Advertising - Brokerage Internet Policies
Purpose: To help real estate and mortgage brokers establish Internet advertising policies and ensure compliance.
This bulletin applies to all real estate and mortgage broker professionals.
The Real Estate Act Rules (Rules) and Advertising Guidelines apply to all forms of advertising by industry professionals. This includes Internet and social media advertisements, solicitations, and communications made by industry professionals who hold a licence with your brokerage. You must keep any advertising records for a minimum of 3 years or longer if brokerage or other policy dictates.
All advertising is on behalf of your brokerage. You must be aware of all Internet and social media advertising done by your industry professionals. Brokers must have advertising policies that include the Internet and social media. You must supervise all brokerage employees and industry professionals advertising to ensure that it complies with the Rules, privacy legislation, and brokerage policy. The brokerage must have robust processes in place to be consistent in monitoring brokerage Internet advertising. The brokerage should periodically review and update its Internet advertising policies as technical and legislative changes require.
RECA recommends the brokerage Internet advertising policy include:
- processes for licensees to obtain brokerage permission to create/use websites for their professional services
- standards for use of meta tags, links, and website names
- processes to ensure information is current and accurate
- disclosure of the jurisdiction that you hold a licence
- processes for licensees to notify the brokerage of website changes
- methods for brokerages to access/change licensee websites
- ways for licensees to give the brokerage with their website records
- processes for policy non-compliance, penalties, and complaints
- specifications for any brokerage branding or franchise requirements
- guidelines to define inappropriate advertisements or media
- timing and responsibility for periodic review/modification of the policy
- use of copyright materials
- Real Estate Act Rules – section 49(a)(b)