Georges Pahud assumed the presidency of the Canadian Real Estate Association this week in Ottawa, in the midst of the Competition Bureau’s challenge of CREA’s MLS rules. Although CREA made changes to its MLS access rules, the bureau says the changes are not enough and that it will continue to pursue the challenge before the Competition Tribunal.
REM senior editor Kathy Bevan spoke to Pahud about what happens next.
REM: Now that changes to MLS access have been approved at CREA’s AGM, what are the next steps, in terms of getting these MLS changes in place and enforced at boards across the country?
PAHUD: We have asked the boards to bring their rules up to the requirements laid out by the clarifications to the rules as soon as possible. We’d like this done very quickly, because we don’t want any misunderstandings anywhere.
REM: What does “quickly mean” – will this take months, or weeks?
PAHUD: It will be closer to months than weeks, as some boards will have to call a general meeting to change their rules; some won’t. It will depend on the board’s bylaws and constitution.
REM: If boards have to call meetings to change their rules, will they have to hold a vote at those meetings to make the changes?
PAHUD: I assume that some boards will have to.
REM: And is it now inevitable that CREA will be going before the Competition Tribunal?
PAHUD: Nothing is inevitable. There have been cases where settlements were arrived at up to and including in the middle of a trial – so never say never.
REM: Is CREA planning to do anything nationally as a public relations campaign to clear up any of the public misconceptions or to counter any of the Competition Bureau’s statements?
PAHUD: At this point in time, because we are in litigation with the bureau, we aren’t going to comment too much on that. It’s unfortunate that some of the reports have contained some inaccuracies, but at this point we’re not going to debate this in the media.
REM: Typically CREA has a big spring advertising campaign – is there any campaign planned for this spring, that will look at the image of a Realtor, as CREA has done in the past?
PAHUD: Yes, there will be some ads coming out the first week of April. The new ads will revolve around the ability of consumers to hire Realtors to do different things – they’ll be about value and choice.
REM: This issue will be taking up a lot of your time as new CREA president, but are there other issues you plan to focus on or things you hope to accomplish?
PAHUD: What I hope to accomplish as president is to leave the association better than I found it, in generic terms. We have a strategic plan in place that we intend to follow. If there is anything we need to do better, it’s certainly to explain the value and services of Realtors better to the public, to the media, to regulators. And have Realtors be less shy about what they do. So much of what we do is behind the scenes that I think consumers don’t realize how much work it is and how hard it is – it is a tough job.
Posted: 2010-03-24 16:46:16
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