Question: What can a personal assistant do for me? Is there anything that I should I know before hiring one?
Answer: Personal assistants can be great assets to help with administrative duties, but it is important to limit their tasks pursuant to the Massachusetts licensing laws. M.G.L. c. 112 §87RR states that, “no person shall engage in the business of or act as a broker or salesman directly or indirectly, either temporarily or as an incident to any other transaction, or otherwise, unless he is licensed.” Although the law does not define prohibited acts, generally unlicensed persons should avoid all activities that bring them into direct contact with clients and customers.
For example, they should not provide any information about a property or listing to any prospective home purchaser, inspector, appraiser, or other persons. Permissible duties include scheduling, preparation for showings, coordination of mailings, photography, advertisement, and telephone correspondence, so long as the PA does not engage in any conversation beyond purely administrative inquiries. If you are planning on hiring a personal assistant who is a licensed broker or salesman, he or she may perform all functions you assign, but it is important to remember that licensed personal assistants are subject to all disclosure laws and other relevant requirements.
Prior to hiring a PA, it would be wise to consult your legal counsel or the Board of Registration to ensure full compliance, as well as implement an office policy establishing the roles of the office’s personal assistant. Violations of the licensing law can be severe: M.G.L. c. 112 §87CCC imposes a maximum fine of $500, in addition to possible fines and penalties to the licensed salesperson or broker, so be sure to take the necessary steps to protect yourself.