What will it take? Having been an advocate of comprehensive data sharing for more than 20 years, this is a question I have often asked myself. For many years I, perhaps naively, thought that when the directors of real estate boards and associations realized that for their members to effectively serve their clients, they would need access to all of the listings in the area they serve, the boards would find a way to make this happen.

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To be fair, there have been some significant advances over time. In Ontario, the establishment of the Starrs Group by the Realtors Association of Hamilton Burlington and neighbouring boards, and more recently, the establishment of ORTIS (now ITSO) to bring the MLS of 21 boards under one umbrella, have been of tremendous benefit to members, notwithstanding the increased cost and bureaucracy.

What remains outstanding, however, is full and integrated access to the listings of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, not only the largest board in Ontario but in the world. Although some of us work within 30 minutes of Toronto, the only way we can obtain access to these listings is by having a dual membership and paying duplicate fees for membership and other ancillary services.

In order to put a listing on TRREB we either need to be a member of TRREB or a partner board or pay inter-board fees and then deal with significant delays in having the listing and photos processed.

Isn’t it time we dispensed with all of this and instead had one integrated MLS that can provide all the services we require at a reasonable cost?

Many boards continue to find reasons to not partner with TRREB, despite items in their strategic plans that suggest that comprehensive data, access to MLS, partnerships and data sharing are essential for their members. If these boards were to ask their members a simple question, “Do you require access to TRREB data in order to effectively conduct your business?,” the answer would certainly be an overwhelming “Yes.”

What, then, will it take? I have come to believe that apart from a ground-swell revolt of members, what will be necessary is for a major lawsuit by a client who comes to learn that they were not adequately represented by their Realtor and therefore suffered a financial loss.

Imagine a situation where a local Realtor lists a property on their local board and fails to list it on TRREB. Given that TRREB has 64,000 members and that many of them are working with buyers throughout all of Southern Ontario and beyond, is it conceivable or likely that a TRREB member may have the best buyer, willing to pay the highest price for that property? Of course it is. In fact, in some areas outside the GTA, TRREB members are selling 50 to 70 per cent of all listings. This fact alone may already have us exposed legally and is further demonstrated by the example below.

I recently had a listing outside of the GTA that had previously been listed by another Realtor only on the local board (and therefore accessible only to the 10,000+ ITSO members) for $379,000. This listing did not sell. I listed it on the local board and TRREB for $379,000 and sold it a week later in competition for $545,000. Not surprisingly, it was a TRREB member that sold the property.

What if this property had been sold at list price by the initial Realtor and then immediately listed on TRREB and resold for $166,000 more? Can you envision a lawsuit by the seller for inadequate exposure and representation? Is it possible that a local board might have been included in such a lawsuit for not making the listing available to all Realtors? Of course, the argument would be made that the individual Realtor could have taken out a dual membership or interboarded the listing, but the reality is that many do not do this. More chilling is a possible class action suit representing all clients who experienced a loss as a result of this failure to harness essential data or fully expose their property.

A similar situation can exist where a buyer is looking for a property but their Realtor does not have direct access to all MLS listings because they do not carry a dual membership. In fact, there are many instances where buyers have more comprehensive access to listing data through Realtor.ca than their own Realtor has through their local real estate board. How embarrassing is it for a buyer client to ask about a listing that you know nothing about? How would that look in a legal claim?

It is my hope that the directors of real estate boards that continue to look for excuses and weak reasons not to partner with TRREB will change their thinking and truly take the needs of their members into account. Issues of distrust, hesitation, a failure in leadership and other artificial obstacles must be set aside in favour of an astute business decision that is begging to be implemented. This means a partnership of their board with TRREB to provide fully integrated MLS data and allow all of their members to properly expose their listings to the fullest extent possible. We owe it to our members and most importantly, those clients we serve.


  1. What will it take? The next TRREB election perhaps… successfully removing, any impediment to data sharing, eliminating the costs of added Brokerage RECO suites, dual membership, inter-boarding listing fee, subscription fees for outside board data. Recognising it will take a strong, united Board of Directors elected by membership. Put in place, to remove the politics of regional marketplace domination, substantial Brokerage and member costs, and seeking to work reciporically with all other real estate Boards, towards the professional need to share REALTOR data. It will take great leadership by all boards (governance by Directors) to ensure that all Ontario Board’s and Members have that required data access (Future MLS) by integrated data share, just as 21+ RAHB other board leaders have successfully done for their Members. Just waiting for the TRREB Board’s leadership to join the Ontario-wide realm. Please reach out to TRREB March 30th election candidates and Directors or be that candidate for change!
    TRREB https://www.trreb.ca/index.php/about-treb/board-of-directors
    ITSO https://www.itsosystems.ca/board-of-directors 
    Reach out and ask them when will future MLS happen? 21 ITSO Boards and RAHB we are all waiting

  2. The issue of 1 MLS data system requires a different approach.
    I fully understand and respect members that volunteer as directors and serve on committees, as I also have served on over 8 different committees over the years.
    However a handful of directors cannot make this happen, because I believe that small group does not and cannot represent without bias what members really want, that being 1 MLS system.
    TREB members are selling and have been for years now, outside their board areas. Some of these members have data in the areas outside their board and some do not. This migration of sales out of TREB area will continue to increase due to lack of affordability in TREB area.
    I suggest to all TREB members to contact their board for a vote on this issue.
    I suggest all office owners/managers put in the effort and time to start this change, because after all, incomplete data will negatively impact the quality of work to our clients and trickles down to lost revenues.
    Every TREB member will get to vote on whether they would like 1 MLS system.
    I believe it will be a resounding yes.
    TREB owners/managers get this started.

    • Rita, I was a dual board member for ten years, prior to opening my boutique brokerage, a first of its kind in 1991. The dues and fees were paid through head office and billed through board invoicing monthly. I was a sales rep. Yet we couldn’t get Oakville information without inter boarding.

      So off I went in 1991 into a whole new world. And discovered a 10k surprise. I felt I had to belong to our local board and desperately wanted also to be with TREB to maintain my board affiliation. The surprise was that I had to pay two TREB fees: one for myself and one for my company as a one man band (the same fee as the large companies paid); total 10k on top of local board affiliation fees and dues. I was an anomaly. Charged the same would-be fees as companies with several hundred sales reps.

      So most sadly I felt that the extra 10 k would be better spent on promo marketing within my geographic area. So, sadly, I chose to give up TREB. But there was some good news. Local board set up an “access agreement” with TREB for our local board reps. It worked extremely well. Still didn’t include any Oakville information as they are a contiguous geo mapping area. The TREB access agreement provided everything agents needed except the ability to vote at TREB.

      The access agreement was an exceptional use of board services. After putting my lic on hold I no longer kept track of board related activity. But years back I had asked if initially there was an exit-strategy built into the agreement and the local EO of the day tore my head off in front of other brokers in a board broker management meeting for asking such a silly question (because she didn’t know the answer to my question).

      Nonetheless I saved 10k and still had TREB access to MLS. It was a terrific system. I was so busy being busy I only know it worked well, running flawlessly in the background for decades.

      Other boards might think about such an information sharing system by investigating the historical access agreement. Due to my personal life changes I haven’t kept up with whether the system is still active locally. The whole industry is in permanent motion.

      Contributors to REM, such as yourself help to keep news up to date.

      Carolyne L

      • Carolyne, my real estate board gives me full access to the areas I practice real estate, those being Burlington, Hamilton, Collingwood, Waterdown, Barrie and surrounding communities.
        I do not need TREB, as I do not work most of GTA, I will refer that business out or co-list.
        Having 1 MLS system is about efficiency, accuracy, for all realtors which in the end is best for our buyers and sellers.

  3. A Timely Opportunity for a truly great Board Leadership Role!
    Where IT’s SO needed for our Membership, looking for some progress, to having Ontario-wide or Regional data share! #modestproposal
    Steps to Run for a Seat on the Board, Starting with Candidate Session
    It’s your opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills and make a difference at the Association you are a part of. Before you submit your nomination to join TRREB’s Board of Directors, learn what you need to get started.
    Five Steps to Follow:
    1. Attend TRREB’s mandatory Prospective Board Candidate session in person at the TRREB Office at 1400 Don Mills Road, Toronto. The session helps you better understand the nomination criteria to run for a position, and other obligations and responsibilities that are involved. Sign up for a session on:
    o Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at 2:00 p.m., auditorium.
    o Friday, March 25, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., auditorium.
    Upon arrival, please park in the Kern Road or ground level parking lot. We will notify you of appropriate COVID-19 health and safety protocols in advance of the session.
    To run for a seat on the Board, you will also need:
    2. To complete OREA’s Leadership 100 course,
    3. A background check showing no convictions with your nomination,
    4. Five years’ experience as a REALTOR®, and
    5. To have served two years on a Committee, Task Force or Roster within the last 10 years.
    Mark your calendars for TRREB’s Call for Nominations on March 30, 2022.
    Positions Available:
    The following positions are open this year:
    • Director-at-Large – 4 seats for a 2-year term
    • West Regional Director – 1 seat for a 2-year term
    • East Regional Director – 1 seat for a 2-year term
    • Central Regional Director – 1 seat for a 1-year term
    In the case of the three Regional Directors, all nominees must be either a Salesperson, Broker, or Broker of Record within that Region, according to TRREB Membership records.

    The Chief Returning Officer may reject the nomination if the Member has not met the eligibility restrictions set out in Article 5 and under Article 6, Section 3 of the TRREB By-Law.

    • I agree with requirement number three only. Numbers one, two, four and five are unnecessary, and serve only to create cookie-cutter replicas of what already exists as so-called leaders. Different faces; same mental states.

      This system of weeding out outsiders with non-lemming leanings demonstrates how everything stays the same no matter who gets elected. “Each newcomer must fit the shoes of those leaving” seems to be the tried-and-true method of keeping control of the ever-listing ship of state. Why must one have five years’ experience as a Realtor? Does one with four, three or two years’ experience have no ideas or brains? Why must one complete OREA’s Leadership 100 course? What does it teach, how to have meetings after meetings, and then vote for more meetings? Why must one have served two years on a committee, Task Force or Roster within the last ten years? Is it so that everyone else can size up how one will think against the grain of the entrenched elites? This is indeed elitism operating at its worst. No wonder nothing of substance gets done. It’s just like party politics both provincially and federally. We don’t want no outsiders f______g up our little internal power structure.

      What TRREB needs is a cursin’, spittin’ son-of-a-bitch—male or female (or should I say, birthing-person or sperming-person)—of a real leader intent on turning the innards of the organization inside-out, and starting over with non-insiders who won’t tow the rope of the comfortably numb elites. Ain’t gonna happen with these rules in place.

      I had to put up with this kind of bullshit whilst working as a conciliator with the Ontario New Home Warranty Program (now TARION) whenever I had to attend some stupid meeting designed to show us how to conduct conciliations and keep us out of the C.R.A.T. Tribunal hearings. I ignored their teachings, and continued to be the only conciliator in Ontario—out of fifty-six—who was ‘never’ appealed by homeowners or builders, whilst the other fifty-five regularly had to go before the Tribunal. I was a true outsider. During my job interview, I was told by my soon-to-be new manager that they were looking for people who could make decisions, stick by them, and not bend to pressure from insiders looking to meet political objectives. I was not liked by some within the head office hierarchy. I knew I was doing the right thing, therefore. After nearly five years—fed up with the politics of the head office crew—I finally quit. Turned out to be one of the best things I ever did.

      Anyone meeting the requirements of the above-noted list of must-haves will not be a leader.

      • You are correct in that requiring members to have served on committes is a way of weeding out “undesirables”. This does not always work but can be somewhat disingenous as staff and the existing board control who will serve on various committees. Most often this process is done genuinely but this is not always the case and certainly not at each board that has such requirements. It is time for “disorganized real estate” to re-invent itself but I fear it will not (or cannot) before it is too late.

      • Follow-up to my earlier post of 1:16 pm:

        Re requirement number one: If one fulfils all of the other requirements, but does not attend a Prospective Board Candidate session, that potential leader cannot be considered for a run at a directorship? WTF? Does that mean one must be sufficiently indoctrinated—by attending said session—with the pervading mindset of the current powers-that-be before being ‘allowed’ to progress (aka to try climbing the greasy pole of political power) within the establishment’s comfy hallowed halls of political machinations? In other words, if you want to join the club, you must forego any ideas of being a shit disturber, be prepared to tow the line, shut up, and be a good little cookie-cutter politician.

        First rule of being a good little politician? Lie like a rug and look good doing it as you protect your bosses’ turf. Make the low-life peons think you’re in it for them…and keep those dues dollars flowing in one direction…to where they belong…into your new organization’s so-called not-for-profit bank account. If elected, you owe your fealty to them, now. Who cares about the here-today-gone-tomorrow crowd that pays your way? They’re simply riff-raff who often can’t get a job anywhere else, after all, not elites like you.

        My words might seem a little too extreme for some, but I’ve known enough politicians and had a few go ’rounds with more than one of them to be able to say what I’ve said herein with a straight face and a clear conscience. For those who can’t sing, dance, or act professionally on stage, and want to be famous, trying out to become a politician is the way to go. How else is one supposed to feed the need to be important on a public scale?

        The above rationale does not apply to outsiders wanting to overturn the turnup truck and actually get something of importance done in his/her own way. Of course, that would make them kick-ass non-politician actual leaders. They need not apply, apparently.

        • I believe that we are at a time in history when we need true leaders at every level – federal, provincial, municipal and on Real Estate Boards. We need people who are visionary and willing to see what the population/members/citizens really need, as opposed to lip service and self-serving (sometimes even well-meaning) politicians, CEO’s and directors.

    • This is old school thinking. For that reason change takes decades to occur.
      I know this because I’ve seen change happen at a snails pace in the over 25+ years I’ve been in the industry.
      None of the above are true requirements for addressing issue of 1 MLS system.
      In fact members from different boards are needed to address the fractures occuring in our ability to have complete data preservation.
      Quite pathetic.

  4. I believe you’re all wrong. A contributing factor to our high prices is the fact that realtors are selling houses outside of their jurisdiction with no sense of value to those areas. Being licensed to sell in Ontario doesn’t mean you should be able to sell anywhere in the province when your knowledge base may be in one community only. I can site dozens of times realtors have sold outside of their jurisdiction and have done a disservice to their clients by not knowing enough about the community they’re buying in to. Anyone outside of Toronto would know this with Toronto Realtors coming in with ridiculously high offers that we, in smaller communities know are way over valued. How are they helping their clients? Because I know the local Realtors would not be recommending those prices. The more you share the data the more this will happen. If someone wants to work outside of their board jurisdiction, then they can pay to join that Board. Why is it that you want to make it easier for realtors to sell outside their knowledge base when it comes to knowing a community. There is more to just writing up an offer. If you understood your profession better you would understand that protecting your data protects your livelihood. Just look at the companies like zillow and others that prey on realtors with the data WE collected. You all pretend to be professionals, but professionals would never operate an industry like we do. Name me one other profession that distributes data to the public like we do? We operate like commission sales people, which is all we are.

    • “If someone wants to work outside of their board jurisdiction, then they can pay to join that Board”

      I believe the best practice to sell outside realtor’s area of experience, is for the realtor to colist with a realtor in other area.

    • Hi Rebecca:

      Re your statement: “Anyone outside of Toronto would know this with Toronto Realtors coming in with ridiculously high offers that we, in smaller communities know are way over valued.” Sorry Rebecca, but you are confusing the concept of value with price.

      If someone from without a certain jurisdiction (Toronto) is prepared to pay way more than a local Realtor thinks a certain property is worth in his/her small town etc., then the buyer obviously thinks that certain property meets his personal expectation of value received as it relates to him. There can only be one purchaser per property at any given time. Thus, whatever a certain buyer is prepared to offer is what that property is actually worth. The buyer is willing to pay the price.

      I am a former Realtor and former appraiser. What a Realtor thinks a property is “worth” holds little water during times like the present. The concept of worth resides firmly in the minds of the buyers these days, and thus translates to price willingly paid. The law of supply and demand should not be confused with the absolutism of cost, cost being what a property costs to build (including a builder’s profit margin) and put on a lot purchased for said purpose, the resulting combined cost price being translated to whatever sale price one can get for it. That’s why appraisers do not arrive at an opinion of value for a property based upon the cost approach. Nor do they rely on recent past sales too much when prices are rising quickly, such as these days. Appraisers’ opinions of value are strictly that: “opinions”. Appraisers have no skin on the game. Some have no idea, either.

      Yes, Realtors in Ontario are licensed to sell anywhere in Ontario. A Realtor representing the fiduciary interests of his/her client is obliged to write up and present an offer for any amount said client wants, whether said Realtor thinks it too much, or not enough. It’s the client’s money, not the Realtor’s. If a client overpays in another’s opinion, but is nevertheless happy with his purchase, who are we to tell him he is a fool? Tell him that when next year he sells for a handsome tax-free profit. If he sells for less, he has owned his domicile instead of renting, just like buying and owning a new car. Not everything is guaranteed to increase in value whilst using it. We have become speculative gamblers instead of homeowners, similar to the gamblers buying stocks and selling day-in and day-out on the stock exchange. Some will get burned via gambits in the stock exchange, but homeowners will still be living in a house overpaid by thousands, and happy of it, unless forced to sell before prices rise even more. Lets’ face it, we all just rent time on this old Earth.

      A professional Realtor’s responsibility is to negotiate the best price for one’s buyer or seller, no matter what the numbers are…anywhere in Ontario re this discussion. Fiduciary responsibility to one’s client trumps whatever anyone thinks from the outside looking in. A Realtor is not supposed to tell anyone what any property is worth or what should be paid. It’s not in the job description. All they can do is provide advice, be it good or bad.

      Realtors act like commissioned sales people because they are commissioned sales people, so you are quite correct. Actual professional Realtors, however, act as fiduciary advocates for their clients. They can advise, but they cannot dictate. Once one dictates, one becomes a commissioned salesperson looking to get to a desired outcome…for one’s own pocketbook.

      I bought a new 2020 Honda CRV during September 2020 for approximately $26,000. before taxes, delivery etc. Used car prices are now way up. A 2020 used CRV like mine with the same mileage now commands upward of $32,000. to $33,000. Prices like these have never been seen before for used vehicles. Supply is low for new vehicles, so used ones are in demand. Supply and demand rules, as it always has. Residential property values and/or pricing has nothing to do with what Realtors—or appraisers—think. It’s all singularly in the eye of the beholder.

    • “A contributing factor to our high prices is the fact that realtors are selling houses outside of their jurisdiction with no sense of value to those areas. “

      Based on your irrational statement, it makes me believe you are not a realtor, rather a member of the public.
      It’s lack of supply and investors parking their money in real estate……..main reasons for price increase.

      • I’ve been a realtor over 35 years, long enough to have been thru the late 80’s recession. I know what’s coming.

        • Hi Rebecca:

          You don’t know what’s coming, but you suspect what’s coming. You may be right.

          When enough investors smell a strong correction looming on the horizon, they will dump their real estate portfolios, take their profits, and the feared correction will become reality. Lemmings rule. But then again, those who could not afford the earlier high prices will jump in, thus stabilizing prices. It’s all about price, not perceived short-term value as viewed by onlookers.

        • Our clients make a decision on price based on market analysis with up to data, market trends, recommendations etc etc….. all this provided by their realtor. We don’t tell them what price to submit or accept, that is their decision.

      • Regardless, he/she is not wrong. GTA agents are destroying and running up prices in smaller cities that make it unaffordable to locals and thus distributing them further and further away from central locations. Yes inventory is an issue but GTA folks and foreign investors also are a major issue. Realtors need to stick to their own areas. Period.

        • With 25+ years experience in this industry, I have lived in and practiced real estate in over 5 major communities in Ontario, and most importantly our board has full data on those major communities for our use to help our clients. I’m sure many realtors also have similar experience.
          Best practice is to colist with another realtor when in doubt about your expertise in an area. After all it’s about taking care of our clients best interest.
          As far as prices escalating rapidly, this is due to investors, and low supply, not realtors.

        • This ship sailed a long time ago. Realtors work wherever they want. The question is not whether this should be the case but how we can make access to comprehensive data avaialble for everyone.

        • Ellisa:

          How are GTA Realtors “…destroying and running up prices in smaller cities…”? Are you suggesting they are forcing sellers to list at whatever prices they say, that they are dictating asking prices? Seriously, are you serious?

          Are not Ontario Realtors licensed to operate legally anywhere in Ontario? They simply represent their clients’ fiduciary interests wherever their clients want them to within the confines of their licensing authority.

          • Yes I’m serious. Who said anything about list prices? Im talking SALE prices and YES, GTA folks are running up prices in smaller cities and communities. Period. I work in a midsized city and many locals have been completely priced out because a house that should sell for 750 is now selling for 1.1 million from who? Oh right GTA agents.

            Just because I can sell a house in say Woodbridge well, doesnt mean I can sell a home in Ottawa well. No different than I can be a good cook of say steak, but vegetarian meals not so much. Get your head out of your behind.

            Data sharing is important for all. Period. Toronto remains the problem child just like their agents.

          • Ellisa:

            You originally said “GTA agents are destroying and running up prices in smaller cities.” Now you’ve changed it to “GTA folks are running up prices in smaller cities…period.” Which is it, agents or folks? GTA folks can pay whatever they want for any commodity, located anywhere at all in the world, be it cars or residential properties…as long as sellers agree to their terms. GTA agents licensed in Ontario can present said offers anywhere in Ontario…period. The agent isn’t offering; the buyer client is. A selling Realtor’s fiduciary obligation is to secure the highest price for his/her client as quickly as possible with the best terms possible re closings, conditions etc. Are you suggesting selling agents in smaller cities should advise their clients against accepting anything above list price? You are coming across herein as a Marxist intent on controlling prices and behaviours of both buyers and sellers. Are you a former school teacher? Don’t you know there’s no such thing as Utopia?

            So, Toronto buyers can go farther afield to be able to afford to buy a home, but folks in smaller cities and towns shouldn’t have to do the same? How do you figure that? People move away from entire countries to gain an advantage in life. Like I said, you come across as a Marxist control freak working in a capitalist system…and not liking it from a philosophic perspective…because you’re a Marxist at heart.

            I just checked, and my head is still firmly secured on top of my neck. But I must ask: What’s it like in there? Is it dark?

            I refer back to the last paragraph of my previous reply to you dated March 14, 2022 @ 9:49 pm. There is a simple question contained therein. A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will suffice.

            Remember: A property is worth whatever price a willing buyer will offer and a willing seller will accept anywhere in Ontario—for purposes of this discussion—regardless of where the buyers and their agents are coming from. Money talks, and speaks the universal language of free trade.

  5. We are embarrassing ourselves. The merger to one pool of data is inevitable. Why hasn’t it happened? Why I am paying dues?

    Hire someone who knows how to make these things happen and get on with it!

  6. A Timely Opportunity Rita! > Steps to Run for a Seat on the Board, Starting with Candidate Session
    It’s your opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills and make a difference at the Association you are a part of. Before you submit your nomination to join TRREB’s Board of Directors, learn what you need to get started.
    Five Steps to Follow:
    1. Attend TRREB’s mandatory Prospective Board Candidate session in person at the TRREB Office at 1400 Don Mills Road, Toronto. The session helps you better understand the nomination criteria to run for a position, and other obligations and responsibilities that are involved. Sign up for a session on:
    o Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., auditorium.
    o Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at 2:00 p.m., auditorium.
    o Friday, March 25, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., auditorium.
    Upon arrival, please park in the Kern Road or ground level parking lot. We will notify you of appropriate COVID-19 health and safety protocols in advance of the session.
    To run for a seat on the Board, you will also need:
    2. To complete OREA’s Leadership 100 course,
    3. A background check showing no convictions with your nomination,
    4. Five years’ experience as a REALTOR®, and
    5. To have served two years on a Committee, Task Force or Roster within the last 10 years.
    Mark your calendars for TRREB’s Call for Nominations on March 30, 2022.
    Positions Available:
    The following positions are open this year:
    • Director-at-Large – 4 seats for a 2-year term
    • West Regional Director – 1 seat for a 2-year term
    • East Regional Director – 1 seat for a 2-year term
    • Central Regional Director – 1 seat for a 1-year term
    In the case of the three Regional Directors, all nominees must be either a Salesperson, Broker, or Broker of Record within that Region, according to TRREB Membership records.

    The Chief Returning Officer may reject the nomination if the Member has not met the eligibility restrictions set out in Article 5 and under Article 6, Section 3 of the TRREB By-Law.

    • I propose we create an Ontario Realtors Task Force 1 MLS System.
      Every Ontario realtor gets a vote. Once majority of realtors agree, the task force gets to work.
      I am willing to commit my time to the task force.
      This issue needs a dedicated singular focus, to become reality.

      • It’s been done, Rita. More than a few times. What you’re asking is not unlike having the various political parties in Canada all merge and create one unified government, or all car dealers to merge and all sell in the same store for the same price.

        • Over the past few years I’ve read many opinions on this issue, and it’s safe to say vote or no vote majority of realtors want 1 MLS.
          If we the paying members want 1 MLS system to better serve our clients interest, this issue should have been resolved many moons ago.
          I suspect there are other concerns that are not being discussed, and those issues are the barrier.

  7. “It is my hope that the directors of real estate boards that continue to look for excuses and weak reasons not to partner with TRREB will change their thinking and truly take the needs of their members into account.”

    The arguments and reasoning given in this article have been stated over and over for the past 2 years. It’s like a ghost that pops up every 6 months.
    It’s the first time someone has identified “directors” as a route to a solution.
    Let’s focus our energy on these “ directors” as they are representing all members best interest.

  8. All of the comments are very interesting and at the same time very telling. Everyone has their opinion on the merits (or not) of ORTIS and/or TRREB and the current state of affairs. What is not being addressed is the very root of the problem, namely that Realtors in Ontario MUST belong to more than one board if they are to obtain the MLS data they need to properly serve their clients. What we need are solutions and bold decisions, NOT more hand-wringing, self-congratulatary messages and rock-throwing at other systems. In my humble opinion, the very discussion on the issue herein highlights the very problem that continues to NOT be addressed. It suggests that a client lawsuit may indeed be the only way for ORE to open its collective eyes and do what is best for both Realtors and clients.

    • We all agree Bob…”What we need are solutions and bold decisions” Reach out to your Board leadership…write them, call them, and ask them “What are you doing to remedy the need for MLS data? to eliminate the dual member concept and requirement to join a second board for all Ontario MLS data? As a Board Director in a leadership governance role “What can you do for your membership, that 21+RAHB Board leaders did?” What will it take? #modestproposal

  9. What does it take? Here is the Ontario-wide REALTOR Market place of Boards whose Leadership have agreed to ensure single board access, while maintaining localised advocacy, to MLS data across Ontario. Check the Map https://www.itsosystems.ca/map to see the missing Ontario Boards. https://www.itsosystems.ca/members-of-itso and read that ITSO is an Ontario centric MLS boards governed sytem (not international) ITSO Statement on Information Solidarity https://www.itsosystems.ca/post/itso-statement-on-information-solidarity. Contact your Board’s leadership and let them know about ITSO data sharing or swapping for REALTOR professionalism!

    • Richard, Do your salespeople not need the TRREB data. Do you want them to all pay for two board memberships (including duplicate and unnecessary fees for Geowarehouse)? Or should everything be in one data base. You have the opportunity to do this. ITSO is great but is is INCOMPLETE. Bob

      • Bob, all Ontario REALTORS, consumer end users and stakeholders require single board access and professionally provided Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data. Both TRREB and ITSO Board dual members do have all the Ontario-wide MLS data with no Inter-board or Subscription fees required. So again, ITSO data shares 21÷ boards and their Leadership have given over the politics to get their members all MLS data shared on one system. #modestproposal Will TRREB leadership find for their members the ability to collaborate with ITSO board leaders (even RAHB did it remember?) ensuring that all MLS data is accessible to their membership just as ITSO (then RAHB) has accomplished. As aTRREB member I will strongly advocate, as I hope that all TRREB members will, for integrated MLS data access, so that all 66,000 TRREB members may obtain ITSO board’s MLS data on their platform of choice – STRATUS (1990’s era platform?), Matrix (lite?), or the new Realm platform (subject to training). No additional Inter-boarding or subscription fees necessary, including dual Teranet/Geowarehouse, TRREB and ITSO should talk!

  10. You don’t want 1 mls. You want many. Reason being, when these interlopers try to sue for access, data etc. if you have 1 they sue one. If you have many they have to file hundreds of lawsuits making it fruitless and costing them millions and millions.

    This has been done in the US for a long time. It keeps companies like ComFree etc from getting access (except through NAR) which tends to be only REALTOR.com data and not the long term individual board data.

    It’s our data, lets keep it. Just make our logins work for all boards we are licensed in.

    • It seems everyone is only interested what ITSO can do for them and their Realty lives . We need to remember ITSO is a Multi National Company . It seemingly has found a method and easy acceptance to take CONTROL OF ORGANIZED REAL ESTATE IN ONTARIO . Say WELCOME to our new CONTROLLERS .

      • Uh, what? ITSO is only in Ontario, and it’s owned and operated by the Ontario boards that are a part of it. What are you talking about?

  11. TREB members need to hold their board accountable and tell them what they want.. Perhaps it is time for a grassroots petition in which we make our voices be known. TREB should be adhering to its members’ desires, not telling them what they should desire. Perhaps TREB needs a trucker convoy demonstration :)!!! TREB members are coming to ORTIS neighborhoods, advising their clients as to what homes should sell for, when they don’t have access to the recent data, as they have no access to ORTIS. Talking to the TREB members, it seems most of them want to be a part of ORTIS. Boards sit down and talk through it.. if you can advertise to the public via one medium, then you should be able to share your data with fellow professional realtors, all licensed under RECO. No one wonder our society is getting sick and tired of big brother acting like a dictator, telling us what to do. Our leaders need to learn that they work for us… we did not elect a dictator to boss us around. Enough is enough with their stalling tactics to hold on to some sort of a semblance of power.

  12. Great article Bob. Since there already exists a data sharing system of more than 20 boards, one would think that we are getting closer and closer to a One-Province-Wide-MLS. A membership survey was held by OMDREB and a decision was made. I wonder how would the stars need to align for TRREB to survey it’s membership asking to join ITSO or not to join. That would be the right question to ask. I know which way I would vote! I would love to understand what is holding them up? What is TRREB’s accountability to members and to the public? Is this the revolution you speak of?

  13. What does it take? The demonstration of the ability to listen to the membership cries for one MLS across the province and going into action to satisfy this long overdue need. Does it have to be a single Board controlling access to the MLS data? That will never happen. Boards serve a purpose as local membership based organizations that oversee education, training, compliance, community and political outreach but is it not time for them to hand over all MLS listing functions to a centralized organization that only distributes MLS data province wide?

    There are many other considerations such as limiting Boards and Realtors geographically BUT Registrants are licensed to practice anywhere in the province and on any property type.

    The public’s realtor.ca site has been an influencing factor in enabling access to information for all and was met with major opposition at the onset. Registrants complained that this would encourage direct contact with listing agents and eliminate Buyer representation. We are a nimble industry and can adjust to change when allowed. Unfortunately, appropriate change is not on the radar by those who claim Members First as their mandate.

  14. This is a TRREB problem. They list in communities on TRREB only thus skewing stats and not doing a service to their clients or others that live in those communities and having those stats. Toronto is a problem child it always will be. Until CREA makes it mandatory to list on the board the property is in/ there is one collective board like ITSO, this problem will persist. Plus let’s be quite frank- more than half of GTA agents arent even full time realtors adding to the frustrations.

      • It’s beyond frustrating when our local stats are skewed or we cannot provide a full scope because TRREB agents don’t list on the local board because CREA wont force them to. Collective data sharing benefits everyone. ITSO is far superior because of it.

  15. I’m for one MLS System.

    I am not for one board. We have enough problems with the Competition Bureau and their love of crying about monopoly and abuse of dominance when it comes to the real estate industry.

    Some comments are on point, some not so well supported.

    May I introduce those of you who complain that their client isn’t served when their listing is not on the local board to:

    https://www.realtor.ca/ and
    growing disrupter https://housesigma.com/web/en/

    My clients are connected to Collaborate and or get their listings via overnight or directly from me during the course of the day. They actually do not need me to send them listings from my board or any other board for every single one of them frequently send me links from those two sites asking about a property that they’ve even been notified of via those avenues. The point is, let us not kid ourselves that our clients are dependent any longer on us to find them their real estate. The old misplaced value proposition touted as our raison d’etre about them needing us because we have all the data was never valid before the CB intervened and it sure isn’t now. I’ve had my clients send me listings from outside of Toronto that did not appear on TRREB, and I’ve not ever once had the listing agent fail to respond very quickly and graciously to my request for the full listing.

    What the one MLS system will do is allow every Realtor everywhere to see all listings appearing on realtor.ca with the missing information only we are privvy to within our own listing system and we don’t need to request it from anyone. That’s a convenience I’m happy to back but, it has yet to be demonstrated why one board filled with self-serving, musical director chairs vying ORE protectionists in it for the boondoggles or $80k a year or more volunteer position stipend is worth it!

    I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside TRREB’s full time staff, they’re fantastic and top notch, including the mid-level managers who were unfairly booted. I’d work with any of them any day of the week. Believe me, they are the solution to the system’s problem – but for those in charge of the vision.

    Now, put it to a vote to get rid of Hudak and his political cabinet called OREA and I’d be forecing my way to the front of the line to cast my vote.

  16. What will it take? It will take great leadership by all boards (governance by Directors) to ensure that all our board’s Members have that one data access (Future MLS) by integrated data share just as 21+RAHB other board leaders have successfully done for their Members. Just waiting for the TRREB Board’s leadership to join the Ontario-wide realm. Please reach out to TRREB https://www.trreb.ca/index.php/about-treb/board-of-directors and ITSO https://www.itsosystems.ca/board-of-directors and ask them when it will happen? #modestproposal https://www.realestatemagazine.ca/ontario-boards-ask-trreb-to-share-mls-data/

  17. You mentioned what it will take within your piece Bob, being, “…a ground-swell revolt of members…”

    What does that mean? It means an organized mass-membership hold-back of dues, especially by TRREB members. Get organized dues-payers! Do you really believe you will all be thrown out of the business en masse if you starve them of their life blood? You are their bosses, not the other way around. You hold the power of the purse. It’s your dues-dollars being misappropriated by bureaucrats that is allowing for this issue to remain unresolved against your and your clients’ fiduciary interests. The ball’s in your court. Serve it up.

  18. In reply to comments by Sarah T about the Milton and Oakville Boards voting for ITSO . That is THE WHOLE POINT , MEMBERS OF THESE BOARDS GOT TO VOTE AND ACCEPTED ITSO . THAT IS GREAT , MEMBERSHIP VOTED . In PKAR the MEMBERSHIP DID NOT GET TO VOTE . The Board made the decision and changes on their own . They then attempted to COVER UP THEIR IGNORING OF PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION AND PKAR BYLAWS . Their actions resulted in months of turmoil , a long term member having Discipline Charges being laid , a HEARING BEING HELD RESULTING IN A GUILTY VERDICT AND A $2,000. FINE BEING SET . The Hearing and the whole process was an IN JUSTICE . Months later an APPEAL PANEL DISMISSED THE VERDICT AND THE MIS CARRIAGE OF JUSTICE . PKAR has been requested by the Member to release the APPEAL HEARING FINDINGS AND REPORT BUT THAT REQUEST IS BEING IGNORED ..THE MEMBER DISERVES TO HAVE HIS ACQUITAL BE REPORTED AND THE UNFAIRNESS AND LACK OF JUSTICE BE SHARED WITH PKAR MEMBERSHIP . IN SUMMARY IT WAS WRONG DOING BY THE BOARDS OF 2020 AND 2021 AND THE FOLLOWING COVER UP(S) WAS THE PROBLEM AT PKAR , not necessarily ITSO . I , was a 35 plus year member who served my Board on 4 Committees over the years but became VILLIANIZED BY PSC AND PKAR ADMINISTRATION . I was forced to RESIGN PKAR to protect my failing health because of the stress from the whole matter and my advanced age of 77 years . THANK YOU TO THE PANEL OF PAST PRESIDENTS SITTING AS AN APPEAL HEARING WHO PUT A STOP TO IT ALL . Sorry but the MESSAGE in all of this is MEMBERSHIP APPROVAL BY A VOTE AS REQUIRED .

  19. Thank you Sarah T , you have made my day! with your laser focussed responses. Now Bob, when you advertise “In order to put a listing on TRREB … pay inter-board fees and then deal with significant delays in having the listing and photos processed” would not be viewed as a selling feature for a TRREB one board Ontario-wide MLS system if they can’t even deal with that! Again Bob, it should be respected that your question “Do you require access to TRREB data in order to effectively conduct your business?,” would also be true if asked of TRREB members “Do you require access to the ITSO and RAHB data (they data share) in order to effectively (and professionally) conduct your business?” the answer would certainly be the same an overwhelming “Yes.” . So at a minimum, it would be clever for TRREB to do that #modestproposal (TRREB and ITSO datashare) show us all across Ontario what a great system TRREB has when compared to the Matrix MLS platform, what a great Partner they will be over time as we enjoy the wonders of the TRREB MLS. Thats what ITSO Boards like Oakville-Milton did, then Barrie and Mississauga. The realm is asking all TRREB Directors https://www.trreb.ca/index.php/about-treb/board-of-directors ….When will we have Ontario-wide MLS data? still waiting a reply from TRREB. https://www.realestatemagazine.ca/ontario-boards-ask-trreb-to-share-mls-data/

  20. It’s blatant protectionism and anti competitive. That being said, most realtors are happy to send the Broker listing to me when requested. We as a collective group need to realize we’re on the same team and working towards the same objective. There’s enough to go around for everyone.

  21. Don’t worry about just keep fighting and let the egos rule the day. The consumer is getting screwed over and over by this fighting. Money hungry REALTORS who don’t care about their clients listing in communities outside of TRREB district and not putting it on the local board. There are only a couple of reasons for this and both are against our code of ethics. 1. They don’t know. 2. The don’t care or are lazy. There is no other reason. I can find 30 examples of this every day. The clients don’t know any better. They don’t know that their home in Niagara Falls or Hamilton or Cambridge is only listed on TRREB and not their local boards so they are not getting the exposure and will ultimately get less money for their house. Not a day goes by this does not happen. TRREB leadership is aware of this but does not communicate or educate their membership. TRREB says they care about the consumer?

    • Well Lyle I love your optimism. To what time line? This has been going on for years and not a day goes by where a consumer is not adversely affected. We are no closer if anything we are further away then we have been.

    • The issue comes down to those that run the “big pond” have historically shown not much in the way of willingness to listen and respond to the concerns of those that operate in the smaller ponds. I believe this is beginning to change, but there are some bridges yet to be crossed. All the MLS® data providers have “providing exceptional service to the users” as their primary objective.

      But. there can be no functional MLS® System without a common set of rules for the users to follow and be enforced by the providers. Every rule has a sound basis, but nothing is locked in stone, so if there are legitimate reasons for a change, and users communicate their objection and a plausible rationale for the amendment or deletion, it will be attended to in an orderly manner with lots of discussion.

      One of the first steps in getting a single provincial MLS® System is an agreement to start working together on it, followed by the creation of a set of rules and enforcement mechanisms that we can and agree to live by. The data side of this will flow smoothly after that is in place.

      This business is always evolving, so I believe we will get there, but it takes time and effort and a willingness among those involved to listen and incorporate ideas that will benefit everyone.

  22. This is a bit one-sided and biased, Bob.

    You say: “Many boards continue to find reasons to not partner with TRREB”… despite how broad their offerings are.

    The EXACT same thing could and should be said about TRREB refusing to partner with other MLS’. Why won’t TRREB consider a two-way data swap with ITSO? Oh, I know. One, because then they don’t control their data and that’s bad, for whatever reason. And two, because their data is organized in such a way that it cannot communicate effectively with any platform they don’t control.

    Ask any third party company that has ever tried to work with TRREB data feeds. Local or international, they’ll all tell you TRREBs data feed is clunky, out of date, and cannot, at this point, be streamlined to work properly with modernized coding. That’s one of the reasons matrix was a bomb for them – THE BEST mls in the world. But TRREB can’t function within it. So they work with Teranet to make realm? Okay? And who in the world is using realm? Seems to me that it’s really under-realm-ing. See what I did there?

    The majority of Ontario MLS’ chose to partner with ITSO. Over 20. Only three have chosen to partner with trreb. More than a few have been forced to shut their doors altogether, with TRREB hungrily swallowing them up without any care in the world for the integrity and value of a local board in non-Toronto communities. I’ve listened to their leadership say this to my face on more than one occasion. I’m not lying. “Partner with TRREB” they say “retain individuality” they promise. But in reality, TRREB takes everything from that board. Member disputes, mls bylaws, a considerable amount of education, even – though they swear it’s not true – data. We watched Barrie go through this where they “partnered” with TRREB, nothing worked the way TRREB promised, and fixes weren’t happening. When they decided to leave, all the historical mls data TRREB promised to return was entirely unusable and couldn’t be imported into another system because of how archaic, specific and unique TRREBs data management is. Some say they do that on purpose. Other boards want to modernize, streamline and create efficiencies. TRREB just wants to get fatter.

    Ever seen the movie Wall-E? TRREB members are the fat humans stuck in wheelchairs. TRREB is the AI that controls the ship that wants to destroy the one plant left in the universe, and keep humans subservient. Everyone else are the two robots that star the movie, that want to get those humans back on their feet and building their own environments.

    You make comments about not-for-profit organizations and how that overlaps with an organizations need for money…. But that’s… like… obvious. An organization can’t grow, evolve and elevate member provisions on a break-even income level. The more money a board makes, the more they can build to offer their members. I wonder how much TRREB executives earn. I bet that it’s a really, really healthy “profit”. I wonder why the organization as a whole isn’t more advanced in their data tech? Oh yeah. John D is going to revolutionize the industry by integrating blockchain into mls. Yaaaaawn. Can we refocus on the problems of today, please? Your agents have no idea that when they travel 4 hours to London or Ottawa, that there’s another locally-purposed MLS they should be factoring into their fair representation of their clients. And TRREB doesn’t want them to know that, because TRREB has already created their own districts and neighbourhoods in those territories for their own members. Pshaw to those tiny insignificant local boards!

    Lastly, their partnerships with things like BrokerBay and realm aren’t going very well. Anyone with half a mind to pay attention can see the cracks are HUGE. But you ask TRREB and they say “we get zero complaints! Lol!” A board with zero control or contribution over how any of this is done would be committing suicide by jumping in. As we saw with York, Orangeville, and now with northumberland.

    To better understand your own perspective, you should spend some time actively and honestly arguing against it.

    • Sarah (care to share your surname?), you make some valid points but none override, in my opinion, the need to have a comprehensive MLS. Your comments do highlight some of the comments I made about finding reasons NOT to do what members require and clearly want.

      • I don’t deny the need for universal mls in the province. I don’t think anyone does deny that need. But the answer isn’t as simple as everyone should join trreb or ITSO should just become a part of trreb.

        Dual members of ITSO and trreb don’t want to be trreb members. They HAVE to be. But they WANT to be members of ITSO. And that’s important to consider.

        Again, your primary post argues the need for the same result we all want. But there is a significant divide in what the right path is to get there. The members involved DO feel the path is – in many cases – MORE important than the result when we consider the long term future. Trreb isn’t the be-all, end-all for most that are aware of what happens outside of the gta. Just because they are the biggest, it doesn’t make them the best.

        There are options for trreb to integrate with other mls’s without much change. Trreb won’t. They have said they don’t feel they have to and that’s it’s not fair because they’re bigger. Can you see my shoulders shrugging?

        The fight shouldn’t be to get 30 other boards to all kowtow to TRREBs reign. It should be to encourage trreb to keep doing them while everyone else keeps doing their own thing, and get trreb to update their freaking systems to the 21st century so that it actually works.

        But again, trreb doesn’t feel they have to. They’re just too big and none of that matters. Those members simply don’t matter.

    • This petitions helps Realtors outside the TTREB system. TTREB Members still can’t get details of your listings. I will fully support ONE SYSTEM for all of Ontario. After all, our real estate license is to practice in all of Ontario.

  23. Bob, last summer a group of 8 Collingwood, ON REALTORS contacted CREA and asked for their support to change the system so that AT A MINIMUM a REALTOR would have to list a property on the board where the property was geographically located. Their respond was weak and they virtually said it can’t be done. RECO and OREA won’t help either and it has left many of us who work outside the GTA in a frustrating position of not being able to properly service our clients. We started a petition and now have 1540 signatures. The petition was shared by 558 people and had 70729 views. Yet still nothing can be done! Would be happy to support anyone who could start a revolt to get us to ONE SYSTEM. It is a crucial part of our business if we are to properly serve the publics best interests.

    • What might be helpful to understand here is WHY CREA can’t do anything about that. Because they aren’t wrong.

      You ask trreb where their region is. They’ll say “Toronto and surrounding areas”. You look at their neighbourhood map where they’ve gridded mls numbers and it overlaps at least half a dozen other boards.

      So if Crea said they’ll only take a listing to realtor.ca if it comes from the local board where that listing is…. Both trreb and sgbar are going to claim they cover that area.

      So then what? Orea steps in and says” as per the three way agreement, we actually get to decide this, and we declare sgbar be the home board for this area.

      Then trreb says “get outta here” and leaves orea. Which they can do. Now trreb is sending all their listings straight to crea, and don’t now abide by any of oreas rules, which includes distinction of board boundaries.

      Plus, there’s two large areas in Ontario that simply don’t have boards at all.

      So, what’s your groups proposal given this knowledge?

    • In this market I can tell you that “jurisdiction” is a thing of the past. (so is saying “nigh”)
      I will sell a house wherever I can in any part of the province. I laugh now when an old fossil of an agent asks for “a great agent in Orangeville”. I’M a great agent in Orangeville, or Brantford, or Ottawa or Oakville. The 3 unwise men (OREA, CREA, OMDREB) are virtually useless to me. Empires built long ago that have run out of reasons to exist. This whole industry is outdated, and it shows more every day when we see clients tell agents what houses on a given street sold for straight from their phones, while we look it up on one of the many different systems used in the province. I was an I.T. pro for 20 years prior to buying this career, and we would call TRREB’s system “lipstick on a pig” It’s an old mainframe system now being asked to be all kinds of things it never will be. The data however is priceless and should be available along with the data from every jurisdiction in Ontario. I would love to see one interface used across the board, but with egos like Tim Hudak and petty directors in leadership positions, NONE of this will happen. It will take a courageous government to make this right. When was the last time Ontario had a courageous leader?

      • And you’re doing a disservice to your clients when you know jack about the area. I see it all the time. GTA agents selling homes in crappy areas because they know nothing about the city.

  24. Great idea Bob. The technology is easy, the politics is hard.
    LSTAR is proud to be a member of ITSO and strongly encourages all Ontario Boards and Associations to share their data safely and securely.

  25. Bob, well stated. Unfortunately, TRREB speaks for itself and not its individual members in this regard. I suspect that if an independent market research firm were employed to poll TRREB members on their wish, the result would overwhelmingly be: one board.

    More and more Realtors are selling further afield.

    It would benefit all members (and their clients) across Ontario to have the same full and complete access to market intelligence that would be available with one itegrated MLS system.

  26. Agree 100%. I run into this issue all the time when dealing with Northern brokerages. It’s time that people are made aware that their best interest is not being put ahead of the brokerage best interest, and this is so wrong! Indirectly related, part of the problem with brokerages in small regions is double-ending deals which in itself is the most unethical practice AND legal, for now. I can’t understand why CREA turns a blind eye to all of this. Maybe when enough people complain about these unethical practices, they will actually do something about it.

  27. Seems to me that ITSO and its 21 member boards have understood for a long time the need for one provincial MLS system and access to all data to better serve the public. It is a highly functioning and established MLS system that has in fact saved money, red tape, provided the highest quality data and created more professionalism amongst participating members. Not sure why any other “boards” would need to continue to reinvent the wheel and I can only assume for a considerable cost and time. The ability and willingness to partner or share what is already working so well for so many is available, Im sure, if thats really the end goal for everyone.

  28. I wholeheartedly agree! This is a change that I have been craving for many years now. It is ridiculous that a buyer might have more information on listings than a Realtor on a single board, as well as exposure being reduced significantly for sellers. Aside from choosing the right directors, maybe something can be done by writing to our boards – maybe we could make use of change.org to make it easier for members?!

  29. I totally agree with you Bob, i am with TRREB, often times, my clients will ask me to check listings through Realtor.ca or housesigma and i felt stupid. If the boards wants to control their territory and don’t want big brother TRREB in their fiefdom, i think it is time, sellers start insisting their realtor must also list with TRREB.

  30. Bob raises the point, articulates well the goal. Have agreed much with the idea, indeed it and some unique ways for REALTORS® to truly extract wealth from the scope of our professional interactions should be at the heart of every ORE Board meeting.

    As one of a few advocating for these types of progressive advances to our professional organizations, and therefore the infrastructure of systems upon which our client and customer services rely, it has been frustrating to find that most volunteer directors are caught up in their own world, their own immediate interest.

    Bob mentions STARS. Years ago, while a Director of RAHB, a board of about 300 members joined in with STARS. One of the directors, who subsequently came to be a significant leader among ORE, offered this point: the joining of this smaller board with our larger board is exactly the right thing to do.

    Sometimes, I can’t hold myself back, and I offered in reply, “well then, with that principal in place, we should be joining TREB”. (It was TREB then, now of course TRREB). I won no friends for that perspective. This was over 10 years ago!

    The devil on this one is in the details. Those details are that not for profit corporations of the ilk of ORE while having significant assets from which to create wealth, their most important need is decision makers – both directors and staff – taking action to use those assets productively. Cannot do that if your only experience is selling real estate and you are sure you know better than anyone what is good for the organization because you are a successful REALTOR® member.

    We need wholesale change, we need a significant disrupter. It will come from outside and take down the profession and its organizations, or it can come from inside and create wealth for years to come. And we need a leader who has the vision to make that happen. In my experience those leaders are shut out for short term interests and fear.

    Last point, do not expect that a formal meeting of members will do this..it cannot, there are too many competing forces at play and too much confusion can be infused into the process. Essentially that is why we are where we are. Remember CREA trying to make private its technology, or do its major revisioning of 10 years ago, that went nowhere. We need to have faith in a few quality leaders and let them at it.

  31. In all the surveying our industry does, I’m always making similar statement in “other comments” since their surveys are more self serving then actual looking for input. It is ridiculous that they can’t get on the same page on one MLS system !


  33. This is such a great idea, has been talked about for years and wished for by so many practicing Realtors. But the bureaucracy of boards that want to remain closed or don’t want to lose control of their data and dollars, prevent us from doing so. OREA can’t step in to make this happen but their nudge would certainly help. Going one step further brings us to the ultimate solution – one board for Ontario.

    • We need to let salespeople know that they have to elect directors who want to do the right thing. Too many members are not actively involved in selecting their directors and as a result they have no input. Members need to get energized and elect the right people to get the job done.

    • Yes! I totally agree, one board for Ontario should be the next move. As a province we should all have access to one MLS system. The question is how to get it done?

  34. Well said Brian , hiding behind closed doors under the guise of Covid 19 seems to have been the savior for PKAR . Ontario Legislation such as NOT FOR PROFIT CORPORATIONS ACT and Board By Laws are simply ignored .

  35. I agree with your reasoning, Bob. You have done a good job of arguing in favour of an integrated MLS system. What’s needed, however, is for every jurisdictional local board to conduct a vote amongst its in-the-field members with a full quorum present, unlike what apparently happened within the P.K.A.R. (Peterborough Kawartha Association of Realtors) whereby—as I was informed—the executive simply signed on with I.T.S.O. without calling for/conducting a vote by its membership as required, rendering said operation a dictatorial move by anyone’s standard. If true, opting to practice a form of “Abuse of Power” is not the way to conduct business and represent a local board’s limited authority over its dues-paying constituents. The local boards are ideally supposed to work for the best interests of their dues-payers at their dues-payers’ requests, not potentially the other way ’round.

    • Well said!

      Bringing in a new technology system was the reason PKAR also brought in a whole set of new, unvoted, By-Laws, fines and punishments toward members. Members never had an opportunity to vote on these by-law changes because they came under the “technology” blindfold. I would love to see shared access as long as members get an opportunity to discuss and vote on the decision.

      • You may want to check the board’s previous bylaws. Normally a membership vote is required to make any bylaw changes. This may be a legal issue to say the least.

    • That happened in the Oakville and Milton board last year and the result of the member vote was overwhelmingly to stay with ITSO. And it was after a year of significant research, open discussion and turmoil lead by a group of angry “rebels” who joined virtual meetings to publicly shame and outcast and bully elected and acclaimed board leadership in an effort to demean their ability to accomplish their responsibilities and with a goal to destroy what had been built. Insults were slung, names were called, vicious accusations of bullying, manipulation, personal agendas for personal gain, were left and right. Some say they were incentivized by TRREB leadership to do what they could to disrupt the Oakville board and break them down enough so that they’d just cave. There was nearly even a physical altercation in the board office by a middle aged man claiming a female director (they both are of European descent) was racist or ageist or something because she didn’t choose him to be on her committee. Lol! Looks like he quite clearly demonstrated exactly why he wasn’t chosen to be on the committee haha

      One perspective is not shared by all of the voting members in the province. Especially those educated and aware of the entire situation at hand. There is no one best or right solution for everyone.

      • Unfortunately, this is so often what it seen between leaders and members. And it is often extended to members vs staff and the real estate board as a whole. The culture between real estate boards and the membership needs to be one of collaboration and support instead of us vs them. The longer we stay divided the longer it will take to see progress.


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