DRE AUDIT PREPARATION
Did you receive a phone call from a Department of Real Estate (DRE) Auditor or Investigator? Or maybe you just received written notice in the mail that you have an upcoming audit or broker office survey scheduled with DRE? Either way, if you are concerned and/or seeking assistance with compliance, you have taken the right first step! As a former DRE Investigator, Summer is a uniquely qualified consultant to help you and your brokerage prepare for your upcoming audit, broker office survey, or otherwise DRE visit, and help put your mind at ease in the process. Summer will go over everything that may be reviewed, what the DRE is looking for, how you will be evaluated, and basically help you tackle the unknown of a DRE audit. When time is available, among other items, Summer will review transaction files, relationship agreements, advertising materials, policy manuals, trust fund handling, and other elements of your brokerage. However, even in times of short-notice, or maybe you just don't want to pay the added expense of travel fees (which are typically part of a consultant's fee schedule), Summer can streamline the preparation process and remotely assist you (by phone, face-time, email, etc.) with your upcoming DRE inspection. Summer's goal is to provide you with trusted help and knowledgeable assistance as fast and efficiently as possible!
THE MOCK AUDIT
As a former DRE Investigator turned Real Estate Compliance Consultant, Summer is an expert in regulatory compliance as required and enforced by the Department. Among a myriad of investigative duties, Summer conducted many broker office inspections during her six-year employment at DRE. In doing so, Summer is extremely well-versed in what the law requires and how to comply, as well as what DRE Investigators look for when inspecting a broker's office and how they evaluate a broker's licensed business operation and activities. Summer's on-site inspection, which includes a review and examination of a broker's licensed business operation, activities, broker supervision policies and procedures, trust fund handling, advertising, licensing compliance, transactions, disclosure, fictitious business and team name compliance, mandatory DRE reporting and notices, and other requirements that may apply, will determine if your office is in compliance with the Real Estate Law and Commissioner's Regulations as enforced by DRE. In addition to evaluating your regulatory compliance, Summer can also help you correct any potential violations and/or non-compliant activities found, provide guidance on compliance issues and concerns, and help implement statutory and sound real estate business policies, procedures, practices and risk management, if desired. Note: if you conduct in-house escrows, please see below.**Streamline Audits Also Available**
DRE INVESTIGATIONS AND DISCIPLINARY MATTERS
Being a former DRE Investigator, Summer can provide valuable assistance with any DRE inquiries, investigations, corrective action letters, broker office surveys, audits, citation/fines, administrative hearings as well as civil related real estate matters. If and when appropriate, Summer is also available for expert review and testimony work.
When it comes to running a brokerage, advertising compliance is very important. Whether you need help reviewing your licensees' advertising for compliance up-front, or help monitoring your agents' adherence to your advertising policies and procedures, Summer is an expert in DRE advertising requirements and can help ensure you are compliant in this area.
PETITION MATTERS AND LICENSING APPLICATIONS
As a former DRE Investigator, Summer is extremely familiar and knowledgeable about the Department's petition requirements, administrative process, and Criteria of Rehabilitation that restricted and former licensees must satisfy in order to successfully remove any restrictions on, and/or fully reinstate, their real estate licenses, respectively. Summer once reviewed and investigated such petitions on a regular basis as part of her normal job duties. Additionally, it was the result of her petition investigations, that enabled upper management and ultimately the Real Estate Commissioner to either approve or deny such applications. Moreover, Summer can provide valuable guidance and assistance to applicants on the completion and submission of their petitions as well as aid petitioners throughout DRE's specific petition process.
For those who seek assistance in the licensing arena, Summer is here to provide you with the clear answers that you need in order to take the right steps towards DRE licensure, and can provide an array of guidance in this area.
TRAINING AND OTHER REGULATORY HELP
Summer can provide tremendous value when it comes to educating brokers and salespeople about regulatory compliance. Such services include, but are not limited to, the training of licensees on compliance relating to disclosure, various transaction activities, retention of documents, required reporting to the Department, advertising disclosure, trust fund handling, broker controlled escrow activities and broker supervision. As to the latter, Summer can assist brokers with the creation and establishment of policies, procedures, and practices which meet statutory requirements. If desired, Summer can also provide guidance on the implementation of "best practices" which aim to help licensees avoid common mistakes that may lead to violations of the law and potential disciplinary action.
OPENING A NEW BROKERAGE
If you are opening a new brokerage and looking for trusted guidance, you have come to the right place. Start off on the right foot by hiring Summer to help you establish all of the critical controls and systems to ensure requisite and appropriate broker supervision as well as compliance in licensing, transactions, advertising, trust fund handling and other areas enforced by the DRE.
DO I NEED A REAL ESTATE LICENSE?
If you are performing services in the real estate industry, but are unsure if your activities constitute licensed activity, then play it safe and contact Summer today before accidentally engaging in any unlawful activity. Summer can perform a compliance review of your business, activities, advertising, customer service scripts and other areas to ensure that your business plan and operation do not run afoul of the Real Estate law. She can also provide the guidance necessary in the event non-compliance activities are found, and help you stay off the DRE's enforcement radar.
Do You Conduct In-House Escrows?
If you are a real estate broker engaging in controlled escrows, and reporting these activities to the Department of Real Estate (DRE), one of the keys to your success is the prioritization and achievement of regulatory compliance in your brokerage. Thanks to the Escrow Training Institute (ETI), a long-time, highly reputable and premier escrow training provider, you have access to valuable education and training in this area. Summer has been an instructor for ETI since May of 2018 and is currently teaching classes dedicated to broker-owned escrows and DRE compliance. For more information, please check out ETI's website here and remember to subscribe to Summer's blog.