If you’ve been reading our series on the legalities of advertising a business center, hopefully by now you’ve realized that advertising can be risky business.
If you haven’t gone back and reviewed your advertising – or even the copy on your website, which could be considered advertising – then now is the time to do a self-check.
After sharing all the risks you could face, from bait and switch on pricing to out of order technology systems to simple misunderstandings and beyond, there is some good news: You can protect your business center to a large extent by relying heavily on disclaimers in leases to avoid legal woes.
If you are going to run ads that are more boastful than they should be, then you have to be careful to disclaim those ads when people show up to sign the lease. It’s not going to protect you from every lawsuit, but it will help.
Since most of the problems with advertising are related to security claims, this should be a special area of focus in lease disclaimers, according to legal experts. It is wise, for example, to disclaim any potential misunderstanding by providing an explanation in the lease that the security systems are for the protection of the property and not for individual tenant belongings. Then recommend insurance.
Finally, don’t be your own judge. Large business center operators may consider hiring an attorney to review their ad copy. But legal experts recommend getting a second set of eyes, even if it is an employee or friend. The object is to review the ad in the context of whether or not the business center can fulfill the promise.
Since business center operators tend to puff too much in written advertising, experts recommend depending more on other attention-getting ad tactics, like color, photos, bigger print, etc.
Location is the key to your customer base. People like to office close to where they live. Therefore, going over the edge of doing inappropriate advertising is usually unnecessary if you are targeting your market with a good product. You shouldn’t have to promise something that you can’t deliver because the liability is too high.
Catch up on the rest of the series:
Legalities Of Advertising A Business Center, Part I
Legalities Of Advertising A Business Center, Part 2