BCREA Aims to Unify with BC Real Estate Boards as One Organization

Joannah Connolly
May 26, 2016

A proposal to radically restructure the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) and its 11 BC real estate boards into a provincial association called Realtors of BC will go to a vote next month, the BCREA announced May 26.

“REALTORS® of BC is the name of a proposed new organization to replace the existing local real estate boards and provincial body that currently represent BC REALTORS®,” said the British Columbia Real Estate Association in its member bulletin.

“A single organization would benefit real estate professionals across the province by reducing overlap and inefficiencies, maintaining high and consistent professional standards, giving organized real estate a unified voice and enabling REALTORS® to better serve customers.”

The BCREA said that the move would save up $10 million a year to be “redeployed” and result in streamlined operations and enhanced services and support for member brokerages and agents.

“With Realtors of BC, there will be no big boards or small boards, there will just be one organization representing the interests of all REALTORS® in the province,” said Deanna Horn, BCREA president. “The new organization will provide an opportunity for organized real estate to have an even bigger impact on how we are viewed, and for having our voices heard when and where it counts like never before.”

A vote on the proposal is provisionally set for June 28, but not all boards will be taking part, according to REM Online.

It reports, “The Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) has opted out of the planned restructuring, while both the Chilliwack and the Vancouver Island Real Estate Boards have decided to remain neutral and let their members decide in the election tentatively slated for June 28. Boards such as the Fraser Valley, Greater Vancouver, BC Northern and Okanagan Mainline associations have endorsed the plan. VREB president Mike Nugent doesn’t want the board decision to appear as a “huge fight” with BCREA. ‘It is really about what is right for each real estate board,’ says Nugent, whose directors feel the fit isn’t right.”

The proposed structure would see all agents belonging to regional chapters for their day-to-day support, with “strategically located” branch offices sited across BC and a single Central Service Centre providing province-wide services from a higher level.

The BCREA said, “More than 90 per cent of REALTORS® will not see a fee increase and 30 per cent will see a noticeable decrease in fees (a five year proactive rebate plan will address the small number of members whose monthly dues are not being reduced).”

Under the proposed new structure, member dues would include:

  • $26 Canadian Real Estate Association monthly fee (unchanged); plus
  • $58 monthly fee (includes the unchanged $19 provincial dues); and
  • the option of either:
    • $70 monthly MLS® access fee; or
    • Per-transaction success fee of $200 (on both sides of the deal). Sales on properties valued at less than half the provincial average would be subject to a 50 per cent reduction in success fees.

Horn said, “The new organization will provide an opportunity for organized real estate to have an even bigger impact on how we are viewed, and for having our voices heard when and where it counts like never before. The profile of our profession will be enhanced at the local and provincial level by dedicating additional resources to supporting local communities, engaging municipal governments and expanding advocacy initiatives across British Columbia.

“For example, with the interests of 20,000 REALTORS® united as one organization, REALTORS® of BC could coordinate single awareness and engagement campaigns to bring together the province's key government stakeholders and leaders of organized real estate.”

The BCREA is encouraging members to vote on the proposal. For more information about REALTORS® of BC and the vote, visit www.realtorsofbc.ca.

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.