The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) is a member-based professional association of 15,000 REALTORS® and their companies who live and work in communities from Whistler to Maple Ridge to Tsawwassen and throughout the Metro Vancouver area.
Jeff King is the CEO of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. He has extensive experience in strategy, innovation, licensing, distribution, and corporate planning, most recently serving as COO for The Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). Between 2020 and 2021, he also served as interim CEO of Dataclef, a back-office service provider to music rights organizations, CEO of Audiam and MediaNet and as chair of the Board of Directors at DDEX, a standards-setting organization focused on creating digital value chain standards for the music industry.
“It’s a privilege to join an organization with such a rich history in Metro Vancouver,” says Jeff. “In this era of rapid innovation, I look forward to helping the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver continue to provide world-class technology, tools and services to its members and the home buying and selling public they serve.”
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is one of Vancouver’s earliest professional associations. The Board had continuously operated since 1919 when ten local real estate brokers formed the Vancouver Real Estate Exchange. Although they were in direct competition, they realized their profession and the young city would benefit from their willingness to cooperate. Despite many changes over the decades, that collaborative spirit motivates the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver today.
Becoming An Inspiration
After decades of working in music, most notably as the COO of SOCAN—Canada’s largest rights management organization—Jeff decided to take a chance on a different industry and province. “I saw an opportunity to leverage technology, which the music industry has been turned upside down by,” King tells STOREYS in an interview. “Real estate is about to have a similar seismic shift happen.”
Jeff’s drive around technology can be seen in his past achievements at SOCAN , including his work on the organization’s e-commerce tools as well as leading the development of their Information Centre.
“When I started at SOCAN in 2001, they were processing about five to six million performances of music a year, mostly radio, television, and concerts. And when I left, we were doing about 360 to 370 million a day, thanks to social channels and our techniques around big data,” explains Jeff. “As a leader, I am always respectful of the current approaches and spend significant time and energy learning the business before starting to act. My advice to every leader would be to not be impulsive, but when you have enough information, act. Set a clear direction and be transparent about the motivation behind your decisions. This will help drive understanding and support.”
Taking The Board to Great Heights
Jeff believes it is a ripe time for real estate to rethink its technology play and points to incorporating blockchain, NFTs, smart contracts, and “new ways in discovering and retailing properties which are already becoming digitized,” he elucidates. He can see a world where blockchain-enabled real estate transactions help with clarity and transparency.
“I think realtors, brokers, and agents have a tremendous role as an advisor and counsellor to buyers and sellers,” adds Jeff. Jeff also points to artificial intelligence as beneficial to reading condo corporation documents, which could improve efficiency and confidence.
Armed with skills in intellectual property and rights management, Jeff says he is enjoying bringing his toolkit to REBGV and its role in the life of Vancouver.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s mission is to lead professionalism and innovation in real estate. Jeff and his team are working toward these by activating the recommendations from their white paper on real estate professionalism and executing their Strategic Plan. This plan comprises three foundational pillars: Operational Excellence, Industry Leadership, and Product Innovation. “With critical changes happening in real estate with the rise of digital players and the entrance of new approaches, the landscape for real estate transactions is changing dramatically,” says Jeff. “Neo banking and digital marketplaces will be major forces in real estate in the near future, and we are embracing new technologies rather than viewing them as ‘disruptive’. We aim to build bridges with new entrants and promote open data, partnerships, and collaboration.”
Towards the Future
Under the aegis of Jeff, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has various goals to achieve. The board wants to increase its speed of action, enhance its project management capabilities, improve efficiency and effectiveness across business functions, develop member and stakeholder engagement, and increase the level of professionalism within the industry.
It is pertinent to mention that REBGV is working to take a leadership role provincially and nationally to move organized real estate to an even higher level of achievement and professionalism. Earlier this year, they published a white paper on professionalism in real estate that sets out an ambitious series of changes they want to achieve in partnership with other boards and associations across Canada.
The strategic focus of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is centered on three areas: