March 1, 2022
State Rules, Rule!
I never knew that state real estate rules would have such an impact on my life. As a senior copywriter in The Studio/Design Concierge, I live them daily! For those not in Pacific time zones, did you know that every agent in the state of California must include their license number on all consumer-facing advertisements when they’re mentioned by name? And in a particular way? CalRe #12345678. Hawaii is the only other state where this is mandatory and it has to appear in a different format: Lic#: 1234567. Notice the subtle position difference of the #? I do now! If you live in any of the other 48, rest easy. Your real estate license number doesn’t have to appear on your consumer-facing materials. Bet that made your day.
Now it’s not like the state real estate laws are as obscure and non-sensical as other state laws on the books. In Idaho, cannibalism is strictly prohibited. In Arkansas, a pinball machine can’t give away more than 25 free games. Want to hold a greased pig capture contest in Minnesota? Sorry, no can do. And if you operate an underground coal mine in Ohio, you must provide an “adequate supply” of toilet paper. Well, maybe that’s not such a bad one at all.
But some state real estate laws are head-scratchers. In Illinois, for example, agent property ads must contain the city/geographic location the property is located. Color me shocked. In New York, agents must be referred to as “associate real estate broker” or “real estate salesperson.” While in Virginia, only “real estate salesperson” is acceptable. And in many states, if you think your name/logo or team name/logo can be bigger than Coldwell Banker’s®, nope, not allowed. On the whole, though, state real estate laws have many similarities among states and are not that inhibiting. In my day to day job, which includes creating (writing) and then proofreading many agent materials, I find myself going back to our Style Guide, Local Legal Requirements, Rules and Claims section, just to make sure we’re getting it right. So when you visit Design Concierge to have us work on your next project, whether it’s a business card, personal brochure, email signature, flyer, signage, rest assured we got your back on being compliant.
Hey, did you know in Washington, it’s illegal to kill Bigfoot?