In the wake of recent incidents damaging its reputation, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) is aiming to give its image a makeover with a $2 million PR campaign. Hits to its reputation include damage resultant from a significant number of B.C. brokerages failing to follow anti-money laundry rules, loopholes that have allowed international tax evasion and instances of shadow flipping.
In a REBGV video, Phil Moore, the board’s president, explains the reasoning behind the campaign.
He says that for the past two years, they’ve come under a lot of scrutiny by government, media and the public. They’re looking to move on from where they were tow years ago and focus on what has improved. “We’ve got higher educational standards to get into this business, we’re educating our members better and we’re trying to put 2016 behind us,” he said.
“There’s the concern about realtor’s behaviour and there’s also the concern about the affordability crisis, and really, we are just trying to be part of the solution,”
Moore admits that certain realtors behaved unethically and that Vancouver’s current unaffordability crisis has stained the board’s reputation but he hopes that their newest campaign will help inform buyers and sellers about their options. As well, it will hopefully help REBGV regain the trust of buyers.
“There’s the concern about realtor’s behaviour and there’s also the concern about the affordability crisis, and really, we are just trying to be part of the solution,” said Moore.
Regarding REBGV members who have violated the rules, or acted unethically, Moore is looking to take steps to remove them from the board. One way he hopes to do so is by urging the Real Estate Council to be more proactive in their enforcement. As of Oct. 12, 2016, the Real Estate Council of B.C. increased its maximum fines for real estate licensee misconduct to up to $250,000 per contravention and up to $500,000 for brokerage misconduct.
Currently the board is running a series of ads on radio, but it plans to expand to TV ads in early 2019.