Practice Tip: Send your Clients to reca.ca for Helpful Information
| October 16, 2019
Did you know that RECA provides lots of information for consumers as well as industry professionals? In fact, because RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers, RECA has created a suite of articles, websites, and resources over the years for consumers. We continue to build the resources regularly. These are to help consumers, your clients, better understand the real estate, mortgage, and real estate appraisal industries, the services offered and transactions.
RECA conducted a communications survey in July 2019. It told us that licensed industry professionals are not necessarily aware of the extent of the resources available to their clients on RECA’s website.
An educated consumer is a protected consumer. And an industry professional making their clients and potential clients aware of RECA’s consumer information goes a long way to build trust between the industry member and their clients, and the Alberta public and the industry overall.
Go to reca.ca and have a look around yourself.
Consumer Awareness of the Tools and Resources Available to the Public
Let your clients know there are tools and resources on the website for their benefit. Check out RECA’s:
- Home Buyer’s Guide
- Home Seller’s Guide
- Consumer Tools & Resources
- Making an Offer
- Getting an Offer
Consumer Awareness of the Industry as a Whole
RECA regularly conducts Consumer Focus Groups to gauge consumer awareness of RECA and the benefits and protections a regulated industry offers the public.
Although overall awareness has increased over the years, two-thirds of Albertans remain unaware that RECA regulates industry professionals. RECA aims to improve consumer awareness and continue to inform the public you are part of a regulated industry. You can help.
Higher levels of awareness will raise public understanding of industry value and demonstrate you are trusted licensed professionals who help consumers make one of the most important financial decisions they will likely make when purchasing property.
Point your clients to Real Estate 101 for all the background on the industry. It will give them all the background on the real estate industry they need.
If they want to dive further, the Real Estate Industry section includes reasons for working with a licensed professional, a plain language explanation of Part 2 of the Real Estate Act Rules dealing with professional standards of conduct for industry professionals, and an overview of how consumers are protected by the Real Estate Assurance Fund (also known as the Consumer Protection Fund).
When you need to quickly explain what RECA is, we have that covered, too. Look for that explanation under About RECA, What RECA Does for Consumers.
When consumers want to know how the standards are enforced, send them to the Complaints and Discipline section. Everything is written with the consumer in mind.
Wait… there’s more!
Consumers can also learn about important topics they may encounter in real estate, mortgage, and real estate appraisal, all from a consumer’s perspective, including:
- Real Estate Appraisals
- Real Property Reports
- Title Insurance
- Residential Measurement Standard
- Property Stigma
- Attached vs. Unattached Goods
- Material Latent Defects
- Financial Literacy
- Mortgage Fraud
- Working with a Mortgage Broker
Consumers can also reach out to RECA’s information officers directly with a question, by phone, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also check the licence status and licence history of any professional they encounter using Find a Professional.
RECA takes its mandate to protect consumers seriously, and made consumers the primary stakeholder in its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. One of the goals of the plan is to ensure that every consumer who uses the services of an industry professional is aware of RECA, and aware of the protections and services available to them in a regulated environment.
As a self-regulated profession, it is important for industry professionals to demonstrate the value of regulation to consumers. Part of that is making consumers aware of your regulator, the work it does and the services it offers. You can help deliver this message to consumers by making them aware of reca.ca. Consumers will appreciate your help!