I have been handing out a form in recent classes.  My goal is to get some ideas of what real estate agents want in  topics for new classes.  Some of the questions ask about how long the student has been licensed and if they have a Managing Broker’s license and if not, why not.

I have been surprised at the number of agents who  answer that last question with the comment, ‘Don’t want the liability’.  I remember hearing this when I got into real estate in 1988 and was surprised to find this myth is still around.

I worked as an expert witness on a number of cases over my 25 years of licensure.  Most attorneys didn’t care what license the agent had; they cared how long the agent had been in the business.  A year or two they might have some sympathy; 10 years  –  zero sympathy.  Avoiding a Managing Brokers license won’t save an agent from being pummeled in a lawsuit.

And in today’s world Brokers and Managing Brokers have the same duties  –  see WAC 308-124C-135 and WAC 308-12C-140.  Managing Brokers can accept more duties if they choose  –  see WAC 308-124C-137.  And Brokers with less than 2 years are subject to more supervision   –  see WAC 308-124C-145.  These changes came about with the revision of RCW 18.85 in 2010.  The basic liabilities that a Broker and a Managing Broker has are identical.  So I am not sure why agents think never getting a Managing Broker’s license will save them from liability.

Just because a licensee has a Managing Broker’s license does not mean they will manage anybody other than themselves.  The license won’t automatically force them into a management position.  However, if they wish to be in charge of a team they MUST have the Managing Brokers license.

A Managing Broker license sets an agent apart as someone who took the time to learn more about their industry.  If getting designations such as ABR, SRES, CRS, etc., is part of your long term goals, consider adding a Managing Brokers license to that list.