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Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Creates Social Media Policy and Guidelines for Members

CHICAGO (October 22, 2009) — Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) has issued model social media policies and guidelines for its membership, believed to be the first of its kind in real estate. 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.

As social media continues to change, LeadingRE will continue to update the policies and guidelines, which are available exclusively for LeadingRE member brokerages.

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About Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (www.LeadingRE.com) is a global real estate network comprised of over 600 of the best-known local and regional real estate firms. With nearly 5,000 offices and 150,000 sales associates in the United States and 35 countries abroad, LeadingRE affiliates sell almost $300 billion in home sales, representing nearly one million transactions annually. The network has #1 market share in more of the top 88 U.S. markets than any national brand, representing a powerful force in American real estate.

161 N Clark Street, Ste 1250
Chicago, IL 60601
Contact: Robin LaSure
312.424.0436
rlasure@LeadingRE.com

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