Commercial brokers have been fibbing about their titles again.
At a meeting in December, REBNY announced that a recent audit of 23 investigations into improper use of titles found that 21 involved commercial real estate agents.
The cases, which have all been settled, resulted in the New York State Department of State collecting a total of $81,000 in fines, according to Commercial Observer.
Since 2013, brokers have been barred from using fake corporate titles like “vice president” or “executive vice president” if they haven’t been appointed or elected to those positions.
Instead, they have to use whatever is listed on their license, like “broker” or “salesperson.” The state can issue fines against brokers who use false titles, or even suspend their license.
It seems commercial brokers still haven’t got the message. At the December board meeting, REBNY’s broker counsel Neil Garfinkel said DOS is currently doing 27 further audits of broker advertising. A whopping 26 of them involve commercial brokers.
One top residential associate broker told CO it was “about time” REBNY cracked down on fake titles. He said it was not a “superficial issue” and shows “where we were in the hierarchy of the firm.” He added: “There should be a way to distinguish myself from newbies after my 16 years.”
[CO] — Decca Muldowney