Best of 2016: Why Agents Should Never Use Personal Email
#1 in our countdown of the most popular articles of the year.
Posted by: RET Staff
Here it is—our top article of the year! This article was originally published back in February and is the most read article of 2016. See #2 here, or read the full list of our Top 10 articles from 2016 here.
I saw a news article recently about why real estate agents should use their personal email addresses. The article talked about the 10,000 selfish reasons why it benefits the Realtor®. It was a grand display of the underbelly of self-centered real estate professionals. I am here to tell you that using a personal email for real estate business is STUPID and perhaps illegal.
The communications between a real estate agent and a consumer are subject to the real estate laws in your state. They are communications that happen under the supervision of the agent’s real estate broker. They are covered by the insurances held by the real estate broker. They are subject to the Realtor Code of Ethics if you are a Realtor.
Last year, there were multiple instances of emails getting hacked. In many cases, consumer information was compromised. In some cases, earnest money instructions were hijacked and in once case, $250,000 was stolen.
Guess what? If you are a real estate agent who got hacked or had earnest money stolen, you are in deep ****.
You probably violated the broker’s independent contractor policy that you signed. If you did, your broker does not need to help you. In fact, if your actions cause harm to the brokerage brand, and you could be liable for those damages.