3 Tips for Protecting Real Estate Clients’ Privacy

Written by Posted On Monday, 06 May 2019 16:35

As a real estate agent, you have several fiduciary duties you have to respect. Part of your job is acting in the best interests of your clients. Although certain duties can be different depending on where you live, the one thing you’ll have to provide is the confidentiality of your clients’ information. You must avoid disclosing anything you know about your clients, including their financial affairs and personal information.


It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking with your colleagues or friends; you have to keep the information confidential. This applies even after an agreement between you and your client ends. For example, let’s say that a listing of a property you posted expired and the seller decided to list it with a different brokerage. If a potential buyer calls you to say they’re interested in the property, you won’t be able to disclose any of your ex-client’s information to this person. This includes personal info like phone numbers and emails.


Keep in mind that your clients are required to share a lot of personal information when buying a home, like their social security number, information about their debts, their net worth, and income. One of the biggest problems in the real estate industry today is that agents aren’t always able to protect their clients’ privacy. This is because technology is advancing faster than most people are able to keep up.


Avoid Using Google for Transactions


What’s really scary is that a lot of people don’t even know they’re doing something wrong. However, chances are that your daily habits may interfere with your work and cause your clients’ personal information to spread across the internet. You may be wondering how this can happen. Well, if you rely on Google for anything related to your business, then you might find yourself in a pickle sooner or later.


This is because Google has been following the activities of anyone who uses their email service, search engine, YouTube, and any of their apps for several years. Of course, they will continue doing this in order to provide a better user experience. While this may be great for your personal accounts, it’s highly recommended you avoid using any Google services to conduct business.


Although this company notes that it doesn’t sell their users’ data, they do use the information to make ads relevant. While they may not hand any of this information over to advertisers, it can still spread. It’s likely your clients rely on at least a few Google-related services. Nevertheless, you will have to avoid using services like Gmail or Google Docs in transactions, since this information can be shared with outside entities.


Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)


If you connect to a public Wi-Fi to conduct business, you’ll become vulnerable to attacks from hackers who may try to steal sensitive information. Nevertheless, nearly every real estate agent has been in a situation when they had to access public Wi-Fi. In case you want to continue doing this without worrying about hackers, you can simply use a VPN. It’s also recommended you use a virtual private network at the office as well. It’s incredibly easy to find a VPN for PC; you just have to do a bit of online research.


Upgrade Your Email


You already learned that you shouldn’t use Gmail in a transaction. But don’t think that using any other kind of popular email service will help you keep your clients’ information confidential. This is why you need to take it a step further and set up your own website and have an email address attached to the domain name. This will ensure that all of the emails between you and your clients remain private. On top of that, it’ll separate you from most of your competition and will make you look more professional. Keep in mind that hackers will be able to hack a Gmail much easier than an email address attached to your domain name.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Velva Dunn

Armed with a college background in Marketing, Finance and Business Administration Velva quickly rose to the ranks of being in the Top 1% of all Realtors Nationally. She has represented clients ranging from first time home buyers and sellers to senior executives within top Forbes companies.  She has been instrumental in developing neighborhoods from selling land/lots to builders and buyers as well as, contributing her expertise and experience to the overall design of many of her clients' custom build homes. 


Agent Resource

Limited time offer - 50% off - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.