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This morning I received an email newsletter and in it I found something very interesting. I read this article about how Quebec is threatening to pull out of CREA. Danny Kucharsky reports:
A Quebec real estate board says it will pull out of the Canadian Real Estate Association unless CREA makes major changes, and says other equally disgruntled boards in the province are ready to follow its lead.
“We feel we pay way too much for not much in return,” says Lise Desrochers, general manager of the 248-member Chambre immobilière de la Haute-Yamaska in Granby.
Desrochers cites several reasons for the desire to leave, including a lack of services, technology “that is often deficient,” high fees and “increases that are really unjustified and demands that are not listened to.”
She says that data on Realtor.ca is not well-enough protected, which easily allows non-members to make use of the service. “We’re paying for things we think we can easily obtain here in Quebec through the use of Centris,” she says of Centris.ca, the Quebec online listings site that is part of the Fédération des chambres immobilières du Québec (Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards). The federation oversees Quebec’s 12 real estate boards.
In a letter sent to CREA Oct. 11, the Haute-Yamaska board outlined its concerns and advised CREA that it will leave Dec. 31, 2012. The advance notice would give the board the time to make alternate arrangements, Desrochers says, and not leave it in the lurch.
Two days after the letter was sent, CREA requested a meeting with the Haute-Yamaska board, which is scheduled for mid-November.
Desrochers says the possibility of bowing out of CREA has been the topic of several meetings with the other real estate boards in Quebec. “There are boards that are very much in agreement, but it always takes one to get the ball rolling. And we’re the ones that decided to do it.”
While some boards fully support the Haute-Yamaska board’s move, Desrochers says some Quebec boards are afraid of the risks stemming from a CREA departure and the comments that would ensue if they took that step.
Members of the Haute-Yamaska board were consulted last year about their involvement in CREA. “The members all asked, ‘What does CREA do for us, aside from asking us to go to meetings?’ Organizing meetings or conventions all the time won’t change things.”
Desrochers says members are not getting enough services for the money they pay to CREA. “They pay, pay, pay, but don’t see much.” According to Desrochers, boards outside Quebec are also complaining about CREA, “saying it’s expensive for what it gives back.”
She is also critical of “unjustified” dues increases in recent years and says more such increases are on the way. “It’s a bit of a shock,” she says of dues that “have increased enormously” in the last several years.
The Haute-Yamaska board does not want to have to increase dues to its members, given all the other fees they have to pay, she says.
In a recent interview with REM, CREA president Gary Morse said CREA has “had discussions with pretty much all of the boards in Quebec over the last two to three months in order to satisfy questions and concerns.” He expressed certainty the improved communication had satisfied some of their concerns.
Morse added: “I can understand if there are people out there who maybe question the value they are getting from CREA, because CREA has never been in a position to be able to communicate its value proposition directly to the members on the street. And if I never heard from my national association, I might wonder what they do and what I’m paying for. It’s a fair complaint when people say, “What does my national association do?” That’s something we need to address and we are addressing it.”
Desrochers says the decision to leave CREA “is pretty well made at the moment” and that it “would take a big reversal” to stay. “We have until the end of December 2012 to change our mind. It would depend on the goodwill of others.” But, she warns CREA: “If you don’t act, we’re leaving.”
She says the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards and Centris respond to the Haute-Yamaska board’s needs and would easily take CREA’s place should her board carry out its threat. “They won’t let us fall by the wayside. We’re not worried about what happens.”
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.