The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) is one of the prominent realtor associations in Canada that boasts a robust community of 15,000 members. Starting with just ten local brokers, REBGV has since grown to become one of the largest and most influential boards. Its reach extends across a geographical area, from Whistler to Maple Ridge, encompassing Tsawwassen, the entire Vancouver and many surrounding municipalities.
REBGV serves its members with a comprehensive suite of services, including MLS offerings and an array of educational programs and seminars tailored to support professional development.
Moreover, the board actively engages in market research, collecting valuable statistics and analyzing patterns to provide members with insights crucial for navigating the dynamic real estate landscape. REBGV’s commitment to excellence and continuous learning has made the board exemplary in the real estate industry, which empowers its members to thrive and grow in a competitive environment.
REBGV membership is essentially a 3 step process with a prerequisite of English language proficiency as mandated by the Financial Services Authority of British Columbia.
Language Skills: English is the primary language for real estate documentation, education, and communication, and thus holds a lot of importance for aspiring real estate professionals.
Education: REBGV requires realtors and agents to complete a set of courses–one meant for licensing and the other for specific knowledge on trading residential and commercial properties.
Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Course: Licensing is the stepping stone towards REBGV membership. The University of British Columbia offers this course tailored for aspiring realtors who wish to be a member of the real estate board of Greater Vancouver and do their business in the areas the board operates. Aspiring members must go through a comprehensive curriculum and instructions to gain the required knowledge and understanding key concepts and regulations governing the real estate industry.
Residential or Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course: Individuals must undertake further training in residential or commercial real estate after they complete their licensing course. These applied practice courses give practical and hands-on experience specific to the nuances and intricacies of the realtor’s choice of specialization. By delving into real-world scenarios and case studies, participants acquire the necessary skills and expertise to navigate various aspects of their respective sectors confidently.
Licensing: The next step is to obtain the license from the board after aspiring members complete education and training programs.
Your brokerage signs this license, officially declaring your readiness to embark on your journey into the real estate industry. The license also grants you the legal authority to represent your clients and perform real estate transactions.
Join the Board: The last step for aspiring members is joining a real estate board based on the member’s location. Joining the board provides access to many resources, opportunities for networking, and professional development that allow realtors to grow their businesses in the region.
The REBGV system gives its members the following benefits:
Cost of Membership:
REBGV membership has two categories of fees-licensing fees and board membership fees.
One of the most common questions realtors have after obtaining the REBGV license and membership is, how can they access the board’s data? This query paves the way for the next part of this post.
IDX (Internet Data Exchange) is a vital tool that helps real estate professionals collaborate and facilitate a seamless sharing of property listings with industry peers and the public.
Accessing the data is built following data transfer standards. REBGV employs the Real Estate Transaction Standard or RETS to transfer the IDX data. One of the things to note about RETS is that it is not real-time. You will need a system to check the server for new data and store it in a database to query it through your site or app.
You must submit data agreements for IDX, VOW and reciprocal data agreements to access the data feed. You can reach out to the IDX department at REBGV. Their IDX department will provide login credentials for developing your site or app. The data transferred at that point will be a dummy to be used only for the development. Once done, you must submit your app of site to the compliance department of REBGV for approval.
Compliance: All listings on the MLS® System must comply with CREA’s Rules and Regulations, including the Three Pillars of the MLS® Mark: Membership, Agency, and Compensation.
Listings: Accurate and legal representation of property details, adherence to ethical conduct, and compliance with advertising regulations are a must for REBGV listings by members. Documentation, transaction records, periodic reviews, and audits are essential to maintaining compliance with standards, as non-compliance can result in penalties. Additionally, the board may require you to pursue ongoing education to stay informed about regulatory changes.
Offers: The REBGV mandates that offers must be kept confidential until presented to the seller, with prompt presentation through the Listing Brokerage unless instructed otherwise. Counter-offers must go through respective brokerages. Also, procedures for managing multiple offers ensure discussion with the seller and overall fairness and transparency.
Sales: The REBGV mandates accurate and prompt reporting of sales. Listing Brokerages are accountable for the accuracy of sales information submitted to the MLS® System, which includes checking and verifying all reported sales. Agents should report any sales within five days until the contract is anticipated to become unconditional and accompanied by a Sales Report Form. Agents should also immediately collapse sales to the MLS® Department report.
Professional Conduct: The REBGV outlines regulations for the following:
Commissions: Mentioning commissions in remarks is prohibited. If the Listing Brokerage has made reductions in commission, realtors should disclose that to competing Cooperating Brokerages. Payments to Cooperating Brokerages are subject to change on transaction completion, with provisions for non-completion cases. Two-cheque system for commission disbursement is mandated. Modifications require buyer authorization and consultation with the Listing Brokerage.
Advertising: Members must ensure accuracy and comply with local signage laws. They must advertise only authorized prices and terms and seek prior approval if they wish to advertise listings of another member. Cooperating brokerages can advertise involvement in a sale after the MLS publication, by using MLS reciprocity data and acknowledging the Listing Brokerage.
Sale prices can’t be advertised before public registry availability or without buyer and seller consent. “SOLD” signs require seller permission and compliance with the local rules. In addition to that, public representations must be factual, including disclaimers for Board information. Members must also follow advertising guidelines in the Board’s Code of Ethics and the Real Estate Council of B.C.’s “Professional Standards Manual”.
VOW: The registrant must acknowledge the privacy notices, non-commercial use, and restrictions on data redistribution on access to MLS’s VOW data. Registrants must comply with an agreement not to copy, redistribute, or engage in data mining activities. Also, MLS VOW Participants must maintain the records for at least 180 days post-password expiration.
Use of MLS Data: Members are prohibited from using British Columbia Assessment data for solicitation or any form of harassment. Licensed members hold restricted access to MLS information for business purposes alone and have a responsibility to avoid its misuse. REBGV holds no liability for database errors with members required to adhere to license agreements or face termination of MLS access and suspension of account.
General: Creating forms, digital or paper, using publishing software should not modify the body of the form. Any form created must be verified by the board.
REBGV’s realtor care initiatives like Blanket Drive and Shelter Drive show their commitment towards community welfare. The Blanket Drive has evolved to provide clothing and toiletries for the homeless, the shelter drive on the other hand has raised funds for housing charities. These efforts demonstrate the board’s vision towards the real estate business which is routed through social responsibility and making an impact on the lives of the needy and homeless in the region.
With a membership headcount of 15000 and a long history of more than a century, real estate board of Greater Vancouver stands out as a prominent real estate board in the entire country. REBGV’s success lies in its values of empowering its members with the right educational programs and market data that allow them to generate business and also give back to society at the same time.
Additionally, by providing MLS data, training, and support, REBGV ensures that its members have the tools and resources to succeed in a competitive real estate market that is often changing. In essence, REBGV sets the standard for professionalism and embodies a commitment to social responsibility and community service, distinguishing it as a leader in the industry.