5.0 ORGANIZATIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES
5.1 TERMS OF ASSOCIATION
All personnel acting in a sales capacity are “Independent Contractors.” You are selfemployed and are responsible for your own records and payment of State and Federal Income Taxes and self-employment tax.
You will receive a 1099 tax statement from the Company at the end of each year showing the total commissions paid to you.
5.2 CONDITIONS TO ASSOCIATION
a) State Law requires that all associates selling or renting real estate for someone else, be tested and licensed by the State of Virginia.
b) The Company is a REALTORÂ® firm. We require that you immediately become a member in the LOCAL, STATE AND NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS OF REALTORSÂ® AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE CODE OF ETHICS OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSÂ®. We require you become a member of the NRVAR MLS. We also recommend you attend the many educational programs sponsored by the Board.
5.3 CONDUCT OF ASSOCIATES
In order to succeed in working with the public, you will want to present yourself in a professional manner.
a) You will want to be neat in appearance and make every attempt to create a favorable impression. Take pride in your appearance and avoid the wear of inappropriate attire when in the office. Your appearance not only influences your clients but others clients as well. Your inappropriate attire may cost an associate a client.
b) A neat clean automobile reflects personal pride and organization.
c) It is suggested that you carry your sales and listing materials in a neat portfolio.
d) Most clients will be offended by your use of liquor or tobacco prior to or while you are counseling or representing them. You are encouraged to refrain from them even though your clients may be using them. Never allow a customer or client to smoke inside any home or improvement during any showing.
Our office has established a “no smoking” policy for the comfort of our staff and clients. If employees or Sales Associates must smoke, we ask that you leave the office to do so.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
The Company is committed to providing a professional work environment that maintains employee equality, dignity, and respect. In keeping with this commitment, the Company strictly prohibits discriminatory practices, including sexual harassment. Any sexual harassment, whether verbal, physical or environmental, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated whether it occurs in the workplace or at outside work-sponsored activities.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT DEFINED:
Sexual harassment is illegal under federal, state and local laws. It is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
(1) Submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
(2) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or
(3) The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
The types of behaviors that constitute sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:
â€¢ unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances or propositions;
â€¢ derogatory, vulgar, or graphic written or oral statements regarding one’s sexuality, gender or sexual experience;
â€¢ unnecessary touching, patting, pinching or attention to an individual’s body;
â€¢ physical assault;
â€¢ unwanted sexual compliments, innuendoes, suggestions or jokes; or
â€¢ the display of sexually suggestive pictures or object.
Any employee who has a workplace sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor, coworker, visitor, client or other person, must bring the problem to the Company’s attention. If you believe that you have been sexually harassed, you should immediately report the incident to the Managing Broker. The complaint will be immediately and thoroughly investigated in a professional manner.
You will be notified of a decision or of the status of the investigation within seven days from the time you report an incident. There will be no discrimination or retaliation against any individual who files a good-faith sexual harassment complaint, even if the investigation produces insufficient evidence to support the complaint, and even if the charges cannot be proven. There will be no discrimination or retaliation against any other individual who participates in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. If the investigation substantiates the complaint, appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action will be swiftly pursued. Disciplinary action, including discharge, will also be taken against individuals who make false or frivolous accusations, such as those made maliciously or recklessly. Actions taken internally to investigate and resolve sexual harassment complaints shall be conducted confidentially to the extent practicable and appropriate in order to protect the privacy of persons involved. Investigation may include interviews with the parties involved in the incident, and if necessary, with individuals who may have observed the incident or conduct or who have other relevant knowledge.
Policy Application and Enforcement. This policy applies to all employees, managers, supervisors and other staff, whether related to conduct engaged in by fellow employees, supervisors, or someone who is not directly related to the Company, such as a vendor, consultant, client, customer, or other Company contact. All supervisors have the duty of ensuring that no individual or employee is subjected to sexual harassment and of maintaining a workplace free of such harassment. Supervisors shall discuss this policy with employees and assure them that they are not required to endure any acts of sexual harassment.
The Company will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all employees and independent contractors are familiar with this policy and are aware that each complaint received by the Company will be investigated and resolved appropriately. It is the Company’s policy to encourage the reporting of all perceived incidents of sexual harassment, regardless of the position of the alleged offender. Every employee is also encouraged to raise any questions or concerns regarding this policy with an owner-broker. The Company will take all steps necessary to enforce its policy prohibiting sexual harassment.
5.4 RENTING AND MANAGING REAL ESTATE
a) From time to time, sales associates are asked and/or volunteer their services to an owner of real estate who wishes to rent that property. Sales associates then find for the owner a tenant to occupy that property. The Company recommends that you NOT seek management or rental responsibilities. Assuming any responsibility for maintenance and/or upkeep of any property is very difficult and should be avoided. Exceptions may be made in certain cases but must be approved in advance, by managing broker.
5.5 LONG DISTANCE AND OTHER PHONE USE
a) The company will pay for all business related long distance use. If an agent makes personal calls from the office, the agent will advise the broker of those calls so the calls can be charged back to the agent.
b) As a courtesy to others:
1. Limit personal phone calls to a minimum.
2. Call in direct for messages on the voice mail line.
c) In an effort to keep costs down:
1. Use toll free numbers whenever possible.
2. Use private Cell Phones when possible.
3. Make Long Distance Calls as short as possible. Use the fax, email, and/or regular mail to communicate long messages, except for urgent messages.
4. Keep the phone log for all Long Distance Calls. This will give a record as to what calls are being made, length of calls, and who is making the calls.
5. Treat the office phone like you were paying the phone bill.
5.6 LIMITATION OF AUTHORIZATION TO SALES ASSOCIATES
The Company is not and shall not be liable for any expenses or obligations incurred by associates, unless a specific written authorization is granted by the broker prior to the obligation being entered into.
5.7 RESPONSIBILITIES OF SALES ASSOCIATES
As an “Independent Contractor,” accurate representation of all facts is your responsibility. A lack of accuracy will be at your expense. You will also be responsible for any losses sustained by reason of your errors or omissions in connection with your preparation of documents in real estate transactions.
The Broker is explicitly responsible for the supervision and control of all the activities conducted on behalf of the sales associates as necessary to secure full compliance with the Real Estate Law, including but not limited to the supervision of salespersons in the performance of acts for which a real estate license is required. They are also similarly charged with the responsibility to supervise and control all activities performed by their employees and agents in their name during the course of a transaction for which a real estate license is required, whether or not the activities performed require a real estate license.
To assist brokers to properly carry out their duty to supervise and control activities conducted on their behalf during the course of a licensed transaction, it is important for the broker to know and identify those activities which do and do not require a real estate license. This knowledge assists the broker to use licensed persons when required, and to extend and provide the necessary supervision and control over licensed and nonlicensed activities as required by law and good business practices.
Broker knowledge and consent is a prerequisite to the performance of these unlicensed activities, since without these elements there can be no reasonable assurance that the activities performed will be limited.
Brokers should be aware that it does not take very much to go from unlicensed to Licensed activity.
5.8 AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE
As an “Independent Contractor” – you are responsible for sufficient insurance coverage. Virginia law requires that you have insurance coverage on your automobile. We require that you carry at least the minimum as required by State Law. Please check to make certain you have proper coverage for your own protection. The Company is not responsible for accidents.
a) When leaving the Company you must return all property given or assigned to you, including Policy Manuals, training material, keys to the office, MLS key lockboxes, signs, supplies and library materials.
b) All unsold listings remain the property of the Company.
c) All commission pay-outs shall be subject to provisions of 6.0. You are entitled to receive commissions on booked transactions that close after your date of termination. If you are unable to perform the necessary tasks to close the transaction, the Company reserves the right to assign another associate the closing responsibility and compensate them up to 30% of your portion of the commission.
d) The Company shall be liable only for actual commissions received.
e) The Company shall withhold from the commissions otherwise due and owing any income advances, advertising overages, MLS charges, or other money owed the Company by the associate.
f) There will be no bonus commissions, trips, incentives, etc. paid to an agent once they are no longer licensed with the Company.
5.10 ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE
The Company has an Errors and Omissions Insurance Policy. The premium is paid by the Company. The amount of $ 30.00 is deducted off the top of each and every commission received by the Company for this purpose to protect the Company. This amount may be adjusted in the event that the premiums increase. If associates desire, they may obtain their own Errors and Omissions Policy at their own expense In addition to the Company Policy_
5.11 AGENT EXPENSES
a) IT WILL BE COMPANY POLICY FOR THE FOLLOWING ITEMS TO BE PAID BY THE DESIGNATED PARTY:
|All forms and stationary supplies.||â€¢||McCraw Real Estate|
|Express Packages for business.
Lock Boxes. Yard Signs with Company Name on Signs.
Normal postage for business, not including postage for farming or Newsletters, etc…
|â€¢||McCraw Real Estate|
|Business Cards In increments of 1,000.||â€¢||McCraw Real Estate|
|Any personalized item ordered||â€¢||Salespeople|
If you should have any question as to who pays for what, and it is not on this list, please ask one of the managing brokers and a decision will be made as to the responsible party
b) Every time an agent receives a commission check, the following deduction from the commission will be made towards any outstanding balance they may have with the company.
If balance is $501 and over: A minimum of 50% of outstanding balance will be deducted.
If balance is $500 or less: Total balance will be deducted.
5.12 OFFICE CONDUCT
a) In order to be a professional, one must act professionally.
The front reception area is the most important area in our office. At any given moment a client, customer, or other REALTOR could walk in. We have trained our support staff to always portray a PROFESSIONAL IMAGE when in this area. This is not only important because of walk-in traffic, but also since there are so many phone calls and opportunities that the person on the other end of the line may hear what is being said in the background.
Some of the things we consider inappropriate are: loud talking, talking with a negative “tone” in your voice, cursing, addressing a complaint to another co-worker when others are present or could be present at any moment.
We believe such confrontations must not occur. We would like everyone to address ANY complaints, comments or frustrations to ONLY one of the Brokers.
Respect yourself and one another – dress appropriately when in the office and when meeting clients and/or customers anywhere.
5.13 COMPLAINT POLICIES
a) Complaint against another real estate affiliated business.
No phone calls are to be made or letters written by sales associates to reprimand or complain about the actions or services provided by any real estate affiliated institutions or businesses. This would also include any real estate firm.
Any such justifiable reprimand or complaint will be first discussed with one of the managing brokers and such letter or call will be made or sent only with broker input & consent.
b) Complaints received.
Telephone or letter complaint: If a complaint is received by letter, the letter is forwarded to the Brokers for review and will follow the same procedure at that point as it would for telephone complaint.
If a complaint is received by phone from a client, the person who receives the call will try to obtain as much information as possible if one of the managing Brokers is not available. If one of the Managing Broker’s is available, the call shall be immediately transferred to them. The Broker also makes an effort to obtain as much information as possible about the complaint. The Broker at that point will try to set up an appointment to meet with the caller at their home or at some convenient location (with the client/customer if applicable). After the meeting, the Broker has a meeting with the sales associate involved to get their side of the story. Depending upon the complaint/problem, the Broker will try to resolve the situation by coming up with a solution after hearing both sides.