Commercial Specialty Licensing

commercial real estate
On February 10th, 2011, I attended the RECA (Real Estate Council of Alberta) Town Hall Meeting regarding Commercial Issues, Trends, etc in the marketplace. RECA is the body that governs Real Estate Associates in Alberta. 

There were just over 30 Commercial Associates and Brokers in the room, and 3 representatives from RECA. It was very clear from the tone in the room that the Commercial Practitioners have been concerned with the current Alberta Real Estate Associates course that offers new students a small amount of time and course material on the subject of Commercial Real Estate.

There were 3 types of associates in the room's opinion:
1. Commercial Sub-specialists (CGY Downtown Retail, Beltline Industrial, etc)
2. General Commercial Practitioners
3. Dabblers (Residential Agents who try to do a couple of deals).

The frustration in the room peaked a few times. 

-The Commercial community wants to have a competency requirement so that it is clear that you have a sufficient amount of knowledge, through Specialty Licensing.

-The Commercial community is frustrated with the RECA documents that focus on Commercial real estate transactions.

-Commercial clients are generally sophisticated clients with their own legal representation, thus some practitioners feel that the sophisticated clients and agents are generally regulating themselves. 

-RECA needs to consider how their Residential Rules affect Commercial Real Estate. It was said by one fellow in the room that often the rules are ignored because they do not apply to commercial business. (I was quite appalled. Even though I don't like some rules, I still follow them)

One Fellow said "We need RECA to protect Realtors". The room broke out in laughter when the RECA representative said "who are you looking for protection from," and someone bellowed out "from each other".

When asked if RECA is open and interested in making some changes, one of the RECA representatives said that this whole initiative has to be industry driven. They remarked that there must be a commercial advisory committee, with participation from the industry members.  To conclude, the facilitators commented that RECA is genuinely committed to looking at this issue on behalf of the commercial members.

I often have well over 60 commercial listings (and I currently have over 75). I run into Residential Dabblers all of the time, and often have to take control of the whole deal, and accept half of the commission.  I do this for two reasons:

1. My client has hired me to ensure that the transaction is completed with minimum amount of hassle, stress, liability, etc to them.
2. When I started out in the late 90's, experienced agents helped me, and I really appreciated the help.

All I ask of Dabblers and Inexperienced Associates is that they ask for help, and avoid pretending they know the answers.

Bob Sheddy

Bob Sheddy

Broker of Record
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