Practice Tip: Transferring Brokerages—Don’t Forget About your Advertising
| February 05, 2020
Industry professionals transfer brokerages for all sorts of reasons. When this change occurs, there can be a long list of details to sort out.
Beyond getting your service agreements or existing purchase contracts in order, you must remember to update your existing advertising.
All professionals who transfer brokerages are required to immediately change their advertising within three to five business days of the transfer.
It is important to remember that all advertising is brokerage advertising, and must be done in the brokerage’s name that you are registered with.
The moment you transfer from ABC Mortgages/Realty to ZYX Mortgages/Realty all your advertisements showing ABC Mortgages/Realty should immediately be amended to reflect the brokerage you are now registered with: ZYX Mortgages/Realty. Failing to do so would place your brokerage and yourself in breach of the Real Estate Act Rules.
Remember that this is a brokerage requirement. Your brokers, both new and old, are responsible for all brokerage advertising. Having an old bus bench remain with outdated information, puts both brokerages on the hook.
How to make sure all your advertising is changed on time
Keep detailed records. If you do a lot of different advertising you may not be keeping close tabs, particularly for online advertising. However, as you are actually advertising on behalf of the brokerage, your broker should have approved every ad. Keep a record of all your advertising, including the type of ad, date your broker approved it, where it was placed—including a copy of any contract, and when it expires. This will allow you to simply go down your list and update each in turn.
Remember the small stuff. Anything promoting your business and your brokerage’s business is an ad. Business cards, email signatures, online classified ads, notepads, and even your voicemail recording will likely have your brokerage on or in it. These will have to be changed, too.
Plan in advance. Though not always possible, try to keep your advertising in mind as you plan your move. Adjust advertising contracts, delay ordering stationary, and have your new advertising developed and ready to go when you transfer brokerages.
Take immediate action. RECA understands that some transfers may happen suddenly, and that changing a bus bench or digital marketing campaign may not happen with the snap of your fingers. As with all conduct reviews, RECA takes into account mitigating circumstances. However, you should take action immediately, once you transfer, making your best effort to adjust your advertising as soon as possible.
Get creative. RECA also understands that advertising contracts can extend for long periods, and getting out of them might cost you. Ask if you can update the ad before the contract expires or if you can extend the contract. You can also get creative. If your bus bench will remain for a month after your transfer, get some stickers made and place them over your old brokerage name. Got a big billboard? Ask the advertising agency to cover your old brokerage with new information.
Talk to your broker. Get out in front of it. Talk about advertising with your new broker. Review the brokerage policies and procedures manual. Talk to your old broker as well. It’s always a good practice to double check with them in case any old advertising remains. Either broker is free to contact RECA’s practice advisors for confidential advice should any issues arise.