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I have to admit that the typical Canadian Real Estate Association AGM can be a bit of a dry affair. The most interesting aspect of past AGM’s for me have been with the installation of RE/MAX affiliates as the CREA President (by the way, CONGRATULATIONS to RE/MAX River City, Edmonton, sales associate, Wayne Moen, on his installation as CREA President for 2012-13) and in the Leadership sessions that followed the next day… until the last 2 years.

Starting last year with the Future Scenarios Planning workshop, followed up this year with a full day of discussion on the results of the past year and a half of cross country discussion on how Organized Real Estate (ORE) evolves; the AGM was a very interesting experience. The motion to accept the recommendations of the “ORE Strategy Map” was passed with a very strong approval rating. Comments and discussion ranged from “the Industry isn’t moving nearly fast enough” to “why do we change at all…?”

In my last blog I discussed the need to continue with as a consumer oriented listing search site. I received good responses on both sides of the discussion. And certainly, I was a lonely voice at the AGM in that regard. Of course, no one should be surprised given the audience composition.

I had the real pleasure to be seated with NAR President Moe Veissi and President Elect Gary Thomas. During the round table discussions we had great debate around consumer centric services and the role ORE can and should play in that. Gary Morse, Immediate CREA Past President joined in that debate as well. I must commend Gary on his attitude and beliefs. He has done a terrific job in directing the entire project and I was very happy to see President Wayne Moen ask that he stay on in his capacity with the Futures Project.

Open, honest debate and discussion, while respecting each other’s position is a Canadian tradition and one that I was proud to see exhibited at this AGM. As much as Past President Morse and I may disagree on the future of we do see each other’s point of view and respect that.

However, the job has just begun. There is still much heavy lifting to do and the CREA will need your assistance and input as the various core strategies of Consumer Insight, Technology and Data, Professional Development and Member Services are explored and detailed.

Two topics included in the four categories that generated a lot of discussion was the future of as an entity and consumer participation in a “Rate Your REALTOR®” concept.

I sensed a naivety being exhibited by some of the speakers in the audience over the “Rate Your REALTOR®” discussion. There are many forums out there now where a consumer can express their views, mostly negative, on the performance they received from a REALTOR® in selling or buying a home. This is an area that ORE must move in order to present a more consumer centric service. By moving in this direction the industry will have the opportunity to have some effectual control in this area, ignore it; there could be a rude surprise waiting down the road.

Please take the time, go into REALTOR Link®, have a look at the Futures Project, talk to your Broker and your Real Estate Board representative and get involved. This is your future that is being discussed and directed.

I look forward to your comments.

Elton Ash ABR CRES

Regional Executive Vice President

RE/MAX of Western Canada (1998), LLC


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