We recently hired some assistants to help us out during the busy fall rush in our Airdrie, Calgary, Drumheller and Strathmore real estate offices. Here are a few of the rules we found out about. We have both virtual and in-office assistants.
Assistants can be hired by either a brokerage or an individual associate broker or associate. However, regardless of what entity does the hiring, brokerages must have policies for unlicensed assistants who do not deal directly with members of the public, especially with respect to the confidentiality of client information.
Council policy is that if an assistant is dealing directly with members of the public, he or she must be employed by the brokerage.
As the broker, I may be subject to disciplinary proceedings for the improper conduct of an unlicensed assistant.
Assistants Must Always identify themselves to the public as unlicensed real estate assistants. As humans, we always want to help the clients, but by law, assistants can't help the clients.
They may only act as a courier service to deliver documents dropoff and pick up keys (at the curb), but they cannot open the door, greet the clients, or answer any questions at all.
Real Estate assistants can be a tremendous help to the team, and with most of our practitioners working an average of 14 hours out of the day during peak sales months, it is a great way to "buy yourself some time"
Assistants May (under broker supervision)
Have copies of the keys made for the real estate broker's listings or rental/lease unit.
Write ads describing the features and benefits of the residential or commercial property and place broker approved advertising (promotional information, newspaper ads) with the media.
Proofread and Search Engine Optimize the Agent's blogs.
Maintain your client database in your Century 21 OnlineOffice, and schedule your drip campaigns in your Century 21 Client Connect module or Prospector Searches.
Search Kijiji, Craigslist, and other websites for properties not listed on the Alberta MLS (Multiple Listing Service) found at REALTOR.ca
They can also keep track of expired listings, pull titles from SPIN, pull taxes from the municipality, etc.
Record and deposit trust money, security deposits and advance rents.
Schedule appointments for the real estate broker to show listed buildings, homes or rental units.
Retrieve information from the real estate board for the broker's use only. This includes loading transaction kits onto the Associates iPad (either manually, or remotely).
Open the broker's listing or rental units for appraiser, inspectors, etc. (subject to the RTA) and Install lockboxes.
Immediately "Broker load" new listing details that the Associate emails the assistant live from the listing, uploading the information directly into the MLSR system (as long as information is verified by the real estate broker prior to activating the listing).
Organizing all of the Broker's contracts, photos and listing details in the cloud.
Setup the client's access to their touchbase account to allow them to organize convenient times for showings.
Monitor the Associates Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media accounts.
Distribute personal brochures or flyers with no public discussion on real estate matters.
Have a business card stating they are an unlicensed assistant to the Brokerage.
Inspect/measure homes if the measurements are verified by the broker.
Make cold calls to canvass interest in using the services of the real estate brokerage.
Have written consent from the broker in order for an associate broker or associate to hire them.
Possess an agreement outlining the assistant's job description and remuneration formula; a copy must be maintained in the broker's file.