With the changing market over the past few years, Brokers have become more and more creative with their marketing. The problem is that violations have arisen out of this “creative marketing”, which involves failure to disclose your true identity. In particular, please remember the following:
- You must always include your Brokerage Firm name in all advertising, including print, web-based and social media sites. If you are on a team, be particularly cautious in how you are representing your team to the public; it must be clear that your team is part of a bigger “team” – your Brokerage Firm. There are rules regarding team names as well; for example, naming my team “Charity Realty” gives the impression that my team is its own organization. Team names may not include words such as realty, company, inc., etc.
- Another trend is establishing side businesses, which is also a violation. For example: I’m a residential Broker at XYZ Real Estate. Business has been a little slow, so I start picking up some extra income by “helping” my friends and clients rent out their homes. This little side business (which is not allowed, you must share all of your activites with your Employing Broker) is going well, so I come up with a catchy name – “Charity Property Management”. The problem is, my license can only hang in one place, and that’s at XYZ Real Estate. I cannot establish a side business, as all company names must be registered with the Colorado Real Estate Commission.
- Lastly, you must advertise your name as you are registered with the Colorado Real Estate Commission. Again, since I am licensed as Charity Vermeer Cornelison, I cannot advertise my real estate business as “Charity Realty”, “Charity Property Management”, etc. unless I register those entities with the CREC. Until I have taken that step, I may only advertise my real estate services under Charity Vermeer Cornelison.
Bottom line – be who you are. Do not represent to the public in any of your advertising that you are something you’re not or that you’re more than you are.