Are your marketing messages legal?

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Red sign in the shape of a home with white arrow and white text: HOME FOR SALE

11/09/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

You would never purposely violate fair-housing rules, but it’s possible that the way you target potential buyers and sellers may be dangerously close to a violation. Here are a few ways to create an effective marketing plan while complying with the laws.

  • Don’t market only to—or avoid marketing to—a protected class. You shouldn’t target consumers of a specific race, national origin, or any of the other classes protected by federal, state, or local fair-housing laws.
  • Do highlight your skills. You can advertise that you speak another language, for example, as long as you advertise this way to everyone and not just those who speak that language.   
  • Don’t advertise only in media targeted to protected class members. For example, you shouldn’t run ads solely in publications geared toward members of a specific religion or nationality.  
  • Do focus on your clients’ specific needs. It’s fine to solicit first-time homebuyers, clients looking to relocate, or even buyers looking to move near hobbies or sports offerings.
  • Don’t designate one person—even yourself—as the go-to. Don’t name someone in your office as the agent designated to work with clients of the same race, gender, etc. as the agent.
  • Do use diverse models in your ads. Be careful not to only use photos of models that could construe that a property is only available to singles or members of one race, for example.

Categories: Business tips, Legal
Tags: legal, fair housing, advertising, marketing


Rose on 11/19/2015

Can I advertise that i specialize in new home sales?

Ginger Coolidge on 11/16/2015

The key there is “only”, if you only advertised in your church bulletin.  To me that says have other advertising outlets in addition to.

Rick Ebert on 11/09/2015

• “Don’t advertise only in media targeted to protected class members. For example, you shouldn’t run ads solely in publications geared toward members of a specific religion or nationality”....does this mean that one shouldn’t advertise in one’s church bulletin?

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Legal disclaimer

The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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