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Realtor Safety: Setting Expectations in Your Marketing

September 16 2015

This month, we're publishing content from a course on Realtor Safety. This is the fifth in a series of articles that teaches Realtors how to prevent being a victim of crime. Read the previous article here.

marketing 1The words you use in your marketing messages have connotations, which is to say that they have emotional value over and above their literal meaning. Those who commit crimes with a power motive are attracted to subservience and weakness because the "power high" is what they seek. Those who commit crimes with a profit motive are also attracted to subservience and weakness because it represents lower risk.

In your marketing, choose words that convey power, control, knowledge, authority, etc. For example:

"Here to serve all your real estate needs"
"Experience to handle the entire real estate process"

Notice that the first statement implies servitude, whereas the second statement implies confidence and power.

Information to avoid in marketing

Earlier, we mentioned that stalking behaviors give a predator a "high" in addition to potentially planning an attack. Consequently, you'll want to ensure that information you include in your marketing does not "feed the stalking high" or help a predator plan an attack in the event that someone does fixate on and target you. Limiting the "high" a predator can achieve through online stalking will increase the likelihood that he or she will lose interest.

Avoid including the following information:

  • Whether or not you have children
  • The neighborhood you live in. For example, avoid "I'm the expert in the Hills Subdivision. I've lived here for years." Instead, use "I'm the expert in the Hills Subdivision, I've lived in the area for years."
  • Pictures of your family
  • Your favorite places (restaurant, club, gym, store, etc.)
  • Specific PUBLIC networking groups to which you belong
  • Specific neighborhood or school groups to which you belong

Social Media

In today's day and age, social media is an important marketing tool for the real estate agent. Unfortunately, it is also an important tool for predators and those who stalk. Remember, if you catch the attention of a predatory or obsessive individual, your best chance of having them lose their interest is to give them little or no material of interest to them.

Social Media Do's

  • Have separate personal and professional pages
  • Eliminate or abbreviate your last name on your personal pages
  • Use different images on your personal and professional pages
  • Periodically, use Google to search for yourself to see how difficult it is to find your personal pages
  • Use the social media site's security to help ensure your personal site information is hidden to all who are not your direct friend or contact

Social Media Don'ts

  • Don't use location tracking
  • Don't post your habits (e.g., "I love this coffee shop. I come here every day.")
  • Don't post information that could be used to identify your children's school, spouse's workplace, etc.

Read the next article in this series now: Screening Prospects Before a ShowingScreening Prospects Before a Showing

Read More Articles in this Series

September is RealtorĀ® Safety Month. Throughout the month, RE Technology will be publishing excerpts from an educational course on Realtor Safety in partnership with safety app creator Real Safe Agent. Here's the list of articles that have been published to date:

Please consider sharing this important information with your colleagues, your agents (brokers), and membership (MLSs and associations)!