CalBRE Issues New Guidelines for Unlicensed Assistants
With new public portals, shifting consumer demands and increasingly aggressive lead-generation strategies, an overloaded Realtor® might find themselves needing assistance. Reluctant to share a potential commission with a fellow licensee, the Realtor® may look to bring on an unlicensed individual to assist with some of the “administrative” or “clerical” tasks. While this arrangement, if closely controlled may be lawful, it is not unusual that the assistant might cross the line into performing activities that require a license. If such conduct is discovered, the designated broker/officer (whether or not they directed or were even aware of the conduct) may be found in violation of the Realtor® Code of Ethics, could face legal and civil penalties, and may even be subject to discipline from the California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) up to license suspension or even revocation.
To address the confusing rules pertaining to the use of unlicensed assistants, the CalBRE’s January 2018 Licensee Advisory offers some direction to California real estate licensees regarding what activities an unlicensed assistant can (and can’t) lawfully perform.
All Realtors® are encouraged to review the CalBRE Advisory – Guidelines for Unlicensed Assistants Who Work in the Real Estate Industry here http://www.dre.ca.gov/files/pdf/adv/Guidelines%20for%20Unlicensed%20Assistants%20-%20Updated%202018.pdf and take steps necessary to ensure immediate compliance.
The California Association of Realtors® is also a valuable resource on this topic, providing a comprehensive chart of typical activities which require a license. Visit https://www.car.org/riskmanagement/qa/licensing-folder/unlicensed-assistants for more information.
Although these rules may seem frighteningly nuanced and restricting, don’t be discouraged. By knowing these rules and appropriately delegating some of your more mundane clerical tasks, you will have more time to efficiently and effectively grow your business. Happy Hunting!