Understanding Unlicensed Property Managers and Real Estate Assistants in Florida

By Ciprian Morariu Published: December 12, 2023

The Functions of An Unlicensed Property Manager in Florida

Do you wish to be a part of Florida’s real estate industry and make the most of the opportunities for professional growth? Now is the time to realize your dream of being part of one of the most lucrative real estate markets in the country. 

You probably know that Florida’s real estate industry is heavily regulated and there are specific rules and regulations to ensure and enforce ethical conduct from real estate professionals. One such legal rule is that every active real estate professional, be it a broker, a salesperson, an appraiser, or a realtor, must have a valid state license. 

Yes, without a license, the state of Florida will not permit you to legally partake in the sale, purchase, leasing, appraising, or renting of commercial, personal, or industrial property. 

However, not every active agent in Florida is licensed - some can operate without a state-approved license just fine. Yet, there are limitations and restrictions imposed on unlicensed property managers and real estate assistants. 

Unlicensed Property Managers in Florida

Definition and Role of a Property Manager

What are the functions of property managers? They are real estate professionals responsible for managing the various tasks that crop up in managing commercial and residential properties. 

The day-to-day responsibilities of a property manager include: 

  • Looking after the property’s financial matters 
  • Preparing and managing budgets and reports
  • Advertise and market the property to potential clients
  • Attracting new tenants and negotiating rental rates
  • Running background and credit checks on prospective clients and tenants
  • Maintaining records of leasing, taxes, operating expenses, maintenance & complaints
  • Collecting rent, payments, and dues from tenants

In simple terms, a property manager is the single point of contact for everything related to managing, operating, maintaining, and renting properties. 

The primary objective of a property manager’s roles and responsibilities is to maximize the value of a property, promote it effectively, and provide good customer satisfaction. 

To become a property manager, you must be good at negotiating and following up with people. Also, you must be aware of the latest trends and updates in the real estate industry. 

Regulations for Unlicensed Property Managers in Florida

After understanding the functions of property managers, it is time now to dive deep into what an unlicensed property manager does in Florida. 

Unlike regular licensed property managers, there are certain limitations to what an unlicensed property manager can legally do in the state of Florida. However, there is no reason to get disheartened in this regard.  

Tasks and Responsibilities of an Unlicensed Property Manager in Florida

The main responsibility of property managers is to ensure that a property is preserved to the ultimate satisfaction of the owner. Further, they also make sure that the property is promoted optimally so that the return on investment increases for the owner over the years. 

Typically, a property manager is hired by homeowners and investors to look after the operations, maintenance, promotion, and rentals of a property. 

But what exactly does a day in the life of a property manager look like and what all tasks and duties can they perform? Let’s take a closer look. 

  1. Team up with a licensed manager: Unlicensed property managers in Florida cannot sign documents, negotiate contracts, draft lease agreements, or handle escrow funds on their own, but you can partner with a licensed one to assist them. You can provide administrative support and handle clerical tasks on behalf of a licensed manager. 
  2. Collect rent from tenants: As per Florida law, unlicensed property managers are legally allowed to manage and handle rent collection from tenants. Note that without a license, you will not be able to negotiate or sign the rent agreement. 
  3. Promote and market the property: If you are without a license, you can get involved in the promotional and marketing aspects of a property. The law permits you to do so and by doing this, you can be of value to property owners in Florida. 
  4. Managing tenant communication: For property owners, managing tenant operations is a big part of their day and is often time-consuming. As an unlicensed property manager in Florida, you can reduce their effort by handling tenant complaints, updates, and other communication duties on behalf of the property owner. 

Limitations and Restrictions for Unlicensed Property Managers in Florida

You might think that there are growth opportunities for real estate careers without a license, but frankly, the scope is limited and restricted if you do not have a state-approved license. 

There’s a reason why licensing is such a critical step in your journey of building a successful career in real estate. With a real estate license in Florida, you can avail every opportunity, big or small, and turn that into a steady source of income. 

However, if you are an unlicensed property manager in Florida, you will have to face the following restrictions and limitations in your career path, some of which include not performing the following tasks and duties: 

  • Manage properties legally in Florida. 
  • Sign agreements, negotiate leases, and handle funds. 
  • Auction or attempt to hold an auction for a property.
  • Unlicensed property managers cannot approve or modify rental leases or applications
  • Approve, deny, or modify rental lease agreements
  • Arrange, settle, or modify the terms and conditions of the rental agreement
  • Indicate any position of authority or rights to decision-making 
  • Enter into any form of fiduciary agreement

These restrictions are a way to ensure that non-licensed professionals are not causing any damage to the property, assets, or loss of reputation for their clients, employers, or the industry. 

Failure to comply or refusal to agree with the state-enforced restrictions can result in legal consequences against unlicensed property managers.

Real Estate Assistants in Florida

Non-Licensed Real Estate Assistants: Exploring the Role

Understanding the Role of a Real Estate Assistant

A real estate agent is a professional who works alongside real estate agents, brokers, and realtors to provide administrative and assistive support. 

Some common day-to-day responsibilities and duties of a real estate agent include - following up with clients, answering phone calls, replying to emails, scheduling appointments, ordering supplies, and handling documentation and paperwork. 

The most important trait for an aspiring real estate assistant is time management and organization skills. You will also need relevant education experience as most real estate agents, brokers and firms prefer hiring assistants with a high school diploma/GED. 

There is a growing demand for skilled real estate assistants in Florida who can work with agents and brokers to help people buy and sell real estate. 

Non-Licensed Real Estate Assistants in Florida

The demand for real estate in Florida is growing, and the priorities and behaviors of homebuyers are becoming more digital and technology-driven. 

This shift has created a sudden need for real estate agents and firms to adapt to the digital-first environment, leading to a growing need for online marketing, communication, advertising, and lead generation. 

For non-licensed real estate assistants, this is a good opportunity to offer administrative and operational assistance to agents, brokers, and firms.  

As the duties and tasks of an unlicensed assistant are mostly limited to clerical, in-office work, it creates an opportunity for you to contribute more to the table. 

Let us go over in detail what tasks and duties you can perform as a real estate assistant without a license. 

Tasks and Responsibilities of a Non-Licensed Real Estate Assistant

If you are interested in becoming a non-licensed real estate assistant in Florida without a license, first understand the extent of your role and responsibility. 

Broadly, your role and responsibilities can be classified into the following categories: 

  1. Marketing Tasks: These require you to assist and support marketing initiatives such as creating and promoting content, launching lead generation campaigns, monitoring digital presence, generating leads via paid advertising, scheduling appointments and virtual tours, and creating monthly reports and analysis for research.
  2. Administrative Tasks: These will include organizing the property listings as per various filters, tracking and keeping a list of relevant properties for sale, rent, or purchase, determining the property types, classifying deeds, working with suppliers for key box installation, managing paperwork, type contract forms, monitor personnel files.
  3. Operational Tasks: These include managing and maintaining property records, scheduling client tours and property inspections, managing escrow accounts, organizing and managing timelines and schedules of senior agents and brokers, ensuring documents and paperwork submission, scheduling post-deal check-ins and follow-ups.

Wondering what can an unlicensed real estate assistant do in Florida’s real estate market? Start with complying with the rules and regulations enforced by the regulatory body for the real estate industry in Florida.

Regulations for Non-Licensed Real Estate Assistants in Florida

Real estate careers without a license are required to tread the fine line of caution and compliance because failure to do so might result in legal consequences. 

If you are an existing or aspiring non-licensed real estate agent in Florida, you must follow and adhere to the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) guidelines. 

As part of these state-enforced regulations, unlicensed real estate agents are not legally allowed to:

  • Auction or attempt to auction any property, real or personal, on behalf of the owner or posing as a property owner. 
  • Advertise or attempt to advertise any property, real or personal, for compensation, commission, or profit.
  • Negotiate or agree to negotiate any referral fee or commission split on behalf of a licensed real estate agent, broker, or brokerage firm. 

As mentioned above, an unlicensed assistant has very limited legal roles and responsibilities in Florida. 

Without a license, you will not be able to partake in the selling, leasing, or renting of real estate, or negotiating deals and contracts in the Florida real estate market. 

Further, the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) has guidelines for those active in the real estate property management sector. Only state-approved license holders can partake in activities such as maintenance and repairs, collecting rents, and advertising real estate properties.