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DRE to Become BRE: What It Means for YOU.

April 29, 2013


Effective July 1, 2013, the California Department of Real Estate, or the DRE, will become the Bureau of Real Estate, or BRE, within the California Department of Consumer Affairs. This was part of a reorganization of several California government agencies, but the BRE will retain many of the same core functions.
While a date has been assigned for the change in name, the information regarding a switch from DRE to BRE numbers on “first contact” materials for REALTORS® has not been as specific. However, the DRE has stated that the will permit a transition period for this change, and they will be lenient on brokers and agents transferring their materials to the new nomenclature.
Here are some best practice tips until we know more:
 

  • If you’re ordering any “first contact” materials that will be used for months to come (and beyond July 1st), then you might be best served to use a BRE number rather than a DRE number. Example: business cards).
  • It is probably in your best interest to ready all websites, Facebook pages, blogs, and other social networks that include a DRE number to be switched over to a BRE number by July 1st.
  • Be on the lookout for any more specific details and deadlines around the transition as we get closer to July 1st. While they have said they’ll be lenient, there will eventually be a deadline for changing all your marketing materials to say “BRE.”

 

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Illegal E-Mails From Your Smartphone?

October 10, 2012

Does your signature on your smartphone look like the one above? Or perhaps it said “Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID.” As a real estate agent, you’re constantly on the move. The concept of an  “office” has taken on a lot more meaning – it’s no longer just the desk you go to sometimes. With the right tools, the “office” is wherever we are – and we’re sending more and more emails from our smartphones. But does a Realtors® need to reference their DRE number in their mobile email signature? After all, it is almost universally added to our email signatures when we’re sending from out computers or laptops.
Let’s look at the DRE rules. As of July 2009, your DRE license number must be on all solicitation materials intended as a first point of contact with consumers. Under the section 2773 regulations this includes:

  • Business cards
  • Stationary
  • Websites owned, controlled, and/or maintained by the soliciting real estate license
  • Promotional and advertising flyers, brochures, email and regular mail, leaflets, and any other marketing or promotional materials designed to solicit the creation of a professional relationship between the licensee and a consumer, or intended to induce a consumer to contact the licensee about any licensed services.
The disclosure rule excludes advertisements in electronic media (such as radio, TV, streaming video, etc.), print advertisement in a newspaper or periodical, and “For Sale” signs placed on or around a property,

So … what does that mean about emails sent from mobile devices? The law is ambiguous – it truly depends on what type of email you’re sending. Are you reaching out to someone for the first time or just dealing with a past client? The truth is though that some email you could be sending from your mobile phone could require it. As with most legal issues – we fall on the side of caution – why wouldn’t you include it in your mobile email signature? We send plenty of emails both from our mobile devices and from our desktop computers that don’t require our DRE# in our signature – but we still list it. We do this because we know it only takes one email that requires it that is missing DRE number to have a problem.
Realtors® almost always have robust email signatures – sometimes too robust. Maybe it’s time you think about what the signature on your mobile phone says about you. Would you rather tell people what type of device you’re on – or perhaps add some branding and your DRE license number?


Do you have a question about best practices?* Send us an email (blogs@apr.com) and we will try to answer it in a future entry.
*This is not meant to serve as official legal advice – please consult an attorney for legal advice pertaining to your individual situation.