Realtors Across City Urge Stop Investing in Medicine Hat Contract Ruling
Frank Devine, chairman of the Medicine Hat Real Estate Board, says other companies haven’t had enough time to bid.
“By the time the Medicine Hat brokerages found out, they hadn’t had enough time to put something in place. They also didn’t have enough information about what they wanted on the RFP to put something cohesive together to get to City Hall,” Devine said.
Devine urges the city to be more transparent in the process. He also thinks the city’s real estate agents are more than capable of getting the job done. Over the past four years, Devine said real estate agents have made more than $1.3 billion in sales, far more, he said, than Invest Medicine Hat since its inception.
“Medicine Hat real estate agents have the knowledge, experience and infrastructure to market everything the city has to offer, and we have been doing this for years. Now they’re trying to shut us out of the process, which doesn’t make sense to us,” Devine said.
Devine argues that local estate agents would also bring additional benefits then what is currently being used and offered as the expense and pitfalls will not be borne on the backs of taxpayers. This is because real estate agents work strictly off commission.
“Basically, Invest Medicine Hat lost almost a million dollars last year. If you deal with real estate companies in Medicine Hat, you lose nothing. You only pay if the job is done. It doesn’t cost the citizens of Medicine Hat a dime unless there’s a productive gain to the city,” Devine said, noting that Invest Medicine Hat employees get paid whether they sell or what. whether or not.
Going forward, Devine said he would like to see the city council put the brakes on the proposal and generate more interest from other parties. He also said more clarity needs to be brought to what they are asking for and that the Medicine Hat Real Estate Board of Directors is more than willing to work together for the good of the city.
“It’s our city, it’s our community, it’s where we live. Obviously we want to make it better for everyone who lives here,” Devine said.