Summer greetings from your CREA President

The summer months mean backyard barbeques, block parties, dips in neighbourhood pools and a steady flow of ice cream and lemonade—in between a flurry of real estate activity, of course. Summer also, most importantly, means time for community and family. Over the last several months, as I have settled into the role of president and had the opportunity to engage with hundreds of REALTORS® across the country, I have come to see that we're also one great community.

REALTORS® help Canadians and their families create memories and achieve their dreams.

REALTORS® build stronger communities, investing their time into working with local charities and non-profits.

REALTORS® support each other, helping grow the REALTOR® community through mentorship and leadership.

Being a REALTOR® means you are part of this community of professionals, no matter what board, association, brokerage or franchise—we are one REALTOR® family; and I'm proud to be part of this stellar group of industry professionals. Over the summer as you take time to relax with your friends and family, think about the ways that you already contribute to the REALTOR® community and ways that you can keep that positive momentum.

On the CREA side of things, we've had a busy first half of the year. From launching the REALTOR.ca Living Room blog to connect with consumers, to bolstering our advocacy efforts by redesigning the REALTOR® Action Network, to helping REALTORS® do business better in their day-to-day with the new CREA WEBForms®.

I'm looking forward to continuing my journey as president and meeting more of you over the next few months, but for now I'm excited for warm summer nights in the beautiful Niagara region. On behalf of the CREA Board of Directors I wish you and your families a wonderful summer!

Warmest regards for a wonderful summer,

Barb Sukkau


Optimize your REALTOR.ca listings

REALTOR.ca is the first place Canadians go for information about real estate. In fact, in 2017 alone, there were 965 million property views—with 5.3 billion page views.

There's no doubt about it, REALTOR.ca is an important marketing tool that all REALTORS® can take advantage of. We've put together a list of the top four ways to make your listings shine on REALTOR.ca.

1. Maximize listing information

Search functionality is a primary focus of a visitor's REALTOR.ca journey. Make sure you provide as much information as possible when uploading a listing to your board or association's MLS® System. In the public remarks field, include all relevant and popular keywords to ensure your listing appears in a home buyer's personalized search.

2. Add photos to your listings

69% of visitors that go to a property details page click on the photos. Maximize the impact of your listing by including:

REALTOR® Tip: To display videos and virtual tours, the links must be submitted through the video tour field in your board or association's MLS® System. All other video and virtual tour formats will be available via the Multimedia icon.

3. Stay on top of the mobile trend

In 2017, 62% of traffic to REALTOR.ca came from mobile devices and REALTOR.ca generated 6.4 million visits to REALTOR® websites. Stay on top of mobile trends and ensure your personal website is responsive, meaning it can be easily viewed across all devices.

4. Update your REALTOR® profile

A snapshot of your profile appears on every one of your listings on REALTOR.ca and in the Find a REALTOR® search results. Show yourself off to potential clients by updating the information and your photo in your board or association's MLS® System*.

*Available fields may vary based on your board or association's MLS® System.

What are you waiting for? Leverage the many benefits of REALTOR.ca to ensure your listings dazzle in the eyes of home-buyers.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Member Support at support@crea.ca.


Recreational cannabis to be legalized in Canada

Last week, Parliament passed Bill C-45, more commonly known as the cannabis legislation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau subsequently announced that Canadians will be able to legally purchase and use a limited quantity of cannabis for recreational purposes as of October 17, 2018.

CREA CEO Michael Bourque and VP of Public Affairs Randall McCauley appeared as witnesses before the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on April 30, to express concerns about the legislation focused on home cultivation of cannabis on behalf of Canadian homeowners and REALTORS®. During the appearance, CREA recommended a complete ban on home cultivation or at a minimum a one to two year moratorium to allow the federal, provincial and municipal governments to develop the rules and regulations needed for safe home cultivation.

Several organizations shared CREA's concerns on home cultivation, including police and firefighter associations, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Appraisal Institute of Canada and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. CREA's recommendations and concerns were given serious consideration by the Senate, which proposed an amendment that would ultimately allow provinces to ban home cultivation. The amendment was rejected by the government and did not make it to the final version of the legislation.

Bill C-45 has received royal assent, and provinces and territories will spend the coming months preparing for the implementation of the legal framework. The preparatory period was extended to 17 weeks at the provinces' request, indicating that provinces have concerns about proper implementation. CREA is encouraging boards and associations to actively express their concerns with the implementation and regulations of the legal framework for cannabis with their respective provincial and municipal governments in the lead-up to October 17.

A mandatory three-year review of the Cannabis Act will provide a unique opportunity for government to evaluate any issues with the legislation. CREA will continue to monitor developments on the legalization of cannabis, providing guidance and support to local boards and associations as required.


CRTC enforcement: National Do Not Call List

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) continues to enforce compliance with the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules or the National Do Not Call List (DNCL). The DNCL was established in September 2008 and includes consumer telephone numbers who have chosen to no longer receive marketing calls.

It is important for brokerages to understand their responsibilities and ensure full compliance. Failure to do so may result in significant financial penalties administered by the CRTC. We encourage you to review the steps below and update your internal policies accordingly.  

The DNCL applies to brokerages as well as service providers. We urge brokerages to exercise caution when hiring a third party service provider to assist in managing their telemarketing operations. Hiring a third party to manage a brokerage's telemarketing operations does not absolve the brokerage of its DNCL responsibilities. Each brokerage is responsible for calls made on their behalf, therefore, if the service provider does not abide by the law, the brokerage may be at risk, particularly if the CRTC launches an investigation.

A full DNCL compliance guide is available on REALTOR Link® to help members understand their obligations. For more information about the DNCL and members' obligations, please consult CREA's FAQs or contact us at info@crea.ca.


Top Three CREA Café Blog Posts This Month


Highlights From This Month's Top Living Room Articles on REALTOR.ca: