A Year-in-Review: BCREA’s 2019 Highlights
2019 was an eventful year at the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA), and in the real estate sector as a whole. Building on new and existing relationships and driven by a commitment to innovation and collaboration, we continued to work hard to serve BC's 11 real estate boards.
Here are a few of the highlights!
Fostering a United Sector Voice
The Advocacy team strengthened BCREA's position as an important partner to government and other policy influencers by fostering a new level of collaboration across the real estate sector. In April 2019, the release of a series of anti-money laundering recommendations with four partner organizations gained both government support and significant media coverage.
"As we continue to face challenges and navigate change in organized real estate, the need to be collectively organized in our dialogue with government has only increased," said Trevor Hargreaves, who joined the organization in February of 2019 as VP of Government Relations and Stakeholder Engagement. "The success of the joint anti-money laundering recommendations highlights the impact of a united sector voice."
Areas of change from 2019, including the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in BC, the review of the role of managing brokers, and impending regulatory changes, have carried into 2020. To navigate these changes, Trevor and the Advocacy team will continue to work with BC's 11 real estate boards and other provincial and national bodies so that REALTORS®' voices are heard.
Strengthening the Foundation for Communications
BCREA's Communications team played a key role in the success of all BCREA's core services, from media relations for the joint anti-money laundering statement and editorial management of all Economics publications, to creative input into Standard Forms resources and the development and execution of the PDP transition communications strategy with member board partners.
The team was proud to launch the new BCREA website in July 2019. The new mobile-friendly, content-focused website is the foundation for engaging with members and real estate sector stakeholders. "The relaunch of our website has been a key piece of BCREA's long-term communications strategy," said April van Ert, Communications Manager. "It allows us to provide boards and REALTORS® with timely and user-friendly access to BCREA information and resources."
Looking ahead, the team looks forward to continuing to bring innovation to BCREA's communications. 2020 has gotten off to a great start with the launch of Open House by BCREA, a monthly podcast for REALTORS® featuring real estate news and practical insights.
Collaborating on the New Professional Development Program
REALTOR® interests, ways of doing business and learning styles have and continue to change. To ensure the Professional Development Program (PDP) continues to meet REALTOR® needs, BCREA collaborated with real estate boards to create a new PDP framework that's more flexible and innovative.
"Putting together the new framework was the biggest highlight of 2019, not only because of what it represents - a new and better way forward for REALTORS® - but also how it came about," said Joanna Pedersen, Education Manager. "There were numerous stakeholders involved in the process and the commitment to collaboration was inspiring!"
The new PDP framework launched on January 1, 2020. With the framework in place, the Education team is working to develop new in-person and online learning opportunities to enhance REALTOR® professionalism and increase professional development offerings available across the province.
Enhancing Standard Forms Processes and Resources
Standard Forms are the backbone of every transaction and they play a huge role in the daily practice of real estate professionals. That's why in 2019, BCREA began refining our processes for creating and amending forms as part of our commitment to ensuring these forms provide continued value for REALTORS® and their clients.
"In 2020, we will continue the work we started in 2019 to make the Standard Forms processes more streamlined and work to make the forms more accessible in their usage and language," said Corinne Caldwell, Chief Operations Officer. "We will also build out additional resources to support REALTORS® in working with the forms and keeping up to date on form changes."
Thought Leadership in Economics
The 2019 housing market saw substantial shifts over the course of the year. The Economics team continued to serve as thought leaders in the real estate sector, producing regular reports on provincial home sales and economic activity as well as critically examining government policies and initiatives targeted at the real estate sector.
This included an in-depth analysis of the impact of the B20 mortgage stress test on BC homes sales and the potential uptake of the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.
"Government policy plays a large role in the housing market and it's important REALTORS® and consumers are informed of the impacts," said Brendon Ogmundson, who took over as Chief Economist in October of 2019. "We began 2020 by analyzing the impacts of the Speculation and Vacancy Tax on BC home sales and released our findings in the latest BCREA Market Intelligence Report."
With another busy year in the BC real estate sector already underway, the BCREA team is already hard at work! To learn more about our 2020 initiatives, click here.