Monday, January 6, 2014

Ringing in the New Year With Real Estate Brokerage Advertising Regulations

If you've been following our blog, you've known for months about the Real Estate Brokerage Advertising Regulations which became effective on January 2, 2014. Hopefully you have been preparing to ensure compliance, but if you haven't, here's one last reminder that you most likely need to overhaul the way you advertise.

The Department of State has overhauled the Advertising Regulations found in 22 NYCRR 175.25. If you've visited their page before, make sure you refresh your browser to see the updated January 2014 regulations. What used to be two paragraphs has exploded into twenty-eight paragraphs over two pages covering everything from for-sale signs to e-mail correspondences. Even the simplest things fall under the new regulations. For example, salespersons and brokers must display their full licensed names on their advertisements, no nicknames, and phone numbers must be clearly labeled based upon their type (cell, desk, home, etc). By defining advertising as "promotion and solicitation related to licensed real estate activity" the Department of State has thrown a broad net in order to capture as much activity as possible under the new regulations.

It is imperative that brokers become familiar with the new regulations so they understand what they need to change, and it is even more important that brokers conduct trainings with their agents who most likely are unknowingly violating the new regulations on a regular basis. Determining what information is required on each type of advertisement requires a careful reading of the regulations. Consult your trusted attorney for guidance so you can avoid potential penalties and continuing running your brokerage without a hiccup.