ATTENTION ALL Washington State Real Estate Brokers!!!! NWMLS Posts New Rules For Advertising
From time to time, the NWMLS makes changes to their rules, and it's very important to understand that if you violate the NWMLS rules, you could be issued a punitive fine!
Protect yourself with knowledge. Read the full guidelines HERE.
All printed materials (your flyers, your business cards, your post cards)
Your social media
Billboads, radio & TV commercials
All Promotional Events (including open houses)
This guide is 26 pages long, but some highlights some changes and additions to previous NWMLS rules.
You've never been able to falsely advertise yourself, but here's an example of what you cannot do. For example, if you won an award of "Top Listing Agent" you must be more specific and the information must be accurate. Were you the Top Listing Agent in 2013? If that is the case, you must identify that.
One suggestion to not falsely advertise yourself, is to consider the duration of the time which your advertising will be running.
Another change is advertising listings/sold homes that are not your own. You've always had to get permission in writing from the listing firm to advertise someone else's listing. But now, when you show that a home was recently sold, say on a postcard you mail out, you must identify the listing broker and the selling broker. You cannot give the impression that you were the person that sold the property, if you were not either the listing agent or the selling agent.
On that same thread, you cannot imply you have endorsement of a company if you do not have a signed agreement with that company. For example, you cannot be the Seattle Seahawk's #1 Real Estate Agent if you are not in a contract with the Seahawks.
The NWMLS rules also state that you must have the brokerage firm's name prominently displayed on the website.
So DO this (firm name is prominently displayed):
And DON'T do this (firm name is not prominently displayed):
There's definitely more to read here (click on picture below for full advertising guideline rules) - like information on metatags and back-linking websites. I urge you to read further! And if you have questions, contact me! Let's chat!
Kristin Bushnell is the Designated Broker of Bushnell Real Estate Solutions and Co-owner of Bushnell Craft Brewing Company in Redmond, WA.
If you are ever interested in chatting about real estate, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 425-559-1355. I'll buy you a beer, and we can chat about real estate until your heart is content.
If you are interested in talking about your real estate career click here.