COVID-19

UPDATE: COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard

The dashboard was last updated on April 27, 2022. The BCREA Economics team has created the COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard to help REALTORS® monitor BC’s economic recovery. This dashboard focuses on the sectors and activities that have been most significantly impacted by the pandemic and the province’s state of emergency. To monitor the province’s progress, we

Has Your Brokerage Re-Activated Their COVID-19 Safety Plan?

On January 7, BC’s Provincial Health Officer announced that employers are required to re-activate their COVID-19 Safety Plans. To ensure the safety of REALTORS®, managing brokers and their clients, we recommend brokerages update and re-activate their COVID-19 Safety Plan after reviewing the updated Work Safe BC COVID-19 Safety Plan template. BCREA will continue to update

UPDATE: BC Imposes New Social Restrictions With COVID-19 Cases Rising

UPDATE – December 22, 2021 – This blog post was updated to reflect the revised orders and restrictions announced by the Provincial Health Officer on December 21, 2021. With the number of new COVID-19 cases rising as a result of the omicron variant, BC’s Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new public health

Way Out of Balance: Housing Supply and Demand During the Pandemic

Vancouver, BC – October 7, 2021. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) has published a report quantifying the imbalance between supply and demand in the BC housing market during the COVID-19 pandemic. BCREA’s recent Market Intelligence report, Way Out of Balance: Housing Supply and Demand During the Pandemic, estimates at the peak of market

Masks Recommended for REALTORS® and Clients as BC Introduces New COVID-19 Measures

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) recommends REALTORS® and your clients once again wear masks while conducting open houses and private showings as a result of rising COVID-19 case numbers and the BC government’s recent announcement that beginning August 25, people 12 and older – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – will be required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.   The government also announced that proof of vaccination through a

RECBC, OSRE and BCREA Update Recommendations on Open Houses

As of July 1, brokerages and REALTORS® should follow WorkSafeBC’s Communicable Diseases Prevention guidelines. June 30, 2021 – With British Columbians set to enter Step 3 of the province’s Restart Plan on July 1, the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC), the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) and the British Columbia Real

No Changes to Real Estate Practice in Step 2 of Restart Plan

With vaccine numbers rising and infection rates continuing to fall, BC is on track to move to step 2 of BC’s Restart Plan as of June 15 and all of us are eager for further easing of COVID-19 restrictions. However, REALTORS® and consumers will have to be patient a little longer when it comes to

Getting Ready for BC’s Restart Plan

May 25th was an exciting day for all of us as Premier John Horgan, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix announced details of BC’s four-phase restart plan. After more than a year of uncertainty and concern about the health and well-being of ourselves and our loved ones, brighter days

UPDATED: Selling Tenant-Occupied Properties During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Update: This post was updated on May 5, 2021 after a review of suggested protocols. REALTORS® are encouraged to read the updated version below. Selling a tenant-occupied property is always more complicated than selling an owner-occupied property. Selling a tenant-occupied property during a global pandemic adds another layer of complexity.  As a REALTOR®, you have

UPDATED: As COVID-19 Case Counts Rise, REALTORS® Should Continue to Prioritize Health and Safety

Update: This post and the Safer Showings documents referenced below were updated on May 5, 2021 to align with Provincial Health Officer orders and directives up to and including April 2021. Real estate professionals must continue to adapt to protect themselves, consumers and communities from COVID-19. While provincial restrictions do not directly impact REALTORS® ability

What happens if your client or close contact tests positive for COVID-19?

If being in the midst of a global pandemic wasn’t enough, with BC’s historically busy housing market, REALTORS® are operating under extenuating circumstances and are faced with balancing health and safety with serving their clients best interests. As a result of COVID-19, you have adapted your practices to ensure your clients and the community at

REALTORS® and COVID-19: Three Tips for Working During the Hot Market

In February’s episode of Open House by BCREA, our monthly podcast for REALTORS®, host Tony Joe and his guests – former Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver President and current Vancouver-area Realtor Phil Moore, and lawyer Brian Taylor – explore some of the challenges and opportunities of working in a historically busy market during COVID-19.

PODCAST: Challenges and Opportunities in a Hot Market During COVID-19 (February 2021)

Open House by BCREA logo

On this month’s episode of Open House by BCREA, host Tony Joe is joined by Vancouver-area REALTOR® Phil Moore, and lawyer and BCREA Legally Speaking author Brian Taylor to talk about the challenges Realtors are facing in a hot market during COVID-19, and how to turn some of those into opportunities. [div id=”buzzsprout-player-8031027″][/div] [script src=”https://www.buzzsprout.com/831562/8031027-challenges-and-opportunities-in-a-hot-market-during-covid-19.js?container_id=buzzsprout-player-8031027&player=small”

Preserving Public Trust During COVID-19: A Self-Directed PDP Opportunity for REALTORS®

On February 18th, BCREA and the province’s ten real estate boards are offering a free two-hour interactive webinar on how REALTORS® can continue to safeguard public trust during BC’s COVID-19 pandemic. By attending, participants will be able to claim two hours of self-directed learning towards their Professional Development Program (PDP) requirements.   Why attend? With

Updated Guidance for Real Estate Practice During COVID-19

UPDATE (January 14, 2021): As the spread of COVID-19 continues to be a concern, restrictions from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) on social gatherings and non-essential travel, and a requirement for masks in public indoor spaces are still in effect until at least February 5, 2021. Updated guidance on safer showings from BCREA, the Real

CleanBC Rebates Doubled

To help BC’s economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, many CleanBC rebates are doubled until December 31, 2020. These initiatives will help homeowners save energy and will also help the province meet its new emissions target rate to be 16 per cent below 2007 levels by 2025. The increased rebates are available for: switching from

COVID-19: Resources for REALTORS®

Last updated: July 1, 2021 The provincial state of emergency that was in place for more than a year has now been lifted. For British Columbians, this means unlimited indoor and outdoor personal gatherings, an end to mask mandates and the freedom to travel within Canada. For REALTORS®, this means the option to return to

Conveyancing Considerations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The second half of 2020 has been a busy time for real estate transactions, which has resulted in an increase in conveyancing. To help control the spread of COVID-19, it remains paramount to continue using technology to reduce in-person contact during all aspects of a transaction, including conveyancing. In dealing with the consequences of the

REALTORS® Encouraged to Continue Safe Business Practices in Light of New Public Health Orders

With new health orders announced by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) on November 19, BCREA encourages REALTORS® to continue COVID-19-conscious business practices, which includes using virtual tools when possible, to market, show, and view properties to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The PHO’s recent announcement and order extends the ban on social interactions and

Real Estate Professionals Urged to Stop Open Houses: Regulators and Provincial Association Recommend Virtual Tools

For Immediate Release Vancouver, BC – November 05, 2020. The regulatory agencies overseeing real estate professionals in BC and the provincial association representing REALTORS® are calling on real estate professionals across the province to protect public health and safety by temporarily discontinuing open houses. With cases of COVID-19 on the rise in BC, the Real

Three Election Questions REALTORS® Can Ask Candidates

BC voters go to the polls on October 24, 2020

As all parties focus on COVID-19 economic recovery in the lead-up to October’s provincial election, BCREA is advocating for market housing affordability to be a key part of the next government’s post-election plans. For BC’s REALTORS®, meeting with candidates is a great opportunity to ask questions and suggest that the next government focuses on these

Planning for Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery

BCREA’s Recommendations for the Next Provincial Government With British Columbians being asked to head to the polls on October 24, BCREA is advocating with all parties to ensure that market housing affordability is a cornerstone of the province’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made market housing affordability inequities more apparent than ever,”

New COVID-19 Presumption in the Workers Compensation Act

As of August 20, 2020, REALTORS® have yet another reason to maintain high standards of hygiene and safety. Schedule 1 of the BC Workers Compensation Act includes a new presumption for infections caused by communicable viral pathogens, such as COVID-19, that are the subject of a Public Health Act notice or a declared state of

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Commercial Owners Extended

By Ellen Baragon, Guest Contributor The federal government has extended the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for another month to help small businesses cover rental costs through August 2020. This follows a previous CECRA extension for the month of July. CECRA provides forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three

Rent Repayment Plans and Other Residential Tenancy Updates

Rent payment being made by cheque

With an announcement on July 20, the BC Government is giving landlords and tenants information to help them plan for the near future. The ban on residential evictions for non-payment of rent will be lifted before September 1, which means full rent will be due in September. Repayment plans The government has published a repayment

COVID-19 and a Different Type of “Exposure” Risk

By Ellen Baragon, Guest Contributor Even when REALTORS® adapt strict COVID-19 safety protocols (you can review BCREA’s guidelines here), hosting open houses increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Hosting open houses also results in another type of exposure for Realtors: exposure to public scrutiny. With British Columbians anxiously watching the latest transmission numbers, neighbours

COVID-19 Community Care: Brokerage Raises $17,000 for Local Food Bank

Over the past several months, we’ve been sharing stories about the many REALTORS® across BC who are supporting their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, this will be the last post in the COVID-19 Community Care series. “A huge thanks to our fantastic agents, to Trinity Church and to the people of Kelowna, West Kelowna

Blanket Ban on Residential Evictions Ends

On June 24, the BC Government made it possible to evict residential tenants for reasons other than non-payment of rent. That means real estate transactions that require vacant possession can now proceed. Landlords with existing orders for eviction can take them to the courts beginning July 2, 2020, for enforcement and can enforce a writ

Managing Online Communities While Returning to Operation

With Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Plan underway, REALTORS® may encounter concerns or criticism from consumers, especially online. In the latest episode of Open House by BCREA: Returning to Work and Risks to REALTOR® Reputation, Ari Indyk, VP Crisis and Risk at Edelman, provides advice on mitigating and responding to consumer concerns as we navigate

Can the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund Help You?

By Ellen Baragon, Guest Contributor The federal government’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) could assist brokers who, for various reasons, have not been able to take advantage of other programs such as the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The $1 billion fund was launched in May to support small to medium businesses struggling to recover

Using CREA’s Health Waiver

Recently the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) uploaded a Coronavirus Statement & Consent form to WEBForms® for REALTORS® to use with clients. In signing the form, clients state that they currently don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms and haven’t been in contact with anyone with symptoms. The person signing the form is also giving the brokerage

Necessity is the Mother of Invention #526

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected many parts of our society and economy – including the real estate industry. Terms many of us hadn’t heard of just three months ago – social distancing, self-isolation, lockdown, and Zoom conferencing – are now as common as, “What’s for lunch?” Buying real estate, particularly in a caveat emptor

COVID-19 Community Care: Kelowna REALTOR® Delivers Chef-Prepared Meals

Over the coming weeks, BCREA will share stories about the many REALTORS® across BC who are supporting their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I enjoy the privilege of delivering chef-prepared meals to vulnerable members of our community.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael Loewen, REALTOR® with Royal LePage Kelowna and member of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board,

Protect Your Clients and Reduce Claims Risks During COVID-19 #525

These are unprecedented times with the arrival of COVID-19. We have all heard that many times and it’s true for all industries, including real estate. Although the market has slowed down, there will still be deals made and deals completed. There will also still be claims made against licensees. For the most part, these claims

Applications for BC Emergency Benefit for Workers Now Open

As of May 1, 2020, British Columbians can apply here for the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers (BCEBW). The BCEBW is a one-time, tax-free $1,000 payment for British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) you are likely eligible

PODCAST: Episode 6 – How to Stay Productive During COVID-19

Open House by BCREA logo

Episode 6, How to Stay Productive During COVID-19, features a conversation with Chris Linsell, a staff writer at The Close. Chris is an experienced REALTOR® from the United States and now focuses most of his time on writing about real estate. He joins us to discuss his recent article “21 Hidden Opportunities for Realtors Under

Helping REALTORS® Invest in The Future: PDP Discounts During COVID-19

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is helping Realtors invest in the future by providing discounts to our Professional Development Program (PDP) courses. Watch a short message from Anthony Bastiaanssen, Chair of the Board of Directors, to learn more: [iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/zxCvbFqekmQ” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen style=”position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;” ][/iframe]  25% Discount On All BCREA Online PDP

BCREA Creates Virtual Community for Managing Brokers

In April, BCREA launched our Managing Broker Community of Practice, a virtual community where managing brokers can connect, find important information, hear from guest speakers, and share best practices. The current focus of the Community of Practice is supporting managing brokers with information around the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the needs of the community, the

Five Ways for REALTORS® to Keep Busy During COVID-19

As REALTORS®, the hustle and bustle of your lives may have quieted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep busy during this time as you continue to practice social distancing and following government recommended guidelines. Whether you’re continuing to try and conduct business, or are simply looking for ways to

Online Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We are a number of weeks into social distancing and we’ve noticed that many REALTORS® are taking this time to pursue online professional development. Likewise, many individuals and organizations are creating new online learning opportunities to meet the growing demand. This blog post will help you navigate the changing landscape of online learning so you

Conducting Live Virtual Tours During COVID-19 and Beyond

During the COVID-19 pandemic, conducting live virtual tours can help real estate business to continue while keeping REALTORS® and clients safe. A live virtual tour, not to be confused with an open house, is a tour of a seller’s property, during which the seller, seller’s Realtor, buyer and buyer’s Realtor are all present using virtual

CRA Launches Calculator for Wage Subsidy Program

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has launched an online calculator to help employers estimate the amount of wage subsidy they can expect if they apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This calculator will help you to determine some specific line amounts that you will need to enter into the CEWS application form once it

PRECs, Dividends & CERB

REALTORS® with Personal Real Estate Corporations who pay themselves dividends can apply for the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB), as long as they meet other eligibility criteria. On April 6, 2020, the federal government extended CERB eligibility criteria to include self-employed workers who pay themselves with dividends. According to the CERB government website, non-eligible dividends

Home Inspection Protocols During COVID-19

BCREA is diligently working to keep BC’s REALTORS® informed of the evolving real estate landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preparing your clients for a real estate transaction during a pandemic means being able to explain to them not only how you’ve adapted your business and protocols to reflect the current conditions, but also how related

BCREA Creates Notice & Acknowledgement Form for Use During COVID-19 Pandemic

Woman signing a contract or form

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) has created a new Standard Form, the Notice & Acknowledgement form, for use by REALTORS® during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now available on WEBForms®. With the practice of real estate having changed since the outbreak of COVID-19, your clients may have many questions and concerns over how

Communicating During Stressful Times

By Gerald G. Clerx (Success Partner, Engage BRILLIANTLY Training Group) The current pandemic has created a lot of anxiety within the real estate community – it’s a stressful time for everyone. Buyers are uneasy about the future of their investment as well as their ability to qualify and make mortgage payments and sellers are concerned about

Is It Different This Time? Recessions and the BC Housing Market

To view the Market Intelligence Report PDF, click here. Summary Findings: The 2020 COVID-19 driven recession will be deep, though the duration may be shorter than past recessions. We expect that home sales will post an initial sharp decline as households and the real estate sector adhere to social distancing. As measures implemented to mitigate

PRECs and Wage Subsidy Programs

If you have a Personal Real Estate Corporation (PREC), navigating Canada’s COVID-19 aid programs can seem even more complicated. If you receive a T4 from your PREC and you meet the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) income threshold requirement (read more here), you’ll want to calculate which is more beneficial, the CERB or the wage

PODCAST: Episode 5 – Conducting Business During COVID-19

Open House by BCREA logo

Episode 5, Conducting Business During COVID-19, features a conversation with Kim Spencer, also known as the “Ethics Guy.” He is a PDP instructor and Manager of Professional Standards at the Real Estate Boards of Greater Vancouver, and on this episode discusses moral, ethical, and practical questions related to REALTORS® working during the COVID-19 pandemic. [div

Staying Secure When Using Zoom and Other Video Conferencing Tools

Professionals connect via video conferencing

REALTORS®, like many other professionals who rely heavily on face-to-face interaction to conduct business, have quickly had to change the way they meet with colleagues and clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the change may be a lot for some, tools like Zoom have made meeting virtually easier than ever. But a significant increase in

Broadened CERB Criteria Makes More REALTORS® Eligible

On April 15th, the Government of Canada broadened the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) criteria by allowing applicants to earn up to $1,000 in each four-week eligibility period. People who are eligible for Employment Insurance or sickness benefits or who have exhausted their Employment Insurance benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020 are

PODCAST: Episode 4 – COVID-19 Standardized Clauses, and Financial Support

Open House by BCREA logo

[div id=”buzzsprout-player-3304732″][/div] [script src=”https://www.buzzsprout.com/831562/3304732-covid-19-standardized-forms-and-financial-support.js?container_id=buzzsprout-player-3304732&player=small” type=”text/javascript” charset=”utf-8″][/script] Open House by BCREA is a monthly podcast where REALTORS® will find the latest real estate news and feature conversations with experts on issues related to real estate practice in BC. Learn more about the show here. Episode 4, COVID-19: Standardized Clauses, and Financial Support, features conversations with BCREA’s

UPDATE: Conveyancing in the Time of COVID-19 – So Far

This post was updated on April 3, 2020 to include additional information on remote witnessing of affidavits in support of land title applications. Even with the Land Title and Survey Authority’s (LTSA) notice temporarily allowing for affidavits for use in land title applications to be taken remotely (by video), there may still be other documents

CERB or CEWS: Which Federal Aid is Right for You?

If you are a REALTOR® trying to understand whether you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) (due to launch April 6) or the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) (launch details unavailable) there are two questions to ask yourself: Are you self-employed? Have you incorporated as Personal Real Estate Corporations (PREC) and receive

PODCAST: Episode 3 – The Impact of COVID-19 on REALTORS®

Open House by BCREA logo

[div id=”buzzsprout-player-3136519″][/div] [script src=”https://www.buzzsprout.com/831562/3136519-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-realtors.js?container_id=buzzsprout-player-3136519&player=small” type=”text/javascript” charset=”utf-8″][/script] Open House by BCREA is a monthly podcast where REALTORS® will find the latest real estate news and feature conversations with experts on issues related to real estate practice in BC. Learn more about the show here. Episode 3, The Impact of COVID-19 on REALTORS®, features conversations with BCREA

Three Ways to Virtually Show a Property During COVID-19

Realtors can get creative to continue to show properties without the risk associated with in-person showings

REALTORS® are being challenged to meet obligations to clients who they entered into a business relationship with before social distancing orders came into effect and to meet the needs of new clients who may need to buy or sell despite the pandemic. This means they’re often caught in the crossfire of client expectations and civic

Canada Emergency Response Benefit – What it means for REALTORS®

With the announcement of the newly created Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and associated eligibility criteria, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) continues to work with the federal government to make additional details available to REALTORS® as soon as possible. “Since the emergence of COVID-19, CREA has been in ongoing discussions with government departments and

BCREA Supports End to Open Houses During COVID-19 Crisis

Vancouver, BC – March 20, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) supports recommendations made by local real estate boards to stop open houses during the COVID-19 pandemic. “As British Columbians face this unprecedented health risk, it is vital that everyone does their part to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” says

Changes to REALTOR® Education in Response to COVID-19

A student takes notes during an online class

Since the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 11, the BCREA Education team has been working closely with the province’s 11 real estate boards to ensure REALTORS® will be able to continue their professional development. We support real estate boards that have chosen to reschedule or cancel in-person course offerings,

LTSA Continues to Meet Demand

More than 8500 applications processed this week While Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA) has introduced social distancing measures in their offices, such as restricting access to staff, direct access pass-holders and Registry Agents, it’s keeping up with customer demand and expects to remain open for business. In a statement posted on

Sketching Out the Potential Impact of COVID-19 on the BC Housing Market

To view the Market Intelligence Report PDF, click here. Summary Findings: While it’s unknown how the unfolding COVID-19 outbreak will impact the economy in the long-term, BC is facing a sudden stop in economic activity with little guidance to when things may return to normal. Based on our scenario analysis, BC home sales and prices

What Does the COVID-19 Virus Mean for REALTORS®?

The COVID-19 virus is impacting more than people’s health. It’s changing our travel plans, how we do business and the larger economy. REALTORS® also need to adjust to protect themselves and their clients. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has put together this great resource – we’ve listed some key Q&As below. What’s the most