A Time of Change
Message from the Chair
A Time of Change
One year ago this month, the BC government passed legislation that has brought significant change to the real estate industry, with more changes ahead. Amendments to the Real Estate Services Act, introduced as part of last summer’s Housing Priority Initiatives Bill, meant that the Real Estate Council of BC became governed by publicly appointed members, rather than by members elected from within the real estate industry. That led to my appointment in October 2016 as the Chair of the Council, and my introduction to the fascinating, challenging world of real estate regulation.
A crucial part of the job I was given, along with my fellow Council members, was to restore public confidence in the real estate industry by overseeing the implementation of the recommendations from the Independent Advisory Group (IAG). We share that responsibility with the Superintendent of Real Estate, who now has the power to make and amend the Rules that govern the conduct of BC’s real estate professionals.
Earlier this summer the Council submitted a report to government highlighting key actions that we accomplished up to March 31, 2017 as part of the work of implementing the IAG recommendations. That report is now available online, and you can read highlights from it in this issue of our newsletter. We are pleased with what we have achieved so far, and we recognize that a lot remains to be done.
Restoring public confidence will mean not only making changes to the conduct standards and enforcement of licensees, but also to the way we operate as a regulator. We’re asking ourselves: how can we become more open, more transparent, and more collaborative? How can we do a better job of making sure that consumers get the information they need to make the best decisions possible? What’s the best way of engaging with our stakeholders? What can we do to improve our regulatory processes to make them more efficient while ensuring they remain fair and thorough?
These questions, and others, will be among the issues that we will be exploring in the coming months as the Council begins developing a strategic plan to guide us over the next three years. We are embarking on a journey and I invite you to join us: we’ll keep you informed through this newsletter and the Council’s website about the progress of our strategic planning, and about ways that licensees and other stakeholders can contribute their perspectives and ideas.
I am excited about the changes that have happened already and about those ahead — I believe that they will benefit the public, and strengthen the real estate industry. The journey that we have begun will lead us to a future of competent professionals, appropriate standards, and knowledgeable, confident consumers. Are you ready? Let’s go.