Hot on the Hotline: Advertising, teams and your listings when you leave a brokerage

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Teams and Advertising

Would my team name, Fierstos Real Estate, comply with the Illinois Real Estate License Act (RELA)?

Section 10-30 of RELA prohibits the use of inherently misleading terms as part of team names. Terms like “company, realty, real estate, agency, associates, brokers, properties or property” are specifically identified as inherently misleading, and that is not an all-inclusive list. The purpose of the prohibition is to make certain that teams and individuals are not mispresenting themselves to the public as if they are the sponsoring brokerage company. The rules do provide that a team name can incorporate inherently misleading terms like “real estate” if the name that includes a prohibited term also includes the term “team.” For example, The Anneliese Fierstos Real Estate Team would work under the new rules that became effective February 23, 2021.

Moving Brokerages

I am considering leaving my current sponsoring broker and becoming self-sponsored. I planned to take my current listings with me when I go. Will I be able to do so?

Generally, any listing agreement or buyer’s broker agreement belongs to the sponsoring broker by whom the licensee is sponsored at the time agreement is entered. The agreement is a contract between the sponsoring broker (not the individual licensee) and the buyer or seller. Therefore, any rights to the listing agreement belong to the sponsoring broker unless otherwise provided for by your employment/independent contractor agreement.

If a licensee leaves a sponsoring broker, and the brokerage is willing to provide compensation to that licensee for licensed activity performed by that person while previously sponsored by the now non-sponsoring broker, they may do so under RELA Section 10-5(d).

Size Requirements and Advertising under RELA 10-30(f)

Are there any guidelines available to help a team or licensee create advertising that will be compliant with Section 10-30(f) of RELA?

Rules Section 1450.715(b)(1) outlines three “safe harbor” provisions for licensees to follow in creating advertising that will be compliant with 10-30(f).  That rule also provides that a logo, emblem, label, trademarked image or similar identification is not considered part of the sponsoring broker’s name unless it actually contains the sponsoring broker’s name.

Advertising that meets any of the following “safe harbor” tests shall be considered compliant with 10-30(f):

  • The font size used for the letters in the sponsoring broker’s name is as large or larger than the letters used in the team name or individual licensee name;
  • The area, in terms of height and width containing the sponsoring broker’s name, is as large or larger than the area, in terms of height and width, than that of the team name or individual licensee name; or
  • Any logo, emblem, label, trademarked image or similar identification incorporating the sponsoring broker’s name, is as large as or larger than that of the team name or individual licensee name. 



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