New Facebook Anti-Discrimination Rules

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A few months ago, Facebook was hit with a lawsuit by the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that claimed Facebook was engaging in housing discrimination. According to the suit, HUD accused Facebook of allowing landlords, home sellers and agents to set parameters on ads that limited which prospective buyers could view it based on race, religion, sex and disability, to name a few.

Some of these allowances included blocking ads to users based on their interests in certain topics such as “child care” or “mobility scooters.” Others gave the advertiser the ability to block ads by specific zip code.

In response to this accusation, Facebook has changed their rules for ads related to real estate. Now, advertisers can no longer set these kinds of parameters and discriminate against any person based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, disability, medical or genetic condition.

 

What does this mean for you?

As a Homesale Realty agent, these new rules just mean that the more general your audience, the better. When setting the target audience for your ads, choose both men and women and select as wide of a geographical range as possible. Counties tend to work very well for the geographical parameter.

If, for some reason, Facebook thinks you have set a parameter that violates these new rules, they will flag your ad and send you a notification that it has been denied. From here, you can adjust the parameters and resubmit or send the ad for a manual review if you believe it has been flagged in error.

 

For more information about these new rules, check out Facebook’s advertising policies here.

 

Text Me!

As a REALTOR® you need to be accessible to your current and potential client base. A great way to do that is to provide your clients with permission to text you. Texting can be equally as professional and less time consuming than phone calls, especially if the client only has a quick question.

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The majority of Americans prefer texting over talking. In fact, texting has become the primary way Americans under the age of 50 communicate and 78 percent of people actually wish they could have text conversations with businesses. It can even help to increase good perceptions about you and your business. According to a report, 77 percent of consumers ages 18-34 and 64 percent of all consumers are more likely to have a positive impression of a company that offers texting. Plus, the response rate of a text message is over 200 percent greater than that of a phone call, Facebook ad or email.

 

As a society, we are always looking for ways to make our daily tasks more convenient and texting has been a huge help in accomplishing this goal. Being able to communicate directly with a business without going through operators and being put on hold is more appealing and convenient for consumers. They no longer have to carve a block of time out of their day to plan a phone call with a business. They can simply send a text when it’s convenient for them and have an ongoing conversation without disrupting their work.

 

Texting is also seen as a more personal form of communication than phone calls. Consumers feel more important knowing they are communicating directly with their intended party instead of having to fight through channels and being assigned a number in a line of awaiting callers. They want to feel as though they are getting personalized, individual attention and texting creates that virtual connection.

 

In a customer service focused career like real estate, you want to make sure you are doing everything you can to provide your clients with the best service possible. With the majority of consumers preferring texting over any other form of communication, implementing it could really elevate your business to the next level.