Q: Does a real estate broker have to include his telephone number in a newspaper ad?
A: No. Rule 61J2-10.025, Florida Administrative Code (FAC), does not require that a telephone number appear in the advertisement.
Q: A broker’s name is John Johnson but everyone calls him Johnny. May he use Johnny in his advertising, business cards and signage?
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 the first name or first initial. For example: John “Johnny” Johnson or J. “Johnny” Johnson. And any time a person uses his first name or nickname in any advertising, he must also use his last name as it is registered with the Florida Real Estate Commission.
Q: A broker is ordering business cards for her 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: A sales associate wants to personally deliver fliers to homeowners’ mailboxes. Is this permitted?
A: No. Postal regulations state that "no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle."
Q: What size must the letters be on an office sign?
A: There is no requirement that the letters be any particular size. Florida Administrative Code Rule 61J2-10.024 included letter size requirements, but the rule was repealed several years ago.
Q: A broker who specializes in the sale of gas stations wants to call gas stations in his area to see if the owners are interested in selling. Do the Do-Not-Call rules apply to businesses?
A: No. The Do-Not-Call rules do not apply to business-to-business calls.
Q: In an effort to attract new business, a new broker wants to place an advertisement offering buyers and sellers who use her 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.
Q: A lady’s license is under her full legal name, Jane Doe-Smith. However, she’s most commonly known as Jane Doe within the real estate community, and only recently she hyphenated her name legally and changed it on her real estate license. May she continue to use the name Jane Doe in her advertisement?
A: No. Rule 61J2-10.025(2), Florida Administrative Code (FAC), provides that when a licensee use her personal name in an advertisement, at the very least, the last name must be used in the manner in which it is registered with the Florida Real Estate Commission.
Q: A broker having small signs printed to direct prospects to her listings. The brokerage’s name is too long to fit on the signs, and larger signs cost a lot more. May she shorten the brokerage’s name to fit?
A: No. Rule 61J2-10.025(1), Florida Administrative Code, “all real estate advertisements must include the licensed name of the brokerage firm.” Abbreviations aren’t allowed.
Q: An agent is planning to send a mass mailing to all the homes in the subdivision she farms. Is there a legal requirement that says she must include a disclaimer informing recipients who have already listed their property to ignore the advertisement?
A: No. There is no legal requirement to include any such disclaimer in the advertisement.
Q: An agent placing an advertisement for one of her listings in the local newspaper. The cost is based on the number of lines the advertisement occupies. She is including her first name in the advertisement but would like to omit her last name because it’s very long. May she omit her last name in the advertisement?
A: No. Rule 61J2-10.025(2), Florida Administrative Code, provides: “When the licensee’s personal name appears in the advertisement, at the very least the licensee’s last name must be used in the manner in which it is registered with the [Florida Real Estate] Commission.”