Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CREA and the Competition Bureau

This is the letter that our VP and regional director sent to us on March 25, 2010. It's in response to the CREA and competition bureau controversy.

RE/MAX, CREA and most realtors do not have a problem that people can put their homes on the mls for a flat fee. CREA still wants us realtors to give client service to these sellers and if so, then we must provide many services that we currently do. If this is the case, then a small flat fee may not suffice for the amount of responsibility and work that we must continue to put forth, even for a flat fee listing.

The competition bureau still believes that since CREA is mandating that we realtors continue to provide services to the client, they are still 'restricting' the openness of the mls.

In my opinion the competition bureau is a government organization that by definition must argue any restrictions, thus the reason for the problem.

If you want a realtor to list properties and give agency, then there are restrictions. If you don't want to use an agent but still want to list on the mls, why, it's CREA's system and they can make the rules.

Ultimately, as Michael states below, the public in Canada will have one more option to list their home on the mls with a flat fee. Not many will utilize this option. Not many agents will offer this option at a low price.

Everything will even out and reach an equilibrium based upon our free economy.

Sellers will have another option when selling.

Life will go on.

All the best!

This was the letter we received on March 25th, 2010:


From: Michael Polzler
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 5:21 PM
Subject: CREA and the Competition Bureau

RE/MAX Ontario Atlantic Canada Inc. - Voice Of Real Estate

Dear RE/MAX Broker-Owners Managers and Sales Representatives:

CREA and the Competition Bureau

Confusion reigned across the country this week as the Canadian Real Estate
Association (CREA) announced anticipated amendments to the Multiple Listing
Service (MLS) in response to issues raised by the Competition Bureau.

My subsequent comments in the Globe and Mail didn't help. They were,
unfortunately, taken out of context and may have added fuel to the fire. Let
me assure you that I did not say that we should throw in the towel. However
I've also been in the business too long not to recognize the fact that our
industry is changing.

CREA was a little less than crystal clear in their communications, but in a
nutshell, under the new rules, clients can now choose a realtor for the sole
purpose of listing their property on MLS for a flat fee, but few will.

There is no doubt in my mind that the playing field is going to change in
the coming years. I do believe, however, that the impact on our industry
will be minimal and I speak from experience based on our US operations.
These rules have been in place south of the border for several years and
little has changed. In fact, the value of a great realtor has never been
more important.

Consumers are entitled to options and yes, there will be those that choose
to go it alone. But most people don't want to sell their own cars, let alone
their own homes. The fundamentals of this business are etched in stone and
will remain the same, no matter what happens between CREA and the
Competition Bureau. Those buyers and sellers who are making the largest
financial investment of a lifetime will still require the knowledge,
expertise and negotiation skills that a full-time, experienced real estate
professional brings to the table - and most, if not all, are willing to pay
for it.

There is more to what we do as realtors than place properties for sale on
the MLS. We should not define ourselves by MLS alone. MLS is just one of the
many tools that we use during the course of a transaction. The vast majority
of homes in this country are currently sold through a full-service realtor
and that trend will continue in the future. Let's not lose focus. We're
helping thousands of Canadians to buy and sell real estate annually. Our
role has not and will not be diminished.

I have no doubt that we will continue to thrive, as we always have. But more
important than ever before will be the value proposition you, as a realtor,
brings to a transaction. Knowledge, experience and professionalism are the
foundation on which our industry has been built. At the end of the day, it's
what the public expects of a professional realtor.

Don't underestimate your importance in the home-buying and selling
experience. The fact is, consumers need us. I welcome your thoughts at

Michael Polzler Signature
Michael Polzler
Executive Vice President and Regional Director
RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada Inc.

1 comment: