Lessons in Tech Etiquette, Part 1: Real Estate Message Boards

by Peter Thomas Ricci


How do you approach tech etiquette? How do you effectively communicate with clients on real estate message boards?

By Peter Ricci

Message boards have long been among the most popular methods of communication on the Internet, but only recently have they entered the real estate lexicon on sites such as Trulia, Real Estate Forums and Redfin – and like text messaging, which we recently covered, real estate message boards, and the tech etiquette that governs them, offer a new roadmap for communication between real estate agents and their clients.

Tech Etiquette on Real Estate Message Boards

Here are some things to keep in mind when communicating on message boards:

Get to the Point!: If someone wanted a lengthy, detailed explanation on a certain facet of real estate, they would have either called you in person or, if they’re truly passionate, checked out a book from the library! Message boards are the place for quick, straightforward pieces of writing, and that should be your primary concern when responding to inquiries.

So, if someone is asking you about interest rates, or mortgages, or home prices in a specific location, answer their questions fully, but not indulgently.

Be Consistent: You want your personality and professionalism to be consistent across all mediums, from in-person, to the phone, to message boards. In other words, you wouldn’t want to be charming and knowledgable in person, but meandering and immature on your Trulia profile or ActiveRain account. As Peter Moulton, the managing broker of @properties’ Lake Forest office puts it, “I try to maintain a consistent message, and my communication becomes more informative than self-promoting.”

Forgetful Representation: Finally, you’ll want to be forever cognizant of the fact that you’re representing yourself and your brand when writing on real estate message boards. With how easy it is to post content online, it can be quite easy for standards to wane, but you should approach those arenas with the same focus that you would a phone call.

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  • Ultimately, the goal of engaging on “message boards” of “forums” is to add some level of value to other posters. By doing so, you demonstrate your willingness and ability to be a helpful member of the community, which helps you to establish or grow your credibility or name.

    The fastest way to damage that credibility is to violate rules that govern the community you’re engaging in. Beyond that, using your message as a means to promote yourself instead of answering someone’s question is a quick way to tell the community that you don’t care about them.

    Be respectful. Be helpful. Add value. And in doing so, you’ll reap the rewards that come with engaging your peers and/or customers online.

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