We’ve received four different complaints this week because there was no firm name (or hardly visible firm name) on advertising (2 lawn signs, 2 facebook business pages) where only the agent’s name and a team name or marketing tagline was included. Does a Realtor’s facebook business page have to include the firm name? Does the lawn sign or pamphlet? YES! Both license law and the Code of Ethics is VERY clear on this… you MUST include your firm name in a readily apparent manner, in all mediums (in print, signs, website, social media).
This issue must be happening statewide, because on June 19, 2019, the Board of Licensee issued a Q&A on Advertising. Here is what it says: Another frequent question that arises relates to the phrase “real estate broker” in the regulation. 254 CMR 3.09 provides that, “All advertisements shall include the name of the real estate broker.” In this context, can the regulation be satisfied by including the name of the real estate brokerage or the broker of record for that brokerage. If there is a corporate entity then that entity, or its properly and municipally filed d/b/a must be included somewhere conspicuously in that advertisement. If it is sole proprietorship then the actual Broker’s name (or d/b/a) must be also be conspicuously placed in the advertisement. Our Code of Ethics Standard of Practice 12-5: “REALTORS® shall not advertise nor permit any person employed by or affiliated with them to advertise real estate services or listed property in any medium (e.g., electronically, print, radio, television, etc.) without disclosing the name of that REALTOR®’s firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner.”
Quite frankly, MA license law Law: (254:CMR 3:00:9(b)) says that “Salespeople are prohibited from advertising the purchase, sale, rental or exchange of any real property under their own name.” Meaning, not only do you have to include your brokerage/broker name, but they have to be aware of and approving of the advertising you are doing ON THEIR BEHALF.