The Digest 2018-02-02T10:11:52+00:00
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For the latest in statewide news, member services, professional development, legislative updates, Legal & Ethics Hotline Q&As, and more

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10-30-17   •   Vol. 2017 Issue 39    •   Brian Copeland, 2017 President   •  Phil Newman, Editor

✔  Amazon Key delivers packages INSIDE your home
✔  Tune in live to the 2017 NAR Conference this week 
✔  Still time to make your voice heard on Tax Reform!
✔  What’s the best way to end every email you send? —>
✔  Hotline: A refresher on “misleading advertising” pitfalls

Respond to the Call for Action on Tax Reform!

Urge Congress to Protect Homeowners

Amazon Key Delivers Packages INSIDE Homes
In a development worth watching, Amazon has launched (for Prime members) Amazon Key, which allows packages to be “securely delivered just inside your front door. Plus, grant access to the people you trust, like your family, friends, dog walker, or house cleaner—no more leaving a key under the mat.” An In-Home Kit, starting at $249.99, includes “the Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition) indoor security camera and a compatible smart lock from Kwikset or Yale.” More details HERE.

Tennesseans Will Star on NAR’s Conference Live
If you can’t attend the 2017 NAR REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago this week, you can live vicariously by watching online. Tennessee’s Brian Copeland (2017 President) andMonica Neubauer will be among the featured REALTORS® contributing live content. Go HERE to watch, and search#narannual for updates during the conference.

NAR Denim Day Supports Relief: Sunday, Nov. 5
Members attending the 2017 NAR REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago: Denim Day is Sunday, November 5. Wear jeans and the RRF wristband to show your support for the REALTORS® Relief Foundation. Pick up your wristband at the REALTORS® Relief Foundation display at the entrance of the REALTORS® Expo in McCormick Place-West.

Respond to RLI Land Markets Survey by 11/17
Each year the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) create a comprehensive Land Markets Survey report for land and real estate agents. RLI encourages agents conducting land transactions to participate in the survey (HERE) by Nov. 17.You could even win a $50 gift card. The results will be released in January. For more information, visit RLI’s website.

The Only Way To Sign Your Emails?
Advice about how to sign emails abounds—including this lengthy list of options in ForbesMoney magazine adds to the mix inits current issue, citing a Boomerang study that reveals THE very best way to close any email: “Thanks in advance,” “Thanks,” or “Thank You”. “Research supports ending your email with an expression of gratitude,” Money writes. “…email scheduling app Boomerang analyzed more than 350,000 email threads to see which ‘closings’ got the best response rates. ‘Thanks’ got a response 62% of the time, compared with 40% for emails that lacked ‘thankful’ touches.” Please read the whole story HERE. Thanks in advance.

Tweet Your Way to New Clients: RETI Webinar 11/1
Twitter can be a great way not only to interact with others on a range of interests (family, entertainment, sports, politics) but also to listen to your community and prospect for new clients. Get hot Twitter tips in a free webinar from Juanita McDowell of the Real Estate Technology Institute (RETI), a Tennessee REALTORS® partner, at 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT this Wed. 11/1. Register HERE.

Source: Tennessee REALTORS® Legal & Ethics Hotline Counsel

Misleading Advertising
We have covered the Advertising Rule before, but it continues to be a hot topic worthy of refreshers. This week’s Q&As address advertising examples that could be viewed as misleading and result in violations.

Note: The Advertising Rule of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) states, “No licensee shall advertise in a false, misleading, or deceptive manner… [which] includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Any licensee advertising that includes only the franchise name without including the firm name;

2. Licensees who hold themselves out as a team, group, or similar entity within a firm who advertise themselves utilizing terms such as “Real Estate,” “Real Estate Brokerage,” “Realty,” “Company,” “Corporation,” “LLC,” “Corp.,” “Inc.,” “Associates,” or other similar terms that would lead the public to believe that those licensees are offering real estate brokerage services independent of the firm and principal broker; or

3. Any webpage that contains a link to an unlicensed entity’s website where said entity is engaged or appears to be engaged in activities which require licensure by the Commission.”

Agent Websites Implying Their Own Firms?

Q: I have a couple of agents’ websites that I am concerned about. The URLs are and Those seem to imply that they have their own companies. The top banner on Agent A’s website reads Agent A Realty. There is a firm name on the site, but it isn’t easily noticeable. Agent B’s firm name is at the very bottom of the page.

A: You’re right that these website would likely be considered misleading and violations of the Advertising Rule. Per TREC, misleading advertising includes licensees who hold themselves out as a team, group, or similar entity within a firm who advertise utilizing terms such as “Real Estate,” “Real Estate Brokerage,” “Realty,” “Company,” “Corporation,” “LLC,” “Corp.,” “Inc.,” “Associates,” or other similar terms that would lead the public to believe that those licensees are offering real estate brokerage services independent of the firm and principal broker.

Secretly List a Different Street in MLS Listing?

Q: I have a client who wants to list their property, but they are afraid a family member will burn the property if they find out it is listed. On the MLS, can we list a neighboring road instead of the actual road, for safety, with instructions to call the agent?

A: That option raises some concerns. Advertising Rule 1260-02.12 states:

    • (3) (f) No licensee shall advertise in a false, misleading, or deceptive manner.
    • (5) (c) Listing information must be kept current and accurate.

It is likely that listing the property on another street will cause potential buyers to drive down that street to look at it, but find no property for sale, leading to complaints of misleading advertising against you, as the licensee.

Promote Your Agent on Another Firm’s Listing?

Q: I have an agent who wants to list a commercial property. We don’t handle a lot of that, so I have engaged another firm to help us. The other firm will have the listing, and we will split the commission. The other firm would like to put my agent’s name and contact information on their sign so they may contact my agent. Is this OK?

A: It is not recommended to have your agent’s name and information listed on another firm’s sign. This is likely a violation of the portion of the TREC Advertising Rule that states, “…all advertising must be done under the supervision of an agent’s principal broker and include the firm name and firm phone number.” Further, potential buyers could view this as misleading. One option may be to make this a co-listing and place both signs on the property.


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