The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) discussed a proposal to change advertising rules for real estate teams during their meeting on June 21, 2017.  It’s been a year since FREC held a workshop on team advertising that we covered in another blog post. Since that time, the most significant change is that FREC no longer intends to introduce legislation to have the team advertising become law. Rather, FREC intends to update Chapter 61J2 of the Florida Administrative Code, which is a far easier task than having a law passed in Tallahassee. 

FREC no longer intends to introduce legislation to have the team advertising become law. Rather, FREC intends to update Chapter 61J2 of the Florida Administrative Code, which is a far easier task than having a law passed in Tallahassee. 

A recap of the concerns surrounding team advertising, team entities, and more information on this topic can be found on last year’s blog article here

At the June 21st meeting, FREC provided a draft version of rule 61J2-10.026 which was discussed and revisions were suggested. The draft rule is simply stated but has dramatic implications for team advertising in Florida. Download the draft rule here. The proposed rule would set requirements on words that can and cannot be used in a team name. More importantly, the rule would prohibit a team name or logo from being more predominant than the broker’s name or logo. These are the highlights of the proposed rule: 

  • Team names and logos must include either the name “team” or “group” and shall not include words such as: Realtors, company, corporation, Corp, Inc, LLC, LP or LLP, or similar words. Verbal discussion of the commission seemed to have a consensus that the words “associates,” “real estate” and “realty” may also be prohibited from being used in team names. 
  • In all advertisement where the team name or logo is used, the team or group name shall not appear larger or more prominently than the brokerage name or logo. 
  • Brokers will have to approve of teams in writing and keep track of the teams and which agents are a member of the team. 
  • All signage must be replaced within 12 months of the effective date to comply with this rule. 
  • All print and digital media must be replaced within 12 months of the effective date to comply with this rule. 

The proposed rule would set requirements on words that can and cannot be used in a team name. More importantly, the rule would prohibit a team name or logo from being more predominant than the broker’s name or logo. 

FREC discussed many ways to wordsmith the draft in order to clarify items, such as what is defined as advertising. Overall, the spirit and intent of the document remained intact, with the exception of sentence two in paragraph 7. That sentence contained language which states that if the team contact information is used, then the brokerage contact information should also be used in advertising. This sentence was removed by FREC during conversations, as it seemed too restrictive and was inconsistent with rules for individual agents. 

A timeframe for when a final rule will be passed and implemented is indefinite, but it’s a good time for the industry to begin preparing for this change. 

Sean Frank, Broker/Owner

Article written by Sean Frank, 
Broker/Owner of Mainframe Real Estate
Sean@MainframeRE.com