The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA)
The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), created by the Real Estate Act on July 1, 1996, is the regulating body for the real estate and mortgage broker industries. In creating RECA, the Real Estate Act transferred control of these industries from the provincial government's Municipal Affairs Bureau, and made Alberta's real estate industry one of the only fully self-regulated provincial real estate industries in Canada.
The Real Estate Council of Alberta, with its office in Calgary, is composed of 12 members, all representatives from real estate and mortgage broker industries, and assisted by an administrative staff. Their mandate is two-fold: the council protects consumers by ensuring high industry standards and by making sure that consumers are informed about the real estate and mortgage industries. Secondly, RECA provides services to industry professionals, to educate and license them.
As part of their commitment towards "transparency, open communication, and consultation with the industry and the public," the information on RECA's website is comprehensive and accessible. RECA explains what licensing provides, and offers license forms and an online licensing program for those wanting to join the real estate or mortgage industries. RECA has strict educational guidelines that require industry professionals to continue their education on a yearly basis in order to keep their license. While the education of real estate professionals is the responsibility of RECA, the council has contracted the Alberta Real Estate Association to handle the delivery of courses.
With a mandate to provide "neutral information" and "objective guidance" to the public, RECA publishes articles for consumers on how to protect their interests, deal with real estate professionals, conduct real estate transactions, and manage property. These articles are translated into French, Punjabi, Chinese and Spanish to maximize accessibility of the information.
Through the administration of the Real Estate Act, RECA is responsible for ensuring that professionals follow industry rules and regulations and sanctioning them if they do not, thereby protecting the public from fraud and victimization by industry professionals. RECA accomplishes this by offering the Assurance Fund that compensates those victimized by "unscrupulous industry members." In order to access this fund, consumers must go through a complaints process, which may result in the reprimanding, fining, or banning of this industry member.References
Gilpin, John. Responsible Enterprise: A History of Real Estate & the Edmonton Real Estate Board. Edmonton: Edmonton Real Estate Board, 1997.
Real Estate Act. Retrieved June 19, 2008, from www.reca.ca - Real Estate Act
Real Estate Council of Alberta. Retrieved June 19, 2008, from www.reca.ca