It’s not the battle of the UFC proportion that we recently have seen at the Rogers Centre (SkyDome), but the Competition Bureau versus Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has some industry observers and potential new business entrants looking at the situation closely.
The Competition Bureau led by commissioner, Melanie Aitken, served the TREB, led by the board president Richard Silver, with an amended lawsuit on Thursday to comply by being more open to competition.
TREB’s plan to allow competition by setting up private websites for its clients does not go far enough because certain important information would be missing according to The Competition Bureau. Information about commission fees, and historical sales data are only available through the agent by fax or email or they give them personally to a client.
However, Richard Silver said, “The Commissioner is pressuring TREB to make changes to TREB’s own property listing system (MLS®) that TREB believes would violate consumer privacy laws, reduce the quality of the system, and diminish protection for consumers who list their homes in the Greater Toronto real estate market.”
At the end of the day, this will be interesting to watch as what is being played out is that TREB seems like it is unable to understand that there is a paradigm shift from the old ways of doing things to a new way.
Just like the way of the vinyl records, tapes, and CDs, things change. A new way that encourages competition is by empowering consumers to be more proactive about where and how they get their information from and ultimately who they decide to do business with.