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BCFSA’s information provides 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.
BCFSA’s 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.
A “real estate team” means a group of two or more licensees that is registered as a real estate team.
A group of two or more licensees must register a real estate team with BC Financial Services Authority (“BCFSA”) if the licensees in the group do any of the following while providing trading services:
- Represent themselves to the public as a single entity (not limited to advertising);
- Regularly act as designated agents of the same client; or
- Regularly work together in a manner that creates implied agency with the same party.
The registration requirement does not apply if the single entity is a brokerage.
If you are part of a group of two or more licensees that regularly undertake any activities that could lead a consumer to believe that you are acting together as a team, you and your colleagues will need to consider whether to register with BCFSA as a team or cease certain activities in order to comply with the Real Estate Services Rules (“the Rules”).
To register a real estate team, the following requirements apply:
- A team must contain two or more licensees;
- You can only be a member of one real estate team at a time;
- You and the other team members must be working at the same brokerage; and
- You must not provide trading services through a real estate team unless you are a member of the team.
You must not conduct business through a team until your request is processed and approved by BCFSA.Learn more about making changes to an existing real estate team
If you wish to create a new team, add a member to a team, or leave a real estate team, you must log into BCFSA’s IRIS portal and complete the appropriate application and pay the required fee, if applicable.
Team name approvals are made on a case-by-case basis. When reviewing team name requests, BCFSA considers the requirements of the Real Estate Services Rules and the following internal policies:
- A team name must convey to the public that a group of individuals from the same brokerage is working as a team. Team names which include the words “Group,” “Team,” “Network,” or “Associates” help make this clear. While not required, BCFSA recommends using the word “Team” in your team name.
- To ensure the public is not misled or confused, a team name must not give the impression of being an incorporated company or brokerage. Team names such as “Joe Blogg and Company” or “Blogg Real Estate Services Inc.” will not be approved.
- The terms “Realty” and “Real Estate” may only be used in a team name when followed immediately by one of two terms: “Team” or “Group.” Examples: “The Bloggs Real Estate Team” or “The Bloggs Realty Group.”
- No team name will be approved that may be confused with an existing brokerage.
- No team name will be approved that is identical to an existing, approved team name.
BCFSA will inform the requesting licensee and their managing broker of the outcome of the team name request. BCFSA’s registration of a team name does not provide any determination or adjudication of ownership or rights in the team name.
All members of a real estate team are collectively designated agents of a client. They must also be designated as such on disclosures and service agreements. This means every member of a team represents each of the team’s clients. Because each member of a team may work closely with their team members and share or have access to confidential client information, they must collectively represent the same client(s).
This collective agency means that each licensee on the team owes the same agency and fiduciary duties to each of the team’s clients, which is why you cannot have one team member acting for the seller and one for the buyer in the same transaction, nor can members of the same team represent competing buyers in the same transaction. If these scenarios arise, the team will need to:
- Refer each client to licensees outside of their team; or
- If both clients agree, continue to act for one client and refer the other client to another licensee.
Read our Conflict of Interest (Trading Services) Guidelines for more details.
The only exception to this would be if the very restricted dual agency exemption under the Rules applies to the specific scenario. In such case, all members of the team would become dual agents of the clients.Learn More About Agency
It is important that the client understands when they are working with a team, and what that entails. Licensees should explain to their clients how representation on a team works, what services they can provide, and that their information may be shared with other team members.
The full names of all team members must be indicated on all disclosures, service agreements, and other forms.
All real estate advertising for a team and/or its individual members must clearly indicate the team’s name. If a team member advertises trading services as an individual, the real estate team name must be included in that advertising. The reason for this restriction is because team members are not allowed to provide trading services outside of their team. It is important for the consumer to know if a real estate licensee is a member of a team. As such, you must ensure that your real estate team name is clearly indicated throughout the course of providing trading services to a consumer.
A real estate team cannot advertise itself as a team until its registration request is approved by BCFSA.
If your real estate team has an unlicensed assistant(s) and you advertise the assistant(s) as part of your team, your advertising must indicate that the member is unlicensed – this is to ensure the public is not misled. As with any advertising, the brokerage name must be included in all advertising.Learn more about general advertising requirements
Teams may provide rental property management services to a client so long as all members of the team are licensed in the rental property management category and designated as agents of the client. If your team advertises rental property management services, the team’s name must be displayed in the advertising and all members of the team should be designated as agents of all clients.
If a team member is licensed for rental property management, and the rest of the team is not, that team member can only provide these services outside of the team. If this is the case, the team must not collectively advertise that it provides rental property management services. To collectively advertise rental property management services without all being licensed in that category would mislead the public by representing that they can receive those services from the whole group when they cannot.
Similarly, if a team member advertises rental property management services outside of the team, they must not include their team’s name in their advertising because it may mislead the public into believing that the entire team can provide rental property management services when only the licensed individual can.
Ultimately, if you provide rental property management services to a client, you must ensure:
- Appropriate designated agencies are in place;
- Client confidentiality is protected;
- The public is not misled; and
- Implied agency is avoided.