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Watch for social media pitfalls

Agents may be wasting time, damaging brand, creating legal liabilities

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NEW YORK -- Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can help real estate brokerages build their brands, but companies should have usage policies in place and monitor agents to make sure they aren't doing more harm than good.That piece of advice was a common thread running through several panel discussions during the Broker Summit workshop at Real Estate Connect New York City.Having a social media strategy ensures that agents aren't wasting their own time, doing harm to their company's brand, or creating potential lawsuits as they use Web 2.0 techniques to build their business, panelists said.If a brokerage doesn't know enough about social media strategy to explain the company's strategy to its agents and help them turn their efforts into leads and sales, "My message to (those) brokers would be to tell your agents to stop 'doing' Twitter and Facebook," said Jim Marks, founder and president of the consulting firm Virtual Results.A haphazard approach to social media "w...