Morristown, NJ, December 08, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- Federal and State Governments have cracked down systematically on businesses that classify employees as independent contractors. On July 15, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a far-reaching interpretive memorandum expressing the DOL’s belief that “most workers [classified as independent contractors] are employees under the FLSA’s broad definitions.” However, real estate brokerages are prospering from their exemption from these regulations even as real estate agents are fighting court battles on multiple fronts to be classed as employees. In June of this year, the brokers in Massachusetts heaved a big sigh of relief as the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in Monell, et al. v. Boston Pads, LLC, said realtors could be either independent contractors or employees. However, the Court left open that agents could challenge the independent contractor classification on other legal grounds and urged the legislature to enact additional legislation to address the murkiness that remains in the law.
Lobbyists for real estate brokers have obtained Federal and State exemptions, unavailable to every other industry, from the requirements classifying real estate agents as employees rather than independent contractors. Charles J. Hendershot, founder and CEO of Feel @Home Realty, believes the current employment model utilized by the real estate industry, just like its business model, is outdated and contributes to an unacceptably poor level of customer service. “It is only a matter of time before the Courts or Government end our privileged exemption from the law,” comments Mr. Hendershot.
The National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) reports that 87% of all new agents fail after five years in the industry. The real estate industry is clearly not investing to make its agents successful and the agents, without the financial and management support that comes with being an employee, aren’t able to do it on their own. Feel @Home Realty is leading by example and changing the hiring and business practices in real estate. Mr. Hendershot states, “Our industry is being shortsighted in its support for independent contractor status for real estate agents. Agents who are independent contractors often can’t afford to invest in continuing education, technology, and marketing to make themselves and their customers successful.”
“Successful companies are incentivized to invest in their employees, but most don’t invest in their independent contractors. When I started Feel @Home Realty, I committed to delivering a remarkable customer experience at significantly less cost. I believe the only way to do is to employ all my agents, build teams that work to their strengths, and compensate everyone fairly. Our teams have specialists in relationship management, videography, marketing, and transaction processing. We leverage technology to support our people. Agents who are independent contractors have to do everything themselves despite lacking experience and training. These agents end up doing nothing particularly well, which is a disservice to the customer,” observes Mr. Hendershot.
Additionally, independent contractors cannot receive even a minimal salary and no benefits including healthcare, paid vacation, and sick days. They also have to pay for all of their own business expenses out of their pockets. Hendershot concludes, “Given our political climate, it is harder and harder to justify the exemption from the laws and regulations that the lobbyists for our industry have obtained for us that aren’t available to other businesses. We are a people business and the way to succeed is to treat our people well. I’m committed to doing the right thing for my staff and customers. I hope that the rest of our industry follows my example.”
About Feel @Home Realty LLC and Founder Charles J. Hendershot
Feel @Home Realty LLC located in Morristown, NJ is a real estate brokerage that addresses three major concerns sellers and buyers have when selling or purchasing their home: commissions, communication, and the risk of choosing the wrong agent. For sellers, Feel @Home ensures that homes are not sold for less than they are worth and provides dedicated marketing and sales specialists to attract the right buyers. For buyers, the Company helps families quickly find the right home at the right price by providing open communication, analysis, and significantly reduced commissions through its buyer rebate program. Feel @Home Realty offers a no risk guarantee for both sellers and buyers through an unconditional release. For more information go to www.FeelAtHomeRealty.com
Charles “Chuck” Hendershot’s experience as a top producing agent and broker with Exit Realty, Weichert Realtors, and RE/MAX led him to establish Feel @Home Realty serving as its CEO. As “a local” for more than 40 years coupled with 20 years in the business from construction to real estate, Chuck has an in-depth knowledge of the Somerset, Morris, and Hunterdon Counties. His particular expertise includes local real estate transactions, school districts, neighborhood information, construction, and contractors. Chuck’s extensive network of relationships ensures his clients receive the best value possible. Chuck currently lives in Bernardsville, NJ with his wife and six children. Outside of real estate, he has a special passion for empowering kids through martial arts and wrestling while supporting his own children in their sports and activities on and off the playing field to build a confidence to last a lifetime.