Is this Re/Max ad true or misleading?

Remax billboard close up
Re/Max billboard

A few weeks ago a group of real estate agents had a discussion on a Facebook chat group about this billboard.

The question that was posed was as follows:

"Just saw a REMAX billboard: "Nobody outsells a REMAX agent". How is that not false advertising? I outsell a lot of REMAX agents."

These were some of the replies posted:

"You'd think being so far in debt that their shareholders would put a stop to their pointless advertising"

"As a ReMax agent, this kind of stuff is just embarassing."

"Someone told me recently that the big brands are getting away with these kinds of statements as they aren't technically brokerages doing the ads but the corporations. I wonder if there's any truth to that? Certainly shouldn't be the case."

"The term 'nobody outsells' is ambiguous. Similar to saying 'We are the greatest'. It is what RECO and your local board refer to as 'puffery'."

"Professionally speaking, it is GREAT MARKETING!!!!!...... the sole purpose of marketing is to evoke response.......examine the comments and intensity of some of the replies.....EVOKED A HECK OF A RESPONSE, it did its job...".

"Then they should have a disclaimer or it's misleading advertising."

There would not have been a discussion about this advertisement if a disclaimer was visible on the billboard qualifying this statement. But there wasn't a single person on this chat group who saw this billboard who could read any disclaimer on the billboard if one existed or understand the statement.

In my humble opinion, if an advertisement is not clear then it is misleading. It intentionally misleads consumers to think that Re/Max agents are superior to all other agents but doesn't qualify how. 

Let's try to guess what this statement could possibly mean.

Nobody outsells a Re/max agent in units sold? Could it mean that every Re/Max agent sells more units than any other agent from any other brokerage. If this is what this advertisement is intended to mean then, as an insider, I can say unequivocally that this statement is untrue. 

Nobody outsells a Re/max agent in volume sales? Could it mean that every Re/Max agent has a higher volume of sales than any other agent from any other brokerage. If this is what this advertisement is intended to mean then, as an insider, I can say unequivocally that this statement is also untrue. 

Nobody outsells a Re/max agent because every Re/max agent sells houses for more money than any other agent from any other brokerage. If this is what this advertisement is intended to mean then, as an insider, I can say unequivocally that this statement is also untrue.

Nobody outsells a Re/max agent because every Re/Max agent sells houses faster than any other agent from any other brokerage.  If this is what this advertisement is intended to mean then, as an insider, I can say unequivocally that this statement is also untrue. 

Well then what does "Nobody Outsells a Re/Max Agent" mean?

The claim on this billboard is not understood, even by an insider such as myself, so how can a consumer make sense of this claim?

Furthermore, what kind of an example is corporate Re/Max setting for Re/Max agents? Is it ok to be unclear? Is it ok to exaggerate? Is it ok to make claims you can't substantiate? 

In my opinion, regardless of the industry, when a corporation makes a claim that is unfounded then that corporation should be held accountable for making these unsubstantiated claims. 

Consumers deserve transparency, honesty, a clear explanation of what an advertisement means. Consumers deserve better and Re/Max should deliver clearer ads.

Just my opinion.

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3 Responses to Is this Re/Max ad true or misleading?

  1. Jack says:

    I think the statement is based on the overall average of all remax agents from all the franchises instead of a particular agent, thus they are able to make such claim. and quite possibly a combined average of remax agents in the whole North America, not just Canada.

    Reply
    • Josie says:

      Jack the fact that you have to say “I think the statement is based on…” is in itself proof that this billboard is misleading. There should be a clear, visible disclaimer of what this billboard is claiming. To me, this billboard is deceptive and sneaky. Even if it refers to an overall average of Re/Max agents, who cares? Do you think a consumer cares that Re/Max agents sell more on average than agents who work for other brokerages? That doesn’t affect the consumer’s bottom line. The consumer cares about getting the highest price for their property not hiring a brokerage that has higher unit averages. This billboard is nonsense and the competition bureau would have a field day with this billboard.

      Reply
      • Jack says:

        Josie, totally agree, I’m just saying the possibility on why they make such claim, but you’re totally right, it is something that does not have data to back it up.

        Reply

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