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Manitoba association launches Complaints and Inquiries Database

The Manitoba Real Estate Association has launched a new online platform, The Complaints and Inquiries Database for Real Estate in Canada (CIDREC).

“Without the ability to collect and analyze information related to complaints and inquiries from members and the public, associations have a restricted view of their members’ professional context. CIDREC provides the clarity required to effectively develop core services aimed at improving members’ competency and effectiveness in their real estate businesses,” says the association.

“What this tool aims to do is collect and provide real-time and real-world data to enable associations to accelerate the professionalism of the industry through core services like education, advocacy, MLS and other member services,” says David Salvatore, MREA’s CEO. “It identifies gaps in knowledge and areas where programs need to address those needs.

“For example, using the example of education, MREA takes a lot of phone calls from members and the public on a variety of subjects dealing with legislation, regulation, the Realtor Code and industry practices,” he says. By collecting the information, CIDREC “really highlights where members may be falling down or more information is needed. Then we can take (that information) and develop customized and tailored education programs around it.”

Salvatore says the platform allows the association to align member and public expectations and needs with service delivery.

MREA believes that the database will be beneficial to similar associations, so it is offering CIDREC to real estate associations across Canada.

“The neat thing about this software is that through data sharing agreements, we can share some aspects of the data with our local boards and they can share back with us so we can create a provincial picture,” says Salvatore. “We can also create a national picture and that’s the long-term vision for this. Hopefully, we’ll have boards from across the country on the system, sharing information about things like the Realtor Code, about national legislation, and we’ll have a really good picture about what’s happening right across Canada . . . It’s really designed to be not only a tool that can be used at the local and regional level but could be used at the national level as well.”

The association worked with Online Business Systems, a software developer in Manitoba, on the project.

“They developed a very intuitive, user-friendly model,” says Salvatore. “We feel that this is going to help drive the future of education and service delivery because it really does put associations in the driver’s seat.”

He says the system will also help with MREA’s advocacy efforts.

“CIDREC will give us the ability to find out the trends in the industry. If we’re seeing a piece of legislation or a regulation and it’s not aligning with what is actually going on in practice, we’ll have the data to be able to go and have those conversations, because we take so many calls from the public, (and) we take so many calls from members,” he says.

Cameron Burt, product lead, says the heart behind the system is the data entry, which is fast and simple.

“This is really an effective tool for any communications department as well,” he says.

MREA board chair Glen Tosh, who is also past president of the association, says CIDREC will allow the board and its committees to make data-based decisions.