Through my 30-year career as a real estate appraisal and real estate brokerage professional in Alberta, I’ve noticed that the more things change, the more they stay the same. And I’m living proof of that. This is my second go around on Council, having served two terms from 2007-2013, and my second term as Chair, having had the honour in 2011-2012.
Since 2007, the industries RECA regulates have seen tremendous technological change, baby boomers have started retiring, and the millennial generation has begun to enter the leadership ranks. But for all that change, the value of a licensed professional and the competent service they provide consumers in Alberta has not changed. A professional serving a customer buying or selling property can give the same due diligence, honesty, loyalty, and skill a consumer expects in a professional, regulated environment.
In my opinion, the technological advancements of the last decade have made the Alberta consumer the most educated, knowledgeable, and savvy consumers in history. This doesn’t take away from their need to have experienced, accountable representation, or accurate, competent valuations. In fact, with all the information out there, consumers need the experience and expertise of licensed professionals and the security and accountability of a regulated environment more than ever.
I know that Council, RECA administration, and the more than 15,000 licensed professionals in the province are ready and able to assist the Alberta public.
Of course, not everything can stay the same.
Changing of the Guard on Council
This year saw two important members of Council depart. Krista Bolton served as a public member on Council, and as Chair in 2015-2016. Though I only served with Krista briefly at the beginning of her first term and at the end of her second, I appreciated her skill as a mediator and her passion for representing the public. Bonny Clarke served with distinction as the Council member who was not a member of the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA). Her expertise and experience in the mortgage industry was invaluable in discussions at the Council table, and an important part in the review of mortgage standards currently under development for consultation in the coming year. I wish both of them the best of luck, and on behalf of Council, thank them for their service.
With the departure of Krista and Bonny, we had big shoes to fill. I’m happy to welcome Tiago Lage and JT Dhoot to Council.
Tiago was appointed by the AREA and Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA) appointed members of Council from the public. Tiago is the Director of Downstream Chemicals for Alberta Economic Development and Trade, and was previously the Executive Advisor to the Assistant Deputy Minister of Alberta Energy.
JT was appointed by the AREA and AMBA appointed members of Council from industry members who are not members of the AREA. JT Dhoot is the Founder and Principal of Omnis Valuations and Advisory Ltd. and a Partner of Outlook Realty Advisors Inc., a Calgary-based commercial real estate appraisal and consulting firm established in 1999. As a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) and Accredited Appraiser (AACI) with over 10 years’ experience in valuations, real estate development, and private equity, JT has participated in projects across multiple industries throughout Canada.
Read more about Tiago and JT in the News Bytes section of this Regulator. Welcome aboard!
In November 2018, the Minister of Service Alberta notified RECA that he was going to conduct a Section 76 Review of Council’s governance and operations. In January 2019, the Minister appointed KPMG as the reviewer. Council is looking forward to working with the reviewer and the Minister in the coming months as the review progresses. We will keep the industry and all stakeholders apprised of any updates with the review. Council continues to look forward to the results of the review, as we feel RECA is a high-performing regulator working in the best interest of Alberta consumers.
In December 2018, Service Alberta unveiled the Stage Two Regulations to the Condominium Property Amendment Act. With the passing of these regulations, RECA can now begin our own Phase 2 work in developing the standards of practice and education materials for the licensing and regulation of condominium managers in Alberta. Look for RECA to consult stakeholders on draft Standards of Practice in 2019.
On behalf of Council, I’d like to thank the industry for their continued dedication to professionalism and service. Please review the rest of this Regulator for other updates, clarifications, practice tips, and announcements.