Advice and Opinion

Tony Clarke warns against misuse of social media by estate agents

Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, has warned his agents that they will antagonize clients and lose business if they commercialise their social media profiles.

“Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn,” said Clarke, “have proved to be exceptionally powerful tools – far more powerful than most of us anticipated – for keeping in touch with previous clients, friends, family and business colleagues. However, if these online media platforms are used as sales tools, e.g. for the listing of properties now up for sale, the recipients will react negatively to those sending them out – and we have seen instances of this already happening.”

Estate agents making use of social media, said Clarke, should realise that they are there for fostering friendships, not for monetary gain.

“As we all know,” he said, “there can be big commercial advantages in getting your name better known out there, but this has to be very subtly done. All attempts at self-promotion should be shunned, as should any negative comments on one’s opposition, political parties or any other person’s religious views.”

“Above all, I believe, it is important to entertain and to be encouraging to others. If it is not in your power to be humorous, do at least try to be genuine. Also, at all costs, avoid extreme trivia of a personal nature.”

The Rawson Property Group’s social media profiles/pages are, said Clarke, praised by the general public, but this, he firmly believes, is because they avoid any direct sales messages. However, he said, by contrast, one or two individual agents have on occasion ‘let themselves down’.

“We have at our disposal, a wonderful communication tool – but we have to learn to use it wisely, always bearing in mind the reactions of those who, of their own free will, are going to read it.”

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