Edmonton Real Estate Exchange
The Edmonton real estate business community was concerned about the problem of subdivisions outside Edmonton's boundaries since they had the potential to destroy the confidence of outside investors in the Edmonton land market. They reacted to the land speculation by organizing the Edmonton Real Estate Exchange in June of 1909. It was formed, according to reports in the press, to bring the real estate men of Edmonton together to help advance the interests of the city at large and of the real estate business in particular. They decided to implement a uniform rate of commission, create and maintain among Edmonton real estate men a high standard of integrity, and encourage a spirit of fair and honourable competition. The result of this approach would be: "securing to the buyer and seller the services of responsible and trustworthy agents upon a definite and uniform standard of contract and charges, to the end that the interests of the buyer, seller and broker may be alike protected."
The Edmonton Real Estate Exchange also began Edmonton's first multiple listing service. Only twenty-three companies were members of the Exchange and thus it represented only a small percentage of the companies operating in Edmonton at that time. Owners could list their property with one agent who would then share this listing with other members of the Exchange. Such an approach, according to this same article, avoided the trouble and inconvenience of answering many enquiries and notifying many agents of changes in price or terms. Prospective purchasers would benefit because members of the Exchange would have the widest choice of available properties.
The Exchange was run by an executive made up of a president, a vice-president, a secretary-treasurer, and five directors. Standing committees were also formed to help the Exchange. They were called Legislation and Publicity; Finance; Membership and References; Valuation and Arbitration; and Commission.
This article is extracted from John Gilpin, Responsible Enterprise: A History of Edmonton Real Estate & the Edmonton Real Estate Board. (Edmonton: Edmonton Real Estate Board, 1997). The Heritage Community Foundation and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation would like to thank John Gilpin and the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton for permission to reproduce this material.