Select Page

Trevor Koot: Balancing critic and champion to lead B.C.’s real estate future

Share this article:

As a former managing broker and realtor, Trevor Koot’s nearly two decades in organized real estate gives him hands-on expertise in understanding the profession’s needs.

Today, as CEO of the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), Koot says he really believes that his role is not a tangible thing. 


‘(I’m) as much a critic of the industry as (I am) a champion … that balance makes me a better leader’


“It’s not to say this is what I do. What I like to think is that my role is to facilitate conversations that create impact for the industry,” he says. “That can change. That can look like a lot of different things but really it’s just having conversations with the right stakeholders at the right time to ensure that the industry is progressing, that consumers continue to be served by realtors in the future and that realtors have a place within the ecosystem of real estate transactions.

And we do that by creating impact, by knowing what changes need to happen, by facilitating those changes but also standing up for the industry when it comes to making those changes.”

Koot says he is as much a critic of the industry as he is a champion. Making sure that he can wear both of those hats to create that impact is important to him. “I think that balance makes me a better leader in this industry,” he points out.


Experienced ‘all of the beauty that is Canada’ between three coasts


Koot has lived in five provinces and one territory. He was born in Simcoe, Ontario and moved to Frobisher Bay, Northwest Territories (now Nunavut) when he was still young, grew up in New Brunswick, lived in Alberta, started his career in Saskatchewan and then moved to B.C.

“I’ve gone coast to coast to coast and experienced all of the beauty that is Canada,” he says.

Koot received a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology with a minor in mathematics from the University of Saskatchewan, and he recently completed a Master of Business Administration through Royal Roads University. Koot is adding to his extensive education through his current pursuit of completing a Master of Laws degree at York University.


Getting into real estate


He got into the business of real estate initially in Swift Current, Sask. after getting his real estate license in 2005. Koot began with Re/Max and then bought a Century 21 brokerage in 2007. He also started a property management company in between and grew that to 1,000 units in five Saskatchewan cities. While there, he was chair of the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission for five years and played a key role in redrafting provincial real estate regulations during his tenure.

Prior to taking on his role at BCREA in 2022, Koot served as CEO of the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association for four years and the Kootenay Association of Realtors for three before successfully merging the two into the Association of Interior Realtors.

“I’ve worn all of the hats,” says Koot, who has been a competitive bodybuilder on the international stage. He also has had an acting career and owned a gym and supplement store called Iron Office. This was all in place while living in Saskatchewan before Koot decided to move to Kamloops.


‘My priority is to make sure the realtor continues to be central to the real estate transaction’


“I really believe there’s a future that exists without realtors. There is a future that can happen where realtors don’t (even) exist … let alone being part of the transaction,” Koot explains. “My priority is to make sure that’s not the future that transpires. My priority is to make sure the realtor continues to be central to the real estate transaction.”

He says the biggest challenge the industry faces today is the desire for and connection to legacy, and protectionism to the existing models that come with that. 

“It’s hard to convince stakeholders to embrace change when the primary role that they see for themselves is to protect the way things are. That’s going to be the biggest challenge for any leader in the real estate sector or the industry at large. It’s to create an environment where they can actually convince the folks who are being impacted by change to embrace that change because of a bigger outcome because of that future state.

Organized real estate is really, really good at celebrating legacy and protecting the existing structure, and that will be the demise of the sector if that’s the sole focus.”


Other major industry challenges


Koot notes there are fewer realtors today stepping up to be a managing broker. A large number of current managing brokers are reaching retirement age and looking at exit strategies. He feels there’s a lack of conversation around succession planning for brokerages and for the role of managing brokers.

“And I really think that this is potential for a kind of perfect storm that’s either going to challenge the industry or require regulatory intervention to make sure there are enough managing brokers moving forward,” he predicts. “When we talk about challenges or things on the horizon that I see being major and very impactful, that would be another one.”


Share this article: