Texas Advertising rules and regulations on social media and websites
There are many laws, rules and regulations about real estate advertising both at state level and national level (NAR). These rules and regulations apply to, all publications, radio or television broadcasts, all electronic media including email,text messages, social networking websites, and the Internet, business
stationery, business cards, signs and billboards.
Some of these rules and regulations cannot be met as written in some of social media websites, for example in facebook and Tweeter, due to limitation on number of characters allowed, font sizes and other functionalities. The question is that how we advertise in those social media and meet the advertisement requirements.
First, let’s define what an advertisement is:
Question: What is considered an advertisement?
Answer: Under Rule 535.154(a), an advertisement is defined as a “written or oral statement or communication which induces or attempts to induce” a person to use the services of a real estate licensee. It includes, but is not limited to, all publications, radio or television, all electronic media including emails, texts, web sites, blogs and tweets, business cards, letterhead, signs, and billboards. Once a person has agreed to use the services of a licensee, subsequent communication from the licensee is not considered an advertisement.
Requirement (1): From TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission)
Real estate advertisement must include a designation to clearly identify the licensee, including the name of your broker (in a clear and conspicuous manner), and avoiding deceptive or misleading advertising.
Question (1): How do I meet this requirement in facebook or tweeter? Specially, where I am limited to 140 characters in Tweeter
Answer (1): From §535.154(k):
If the required information would consume more than 10% of the available character limit, you may include a direct hyperlink containing the words “TREC DISCLOSURE” that links to the required information.
Note: Where it is not possible to create a link on the words “TREC DISCLOSURE” (such as on Tweeter), you may include the words “TREC DISCLOSURE” followed by a link to the required information.
Question (2): Am I meeting the requirement, if I put the name of my broker only on the first page of my website?
Answer (2): From §535.154(J): NO.
(j) A real estate licensee placing an advertisement on the Internet, electronic bulletin board or the like must include on each page on which the licensee's advertisement appears any information required by this section and §1101.652(b)(23) of the Act. For purposes of this subsection, "page" means each html document of a website, which may include several screens of information that are viewed by scrolling down to the end of the document.