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CA Now Regina Realtors to vote on leaving CREA

Property Here - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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As Realtors in Montreal are polled this week to see if they wish to remain members of CREA, now another real estate board is posed to ask its members the same question – in Regina.

Stew Fettes, a sales rep with Century 21 Dome Realty in Regina, filed a resolution to be considered at the Association of Regina Realtors (ARR) General Membership meeting on Sept. 18. It says, in part, “Given the overwhelming dissent across Canada with Realtors in general, over the poor membership support shown by CREA…in regards to both the FINTRAC legislation and more importantly the poor membership support regarding the Competition Bureau in safeguarding the organized real estate industry in Canada, and along with the nearly $20 million sent yearly by Realtors to CREA of which we receive very little value as members, be it therefore resolved that all ARR members be given a free and democratic vote…on deciding if it should withdraw from CREA.” The resolution goes on to state that “we support one dynamic provincial office to oversee all Realtors in Saskatchewan.”

In a notice to members, ARR executive officer Gord Archibald says, “This resolution has not originated with nor has been endorsed by the association’s Board of Directors.”

Fettes says in an email to REM that organized real estate needs “one strong dynamic provincial office, with all board offices rolled into one, that manages all the Realtors in the province where they are licensed and gives them the support they need, along with hiring one CEO that lives and breathes real estate 24/7 to improve the image of the Realtors, and insure every Realtor is in control of their own individual business, and does everything possible to see that the public understands that Realtors truly are professional salespeople.”

He continues: “We really don’t need CREA anymore. If someone for example is looking for real estate in Saskatchewan they will find us. We don’t need CREA to help find us…. We don’t need to know about real estate in Florida, Arizona or China for that matter, they will find us if they are seeking property in our provinces. CREA in my opinion has sent Realtors off chasing in all directions and wasting their precious time.”

Along with the Fettes’ resolution, Archibald sent ARR members an information sheet outlining CREA’s fees and services. ARR members pay $290 annually in CREA fees.

Archibald wrote that if ARR withdraws from membership in CREA, a long list of services “would no longer be available to members from CREA, and in some cases would likely need to be replicated in some fashion at the local association level.”

Among the services listed are the REALTOR® and MLS® trademarks;; (commercial listing advertising site); Webforms; Realtor Link; Realtor Code of Ethics; the Compliance Centre resources and information about FINTRAC, competition law, the Do-Not-Call Registry and privacy; federal political advocacy; the national advertising campaign and national affinity programs.

Other services CREA provides to local associations are competition law legal counsel, staff education, leadership development, the National MLS Home Price Index and inclusion of Saskatchewan market data in national reporting, Archibald says.

Archibald also writes that Canadian organized real estate’s three-party agreement requires that a member of a local board/association must also be a member of the provincial association and CREA.  “As a result, withdrawal of membership from CREA by the ARR would require that all other local boards/associations and the provincial association in Saskatchewan also withdraw from CREA membership for a non-Realtor provincial association to exist in Saskatchewan,” says Archibald. “If other existing Saskatchewan associations do not withdraw and the ARR does, then the ARR would not be able to maintain a membership with the provincial association. Because of this, some ARR existing member services and other activities which occur at a provincial level will or may be affected, including usage of provincial standard MLS listing contract forms; ARR participation in and access to the Matrix system; the inter-association lockbox access agreement and provincial political advocacy.”

Fettes says he has been in contact with brokers in Saskatoon about introducing a similar resolution there.

The meeting will be held Tues. Sept. 18 at 12 pm at the Queensbury Convention Centre, Salon A. Saskachewan CREA director Cliff Iverson is scheduled to make a presentation about CREA’s Futures Planning process.