Important Advertising Points for Oregon Real Estate Licensees

(Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd) – Oregon’s definition of advertising by real estate licensees includes all forms of representation, promotion and solicitation disseminated in any manner and by any means for any purpose related to professional real estate activity, including advertising by mail; telephone, cellular telephone, and telephonic advertising; the Internet, E-mail, electronic bulletin board and other similar electronic systems; and business cards, signs, lawn signs, and billboards. Here are some important points to remember when advertising:

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  • The licensee cannot lead the public to believe they have a level of expertise greater than they have.
  • The licensee cannot claim or imply a license status other than the one they hold.
  • All advertising must be truthful and cannot be deceptive or designed to mislead.
  • The written permission of the property owner is required to advertise the owner’s property.
  • Advertising property must be identified as the advertising of a real estate licensee.
  • When the licensee’s name is used in advertising the licensed name or registered business name of the principal real estate broker or property manager must be prominently displayed, immediately noticeable and conspicuous.
  • The licensee must submit all proposed advertising to the principal broker for review and approval before publicly releasing the advertising.
  • The licensee is required to keep a record of principal broker approval of advertising and to make it available to the REA upon request. The burden of maintaining advertising records and proving compliance is with the licensee.
  • The licensee does not have to obtain principal broker prior approval to advertise a personal property for sale, if the property is not listed with the principal broker. Personal real estate advertised for sale must disclose that the property owner is a real estate licensee.
  • The principal broker is responsible for all advertising that arises from his/her brokerage. The principal broker must review and approve all advertising or delegate direct supervisory authority and responsibility for advertising originating in a branch office to the principal broker who manages that office.
  • Advertising includes electronic media or communication such as e-mail, Web pages, bulletin board, e-mail discussion groups, blogs Facebook, LinkedIn, Twittter, Craigslist, and any other social networking site. In addition, the first page of the electronic communication must contain the licensee’s licensed name, the principal broker’s licensed or registered name, and a statement that the licensee is a licensee in the State of Oregon. Sponsored links on a search engine are exempt from this rule because the search link is outside of the control of the licensee. As long as the first e-mail communication contains the necessary disclosure relating to license status and identification of the principal broker, subsequent email communications are exempt from this rule.
  • No advertising may guarantee future profits.
  • Team advertising is permitted as long as the “team name” used does not constitute an unlawful use of a trade name or is similar to another name under which another person is legally authorized to do business. The team or group must include at least one licensee and all licensee members of the team must be associated with the same principal broker.

NOTE: Sponsored links on a search engine are not considered advertising and are exempt from these rules because the search link is outside of the control of the licensee.

NOTE: Some real estate firms have entered into agreements with each other to interchangeably advertise properties. Many of these authorizations permit a broker to display or advertise the listings of other brokers over the Internet according to the rules of the member’s MLS system. This is commonly referred to as IDX or Internet Data Exchange. The licensee should check with their principal broker to make sure an agreement exists before advertising properties not listed by that licensee or licensee’s firm.

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Jeff Sorg

About the Author

Jeff Sorg is a co-founder of OnlineEd®, a Web-based vocational school founded in 1997 where he also serves as Corporate Secretary, Chief Operating Officer, and School Director. Sorg holds vocational instructor licenses in Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada and has authored numerous pre-licensing and continuing education courses. Sorg was awarded the International Distance Education Certification Center's CDEi Designation for distance education in 2008. OnlineEd® provides real estate, mortgage broker, insurance, and contractor pre-license, post-license, continuing education, career enhancement, and professional development and designation courses over the Internet.