Signs of progress in the Fraser Valley

by Paul Cowhig, Advisor, Professional Standards

First off, we would like to thank members for their cooperation with the new emphasis on signage by-law compliance, especially directional arrows. While there are unfortunately still a few exceptions, most illegal directional signs have disappeared. Also, remember that open house directional signs, while allowed, should only go up before the open house and must come down immediately after. Don’t leave them up for the weekend!

That said, there are a few other signage issues we want to mention.

We have been working to build relationships with all the municipalities in our Board to get an accurate understanding of each jurisdiction’s by-laws. There are some slight differences and also some clear commonalities.

Size restrictions

Every municipality has specific size restrictions for signs depending on the lot size and zoning of the subject property. There is a reason typical residential real estate signs are all roughly the same size. It’s because they comply to the municipal by-law size requirements. Think before you add big headers or other add-ons to make your signs stick out that may put you offside the size restrictions. I know you’re all looking for an edge, but professionals know the rules, and they play within those rules. All of the rules.  

Property must be for sale, lease or rent

For real estate signage to not require a permit, first and foremost, the property needs to be for sale, lease or rent and the signage needs to relate only to the sale, lease or rent of that property – not a general offering of personal real estate services.

Sign permits

For any other signage you need a permit, and you can’t get a permit to put a sign up just anywhere you want because that’s called ‘Advertising,’ which has its own rules (see our Advertising Guidelines booklet). Paid bus bench signage is a good example of a permitted advertising opportunity that is available to you.

Your friends or relatives’ property with good traffic exposure is not a place to put up an advertisement. We get that it’s the right price, but it’s illegal and, if you don’t get rid of it yourself, we’re going to make you take it down and you may face discipline through the Professional Conduct Committee. These signs are just like the directional arrows. It’s a visible illustration of REALTORS® ignoring the rules in order to promote themselves. It makes us all look bad, to the public and to your fellow REALTORS® alike.

Final thought

So again, Kudos for your cooperation with the signage clean up. It really shows how many of us genuinely want to do the right thing. Now let’s make a few more adjustments in what we do to complete the job by addressing the few items mentioned here.

The one other thing that bears reminding is the display of your Brokerage name, not just in signage, but in all advertising. Remember, the rules, ours and Council’s, say the brokerage name must be PROMINENT. That means I should see it pretty much as soon as I look at the sign or ad, not find it buried away in small print at the bottom as an afterthought.

This is definitely progress. It may be a small step by itself but if we keep this going then there’s no doubt that, as my hero Zig Ziglar said, I’ll see you all at the top!

Source: FVREB Professional Standards & Communications