Whenever You Advertise, the Rules Stay the Same
| December 05, 2011
You’ve read the Real Estate Council of Alberta’s (RECA) Advertising Guidelines and the series of Information Bulletins on Advertising, and it’s been ingrained into you that your website needs to include a clear indication of the brokerage with which you’re registered. Honestly, why would you want a website that doesn’t show where you work?
But just as the use of social media has grown exponentially within Alberta’s real estate industry, so too, has the proliferation of third-party websites for advertising real estate services or specific properties for sale. The REALTOR.ca (Multiple Listing Service) website is no longer the only game in town. Kijiji, Craigslist, Zoocasa, to name just a few, all allow Alberta real estate industry professionals to buy ads – or in some cases, to place listing advertisements for free.
What about these sites? Do the same advertising guidelines apply? In short, they do. Any ad you wish to run on one of these third-party websites must include your name AND a clear indication of the brokerage with which you are registered. You want to help your clients sell their house as quickly as possible for what it’s worth and you’re going to do everything in your power, legally, to make that happen. Do as much marketing as you can and put the listing on as many websites as you can, but make sure you follow the advertising rules when doing so.
Again, these advertising rules are in place in the name of consumer protection. RECA has had listings on these sites brought to its attention that don’t include any mention of a brokerage name and that makes it difficult for a member of the public to determine if the listing has been posted by a licensed industry professional or if it’s a for sale by owner.
Abiding by the advertising rules on these third-party sites isn’t about whether or not you will get “caught” by RECA or ratted on by another industry professional; but rather, it’s about being a professional at all times for the reputation of the industry as a whole and for consumer protection and transparency.
Have you advertised your listings on a third-party website? How well has it—or hasn’t it—worked for you?