The acronyms of organized real estate: National, Provincial and Local – CREA,OREA,TREB

Before you begin your real estate education and building your real estate career, it’s important you understand the terminology of the real estate industry.

The process of earning your Ontario real estate license

RECOReal Estate Council of Ontario – The organization that administers REBBA (The Real Estate and Business Brokers Act). You get your license from RECO.

You have your Ontario real estate license, what then?

Once you have your license, you will likely join trade associations which are called “organized real estate”.

Organized real estate in Canada operates at three different levels. The real estate board generally operates at a local level. Provincial and territorial associations represent their province or territory and CREA represents the industry nationally and internationally.

When you become a real estate sales representative in Ontario, your brokerage isn’t the only organization you’ll be dealing with. Some of them – like the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) – you have already likely encountered to get your real estate license. Nearly all of them are generally referred to by acronyms that can take some getting used too.

To help you get your bearings while navigating the complex ecosystem of Ontario’s real estate industry, we’ve put together a little “cheat sheet” providing the full names, acronyms, and brief descriptions for some of the organizations you’ll be interacting with regularly as a real estate professional in Ontario.


CREACanadian Real Estate Association – National

OREA – Ontario Real Estate Association – Provincial

TREBToronto Real Estate Board – Local (one example of about 40 local real estate boards in Ontario)

The term “organized real estate” refers to membership in these three levels of organization. Please note that you will get MLS access through TREB. TREB will collect dues for OREA and CREA.

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