As of March 15th, 2018, the practice of Dual Agency will end in British Columbia and the rest of North America is watching. This could be a serious disrupter.
This change is a result of BC REALTORS® losing their right to self-govern and a provincial government agency, The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) imposing these changes on the industry to protect the consumer.
This is going to change the real estate business. It limits our ability to act as salespeople and many of our business models, protocols and skills are built around sales.
“A licensee is not a salesperson or a facilitator but rather a fiduciary that is obligated to act in the best interests of their client”. – OSRE
As brokers, team leaders, licensees and others in the industry begin to anticipate the implications of this significant change, we can be assured of some chaos, confusion and dissatisfaction. Change creates uncertainty and fear but it also creates opportunity and, in this case, the opportunity is incredible.
Under the new rules, the consumer has only two options when trading in real estate; be represented or be unrepresented. There is no in between and for them to operate unrepresented, they will need to sign forms that point out how disadvantageous and risky it is. This combined with the directive from The OSRE to The Real Estate Council to educate the consumer on what representation really is, means that most buyers will be looking to hire REALTORS® who are highly knowledgeable, skilled and professional.
According to the OSRE, we are a fudiciary and our highest priority is protecting our client. How do we do that? With a high level of expertise in all things pertaining to a real estate trade; the complex legal elements, The CREA Code of Ethics, macro and micro market conditions, economics and other money elements and most importantly, high level negotiation skills. Under these changes, will we finally be recognized and rewarded for the professional skills that we have that truly benefit the people we serve? And will the licensees who don’t operate professionally be adequately reprimanded? It’s possible.
Take this opportunity to have conversations with people about the upcoming changes. Help them understand that this rewards the professionalism of agents who have taken the time to be highly educated and skilled and find people who need you to protect them during the process of buying a property. We are about to have a huge amount of media coverage around these issues and this could be your time to really shine.
During this challenging time of change, stay focused on serving your client, shield yourself from the naysayers and whiners who will inevitably emerge and source out high-quality information about the changes and the best practices as they emerge.
If you haven’t read this, I highly recommend it: