Long-Term Advocacy and Ensuring REALTORS®' Voices Are Heard

Oct 15, 2018

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Government relations and advocacy are core services that BCREA provides the province's 11 regional real estate boards and the REALTORS® the boards represent. But what's the difference between advocacy and government relations? And how do both fit into BCREA's overarching strategic goals?

Advocacy is about building positive relationships with stakeholders like consumers, media and professional organizations as well as with government, including regulatory bodies like RECBC.

The focus of government relations is narrower: build strong relationships with government so REALTORS®' voices are heard when it comes to the development, interpretation and implementation of policies related to real estate practice.

Given that elected officials, like MLAs, are committed to representing the interests of the public who voted for them, success in government relations largely depends on success in advocacy as a whole. With that in mind, long-term advocacy is a crucial part of BCREA's 2018–2020 Strategic Plan and one of the plan's most important goals: ensure REALTORS® are heard.

That's why BCREA senior staff and colleagues from BC's 11 regional real estate boards met in mid-September for an advocacy planning session.

At this planning session, we identified and agreed on three key issues for Government Liaison Days (BCREA's provincial lobbying conference) in Victoria from October 14 to 15: transparency in real estate transactions and FINTRAC compliancelimited dual agency and tax fairness for owners and new buyers.

We also discussed new tactics to make BCREA's advocacy work stronger over the long term. Based on these conversations, here are some of the things you can expect from BCREA in the coming months:

  • Increased presence on social media to build REALTOR® reputation and awareness of where REALTOR® and consumer interests align.
  • A proactive approach to media to dispel myths about real estate and real estate practice.
  • Robust issue management processes to quickly address media attention and keep regional real estate boards and REALTORS® informed of BCREA's response.
  • Greater understanding of consumers' views on REALTORS®, real estate issues and Rule changes in our advocacy approach through surveys and focus groups.

Thank you to all the regional real estate boards who attended the advocacy planning session, which is just the beginning of our collaborative approach. We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure REALTORS®' voices are heard.

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