Regarding the article, Opinion: A new name for “unprofessionals” by Chris Seepe:

You had my interest right up until “realturd”. This kind of unprofessional nonsense is unbecoming of our industry and should require a retraction.

While I dislike bad, unethical behaviour as much as anyone, I feel just as strongly about the use of slurs towards other members. Those in our industry without high ethical standards unfortunately can’t be regulated. Their behaviour can, as we have methods of dealing with unethical practice.  We are better served to use them instead of Mr. Seepe’s approach. For those who agree, we await for Mr. Seepe’s apology.

I am surprised that REM would publish this type of writing.


Bill Sturgeon, Associate
Sutton Group Lethbridge
Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors Board of Directors
Chair – Professional Standards
Lethbridge, Alta.



  1. They barely survive because of all the changes with the internet , advancing technology, overbearing and tightening regulations, privacy legislation, and people looking for better money saving options. The days of the high commission fees are coming to a crashing end. I think we all know that but would rather deny it for preservation sake.

    • Sparks,

      In each era people have known where to look for what it is they want to buy. The Internet doesn’t create motivation and it only reassures a buyer based on the quality of the work (graphics or whatever) that a Registrant puts on it. For seller’s the Internet means constant exposure and broad exposure, but it also means that you don’t get a break from from the competing listings. You’re like many in this business in that you only see the Internet as a single edged sword; you don’t see the potential for a higher awareness of market time on the part of buyer’s and the potential costs to the seller’s associated with that.

      Before you can hope to really understand this business, you first need to grasp the difference between a Commission and a Fee — which at the present seems beyond your grasp.

      Denying something doesn’t equate to self preservation; you can deny that you were fired, but it doesn’t mean you still have a job — unless you had more than one job.

      Of all that is marketed on the Internet real estate is the least dependent on the medium. This is because the old real estate axiom: location, location, location still applies and always will.

      As for you claiming that we need to increase entrance criteria, you’ve done a marvellous job of proving that point!

    • From the Author of the article: Technology IS change. It creates opportunities and displaces old technology, processes and professions reliant upon them. You wouldn’t today want to be in the typewriter, tape recorder, slide rule, calculator and similar businesses that were all stable, profit-generating businesses in the past 50 years.
      Businesses, industries and the people in them must re-invent themselves to embrace the new technologies, especially if the tried-and-true (meaning ‘old’) ways of doing things no longer works. Those that refuse to adapt are often referred to as Luddites, after the workers of the Industrial Revolution who destroyed the new-fangled automated (Jacquard) weaving looms.
      It’s not about ‘high commissions.’ It’s about finding a remuneration business model acceptable to all. For example, why should real estate professionals be any different from other professions that charge hourly fees and retainers? This is too big a topic for a a quick blog response.
      The key point though is that our representative national and regional organizations (like CREA, OREA etc) and the real estate boards should be leading the rest of us in embracing technology and change but they’re just as bad, if not worse, than Luddites. I place the blame squarely on their shoulders for failure to re-invent our industry to embrace the monumental changes taking place. Their demise will be our collective demise. Without this desperately-needed leadership, they will fail, taking all realtors with them.
      As long as their compensation is base don the number of realtors churned out each year, and not on the quality of those realtors, our industry is doomed to continue to receive no respect from the public and the public’s ‘we-can-do-it as well-as-any-realtor’ attitude (which is likely true in a notable percentage of situations).

      • Chris:
        You are quite right with your assessment of the failure of CREA, OREA (Ontario), ORE et al (coast-to-coast) to come to grips with the reality of the poor state of affairs within the commission-driven real estate transaction industry. Unfortunately, nothing will change due to the fact that too many in positions of authority are reaping huge financial benefits from the current set-up. CREAcrats, OREAcrats and ORE members (especially well-heeled large brokerages) are all in bed with one another in their quest to keep things just as they are. Their philosophy is “It’s easier to keep the hounds of dissent at bay and keep on truckin’ to the bank than it is to take a chance on doing what is right and therefor risk a hit to the bottom line.” For them, what is, is right. We are talking about human nature and the built-in greed instinct which will always trump the conscience instinct…when big dollars are at stake. Once slathered in wealth few will give that up easily in pursuit of setting a higher standard for themselves. Money does not corrupt, but the love of money does.
        As far as leadership is concerned, it is non-existent within ORE. There are no leaders; there are only followers of the greed-creed who are put into positions of so-called power institutionally in order to keep order with the status-quo benefiters. It is a closed system, ironically open at the ass-end only to all and sundry wannabes who want to take a crack a hustling real estate for big commissions. Thus, the actual professionals in the field are slimed with the same public disdain/crud as the here-today-gone-tomorrow amateur-hour try-out artists, who, by their never-ending, same-incompetence-different-faces presence, keep this industry in a perpetual state of discord…thanks to the inwardly-looking philosophy and self-sustaining politics of ORE lever-pullers, aka self-satisfied puppeteers.
        Not only does the applecart need to overturned, it needs to be dismantled and the rotted splinters buried far and wide. Who has the gonads, the will and the wherewithal to undertake such an unpopular job? No one within ORE, that’s for sure.

      • Cseepe, Debbie Hanlon, and others

        A REALTOR® challenge: (this might be useful assistant training?)

        For lack of a better place to address the topic of moving, and how all the “systems” are so user-friendly (not), not terribly unlike a client actually relocating, I would challenge any REALTOR® to pick a different location from where they generally work and live, where they have and use daily their abundance of acquired knowledge, and set out to pretend they are moving; relocating their family to a nearby town or to a far away town, but still within their own specific province.

        Choose a city or town whose name you recognize but for which you know nothing about residential real estate values, preferred locations and less desirable ones (even so listings say the location is upscale).

        Now, considering your personal expertise, you automatically presume / assume you do not require the services of a “local” REALTOR®, after all, you are one, and using Ontario as a home base example, that means you are (licenced) registered to do business anyplace in Ontario.

        Once you have established what town or city you will move to, what’s next? Of course you are computer savvy; that goes without saying.

        Let’s use as an example you live in West Hill, an adjacent area east of Toronto proper. And you decide you will move to Mississauga, in the GTA, a very large city attached to Toronto’s north and west map borders.

        You will begin your research. How, exactly? You will know how much money you are qualified to spend. And you have decided you want to buy a nice place within that certain price range.

        You know you prefer a 2-story, not too old, but nicely done, well-cared for, good landscape, a two-car garage, and ideally a nanny suite, above grade. Oh, and you must have hardwood floors, due to allergies in the family. A pool would be nice but not necessary.

        You’d like to be near high schools, on a cul de sac street (less traffic for the kids), but you want good street parking too, because you entertain often.

        Of course you need a long driveway as well. And a major requirement is that the property is on a ravine. Naturally you don’t know the lay of the land, so to speak, so how will you easily narrow your search.

        Prefer easy highway access without log jam traffic, because there is an adult teacher in the family who will drive in winter months to the school. But kids do not attend same school.

        Now, bearing in mind you are a REALTOR®, so you know how to help yourself wade through the information.

        Now, go through the process again. But pretend you know from nothing, except you sold your house as a mere listing, or otherwise privately, (even as a REALTOR®) quickly and for top dollar, so it was a painless process, and now you will help yourself relocate as a buyer.

        Where do you begin? And why did you choose that particular town or city?

        Oh, and add up all the commission(s) you saved. Put it all down to not being a Luddite, of course. And how long did it take you to achieve your buyer accomplishment? Or in the end did you have to engage help from a local REALTOR®.

        Start now. Let us know how it goes. Cseepe, your input would be valuable, as always.

        Carolyne L ?

  2. Actually, the real story of real estate isn’t often told re many in the business barely surviving or who have other sources of income to survive. I would respect someone working as a taxi driver and striving over someone eg. on a pension who is a Realtor in name only for something to do who does few deals or someone who has a second income and says is full time, but isn’t and doesn’t keep up with rule changes, etc. Many long term Realtors act superior, but aren’t honest about the realities of the business, etc., or their sales, or their ineptitude. They just hate newcomers and change – and honesty.

  3. Lets face it. Having a taxi driver as your Realtor can’t possibly raise the status to “professional” in the real estate business

    • There are fines already, but Realtors are encouraged to resolve problems, so much doesn’t get resolved. Meanwhile, fines are regularly handed out – to mostly increase income? Where does all the fine money go? Condo size wrong – a fine. Complaint by another member – resolve it, but with territorial Brokers, etc., often few complaints internally or brokerage to brokerage get reported or resolved, it seems.

  4. Agreed. If nothing else, broadcasting a fancy new epithet for “Realtor” in this publication gives others the opportunity to pick up the term and before long it becomes standard Canadian English for a Realtor that someone is unhappy with.

  5. $10,000 bond for everyone in the industry including realturds….you act unprofessional you lose it. Being politically correct with proper terminology is only trying to mask the problem. The only ones that should give professional Realtors an apology are those responsible for allowing very low criteria entry status to become a Realtor. Very truthfully…they are more concerned about getting entry fees and dues than creating professionals.

  6. Name calling is unprofessional & unproductive, but so is keeping your head up your wazoo & ignoring the unprofessional conduct in an industry that has to fight like hell to keep
    its name off the bottom of any list of “most trusted professionals”. (Thank God for lawyers!)

  7. This is a lively and entertaining ‘debate’ mediated by a publication that needs to attract readers. It does so by publishing articles with harmless quips like “realturd” (I can think of far more offensive terms) with retorts from somewhat tight-wound and protective professionals depicted by an angry pointing man in black and white. Very dramatic.

  8. Bill:
    You say that “This kind of unprofessional nonsense…” (Chris’s choice of a word describing the plethora of “Wat’s in it for me; wad’a I hav’ta do to make lots’a money reel fast!” types) “…is unbecoming of our industry and should require a retraction.”
    I say that the only retraction that is truly required in “our industry” is the retraction of all of the realturds from the field-of-dreams by the relevant governing authorities on a pro-active basis. That would leave the non-realturds (the actual professionals and professional wannabes) the fresh-air room to be able to breathe and operate effectively on behalf of their clients without having to deal with and make excuses for realturds.
    The ORE dues-collecting game is internally rigged in-house in favour of the existence of reaturds via the very industry rules that state that a registrant may not speak disparagingly about a realturd, thus cementing in the public’s mind the correct notion ORE is a closed society existing for the benefits of said closed society’s members to the exclusion of the public interest. This is the mentality of a militant trade union (of which I was a member many years ago, so I know of what I speak) that protects its members no matter what they do vis a vis law-breaking and/or despicable behaviour etc. “Blood is thicker than water”, as the old saying goes, but in this case it should not be, because the water of the public interest is what nurtures a vocation’s growth, not the bad-blood work of the realturds. Realturds simply keep a sick body from getting better, and the blind-eyed inwardly-looking attitude of the sick body by official gate-keepers does said body no good when the indignation directed against someone who calls a spade a spade is misplaced.
    Bill: with all due respect, you should redirect your indignation against the realturds that exist everywhere (thanks to the mindless, money-hungry efforts of CREA (Canadian Realturds Enema ASSociation) and ORE (Other Realturd Enemaniacs) in general whose only apparent motive in this ongoing play without a final curtain (called “Le’s-Keep-The-Realturds’-Dues-Money-Ball-A’Rolling-At-The-Expense-Of-The-Paying-Public-Whilst-Claiming-How-Professional-We-All-Are-Final-Tour…Tour…Because, Once-A-Whore, Always-A-Whore”.
    The poor public opinion is what you should be concerned with Bill, not the “in-crowd’s” self-serving insulated high-falutin opinions.
    Time to consider which side of your bread is being buttered, and by who, and it ain’t the up-side by first-class professionals, but rather, it is predominantly the dark underside by here-today-gone-tomorrow realturds and/or long-term learned-the-ropes realturds (playing along with the industry-centric rules against slagging other realturds), not to mention too many low-life-ignoring realturd-supporting self-serving ASSociation officials living off of realturds’ dues-dollars (of which there are many more than non-realturds’ dues dollars in my opinion), and that, my friend, is the problem that Chris and many others within ORE have not only recognized, but who have the gonads to break ranks with the devil that they know and rightfully kick sand in its face. It is the only way to make it blink.
    Political correctness only goes so far when a real problem exists in the world of reality. Time to jump off the “Realturds “R Us” runaway train of money-first, honesty second in-house culture and start down a yet-to-be-laid new and refreshing track with new engineers at the controls where public respect is the goal at the end of the line, and to hell with what realturd-enabling insiders think.

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