Part-timers should disclose their status

by Olivia D'Orazio01 Oct 2014
The market is tightening, business is getting tougher and there are new calls to let consumers know if the agent they are planning on using is a full-time real estate agent or maybe a plumber, mechanic or pilot during their ‘day’ job.

“I think people who are hiring a real estate agent have a right to know whether the agent is full-time or part-time and they should be able to look that up just like they can look up other things on the RECO website,” Toronto-based Realtor Nick Boothby tells REP.

The calls for an open and transparent disclosure of an agent’s status follow a particularly lively discussion on REP’s forum in which Boothby argued that potential clients have the right to know if their agent may have future scheduling conflicts or reduced availability.

However, registrar Joseph Richer of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) says the legislative body is not permitted by law to identify whether or not agents engage in other occupations. Further, Richer says RECO is mainly concerned with the level of service provided to consumers – regardless of the agent’s status.

“There is no correlation between someone who is part-time or full-time and their level of professionalism,” Richer tells REP. “The code of ethics requires that every salesperson and broker treat people fairly and honestly, promote the best interest of the client and promote conscientious service. [Our concern is with] anyone who breaches that code of ethics, whether they’re at another job or if they have too many clients.”

Still, Richer says consumers should ask potential agents about their availability during the interview process. If searching for a home solely on evenings and weekends is not an issue for the client, then it wouldn’t matter if the agent is part-time or not.

For his part, Boothby admits that hyper-specialist part-time agents can actually benefit certain clients.
“If they are part time – and there are many good part time agents – … they may be able to say, ‘I live three doors down from the house you’re looking at and I know more about it than anyone else in Toronto’,” Boothby says.
 

COMMENTS

  • by Rick 10/1/2014 1:24:09 PM

    What is full time anyways? Most days, I go the gym in the morning and stop by the office when I need to. I make a few prospect calls is the afternoon and meet most of my clients in the evening (since I work around their work schedule). Oh and I volunteer at my local legion twice a week during the day. Should I mention that I take 6 weeks off yearly when I go to Florida?

  • by A concerned broker 10/1/2014 1:38:08 PM

    Provincial and Federal Governments have no interest in creating a class of professional agents. This could lead to a monopoly. Therefore the more real estate agents (is it 40,000 in the GTA?) the better. We live in an age of oversupply of labour (Free Trade or open trade with low wage countries when it comes to manufacturing). In order to cloud the truth of the government's intent they have a multitude of training programs which in most cases are fit for Grade 5 Students. That gives the appearance of professionalism because every agent has to have these credit courses to keep his/her licence. Ask around in any office if you can find an agent who can write a legally binding contract without the assistance of a computer. Many agents don't even know the legal ramifications of the "small print" in the standard offer forms. The "Part Time Agent" status is a non-starter. Cops and Fireman have real estate licences. TTC drivers have real estate licenses. There are more and more agents who actually pay their customers to do business. New business models are being created as we speak and creating more professional real estate agents is not the main motivation for this creativity. There is always hope that those politicians who get it allow the industry to do the right thing and actually create more professional agents, but after decades in the business I am not hopeful. The professional real estate industry has created much wealth for consumers and a lot of tax income for governments. Yet the people in the industry have little political influence and the politicians with their army of bureacrats believe that this gives the government a free hand in playing with this "success monster" until something goes wrong. If this was not so serious it would actually be amusing.

  • by Greed 10/1/2014 1:57:00 PM

    Being an independent contractor I choose who I work for and give them my full attention. With that said I take care of my small client base with 100 % attention and satisfaction..I work on referrals. I see what you so called full timers are all about---I have spoke with many people about the care and dedication when you have 30 listings or so is that your too busy to ever return your clients phone calls and update them on the current status of their home. When you become too busy you forget what really matters... your client--not your money..I believe that is what it is all about..greed..

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