RE: Personal Assistants: What Can They Do?



Many agents hire personal assistants to help them with secretarial and/or organizational tasks.  If the personal assistant is not licensed by the BRE, then that assistant cannot do anything that requires a California salesperson license. Business & Professions Code §10132.

A personal assistant cannot be paid a commission.  A personal assistant should not have company business cards and should be paid either hourly or salary.

A personal assistant may only perform duties of a secretarial nature.  A personal assistant may not call any owner or buyer for the purpose of soliciting a listing, sale, lease or exchange of real property.

A personal assistant may call owners to schedule showings, closings or inspections.   The scope of these discussions should be limited to scheduling. The personal assistant may not prospect, may not call “for sale by owners” and may not call on expired listings.

The following is a quick summary of do’s and don’ts for the unlicensed personal assistant:


1.  Don’t hold open houses;

2.  Don’t negotiate terms of any transaction;

3.  Don’t draft, explain or interpret CAR FORMS for buyers or sellers;

4.   Don’t solicit buyers or sellers for the agent/broker;

5.  Don’t prospect for listings, sale, lease or exchange of real property; and

6.  Don’t ask or answer questions from any buyer or seller concerning any property such as asking price, number of bedrooms, number bathrooms or other qualities of the property.


1.   Schedule appointments for the agent/broker;

2.  Call buyers or sellers to schedule showings, inspections and closings;

3.  Compile listing packages;

4.  Deliver documents such as Offers, Counter Offers and Disclosures;

5.  Create flyers and brochures, and place advertising for the agent/broker;

6.  Take pictures for the agent/broker;

7.  Map properties for showing to buyers;

8.  Calendar important dates: contingencies, inspections, loan approval, closing;

9.  Order and/or maintain For Sale, Open House, Pending and Sold signs; and

10.  Coordinate closing

If the unlicensed personal assistant engages in any conduct for which a license is required, then both the agent and broker could be subject to discipline by the Bureau of Real Estate. Business & Professions Code §10137.

The unlicensed personal assistant should be considered a secretary or office manager. Their conduct must continually be supervised by the agent.

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