Thank you all for coming. Before I start let me say what a pleasure it is to be here in St. John’s, it’s a really beautiful setting with some of the most outgoing people in Canada. I am pleased to inform you that representatives from nearly 100 member Boards and Associations voted to ratify our negotiated settlement with the Commissioner of Competition. The next step is for the consent agreement to be filed with Competition Tribunal. Organized real estate in Canada is incredibly competitive, it always has been and always will be – just look at the numbers. There are 100,000 REALTORS® in Canada and thousands of brokerages. They compete for business every day by offering a myriad of services and business models. Media coverage since February is testament to this reality, with examples of REALTORS® who charge fees to list on Board MLS® Systems to those who charge a commission for marketing, advertising, negotiation and a whole host of additional services. The Commissioner and CREA have agreed that its rules as well as those of its members should not deny or discriminate against REALTORS® wishing to offer mere posting services. CREA does not believe that such rules exist today, but if they do, they must be repealed or Boards will lose their license to operate under the MLS® trademarks. Board MLS® Systems remain a member to member service designed to provide accurate and timely information critical to the delivery of professional real estate services to Canadians. We are pleased this agreement lets us get back to doing what we do best. In these uncertain and challenging economic times REALTORS® are a key part of buying and selling homes, but they are more than simple sales professionals. They are there when people make the biggest financial decision of their lives. They can help with financial literacy, explaining the ins and outs of financing and mortgages. They can explain municipal by-laws and zoning. They can find the right neighbourhood, with the right schools and services. They also help consumers find effective legal representation. To do all these things and to be called REALTORS® they have to be trusted and they are, because:
They are licensed.
They are insured.
They follow a code of ethics.
Consumers can count on these things when they hire a REALTOR®. Board MLS® Systems stand for quality. Consumers know the information they see on websites like REALTOR.ca is accurate because of our high standards. When you hire a REALTOR® this is what you get, a licensed professional working in your interests, with access to the most accurate and up-to-date information about home buying and selling.
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Linda Kristal, Director, Communications The Canadian Real Estate Association P: 613-237-7111 or 613-447-4532 E: email@example.com