With more and more electronic communication being done in public — the “social” part of social media — you’ll find that you can never really remove your REALTOR® hat. That means you need to be extra careful when you’re writing an e-mail, crafting a blog post, or replying to a tweet.
And I don’t just mean “always be professional.” I mean that there are disclosure rules from both the New Mexico Real Estate Commission and the Realtor® Code of Ethics that apply online whenever you engage in “advertising.”
And believe me, the definition of “advertising” is pretty broad.
But first, the basics. NMREC regulations and the Code require that you disclose the following in any communication that could be construed as advertising:
But that doesn’t mean you have to put all that information in every message.
Thankfully, both the Code of Ethics and License Law allow for this information to be “one-click-away”. The one-click-away rule: Those disclosures must be made either in the message itself or on a Web site that’s one click away from the message.
As we’ll see, that makes meeting your disclosure requirements very simple.
This is the easiest one of all: Simply add a signature line to all your e-mails that includes the disclosure information.
Jane Doe REALTOR®, CRS, GRI
(575) 555-1234 office
If even that’s more than you’d like to stick on the end, just include a direct link to a web page that contains it. That meets the requirement of having your brokerage name and phone number included, and it takes advantage of one-click-away to keep the whole disclosure thing down to one line.
Facebook makes things a little more difficult because there’s no “About Me” section on your main page. Therefore, your disclosures will be more than one click away, as visitors will have to go to your “About” page.
That means you either enter all the required information in your post or you need to put your brokerage name and a link to your disclosure page on every Facebook post that could be considered advertising.
Being limited by characters in a tweet could make this requirement a tad difficult, but both the Code and License Law allow this provided that a direct link to the required disclosures are included in the post.
If you are part of a franchise company such as Century 21, Coldwell Banker, etc., you must display the full name of the brokerage, not just the franchise’s name.
Social media posts that contain a team name must also contain the complete brokerage name. It must not appear that the team is a brokerage.
Your Facebook Business page must clearly show your brokerage affiliation on all devices. The best way to assure compliance is to add the full brokerage name to the page name. For example, change “Jane Doe REALTOR®” to “Jane Doe REALTOR® at XYZ Realty.”
The Code and License Law applies to all REALTOR® no matter where they do business, such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
If using a service or virtual assistant to post, you are responsible for making sure the post is compliant.