Working Together to Serve the Public
Message from the Chair
Working Together to Serve the Public
I would like to begin by thanking the many real estate professionals who have taken the time to participate in consultations with RECBC over the past several months. During the summer and fall of this year, RECBC’s Executive Officer, Erin Seeley travelled across the province to meet with managing brokers to discuss the impacts of the agency and disclosure rules that took effect this past June. Much thoughtful and constructive feedback was shared during those Listening Sessions. Working collaboratively with real estate professionals through consultations and engagement is an important part of our job to protect the public, and you can expect more opportunities like the ones this summer.
In fact, all licensees will soon receive a link to a survey asking them about the introduction of the agency and disclosure rules. The survey, conducted for RECBC by Insights West, an independent market research firm, will help us to evaluate the impacts of the rules and the new disclosure forms. We will be sharing the survey results, along with other findings from our evaluation of the first 90 days of the introduction of the rules, in the new year.
During this summer’s consultations, many of you shared suggestions for streamlining and clarifying the consumer disclosure forms introduced in June. I can assure you that we have listened carefully to your ideas. We are committed to ensuring that the disclosure forms reflect our mandate to protect the public, and we want them to be accessible, easy to read and explain to consumers. That’s why in 2019 we will not only be publishing new versions of the forms, we will also be launching a series of videos that you can use to help your clients learn more about agency and the services to expect from real estate licensees in BC. Stay tuned!
Along with new forms, there are other changes on the horizon at RECBC. Here is just a sampling of what we will be working on in the year ahead:
- Identifying and implementing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve discipline cases more efficiently.
- Continuing to improve processing times for complaint and discipline files by modernizing our technology and implementing a new case management system.
- Enhancing RECBC’s brokerage office records and inspection program to provide more education for managing brokers on best practices.
- Introducing a new website, with better search tools and easier navigation, to help licensees and members of the public find the information they need.
- Continuing to consult with our stakeholders to make sure that our policies, education and resources are informed by the experience and perspectives of real estate professionals.
We are making it a priority to reduce the length of time for investigations and discipline processes. As you may know, the number of public complaints to RECBC has doubled in the past three years (see our Licensing and Enforcement Statistics for quarterly updates on this and other data measures). That increased volume has meant that it has been taking longer to complete investigations.
Investigations and discipline processes must be fair, impartial and complete, but they must also be efficient and timely – and we are already making significant strides in improving the efficiency of our processes. See the article in this issue for details of changes that are already underway.
In the year ahead I look forward to sharing updates with you about how we are doing in our efforts to streamline our processes and improve service, raise the standards of regulatory education, update our resources, and enhance our brokerage audit program. It is all part of our mandate to serve the public interest, and part of our commitment to you, the licensed professionals who interact with real estate consumers every day.
Finally, this issue includes an update from the Superintendent of Real Estate on industry consultations held this fall on the role of the managing broker. This is an important project led by the Office of the Superintendent and RECBC is pleased to have the opportunity to work with OSRE and representatives from the Ministry of Finance to explore issues affecting managing brokers, and identify ways to support and improve their ability to perform their many duties.
I wish you all the best in 2019.