“We don’t know of any professional or occupational regulatory body in the province that limits the number of people who can be licensed or registered at any one time,” says Joseph Richer, the president of the Real Estate Council of Ontario. “It would be seen as an anti-competitive move and contrary to the public interest.”
Discourse from industry players, however, suggests seemingly lax regulations are just enabling bad agents, though Bill Lafferty, an agent in Alberta, says licensing bodies still shouldn’t limit membership.
“I feel that it should always be opened because not all agents make it in the business and others do,” he says. “I’ve never been afraid of competition. The only thing is, I feel all agents should be held accountable. They’re responsible to look after their clients.”
And Richer says agents are accountable for their actions – if those indiscretions are reported.
“Registered real estate professionals are accountable to RECO for their competence and conduct,” he says. “We have a rigorous but fair complaints process to address consumer concerns. Through pre-registration education and mandatory continuing education, we reinforce those standards, stressing honesty, integrity and professionalism.”
Despite frustration regarding the number of so-called bad agents, Canada’s largest regulator says it’s not going to restrict the number of licences it hands out.