The DRE’s Recent Attention on Advertising and Compliance

Jozef G. Magyar, Esq.

October 2020

As many licensees have unfortunately found out first hand during this past year, the California Department of Real Estate (“DRE”) has adjusted to the COVID-19 crisis with what has been perceived as an increase in its investigative activities.  Audits continue to be conducted remotely, and the number of inquiry letters from Special Investigators looking into possible violations of the Real Estate Law and Commissioner’s Regulations appear to have increased in frequency. 

One specific area that the DRE has focused on relates to advertising, especially first points of contact with consumers and social media, so much so that it has posted a new publication, Real Estate Advertising Guidelines (RE27), on its website. 

RE27 addresses such basic requirements as license identification disclosures (font size, as an example), avoiding bait and switch or what is considered false, deceptive, or misleading advertising, and the supervision responsibility of Designated Officers and Brokers over the marketing conduct of their licensed salespersons, broker-associates, and unlicensed personnel.

With property managers becoming increasingly dependent on an online presence to promote their services and properties during the pandemic, familiarity with the law is crucial to avoid being on the receiving end of a Special Investigator’s inquiry letter.  It is not uncommon to have a simple clerical error or inadvertent oversight in a sign or business card result in a comprehensive audit of a broker’s entire property management operations.

Additional Resources:

as a comprehensive summary of existing law.

For additional information or assistance, contact Attorney Jozef Magyar (800) 564-6611 or

Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a full service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. While KTS provides clients with information on legislative changes, our courtesy notifications are not meant to be exhaustive and do not take the place of legislative services or membership in trade associations. Our legal alerts are provided on selected topics and should not be relied upon as a complete report of all new changes of local, state, and federal laws affecting property owners and managers. Laws may have changed since this article was published.   Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. For contact information, please visit our website:  For past Legal Alerts, Questions & Answers, and Legal Articles, please consult the resource section of our website.

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