Not sure how to provide the IABS form in an email? Here’s the answer

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03/18/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

If you choose to provide the Information About Brokerage Services form via email, you’re allowed to link to it as long as you make a reference to the form in the body of the email. (That’s the part above the signature block—your name and contact information.) 

Create an email signature that references and links to the IABS form above your name. Then every email you create will automatically include the required notice in accordance with TREC rules.

Here’s an example of an email signature that correctly links to the IABS form. (Note: The link in this example goes to for illustrative purposes. You should link to a copy of the IABS form that's completed with your information.)  

Texas law requires all license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services form to prospective clients.

Jane Doe, REALTOR®
1234 Main St.

The email signature below is not in compliance with TREC rules regarding the IABS form, because the form is not referenced in the body of the email—above the name and contact information. (Note: The link in this example goes to for illustrative purposes. You should link to a copy of the IABS form that's completed with your information.)​

Jane Doe, REALTOR®
1234 Main St.

Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services

Categories: Legal
Tags: iabs, trec rules, legal, email


Ward Lowe on 05/16/2016

@Jennifer: This video may help:

Jennifer Hurbrough on 05/16/2016

I can’t get the hyperlink to stay active on mobile (android). I’ve tried a million times and it removes the hyperlink on mobile. The hyperlink on the computer is fine but won’t stay on mobile. Even sending an email from my computer and opening it in mobile and then copying and pasting does not work. Suggestions?

Amanda Clawson on 04/01/2016

You can hyper link the words. 
Hyperlink….just means that you link it to a webpage.  And you will beed to “host” that IABS form a website.  That is what google drive will do for you. Not too hard…keep reading.
Jennifer, on another article, about linking the IABS form mentioned that you can hyperlink just words!!  YAY….so great.  Thanks Jennifer.  You can hyper link just words (I was thinking of making an image - bad idea – because you can do words) The words that TREC wants you to use.
It may seem scary because you don’t know how to do it, but it is not really hard.  You CAN DO IT!!  A hyper link is just a website address that looks like https://www.somthing etc…..
1. Google drive will give you a link when you upload you’re filled out iabs form
2. Copy that to your clipboard…which means just copy that link that google drive gives you.
3. Then you type in the words
Texas law requires all license holders to provide the Information about Brokerage Services form to prospective clients.
4. Then highlight those words
Texas law requires all license holders to provide the Information about Brokerage Services form to prospective clients.
5. Then right click
6. Then a box will pop up and past the google drive website in to the address location. 
Then you will have
Texas law requires all license holders to provide the Information about Brokerage Services form to prospective clients.  Linked to your IABS form linked to that google drive web site link that google drive gave you. 
I made a visual tutorial PDF on how to use google drive and how to hyper link something if you would like it email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I’ll send it to you.

Amanda Clawson on 03/31/2016

TEXT BOX HERO               (to sound of juke box hero)

1. So…...make an image in Publisher - like a text box that says what it needs to say…..then save it as a PNG or JPG.
“Texas real estate commission in etc.”  if you don’t know how do a text box or make an image, its fairly simple.  You might need to watch a 2 minute you tube video.

2. Then you have the “image” with the right words on it.  Then insert it into your email.

3.  Then you can right click and hyperlink that image with the long random lettered google drive link.

A little bit of trouble, but it would works!

Joe lumbley on 03/31/2016


What do you mean by “doesn’t stay active?”  Does it work at first?  For how long does it work? Email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we’ll take this offline.

Diann Darden on 03/30/2016

I followed the recipe Joe Lumbley wrote on 3/24/16 to make the iPhone link look the same as on your big computer, but the link doesn’t stay active. I have tried every way possible and it still is an inactive link to my IABS in Google Drive.

Joe on 03/25/2016

At the risk of going way overboard here about the IABS, let me add one thing I just gleaned from re-re-re-reading 1101.558.  This paragraph talks about two separate things associated with the IABS. First, it gives the requirements that we’re all familiar with regarding presenting the WRITTEN copy of the IABS.  This was further clarified by the 2/1/2016 amendment.  Second, and something I didn’t realize, it has a clause 1101.558(b) which states that the licensee must disclose (ORALLY or in WRITING) who he represents.  So, we have to disclose two things.  First, who we represent (can be disclosed orally or in writing) and second, the IABS, which must be delivered in written form.  There’s a lot of misunderstanding about this, with many folks erroneously thinking that the IABS can be discussed with the recipient orally and not given in a written form.

Mike McEwen on 03/25/2016

Following up on Mr. Lumbley’s remarks, the legislation has also failed to take into account the technical obstacles that are confronting us because the legislators never addressed the implications of the legislation.

Joe Lumbley on 03/25/2016

I think there’s some confusion (at least in my mind) of the 2/1/2016 changes to the iabs requirements.  As I read it, TREC Rule 531.20, which is the 2/1/2016 amendment, does two things.  First, it mandates that brokers and salespeople have a link on their website to the IABS.  Second, it clarifies how the IABS may be presented to the recipient to satisfy the requirements of the Texas Occupations Code Section 1101.558.  The clarification says that IF the licensee chooses to provide the IABS via email, it must follow the link in the email body interpretation or as an attachment.

This does not MANDATE that the signature line have the link at all.  The 1101.558 details the requirements to present the IABS at the time of first substantive discussion.  As long as the recipient has received the IABS by one of the approved methods, he doesn’t need to have it presented again.  Putting it above the signature line seems to be an attempt to finagle out of the requirement to affirmatively present it to the recipient.  Thus, if the licensee fails to present it in the “normal” way, s/he hopes to CYA by saying, “But it was in the body of all my emails!”

This entire IABS plan has a bunch of holes in it.  For example, in every one of my property presentations (all I do is commercial), I attach a completed IABS as part of the property info package that ALL prospective buyers receive.  According to 531.20 that may not be enough anymore because 531.20 doesn’t cover that option.

Also, what happens when you have a commercial client who has bought multiple properties from you?  He received the IABS for his first deal or two.  Does he need to receive it each time you approach him with a deal?  I can see some logic to presenting him a new one when the form changes (as in 2/1/2016) but what about if there’s been no form change.

Jaime Lee on 03/25/2016

@Gail: Please call the TAR Legal Hotline at 800-873-9155 or contact the Texas Real Estate Commission at 512-936-3000 for an answer to your question.  -Jaime Lee, TAR staff

Gail on 03/25/2016

Question for Jamie (Jaime Lee, TAR staff):

Do you need your Broker/Company Name in your email signature?  Also, do you need to include your real estate license number?


Claudio Andrade on 03/25/2016

Can any one tell me how to create a link to my IAB?

Lee Hudman on 03/25/2016

My bad… I should have said adding a TEXT message signature can only be done on a jail broken phone.  I’ve had the email signature for years.

Mike McEwen on 03/25/2016

My Kyocera Android is terrible.  Worst smartphone I’ve ever had.

Joe on 03/25/2016

Lee,  adding a signature on a non-jailbroken iPhone is trivial.  Adding an iabs link is a little harder, but very workable.  See my post 9 posts down for an explanation of how to do it.  Or just Google “iPhone email signature html”.

David Davis on 03/25/2016

I hear a lot of folks on here saying they can’t do this on this or that type of device.  I have an Android S6.  Works fine on mine.  I guess that means that all the REALTORS® in Texas are going to have to get Android S6 phones?  I think Android owes me a commission!

Lee Hudman on 03/25/2016

On an iPhone, a signature can only be added to a jail-broken phone. The only other option is to create a text shortcut that must be manually entered when needed.  For example, I created a text shortcut called “iabs” that inserts the message and a link whenever I type in “iabs”.  I also created a tinyurl link that points to the form in my dropbox account and have that link in the shortcut.

Gail on 03/25/2016

Sorry for the confusion—I was under the impression that the email signature needs (in addition to the IABS link) your name, your title so it’s obvious what you do and your company name (broker or DBA the broker has on file with TREC).

Should the signature (at minimum) be:

Texas law requires all license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services form to prospective clients.

Thanks, Jane Doe, REALTOR®
1234 Main St.

I’m just want to make sure that I have the right information - thanks for the great article and comments! grin

Mike McEwen on 03/25/2016

Thanks, Joe!

Ken Koch on 03/24/2016

(The information is above my signature in my email)
Website is my link to the IABS & CPN
NOTICE-VERY IMPORTANT- PLEASE READ: Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) requires all Texas Real Estate License Holders to give the following forms “Information About Brokerage Services” (IABS) and the Consumer Protection Notice (CPN) to all prospective buyers, tenants, sellers, and landlords.
Please follow the link below to review the Texas Real Estate Commission’s
‘Information About Broker Services’  (IABS) and ‘Consumer Protection Notice’ (CPN)

Ken Koch on 03/24/2016

JUST A REMINDER…. Don’t forget to change your signature on ALL OF YOUR DEVICES (Desktops, Laptops, Tablets & Cell Phones) that you may send an email or text to a prospective buyers, tenants, sellers, and landlords.
And YES you can create a hyperlinked TEXT Message; at least I could on my iPhone.


Don Rankin on 03/24/2016

I don’t understand your explanation as it relates to the examples.

Joe on 03/24/2016

Mike.  I tried it on Android.  Looks like the standard Android email can receive html (html is needed to do links, pictures, etc) but it can’t SEND html email.  I’d suggest going to the Google Play store and downloading another email client that does handle html.  I see Outlook is on the Google Play store and that should work.  Also I’ve heard good stuff about “enhanced email” which is another app.

Mike McEwen on 03/24/2016

Thanks for the help!  I have a Kyocera Android.  I have no foggy idea how to copy an e-mail.  This is a newer phone and the software is terrible.  I can’t even select a bunch of texts to delete w/ one stroke.  I have to delete them one at a time.  My text signature barely has room for my name and the word broker.  Can’t even get my license number in there.  If I am missing something, please let me know.  I appreciate your input.

Joe Lumbley on 03/24/2016


You said that there’s no way to include a link in an email on your cellphone.  There’s an easy way to do that on an iPhone (and possibly Android too).  Prepare your proper signature on your PC or Mac and then copy it into an email that you mail to your cellphone.  Go into the received email on your cellphone and select the entire signature and copy that selected signature to your clipboard on the cell.  The (on iPhone) go into Settings/Mail/Signature.  Paste your clipboard into the box for the setting.  That way it’ll copy both the text and the html (software code) for the link.  Your cellphone signature will now be exactly like your “big” computer signature.

Mike McEwen on 03/24/2016

On the company site the IABS has to have the name of the entity/company.  The next line has to have the name of the designated broker.

The one in the agent’s e-mail has to have the above plus the agent’s name on the bottom line.

Joe Lumbley on 03/24/2016

Which iabs form should be linked on the company website?  Surely, a firm with hundreds of agents doesn’t need to have all hundred-plus agents’ personalized iabs forms linked on the page.  What I’ve done is fill in the top three lines (leaving the agent info blank) on the website link and then instructed the agents to link their individual iabs forms on their email sig lines.

David Davis on 03/21/2016

Yes she is.  I operate what one would call a virtual office.  While I use my home as my office (registered with TREC), and have a designated area in my home as my office, and the form is up on the wall in that room, I almost never meet people at my home.  I almost exclusively meet them in public somewhere after an initial conversation on the phone or via email.  I chose to put the form in the email just to have it there.

Mike McEwen on 03/21/2016

Mrs. Miller is correct.

Velda Miller on 03/21/2016

To clarify, the Consumer Protection Notice does not need to be in the email just the link to the IABS.  The CPN must be physically posted at your business and Internet business pages.

Mike McEwen on 03/21/2016

Well put, Mr. Davis.

David Davis on 03/21/2016

Okay folks,

Both the Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services Form and the Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice must be prominately displayed on your business website (probably) using links with text that is in at least 10 point type.  However (by what ever means) you have those forms in your website, you can copy and paste those links into the body of your emails by adding them to the signature of all emails but placing a space between the links and the actual signature so that the links do not “appear to be part of the signature” of the email.

Those links will typically be to a pdf document that is somewhere on the world wide web.  Copy and paste the target of that link into the body of the signature of your emails.  Edit the dispayed text to read as desired such as below and as appropriate for the desired form.  Save the signature and begin using it.

Sample Signature:
Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services

Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice

David Davis

Velda Miller on 03/18/2016

Darn tiny mobile keyboard!  Miller. ..can’t even type my own name right.

Mike on 03/18/2016

Ms. Millet sounds like she has things under control.

Velda Millet on 03/18/2016

I have it in my signature for my email but above my contact info so it “appears” to be part of the body.  Easy to edit out when not needed. 
It links to my webpage where I have images of the form and a downloadable pdf with my info printed on it. I also have the image of the TREC disclosure for viewing. 
The links are also on FB -both biz page and the personal page that I use for business, Twitter, Blog.  Meets requirements and gets people to my website whether they are new visitors or returning.

Dee on 03/18/2016

Where do I put the Information About Brokerage Services form so I can create a link to add to my email signature? Someone mentioned Dropbox. How is this done?

Lee Hudman on 03/18/2016

OK.  Next time I will just say “blurb” instead. 

Mike McEwen on 03/18/2016

The word is verbiage, not verbage, and this is its meaning:  speech or writing that contains too many words or that uses words that are more difficult than necessary.  Most people think the word is a synonym of the word narrative, which it is not.

Lee Hudman on 03/18/2016

Create a fully completed PDF copy in the cloud (in a dropbox account for example), then copy the link to that dropbox document.  Use to convert to a smaller web address, then put that tinyurl web address on your signature along with the required verbage .

Jaime Lee on 03/18/2016

@Mike: Thank you for your comment. As mentioned in the blog post , the hyperlinked text we used goes to only for illustrative purposes. Hope this helps. -Jaime Lee, TAR staff

Mike on 03/18/2016

Furthermore many e-mail programs have no way of pre-putting links in the body of an e-mail.  There should be no problem, whatsoever, w/ putting the link in w/ the signature.  Furthermore there is no way, whatsoever to get the link installed into a cellphone text or e-mail.  This whole piece of legislation needs to be technologically rethought.

Mike on 03/18/2016

That so called proper link is a joke.  It takes you to nothing!  You are supposed to go straight to a .pdf of the IABS and it has to have the name of the entity—person, LLC, Sub-S, etc. and the name of the designated broker.  This TAR e-mail needs to be reworked.

Sharon Shiell on 03/18/2016

Clearly it is a hot topic.  What TREC says and what your broker says, do that.  smile

Jaime Lee on 03/18/2016

@Rick Chumsae:  Great question.  As you mentioned, Texas REALTORS® can find a blank copy of the IABS form on zipForm,, or TREC’s website. But license holders who choose to provide the IABS form via email must complete the form with their own information and then link to that completed form. Linking to a blank copy doesn’t meet the requirement. –Jaime Lee, TAR staff

Rick Chumsae on 03/18/2016

Jaime, thank you.  Where should I source the IABS form? Zipform? TREC? TAR?

I think this would be far simpler to have the hyper link including in the TAR email take the consumer directly to a valid copy of the IABS.  Then all we need to do is copy the link in the TAR email and past it just above the existing information in our email signature.

David Davis on 03/18/2016

Folks, there is a lot of mis-information floating around here.  For beginners.  If you are a one person office, you only fill out the first two lines of the form.  I would suggest you contact TREC and get your facts straight.  They are more than happy to assist you with this form.

Jaime Lee on 03/18/2016

@Rick Chumsae: Thank you for your question. As mentioned in the post above, the hyperlinked text we used goes to for illustrative purposes. You should use a link to a copy of the IABS form completed with your information. Hope this helps. -Jaime Lee, TAR staff

Rick Chumsae on 03/18/2016

When I click on the hyperlink within the TAR email (and later in my email test message to myself)  the link brings me to the TAR first page and not the IABS form.

Candy Cargill on 03/18/2016

I think I am doing mine correctly, this is how I have it in my signature.  The Hyper link wouldn’t copy and paste, but when you click on it, it brings up the form FULLY filled out.  I’m a one person office and you need to have every line filled out, even though it’s the same on each line.

Now…the problem is there are many REALTORS that do NOT know how to create the hyper link…me being one.  It would be lovely if those instructions were included in the instructions.

Just a little reminder, Texas law requires all real estate license holders to give the following Information about Brokerage Services to potential buyers, tenants, sellers and landlords. Here is a link, click it and review, it won’t take long. INFORMATION ABOUT BROKERAGE SERVICES


Candy Cargill, TEXAS REALTOR®
Texas Association of REALTORS®
Region 7 Political Involvement Council 2013-2016
Trec #0369752
Hill Country Real Estate
“Your Hometown Connection”
Blanco, Texas 78606
830-833-4592 Fax
210-885-3090 Cell  


Sharon Shiell on 03/18/2016

Hi Rick.  If you link to the blank one on TREC’s page, that won’t cover you.  Fill it out with your info and your broker info..  I saved it as a PDF, then upload it to google drive, created a share link that allow people to view but not edit with a link.  I hope that helps.

Rick Chumsae on 03/18/2016

I just tried installing the provided link in my email signature area, above the exisiting signature per the instructions, then sent a test message to myself.

Unfortunately, when I clicked the provided link it does not bring me (or the consumer) to the IABS form. Instead I am brought to the first page of the TAR website.  Shouldn’t the link bring me to IABS?

I’m on an iMac desktop running OS X 10.10.5 Yosemite (the latest OS).

Sharon Shiell on 03/18/2016

Before the change, it had to read, “TREC DISCLOSURE” with the IABS link, according to what I read with TREC.  I will also be sure to hand deliver or include it as an attachment to cover my bases, and be sure to have it signed by clients.  I don’t think it could hurt to include in the signature though it likely won’t be enough to cover us legally.  Thank you for the clarification.

David Davis on 03/18/2016

According to TREC you have the language incorrect.  The language in the link must read “Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services”, it must be at least 10 point type, and in the body of the email.

Sharon Shiell on 03/18/2016

I had included it in mail email signature for a while but recently took it off after reading the TREC Advisory newsletter from February which says, “License holders must provide a link to the IABS form in a readily noticeable place on the homepage of their business website, in at least 10 point font and labeled “Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services”. A sales agent or broker must also provide the form at the first substantive communication with a prospective client by one of following four methods: (1) by personal delivery; (2) by first class mail or overnight common carrier delivery service; (3) in the body of an email; or (4) as an attachment to an email, or a link within the body of an email, with a specific reference to the IABS Form in the body of the email.
NOTE: you are not allowed to include a link to the IABS in the signature line or footnote of an email.”

I could be mistaken, but it sounded to me like we aren’t allowed to include it in our signature.

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