Facebook has allegedly enabled housing discrimination by allowing real estate advertisers to exclude audiences protected under the Fair Housing Act.
As a result, real estate professionals are advised to take several steps to ensure their marketing on the social media platform is legal and ethical.
- Never use targeted marketing that excludes a specific protected class on a listing.
- Don't use Facebook as your only advertising tool – its algorithm doesn't guarantee that a broad section of the population will see your ad, even if your targeting isn't exclusive.
- Know your state and local fair housing laws and ensure your marketing is in compliance will all of these laws. In many cases, local laws protect more groups than the ones specified under the federal Fair Housing Act.
- Consider working with a digital marketing firm or hire an individual to do that work exclusively for your company.
- In addition, use other types of marketing methods to reach parts of the market not reached by the MLS.
- Avoid engaging, commenting, liking or clicking on a post from someone else that could be a fair housing violation.
Finally, brokers should require agents to market consistently, including rules that extend to social media marketing as well.