Ringer realtor: Ryan Rana exam imposter unprecedented, says official
Investigation continuing into realtor and the imposter who allegedly wrote licensing exam for him
Ryan Rana won't be the first — or last — realtor accused of deception.
But an official with the body that administers real estate licensing exams in B.C. says the Langley Realtor's admission of sending an imposter to take his test puts the 25-year-old in a class all his own.
"This hasn't happened before, this particular circumstance," said David Moore, director of licensing education with the Sauder School of Business.
"It's very unusual. Our students know that our procedures are enforced and that they're pretty rigorous, so it's not something that occurs on a regular basis. An impersonation isn't something that we experience very often at all."
According to the Real Estate Council of B.C., Rana's licence was suspended last week after he "admitted that he did not write the licensing examination and that someone else had written it for him."
An investigation began when someone noticed the picture on Rana's website didn't match the photographs the individual claiming to be Rana presented when he wrote the exam last December.
The allegations come at a bad time for an industry mired in scandal in recent months. A panel of experts is reviewing the state of provincial real estate regulation in the wake of a series of revelations about the conduct of unscrupulous realtors.
One of the questions they're considering is whether or not the time has come for an end to self-regulation of the real estate industry.
David Eby, the NDP MLA who has been a vocal critic of the existing regulatory regime, said the accusations of cheating only serve to further undermine public confidence.
"The reaction — in terms of the reaction I have — is: 'What next?'" he said.
"And this is a big problem because there are many highly-qualified, dedicated, public-minded, committed Realtors in my community and across Metro Vancouver, and all of them take a hit when this kind of conduct takes place."
A 'high-stakes' exam
Neither Moore nor the RECBC would comment on the specifics of the allegations against Rana while an investigation is still ongoing.
According to the suspension order, the person who sat the exam for Rana passed the test with a score of 90 per cent.
A statement attributed to RECBC executive director Larry Buttress said the imposter "is not a real estate licensee, and has never been licensed under the Real Estate Services Act."
The council said the "appropriate authorities" have been informed about the other person's involvement, but they wouldn't say which authorities were involved.
Rana was licensed in February, and the council said he wasn't believed to have earned any commissions. His website has been taken offline, along with his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
According to an archived copy of Rana's website, his "unique ability to connect with a wide range of people, both personally and professionally," gives him the opportunity of becoming the next generation real estate professional.
The site also says Rana has a "background in community law enforcement and public healthcare."
Moore said students can't write the licensing exam without providing a passport photo as part of an admission ticket they only get once they've completed their course work.
They also have to provide secondary identification with a matching photo at the time of the exam.
According to the council, the person claiming to be Rana was turned away the first time he tried to take the test because those images didn't match. He later provided an affidavit to swear his identity.
Moore said the exam in question is a multiple choice test.
"This isn't a university exam in the sense that it's a licensing exam," he said. "As such it's what we call a high stakes exam. As a high stakes examiner, we're always guarding against attempted cheating."
Moore said the only other case which came remotely close involved a student who was sent away because of mismatched identification documents. But they never came back.
Rana could not be reached for comment.