Licensee Marketing and the Do Not Call List
| February 09, 2021
With people limiting their activities due to pandemic restrictions, they are on the road less often and make fewer stops. Traditional forms of real estate and mortgage advertising, such as billboards and bus bench ads, aren’t getting the exposure they used to. To counter this decrease in publicity, many brokerages have begun including telemarketing in their marketing efforts.
Under the Real Estate Act Rules, licensees must practice in accordance with the Real Estate Act, Regulations, Rules, Bylaws, and any other applicable legislation [s. 41(g)]. In the case of telemarketing, in addition to ensuring their marketing content meets the standards set out by RECA’s advertising guidelines, licensees must ensure their personal, team, and brokerage advertising adheres to the Telecommunications Act, Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, and the National Do Not Call List (DNCL).
Under the Telecommunications Act, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) is responsible for enforcing the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules and National DNCL.
The CRTC recognizes two types of telemarketers—regular telemarketers and exempt telemarketers. Regular telemarketers make calls in order to sell or promote a product or service. Real estate and mortgage brokerage companies are considered regular telemarketers and, as such, must comply with the Telemarketing Rules at all times.
The CRTC takes all complaints seriously. As of November 10, 2020, the CRTC has received 1,055 complaints from Canadians receiving telemarketing calls promoting mortgage broker and real estate services. As a result of these complaints, the CRTC has issued 44 citations, 258 warning letters to correct actions, and 23 administrative monetary penalties totalling $103,300 to agents and brokerages.
If you or your brokerage hire a service to complete telemarketing for you, you are still ultimately responsible for ensuring the Rules are followed on your behalf. The CRTC can hold individuals responsible for violations committed by third-party agents.
Licensees engaging in telemarketing themselves or through a third-party must:
- register and subscribe to the National DNCL
- ensure you understand your responsibilities as a marketer (non-compliance can result in significant penalties)
- maintain records, including your own do not call list
- ensure that every call made or fax sent to consumers follows CRTC’s Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.
Visit the CRTC website to understand telemarketing rules for compliance.