With about 200 new agents joining the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) every month during the current real estate boom, the membership has voted to adopt a deficit budget to whittle down surplus funds.

The board, with more than 21,000 members, has an annual operating budget of about $22 million, but currently has a reserve fund of about $14 million, executive officer Don Richardson told a general meeting yesterday. A $3 million budget surplus this year is largely due to the steady increase in the number of new members, he said.

The deficit budget means that TREB members will see a dues reduction of $50 each this year, and an additional one-time “dues holiday” of $50. During the last four years, members have seen cumulative dues reductions of $180 per member.

While one audience member suggested that the money be donated to charity, the majority of those at the general meeting voted for the dues reduction.

The meeting was held during a well-attended  trade show and conference on June 9. While a couple of thousand agents and brokers listened to keynote speaker Michael “Pinball” Clemens, most left before the budget vote took place, leaving fewer than 200 to pass the budget.

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