Not every assistant who works in a real estate office is licensed. But what can an unlicensed real estate assistant do? An unlicensed assistant can take on a number of responsibilities in the office. However, it is vital that every real estate agent understand what an unlicensed person is legally allowed to do compared to a licensed assistant, in order to avoid getting into trouble.
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What Can an Unlicensed Real Estate Assistant Do?
An unlicensed real estate assistant must follow the rules and regulations in their state regarding real estate work. While each state is different, there are some common themes that these individuals can handle.
1. Obtain Information
A realtor is a busy, licensed professional. They often need help to get their day-to-day work done. Pulling information from the public records or the MLS is something an unlicensed personal assistant can handle, as long as they have written permission to tackle the job from the agent.
By gathering data and documents for an employing broker or another professional with a real estate license, these assistants can help their employers save quite a bit of time. The key to this rule is that the instructions, in writing, must come from a licensee.
Likewise you can use an unlicensed real estate assistant to obtain information from your database. They can operate similar to a real estate ISA or Inside Sales Agent, but rather call and update your database with up-to-date mailing addresses, contact information, birthdays, and more.
2. Helping with Open Houses
An open house requires quite a bit of work. A supervising broker can hire a personal assistant to help with these activities.
The unlicensed individual must be careful not to engage in any licensed activity, such as negotiating, soliciting offers, or discussing details about the property.
However, they can pass out paperwork, collect contact information for the principal broker and prepare the property for the event.
The licensed agent must be careful that the unlicensed assistant does not answer questions about the property. Only someone with a license who works for the brokerage can do this. Specific questions about the listed property must go to the licensed broker.
3. Collecting and Distributing Information from the Brokerage
If the license-holding broker or agent has prepared some information about the property, then the assistant is allowed to pass it out. This includes dropping off signed contract forms with the title company or appraiser or passing out information about the property to interested buyers.
Similarly, an unlicensed employee is allowed to take documents for most real estate activity to associate brokers within the brokerage firm. The employee can pass paperwork to and from clients, as long as the licensed broker has approved the paperwork in its entirety.
They may also be able to collect checks for earnest money, advanced rent, and deposits on a property on behalf of the brokerage.
One of the best things that an unlicensed assistant can do is help with advertising. They can write all types of promotional materials.
In fact, any independent contractor with writing or designing skills can serve in this capacity. They would still be an unlicensed assistant, even if not serving as an official employee of the brokerage and earning a full-time salary.
5. Real Estate Signage
Keeping up with all of the signage on the real estate listings they manage is hard. Many real estate agents will have their assistants place and remove signs from a property. As long as they do the job as the real estate broker requested, putting the sign in its proper location is never an issue.
6. Make Plans for Repairs
A busy licensed principal broker is going to struggle to find time to arrange repairs on a piece of property they are trying to sell. Because a broker is a real estate professional who has a license, they are salespeople at their heart, and they do not want to worry about arranging for services for any real property in their portfolios.
This is where a licensed or even unlicensed real estate assistant can help find what fixes are mandatory after a home inspection, for example. This frees the agent to focus on being an effective salesperson and earning a commission.
7. Banking and Accounting Tasks
Even without a license, an assistant is allowed to receive and deposit funds, help with bookkeeping and take care of banking needs, as long as the associate broker is overseeing these tasks on behalf of the brokerage. These employees can also type up the documents for a banking or real estate transaction, as long as they were prepared by a licensed employee of the brokerage. Sometimes, real estate virtual assistants can fulfill this task without the need to hire another employee for the brokerage firm.
For More Freedom, Consider a Licensed Personal Assistant for Your Brokerage
Sometimes, a licensed assistant makes more sense for a brokerage. They have more freedom to handle real estate property transactions, submit listings, and handle clients more directly. There are still limitations to what an assistant can do, even with a license. But there will be fewer limitations than if they didn’t have any license, allowing you to make full use out of your new hire.
What Can an Unlicensed Real Estate Assistant Do FAQs
What is an unlicensed real estate assistant?
An unlicensed real estate assistant is a personal assistant who works with a brokerage or real estate firm but does not carry any sort of real estate license.
Can an unlicensed real estate assistant earn a commission on a sale?
No, commission checks are entirely the perk of the agents and brokers employed with the brokerage. Assistants receive compensation in the form of a salary, hourly rate, or per-job payment.
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