Understanding What an Unlicensed Real Estate Assistant Can / Can’t Do

Published October 22, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Many real estate agents in Canada make use of a real estate business assistant. It’s a popular choice for realtors who are spread too thin due to the success of their business and finding that they just can’t be in 2 places at once as often as they need to be. These assistants can no doubt be worth their weight in gold for a busy realtor, but it’s important to know what they can and can’t do when it comes to helping you manage the day to day of your real estate business.

Having to hire a realtor assistant is a good problem to have, as it generally means your business is successful to the point that it’s ‘too much’ for just one person – you – to manage. Getting to that point is going to be the aim of every realtor just starting out, and a large part of whether that happens is how effectively you prospect and promote yourself. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is a great way for aiding you in getting more opportunities to meet and secure real estate clients.

These are only general guidelines of what a real estate assistant can do for you when they do not have a real estate license. They may vary slightly based on your Province, and if you want more explicit clarification you are encouraged to contact your local municipal Real Estate Board.

1. Obtain Information with Written Instructions

Your assistant can obtain information pursuant to written instructions from the responsible person from public records, a multiple listing service, a listing exchange, or from 3rd– party sources including surveyors, banks, appraisers and title companies.An unlicensed assistant can provide great value for you pulling together the many documents and details related to getting a new listing going. However, do understand that they cannot talk to the client about it. Their job is only to gather data and documents, and they are able to go to the courthouse and pull information that’s related to the property

2. Conducting Open House Duties

Hosting and / or distributing literature at an open house is permitted for assistants provided that:

  • He or she does not discuss, negotiate or solicit offers for the property or provide any information outside of printed material prepared and approved by the responsible person
  • the responsible person is present at the open house where the unlicensed assistant is working and all inquiries are referred to the responsible person or other associate brokers or qualifying brokers

An unlicensed assistant who is chatty and likes to engage people may not be the best choice in light of these needs. You may not want to put them in the position where they’re on the frontline for receiving certain questions at an open house. Plain and simple, they shouldn’t and are not allowed to be answering them

3. Distributing Prepared Information

Your assistant can disseminate and distribute information prepared and approved by you, or anyone else with a valid real estate license. They can hand out and drop off brochures, take documents to title companies, and submit documents to appraisers and surveyors.

4.Delivery of Documents to Brokers

Most municipal real estate boards will have rules determining whether unlicensed assistants can pick up and deliver paperwork to associate brokers or qualifying brokers on behalf of their licensed submitters.
Naturally, a real estate professional’s time is best spent working with clients directly, so having unlicensed assistants take over permitted delivery duties can be a big plus.

5. Document Delivery to Clients with Limitations

An unlicensed assistant can be instructed to pick up and deliver paperwork to sellers or purchasers after a contract has been executed. This is provided that the paperwork has already been reviewed and approved by the responsible person, and without answering any questions or providing any personal recommendations to the recipient of the paperwork. Keep in mind as well that all substantive questions must be directed only to the responsible person.

Again, be cautious about having a chatty and very forthcoming person in these situations.

6. Write and Place Advertising

Your assistant can write advertisements, flyers, brochures, and other promotional materials and then have them approved by you, and they can also place classified advertisements that have been approved by you.

Having a talented writer or ad person as an assistant is great. They’ll be able to create ads and property descriptions that work. Just make sure that you review the document and approved them before going out or going live online.

7. Place and Remove Signs

The assistant can place and remove signs from properties. This is fairly obvious we imagine, and again for a busy realtor that’s going to be advantageous.

8. Order Repairs

Under your direction, an unlicensed assistant can order repairs or services for a property.
As such it may free you up to do more direct work with clients.

9. Banking, Accounting, and Documents

The individual can receive and deposit funds, plus be responsible for maintaining books and records while under your indirect supervision. They can also type and word process documents provided the material has been created by you.

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