History of the Bahamas Real Estate Association
The Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) was formed in 1959. The following persons attended the first meeting: H. G. Christie, Edgar Bain, Frank Christie, D. Lester Brown, Jack Hughes and Bert L. Roberts. The objectives of the Association, as established by its founding members, are as follows:
(1) To unite the Real Estate Brokers, and their associates in The Bahamas for the purpose of exerting effectively a combined influence upon matters affecting their profession;
(2) To promote and maintain the highest standard of conduct in the transaction of the Real Estate Profession as expressed in the Code of Ethics adopted by the Association and to enforce the Code among its members in their dealings with one another and the public;
(3) To prevent infringements by foreign brokers or any other unauthorized person, or Company not 100 percent owned by Bahamian Nationals, to transact the business of real estate brokerage or, in the case of a Company not 100% Bahamian owned, to employ brokers, and benefit financially thereby.
In the early years BREA addressed a number of issues affecting its members, such as the problem of foreign brokers listing and selling real estate in The Bahamas without authorization; or the ethical conduct of its members. These issues and many others initiated early attempts to have the real estate industry regulated by introducing suitable legislation. Unfortunately, these initial efforts were not successful and by the end of 1960, BREA was no longer active.
In 1962, a group of Realtors came together to reorganize the Bahamas Real Estate Association. This group included Mr. Frank Christie, John Morley, Geoffrey Brown, Sr., Joe Thompson, Chester Thompson, Bert Roberts, Neil MacTaggart and Calvin Cooper. Having the same ideals as the previous group, these men set about to enhance the real estate industry by having regular weekly meetings in the Lightbourn Building. BREA grew steadily as it strove to foster high ethical standards for its members. This group again made an attempt at drafting legislation for the industry. Many hours were spent in the preparation and gathering of information.
It has been 58 years since BREA was formed, and we are very proud of our progress!
Major milestones include the passage of the International Persons Land Holding Act - 1993, which facilitated the holding of land by non-Bahamians and companies; The Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons Act - 1995, giving BREA the authority to license and register all brokers and salespersons in the Bahamas and products for a disciplinary committee; Bi-lateral agreements with the US Association of Realtors and the Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches and the long awaited achievement of the Multiple Listing Service in 1998.However, the program did not realize its full potential for many reasons and thus was later discontinued. However, the MLS was re-launched in 2008 under the Presidency of W. Larry Roberts and having over coming many obstacles and hurdles, the program is proven to be beneficial to the members and continues to grow.
In 2007 BREA also realized another milestone when it relocated its offices and established new headquarters by leasing a building in the Dowdeswell Street area. Due to its rapid membership growth, the Association once saw the need to acquire more space and in 2013 relocated its office to its current location on Shirley Street in much larger facilities. The Association currently has three fulltime staff including a fulltime MLS Administrator.
Over those years The Bahamas Real Estate Association has been fortunate to have outstanding leaders who have continued to uphold the high standards that the Real Estate Industry demands. Those who have served as BREA President from its inception include: (Some have served 2 terms.)
Sir Harold G. Christie
Mr. Chester Thompson
Mr. Clifford Cooper
Mr. John Morley
Mr. Patrick Strachan (2 terms)
Mrs. Barbara Brooks ('93-'98)
Mr. Garth Buckner
Mr Franon Wilson
Mr. Freeman Smith
Mr. Geoffrey Brown Sr.
Mr. Levi Gibson
Mr. Frank Carey (Longest Serving President)
Mr. Larry Roberts (2 terms)
Mr. David Morley
Ms. Patricia Birch
Ms Carla A. Sweeting
|Ms Christine Wallace-Whitfield (President Elect)|
The real estate industry is growing at a fast pace and the Board of Directors of BREA faces the serious challenge of promoting and maintaining high ethical standards, and offering further education for in excess of 700 members.