Advertising Guidelines: Online Classified Ads
| December 08, 2014
Low- or no-cost online classifieds, such as Kijiji and Craigslist, have risen to popularity over the past few years. Consumers flock to these sites for purchases both small and large.
Real estate professionals use online advertising, such as Kijiji or Craigslist, to market their listings. It’s an inexpensive way to generate exposure to a wide audience.
It’s important to remember that no matter what form advertising takes, industry professionals must meet the requirements set out in the legislation. The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) has Advertising Guidelines, which provide some practical interpretation to the legislation around advertising.
RECA has recently received information about a number of Kijiji ads that do not meet the standards. Take the time to review your current advertisements on online classified sites to ensure you’re disclosing that you’re a licensed associate and the brokerage you are registered with. Not making the proper representations in advertising can lead to a professional conduct review, and that can result in sanctions.
When advertising a property on an online classified site on behalf of an owner, it’s important to indicate to potential buyers that the seller is represented. This can be done by selecting “Real Estate Agent” in the “For-Sale-By” field. It is misleading for a real estate associate to enter “Owner” if they are representing the seller, and providing their own name and contact information for interested parties.
You need to include the name you are licensed to trade in and the brokerage with which you are registered. This ensures potential buyers know who they are dealing with when they’re inquiring about the property. It is not enough to indicate a property is for sale by a real estate associate and then not include your name and brokerage.
Brokers, remember that you are responsible for reviewing all brokerage advertising to ensure compliance with the legislation—that includes advertising that associates are doing on online classified sites. Remind your associates of the need for transparent and accurate representations in their advertising.