The real estate space is flush with catch phrases and calls to action. “We need to clean up the industry!” Transparency is all the rage. Nearly every related group wants to “raise the bar.” Anything that benefits the consumer is a win in reality. It all looks good, doesn’t it? But is this all lip service from an aging industry?
Why do we care? The state of California has stringent licensing guidelines to be a real estate broker. State law also dictates the added responsibilities one with a broker license needs to care for. 1850 Realty is bona fide, meaning we are 100% what we say we are: a fully independent real estate brokerage, with Carol Farrar as the broker. The red tape and legal paperwork needed to get to our position is daunting. It pains us and those like us in the business to see fakers and perpetrators calling themselves something they are not.
That said, what appears to go on is that the “good ol’ boy” and crowd favorite get a pass. Is this the right way to promote the real estate business? Is it fair to hire someone who isn’t who you think they are? We don’t think so, and have some examples to share.
How to be a Broker, without being licensed!
In California, one must be a broker to run a real estate business. The broker is legally responsible for her actions and all of her agents. Any licensed Corporation must have a broker, and that person must also be an officer of that corp. Chartered with this task, setting an example sets the tone of the office. What happens when the “owner” doesn’t have those liabilities?
Read along with our playbook on how to gallivant as a real estate broker; without a broker license. (Names and identities have been redacted.)
Part 1: Fake it until you make it.
Here we have a print article dated 3/19/2015 featuring a great person we know. Their business is doing neat things, and getting loads of positive press. That said, note above transparency was used TWICE! “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means” Let us look at our next image…
A quick trip to verify the license shows that in fact, this person is not a licensed broker in California as of the publish date. They also have an employing broker, which means they are definitely not said person. So about that transparency… A simple mistake, or a pattern? Well, we found other instances dating back 8 months on the same news site:
Broker was used four times above. Seemed to me that they want to convey a point: broker’s providing advice for other broker’s.
Hmm. Again, not belittling or hater-Ade by any stretch. The repetitiveness leaves one with questions, such as why hasn’t this been pointed out or corrected? Or, fake it until you make it! This person is more than qualified to become a real estate broker, and the fact that they are running around promoting that fact borders on illegal.
It was pointed out to the editor of this news site. No correction or acknowledgement from them.
Part 2: Laws? What do we need those for?
Our next example is the poster child for someone who should not be allowed to practice real estate. They have been a blight on their own clients as well as the local industry. This is supplanted by evidence of a license suspension by California Bureau of Real Estate. So what gives?
It turns out this person is a “designated officer” of a Corporation, which is a legit way to use “…the license issued to a corporation’s designated officer entitles that individual to conduct licensed activities on behalf of the corporation…”
This next image shows said Corporation, with only the non-licensed individual as the only Designated Officer. Wait a minute, so a Corp can be a broker without anyone at the helm holding a current license? In plain language: practicing real estate without a license.
If you are following, an individual without a license is also the officer dedicated with said compliance of a licensed entity. Said individual is also performing licensed activities under supervision of himself. Crazy huh?! You can also name inexperienced people as Designated Officers, who can also act as brokers with zero education and no individual licensing.
Any person who wanted to practice real estate without a license needs to do the following to legally do so:
- Hire a broker of record on retainer
- Create a California Corporation, name yourself and broker as corporate officers
- Apply to the California Bureau of Real Estate for a Corporate License
- Receive license with yourself named as a Designated Officer
- Remove broker of record, since you are now an acting broker!
This seems insane. When people like these are accepted with open arms, what chance does this industry have to change for the better?