As a Realtor, half of your day is probably consumed with tasks related to your service, such as showing homes, writing offers, checking on the progress of escrows, and making sure the For Sale sign has gone up in the front yard.
However, the other half of any Realtor’s day is most likely taken up with marketing. Like no other profession I can think of, real estate sales professionals spend the lion’s share of their time, energy, and budget on growing their personal brand and acquiring their own new clients.
The competition to work with new home buyers or sellers is also fierce in most markets across the country, as each Realtor is competing with hundreds – or even thousands – of their peers at any given time. Therefore, marketing never sleeps, and getting creative with your advertising to stand out from the pack is paramount.
We’ve seen it all, as Realtors try some whacky, wild, and sometimes genius ads to get attention and earn at-bats with prospects. However, sometimes it can go too far.
In fact, there are some very strict rules, guidelines, and even laws that dictate what real estate professionals CAN and CAN’T do when it comes to their advertising. The rules also change periodically, as there were new updates to the California rules for Realtor advertising effective January 1, 2018.
Today, we’ll bring you a quick guide to cover just that.
Per the California Association of Realtors:
Beginning January 1, 2018, all first point of contact solicitation materials must include:
• The name and number of the licensee. This is for both sales-agents and broker-associates.
• The responsible broker’s “identity.” This means the name under which the broker is currently licensed by CalBRE and conducts business in general or is a substantial division of the real estate firm. The broker’s license number is optional.
• The status of the agent such as “REALTOR®” or “agent” (unless the name of the company makes clear that the advertisement is by a licensee)
What types of advertising does this apply to?
Everything. That includes:
• Business cards
• Advertising flyers
• Advertisements on television, in print, or electronic media
• “For sale,” “open house,” lease, rent or directional signs when any licensee identification information is included
• Any other material designed to solicit the creation of a professional relationship between the licensee and a consumer
Are there any exceptions? There is a limited exception.