Are you an employed Realtor? Or, are you an unemployed Realtor? Do you have an employment contract or are you just trusting your Broker to treat you fairly? It never ceases to amaze me how many Realtors do not have an employment contract. In fact I have heard from Realtors that didn't even know there was such a thing. How can that be? How could you go to work for someone and not have a contract? To me, this is the single most important document that you should have. With out it, in my opinion, you are unemployed.
In Florida this is not something that you learn at Real Estate Licensing school. It is never mentioned. Personally, I think that is a big mistake. There are many new Realtors that are taken advantage of because they did not realize that this is something they should have. Well folks, I'm here to clue you in a little bit today. You must have an employment contract, if not, you are jeopardizing your lively hood. You are at the mercy of your Broker. And trust me when I say, that is not a good position to be in. So once you have interviewed several Brokers and have decided who you want to work for, the next thing you need to do, is get it in writing. Here's a short list of things you need to agree on in advance and put them in your employment contract. Then have it signed by all parties and notarized. I don't care if you are going to work for your best friend or a family member, if you don't take care of this you are being foolish.
Ok, here goes.
- Length of employment.
- Compensation. What is your commission split on listings, sales, referrals, rentals etc.?
- Advertising. What does the Broker provide and what are you responsible for? This should cover, business cards, mailers, web sites etc.
- Office tools. Are they providing computers, phone, fax, copier etc and are there fees involved in using these items?
- Automobile insurance. How much coverage is required?
- E & O Insurance. How much are you covered by under the office policy and do you have to contribute to the cost?
- Floor time. What is expected of you? How much time are you required to be in the office?
- Exit strategy. This one is very important and seems to cause the most controversy. What happens to your listings if you leave? What about buyers? What about pending transactions? Remember your listings and existing transactions belong to your Broker. Unless these things are agreed in advance you could be leaving empty handed.
Now folks, I have no employees and I work by myself so I am in no way an expert on these things and I'm probably missing some things. But I know this is a good start. And remember, everything is negotiable. The point is, to sort these things out before they become an issue.
Also, all offices should have a policy manual. The policy manual will dictate inter office policy relating to agent to agent referrals, sales meetings etc. So be sure to get a copy of this before you agree to go to work for someone, as well.
So that's it. Broker Bryant's crash course on covering your arse. I hope it helps.
EDITTED: BY EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT I MEAN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT. THANKS LINDA DAVIS