How do the changes affect my website?
The Real Estate Council Alberta (RECA) has made some recent updates to their advertising guidelines. The Council has made some important clarifications regarding the placements of brokerage name on advertisements to ensure that consumers will not be misled. These changes will take effect on October 1, 2019.
The guideline changes are as follows:
- “clearly indicated” means: the brokerage name must be similar in size or larger than other identifiers, and immediately adjacent to other identifiers in advertising.
- RECA has an existing requirement that industry must “trade in real estate/deal in mortgages only in the name that appears on that individual’s license”. As it relates to “team” advertising, Council expanded this requirement to include “the name of at least one licensed team member, as it appears on the individual’s license, must appear in any team advertising.”
- Council has prohibited specific words and terms that may suggest to consumers, or create the impression, the team is a brokerage.
- The prohibited terms include: Agency, Associates, Brokerage, Brokers, Company, Corporation, Corp., Inc., Ltd., LLC, LLP, Mortgage,* Properties, Property, Realty,* Mortgages,* Real Estate*
- *Exceptions: “Mortgages,” “Mortgage,” “Real Estate,” and “Realty” may be used in team names only when followed immediately by one of two terms; either “team” or “group.”
While these clarifications will take effect on October 1, 2019, RECA will give industry professionals and teams six additional months (until March 31, 2020) during which they may advertise with “formerly known as.” After this, RECA will take a zero-tolerance approach.
Here are some examples of how the updated guidelines will affect website presentations:
RECA made the changes stating that these are about consumer protection since misleading advertising is a serious issue in the industry in Alberta.
Ubertor, in partnership with CREB, has already initiated a compliance check on websites hosted by the company, and are working on updating those that need some changes.
If you think your Ubertor website needs some updates based on the Advertising Guidelines, please let us know via Live Help or contact us at email@example.com, and we’ll be happy to assist.