The Tennessee Real Estate Commission is very likely changing the way real estate advertising works in our state, and while you already know the basics because you manage your own real estate business, here’s a quick run-down on what we’ll all need to expect.
The New TREC Advertising Guidelines for Tennessee Realtors®
Under TREC Rule 1260-2-.12, all advertising must clearly show the firm name and telephone number – and one of the side benefits of that is that you have Benchmark Realty’s brand power behind you every time someone sees your signage or any other advertising you run.
In anticipation of the upcoming TREC changes, the Benchmark Realty policy on Internet advertising includes the use of the same information over online mediums, including:
- Real Estate Websites
- Emails (including your email signature)
- Social Media Sites including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Online Bulletin Boards
- Other Electronic Publications
When it comes to your website, TREC’s policy also states that you need to include your name, state of licensure and your real estate license number; you also must include the firm name and number. In the past it was permissible to simply place this info in the footer of each page, but with the new rules, the company name must be “prominent” on each page of your website.
TREC Changes that Affect All Realtor Advertising
Proposed Rule 1260-02-.12(3)(b)(1) says that the firm name must be the most prominent name featured on any advertising that you do, whether it’s in print or via other mediums, including the Internet. Many of our Realtors have their own logos, and that’s a natural part of branding. However, under the proposed rule, the Benchmark name will need to be the most prominent.
Other changes that affect all Realtor advertising include:
- Featuring the firm's telephone number the same size or larger than other phone numbers listed on the advertising.
- Being cautious that your team name does not lead consumers to believe that you are offering real estate brokerage services independent of the firm and principal broker.
Remember that all advertising must be approved by the principal broker before you release it to the public in order to remain compliant with current and proposed TREC advertising guidelines. View TREC Advertising guidelines here and here.
Benchmark Realty’s Stance on Internet Marketing
When you advertise on the Internet, whether it’s through your personal website, your social media accounts or elsewhere, what you say reflects upon you and upon Benchmark Realty. In the interest of being forthcoming with all of our clients and being honest (not trying to “cheat” the system), it’s important that all your Internet advertising presents the public with a true picture of what they’ve come to find.
Your URLs and domain names cannot be deceptive, manipulative or misleading. That extends to the content on your site, metatags, keywords or other traffic-driven tools you use on your site.
The new rules aren’t extremely complex, but they may take some time to get used to – and that’s exactly why we wanted to put out the proposed changes before they take effect. If you’re not sure about something, ask! We will be launching special efforts to inform on these important changes in all of our company meetings to keep our agents well informed of all proposed changes. It’s just how we do things here at Benchmark – keeping our agents on the crest of important information. We’re always here to help our Realtors and ensure that you’re able to make the most of your real estate career.
Are You Part of the Benchmark Family Yet?
Let’s talk about your future with Benchmark. Call us at 615-371-1544 or get in touch with us online. We will set up a confidential meeting so you can find out whether switching to Benchmark Realty is the right move for you.