Million Dollar Club & Sacred Traditions

Sacred Traditions don’t often come to the table for debate. Once in awhile they do, and with proper information and clarity of mind you are able to progress past entrenched traditions and practice good governance. Last week Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) directors made such a decision for their members.

The CREB board has evolved to govern more  strategically about the future of their real estate industry. In doing so they have gained the insight and ability to lead the industry in becoming more professional, socially responsible and future focused. One of their inherent goals is to enhance the level of professionalism and lead the industry towards best practices that serve this higher standard. To this end CREB established a task force to develop new awards that  incent and encourage these behaviours. Best practices could include those which develop outstanding marketing, create innovative services,  lend to higher ethical behavior, serve to improve public policy through their involment, provide for more livable, sustainable communities, contribute to greener, more walkable or mixed use communities, provide affordable housing, and so on. All these provide a contribution to the profession of Realtors while also contributing to the greater communities in which we serve. While at the NAR conference this weekend we witnessed the esteem that the Good Neighbor Awards provide to recipients who have strived to better their community. These recipients are provided an award which is granted to the cause they serve, further contributing to their cause.

Back to the MLS Million Dollar Club Award, an award initiated many years ago with a goal to encourage members to submit their listings to the (new) mls system and propagate it with valuable data in an effort to build cooperation and increase the value of this database. Members who would consumate a deal were asked to submit the listing and information to CREB and this would qualify them for points towards a “million dollar club award”. The award gained popularity in the industry, increasing the prestige of the award which was awarded to those elite few who produced the volume to achieve it. The criteria has evolved, but ultimately the award promotes members to produce a volume of business and does little to enhance the qualitative goals of the real estate industry in a day when it is counterproductive not to list a property on the mls system. (Note that Realtors who produce a high volume of business and Realtors who serve the industry and their community are not mutually exclusive, but the award in it’s present state rewards only the volume of business produced.)

And so, last week the CREB board made an insightful decision to progress past an outdated tradition and  move members towards furthering the goals of our profession in fostering the quality of service rather than quantity of sales. The news was received with mixed skepticism, akin to the day we published the last catalogue of listed properties in favor of a computerised database, but the CREB board has received kudos from other boards across the country (many who have already dismantled their award)  for having  the courage to progress towards greater professionalism in the industry. Thanks to the many members who have supported and encouraged our directors in allowing the CREB board to make often challenging decisions which ultimately benefit our industry and communities which we serve.