The specific duties of a real estate assistant can vary from one office to another, and local statutes often dictate exactly what these individuals are allowed to do. Licensed real estate assistants are typically allowed to perform a wider variety of duties than unlicensed assistants, though that can also vary depending on the location. In most cases, real estate assistants perform tasks that are assigned by licensed real estate salespeople, agents, and brokers. Common tasks include office work, such as answering phones and typing, in addition to various types of work in the field. In some instances, a real estate assistant may be called upon to install signage on properties, distribute fliers, hold open houses, and perform other similar tasks.
There are two main types of real estate assistants, which can be differentiated based on licensing. Unlicensed real estate assistants are typically allowed to perform a wide range of duties, both in the office and the field. Paperwork and documents usually have to be prepared by licensed individuals, but a real estate assistant can typically deliver, distribute, and type up this type of information. Unlicensed assistants are usually not allowed to place new listings or fill out listing paperwork, but they are often authorized to input that type of data into the multiple listing service (MLS) that the office is a member of.
Unlicensed assistants are often asked to perform routine office tasks, such as answering phones and typing, and they are sometimes also called on to prepare advertising copy. In most cases, a licensed agent, or a broker, has to look over and authorize the material before it can published. Most jurisdictions have strict regulations that govern advertising and marketing, so licensed agents and brokers must be very careful to ensure that any ad copy prepared by assistants meets the requirements. Assistants can typically also install signage at listed properties, and they may be allowed to help with open house events if a licensed agent is also on the premises.
Licensed real estate salespeople and agents can also work as assistants, and that role can allow a new licensee to learn the business from an experienced mentor. This type of real estate assistant is typically allowed to perform any functions that a real estate agent or salesperson can, though the specific role often varies based on the rules and policies of the employer. Unlike unlicensed individuals, a licensed real estate assistant can typically prepare documents, discuss offers on listed properties, and host open house events without another agent being present.