In the video, Judy talks about challenges she and Michelle Lind ( head honcho at the AAR ) had when trying to determine what “clear and prominent” means, as they put together the advertising guidelines and rules for Arizona brokers and their real estate web sites.
Obviously, the huge number of real estate-related web sites means that it is difficult for the Department of Real Estate to keep track of each and every compliant and non-compliant web site out there.
Heck, you have brokerage sites that fail miserably when it comes to identifying the name of the brokerage. Just think of the huge number of individual real estate agents out there who don’t know what the guidelines are, and they certainly don’t know how to add a logo to the header of their web site.
Many agents spend $19.95 per month to have a company “build them a website” that will help with their real estate business. The “problem” is that the so-called real estate web developers who mass produce many agent web sites probably aren’t aware of the regulations. It is easily overlooked on their part, and many of these developers worry less about compliance issues for the agents than they do about their credit card numbers.
It is interesting to see the Commissioner talk about things that brokerages “should” consider when advertising their services on the internet. The talk focuses on how the brokerage or brokerage logo should be displayed on the agent or broker’s web site. Basically, the Department looks to “protect the public” from unscrupulous people who don’t display their real estate brokerage prominently on their web site.
In the video above, Commissioner Lowe mentions things like:
“Over and above” or “At least as strong as”
“Front and center at the top”
Judy likes to say that she can tell you what isn’t acceptable…
“It’s not the logo of the company buried at the bottom right hand corner, and you need a magnifying glass to see it.” Judy Lowe, Arizona Department of Real Estate Commissioner.
She reiterates that the brokerage logo should be clear and prominent on every page of the web site. She also mentions that it must have the name of the company as it appears on it’s license with the Department of Real Estate. Unfortunately, some agents don’t even attempt to comply, while others just don’t know what the rules are. Each brokerage should have a policy about these kinds of things. Yes, I have had our logo placement approved by our broker. We’re pretty certain the Commissioner would approve, as well.
More clarification from the Arizona Association of REALTORS:
“The Commissioner’s Rules require that the name of the brokerage firm must be “clear and prominent” on all advertising materials, including a website. See A.A.C. R4-28-502(E). However, there is no requirement that the name of the brokerage firm be the largest item on the advertising materials.”
It was difficult for me to keep from posting some of the many sites I see as examples of what NOT to do. Lack of a logo and or lack of a clearly and prominently displayed logo is pretty common.
Here’s another video featuring Commissioner Lowe talking about the fact that many consumers who call the Arizona Department of Real Estate do not know the name of the agent or brokerage they are working with. Once again, Judy discusses the fact that all websites should easily identify the brokerage and agent information in a “clear and prominent” manner.
When a consumer calls in to the the Arizona Department of Real Estate, the first question they are asked is:
“What company did you work with?” or “What’s the name of the brokerage that you worked with?”
Believe it or not, the callers often do not know the name of the brokerage they are or were working with. THAT’s a problem…
It was great to see my friends, Paula Monthofer, Paula Serven and D. Patrick Lewis featured in these videos with the Commissioner. They all continue to serve the Arizona Association of REALTORS well.