Citing the need for an advocate for the province’s beleaguered consumers, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) announced its intention to repurpose itself as a “watchdog” for the housing industry’s provincial regulatory body, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).
Moving away from its previous role as RECO’s realtor training body, OREA said that it will henceforth serve as “the voice of the real estate industry” as well as an active campaigner for home ownership in the province.
Earlier this year, RECO selected Humber College and its partner NIIT Canada as the ones responsible for the training of real estate agents starting in mid-2019.
“Consumers have become increasingly sophisticated and demanding when it comes to real estate purchases. 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,” OREA CEO Tim Hudak told the Toronto Star.
“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.”
Hudak explained that a driving reason for this shift is that the curriculum and professional standards established in 2002 might have been sufficient for the market needs of the time, but not in the current era.
“When the legislative and regulatory rules were set we didn’t have social media, a big part now of realtor advertising. Consumers have far more tools on hand. That really calls for raising the bar on professional standards and on education,” Hudak said.
“Over the years, OREA has asked for a tougher curriculum to raise the bar if you get into the profession. RECO has been slow to act on that so we're upping the pressure.”
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