Q: I’m placing an advertisement in the newspaper; do I have to include my telephone number in the ad?
A: No, unless your brokerage office policy requires it. Rule 61J2-10.025, Florida Administrative Code (FAC), does not require that a telephone number appear in the advertisement.
Q: My name is John Johnson but everyone calls me Johnny. May I use Johnny in my advertising? How about my business cards and sign?
A: Business cards and signs are considered advertising. The recommended way to use a nickname in advertising is to include it in quotation marks after your first name or first initial. For example: John “Johnny” Johnson or J. “Johnny” Johnson. And any time you use your first name or nickname in any advertising, you must also use your last name as it is registered with the Florida Real Estate Commission.
Q: Must I display my brokerage company’s information on my website?
A: The advertising rules of Section 61J2-10.025(3)(a), Florida Administrative Code, require that Internet ads display the brokerage company’s licensed name above, below or adjacent to the brokerage or individual licensee’s point of contact information. The Code further defines point of contact information as mailing and/or physical addresses, email addresses, and telephone or fax numbers.
Q: I'm a broker, ordering business cards for my sales associates. What is required to be on licensees' business cards?
A: The business card is a form of advertising. Thus, the information on the business cards must comply with 61J2-10.025(1) and (2), Florida Administrative Code. The business card must include the licensed name of the brokerage firm, and if the licensee’s personal name is used, at the very least that person’s last name must appear as it is registered with the Florida Real Estate Commission. The card may not include any fraudulent, false, deceptive or misleading information, and it must make clear to reasonable persons that they are dealing with a real estate licensee.
Q: I recently opened my own brokerage. In an effort to attract new business, I’d like to place an advertisement offering buyers and sellers who use my services a $200 rebate. Is this legal?
A: Yes. The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) Rule 61J2-10.028(2) provides that a licensee may share brokerage compensation with a party to a transaction as long as full disclosure is given to all interested parties. Furthermore, since you’ll be advertising this rebate, you also need to comply with FREC Rule 61J2-10.025, which provides, in part, that real estate advertisements must not be false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading. The ad should clarify any conditions or limitations that apply.