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A guide to taking your business to the next level in 2019



Discover what Canada’s best real estate teams are doing to set themselves apart from the pack

ISSUE 4.04

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What’s in store for 2019?


EP’s sister publication, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, recently put to bed its 2019 Property Forecast issue, where industry experts, leading economists and real estate investors all weighed in on what they see transpiring once this distressing year comes to a close. The good news? Stability. Sales and prices are looking at modest improvements; markets like Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax are expected to lead the way. The bad? If you’re hoping for a freshly awakened market to improve your sales next year, you need a new strategy – now. Interest rates are expected to hit 2.5% by the third quarter of 2019, which will further erode affordability for buyers across Canada. With supply tight and

If you’re hoping for a freshly awakened market to improve your sales next year, you need a new strategy – now prices continuing to creep up in Canada’s most active markets, even in what have traditionally been the most affordable property types, there are going to be a lot of potential buyers sitting on the sidelines. If you’re an established agent with a well-tended-to client base, you have little to worry about. But if you’re one of the thousands of agents who entered the industry at a time when a donkey in a blazer could sell 50 houses, you need to ask yourself: What’s the plan, Eeyore? In a slow, stable market (and let’s not forget that that’s exactly what everyone in the industry should be hoping for if they actually care about homebuyers), there tends to be a move toward quality. Buyers have more time to evaluate agents and can choose the one who appears to be the best in the market, as opposed to the first one to pick up the phone. What are you going to do to position yourself as a client’s best option? Hire a coach? Tweak your marketing materials? Change brokerages? You know your business better than anyone; you know where improvements can be made. Start making them. December is a time for resolutions. This year, make one you’re actually going to keep: vow to become a better agent. Your current clients deserve it. Your future clients will demand it. The editorial team at Real Estate Professional WINTER 2018 EDITORIAL Writers Clay Jarvis Joe Rosengarten Libby MacDonald Copy Editor Clare Alexander

CONTRIBUTORS Shannon McCaffrey Tami Bonnell Beth Kinsella Gavin Kihn Craig Proctor Anthony Hitt

ART & PRODUCTION Designer Martin Cosme Production Manager Alicia Chin Traffic Coordinator Ella Dayandante

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CORPORATE President & CEO Tim Duce Office/Traffic Manager Marni Parker Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil



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Is BC’s speculation tax still rankling buyers?

Amendments have watered down the tax introduced earlier this year, but is it still having a negative impact on BC real estate?

Terry Osti

Greg Paddy

Tim Hill

Realtor RE/MAX Crest Realty

Managing partner and Realtor Harcourts

Real estate advisor RE/MAX Advantage Realty

“The speculation tax, regardless of how watered down, has been met with negativity amongst the people I speak to. British Columbians who have worked their whole lives and paid their taxes are now being asked to pay even more. They are not speculators, but people who have invested in real estate instead of mutual funds or stocks as part of their retirement planning. Many have two homes for reasons such as work requirements, schooling or as a place to stay while their child is in hospital. The lack of supply is not their fault. They feel betrayed by their government.”

“The clients and people I run into have had little comment on this announce­ ment. I believe we are suffering from real estate news fatigue, especially here in the Lower Mainland. After multiple levels of government intervention and a geopolitical environment that has significantly shifted the playing field – and subsequently, flow of money from Mainland China – unless you are one of the fortunate who own a second home, this tax is getting lost amongst the constant barrage of news and opinions. Like all taxes, it will matter only to those who cannot find a way to avoid it.”

“Even watered down, the speculation tax is not something that will go unnoticed. I’ve heard anecdotes from industry colleagues that their clients have sold their secondary homes in part because of the speculation tax. However, like many of the measures we’ve seen introduced in the last few years, it’s too little, too late. The govern­ ment is trying to go back in time, but we’ve already gotten to a point in the market where affordability has eroded.”

MISSING THE TARGET Among the measures proposed in British Columbia’s provincial budget in February, the so-called speculation tax – which demands an annual percentage of a property’s assessed value on secondary residences that aren’t rented out for at least half of the year – attracted considerable criticism. Detractors argued that those most affected wouldn’t actually be real estate speculators, but rather average Canadians who own secondary properties for a variety of reasons. In October, the BC government responded with a revamped ‘speculation and vacancy tax’ that lowers the levy for BC residents to 0.5% and Canadians living in other provinces to 1%, while keeping the amount charged to foreign buyers at 2%. The new tax also allows several possible exemptions, including for developers, owners going through spousal separation and those seeking treatment at nearby hospitals.


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Driven to extremes


GTA buyers’ willingness to up their commute in the name of a better housing deal has resulted in greater demand for far-flung properties THE RAPID increase in the price of GTA real estate since 2011 has given rise to a phenomenon colloquially known as ‘drive until you qualify.’ Urban dwellers in search of affordable homes have been flocking to distant suburbs, even at the cost of a lengthy – and often expensive – daily commute to work. The persistent preference for single-family

detached homes – which tend to decrease in price the farther they are from Toronto – appears to be at the heart of this willingness to take on a pricey and time-consuming trip to work. However, once the expenses associated with commuting are included in the equation, the savings realized by a move to the suburbs are often significantly eroded.

While housing is more affordable in the far reaches of the GTA – in 2016, the average price for a detached home in Clarington was $491,506, for example, compared to $1.27 million in Markham – commuting also becomes much more expensive. Commuters from Clarington are likely to fork out $800 or more a month to travel to a downtown office, while those making the trip from Markham pay less than $400 a month.

COMMUTING COST Less than $200 $400 to $499 $500 to $599

2.6 million Total number of commuters in the GTA as of 2016


Buyers who would prefer a larger home even if it’s less location-efficient


GTA residents who commute into the city from the 905 area code


$600 to $799

Proportion of GTA commuters who use public transit to commute

$800 or more

Source: CMHC Housing Market Insight, Toronto CMA, November 2018; Pembina Institute, 2012



According to the 2016 census, the communities closest to Toronto had the highest numbers of commuters, but recent evidence suggests that buyers are starting to push farther into the suburbs as affordability becomes an issue.

When commuting costs are factored into the monthly cost equation, seemingly attractively priced suburbs like Newmarket, East Gwillimbury, Caledon and Stouffville become as much or more expensive to live in than Toronto proper.


52.6% 48.4% 46.9% 40.8% Pickering




39.1% 32.2% 26.7% 11.4% Richmond Hill Whitby

Mississauga Halton Hills

Source: CMHC Housing Market Insight, Toronto CMA, November 2018


MONTHLY MORTGAGE AND COMMUTING COSTS BY GTA MUNICIPALITY Oshawa Clarington Georgina Halton Hills Whitby Ajax Brampton Milton Pickering East Gwillimbury Uxbridge Burlington Caledon Newmarket Mississauga Whitchurch-Stouffville Aurora Oakville Vaughan Markham Richmond Hill Toronto

Mortgage carrying cost Commuting cost









Source: CMHC Housing Market Insight, Toronto CMA, November 2018

Estimated monthly commuting cost

Georgina East Gwillimbury Uxbridge

1 2








Richmond Hill





Caledon 3 Vaughan


Pickering 6



Brampton Halton Hills

Toronto Mississauga












Burlington Source: CMHC Housing Market Insight, Toronto CMA, November 2018



Those who choose to live farther from Toronto also accrue significant time costs. Compared to those who live within the city itself, commuters who travel to areas like Milton, Burlington and Clarington have to endure nearly an extra day of commuting per month. ADDITIONAL HOURS SPENT COMMUTING PER MONTH

Between the 2011 and 2016 census, the number of GTA commuters travelling at least 45 minutes oneway rose by almost 30%.


13 13

21 18

22 22 23

15 10



CHANGE FROM 2011 TO 2016

Pickering Ajax Brampton Oshawa Clarington Whitby Georgina Halton Hills Milton Caledon Burlington Mississauga East Gwillimbury Uxbridge



0% -5%


Source: CMHC Housing Market Insight, Toronto CMA, November 2018



23 20




-1.3% Less than 15 to 29 30 to 44 15 minutes minutes minutes

45 to 59 60 minutes minutes or more

ONE-WAY COMMUTE TIME Source: CMHC Housing Market Insight, Toronto CMA, November 2018




Clean up your act The Ontario Real Estate Association recently released an extensive report aimed at updating Ontario’s Real Estate and Business Brokers Act. But who will the report’s 37 recommendations actually benefit?

ON OCTOBER 12, the Ontario Real Estate Board released its long-awaited report on updating the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, the document that has dictated the industry’s business practices and ethical standards since 2002. The result, “Road Map to a New REBBA,” is predicated on the belief that the act, which has remained untouched since its creation, is in dire need of an update. That REBBA is out of touch with the realities of selling real estate in 2018 is inarguable. The industry has changed significantly in the past 16 years, especially in Ontario, where skyrocketing home prices and a low bar to entry have combined to flood the marketplace with agents. Making the licensing process

arming the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s disciplinary measures with more sting are both common-sense and positive. Yet some in the industry are wondering why the report exists at all – and why OREA felt the need to author it. “REBBA was drafted by RECO on behalf of the province,” says Lauren Haw, CEO of Zoocasa, “so it isn’t clear how the responsibility to propose changes falls under OREA’s purview.” Bosley Real Estate’s David Fleming, who sees merit in the report’s ideas for protecting buyers and sellers, also questions OREA’s role – not only in the report, but in the Ontario real estate industry in general. “OREA, after losing education to Humber College, has sort of taken this path that they’re

“I think a lot of agents want a better understanding of who OREA is ... and what their mandate is” David Fleming, Bosley Real Estate more difficult and easing the removal of delinquent agents from the industry make up the majority of the report’s suggestions. There’s nothing especially eye-raising in the report: OREA’s recommendations around intensifying agent education, adding more transparency to the home-buying process and


going to rebrand themselves as this real estate lobbyist,” Fleming says. “My issue is that it’s very unclear as to why they’re doing things and how they’re doing things. I think a lot of agents want a better understanding of who OREA is now that they’re no longer the educator and what their mandate is.”

OREA CEO Tim Hudak says the group’s focus is on protecting the province’s homeowners, whom “nobody really speaks for” in Ontario. From that perspective, the REBBA report makes sense. Better-educated agents (OREA asks for training to be longer, more rigorous and more practical) who fear the repercussions that follow unethical behaviour should result in well represented consumers. But up until 2017, OREA was the body in charge of educating agents. If the agents currently selling in Ontario are poorly trained, whose fault is that? “They got us here, and now they are struggling for relevancy,” says an executive at one of Canada’s largest real estate companies, who wished to remain anonymous. “They had such an incredible opportunity to raise the bar for so many years, and they were too busy maintaining the status quo and lining their coffers.” With education no longer a responsibility and agents questioning OREA’s purpose, the organization appears to be experiencing a crisis of relevancy. But Hudak disagrees.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS IN OREA’S PROPOSAL G ive buyers and sellers the choice to engage in an open, transparent bidding process Remove unregistered ‘real estate consultants’ from the industry Issue standardized ID cards to agents Make builders and developers subject to all REBBA guidelines A llow RECO to conduct proactive investigations A uthorize RECO to suspend or revoke agents’ licenses rather than going through the Licence Appeal Tribunal aintain or increase the hours needed to M get a licence ake the registration exam more difficult M and more practical C reate a full-time, two-year post-secondary real estate business certification program “Never before has OREA played such an important and effective role in working with provincial government to keep the dream of homeownership alive,” he says. “We’re at a stage now where the government comes to us for advice on housing issues, as opposed to us simply reacting.” Another question the report raises is “why

One section of the report most concerned parties can get on board with is providing RECO with the tools to better investigate and remove unethical agents from the industry. Several of the report’s suggestions are critical of RECO, but Joseph Richer, the organization’s registrar, sees them as a positive step forward. “Although RECO has a very different

“Although RECO has a very different mandate ... there are several areas of REBBA reform where we agree” Joseph Richer, Real Estate Council of Ontario now?” If REBBA is in such obvious need of retooling, why did OREA not act sooner? Hudak explains that the initiative had been in the works for years, but that OREA “just did not capture the ear of government” prior to his arrival and the shift in priority toward homeowners.

mandate of consumer protection, there are several areas of REBBA reform where we agree [with OREA],” he says. “We strongly agree that RECO’s discipline committee should have the power to suspend and revoke registration.” But some of the penalties suggested in the report, such as a $50,000 fine for delinquent

agents and administrative penalties that Hudak compares to “traffic tickets,” don’t appear overly frightening, especially for agents with a dozen commissions coming in every month. “There are not enough people, not enough hours, not enough resources [at RECO] to deal with all the stuff that goes on in organized real estate,” Fleming says. Hudak, however, feels the threat of having their licenses revoked will be sufficient to deter agents from acting unethically. That can only happen if OREA’s suggestions are put into place. Hudak is confident they will be. “The feedback we have received from the decision-makers in all three parties, as well as senior civil servants, is that they find it remarkable that a professional association is calling for standards to be raised, increasing the demands on the profession and raising the bar,” he says. Even if the bar isn’t OREA’s to raise, and its attempt to improve REBBA is flecked with self-interest, few will complain if Ontario’s real estate agents are forced to meet standards they should have been meeting all along. REP




Haste makes waste Regina-based Realtor Shayla Ackerman took on a seemingly simple task: sell her clients’ property in 30 days so they could purchase their dream home. But impatience and a pair of failed private deals conspired to make this the most complex sale of her career

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN, has never ranked as one of Canada’s more dramatic markets. Since 2014, when oil prices fell off a cliff, sales have chugged along admirably, but a glut of inventory continues to allow buyers to call the shots. But just because a market is softer than a block of cheese left in a hot car doesn’t mean


it’s free of drama. The people who buy and sell in Regina are, like those in any other city, at the mercy of their desires. And when hundreds of thousands of dollars are on the table, desire often manifests itself as impatience – the slayer of sound decisions. Such was the case last spring, when Royal LePage Regina Realty’s Shayla Ackerman

took on a transaction that appeared simple enough at the outset but soon morphed into the most complicated transaction of her career. The story begins several years ago, when Ackerman’s client first fell in love with a two-storey, 1,800-square foot property in one of Regina’s most desirable neighbour-

hoods. When it finally went up for sale in May 2018, the client, his wife and their young children were living comfortably in a home they had spent considerable time and money upgrading and customizing to a level of impeccability. But it wasn’t the house, so when the five-bedroom beauty became available, they immediately contacted the owner and excitedly started hammering out the details of a private sale. The only condition was that the deal take place in 30 days. Encouraged by the apparent smoothness of their first private transaction, the buyers opted to sell their own home privately using ComFree. They had reached out to Ackerman previously and questioned her about possibly representing them, but when an offer was tendered within a few days, they called back and said they wouldn’t be needing her services. Ackerman thanked them for the call, assuming that would be the end of their interaction. It was only the beginning.

Here one minute, gone the next Within a day, the offer had collapsed due to the potential buyers’ financing falling through. Ackerman’s clients, having burned through two of the 30 days they had to sell their home, quickly contacted the agent and secured her services. Despite the sluggishness of the Regina market, she was confident the home would find a buyer in time. “It was a home that was very marketable,” Ackerman says, adding that the work put into the house had made it one of the nicest in the neighbourhood. “If priced properly, I was confident I could sell it quickly.” But because the owners had poured so much into their home, it was now worth much more than the surrounding neighbourhood was used to supporting. Their original asking price was $100,000 more than average sale price of nearby properties, so they knocked it down by $10,000 and Ackerman went to work marketing the property – boosted campaigns, video, the whole nine yards – to as wide an audience as possible.

AWAITING THE REBOUND Regina’s market was already struggling before higher interest rates and new B-20 regulations further eroded buyer options. Recent activity indicates that an uptick in sales and prices could be a long way off.

August 2018

Year-over-year change

September 2018

Year-over-year change






New listings





Average DOM





Months of inventory









Average price

Source: Association of Regina Realtors

The response was highly encouraging. Ackerman spent an entire Saturday showing the property in 30-minute intervals. Within a few days, the home had received competing offers through MLS. “These buyers were pre-qualified,” Ackerman says. With a deal appearing imminent, and a week left before their deadline to sell, Ackerman’s clients began breathing easier; life in their dream home was a few short days away. Six days later, the buyers rescinded their offer. “We lost two potential buyers in just under two weeks,” Ackerman says. “We had this goal of where we wanted to be, and we had been close twice. It didn’t seem like anything was going right at that time.” But a sliver of hope remained. Ackerman contacted the Realtor representing the buyers who had lost out on bidding for her clients’ home. They were still willing to put forth an offer and, crucially, were able to do so quickly. The dream house was still within reach. Ackerman contacted its owner on the final day of conditions, explained that an offer was imminent. The owner agreed to wait. When Ackerman’s clients came to an agreement with their buyers the next day, she called the seller to let him know where they




stood. “We’re conditional again!” Ackerman told him. “Only seven more days, and hopefully the third time will be the charm.” He then told Ackerman that he had listed his home with a real estate agent.




Regina, Saskatchewan

May 2018

Private dances This unexpected move caused instant headaches for both buyer and seller. But the seller’s would linger far longer. “The private number they had agreed to was obviously pre-commission,” Ackerman says. “Now, because the house was going to be listed with a real estate agent, the seller could no longer take that same amount they had originally agreed to.” Her clients understood the seller’s rationale for raising the price, but his impatience was harder to fathom. Had he waited a few days, he would have received the amount he desired. “Now we were looking at having to pay more for the house, and the seller was actually putting less in his pocket,” Ackerman says. When his Realtor listed the property on MLS, $30,000 had been added to the original asking price. It was enough of an increase to throw the deal into jeopardy. If Ackerman’s clients couldn’t negotiate a lower price and had to walk away from the deal,



Two-storey detached

Less than 1 week





$617,500 Note: Some information has been slightly altered to protect client privacy

was Ackerman’s clients’ honesty and forthrightness regarding the details of the private agreement that had set off the entire chain of events.

“It’s not that [private deals] often fall apart, but I would say there’s definitely a higher chance just because [clients] don’t know what questions to ask” they would have sold their home for nothing. They put in an offer, and four days of uncomfortable negotiations ensued. The seller, now aware that his impatience was about to cost him thousands of dollars, stood his ground but eventually relented and agreed to shave several thousand dollars off the asking price. Key to making the negotiations a success



“Had [the husband] not kept me involved the whole time, I wouldn’t have truthfully understood how to navigate the situation,” Ackerman says. “Him being transparent with me is the reason that this did end up coming together.” Now comfortably ensconced in the home they always wanted, Ackerman’s clients first had to endure an unexpected crash course

in the vagaries of private deals. One assumes they’ve learned all they care to. “It’s not that [private deals] often fall apart, but I would say there’s definitely a higher chance just because [clients] don’t know what questions to ask,” Ackerman explains. “They don’t necessarily have everything that they need to complete the transaction. A lot of things tend to be ... not hidden, but not disclosed right up front. And then it kind of trickles down. Lots of private sales close – lots.” In the end, almost everyone got what they wanted out of the deal. A little more was paid, and a little less was pocketed, but Ackerman is pleased with the outcome. “If they were to call me in 10 years and say, ‘Did we overpay for this house?’ I can confidently say no. They could have gotten it for a little bit less if it had all worked out as originally planned, but they ended up in their dream home.” REP




The fortune is in the follow-up In the constant quest to remain in the forefront of your clients’ minds, there’s no surer method than the follow-up, writes Shannon McCaffrey YOU’RE RAKING in those clients; you’re pumped about your listings – you’re a beast! Then suddenly you start to wonder ... what happened to Mr. and Mrs. Smith who were so excited and in love with the house on 123 Main Street? Why haven’t I heard back? They were going to let me know. OK, so you’re human. You’re a busy professional killing it in your field; you simply lost track. No big deal, right? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is actually a major black hole in your business that you need to plug now. In today’s real estate world, purchases are rarely made on impulse. Most clients are quite cost-conscious, so a single transaction often occurs over months. Think about it. If you were presented with 20 different dishwashers, all pitching the same end game – clean dishes – what makes you choose one over another? Value. To put that in real estate terms, what are you selling that makes you better than the next agent? Your attentive and timely follow-up is your ‘knockout punch’ between you and the next agent waiting in line. The proof is in the pudding. According to marketing company The Marketing Donut, 44% of salespeople give up after the first no, 22% after the second no, 14% after the third no and 12% after the fourth no. When you consider that 80% of customers say ‘no’ four times, this means, 8% of all salespeople are

making 80% of the sales. That’s why you follow up – because if your client doesn’t see the value in you, they’ll go next door. But there are still the other four factors: who, what, where and when. You are the who. Your clients need to know they matter. Whether with a simple call,

to simply ask their clients their preferences for contact, both in terms of frequency and manner. Some people want your full attention, whereas others prefer to come to you. After your first meeting, set your client up on your system – whether that’s your property search program, a little reminder in your calendar or simply a Post-It note on your computer – to keep them in the forefront of your mind. There is no golden timeline. However, the tried-and-tested technique, however, calls for a follow-up within 24 hours of your initial meeting, which will showcase your conscientiousness and go-getting spirit. This contact should show your appreciation for allowing you the opportunity. Never be afraid to ask for the business. At the same time ,the onus is on you to be sensitive and realistic; personalize the follow-up system to each client’s readiness and needs. Thereafter, a weekly soft touch such as sending a local calendar of events, adding the client to your social media account or tagging them in your newest post about free arena time for kids – because of course, you made notes that they have three children. Follow-ups need to be systematic, but

“Your attentive and timely follow-up is your ‘knockout punch’ between you and the next agent waiting in line” a text or whatever, you need to ensure you remain at the forefront of their minds for all things real estate. As for what to say, follow up on a point you discussed in your last conversation – keep notes. Follow-ups not only are a soft sell for yourself, but they also show your determination to help your clients along their journey. In your initial meeting with your clients you will have determined how ready they are, what their limitations are, etc. This tells you where – i.e. in which areas – you need to follow up. Perhaps they need help securing financing, or perhaps they would like your advice in finding a home inspector. Eliminating these problems early builds trust. Which brings us to when to follow up. Set the expectations early. Salespeople often forget

not strictly structured. The function of the follow-up is to jog their memory to think of you when the time is right. It might not be today or next month, but it might be at the next family supper when someone mentions they’re thinking about buying a home. Follow-ups will surely land you more sales, but they also build more relationships, earn you more trust as a professional in your field and, most importantly, ensure that clients remember you as the go-to person for all things real estate. REP

Shannon McCaffrey is a broker who personally produces more than 100 deals a year. She is an MNLP-trained coach, co-author and team leader of a dynamic, positive and magnetic group of individuals.




THE MARK OF A CHAMPION Mark Faris is at the helm of Royal LePage’s top-producing team, but there was a time when his career looked dead on arrival. Those early struggles are key components of who he is and what he has built

THE NAME Mark Faris should be quite familiar to readers of REP. For the past several years, Faris and his cohort of agents at Royal LePage First Contact Realty have been regularly populating the magazine’s lists of the best real estate agents in Canada. For the third year in a row, Faris Team has powered its way into REP’s Top Teams, selling a staggering 672 properties in the first eight months of 2018 and putting itself on pace to be Royal LePage’s top team for the fourth year in a row. But the Mark Faris of 2018 is a decidedly different person than the one who first got into real estate in 2006. At 23, after two promising years spent playing professional hockey in Sweden, Faris tried to earn a spot on a team in Texas but was cut six weeks into the season. Recently married and at a loss for what to do, Faris considered his options. There weren’t many for a shy kid who did his best work in skates. Real estate had long been in Faris’ periphery. It always drew his attention when he read the newspaper (“Maybe I should have been looking through the sports section,” he


laughs), and his sister had carved out a nice life for herself as a Royal LePage agent in the Guelph area. Assuming he would get his licence to bolster his real estate investment plans, Faris passed his courses and started selling. “Little did I know that I’d love it,” he says. But that love would remain unrequited

“The discipline I learned in hockey really served me well to get out of my shell and start knocking on doors, cold-calling and getting better at speaking with people,” he says. “It was just sheer determination – getting out there in blizzards, knocking on doors, doing what it takes to just put food on the table.”

“Early struggle is good because it helps build the necessary foundations to grow from. If you walk in and everything’s handed to you, moving forward will be hard” for the first six months of his career, a period Faris doesn’t hesitate to describe as “a massive failure.” The sales were few and far between. With a baby on the way and no nest egg to fall back on, an increasingly desperate Faris had a choice to make: get a second job or reinvent himself as an outgoing super-agent eager to shake hands and talk about himself.

Rather than look back on those dark, uncertain days with relief, Faris celebrates them for paving the way for his current level of success. “I needed to go through it,” he says. “Early struggle is good because it helps build the necessary foundations to grow from. If you walk in and everything’s handed to you, moving forward will be hard.”

PROFILE Name: Mark Faris Title: CEO and broker Company: Faris Team, Royal LePage First Contact Realty Based in: Barrie, Ontario Years in the industry: 12 Fast fact: Prior to life as an awardwinning agent, Faris was an aspiring professional hockey player who spent time on teams in Sweden and Texas




Leading by example By the end of his first full year in the industry, Faris had hit his stride. Business had increased so rapidly that he was forced to expand his operation, bringing on an administrative assistant (now one of his top agents) and his first licensed agent. Faris Team was born. One of the early realizations Faris came to was that for his team to succeed, more than anything else, they needed a model to follow, and that that model needed to be him. “If you want your people to be the best, you need to be the best,” he says. “People are always watching, so for me it was the real-

“When people are calling us, we have an opportunity to wow them and create an amazing experience,” Faris says. “That’s what’s on the line for us. And that’s where we’re constantly focusing on making it better from start to finish.”

The mission Some team leaders are intensely protective of their top producers, fearing a defection to their competitors. Even though many of his 22 agents have grown into star performers, Faris spends little time worrying about them leaving for supposedly greener pastures. “It’s not a fear because I really believe

“Complacency is not a good thing. The pressure and the constant striving and struggle have to always be there; otherwise you’re not growing” ization that I needed to work on myself and improve on myself in order for everybody else to improve.” The concept of continual progress is one of Faris Team’s guiding principles. Despite being Royal LePage’s shining star, Faris refuses to coast. “Complacency is not a good thing,” he says. “The pressure and the constant striving and struggle have to always be there; otherwise you’re not growing. We’re constantly asking the question: How can we make it better? That’s how we’ve been able to add great things that our clients really love.” From improving the team’s feature books to filling each nook and cranny of the office with specialists, every decision Faris makes is focused on improving the client experience. Doing so in a climate where consumers expect more from their agents has been critical to capturing market share.


in the mission of where we’re going, and I believe that the people who are with us believe in that, too,” he says. The mission is a simple one: provide the best real estate experience in the world. But doing so requires something deeper and more nuanced than simply improving systems or reading the right management books. Faris realized that back when he was just starting out. “You need to be there 100% emotionally to be able to support [clients]” through what is often a highly charged experience, he says. From a young couple expecting their first child to an elderly widower downsizing from the only home he and his wife ever lived in, decisions to buy or sell are rarely just about finances. It’s something good agents realize. But the best ones empathize. “It’s an emotional time,” Faris says. “We don’t take that lightly.” REP


TERRITORY Newmarket to Midland, Ontario




AWARDS Royal LePage Number One Team in Canada, Chairman’s Club and Award of Excellence; TREB Number One Team for Transactions; number 131 on the Profit 500 list of fastestgrowing companies

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The 2018 market was loaded with fresh challenges, but these 75 teams crushed it all the same. As the industry continues to evolve, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: There truly is strength in numbers






The Adam Mills Team

Ottawa, ON

Al Sinclair Team

Toronto, ON

Angie Goulet and Associates


Faris Team

Barrie, ON



Geoff and Bobbie McGowan Team

Ottawa, ON


Windsor, ON


The GoWylde Team

Guelph, ON


The Barry Team

Niagara Falls, ON


GTA Homes

Toronto, ON


Bennett Property Shop Realty

Ottawa, ON


The Haliburton Real Estate Team

Haliburton, ON

Brady Thrasher and Associates

Amherstburg, ON


Heaps Estrin Team – Royal LePage Real Estate Services Toronto, ON


Chamberlain Property Group

Penticton, BC


The Heddle Group

Hamilton, ON


The Chris Keleher Team

Collingwood, ON


Hodges and Mohr Realty Group

Sherwood Park, AB


Chris Pennycook Team

Winnipeg, MB


HomeLife Frontier YC Realty

Toronto, ON


Compass Real Estate Advisors

Kitchener, ON


Home Sweet Home Team

Calgary, AB


Constantine & Co.

Moncton, NB


Home Team Ottawa

Ottawa, ON


The Curtis Goddard Team

Bradford, ON


In2ition Realty

Toronto, ON


The Dan Cooper Group

Oakville, ON


Jeff Ham Team – The Fresh Approach

Mississauga, ON


The Daryl King Team

Toronto, ON


The Jennifer Queen Team

Winnipeg, MB


Diane & Jen

Ottawa, ON


The Johnson Real Estate Team

Etobicoke, ON


Equipe Roger LeBlanc Team

Moncton NB


Jordan and Jared Boyes

Saskatoon, SK


Eximus Real Estate Team

Abbotsford, BC


Justin Havre & Associates

Calgary, AB


The Extra Mile Team

Radium Hot Springs, BC


The Kate Broddick Team

Brantford, ON


Falkwin Group

Halifax, NS

25 Team

Kelowna, BC





TWO WORDS describe real estate teams in 2018: prominent and dominant. While the market has no shortage of individual superstars, they’re quickly becoming relics of a bygone age, when it was possible for a solo agent to address a client’s every need. But at a time when consumers are demanding more of the real estate experience, those needs have increased in both number and complexity. Individual agents, especially those constantly chasing new business, simply

can’t do everything for every client. The level of service provided by a well run team is the ultimate customer experience. A team that can offer up a dedicated expert for every aspect of the buying/selling process – from admin to client care to staging to back-end tech – is one clients are naturally going to gravitate to. But they don’t do so automatically. Great teams earn their clients by selling real estate the way it is meant to be sold: with

enthusiasm, intelligence, innovation and compassion. Those characteristics are on full display in this year’s edition of Top Teams. These 75 teams, who combined to sell more than 10,000 properties in the first eight months of 2018, are models for how the modern real estate team succeeds. They are constantly evolving, continually improving and consistently blowing consumers away. If teams are the future of real estate, REP says bring it on.

ABOUT THE SPONSOR A passion for optimum performance of real estate teams and team leaders epitomizes Kathleen Black’s approach to fostering upcoming and pre-existing real estate businesses. With a proven record for creating top-producing teams across the globe, Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting Inc. moulds businesses using core systems and values focused on team development and growth. For agents evolving from salespeople to team managers and leaders, Black provides the tools and mindsets necessary for demonstrable and verifiable success. Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting extends its congratulations to all of the teams recognized for their extraordinary performance in this issue of Real Estate Professional.




Salt Fowler Team

Vernon, BC



Santa Sells Houses Team

London, ON



The Sibling Team

Mississauga, ON


Amherstburg, ON





Kirby Cox & Associates

Calgary, AB

KW Real Estate Group

Waterloo, ON

Local Home Team

Leamington, ON


Love Kelowna Living

Kelowna, BC


The Sign of Experience Real Estate Team

MacDonald Moussa Team

Ottawa, ON


Shahid Khawaja Team

Mississauga, ON


St. Jean Realty

Hamilton, ON


Stylianou Group

Richmond, BC


Team Béatrice Baudinet

Montreal, QC


Team Burton

St. John's, NL


Team Goran

Windsor, ON


Team McDadi

Mississauga, ON


Team Metro Vancouver

Vancouver, BC


Tony Johal Real Estate Team

Kitchener-Waterloo, ON


The Martineau Advantage

Lethbridge, AB


The McCaffrey Team

Napanee, ON


The Neal Estate Team

Victoria, BC


The Ohs Marketing Team at Royal LePage

Qualicum Beach, BC


The OP Team

Vaughan, ON


Paul Rushforth Real Estate

Ottawa, ON


Pilon Real Estate Group

Orleans, ON


Pobojewski Real Estate Team

Mississauga, ON


Toscano Team

Ottawa, ON


The Polsinello Team

Newmarket, ON


Tost Realty Group

Calgary, AB


The Richards Group

Toronto, ON


Verge Real Estate Team

Windsor, ON


Rioux Baker Real Estate Team

Collingwood, ON


Walker Real Estate Group

Ottawa, ON


The Riz Team

Kitchener, ON


The Wolf Pack Real Estate Team

Toronto, ON


The Rod Frank Team

Hamilton, ON


Your Key Team

Richmond Hill, ON





Team leader: Tom Pobojewski

Mississauga has been a hotbed of investor activity for years, and Tom Pobojewski’s Royal LePage crew has taken full advantage by helping clients find the ideal properties for flip and rehab projects. “We are able to identify those properties and negotiate prices below fair market value,” Pobojewski says. “At the same time, we provide financing, contractors and other resources, allowing our investor clients to profit.” Pobojewski’s team’s track record has allowed them to stand out in a marketplace overcrowded by inexperienced and sometimes unprofessional Realtors. “We have to show the consumer how we are different by providing sound advice and continually pursuing improvement,” he says.


Team leader: Yoon Choi


Team leader: Ron Neal

Ron Neal’s RE/MAX team has been at the top of the Victoria market since 1996, continually adapting new technology to deliver world-class personal service. Neal’s squad has sold more than 4,000 homes and over $1 billion in real estate. Neal feels the biggest improvement his team has made over the years has been in communication. “After decades of focus on improving, we have awesome synergy now,” he says. As the Victoria market transitions into a buyer’s market for the first time in years, Neal says he will be focusing on training and new pricing strategies to ensure the continued success of his agents.

THE BARRY TEAM Niagara Falls, ON

Team leader: Emily Barry

Hard work and long hours don’t stop the Barry Team from sporting wide smiles and enjoying the ride. Niagara’s most socially visible real estate team, the Barry Team has pioneered everything from clever and creative marketing campaigns to cinematic home trailers, finding a way to make it look easy while celebrating their successes. Led by Emily Barry’s 15 years of experience, the Barry Team strives to deliver on their philosophy of providing premier services. The team is a passionate real estate family that loves their work and the adrenaline-driven lifestyle that accompanies being one of the most successful real estate teams in the region.


When top producer Yoon Choi founded the YC Team with partner Mark Lee, it quickly grew to become one of the GTA’s elite teams. Now Choi is beginning a new chapter as broker of record at HomeLife Frontier YC Realty, aiming to cultivate his team members – talented, motivated and diverse in both their personal backgrounds and professional experience – to become the best of the best in the industry. “The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first,” Choi says.


TEAM MCDADI Mississauga, ON

Team leader: Sam McDadi

Team leader: Brady Thrasher

Brady Thrasher took his time putting his team together, making sure the right people were in place to deliver the utmost service to his clients. As one of Windsor-Essex’s top individual agents, Thrasher left nothing to chance when launching the next evolution of his business. “Our team grew organically,” he says. “I’m thankful nothing was rushed. We have the perfect key partners and support staff.” Thrasher’s success recently allowed him to purchase a separate brokerage with approximately 50 agents in south Florida. Sharing resources has allowed him to create a global presence and maximum exposure for his listings on both sides of the border. “We treat our team like a law firm: Each partner is an individual with goals and their own business under the joint brand,” he says. “We cover one another and learn from one another.”


Calgary, AB

Team leader: Justin Havre

A commitment to continuous growth has allowed Justin Havre and Associates to help thousands of clients achieve their goals. Havre led CIR Realty in performance for several years before making the switch to RE/MAX, where his powerhouse team immediately started racking up the awards, including top team for production and transactions in western Canada in 2017.

Having sold more than $5.5 billion worth of real estate in the GTA, Team McDadi is in a class of its own. Sam McDadi invests a tremendous amount of money into research and development, allowing him to find the right agents and place them in territories where their skills will shine. “Because today’s market is rapidly changing, it has never been so important to be on the cutting edge,” McDadi says. McDadi might have been the first GTA Realtor to create the now-commonplace one-stop shop. In addition to the requisite admin and sales staff, his team also includes graphic artists, handymen, renovators and a professional writer. “I have simplified the entire process, making our clients the true winners,” he says.


Team leader: Linda Baumgartner


Team leader: Shannon McCaffrey

“Individually, they are enterprising and motivated professionals; together, they form a cohesive dream team who want nothing more than to nurture and enhance the lives of others.” That’s how Shannon McCaffrey describes her Napanee-based RE/MAX team, a collection of annual award winners whom McCaffrey says “inspire the law of attraction in all, including ourselves, associates and clients, on a daily basis.” In an age where a wealth of information is a few screen taps away, members of the McCaffrey Team prides themselves on being educators rather than salespeople, leading clients and colleagues to information they can trust.

Linda Baumgartner couldn’t be happier with the performance of her Haliburton Real Estate Team, which won RE/MAX’s Chairman’s and Team Titan awards in 2017. But organizing the team was no cake walk. Baumgartner says she struggled in the early days with creating job descriptions for her team members. “I overcame it by reaching out to my real estate coach and mastermind group colleagues, who shared their templates with me,” she says, highlighting the need for team leaders to maintain good, supportive relationships with peers, even those competing in the same market.




YOUR KEY TEAM Richmond Hill, ON

Team leaders: Brandon Wasser, Giselle Levy, Adam Nadler and Adam Wasser


Team leader: Jeff Ham

Less than a year after its formation, Jeff Ham’s Keller Williams team is already one of the top-producing teams in the country. Ham credits his team’s culture and grind-it-out determination for enabling members to service clients at the highest level. “We truly collaborate as a group and consider it to be more of a partnership with each agent,” Ham says. “We’ve created a vision big enough for every member of our team to grow to their desired capacity.” With a new team, growing pains are par for the course; a few hiring- and operations-related bumps have already led to major improvements. “Breakdowns create breakthroughs,” Ham says. “We’ve been able to overcome every struggle and come out stronger on the other side.”

When Brandon Wasser and Giselle Levy founded Your Key Team, their goal was to eliminate everything they didn’t like about the team structure and amplify everything that works. The result is an ethical, informed, relaxed approach to real estate that has put the team in Royal LePage’s top 1% since 2016. Your Key Team encourages members to contribute ideas and build their own businesses under the team brand. “We are so proud of helping everyone on our team succeed and grow,” Levy says.

THE POLSINELLO TEAM Newmarket, ON Team leader: Frank Polsinello

CEO of RE/MAX Polsinello and leader of the Polsinello Team, Frank Polsinello is a real estate veteran specializing in new and resale homes and condominiums. With decades of real estate experience, Polsinello faithfully serves clients in the York, Simcoe and Durham regions. Having facilitated more than 3,000 real estate transactions, Polsinello has accrued invaluable market knowledge, pricing expertise, and years of construction, architecture and design experience. He has repeatedly been named one of RE/MAX’s top 100 agents worldwide. He’s also one of an elite few of RE/MAX’s 128,000 Realtors to receive the company’s Circle of Legends Award in the last decade.



Team leader: Kate Broddick

The Kate Broddick Team has been the leader in Brantford’s booming real estate market for the last four years. Boasting one of the largest social media followings in the area, #TeamKate strives to market each property in new and innovative ways to provide sellers’ homes with maximum exposure. The team’s outside-the-box marketing strategies have popped up in unique spots like local movie theatres, and they recently signed an endorsement with HGTV Income Property star Scott McGillivray. “The extra mile is never too far when you have a team of like-minded professionals working together to get your home sold,” Broddick says.



Team leaders: Christine Boisseau and Mathieu Bedard

Team leader: Stacey Falkwin

The Team’s commitment to providing clients with service customized to their unique needs has made it one of the Okanagan’s most trusted real estate brands. With extensive knowledge of the Central Okanagan, Christine Boisseau and Mathieu Bedard’s agents pride themselves on finding the best home to suit each client’s lifestyle and real estate goals. “Clients’ interests will always come before mine,” Bedard says, “and I will never take for granted the trust and responsibility they’ve bestowed upon me.”

An all-female team that has cracked Royal LePage’s top 1% without focusing on luxury properties, Falkwin Group runs on a supportive work environment and deep personal connections – not something one generally associates with real estate agents. “When I was an individual agent, I often felt alone, without any true support when I wanted a sounding board or some help,” Falkwin says. “The environment within our team is exceptional, and one I am so grateful to have.” Halifax’s market is generally more slow than steady – only about 70% of listings have sold in the past 10 years. However, Falkwin’s team has sold a remarkable 97% of the homes they’ve listed over the same period.

Kelowna, BC

Halifax, NS




Team leaders: Taylor Musseau and Lisa Moldenhauer


Despite the trend of growing team sizes, Love Kelowna Living partners Taylor Musseau and Lisa Moldenhauer are committed to staying small. “We knew a genuine hands-on approach would go a long way in a tight-knit community like Kelowna,” Musseau says. The strategy has paid off: The powerhouse partnership continually remains in the top 1% of their marketplace, beating out teams four or five times their size. With a focus on pre-sale construction, the hard-working duo has mastered the difficult task of maintaining an extremely volume of sales while still providing outstanding and continued service throughout a process that can take years.

Team leader: Rob Ohs

Although it’s tiny, Qualicum Beach hasn’t been immune to the recent turmoil in the BC market. Sales are declining at the same time regulations are increasing, doubling the pressure on local agents. “The recent rule changes have required us to sharpen our attention to detail and increase our outreach to clients,” says Ohs Marketing Team leader Rob Ohs. “With volume dropping significantly and many homebuyers taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, we try to educate both buyer and seller clients in terms of the current market and how it relates to their specific situation.” Ohs’ team is well positioned to handle the growing challenges. It has been one of Royal LePage’s top 10 teams since 2012, the same year Ohs began his annual membership in the company’s National Chairman’s Club.


Team leader: Nick Oppedisano

For Nick Oppedisano, leader of the OP Team, continued success in real estate comes down to one thing: education. In addition to keeping his agents informed and up to date, Oppedisano says keeping clients aware of market realities is more valuable than ever. “Consumers think they are educated enough to know what their home is worth or what they should pay for a property, but what they see in the media is not always what is true to the market.” he says. “This is where proper education of clients is very important.” Oppedisano regularly sees competing agents lowering their commissions to make sales, but it’s a practice he refuses to endorse. “We teach our agents to hold their value,” he says. “They have a lot to offer our clients, and it’s important that the clients understand that.”


Team leader: Cailey Heaps Estrin

The Heaps Estrin team’s expertise and unwavering commitment to clients has made it Royal LePage’s number-one Toronto-based team. “Every move we make as a team is thoughtfully considered to ensure we provide the best possible results,” says team leader Cailey Heaps Estrin. “Nothing is left to chance.” One skill that Heaps Estrin feels has been critical to her success as a team leader and an agent is the ability and willingness to listen, which allows her to ponder opposing views and occasionally take the road less travelled. “As much as my team learns from me, I learn from them,” she says. “Each member plays a vital role in our success, and I value everyone’s voice.”



Team leaders: Mary and Brad Wylde


The Go Wylde Team is a family affair. Four of the team members are Wyldes; another mother/son duo helps round out the crew. Co-leader Brad Wylde says the close bonds shared by the team have helped build a company culture of honesty. “We have an entire team that really feels free to say what they feel,” he says. “In fact, it is one of our guiding principles.” Knowing that most homeowners don’t have the resources or skills to properly prepare their homes for sale, Wylde has made home prep a central part of the team’s services. The Go Wylde Team also assists seniors in dealing with the stressful and emotional process of downsizing.

Team leader: Roger LeBlanc

Leading a successful team can be a balancing act, but Roger LeBlanc believes that his RE/MAX team’s greatest opportunity lies in creating space for each person’s unique strengths and aptitudes. His belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts allows each team member to connect to his or her purpose. “After all,” LeBlanc says, “happy team members create happy clients.” Leblanc empowers his team members to create moments for their clients. Whether that means picking up buyers at the airport, spending extra time analyzing investment properties or finding the perfect renovation contractor, LeBlanc’s team doesn’t bend on customer experience.


Team leader: Duke Pham

Duke Pham’s Century 21 team is, as its name suggests, young and hungry. At the end of July, they were the company’s seventh-ranked team in Canada. With his duties as team leader growing by the day, Pham has realized his days as a salesperson may be coming to an end. “I need to devote my time to making my team successful,” he says, “so taking a step back and analyzing who needs me, when and where has been a tremendous step forward for me.” Pham’s emphasis on training, along with an innovative rotation program that pairs team leads with newer agents, has helped create a nimble, well prepared squad that already ranks among Toronto’s real estate elite.



Team leader: Brigitte Obregon

Team leaders: Sherry Rioux, Emma Baker

According to Sherry Rioux, weekly training and knowledge-sharing have played a large part in the continued growth of the Rioux Baker Real Estate Team. These informative meetings have sharpened her agents’ skills, kept them up-to-date with industry regulations and standards, and helped them optimize a tricky combination of CRMs. Rioux takes pride in the range of personalities and backgrounds present on her team, which she believes fosters an environment of support and open-mindedness. “The greatest reward has been to see how the individual team members have grown,” she says, “not only financially, but by stepping outside their comfort zones.”

Brigitte Obregon learned long ago just how vital accurate information is to making the right real estate decision. That’s why her GTA Homes team ensures that every client is kept up-to-date with the rapidly changing Toronto market. Obregon’s close relationships with the GTA’s top developers have helped countless buyers get preferred access to new developments, putting them on the fast track to realizing their real estate dreams.




Team leader: Jim Burton


Team leader: Kirk Chamberlain

Chamberlain Property Group boasts more than a century of combined sales and marketing experience, making it one of the most trusted and successful teams in the Okanagan Valley. As the Penticton market grows hotter and gauging the value of a home becomes more difficult for clients, Kirk Chamberlain’s team’s expertise has made it an invaluable resource for buyers and sellers. “We give consumers truthful advice and back it up with proof rather than inflating value to buy a listing,” Chamberlain says, adding that he’s most proud of his team’s work ethic and “desire to do what is right for the client.”

It’s not the sexiest concept in real estate, but standard operating procedures have been driving Team Burton for much of its 20-year existence, allowing Jim Burton’s RE/MAX crew to provide service that is consistent and reliable. “They’re also paramount for new agents wanting a fast track to success,” Burton says. Having a positive, client-first attitude is crucial to succeeding in a soft market like St. John’s. Maintaining that attitude across the team often comes down to hiring the right people, and Burton has clearly succeeded in assembling his group, who are not only rock-star agents but also active members of the community. “It makes us extremely proud and humble to have such wonderful, caring people on our team,” he says.

THE EXTRA MILE TEAM Radium Hot Springs, BC Team leader: Ken Becker

Hard work and collaboration have made Ken Becker’s Extra Mile Team is one of Century 21’s top 20 teams in Canada. But ensuring everyone contributes equally can be a challenge. Becker says he manages this potential issue through “constant communication with each other, continuing education and learning from each other’s experiences.” Even though Radium Hot Springs is a small market, Becker’s agents cover more than 100km of territory, so helping clients choose where exactly to buy is one of his team’s most unique issues. “Our knowledge and expertise really does make all the difference,” he says.



Team leader: Angelo Toscano

Angelo Toscano’s team at RE/MAX Delta Realty has found a formula for success. As one of the top teams in a raging Ottawa market, Toscano Team has not lost sight of its common goal: exceeding client expectations. Toscano, recipient of RE/MAX’s Luminary of Distinction Award, says his team’s success has relied on individual members excelling in clearly defined roles, which “creates an appreciation of each other’s cognitive diversity.” With Ottawa projected to outperform much of the Canadian housing market in 2019, Toscano’s agents should be busier than ever in the months to come.


Contact us today to find out about our exciting opportunities! 888.668.3948 |





Team leader: Dan Cooper

Team leader: Mitchell Deslippe

By working to become one of the most reputable real estate teams in a busy Windsor-Essex market, Mitchell Deslippe and Jason Laframboise have seen their business double in the past two years. The duo’s generational makeup – Deslippe is 27; Laframboise is 47 – allows them to relate to and service a wide range of clients. Deslippe and Laframboise appear to be a match made in real estate heaven. In their time together, they have won almost every piece of hardware possible from RE/MAX, including the Platinum Club, Chairman’s Club, Hall of Fame and Diamond awards.

Dan Cooper has been one of the leaders in Oakville real estate for almost three decades. In that time, his team has been Royal LePage’s number-one team in the Burlington area 16 times and its number-one team in Canada seven times, and Cooper has been named a lifetime member of the company’s Chairman’s Club. His team of 10 sales reps have a combined 90 years of expertise. Their unified and comprehensive approach to client care has made them legends in the region.


Team leader: Jordan Boyes

The Boyes boys have been making quite a name for themselves in Saskatoon, even as the city’s market continues to struggle. “Year-over-year, we accomplish more, close more deals and make more clients’ dreams come true,” says team leader Jordan Boyes. But Boyes admits that not every day can be an overwhelming success. Mistakes happen, but each one is an opportunity for growth. “We are taking a look at any problems we came across in the year prior and brainstorming around how we can try to eliminate them for 2019,” Boyes says, adding that new checklists and timelines should help his team hit new heights in the year to come.


Team leader: Matthew Santagapita

Specialization has allowed Matt Santagapita’s RE/MAX team to put their stamp on the London, Ontario, market. With agents focusing on every possible client needs – investors, buyers, new builds – the Santa Sells Houses Team is positioned to satisfy them all. But Santagapita’s experts are always able to come together for the good of the team. “We work in a very collaborative work environment where everyone has a voice in the decision-making and idea-making,” he says. Being a market leader in a smaller community means always having a target on your back, but Santagapita relishes being in such a position. “It pushes us to be innovative and different,” he says, “which has led us to the mindset of always wanting more and never being satisfied with where we’re at.”



Team leader: Bill Meyer

Working in one of the hottest markets in Canada has its obvious advantages, but consumers in Ottawa now have fewer properties to choose from than ever before. It’s a challenge Bill Meyer’s Home Team Ottawa has become adept in helping consumers deal with. “By helping buyers understand the cost of waiting and being sure to completely understand their needs, we help them make the decision that’s right for their families,” Meyer says. Limited supply means limited leads, which is why Meyer has instituted a daily three-hour block for team meetings and telephone prospecting. The discipline and focus required for these often exhausting efforts are a big reason why Home Team Ottawa was a RE/MAX Diamond Club winner in 2017.



Team leader: Angie Goulet

Team leader: Randy Dyck

Windsor, ON

Sometimes keeping a team happy is about the little things. Angie Goulet says the friendships that exist among her teammates have allowed them to thrive in an increasingly intense Windsor market. “We have so much fun together,” Goulet says. “There is nothing we wouldn’t do to help each other out. There is no fear that a team member is going to cheat another. We lift each other up when we’re down, and we cheer for each other when we’re up.” Those positive vibes, combined with the team’s tenacity and dedication, have helped Angie Goulet and Associates become one of southwest Ontario’s top producing teams – a position they’re unlikely to vacate any time soon.


Team Leader: Béatrice Baudinet

Béatrice Baudinet believes that everyone deserves a home, no matter their budget. Her team shares the same set of exceptional values. “To be a successful broker, you have to think outside the box, you have to be present, and you have to be invested,” Baudinet says. “It is not a part-time job – it’s 24/7. All team members work long hours, so they have to love what they do.” Even though competition can arise between members of certain teams, Baudinet says hers is free of drama and conflict. “Team members have to support each other and be there for each other,” she says.

Abbotsford, BC

Randy Dyck and the Eximus Real Estate Team have been servicing BC’s Lower Mainland for almost 26 years, helping clients to buy, sell and invest. Over the years, they’ve received multiple awards from RE/MAX and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board for their achievements in the industry and community, including Top Team in the Fraser Valley, Outstanding Team Achievement and Highest Selling Achievement several years in a row. Having the expertise of a team has made the transitioning real estate market easier to predict and understand, allowing Dyck and his agents to keep their clients up to date and knowledgeable throughout these significant shifts.


Team leader: Marnie Bennett


Team leader: Mark Richards

The Richards Group believes that going beyond industry standards is a key driver of their success. Their value-add services and total client care leave clients with a true love for the Richards Group – an experience they can’t help but share with friends and family. Community is the foundation of the team’s values, and giving back is a core focus. The Richards Group is among RE/MAX’s top 10 contributors to SickKids Hospital, in addition to being a top donor to other local hospitals, schools and sports clubs.

The Bennett Property Shop professionals are constantly servicing their clients with unequivocal excellence, working extremely hard and behaving with ultimate professionalism. Bennett says her agents go beyond the transactional in their relationships and that “all the members of the team are extremely supportive of each other” as they attend weekly coaching and training sessions. “Providing extraordinary customer service is our primary and overriding objective,” Bennett says.





Team leaders: Julie Vesuwalla and Jeff Leblanc


Team leader: Goran Todorovic

Goran Todorovic believes that predictable and sustainable growth can only be accomplished by investing in high-level marketing, training and skilled admin support. While excellent client service and a positive team culture form a strong foundation of their business, Team Goran’s success accelerated when they began focusing on high-budget brand marketing. Todorovic is able to deliver a consistent flow of ready-to-go buyers and sellers to his team of 17, allowing them to remain focused on maintaining the highest level of service to their clients. With the addition of systems, admin support and a full training program, Team Goran’s agents can close a larger volume of business in less time.

At Calgary’s Home Sweet Home Team, team leaders Julie Vesuwalla and Jeff Leblanc have created a framework where the achievement of team and personal goals are a priority. In an environment where all successes are shared and celebrated, motivation is never an issue. “We keep our team members happy by attending to their needs and giving them recognition, support, education, systems, and competitive splits, which reward their success,” Leblanc says. “We value and encourage our agents’ input in regards to business decisions, marketing and tools. Everyone in our group has a different skill set, which adds to our team being so unique.”


Team leader: Chris Keleher

The Chris Keleher Team has become known as the brand in real estate for Collingwood, the Blue Mountains and south Georgian Bay. Keleher has nothing but gratitude for his team members, who refer to themselves as a work family. “I’m motivated and supported by an incredible team of professionals who share the same work ethic and core values that I have: to provide service that is unmatched in integrity, knowledge, local expertise and marketing,” Keleher says. This year has been one of exciting growth for the team, paving the way for an amazing 2019.

THE RIZ TEAM Kitchener, ON

Team leader: Riz Jadavji

After a successful run as the number-one sales rep at Royal LePage Wolle Realty from 2004 to 2015, Riz Jadavji has been able to successfully transform his productive and independent business into one of the Kitchener-Waterloo region’s most successful real estate teams. “I am quite fortunate to have selected some incredible team players who contribute a wide range of specialties and amazing skills,” Jadavji says, giving a special shout-out to the unparallelled work being done by his administrative staff. “They continue to propel us to the next level so that the team can do what they do best – sell real estate.”



Team leader: John Kraus

John Kraus is a pioneer in real estate teams, having introduced the concept to the Windsor-Essex market more than a dozen years ago. Kraus’ Local Home Team was Century 21’s number-two team in Canada in 2017, the third year in a row they increased sales by 45% or more. Southwestern Ontario’s market is set to be one of the most active in 2019. To prepare for the onslaught of business, Kraus says educating agents about current pricing trends and inventory levels will be key, as he knows that providing that kind of critical, dynamic information to clients is what keeps them coming back – “and happy clients mean referrals,” Kraus says.


Team leader: Mike Heddle


Team leader: Chris Pennycook

Contributing to team culture and morale in a changing and competitive marketplace has been a priority for Mike Heddle in 2018. While many brokerages and teams in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe have seen their revenue and production decline, the Heddle Group has experienced growth of nearly 40% this year. By providing value to the team through his relationships with developers and other industry networks, Heddle ensures that business opportunities continue to present themselves to his agents. Heddle has created a team culture that is supportive, reputable and positive. Judging by the Heddle Group’s place in the top 1% of Royal LePage teams, that culture has left its mark on consumers.

Chris Pennycook has a reputation for providing results that speak for themselves. Pennycook began his real estate career in 1985 and has since created a highly successful team of agents who treat each other and their clients with the utmost respect. Pennycook’s commitment to client needs, combined with his outstanding negotiating skills and unparallelled market knowledge, have placed him at a clear advantage in the Winnipeg market. He has ranked in the top 1% in Canada for the past 12 years and has led the number-one Royal LePage team in Winnipeg since 2011. Pennycook and his team are firm believers in supporting the community and using their success to make a difference.


Team Leader: Chris Stylianou

Chris Stylianou and the Stylianou Group continue to distinguish themselves as a top producing team despite current changes affecting the Richmond market. Stylianou says the “team supports one another like family and prides themselves on their positive attitude, in both real estate and in life.” Being surrounded by positive energy has allowed the team to flourish and pass along their experience to their valued clients. The Stylianou Group will soon be offering property management services to present and future clients, further cementing their reputation as one of Richmond’s finest real estate outfits.


Team Leader: Adam Mills

The Adam Mills Team strives to assist its clients in fulfilling their real estate dreams by providing expert and timely guidance. By helping his team build long-lasting, professional, and genuine relationships with all the parties involved in the real estate transaction, Mills has placed himself in the top 1% of Royal LePage agents in Canada.




Team leader: Geoff McGowan

As individual agents, Geoff McGowan and his wife, Bobbie, have both been remarkably successful: Geoff consistently ranks in the top 10 of Realtors in Ottawa, and both are regularly among RE/MAX’s nationwide top 100. As a team, their combined appraisal and marketing expertise has won them regular accolades from RE/MAX. Each of their team members has been awarded the company’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Team leader: Andre Chin

Compass Real Estate Advisors has made a name for itself in Kitchener-Waterloo by investing in the most updated systems available and rapidly responding to shifts in the market. Andre Chin’s Keller Williams crew is on pace to close more than 150 deals this year. “We never stop finding ways to make the transaction easier, not only for our clients, but also for the agents on the team,” Chin says. “Improving the communication between agent and client will be one of our focuses this year.” With so many talented individuals on his team, Chin feels it’s his duty to ensure everyone can thrive and grow within the organization. “We look for the leaders in our group, give them opportunities to hone their leadership skills and give them opportunities to lead,” he says, which will ensure the team, and its clients, remain in good hands.


Team leaders: Jeff and Elizabeth Johnson

Company culture is important for the success of any real estate business. At the Johnson Real Estate Team, culture is at the forefront. “This is the most important thing to us, as everything else can be trained,” says co-leader Elizabeth Johnson. “We are very careful to make sure that anyone who joins our team fits the culture first.” The Johnson Team’s diverse background of ages, cultures and experiences – clients might be serviced by former high-school principals or golf pros – ensures that buyers of all stripes will always have their needs taken care of.



Team leader: Paul Rushforth

Paul Rushforth has many reasons to be proud of his team: their dedication, their desire to keep improving and their unwavering support for one another. “They are good, humble people with huge hearts who always have each other’s back both personally and professionally,” he says. But preparing good people to be great agents isn’t that simple. Rushforth says learning to coach his team has been one of his biggest challenges. “It’s something I have to work on still, daily,” he says. Based on his team’s growing share of the Ottawa market, Rushforth has clearly found a recipe that works.


Team leader: Curtis Goddard

With his more than 10 years of experience leading the way, Curtis Goddard continuously raises the bar for both clients and the agents at the team that bears his name. The Curtis Goddard Team is known for its legendary customer service, integrity, honesty and adhering to the golden rule, caring about each transaction as if it were their own.


Team leader: Jason Pilon

The Pilon Real Estate Group has become RE/MAX’s number-one team in Ottawa by leaving nothing to chance. Highly systematized, Jason Pilon provides his agents a comprehensive checklist for every task and a series of processes that ensure continuity for their clients. That attention to detail extends to improving agent performance. Pilon helps his agents create customized plans for achieving their personal sales goals, determining how many appointments and leads will be required to accomplish them. “The greatest reward is achieving amazing results and quality of life as a group,” Pilon says.


Team leaders: Trina Hodges and Megan Mohr

The Hodges and Mohr Realty Group is led by the powerhouse duo of Trina Hodges and Megan Mohr, two award-winning Realtors who formed a whole greater than the sum of its parts. In their years working together, Hodges and Mohr have led their team to the front of the pack in Edmonton and Sherwood Park. They were named RE/MAX Elite’s top team for the region in 2017, the same year they were RE/MAX’s number 11 team in Alberta.


Team leader: Jennifer Queen

When it comes to addressing a client’s needs, Jennifer Queen leaves absolutely nothing to chance. From sending flowers to clients when a property is first listed to weekly report cards documenting a listing’s performance, Queen knows how to wow. “We’ve dissected the home-selling and home-buying process to ensure we can insert as many touchpoints as possible throughout the process,” she says. Some team leaders don’t think they need a system in place for what seems like a simple task, but Queen feels that any task that will be repeated more than three times should have a system. “And that system should be clearly documented and explained to all team members,” she says.




Team leaders: Jason MacDonald and Nim Moussa


Team leader: Tyler Martineau

Experience and commitment to results have made Tyler Martineau’s RE/MAX team the first choice for buyers and sellers in Lethbridge. Part of the reason for the Martineau Advantage’s continued success is its unparallelled transparency when dealing with clients. “We put the market statistics on paper right in front of our clients,” Martineau says. “We have a specialized system that breaks down the averages for pricing, how long it should take to close and even what the house should sell for.” Martineau has put considerable work into how his team members respond to potential customers, significantly improving lead conversion rates. “Based on the source of inquiry, we manage leads differently,” he says. “We always try to match the lead’s communication style.”

DIANE & JEN Ottawa, ON

Team leaders: Diane Allingham and Jennifer Stewart

There are pros and cons to running a team with two leads, says Jennifer Stewart. On the plus side, clients know who they’re dealing with. Not knowing who their agent will be when they approach a team for the first time can be confusing for clients, but Stewart says, “When they hire Diane and Jen, they get Diane and Jen.” But dual leads can also pose problems, especially where communication is concerned. Allingham and Stewart have put additional systems in place to ensure that team members know where to turn. “It has become increasingly important for teams to have really strong systems in place to ensure consistency and efficiency,” Stewart says.


Jason MacDonald and Nim Moussa have climbed to the top of a scorching Ottawa market by establishing a simple rule for their agents to follow: Do the right thing. “We focus on protecting and advising our clients for the long term,” MacDonald says, “not just for one sale or one purchase. Commission comes secondary to service delivery and client satisfaction.” The team faced serious challenges in 2017, when Moussa and MacDonald were both absent for over nine months to deal with a family tragedy and a health scare, respectively. But MacDonald says his team performed like champs while their leaders were away. “They picked up the torch and carried it without any expectations, just as a true team should,” he says. “We are forever grateful.”


Team leader: Kirby Cox

The members of Kirby Cox and Associates have consistently been among Royal LePage’s top-performing Calgary real estate agents for more than 30 years. Ranked as one of the company’s top 10 teams nationwide since 2007, Cox and his team have built their business on outstanding customer service and by being one step ahead of their competition with innovative ideas and technology. Cox has earned Royal LePage’s Lifetime Chairman’s Club Award, Red Diamond Award and the Award of Excellence.


Richmond, BC

Team leader: Steven Thaker

Team leader: Debbie Cosic

By expanding on the concept of what a real estate team can be by providing land assembly, market research, and design and property management services to a vast and growing client base, In2ition Realty has ascended to the upper echelon of Canadian real estate. “We understand what it’s like to be the client while catering to the client,” says team leader Debbie Cosic. When Cosic first started In2ition 10 years ago, the team made its name by taking over and turning around new developments whose sales were stalling, which led to the team being christened ‘The Clean-Up Queens’ by the Toronto Star. Today, intelligence and desire have turned In2ition into many developers’ first choice for getting their projects off the ground. In 2018, the team was a BILD Awards finalist for the work it did selling the Loop and Edgewood Greens projects in Toronto and Dundalk, respectively.

Few Realtors know Vancouver better than Steven Thaker. A local resident for more than 25 years, Thaker is familiar with all the places clients want to call home. From new construction to residential resale properties, Thaker understands the importance of finding not just a house, but a home that is perfect for the lifestyle and needs of his clients. “Our goal is to take the stress out of the home-buying process and give our clients every reason to smile,” Thaker says.


Team Leader: Al Sinclair

With more than 25 years’ worth of experience and success under his belt, Al Sinclair is one of the most recognizable faces in Toronto real estate. As the leader of RE/MAX Hallmark’s top producing team, Sinclair oversees a talented group of agents who boast a wealth of past experience in law, marketing, building and real estate investment. Sinclair is also CP24’s resident real estate expert, hosting the channel’s Hot Property program every week.




Team leader: Geoff Walker

The Walker Real Estate Group has followed leader Geoff Walker’s example of entrepreneurism and professionalism to the upper reaches of a very competitive Ottawa market. In addition to providing unbeatable service, Walker has made community service a priority for his team. Walker is an advocate for Wounded Warriors Canada and a committee member for Habitat for Humanity’s land acquisitions.


Team leaders: Lisa Salt and Gord Fowler

The Salt Fowler Team is a model for dealing with adversity. The BC market was already challenged heading into 2018; new rules limiting dual agency made things even worse, especially for agents working in small markets like Vernon. But perseverance and next-level marketing strategies have made Salt Fowler RE/MAX’s number-one team in the Okanagan Valley. “It’s a great accomplishment, and it shows the power of teamwork when you combine exceptional people,” says co-leader Lisa Salt. Finding the right people is not the most important aspect of staffing, Salt adds. Rather, it’s about finding the right role for each person to thrive in, or, as she puts it, “finding the right people to put on the bus and then putting them in the right seats.”


Team leader: Tony Johal

As leader of the team that bears his name, Tony Johal has to ask himself the same question a prospective client would ask: “Would I do business with my team?” Based on the team’s consistent performance, which placed them in RE/MAX’s top 100 in 2018, Johal’s answer is a resounding yes. “We have the right people in the right positions on our team,” he says. “We have focused on hiring talent in all areas of our team. Our customer service is not just top-notch, but unparallelled. When you hire us, you’ll get the full team experience, but you’ll never be unclear of who your point of contact is.”



Team leader: Michael St. Jean

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, to a family of real estate professionals, Michael St. Jean has had a passion for real estate since childhood. As the co-founder and team leader of St. Jean Realty, St. Jean has participated in more than 3,000 successful real estate transactions. He remains current and well-versed in resales, new developments and investments. He has managed the launch of more than 20 new developments and has recently launched the St. Jean Insider program, offering everyday real estate investors access to some of the most exclusive new development opportunities.


Team leader: Chris Constantine

Who better than Chris Constantine, a former construction worker and teacher, to educate clients on the ins and outs of real estate? Constantine has had an incredible run as the leader of one of Royal LePage’s most successful Atlantic Canadabased teams. He was a Diamond Award winner from 2010 to 2017 and has placed in Royal LePage’s top 1% an impressive four times. He also previously served as president of the Greater Moncton Real Estate Board.


Team leader: Nick Goomber

With Chairman’s Club, Hall of Fame and three Platinum Club awards to his name, Nick Goomber is no stranger to accolades. His RE/MAX team, which Goomber operates with his sister Tina, prides itself on professionalism and integrity, ensuring that each transaction is carried out in the most straightforward, knowledge-driven manner possible.


Team leader: Crystal Tost

Consisting of four licensed agents, Tost Realty Group is small by Calgary standards, but they take a large bite out of the city’s market. “We don’t need to sell any home,” says team leader Crystal Tost. “We want the home to sell itself – and it should. We just want to find the right home for each client.” Calgary’s current market is a challenge, even for strong teams like Tost’s. It’s a time when lesser agents might feel inclined to pressure clients into sales they’re not comfortable with, but Tost refuses to play that game. “We are here to help everyone at all stages,” she says, “whether it’s information-gathering, selling or buying. We are not high-pressure – we are here when clients are ready.”


Team leader: Mark Faris

The leader of the number-one Royal LePage team in Canada, Mark Faris credits his group’s steamrolling of the competition to ensuring that each position at Faris Team is filled with a dedicated expert. “Most Realtors are so busy serving clients that they are not able to keep in step with the pace of change and stay on top of constant improvements,” he says. “We have specialists who are able to focus on those improvements, allowing our sales partners to solely focus on serving clients.” Faris Team agents average about 45 sales a year, far above the market average and a true testament to the well-oiled and constantly improving machine Faris has built.




Team leader: Shahid Khawaja

Shahid Khawaja stared his real estate career nearly 13 years ago. Today, Khawaja’s team of more than 30 sales associates provides top-notch service for residential and new-construction clients across the GTA, where Khawaja has been ranked in the top 1% of Realtors. “When we have a set goal that every team member believes, it’s easy to achieve,” Khawaja says. One of the best motivators in the game, Khawaja knows the value of investing in his agents. “Our model is to focus on the business relationship,” he says. “We want to gain a client for life, not for one transaction. This is key to long-term success in the real estate industry.”


Team leader: Rod Frank


Team leader: Troy Schmidt

Despite being in charge of the top team at RE/MAX Twin City, Troy Schmidt refuses to christen himself the leader of KW Real Estate Group. “We truly operate as a team of equals without one single leader on the team,” he says. “Everyone has a voice. We strive to help each other to become better agents and lift each other up rather than compete with one another.” Schmidt and his mother, Jeanette, were one of the first teams to operate in the KitchenerWaterloo area. Schmidt says one of the enduring challenges is to find concepts that “stand the test of time.” In 2019, his efforts in that regard will include investing more funds in professional development, video marketing and streamlining the team’s CRM processes.



After 30 years as one of the market’s top agents, Rod Frank is arguably the most trusted name in Hamilton real estate. Frank’s experience and bottomless wisdom have been integral to the constant growth of his RE/MAX team members. “I’ve seen them grow through the years, improving as agents, but keeping our same benchmark of an honest, friendly approach to the real estate transaction,” he says. Despite the team’s many accomplish­ ments – they were number 62 nationwide for RE/MAX in the first eight months of 2018 – Frank knows that there is always room for improvement. He recently hired a team manager/business coach to keep team members accountable to their goals and hopes to further streamline the team’s follow-up practices.


Team leader: Daryl King

Team leaders: Isaac Verge, Darin Schiller, Sara Laporte

The Daryl King Team is committed to providing its clients with superior customer service. “The client is positioned as the focal point of all of our activities,” King says. “We believe that the key to success is to simply provide the very best service each and every time a client gives us the opportunity to do so.” Now with RE/MAX, King’s team was one of Royal LePage’s most accomplished units for years. They won both the company’s National Chairman’s Club and Director’s Platinum awards a stunning 18 times.

Whether they’re buying or selling a home, consumers in Windsor know that the Verge Real Estate Team has them covered. The crew at Verge has taken the stress out of the buying process and streamlined the selling process, turning ‘for sale’ into ‘sold’ for hundreds of satisfied clients.

T H E U LT I M AT E 1 0 0 + D E A L M A S T E R M I N D

JUNE 19- 21, 2019








GRAVENHURST, ON Coaching . Consulting . Events . DISC Certification . Team Building . Leadership Training . Study Programs






The global leader in team-based systems How Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting carved out a niche in real estate training by focusing on building top-performing teams

STANDING OUT as a global leader in teambased systems has always been the goal at Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting. In 2009, after becoming a full-time real estate coach, Black immediately realized that most teams lack consistency in providing the right foundation for success. A wholehearted believer in the power of team environments, Black has provided solutions for hundreds of North American real estate teams. Regardless of their prior accomplishments, whenever a new member joins a real estate team, their future success often depends on the overall health of the team environment they’re entering. By focusing on the three key difficulties – compensation, training and recruitment – that prevent team leaders from optimizing their environments, Black has not only carved out a niche


for herself in an increasingly competitive industry, she has also unleashed the potential of countless agents, changing their lives so they can change those of their clients.

that would go on to turn the majority of her clients into top national producers. She specializes in the unique challenges facing individual agents as they begin building their own real estate teams. KBCC has a decade of specialized experience building some of the industry’s top teams. Black has jumped off this cliff hundreds of times, so she knows what to expect mid-flight. But she also considers herself a consultant who can position her clients as something more than great agents – as professionals who understand the value of what they’re bringing to a changing marketplace. Black firmly believes that teams will have a massive position in this changing industry, in how real estate brokerages and brands are owned, and in how they attempt to increase market share. Black has taken great pride in seeing more than 80% of her team coaching clients work their way into the top 1% nationally for their brands or areas. Whether it’s a client who was tired of doing 27 resale deals a year (and is now closing more than 500 as a team), or a team leader looking to re-invigorate her passion for real estate by finding a better way to operate, the team at KBCC is proud to help all of their clients with team-based systems that work. KBCC has built a comprehensive online

Kathleen Black has unleashed the potential of countless agents, changing their lives so they can change those of their clients About Kathleen Black After years as a top performer for RE/MAX, where she regularly placed in the top 1% of North America’s largest real estate board, Black launched Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting in 2015, turning the strategies that made her successful in her personal real estate career into repeatable systems

experience to provide intensive and highly customizable sessions that give trainees the tools they need to not only succeed in the marketplace, but to dominate it. This track record of coaching higher-producing and more competitive agents is KBCC’s edge in the training sector. Black’s clients benefit from consistent,

reliable and predictable conversion numbers, from transforming an online appointment to a loyal client under contract. A greater ability to communicate their roles as real estate agents, and the overall value that presents to a modern, information-savvy consumer, has allowed her clients to increase the percentage of conversions from all lead sources. KBCC training attendees benefit from understanding a clear outcome and therefore gain greater influence and ability at

every stage of the sales process. The systems provided vary and funnel down into three main channels: legacy, lifestyle and mastery. Legacy focuses primarily on smaller businesses looking to build a foundation for their teams. Lifestyle consultation works best for those who have a team-based business but require the systems and mindsets for exponential growth. The master consultation focuses principally on elite team leaders and instills further education with a focus on refining core conversion systems.

With her extensive background and experience, as well as her ability to monitor trends, Black is, and will continue to be, a global force within the real estate team industry.

Practical solutions for widespread challenges Future investment and team growth require experience-based systems that have been proven to work. Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting has built a comprehensive global training system that real estate professionals




KBCC MVPs Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting wants to congratulate the following clients, whose exceptional – and in some cases exponential – growth this year has been a privilege to witness firsthand.






After only a few short years of team-building with KCBB, Dan Gemus’ team reached 300-plus units in 2017, making the team number one for units and production in all of Windsor and Essex County.

Lindsey’s sales in 2018 increased by 172% compared to 2017. In addition to being a KBCC coaching client, she also leverages admin support through the company.





Melody’s focus and determination led her to achieve the Diamond Award with Royal LePage while aggressively fundraising and expanding her team this year.

Rachel started receiving coaching services a year ago. She is on track to double her business in 2018.





Dean is on track to nearly double his business over the past 12 months and is closing in on his goal to hit 100-plus deals in 2018.

Since leveraging the systems, tools and mindsets provided by KBCC, Alysha’s sales have increased 37% from 2017 to 2018.

at any stage in their growth can use for their own guaranteed advancement. Structured under a three-pillar framework of compensation, training and systems, Black and her team are able to provide the framework for future success.


ANGELA LANGTRY MONTREAL, QC Angela’s team was awarded Centurion status with Century 21, closing 100 transactions in their first year of coaching and first year of full team expansion.

After making the transition from a salesperson on a top-producing team to an elite coach, Black was able to pinpoint the first and most prominent mistake made by team leaders: compensation structure. According to Black, a lot of team leaders are not setting themselves up to be compensated for this highly involved role. “A lack of compensation for the role of lead creates a broken equation where the team leader returns their focus to sales instead of working to grow their team business and nurture the people on their team,” Black says. It is essential for the team leader to see the value in being the director and to recognize the need to compensate themselves accordingly. In determining what works best for compensation structure, Black reinforces the idea of determining your value, as well as considering the future of the team. When coaching clients, KBCC evaluates every influencing factor. What makes the custom structure so effective is that it is always targeted towards the future goal of the team.


MIKE RADCLIFFE LUCAN, ON Mike is celebrating a 25% increase in business in 2018. His team is making its final push at reaching 200 transactions in 2018.



The second difficulty that team leaders face when building a team is training.  A top producer doesn’t necessarily make a top trainer. Black solves this challenge for her clients by implementing training certifications and systems that work. “When training, shadowing is generally the path taken when onboarding,” Black says. “The mistake here is inconsistency. Every individual produces differently, every time.

This inconsistency negatively impacts the efficiency and overall success of an agent.” KBCC focuses on mastery for team leaders. Everyone follows the same steps, so everyone knows what it takes to be successful. At that point, the agents can approach the situations with their own personalities and interpretations, but they have been empowered with a set system to be successful.


Recruitment systems

Recruitment – or lack of recruitment systems – is the third major difficulty faced by team leaders. “The lack of recruitment systems has team leaders not looking ahead, but rather recruiting people who don’t complement the direction they want to take their team in the future,” Black says, citing the common practice of teams adding new staff who will seem “easy and comfortable” to work with. “Their lack of ambition won’t help achieve the levels of success the team leader has envisioned.” When looking at recruiting, a team leader isn’t just faced with a few interested candidates; they are responsible for a decision to invest $20,000 to $25,000 into training someone with no guarantee of a return on that investment. Absent a perfect equation for recruitment, Black’s arsenal of solutions includes filters that can be used to a team’s advantage. Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting is North America’s leading real estate team coaching, consulting and training firm. The team’s broad experience in all aspects of real estate business development has allowed them to successfully coach hundreds of top-producing teams. KBCC’s program focuses on achieving an overall personal recipe to success and fulfillment. Combine this unique formula for success with tools previously reserved for the top 1%, and it’s no surprise why the program is in such high demand. REP




Stop chasing cold leads Lead generation can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Industry-leading sales coach Craig Proctor explains how to compel warm prospects to take the first step

MANY AGENTS make the same mistake when they get into this industry. They look around at what all the other agents in their office are doing and copy them. The result? Days and nights spent cold-calling, doorknocking and doing duty time – followed by more cold-calling. Needless to say, this is a demoralizing process. Many agents who follow this regime end up hating the mind-numbing work and repeated rejection. If you’re like most agents, you originally got into this business with the idea that you’d be able to spend time helping people buy or sell a home, but instead you find that the majority of your time is spent chasing people, not working with them. Most importantly, a real estate business run this way most often doesn’t generate enough income to survive. Many agents get so sick and tired of highly inefficient prospecting that they turn to advertising, reasoning that by promoting themselves in newspapers and other vehicles, prospects will now come flocking to them. If you’ve tried this route, you know that this isn’t what happens. When they turn to advertising, most agents again simply copy what those around them are doing. You know the kind of ad I’m talking about: a big picture


of the agent with some catchy slogan to grab their prospects’ attention and make them pay attention. That’s what most agents think advertising is all about: getting attention. You see ads like this every day in your local real estate publications, so you might be asking yourself, “What’s so wrong with these ads?” The problem with self-image advertising is that the focus is on the agent when it really should be on the customer. Whether you know it or not, your prospects are all tuned to the same radio station: WIFM (what’s in it for me?). Image-based ads won’t get you much business because they don’t offer prospects anything they care about. In other words, they don’t offer any meaningful customer benefits or reasons for a prospect to make contact. Early in my career, I learned an important marketing lesson: Just because prospects know who you are doesn’t mean they’ll call you.

Flip the script The most effective and least expensive way to generate leads is to offer prospects something they want and to make it easy and non-threatening for them to get it. Every single ad and marketing communication you

run should make an offer so appealing and so easy to get that the right prospects unfailingly respond by contacting you to do business. On the opposite page are two ads that do a great job of what I’m talking about. I want you to notice a few things about these ads. First, each one offers something we know buyers and sellers want. Sellers want to make sure they’re getting the most money when they sell their home. By giving them an easy way to understand home prices in their area, you give them a sense of how much their home could sell for. Buyers want to get the best deal possible when they buy, and the offer of a free list of real estate deals, such as distress sales, speaks directly to that desire. But more than that, notice that neither of these ads directs prospects to call the agent. In every case, you need to give prospects an easy, non-threatening way to get the information you offer by driving them to either a website and/or a toll-free telephone number with a pre-recorded message. I call these my automated robots, because they automatically handle the prospect inquiry for me. There are several important advantages to driving prospect inquiries to automated robots such as a hotline or a website. From a marketing perspective, it has been proven that three times as many prospects will respond to your ad if they don’t have to speak with a salesperson to get the information they’re after. If you make a great offer but tell people they have to call you directly to get it, you’ll significantly lower your response rate. Also, these robots give you the important ability to scientifically track and test every ad you run. In addition to these marketing advantages, there’s a huge lifestyle advantage to driving prospects to a website and or hotline – one that will change your whole way of doing business. You see, with this type of advertising, the prospect is not actually calling to speak with you. Instead, they’re calling to get the information offered in the




Free list w/pics of area home sales & current listings






Free recorded message

Free recorded message

1-800-000-0000 ID # 0000 RE/MAX Omega Realty (1988) Ltd.

1-800-000-0000 ID # 0000 RE/MAX Omega Realty (1988) Ltd.

ad, so they’re not even expecting a call back from you. It’s important that you follow up with them so you can convert this inquiry into a face-to-face appointment, but instead of you taking a prospect’s call when it’s convenient for them, you simply call back your prospects when it’s convenient for you. With simple, inexpensive little ads like these, you will generate so much business that you’ll be able to pick and choose who you want to work with. REP Craig Proctor invented his real estate success system during a highly successful 22-year career during which he regularly sold over 500 homes a year for annual GCI of almost $4 million. Proctor has created more millionaire agents than any other real estate coach or trainer in the world. Learn about free Craig Proctor training opportunities at




Level up! Moving to the next stage of your real estate career requires more than setting a few work-related goals. According to EXIT Realty CEO Tami Bonnell, true professional evolution involves a holistic re-evaluation of who you are, where you’re going and how best to get there

WHERE DO you see yourself in one, three or five years? Whether you’re an agent who wants to increase production, a topproducing agent who wants to develop a team, a team leader who wants to open or acquire a brokerage, or a top broker who wants to become a regional owner, the first step is a thorough evaluation of who you are, as both a person and an agent. This is the perfect time of year to reflect and plan for the next level in every facet of your life. Consider goal-setting, personal development and your physical health. Review your finances: Are you striving for complete financial independence, or is it more realistic for you to become debt-free first? Do you want to save more money or give more away? Next year might be about getting your own house in order before aiming for the next level of your career. Take stock of the quality of your relationships, both personal and professional. Scrutinize your time management by considering changes to your schedule in order to maximize those activities that generate the most returns and minimize those that don’t. The changes you make might be lateral rather than vertical to accommodate a lifestyle shift. Perhaps because you’re caring for


young children or aging parents, the time has come to partner with another agent to share the business to free up your time. At EXIT Realty, for example, we have an associate in her 70s with decades of experience behind her. She takes listings on Tuesday and

Or perhaps becoming involved in local government is on your horizon. We have associates with EXIT Realty who are the mayors of their towns. What do you need to learn to move to the next level? As a real estate agent, you might

This is the perfect time of year to reflect and plan for the next level in every facet of your life. Consider goal-setting, personal development and your physical health Thursday nights and Saturday mornings. She works three hours per week in real estate and partners with someone else who handles the details, allowing her to use her experience to mentor new agents and enjoy the freedom to live life on her own terms. Maybe the next logical step for you is becoming involved in organized real estate. If you don’t like the way your board is spending your dues, consider running for an elected position. Become involved at a local, provincial or national level, and be a part of the change you want to see in the industry.

need to improve your sales or negotiating skills. If you’re building a team, you might look at bolstering your communication and leadership skills. A current or aspiring broker/ owner might learn about mergers and acquisitions to take advantage of key opportunities in the market. If you’re considering regional ownership, you should learn to teach other people how to grow their business. As you set your plan for 2019, be sure to incorporate opportunities for education. One of the best ways to accelerate your learning is to develop a group of trusted advisors.

Mastermind with someone in a different market who has acquired companies, or who is building a brokerage with the calibre of agents you want. The best advisors aren’t necessarily agents – they can be appraisers, home inspectors, or mortgage and insurance brokers. This group of professionals has connections across the industry and can offer a different perspective to that of someone licensed to sell real estate. They might even have a perspective on you. Remember to give before you take and always offer to help them first. Be open to new opportunities. When I was

first introduced to EXIT, the company’s marketing collateral read: “You owe it to yourself to take a closer look.” That phrase resonated with me because I did, in fact, owe it to myself. How could I make an educated decision on my next career move if I didn’t learn about new opportunities? In my professional life, I started out by listing and selling real estate, and then I advanced to a management role selling franchises and teaching mergers and acquisitions, then on to regional ownership. From there I became vice-president, president and then CEO. At every level of my career, because

I did my homework and knew what opportunities were available, I was able to do the job before I had it. If you’re in leadership – whether you’re an agent leading clients through the real estate transaction, a team leader, a broker/owner or regional owner – you must continue to grow, or people won’t continue to follow you. You must always be a work in progress. REP Tami Bonnell is the CEO of EXIT Realty Corp. International. To find out more about how EXIT Realty can help take your career to the next level in 2019, visit




Before the frenzy Even in a hot market, a home needs to look its best. The nationwide home inspection experts at Pillar to Post share some invaluable tips for getting your clients’ homes into wow-able condition



It should go without saying that carpets need to be shampooed and in good condition. If the carpet looks worn and stained, the best choice is to simply replace it. The same goes for kitchen flooring – if it’s in bad shape, new flooring is the way to go. Depending on the situation, a new floor can often be installed right over the old one, which can mean less work and lower cost. Any replacement flooring should be neutral-coloured. It does not have to be top-of-the-line; the most important thing is that it looks good and doesn’t draw negative attention.

Replace any missing or damaged fence boards. It might be obvious that they’ve been replaced, but that’s preferable to leaving the fence in bad shape. Shrubs should be trimmed and kept neat, and weeds pulled. A thick application of bark mulch will help planting areas look clean and neat instead of a mess the new owner will have to deal with. In addition, check around the exterior for any peeling paint or cracks that could present themselves as problems if not corrected. As you know, buyers tend to have a more positive reaction to a home that looks its best. One of the first impressions you want a buyer to have is of a home that looks like it has been well taken care of. Better-looking homes can mean better offers for your clients – and happier buyers, too, which will reflect well on you. REP

WHEN YOU’RE showing a home, you want buyers to focus on what’s great, not what needs fixing or is in poor condition. Sellers can do a lot to make sure their home shows well and will get better offers than those in obvious need of TLC.


The idea here is to reduce the attention directed at areas of superficial concern that buyers might otherwise focus on. Every negative adds up in the buyer’s mind, so it’s wise to do some basic updates and repairs before the home goes on the market.

For more information, please visit the nationwide home inspection experts at



What not to do Beth Kinsella, global member services manager for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, explains five wrong-footed moves all Realtors should avoid when crossing cultural barriers HAVE YOU been looking for a way to insult prospective business partners and sour potential opportunities? Have you been itching to appear more impatient, culturally insensitive and generally unlikeable? Have I got some tips for you! Obviously, that’s not your mission as a real estate agent, but the inadvertent alienation of clients from different cultural backgrounds happens every single day. Technology has played a central role in creating a global economy – at the touch of a button, we are connected to anyone around the world – but that convenience carries with it a certain element of risk. Instant communication makes it that much easier to put your foot in your mouth. To avoid embarrassing yourself in another culture (and possibly losing a potential client), here are five minefields to watch out for.


Using sarcasm

Despite being common practice in Western cultures, sarcasm isn’t widely used in much of the world. It would be great if there was a special font for expressing sarcasm, but there isn’t. Assume that whatever you write will be interpreted literally – and don’t assume

that your sense of humour will make you a hit in a different country, à la Jerry Lewis. Mean what you say and say what you mean.


Keeping things casual


Relying on idioms, acronyms, abbreviations and slang

Business culture is much more formal in many parts of the world. Titles are a big deal and hierarchy is a way of life, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. Address people as Mr., Ms., Sir or Madam until you are instructed otherwise. Always use a salutation in your emails; so often these days, people get right to the point without a friendly greeting, but doing so is rude in any culture. The salutation will help establish the right tone from the beginning. Throw in a ‘Dear’ for good measure.

Don’t assume that common idioms or acronyms carry the same meaning in another part of the world. OMG or FYI could mean something entirely different – perhaps even something offensive – in another language. The time-saving text tricks we use with our friends could confuse a person who is unfamiliar with them. Dial back the all caps and exclam-

ation points, too. Your expressive manner could be interpreted as cheerleader-like enthusiasm, but it could also be misread as ham-fisted frustration.


Calling anytime


Making demands

It’s 1:00 in the afternoon for you, but it could be 2:00 in the morning for your colleague. With so many people using cell phones these days (which usually double as alarm clocks), it’s good to be mindful of when you’re calling someone in another time zone. Additionally, when referring to time in written communications, it may be safest to use the 24-hour clock. If you’re talking about 1:00 p.m., write 13:00.

It’s good to be a take-charge person who gets things done, but remember to soften your edge when dealing with other cultures. There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance. Read over your messages from the viewpoint of someone who speaks English as a second language, and be mindful that not every culture works at the same frenetic pace. Try to be patient while waiting for a returned call or email. It’s true that mistakes are good life lessons, but unintentionally offending someone could be a costly lesson that reflects badly on you and your company. Be thoughtful in your communications with different cultures. Take the time to do some research if you’re concerned about what you’re saying or writing. As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. REP

Beth Kinsella is the global member services manager for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, home of market-leading independent residential brokerages in more than 70 countries, producing over 1.1 million transactions valued at $372 billion annually. For more information, visit




Make them come to you Recruiting the industry’s best is an enduring challenge. Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas, shares five keys to attracting top real estate talent

RECRUITING TALENT remains a top challenge across the real estate industry. As every successful broker knows, good agents are the key to scaling your business. However, competition for the best agents has never been fiercer. What can brokers do to attract and retain the top talent in their markets? The results of Engel & Völkers’ State of Real Estate Recruiting report indicate that 96% of agents are satisfied in their current position, 94% predict they are likely to be with the same brokerage in a year, and 90% would refer their current brokerage to other agents. These findings mean one thing is for sure: Talented agents are not just going to walk through your door. However, as ‘un-recruitable’ as agents might appear to be at first glance, there are key drivers for agents when it comes to switching brokerages. While the majority of agents predicted staying with their brokerage for at least a year to come, 35% said they consider leaving their job at least once a year. This means that reaching the right prospects at the right time with the right message could result in a strong producer joining your team. Consider where you land in these categories that make agents want to work for you.



attracting, as opposed to recruiting, talent.


Your reputation as a broker


A physical office space

Real estate is still very a much a relationship-based business. It’s about relating to and investing in your agents on a personal level — knowing about their families, acknowledging life milestones and giving them the time to pursue their passion projects — in addition to actively helping them navigate their career paths. It’s much more difficult for agents to walk away from a personal relationship than one that’s purely transactional. Brokers should also be seen within the community. This includes interacting with and supporting local restaurants and businesses, as well as getting involved in community events or even regularly hosting ones that bring the community together.

The company you keep

An overwhelming majority of agents said they would recommend their brokerage to colleagues. Brokers should activate their network of current agents to attract other professionals who will likely have a good work ethic and emulate the culture. Keep in mind that research shows financial incentives are not always the most compelling factor. Employee referrals are predicated on

Eighty-six per cent of agents we surveyed named a physical office space as the top benefit of their current brokerage, and 72% prefer to work in a brokerage with physical office space, a sentiment that has been echoed across the industry in debates about virtual versus brick-and-mortar brokerages. A communal space lends itself

Reaching the right prospects at the right time with the right message could result in a strong producer joining your team an exceptional workplace experience, so while offering a financial reward is an option, it’s also worth investing in events where current agents can bring friends and prospects to network and truly experience your brokerage. This also helps existing agents feel like they have an active voice in the company. With current agents as a brokerage’s biggest advocates and champions, brokerages will start

to collaboration and helps build rapport between agents. Externally, agents want a legitimate space where they can be proud to bring clients. An office that reflects a brand’s values can be key to building credibility and loyalty within a market. If a physical office space is too large an investment for small or upstart brokerages, consider smaller steps that can be taken to

foster a sense of community and collaboration amongst both agents and clients. For example, bring agents together for a day of volunteering in the community or encourage them to join local boards and committees. It’s all about creating environments that foster a natural connection between your team and clients.


Coaching and mentorship

When agents were asked what they were least satisfied with at their current brokerages, 67% cited a lack of one-on-one coaching and mentorship. Research shows that one-third of North American employees lack a career path and that this absence of career planning leads to increased employee turnover. On the other hand, many experts point out that offering employees structured opportunities for career development increases their loyalty to their current employer. The best talent will always be looking for ways to grow professionally, and brokers must be able to meet that need through dedicated

mentorship programs. Professional development initiatives should have clear goals, and agents should be held accountable for reaching those goals through regular meetings with their mentor or broker. With coaching and mentorship programs in place, brokers can better retain top talent while building more productive, betterperforming teams. In short, when brokers invest in their agents’ careers, agents invest back into the business.


what it is, rather than relying on large percentages to attract talent. For example, another brokerage might offer a 90% split but not have the same calibre of technology tools and marketing support, so the agent would be totally self-reliant in generating leads. Recruiting top talent isn’t something that happens overnight. Brokers must continuously invest in their unique value propositions and make a concerted effort to reach both current and prospective agents with messages that will resonate. REP

Commission splits

The top reason agents told us they would join a new brokerage is better commission splits. This isn’t necessarily shocking, but it is purposely last on this list. While higher splits can certainly lure talent in the short term, it’s a common misconception among agents that higher splits lead to more income. Instead, brokers should focus on educating their agents about their unique value and explaining why their commission structure is

Anthony Hitt is the president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas. To learn more about what E&V can do for your real estate career, visit join-our-team.php. To read the report referenced in this article, visit




Why we’re here Sarah J. Stevens was killing it as a real estate investor when she was encouraged to put her expertise to work as a Realtor. In a few short years, she has become one of Simcoe County’s most trusted investor-focused agents

SARAH J. STEVENS has had her mind on real estate for a long time. More than a decade ago, when she was earning $24,000 a year as a buyer for SportChek and wondering how she and her wife were ever going to get ahead, Stevens began educating herself on real estate investment. By 2005, she had completed an MBA, moved on to a commercial lending position with one of Canada’s Big Five banks and purchased her first income property. It wasn’t long before the Realtors Stevens regularly dealt with began encouraging her to join them. Stevens originally took her licence as a way to give her portfolio a boost, “but as our circle of friends, acquaintances and colleagues saw how successful we were,” she says, “anytime people started thinking about real estate, they just started calling.” Now a Centurion Award winner at Century 21, Stevens estimates that she’s involved in half the investment transactions taking place in Ontario’s Simcoe County. Her clients have come to see her as not only a trusted advisor, but as a fellow traveler on the long, winding road to wealth. “This is my life’s adventure, and I want to take everyone who’s willing along for the ride,” Stevens says. Stevens’ transition from investor to agent was a smooth one. When she signed up for real estate courses in 2010, she was already well versed in putting capital to its best use. In her work for both BMO and Scotiabank, she was


regularly lending millions of dollars to major clients, structuring win-win deals through careful analysis and financial assessment. The skills she developed working in lending would prove invaluable to her clients. The hunt for those clients, typically so brutal and desperate for new agents, was something Stevens never had to endure. The same friends, investors and colleagues who had hounded her for her expertise when she was an investor now had an agent at their disposal who was both familiar with their unique needs and skilled at growing a portfolio of properties. The leads generated themselves. “I actually don’t work for leads,” Stevens says. “My phone just rings. My clients become my friends, and they send their friends and family to me.” By working with investors, Stevens has found what might be the most effective way to keep the referrals coming: making her clients

more money than anyone else. By determining a client’s long-term vision and viewing each purchase or sale as a means of building a winning portfolio, she brings an investor’s strategic outlook to each transaction. “No matter what it is, I’m always going to strategize,” she says. “Where can we get the best value? What makes the most sense? What’s your long-run game plan? If I understand all of that, I can easily hone in on what’s going to be the next best opportunity for them.” Many agents market themselves as investor specialists, but not all of them are succeeding at the same level as Stevens. She credits her accomplishments to a range of factors: a varied investment background that allows her to answer any question an investor might have; a no-pressure approach in which clients’ best interests are priority one; and an exhaustive list of contacts, from plumbers to mortgage brokers to real estate lawyers, that act like Advil

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Sarah Stevens and her wife, Ligaya Byrch, long ago made charity work a component of their real estate investment strategy. Now that their investments are bearing fruit and Stevens has become an award-winning agent, they have been able to dedicate even more of their time and money to causes they believe in. The couple recently donated $25,000 to the renovation of Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital’s neonatal intensive care facility and are deeply involved in the Greenhaven Shelter for Women, where Byrch is the chair of the group’s fundraising committee and Stevens brokered the deal for the land the shelter is built on.


LOCATION Orillia, Ontario


BROKERAGE Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty


“This is my life’s adventure, and I want to take everyone who’s willing along for the ride” on clients’ property-related headaches. “I don’t have one painter in my phone; I have five,” she says. “I have a really good network of people who aren’t just going to work 9 to 5.” After eight years as an agent, matching clients with their ideal properties is becoming easier and easier. Stevens used to take her clients on a series of five property tours before they would find something to make an offer on; now she rarely needs more than two. She says a recent client fretted that the process was almost too smooth.

“But that’s what I do,” she says. “I don’t want to waste your time. I’ll show you a hundred properties no problem, but if I can find something for you right away that’s exactly what you want, isn’t that why we’re here?” Working with investors, who bring a narrower definition of success to a transaction than the average house-hunter, Stevens knows that the margin for error is paper-thin. But the benefits are considerable. “As people see my success, I get to help people with theirs,” she says. “That’s what I love about this so much.” REP


AWARDS Century 21 Centurion Award, Masters Emerald Award and Masters Ruby Award

CURRENT INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO An 11-unit apartment building, a 12-unit apartment building and a six-plex, all in Simcoe County




Power windows Rather than being an afterthought, the windows of your real estate office can play an important role in bringing in potential buyers and sellers, writes Gavin Kihn of VitrineMedia Canada

IT WAS oft thought that shop windows in the real estate industry were no more than that – shop windows. Until quite recently, hanging paper prints in plastic holders or in homemade displays was considered good enough to entice people to look at listings. However, a European trend of real estate agencies moving to bright, well-thought-out window displays has demonstrated a marked increase in people actually stopping to look at the listings and entering the shop to discover more.


There are a number of ways to communicate to your customers (current and potential) what your brand is all about and what you offer, and a shop window is an outright announcement that will have the potential to either attract people or turn them away. A shop window can be used for multiple purposes, but overall, it serves as a means for your brand to communicate with people. A shop window should be able to send a strong message to get someone’s attention by

presenting listings in well-laid-out LED displays and should be able to trigger the motivation needed to get them in the shop. Look at your store window and take note of what you see. Is it inviting? Is it interesting? Does it attract your attention? Does it make you want to step in and take a look at what the shop offers? Because you are likely looking at your window as someone who is part of the business, look again, this time as a customer, and jot down your impressions. Start comparing your notes. What do they tell you? Are there more commonalities or more differences? When people approach your window, how do their reactions square with the observations you have made? Could the way your window is set up be discouraging people from entering your shop and starting a conversation? If so, it’s time to make changes on your store window. Keep the following two points in mind before diving in: Remember your brand. Your store window should communicate strongly what your brand is all about and what it offers. Remember your customers. It’s your customers, actual and potential buyers and sellers, whom your store window is communicating to. If there is a breakdown, your message will not reach its intended recipients. These days, there are many channels to promote a brand and showcase houses for sales – the internet, brochures, direct mail and more – but none are a physical attraction like a shop window, where beautiful displays can inspire an engagement between you and your future clients. Once they’re interested, they’ll walk into your shop; once there, the rest is up to you. Be bold and become remarkable. REP VitrineMedia is a world pioneer in the manufacture and supply of low-energy, high-quality backlit LED panels for window and in-store display solutions. VitrineMedia has provided window display solutions to more than 35,000 real estate companies around the globe. To find out how the company can help your real estate business, call (778) 938-8732, visit, or email

This is home. It’s a place called reputation. Whether your clients are buying or selling, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is dedicated to ensuring confident home ownership. With over 3 million inspections completed and a 98% recommendation rate, we prove our commitment to excellence, and to you.

Each office is independently owned and operated.




Promises kept

RMR: What qualities should an agent possess if they want to replicate the success you’ve found? BH: Professionalism, honesty and selfmotivation. You must find a balance between being proactive and patient so you can find clients but also give them the time they need to think and make their own decisions.

RE/MAX Realtron spoke to one of its top producers, Billy Hong, to discover what’s behind his 16 years of success in the real estate business

RMR: What challenges did you face as a young Realtor, and how did you overcome them? BH: A client’s trust is the key that opens

RMR: Why have you stuck with it for as long as you have? BH: I enjoy every moment of it. Not because

RMR: How have you improved your performance over the years? BH: I believe it is always important to set

I earn better income, but because I earn lots of respect and trust from my clients. This career has changed my personality for the better and has allowed me to mature and hold a greater amount of responsibility. You must enjoy what you do, and once you enjoy what you do, you won’t think of leaving.

goals and work towards achieving them. Although that will rarely happen as smoothly as you think it will, you must still try and work towards it. Continuing to learn from others is important, too, because we never know everything. Learning from your mistakes

ON OCTOBER 15, RE/MAX Infinite Realty merged with one of the company’s true powerhouse brokerages, RE/MAX Realtron. Exciting changes are on the way, but the level of service provided by Levon Nazarian and his team of top agents is sure to remain constant. One of those agents is Richmond Hill-based Billy Hong.

RE/MAX Realtron: Billy, what drew you to real estate in the first place? Billy Hong: When I was looking into buying a house, my real estate agent at the time recommended I get into this business because of my background in technology sales and the fact that I am multilingual. I was hesitant at first about leaving behind a great career as an IT engineer, but eventually my curiosity took over, and I decided to enter the field as a part-time salesperson.

RMR: How was life as a part-timer? BH: I quickly found the industry not to be a part-time type of business. In order for my business to succeed, I would need to give my full attention to my buyers and sellers. Shortly after, I completed my studies and received my real estate broker designation.


many doors, so earning that trust was the first major challenge. I just proved my value by working hard, intelligently and honestly. I also never made promises I couldn’t keep.

Billy Hong and his wife, Myle, at a recent RE/MAX Infinite event

Hong with beneficiaries of the scholarship program he supports in Richmond Hill

and not letting them discourage you is critical. Think of mistakes as experiences; it is the most valuable thing when you can turn your mistake into a good experience.

RMR: What has been your proudest moment as a Realtor so far? BH: My proudest moment had to have been in the early stages of my career when I won a bet with a seller whose house I had listed. At first, he didn’t believe in me because I was new in the business, and he wanted to list with one of the top local agents. Over a phone conversation while trying to convince him to list with me, I made a bet with him that if I didn’t sell the property during my listing term, I would pay him $2,000, but if I sold it, I would get the full commission – plus a bonus 1%. He didn’t say anything, but he invited

me to meet him at his office so he could see me in person. I still remember the moment I went to his office and found out that he was the owner of a commercial plaza and a developer. My blood was pumping hard. I began second-guessing myself. When I met him, he immediately asked me if I had brought the listing agreement to sign and told me that he was going to be $2,000 richer at the end of this. I asked him why, and he said even the top agents in the area couldn’t sell his property. I told him I had a plan and that I felt very confident that I could sell it. He then told me that he owned a few more properties in the same area, and if I sold this one, he would give me a couple more to sell. I sold that first one in two weeks and then sold two more of his properties.

RMR: How do you use your success to help others? BH: I have been supporting a scholarship program in my community. The program is held once a year at the time of the Lunar Year festival. It encourages young students new to Canada to get an education and graduate with high achievement and top marks.

RMR: Any last words for your fellow real estate professionals? BH: Your toughest challenger should be yourself. Stay focused and enjoy what you do.


RE/MAX Realtron has launched and supported the careers of countless top producers in the Greater Toronto Area. To find out what working at Realtron can do for your career, visit




How to build a network that drives your success Assembling everyone from your pit crew to your butt-kickers involves much more than cocktails and canapés, writes speaker and author Janine Garner HOW MANY times have you been told that networking is “essential for your growth and personal success”? And yet when it comes to networking, many of us are overwhelmed by the pressure of where to start, confused by what appears to be an overcomplicated world of opportunities to connect online and offline, and overstretched by the demands on our time. The truth is, the adage “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know” has significantly more weight in this 21st-century world of busyness, in which jobs are filled before they are advertised, previously un-thought-of collaborations appear out of nowhere to create new and competitive markets, forming referral relationships is increasingly hard to do yet is critical to business growth, and everyone seems to be friends with everyone else on social media. A Harvard Business Review article entitled “Managing Yourself: A Smarter Way to Network” found that “the executives who consistently rank in the top 20% of their companies in both performance and wellbeing have diverse but select networks … made up of high-quality relationships with people who come from several different spheres and from up and down the corporate hierarchy.” So, the questions to ask are:


Who is in your network? How much input or influence do they really have on what you’re doing or trying to achieve? How much do they truly know you and your goals? How much can they help you? Effective networking has to be about the genuine – about the interplay of a select group of people who are working closely together, strategically creating plans to succeed. Here are three key tips to building a network that works:

Identify your critical few British anthropologist Robin Dunbar posited that there is a limit to the number of relationships humans can comfortably maintain – 150, to be precise. He suggested this is the number we can manage to maintain stable relationships with – remembering each other’s names, keeping in contact and doing each other favours. Anything more than this, he said, would result in the creation of other subgroups and tribes. Momentum starts with a significantly smaller circle of influence that you are securely

in the centre of, rather than being mixed in somewhere with all the other participants. A small group of people providing quality thinking and behaviours will push you further than you could ever go alone. An effective network bridges a smaller number of more diverse individuals with differing levels of expertise and varying ages, genders and experience. Such networks are cross-functional, cross-hierarchical and cross-industry, delivering balance and diverse thinking. Identify the quality of people you surround yourself with, not the quantity. So, who are the right people to have in your network? Find your personal cheer squad – your promoters. According to research from the Center for Talent Innovation, people with promoters are 23% more likely to move up in their careers than those without sponsors. Your own personal cheerleading squad is key to your success. They are by your side through thick and thin, never giving up on you, always dreaming big with you. Get your support team in place – your pit crew. Your pit crew can make or break a race. They add stamina to help you run the

Successful networking is about under­ standing the connections you should be making, as opposed to those you are making. It’s about asking who you need to surround yourself with to inspire you and help you grow. It’s about being brave enough to seek out and connect with new individuals.

Exchange value

marathon of your dreams, navigate complexities and recover from setbacks. They help you learn from mistakes and keep pushing you on anyway. They celebrate your wins, remind you of your achievements and keep it real. There’s no doubt that climbing the ladder of success can be a lonely task that requires grit, determination and perseverance. Having the right crew to help you overcome any difficulties and challenges, and keep you mentally tough and balanced, is essential. Discover people who make you better every day – your teachers. Harvard professor Linda Hill says, “You can’t think of something new unless you are being pushed to think in new directions, and you can’t do that unless you are engaging with people who have a different viewpoint.” A life of continuous learning is essential to growth. The right teachers teach you mastery, guide and stretch your thinking, challenge your ideas, and encourage you to keep learning, because they know that this constant curiosity creates real opportunity for growth, achievement and success.

Have some accountability buddies – your butt-kickers. Linda Galindo, author of The 85% Solution: How Personal Accountability Guarantees Success, believes butt-kickers are our secret weapon for success. “Working with a partner prevents the ready-fire-aim approach that a lot of entrepreneurs use,” she says. Love them or hate them, we all need buttkickers – those individuals who help accelerate the journey, pushing you to do more and holding you accountable for your actions. Butt-kickers listen to your dreams and accelerate your goals by making sure you stick to them. They hold you accountable for your actions and decisions and ensure you do what you say you’re going to do – and then some.

Find ways to constantly add value. Ask yourself if you're doing enough with and for your connections. Consider what more you could do to add value to them and their businesses. Model the behaviour you seek in return. Give knowledge unconditionally, open doors willingly, and share insight to drive continued growth and success for others in order to attract them and engage with them. Richard Branson famously said that “nobody can be successful alone,” and in our fast-moving business world, we all need a network that works for us. Take a long, hard look at your network and ask yourself: Who really matters? Who is teaching you mastery and knowledge? Who is the key influencer pushing you to be and do more, holding you accountable to your dreams? Who is promoting you, acting as your personal cheer squad, inspiring you to become more? Who is keeping you balanced and aligned, caring and connecting you with others? Choose your network wisely. Build a circle around you that allows you to transform and become so much more. REP

Be brave and diversify Step out of your comfort zone, strategically expand your circle of influence, diversify your connections, and explore other people, businesses and experiences. Consciously consider who else you need to learn from, add value to, engage and collaborate with.

Janine Garner is an internationally acclaimed Fortune 500 mentor, keynote speaker and author of It’s Who You Know: How a Network of 12 Key People Can Fasttrack Your Success.




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Al Sinclair has seen his share of challenges and victories, but nothing matters as much as where he is right now Partway through playing a season of pro hockey in the Netherlands, Sinclair was offered a job with Suncorp and decided to step away from hockey to become the regional manager of Southern Ontario for the energy giant “I had hockey friends who recommended me, and I’d interviewed before leaving; then I had to make the decision to fly home for the final interview. I ultimately worked for Suncorp for two years”



GETS HIS LICENCE Real estate licence in hand, Sinclair began working with an agency in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood

“I never planned on being a Realtor, but I had all these properties and it looked like the market was doing well, so why would I want to pay someone else to sell those properties? In 1987 I was selling others’ homes, and in 1988 I was selling my own”


BUYS FIRST INVESTMENT PROPERTY Sinclair began buying investment properties via a process where the buyer pays slightly more to take on the sellers’ mortgage. His obsession prompted his then-boss to observe that talking about real estate made Sinclair’s eyes light up, whereas talking about petroleum made his eyes glaze over “He said, ‘One day I’m going to come in here dressed up as a house, just so you’ll pay attention to me!’”


STARTS OVER Over the course of the 1980s, Sinclair amassed a total of 98 income properties “I was worth was about $5 million, but I never had more than 8% or 9% equity – and then the market dropped 8%. I got caught in a market that went down. I thought it would never end; it was all I could do to sell what I had and get out of the industry. Then I dusted myself off and jumped back in”


WINS FIRST PLACE Sinclair’s first year post-market-crash was marked by winning the number-one sales spot on his team, an achievement he repeated every year until 2007 “The investors I had known in the 1980s were all gone; suddenly I was working with people who were buying the house they would live in – I had to change my formula, and I’ve never looked back since then”


TAKES TO THE SMALL SCREEN Sinclair interviewed alongside several other topperforming Realtors to become the real estate expert on the CP24 show Hot Property, eventually landing the gig. He attributes his decade-plus of success on the show to the same personable manner that assisted him in building a thriving career “I come across as straightforward, as a straight shooter, and not like I’m trying to sell. When people meet me, they realize I really am like that”


LEARNS THE LANGUAGE OF CONSTRUCTION While building his dream home on the shores of Lake Ontario, Sinclair learned that his contractor was ‘double-dipping’ some of his charges – but the setback gave him the opportunity to broaden his skill set “I fired him and became the general contractor myself; it taught me a lot about construction and building. Later I turned out to be a good fit for fresh builds because I could speak the language of new construction”





HIT THE SLOPES Realtor Theo Birkner feels most at home with a pair of skis on his feet

In addition to the adrenaline rush, Birkner says it’s “the solitude a nd the consta nt re minder of how small we are” that keeps him coming back to skiing

THEO BIRKNER was first placed on skis at the age of 3, and except for a teenage dalliance with snowboarding, the Vancouver-area Realtor has rarely been off them since. Birkner has put his skiing skills to professional use for almost a decade, supplementing university expenses and even his early years in real estate by working on the ski patrol. When he’s not engaged in backcountry touring to access pristine snow or heli-skiing to gain greater elevation, Birkner finds a short ski session in the morning to be an ideal way to start the workday – and even a means of better connecting with clients. “I have clients who ski; I deeply value the relationships I’ve made on the slopes,” he says. “I can ski for a few hours in the morning, work on the chairlift on the way up the mountain, get some fresh air and exercise, and still get to the office by 9 or 10 a.m.”


The most days Birkner has skied in a season



Number of countries Birkner has skied in

14,179 ft

Highest elevation from which Birkner has skied

Attend a Free Craig Proctor Discovery Day to Learn

How the “Bad” Real Estate Market Could Make You a Crazy-Rich Agent!

Craig Proctor, here. So, here’s what I know – that nobody else does. I know how to get crazy rich during a “bad” real estate market. I don’t mean just make more money. Just juice the income a little. I mean: SKYROCKET your income. I mean: STUN everybody else in your office – and the flashiest loud-mouth braggart at every meeting. I mean: ACTUALLY HAVE PEOPLE LINED UP, PRE-DETERMINED TO GET YOU AND ONLY YOU to list and sell their home or find one for them – so you have NO competition. I mean: RUB EVERYBODY’S FACE IN IT KIND OF SUCCESS. Visible. Big. Confusing to others. “How the hell is he doing this?” I mean: “GREEN WITH ENVY” MONEY pouring in. I mean: MAKING SO MUCH SO FAST that all your debt is wiped away, your credit cards

But this is NOT for most agents. Most agents just aren’t mature and sensible enough for it or honestly ambitious enough for it. And most just can’t handle the truth. I don’t need your money – so I’m not going to pander to your worst impulses to get it. If you’re going to waste your time looking for a single, magic, new easy-button or you want a 4-hour workweek or you believe in claims of “secrets” never before seen in real estate, I can’t help you AND I DON’T WANT YOU AROUND. AT ALL. Get this: crazy-rich level success in this business is NOT about anything “NEW” at all. Sorry. It’s about putting the right proven pieces, strategies, methods and tools together in just the right way so that you wind up with ‘The SYSTEM That NEVER Fails.’

“I am now a Crazy-Rich Agent because of Craig’s System.” “If you’re happy with where your real estate business is today, great! But if you’re like me, mere survival (barely making it; barely able to cover expenses) is not an option. “Before I met Craig Proctor, I was NEVER sure where my next deal would come from. I was facing foreclosure on two rental homes I owned, had started bankruptcy proceedings, and had less than $100 in the bank. “The system Craig shared with me changed my life. Within 36 months, my annual GCI leapt from $70k to over $1 Million even though I work only 5 days a week and take 6 weeks vacation a year.”— Jonathan Lahey are clear, the new car you kept telling yourself “no” to is in your driveway, and there’s a money flow left over to wisely invest and get rich with. I mean: joining the Evil 1%. (With me.) Needing a financial advisor, a private banker, a wealth manager. I mean: actually living like the people who buy million dollar luxury homes from you. All while working LESS HOURS with LESS STRESS, doing fewer things, and getting greater results. Getting Crazy-Rich in real estate without having a disappointed and disapproving spouse and family. What you need is a system that works. Not a bunch of ideas or motivational psychobabble. You need a real system. I have an absolutely proven, real system. That works regardless of market conditions. Anywhere. Any time. All the time. Now. This year. Next year. It’s worthy of your time to investigate because after you work setting it in motion, it keeps working for you, permanently. The most successful agents in many franchises, over 300 agents with 7-figure incomes, and thousands of agents transformed from years of struggle to success - all of them are using my system.

Crazy-Rich is hardly ever about invention. It’s about implementation. Contrary to widely held belief, Henry Ford did not invent the horseless carriage or gasoline engine. He developed a functioning assembly line to make the damn things, and a dealer-franchise system to get them sold. Two systems. Implementation, not invention. Fred deLuca at Subway did not invent cold cuts, the sub sandwich or franchising – but he brought a system to it second-to-none, and got crazy-rich. Here are the three mindsets you MUST have: 1. You have to be businesslike. Most agents think and act like worker bees, buzzing about, flower to flower, idea to idea, fad to fad. They never create businesses. Just jobs. You have to think like a builder and developer, not just a salesman. You have to think like a guy who owns 50 Subway shops or the whole company, not the guy behind the counter making the sandwiches. 2. You have to intend to get and stay RICH in this business. Most agents are content making a living, forever making

excuses to themselves and their families, forever waiting for the market to go back to its peak. If these agents do four, five, maybe ten deals in a year, they are good to go for another year. This isn’t for those folks. This is for the agent Billionaire with mid-6-figures to 7-figures on his or her Agent and mind AND determined Millionaire to earn it. You have to Agent-Maker, be fed up, worn out and Craig Proctor frustrated with the way most good-income agents work and everything they trade away for their income AND ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED TO A BETTER WAY OF LIFE. 3. You have to be able to focus and employ self-discipline, to stick with a winning plan once you get one. There’s no point in wasting your time or mine if you have the attention span of a ferret drinking Starbucks, the self-control of Donald Trump, and the self-discipline of a puppy. Warren Buffet has not changed his investment selection system one iota in at least 20 years. Disney’s system for successful storytelling has never changed or wavered. ADHERENCE TO SYSTEM makes you crazyrich. Flitting about has you starting over, over and over and over again. Okay, so, do you think you would value and could stick with a complete and ‘no stone unturned’, proven, up-to-date but not fad-ish, extremely productive system if you got one? If so, investigate, explore, learn. And do that by attending my upcoming free half day Discovery Day. You’ll find all the details you need to attend at www. ProctorAgentSeminar .com. Go there now. This is serious. Attend a Free Craig Proctor Discovery Day to

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