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Advertising Compliance Made Easy (RE41R05)

Probably the most understood of all real estate laws across the country-advertising compliance. There are always ‘open interpretations’ of how far you can push it-just exactly how big does the company name have to be? Seriously? This course examines how the law/rules/code live together to implement advertising both as a company and individual agents. There are true examples on how to create the advertising that meets the requirements of all of the regs. See course outline

 

Course Outline

Various State Rules and Regulations will be the guiding factor on this. Let’s review the differences in the states…

Great definition of advertising compliments of Texas:

For the purposes of this section, an “advertisement” is a written or oral statement or communication by or on behalf of a licensee which induces or attempts to induce a member of the public to use the services of the licensee or service provider. The term “advertisement” includes, but is not limited to, all publications, radio or television broadcasts, all electronic media including email, text messages, social networking websites, and the Internet, business stationery, business cards, signs and billboards. The provisions of this section apply to all advertisements by or on behalf of all licensees unless the context of a particular provision indicates that it is intended to apply to a specific form of advertisement.

Code of Ethics

Article 12

REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. REALTORS® shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional. (Amended 1/08)

Standard of Practice 12-1

REALTORS® may use the term “free” and similar terms in their advertising and in other representations provided that all terms governing availability of the offered product or service are clearly disclosed at the same time. (Amended 1/97)

• Standard of Practice 12-2

REALTORS® may represent their services as “free” or without cost even if they expect to receive compensation from a source other than their client provided that the potential for the REALTOR® to obtain a benefit from a third party is clearly disclosed at the same time. (Amended 1/97)

• Standard of Practice 12-3

The offering of premiums, prizes, merchandise discounts or other inducements to list, sell, purchase, or lease is not, in itself, unethical even if receipt of the benefit is contingent on listing, selling, purchasing, or leasing through the REALTOR® making the offer. However, REALTORS® must exercise care and candor in any such advertising or other public or private representations so that any party interested in receiving or otherwise benefiting from the REALTOR®’s offer will have clear, thorough, advance understanding of all the terms and conditions of the offer. The offering of any inducements to do business is subject to the limitations and restrictions of state law and the ethical obligations established by any applicable Standard of Practice. (Amended 1/95)

• Standard of Practice 12-4

REALTORS® shall not offer for sale/lease or advertise property without authority. When acting as listing brokers or as subagents, REALTORS® shall not quote a price different from that agreed upon with the seller/landlord. (Amended 1/93)

• Standard of Practice 12-5

REALTORS® shall not advertise nor permit any person employed by or affiliated with them to advertise real estate services or listed property in any medium (e.g., electronically, print, radio, television, etc.) without disclosing the name of that REALTOR®’s firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. This Standard of Practice acknowledges that disclosing the name of the firm may not be practical in displays of limited information (e.g. “thumbnails”, text messages, “tweets”, etc.). Such displays are exempt from the disclosure requirement established in the Standard of Practice but only when linked to a display that includes all required disclosures. (Adopted 11/86, Amended 1/11

• Standard of Practice 12-6

REALTORS®, when advertising unlisted real property for sale/lease in which they have an ownership interest, shall disclose their status as both owners/landlords and as REALTORS® or real estate licensees. (Amended 1/93)

• Standard of Practice 12-7

Only REALTORS® who participated in the transaction as the listing broker or cooperating broker (selling broker) may claim to have “sold” the property. Prior to closing, a cooperating broker may post a “sold” sign only with the consent of the listing broker. (Amended 1/96)

• Standard of Practice 12-8

The obligation to present a true picture in representations to the public includes information presented, provided, or displayed on REALTORS®’ websites. REALTORS® shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that information on their websites is current. When it becomes apparent that information on a REALTOR®’s website is no longer current or accurate, REALTORS® shall promptly take corrective action. (Adopted 1/07)

• Standard of Practice 12-9

REALTOR® firm websites shall disclose the firm’s name and state(s) of licensure in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. Websites of REALTORS® and non-member licensees affiliated with a REALTOR® firm shall disclose the firm’s name and that REALTOR®’s or non-member licensee’s state(s) of licensure in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. (Adopted 1/07)

• Standard of Practice 12-10

REALTORS®’ obligation to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public includes the URLs and domain names they use, and prohibits REALTORS® from:

  1. engaging in deceptive or unauthorized framing of real estate brokerage websites;
  2. manipulating (e.g., presenting content developed by others) listing content in any way that produces a deceptive or misleading result; or
  3. deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/ methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic, or to otherwise mislead consumers. (Adopted 1/07

• Standard of Practice 12-11

REALTORS® intending to share or sell consumer information gathered via the Internet shall disclose that possibility in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. (Adopted 1/07)

• Standard of Practice 12-12

REALTORS® shall not:

  1. use URLs or domain names that present less than a true picture, or
  2. register URLs or domain names which, if used, would present less than a true picture. (Adopted 1/08)

• Standard of Practice 12-13

 

  • The obligation to present a true picture in advertising, marketing, and representations allows REALTORS® to use and display only professional designations, certifications, and other credentials to which they are legitimately entitled. (Adopted 1/08)

 

• Standard of Practice 1-9

The obligation of REALTORS® to preserve confidential information (as defined by state law) provided by their clients in the course of any agency relationship or non-agency relationship recognized by law continues after termination of agency relationships or any non-agency relationships recognized by law. REALTORS® shall not knowingly, during or following the termination of professional relationships with their clients:

  1. reveal confidential information of clients; or
  2. use confidential information of clients to the disadvantage of clients; or
  3. use confidential information of clients for the REALTOR®’s advantage or the advantage of third parties unless:
    • clients consent after full disclosure; or
    • REALTORS® are required by court order; or
    • it is the intention of a client to commit a crime and the information is necessary to prevent the crime; or
    • it is necessary to defend a REALTOR® or the REALTOR®’s employees or associates against an accusation of wrongful conduct.

Anti-Trust Compliance

Listing Syndication Advertising Guidelines

MLS Compliance Issues

NAR Copyright Infringement

Implementation and Compliance Checklist

  1. Email Signature
  2. Text Signature
  3. Website
  4. Linked-In
  5. Twitter
  6. Facebook
  7. MLS Rules./Regulations

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