Active Rain & Twitter Saves Agent (and Me) From Potential Ethics Violation!

Education & Training with Inman News


Yep! It happened! I threw out a question on my Twitter stream to @Mizzle asking about a property flyer headline written by a client that I questioned as a possible ethics code violation.  Her immediate reply:


I let my client know that I thought it might be a violation, and she quickly realized her mistake and had to remove the headline from the MLS as well. Whew!

This was another example of why Active Rain & Twitter can be incredibly valuable tools. @mizzle is Mariana Wagner and has written a wonderful series on Understanding the REALTOR (R) Code of Ethics as well as being a trainer for Keller Williams. If you haven't read her series I suggest you do, AND if you are a virtual assistant for real estate agents, I HIGHLY suggest it as well. Seeing her in my Twitter stream, I knew exactly who to ask for advice.

So while I'm thankful for Mariana's help, all this brings me to another point: 

Delegating tasks to a real estate virtual assistant is one of the best things you can do for your business. We can cut down costs and allow agents more free time to pursue leads and more business. 

But although delegating can be a wonderful way to increase business, working together closely on details and accuracy falls upon the agent LEGALLY to make sure that work is double checked for accuracy. The smallest things can end up COSTING your business if you are not careful. So just remember when delegating to an assistant to make sure your eyes are the last eyes that advertising goes through before hitting the submit or send button. I have learned these lessons with the help of clients and the real estate community and it has helped my business.

Make sure your VA has an understanding of some basic ethics and feel free to direct them towards that education. Many will not undertake it themselves.


Laura Monroe | Real Estate Virtual Assistant | Copyright 2008

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John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate
Great illustration of how Twitter can work when you just need a quick answer or feedback on something. The combined knowledge base there is amazing!
May 06, 2008 04:47 PM #34
Jeff Turner
RealSatisfied - Santa Clarita, CA
Laura... Twitter has become one of my favorite places. So, this story doesn't surprise me. Great job on both of your parts!
May 06, 2008 05:33 PM #35
Doreen McPherson
Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe - Tempe, AZ
Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~
You got two birds with one stone here, the value of a Virtual Assistant and twitter.  Good eye!  ;)
May 06, 2008 09:21 PM #36
Bo Buchanan
Kettley Realtors - Oswego, IL
I like the bloglog link tracker - I'm going to use it!  I found it by mistake just moving my mouse over one of your links!
May 06, 2008 10:44 PM #37
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Laura, excellent example of how to use twitter. It was much quicker than doing a post on it. One quick question and it was done. Thanks, I met Mariana in Atlanta at KW convention, she rocks.
May 07, 2008 12:12 AM #38
Carolyn Gjerde-Tu-Davis
Lyon Real Estate - Davis, CA
Ca Real Estate
Sounds like a really useful way to get a quick answer.  Probably faster/easier than calling or emailing individuals. I've had a hard time getting to "know" twitter.  It does seem like it could be a valuable resource.
May 07, 2008 02:35 AM #39
Laura Monroe
Inman News - San Francisco, CA
Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media

TLW~ I'm hardly ever's called ROAR! Wonder where I got that from?  Prank call you say....? BRING it ON!!!

Jennifer~ It did come in very handy, but so do friends:)

Alan~ It's a great tool when used in moderation, and does take some getting used too..

Laura~ Twitter is an online social networking application that is similar to IM. You have 140 characters or less to say "what you are doing" You "follow" those people in your network or those that interest you, and you have followers as well. It's amazing how much info and friendship you can squeeze into 140 characters in real time.

May 07, 2008 03:30 AM #40
Laura Monroe
Inman News - San Francisco, CA
Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media

Monica (@monimcg)~ It was a fleeting thought, but I'm glad I asked. It is really nice to be able too get to know those admire a little better...and pick their brains, lol!

Teri~ There are many issues that come up with working w/a VA huh? My only hope is to make my services better if I can learn from things that creep up from time to time:)

Christy~ I know!  So crazy..I've learned how careful I must try to be in my work:)

Terry~ I don't know what I would do without my network really..I have learned so much from them. 


May 07, 2008 03:38 AM #41
Laura Monroe
Inman News - San Francisco, CA
Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media

Kristal~ The way we need to be careful on wording is sort of a new concept for me at least, so its helpful to know what it acceptable and not, so I turn to you pros:) I think we did end up using "Cul-de_Sac" in fact!

Bob & Carolin~ Yes, it has been helpful! Its a little hard to get used and can be addicting like careful:)

Wayne~ Thank you very much! I always try to be:) 

Pam~ Yes, and we have to take it seriously as VA's as well:) Thanks for commenting!


May 07, 2008 03:43 AM #42
Laura Monroe
Inman News - San Francisco, CA
Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media

Brad~ Its' kind-of fun to pop into Twitter isn't it...? Now you've got your handy guide to help decipher our codes:) MWA!

John~ Yes, I Love guys are better than any desktop reference tool. I only hang with the best! 

Jeff~ Ditto, I completely agree, it was hard to get used to, but now I'm getting it! 

Doreen~ Thanks:)

Bo~ Go for it!

Missy~ Yes, it very quick which was perfect! She was in a rush to get it printed, but I didn't want to "undermine" her ad w/out a darn good reason!

Carolyn~ It does take getting used to. I've been there 3 months I think and am just now starting to feel the power. 




May 07, 2008 03:50 AM #43
Pittsburgh, PA
Solid information
May 07, 2008 04:18 AM #44
Katie Graham
Cherry Creek Properties, LLC - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate
I haven't used a virtual assistant, but I've been considering hiring one. This is good information and something that I will use if I do end up working with a VA. Thanks.
May 07, 2008 07:12 AM #45
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Laura - @mizzle is definitely a great resource for that kind of info if anyone has questions!  And you're right about twitter being a terrific place to go for help, and fun, too!  ;-)

Good info about the value of VAs - I toy with that idea once in awhile myself.


May 07, 2008 01:13 PM #46
Laura Monroe
Inman News - San Francisco, CA
Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media
Ann~ It was quick easy and painless...I love the friendship too..its funny how I feel like I'm getting to know you more through Twitter..that all good news to me:)
May 07, 2008 02:01 PM #47
Brad Andersohn
Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

I still have a ton to learn with all those codes you sent me...(thanks again) I'm still looking up MWA! :-)  LOL!  It is fun, useful, and even good for business...I can prove it.....just read your post! haha!  :-)

May 09, 2008 03:17 PM #48
Nyles Courchesne
Peskin, Courchesne and Allen, P.C. - Springfield, MA
Massachusetts Real Estate Attorney

Nice work, I will have to try that twitter!

May 11, 2008 03:38 PM #49
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


Sorry to shout...I just get excited sometimes :)

P.S. Elderberry? Holy Crap...That ain't no coink-e-dinky :)


May 14, 2008 10:59 AM #50
Garreth Wilcock
Sherlock Homes Austin - Austin, TX
Homes at Mueller

Thanks for the insight. I'm still trying to figure out if twitter is chaff or wheat. I guess it's who you twitter that counts.

May 14, 2008 06:57 PM #51
Natalie Langford
Realty Negotiations - Winchester, VA
Winchester, VA Real Estate

Your story is why I love twitter so much!  Off to check out that series on the COE!

May 17, 2008 03:55 PM #52
Jackie -
770.498.7333 - Atlanta, GA
Learn to leverage technology to get more done.

Laura - so true! That's why it's best to work with a VA that specializes in your industry - we know those red flags.

Years ago, I alerted a client to the fact that his flyer violated state regulations - in this particular state, they charged $1,000 for each violation - that is, each copy of the flyer they could get their hands on!

Great job looking out for your client's best interests!

Jul 28, 2008 09:33 PM #53
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Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media
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