Brokers getting schooled on touchy marketing

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While proximity to high-ranking public schools can be a major selling point for luxury apartment developments, more building managers and listing agents are reluctant to tout their developments’ neighboring schools too much, according to the New York Times. Advertising that an apartment building is zoned for a particular school can conjure legal up problems and may be a violation of the Fair Housing Act, according to the Real Estate Board of New York, which strongly discourages brokers from mentioning specific schools in their marketing materials. Even worse, the phrase “good schools” strikes many as a form of racial steering, according to Neil Garfinkel, a real estate attorney affiliated with REBNY. “If they’re using that shorthand to express a preference for who they want to come here, that’s absolutely a violation,” Garfinkel said. Of course this isn’t the only topic brokers tread lightly on when marketing units — the Corcoran Group began banning potentially offensive terms like “bachelor pad” from its listings last year.  [NYT]

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