Don’t throw decorum and etiquette out the window online when you go on vacation. Stay classy and focused — and better yet, stay offline. Here are some tips on how to stay visible while taking time off.

Troy Palmquist is an indie broker in California with more than a decade of experience. His regular column, which covers a range of helpful tips for agents and op-eds on industry happenings, publishes Thursdays on Inman.

The experience of posting on social media while you’re on vacation is like a giving a dog a bone. First, the dog loves it, it’s satisfying, and perhaps he/she gets lost in the moment. But after a while he/she either gets tired of it or does something irrational. With humans, that irrationality can come back to haunt you. 

And I don’t mean in the way your senior high school yearbook photo going public haunts you. I mean in a way that you run the risk of offending colleagues and losing clients. I’ve seen my fair share of respected colleagues go down the social media rabbit hole on vacation and it isn’t pretty. 

In our digital age, over-sharing is a slippery slope. One minute you’re sharing a snap of you and your wife atop a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea, the next minute your posting photos of yourself downing Ouzo from the bottle in Santorini.

This is not necessarily a good look if you’re trying to keep a professional image to buy and sell what is often a client’s greatest financial asset. If you can’t be trusted to keep it together in public or online while on vacation, how can a client trust you to handle millions-of-dollars-worth of inventory or list their home for sale on the world stage in an ethical professional manner? 

For those who need a refresh, here are the top social media do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while on vacation:

Don’ts:

No drinking pics!

This should go without saying. I am not telling you not to have a drink or five, I am simply saying keep it off your social platforms. You are not in college anymore and if you are, you should know better.

No religion or politics!

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can say and do anything you want with no repercussion. Real estate agent and social media guru Claudine Ellis once said, “Social doesn’t mean personal. You are a business.” And she’s right. In real estate you are the brand, you are you are the business.

An Inman post outlining Ellis’s social media tips reinforces the concept saying, “The idea is to give the illusion of personal interaction while being mindful of the image and brand you are conveying.”

Keep this in mind at all times if you want to be successful both on and off the web.

Don’t spend time posting to or reading social media accounts while you’re gone. 

If posting to social media is part of your daily business routine, create and queue up the posts in advance with a tool like Hootsuite, or have a virtual assistant or employee create and post them for you. Save those great photos you took to post when you return. Posting vacation shots saying “we’re have a great time here” could make your home a target for burglars.

Do’s:

Be real estate specific.

Some of you shudder at the thought of not posting during your epic vacay. I get it. If you are going to post, make it real estate related. Most of us in real estate probably want to see houses or architecture while on vacation anyway.

Even better, sometimes while on vacation an opportunity presents itself that is too good to pass up, such as networking with top agents in the city where you are traveling. It is absolutely true that you never know where your next referral could come from. Let’s just hope your travel partner, spouse, or significant other will understand and can spare a little time for you to take advantage of this moment. 

Stockpile future content.

A vacation is a great time to look at open houses or unique listings in the area. Snap a few photos, pocket a few marketing techniques, get inspired for your next open house.

This makes for a great conversation piece down the road and also serves as fantastic Instagram content for when you return home and start posting again.

Get creative to show off your personality.

So you can’t post pics at the bar or of ten of your friends partying, but it doesn’t mean you can’t show your followers that you know how to have a good time. Perhaps you are zip-lining through Costa Rica, hiking the Rocky Mountains, or sailing in Martha’s Vineyard.

People love getting a glimpse at other people’s lives and sharing fun activities of yourself while on an exotic vacation can make clients and followers feel that much more connected to you. 

Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker of The Address in Southern California. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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