Who’s Really No. 1 in Chicago? A Look at Brokerage and Agent Advertising

by James F. McClister


Real estate is a competitive profession. And while there are any number of occupations that may, rightfully, make a similar claim, hardly any industry is as dedicated to leveraging those positions of prominence as explicitly as those in real estate.

Being in a hyper-competitive market, like Chicagoland, where both low inventory levels and demand persist through our post-crisis cleanup, it is not only a matter of pride that keeps agents promoting themselves and their brokerage, but rather a necessity to maintain a successful business. However, as with any advertising, there is a very fine line between honest promotion and hyperbole. The concern comes in deciding where to draw that line.

If a real estate agent says they are the best, does it matter if they really are? Or what if a brokerage claims to be No. 1 in Chicago? Who determines what No. 1 even means? While many industry professionals might shrug their shoulders or disregard the notion of misleading advertising, the reality is that there is a real danger in claiming a false status.

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