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Do you need an assistant?

If you're finding yourself with absolutely no personal time, or you're starting to forget to return calls or missing appointments, you're probably past the point of needing an assistant.

A good assistant can help you take your business to a whole new level. Your brokerage must have a policy in place regarding support personnel, but you are ultimately responsible for their activities. Here's a quick list of some tasks that unlicensed assistants can (or can't) perform:

193E.7.13 Support personnel for licensees; permitted and prohibited activities.

7.13(4) In order to provide reasonable assistance to licensees and their support personnel, but without defining every permitted activity, the commission has identified certain tasks that unlicensed support personnel under the direct supervision of a licensee affiliated with a firm or broker may and may not perform.

a. Permitted activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Answer the telephone, provide information about a listing to other licensees, and forward calls from the public to a licensee;

(2) Submit data on listings to a multiple listing service;

(3) Check on the status of loan commitments after a contract has been negotiated;

(4) Assemble documents for closings;

(5) Secure documents that are public information from the courthouse and other sources available to the public;

(6) Have keys made for company listings;

(7) Write advertisements and promotional materials for the approval of the licensee and supervising broker;

(8) Place advertisements in magazines, newspapers, and other media as directed by the supervising broker; Ch 7, p.2 IAC

(9) Record and deposit earnest money, security deposits, and advance rents, and perform other bookkeeping duties;

(10) Type contract forms as directed by the licensee or the supervising broker;

(11) Monitor personnel files;

(12) Compute commission checks;

(13) Place signs on property;

(14) Order items of routine repair as directed by a licensee;

(15) Act as courier for such purposes as delivering documents or picking up keys. The licensee remains responsible for ensuring delivery of all executed documents required by Iowa law and commission rules;

(16) Schedule appointments with the seller or the seller’s agent in order for a licensee to show a listed property;

(17) Arrange dates and times for inspections;

(18) Arrange dates and times for the mortgage application, the preclosing walk-through, and the closing;

(19) Schedule an open house;

(20) Perform physical maintenance on a property; or

(21) Accompany a licensee to an open house or a showing and perform the following functions as a host or hostess:

1. Open the door and greet prospects as they arrive;

2. Hand out or distribute prepared printed material;

3. Have prospects sign a register or guest book to record names, addresses and telephone numbers;

4. Accompany prospects through the home for security purposes and not answer any questions pertaining to the material aspects of the house or its price and terms.

(22) Independently host open houses for tours attended by licensed brokers and salespersons only.

b. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Making cold calls by telephone or in person or otherwise contacting the public for the purpose of securing prospects for listings, leasing, sale, exchanges, or property management;

(2) Independently hosting open houses, kiosks, home show booths, or fairs attended by the public;

(3) Preparing promotion materials or advertisements without the review and approval of licensee and supervising broker;

(4) Showing property independently;

(5) Answering any questions on title, financing, or closings (other than time and place);

(6) Answering any questions regarding a listing except for information on price and amenities expressly provided in writing by the licensee; IAC Ch 7, p.3

(7) Discussing or explaining a contract, listing, lease, agreement, or other real estate document with anyone outside the firm;

(8) Negotiating or agreeing to any commission, commission split, management fee, or referral fee on behalf of a licensee;

(9) Discussing with the owner of real property the terms and conditions of the real property offered for sale or lease;

(10) Collecting or holding deposit moneys, rent, other moneys or anything of value received from the owner of real property or from a prospective buyer or tenant;

(11) Providing owners of real property or prospective buyers or tenants with any advice, recommendations or suggestions as to the sale, purchase, exchange, rental, or leasing of real property that is listed, to be listed, or currently available for sale or lease; or

(12) Holding one’s self out in any manner, orally or in writing, as being licensed or affiliated with a particular firm or real estate broker as a licensee.

[ARC 8519B, IAB 2/10/10, effective 3/17/10]

If you need more support, maybe a licensed assistant is a better fit. Check out licensing requirements here or contact us at

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