YEAR IN REVIEW
Message from the Executive Officer
2014/15: An Anniversary Year That Has Us Looking Ahead
This year marks a decade since the introduction of the Real Estate Services Act (RESA) and Regulation on January 1, 2005. Under RESA, the Council became a self-regulatory organization with direct jurisdiction over the regulation of real estate licensees in BC. In many ways the Council “came of age” with the introduction of RESA. Now, ten years on, it seems appropriate to pause and contemplate what we have accomplished. What were the challenges of the past decade, what are the key achievements, and what are the goals still to be achieved?
In this Annual Report, we reflect not only on the events of the past year, but also on a decade of experience as a self-regulatory organization. And looking back isn’t simply an opportunity to congratulate ourselves – it’s a time to learn from our successes (and our stumbles), to build on our strengths, and to continue in the years ahead as a sustainable, resilient, responsive organization, capable of governing the ever-growing numbers of licensees in a dynamic and critical industry in our province.
Over the past ten years, the Council has introduced a number of innovations that continue to place BC at the forefront of real estate regulation in North America. In 2006, our mandate was extended to cover the licensing and regulation of strata property managers — the first Canadian jurisdiction to do so. In 2009, BC permitted licensees to form personal real estate corporations. In 2012-13, we introduced changes to the Council Rules to reflect the practice of designated agency. This year, the Council introduced a new Applied Practice Course that gives licensees the regulatory knowledge they need, and the tools and skills to implement that knowledge in their daily practice. We’re confident that improvements like these will continue to enhance professionalism in the industry, by building awareness among licensees of their regulatory responsibilities. Self-regulation is a privilege and a joint responsibility, shared between licensees and the regulator, as well as other industry stakeholders, such as the real estate boards and associations.
In 2014/15, we completed the Strategic Plan the Council had developed in 2011, ushering in a number of technological innovations in our business processes that have enhanced our service delivery, as well as significant revisions to our educational programs that will bring a higher standard of skills and knowledge to licensees. We know that many licensees are early adopters of technology, and in the past year we continued to make improvements to our website, ensuring that licensees and members of the public can easily find the information they need, when they need it – whether they are at home, in the office, or on the go.
In the months ahead, we will develop a new Strategic Plan, one that will guide the Council’s activities over the coming years. Our goals: to ensure that licensees are skilled and knowledgeable, that consumers are well-informed, and that complaints, investigations and discipline are managed fairly, efficiently, and thoroughly. The Council’s vision is to be “a leader in industry integrity, innovation, and viability.” Throughout its long history, the Council has worked hard to achieve this vision by setting appropriate standards of practice, ensuring that professional education and training are in place for licensees, and enforcing the legislated requirements for real estate licensees. As we look ahead, we know the future will bring change, but I am confident that the Council’s commitment to excellence will remain.
I would like to thank Chair Susan McGougan and Vice-Chair Marylou Leslie, as well as all of the other members of Council, for their work on achieving the Council’s objectives. I would also like to thank the members of Advisory Groups listed in this report for their work and expertise. Finally, I would like to commend the Council’s staff, who always endeavour to provide service excellence in their jobs and support the work of the Council.
Robert O. Fawcett