a qualified local legal professional prior to entering into any written agreement. This blog contains observations and opinions related to our first hand experience working with buyers and sellers in Ohio, but should not be construed as legal advice.  Accuracy is not guaranteed.  

 

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Rainer
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Linda Papallo
Century 21 Access America Licensed in CT - Wethersfield, CT
860 221-8600, Your Wethersfield CT Realtor SFR, CDPE

Dave,

I agree. it's unbelievable what  people post on social networking sites.  Thank you for sharing.

Linda

Mar 27, 2011 06:32 AM #1
Rainmaker
301,969
Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

Thank for the re-blog, Dave, I didn't realize this function was working.

Mar 28, 2011 01:34 AM #2
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Rainmaker
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Dave Woodson

Not the Average Agent
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