By Michel Chevalier

Three more Québec boards have elected to discontinue their membership in CREA effective Dec. 31, 2012.  Four boards and the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards have now resigned from the national association, but five other Quebec boards have indicated they will continue their membership.

On Sept. 19 Muriel Mongeau, president of the Chambre immobilière du Centre du Québec, wrote to CREA advising that under the provisions of bylaw 8.4.1 the 150 members of her board had voted 68 per cent to discontinue the boards’ membership in the national association. The board serves the Drummondville and Victoriaville areas.

On Sept. 21 Hugo Gaillardetz, president of the Chambre immobilière de la Mauricie, wrote a similar letter noting that a majority of the 190 members of his board had also voted to withdraw from CREA. The Mauricie board includes the Trois-Rivières and Shawinigan areas.

The Chambre immobilière de Saint-Hyacinthe in Saint-Hyacinthe has also indicated it will leave.

Earlier the Chambre immobilière de la Haute Yamaska and the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards gave notice that they will not be renewing membership in CREA. Lise Desrochers, general manager of the Chambre immobilière de la Haute-Yamaska in Granby, told REM that board members decided to opt out of CREA because they feel their dues are too high for what they receive in return. The letters from Mongeau and Gaillardetz did not explain why their boards are leaving.

After the federation announced that it was leaving CREA, the association received letters from five boards confirming that they will stay “within the CREA family,” says Pierre Leduc, media relations officer at the association. They are the Chambre immobilière de Québec in Quebec City; the Chambre immobilière de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, based in Rouyn-Noranda; the Chambre immobilière de l’Estrie, Sherbrooke;  the Chambre immobilière du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in Jonquière; and the Chambre immobilière de l’Outaouais, based in Gatineau.


  1. CREA is essentially an old boys club who, if taken away or disbanded, would not be missed by Alberta Realtors. or is a poorly managed, poorly run entity that serves no purpose like most everything else attached to CREA. Welcome to 2012….

  2. Hello Brian Martindale. Nice to see that you are still keeping an interest on posting on this Forum.

    Are you still in retirement, and if so how is such lifestyle treating you?

    My very best wishes to you my REM Forum friend.

    John M
    Toronto, ON

  3. Hi Maurice:

    How about a for-profit, shareholder-owned association whereby the Realtors' dues incorporate a portion thereof toward share/unit ownership? The shareholders therefore would control the direction of and implementation of previously democratically voted on (via secret ballot…66 2/3% needed to carry) proposals/policies. CEO types and presidential types would be defacto employees of the shareholders, and thus would be monitored regularly vis a vis performance judged to be in the best interests, or not, of its shareholders.


  4. Nothing is ever as easy as one day legal maneuvering that is just not true. I pay $25.83
    per month to CREA for the services I recieve from the association. Would one of you please demonstrate to me and no dought others your business plan,the services you would deliver and how you would make it better for me? It is not perfect what is but it so far is better than any of the comments or suggestions I have read on any of these sites or blogs . Nobody has yet to convince or demonstrate they have a better plan
    until that happens it is all simply just interesting reading!!!

  5. Hi Hal:

    Are you saying that if CREA becomes unwound (extinct) that the current contracts between CREA and the C.B.-assisted highjackers et al would still be in force? I think not. Therefore, MLS/ would with some one-day legal maneuvering revert back to the new replacement organization, and MLS/ would be kept in the privately owned stable where it belongs, out of the legal reach of highjackers/the C.B. et al.

    Please advise where you believe I am mistaken in my assertion.



  6. A comment from Hal Gill on

    A simple survey to decide on one aspect of the benefits of CREA are as follows:
    You just have to ask any of your clients if they know what Centris is? When they look at you with BIG EYES, ask them the same about MLS. What is more familiar to them? Very revealing answers.
    If I was asked to spend $200-1000 a year to advertise the symbol of MLS, or Centris what would be my answer?
    Just one reason I can express here.
    MLS is recognized throughout North America, (and yes even Quebec) more than any other real estate multiple listing system.
    So do we want to give this trademark to Quebecor? Bell Canada? Rodgers, Telus?
    It does not really matter, as they will ALL have the rights after we vote to leave CREA.
    The day that the GMREB vote's to leave CREA, the very next day all these co's and more will have a legal right to advertise MLS on all of their web sites.
    Secondly, you have to only look at the USA to see the mess their real estate system is in. Their is no general association that speaks for eveyone like CREA in the US. Not NAR or anyone.
    It's not a Q of what you get, but what you lose.
    Personally, I never liked the slow process of CREA and I sat as a director on the GMREB for many years.
    The GMREB has brought out some some good points, but have glossed over the potential damage to our industry. Unfortunate but truthful, it seems the only way to deal with CREA has been to threaten secession, something this province has been very successful with in the past.
    The current political situation in Quebec can be attributed and reflective of the divisive and sensationalist attitude of our elective officers here.
    I encourage dialogue. In this shrinking and competitive market, we all need each other a lot more than the $200 it costs to be here.

  7. Seems to me Heinz has a low opinion of our profession himself. Maybe he's one of those mere poster realtors. The fact remains our industry is being bastardized by the same organization that is supposed to heighten our image. Namely CREA. If boards across Canada would just stop extending their listings to or then the mere posters and FSBO groups would go away. Because there wouldn't be a or, supported and paid for by the licensed full service realtors, for them to advertise their mere postings! I'm tired of paying into an Assoc that does little to protect my interests. I don't fault any board for opting out of CREA. I wish ours would.

  8. Sorry for the multiple posts, but it seems that there is a limit on the amount of characters available. Another shamefuls occurrence. The end result is a continued loss of public respect for our profession as we skewer each other in order to be seen as the better choice. The average buyer does not know the difference between mere postings and commissioned listings. The average citizen does not keep up with commissioned listings vs mere postings. They see the listings on the MLS and assume we are all the same. When the mere postings do not sell, I imagine that there is bitterness toward our ENTIRE industry for members who get a fee for just posting. All that glitters is not gold. As a group, we are now probably the most divided profession of all. At this time, I suspect used car salesmen have a better reputation than we do.

  9. If us “full service” Realtors® are struggling to make ends meet, I can only imagine the plight of those who need to find ten new listings a month just to make the same amount that they would if they sold one home. I suspect that the longer the clients wait for their home to sell, the more “service” fees are collected. Maybe they have the right idea. Thankfully the beasts that they admonish while obtaining the listing (greedy full service Realtors®) offer a real commission to top up their earnings, should they be lucky enough to actually sell a home. I can’t help but think that they feel like hypocrites when they pocket a good commission. I suspect that if all full service Realtors® (read decent commissions) were to disappear, so would the mere postings. Their model is not sustainable. Just read the "Realtor®" comments on the listings. More and more are offering commissions to those of us who bring qualified buyers. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  10. Sellers who opt to go it alone are welcome to do so. I can’t help but think about the old adage about the person who represents himself in a trial having fool for a Lawyer. Without advice and a mediator, offers can go south quite quickly. It is best to have a professional representative working for you.

    I applaud the mere posting Realtors® for their innovation. With a market that sees listings collect dust, it sounds enticing to me that I get paid for what I do as I do it. I am sure we are all struggling to sell listings when consumer confidence is this low. With the Chinese now joining Europe and the US in poor economic performance, buyers are just not motivated. Even the low borrowing costs can’t help when our own Government has committed itself publically to cool the “red hot housing market”. If "professionals" are having difficulty convincing buyers to buy in this market, imagine what the mere posters are going through. The look of desperation and the numerous follow-up calls from the self represented sellers tells the true story.

  11. CREA? What a joke! Who can blame any board in Canada for wanting to pull the pin? As far as I'm concerned CREA does very little to protect those who pay for their existence. It is quite hypocritical for an association like CREA to allow For Sale By Owner companies access to MLS sights and then expect licensed companies to just accept it and like it. It is detrimental to the success of any licenced real estate business and I predict more boards will jump ship. You can only bleed the sacrificial lamb so long before it dies. Maybe it's time for real estate companies to go back in time and make their listings "exclusive" to their respective offices and companies and bypass CREA and their local boards altogether!!! With the advent of the internet and websites who really needs 'em?

  12. How do brokers respond to this? We continue to advertise in the same newspapers that put up the “sell-it-yourself” web sites, while complaining about it to our Agencies and Boards.
    Instead of throwing away relationships with boards like CREA, we as brokers should be demanding that these boards as well as our local associations and Agencies target the real problem with some serious advertising. After all, we brokers form the bottom layer of a pyramid that earns millions and millions of dollars for the privileged layers above us. It’s about time these folks start earning the money we pay them instead of pointing at other issues while they rake in the money as well.

  13. It's about time the real estate industry focuses on companies like who charge $1,000 to each home owner who thinks he can sell his house privately. If 1000 home owners from each province (10,000) each pay $1,000 for the privilege of posting on one of these sites, that’s $10,000,000 in fees. Ten years at this rate and they’ve racked in $100,000,000. Not a bad revenue stream for the web site providers who could care less if the home owner is successful or not. At that price, they’ll even throw in a bo-bo sign with a wooden stick.
    Many of these web sites don't provide statistics about the number of properties that expire or are sold by brokers, because it would be counter-productive to their message that brokers are unnecessary.
    How do they help the independent home owner? By offering Real Estate 101 lessons on how to shoo away brokers who come knocking. At the same time they provide a simple recipe on how to sell a property.

  14. Ontario Boards should drop out of CREA as well.Crea was the one to cave in to the Compition Bureau and now are considering moving MLS data to the big boys such as Microsoft, Google, or Amazon type firms with better classification of data for easier searchs.. The they will have realtors info plus FSBO.The buyers will have less need for MLS. Thanks CREA

  15. To Chris Theise

    Why would NS leave CREA now that it has just wiped out as the antagonist in the maritimes? There is NO way NS agents would have this ability without the help of CREA nor would they have access to the millions of dollars used to give you this ability.

    If you are not a discounter, Why would you leave CREA the moment you became capable of launching Gained the ability to stream virtual tours into clients living rooms for free. Gained the ability to control where NS consumers search for real estate. Gained the ability to lockout legally in less than 12 months.

    The problems created by your IDX have just been irradicated with the launch of the DDF.

  16. The CREA is not about help to us but making things complicated and get more money out of our agent pockets. I wish Nova Scotia would leave too.

  17. Some sellers go FSBO because they believe they will "save the commission"… Some buyers buy FSBO because they believe they will "save the commission". Some Realtors don't understand or see that this is an impossible occurrence but see it as a reality… unfortunately a lot of these "realtors" should be or soon will be out of the business.
    I am fully aware that a lot of "realtors" services aren't much better than a FSBO company's services but then these are NOT the Realtors that are doing the 80% + of the sales… these are the "realtors" that stand around the coffee machine crying the blues, that sit around the office waiting for a call to come in, that think cold calling and doing follow up is beneath them… they are the slugs in short, that will soon be out of the business. These slugs unfortunately make up about 80% of all people in all businesses as the old 80 – 20 rule shows… 20% of people make 80% of the money… if this is news to you… it is time for you to get an hourly rate job, retire or go on welfare.
    I have always looked at FSBO's and FSBO companies as great opportunities and if you go back to Real Estate 101 (the basics) you could find the same thing… over 90% of FSBO's homes are sold by Realtors while "realtors" sit around and bleat about it… pity.
    If you believe that having exclusive access to the information provided by MLS is the only reason that houses sell… you should be out of the business.
    One other fallacy is that a lot of Realtors and "realtors" refer to themselves as professionals… wrong again! A true professional gets paid regardless of outcome… if the patient dies on the operating table?… the Doctor gets paid… if the felon goes to prison for his crimes?… the Lawyer gets paid… if the child fails in school?… the Teacher gets paid… do I need say more?

    • Hi Francis:

      I see that you have bought into the myth that 20% of the Realtors produce 80% of the transactions.

      So-called "teams" skew the numbers for starters. In Canada, the numbers are actually around a 60/40 ratio; 60% do 40% of the business. The 40% that do 60% of the transactions encompass the part-timers, those recently retired from their primary jobs and those lucky folks who do not have to rely on Realtor incomes (they're wealthy) who like the logistics of the job. Of the 40% there is no doubt that there are Realtors who do not have to spin clients to sign on the dotted line in pursuit of the desparately needed commission, ergo, they don't have to be unethical, immoral or negligent in their fiduciary duties. I was lucky enough to belong to the latter group during both my stints as a Realtor, but did very well regardless vis a vis that age old brokerage focus…production, production, production. Your argument is based upon a false premise therefore.



      • Brian I agree that those numbers may be inflated, but I’d suspect your numbers are as credible, if not less given your history of apposing simply for the sake of opposing. Credible numbers or not, much of what Francis has said does have merit?

        I’d love to see where your numbers came from Brian…but I bet you can’t.

        • Hi HWR:

          The 60/40 split numbers were gleaned from an article right here on REM about two years ago. A well respected, well connected fellow, (his name escapes me right now, but Jim Adair, REM's editor will know of whom I speak) wrote an article vis a vis the myths that abound within the real estate world.

          I do not oppose anything simply to be confrontational. I oppose anything that I find to be irrational, poorly thought out and thereafter based upon my own experiences in a life spanning (so far) sixty five-plus years of various experiential vocational activities. I have been involved in the political sphere (mercifully escaping from my then ego-driven desire to be a politician before I was sucked into the swirling vortex of compromising one's self for the sake of making a name for one's self), also in the bureaucratic world of government agencies and numerous entrepreneurial adventures, all after starting my working career at age eighteen as a licensed, unionized tradesman.

          Francis does make some good points, but implementing more bureaucratic oversight after the fact of a transaction is an oxymoronic spectacle waiting to be realized. It defies common sense.

  18. Several other boards in Canada are at least…asking their members for an opinion on the question of leaving CREA. Where is the movement from TREB? Are they afraid of what the answer might be??? Peter.

  19. CREA has for the last few years been in the catch up mode trying to justify it's existence to the public and more so to the real estate industry with relative little success. Meanwhile Quebec realtors have developed the Centris system (MLS like but much faster) and seen the merging of traditional agent representation and FSBO into duProprio and other similar companies in response to customer demand for a more efficient and economical way to market their properties. In Ontario there are some rumblings of smaller boards merging for efficiencies sake but very little faith in CREA's ability to re-energize the industry. Let's face it as with everything else in the universe, you either adapt or you perish, CREA has at least one foot in the grave.

  20. Maybe its the fact that duProprio, the company which owns comfree, has such a dominant position in Quebec that by allowing them (duProprio) access to the MLS System would be the final nail in their coffin. The amount of money paid to CREA is equivellant to an hours wages by Ross’s calculations. Its a poor excuse when all our industry talks about is what we deserve to make. To say this is about membership fees is simply masking the truth…the fsbo industry has been kicking their ass. Maybe Quebec is window into the future and a message we should take very seriously. We need to reunite under a new direction from our Boards to ensure fsbo companies don’t do the same here. And I don’t mean running I mean newer, better stronger regulation and the downsizing of our industry which is is already taking place naturally.

  21. Our Quebec friends are voting with their feet at a plus 66% positive ratio, with no reasons given for two of the departing boards' decisions. Ergo, no reasons need be given…by anyone. It's simply a money/philosophy thing.

    Time to move with the new, positive, forward looking trend in pursuit of setting your own, democratically defined "Futures" path, Canadian Realtors, with your own foresight and gonads.



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