A: Using social media in connection with your real estate business is a type of advertising and thus is governed by law and professional standards. Minnesota statutes and the REALTORS® Code of Ethics requires that a REALTOR® disclose the name of his or her firm in a “reasonable and readily apparent manner”. To meet this requirement, REALTORS® should include the name of their real estate company in their handle or name for social media tools.
Standard of Practice 12-5 of the Code of Ethics states “that disclosing the name of the firm may not be practical in electronic displays of limited information (e.g. “thumbnails”, text messages, “tweets”, etc.). Such displays are exempt from the disclosure requirement established in the Standard of Practice, but only when linked to a display that includes all required disclosures.”
Real estate licensees must also ensure that their social media pages are fully complete under Minnesota law. A “fully complete” media page includes the name of the real estate company to which the agent is licensed. A licensee must also include required disclosures and a direct link to his or her electronic message/homepage. A “direct link” is one that requires only one mouse click to direct consumers to a licensee’s profile page.
Please check with your broker to confirm that your use of social media also comports with any office policy on the matter.
RESOURCES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
- NAR’s Field Guide on Social Networking: Click HERE
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The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.