Invoicing of chargeable fees
Several of you sent us comments regarding the increase in the chargeable fees appearing on that invoice. It is our role to shed light on issues such as these, and to refer you to the documents containing the information that has already been made public on this topic.
The OACIQ, formerly the ACAIQ, has made it a point of honour to provide you with accurate and complete information regarding the new Real Estate Brokerage Act and all the changes it would entail in your daily professional activities. The issue of higher fees, the purpose of which is to allow the OACIQ to fulfil its new obligations under the Act while maintaining the services it already offers, has been discussed on many occasions via the various means of communication that we use to inform you.
Prior to the consultation tour, draft regulations, which, among other topics, cover chargeable fees, were made available on Synbad to allow you to review them in order to be able to voice your comments when the time came. We also provided all brokers with an explanation regarding the reasons for this increase in fees.
For over a year now, we have used every chance we had to explain the reasons for the increase in chargeable fees, and answer your questions in this regard. We did this:
- During the consultation tour (February 2009)
- In communications following the consultation tour
- At the ACAIQ Annual Convention (April 2009)
- In the document entitled Myths and realities (May 2009)
- When we sent out renewal notices (October 2009)
- Upon pre-publication of the draft regulations (January 2010)
- Upon final publication of the seven regulations (April 2010)
You will find below details on the nature of these various interventions as well as links to access them.
Consultation tour – February 2009
During the consultations we held across Québec regarding the regulations, we discussed chargeable fees and answered questions from participants.
Communications following the consultation tour
Under the previous Act, the ACAIQ drew only 51% of its funding from certificate renewals; this funding could fluctuate greatly with the real estate market. This resulted in insufficient funding from annual fees. In addition, one must keep in mind that the regulatory power under the new Act no longer allows us to charge fees for reinstatements.
Consequently, the new chargeable fees will allow the OACIQ to ensure more stable funding and guarantee quality services for all brokers.
In March 2009, we published on our website a document entitled ''Changes made to the OACIQ draft regulations following the consultations'', which discusses this topic. This text was also published in the Info ACAIQ InfoLetter issued on March 20, 2009.
ACAIQ Annual Convention – April 2009
Following these consultations, the President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Robert Nadeau, took advantage of the presence of a great number of brokers at the ACAIQ 2009 Annual Convention to explain, in his address to convention participants, the reasons for the increase.
Myths and realities – May 2009
Some time later, we made available on Synbad, for a period of several weeks, a PowerPoint document entitled Myths and realities. Its purpose was to ensure that the changes brought about by the new Real Estate Brokerage Act – including chargeable fees – were clearly understood by the brokers. If you were signed up to receive the InfoLetter at that time, you would have been invited, in the May 5, 2009 issue, to review this document on Synbad.
Notice of renewal – October 2009
The certificate renewal notice for the year 2010 mailed to you in October included an explanatory note regarding chargeable fees. In this note, all brokers were notified that in order to allow the OACIQ to fulfil its new obligations under the Act and to maintain its services, an additional sum could be invoiced in the course of 2010. We also issued a notice to this effect in the November 2009 issue of the Info ACAIQ newsletter, as well as on the website, which you can review by clicking below.
Pre-publication of draft regulations – January 2010
During the pre-publication period of the Act and its regulations, we thought it would be a good idea to broach the topic once again, in order to make sure that all brokers were aware of this fee adjustment and to help them understand the reasons for it. To this effect, you may refer to the document entitled ''Draft regulations pre-published by the government: analysis and highlights'' on our website, published in the January 13, 2010 issue of the InfoLetter as well as the January issue of our newsletter.
Final publication of the seven regulations – April 2010
When the seven regulations were officially published, we reviewed all the changes brought about by the new Act and its regulations, including, once again, the increase in chargeable fees. You may read the explanation provided at the time by reviewing the following documents on our website: ''Great news: the new Real Estate Brokerage Act comes into force on May 1, 2010 and ''Official publication of the OACIQ regulations by the government: analysis and highlights'', published respectively in the special InfoLetter dated Wednesday, April 14 and in the Info ACAIQ InfoLetter dated Tuesday, April 20. Please note also that articles on this topic will be included in the May issue of the Info OACIQ newsletter.
We strongly urge you to read these documents, as they contain all the information you need to understand the reasons why the OACIQ had to increase its chargeable fees.
INCREASED IN CHARGEABLE FEES: AN EXPLANATION
For your immediate information, however, you should know that these higher fees will allow the OACIQ to fulfil its mission of protecting the public and meeting the needs of brokers and agencies by offering the comprehensive, quality services which they have a right to expect.
Services provided by the OACIQ
More specifically, chargeable fees help advance our profession by guaranteeing, among other things, that current services are maintained by the Organization and that new services can be created. You will find information on this topic in the following sub-sections:
- The Education Department
- The Info OACIQ Centre and the Assistance Service: resources at your disposal
- New powers
- Illegal brokerage
- Electronic forms
The Education Department
In 2000, the ACAIQ set up its Education Department. This was in response to its members, who had expressed a clear wish to be informed about the practices to be followed before engaging in certain transactions, rather than after the fact. Each year the OACIQ presents more than 400 continuing education activities to over 10,000 participants.
Again in response to repeated requests from many practitioners, the Act now allows the OACIQ to order all or some brokers to attend or complete a given mandatory continuing education activity. Many brokers in fact have expressed their deep satisfaction with this innovation.
The first such mandatory continuing education activity, on the topic of the new Real Estate Brokerage Act, will thus begin on June 8, 2010; worth over $250, this activity will be offered to brokers for a minimal $25 fee. This is a very hands-on activity, based on real-life situations, and it will give you a good overview of your professional activities and help you familiarize yourself with your new professional reality.
The Info OACIQ Centre and the Assistance Service: resources at your disposal
The sharp increase in the number of requests received by the Info ACAIQ Information Centre, which went from 15,000 in 2000 to 50,000 in 2008, is proof of the popularity and efficiency of this service. In addition, in order to reduce processing times and to refer only the more serious cases to the Syndic and Discipline Committee for investigation, the ACAIQ also set up its Assistance Service.
The new Real Estate Brokerage Act will confer new powers upon the OACIQ, including as conciliator and mediator, as well as account arbitration. This new status will require new resources to be mobilized.
The adjustment in chargeable fees will also help us to be even more efficient in our fight against illegal brokerage, and to complete the implementation of the electronic forms platform.
The OACIQ is working on a complete revision of its forms, which takes into account the many comments and suggestions provided by real estate practitioners. In addition, at the beginning of 2011, the Organization will hold a consultation tour on forms and contracts, during which all brokers will be invited to make their voices heard.
These are the types of activities in which we plan to invest in order to continue advancing the broker profession and help brokers adapt to today’s reality.
For more information, please contact the Info OACIQ Centre at 450 462 9800 or 1 800 440-7170 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. You may also reach the Centre by email firstname.lastname@example.org, making sure to include your complete contact information so an information agent can call you back.