Real Estate Advertising Rules to Know
Advertising - it’s a must in the world of real estate. What you may not realize, though, is that real estate advertising rules are fairly strict, and for good reason. The National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics document spells out some pretty strict real estate agent rules and advertising guidelines to help protect clients from housing discrimination and other problematic issues. In fact, most states have real estate advertising laws in place to protect people. How can you stay within the real estate advertising guidelines of your area? It’s actually fairly simple!
5 Key Real Estate Advertising Rules
- Make certain that you never use a targeted marketing strategy that is meant to exclude a specific class. There are several protected classes in the federal Fair Housing Act as well as in state and local laws. You are liable for all of those, so build campaigns that are fairly targeted!
- Be sure to list as much information as possible in your advertising. The National Association of Realtors requires realtors to list their name, the name of the brokerage with which they’re affiliated, the city and the state in which they’re located, and the regulatory jurisdiction in which they hold a brokerage or other license.
- Be as ethical as possible. Unethical ads may mislead people, and that could mean heavy fines or even the loss of your realtor credentials. More than that, though, it could lead to a lawsuit. Don’t use confusing words or anything that may make people think one idea is true when it’s really not. For example, you can’t use the term “free” if you are receiving compensation from any source.
- Any time you advertise, you have to use a true picture to avoid deceiving people. Don’t alter pictures, try to unethically drive traffic to your site, or borrow content from other sites. If it’s misleading, don’t do it.
- Maybe most important is the fact that you can only advertise a listing that comes from a listing agent who has a written agreement with the property of the seller. There are exceptions for IDX rules, but be careful! Those rules do not apply to all advertising media.
Understanding Real Estate Signage Rules
Real estate signage rules are one of the most frustrating pieces for realtors. The key is to stay within the regulations required by the city or the homeowners' association and to prevent any injuries or damage. What kinds of regulations might you be facing? In San Diego, it’s required that you buy a sign permit. In Missouri, you must disclose your status as a licensed broker or agent on the sign itself. Some places limit the size of a sign. Know the guidelines before you ever begin printing signs.
Beyond knowing and understanding the guidelines, install carefully. The last thing you want to do is have one of your signs actually injure someone. Make certain your signage is carefully fixed on the ground, a fence, or a wall. Ensure that they’re strong enough to deal with the wind. If you’re using temporary signs for an open-house, don’t block a walkway or make them tough to see where someone could trip over them.
Real estate advertising is essential to your business, but doing it well is just as important. Check the guidelines from both the National Association of Realtors and your municipality to learn more about how to promote truth with your ads.
Homes & Land is a great resource for real estate advertising. Explore your advertising options with Homes & Land now.