The damage social media can inflict on the reputation of property managers is just the tip of the iceberg, with industry professionals slamming some Facebook forums as the most “inappropriate” and worrisome facet of these sites.
The comments followed a Residential Property Manager article highlighting social media as an important tool utilised in the recruitment process, with posts and pictures now playing a major part in PMs' reputations and job applications.
Metro Property Management director Leah Calnan said property management already struggles as an occupation because people struggle to see property managers as professionals.
“So when you are part of a Facebook group and you are making comments which aren’t justified or have no credibility around them, then you are just reducing your own profile within the industry – and all we have is our reputation,” she told Residential Property Manager.
“I don’t believe it is a generation thing; I know people on there who have been in the industry for 15-20 years who post the most absurd and inappropriate comments, and it just leaves a bad taste about them.
“It is a free-for-all and it is terrible,” she added.
Ms Calnan said there was one message she saw where a property manager posted a picture of inappropriate belongings left behind by a tenant.
“There is no monitoring of the forum if those sorts of things are going up,” she said.
“It needs to be shut down, and one that is being controlled needs to be created.
“I am all for the forums if it is teaching people the right things, but in the capacity that it is now, it is not on and it is not acceptable,” she added.
Also speaking to Residential Property Manager, Real+ director Fiona Blayney said she echoes everything Ms Calnan touched on.
“One of my concerns [with the groups] is people don’t actually know who they are asking,” she said
“It is all well and good to ask the group, but who is the group – who are these people?
“How do you know the question you are posing isn’t being answered by somebody who asked an inane question the day before, and you are getting your information from a really poor source?
“My concern is for business owners, whose teams are on these sites and are posing questions to the site, getting a response from people who don’t know and then going and implementing that change in the organisation,” she added.
Ms Blayney said it is not about wiping every page out there, but warns property managers need to be careful when using the forums.
“I can tell you now, if A Current Affair got a hold of [some of these forums] – Heaven help us,” she said.