The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is calling for tougher fines for rule-breaking realtors, as well as updated industry standards for transactions where the same agent acts for both the buyer and seller.
OREA said it is looking out for consumers as well as agents by calling itself a “watchdog” for the real estate industry’s regulatory agent, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).
RECO remains responsible for professional real estate standards, including imposing fines on agents who violate the real estate act. It also provides continuing education for agents already registered to practise in Ontario.
For years, OREA has been RECO’s training provider for new realtors working towards becoming registered agents. This has been the association’s core function and is a key source of revenue. But this year, RECO said Toronto-based Humber College and its partner, NIIT Canada, would be its new realtor training body, beginning in mid-2019.
In response OREA is rebranding and reorienting itself as the voice of the real estate industry and aspires to become an advocate for homeownership in Ontario. The change comes amidst the Ontario government’s review of the Real Estate Business and Brokers Act 2002.
In its five-year strategic plan, OREA promised more direct communication with the 70,000 real estate agents it represents via the province’s 39 real estate boards.
“Consumers have become increasingly sophisticated and demanding when it comes to real estate purchases,” said Tim Hudak, a former politician and the current CEO of OREA. “Technology is changing faster than ever and, given the hot housing market we saw in the spring of 2017, government and media are watching closely. Combine that with the fact that OREA will no longer deliver real estate education after 2020, it was a perfect opportunity for us to build a new OREA.”