How complaining betters the industry

by Jamie Henry14 Jan 2015
“Once the investigation is complete, the Registrar looks over the details and decides on a course of action,” Matthews says. “A new complaint resolution approach we added last year is mediation. In certain cases, it is preferable to resolve a matter by inviting the two parties to mutually come to an agreed-upon resolution.”
During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, RECO received 1,528 complaints. Of those, 50.7 per cent concluded with no action – in turn, 3.3 per cent of those were due to the complaint being withdrawn. Another 44.2 per cent of the 1,500 complaints resulted in administrative action, including a written warning, or some combination of a written warning, corrective action, mandatory education courses, and mediation. Only 5.1 per cent of complaints were referred to legal, registration or investigations.
“It’s important to note that on the whole registrants do their jobs well,” Matthews says. “These are low numbers when you consider there are close to 70,000 registrants and there were nearly 200,000 homes sold through MLS last year.”
If you have an issue with an agent who you believe is not serving the public to the best of their ability, or who is perhaps engaging in shady business practices, Matthews urges you to submit a complaint to your local real estate council.
“Anyone – consumer or registrant – who believes that they have not been treated fairly, honestly or with integrity is welcome to submit a complaint to us,” he says. “After all, if we don’t know about the situation, we won’t be able to address it.”
Do you have an issue with a council’s complaint process? Share your gripe in the comments!

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  • by E. Harold 1/14/2015 1:02:08 PM

    RECO does NOTHING about investigating unless an Agent stick his/her neck and risks being ostracised by the office of the complained about person - that office alerts ALL slsp Not to deal with the slsp making the complaint - we pay fees for this service ?????

  • by 1/14/2015 1:46:34 PM

    Yes... I have heard complaints and when I asked the agent why she did not register the complaint with RECO she said she did not want to risk not getting a deal when she was across the table on offer night from the agent she complained about. Double whammy as we assume that the complained about professional will act unprofessional once again in this example because he or she would negatively influence the complaining agent's offer!!! Full circle!
    Perhaps the complaint should come form the Broker of the complaining agent to protect their privacy and the their potential earnings?

  • by Nick Boothby 1/14/2015 1:49:27 PM

    E.Harold's comment is exactly why TREB has its anonymous DIS system to report the procedural errors of other Agents. RECO should have a similar anonymous "Crime Stoppers" reporting system. In many cases RECO's investigation would find self-evident proof of the matter complained about, without ever needing the complainant to give evidence in person, and thus to take the all-too-real risk of him/her self and his/her Brokerage being boycotted by the complained-about Registrant's Brokerage. In my view, unless RECO develops some "teeth" in this respect, its bark will continue to be thought far worse than its bite. (I've been told that anonymous reporting would result in far too many cases for RECO to investigate -- which reinforces the question: "What, then, are we Registrants paying for?")

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