How Am I Not Myself: Using Your Licensed Name
| November 10, 2011
When you go into the store to buy a new television or a new couch, you don’t expect the salespeople to keep your best interests at heart. There’s a good chance you don’t have a prior relationship with the salesperson and there’s a good chance you won’t have an ongoing relationship with them after your purchase is completed. You don’t enter into a written relationship agreement with them, and if you never actually know their name, it’s not a big deal.
Real estate and mortgage, however, are different from those every day, run-of-the-mill purchases. Partly because of the sheer amount of money that is typically involved in the transaction, and even more so because consumers turn to real estate and mortgage industry professionals for professional assistance and in many cases, professional representation. It is because of that professional representation and assistance that it is extremely important Alberta real estate industry professionals ensure they are who they say they are.
But you may ask, “How Am I Not Myself?”
Well, for example, if your name is Joseph Thompson, and in all of your advertising you use “Chip” Thompson because that’s what people have called you since you were a teenager, and that’s the only name your clients know you by, and yet you sign your service agreements with “Joseph Thompson,” because that’s the name on your licence, you are not complying with the rules as all advertising must be done in the name on your licence. If a member of the public saw one of your advertisements and wanted to search your licensing status on the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) website using “Chip Thompson” as the search term, they wouldn’t be able to find you or information for the brokerage with which you are registered.
With renewals behind us, now is as good a time as any to remind industry professionals that they must only be trading in real estate and dealing in mortgages in the name that appears on the authorization issued by the RECA.
Make sure you’re using the name on your licence. To do so, conduct a search for yourself using the “Search for an Industry Member” button on the RECA website. If you are trading in real estate and dealing in mortgages services using a name or “also known as” name that does not appear when you use that search function, you are not complying with the rules. Remember, short forms of your legal name are acceptable, but you must first notify RECA in writing of your desire to use a shortened version of your name. For more information about using your licensed name while advertising, review RECA Information Bulletin: Advertising – Licensed Name.