How to Become a REALTOR® in Canada

Did you know: “REALTOR®” isn’t a job title?

To become a REALTOR®, you must be a licensed real estate professional who is a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). And to be a member of CREA, you are expected to be:

  • Committed to the REALTOR® CodeThe Code is the accepted standard of conduct for all real estate practitioners who are REALTORS®. It’s your guarantee of professional conduct and quality service. 
  • Knowledgeable about all things real estate: A REALTOR® has access to the tools and information needed to help their clients make an informed decision: comparable prices, neighbourhood trends, housing market conditions and more.
  • Actively updating your education: Through courses, workshops and other professional development, a REALTOR® maintains a high level of current knowledge about real estate and its rules and regulations.
  • Connected: REALTORS® have access to board MLS® Systems, which facilitate the sale of real estate by sharing information between members with the goal of connecting buyers with properties.

A career in real estate

There are a wide range of professional opportunities within the real estate industry.

Most people begin as salespeople in a brokerage (but there are other possibilities including office assistant, licensed agent assistant or rental agent, assistant in a department of a large real estate organization, or in the mortgage division of a bank or lending institution).

You can help people buy their dream home in residential real estate or find the perfect space for a business in commercial real estate. There are also plenty of other opportunities available as you progress in the industry.

A career in real estate means you can set your own hours, but it also means you need to be knowledgeable, dedicated and willing to put in hard work.

Why use a REALTOR®? Watch our latest national ad campaign.

Educational and licensing requirements

Provincial regulators establish the educational and licensing requirements for careers in the real estate industry. Each province or territory will have different requirements.

Generally, you’ll be required to meet a minimum education level. You may also need to undergo a period of supervised practical training (sometimes called “articling”) before you can become a registered real estate professional. You must also pass a written exam. Be sure to check the requirements in the province or territory you wish to do business in carefully.

Regulators by province/territory

British Columbia: BC Financial Services Authority

Alberta: Real Estate Council Alberta

Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission

Manitoba: The Manitoba Securities Commission

Ontario: The Real Estate Council of Ontario

Quebec: The Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec

New Brunswick: The New Brunswick Real Estate Association (the real estate industry in New Brunswick is co-regulated with the Financial and Consumer Services Commission)

Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission

Prince Edward Island: Prince Edward Island Real Estate Association (See more information on government requirements)

Newfoundland and Labrador: Pre-licence training is delivered by NL Association of REALTORS® on behalf of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, who regulates the real estate industry in the province

Yukon: The Government of Yukon

Northwest Territories: Municipal and Community Affairs, Government of Northwest Territories

Nunavut: Government of Nunavut

Colleges and universities across the country offer a variety of real estate or real estate-related courses. At many of these colleges, students can specialize in a program that leads to a bachelor’s degree in real estate. Some universities offer graduate level courses.

Continuing education is also required in many provinces. Additionally, REALTORS® can further their education using the CREA Learning Hub.

Once a person is licensed through a province, they can then become a member of a local board/association, provincial board/association and CREA, therefore becoming a REALTOR®.

Welcome to the REALTOR® community

As your national association, we work in cooperation with your local board and provincial/territorial association to ensure REALTORS® are recognized as trusted and respected voices and experts in real estate.

We’ve put together resources to help you start your journey. Plus, we’ve created a new member course, which you can complete online at your own pace.

What CREA does for you

CREA is one of Canada’s largest single-industry associations. Our membership includes more than 140,000 real estate brokers, agents and salespeople working through 79 real estate boards and associations across Canada.

We work on behalf of the public and REALTOR® members to represent the interests of homeowners, perspective home buyers and members to the federal government and its agencies on legislation that will affect members and/or impact homeownership.

We also assist members to better serve their clients by providing products including CREA WEBForms®, REALTOR.ca, REALTOR.ca DDF® and two mobile apps.

The REALTOR® Code, enhances member professionalism and ethics. It also establishes CREA’s brands and trademarks as symbols of quality. We also protect and promote those trademarks (MLS® and REALTOR®) to ensure all members benefit from the goodwill associated with them.

Stay connected with CREA

There are several ways you can stay informed on everything CREA is doing for you. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Check out CREA.ca, where you can find links to our news releases, housing market stats and so much more.
  2. Manage your email preferences to stay up to date on our product and services news, lobbying and advocacy, and events. You can also opt in to our monthly News2Me newsletter and our daily media clippings package: Read All About It.
  3. Follow us on social media.         
  4. Check back with us here on CREA Café regularly. We publish new articles at least three times a week.
  5. Listen to CREA’s REAL TIME podcast—a podcast dedicated to sparking conversations with inspiring people about Canadian real estate.

We’re excited you’ve embarked on this new real estate journey and want to help you along the way. Working in real estate is incredibly fulfilling and important, but we understand it can be overwhelming to start out. Please reach out to our Member Experience Centre at support@crea.ca with any questions you may have.

Sarah Doktor brings her experience as a small-town journalist and national online editor to the Canadian Real Estate Association as a Communications Advisor. Sarah helps facilitate conversations between CREA and our members, boards, associations and the public via our online communities. She also helps coordinate the content presented to you here on the CREA Café. In her spare time, Sarah can be found at the gym, running on a trail or watching Netflix with her cat, Libby.


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