BCREA’s New Professional Services Manager Reflects on State of BC’s Real Estate Sector
After a long and successful career working as a real estate professional, Jim McCaughan, joined the BCREA team earlier this year. As BCREA’s new Professional Services Manager, Jim brings with him more than four decades of experience in the real estate sector as a REALTOR®, managing broker, instructor and in governance roles. Jim was first licensed in 1977 as a Sales Associate and became a Broker in 1979 and went on to manage more than 120 associates.
In governance, Jim is a Past-President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and the Chilliwack Real Estate Board, served six years on the Real Estate Council of BC and eleven years on the Errors & Omissions Insurance Corporation of BC. And not to mention, Jim was the 2012-13 BCREA President.
Jim’s experience, expertise and service-oriented attitude make his opinions highly sought after and respected. With the unprecedented market conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic changing, we sat down with him to learn more about his role at BCREA and what he believes BC Realtors should know moving forward.
What does your role as the Professional Services Manager entail?
My role is to provide practical expertise to all BCREA member services to ensure the delivery of valuable and timely services for member boards and Realtors. In addition, I work to identify and assess industry issues and strategize and develop responses to critical matters affecting the real estate industry and Realtors.
The real estate industry is constantly changing; what do you think is the most important change that’s happening right now?
The real estate industry continually faces challenges from inside and outside the sector. I have a sign above my desk which reads, “every problem is an opportunity for a solution;” to that point, our industry is resilient and with all that has gone on with the housing market through the pandemic until now, we need to be able to adapt.
One of the key issues in the real estate market right now is consumer protection. Home buyers are frustrated with how difficult it is to buy a home and the conditions they have faced over the last two years. As BCREA continues to advocate for consumer protection and that it’s at the forefront of governmental policies, Realtors should continue to act in the best interest of buyers and sellers, helping them navigate ever-changing conditions.
With municipal elections taking place in the fall, can you explain how local officials and regulations may affect the real estate industry?
Cities and municipalities have an opportunity to take positive steps to enhance our housing supply and, in turn, affect the real estate sector as a whole, particularly the balance of the market. Local officials have the ability to modify their regulations to streamline the process for approvals of subdivisions and building permits. It is clear that the predominant reason for current housing challenges in BC and Canada result from a lack of housing supply.
What’s a professional tip that you would share with Realtors?
Realtors, regardless of experience, need to stay connected with the profession to enhance consumer confidence in the real estate transaction. It could be through a positive social media presence, joining organized real estate, or enrolling in extra professional development courses.
Furthermore, we need to continually look for opportunities to demonstrate the great value that Realtors bring to their clients and take steps to continue to act as trusted advisors for consumers.
Throughout my career, I have observed that success in the profession comes down to 60 per cent work ethic and 40 per cent personality and skillset. Anyone who has a strong desire, a settled purpose and an invincible determination will be able to accomplish any desired goals.
Despite the challenges the sector faces, I believe the future can and will be very bright for Realtors and consumers and BC Realtors will continue to be a valuable resource to people embarking on the home buying experience.
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