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How the property industry will be affected after GDPR

5 ways in which the new data protection regulation (GDPR) will affect the property industry and your business.

Unless you have been in hiding, you will know that there is a new data protection regulation coming into place from 25 May 2018 and that it will affect how you do business. But are you confident in how it will affect how you do business?

The changes are coming into play to ensure individuals are able to keep their personal data safe, which is a great thing, it will however mean that you need to think about how you target home buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords and, how you track the data you receive.

  Even if you have done your research, it isn’t easy to find out exactly how you have to comply. Here are 5 changes that will affect how the property industry does business post GDPR; we would be very impressed if you knew about all of them already.

1.   You will need confirmation from each existing home buyer or landlord etc. that they are happy for you to communicate with them, and how. It isn’t enough that they are already in contract, and they have to opt in not out.

This means you need to contact all of your past and present customers before 25 May to ensure that they want to continue hearing from and which medium(s) they are happy to receive information e.g. telephone, email or even text message.

2.   Prospect tenants, home buyers and sellers also need to have expressed their interest in hearing from you, be it in the way of a telephone call or an email.

Maybe you skimmed over that – how does your property company currently attract new business? If is it from online forms on your website, social media conversations or telephone calls you will need to ensure that you ask if it is ok to contact that person and how they are happy to be contacted.

Furthermore, you must state what you will be contacting them about and ensure that they have the option to opt in, or out, of each type of communication that you might use.

Can you be sure that a prospect won’t report you for contacting them without their prior permission? Can your property business afford the potential fine?

3.   Talking of fines if you do receive a complaint from contacting a prospect tenant, landlord, seller or homebuyer who didn’t agree for you to hold their personal data or personal data is leaked, then your business could be fined 2% of your annual turnover or a €10 million fine. For a second breach the highest fine could be 4% annual turnover or a €20 million fine, eek.

4.   You need to track how you populate data, including information such as where it was sourced, how permission to use it was granted, why you are collecting the data and how and when it is used.

Do you have a way of tracking and auditing your collected data?

We are guessing that you also use referrals from third parties such as online property search sites, mortgage advisers or solicitors? You will need to ensure that any leads you receive are qualified to ensure they have given specific agreement to be contact by you.

5.   It is near impossible to become GDPR compliant on your own, Instead you will need an additional certification such as Cyber Essentials or ISO 27001 to support your compliance. If you haven’t started one of these certifications already, there is still time but only if you start very soon.

How many did you already know? With 25 May just around the corner, I really hope you got 5/5. If you have been hoping GDPR would go away or was hoping to do it all yourself but have run out of time, give us a call to see how we can help.

Kirsty

Kirsty Newnum
01268 494100
kirsty.newnum@yellowspring.co.uk

About us: We (Yellowspring) are an IT Services business helping leading property businesses in Essex and London; so you can be sure we know the issues your business faces on a day-to-day basis and can share lots of useful and directly relevant guidance with you.

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