With more and more electronic communication being done in public — the “social” part of social media — you’ll find that you can never really remove your Realtor® hat. That means you need to be extra careful when you’re writing an e-mail, crafting a blog post, or replying to a tweet.
And I don’t just mean “always be professional.” I mean that there are disclosure rules from both the Virginia Real Estate Board and the Realtor® Code of Ethics that apply online whenever you engage in “advertising.”
And believe me, the definition of “advertising” is pretty broad.
But first, the basics. VREB regulations and the Code require that you disclose the following in any communication that could be construed as advertising:
- Your name
- Your firm name and where it’s located (either main office or office you work out of)
- What states or regions you’re licensed in
But that doesn’t mean you have to put all that information in every message.
The one-click-away rule: Those disclosures must be made either in the message itself or on a Web site that’s one click away from the message. (Twitter is an exception; more on that in a moment.)
As we’ll see, that makes meeting your disclosure requirements very simple.