January 30, 2015
Promoting the value of REALTORS® to the public across the province has been the subject of a mass advertising campaign for the past few years, because OREA members have rated this as their top priority for the association. Real estate board delegates to the OREA Annual General Meeting and Assembly in March will be asked to vote on a special levy to continue to fund the campaign.
The We do the homework™ campaign, featuring television and billboard ads, has been running for two years and has been a tremendous success, moving the public’s perception of REALTORS® in a positive direction.
To date, the ad campaign has been funded by OREA reserves and will continue to be supported by reserves for a third year, through 2015. After 2015, however, the association’s reserves will no longer be able to support this kind of campaign.
“We are now facing a critical juncture, specifically, how to continue to pay for this professional campaign that our members have said is their leading priority,” says Costa Poulopoulos, OREA president. That’s why, after considerable research of other provincial associations as well as robust discussions and consultations, the OREA board of directors approved a motion at its December meeting to recommend a special levy to continue to fund the REALTOR® Value ad campaign.”
OREA’s revenue, which supports member services, amounts to about $9 million annually, but funding a professional and effective ad campaign will cost the association about $2 million a year, Poulopoulos says. “It is worth noting that OREA worked to trim back our budget in 2012 and 2013, and this involved staff layoffs and significant budget cutbacks. It is also worth noting that OREA has not had a dues increase since 2008. With an ad campaign representing over 20 per cent of the current member services budget, attempting to further cut a lean budget would not deliver the required funds and would have a negative impact on valued existing programs. As such, we’ve had to explore a new funding model for the campaign.”
The special levy that has been recommended by the OREA board of directors is for $30 per member per year, for a period of three years, starting in 2016, to fund the REALTOR® Value advertising campaign.
Real estate board members who are voting delegates to the OREA Annual General Meeting and Assembly will have the opportunity to vote on the recommendation for a special levy during the meeting on March 11 at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in downtown Toronto. For more information about the Assembly, contact your local real estate board or visit www.orea.com/conference.