Sean Willis

Chief Evangelist & Sales Representative

Posted on March 23, 2016 in Real Estate Advice


When I first took the required course material to become a Realtor, I found it difficult to articulate who the real estate industry players were and what exactly each group was responsible for.  Understanding the relationship between Brokerages, Realtors and the different boards is an important part of being a Realtor, yet many will struggle to clearly explain why each group exists and what they do.

Below is a brief explanation of who the key players are and their function in the real estate ecosystem.


Real Estate Industry Players

(Many Realtors fumble around explaining these, so read up)


Real Estate Brokerage
A Real Estate Brokerage (not to be confused with a Real Estate Broker) is authorized to trade in real estate on behalf of the consumer. In turn, the brokerage (Chestnut Park, RE/MAX, Royal LePage, etc.) as an owner employs or appoints salespeople to perform day-to-day listing/selling functions in the real estate trading process. Such activities are always performed under the guidance and direction of the Broker of Record. Real estate listings are owned by a real estate brokerage. The brokerage has sole discretion over who can access, advertise and share listing data.

Real Estate Broker
Real Estate Broker is a person who has taken education beyond the agent level as required by law and has passed a broker’s license exam. Brokers can work alone or they can hire agents to work for them.

The trademark REALTOR® and all related graphics are trademarks owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association and the National Association of REALTORS®. In Ontario, all real estate salespeople are licensed Realtors. The brand represents a standard of professionalism and knowledge.  It is possible to be a real estate agent and not a REALTOR®.

Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is a not-for-profit corporation acting as the collective voice for both its commercial and residential REALTOR® Members and operates under the direction of an elected voluntary Board of 16 Directors.

Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA)
The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) help’s Ontario Realtors, Member Boards (i.e. TREB) and Associations succeed.

Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) works on behalf of the public and its REALTOR® members. They assist Realtor members to better serve their clients.

Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO)
The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) is a not-for-profit corporation that regulates the trade of real estate in Ontario in the public interest. On behalf of the Ontario government, RECO administers and enforces the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA 2002) and its regulations.

Multiple Listings Service
Multiple Listings Service. In Canada, MLS® is a registered trademark. The service, owned and operated by CREA, is a suite of services that enables real estate brokers to establish contractual offers of compensation (among brokers), facilitates cooperation with other broker participants, accumulates and disseminates information to enable appraisals, and is a facility for the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information to better serve broker’s clients, customers and the public.


Looking for a definition not here?  Ask below and ye shall receive.

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