Residential Real Estate Broker Industry Council Update
| November 16, 2021
Summary of activities since August from Sano Stante, Chair
Firstly, thank you to all the residential real estate brokerages, brokers, associate brokers, and associates who took the time to renew early. You make up the majority of licensees in Alberta, and getting the 12,000 residential licensees through the system on time is helped tremendously by licensees bringing a professional mindset to renewals.
RECA’s Strategic Planning
The Board of Directors will undertake a strategic planning process over the next few months in order to create a robust, multi-year strategic plan for RECA. It’s important that you let our Industry Council and the Board know what issues, trends, and challenges you see for the residential real estate industry now, and in the future.
RECA also hosted two Broker Forums for residential brokers from across Alberta on November 3. Thank you to all the brokers and broker delegates who participated. A few Industry Council members, including myself, attended and heard first-hand what issues and challenges brokers are dealing with in their day-to-day business. Fifty-five brokers attended, representing more than 5,000 licensees through their brokerages. The input these brokers provided will be used by the Board during strategic planning.
Residential Divestment Update
The Industry Council’s most pressing matter for the last few months has been overseeing the divestment of education for the residential sector. Earlier this year RECA consulted with stakeholders on the proposed Education Framework and the Course and Course Provider Requirements. At our more recent meetings, the Industry Council approved proposed competencies for stakeholder validation for residential real estate associates and real estate brokers.
The competencies and the surveys validating those competencies were extremely robust and comprehensive. It’s important to note that the foundation of these competencies has been in development for the past two years by the Real Estate Regulators of Canada (RERC), so that future licensing standards and competencies can be harmonized across Canada. We understand that these surveys get very granular, but this level of detail is necessary for third-party course providers to ensure their courses graduate potential licensees who are competent enough to complete their licensing exam and enter the industry.
We appreciate those of you who completed the surveys and dedicated your time and commitment to our self-regulation. We thank you. The Industry Council will review the results of the validation surveys at our December 2021 meeting, and will make adjustments based on licensee feedback before approving them for use by third-party course providers.
Act and Board Rules Information Bulletin
Our Residential Industry Council initiated a recent change to the information bulletin about Act and Board Rules. Changes to this RECA document make it clearer that RECA does not regulate listing services, and that trade associations can enforce systems, rules, and practice processes, while maintaining the rights of buyers and sellers under agency law.
The changes to this information bulletin show that RECA recognizes the value of the MLS system to consumers in having accurate and timely information, and confirms that boards and associations can make rules to maintain a properly functioning MLS system that benefits the public.
Competing interests are a fact of our day-to-day business. Buyers have an interest in the full disclosure of the status of a property, and sellers have the right to market a property after a conditional sale has been obtained.
RECA will continue to monitor industry practices to ensure that the rights of both buyers and sellers are protected. RECA reserves the right to develop further advisories, directives, or rules, as required.
Industry Council Disciplinary Decisions
As Chair of the Industry Council, I recently issued the first s.53 suspension for the Industry Council under the new governance model. These disciplinary powers of the Chair and of the Industry Council are something I take extremely seriously. The Industry Council must maintain the trust consumers have in residential licensees, and ensure all individuals or companies that breach the Real Estate Act are held accountable.
Other Industry Council Activity
The Industry Council has created a subcommittee to review the Residential Measurement Standard (RMS) rules and industry practice regarding these rules. The subcommittee will be led by Residential Industry Council Vice Chair Brad Kopp. If you, your brokerage, or your association are interested in participating in this review, please contact the Industry Council at ResIC@reca.ab.ca.
The Industry Council is also in the conceptual stages of discussing how mentorship could work in the residential real estate industry, and will soon be seeking stakeholder input. Mentorship will be a strategic topic for RECA at the next strategic planning session.