When you are aggressively promoting your name and your business using all the social media you have available to you, keeping your activities private may not be the first thing on the list. However, because of the nature of the real estate agent’s job, it may be in your best interest to be a little vague about your exact whereabouts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. There are many predators that use the Internet to identify and stalk people and real estate agents are no exception.
“JaneRealtor… is having an open house at 123 Anyroad today at 12!” is not a good status.
Open houses are frequently staffed solely by the agent (not the greatest idea ever) and provide predators with a private place to commit crimes. Open houses are one of the worst situations for real estate agents to be in – and predators are very quickly learning this, as evidenced by the rising numbers of crimes committed in them.
Telling the world where you’re going to be is not the safest course of action. If people are really interested in open houses, they’ll find you without you having to tell them.
Telling the world the exact time you’ll be in a specific location is not wise either. It’s like hanging an “Open for Your Business” sign out to predators.
Be aware of who your ‘friends’ on Twitter, Facebook, etc. are. It’s a good idea to have two separate accounts – one for work and one for your personal life. Make sure the personal profiles are private. It may be a little extra online hassle for you to have two profiles for everything, but it’s much safer.
If you have children, make sure that their profiles are private and that they don’t have online ‘friends’ who you don’t know. Stalkers make it a habit to know what the family and friends of their victims are doing, to get a better idea of what their victims are up to.
The possibility or reality of stalking does not mean that you have to stop promoting your business; it just means that you should take extra care to make sure that you are giving out only the information that you really want to via Internet social media. Your safety is paramount.
Carolyn Capalbo is an expert military relocation specialist and real estate agent serving Northern Virginia real estate. Visit Just4Real.com to find updated market information about areas in Prince William, including Centreville VA real estate.