Tips to Keep REALTORS® Safe While Using Social Media

When it comes to marketing, social media can be an invaluable tool for REALTORS® to find, network, and communicate directly with prospective and current clients.

With the click of a button, your content has the potential to reach more than 4.6 billion social media users. These users could be potential clients.

According to the 2021 Insights Report, 38% of visitors are first-time home buyers, and 51% of those are in the 18 to 34 age range. Another study shows 43% of Canadians aged 20-34 own their home. This is an important demographic to reach, and social media gives you the perfect opportunity.

Recent numbers show 31% of all Facebook users are aged 25 to 34, more than 47% of Instagram users are between the ages of 25-45, and 59.2% of Twitter users are 25-49 years old.

Social media quick facts:

With so many potential eyeballs, social media can be a great way to share advice, create relationships and showcase both your talent and personality.

Beyond being a place where you can connect with potential clients, social media also has a number of features that can be beneficial to your business, like the ability to easily create ads, curate reviews, book appointments and communicate with customers.

It’s clear how powerful social media can be in promoting your business, helping acquire new leads and nurturing current clients. However, like many things online, there can be risks.

Ottawa-area broker and REALTOR® Zoe Van Wyck shares her tips for staying safe while doing business online:

Don’t engage with fishy messages

“Reply but be selective. More accounts are getting hacked by responding to strange messages. If they seem fishy, I ignore the message outright—it’s just not worth the risk. Having said that, I have closed deals with clients who have reached out to me via Instagram, so it does prove it’s a useful tool! Generally, I check their page and you can get a quick ‘vibe’ about legitimacy right away. The way the messages are written is also a big tell as to whether they are legitimate.”

More safety tips from CREA Café:

Don’t overshare

“I share my email address and phone number. It’s hard not to if the goal is for people to contact you. However, I avoid sharing specific addresses of properties, especially if I’m hosting an open house. If I share a [Instagram] live or Instagram story while hosting an open house, I mention the general neighbourhood, but not the specific address. This is one way I feel a bit safer by not letting everyone know exactly where I am at a specific time. If someone is really interested, they will contact me directly to get more information.”

Keep your passwords protected 

“I am always logged into Facebook, Instagram, TikTok etc. on my phone. However, you would need my phone password or my face to access these accounts from my devices. The only place I need my password is my laptop which is protected with my fingerprint. Additionally, I never leave my phone or laptop unattended, especially in this industry where we have a lot of client’s personal information.” 

CREA also recommends enabling two-factor authentication. Passwords can be cracked, so it’s important to have an added layer of protection. To enable two-factor authentication, look for security/login in the settings of your account.

Looking for more safety resources?

Here are some practical safety tips REALTORS® can put to use in the office, on the road or at a listing:

Our friends at the National Association of REALTORS® also have handy resources to help those working in real estate stay aware and stay safe.

Leslie Kellestine is a Communications Advisor with CREA. Prior to joining CREA’s team, Leslie worked on Parliament Hill where she developed and executed communications plans for federal politicians. After work, Leslie loves to go horseback riding, hit the trails with her dog Effie and try out the newest cocktail lounge in town.

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