Managing an estate agency office

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The manager of the day-to-day operations of an estate agency office, including principal and branch offices, must be a licensed estate agent.

The manager of the principal office may be the principal agent or officer in effective control, or may report to the principal agent or officer in effective control.

An agent’s representative who is new to the industry cannot manage an office. However, older agents’ representatives approved by the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) before February 1995 to manage a particular branch office may continue to do so. The BLA must grant permission for an approved agent’s representative to manage another branch.

Regardless of whether the manager of an office is an estate agent or an approved agent’s representative, they can only manage one office at a time.

Supervising an estate agency

An estate agency must have an estate agent in charge at the principal office. This agent is the ‘principal agent’ of a sole trader or partnership, or the ‘officer in effective control’ of a corporation.

This person is responsible and accountable for the operation of their agency and must:

  • regularly and substantially attend and be in charge at the principal office
  • control and supervise the agency business, including any branch offices
  • establish procedures to ensure the agency’s ongoing compliance with the law and good agency practice, and monitor the agency to ensure these procedures are followed
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that estate agents, agents’ representatives and other employees comply with the law.

Failure to carry out these duties is a breach of the Estate Agents Act 1980 and may lead us to take disciplinary action.

In the case that a licensee, officer in effective control or branch manager will be absent from their office for a period of 30 days or more, it is possible to appoint a short-term branch manager, or officer in effective control. 

Download the Estate agents application for short-term manager approval (Word, 430KB)

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