Agent Insight: How Data Privacy Laws Could Affect Your Real Estate CRM
By John Voigt @ Propertybase
March 15, 2018

Data breaches, leaks, and manipulation are common in today’s headlines. Because of it governments around the world are playing catch-up to get data privacy laws in place. Since CRMs hold a wealth of customer information and even include big data, these laws can seriously affect the data you’re allowed to store and use. What can we expect to see in the near future?

No one can say for sure how this will affect brokerages. But, it does highlight the importance of knowing who has access to your data. The software you use or the company you work for could be reusing the data and who knows what they’re doing with it. As data privacy becomes more important, you need to make sure data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Key Takeaways

  • Data breaches, leaks, and other cybercrimes are becoming more common.
  • Many companies have been caught reselling customer data or using it illegally.
  • To protect the data of your customers, make sure that you know who has access to it. Limiting data access is the first step toward better data privacy.

What’s The Current Situation?

We recently touched on the use of big data by real estate brokerages, agents and teams to create better analytics and reports in their real estate crm. As the saying typically goes, “you can’t improve it if you can’t measure it.” However, we’re not talking about the use of data in this way. No, we’re talking about how data is shared across industries and between entities for exact purpose(s) unknown (and usually with little to no consent from the consumer of whose data we speak). As a real estate broker or agent, it’s imperative that you adhere to the privacy laws of the state or country in which you do business. As NAR addresses, while technologies grow and businesses collect consumer data, it’s imperative that this data is properly protected.

For emphasis, don’t think for a second that the question of data security is a US-only issue. Indeed, it’s a global one. The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) prepared and debated about this topic for four (yes, four!) years until they could come to a resolution. We might add, this resolution goes into effect in exactly 84 days at which time businesses who do not comply could face heavy fines.

So What Does This Have to Do With Propertybase?

We’re glad you asked. Propertybase serves clients in over 60 countries and we deal with a multitude of regulations (complying with all of them we might add). Our customers benefit from the data security and privacy policies set forth by Salesforce because we are built on the Force.com (now Lightning.com) platform. In no way does Propertybase own, save or redistribute the data being entered into its system and neither does Salesforce. The servers of Salesforce are hardened, monitored and safeguarded 24/7 by the most sophisticated tools on the market. Plus, we’re not part of a larger real estate entity, so the question of competitive edge never comes up. We’ll comply with state regulations, country regulations and those EU regulations mentioned above. But most importantly, we’ll comply with the regulations and expectations of our customers.

Tying This Back to Real Estate

Here’s the reality of things: no one knows for sure what the future holds for the real estate industry. Some say the traditional brokerage model is dead. Some are looking to the big brokerages for guidance. Others are putting their faith in the smaller boutiques and independent agents. Yet, the question of data security bridges all of these. Recent events in the industry, such as Gary Keller’s KW speech or the recent news about RE/MAX acquiring booj, puts the spotlight directly on real estate professionals to ask themselves who exactly has access to their data? Because if someone else has access to it, who knows what’s being done with it!

So, as we look in the mirror and see the bigger picture, let us step away from talking about features and CRM strategies for a moment. Let us admit that the topic of data security puts the onus on independent technology companies like Propertybase to reassure customers and potential customers that with the right partner, their data can be, will be, secure, safe and untouched.

View the original article at Propertybase