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Your significant other, your life partner, spouse etc, may work with you, work elsewhere, conduct their own business or be responsible for the building of a family. Due to their distance from our business, we constantly don’t consider them as a fall back position when disaster strikes. Therefore, we as business people do not even contemplate them being licensed to run our business.

Life throws up regular disasters, some which are catastrophic to business. The most obvious is death to the licensee in charge, but there are many others: sickness; accident; removal from the country to visit unwell relatives and disqualification from fair-trading to due to an error by an employee. All these things can lead to the significant person in the business not being able to conduct as an important cog of the family wealth.

Anyone who is in business does it for numerous reasons. One of the most pungent reasons is the need to feed, clothe, house, educate and recreate our families. It is not always about inheritance, but it is about what needs to be done to just get on with life.

Yes, we should not ignore the fact that when building an agency we build a business asset, that can be sold later on to benefit the family.

If, by any means, the right to conduct this business is lost, we lose:

  • The income;
  • The family estate.

Lets have a look at some examples when there wasn’t somebody significant to deal with a significant situation:

  • Third generation family lost the licensee in charge by heart attack. No one in the family, wife or children, held a license. The person in the office put up their hand to run the business, and once authorised, took control. She locked them out of the office and took control the company assets and placed them in an almighty bind. It did end up in a court hearing.
  • A husband who was running a business had decided to do a development with another group. He ended up going bankrupt and therefore lost his license for a period of 3 years. His business was still viable and could have been run under another license. Unfortunately, he had no licensee and had to sell the business at a fire sale price.
  • This week I was approached by a person who had relied on his wife’s license to conduct their business. They are now in the throws of going through a separation and he needs a license. He was lucky, that it was amicable. If it wasn’t so cordial, the wife could have utilised her superior position to negotiate a better outcome.

Contrasting this is a case I handled on a Southern Table’s land. A father passed away suddenly, leaving the office without a licensee. There was still a rent roll and a number of sales to be completed. The family was lucky; one of the daughters had a real estate license and stepped in to finish the sales, sell the rent roll at its best price and maximize the returns on the business for the grieving widow.

I am a solicitor and don’t have the comfort of being able to license my spouse. She would have to take 7 years away from the business and have to do 2 years restricted trade before she could become a solicitor. In other words, 9 years before I could be put in the same position as those in the real estate industry.

With the access to recognised prior learning for real estate agents and the ability for self paced learning, people can acquire their licenses efficiently. They can do it casually of a night, in bursts during the day or by only taking a long drawn out course.

If your business is significant enough to you, somebody else who is significant to you should have a license. You should be able to rely on someone to deal with your business estate if you die, get sick or something just goes wrong. Moreover, if you are relying on another to run a business, you are granting your business the lifetime of a relationship. Be it strong, you will never have a problem. If it fails, you have given your business the same opportunity of loss.

If your business is significant to you, encourage a significant person to get a license.

Details regarding our express licensing course can be found here for those interested.