I was recently at the Real Estate Bar Camp in Raleigh giving the opening remarks and hit on one of my most often repeated rules – I do not tweet open houses. An Agent in the audience vehemently disagreed with me, I was open to her thoughts and respect each individual’s choice but for me, I don’t tweet an open house, except as a very generic invitation.
I have said it before and will say it again, I am very calculated in what and how I tweet, most everything is considered before I put it out there and often carefully worded. When I tweet about an open house this is an example of how I would do it:
“I will be hosting an Open House in the Pike Creek area today from 1-3pm. Please @ or DM me for more details”
The difference here is I am not advertising where I will be, I am offering very basic information and the chance to request more details. I think it is essential to differentiate between being transparent and being smart. I am not calling anyone who does tweet an open house stupid, I just mean it is smart to think first about safety.
Policy Variations by Platform
I do recommend different approaches based on platform, because you have to consider who your audience is. Facebook is typically people you know, friends, family or those you have met face to face or interact with regularly on other sites or in other capacities, so on Facebook I will post the details and address. On LinkedIn I also believe it is safe to post the information because of the nature of the connections. Twitter is a wide open space, we follow strangers and strangers follow us, with little knowledge of who those people are until they become friends but even then what do you REALLY know about them?
FourSquare is another story all together, which I have touched on it before and will again. Just don’t even check-in at houses, you can control your audience but why open yourself to any added risk?
Be Cautious, Trust Your Instincts
With the recent reports of agents being murdered and robbed in Ohio, it brings about the question of safety. We need to keep safety in mind at all times. Our jobs as real estate agents put us in a precarious position often, so making sure to follow NAR recommendations and to have a way to call for help is essential. If you can reduce the risk with sharing open houses why wouldn’t you?
Life is a gift and should be lived to its fullest without fear, but smart choices in how you communicate and act in the social media spaces can certainly help you remain safe.
September is REALTOR safety month.
Here are some general safety recommendations:
- Prequalify all buyer prospects if you can.
- Try to meet any prospective clients for the first time at the office when others will be there.
- Have an emergency contact plan, tell someone where you will be and even ask them to call you at a set time.
- If your instincts tell you not to go, don’t go. Trust your instincts.
- Take someone with you or team up for open houses.
What are your personal policies for social media and safety? General daily safety in real estate? Do you have a plan to call for help? What extra steps do you take to protect yourself? Please add your own safety ideas, there are so many great ones and sharing helps everyone.