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Professional Standards Manual

Trading Services

1. Practice Standards

(d) Licensee’s Assistants

On a regular basis, the Council receives inquiries from licensees as to whether or not they can employ assistants. The answer, of course, is ‘‘Yes’’, but there are restrictions on the activities the assistant may perform depending upon whether or not the assistant is licensed under RESA. As a licensed assistant is considered exactly the same as other licensed individuals, all remuneration for licensed activity must be paid to a licensed assistant by the brokerage and not by the assisted licensee. If a licensee is providing unlicensed assistance to another licensee, e.g., typing, bookkeeping, etc., the licensee performing the unlicensed activity may be paid directly by the assisted licensee for these unlicensed activities. If an unlicensed assistant is employed, this individual may be paid directly by the assisted licensee, however, extreme caution should be exercised to ensure that everyone involved complies with RESA; in particular, an unlicensed person’s activities must be confined to those which do not require licensing.

With regard to Trading Services, an unlicensed assistant may:

  • answer the telephone, take messages, and forward calls to a licensee;
  • schedule appointments for the licensee (this does not include making telephone calls, telemarketing, or performing other activities to solicit business on behalf of the licensee);
  • secure public information from a courthouse, municipality, regional district, or other source of public information;
  • place or remove signs on property;
  • submit listings and changes, as approved by a licensee, to a multiple listing service;
  • have keys made for a brokerage’s listing;
  • unlock a property in order that it may be shown by a licensee;
  • draft advertising copy, promotional materials, and correspondence for approval by a licensee (correspondence must be signed by the licensee);
  • place advertising;
  • prepare and distribute flyers and promotional information under the direction of and with approval by a licensee;
  • act as a courier to deliver documents, pick up keys, etc.;
  • be in attendance at a property during a licensee tour which is not open to the public so long as the unlicensed assistant does not answer any questions or offer any information beyond what has been provided, in writing, by the seller’s brokerage;
  • gather feedback from licensees on showings;
  • complete contract forms with business and factual information at the direction of and with approval by a licensee;
  • witness signatures;
  • assemble documents for a closing;
  • follow up on a trade in real estate after a contract has been signed by
    • arranging and/or allowing access to property for a property inspector or appraiser, or
    • providing other similar facilitation services that would not other wise require licensing;
  • perform bookkeeping or office functions, including
    • record and deposit trust funds, including transaction deposits, security deposits and rents,
    • compute remuneration cheques and perform bookkeeping activities,
    • monitor licences and personnel files, and
    • office filing; or
  • perform other administrative, clerical, and personal activities for which a licence under RESA is not required.

With regard to Trading Services, an unlicensed assistant may not:

  • host open houses, kiosks, or home show booths;
  • solicit buyers, sellers, landlords, or tenants;
  • show property;
  • respond to questions from anyone outside the related brokerage about information concerning listings or other contracts, titles, financial documents, closing documents, or other information relating to a transaction;
  • explain or interpret a Contract of Purchase and Sale or any form of service agreement (e.g., listing contract) with or to anyone outside the related brokerage;
  • negotiate or agree to any commission, commission split, or referral fee on behalf of a licensee;
  • present or negotiate an offer or any form of service agreement; or
  • perform any other activity for which a licence under RESA is required.

These activities fall within the definition of trading services and require a licence before they may be performed on behalf of others in expectation of remuneration. A licensee who pays an unlicensed assistant to perform these activities breaches section 6-1 of the Council Rules, which prohibits a licensee from paying an unlicensed person who performs real estate services for which a licence is required.