By Lisa Thompson

Big changes are here for Ontario’s competitive real estate sector.

Last week, after many years of effort, I was pleased to enact regulatory reform that brings the rules for real estate brokerages and professionals into closer alignment with contemporary business practices.



Under the new rules, real estate professionals are now able to incorporate and be paid through Personal Real Estate Corporations (PRECs), like so many other professionals in our province.

The regulations also permit family members to own non-voting shares in these corporations, which will enable income-splitting and other benefits enjoyed by other sectors.

What’s more, salespersons and brokers are now able to use additional advertising terms such as “real estate agent” and Realtor in their advertisements, better reflecting the services they provide to consumers across the province.

These changes are the first phase in implementing the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020, which I am proud to have passed in March of this year. They have been long coming and are the result of years of effort by my colleagues and our sector partners.

“For over a decade, OREA has been fighting to make Ontario a leader in North America,” says Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association. “We are a step closer to that goal today. PRECs are a modern business tool that will allow Realtors across Ontario to make significant investments in their business to better serve consumers and create jobs.”

This good news has been recognized across the sector, with Michael Beard, CEO of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), echoing: “This is of great benefit to the industry and we look forward to ongoing legislative reforms that further strengthen consumer protection for all Ontarians.”

Those reforms will follow – and soon.

Phase two of regulatory reforms under the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020 is expected to get underway this fall. It will strengthen professionalism and ethical practices across the sector by updating the Code of Ethics, implementing disclosure requirements to better protect consumers, and updating the authority and powers of RECO.

This is the first time in almost 20 years that there has been a comprehensive update of the rules that govern real estate brokerages, brokers and salespersons, and the changes we are making are significant.

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board CEO John DiMichele recently shared with me his support for the Trust in Real Estate Services Act. I am grateful to the board for over a decade of advocacy to make this tool available to Ontario Realtors.

With the first phase of the regulations under the act in effect, I encourage professionals in the real estate industry to take the time to determine if the opportunity to incorporate is a fit for their businesses.

Keeping pace with our booming real estate sector is essential to maintaining a healthy, open and competitive marketplace for consumers and businesses. It is time we modernize outdated regulations that have not kept up with the times.

Premier Doug Ford and I are fully committed to this objective.

I look forward to continuing my work with stakeholders and partners to ensure that the Ontario real estate sector is the strongest in the country. We owe it to hard-working Ontarian families and entrepreneurial real estate professionals to ensure this sector continues to be a boon for our province.

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