The DRE becomes the BRE

On July 1st, the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) will officially be rechristened the Bureau of Real Estate (BRE).

The BRE operation will be absorbed and answerable to the new Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). This merger is a part of Governor Brown’s Second Government Reorganization Plan (GRP-2), first proposed in his 2012 budget and later adopted by the state legislature.

The move is intended to improve the bureaucratic efficiency of the entity, and somehow trim the state budget too (the BRE is self-financed, relying totally on licensing fees to cover all its operating expenses).This restructuring seems to have encouraged more vigilant oversight of real estate education providers, meaning better-educated brokers and agents.

The BRE’s nesting within the DCA also means it will have new resources for dispute mediation and regulation enforcement.

Related Article:

Rumors of DRE enlightenment by consolidation

No agent left behind:  Improving real estate education standards

Add to this reorganization the appointment of a veteran fraud prevention attorney picked from inside the BRE staff as a brand-new Commissioner, Wayne Bell.  All indications are it’s truly a new day for the administration of the real estate industry in California.

Whether this fresh start leads to any substantive change in licensee qualification, consumer protection, fraud prevention or the enforcement of ethical conduct remains to be seen.

We will find out with time, as we slowly  work our way out of this muddled wreck of the biggest real estate disaster in California in 80 years. The direction of the starfish puzzle recovery is yet to be influenced by the BRE.

Related Article:

An interview with Real Estate Commissioner Wayne Bell

What’s in a name?

What’s the immediate effect of this transition on your practice?

Very little, and nothing anticipated.

Licensing and renewal licensing procedures remain unchanged. Rest assured, you’ll hear about significant procedural or regulatory changes coming out of the renamed agency from first tuesday first.

What about all your business cards, letterheads, promotional materials and stationary referencing your “DRE” license number? Do you need to pull out an industrial-sized trashcan and reprint everything?

first tuesday has contacted the BRE directly, and representatives confirm the agency will not be enforcing any compliance with the new naming convention on an agent’s printed materials. Thus, your inventory is not obsolete.

However, they did advise – as do we – that you begin making the switch the next time you have business cards, letterhead, or flyers printed, even if that’s before the official change-over.

In fact, you need to start practicing calling it the BRE now. No, it is not just a soft French cheese anymore, it’s the agency tasked with policing the competency of California’s real estate licensees for the purpose of protecting the public.  Come June, the new name will roll right off your tongue. The public expects to be pleased.