How one dumb tweet can cause a real-estate #fail
As people share more personal info online, experts warn not to say too much about a real-estate deal until it's completely done.
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Pity the poor Tiburon, Calif., homebuyer who shared her real-estate triumph too soon on Facebook. The post went something like: "Found our dream house!" and she named a coveted neighborhood where she'd long been shopping.
"She didn't think anyone but those in her own network, which was quite small, was listening," says Ginger Wilcox, who was her real-estate agent. "Unfortunately, a friend saw the post and shared it with a pal who was looking in the same neighborhood."
The friend of the friend moved quickly. She tracked down the listing and offered more money, snatching the home from under the Facebook poster, who later learned through the grapevine how she'd shot herself in the foot with her post.
The Facebook poster did, eventually, buy another home. This time, she was discreet until the deal was done, Wilcox says.
Wilcox, head of agent training at real-estate website Trulia, uses the story to warn salespeople to tell their clients not to share deal-killing personal details on Facebook, MySpace or Twitter.
Social media are embedded in many people's lives. But as of now, most homebuyers, sellers and real-estate agents are using these sites just to comment and report on their experiences and feelings.
More adventurous buyers are crowd-sourcing property searches and asking for help with questions such as, "I'm considering moving to this location. What do you think about it?" Or they are asking for recommendations on sales agents, neighborhoods and school districts; about where to find amenities such as parks, churches, cafes, restaurants and dry cleaners; or information about commutes.
As these new communication outlets expand, however, some buyers, sellers and agents are finding that their forays into social media can inflict harm in a variety of ways.
"You feel that you are in this trusted network," Wilcox says. "But we don't know what our friends are sharing. Unfortunately, many of these seemingly innocuous updates could cost you as homebuyer or seller thousands of dollars, if not an entire deal."
Unless you adjust the privacy of your Facebook wall and ensure that your profile doesn't come up in Facebook search results, strangers could read your posts just by searching for you.
On Twitter, you have a number of choices when it comes to privacy. By default, your tweets will be seen by your followers and anyone else who comes across them in a search, Twitter says. If you want to reach only selected recipients, use Twitter's "direct message" option. Only followers whom you select and to whom you send a message can see these messages. If you don't want your followers sharing or "retweeting" your messages to others, or if you don't want the general public to see your tweets, check "protect my tweets," an option on your account-settings page. Learn more by searching for "privacy" on Twitter.
Wilcox says buyers often tweet something such as, "We're really excited and are writing an offer," attaching photos of the property.
Preserve a little mystery
Success in negotiating, as in love or poker, depends on preserving mystery. Giving the other side insight into your thinking — agents call it your "motivation" — may weaken your position.
For example, a tweet such as this, forwarded to Wilcox from another agent, may make the buyer appear naïve or too eager: "Tomorrow... Oops, today, I'm going to go tour a new neighborhood and look at buying a new house. Excited and freaked out. Am I crazy??"
In Carmen Brodeur's $1 million to $3 million market in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, Ariz., as everywhere, "so many people are so entwined with Twitter and social media that they find it hard to not disclose every detail of their lives. They just blurt it out," says Brodeur, of The Brodeur Luxury Group at Realty Executive. "I'll see on Facebook or Twitter someone saying, 'I found a house I love. I just put in an offer. Cross your fingers for me. I hope I get it. But I'll do whatever it takes. I'll go another $20,000 higher.'"
She says she warns clients to reveal little about their search, sale or purchase — online or off. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use your network and social tools. But experts advise that you avoid using them impulsively, particularly if you're annoyed or angry.
I Agreee with AirPilot.
FB, Tweeking on twitter, googie---it is boring time consuming and at a risk of loosing privacy and private info.
It is also destroying too many jobs or potential jobs and is making helping to make our kids fat---so what's so great about it in the long run! YEP instant text----at what cost?????
And no i do not do or support Social Media!
As a non-Twitterer, I don't feel the need to tell everyone everything, either. BUT, if I were this person, I'd be more careful of who my friends are (and, hence, who their friends are!)
no new news here. the old adage comes to mind... "Loose lips sink ships." Was good then, is good now. Everyone must learn the hard way. Here is a history lesson:
"M illions volunteered or were drafted for military duty during World War II. The majority of these citizen-soldiers had no idea how to conduct themselves to prevent inadvertent disclosure of important information to the enemy. To remedy this, the government established rules of conduct. The following is excerpted from a document given to each soldier as he entered the battle area.
THINK! Where does the enemy get his information -- information that can put you, and has put your comrades, adrift on an open sea: information that has lost battles and can lose more, unless you personally, vigilantly, perform your duty in SAFEGUARDING MILITARY INFORMATION?
1. Don't write military information of Army units -- their location, strength,, materiel, or equipment.
2. Don't write of military installations.
3. Don't write of transportation facilities.
4. Don't write of convoys, their routes, ports (including ports of embarkation and disembarkation), time en route, naval protection, or war incidents occurring en route.
5. Don't disclose movements of ships, naval or merchant, troops, or aircraft.
6. Don't mention plans and forecasts or orders for future operations, whether known or just your guess.
7. Don't write about the effect of enemy operations.
8. Don't tell of any casualty until released by proper authority (The Adjutant General) and then only by using the full name of the casualty.
9. Don't attempt to formulate or use a code system, cipher, or shorthand, or any other means to conceal the true meaning of your letter. Violations of this regulation will result in severe punishment.
10. Don't give your location in any way except as authorized by proper authority. Be sure nothing you write about discloses a more specific location than the one authorized.
SILENCE MEANS SECURITY -- If violation of protective measures is serious within written communications it is disastrous in conversations. Protect your conversation as you do your letters, and be even more careful. A harmful letter can be nullified by censorship; loose talk is direct delivery to the enemy.
If you come home during war your lips must remain sealed and your written hand must be guided by self-imposed censorship. This takes guts. Have you got them or do you want your buddies and your country to pay the price for your showing off. You've faced the battle front; its little enough to ask you to face this 'home front.'
Most enemy intelligence comes from prisoners. If captured, you are required to give only three facts: YOUR NAME, YOUR GRADE, YOUR ARMY SERIAL NUMBER. Don't talk, don't try to fake stories and use every effort to destroy all papers. When you are going into an area where capture is possible, carry only essential papers and plan to destroy them prior to capture if possible. Do not carry personal letters on your person; they tell much about you, and the envelope has on it your unit and organization.
How To Cite This Article:
"Loose Lips Sink Ships," EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (1997).
Now, do you get the idea? Ha, we all learn too little too late...
Seriously? This is all there is to write articles about? And I'm commenting on it! Pathetic