Oftentimes on social media, as well as, other written communications, REALTORS® fail to identify themselves correctly. Article 12 of the Code of Ethics addresses proper identification in real estate communications. And, the REALTOR® trademark must be used in accordance with the established rules for its use.
REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. REALTORS® shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional. (Amended 1/08)
- 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 either in the advertisement or in electronic advertising via a link to a display with all required disclosures. (Adopted 11/86, Amended 1/16)
CABR receives complaints on a regular basis pertaining to social media posts where the licensee (or team) is promoting themselves and/or their real estate business without disclosing the fact that they are a real estate licensee, the name of the broker (firm) and/or using the REALTOR® trademark in a non-compliant manner.
When posting anything related to your real estate business/activity, you must ensure that the post complies with the Code of Ethics. Individual posts on a professional page can provide this disclosure on the page description. However, when posting on a personal page, each post must provide the disclosure. Note: License law also addresses such activity. Read the OR White Paper on Advertising and/or individual articles on the subject at www.ohiorealtors.org.
Another issue that is brought to the attention of CABR often is the misuse of the term “REALTOR®”. “REALTOR®” is a trademarked term that is owned by the National Association of REALTORS® and its use is regulated. Please read Who are You??? Part Two for information on proper use.