Realtors-2018 Changes to Marketing and Advertising Disclosures
Revisions to two sections of the California RE Code effective January, 1 2018, tighten regulations governing the disclosure and reporting requirements for the Responsible Broker/Associate relationship. The first revision affects disclosures in advertising expanding the disclosure requirements for this relationship by broadening the scope of the regulation and by eliminating exclusions and loopholes. The second revision directly addresses brokers working as associates of other brokers by explicitly including this relationship in associate reporting requirements including a new form RE 215.
Changes to Marketing and Advertising Disclosures:
Advertisements in print or electronic media are no longer excluded from Responsible Broker disclosure requirements including classified ads. Exclusions are now limited to “for-“: sale, rent, lease, open house, and directional signs that either:
- Display the responsible broker’s identity, without reference to an associate broker or licensee. Or,
- Display no licensee identification information at all including phone numbers.
As a Licensee working under a Responsible Broker, you must display your responsible broker information on everything you put in print and online, or otherwise put on public display to induce a customer to contact you. You should display the Responsible Broker information with the same prominence as you display your own branding including names and CalBRE license numbers. This includes your independent website, blog, business cards, Facebook page, Twitter page, car magnets, posters, flyers, brochures; everything that can be viewed as an inducement to form a relationship. Do not include verbiage that indicates or could mislead a person into thinking that you are performing as an “independent entity” in the role of Broker.
As a Responsible Broker, you should implement a comprehensive advertising and marketing policy for the use of your logo and license number. You should also implement a standard procedure for monitoring and verifying associate compliance.
Implementation of Broker-Associate Affiliation Notification:
These relationships are now explicitly subject to the same reporting requirements for hire and termination events governing other non-broker associates.
Responsible Brokers with broker associates must acquire the new form “Broker-Associate Affiliation Notification” (RE 215) at http://www.dre.ca.gov/files/pdf/forms/re215.pdf . Brokers should report all existing previously unreported associate broker relationships as well as all new associate relationships and terminations commencing January 1, 2018.