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The real estate industry has a long way to go to catch up with today’s social, cultural and technological realities. But given its long-standing resistance to change, does it have the courage to update its outmoded ways?

It is this very issue that REALTA president François Bissonnette discussed today in Paris during the annual convention of the ORPI network. Organizers of the event asked Mr. Bissonnette to prepare a speech on this subject for the members of ORPI, the largest association of real estate agencies in France, with over 1,200 points of sale. Presented as being “a leader and model professional”, Mr. Bissonnette spoke about the challenges facing the real estate industry in Canada, and his agency’s decision to adopt a new way of selling real estate services. Mr. Bissonnette is also a member of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board and sits on the Collège de l’immobilier foundation.

Here are two extracts of his preparatory notes:
“Consumers want up-to-date, high-quality information – quickly and without charge – in the technology of their choice,” stressed Mr. Bissonnette. “All the more so because they can do quite a bit of shopping on their own over the Internet before contacting us. Some even decide to sell their property privately to reduce their sales costs. These are the new realities we are facing.”

REALTA’s response? “There is no miracle recipe,” says Mr. Bissonnette. “At REALTA, everything we do revolves around striving for excellence and innovation. This requires, first and foremost, professionals who are carefully handpicked and continuously trained. Our business culture is based on values that include integrity, innovation and professionalism. We have also implemented a personalized structure for brokers who want to work as a team by sharing information and responsibilities. We also use unique marketing tools that provide our clients with complete details on every step involved in selling their property.”

In conclusion, REALTA’s president entertained the audience with a video of one of the nine ads from REALTA’s 2010 ad campaign, starring the ever-colourful Denis Surprenant. Entitled “Il y a une meilleure façon de faire de l’immobilier” (there’s a better way of doing real estate), this innovative campaign combines the absurd with self-deprecating humour.

Mr. Bissonnette’s full speech (in French) is available on our site atwww.realta.ca/fr/discoursORPI2011.php.

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