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Agent Tip of the Week!
NEW TREC ADVERTISING RULES – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) recently adopted updated advertising rules. The effective date of the new rules is May 15, 2018, and we want to make sure everyone is thoroughly prepared for the changes.
These new rules are the result of years of work by the Commission and key stakeholders focusing on clarity of advertisements for consumers with the least restrictions on license holders. The rules also interpret and balance revised statutory requirements supporting free commerce and business competition with those protecting the consumer from misleading advertisements.
Senate Bill 2212, passed during the 85th legislature, made changes to the regulations governing advertising for brokers and sales agents, eliminating an age-old law that the advertiser be identified as a broker or agent in all advertising. However, it clarifies that an advertisement is misleading if it fails to include the name of the broker or implies that a sales agent is responsible for the operation of a brokerage. The bill also restricted any TREC rule from requiring the use of the term broker, agent, a reference to the Texas Real Estate Commission, or a license number in advertisements. Keep in mind, license holders can still choose to use those terms in advertisements if they want.
License holders can still choose to use “Broker”, “Agent”, “Licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission” or other similar terms in advertisements if they want.
Chapter 1101.652(b)(23) clearly states that license holder’s advertising cannot be misleading, cannot imply that a sales agent is the responsible party, and must include the name of the broker.
Chapter 1101.156(b), continues to restrict the Commission from regulating certain forms of advertising, personal appearance or voice, or the use of a registered assumed business name. New language was added to this statute, to also restrict the Commission from requiring the use of the term “broker,” “agent,” or a similar designation or term, a reference to the commission, or the person’s license number in a license holder’s advertisement.
TREC’s Advertising Rules
The current rule was split into two rules to separate out name and registration of name requirements from advertising requirements (§535.154 and §535.155).
TREC Rule §535.154 Registration and Use of Names
This rule defines alternate name, associated broker, assumed business name and team name. Each type of name must be registered with TREC before the name can be used in an advertisement. This is a change from the existing rule. The most significant change concerns team names. A team name is not an assumed business name of the broker, and cannot contain terms that imply that the team is offering brokerage services independent of the broker. Team names must end with the terms “team” or “group”.
TREC Rule §535.155 Advertisements
All license holders’ advertisements must include the license holder’s name or team name. It also must include the broker’s name in at least half the size of the largest contact information for any sales agent, associated broker, or team name contained in the advertisement.
Understanding that advertisements take many different forms today, the Commission revised the exception for social media to allow more flexibility. An advertisement on social media will comply with the rule as long as the license holder has linked to the required information in the account profile or the information is readily accessible by a direct link in the advertisement.
An advertisement on social media will comply with the rule as long as the license holder has linked to the required information in the account profile or the information is readily accessible by a direct link in the advertisement.
Subsection (d) – 20 instances of advertisements that may mislead the public
This subsection lays our 20 ways a license holder may violate statutory advertisement requirements. Most of these were in the existing rule too. These examples are not the only ways a license holder’s advertisement can be misleading. Here are a few set out in the subsection:
- Using a title, such as “owner”, “president”, “CEO”, “COO”, or another similar title, email or website address that implies a sales agent is responsible for the operation of a brokerage.
- A team name with terms that imply the team is offering brokerage services independent from its sponsoring broker, including, but not limited to, “realty”, “brokerage”, “company”, and “associates”
- An ad that contains the name of a sales agent whose name is, in whole or in part, used in a broker’s name and that implies that the sales agent is responsible for the operation of the brokerage
- Including the value of a property, unless it is based on an appraisal that is disclosed and readily available upon request by a party or it is given in compliance with § 535.17 (required disclaimer for estimated worth or sales price)
Be sure to reference subsection (d) before placing an ad or ordering new signage to ensure your advertisements do not resemble any of the examples of misleading advertisement given in the rule.
TREC knows there has been a lot of concerns and misinformation about advertising requirements. These new rules simplify requirements and ensure consumers know whom they are working with. We want to make sure we help you get into and stay in compliance with these new rules.
Please review these new changes immediately. If you are not in compliance, you will need to start changing your DBAs, Team and Group Names (if necessary), websites, signs and all advertising etc. We know this may be a long and costly process for some of our agents, but at least TREC has given everyone 5 months to comply.
Learn more about the impending changes in this one-minute video.
Proposed New Forms and Changes for Texas REALTORS®
KWRI has made improvements to our online portal for downloading the Profit Share tax forms. Associates will now have access to 2017, 2016 and 2015 Profit Share tax forms online by January 31, 2018.
Profit Share recipients can update their KWRI tax form delivery preference online at mykw.kw.com. If you OPT IN to paperless status, you will NOT receive a paper copy in the mail. Please use the link below to update your preference (if desired) for your profit share tax form. Your updated selection will be effective until you change it.
Please note: KWRI does not generate or post Commission 1099s. Please see Jeri McGuire, MCA, for your commission forms in 2017.
Tammy’s Tech Tip!
Google 2-step verification is a very important feature to setup in order to keep your Google Account secure. (this includes your @kw.com email, etc.). If you recall, your @kw.com email is a Business Google email that is already encrypted for you. But this added security step will keep your account even more secure. It may seem inconvenient at first, but it really is worth it! After it is set up, you can select the option where the computer you use on a regular basis is considered “safe” and you will not have to add the 2nd verification. This 2-step verification gives you an added step of security. I love technology and what online activity allows for us to do! That said, we need to take precautions to be safe online. This is one added way to do it. I have used this for a couple of years and think it is a huge (free!) value from Google. FYI other online logins allow 2-step verification as well, I use it on Facebook also. Enjoy technology, but do it safely! To activate, go here to get started!
You can’t vote if you aren’t registered
What’s Going On In Your Market Center?
C O R E MENTORSHIP ORIENTATION
(Creating Outstanding Realtors For Excellence)
2/5/2018 at 3:30 PM
Creating Outstanding Realtors for Excellence – is a fast track program to provide agents with the foundation needed to launch their business, and get off to a fast, exciting start in real estate!
This 90 minute orientation class covers how, what, when and where details necessary to get your Real Estate business started with Dallas Metro North. You will be introduced to “Path to Success”. Path to Success is your first 100 days business guide.
Cinda Knight, Productivity Coach, facilitates this class and program. If you have questions about the CORE program, Cinda’s email is email@example.com.
If you want to build your profit share tree, this is also an excellent recruiting tool for you so come & check it out!
ALC Committee Meetings!
More Training Events This Week!
Monday, February 5th ~ 1:00-2:00 ~ Updesk 101 with Mitch Blankenship ~ Mitch Blankenship
Wednesday, February 7th ~ 12:00-1:00 ~ CORE Level 2 ~ Cinda Knight
Wednesday, February 7th ~ 1:00-2:00 ~ FSBO With Lori Lesnansky
Wednesday, February 7th ~ 1:30-3:00 ~ Core Level 1 ~ Cinda Knight
Thursday, February 8th ~ 9:00-12:00 ~ Tech and New Agent Orientation ~ Rosemary Croney and Tammy Bunk
*Join Rosemary and Tammy for tech tips and an overview of Policies & Procedures. Not just for new agents.
Thursday, February 8th ~ 2:00-3:00 ~ Top Ten Things To Revive An Aged Listing ~ Kris Wise
Friday, February 9th ~ 2:00-4:00 ~ Technology Genius Bar ~ Tammy Bunk
Save the Date!
March 7th-March 29th
REGISTER TODAY! BEGINS MARCH 19TH
Financial Peace University is a nine-lesson class that will teach you how to take control of your money!
March 19 Lesson 1 Super Saving
March 26 Lesson 2 Relating with Money
April 2 Lesson 3 Cash Flow Planning
April 9 Lesson 4 Dumping Debt
April 16 Lesson 5 Buyer Beware
April 23 Lesson 6 The Role of Insurance
April 30 Lesson 7 Retirement and College Planning
May 7 Lesson 8 Real Estate and Mortgages
May 14 Lesson 9 The Great Misunderstanding
Sign up here using this link https://www.fpucentral.com/classes/1058995/registration
Contact Andre Kocher with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lawyers Title still has Planners for 2018! Talk to Liesel to get yours!
Congratulations To Our Newest Capper!
Jenn De Haven