All agents share some of the same frustrations. In any client-facing role, there are going to be little things that people find themselves dealing with on a regular basis, and it can be tempting to want to air this all out to the world.
When most of us create professional social media profiles, we follow our colleagues, and they follow us in return. Sometimes we get to enjoy a little back and forth and share some camaraderie. When you see a meme that literally makes you laugh out loud because it perfectly captures some irritating client behavior, you may wind up with the desire to share it. Maybe you had a bad experience and would like to let everyone know how bad your day is going.
Instead of hitting submit, take a second to think about the situation. Why not share the funny stuff? A few reasons:
1. Clients are there, too
We make our professional pages so that potential and current clients can find us online and connect with us. If they visit your page, they’ll also see the things you had to say. If they catch just the right images or posts, they may get just the wrong impression.
2. Even innocent jabs can be taken personally
It’s just some harmless venting, right? Unfortunately, it may not look that way if the client or someone like the client is the target of the joke. If a DIY enthusiast is ridiculed for their interesting tastes or execution of projects, another potential client that considers themselves somewhat of a DIYer may feel like you, the agent, might not appreciate or even want their business. It’s an agent’s job to champion their clients, and it’s not a great look to lampoon them—even if it’s just a little joke.
3. Clients may not feel comfortable asking for what they need
As real estate agents, it is our job to help people figure out the right sort of home for them. They’ll often need information about schools, amenities, nearby shopping and more. Someone who has seen, for instance, a video that makes fun of buyers with 100 questions may not feel free to ask all the questions they might have. This will leave them with incomplete information and rob them of their confidence about buying. We want our clients always to feel like they are in compassionate and competent hands.
4. The key is a degree of separation between you, the person, and you, the agent
A lot of clients can make this job very difficult. You may get frustrated answering the same seven questions over and over or being asked for your opinion on specific designs or trends. However, in the end, it’s not about you. We do best for our clients if we take our personal needs out of it and leave them with a warm advisor who is happy to help them with their dilemmas.
5. The internet is forever
Think twice after sharing and delete something? It may already be too late. Internet content is both ephemeral in that it zooms past at dizzying speed and eternal in that it’s always easy to document. Would what you are sharing look bad in a screenshot? Don’t allow the opportunity.
In the end, if it’s a joke where you wouldn’t want to be the butt of, it’s better not to share from a professional page. If you need a space where you can just be an individual rather than the face of a business, create a locked-down personal page for this where all content is private. You’ll get a place to let loose, and your clients, both now and in the future, will see a friendly and professional face on your professional profile to help them through one of their biggest and most life-changing investments.
Gary Ashton is the CEO and owner of The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage. His real estate team is #1 in Tennessee, Nashville, and now #4 in the world. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.