Social Media & Legalities for Mortgage and Real Estate Professionals.
What Does Your Social Media Poster Know?
Many real estate agents, REALTORS®, and brokers are using social networking websites to market to their “friends” and “followers” of property listings, rentals, news etc... While this marketing strategy seems innocent enough, the real estate professional could be breaking the state law, The National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics, MLS rules, and possibly federal law. This could result in a suspension or revocation of your professional license and possible legal repercussions.
The key for real estate agents and mortgage professionals to succeed at social media is to properly position yourself as a subject matter expert. It is vital to become a professional confident brand. Most importantly you ne to be the professional, confident expert and still be social.
If you outsource your social media services who is in charge of your public brand voice, persona and position. What does your social media "poster" know about your industry.
Do they know what the NAR Code of Ethics is?
Do they know what the stale listing law it?
Do they know that each state in the US has their own specific laws as to print and online advertising for Realtors.
What do they know about RESPA?
What do they know about avoiding RESPA kickback violations in the social media age?
Mortgage professionals need to be especially careful about this when outsourcing their social media marketing to just anyone with a general marketing skill set. Without knowing it your social media manager could have you facing serious problems. RESPA kickback violations in the social media age is a very important factor to consider. Beware of penalties from referring business.
While the majority of businesses acknowledge the benefits of social media, few Real Estate Professionals and Mortgage Professionals have developed a comprehensive strategy to harness and control it.
When offering contests or giveaways on social media, as a 17 year veteran in the industry and in my corporate consultation I recommend that all offers or giveaways preface with “Take my informational survey to be entered into a ……….”.
Any kind of offer or promotion on social media could be a potential RESPA Violation. A gift card giveaway can be seen as a "kickback"
Referrals to non-licensed people (friends, family, past clients, etc.) is an enticement to refer business to a specific agent – not based on MERIT, but based on the reward they will get in return. This includes ANYTHING of value: cash, gifts, gift cards … ANYTHING of value. I would hate to see professionals have a problem with the CFPB just because they outsourced their social media marketing to a novice in this industry that is so strictly governed.
I have seen numerous real estate agents reverting back to bribing non-licensed people to give them business. I have seen advertisements blatantly advertising “referral fees” and “gifts” to anyone who brings certain agents business.
It is perfectly innocent to use alternatives. Instead of giving them a gift card, take them out to lunch. Mention them, by name, in your newsletter. People LOVE to see their name, especially when it is tied to praise.
There are all kinds of ways Real Estate Agents and Mortgage professionals can encourage referrals of new business without putting themselves in jeopardy.
What makes our service so special? You need a social media manager who knows your industry inside and out. What makes our service so special? You need a social media manager who knows your industry inside and out.
I have spent 17 years in the Real Estate industry in marketing. I have had experience from a mortgage broker, to real estate agent to managing a national Title Insurance Company branch responsible for marketing and sustaining several branch offices with millions of dollars in contracts. My savvy marketing techniques for Realtors and Lenders gave me a name in the Central Florida area for being a top producer. I began my social media career when social media started. Now with my savvy skills I now specializes in social media services for the Real Estate Industry. I travel the US offering Brokers corporate social media training for their agents as well as corporate social media consulting.
I represent Real Estate agents from all over the US and it is my responsibility to know the law and the regulations for each state when it comes to marketing Realtors on the web. What does your social media manage know about your industry?
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