Montreal, Quebec City boards tell CREA they’re leaving


CREA-FeaturedStory-v2By Danny Kucharsky

The Montreal and Quebec City real estate boards have served formal notice that they will leave CREA at the end of the year unless the national association makes major changes.

The boards have a number of demands, including:

–  a review of CREA expenses

–  a call for more a-la-carte services, saying that Quebec members use few of the tools the national association offers

–  the ability to opt out of the national data distribution system.

The board is also concerned about recent changes to the national code of ethics, and it is opposed to showing for-sale-by-owner properties through brokers who do not hold a licence in Quebec.

Patrick Juanéda, president of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB), says the board remains open to maintaining its CREA membership, “but we don’t want to go into 2014 without having settled the issue one way or the other.” Whatever happens, GMREB members will be consulted by vote as to whether or not to stay in CREA.

In a consultation with Montreal members last year, 28 per cent voted to stay in CREA, 40 per cent preferred to leave CREA immediately and 32 per cent decided to wait until after CREA’s spring 2013 AGM to see whether changes would be made.

Patrick Juanéda
Patrick Juanéda

“Unfortunately, it is clear that CREA has not delivered on its promises and progress on some dossiers has even declined,” Juanéda wrote in a letter to members. He says the GMREB Board of Directors is taking action based on the fact that 72 per cent of its close to 10,000 members rejected the status quo.

Juanéda says the FSBO listings of Quebec properties on began to be seen last year and cites examples from and DuProprio (ComFree). “It’s totally unacceptable that outside members who don’t have the right to practice in Quebec should have access (to Quebec). Such listings are illegal under Quebec law.”

Unlike the rest of Canada, it is difficult for Quebec FSBOs to pay a flat fee to a broker to list their homes on because provincial law requires brokers to verify the accuracy of information on listings.

The Montreal board has “repeatedly asked” CREA to solve the problem and Quebec’s 12 real estate boards sent a joint request to CREA that proposed a link to the Quebec site from for the display of properties in the province, Juanéda says.

However, Randall McCauley, vice-president of public and government relations at CREA, says Quebec’s licensing agency, the OACIQ, should be taking care of the matter. “CREA’s position has been that real estate isn’t governed by a national set of laws. If it’s illegal, the regulatory body (in Quebec) needs to do something about it. If I have a problem in my backyard, I don’t look at my neighbour and say ‘Can you fix my problem?’ It’s my backyard.”

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Juanéda says CREA’s view that Quebec boards should complain about the matter to OACIQ is “illogical” and that any legal action undertaken by OACIQ could take years to settle.

The GMREB is also questioning regular increases in CREA dues and “some very debatable expenditures (relevance and cost of travel, training for the board of directors, cocktails, outings for spouses, grants and training for real estate boards, etc.).”

Responding to the dues issue, McCauley notes that a credit given to Montreal for advertising has resulted in a dues reduction of $72.50. He says CREA is moving in the direction of reducing dues, while the OACIQ and some Quebec boards have recently raised them. “It’s unfortunate that those facts don’t get a full hearing sometimes,” McCauley says.

Juanéda adds the GMREB is concerned the national data distribution system will result in members’ data being used by “interests outside of the industry.”

McCauley says that Quebec has one of the highest percentages of FSBOs in the country “so it’s probably best that we work together to make sure that we do a better job of providing products and services to our members. Noise like talking about separation does nothing for the person practicing real estate.”

The GMREB also voted against changes to the national code of ethics that were ratified last March, in the belief that the OACIQ is responsible for handling complaints against its members, while the board’s primary role is to promote and defend members’ interests.

Juanéda also decries the fact that GMREB’s demands are not addressed on the agenda for CREA’s special AGM in Vancouver on Oct. 29.

However, McCauley says, “CREA has a great history of compromise” when it comes to its relationship with Montreal and is ready to meet with the Montreal and Quebec City boards prior to the special AGM.

Juanéda turned down a previous meeting request due to a conflict but is proposing another date.

Mary Lamey
Mary Lamey

If the GMREB leaves CREA, “I don’t know if it will make any difference in my life as a broker,” says Mary Lamey, a broker with Century 21 Vision in Montreal.  And if CREA continues to allow “back-door entry” of FSBOs or discount brokerages, “that’s just going to be a no-go as far as Quebec brokers are concerned,” she says.

The potential loss of access to also does not concern Lamey, a former real estate reporter at The Gazette in Montreal. “We don’t really use We find the website interface to be really clunky. Our clients complain that it’s not really user-friendly.” Meanwhile, there has been a huge uptick in people using, she says.

In addition to the loss of access, McCauley says the departure of Montreal and other Quebec boards would mean a loss of lobbying power and resources to deal with such upcoming issues as FINTRAC and anti-spam regulation.

He adds that if Quebec boards leave CREA, some brokers in the province may opt to join another board or form a new board to access CREA services. “If you want to stay in CREA, I think there are a number of options.”

But he remains optimistic it won’t come to that. “(Realtors) think anything can be overcome if people of good faith get together.” However, Juanéda maintains the disadvantages currently outweigh the benefits of membership in CREA.

In May of this year, two Quebec real estate boards rejoined CREA after quitting the national association at the beginning of the year. The 178-member Chambre immobilière de la Mauricie, based in Trois-Rivières, and the 102-member Chambre immobilière de Saint-Hyacinthe rejoined CREA after a four-month absence.

At that time, REM reported that the Mauricie board had received assurances from CREA that for-sale-by-owner properties would not be on and that data would not be transmitted to outside companies.


  1. Exceptionally well written article – easy to understand and arrange in one’s thinking. It looks like both sides will need to adjust to accommodate one another’s valid points.

  2. What CREA has done by capitulating to the Competition Bureau is bastardize the business. The name “Realtor” has unfortunately therefore been further debased.

    Maybe that is what Melanie wanted all along.

  3. I would also submit that is unfair and uncompetitive among Realtors themselves because the big players consume more resources at the Board level and level but pay one yearly fee to post as many listings as they can and as such their cost per listing posted is trivial compared to a new entrant. As such the new entrant Realtor with few listings is subsidizing the large players. The big players know that and as such do not want to dispense with CREA and because it is to their financial and competitive advantage to maintain that arrangement, relative to the tiny losses they might sustain over FSBO mere postings. It is insignificant to them but it is not to a new entrant trying to gain a foothold in the industry.

  4. REALTOR, RE/MAX, NIKE, TACO BELL, you cannot use their trademarks if you don’t follow their rules. CREA needs to enforce/revise it’s licensing agreements.

    There is nothing preventing CREA from re-establishing the minimum standard for the licensed use of their trademarks, that has existed for over 70 years. Since the board of directors at CREA, still has not addressed the licensing issue of the trademarks, REALTOR an MLS, after the impact of regional MLS system changes in 2011 came into play. Now is probably a good time to do so from a due diligence standpoint of the Corporations Act.

    There is nothing preventing CREA from offering 2 national advertising websites and I am sure 85% of CREA’s current voting members would agree with this move. Consumers would love it and best of all everybody wins. as an option to anyone who is a member of any MLS system. This would be a something like what was 4 years ago, sort of a one size fits all platform. CREA could get guidance from MLS systems for this site. Additional Cost to CREA, under $100,000 a year!! as an option to anyone who has accepted the terms of the REALTOR trademark license agreement. This would be a premium product like the new Beta but with even more features and updates. CREA could get guidance from their licensees for this site.
    Additional Cost to CREA, nothing!!

    Licensed REALTOR trademark users( part of the license agreement requires a “High Minimum Standard of Agency”), could then choose whether they want their listings on just or and both, giving the REALTOR the control to promote their listings on the site they feel best portrays their listings the way they want.

    CREA could fund the 2 sites in similar ways. Regional MLS systems would simply be charged a single flat fee for 100% access to REALTORS would have included in their licensing agreement.

    For a REALTOR their yearly dues would maybe increase $10 and for non-licensed users drop $10. Seems like a win win all around.

    Quebec has really forced CREA’s hand on this. Either return the REALTOR trademark to what it was in the first 70 years we licensed it or we see no value in the trademark as it has been used in the last 3 so why should be continue to pay?

    This in no way implies CREA should not continue to operate as a national Trade Association with 100% open membership. All I am saying is to not change the licensing terms for the word REALTOR. MLS simply means mulitple listing service but REALTOR means much much more. If there are legitimate structural changes needed to the corporation to do this, I would bet that vote would sail through the next AGM.

    [email protected]

  5. BTW Folks have you read the bylaw changes being put forward at the SGM??? Did you see how CREA cleverly is hiding the changes for it’s Goverance Power Play under changes required by the Corporations Act?

    Has your board told you what this could mean??

    Do you realize that CREA as an entity will be able to set any new fees for any new service it wants simply by making it optional. You will never have a say in what they charge.

    This may be safe today but what about 2015? Remember when mere postings were not allowed on Gee I think that was less than 3 years ago too!!

    It’s Your Business

  6. Brian:
    It is my understanding the indiviual Brokerages have option to opt out of DDF, so why would that be one of Quebec and Montreal Boards concern?
    Rita Giglione
    Broker of Record/Owner
    Green Pine Realty Ltd, Brokerage

    • Hi Rita:

      I suspect that the Montreal and Quebec City boards and their relevant brokerages have had many, many heated discussions about this topic. One must assume that the boards have listened to their tax-paying brokerages, who in turn have listened to their tax-paying income-earning (for the brokerages as well as for themselves) Realtors.

      I would simply say follow the money, and the generation of money starts at the bottom of the pyramid known as Organized Real Estate.

      Individual brokerages acting on their own, here and there, now, and then later, in a willy-nilly fashion, does not display a strong hand.

      This is a power play, the power of dollars withheld/disappearing against the power of dollars demanded.

      Those who create/initially have the money ultimately have the power.

      Those who want the money via demands ultimately will lose power whence said use of power is realized by many to have been abused, via misrepresentation, especially misrepresentation without democratic representation.


  7. If I went to a licensed auto mechanic and demanded to use his hoist and tools in his garage that he owns and pays for, without using his services. Is he being anti-competitive and limiting my consumer choices by refusing to allow me to work on my own car myself with his equipment but without his services?
    If I choose to sell my car privately and I go to the local car dealership and refuse their services but just want to rent a parking space on their car lot so I can sell my car privately.
    Is the Car dealer being anti-competitive and limiting consumer choice by refusing to allow me to sell my car privately on his car lot that he owns and pays for?
    Realtors who are paying members of CREA own and pay for MLS which has always been the marketing tool that realtors use along with their professional representation services they offer to sellers and buyers.
    The ex-Commissioner of the Competition Bureau abused her authority and used her Government office to attack Realtors and hijack their marketing tool the MLS. This ex-Commissioner then gave our marketing tool away to a FSBO public who refuses to use our licensed professional representative services. This ex-Commissioner used the false accusation against Realtors that they were being anti-competitive and limiting consumer choice by not allowing MLS to be used without their professional representative services.
    CREA instead of standing up and fighting for their member’s rights of ownership rolled over and tried to appease this FSBO terrorist abusing her Government office. By allowing her to hijack our MLS marketing tool which we have paid for ever since we joined CREA.
    CREA makes money from MLS which realtors pay for. Realtors earn their livelihood only from their professional representative services in representing sellers and buyers.
    CREA without a fight wimped out and allowed our MLS marketing tool to be taken from us and given to FSBO’s who refuse to use our professional representative services.
    Mere posting of a listing is not a professional representative service since the seller represents himself as a FSBO.
    If you paid money to a Body guard for years and he wimped out on you only protecting himself when your life was under attack. How long would you keep paying to stay with him?

    • I have been saying that same thing, not as eloquently, ever since the Competition Bureau attacked CREA and its members with accusations of unfair practices. I, too, want to know why we are still members of this organization. It is time CREA fights back on behalf of all Realtors!

      • This to is weak. Leave this organization you say…and go where? Will you create another group or organization? Well guess what? You will then fall under the very same rules and laws that you were subject to as a member ofCREA.

        Why can’t we stop this angry banter? It lacks a foundation and it lacks intelligence. Here’s a news update for you guys….THE INDUSTRY HAS CHANGED AND ITS NOT GOING TO EVER BE AS IT USED TO BE.

        • That’s one thing we agree on. The Industry has changed and its not going to ever be as it used to be. Yes that’s true as long as we have guys like you running around calling themselves hard working Realtors but are in reality mere posters giving no professional representation or protection to the public.
          We used to be proud to be Realtors and with all the years of courses and training we were given. We were always told we needed this training in order to provide professional representation to both buyers and sellers to protect them. We were proud to be apart of the Real estate profession.
          Since CREA and it’s members were falsely accused of being anti-competitive in order to hijack our MLS system. It’s bastardization has lowered the standards of our industry.

          • Hey Laffewi. I like this fsbo and mere posting crap about as much as you do but the sad fact is, it’s all been possible because we have been sold out by some of our own members. These bottom feeders agents who aquire their license and then can’t make it in the business as real “agents” because they are basically village idiots when it comes to basic real estate 101, are the ones who are doing the damage to the industry by listing the fsbos and mere listings. This whole situation wouldn’t be possible if our own members weren’t allowing it to happen. The way I look at it – They are taking money right out of my pocket – Robbing me of my ability to pay my bills and feed my family. Therefore, I will do what is necessary to protect what I’ve worked to acheive for the last 18 years. Watch your back bottom feeders and scum!! I am gonna make it my business to make your lives miserable by working toward whatever changes are necessary to get rid of the parasites that have invaded my business – YOU.

          • Nova Scotia guy:

            You need to be more vigorous with your opinions! LOL

            Don’t forget the biggest parasites of all, the CREAcrats, who unilaterally, undemocratically, opened this door of parasitic opportunity from behind their own closed doors in the first place.

            Parasites beget parasites; it’s all in the family after all. Too much inbreeding, methinks.

            Cream CREA;

            Adios..see ya’,

            Hate ya’ honey;

            Gonna keep my money.

            Adios…see ya’.

    • What if I wanted to rent my tools out? Let’s say I had a diagnostic machine and for a fee you could come in and hook it up to your car to determine what’s wrong. Why couldn’t I do that? and who is anyone to tell me what I should charge for such service?
      This is example is weak and it’s been weak the million other times it’s been used. More importantly, it speaks volumes about the lack of overall understanding and ignorance that exists when it comes to the issues that matter.
      Using tools to fix an individuals car bears no comparison to the MLS System that uses private citizens information and has far reaching affects on Canadian citizens and our governments.
      Fact is by-owners are not accessing our system for free as many in our industry imply. True, a mere posting allows sellers to access without acquiring Realtor services, but it still has to go through a licensed broker.
      I’ve embraced mere postings and see the value they’ve brought to our industry. More consumers are using Realtors and has grown stronger with more listings than ever before. In fact, buyers more and more say they don’t need to go anywhere else.
      If I can offer MLS access or any of my professional services for a lesser price, then who are you to tell me I can’t? Who are you to tell me how to run my business as long as I act in a professional and ethical manner? And don’t say that those offering mere postings are not acting professionally or ethically. It was consumers impression that we didn’t act professionally or ethically that has alienated so many of our consumers.
      I’ve said it a million times; if your going to argue, then argue from a position of reality. Maybe then someone will take you seriously.

      • Answer the question. Is a licensed mechanic being anti-competitive and limiting consumer choices, if he refuses to allow the public who don’t want to use his services to use his tools and equipment so they can work on their own car?

      • Mere listings has brought value to the industry my eye! Name one.

        What it has done is allowed REALTORS to shirk the very responsibilities they agreed to uphold – protect their client. It’s been watered down into a meaningless word. On top of which there are mere listers out there who can’t even be bothered to obey the real estate council and boards rules and actually verify the facts behind the mere listing.

        It’s made a joke out of the courses required to become a REALTOR because mere listers will practice nothing they’ve learned and learn nothing in the process, yet, because they’re allowed to call themselves a
        REALTOR, broker, sales representative, at distinction is not to the public, nor is the mere lister required to distinguish this fact.

        • Exactly, when a buyer see’s a mere posting on with a brokerage representing the listing, they believe that they are dealing with a professional when nothing could be further from the truth.

    • The difference between MLS as a tool, and all other tools in all the examples you have given (mechanic, dealership) is not whether you own your tool. It’s whether you represent a monopoly and abuse your position as a dominant market force.

      Instead of crying out your greed and fear, you should first educate yourself on what actually happened three years ago and why it came to that.

      You and thousands of you fell for and bought into a deception that you could purchase a membership and join a nation-wide exclusive club, and then charge commissions far beyond any value that you may create because of your exclusive member access. But actually you have been deceived and ORE mislead you. Because monopoly is illegal. and that’s the law of the land whether you like it or not.

      Be honest.

      Did most Realtors take out a real estate license because they had this genuine burning desire to “help a family find their new home”. Or did they do it because they saw an opportunity and a license to print money?

      …because they fell for the ORE’s pitch on MLS monopoly… didn’t they?

      and now it turns out that monopoly is not legal in this country. …and by the way, Melanie was just a messenger.
      … and by the way, if CREA had not done the right thing and had not settled, and had lost this competition case, it would have crippled this industry.

      If all you have is MLS to cling to, then you have no value proposition anyway. Because price only matters in the absence of value.

      I’ll put it this way, Mere Postings are not even your true competition. Most FSBOs would not work with you anyway. So you have not lost their business. You just never had it. There is a do-it-yourself in every industry, from cooking and photography to law and medicine. …and yes that also includes fixing your own car, and cutting your own hair, and selling your own house. There is a small DIY component in every field. And that represents a viable niche market, so there is going to be a small industry component catering to those needs.

      However, your real competition and real threat to your existence are those pesky new agents that charge 0.5% or less for listing side and offering 2% or less for the buyer side. …and there will always be someone younger, and hungrier than you, and willing to work for less, or for free.
      and there is a lot more of those than there are FSBOs and FSBO brokers.

      You can’t win if you are competing on price alone. But if all you have got is MLS and nothing else, then how can you possibly compete on value?

      so what is the difference between someone charging 0.5% or less, and pretending to offer “full-service” vs. someone who charges a flat $500, and honestly tells you up front that you just get a “mere posting” and nothing else?

      Just a different perspective if you are able to see it…

      • Sorry my Friend you are wrong so are your presumptuous self righteous judgements against all Realtors and their motives. If a FSBO wants to sell their own home that is their right but don’t use a professional marketing tool that belongs to licensed Realtors. If another Realtor charges less commission than I do representing a seller or buyer I have no problem with that provided they represent their client and fully protect them. By law commissions are negotiable. What is wrong is that MLS is a professional marketing tool owned and paid for by licensed Realtors. This professional marketing tool MLS was only to be used by professional licensed Realtors in performing their seller and buyer representative services. It was never intended to be exploited and used by FSBO’S. What has happened here is no different than a car curber forcing a car dealership to allow him to sell his cars privately on his car lot under the false guise and accusation that the Car dealer is being anti-competitive and limiting choices to the consumer for not allowing him to do so. Before all this nonsense occurred with the person who you call the messenger, that by the way resigned her post for undisclosed reasons. There was great emphasis in the real estate profession for the past number of years on agency and the importance of both a buyer and seller each having professional representation in a real estate transaction. Why did both a buyer and seller need to have professional representation in a real estate transaction? In order to protect the buying and selling public from all the pitfalls and possible lawsuits that can easily occur with home buying and selling. It seems that just when professional real estate had come to it’s peak in perfecting the protection of the public in real estate transactions. This bastardization of having private sellers representing themselves using the same professional marketing system as licensed Realtors occurred.
        One thing is for sure, we can expect there will be a lot more real estate lawsuits than ever before. This make work program for lawyers instituted by your messenger friend who is also a lawyer will certainly keep them busy.
        In view of the fact you have a narrow FSBO mentality and can’t see beyond saving a few dollars on a real estate commission. I certainly would not expect you to have the ability to comprehend the serious issues involved.

        • Again more silly assumptions that speak volumes about the poster. Melanie Aiken resigned why? You don’t know so don’t imply. Maybe she achieved all she wanted to achieve!

 is member owned and someone wanting to sell by owner now has that right. No false guise at all! And those by owners are paying EXACTLY the same amount to access the MLS system as my clients who choose full service. They are getting NOTHING for free as you might imply. What they pay me for my professional services is completely up to me…not you.

          Yes there are companies taking advantage of the new rules…who wouldn’t? It’s called adapting. It’s called smart business. Oh yeah and it’s called healthy competition and the cream is finally being allowed to rise to the top.

          Your question about not allowing someone to use your lot being anti competitive, the answer is obviously no! Just like a freeman wanting to live in my PRIVATE home for free is not anti competitive.

          A more intelligent comparison would be the the mobile phone industry…but that’s also a more complex one.

          Oh yeah why don’t you play the body guard scenario out, because that was such a great comparison.

          • Rather than ranting your bad analogies that don’t fit and twisting the facts.
            Why are you refusing to answer the question?
            Is a licensed mechanic being anti-competitive and limiting consumer choices, if he refuses to allow the public who don’t want to use his services to use his tools and equipment so they can work on their own car?
            YES OR NO????

          • If you actually read my rant you would have seen my answer.
            “Your question about not allowing someone to use your lot being anti competitive, the answer is obviously no! Just like a freeman wanting to live in my PRIVATE home for free is not anti competitive.

            A more intelligent comparison would be the the mobile phone industry…but that’s also a more complex one.”
            Let me phrase it better for you….if I choose not to allow a freeman into my home rent free, or not let him in at all, is not anti-competitive. Its also a very stupid comparison and has no relevance to the changes we are seeing in our industry now…and I think FSBO summed that up clearly.
            What’s happening in our industry affects all Canadians and simple membership does not make you an owner, so the term private does not make any sense.
            Common Sense is now a member of CREA and the local Boards and have access to the MLS System just as you do. And if they play by the rules then they are fine to charge whatever they want. PERIOD. If you truly took the time to understand what’s really going on, maybe your comparisons would actually reflect the reality of our situation.

          • You are laughable. Never mind your foolish analogies and ranting that is so obscure that it makes no sense to anyone except you. Like your mobile phone industry is such an intelligent comparison it’s too complex to explain??? Then what’s the point of using it????
            Also, are you now comparing a FSBO on MLS as a Freeman???
            No, with all your pointless ranting you still have not answered the question and that’s because you’re too afraid to answer the question. Every one reading these posts can see that you refuse to answer. So I will challenge you a 3rd time to give a simple yes or no answer.
            Is a licensed mechanic being anti-competitive and limiting consumer choices, if he refuses to allow the public who don’t want to use his services to use his tools and equipment that he owns so they can work on their own car?
            Yes or No????

  8. It’s interesting that I have to pay for licensing and keep my education in Real Estate up to date and an unlicencenced fsbo can utilize what I’ve worked for and invested in for free.
    Good for Quebec. I hope we can do the same in Alberta.
    Calgary Realtor

  9. Two large Real Estate Boards in Quebec feel threatened by a tiny FSBO operator doing at the most, some 50 mere postings per year!

    Be honest about it. It is impossible for you to offer mere postings in Quebec because the law makers in your province made it illegal for brokers to charge an up-front fee. That is the true and only reason why there are no mere posters in Quebec.

    Now thousands of Quebec REALTORS® are taking their anger out on CREA over the fact that they have lost a few dozen FSBO clients to a competition that posts from out of province…

    Should you not be bigger and more professional than that?

    Should you not instead, lobby your own government to open your laws to competition, so that you can also provide services in your province that your consumer is asking for.

    Should you not recognize like the rest of the country, that FSBO and mere postings is a good, legal and ethical model that benefits all?

    The truth is, those FSBOs folks have already decided not to use the services of a broker anyway.

    The truth is, it’s your own fault that you failed to deliver your value proposition to your consumer. Because the competition you lost, was the competition against your own prospective client, not against some big bad mere posting broker from Ontario.

    So, why are you still trying to twist the arm of the consumer by restricting their access alternative services, instead of competing honestly and with integrity, and based on the value of your own service.

    It is no surprise then that Quebec has the highest rate of FSBO in the country.

    You do not get to vote on whether internet technology will change the way you do business.
    A consumer will always reject a proposition that comes from hostile, selfish, monopolistic, and manipulative agenda. Instead, they will always favour the proposition that truly looks after that consumer’s interest. You do not get to vote on that.

    I do not feel that CREA should be obligated to satisfy your demands coming from such attitudes and a blackmail tone.

    That does not mean CREA is all perfect either. It should also look at its value proposition, as it’s clearly losing ground. However, that should be a separate discussion, and not tied to competition laws that CREA has rightly upheld.

    • FSBO person:

      I submit that two large Real estate boards in Quebec feel threatened by no one. I do, however, think that they (being their voting members, ergo the tax payers) have had enough of the top down ruling party’s steamrollering of issues via edict (aka via “approved” voting delegates) which they have absolutely no truly democratic (one vote per person across the board per issue) say about. I believe that it has finally come down to as simple an unpopular concept as taxation without representation. We have a Quebec version of the Boston Tea Party evolving.

      Quebec Realtors may just be taking their justified anger out against CREA because of the CREAcrats’ sellout to the Competition Bureau in order to save face with the Bureau, and not with their paying members.

      Should CREA not be bigger and more professional than that?

      You sound like a government bureaucrat who has never worked out in the real world, certainly not in the promotion of real estate transactions for a living, espousing theories from inside a bubble of perpetual anti-business interests.

      FSBO attempts to sell are perfectly fine with me, so long as they don’t piggyback on a legally assisted highjacked privately developed and paid for system by others than themselves. You opt for legalized theft of proprietary materials my friend.

      There is no such thing as competition when the so-called competitor offers up something legally stolen of intrinsic value for next to nothing in hopes of developing additional business…without being a bona fide licensed practitioner.

      No one ‘except’ the highjacking FSBO outfits is trying to twist anyone’s arm. Get real.

      Why do the very vast majority of consumers ‘still’ seek out the services of a licensed traditional Realtor? Your “…hostile, selfish, monopolistic, and manipulative agenda.” argument falls as flat as piss-on-a-plate. The very vast majority of consumers want someone else to look after ‘all’ of the details of selling their properties, and are quite willing to pay for same service.

      You don’t feel that CREA should be obligated to satisfy its taxpayers’ demands? Are you for real? What happens within a true democracy when a government, let’s say a provincial or federal government, does not satisfy its taxpayers’ demands? They get voted out of office! But you seem to think that same said procedure should not apply to CREA and its bureaucrats and its make believe yearly elected faux leaders. You must work somewhere in the Ottawa bubble of unionized silly servants. Blackmail you say? You confuse blackmail with democracy? Unbelievable!

      You can’t have “all perfect” my friend, you can only have perfection, which is impossible. You should have said CREA is imperfect. No kidding! I would submit that a bureaucracy staffed with unionized-style inward-looking salaried button-pushers who influence the annual ever-changing crop of elected so-called leaders, the former who have likely never set foot in a Realtor’s shoes, is the worst kind of outfit to be forcibly taking said Realtors’ tax dollars at a rate that it sees fit, shutting said taxpayers out of the democratic process re what ‘it’ sees fit re what shall become law, and then expecting allegiance from the now awakening formerly sleeping bear.

      CREA has only rightly upheld issues that keeps ‘its’ ass in comfy digs.

      In a true democracy, the ideal is elected government of the people, for the people, by the people. Elected governments are simply the vehicles to the desired end, good government, and governments come and go as the electorate dictates via regular elections.

      In an undemocratic rolling Oligarchy, the ideal is a ruling unelected government, over the people, for the Oligarchs, by the Oligarchs.

      CREA has indeed rightly upheld a thing or two, as you say, but mainly for its own inward looking reasons. It does not want to give up its power base to the unruly mob…that pays its way, with not salaried incomes, but with hard-earned, often, iffy, income. The only people who have guaranteed incomes and job security are the CREAcrats…on the backs of the risk-takers who actually ‘do’ something for a living beside pushing buttons and having committee meetings that usually result in putting off the current issues to another meeting.

      Time for some self-interested business decisions to be made by business minded people for a change. Or do you have a problem with business-minded people too?

      I thought so.

    • Now, you’re being a child, with childish logic. This is not competition. This is stealing. You pay nothing for the service. Consumers in every sphere of commerce pay for the services of professionals. As a matter of fact, you provide no service to anyone but yourself! Perhaps I should ask you and your family to host a party in your house anytime I want, with no cost to me. Or let me use your bathroom or bed once a year, when I choose, as if it were a hotel. Think about it. I’m just asking as one person who doesn’t want to pay the price of a hotel or public washroom. Eh? By the way, we are bigger and more professional than that.

      • Charles anyone who accesses the MLS System, whether a mere posting or a fully represented client has to pay the board fee? So tell me how you can make such a comparison? And please let’s use fact in our arguments.

        Btw I feel no one should be able to advertise a local home through a separate board. Why? Because buyers working through our local systems are not seeing these homes as they only exist on Not good for the CONSUMER. And when they discover this, as it’s not been told to them, they are upset and feel cheated. Another black eye for us?

        • On this one point I will agree with you. does give out of board agents the technology to take on listings in their non primary regions rather than refer. In my area in Collingwood, we are inundated with out of board postings. This is another reason I want shut down. As a matter of fact is anti competitive in itself in that in an internet based marketing scheme hit count rules. As such the big players will always be the big players and the barriers to entry are insurmountable for newcomers because once you have tons of listings, just keeps feeding you new leads. It is my belief that it is the big players in this industry, the ones with power that are against any changes with CREA, including the dismantling of because they are smart enough to know such a move would level the playing field and jeopardize their revenues.

          • Still doesn’t answer the question about your comparison. Mere postings pay the same fees to access the System as fully represented clients do. FACT or NOT?

          • Yes it’s a fact, but are they contributing to the overall professionalism, vitality and financial health of the industry? NO! That’s also a fact so your argument fails in isolation of the big picture.

          • It’s not a mere postings job to contribute to the professionalism of our industry…that’s our job. As for the vitality and financial health, that depends on who you talk too. The use of Realtors has grown so the numbers seem to be in our favour.

          • Hi HWR:

            You say that “It is not a mere posting’s job to contribute to the professionalism of our industry…”. But because mere posters are now part of the industry, they are thought by most consumers to be an equal part, I would submit. Therefore, does this situation not serve to dilute, erode even, in the minds of consumers, the perception of the level of professionalism that now exists within the industry as the direct result of mere posters’ presence?

            I’m sure that you are aware of that old political adage: “In politics, perception ‘is’ reality”. According to your statement though, the ‘reality’ of the situation is that professionalism ‘is’ now suffering an actual further setback due to the inclusion of mere posters within ORE.

            There is a very simple reason why mere posters do not contribute to the professionalism of the industry; they don’t give a damn if the subject property sells, ever, whereas the traditional Realtor has a very strong vested interest in seeing that the subject property ‘does’ sell, as quickly as the client wants it sold.

            The traditional Realtor cares about the outcome; no sale…no money…for anyone. The mere poster does not care about the outcome; he/she already has his/her outcome…money in the bank for doing next to nothing.

            A mere poster can simply sell space on the MLS for a fee like a a street-corner hawker selling newspapers. The game changes from offering quality service for a larger fee to selling volume non-service for a smaller fee. The mere poster’s game is a number’s game only. The mere poster is therefore a gamer only. The mere poster thus is not a real Realtor; the mere poster is a make believe Realtor by his/her very inaction attributed ‘to’ a real Realtor.

            CREA needs to give its communal bureaucratic head a shake and decide whether it thinks it represents a profession or an anything-goes free-for-all bunch of fast-money hucksters. if it’s the former then the latter bunch needs to be eliminated from the mix.

            Mere posters are simply skimming the system, thanks to the CREAcrats, in my opinion

          • Before the false anti-competitive accusations were raised by this ex-Commissioner with the intent to hijack our MLS marketing tool to give it away to FSBO’S. Before CREA was too gutless and wimpy to fight against these false anti-competitive accusations made by this ex-Commissioner for its licensed Realtor members.
            A licensed Realtor was taught by all the mandatory courses imposed by CREA the importance of giving professional representation to both a buyer and seller. This was in order to legally protect the public from all the pitfalls that can happen in a real estate transaction.
            What has been accomplished by CREA not rightfully standing up to this FSBO ex- Commissioner? There has been a dissecting and separation of the MLS professional marketing tool away from the licensed professional representation services given by licensed Realtors to sellers. Which were put in place to protect both sellers and buyers in a real estate transaction and from possible subsequent lawsuits.
            This is no different than allowing the public to go to a licensed mechanic, refusing his professional licensed services but at the same time demanding to use his professional tools and equipment to work on your own vehicle yourself in order to save money. Can you imagine the disastrous results that would arise as a result of the public refusing the licensed mechanic’s professional services?
            Mere posters do not give sellers professional representation or protection in a real estate transaction. They merely post the listing and the unlicensed, untrained FSBO represents himself in a real estate transaction using our professional licensed MLS marketing tool which is owned and paid for by Realtor members of CREA.
            This mere posting on MLS is not a legitimate business model since there is no licensed professional representation or protection in the equation. It is merely a loophole used by unlicensed, untrained FSBO’S to represent themselves in their private sale on a professional marketing tool which is owned and paid for by licensed Realtors.
            We can only imagine the disastrous results stemming from the increase in lawsuits that are inevitable due to private sellers not receiving professional licensed representation and protection in Real estate transactions.

          • Perfect, you are correct, the motivation for Mere posting brokerages is to not sell, it is an annuity business model.

      • Charles, you are right about this anonymous individual that jokingly calls himself Hard Working Realtor. His logic is beyond childish, in fact it’s totally illogical and is similar to Freeman on the Land mentality. Notice he refuses to answer my question regarding the licensed mechanic.
        CREA and it’s members were clearly falsely accused of being anti-competitive because we refused to allow our professional marketing tool the MLS without our licensed professional seller and buyer representative services.

        • Clearly laffewi isn’t reading as I’ve answered his question twice? Maybe some reading will help you provide us with better comparisons.

    • This is not the case, in the articles I have read, Quebec and in particular Quebec City have been inundated with FSBO mere postings.

  10. I’m so supportive of what Quebec is doing in this regard. Having a National organization in Ottawa just makes us an easy target for the CB to impose it’s will with a single silver bullet. We are regulated at the provincial level and shouls operate as such. We don’t need, I resent that it competes directly with my website as well as CREA’s DDF which distributes my hard earned work, data and labour to outside firms without my consent or remuneration. I want to be paid for a portion of the 8 hrs I put into a listing, if they are going to give it away to other firms that profit from advertising.

    • If you input your own listing you have the option to not participate in the DDF – you should look into this!
      I had an email from some through a DDF website – I was so shocked that I received it that I actually called the company that it came through to ask why my listing was there – I discovered that I had missed saying ‘NO’ to the DDF – so this is definitely worth looking into and always saying NO so your listings are only seen on your site!

      • You can ONLY opt out if your Broker/Owner has his Brokerage opting out, that means all registrants within the office have to comply with Brokerages selection.
        Check with your Broker/Manager.
        Rita Giglone
        Broker of Record/Owner
        Green Pine Realty Ltd., Brokerage

        • Sorry, That is incorrect.

          The brokerage determines only whether to oblige all their agents to be included or not included
          to allow each individual agent to make their own determination.

          A brokerage can have one agent in and 99 out or vice versa or anything in between.

          It’s Your Business

          • It’s Your Business:
            It would be wise for Salespeople to establish and verify with their Broker/Manager before proceeding with Listing input.
            Rita Giglione,
            Broker of Record/Owner
            Green Pine Realty Ltd., Brokerage

          • Rita,

            I would say it’s the broker/managers job, contractual obligation, to TELL, EXPLAIN, EDUCATE, their brokerage contracted professionals, on this topic.

            It’s Your Business to ensure you, your listings and your business is located in a brokerage where, important issues like this were covered a year and a half ago, not in Oct 2013.

            It’s Your Business

          • I would advise all Registrants to get updates from their Broker/Manager on a weekly basis, as some Broker/Managers are not as proactive, but always willing and ready to help when asked. If still unsure call OREA, and the Board as I have in the past being Broker/Owner.
            Always proceed fully informed, to avoid liabilty.
            Rita Giglione
            Broker of Record/Owner
            Green Pine Realty Ltd., Brokerage

      • If you allow one other agent to advertise your listing (idx) outside your company, the entire legal team at CREA has informed you through your board, that you MUST allow all other agents to advertise it, at least in your province.
        This means any agent can advertise your listing if:
        -your website provider shares your listing with other users of their platform
        -your franchise brand hosts agent versions of their site
        -you post your listing on Kijiji or any other FREE site
        -you allow your listing to appear on any regional IDX (remember IDX is only a technology piece and to prevent any other agent in your province who wants to advertise is against the CB)
        -etc etc

        Saying NO to the DDF is not enough anymore. CREAs documentation for the DDF says so itself. Ask your lawyer.

        It’s Your Business

        • I say no anyway, and I don’t care what CREA or my lawyer think, because fundamentally the strategy is flawed on multiple levels.

      • Yes I know, you have to opt out on each listing in my board. My issue is they even set this up with 3rd parties and assumed I would gladly give my hard earned data and labour to them without payment. So yes I do opt out, but if you don’t select no and edit your board listing you are giving it to them for nothing.

  11. I agree 100 % with Quebec. Should Quebec pull out of CREA, Ontario should consider looking into doing the same. FSBO should not even been given the time of day by our professional association let alone allow them on a platform (MLS.CA) that we have paid and nurtured long before FSBO companies existed. This is just my opinion.

  12. It’s become a proven fact REALTORS® are continually selling FSBO listings. The REALTORS® themselves are proving that Sellers don’t require a Listing Agent. They’ll continue to make the dollar on the buyer’s side of the deal – very sad when the REALTORS® allow the Seller side of the Market to be Dominated (we see in our market every day more & more of these listings are entering the MLS system) by Discount /FSBO brokerages listings on our MLS systems. REALTORS® will destroy their own business that many have worked very hard over many years to build.

    • Hi Western Realtor:

      Re your concluding sentence:

      I just want to add a slight caveat to your comment, that in my opinion tells the complete story.

      The revolving door newbies will contribute disproportionately to your thesis because they constantly outnumber the veterans. The newbies, for the most part, are apathetic concerning the overall governance of ORE. They are usually only concerned with “making it” within the current state of affairs. But we know that upward of 70% of the newbies become history within a few years of entering the business. They are usually politically ignorant and subsequently disengaged from the process and largely ignore current events. Knowledge of or acting upon current events does not contribute to the immediate bottom line for them as a group after all. Many will sell anything, any which way, so long as they grab a commission. CREA knows this and approves of same all too well. It keeps ‘their’ coffers full after all.

      It is therefore up to the veterans, those with a real stake in the business, to make enough noise to make up for the lack of same from the apathetic types, because the CREAcrats count on the general apathy of the great unwashed newbies to keep their cash laden ship of fools sailing merrily along with ears plugged tight.

      CREA wants your money, but nothing else from you, especially not a challenge to their supremacy.

      Note: CREA’s supremacy is only supported by ‘your’ money. They do nothing to ‘earn’ it, as do you. CREA simply taxes you, and ‘redistributes’ your money amongst their pet projects, something like a good old fashioned socialist government routinely does.

    • Careful Melanie might be watching, I personally have not put an offer in on a FSBO but I have clients that are very confused about all this who want me to show them a FSBO. I have to inform them that the FSBO is not offering a commission and I don’t work for nothing so the buyer may end up paying me in this model if they want me to show it to them. Here sign buyers agency for 2.5%. They get really tense and indignant about it.

  13. I must agree whole heartedly with Dave Vogel. It is laughable to believe that a federal governing body with supposed jurisdiction over the ten of thousands of agents in this country could so easily fall over in the Competition case. My expectations for a national association of my profession is much, much greater then what is being delivered to this point. I would have no problem whatsoever if the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board pulled out of CREA as well.

  14. As a long time critic of CREA’s aenemic use of its “lobbying” power, I am mystified how the loss of these Quebec Boards can possibly ‘diminish” it. CREA has generally capitulated to FINTRAC, the Privacy Commission and the Competition Burea at every opportunity, and therefore has abdicated its role as Industry Leader in shaping public policy for Realtors. Personally, I think we should all join TREB, who at least have the fortitude to fight for their position(s), and by inference, the balance of the Country’s practictioners as well. CREA’s lobbying efforts can’t possibly be dimished from “zero”, unless of course, they simply become an ad adgency for the Federal Govt’s various regulatory positions. (some would say they are there already).
    If nothing else, I’ll that CREA will let Montreal and Quebec go prior to defending it’s expenditure policies. Any takers?

  15. As a member of a Western Canada board…I applaud any Board standing against fizbos within our system…CREA abdicated our agency requirement in capitulating to Melanie Aitken…and we now have $1.00 commissions generously displaying…this has to change…we are not a public utility…we are a business…if CREA can’t support us…why would any of us need them?…

    • You are correct—
      However, Melanie was smart— She saw a weak Association that had no guts to fight, so, she went after them .
      Now, we are stuck with FSBO’s having access to the strengh of the Real Estate Industry’s marketing ( MLS ) by paying Discount Brokers a minimum amount for listing their property.
      This whole situation might not have happened if Realtors were more ethical and not use misleading advertising .
      I love the ” I’ll buy your house if not sold in xxx days ” or ” I’ll bring you an offer for COLD HARD CASH within 48 hours of listing with me ”
      Total crap—

    • I agree totally. Punt and CREA. The lion’s share of our residential business comes from within the province anyway. If someone from out of province wants to check out Alberta listings, call or be referred to a realtor.

  16. Mr. McCauley:

    You are the vice-president of public and government relations within CREA, so, there is actually a president. Not to diminish your bureaucratic stature within CREA, but, why has said president not responded herein? Why was said president not available for comment? Was there a symposium somewhere? Was this handed off to you to deal with because the president was “too busy” to take a little time to cow tow to the little people?

    You say that “…the departure of Montreal and other Quebec boards would mean a loss of lobbying power and resources to deal with such upcoming issues as FINTRAC and anti-spam regulation.” Where the hell was CREA’s so-called lobbying power vis a vis the Melanie Aitken/Competition Bureau/witch hunt fiasco? I, a lonely ex Realtor, effectively lobbied the government at the highest level to get rid of Ms Aitken. She’s gone.

    Melanie is history, but the politically correct wimpy core of CREA and its bureaucrats remains tunnellvisionally transfixed on warning its underling boards and its $2,500,000 plus annually worth of paying members that the sky will fall if CREA does not remain at the helm of this wayward organization called Organized Real Estate.

    $2,500,000 plus (and rising) annually would go a very long way toward improving the lot of the great unwashed (as the CREAcrats regard them) if the tax-paying Realtors had democratic votes, thus, individual inputs, toward the adoption, or not, of bureaucratically driven brainwaves of procedures conjured up by the very, very few of the enlightened CREAcrat elites. It’ll never happen with the current lot at the top.

    Question: Why are you begging for the minions’ opinions now?

    Answer: Because the loss of your income is at stake.

    P.S.: It is not ‘your’ money.

    Bravo Montreal and Quebec. Hopefully you have had enough of the stall tactics, and will walk the walk. You don’t need the fat. It’s time to slim down.

    • I called my Ottawa Board to ask why I didn’t have a ‘say’ in the Aitken thing and I was told that there were executives that voted on our behalf….. what!!!! I’m a paying individual and I TRULY believe that we now need to push that we all as paying registrants should have the RIGHT to vote on such important topics as this (and any other topic that requires a vote).

      • yes it should have been a referendum and then the overwhelming support from Realtors would have propped up the limp CREAcrats.

      • Hi Pat:

        I am assuming that there would have to be a change to the CREA constitution to allow for ‘all’ taxpaying registrants to vote on various issues. Of course, the way things are conveniently set up, only “approved voting delegates”, of whom there is only a very small fraction (i.e; an in-house “faction”) of the registrant population is ‘allowed’ to vote on such an outlandish request from the great unwashed.

        It will be a pleasant day in hell before that happens.

        Thus you are left with only one effective option: vote with your wallets and feet, in that order. I’ve said it herein numerous times before, and I will say it again; the only way to rein in CREA is to bankrupt it. The only thing the CREAcrats really pay heed to is money…your money. The rest is all lip-service.

        Question: What’s in ‘your’ wallet?

        Answer: Your money.

        Question: What’s in ‘their’ wallet?

        Answer: Your money.

        Question: What does CREA subvert your interests with?

        Answer: Your money.

        Question: What does CREA need more than ‘your’ input on issues concerning ‘your’ interests?

        Answer: Your money.

        It’s all about your money; it always has been.

        Keep your money…all $2,500,000 of it…this coming year.

        As “It’s Your Business” says, there is more to come from CREA in the way of negative financial surprises.

        Can you spell S C A N D A L O U S ?

        It’s time to turn the tables.

        You don’t need a constitutional upheaval to vote YOUR WAY on this one, this time.

        You have more clout that you realize.


  17. Patrick, I cannot find an actual email address for you anywhere. Contact forms are too cumbersome and short.

    I forwarded a response to [email protected] minutes ago. In the header I asked them to pass it on to you. Any Quebec readers of REM who have Patrick’s email please pass it on.

    I provided 3 ways for the non-Quebec registrant issue to be immediately resolved in a few minutes. The solution is available at 3 levels,

    1) TREB- I believe the members in question are using TREB to break the law this violates TREB bylaws
    2) RECO- I think you will find the Ontario Brokerage in question is breaking Quebec law which means they are in breach of RECO here in Ontairo
    3) CREA- CREA has already established it’s agreement with Provincial legislation in the Province of Manitoba over the DDF. I suspect Mr. McCauley above was not aware or had forgotten the actions CREA took over this same issue but for Manitoba.

    Finally you can reach me at [email protected] if needed. This is really a simple issue to resolve immediately and have all those listings removed not only from but also the non-Quebec MLS systems that are posting them without knowing.

    • Gerrard:

      From one who hides behind the veil of anonymity, not much of spelling and absolutely no substance emanates from ‘your’ keyboard.

      Give us your reasons, as do I, for your opinion man, or woman, whichever the case may be.

      I will be pleased to debate your points of contention, if you have any, and I do hope that you do.

      If you are a higher-up within CREA, please say so. If not, at least outline, in a rational manner, your defense of same.

      Try to spell this: E V I D E N C E

  18. The 72% of the GMREB member Realtors who voted against the status quo with CREA reflects positively on the 63% who voted nation-wide in a REM poll earlier wherein that 63% voted to leave CREA.

    The GMREB provides a democratic base for its 10,000 paying members to vote on issues concerning their personal stakes in the business, whereas CREA does not provide for a fully democratic means whereby its 100,000 plus paying members can vote individually on issues concerning their personal stakes in the business.

    CREA has not paid attention to the GMREB’s concerns because it still believes that it can just wait the storm out, that the paying members from the trenches will simply wither up and die like so many oak leaves in the fall, and the issues will go away as more newbies enter the business totally unaware and uncaring of/about the issues at hand.

    CREA relies on the constant turnover of newbies with cash for dues, and the release of predictable failures who ‘do’ know about CREA’s shenanigans.

    CREA knows that there are enough suckers born every day who get sucked into the big lie within real estate sales who will grow up to be new ignorant paying members…for awhile at least. The constant turnover in membership is what allows CREA to do its thing.


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