Effective December 6, 2017
Since February 2016, you are required to have a specific link for each of these notices in a readily noticeable location on the homepage of your business website. The Commission has adopted amendments to those rules that give you additional flexibility when posting the link to the Consumer Protection Notice.
The new amendments now allow two options for the link:
- “Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice” in at least 10 point font; or
- “TREC Consumer Protection Notice” in at least 12 point font.
Here is an example using the IABS notice link showing the difference in the look of the two options:
- “Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services” (in 10 point font)
- “TREC Information About Brokerage Services” (in 12 point font)
The amendments also provide additional methods for posting the link on social media platforms that are used as business websites and gives guidance as to what is considered a business website. A business Facebook page is a good example of a social media platform that meets these requirements and would need to be in compliance. It is important to take note though, that there are new forms of and updates to social media all the time. Be vigilant and remember to refer to the rules for guidance.
For purposes of providing the required link to the notices on a social media platform that is used as a business website, the link may be located on:
- the account holder profile; or
- a separate page or website through a direct link from the social media platform or account holder profile.
So, if you use Facebook as a business website, you can provide the required links directly to the Notices or you can provide a link from your account holder page or Facebook page to the homepage of your business website located on the internet, if that business website has the required links readily noticeable on the homepage.
Finally, the amendments define a business website as “a website on the internet that:
- is accessible to the public;
- contains information about a license holder’s real estate brokerage services; and
- the content of the website is controlled by the license holder.”
Controlling the content does not mean controlling the format or structure of the website. It means you control what information you input about your services or listings.
Remember, a link to BOTH the Consumer Protection Notice and the Information About Brokerage Services Notice must be included the homepage of your business website.
After reading the updated requirements, feel free to send comments, request additional information or ask questions.We will respond. If sufficient interest is expressed, we will also consider hosting a live Q&A event on Facebook.
Published April 2018