By Todd Carpenter, Social Media Manager, National Association of REALTORS®
I assume that everything I say on the Internet will be read by my supervisors here at NAR. While my personal Twitter page is exactly that, the blurred lines of social media, and my personal relationship with thousands of REALTORS across the country means that I know EVERYTHING I say there might be scrutinized.
There are times when the things I say lead to complaints addressed to me, or even a superior here at NAR. So, I don’t say anything on Twitter that I might have to apologize for later. That doesn’t mean I won’t offend anyone (I do). But it does mean I can back up my case when a complaint comes along.
Sound like a pressure cooker?
It’s not any worse for anyone else on Twitter. Take for instance the story of Amanda Bowen, a Chicago apartment dweller with a Twitter account that used to have a mere 22 followers. She made a comment on Twitter about here apartment’s property management company that landed her a $50,000 lawsuit. As Jeffrey Michael of Horizon Group Management LLC explained to the Chicago Sun Times:
“We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization.“
I don’t know who’s right or wrong in this case. My guess though, is that both parties are learning a lot about the stakes involved in taking a disagreement online.
Have I scared you away from Twitter yet?
For all the negative things that can happen online, the positives are all there to balance it out. Think about the good will you can earn by saying good things about the people you want to build relationships with. Think about how you can use an online presence to turn negatives into a positive.
Twitter has real power. Leverage it. Use it for good, and good will come to you. If you feel the need, use it for addressing a wrong. Just be ready when the other side of a disagreement reacts to the power of Twitter as well. The rules of the game have not changed. Just the stakes.
Todd Carpenter, Senior Manager of Industry Engagement at Trulia Previously the Director of Digital Engagement for The National Association of REALTORS®, overseeing the association’s communication strategy on its social media channels. He's also been a real estate and mortgage professional since 1992 and created the first broker-focused mortgage blog in 2005. Todd is an industry pioneer in leveraging the social web.