You can’t really get anywhere within the social media world of real estate without hearing about Rob Hahn and his infamous blog. I’ve never met Rob in person, but I enjoy seeing his updates. I don’t necessarily agree with 100 percent of the things he posts, but I admire him because, for the most part, I feel like he shares what’s on his mind in an open and honest way.
We’re reaching the tail end of political banter season, and I’m pleased to say there was very minimal hate mongering or propaganda flinging on my newsfeed. I’ve noticed that the general consensus, when it comes to political posts, is that they are a big NO-NO. There are varying reasons, such as not wanting to engage in heated topics, or people are just tired of seeing political messages. Yet there are also those who post about freedom of speech, and a whole argument breaks out over whether or not we can argue. Enter Rob Hahn.
Rob has had no issue putting his opinion out there for the world to see via Facebook, and frankly, why should he? It’s his profile and he can do whatever he wants with it. His bold attitude when it comes to attacking the “edited beige life” we all present on social networks is a brave endeavor indeed. It also invites a much deeper discussion about the role social media has in our lives and whether social media will ever truly represent our “actual lives” - or if we even want it to.
Here’s what I would encourage real estate professionals to do when it comes to politics and social media: Stay out of it. I’m not discouraging freedom of speech or anything like that, but as working professionals, your social profile is your public relations, and not everyone is willing to overlook your views on politics.
Eric Hempler brought up my same concern, yet Rob said he was comfortable if someone chose not to do business with him. Rob is correct in saying it is a free country, and he can choose to do business with whomever he likes, but it strikes me as misguided to restrict your clientele just so you can get your opinion out in the open.
Agents know best about how customers are, but I will emphasize this: Customers can be difficult. Yet to do business, you have to put up with them. Imagine prospective clients viewing your Facebook profile and disagreeing with your political stance. Which scenario seems more likely: Said client is even more psyched to work with you, or said client is disgusted with your views and looks elsewhere? Someone is going to disagree with you, and that someone could have been a client.
Michael Jordan was once asked by Dean Smith, his basketball coach from the University of North Carolina, to help him campaign against Senator Jesse Helms. While Jordan did not agree with Helms’ politics, he refused his former coach, simply saying, “Hey, Republicans buy sneakers too.” Be like Mike.
Would you rather exercise your ability to post passionately about your political views on a very public profile, or stay politics-free and not risk offending potential clients?