Wednesday, May 2, 2012

License law doesn't equal company policy

While litigating a brokerage commission dispute this afternoon, it dawned on me that real estate agents just don't know their company policy on many issues that they face in their profession. In fact, when they do know their company policy they fight it saying its not what their license permits.

To be clear, company policy is not the same thing as license law, nor is it Department of State regulations and it certainly isn't ethics opinions. What company policy is instead is your company's rules that are much more restrictive than any of the proceeding categories. You see companies have to manage on the macro and try to minimize risks so they make internal rules that narrow the line of legality to attempt to avoid the line of illegality as much as possible.

So imagine license law, regulations and ethics opinions constituting a large circle and company policy as a smaller circle therein of what you can and cannot do as an aspect of your job. All big companies have policies and most agent's independent contractor agreement incorporates these polices by reference, so agents must know and constantly be updated on their policies.

Go read your manuals.