October 22, 2019
Featuring CREB® CEO Alan Tennant
This post is a follow up to our internal message to CREB® members.
The topic is Service Alberta’s recent decision to replace the board council at the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA)—the governing body for Alberta’s real estate industry.
To shed some light from CREB®’s perspective, we circled up with CEO Alan Tennant.
1. Can you give readers some background? What happened at RECA?
Recently, Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish introduced legislation that will empower him to appoint an official administrator and replace RECA’s entire board.
This decision was precipitated by key recommendations from an audit report produced by KPMG on RECA’s governance (released early in July), which indicated, among other things, that council wasn’t operating in a way that would allow them to fulfill their mandate.
RECA has also put out a set of FAQs to help correct any misinterpretations on the section 76 review, which we encourage readers to explore and understand.
2. How does this impact the public and people in the industry?
It’s a significant decision with lots of moving parts and pointed language, but it’s not something that should give the public or people in the industry cause for concern.
This might seem odd, given the circumstances, but while the KPMG report was comprehensive in its condemnations, it was also specific in its recommendations for change.
The report offered a balanced perspective saying, “RECA is performing its core regulatory functions: standards are being communicated, practitioners are being licensed, and investigations and hearings are proceeding.” In other words, it’s business as usual in terms of the everyday work at RECA.
3. What’s the most important takeaway for housing consumers?
To not let the developments at RECA reflect on the well-earned professional brand of REALTORS®.
Despite our regulatory model never fully embracing true ‘self-regulation,’ REALTORS® are regulation and rule followers. The quality of process infrastructure and standard way of doing business is proof.
Of course, bad regulation or uneven enforcement in any scenario will be heartily and eloquently challenged, but my experience over many decades in the business is that when you put two REALTORS® together and bring up a case that breaches ethical or procedural norms, the conversation will always go to the need for strong penalties and consistent enforcement.
4. Now that these changes at RECA have been announced, what happens next?
No question, we are amidst a regulatory reset, and while the day-to-day work of our regulator continues, there is a lot of work to do to redefine our model.
One thing for sure is that we are committed to an effectively regulated real estate industry in Alberta.
CREB® supports strong industry governance, which we must all contribute toward achieving in the Alberta real estate community.
5. What can people expect from CREB®? What role will the board play?
CREB®’s approach throughout this process has been to focus on playing a productive role in the creation of RECA 2.0.
This starts with a look forward attitude and more discussion with members. What are their needs from a business operations point of view? How can we make smart recommendations when called upon that align to the needs of people who practice real estate and housing consumers?
These are important leadership conversations that our organization is having at board tables and town halls with members from across our region. Our commitment is to keep listening, so we can keep learning about how best to drive solutions that are fair and functional.
Our organization also commits to playing a leadership role in ensuring the confidence of Alberta consumers and our provincial government in the Alberta real estate marketplace.