7 Deadly Sins of Real Estate Social Media

By Todd Carpenter, Director of Digital Engagement, National Association of REALTORS®

Mistakes. Everyone is bound to make them. (I have made more than a few of my own.)

When jumping into social media, many of the biggest gaffes people make are fueled by simple human nature. Here are some of the main ones:


Seven dealdy sins signpostWe tend to obsess over numbers. More is always better, right? This attitude is especially true when it comes to how many friends, followers, and connections we have. There are even schemes to increase your follower counts by getting spambots to follow you. I believe less is more. Don’t waste your time trying to boost your numbers with meaningless connections.


Everyone likes to enjoy a day at the beach, or a round of golf. But think twice about bragging about how much fun you are having, especially in a down market. When your client’s house is not selling, or they are in limbo waiting for a short sale to go through, they won’t appreciate how much fun you are having. I think it’s fine to brag every so often, but make sure you have touched base with your clients before doing so.


I’ve said it before: Most of the time that people spend on social networks is not “work”. It’s okay to play on social media, but don’t count it as work unless you are really using it in a way that you can expect a return on your investment.


As your influence online grows, it’s easy to get a big head. Don’t fall in lust with your newfound “power.” A great example is melting down online when airline X delays your flight or cable provider Y goes down. You are mad, and have a right to be. Yes, a customer service rep *might* see you and respond. But for everyone else, it looks like you are pulling a “don’t you know who I am?” crybaby rant.


“I sell more houses, so why is she the social media superstar in my market?” Honestly, if you sell more houses, why do you care? Don’t worry about what other agents are doing, and how much credit they are getting. Complaining about it or bashing that other agent looks petty.


Once you realize that someone will say something nice about anyone, every nice thing they say about you means less. Far too often, people become so consumed with trying to get everyone to like them that everyone begins to notice that’s all they do. One of Dale Carnegie’s secrets to success is to “give honest, sincere appreciation.” To me, that means giving praise when it’s truly deserved, not just to get them to like you.


Never post in anger. Never wrestle with a pig. Never resort to personal insults. It doesn’t work.

Todd Carpenter

Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of the Data Analytics Group at NAR I'm a twenty year veteran of the real estate and mortgage industry, focusing on technology that fosters relationships between professionals and consumers. I am a subject matter expert in data analytics, online consumer trends, enterprise social media strategy, listing data, agent ratings, and public facing MLS portals.

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  1. Social media affords us the ability to publish content that can have a significant reach. As real estate professionals, we have a responsibility to exercise self-control and discipline in the things we say and where we say it. It’s much more difficult for us to have separation between our personal and business lives. There is always some degree of cross-over. This doesn’t mean we give up our right to an opinion/conviction, just whether or not it is prudent to voice such things in the moment….

  2. Thank you Todd, we need these reminders often. I’m sitting here in Spain with a group of incredible real estate agents going through a really, really rough time which teaches you humility and to always be respectful of human nature. ::bump::

  3. Very nice and interesting. Had to smile a little when I read it. But it is so true! Thank you!

  4. So very true, Realtors should be careful as to what they post on personal FB pages it is unprofessional to whine about needing a buyer or a closing on your Facebook page

  5. Chip Landers

    I have often seen and heard employees complaining about their job or boss to other employees or even clients. This has been done online, in line or even on speaker phone in a public place! Remember, to quote Joe Kennedy ” Say whatever you want about someone, as long as you wouldn’t mind it on the front page of the NY Times”

  6. Ingrid Osorio

    Yes, Real Estate has gotten very slow; turn around from prospecting to closing an Escrow, Yes, I agree wth 7 sins above, We agents are to set an example to our clients. We are going thru a hard time but patience and if we practice not to do the 7 sins above; We should always be busy and getting referrals….