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CREA moves to transform into standalone company

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Editor’s note: This article has been updated from its original version to include additional information and quotes from both CREA and TRREB.



  • CREA is proposing to convert into a standalone technology company.
  • The association says the new company will still be controlled by CREA on behalf of its members, with the CREA board partners having a stake and an advisory board guiding the new board made up of real estate practitioners.
  • TRREB has asked CREA to work transparently and democratically with its member boards and asked for a resolution to be put forward at the annual general meeting in April.


The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is proposing a significant overhaul of

On Feb. 3, CREA Chair, Jill Oudill, sent all boards and associations a letter outlining a plan to convert into a standalone technology company.

The letter, which was obtained and verified by Real Estate Magazine, states that the new company will have its own board of directors and CEO and will still be controlled by CREA on behalf of its members.

In the letter, the board explains that CREA’s board partners will have a stake in the new company, and an advisory board will guide’s new board made up of “skilled real estate practitioners and leaders.”


TRREB asks for transparent, democratic approach


The proposal follows a letter from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) addressed to Oudil, dated Jan. 29, which asked for CREA to work transparently and democratically with its member boards.

Kevin Crigger, past president of TRREB, says the purpose of the letter was to affirm that “Any movement forward with a plan that would change the status quo operation of should be brought forward to member boards for consultation, input, feedback and ultimately a vote on the floor.”  

TRREB asked for a resolution to be put forward at April’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Ottawa, which has the support of other member boards and associations, including the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and the Alberta Real Estate Association.

Crigger says, “Certainly, there are opportunities within to find ways to innovate and create revenue opportunities to enhance and further fund It’s our belief that at the core of that is a hundred per cent ownership retention by realtors.”


Involving partner boards and associations 


Cliff Stevenson, immediate past chair of CREA, says the association always intended to involve partner boards and associations in the conversation. 

“This was never going to be done without (their) involvement,” Stevenson adds. “We are just starting our communication and consultation with member boards.”

Stevenson wouldn’t elaborate on how the plan to turn the platform into a for-profit company has evolved, “I can’t get you the details with respect to our specific conversation, but this is an 11-year-old conversation,” he says.

“We learned lessons from our neighbours to the south with their sale of It’s important for everybody to understand that this is not the sale of”

When asked if realtors would have to start paying for visibility on, Stevenson said that’s never been on the table. 

“The site was built by realtors for realtors, and it’s consumer-centric; it has to be for them to want to come back and use it as the trusted site. But this is not to make additional money off of the back members. Absolutely not.”

According to the national association’s website, generated more than 5.7 million leads and had 121 million users in 2022.


Maintaining market share 


“There are a lot of players in the portal space, and we’ve built something wildly successful and number one with respect to market share in the country. We know that there’s so much more we can do at this site.”

Stevenson said the revenue model for the new is still to be determined, but the platform’s business sustainability will require further investment and expertise, as well as freedom from politics and bureaucracy.


Realtors’ concerns


Richard Silver, a former CREA board member and realtor, has expressed concerns about the potential impact of the change.

“The minute you change it and make it for profit, the agenda is to make profit,” Silver says.

Silver fears that converting into a for-profit company could result in a return of ads to the platform and lead to unequal opportunities for agents, though he sees the potential for positive change. He supports the idea of member ownership and outsourcing of technology.

“If it’s for members and not shareholders, I’m all for it,” he says. “Let’s see the full draft of what they are proposing.”


Proposed resolution


In Oudil’s letter, the chair says the board is contemplating TRREB’s proposed resolution and its implications and promises to meet with every board and association to outline CREA’s vision for the platform. 

Crigger affirms, “We certainly understand that CREA will be presenting a plan to membership. We certainly look forward to being a part of that process and really understanding what the proposal is, and we certainly look forward to CREA adding our motion to the agenda and having a very transparent, effective and useful AGM where business will be transacted.”

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