RECBC is committed to fair, effective and transparent regulation. Engaging with our stakeholders is critical to achieving our goals.
We use a variety of methods to gather feedback and listen to the views of our stakeholders about proposed changes that may affect them. For more information about our stakeholder engagement activities and to learn about how you can share your perceptions and views with RECBC, refer to the list below.
To learn more about the principles that RECBC follows when engaging with stakeholders, and the different levels of engagement that may be appropriate to RECBC initiatives, please read our Stakeholder Engagement Framework.
Exploring Mentorship/Apprenticeship Options for New Real Estate Professionals
Throughout the spring of 2020, RECBC will conduct planned focus groups with industry members throughout BC to discuss the concept of a more robust apprenticeship program. The focus groups will be led by staff from the Education Department at RECBC and are a first step in exploring initial ideas for a mentorship/apprenticeship program.
Depending on the outcomes of the focus groups, further consultations may be required in the future. The feedback from the focus group will assist RECBC to evaluate whether apprenticeships may be a viable model for enhancing professionalism among newly licensed real estate professionals in BC.
RECBC wants to understand the impact and feasibility of this potential change to the Applied Practice Course, and will be engaging in active dialogue with experienced managing brokers and new licensed real estate professionals.
Incorporating industry expertise into development of regulatory programs is key to ensuring RECBC is a responsive regulator that adapts quickly and proactively in a changing environment. RECBC welcomes thoughts and ideas from industry members around the potential changes and operational feasibility.
In 2016, the Report of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) recommended a comprehensive review of licensing education and testing be undertaken to raise entry standards for licensed real estate professionals. The Licensing Education Evaluation report contained the recommendation to enhance regulatory education with an apprenticeship model to help new licensees establish acceptable patterns of practice and further their attainment of required competencies.
Mentorship and apprenticeships are common in many professions as a way to help ensure that new professionals get guidance and advice from seasoned experts to develop good business practices.
The topic of apprentiship is raised on a growing basis by both new and experienced real estate professionals that look to RECBC to ensure strong education and licensing standards, while providing opportunities to grow and develop as a professional. An enhanced and rigorous apprenticeship model would ensure that new licensees have the opportunity to develop confidence in their practical knowledge and competence, and better protect consumers.
Currently, trading services licensees are required to complete the Trading Services Applied Practice Course. This course consists of four components: Components 1 and 2 required prior to licensing, and Component 3 and 4 that must be completed during the first six months of licensing. Component 3 currently consists of practical field assignments that could be used as the basis of a formalized apprenticeship program.
The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE), in collaboration with RECBC , is undertaking work to review the roles and responsibilities of managing brokers in BC’s changing real estate landscape to ensure the role continues to support adequate regulatory protections for consumers and fosters a strong culture of professionalism among real estate professionals.
More information on this project, including stakeholder engagement opportunities, can be found here — will open in a new tab.
Advisory Groups assist in maintaining communication, cooperation, and an exchange of information between RECBC, real estate industry professionals, members of the public and other stakeholder groups.
RECBC may ask an Advisory Group to explore an issue relevant to the specific industry sector and report on its findings. An advisory group may also identify and advise RECBC on trends and issues affecting the industry sector and real estate consumers. Each Advisory Group includes representation by one or more Council members.
Find further information about Advisory Groups, including the Strata Management Advisory Group and the Trading Services Advisory Group.
In October 2017, RECBC engaged the consulting firm Reichert & Associates to conduct a review of regulatory education in response to the Independent Advisory Group recommendation that RECBC “undertake a comprehensive review of licensing education and testing requirements to raise entry standards.” Reichert & Associates conducted research, interviewed dozens of stakeholders, including education providers and industry members, and engaged all BC licensees through an online survey asking for their feedback about licensing education.
In June 2018, Reichert & Associates submitted their final report and recommendations. For an overview of the findings of the review and the recommendations, please see the Executive Summary, below.
Following receipt of the Final Evaluation Report, RECBC developed the following white paper, which provides an overview of recent education initiatives, along with future plans for achieving enhanced standards of regulatory education. The RECBC’s goals are to promote increased professionalism among real estate professionals and to strengthen consumer protection.
More than 20% of real estate professionals responded to the invitation from Reichert & Associates to participate in the education survey in February 2018. 5,449 surveys were completed, and the results formed a significant part of the final report. Among the feedback from stakeholders and survey respondents were these findings:
- a majority of survey respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the licensing courses provided by the UBC Sauder School of Business, Real Estate Division
- nearly half of surveyed licensees indicated that they would benefit from more education to meet their responsibilities as members of a regulated industry
- a third of survey respondents wanted closer monitoring by managing brokers
- stakeholders indicated that more training in practical skills would benefit new entrants to the industry, particularly for strata and rental property management licensees
- stakeholders identified the overlapping roles of RECBC and industry associations as a challenge to the delivery of regulatory education and called on RECBC to take on more responsibility for regulatory education.
RECBC will be addressing these and other results from the education review surveys and interviews. We’re committed to listening to the feedback we’ve received and acting on it to help ensure real estate professionals receive the education and resources that prepare them to deliver professional service. It’s a key part of our mandate to protect the public.
- We will continue to work with our education partners to strengthen regulatory education.
- We will review contractual arrangements with our education delivery partner the British Columbia Real Estate Association to clarify RECBC’s responsibility for regulatory education with respect to content and instruction of the Residential and Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice courses and the Legal Update course.
- We will continue to enhance the educational resources available to real estate professionals and consumers on our website.
- We will explore with our stakeholders, including managing brokers, the potential for strengthening mentorship opportunities for new licensees.
- We will continue to engage with industry members on changes that will positively impact their knowledge and skills, enhancing professionalism and furthering the goal of public protection.
RECBC is conducting consultation concerning the disclosure requirements for licensed property managers of rental housing.
Based on feedback from members of the rental property management industry, at its July 10, 2018 meeting, Council directed RECBC staff to begin the development of versions of these forms specific to the needs of prospective tenants and rental property managers.
Consultation with industry and public stakeholders is a key part of the development process of the new forms.
The objective of the consultation is to provide information, seek feedback and offer stakeholders the opportunity to provide input on the development of disclosure forms that are relevant and easy to use for rental property managers, and for prospective tenants.
Making Changes: A Review of RECBC’s Implementation of Agency and Disclosure Rules
The report reviews RECBC’s implementation of the agency and disclosure rules that came into effect for real estate professionals in June 2018.
This report explores and evaluates the extent to which RECBC’s mandatory forms, informational resources, educational offerings, and engagement with real estate professionals and consumers are delivering the outcomes they were designed to achieve.
Data collected and analyzed as part of the Making Changes report includes:
- Complaints, anonymous tips, and calls and emails received by RECBC between June – September, 2018 relating to the new rules;
- Completion rates of the mandatory Rules Changes course administered by UBC;
- Issues identified in brokerage audits between June – September, 2018 relating to the new rules;
- Consultations with the RECBC Trading Services Advisory Group; Consultations with stakeholders in the rental property management industry and members of the public including tenant groups; and
- Results of surveys of real estate professionals and consumers.
Speaking out about misconduct can be difficult. We encourage members of the public and real estate professionals to bring suspicious activity to RECBC’s attention, and to make it easier to do that, we have implemented an Anonymous Tipline.
As part of this initiative, we surveyed licensees and members of the public to uncover potential barriers or challenges to reporting misconduct. The feedback we received helped to shape this important consumer protection resource.
On November 15, 2017, RECBC held its first stakeholder engagement event, A Conversation About The Future of Real Estate Regulation in BC. Leaders and representatives from a variety of sectors joined Council members and staff of the RECBC in a morning of discussion on what will be needed over the next several years to ensure that BC’s real estate consumers are protected, that real estate professionals have the skills and knowledge they need, and that the public can have confidence in the regulatory system.
This event was designed to elicit ideas and opinions from a broad and diverse range of stakeholders, including representatives from the public, industry members, educators and regulators, on topics such as
- the critical issues facing today’s real estate consumers and licensed real estate professionals
- trends and patterns that may affect real estate consumers and professionals in the future
- regulatory approaches that will enhance consumer protection and increase consumer confidence
Feedback from our stakeholders helped shape RECBC’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, and our updated vision and values.
Participants at the stakeholder engagement event indicated that
- 90% were satisfied or very satisfied with the event,
- 91% felt that the discussions were relevant, important, and timely, and
- 97% would attend another RECBC event.
RECBC extends our thanks to all those who participated and shared their unique perspectives on the regulation of real estate in BC. The experience, ideas and questions that were shared have helped to shape the goals and activities of RECBC now and in the future.
To learn more about A Conversation About The Future of Real Estate Regulation in BC, check out this brief highlights video.
RECBC has developed four disclosure forms required under the Superintendent of Real Estate’s agency and disclosure Rules effective from June 15, 2018:
- a mandatory form that replaces the Working With a Realtor brochure, informing consumers of the duties and responsibilities a real estate professional owes to clients and unrepresented parties;
- a mandatory form to inform consumers of the risks of being an unrepresented party in a real estate transaction;
- a mandatory form that must be presented to sellers each time an offer is received on the seller’s property about the amount their real estate professional’s brokerage would earn; and,
- a mandatory form to be used when a managing broker is approving a rare exemption to the rule prohibiting dual agency.
To help ensure the forms satisfy the requirements of the Rules, and also easy to understand, simple to use, and convenient, we consulted with stakeholders including industry members and consumers as part of the development process.