Unity is strength, as the saying goes. That’s the mentality at the forefront of a possible regional integration of eastern Ontario’s real estate boards.

Yesterday, the members of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association, Ottawa Real Estate Board, Renfrew County Real Estate Board, and Rideau-St. Lawrence Real Estate Board announced the possibility of the integration, which they say is intended to bring value to the realtors of eastern Ontario.

"Just as PropTx is being adopted to elevate the resources, tools, and data that Members can access, at the core of this exploration is building value for you,” reads an email sent from Curtis Fillier, president of the Ottawa Regional Real Estate Board to members of the various real estate boards yesterday evening. “Our organizations are always working to enhance the services we offer to our REALTOR® Members to support your professional needs, help you compete in a changing real estate landscape, and help you provide unparalleled service to your clients.”

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According to the letter, integration of the boards could result in a “more influential and capable” organization that can meet significant industry developments head-on and capitalize on opportunities to benefit our Members.” The letter says this could be achieved through expanding shared services, merging with one or more existing boards, or amalgamating into a new corporation.

The decision to integrate will be determined via a vote by all members of all boards. In the meantime, a task force composed of representatives from each board has been created “to ensure good governance while options are examined before being brought to the memberships.” The letter stressed the importance of transparency and a commitment to keeping members informed and up-to-date with progress.

“The potential of an integrated organization, and the possibilities of what we can build together are exciting,” reads the email. “That said, we want Members to understand this is a complex process and your OREB leadership are giving it careful attention, thought and time.”

The initiative comes amid talk that markets in eastern Ontario, like many parts of the country, will see an uptick in buyers and sales activity once interest rates drop further. As we move into the summer season, realtors in the relatively affordable Ottawa region, for example, have said that buyers are starting to come off the sidelines, as the market slowly comes back to life.