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Florida Real Estate Teams Must Follow FREC’s New Team-Ad Rule

New team-advertising-rule created by the Florida Real Estate Commission go into effect July 1, 2019. Among other things, it says that team names cannot be larger than the registered brokerage’s name.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) created the team-advertising rule last year, but as part of the update, it gave real estate teams time to prepare for the changes – and that time is up on July 1, 2019.

The team ad rule, 61J2-10.026 Team or Group Advertising, impacts office procedures and team advertising. In some cases, changes could take time to complete, and Florida Realtors Law & Policy department suggested last year that members begin reviewing the new rule.

When the rule’s new wording was published last year, it generated a lot of questions from Florida licensees; as a result, FREC adjusted the wording of subsection 6 a few months ago.

“The rationale behind the change is that the word ‘appear’ in the rule was vague in the current version, given the number of questions raised by brokers and teams,” says Juana Watkins, Florida Realtors vice president of law and policy and general counsel. “In addition, comparing the logo of the brokerage to the printed name of the team presented difficulties as well. For these reasons, FREC hoped to eliminate the confusion caused by the team ad rule.”

View the latest version of the team ad rule, including a redline version showing changes from the original version announced last year, here.

New advertising regulation details

  • Certain words may no longer be used in a team name, such as “realty,” “real estate,” “property,” etc. Current teams have until July 1, 2019, to change their name and branding. Check the PDF link above for the full list of words.
  • “Team or group advertising” means a name or logo used by one or more real estate licensees who represent themselves to the public as a team or group. The team or group must perform licensed activities under the supervision of the same broker or brokerage.
  • Each team or group shall file with the broker a designated licensee to be responsible for ensuring that the advertising is in compliance with chapter 475, Florida Statutes, and division 61J2, Florida Administrative Code.
  • At least once monthly, the registered broker must maintain a current written record of each team’s or group’s members.
  • Advertisements containing the team or group name shouldn’t be in larger print than the name of the registered brokerage. All advertising must be in a manner in which reasonable persons would know they’re dealing with a team or group.
  • Nothing in this rule shall relieve the broker of his or her legal obligations under chapter 475, Florida Statutes, and division 61J2, Florida Administrative Code.

Individual advertising rules have not changed. FREC considered an update this spring but tabled the issue.

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