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RISMEDIA, October 23, 2009—Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® recently created a social media policy and guidelines that can be customized by member firms to meet firm culture and branding needs. The document seeks to manage legal risk to both brokerages and sales associates in their use of social media as a communication and marketing medium. 

“Social media is a powerful platform for communication, relationship-building and marketing and has really crossed the chasm this year in terms of adoption by many real estate professionals for these purposes,” states Eric Bryn, LeadingRE vice president of strategic development and intellectual property counsel. “However, with this widespread use, social media carries certain legal risks. Looking ahead to the legal landscape, we wanted to get ahead of the curve and give our member brokers a well-crafted document they can adapt to meet their respective company cultures, protect their corporate brands and mitigate legal risk.” 

The policies and guidelines cover how a company’s employees, sales associates and independent contractors use social media for both professional and personal purposes. LeadingRE created the document in collaboration with DLA Piper, one of the country’s leading law firms, in a format that allows member firms to customize it to comply with their state real estate laws and ethical responsibilities. 

“The rapid expansion of social media has left many companies struggling to catch up and address complex legal issues that include employment, privacy, intellectual property and free speech considerations. The policies and guidelines we created with LeadingRE take a realistic approach to social media by attempting to manage rather than ignore those complex legal issues,” states Jennifer Baumann, an attorney in the Technology, Sourcing and Commercial practice at DLA Piper. 

For more information, visit