Sec. 7(1) of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (the “Act”) provides authority for the establishment of a branch office of a brokerage.
Sec. 7(1) states:
7.(1) No brokerage shall conduct a business of trading in real estate from more than one place to which the public is invited unless the brokerage is registered in respect of each place, one of which shall be designated as the main office and the remainder as branch offices.
Who Can Manage A Branch Office?
Sec. 7(2) of the Act states:
7.(2) Every branch office of a brokerage shall be under the supervision of a broker and each such office having more than one salesperson shall be under the direct management of a broker or of a salesperson who has been registered for at least two years and who is under the supervision of a broker.
For a branch office with more than one salesperson, only a broker or a salesperson who has been registered for at least two years during the immediately preceding three years may act as a manager. Where a brokerage wishes to register a branch office with only one broker or salesperson, the broker or salesperson must have been registered for at least two years and be under the direct supervision of a broker.
How Many Branches Can One Person Manage?
A frequently asked question is: how many branch offices can one person manage? To properly fulfill the responsibilities associated with being a manager, and to maintain the spirit and intent of the Act, which includes the requirement that the branch office be under direct management, the number of branch offices that one person is permitted to manage is restricted.
Sec. 31 of Ontario Regulation 567/05 (GEN) made under the Act outlines some of the responsibilities
of branch managers.
31. If a branch office of a brokerage has more than one salesperson and is under the direct management of a broker or salesperson under Subsection 7 (2) of the Act, the broker or salesperson shall,
(a) ensure an adequate level of supervision for the brokers, salespersons and other persons employed in the branch office;
(b) take reasonable steps to deal with any failure to comply with the Act or the regulations by a broker, salesperson or other person employed in the branch office;
(c) manage all records relating to the branch office.
The Registrar’s office discourages the practice of the same person acting as the manager for more than one branch office. However, if such a request is received the following criteria will be considered:
• Will the manager be in attendance at the offices each day?
• How many employees are in the branch offices?
• How many offices are presently being managed or will be managed?
• What is the distance between branch offices?
• What electronic means are in place for the manager to stay in contact with the branch offices?
• Such further additional criteria as may be relevant.