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Edmonton Real Estate Board Co-operative Listing Bureau

The organization of Edmonton's real estate industry began to change when Edmonton delegates came back from a CREA conference in Quebec City in 1951. These delegates returned with ideas about education and a multiple listing service that would transform the real estate industry in Edmonton over the next thirty years.

Norm Winterburn played a leading role in this process of change. During the convention, he attended a presentation by Phil Seagrove (of the Hamilton Real Estate Board) on the subject of a multiple listing service. He liked the idea because it gave the opportunity for the Edmonton Real Estate Association to provide a new service to its members. He returned determined to see the creation of a similar institution in Edmonton.

The idea of a multiple listing bureau in Edmonton was presented to the general membership at a meeting on March 31, 1952, where it was greeted unenthusiastically. George Sillman moved that no attempt should be made to actually complete a co-operative listing bureau unless they had fast obtained a favourable majority vote of the members at a general meeting called for that purpose.

Despite some opposition within the Edmonton Real Estate Board, a meeting of interested members led to the creation of a co-operative listing bureau. At a meeting on May 1, the chairman presented the rules and regulations, and discussion about a seven percent sales commission followed. Weber said that it was financially impossible to start the bureau on anything less than seven percent.

The Edmonton Real Estate Board Co-operative Listing Bureau Ltd. was officially incorporated on June 27, 1952, under "The Co-operative Associations Act, 1946." The founding members were Norm Winterburn, Mark Cummings, Jack Haliburton, Sid Lawrie, Jack Weber, Stan Melton, Don Spencer, Frank Alloway, Bill MacGregor, and Tom Visser.

The Edmonton Real Estate Board Co-operative Listing Bureau Ltd. operated as a separate organization with its own executive. It worked closely with the old Edmonton Real Estate Association. It had the same membership and had the same need for permanent offices and a permanent staff.

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.

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