Advertising Essentials 101: Social media and your Brokerage name

by Paul Cowhig, Advisor, Professional Standards

The prominent display of the Brokerage name may be the advertising rule most often breached by REALTORS®.

Why is that? I believe it’s primarily because REALTORS® see themselves as independent business-people as opposed to employees of any particular Brokerage.

On the one hand, I get that. The majority of members are ‘independent contractors,’ but that’s really for tax purposes. It doesn’t mean you are not attached at the hip to a Brokerage, or that you are not under the Broker’s supervision — because you are.

The Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) says:
Independent Contractor Status: Whether a licensee is an employee or an independent contractor, the duties and obligations of the licensee do not change. In other words, the obligations of a representative apply to every licensee licensed as a representative or an associate broker regardless of the manner in which they are engaged by the brokerage.

And, the RECBC holds the Broker accountable for what licensees do and don’t do, as required by the Real Estate Services Act:

The managing broker is responsible for the supervision of all licensees who are licensed in relation to the brokerage. Section 3-1 of the Rules requires that the managing broker be actively engaged in the management of the related brokerage and ensure that there is an adequate level of supervision for all licensees, employees and others in the brokerage. (Professional Standards Manual)

Your Broker can be held responsible for your actions and there are heavy penalties they can face.

In the context of advertising, the public must be able to readily determine:

  1. which Brokerage the licensee is working with (the FULL name of the Brokerage); and
  2. that you are a REALTOR® (and not a FSBO)

By the way, CREA and RECBC have rules that go hand-in-hand:

CREA Standards of Business Practice #13: All advertising and promotion of properties shall accurately reflect property and other details and prominently display the name of the Brokerage and any additional information required by provincial regulation; and

RECBC 4-6 (1): In all cases, the licensee name of the Brokerage must be displayed in a prominent and easily readable way.

Hence, your advertisements need to prominently display the Brokerage name in an easily readable way.

What we want to do is help you understand how to comply with this requirement in the context of the most common Social Media applications.


The easiest place for you to include your Brokerage name is in your cover photo.





We talk so much these days about professionalism. When we advertise, whether online or in print, you must prominently display your Brokerage name. Not just the logo, and not tucked away somewhere the consumer has to search for it.

The Brokerage name must be displayed in FULL in a prominent and easily-readable form. Period. Full stop. This is a simple, straightforward obligation we all share, and, following the rules shows your professionalism.

If you are in doubt as to whether your advertising complies, ask your Broker.