Non-licensed assistants

This page provides guidance on what kind of help can you have from a non-licensed person employed by your agency.

What is considered ‘real estate agency work’?

Real estate work can be busy, time-pressured and competitive. You have multiple listings, buyer enquiries to respond to, multiple sale processes to run and getting support is crucial to your business.

If someone is new to the real estate industry, becoming an assistant is a great way to understand how it works and to ease them into the business. The position of a non-licensed assistant can help support you and your agency, so you can focus on guiding vendors and buyers through the home buying and selling process.

If you're employing a non-licensed support person, make sure you’re clear on what ‘real estate agency work’ is. Only people who hold a licence are able to do ‘real estate agency work’, which is defined in Section 4 of the Real Estate Agents Act 2008. If your non-licensed assistant wants to do ‘real estate agency work’ they’ll need to get a real estate licence.

Real estate agency work or agency work—

(a) means any work done or services provided, in trade, on behalf of another person for the purpose of bringing about a transaction; and

(b) includes any work done by a branch manager or salesperson under the direction of, or on behalf of an agent to enable the agent to do the work or provide the services described in paragraph (a); but

(c) does not include—

(i) the provision of general advice or materials to assist owners to locate and negotiate with potential buyers; or

(ii) the publication of newspapers, journals, magazines, or websites that include advertisements for the sale or other disposal of any land or business; or

(iii) the broadcasting of television or radio programmes that include advertisements for the sale or other disposal of any land or business; or

(iv) the lending of money on mortgage or otherwise; or

(v) the provision of investment advice; or

(vi) the provision of conveyancing services within the meaning of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006.

Finding buyers or listings

If someone is new to the real estate industry, becoming an assistant is a great way to understand how it works and to ease them into the business. The position of a non-licensed assistant can help support you and your agency, so you can focus on guiding vendors and buyers through the home buying and selling process.

A non-licensed person can help you to contact potential buyers and sellers to let them know about the services you offer. Having them prospect potential consumers through the different marketing channels (social media, over the phone, and in person) can free up a lot of your time, so you can focus on your listings.

When reaching out to consumers, they will need to be careful to not give information about specific properties for sale. They should only be confirming if the consumers are happy to receive a call from you (the licensee) about properties for sale in their area.

The information they gathered should only be used to help you gauge the interest of potential customers. They should not use this information for the purpose of signing them up with your agency or buying a specific property through you.

Assisting at open homes

It’s important to make sure a property is secure during open homes and having help to manage this is a good idea.

The non-licensed person can:

  • place and remove signs on the property
  • manage the attendee register
  • help monitor areas of the property for security
  • hand out flyers or information packs about the property.

If your non-licensed assistant is personable and likes to engage people you may not want to put them in a position at an open house where they may be asked questions from buyers. Their natural reaction might be to answer them, which puts them at risk of doing real estate agency work without a licence.

The non-licensed assistant should direct all questions or enquiries about the property to you or refer buyers to information in the property flyer.

Arranging Appointments

A non-licensed person may be able to make or schedule appointments on your behalf to meet with buyers, vendors, inspectors, lawyers etc.

With your consent, they can be present to let a property inspector inspect the property for the purpose of preparing a report or provide tradespeople access to the property to do repair work arranged by the vendor. They can coordinate between the buyer, the inspector, and the vendor to find a time that suits everyone to carry out these services.

If they are providing access to a property, they should be careful not to make any representations about the property. 

Support around the office

A non-licensed person can provide a range of administrative support to help you behind the scenes with your listings. Some examples of work they can carry out include:

  • acting as a courier to deliver documents, pick up keys, etc.
  • answer the phone, take messages, and forward calls to you or other agents within your agency
  • schedule appointments on your behalf
  • gather feedback on showings and open homes
  • compile market data to support an appraisal (you must analyse the data and prepare the appraisal)
  • perform other administrative, clerical, and personal activities
  • maintain your social media and online presence with your permission.

They may work with you to create advertising and other promotional materials for listings, help you follow up with interested buyers by sending out property information packs or help by keeping your website up to date.

What they can’t do

There is a limit to what a non-licensed assistant can help you with.

This includes:

  • being involved in negotiations between the buyer and seller
  • running open homes
  • acting on behalf of the seller when dealing with buyers, for example, answering enquiries about the property.

It can be helpful to use a non-licensed assistant, but there is added risk involved. You, as the responsible licensee, will be expected to train and supervise the unlicensed person to be sure they are not doing things they are not allowed to do. You may be held responsible for the actions that your assistant takes. 

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