South Okanagan Real Estate Board
The South Okanagan Real Estate Board (SOREB) was incorporated in 1979 and evolved from the adjacent Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board. There was a need to establish more localized member services and basic standards for those working in the Real Estate industry. The Board is a registered non-profit society under the Society Act of British Columbia. SOREB celebrated twenty-five years of service to the membership and public in April 2004.
“The South Okanagan Real Estate Board is dedicated to pursuing excellence and professionalism in real estate, through quality education and high ethical standards, thereby protecting the interest of the membership and the public.”
The Board is a non-profit society that serves the interests of its’ members by:
· Encouraging and maintaining a high level of professionalism
· Providing the most up-to-date and efficient real estate information service and
· Providing strong leadership in the real estate industry and the community,
while protecting the public interest.
The South Okanagan Real Estate Board is part of a three-tiered organizational structure involving a national and provincial organization. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) was formed in 1943 by a small group of leaders in the real estate industry who were concerned about government policies which imposed restrictions relating to property. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) was established in 1958 and is the provincial voice of REALTORS®.
REALTORS® in the South Okanagan area, who are members of the Board, serve the real estate needs of residents within the Board’s trading area, which includes from Summerland to the US Border, east to Grand Forks and west to Manning Park. It includes these communities: Penticton, Naramata, Summerland, Kaleden, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos, Rock Creek, Westbridge, Midway, Greenwood, Bridesville, Cawston, Ollala, Keremeos, Hedley, Tulameen, Coalmont and Princeton.
At the helm of the Board is an enthusiastic volunteer Board of Directors. Each Director chairs a committee made up of volunteer Board members who make recommendations relating to all aspects of the Boards’ activities and policies.
Members of the public usually interact with individual members of the Board –REALTORS® - and not the Board itself. The primary reason for the Board’s existence is the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) – a co-operative system through which all members of the Board share information about properties listed for sale.
REALTORS’® access to the system means that properties listed for sale receive wide exposure thus increasing the opportunity for quicker sales and fewer problems. Through either direct computer access or via the printed MLS® catalogue, REALTORS® have a superior marketing tool at their fingertips when working to match sellers with buyers. The MLS® sales data also provides valuable statistical analyses of the local housing market.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION
The Board plays a key role in the continuing education of REALTORS®. Once a potential salesperson receives a real estate license from the Real Estate Council of British Columbia and chooses to become a member of the South Okanagan Real Estate Board, as a REALTOR® he or she is expected to obtain additional education in a variety of areas. These include career development, ethics, legal updates, project marketing, computer training and other courses designed to supplement training towards licensing and specialization.
PROTECTING THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Equally important in the Board’s functions within the community is its enforcement of a strict Code of Ethics and high Professional Standards amongst its members.
The South Okanagan Real Estate Board has selected several volunteers to serve on professional standards investigative or hearing panels to adjudicate public complaints concerning real estate practices. The Board recognizes that, as a self-governing industry, it must be able to assure the community that the public interest is protected.
A CLEARING HOUSE FOR INFORMATION
The Board acts as a resource centre for REALTORS®, appraisers, researchers, business and government providing various economic and housing market statistics. Sales statistics are published on a monthly basis and are distributed to Board members, media, local governments and businesses, etc. All statistics are available on the Internet site for our members, through www.realtorlink.ca
THE COMMUNITY COMES FIRST
SOREB’s annual Donation in May has benefited the MS Society for 16 years, plus individual members and offices provide volunteer services in each of their communities. A SOREB Scholarship of $1000 is available to a deserving Okanagan University College student annually also.
WORKING TODAY TO FACE TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES
The steady growth in the South Okanagan area will continue to present new and exciting challenges. The members and staff of the South Okanagan Real Estate Board are committed to fully participating in meeting these challenges and continuing to provide the citizens of the South Okanagan area with the very best real estate services possible.