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Bcrea statement to realtors

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It’s unacceptable that criminal money has infected our real estate sector. It’s also unacceptable that REALTOR® reputations were tarnished in the past as a result. We have been achieving success in diversifying the media narrative while working more closely with the government. As your provincial professional association, we are dedicated to assuring that BC’s REALTORS® and 11 member boards are trusted, respected and proud of their profession.

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Bcrea statement to realtors

  1. 1. bcrea.bc.ca May 17, 2019 A message to BC’s REALTORS® The past two weeks have certainly been a turbulent time for the real estate sector. Last week, Peter German’s second report on money laundering was issued along with Maureen Maloney’s Expert Panel investigation findings. These were announced via press conference and attracted significant media interest. This week the government announced they are moving forward with a public inquiry on the issue. Our focus in advance of the release was to collaborate with other sector partners to develop and issue a joint statement on industry commitments and recommendations that address money laundering. The release went public one month ago and attracted strong provincial and national news coverage, as well as a statement of support from the provincial government. Our partners on this included the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Appraisal Institute of Canada – BC, BC Notaries Association and the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association - BC. You can read the release here. The days of the media and government pointing the finger solely at REALTORS® on this issue are over. Public, government and media dialogue has expanded to include lawyers, mortgage brokers, developers, unregulated lenders, home builders, home inspectors and real estate appraisers. We have used the ongoing media attention to clarify and educate about the realities of the real estate sector. In addition, the focus of criticism has increasingly turned to the woefully inadequate structure of information-sharing between regulatory bodies, investigative agencies and, as many of you have experienced in the past, back to the real estate sector itself. We are working hard to assure the voices of BC’s 23,000 REALTORS® are heard. We are more closely collaborating with government and, in doing so, are fostering an increased level of trust. That said, do not misinterpret this as meaning that we are quietly accepting any and all recommendations being made. Our ongoing message to government has been our desire to work collaboratively to craft better, smarter policy that will work for both industry and government in the long term. There are many aspects within the two recent reports that we take issue with, and we will be following up, critiquing and pushing back in policy areas where warranted. Sometimes this will be done privately in meetings. Sometimes it will be done within public statements to media. Rest assured we are moving forward in a carefully crafted, strategic manner with your best interests as our top priority.
  2. 2. We are committed to ensuring our professional standards foster public and professional trust. At the same time, we recognize the real estate sector has often been painted unfairly or portrayed in a manner to be under-reporting on the issue of money laundering where complex processes already exist. We share these concerns and will be countering these narratives where and when appropriate. We will also hold the government accountable around timely implementation of recommendations made by the Expert Panel that we believe will help repair regulatory failures and improve FINTRAC’s effectiveness. Moving forward, BCREA will be expanding our efforts to provide you with increased support in terms of training, information sessions, conferences for managing brokers and other services to support you in recognizing and reporting criminal activity. We will also be working to provide stronger, clearer guidance and support services that better serve your needs on this issue in the days, months and years to come. It’s unacceptable that criminal money has infected our real estate sector. It’s also unacceptable that REALTOR® reputations were tarnished in the past as a result. We have been achieving success in diversifying the media narrative while working more closely with government. As your provincial professional association, we are dedicated to assuring that BC’s REALTORS® and 11 member boards are trusted, respected and proud of their profession. For more information: Trevor Hargreaves VP of Government Relations thargreaves@bcrea.bc.ca 604.742.2798 About BCREA BCREA is the professional association for about 23,000 REALTORS® in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the province’s 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy, economic research and standard forms to help REALTORS® provide value for their clients. To demonstrate the profession’s commitment to improving Quality of Life in BC communities, BCREA supports policies that help ensure economic vitality, providing housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods. Michael Trites President Darlene K. Hyde Chief Executive Officer

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