GTA REAL ESTATE – When you become a real estate sales representative in Ontario, your brokerage isn’t the only organization you’ll be dealing with. Some of them – like the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) – you have already likely encountered to get your real estate license. Nearly all of them are generally referred to by acronyms that can take some getting used too.
To help you get your bearings while navigating the complex ecosystem of Ontario’s real estate industry, we’ve put together a little “cheat sheet” providing the full names, acronyms, and brief descriptions for some of the organizations you’ll be interacting with regularly as a real estate professional in Ontario.
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)
With more than 37,000 members, TREB is a non-profit corporation providing co-operative services to Greater Toronto real estate salespeople. Obtaining a membership with these folks should be a top priority if you plan to buy and sell real estate anywhere in the GTA. You might even recognize the name already from their regular Market Watch statistics releases, which are frequently cited by news publications such as The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.
TREB members can benefit from a huge range of services, including:
- Full-range Multiple Listing Service (MLS) access;
- Regular Market Reports for residential, rental and commercial markets.
- Access to real estate data including Realnet statistics, MPAC assessment data and the Teranet Land Registry;
- Continuing education programs/courses;
- Government relations and public communications on behalf of local real estate professionals.
Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA)
Ontario is home to more than 40 real estate boards, and OREA is the association representing the 56,500 real estate professionals belonging to all of them. OREA’s main goals are to organize provincial real estate activities, set recognized industry standards, and provide educational programs for current and aspiring real estate salespeople across the province. OREA is a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), which will be discussed in a later article.
The association’s own OREA Real Estate College is an award-winning private institution and the most widely-recognized source for real estate education in the province of Ontario. They offer a mix of “continuing education” courses as well as introductory courses for those who are seeking to obtain their Ontario real estate license.
One of OREA’s most beneficial programs for industry newcomers is the Young Professionals Network (YPN), which helps newer sales representatives find ways to participate more actively within the organization and the real estate industry as a whole. YPN offers a great way to “find your voice” within the industry and build professional connections.
The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO)
Real estate transactions, advertising, and brokerage business in Ontario are conducted under the legal framework of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA 2002) – it is the Statute regulating all industry professionals for the Province of Ontario.
Established in 1997, RECO is a consumer focused non-profit organization that ensures high real estate standards across Ontario by administering the Act. All new agents are obligated to register with RECO, a registration that must be renewed every two years.
Last month, RECO introduced a mandatory new online training program, which came into effect August 1st, 2013, open to all its member registrants. Focusing on “consumer protection, regulatory matters and current industry issues,” these update courses come in versions tailored towards either residential or commercial agents, and will be tremendously helpful in helping you stay on top of Ontario’s real estate policies as you continue to build your career.
A Robust Network of Support
These are just a handful of the many organizations you may find yourself dealing with as you establish and build your real estate career. For example, you may hear about lobbying activities by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) or read economic and market forecasts from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). If your passion is selling brand-new homes or condos, you’re very likely to wind up interacting with groups like the GTA’s Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), or perhaps the Canada Green Building Council.
Groups like these are what make the real estate industry so enjoyable and rewarding – every step of the way, Ontario real estate registrants are privileged to have access to a wide network of advancement opportunities and information sources.
Our Real Estate Careers series offers key advice and information for new and aspiring real estate professionals in the GTA. If you’re looking for more advice on kick-starting your own real estate career, please contact one of our Living Realty branch managers today and we’ll be happy to arrange a one-on-one meeting with you.