In ALL real estate advertising whether to the public or to fellow agents there are rules to be followed and clarity in wording to avoid misrepresentation.
It's really very simple..... We have NJREC rules and regulations, and we have our Code of Ethics Article 12.
NJREC Advertising Rule 11/5-6.4 states that in all advertising in All MEDIA the following must be adhered to:
- Company name must be predominately larger or in bolder print then the agent's name or the team's name.
- Main office phone number (must be legible size from a distance)
- If there is an agent's name in the ad, then the license status of the agent must be next to their name — ex: Mary Smith, Salesperson, or Mary Smith, Broker-Salesperson.
Our REALTOR® Code of Ethics — Article 12 states: "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 a real estate professional is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional."
- Team Advertising must follow the same rules as above. Teams are NOT Brokerage firms. Brokerage firm company name MUST be predominantly larger or in bolder print then the team's name. Cell phone number only is NOT CORRECT. Must have main office number and it must be legible size from a distance. Each team member name must be as stated on their license.
- Statistical Advertising such as "Number 1 Agent in (name of town or county) must be "quantified ' when was the agent number 1? This year? Ten years ago? The month of May 2016? Number 1 how? CLARITY PLEASE!! And remember, you will have to prove you are/were number 1 if challenged in an ethics complaint, and also remember that statistics can be pulled several ways. Wouldn't it be better to advertise that you are a "top producer" with 100 transactions in May instead of Number 1 agent? Which one resonates more with the public?
- General Mailing piece that lists 10 property addresses that sold in the past month should have a disclaimer, or each property should be identified by the selling office. Disclaimer should read: Not all properties shown were listed and sold by (name of company doing the ad). Do not use pictures of the properties that belong to another brokerage firm.
Rules and regulations and best business practices are not difficult to follow. They become difficult when they are not adhered to.