Using Phone Numbers in Maryland Real Estate Advertisements
The Maryland Real Estate Commission requires associate brokers and salespersons who use an individual telephone number or e-mail address in their advertising to also include in the advertisement the identified telephone number of the broker or branch office manager. Consumers must be able to reach your broker or branch office manager directly without going through you or your staff. (Phone menu options are acceptable.)
The Commission is concerned that members of the public may be unaware of how to register any questions or concerns that may arise in their dealings with a particular associate broker or salesperson. The Commissioners believe that many issues can be resolved with the assistance of the broker or branch office manager, and that this requirement will make it easier for that assistance to be obtained.
Effective October 1, 2004, an associate real estate broker or real estate salesperson may not use an individual telephone number or e-mail address in an advertisement unless the identified telephone number of the broker or branch office manager also appears in the advertisement. As a general rule, you would include the branch office number in a multiple office real estate brokerage company and only 3 include the broker’s telephone number in a single office operation. The general office number is permitted so long as the telephone number is for the office location identified on the license of the real estate licensee and the consumer is given the opportunity to reach the broker or branch office manager either through a voicemail option or the receptionist. Similarly, the telephone number may also be a number which rings directly to the licensee’s desk at the office identified on the license, provided the consumer is given the option to reach the broker or branch office manager, either through a voicemail option or receptionist. The telephone number may not be a number that rings on a licensee’s home or cellular phone, even if the number gives the consumer the option to be transferred to the office. As to what constitutes “identified” telephone number, the Maryland Real EstateCommissionwill accept any identification which makes clear the number is the office number including the number with (0) to identify the office or (BOM) to identify the branch office manager number.
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