I had the opportunity to get some further first-hand insight into how my fellow colleagues are doing when it comes to their level of knowledge, understanding of rules and overall professionalism as a result of overseeing offer presentations.
As a policy, our firm prefers to have management step in to represent its clients when one of our own sales people has their own offer presenting a potential conflict.
On one such occasion a listing generated lots of interest as they do in the Central Toronto Core which resulted in multiple offers including one buyer who elected to ask our listing sales person to represent them. As a result, yours truly stepped in to represent the Sellers and guide them through the process. The instructions on the listing were clear as was the process which was relayed to all participating sales people as required under REBBA 2002.
The first two presentations were professionally done. The paperwork was correct and the sales people were very thorough. Unfortunately the next five were a complete disaster and quite frankly an embarrassment to our industry. The sales people had missed clauses “pay the balance….”, a rather important one. Information was wrong. They could not explain or answer basic questions and had not included important schedules that were attached to the listing to disclose important information to prospective buyers.
It was clear, notwithstanding that these sales people were from reputable brands, that there was a complete lack of knowledge and understanding about the business. The question then becomes, why? Several of my colleagues and I have had numerous discussions as have had many others in organized real estate as to the quality of realtor education both during the licensing phase and the post license phase, i.e. continuing education. RECO recently announced that the licensing program will be taken over in 2020 by Humber College. A move to refresh and rehabilitate, we hope, a program that currently only seems interested in driving volume through its doors without regard for quality.
The finger can also be pointed at the Brokerage industry itself. There is no mandate for brokerages to have to train and monitor the professionalism of their sales people other than the Code of Ethics and laws as found in REBBA 2002. Again, the focus appears to be one of volume – i.e., collect as many licenses as possible. Hopefully some of them will make some money and the brokerage will too.
Of course, it’s not this simple and black and white, but if the Registrar and some of his staff were to sit in on some of these offer presentations, I think they would quickly realize that all is not well with the Ontario Real Estate profession! Obtaining a license is easy and cheap. It appears that that is how a lot of Realtors are conducting their practice as well.