CREA’s membership surges to all-time highs in 2022

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The Canadian Real Estate Association’s membership reached record highs in 2022. 

CREA’s membership, which includes provincially-licensed real estate agents who have joined a local real estate board, ballooned to 160,064 at the end of 2022, representing a 5.6 per cent increase year-over-year. 

Jill Oudil, Chair of CREA, who has had her license since 1992, says the profession is lucrative for many reasons. 

“Realtors are entrepreneurs. I think there are more entrepreneurs in the world now, too…People are more flexible now, and it is a great career.”

The CREA Chair says the relative health of the housing market doesn’t impact the membership numbers, citing it has been growing since 2007, anywhere from one to nine per cent, with the peak in 2021. 

“But even in 2008, when sales and prices dropped, realtors still went up. I think that the data pretty much shows that isn’t the main effect of changing markets,” Oudil adds.

“Our opinion is we need (fewer) realtors, and we need to probably increase professionalism in the industry.”

– Brad Mitchell. CEO, AREA

 

According to the Alberta Real Estate Association, the number of its members has steadily increased in recent years. At the end of its fiscal year on Oct. 31, 2022, there were 12,746 members. At the end of March of this year, it was 12,935. It’s the highest membership AREA has ever had.

Brad Mitchell, CEO of AREA, said there was a large influx of new realtors during the pandemic, and it’s also a second career for many people, but he said the amount of new agents has presented a challenge to the industry in Alberta.

“Our opinion is we need (fewer) realtors, and we need to probably increase professionalism in the industry. We deal with the membership increase, and there’s a challenge in training new realtors because the regulatory requirements are quite low, but it’s a very complicated and competitive industry,” said Mitchell.

“If you’re motivated and you’ve got some marketing experience, it can be a very lucrative career. But there’s quite a bit of turnover in the first five years. So I don’t think the industry is doing a great job of communicating how difficult it actually is. 

Mitchell explains the average yearly salary for an AREA member is around $50,000, adding, “There are lots of part-time realtors. Lots of people get their licences and then move on to a different career.”

 

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board

 

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, in an email, said it doesn’t make membership information publicly available. 

But Scott Ingram, with Century 21 Regal Realty in Toronto, in a recent post on Twitter, said membership in Toronto experienced a huge climb in 2021 and 2022, climbing to more than 70,000 from October to December 2022. But it dipped substantially in January and slightly in February, falling to 68,660 in early March.

 

Ingram said the numbers come from TRREB.

“The interesting thing to me is it grew a heck of a lot over time. The last several years has been a large gain in numbers,” he explained. “If I go back 10 years ago, in 2012, there was 31,000, and now it’s 69,000 at the end of 2022 . . . I don’t know any other industry that’s been growing by that large a figure.

“The other thing that was interesting to me is that it actually peeled back a bit in the last couple of months.”

 

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

 

Craig Munn, vice president of communications & events for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, said membership was 15,061 members as of the beginning of March. Last August, it hit the 15,000-member mark, and the total has stayed at about that level since.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, it had approximately 13,900 members. He said that figure dropped to 13,684 in September of 2020, then began rising gradually to current numbers.

Calgary Real Estate Board 

The Calgary Real Estate Board reported 7,057 members at the end of February, with substantial growth each year since 2018, when it was 5,540.

Alan Tennant, CEO of the CREB, said membership numbers are a lagging indicator on the market.

“Where you have extremes, we have tracked a kind of resulting either increase or decrease in membership,” he said. “A tougher market isn’t as appealing, and a really good market, maybe not too fast a market, is very appealing to some people,” he said.

“For Calgary, what we’re seeing is strong migration numbers, and let’s face it, that’s a bit of a driver for professionals wanting to take on this career. For a lot of people, being a realtor is a bucket list career.”

According to CREB, the licensing process for becoming a realtor through the Real Estate Council of Alberta used to take about three months, but in the new third-party licensing education model, which is all online, it would depend on the individual’s eagerness.

 

 

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