Feedback Survey: What you said about the new Rules

The results of our survey show that our members are in agreement over one aspect of the new Council Rules.

You told us overwhelmingly that the single most difficult, impractical aspect of following the new Rules, are the requirements for using the new Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services (DORTS) form. (SEE: Paul Cowhig’s column ‘The Dirt on DORTS: What you need to know about the new disclosure Rule‘ in this week’s NewsReal )


The Council’s instruction on using the DORTS form is clearly laid out on the Council website, which states:

“You do NOT need to make the DORTS disclosure if you are only:  a. hosting an open house, or
b. answering general questions, provided you don’t exchange information with a consumer about their motivation, financial qualifications or real estate needs.”

But the majority of respondents said that not only was it “cumbersome,” ” illogical,” “impractical,” “insulting,” “rude,” and “ludicrous,”—but more than that, according to many respondents, the public is not responding positively to the new DORTS requirement either.

Replied one respondent: “Most [clients] immediately feel some distrust and they are more apprehensive.” Another wrote: “Prevents a normal conversation and develops suspicion.”

Yet another wrote: “Our business is based on trust and how can people possibly decide if they want to enter into an agency relationship with us if they don’t get to talk to us and feel they can trust us!“

Building relationships

In addition to raising confusion and suspicion in the minds of the public, say our members, it has the effect of hamstringing their ability to build the rapport, trust and confidence necessary to develop a working relationship with a new client.

Said one member:  “[When] speaking with potential buyers, I am not able to do my job properly. I’m there to sell [the] property but I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I find myself not wanting to speak with anyone about my properties. So much for working for the best interests of my clients.  Hands are tied.”

Going forward

The Survey asked members: “Do you have any other comments or suggestions for the Real Estate Council of BC, BCREA or the Board for future implementations of Rules changes?”

The following response from one member was echoed by many others:  “Please, prior to any future changes in the rules, allow for consultation of industry leaders to have a say. Placing new rules into an industry is fine, and welcome in many of our current situations, [but] the manner in which our current changes have taken place is not coherent or practical.”

“Stagger the changes for us to adapt to the changes and the forms. Maybe send us the forms well in advance of implementation,” said another.

In this question and the first, members also expressed a feeling that based on the disclosure Rules now in effect, they were being pre-judged as being dishonest because they are Realtors. Some feel that honest Realtors were being tainted by the same brush as those Realtors who have been called out for breaching the Code of Ethics and Council Rules.  That is perceived as very unfair.

Dual agency

Very few Realtors raised the issue of dual agency being eliminated, although some Realtors said banning dual agency altogether, except in remote under-served areas, was a disservice to the public as well as their agents. The argument is that clients who do a number of transactions very much want the services of the agent that has proven to be capable and trustworthy throughout the years. There remain some members who take umbrage at that Rule change.

Response numbers

A total of 257 members responded to our five-question survey between June 28 and July 7.

The respondents identified themselves this way: 88.4% as Residential Realtors, 11.6% as Brokers or Managers, 9.2% as Commercial, and 8.8% as a Team member. The remainder identified as either Property Managers or Other.

Your feedback has been sent to BCREA

We have shared the feedback we have received from members to date with BCREA for their upcoming meetings with Council and the Minister of Finance. Thank you to all the members who shared their comments with the Board.

The member survey is still open

The Feedback on the new Rules Survey remains open if you would still like to give us your feedback.