Former President Blasts Bahamas Real Estate Association

Friday 18th, March 2011 / 09:25 Published by

A former president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) has issued a number of valid criticisms against the association.

Pat Strachan, a two-term former BREA president, is calling for an amendment to the Real Estate Brokers and Salesman Act (1995), saying that the government erred in incorporating BREA into the Real Estate Board.

“In all jurisdictions where the real estate profession is legislated, the Real Estate Board or the body responsible for regulating, by law, the profession of real estate is appointed by the government and the association officers are elected by its members,” Mr Strachan said in a press release.

Strachan is calling for the attorney general to ‘do the right thing’ by amending the act. He believes that the government should appoint members to the BREA board. Anything short of a separation between the chairman of the Real Estate Board and the president of BREA represented a conflict of interest, Mr Strachan said.

Current BREA President Patti Birch disagrees. She told a local newspaper that she sees no conflict of interest, in principal or in practice.

“If there is a group of people in membership who are dissatisfied with the board, they can nominate a broker member and elect the person to represent their unheard interests on the board,” Birch said.

Strachan also atacked the association between the Real Estate Board and BREA’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

“I happen to know that members’ license dues are being used to finance the MLS.  I know that for a fact,” Strachan said.

The appropriate practice would be for the MLS to be a separate private entity which members could opt to participate and invest in if they chose, Strachan said. That is the way it is handled in other jurisdictions that regulate the real estate profession.

This was the concept behind BahamasB2B’s multi-broker listing service created nearly a decade ago.

BahamasB2B.com was the first website in the Bahamas to offer a multi-broker listing service, years before BREA developed their dysfunctional multi-listing service.

The BahamasB2B.com website currently provides the opp0rtunity for licensed Bahamas real estate agents and brokers to create a profile and list their properties on the high-traffic site… for free.

Mr Strachan also raised issues about BREA’s practice of requiring appraisers to have professional indemnity insurance, saying “this may be an unlawful act carried out by the board to insist that its members have the insurance before they can be licensed.”

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