Massachusetts Board of Registration Issues Real Estate Teams Guidance

The Massachusetts Board of Registration of Brokers and Salespeople has issued a long awaited advisory defining real estate teams. Teams are currently undefined in Massachusetts real estate licensing law and, until now, did not have any specific regulations around them. Other states have already issued guidance on teams, so Massachusetts is not alone in having formal guidance on this issue.

This FAQ is the first guidance we have received on teams in Massachusetts.

Here are interesting points of the guidance:

  • The nature of the relationship of each affiliated licensee on the team to the client must be disclosed on the Mandatory Relationship Disclosure form. You may use one form for multiple licensees.

  • There is no regulatory or statutory size ratio on brokerage disclosure in advertising. Brokerages may put in place internal policies dictating specific size requirements for advertising. All advertising shall include the name of the brokerage or principal broker under which the licensee is licensed to do business. All advertising must be in a manner in which consumers would know that they are dealing with a team or group that is part of a licensed brokerage. Advertising includes, but is not limited to: business cards, yard signs, websites, social media, building signs, email signatures, bumper stickers, pens, etc.

  • The FAQ addresses team names by saying:

    A team can not use the word “realty” or “real estate” in the team name or any derivation that would imply that the team is an independent brokerage. Include the word "Team" or "Group", such as "The [blank] Team", examples: The Tom Seaver Team, The Jerry Grote Group, etc.

    Team names should not include the words "realty'' or "real estate'' or any similar terms. Team names should not indicate in any way that the team is its own business entity.

Here is a list of words that should be avoided in Team Names:

  • Advisors
  • Agency
  • Associates
  • Brokerage
  • Brokers
  • Company
  • Consultants
  • Corporation, Corp. or Inc.
  • LLC, LP, LLP
  • Partners, Partnership
  • Properties
  • Property
  • Real Estate, Realty