Joining a committee or task force is a great way to meet colleagues and make a contribution to the real estate profession. Serving your profession in this way works to enhance your knowledge of and connections to other REALTORS® in the field.
Several committees at the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) are seeking new members. Many committees meet and communicate by teleconference or email, so the travel and time commitment is manageable. In-person meetings rarely exceed three or four times a year. Members from anywhere in the province are invited to participate. The deadline to apply online for most committees is March 15, 2016. (See bottom for details on how to apply.)
“Being on a committee really helps me feel up to date on issues,” says Karen Cox, a Realtor from Kimberley, Ontario, near Collingwood. She has served as a volunteer on four OREA committees. “It helps me to stay in the loop and keep current on things. It’s very rewarding. I’ve met some amazing people because the committees draw from all parts of the province, so I’ve had the opportunity to network and share ideas.”
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“I encourage anyone who’s thinking of joining a committee to talk to several other people who’ve been on OREA committees to hear about their experiences and what’s involved,” says Cox, who is a current member of the Marketing & Communication Committee as well as an OREA Director. “I’ve made so many friends I can call on from different boards, so if I have a question I can ask them how they do something in their board. It also works the other way around. I deal with a lot of waterfront and recreational properties, and I’ve had calls from Realtors I’ve met on committees who may have a question about specific issues on those types of properties.”
“Committee work really supports your own personal development, but it also helps to raise our industry to a higher level because we’re introduced to different ideas and different points of view,” she adds. “It’s helpful to the real estate industry as a whole when a diverse group is collaborating and communicating. New people bring new ideas and a fresh perspective, and that benefits us all.”
"I’ve made so many friends I can call on from different boards, so if I have a question I can ask them how they do something in their board."
Here are some of the committees seeking applications from prospective members, along with a brief summary of what they do:
Arbitration & Ethics Panel - A pool of broker members from which are chosen the panels that hear and decide appeals of local board arbitration and discipline decisions, and arbitrations between members of different real estate boards. This committee is restricted to Realtors who are brokers.
Commercial Committee – Serves the needs of Realtors specializing in commercial real estate; provides input on the development and enhancement of OREA products and services used by commercial members; represents the interests of commercial members on OREA board of directors. Note: This committee has an earlier deadline for applications than other committees. Apply by Jan. 29, 2016.
Finance/Audit – Reviews, amends and makes recommendations on budgets, financial statements and other financial matters, including dues collection and investment guidelines. Recommends the appointment of an OREA auditor and reviews the audit plan, findings and annual financial statements.
Governance - Assists the OREA board of directors in carrying out its responsibilities by reviewing association governance issues and legal issues generally and making recommendations to the board of directors as appropriate.
Government Relations - Promotes a legislative and regulatory environment favourable to Realtors and real estate in Ontario. Identifies, researches and analyzes issues from a Realtor® perspective, prepares briefs and submissions on issues; meets with civil servants and politicians; coordinates grassroots lobbying by members; educates members on legislative and regulatory issues.
Marketing & Communication – Provides insight into member and consumer attitudes, guides programs to enhance the image of Realtors in Ontario and promotes the value that OREA brings to members and students; works to enhance communication with key audiences such as members, boards, news media, real estate consumers, community opinion leaders and the general public.
Standard Forms – This committee reviews, revises, and creates OREA standard forms and clauses that are used in real estate transactions across the province.
Association Executive Advisory Committee – Makes recommendations to the OREA board of directors to enhance the environment in which the provincial association and boards work together, for the betterment of members. Acts as a resource for both OREA and board staff. Uses association executive focus groups or working groups to provide input on how major OREA initiatives, either proposed or in progress, might affect their boards. This committee is comprised of Executive Officers from varying-sized boards.
Young Professionals Network – Provides young professionals with a voice and link to their provincial association; facilitates opportunities for involvement in association leadership through education and networking; supports connections to help members succeed in business; assists OREA with identifying and delivering services to address unique needs of young professionals and new members.
Members of OREA are invited to apply online for positions by visiting: www.orea.com/volunteer-application. New committees will be struck after the March 9 Assembly.
Please note the following deadlines for online applications:
- OREA Commercial Committee – Jan. 29, 2016
- All other committees – March 15, 2016
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