The Importance of Data Protection for Your Real Estate Business
Your productivity and efficiency can grow as you implement more technology into your real estate business. But at the same time, data protection becomes more crucial than ever before.
We thoroughly believe that the benefits outweigh the risks of storing your information online. However, this is only true if you are maintaining effective privacy protections. Here’s why data protection is so important.
Why Data Protection Is Key
From social security numbers to company EINs to tenant financial information, your real estate business handles a lot of sensitive data on a regular basis. The tenants, investors, and clients you work with rely on you to maintain effective privacy protections. If your company fails to protect this sensitive information, people will have difficulty trusting your business, even if you’re highly skilled at what you do.
Protecting Your Data in Transactions
We recently held a LinkedIn Live event with Matt Kilmartin, VP of Sales at CertifID, and talked about wire fraud in real estate transactions. Protecting your data is necessary at every step in your process from the initial purchase through management to selling. According to the 2020 FBI Internet Crime Report, there were $1.8 billion in losses as a result of compromised email. And, title and escrow companies also report that 1 in 3 transactions are targeted with some kind of fraud attempt. While recovery is possible, prevention is the better alternative.
Storing and Retaining Information Properly
Whether you store your information in file cabinets, on a hard drive, or in the cloud, the need for proper storage and organization is of utmost importance. You want to be able to find the right information at a moment’s notice. However, you also want to ensure that it won’t get deleted by accident, accessed by the wrong person, or hacked. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every business. Take the time to find a highly-secure, trustworthy storage solution that works for your business’s needs.
Mitigating Data Risks
Personally-identifiable data is always at risk of being misused. It’s essential to consider the worst-case scenario so that you can protect your client and tenant data from any threats that may arise. You should have policies and practices surrounding the data you keep, including:
- Who is allowed to access data and for what reason
- Where you store the sensitive data and how it is encrypted
- What you’ll do if a data breach or other issue occurs
- How long you’ll store the data for (for example, will you delete data once a tenant’s lease is up or an investor is no longer working with you?)
Remaining Compliant with State and Federal Regulations
State and federal laws govern what businesses are allowed to do with data. Make sure you’re staying up to date with legislation. There could be laws governing data storage and retention depending on your area. There are also likely laws mandating privacy statements on certain documents, such as lease and sales agreements. These statements will inform the people you work with on how their data is generated, stored, and used.
What’s Your Data Protection Plan?
At STRATAFOLIO, we’ve made it a priority to protect your data to the best of our ability. Through our partnership with Intuit, we are required to complete an annual compliance review. As part of that review, we must pass all technical, security, and marketing requirements.
It’s still crucial that you have a complete system to protect your data correctly. It’s not enough to use a secure software system — you need company policies and procedures in place. Failing to do so can have enormous consequences for your business and for the people who trust you to keep their private information safe and secure.
If you want to learn how STRATAFOLIO can help you keep your data accessible and safe, get in touch today.