What am I not understanding? Do all members of CREA not pay annual fees and an additional technology fee to run and maintain the MLS. system? What was the input from the general public? We as members have paid to have the system built, the federal government did not give it to us. No one wanting to sell a property has to deal through organized real estate. Here is the fact whether we as brokers , sales representatives , owners of property or buyers of property like the system or not , it works and works well enough that people are WILLING to pay to use it. The emphasis is on WILLING. A rather good business plan, having something that people are willing to pay for is it not? All members of organized real estate try to find a system or an advantage to acquire enough business. This is where the problem arises and should be settled within the business. If an innovative discount broker can make a business plan work and stay within the laws, so be it. Just remember we all do not have to adopt their business plan. They would pay the same as all members and have the same rights. The customer will determine what they pay and the service they require. This is their right. If they like the results that the MLS. system achieves but think it costs too much then find another system or better yet build another.Giving everyone who has not contributed to the system the right to use it is setting quite a precedence. Maybe the federal Competition Bureau personnel could start the new precedence by leaving the keys in their cars, making sure the tank was full and the car safe to drive, for any who would like to use them free of charge.
We have strict laws governing competition and can be fined and have been fined if collaboration is even thought to have existed on the fees we charge. I am sure that a few months ago I heard the insurance companies had publicized meetings amongst themselves to arrive at a consensus to present to the government on the increase they needed to make ends meet. Insurance is a requirement by law, hmm, maybe we have to enhance REBBA so everyone has to use organized real estate to buy or sell. The fact that surveys show sellers gross 10-14 % more on sales done through organized real estate does not give us the legal right to increase our fees in unison. If one real estate brokerage operates with a deficit at 5% and another with a profit at 5% the former will not likely be able to increase fees to survive. This is how I understand competition in a free democratic country works. When a Federal government begins to interfere with private business operating within the law one of two things is happening 1) the laws are wrong or out dated 2) there is influential lobbying taking place. Competition sets the commission charged and profitability determines the number of competitors. If there is room to reduce fees and still have profitability it will happen.