Ask An Ambassador: Local Rules & Social Media Use

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

can you do that?There are many rules about blogging.

Don't talk about this or that.

Keep your post aesthetics in mind and avoid the dreaded wall of words.

Know your audience.


There's a lot of unwritten stuff too that you have to take into account in a forum such as ActiveRain. 

Play nice in the sandbox.

Don't try to steal traffic from another blogger to your own post.



And then you have your federal, state and local (and even brokerage) rules.

Depending on your state's interpretation, every blog post is advertising, so do you have your EHO symbol present?  Broker's name?

Is your team name bigger than the brokerage's name?  (that's a no-no in Ohio, you can be equal to, but never bigger).

Have you read your brokerage's social media policy? (assuming they have one).  You might find out your broker wants to review your posts and has the right to tell you NO for that bee hive kicking post you planned.



And yesterday Cincinnati MLS announced that effective in 10 days, NO SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS ABOUT NEW LISTINGS UNLESS THE HOME IS IN THE MLS FIRST!!!!  So those sneak peak, here's what I'm bringing to market in 5 days so get in touch with your agent blog posts?  Buh-bye.  At a minimum our listings have to be entered in MLS in the Coming Soon category, or there better be no tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram pix or anything else.  You can't even HINT that you've got a new listing coming up in Countryside subdivision, because if another agent can't see the same thing you know, it's going straight to your checkbook.


So take a look.  Check your MLS rules and state rules regarding social media.  Make sure you know what you need to know to avoid hot water for what you're doing with your keyboard.


Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!

Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz


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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
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Bob "RealMan" Timm
Tivoli Custom Homes - Minot, ND
Bob Timm, Project Coordinator for Tivoli Homes

A good reminder to all of us Liz and Bill Spear to play nice in the sandbox.

May 15, 2018 01:05 PM #1
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Wow!  Will have to check out my MLS rules and see what's happening.  Then again, by the time I have pics for a post, the sellers are ready for market.  There's not a lot of "coming soon" in my life.

May 15, 2018 06:47 PM #2
Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     Our Tallahassee Board just came out with a "coming soon" status in MLS.  I am waiting for rules like those from the Cincinatti MLS to be announced.

May 15, 2018 07:10 PM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

BLiz- good reminder about posting listings!  Everyone will be checking their MLS rules. 

May 15, 2018 07:15 PM #4
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi BLiz

There are some good reminders here, but the one about checking on our MLS rules is particularly important. I don't believe our MLS has added anything yet but worth checking.

And of course it's smart to warn buyers and seller to NOT talk about their transactions on social media.


May 15, 2018 07:37 PM #5
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Yep...I just went through our MLS rules, and it's more about how you use IDX, and use the MLS logo on advertising..again IDX. Nothing about Social Media. 


May 15, 2018 08:58 PM #6
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

That's a good heads up.  Fortunately, I don't need to worry about those rules.  But, I do need to be FTC compliant and soon GDPR compliant, esp w/ email, etc.  I have a hunch most real estate agents are clueless on GDPR.

May 16, 2018 04:07 AM #7
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Liz and Bill Spear ,

As usual you have a topic that is "hot" and needs reminders and clarification. Checking with your local MLS, Broker etc. is the best tip! So important to understand because the repercussions will hit your wallet!

May 16, 2018 04:22 AM #8
James Grant
Asheville, NC

Good Morning, Liz and Bill Spear,

I will check out the local Rules & Social Media Use. Thanks for sharing! 

May 16, 2018 05:30 AM #9
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good morning Liz and Bill Spear, our MLS doesn't have a "coming soon" status, we shall see what happens in the future. One of my buyers found a listing on Zillow just last night that's advertised as "coming soon", not in MLS, the house is vacant, there's a sign in the yard and a lb, yet, when I contacted the agent, he said it won't be in MLS till Friday. 

May 16, 2018 05:56 AM #10
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Rules and Regulations are one thing. Knowing them are another. Following them yet another.  And the biggest issue in my area, enforcement!  
Of course, the intention is that people know the rules and they play nice in the sandbox.  

May 16, 2018 07:56 AM #11
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

FTC, GDPR, MLS, Social Media compliant...I feel like I need to hire a full time Attorney to keep me out of jail.

Thanks for the heads up. I have some work to do.

May 16, 2018 08:56 AM #12
Ricardo Mello
Manhattan Miami Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
Manhattan & Miami Real Estate Agent

I agree with Kathleen Daniels!

May 16, 2018 09:41 AM #13
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The very nature of every game, orgainzation or sport is defined by the rules....

May 16, 2018 12:53 PM #14
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Great Post ... we have the same rules in our MLS.  Wonder how this does or does not affect the new Buyer Hunt program ... anyone know?  

May 16, 2018 05:32 PM #15
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Hi Bill and Liz: Boy! I had better check that out---I know about the idea of advertising etc....but what about the freedom of speech? I have been feeling pretty free here on AR to express my opinions but maybe now is the time to check it out! Wow, times REALLY have changed! Thanks for the heads up!

May 17, 2018 05:46 AM #16
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

...Oh and I fogot to mention: How does the inimitable Zillow fit in here? Are they allowed to NOT follow the rules as we must??? That is always on my mind now that they have taken over our entire local MLS, internal RealNet site and Streeteasy! All of these are now run by Zillow---How does that work?? Sounds like the barn door was left open--horses are all gone now!

May 17, 2018 05:50 AM #17
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'm glad we don't have that rule.  However I am currently considering joining a second MLS and we'll see how that goes.

May 17, 2018 07:49 AM #18
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Our mls has no issues with ''coming soon''.

Sep 03, 2018 10:51 PM #19
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