Message from the Administrator: Duane Monea
| May 13, 2020
My first message as Administrator was in February of this year, but it feels like it was a year ago. The beginning of February was a different reality, one where we were faintly aware of the pandemic that would disrupt our lives so substantially. But here we are, in May, still in a form of a lock down, and still managing things day-by-day. I hope that during these challenging times, all industry professionals and their loved ones are safe and healthy.
As you all know, the real estate industry has felt this disruption keenly, particularly as it came on the heels of a prolonged economic downturn in our province. We are all a part of a service industry—a people-facing industry—and I know many of you have encountered a steep decline in business. We are in unique times, and I’m confident in Albertans to weather the storm, we are resilient, and we will come out on the other side ready for a strong recovery. The professionalism of the industry during this pandemic has shown that even though it’s not business as usual, business continues, nonetheless.
Real Estate Services as an Essential Service
The Government of Alberta declared real estate services, including property management, real estate appraisal, home inspections, home measurement, and other services related to trades in real estate, along with facilitators of financing, including mortgage brokers, as essential services in the province. This means all licensed professionals can continue to work as long as they follow all public health orders, including social distancing. What this DOES NOT MEAN, is that you are being forced to work. If you feel you are more at risk, or simply feel uncomfortable performing your regular duties in light of the pandemic, then this is a discussion you need to have with your broker and with your clients. Being declared an essential service simply means you will not be hampered in your business by government restrictions on businesses.
RECA is currently working closely with our partners in the industry trade associations to ensure we provide similar messaging to licensed professionals, and to ensure, where possible, we do not duplicate our efforts. We are not perfect, but we aim to be better every day. I would like to thank the Alberta Real Estate Association, CREB®, the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, the Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association, BOMA Edmonton, and BOMA Calgary, for their efforts and cooperation during this time. We are all in this together.We will continue to work with trade associations as we weather this pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout.
As the Minister of Service Alberta indicated earlier this year, the Government of Alberta had hoped to introduce changes to the Real Estate Act in the Spring session of the Legislature. These changes were to address the challenges with the current Council appointment structure. Needless to say, the pandemic has changed the legislative schedule as the government works to protect Albertans and keep the economy going. Should changes to the Real Estate Act come in the Spring session, in a special session in the Summer, or in the Fall session, RECA will let all licensees know the content of the changes as soon as RECA does.
In the meantime, I continue to hold meetings with our partner trade associations, individual brokerages, and individual professionals to discuss the future of RECA and the industry’s experience working in a regulated environment.
And remember, the industry is regulated in the public interest. Consumers can trust an industry that is accountable, and when consumers trust the industry, everyone benefits.