Are you playing by the rules when posting other brokers’ listings on social media?

By Debbie Wey
Vice President, CarolinaMLS Administration

 

In 2018 the National Association of Realtors® changed the policy regarding electronic display of other participants’ listings, and CarolinaMLS began allowing members to post minimal displays of other brokers’ listings on social media as long as there is a direct link to an IDX-compliant display.

The IDX rules state that displays of minimum information (e.g. a one-line or “thumbnail,” text messages, “tweets,” etc. of 200 characters or less) are exempt from complying with IDX display rules, but only when linked directly to a display that does comply with IDX display rules.

When posting other brokers’ listings on social media, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Be careful to not exceed 200 characters with your post.
  • Remove your post if the direct link to the IDX compliant display no longer works.
  • Withdrawn and Expired listings are not included in IDX, and closed listings are included in IDX.
  • A Facebook Live video of another brokerage’s listing is okay if it’s for a specific customer or client, but if it’s for an agent’s whole audience on Facebook, it would be considered advertising, and specific written authority from the listing brokerage would be required.
  • Unless you’re “InstaFamous” with a ton of followers, Instagram does not provide the ability to include a direct link to a display that complies with the IDX rules. Do not post other brokers’ listings on Instagram unless you have specific, written permission from the listing brokerage.
  • Avoid adding additional text about the listing that might be subject to change, such as the price, MLS status, and open houses. If you do include text that is subject to change, it is your responsibility to update the social media post every 12 hours to ensure accuracy.

Follow the Code of Ethics and real estate commission regulations, too!

The Realtor® Code of Ethics and South Carolina General Statues both require real estate advertisements (including social media posts) to disclose the name of your firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner either in the advertisement or via a link to a display with all required disclosures.

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission Rule A.0105(a) requires advertisements to “conspicuously indicate that it is the advertisement of a broker or brokerage firm,” and the name of a provisional broker is insufficient.  To be safe, always include your firm’s name on the social media page where the post appears.

Learn more at the Realtor® EXPO March 14!

Learn about this topic and others, including unauthorized listing content, virtual staging, listing accessibility, custom-built construction and more at one of three “Are You Playing by the Rules” sessions at our March 14 Realtor® EXPO!

Questions?  Reach out to Debbie Wey by email or at 704-940-3115.

Note:  Internet Data Exchange (IDX) is a cooperative program where brokerages grant permission to display their listings on the websites, mobile apps and audio devices of other brokerages.  A Virtual Office Website (VOW) is a Member Participant’s Internet website, or a feature of a Participant’s website, through which the Participant is capable of providing real estate brokerage services to consumers with whom the Participant has first established a broker-consumer relationship (as defined by state law) where the consumer has the opportunity to search MLS data, subject to the Participant’s oversight, supervision, and accountability.