A new law just passed in Connecticut foists new rules on real estate teams and is set to go into effect next January.  Among new restrictions is how real estate teams name themselves – restrictions that could result in forced rebranding efforts and costs.

New Law Imposes Rules on Real Estate Teams

As real estate teams become more and more popular, a new law just passed in Connecticut could require what real estate teams will and won’t be able to do.   This law goes into effect next January.

The law defines a team as being “…a group of at least two licensed real estate brokers or real estate salespersons who are affiliated with the same sponsoring real estate broker and engage in advertising as a group using a team name.”

This law requires that teams register with the state and pay an initial fee of $565.  After that initial fee of $565, a yearly renewal fee of $375 is also required for teams.

(Some agents/brokers/team members view the imposition of this ongoing fee structure as a new tax.)

Importantly, Law Specifies Rules on How Teams Can Name Themselves

For the first time, this Connecticut law requires Connecticut teams to use the full name of one of their team members or the full name of the team’s sponsoring brokerage.

Using the term “team” is allowed but using other terminology such as “group,” “company,” “LLC” or another term that “…implies that the team is a business entity…” is NOT allowed.

For example, this law would allow the use of “The Robin Riegor Team” but not “The Riegor Group.”   If “The Riegor Group” name were used to identify “The Robin Riegor Team,” it would be illegal to do so in Connecticut on January 1 2022.

Possible Implications of New “Naming” Rule

If you were to look at the team names of Connecticut’s dozens of real estate teams, you would find that many of them use the term “group” in their name.  You would find that fewer real estate teams identify themselves under the full name of an agent who is a member of the team or the full name of the team’s sponsoring brokerage.

Therefore, this new law requires that many teams (and the hundreds of Connecticut agents who could be members of these teams) will essentially be forced to rebrand themselves.

As we all know, rebranding costs money and rebranding can cause enormous confusion.  Just imagine, if you will, the costs and the possible confusion involved if this year’s International Olympics Committee had been required to rebrand its entire advertising program and sales products when the games were postponed from 2020 to 2021 due to the COVID pandemic.

No, the Olympics committee did not rebrand itself.   All the metaling athletes are receiving 2020 Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for their 2021 efforts and accomplishments and all people buying Olympics T-shirts in 2021 are buying T-shirts that say  Olympics 2020.

Perhaps if I were an attorney for a team of real estate agents in Connecticut, I’d consider using the example of the Olympics to oppose this new “naming” rule.

Thanks to Inman.


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