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Real estate marketing and the Fair Housing Act

As a realtor, the last thing that you want to do end up being accused of discrimination.

Facebook allegedly enabled discriminatory practices by allowing realtors to exclude certain ethnic audiences from their target market when they sent out their ads. In the wake of that scandal, it seems wise to reiterate the best way to make sure that your real estate marketing efforts aren't in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Here are some good tips to follow:

1. Don't try to narrow your target audience down so much

Don't get carried away when you're creating those Facebook ad campaigns for your latest listings. Skip the targeted marketing if you're not sure what you're doing. That's better than targeting your audience based on gender, ethnicity or some other protected status.

2. Don't exclusively rely on Facebook campaigns

Social media marketing is all the rage, but you can't guarantee that any one social site -- including Facebook -- uses an algorithm that's fully inclusive of a broad selection of the population.

3. Be proactive in your anti-discrimination efforts

You're less likely to face accusations of discrimination if you work hard at giving Fair Housing your support. Use thoughtful, inclusive language and imagery in all your ad campaigns. Treat everyone the same, regardless of their differences.

4. Engage in continuing education courses

You and your staff can benefit from annual courses on Fair Housing requirements. Yearly reminders can help make certain that nobody is accidentally overlooking something that's important -- and it can help you stay abreast of important changes in the law.

Anybody who believes that they have been subject to discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act should make certain that they understand all of their legal rights in the situation.

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