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BCFSA’s information is clear, concise, easy-to-read explanations of the requirements for real estate professionals under the Real Estate Services Act (“RESA”), Real Estate Services Regulation (“Regulation”), Real Estate Services Rules (“Rules”), and other applicable legislation.
This Information is intended for use by real estate professionals, to support their understanding of the standards they must meet in the delivery of real estate services.
The Real Estate Services Rules outline a number of duties which stem from the fiduciary obligations you owe to your client once you have entered into an agency relationship. One of those duties is to maintain the confidentiality of your client’s information. The execution of this duty can vary depending on whether your brokerage practices brokerage agency or designated agency. Regardless of the agency model, however, the requirement to maintain your client’s confidentiality remains the same.
(a) Designated Agency
Under designated agency, the brokerage and its clients agree that one or more real estate professionals engaged by the brokerage will be designated to act as the sole agents on behalf of each client. In this agency model, it is the designated agent on behalf of the brokerage, who has the primary agency duties of undivided loyalty, obedience, and confidentiality to their client.
If your brokerage is practising designated agency, you must not disclose confidential information about a client to another real estate professional in the same brokerage (or another brokerage) who is not representing that same client.
Maintaining client confidentiality includes ensuring sensitive documents are not shared or accessible to other real estate professionals. That means, for example, that phone calls where sensitive and confidential information are being discussed are not held in open areas.
(b) Brokerage Agency
In brokerage agency, a brokerage enters into a relationship with a client and the brokerage is appointed as the client’s agent. All real estate professionals at the brokerage assume the agency obligations of the brokerage relating to that client including the duty of confidentiality.
This agency model is more common in smaller communities and smaller brokerages where it is impractical to keep information confidential from other real estate professionals at the brokerage. It is also used for all strata management and rental property management brokerages. For instance, a brokerage with one broker and two real estate professionals working in a single-room office would have no reasonable way to ensure that the other real estate professional could not overhear phone calls or see documents containing sensitive information on a computer or desk.
If you are operating under brokerage agency, all the same rules of confidentiality apply in relation to sharing information outside the brokerage with third parties as is required under designated agency.Learn more about agency