Change Will Only Make Us Better
The Toronto Real Estate Board and the Competition Bureau are headed back to the Federal Court of Appeal this week to argue over access to housing market data. The Toronto Real Estate Board maintains that this is private information and that sharing it en mass is a privacy breach. There is a lot for the Court to consider. But while I was driving my kids to school an announcer on CBC Radio said that access to this information was the sole reason for existence of Real Estate Brokerages and Realtors. He implied that if the Court were to allow the information to be publicly distributed then there would be no business for brokerages.
This is fundamentally untrue. I am the co-owner of a real estate brokerage and a realtor. But my job is not to simply share market data. Like professionals in other industries, my job is to help my clients interpret and analyze all available data. In many industries data is publicly available but this hasn’t eliminated the need to experts or service professionals. The public can find out trading information on stocks on a publicly traded market, and while this has lead to an increase in DIY trading, it has not eliminated the need for investment professionals who look out for clients. Likewise while you can buy insurance off the shelf from insurance companies, don’t underestimate the role a great insurance broker can play when it is time to file a claim. During the flood of 2013, homeowners who were working with local brokers were often able to negotiate better settlements with insurers and had a better understanding of all the products available to them going forward.
The real estate industry will be facing many changes in the years to come. And the availability of information is clearly going to be a part of that. This is why at Charles Real Estate we work hard to be more than an information conduit. We help you assess what your real estate needs are, help you interpret market trends, help you get your home ready for sale, create a marketing package for your property, assist in negotiations and strategy and guide you though what is perhaps that largest purchase and/or sale of your lifetime.
Change doesn’t scare us. It makes us better.