4 Ways to Avoid Discrimination in Your Ads
TIP: To help ensure that your company policies follow fair housing practices, review the Fair Housing article in the Risk Management section.
Under the federal Fair Housing Act, real estate advertisements cannot include material that indicates a preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Use this checklist to see how your ad measures up.
1. Watch what you imply. Is your ad communicating, directly or indirectly, that your company only serves a certain type of buyer? Be sure that you are not using any catch words, phrases, pictures, or symbols that imply a dwelling is unavailable to certain people.
TIP: To train your sales associates to follow fair housing practices in their advertising, use the Prepackaged Sales Meeting on Fair Advertising Practices.
2. Be aware of location. Avoid narrowly focused magazines, newspapers, radio stations, or television stations that are geared to one audience to the exclusion of others. Also, do not use billboards that will be seen by only one group.
3. Pay attention to models. If you use human models in an ad, make sure they are not of just one race or national origin. In addition, be aware that photographs or drawings suggesting a preference for one gender or adults only may violate the Fair Housing Act. Use both sexes and different types of families.
Seth G. Weissman, “Real Estate Advertisements and the Fair Housing Act,” in Georgia REALTOR®, April 1997
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