TREC Internet Advertising Guidelines

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The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) requires that all real estate advertising over the Internet, including web pages, email, bulletin boards, and other electronic publications, display the same type of information as required in print or broadcast advertisements. For the complete text of these rules, click here.

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Definition of Advertising

According to TREC rules, an “advertisement” is a written or oral statement which induces or attempts to induce a member of the public to use the services of the licensee. Communication from a licensee to a member of the public that takes place after an agreement has been reached for the licensee to provide services is not considered advertising.

Websites

Licensees must disclose their status as brokers or agents on each page of a website that contains a real estate ad. To ensure compliance, REALTORS® may want to place a footer at the bottom of each webpage that contains the disclosure statement. For example, “Texas Realty is a licensed real estate broker providing brokerage services in Texas since 1975.” One could also provide a link back to the TREC website to show that the firm is regulated by TREC.

Email Messages

Real estate licensees who place other types of advertisements electronically, including e-mail (whether through e-mail discussion groups or in attachments to e-mail messages), must also include the disclosure of license status and name of sponsoring broker, if applicable, within the electronic advertisement and in any attachment that is also an advertisement. E-mail messages that are not considered to be advertisements, such as personal correspondence with established clients, are not subject to the rules.

Social Media

Before you post or tweet, remember that an advertisement is any written or oral statement or communication which induces or attempts to induce a member of the public to use the services of the real estate licensee. Therefore, if you are advertising your services using social media, you must still comply with the advertising rules and regulations, such as including 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.

 

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