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Issue #274

April 2012

Fraudsters use Realtor reputations for online scam

Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 42218523 - Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to 2255B Queen St. E., #1178, Toronto ON M4E 1G3

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New anti-money laundering rules proposed Page 8

How to keep your clients loyal Page 12

Loretta Phinney

Royal LePage’s #1 team leader finds success with kindness Page 16














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REM APRIL 2012 3

Fraudsters use Realtor reputations for online scam By Carrie Brodi


ealtor Kari Calder has done everything right. An agent with Century 21 Fusion in Saskatoon, she created an attractive and searchable website and built a solid reputation in her community. But last month her credibility was jeopardized when someone operating from across the world attempted to illegally offer one of her listed properties for rent. Posing as Calder, and armed with little more than a fake Hotmail account and a Kijiji ad, the individual cut and pasted text and photos from a syndicated website and posted the home for rent on Saskatoon’s Kijiji website. The offer was too good to be true from the start. “A large three-bedroom, threebathroom, double-attached-garage home for $1,000 per month including utilities is an unheard of deal in Saskatoon’s tight rental market,” says Calder. Call it wishful thinking, but many hopefuls still called and

some even visited the property, wanting to be shown the interior. The ad caught up with Calder a few days after it was posted when she received a call from an interested renter who claimed to have been corresponding with Calder for three days prior. “I am a busy Realtor, but not that busy that I wouldn’t remember having emailed this woman,” she says. Calder asked to see the emails. The return address was her first and last name at It wasn’t unheard of to see one of her listings posted for rent on Kijiji, but the crime had been taken to a new level through the use of her name. Shaking and livid, Calder’s immediate concern was for those who may have sent the requested wire transfer of a $1,000 deposit in exchange for – they were promised – keys to the home. Her next thought was how this could damage her reputation. “I said, ‘That’s it. We’re shutting them down. They aren’t going to gain momentum with my name

because if they get away with it with me, how many other Realtors are they going to start impersonating?’” she says. Calder took decisive action, posting a notice about the scam on her website and advising the homeowner to put a notice on her front door. She had the ad removed from Kijiji and notified the local police and the media. Still, people continued to call and visit. One was Mike Bloomquist, a father who was excited at the prospect of moving his growing family into a bigger home. “I thought it was the break we were looking for,” he says. But as he began to correspond with the crooks, his suspicions grew. “As I read further into their responses, the alarm bells started to go off. For example, they said the owners were in Africa doing ‘God’s work’ and kept talking about needing someone to trust with their home. They also said they had the keys with them overseas and I thought

that was really strange.” Luckily, Bloomquist went the extra step to find Calder’s phone number and verify the authenticity of the ad before going any further. He managed to stay safe, but it isn’t known how many did not. Calder says this kind of scam is a serious threat to the public and to Realtors across Canada and urges agents to act quickly if this happens to them – or risk serious reputation damage. “If somebody has sent money and they don’t have a house to go to, they are going to start turning to us as agents, saying, ‘You did this to me’. People always need someone to blame,” she says. It isn’t much use going to the police after the fact. “In a situation like this, the police are pretty powerless to do anything,” says Sgt. Brian Trainor, retired fraud detective with the Saskatoon Police Service. “Fraud is a difficult crime to investigate because the perpetrator may be anywhere in the world. Many

Kari Calder

international frauds are unsolved because of this jurisdictional nightmare.” Calder says technology is a double-edged sword: both helpful to the process of buying and selling homes and also a breeding ground for identify theft. She suggests watermarking photographs and even keeping the street address private. “Ultimately, these criminals are only getting more creative and it is up to all of us to be vigilant,” she says. “We need to be good cyber citizens and alert people when we see these frauds. The honest people need to take care of the honest people.” REM

Pamela and John Alexander sell historic Re/Max office W

hen any broker/owner decides to move on, it’s important that they make sure they transfer their “baby” to the right person, says Pamela Alexander. So that’s exactly what she and her husband did. Following an extensive search, Re/Max Professionals’ 1645 Dundas St. office in Mississauga, the first Re/Max franchise office in Eastern Canada, was sold to broker/owner Tariq Khursheed of Re/Max Legacy Realty. Re/Max Professionals was established in 1980 by Frank Polzler, president and co-founder of Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada, and operated by owners Pamela and John Alexander. The property was purchased in 1972 in the village of Erindale, now part of Mississauga. An existing house was torn down. The new

one-storey office built there housed Polzler Real Estate. The property was chosen for its great ravine location, visibility and parking, Pamela Alexander says. In 1980, it became the first Re/Max Professionals office. In the ’80s, it was a quiet but centralized location, she says. “We were in our early 20s when we started. Many of the agents were in their 20s. We had lots of fun. There was a pool in the backyard and we had picnics. Those were the good old days.” Over the years, two additions have been made to the building, which now offers 11,000 square feet. “We created a safe haven with tools, equipment and training,” Alexander says. Mississauga has grown at an unbelievable rate, and now feels younger, hipper and multi-cultural, Alexander says. “The face of the

agent has also changed to be younger and multi-cultural.” The Alexanders’ decision to sell the Dundas Street office seemed right. Khursheed will build on the office’s history. “Tariq has the passion to keep it going and to take business to the next level. That’s important. We have 32 years of history with the business, since the beginning of Re/Max Professionals.” In a news release, Alexander says, “The timing of the sale is perfect on several levels. From an industry standpoint, demand for housing in Mississauga remains brisk and the population continues to climb. The city is clearly taking new shape, as evidenced by the abundance of condominiums now dotting the skyline. The time has come to pass the reins to a younger, more dynamic leader with a vision

for the future.” In the news release, Khursheed says he is honoured to have been Pamela Alexander Tariq Khursheed chosen as the successor. “The vote of confidence is humbling. It its doors for business in 2010. In only strengthens my resolve to addition to more than 80 agents at bring Re/Max Legacy to the next its North Mississauga office, the level. The pioneers and leaders of our industry – like Frank Polzler acquisition of the Dundas Street and the Alexanders – have always office will add 115 more sales reps. known that the future of this busi- In early April Re/Max Legacy will ness rests upon the integrity of the open a new office in the Square cornerstones laid down. I’m proud One Shopping Centre. The broto uphold their respected values kerage says it expects its sales force and unwavering dedication to to reach 300 agents within the delivering the highest-quality pro- next 12 to 18 months. Re/Max Professionals contingrams, services, support and value ues to serve buyers and sellers from proposition to those on all ends of its Toronto and Etobicoke locathe transaction.” tions. – Connie Adair REM Re/Max Legacy Realty opened

4 REM APRIL 2012

Jason’s encouragement in 2006 that Julie decided on a career in real estate in Slave Lake, where she has lived for the past 19 years. In 2009, Julie earned her broker’s license. Jason, a life-long resident of Slave Lake, works in the oil and gas industry and handles Royal LePage Progressive Realty’s IT needs. The brokerage has an experienced team of five sales professionals servicing Slave Lake and the surrounding communities of Wabasca, Faust, Municipal District of Opportunity, Lesser Slave River, Red Earth, Kinuso and Joussard, which are all Lesser Slave Lake lakeside communities.

ing in downtown Dundas, the office provides services to all of Hamilton, Burlington, Stoney Creek, Grimsby, Binbrook, Caledonia, Ancaster, Waterdown and Flamboro. Owner Dan Pope, along with his wife Ann and brother Harold Pope, has been in the local real estate business for over 25 years. Having grown up and attended a local high school in Dundas, the three are also local experts in their community. Dan also has considerable knowledge about agricultural lands – experience he gained as a farmer in his previous career. Ann was a teacher at the time, but the pair decided to make a change in the mid 1980s and entered the real estate business with Harold. “There’s a great opportunity for business in this region. Dundas has become a popular community with a broad range of homes from condos to high-end luxury houses,” says Dan.

■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■

Century 21 Valley Ridge Realty recently opened in Dundas, Ont. Situated in a heritage build-

Your Choice Realty has been busy since it was founded in September 2010, expanding to six

Multiple Listings By Jim Adair, REM Editor Do you have news to share with Canada’s real estate community? Let REM know about it! Email:


roker of record Jay Sekhon recently converted his Mississauga, Ont. office to Sutton Group from another brand. The new office, Sutton Kings Realty, serves the Rexdale, Etobicoke, Mississauga and Brampton areas from a central location near Highway 407 and Bramalea Road. “We offer an attractive commission package for both new and experienced sales reps,” says Sekhon. “We have specialized weekly training programs as well as one-on-one training” that has produced a number of award-winning sales reps, he says. Sekhon says the brokerage is expanding and may open a second office in the near future. ■ ■ ■

Dale Thom has joined the Royal LePage franchise network. Thom is now broker/owner of Royal LePage Exceptional Real Estate Services in Toronto, after operating the brokerage under another brand. He currently serves

as vice-chair of the Professional Standards Committee at the Toronto Real Estate Board and has been in leadership roles in the industry for more than two decades. The brokerage has a team of 69 salespeople with two offices in the east end of Toronto. ■ ■ ■

Mary-Anne Gillespie has joined Keller Williams to coach the Mega Achievement Productivity System (MAPS) in Canada. She will be based in Ottawa. Nominated as Ottawa Business Woman of the Year, she brings an extensive coaching and sales background to the position. Gillespie will be visiting Keller Williams offices across the country during the next few months. ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage Progressive Realty in Slave Lake has been acquired by Julie and Jason Brandle. The company will continue to operate under its current name. It was with her husband

Continued on page 6

From left: Steve Morris, CEO and founder of Exit Realty Corp. International; Joyce Paron, president - Canada; and Jeff Lobb, vice-president of technology and innovation at the Exit Canadian Franchisee Conference in Halifax. Dale Thom

offices in Toronto, Mississauga, Burlington, Ottawa, Muskoka and Barrie. “As of today we have 265 agents. Ottawa is our newest office and opened across from the Ottawa Real Estate in Board in January, and we have hired a dozen experienced agents already,” says Jan Wrobel, president of Your Choice Realty. “In April we are relocating our Muskoka office to 82 West Rd. in the centre of downtown Huntsville. We typically hire an agent every 48 hours and it has not let up.” Wrobel says the company offers a full service brokerage experience. “All YCR agents enjoy 100per-cent commission on each transaction and are billed a modest $69/month and $259 per transaction or they can opt to pay $379/month and no transaction fees. We also provide an in-house Centum mortgage broker and are affiliated with a lawyer both in the GTA and in Ottawa,” he says. “We will be opening in Richmond Hill later in the year and are actively searching for experienced brokers to work with in opening offices in Whitby and London.”

Dan Pope

Julie Brandle

Century 21’s free online Property Mogul game

Royal LePage Supreme Realty’s new boutique branch office

From left, Richard Brinkley, director of business development for Sutton Group Realty Services, Dave Sekhon and Sher Sekhon of Sutton Kings Realty.

Your Choice Realty’s Ottawa office

REM Apr 2012 WORKING copy.pdf



8:59 AM







net wo worth: $8,262,243


cash flow: $2,352,244


reputation: +9 K



properties: 8 FIND OUT HOW I DID IT AT | NOW PLAYING | Independently Owned and Operated. ®/™ trademarks owned by Century 21Independently Real Estate LLCOwned used under license or®/™ authorized sub-license. and Operated. trademarks owned by © 2011 Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership Century 21 Real Estate LLC used under license or authorized ®™ Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, and Century Century 21 21 Canada Canada Limited Limited Partnership Partnership. sub-license. Inc. © 2011


6 REM APRIL 2012

Continued from page 4 ■ ■ ■

After launching 11 offices in Alberta and Saskatchewan earlier this year, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Canada (BHGREC), has opened an office in Estevan, Sask. It will be led by former CFL Saskatchewan Roughrider Matt Dominguez. Dominguez says: “Our clients are our number one focus and the lifestyle-focused brand speaks to their needs and desires when buying and selling their homes.” Jackie Fitzsimmons is branch manager of the Estevan office. ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage Supreme Realty recently hosted an open house to celebrate the opening of its new boutique branch office in Dovercourt Village in Toronto. “With high ceilings and its openconcept approach, this chic and trendy office space lends itself to a soft and easy approach to selling real estate,” says broker of record Manny Andrade, who was raised in the community. Andrade, a veteran of 24 years in the industry, says he is inspired by the design and excited with the new concept. “Clients can come in and use our Wi-Fi facilities in search of the perfect home, while savouring a cappuccino,” he says.

in their daily lives, the company says. Through location-matching technology, each player is assigned a Century 21 agent avatar, which is a virtual representation of an existing real life agent from a local Century 21 office. The agent avatar will accompany players through their journey of becoming a property mogul. It takes place in a fictional city, Realopolis, which is made up of unique neighbourhoods, each with its own characteristics including landscape, properties and services. Players start from small beginnings with one property and $1-million of virtual cash. Through buying, selling and property management of both residential and commercial properties, players will gain awards throughout the game towards mogul status. Players can also compete with one another to gain leader board rankings and share their achievements through various social media channels. To play Property Mogul for free, visit Property Mogul was jointly developed by Century 21 Canada and Engaging Communications and 3RDSense. ■ ■ ■

Exit Realty Corp. International held its 2012 Canadian Franchisee Conference and Canadian Sales Rally in Halifax recently, provid-

ing education, inspiration, socializing and dancing as franchisees and agents came together from across Canada. The event featured seven international speakers and a full house of exhibitors. “This is the most valuable way to kick off the spring sales market. Input controls output and these functions increase attitude altitude, empower savviness with technology and enhance salesmanship skills,” says Joyce Paron, president - Canada. “Everyone was equipped with the requisite tools and direction to have the competitive edge in their community. They left feeling good about themselves and the experience that we all shared together.” The event concluded with Exit’s CEO and founder Steve Morris, who announced that the company has paid more than $235 million in single-level residuals. “Real estate agents from across the continent have reaped the rewards of this third income stream. Not restricted simply by their own efforts of listing and selling property, Exit Realty associates are earning sponsoring bonuses for leveraging the efforts of others by helping to grow the organization,” says Paron. Exit agents can earn a 10-percent sponsoring bonus, a sevenper-cent retirement bonus and a five-per-cent beneficiary benefit in Snowmobiling enthusiast Murray O’Brien of Realty Executives Alison in Peterborough, Ont. poses with his sign on a trail in the Ganaraska Forest, two hours north-east of Toronto. “Realtors know no boundaries when it comes to marketing,” says O’Brien. “I received a lot of calls off this sign and am currently working on a deal related to one of them.”

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Century 21 Canada says it’s changing the way many people think about real estate with the launch of a free online game, Property Mogul. The unique game was developed to mirror many of the situations of the real world. From deciding which mortgage to go with, or which contractors to use, to figuring out whether or not to report a suspicious neighbour, the events reflect possible situations that players may experience

Cover photo: MARKO SHARK

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addition to their commission, the company says. ■ ■ ■

Coldwell Banker Real Estate has launched an in-depth resource website,, to help brokers and agents create quality real estate videos. The website breaks down video creation into five simple do-it-yourself steps: • Equipment - Outlines the pros and cons for different kinds of video camera technology as well as peripheral items to consider, such as a tripod and external mic.

• Prepping - Highlights three types of video to explore including listing videos, agent profile videos and community videos. Each section details the elements needed to create a quality video for that style such as key shots, scripting and target length. • Filming - Guiding principles for filming as well as a series of video tutorials that demonstrate various skills. • Editing - Summarizes video editing software, resources and Continued on page 8

Real estate sales rep and author Peggy Blair, who was featured in the February issue of REM, poses with MPP for Ottawa Centre Yasir Vaqvi at the party launching her mystery novel, The Beggar’s Opera. Blair’s book has also been shortlisted for a CBC Bookie Award for best mystery.

At the OREA conference, from left: Patricia Verge, Royal LePage Team Realty, Ottawa (CREA past-president); Barbara Sukkau, Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre, St. Catharines (OREA immediate past-president); Pauline Aunger, Royal LePage Pauline Aunger Real Estate, Smith’s Falls (current CREA director-at-large and OREA past-president); and Dorothy Mason, Royal LePage Your Community Realty (OREA past-president), Unionville.

2255B Queen Street East, Suite #1178 Toronto, ON M4E 1G3

Phone: 416.425.3504 REM complies fully with the Canadian Real Estate Association's Rules for Trademarks (CREA Rule REALTOR® and REALTORS® are trademarks controlled in Canada by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify licensed real estate practitioners who are members of CREA. MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned by CREA and identify the services rendered by members of CREA. REM is published 12 times a year. It is an independently owned and operated company and is not affiliated with any real estate association, board or company. REM is distributed across Canada by leading real estate boards and by direct delivery in selected areas. For subscription information, email Entire contents copyright 2012 REM. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The opinions expressed in REM are not necessarily those of the publisher. ISSN 1201-1223

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Multiple Listings

There's a new real estate brand in the neighbourhood -- with a name that has been central to people's lives and communities for more than 80 years. To learn about career or franchising opportunities, visit

Š2012 My Lifestyle Brand Inc. Better Homes and GardensŽ is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC and used with permission. Each Franchise is Independently Owned and Operated.

8 REM APRIL 2012

New anti-money laundering rules proposed Proposals would increase the reporting, record-keeping and client due diligence obligations of Realtors and increase the costs to comply with these changes By Christine J. Mingie Duhaime


he Canadian government is undertaking a potentially significant revision to its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist financing regime that will affect Realtors by increasing the reporting, recordkeeping and client due diligence obligations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (the PCMLTFA) and by increasing the regulatory costs for Realtors to comply with the changes. This latest set of proposed changes is in addition to those proposed by the government in November 2011. The key changes that will affect Realtors are as follows: 1. Increased client due diligence for introduced businesses – Realtors often refer clients to banks, insurance companies, mortgage brokers and notaries and they often acquire clients from such referrals. Under the AML Proposals, when clients are introduced to Realtors by other reporting entities in the AML regime (such as banks or notaries), the Realtor will be required to receive from the introducer the documents they used to verify the client, and to retain the information as part of his record-keeping obligations with the aim of making it available to the Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Centre of

Canada (FINTRAC). 2. Obtain current corporate records – Currently, Realtors who deal in commercial real estate transactions, or who sell residential properties to or on behalf of companies, partnerships or other legal entities, are required to take steps to confirm the identity of the legal entity and to maintain those records. Realtors often rely on certificates of incorporation for such identification purposes. Under the AML Proposals, when dealing with corporate clients or legal entities, Realtors will now be required to obtain incorporation documents, including certificates of incorporation, that are no more than 12 months old. The proposed requirement will be impossible to be complied with by Realtors unless the legal entity is less than 12 months old, since certificates of incorporation are issued by corporate registries upon incorporation. For a company more than a year old, Realtors must obtain certificates of incorporation, yet those certificates will be unacceptable for the purposes of compliance with the PCMLTFA. 3. Change the phrase “third party” to “instructing party” – Under the AML Proposals, the term “third party” will be changed to “instructing party” to clarify to all reporting entities, including

Realtors, that when there is a large cash transaction, or a client record being created, Realtors must take reasonable measures to determine if the client is acting on the instructions of another party (whether individual or corporate) and if so, Realtors must obtain information on the other party. The change is prompted by the view of FINTRAC that reporting entities do not understand the term “third party”. 4. Require the reporting of large cash transactions among agents – Under the AML Proposals, Realtors and developers would be required to report large cash transactions among themselves. The AML Proposals are not clear on how this would operate and which transactions are contemplated but given the broad wording, it may contemplate, for example, the reporting of transactions among agents and offices operating under the same marking banner (such as Re/Max) since they are “affiliated entities.” This may result in double-reporting of many large cash transactions. 5. Provide FINTRAC with greater enforcement tools against Realtors – Currently, Realtors and the directors and officers of developers and agent offices that are reporting entities are subject to some of the highest criminal and

administrative penalties in the country under the PCMLTFA. For example, the PCMLTFA imposes a penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of $500,000 for Realtors for certain failures to report to FINTRAC or keep records under the PCMLTFA. Under the AML Proposals, FINTRAC would be given even greater sanction power against reporting entities, such as the power to impose recurring fines and penalties. 6. Documentation of reasonable measures taken – Currently, Realtors are required to take reasonable measures to ascertain identity and other information when completing suspicious transactions or when completing third-party determinations. Under the AML Proposals, Realtors will now be required to document and keep a record of the measures they took. This requirement will expose Realtors to additional fines and penalties because ultimately it will be up to FINTRAC to determine whether, in its view, the measures taken were “reasonable” or not. 7. Require more suspicious transaction reports – Currently, Realtors are required to report a suspicious transaction in limited circumstances. If there is a financial transaction occurring or attempted in the course of the real estate agency’s activities (for exam-

ple, related to client transactions), and the Realtor has “reasonable grounds to suspect” that the financial transaction is related to the commission of a money laundering or terrorist financing offence under the Criminal Code of Canada, it must be reported. If all those conditions are not met, the Realtor has no obligation to file a suspicious transaction report since the conditions’ precedent is not met. The reporting threshold was kept high on purpose to avoid over-reporting of personal information and to maintain a balance in the law. Under the AML Proposals, however, Realtors will now be required to report nonfinancial transactions that may be suspicious if there is a connection, however tenuous, to activities undertaken for the purposes of an eventual financial transaction, such as opening up an account. The AML Proposals are expected to be implemented by this summer. Christine J. Duhaime is a lawyer with Duhaime Law in Vancouver. She has a specialized practice in antimoney laundering and advises reporting entities, including Realtors, with respect to their reporting obligations. She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist. Email REM

Multiple Listings Continued from page 4

techniques such as voiceovers and background music. • Marketing - Explains how to upload videos to YouTube and also the best ways to promote them to help improve business. The Coldwell Banker On Location YouTube channel, established in 2009 in partnership with Google, currently features more than 25,000 videos and has received more than three million views, the company says. ■ ■ ■

Chris Heller, president of KW

Worldwide, which is Keller Williams’global division, recently announced the signing of the company’s first overseas master franchise in Vietnam. Paul Mason, president of KW Vietnam is a real estate veteran with almost 20 years of experience in real estate in Vietnam, including leadership positions at the international firm Cushman & Wakefield and NAI Vietnam. Keller Williams Realty is the second largest real estate company in the United States and now says it is aggressively pursuing franchising

outside of the U.S. and Canada. Heller announced the company is in conversations with potential franchisees in several other countries, including South Africa, New Zealand, Indonesia, Egypt and several Middle Eastern countries. ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage was the industry sponsor for this year’s Ontario Real Estate Association Leadership Conference. It marked the 90th anniversary of OREA, which was founded in 1922 by a handful of real estate pioneers, including Royal

LePage founder A.E. LePage. “It was great to support this conference and reconnect with so many of our own who are serving in leadership roles within the industry,” says Mark Frenette, Royal LePage manager, network development, Ontario & Atlantic. ■ ■ ■

Toronto developer and condominium broker Brad J. Lamb is set to begin development on his first Western Canada condominium, in Calgary. Originally from the West

Coast, Lamb plans on investing in three Calgary developments over the course of the next three years. The first is 6thandTenth, a 230-unit, 31-storey tower, scheduled to break ground as early as the fall of 2012. 6thandTenth is being designed by Core Architects and the Design Agency. The development is in Calgary’s Beltline area. Plans include a five-star restaurant and a concourse-style park comprised of water pools, designer landscaping and sculptural gardens. REM

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10 REM APRIL 2012

The silver lining of negative comments



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By Rebecca Mountain


e’ve all heard the horror stories about someone posting a negative comment on a Facebook page or on Twitter. It’s one of the biggest reasons many businesses don’t build a presence on social networks. What if someone says something bad? Well, here’s the thing: if someone’s saying something about you that isn’t stellar, if you know about it then at least you can jump in and attempt to solve the problem. The conversation is happening anyway – you might as well be a part of it! Negative comments and disagreements are part of life. It’s the public nature of Facebook and Twitter comments that make us feel particularly vulnerable. What if someone reads that? What will people think of me or my business? I have two stories to share with you that will help you figure out what to do when this happens. My first example is Pulte Homes from the U.S. They’re one of the country’s largest homebuilders. They also have a Facebook page where they post about what’s happening in the company and their developments. One day, Joshua (not his real name) posted a 16-line rant about how his sod was done poorly, and on and on. Ouch. It was not pretty. But check out what Pulte did: they didn’t remove the comment, but rather within an hour had posted a response along the lines of “Wow, we’re so sorry. Contact us at this email address and we’ll get on it today.” The next day, Joshua posted again saying, “Okay, I did that but nothing has happened yet.” Again within the hour, Pulte was back with an update and another course of action for him. What did that do? It showed that Pulte wasn’t afraid to face problems within its organization, responds quickly, and, since the conversation ended there, deals

with problems effectively, too. I would have much more trust in a company that is open with their clients than a company that simply deletes a bad post. Pulte continues to practice this, I noticed recently. Not every homeowner is happy, but they’re okay with letting some negative stuff show up on their page. They answer quickly, and that’s the key. My second story is about a large retailer, which shall remain name-

continues in a negative vein, you can explain that you tried to fix it, and would be open to finding out if there are other things to help the situation (I’d recommend doing this via email or phone, as the conversation would be too long for a Facebook page) 3. If they’re truly derogatory and insulting, I’d suggest removing the post or blocking them. There’s no need for insults. But for most real estate agents,

Negative comments can be used in a powerful way to make what you do even better. less. They’re not on Facebook for a bunch of reasons, one of which is their inability to control messages and comments (you do have control, but it’s all about perspective). If, however, you do a search on said retailer, the stuff that comes up makes your skin crawl. Some people who don’t particularly like them have created their own pages to rant and rave. The retailer is not there to defend themselves or even rectify the problems and so it just spirals out of control in a very viral way. So, which one of the above do YOU want to be a part of? You may never get a single negative comment, and the majority of businesses fall into that group, which is good news for all of us! If you do get negative remarks, here’s what you can do: 1. If it’s a respectful or at least decent identification of a weakness in your business, acknowledge it, contact them and then make it right. Let them know how much you appreciate their openness and you might even make a client out of them (if they’re not a client already). 2. If you try the above, and it

you won’t find too many people out for your blood. Since it is a public forum, people will censor themselves a bit. The other wonderful thing that I’ve seen happen is that your community will jump in and defend you, without you having to say or do anything. That’s a great social community and you should thank them, love them and keep them close. So negativity isn’t always a bad thing. Just as failure is the biggest opportunity to grow, so too can negative comments be used in a powerful way to make what you do even better. Rebecca Mountain spends her time teaching businesses of all sizes – from independent Realtors to art galleries – how to use social media to make money. Her company, Impetus Social Inc., develops actionable strategies that translate a two-dimensional business into a dynamic presence, all using its story, its people and its passion. Facebook:; Twitter: @bexmountain; LinkedIn; Website:; Email: REM





12 REM APRIL 2012

How to keep your clients loyal “The reason that most people are not doing business with us again and again is because we are not showing them how much we appreciate them as a client.” – Marty Green By Toby Welch


nce Realtors help someone buy or sell a house, they often lose touch with their client other than sending an occasional newsletter or card. But considering that studies show it takes at least five times the work and cost to get a new client than it does to retain an old one, it’s worth the effort it takes to keep past clients loyal. Dave Philps, a sales rep with DFH Real Estate in Victoria says, “I’ve been working in real estate for the past 25 years and the best way that I know to keep past

clients loyal is to do a great job for them each and every time you come in contact, either directly or through a referral. People remember good service. I also send out calendars at Christmas and a couple of other ‘contact’ items through the year (postcards, newsletter) just to let them know that I am still in the business, and will still provide outstanding service to them and their circle of influence.” Cowboyd de La Boursodiere, the broker/owner of Cowboyd Realties in Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Que., says client loyalty is some-

thing that will come on its own if you do everything else right. “It happens automatically! I just keep doing more and making more people happy everywhere I go and all day long; not just with my services but more importantly with my presence and with everyone I touch everywhere. I make certain that I have a smile for everyone I bump into and always remember Benjamin Franklin’s saying, ‘A great man shows his greatness in the way he treats little people’. It is more important that they remember you because of your actions and

CREA, TREB lose Realtysellers appeal


he Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), CREA and 49 individuals named in a $540-million lawsuit launched by Realtysellers have lost an appeal to have the action dismissed. They now have 30 days to file statements of defence with the court. “CREA spent years trying to avoid filing a defence because they don’t have one,” says Lawrence Dale, president and CEO of Realtysellers. “CREA got TREB and the individuals into this mess. I wonder if TREB will finally do the right thing and expose CREA for what they did.” The court ruling was handed down on Friday by Justice J. Swinton of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Dale and his cousin Stephen Moranis, a former TREB president, have filed several claims against TREB and CREA over the years relating to Realtysellers, the real estate company they formed in November 2000. The company offered discounted flat fee services. In 2002, TREB enacted new rules that required listing brokers to be involved in the offer negotiation process. Realtysellers sued TREB and filed a complaint with the federal Competition Bureau. In January 2004, TREB and Realtysellers reached a settlement in which Realtysellers received $700,000 in compensation. TREB changed its rules to allow the flat

fee program access to the MLS, and Realtysellers withdrew its complaints to the Competition Bureau, which closed its investigation into the matter. But Dale and Moranis allege that in 2006, TREB and CREA conspired to force them to close down Realtysellers. CREA implemented new offer negotiation rules in 2007. The Competition Bureau subsequently filed a complaint, which CREA and the bureau settled in 2010 with a 10-year binding consent agreement. The current $540-million statement of claim names CREA, TREB, and 49 individuals who were TREB or CREA directors or officers at the time, a former CREA president and Treb-Ren ventures, the entity that ran Real Estate News, the board’s nowdefunct newspaper. None of the allegations have been proven in court. In their appeals, TREB and CREA argued that because the lawsuit named the directors and officers personally, it “raises important issues relating to limited liability protection for corporate representatives.” But Justice Swinton says in the ruling: “I disagree, as the claim against these defendants is with respect to their individual actions, rather than their role as officers and directors.” Dale says: “CREA leaders came up with a plan in 2006 to prevent

me from operating. Now almost 50 people who let that happen must answer for letting that happen. They can’t plead ignorance anymore and they are now personally financially responsible. “The consent agreement was the first step. Winning these motions was the second step. Now no more delays,” says Dale. “As is my right, I have chosen that a jury of common Canadians will decide this action. I am confident such a jury will see how unlawful they have acted and award a huge amount of damages that will teach the industry a lesson that they will never forget. Canadians know how protective this industry has been.” In a statement, TREB said it is “pleased by comments from the court pointing to the lack of evidence in the case against them.” TREB says: “The decision of the court was on a procedural matter and no decision has yet been rendered on the merits of the claim. TREB will continue to vigorously defend the proceeding. We are confident that when the court ultimately addresses the merits of the plaintiffs’ claim, it will be rejected by the court.” CREA said in a statement: “The ruling was procedural and does not affect the fact that CREA still believes that the plaintiff’s claims are without merit and will be rejected by the court at trial.” REM

strong commitment. I am certain not everyone likes me but none will forget me!” Louisette Higgins, a sales rep with Future Group Realty in Yarmouth, N.S., uses social media as part of her client loyalty arsenal. “To keep my name foremost in the mind of my past clients, I do my best to keep in touch, be it via yearly holiday greeting cards, emails regarding new listings in their area, or via social media, like Facebook and Twitter. I have my own Facebook page and invite all of my past and current clients to it. That way I can simply update my page with real estate news articles, new listings and open houses and it will automatically be sent to them.” Other ways to keep your clients loyal include: • Take a client to lunch once a month (better yet, once a week) • Send clients a CMA with their home’s current value “just in case they were wondering” • Call one past client every day to tell them you are thinking of them • Host client appreciation events such as winter hay rides, Easter egg hunts, movie nights, or a barbecue or picnic in the park • Get a dedicated cell phone for your long-term clients so they can always reach you • When clients move into a new house, throw them a house warming party at their new place and invite their neighbours Try swapping up your repertoire occasionally as loyalty is based on your client’s expectations of you and that changes constantly. If you don’t take care of your clients, someone else will. Marty Green, broker/manager at Re/Max West Realty in Toronto, shared thoughts on client loyalty on his blog: “The reason that most people are not doing business with us again and again is because we are not showing them how much we appreciate them as a client. In today’s instant gratification world, people need to know how much we care about them. Continued on page 43

Dave Philps

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Marty Green

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14 REM APRIL 2012

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Web show helps charity, boosts brand U

niversity of Regina marketing student Ryan Bender has won Season 2 of The Interview and becomes the newest addition to the Rock Bridge Realty team in Regina. The Interview, a realty-based competition created by Broker Brooks Findlay of Rock Bridge Realty in Regina as a marketing/recruiting/charitable fund-raising initiative, has contestants facing numerous challenges over a six-week period. This season’s beneficiary of fund-raising activities is the Red Cross and its Imagine No Bullies campaign. A total of $87,000 was raised. In addition to a contract, Bender’s grand prize package, worth more than $100,000, includes the use of a new Cadillac for a year, seven business outfits and a communications package. Findlay and his real estate team came up with an idea for a challenge and it snowballed from there, turning into an Apprentice-type web show. “The magnitude of how it caught on with businesses and mentors was unexpected,” says Findlay, a former police officer and CFL player. When developing the idea, Findlay said the show had to meet four criteria: contribute to the

community, build relationships with businesses and leaders, recruit in the community and be a marketing element to build awareness of the name and brand, Brooks Realty. The show includes third-party online voting, with Season 2 pulling in votes from as far away as Australia and the U.K. With each season, the show gets better and garners more interest from businesses, mentors and possible contestants, he says. In addition to raising money for a good cause, the show offers participants a way to gain muchneeded experience to help with their real estate careers. Both Bender and runner up Lori Binfet said the training, including interview and negotiation skills, was invaluable, Findlay says. Feedback from business professionals has been positive – they say the show enhances what the public feels about the real estate industry. The Interview gives the public a chance “to see what people have to go through to get a position with my firm,” he says. Planning for Season 3 will soon be underway – it takes 18 months to put a season together. To check out the web show, visit

Property tools that make you the expert. | 1 866 237 5937 * An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.

From left: Tim Johnson and Cindy Fuchs from the Red Cross, Brooks Findlay, Rock Bridge Realty’s broker/owner and Kyla Dean, Rock Bridge Realty Season 1 winner.

16 REM APRIL 2012

‘Do things properly, honestly and with kindness’ Loretta Phinney’s personal motto propels her team to the No. 1 spot in Royal LePage’s team rankings for the fifth time. By Connie Adair


hen she started her real estate career in 1985, Loretta Phinney was determined to “do things properly, honestly and with kindness” but she says she wondered if it was the right approach. She needn’t have worried. The first year she joined Royal LePage, she was awarded the Chairman’s Club Award for the top oneper-cent of the company’s agents, and she has received the award every year since. Her team was just named the No. 1 Royal LePage team in Canada for 2011. Her team was also No. 1 in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. “We’re excited because it’s the first time that we did it two years in a row,” says Phinney. She’s also proud because her team of eight reps came out ahead of some teams with as many as 30 reps. The award is presented based on the amount of commission the team earned for the approximately 14,000-agent strong brand. Phinney’s team also holds the distinction of being the only team that has been in the top four in Canada for 17 consecutive years, says her husband of 46 years and team member, Ron Phinney, Loretta’s biggest fan. “I was very fortunate to get into an industry which I love and am passionate about. I’m doing it out of love. I don’t feel pressure. Because of that, I think of my clients first,” she says. Many customers find Phinney through referrals, and many are repeat customers. “I have some people I have done 18 or 19 transactions for,” she says.

One of the secrets to her success is not to let her success go to her head. “I keep it simple. I keep both feet on the ground. (Realtors) are all doing the same thing. We just happen to sell more real estate,” she says. “I try to remember never to let success change me. I’m the same person as the day I started.”

The other 10 per cent? Having to be careful not to ruin family dynamics, she says.

Prior to becoming a real estate agent, Phinney was home raising the family for 16 years. Even then, real estate was a passion. “My favourite pastime was to go to open houses and read real estate ads.”

Phinney strives to keep a small cohesive team, and anyone who joins must share and respect her values, both business and personal – integrity, honesty, respect for clients and a strong work ethic, she says. “I don’t want to pull them along. I don’t want to push them. I like to walk beside them. They work with me, not for me.”

Even as a veteran Realtor, she says, “I’m still excited when someone calls me to go see their house.” Phinney sells homes in all price ranges in Mississauga and Oakville, Ont. “I do a good job at any price range, from first-time buyers up. I just sold the most expensive house on MLS in Mississauga at $7.5-million. First-time buyers are as comfortable with me as people (buying) at $7-million,” she says. Phinney works with her husband, Ron, and three of their four children. Kimberly has been on the team as a sales rep for 10 years. Tammy works as marketing director and Michael recently joined as a sales rep. Working with family is a “90-per-cent pro” because she says her family understands the job. “We call on each other for help and spell each other off. The rest of the team also offers to help,” she says. They all have their own clients, but support each other.

The rest of Phinney’s team wasn’t recruited, they sought her out. Phinney says she has been told they are drawn by her reputation. And, “they know I’ll always have business to keep them occupied.”

Treating other Realtors and their clients with respect is of utmost importance, she says. “I keep it honest and straightforward and help other Realtors. We work hard with them and try to do what we can. We act promptly. There’s no showmanship. We deal with the task at hand. There’s nothing unethical.” Over the years, technology has changed the business. “Technology makes it easier once you get your head around and embrace it. Technology is there. You have to make up your mind to use it. There is a learning curve, but you have to embrace it,” she says. As for the future of the business, Phinney says the industry is changing “but people who want a good price for their home realize Realtors serve a part in getting that good price.

Loretta Phinney (Photo by Marko Shark)

Everyone can’t be good at everything. Business people realize a good Realtor is talented and should be treated accordingly. We need the public to respect us and we need to respect them.”

three times a year – her favourite activity is hiking in the woods.

Advertising hasn’t changed much over the years, but Phinney is changing her website – it will now include a list of what she and her team do, including behind the scenes. The list, which outlines every step from pre-inspection until the house is sold and the lawyer closes the deal, is intended to educate the public about how much work Realtors do.

Phinney works hard and to keep up her strength, she hits the gym regularly and eats “the best, nutritionally dense foods possible. I’ve been blessed with good health and energy.”

Phinney completes about five listing presentations a week, personally meeting with the people who call her. “I don’t send a junior.” She and Ron also vacation

However her passion for real estate keeps her busy investigating real estate wherever they are in the world.

Her biggest reason for her continued success? “I’m passionate about my job and getting it done properly,” she says. “It’s not about the number of deals, it’s the quality of the deals – getting each deal right. Whether you do a few deals or hundreds, make sure every deal is the best you can do.” REM

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18 REM APRIL 2012

Recent decisions LEGAL ISSUES

By Donald H. Lapowich


man put in an offer to purchase land through one company using funds from his other company. The intent was that the land would be developed through a development company. The purchase was time sensitive with four conditions to be fulfilled. The contract specifically stated it would end if zoning did not take place. The vendor took over certain aspects of the rezoning, working with the purchaser. Rezoning efforts continued, deadlines passed and the vendor declared the contract null and void. The vendor then sold the land to another buyer. When the would-be development company sued, the court held the essential terms of the agreement were clear, valid and unambiguous. There was certainty in the terms and the vendor had co-operated. The action was therefore dismissed. (B & R Development Corporation Ltd. v. Trail South Development Inc., 2011) ■ ■ ■

A certificate of pending litigation can be used to tie up land. To use it, one must prove “an interest in land” can be claimed. A letter of intent was signed by Cattera Management Inc. to purchase Palm Holdings Canada Inc.’s property. Palm put the property on the market to resell, trying to get a higher price. Carttera was permitted to

apply for and register a certificate because: 1. The vendor had to agree there was a triable issue if parties had agreed on all terms of final agreement; 2. There was a trial issue as to whether purchaser could succeed (to purchase) or if a signed agreement (Statute of Frauds) was required. 3. There was a trial issue if purchaser could recover “specific performance” of land transfer (versus damages). The court exercised its equitable jurisdiction and allowed Carttera to register the certificate and thereby tie up the property. (Carttera Management Inc. v. Palm Holdings Canada Inc., 2011) ■ ■ ■

The plaintiff, a business entrepreneur, entered into a complicated partnership and land purchase agreements for a development venture. His solicitors assisted with the documentation and negotiations. The solicitor cautioned the plaintiff about entering the agreements, but he nevertheless proceeded. Later the plaintiff drew out because of financial burdens that he could not afford. When he was sued, the plaintiff in turn sued his solicitor. The court ruled that the cause of plaintiff’s loss was his decision to pull out. None of the legal documents were deficient, and the agreement that the plaintiff entered was properly and legally documented. The court ruled that the solicitor did not cause any loss suffered by the plaintiff. (3557537 Canada Inc. v. Howard, 2011) Donald Lapowich, Q.C. is a partner at the law firm of Koskie, Minsky in Toronto, where he practices civil litigation, with a particular emphasis on real estate litigation and mediation, acting for builders, real estate agents and lawyers. REM

20 REM APRIL 2012

Clients, with benefits By Ronn James


watched a movie recently that started me thinking about our professional relationships with our clients. The movie was centred around two people who, though they appreciated the time spent together and mutual attraction, didn’t want the complications that a boyfriend/girlfriend label brought with it. It went on to establish that each was free to do what they wanted, with whom they wanted, regardless of the feelings of the other “friend”. Sounds simple enough. Get what you need and get out unscathed or unattached. The act of coupling is intensely personal and many parallels

can be drawn within the real estate business. Helping someone to find their dream home often finds us skirting the fine line between a business relationship and a personal friendship. We “get in deep” with our clients and before long feel that they are part of us, until something detaches. How we handle the fall-out is often the determining factor in our future success. Depending on your emotional wiring, it may be as simple as chalking it up to experience. For others it is an exercise in avoiding jail time! It affected one sales rep (no longer in real estate) so intensely that he decided to completely “key” the client’s car. When asked about the incident coming out of court, he said, “I just did what a lot of other Realtors wish they could do.” Well, maybe not all Realtors. My personal experiences related to this have caused me to question my own abilities, skills and the way I manage outcomes.

I have been angry, sad, disappointed and shocked. I vent to my safe sphere of influence and I write about the experience. It is hard for me to feel vindicated in my approach as a licensed, tenured, experienced Realtor, when I am inundated with neighbourhood advice on how best to do my job. This “over the fence” wisdom is why I have to change my strategy midstream, or worse, lose control of the listing or buyer agreement. Many Realtors are customer service focused to a fault, driven by the competitive nature of real estate sales. This breed is also fiercely proud of their commitment and feels the sting when their professionalism is questioned or worse, dismissed. It is no wonder that one of the top 10 most stressful careers in North America is real estate sales. We “take a licking and keep on ticking”. However, as mentioned above, we can and do eventually break.

So what’s the fix? We could self-medicate. Many good quality Realtors I know have or have had substance abuse challenges, broken marriages and mental health issues. Our industry should review the awareness of these issues to help, encourage and coach Realtors suffering setbacks into understanding the role and how to prepare for a life long career in it. My axiom is that real estate is a team sport. It takes a village to help us navigate the rough waters on successive deals that are strained or falling apart time after time. Irrespective of the blame, the result is a lot of work for little or no pay. Often when personal relationships end, one party is in shock, having not seen it coming at all (usually the Realtor), or the parties both knew but hoped that the problem would just go away. The reality is that because of the way our income is earned, emotions tend to run high when the breakup occurs and we’re faced

with the fact that we will not be getting paid despite doing most of the work we were hired to do. This is only exacerbated when the next Realtor in does in a week’s time what we were unable to do. Words of wisdom and encouragement such as “Don’t take it personally”, “It’s just business”, “You made your bed”, or “You’ll make it up on the next deal” offer little consolation. So what do we do? Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves, I’m here for you. With a track record that spans 27 years, Realtor Ronn James says his ambition is to educate the public and Realtors alike. He has landed appearances on Breakfast Television, CityLine, Real Life and a host of radio shows. James has also been a regular contributor to New Homes and Condos For Sale Magazine, Toronto Sun and Canadian Homeplanner. Website: www.RealEstateCommissionMatters REM .ca, phone 289-242-9050.

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22 REM APRIL 2012


By Debbie Hanlon


hen I started in real estate as a young, inexperienced woman, I was told by more established agents that my prospects were grim at best. Not enough houses, too many agents and a poor market were all cited as reasons why my fledging career was doomed from the start. I was advised that the only way I could hope to make it in real estate was to cut my commissions and steal business from more established agents. It was

Commission cutting all well-meant and sound advice from the weathered veterans of the industry, but I simply didn’t believe it. I believed that I was worth my six per cent and that I’d work tirelessly to earn it. It was that belief in myself, more so that my systems I developed later, that acted as the impetus that sent me to No. 1 in Canada. Today, commission cutting has a face. There are discount realty brokerages everywhere. Back in the day, the same thing was happening behind the scenes. I lost out on a lot of listings simply because a rival agent would offer to cut their commission and I refused to. In fact, I’ve walked away from literally hundreds of listings because I would not budge from the six per cent I felt I was worth. I also got hundreds of listings because of that stance, because of the value to service I gave

each and every client. My belief is, and has always been, that if you cut your commission once, there’s no going back. I’ve seen it happen to too many agents who end up selling themselves short again and again. If you’ve cut your commissions or are thinking of doing it to compete against discount Realtors, I want you to ask yourself this simple question: how much am I worth? Because of the pressure this business puts on people, because of the uncertainty in the market, because of a dozen other factors, most real estate agents underestimate their own worth. They doubt themselves. They second guess themselves. All of this combined chips away at their self worth until they don’t know anymore how good they are. Remember when you started in this crazy business – remember how you felt like you could

take on the world on any given day? That belief in yourself is still in you. True, it has been buried under the realities you face everyday. It’s been tarnished by the need to pay bills and tainted by the fact that you’re not going to get every listing you go after. But way down inside you that belief in yourself is still there, still waiting for you to believe again. How do you rekindle that fire? How do you reclaim that sense of your own worth? The first thing I suggest is to write down a list of all the things you want to be. Not the things you want to have or buy, or places you want to go – that will all come after – but the things you want to be. I remember my list included, I want to be the No. 1 agent in Canada. I became that because I believed I could be it. I believed I was worth it. Do you? Do you believe you can be

the best? Do you believe you’re worth it? You are. I’m not super woman, I don’t jump tall buildings on my way to work. I’m just like you. The fact that I did it means you can too. You can look a client in the eye when they ask if you’ll cut your commission and say, no, I’m worth my full commission and I’ll prove it to you. You can be a better real estate agent, you can be the best, but you have to believe it before you can be it. Debbie Hanlon is the founder of Hanlon Realty and CEO of All Knight Inc. She is a three-time top 50 CEO winner and was named one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs in Canada. She is currently an elected city official in St. John’s, Nfld. and is available for motivational and training seminars. Email REM

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24 REM APRIL 2012

Be remarkable with social media By Amanda Ross


emarkable. Feel the weight of that word for a moment; it’s substantial and impressive. Many of the Realtors I’ve met along my journey are just that – remarkable. You surprise me every day with your creative minds, business savvy and feelings of responsibility over your client’s happiness. You also surprise every time I hear how you are not taking advantage of the vast and “here-tostay” world of social media. It’s an amazing and free outlet that can change the way you manage your business. It allows you to reach a broad audience in a moment and begs for you to engage on a personal and authentic level; to truly sell YOU and your knowledge. There are many and I mean MANY of us who have no idea

what to do with this fabulous beast. Those who have yet to discover or understand that power we now have at the tips of our fingers. But how do you know which to use and how to use it? Is it really something you should be doing? I totally know where you’re coming from; I was an avid Twitter-hater for years. But I have finally seen the light (or the tweets) and I “get it”. Let me give you a high-level overview and a couple of tips that may (fingers crossed) make this easier and less terrifying for you. Facebook: Come on; who doesn’t love a good-old highschool reunion? Think Gross Point Blank or Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion. Facebook is all about re-connecting with people you know or used to know and those who you think you sort of, maybe, “was he the guy that wore the mascot outfit?” recognize. Plus, there are pages where you can feed business information to your audience. Twitter: Imagine yourself mingling at a networking event. You

would stop and chat with a group here and there; passing on information you heard from these different groups along the way and adding your own knowledge to those around you. That’s sort of what Twitter is about. Linkedin: Here we have the serious, grown up outlet; all business all the time. It’s like being part of a seminar or event where you engage with other professionals by sharing your business savvy. You can ask and answer questions, get involved in different groups and build your business network. How do you keep up and how do you manage these different avenues? Don’t worry; I have a few secrets for you. Secret #1: Blog Scheduling – You need to write an informative blog post a minimum of once a week. Most blog hosting accounts allow you to write a blog and schedule it to go out at a later time. For example, you can write a number of blogs and schedule them to go out every Wednesday for the next few weeks.

Don’t be sales-y all the time. Post about the market, a community event, construction in the neighbourhood, a restaurant review, photos of your newest listing and so on. Secret # 2: Life-altering Tools – Twitterfeed: This is a fantastic little tool that allows you to take RSS feeds and “feed” them to your Twitter, Facebook profile / page and Linkedin accounts. Remember that blog you write? Grab the RSS feed and have it feed your accounts. Why not grab local news or other real estate business blog feeds and add them too? Hootsuite: Ever wonder how you’re going to log in to each account every day to chat and respond to people? You log on to one place and chat across different platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and more. Oh, did I mention that you can also “schedule” your posts? How cool is that? Mobile Apps: You can access and upload photos and posts to your social media on the go. You can even download the mobile

HootSuite app. Secret 3: Just Tips: Prime posting times are in the morning; which means this is not the best time to get noticed. Try for the hours between 2 pm and 5 am. Post photos – we love them! These are the best and most noticed posts there are. Take a photo with your Blackberry or iPhone and upload it to your profile(s). Ask people to follow you, LIKE you, be your friend, re-tweet you and comment on your blog. Be fearless. Want a simple seven-day social media schedule? Contact me on Twitter and I’ll email it to you. Amanda Ross is the broker/manager of Sutton Group Quantum Realty ( with locations in Oakville and Mississauga, Ont. She is also the owner of, an online social networking website for the Canadian real estate industry. Follow Amanda on Twitter, @AmandaMaeRoss and / or @SuttonQuantum. REM

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MINUTES. The strength of RE/MAX lies with the expansive network of our agents. We rely on the best in order to be the best. We would like to congratulate the





for excellence in customer service and helping to keep RE/MAX as the most productive real





We house the best agents to house you.

THE 2011 TOP AGENTS Top 10 Individual by Commission

Top 10 Team by Commission























RE/MAX Vision Realty Inc. Toronto

RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp. Oakville


1 Zia Abbas


4 Vesna Kolenc


RE/MAX Premier Inc. Woodbridge

7 Peter Hogeterp


RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. Stoney Creek

8 Faisal Susiwala


RE/MAX Twin City Realty Inc. Kitchener

1 Christopher Invidiata


3 Frank Leo


2 Barry Cohen


RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto

RE/MAX West Realty Inc. Toronto

5 Sharon Soltanian



RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto

9 Audrey Azad


6 Peter Kwan

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Markham

10 David Batori


RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto Toronto

2 Sam McDadi


4 Drew Woolcott


7 Kelly DaCosta



3 Melanie Wright

RE/MAX Performance Realty Inc. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Toronto Mississauga


5 Al Sinclair


6 Hersh Litvack

8 Jason Yu


RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Burlington Toronto Thornhill


9 Steven Kuula

10 Leslie Benczik


RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Crown Realty (1989) Inc. RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Cambridge Markham Sudbury Markham



Our agents put you first. And you put our agents first.

THE 2011 TOP AGENTS Diamond Club

AWARD Zia Abbas

RE/MAX Vision Realty Inc. Toronto

Cynthia Avis

Audrey Azad

Steve Bailey

David Batori

Al Cosentino

Kelly DaCosta

Ken Digalakis

Robert Golfi

RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto Cambridge Toronto Oakville

Leslie Benczik

RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Markham

Peter Hogeterp

Dawna Borg

RE/MAX Premier Inc. Vaughan

Sylvia Houghton

Tony Chan

Raheel Chaudhry

Kash Aujla

RE/MAX Champions Realty Inc. Brampton

Barry Cohen

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Markham

RE/MAX Active Realty Inc. Mississauga

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto

Sammy Hui

Christopher Invidiata

Bev Jones

RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. RE/MAX Classic Properties Inc. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp. RE/MAX Professionals Inc. Richmond Hill Oakville Toronto Hamilton Toronto Stoney Creek Cambridge Hamilton Unionville

Vesna Kolenc

Peter Kwan

RE/MAX Premier Inc. Woodbridge

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Markham

Paul Oulahen

AJ Lamba

RE/MAX Active Realty Inc. Mississauga

Kevin Larose

RE/MAX Realty Enterprises Inc. Mississauga

Frank Leo

Hersh Litvack

RE/MAX West Realty Inc. Toronto

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Thornhill

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Toronto Cambridge Toronto

Cliff Rego

Mark Richards

RE/MAX In The Hills Inc. Caledon East

RE/MAX Excel Realty Ltd. Markham

Ruby Sangha

Reinhold Schickedanz

Bill Thom

Angelo Toscano

Anna Turner

Joy Verde

Drew Woolcott

Faisal Susiwala

RE/MAX Twin City Realty Inc. Kitchener

Chris Richie

RE/MAXAll-Stars Realty Inc. Ballantrae

Lindsay Marjadsingh RE/MAX Premier Inc. Vaughan

Sam McDadi

Marian Neal

RE/MAX Performance Realty Inc. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Toronto Mississauga

Samuel Shing

Al Sinclair

Melanie Wright

Lindsay Wright

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Toronto Toronto

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Metro-City Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Metro-City Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Toronto Toronto Ottawa Toronto Burlington Ottawa Toronto

Sharon Soltanian

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto

Jason Yu

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Markham

We house the best agents to house you.

THE 2011 TOP AGENTS Chairman’s Club


Cindy Alarie

RE/MAX Chay Realty Inc. Angus

Sundeep Bahl

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Toronto

Adam Brown

Javed Ali

RE/MAX Legacy Realty Inc. Mississauga

David Bailey

RE/MAX West Realty Inc. Toronto

Daniela Burca

Dominique Allard

Allan Alls

Veronica Amador

Jon Amante

Shahab Ansari

Oliver Baumeister

David Beaton

Gary Betts

Brad Bondy

Claudio Cerrito

Brigid Chan

Dennis Chan

Kafeel Chaudhry

Ray Cochrane

Cindy Cody

Thomas Cook

Angie Cormpilas

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Erin Toronto Toronto

Theresa Baird

RE/MAX Realty Enterprises Inc. Mississauga

Craig Butcher

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Toronto

RE/MAX Twin City Realty Inc. Waterloo

RE/MAX Chay Realty Inc. Tottenham

Haze Chen

Louis Cheng

Sindy Mi-Sha Chiu

RE/MAX Goldenway Realty Inc. RE/MAX Goldenway Realty Inc. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto Richmond Hill Richmond Hil

Bijan Barati

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto

Marion Carcone

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Crossroads Realty Inc. Toronto Toronto

Lino Arci

RE/MAX 2000 Realty Inc. Toronto

RE/MAX 2000 Realty Inc. RE/MAX Rouge River Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc. RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. Whitby Toronto Mississauga Amherstburg

RE/MAX York Group Realty Inc. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Performance Realty Inc. RE/MAX Goldenway Realty Inc. RE/MAX Active Realty Inc. Aurora Mississauga Toronto Mississauga Richmond Hill

Niels Christensen

RE/MAX Professionals Inc. Toronto

Jag Aujla

RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc. Brampton

Jainarine Brijpaul

RE/MAX West Realty Inc Toronto

Susan Chell

RE/MAX Metro-City Realty Ltd. Ottawa

Susan Cowen

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Twin City Realty Inc. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. RE/MAX York Group Realty Inc. Toronto Kitchener Toronto Georgetown Aurora



Our agents put you first. And you put our agents first.


Chairman’s Club


John Creppin

Elizabeth Crighton

Rosemary Ferroni

Joette Fielding

RE/MAX Metro-City Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. Erin Ottawa

RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp. Stoney Creek Oakville

Stephen Greenberg

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto

Jerry Hendriks

RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc. St. Catharines

Armin Grigaitis

RE/MAX Baywatch Ltd. Honey Harbour

Gregory Ho

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto

Victoria Dann

RE/MAX First Realty Ltd. Pickering

Gabriela Fiumara

RE/MAX Condos Plus Corp. Toronto

Ryan De Castro

Maurice De Laere

RE/MAX Unique Inc. Toronto

RE/MAX Tri-County Realty Inc. Tillsonburg

Rod Frank

Leonard Fridman

RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Toronto Hamilton

Marlene Guimond

Andrea Halpern

Linda Ing-Gilbert

Alex Irish

RE/MAX Crown Realty (1989) Inc. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Sudbury Thornhill

Jerry Hammond

Cintia De Souza

Hans Dhingra

RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc. RE/MAX Crossroads Realty Inc. Toronto Toronto

Bashar Fudheel

RE/MAX Realty One Inc. Mississauga

Greg Hamre

Richard Duggal

Douglas Gillis

Joanne Goneau

Steve Hamre

Michael Harari

RE/MAX Four Seasons Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Absolute Realty Inc. Ottawa Collingwood

RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc. RE/MAX Metro-City Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Metro-City Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Ottawa Toronto Toronto Ottawa

Liz Johnson

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp. RE/MAX Professionals Inc. Toronto Oakville Toronto

Zello Jovanovic

RE/MAX Professionals Inc. Toronto

Wayne Kahn

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto



Lynn Fee

RE/MAX 2000 Realty Inc. RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc. Toronto Grimsby

Zelinde Kaiser

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Toronto

Gail Grace

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Toronto

Holly Henderson

RE/MAX Realty Concepts Corp. Kingston

Jila Katiraee

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto

We house the best agents to house you.

THE 2011 TOP AGENTS Chairman’s Club


Liam Kealey

Sandy Kennedy

Steven Kuula

Tony Yu Fai Lai

Cheri McCann

Paul McDonald

Zoi Ouzas

Michael Owjee

RE/MAX Metro-City Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Realty Services Inc. Brampton Ottawa

RE/MAX Crown Realty (1989) Inc. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto Sudbury

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX York Group Realty Inc. Toronto Aurora

Asif Khan

Shahid Khawaja

Elias Kibalian

Margaret Kiersnowski

Patsy Leung

Sarah Logue

Dianna Mandzuk

RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. RE/MAX Performance Realty Inc. RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Markham Mississauga Toronto

Lupe Ledesma

RE/MAX 2000 Realty Inc. Toronto

Shirley McDowell

RE/MAX Eastern Realty Inc. Peterborough

Jan Oystrick

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. Richmond Hill Burlington

Geoff McGowan

Dennis Mehravar

Raymond Pace

Peter Papousek

RE/MAX West Realty Inc. Toronto

Roger Kilgour

Mike Krause

Robert Kroll

Toni Martins

Mark Maurer

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto Toronto Georgetown

Michael Mao

RE/MAX Jazz Inc. Oshawa

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Toronto

Jay Miller

Marg Morren

RE/MAX 2000 Realty Inc . RE/MAX Solid Gold Realty (II) Ltd. Toronto Waterloo

Monica Nagpal

RE/MAX Affiliates Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Twin City Realty Inc. RE/MAX Omega Realty (1988) Ltd. RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc. RE/MAX Vision Realty Inc. Kitchener Ottawa Newmarket Burlington Toronto

RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Crown Realty (1989) Inc. RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp. RE/MAX Legacy Realty Inc. Mississauga Oakville Grimsby Toronto Sudbury

Key Park

RE/MAX West Realty Inc. Thornhill

Nick Pavlov

RE/MAX West Realty Inc. Toronto



Robert Pettigrew

RE/MAX Professionals Inc. Toronto

Ray Otten

RE/MAX Metro-City Realty Ltd. Ottawa

Luisa Piccirilli

RE/MAX West Realty Inc. Toronto

Our agents put you first. And you put our agents first.


Chairman’s Club


Colleen Pickett

Edward Placzek

Rahul Saha

Rob Sanderson

Lena Preje

Tony Pulla

Rocco Racioppo

Rajiv Rajpal

Toni Reyes

Drago Saric

Adam Schickedanz

Mary Ann Schiralli

Sujan Shan

Goran Todorovic

Teresa Tsui

Alison Walsh

Andrew Williams

Cindy Ricketts

Mary Roy

RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp. RE/MAX Centre City Realty Inc. RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc. RE/MAX Lakeshore Realty Inc. RE/MAX Omega Realty (1988) Ltd. RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Performance Realty Inc. RE/MAX Ability Real Estate Ltd. RE/MAX First Realty Ltd. Newmarket London Toronto Cobourg Markham Mississauga Oshawa Ajax Oakville

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Advantage Realty Ltd. Toronto London

Carmen Talarico

James Telfer

RE/MAX Crown Realty (1989) Inc. RE/MAX Twin City Realty Inc. Sudbury Paris

Gary Vanderburg

RE/MAX Sarnia Realty Inc. Sarnia

Bob Veevers

RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc. Waterdown

Joe Saraceni

RE/MAX West Realty Inc. Toronto

Monica Thapar

RE/MAX Diamond Realty Inc. Toronto

Maria Vieira

RE/MAX West Realty Inc. Toronto

RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp. RE/MAX Vision Realty Inc. Toronto Stoney Creek Ballantrae Oakville

Donovan Thomas

RE/MAX 2000 Realty Inc. Toronto

William Wallace

Harry Siu

Josef Sutej

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Markham

RE/MAX Diamond Realty Inc. Toronto

Jenn Turcotte

Aldo Udovicic

Peter Vandendool

Adam Wolman

Mary Wylde

Alaa Yousif

RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Goldenway Realty Inc. RE/MAX Pembroke Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Crossroads Realty Inc. RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. Windsor Toronto Petawawa Toronto Hamilton

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc. RE/MAX Realty Services Inc. Toronto Brampton Burlington

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc. Guelph Toronto Mississauga



RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc. Markham

*Based on 2011 closed transactions. Source: CREA, RE/MAX

Mustafa Zia

RE/MAX Realty One Inc. Mississauga

Each office is independently owned and operated. *Based on 2011 closed transactions. Source: CREA, RE/MAX. **Source: Independent Research December, 2011

REM APRIL 2012 33


By Peter D. Wilton


t’s official! I am now a registered real estate representative in the Province of Ontario. Hurray for me! But in the cold light of day, hurray does not pay the bills so…. now what? As the high school year book quote goes, “The world is my oyster.” Well, if not the world then at least Ontario – the whole thing, from the high Arctic to Pelee Island. Although after a close encounter with a rattlesnake at a cottage in 2011, I believe I will stick with urban areas. So now what? The structure of the courses, the direction of finding a brokerage has been completed,

The real estate hustle and now I am drifting from day to day. When am I going to make my first sale? Who will entrust their biggest financial asset to my care? My phone isn’t ringing and my briefcase is beginning to feel like an anchor at the end of my arm as I wander the cold winter streets. This is the dilemma of the independent real estate representative – you have the freedom to organize your own time; you have the freedom to determine your own area “farm”; the freedom to decide when to go into the office; the freedom to keep your business cards in their box or hand them out. In the end, you have the freedom to starve, as the days turn into months and you wait for the client to find you. “There are no short cuts… you gotta do the cold calls,” one older sales rep proclaims, as he sucks on his cigarette in front of the brokerage. “God,” he continues while exhaling, “I remember when I started selling back in ’72. Back then, you really had to work – not like today, with all your Internet and electronic gadgets!”

Puff, puff, wheeze, cough, he continues: “When I started out, you would spend every day and night making cold calls. Those were the days… I carried two binders and my listings were always out of date.” His voice trails off, drifting into the horizon, following the cigarette smoke. “Cold calls – that’s how you do it. There are no short-cuts.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a yellowed stained script. “Here – copy it and learn it and then give it back.” With that, he turns and with one final wheeze, goes back into the office. I glance over the script, read the forced carefree chit-chat between myself, the “agent”, and the homeowner. It seems familiar to me, since I’ve been the recipient of these calls on more than one occasion. I put the script into my empty brief case. I go into the brokerage. A young sales rep is going through the MLS listings. He looks competent, so I ask, “How do you make your sales?” He looks up and in a hushed

voice says, “You’ve got to knock on doors, never represent a friend, and look for semis or townhouses, because they’ll want to upgrade.” With that, he goes back to looking through the MLS listings. I tell him about the cold calls. “I hate cold calls! I would never make them!” he declares. “I have a script,” I add. He asks to see it, studies it, and then goes to find the older Realtor. It seems that he wants a copy – so much for “hating cold calls”. On the way home I stop at my local gas station. After filling the tank, I go in to pay. “Hey, Jay,” I say. Jay owns the gas station. I hand him my business card. He politely takes my card, telling me that I’m the fifth person who’s given him one. He adds, “They all say they need more inventory.” That’s what I need, I think, “more inventory!” When I get back to my home office, I take out the old yellowed script and begin to memorize it. I also make notes on all semis and town homes in my farm, because when it comes to

selling, it’s up to me to find the inventory and to do the ‘real estate hustle.’ This month’s advice: 1) Make a list of people you know. 2) Talk to people and let them know that you are a licensed real estate representative. 3) Take as much training as possible. If your brokerage does not offer enough training, find out what courses are offered through your local real estate board. 4) Keep busy. Daytime television does not pay the bills. 5) Join clubs and organizations. A web page, though nice to have, is not unique. 6) It once again comes down to the hands you shake and the people you know. 7) Oh, yeah…did I mention…talk to people! Peter D. Wilton is a sales representative with Sutton Sadie Moranis Realty in Toronto. 416-449-2020. REM

34 REM APRIL 2012



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erico Canada recently added two new companies to its mortgage broker network. Verico Ottawa Mortgage Advisors, with owners Matt Daniels and Christa Tessier, offer more than 20 years of experience in the industry. “Over the last five years we have expanded from an office of three to currently having 21 fulltime agents and administrative staff. We plan to continue our growth over the next five years with our focus on quality training, education and providing our agents with the right tools to assist with their success. We also have plans to open additional locations across Ottawa and surrounding areas,” says Tessier. In Vancouver, Verico Vivid Mortgage has joined the network. It is owned by two-time Canadian Mortgage Award finalist Michael Sjerven. “We have three brokers now, including myself, and I hope to add another one or two this year and between another 10 to 50 brokers in the next five years,” says Sjerven. “I want my business to be recognized by both consumers and brokers as a reputable place to shop for a mortgage.” He says his business plans include using all marketing vehicles to further develop the brand. “I plan to use Internet and social media, paired with traditional methods such as regular and exceptional communication with our clients and database, using newsletters, phone calls and thank you cards.”


Mortgage Alliance recently launched a new mortgage product that it says it spent two years developing based on market research and broker involvement. It offers first-time buyers a product that’s been bundled with service and insurance products in an all-in-one mortgage. “My First Mortgage” includes the legal costs of buying a home, along with title insurance and home insurance coverage for six months, and six months of creditor life insurance mortgage coverage. It is offered exclusively through Mortgage Alliance brokers and is now available in Ontario, with plans to roll out the brand nationally over the next few months. I I I

The Centum Network has chosen the Children’s Wish Foundation as its national charity. “It’s important for us to be able to contribute to our communities as a national organization. We had put the question to our network members and supporting The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada was overwhelmingly the number one choice,” says Paul Therien, director of business development at Centum Financial Group. The foundation is the largest wish-granting agency in Canada, granting more than 18,000 wishes to children diagnosed with a lifethreatening illness. Once a child has been approved for a wish, the team at the foundation is committed to making that wish come true. They have never denied an eligible REM child a wish.

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36 REM APRIL 2012

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magine being able to help your clients pay off their mortgages and debts faster, build up equity quicker and be ready to move up or buy vacation properties sooner. Sound too good to be true? It’s not, says Greg Stanley, president and CEO of Home n Work Mortgages in Victoria, B.C. It’s a matter of thinking outside the typical mortgage scenario that has homeowners amortizing their mortgages for decades and making tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary interest payments. “It is estimated that the average mortgage borrower loses over $100,000 in unnecessary interest

costs and takes 16 years longer than needed to pay off a mortgage,� Stanley says. Most people are shocked to hear their current mortgage path will have them in their 70s or even 80s and still making mortgage payments. “That’s not much of a plan,� he says. By using SmartEquity, a debt management software program, “on average their current mortgage freedom date can be improved by 16 years, meaning a client will be debt-free and own his own home well before retirement age or usually within 12 years, whichever comes first.� Your clients won’t have to change their current lifestyle to

get on board and get dramatic results, he says. The software employs debt swapping, taking advantage of an individual’s line of credit or overdraft to make small mortgage prepayments, thus shaving time off the amortization. Stanley says it’s a paper transfer – the client still owes the same amount, but using the line of credit to make mortgage prepayments saves time and interest. The program’s algorithm focuses on paying off all debt faster (50 per cent faster), all done without the need to change their current budget, says Stanley, a certified financial planner and mortgage broker.

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(clients who are not using the software). And those are the better clients to have.� The cost to add software in your solution package is nominal, he says. For more information, a free online book, The Lemming Effect, is available at In Ontario, contact broker Judy Smith of Home n Work Realty Inc. at 877-262-0012 or For other Canadian locations, call Greg Stanley at 1-866-6580492 ext. 100. REM

Unlicensed assistant training program offered in B.C.



3 3 3 3 3 3

“Realtors can brand themselves, for a cost, on the SmartEquity log in, so every time a client manages their finances the Realtor’s name is in front of the client. It offers huge marketing potential. Clients see your name every time they go on to the system for the length of their mortgage,� Stanley says. Second, Realtors will now have “a growing group of SmartEquity clients that are paying off their homes faster, meaning Realtors have a growing group of clients that can trade up or buy a cottage faster than

training program that creates a minimum standard of education for unlicensed real estate assistants is being offered in B.C. The Professional Real Estate Assistant (PRA) Training Program is the brainchild of Nina Campbell, a Realtor with close to two decades of experience, who began teaching the program in 2009. Campbell says she developed the program in response to demand. “Many colleagues didn’t have time to train their unlicensed assistants, and these assistants, who are unregulated, had the potential to get the licensees and the brokerages they work for into trouble.� The program, which Campbell says is the only one of its type in Canada, was developed to raise the bar and help ensure unlicensed assistants have a minimum uniform standard of training. Along the way the program has been reviewed by many professional experts, including legal counsel, all with the goal of promoting industry standards and professionalism, she says. The training is flexible and includes a comprehensive six-day Foundations Certificate Program offered in a classroom setting over two weekends of three days each. There is also a one-day introductory Competency Program aimed at assistants already working in

real estate offices and there are professional development courses on topics such as social media. Students must complete multiple assignments and pass a final exam that determines their knowledge in a range of areas, including the federal Competition Act, FINTRAC regulations, Do Not Call rules, the provincial land titles registry system and municipal sign bylaws. “Assistants completing our programs learn what they can and cannot do, and are able to recognize situations that could result in litigation and pass these to their employer. This leads to more effective risk management,� says Campbell. “Our grads are in demand because they’re trained,� says Campbell. “Our program establishes minimum practice standards and guidelines so that licensees and brokerages are assured the grad they hire has solid skills and knowledge.� PRA Training has also established a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for unlicensed assistants and offers ongoing support through a networking community and events. This year the company plans two new offerings: a course for licensees on how to best hire and work with unlicensed assistants; and virtual on-demand assistants. For information: www.praREM

38 REM APRIL 2012

Re/Max of Western Canada Re/Max of Western Canada recently announced its top affiliates for 2011, who were recognized at the company’s annual conference in Vancouver. 2011 Production Winners: Individuals – Residential – Victor Kwan, Re/Max Select Properties, Vancouver; Sam (Salvatore) Corea, Re/Max House of Real Estate, Calgary; Edith Chan, Re/Max Masters Realty, West Vancouver; Danny Deng, Re/Max Select Properties, Vancouver; Kevin Moist, Re/Max Performance Realty, Winnipeg. Teams – Residential – Joyce Tourney, Re/Max Crown Real Estate, Regina; Donna Rooney, Re/Max Real Estate (Central), Calgary; Terry Paranych, Re/Max Elite, Edmonton; Andrea

Kavanagh, Re/Max Select Properties, Vancouver; Austin Kay, Re/Max Westcoast, Richmond, B.C. Associates – Commercial – Scott Predenchuck, Re/Max Crown Real Estate, Regina; Bill Goold, Re/Max Real Estate Services, Vancouver; Peter Hall, Re/Max Central, Burnaby, B.C.; Mark Theissen, Re/Max Professionals, Winnipeg; Ray Leung, Re/Max Real Estate Services, Vancouver. Transaction Awards: Manitoba – Team – Karen Friesen, Re/Max Performance Realty, Steinbach, Man. Individual – Kevin Moist, Re/Max Performance Realty, Winnipeg. Office – Re/Max Professionals, Winnipeg, broker/owner Stan Newman. Saskatchewan – Team – Joyce Tourney, Re/Max Crown Real

Estate, Regina. Individual – Cam Bird, Re/Max Saskatoon, Saskatoon. Office – Re/Max Saskatoon (East), Saskatoon, broker/owner Larry Stewart. Alberta – Team – Mel Star, Re/Max Real Estate (Central), Calgary. Individual – Patrick Fields, Re/Max Real Estate (Edmonton), North Edmonton. Office – Re/Max Real Estate (Central), Calgary, broker/owner Pat Hare. British Columbia – Team – Randy Dyck, Re/Max Little Oak Realty, Abbotsford. Individual – Theresa Couto, Re/Max Kitimat Realty, Kitimat. Office – Re/Max Westcoast, Richmond, broker/ owners Brian Naphtali and John McLennan. Western Canada – Team – Joyce Tourney. Individual – Patrick Fields. Top office, low density – Re/Max Action Realty, Fort St. John, B.C., broker/owners Rich Petersen, Doug Petersen and Trevor Bolin. Top Office Overall – Re/Max Real Estate (Central), Calgary, broker/owner Pat Hare. Broker Owner of the Year: Single office – Shami Sandhu, Re/Max River City, Edmonton. Multi-office – Larry Stewart,

Re/Max Saskatoon, Saskatoon; Re/Max North Country, Warman, Sask.; Re/Max Saskatoon (Rosetown), Rosetown, Sask.; Re/Max P.A. Realty, Prince Albert, Sask.; Re/Max Saskatoon (Humboldt), Humboldt, Sask. Low-density office – Mary Ihme, Re/Max Realty Solutions, Osoyoos, B.C.

Other awards: Robert H. Cherot Award – Deborah Upton, Re/Max Crest Realty (Westside), Vancouver. Manager of the Year – Gayle Kossaber, Re/Max All Points Realty, Coquitlam, B.C. Administrator of the Year – Sheila Good, Re/Max Realty Continued on page 40

Above: Gardiner Realty Royal LePage was awarded this year’s Oromocto & Area Chamber of Commerce business award.

Dwayne Hayes

Victor Kwan

Joyce Tourney

Larry Stewart

Parise Cormier

Scott Predenchuck

Shami Sandhu

Kerry Culberson

U. Gary Charlwood

Sukh Sidhu (left) and Len Visser

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40 REM APRIL 2012

And the honour goes to... Continued from page 38

Professionals, Calgary; Emilie Levesque, Re/Max Cold Lake 2000 Realty, Cold Lake, Alta. Spirit of the West – Shawn Jacula, Re/Max Prairie Realty, Vermilion, Alta.; Josee LabelleHopkins, Re/Max Realty Professionals, Calgary. Special Services – Moss Moloney, Re/Max Performance Realty, Delta, B.C. Community Care – Cheryl Maclsaac, Re/Max Baughan Realty, Wainwright, Alta.

Exit Realty Corp. International Exit Realty Corp. International recently presented the award for Exceptional Personal Growth to Kerry Culberson, manager of Exit Realty Platinum in Woodstock, N.B. Culberson took on an aggressive real estate market and step-bystep grew the business into the No. 1 office for listings and market share, the company says. “Her action orientation and community involvement have been an integral part of her ongoing success,” says Exit in a news release. The award for Exceptional Fortitude and Growth was presented to Parise Cormier, franchisee of Exit Realty Associates in Moncton. “Parise’s office boasts over 7,200 square feet of first-class finishings and high-end technology,” says Exit. “She has developed her business into the No. 1 market share player in one of the most challenging markets in the province. Her steadfastness, participation and determined attitude are cornerstones of her success.” “When it comes to the successful building and stabilizing of real estate brokerage… woman are champions,” says Joyce Paron, Exit’s Canadian president. They lead by example and are an inspiration to everyone.”

Mayor Jim Watson, left, and Orléans Ward Councillor Bob Monette (right) present the City Builder award to Madat Kara.

From left: Pamela Alexander, CEO, Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada; Dave Coppins, broker/owner, Re/Max Jazz; and Walter Schneider, president and co-founder, Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

From left: Stephen Bellafontaine, associate broker, Re/Max Nova; Pamela Alexander; Steve Allard, associate broker, Re/Max Nova; Walter Schneider.

From left: Shanan Spencer-Brown, executive director, Royal LePage Shelter Foundation; Mark Rashotte (broker/owner Royal LePage ProAlliance); Sharon Promm, events manager, Royal LePage; Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage Canada.

Shirley Porter

Zia Abbas

Christopher Invidiata

Ruby Sangha

Century 21 Canada The parent company of Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership, the Charlwood Pacific Group is being recognized by the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) for 15 years of continuous membership. The Charlwood Pacific Group will be presented with the Membership Milestone Award at the CFA National Convention Awards

From left: Shanan Spencer-Brown, executive director, Royal LePage Shelter Foundation; Linda Lynch, Advance Commission Company of Canada; Sharon Promm, events manager, Royal LePage; Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage Canada.

REM APRIL 2012 41

Gala on April 2 in Niagara Falls. The Membership Milestone Award recognizes franchise members who have had continuous membership with the CFA for 10 years or more. Charlwood Pacific Group, led by U. Gary Charlwood, owns several master and/or territory franchise rights to well-known brands, including Century 21 Canada, Centum Financial Group, Real Canadian Property Management and Uniglobe Travel International. Collectively, these brands represent approximately 15,000 employees in over 1,700 outlets worldwide. “Supporting our national franchise association and protecting the rights of both franchisors and franchisees is a must for all in the industry,” says Charlwood. “It’s a business format that impacts our lives every day.”

Royal LePage Shelter Foundation Advance Commission Company of Canada was named Royal LePage Shelter Foundation Partner of the Year recently. The company was honoured for lending its support to the foundation in a variety of ways. It supports and sponsors major foundation events including the Royal LePage National Garage Sale for Shelter, the Shelter Golf Invitational and the Shelter Gala. The company also attends Royal LePage conferences, donates auction prizes and supports the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation through silent auctions at its own trade show booths. The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation 2011 Philanthropist of the Year award was presented to Mark Rashotte, broker/owner at Royal LePage ProAlliance in Belleville, Ont. The award is presented annually to someone who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and support to the foundation. In 2011, Rashotte led his office to host one of the most successful National Garage Sale for Shelter events in the country and led a high profile “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event, engaging the mayor, firefighters, business owners and residents to participate. He also stages his own fundraising concerts with his Beatles tribute band, All You Need Is Love, and organizes other fundraisers with performers he brings to Belleville. He raises the profile of his local shelter, the

Three Oaks Foundation, through his support of the foundation.



Gardiner Realty Royal LePage New Brunswick’s Gardiner Realty Royal LePage was awarded this year’s Oromocto & Area Chamber of Commerce business award as a result of its entrepreneurism and community involvement. Established in 1970, Gardiner Realty Royal LePage is a market leader in Fredericton, Oromocto and surrounding areas. With 28 Realtors in the Oromocto area, Gardiner has two offices and a kiosk. “Our Oromocto family of Realtors include The Tidd family – Oromocto Mayor Fay Tidd and the late Wally Tidd spent a number of years in the business before their retirement,” says Gardiner Realty in a news release. “Sons John and Mike have continued in the business at the Restigouche Road office for 27 and 24 years, respectively. Our CFB Gagetown Canex office is represented by Jacques Piche with 20 years of service, Darlene Tidd with eight years and Kelly Murdock with four years. Geoff Blackmore, with the firm for over seven years, works out of our kiosk in the Oromocto Sobeys store.” The brokerage has donated over $23,000 to numerous organizations in the Oromocto area including the Oromocto SPCA, Military Resource Centre, the Oromocto Food Bank and the TriCounty Complex. It also has been a long-time supporter of the Oromocto Pioneer Days, and the annual Poppy Campaign in Oromocto and sponsor many sports teams in the area.

Ottawa Mayor’s City Builder Award Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson recently presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Madat Kara of Prudential Town Centre Realty “for his tireless volunteer work and outstanding contributions to the community as a Meals on Wheels volunteer and fundraiser,” says a City of Ottawa news release. In January 1998, during the Eastern Ontario ice storm, when Kara heard that some elderly and convalescing people would not be receiving their daily meals due to Continued on page 42

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42 REM APRIL 2012

And the honour goes to... Continued from page 41

the weather, he contacted Meals on Wheels and offered to help. He has had a regular route delivering meals ever since. Kara soon realized that there weren’t enough government subsidies to fund Meals on Wheels so he took on a fundraising role, organizing several large-scale functions that have contributed greatly to the program, says the city. His first event was a silent auction and a dinner dance, raising $13,000. Over the past few years, Kara and his team have hosted many events, including a golf tournament, boat cruises, hockey games, Elvis gala night dinners and dances and other fundraising activities. In 2010, the team raised $5,000 and Kara contributed more than 500 volunteer hours, completing a lifetime total of 4,000 volunteer hours. The team was recognized by Meals on Wheels for being the first to organize large-scale events contributing to the success of the program.

Greater Moncton Realtors du Grand Moncton Dwayne Hayes of HomeLife Hayes Realty was the recipient of the Greater Moncton Realtors du Grand Moncton 2011 Realtor of the Year Award. The award recognizes the Realtor who has made their mark in their community and the real estate industry through volunteer efforts and leadership. “He has dedicated over 12 years of volunteer efforts to this industry but most importantly has been a positive contributor to our community,” says the association. “Dwayne has given tirelessly to minor hockey in the Greater Moncton area and to causes like cystic fibrosis and Headstart.”

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) 2012 John Armeneau Professional of the Year Award was presented to LenVisser, owner/broker of Century 21 Ace Agencies Realty in Abbotsford. One of the longest-serving FVREB members, Visser began his real estate career in his hometown of Abbotsford in 1967. He opened

his Century 21 franchise in 1976 and has consistently served his clients, his representatives, organized real estate and his community with the highest possible standards ever since, says FVREB in a news release. Sukh Sidhu, board president and fellow Abbotsford Realtor, says: “He epitomizes what it means to be a professional Realtor. To demonstrate an unwavering commitment, ethics and dedication to one’s profession are admirable, but to do it consistently for over four decades is extraordinary. Len is in a class of his own.” FVREB also presented a Special Achievement Award to Bonnie Moy in recognition of her 20-year career devoted to enhancing the public image of Realtors. The South Surrey/White Rock Realtor is best known as the founder of FVREB’s Realty Watch program, which is a community crime prevention program now embraced by thousands of Realtors across B.C. She also inspired and helped develop the board’s Realtor Value Toolkit, an internal marketing program that in only one year of release has been embraced by real estate boards across the country. Sidhu says: “This specialized tool to communicate our value is revolutionary and deserves unique recognition.” Sutton Premier Realty, Surrey and Brian Kirkwood of Prudential Power Play Realty, Langley received the board’s highest awards for community service. Kirkwood is the individual recipient for the 2011 Realtors Make Good Neighbours award. A Realtor for eight years, he volunteers on average 40 hours per month. He devotes his time to enriching and empowering children through his church’s Saturday Kids Club and outreach ministry, in addition to the Metro Kids Society of Surrey. Sutton Premier Realty is the corporate recipient. The award was accepted by managing broker Kelvin Neufeld and owner Larry Anderson. In addition to sponsoring a number of community events including a soccer day camp at a local elementary school, Sutton Premier Realty’s 118 Realtors pooled their time and money to sponsor 12 underprivileged families participating in Surrey’s Christmas Bureau program.

Sutton Group - Select From teaching colleagues about social media to volunteering at events to leading a listings caravan that raises the team’s collective knowledge, Kim Mullan’s dynamic spirit has been an asset to many of her colleagues. In recognition of her contributions to Sutton Group - Select Realty in London, Ont., Mullan recently received the Michele Montour Award For Excellence in Real Estate. Broker Bruce Sworik describes his reasons for selecting this year’s award recipient: “Kim, a wife and mother of five children and two grandchildren, is passionate about real estate and helping others excel,” he says. “She is the first to volunteer and readily helps organize as well as participates in many company functions and events.”

Faisal Susiwala

Peter Hogeterp

Sam McDadi

Kelly DaCosta

Drew Woolcott

Fred O’Donnell as a Boston Bruin

Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty Fred O’Donnell of Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty in Kingston is to be inducted into The Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame on May 4. O’Donnell played junior hockey with the Oshawa Generals of the OHA. After scoring 31 goals for the Gens in 1968/69, he was taken 37th overall in the amateur National Hockey League draft by the Minnesota North Stars. The Boston Bruins acquired O’Donnell’s services in May 1971. He scored 10 goals as a rookie in 1972/73 playing on a line with Derek Sanderson and Doug Roberts for the Boston Bruins. Later he joined the New England Whalers of the WHL, where he played for two years and helped the club reach the Avco Cup finals in 1976 before retiring. Following his retirement, he returned to Kingston where he coached the Queen’s varsity squad. After leading the Golden Gaels to a 17-3-2 record in 1980, he was chosen the OUAA’s top coach. The next year he led the squad to the CIAU title and remained with the school until taking over behind the bench of the OHL’s Kingston Canadians in 1985. O’Donnell has been on the Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty team for the last 23 years.

Re/Max OntarioAtlantic Canada Despite opening their doors for

Bruce Sworik and Kim Mullan

REM APRIL 2012 43

business just two and a half years ago Re/Max Jazz in Oshawa has been presented with the 2011 Broker-Owner of the Year Award in the Large Office Category by Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada. Broker/owners Dave Coppins and Noel Coppins, both top-producing, seasoned sales professionals, accepted the award at a Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada event held in Toronto in February. They credit the success of their organization to the team of 85 sales associates who provide real estate services throughout the Durham Region under the Re/Max Jazz banner. “The key to our success is our grassroots approach,” says Dave Coppins. “We’ve focused our attention on the heart of our organization – the Realtors. Everything we do is designed to help them to grow their businesses.” Nova Scotia’s Re/Max Nova won the coveted 2011 BrokerOwner of the Year Award in the Multi-Office Category. The award recognized associate brokers Stephen Bellefontaine and Steve Allard, who accepted the honour, as well as Re/Max Nova president Frances Chaisson and broker of record Ryan Hartlen. Re/Max Nova, established in 1996 by Eldon Chaisson, has grown exponentially over the past 15 years, with more than 100 sales associates and experienced administrative staff operating out of four offices in Dartmouth, Sackville, Fall River and Porters Lake. Shirley Porter, manager with Re/Max Premier, was named Re/Max Manager of the Year. She oversees operations at four Re/Max Premier locations serving Vaughan, Woodbridge, Maple and Kleinburg. “We approach our team like family,” says Porter. “A family fosters your ambitions, your talents and heartens you in all that you do. It always works in tandem for the greater good.” Re/Max Realtron Realty of Toronto was honoured for its outstanding contribution to Children’s Miracle Network, donating more than $131,000 earmarked for Toronto’s SickKids Hospital in 2011. The award was presented to broker Alex Pilarski. Re/Max Realtron was the top contributing Re/Max office in Ontario in the large market category, with hundreds of agents participating throughout the company’s seven offices.

Re/Max Orillia Realty earned its seventh Re/Max Award for Top Contributions to Children’s Miracle Network in the Small Market Category. The award was presented to broker Dan Stoutt. The office has raised close to $200,000 for CMN over the past eight years, from just 60 sales and support staff. Re/Max Orillia raises funds primarily through the Miracle Home Program and the company’s annual golf tournament. Re/Max of Wasaga Beach earned the Re/Max award for Top Contributing Office (small market) for overall donations to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) in 2011. Through the efforts of sales and support staff, the brokerage raised over $12,000 for the cause last year. Jason Ruttan, broker, Re/Max of Wasaga Beach, accepted the award. Re/Max Garden City Realty of St. Catharines was recognized as the top 2011 contributing office (in the large market category), having raised over $21,000. Re/Max also recognized the success of its top-producing salespeople in 2011. Leading in the Individual

Keep your clients loyal Continued from page 12

We need to remind them often, because when it is time to make a move, they will use someone who happens to appear right in front of them at that time.” But how much is too much? How often should you contact past clients? “This is not an easy one to answer,” says Higgins. “Some people do not want to be contacted at all and others wouldn’t be bothered if you updated your Facebook or Twitter feeds every day. I make an attempt to contact past clients at least twice a year at minimum. The holidays are a thoughtful time to send a greeting card wishing them well in the New Year, and a May greeting to wish them a great summer season. This way they know you are still active in the real estate industry, it makes people feel important and remembered, and it keeps you top of mind.” She says: “Contacting clients 12 to 14 times a year ensures you are always top of mind and that your name will become synonymous with real estate. It also gives your clients the opportunity to discuss an upcoming transaction they

Realtor category was Zia Abbas, Re/Max Vision Realty, Toronto, who ranked No. 1 in Ontario. Christopher Invidiata of Re/Max Aboutowne Realty, Oakville, captured the No. 1 spot in the Team category, while Ruby Sangha, Re/Max Excel Realty, Markham, was the frontrunner in the Industrial, Commercial and Investment category. The Top Individual Transactions category was also led by Abbas (large market – population over 150,000), while Faisal Susiwala, Re/Max Twin City Realty, Kitchener, earned top honours in a mid-size market (population between 50,000 and 150,000). Peter Hogeterp of Re/Max Escarpment Realty, Hamilton, led the small-market category for transactions (population under 50,000). Recognition for Top Team Transactions went to Sam McDadi, Re/Max Performance Realty, Mississauga (large market); Kelly DaCosta, Re/Max Real Estate Centre, Cambridge (mid-sized market); and Drew Woolcott, Re/Max Escarpment Realty, Hamilton (small market). REM may be thinking of, allows them to ask questions about real estate news and the current market, or to let you know of someone who may be thinking of selling or buying a home.” Elli Davis, a well-known top sales rep for Royal LePage in Toronto, aims to be in touch with clients four times a year. “I send a yearly calendar, which some people may think is a waste of time but I have found that people look forward to receiving them. I also send a monthly email newsletter and send many printed newsletters to different areas in which I am active. I think every three months, it’s a good idea to touch base in some way or other, however I do not always achieve this.” Green says: “The more you appreciate your clients and remind them how important they are to your business, the more loyal they will likely become. If they are more than satisfied with your services then why would they ever go somewhere else? Loyalty is earned; it is not given or assumed. Real estate agents forget this. If we can put the onus on ourselves to stay in touch more, then we will have a much better ratio and a much better year.” REM



Market Connections Inc.®

Compliments of Danny Brown

Real Estate Agent

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR EQUITY Market Connections Inc.® 94 Scarsdale Road Toronto, ON M3B 2R7

As a homeowner, you expect, as you continue to pay your mortgage

Tel: (800) 387-6058 387 6058 Fax: (800) 800-7093

factors that are both within, and outside of your control.

every month, that you are building value in your home. Is it possible to lose equity in a property? Yes, and as with anything, there will be

If you’re thinking of making a move, or are just curious as to real estate trends in your area, please feel free to call at any time. It’s always good to hear from you!

What’s outside of your control: „ The financial markets. The market goes up and down, but remember, even if you feel your property is undervalued due to economic conditions, then so may the home you aspire to move up into. Ask your real estate representative about opportunities in today’s market.

All the best,


Greetings! You’re receiving this newsletter with hopes that you find it informative and entertaining.

Danny Brown

Area demographics. Before committing to a property, be sure to ask your real estate representative about the area, and which direction it may be heading.

What’s within your control: „ Home maintenance. Stay on top of home repairs. Replace your worn siding or leaky roof, for example, to help maintain your home’s value.


Home renovations. Some renovations will ensure a return on your investment, and more. Others may actually cause you to lose equity. Ask your real estate representative which home improvements typically make financial sense.


Home equity loans. Taking equity out of your home to potentially add equity back into it through a kitchen renovation, for example, might make sense. Other borrowing reasons may not. Your real estate representative can tell you what we have seen work in today’s marketplace.

Please call today for more home equity insight in relation to today’s real estate market! CNSF

Volume 8, Issue 4

Courtney Brown 1.800.387.6058 ext. 239

Vivian Giraldi 1.800.387.6058 ext. 246

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44 REM APRIL 2012

Good Works


yron Maier, sales rep with Re/Max Check Realty in Campbell River, B.C. is also president of the Victoria Ska Festival Society. Maier, known as the Ska Boss, says he wanted to find a way to give back to the roots of where the music comes from. He created the Alpha Project. The society is looking for donations of instruments and money for the Alpha Boys School in Jamaica. The school “is in need and has blessed us with an amazing and talented list of alumni including Don Drummand, Tommy McCook, Johny Dizzy Moore, Desmond Dekker and Rico Rodiguez,” says Maier. “It is time we give back to them. We are collecting instruments that the school is in need of and ensuring they are serviced and in good working order for the kids. The Alpha Project will provide very needed instruments to kids that are in dire need of help.” Maier will travel to the school to present them to the children. For information: ■ ■ ■

Lynn Drennan, an agent with Royal LePage Coast & Country Realty in Digby, N.S., dove into Digby Harbour on February 4 to raise funds for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation in support of Juniper House, a local women’s shelter. Drennan has a goal of raising at least $1,000 through her initiative. She is currently about a quarter of the way to the goal. “Diving into the harbour in winter is similar to the difficult leap many women make to leave abusive relationships,” says Drennan. She understands first-hand the courage it takes to make that “leap” as Drennan herself turned to a shelter 12 years ago after leaving an abusive relationship. ■ ■ ■

Century 21 Real Estate LLC says its brokers and agents raised $1.97 million in 2011 on behalf of

Easter Seals. This year, eight of the Top 21 leading fundraisers in the Century 21 System are Canadian firms, led by Century 21 Dome Realty in Regina. The other top Canadian fundraisers are Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty, Barrie, Ont.; Century 21 Assurance Realty, Kelowna, B.C.; Century 21 Seller’s Choice, St. John’s, Nfld.; Century 21 Fusion, Saskatoon; Century 21 First Canadian, London, Ont.; Century 21 A.L.L. Stars Realty, Edmonton; and Century 21 Classic Realty, Dartmouth, N.S.

event. Since 2002, Ingersoll, Ont.’s Relay for Life has raised $1.05 million for cancer treatment, victim care and research. This is impressive considering that Ingersoll is a fairly small community of 11,000 people. As the broker of Sutton Group - Select Realty, Campbell knows his neighbours well and is hopeful that once again local companies and individuals will donate and participate in the

event. This year’s Relay for Life is planned for June 22 from 7 pm to 7 am at the Ingersoll District Collegiate Institute. “If your company is interested in a sponsorship for the Relay for Life in Ingersoll, please contact me at 519-7881959,” says Campbell.

second annual garage sale to raise money for women’s shelters in the area. “The first year we shocked even ourselves when we raised more than $5,000 in one day,” says sales associate Cathy Danyluk. “Last year we raised over $6,000. While coming in 15th in the country of all the participating Royal LePage offices in money earned, we raised more money, per Realtor, than any other office.” REM

■ ■ ■

Last year, Royal LePage JMB & Associates in Gimli, Man. held its Byron Maier

■ ■ ■

The Camrose Women’s Shelter Society hosted a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event recently. Twenty-four men, including Arnoud Colombijn, broker/owner of Royal LePage Rose Country Realty in Camrose, Alta., sported red high heeled shoes for the cause. It took the Realtors at Royal LePage Rose Country Realty just 10 minutes to raise $2,645 after seeing Colombijn dressed for the occasion in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Close to $24,000 was raised by the event and participants. ■ ■ ■

Sales reps Don Martin and Hamish Redpath of Re/Max Charlottetown in Charlottetown organized the brokerage’s second annual food drive in February. They set up at two Atlantic Superstore locations and handed out bags for shoppers to fill with non-perishable foods. All donations went to the Charlottetown Food Bank. ■ ■ ■

As a cancer survivor, Wayne Campbell understands the emotional and physical challenges of this frightening disease. For the past decade, he has volunteered his time as a co-chair of corporate sponsorship for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life

Right: Lynn Drennan dives into Digby Harbour Right At Home Realty of Toronto raised $35,000 last year for Habitat for Humanity. Since the inception of the partnership with Habitat for Humanity, the company has raised over $100,000. As a result of this achievement, Right At Home Realty will have a home specifically designated for it. The cheque presentation included, from left, Don Kottick, company president; Howard Drukarsh, vice-president; Angela Solomos, senior director, Habitat for Humanity and Neil Hetherington, CEO for Habitat for Humanity.

Marilyn Abbott-Charters of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation accepts a cheque for $6,151 from Lincoln Thompson, broker/owner of Gardiner Realty Royal LePage in Fredericton. The Declutter For a Cause event saw local residents donate items and then come shopping on the day of the sale. The brokerage is now accepting donations for the next event on May 12.


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Spin for Strong Kids. It will benefit more than 13,000 local youth and children. It is the first of 25 grants that will be distributed this year by the CREB Charitable Foundation in celebration of its 25th Anniversary. Recipients of the foundation’s 25 for 25 program will be announced throughout 2012.

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ing City real estate broker Ronald Abraham assumed the role of president of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) after its annual conference on February 29. Active in the real estate profession for 44 years, Abraham is broker of record with Prudential Lorimer Realty of King City. Phil Dorner of Belle River will serve as president-elect. OREA directors-at-large are Mike Douglas of Barrie, Costa Poulopoulos of London and Cassandra Agnew Walker of Richmond Hill. John Filipetti of Sault Ste. Marie will serve as commercial director and Gerry Weir of London will serve as the director representing the provincial association to CREA. Paul Etherington of the Toronto Real Estate Board will serve as substantial membership director. Barb Sukkau remains on board as past-president. Provincial directors representing different geographic areas are: for Eastern Ontario, Patricia Verge of Ottawa; for Central Ontario, Tom Lebour of Mississauga and Maureen O’Neill of Toronto; for Northern Ontario, Richard Leroux of Timmins; for Southern Ontario, Ray Ferris of Port Rowan; for Northeastern Ontario, Valerie Miles of Bancroft; and for Western Ontario, Anna Vozza of Windsor.

entrances of the Brandt Centre. ■ ■ ■

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) announced that the Niagara Association of Realtors is the recipient of the 2011 OREA Quality of Life Award. In 2011, the Niagara Association of Realtors actively supported all five principles of OREA’s Quality of Life Program, says the association. Among other initiatives, the Niagara association went paperless at their board office, participated in Realty Watch and supported local food banks. The London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors also received an award for volunteerism at the recent OREA conference in Toronto. The award is intended to recognize and honour a real estate board or association for its exceptional efforts in the area of leadership and volunteer development. Receiving the award of behalf of LSTAR was 2012 president Barb Whitney, past-president Jack Lane and president-elect Doug Pedlar. ■ ■ ■

Recently the Calgary Real Estate Board distributed $25,000 in grants to the Calgary YMCA Strong Kids Campaign as part of YMCA’s kick-off event: YMCA

■ ■ ■

Greater Moncton Realtors du Grand Moncton installed a new Board of Directors recently. The new president, Peter Dickson, brings years of dedicated volunteer work and organized real estate experience to his new role. He takes over from past-president Shirley Powell. Other members of the new board are: Roxanne Maillet, 1st vice-president; Ricky Cormier, 2nd vice-president; Carla Bouchard, secretary treasurer; and Michael Ryder, Chantal Albert and Vicki Kurkowsky, directors. ■ ■ ■

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s new team of officers and directors were recently elected at an annual general meeting in Langley, B.C. Officers serving for the coming 2012/2013 term are president Scott Olson of Macdonald Realty, Surrey; president-elect Ron Todson, Re/Max Little Oak Realty, Abbotsford; vice-president Ray Werger, Royal LePage - Coronation Park, Surrey; and directors Manny Boparai, Century 21 Coastal Realty, Surrey; Jorda Maisey, Re/Max Little Oak Realty, Surrey; Mohamed Mansour, Sutton Group Medallion Realty, Surrey; Gopal Continued on page 48

■ ■ ■

More than 130 Realtors and their friends and family took in the Regina Pats vs. Red Deer Rebels hockey game recently. The game was sponsored by the Association of Regina Realtors (ARR) as part of the organization’s 100th anniversary celebrations. Prior to the game, association president Mike Duggleby was presented with a signed Pats team jersey with the number 100 on the back. Regina Realtors were profiled in announcements throughout the game, the ARR logo ran on the rink’s video screens during the game, and association banners were set up at the

The Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors recently announced its Board of Directors for 2012. Front row, from left: Bryce Evans, director; Cathy Maxwell, president-elect; Trevor Stuart, director. Back row: David Agema, director; Dale Stuckey, past-president; Rick Braden, president; John Bekkering, director; Margaret Van, EO; and Liz Toles and Jason Shriner, directors.

REM APRIL 2012 47

Dale Thom Royal LePage Exceptional Real Estate Services, Brokerage Toronto, Ontario

Ronald Abraham

From left: OREA immediate past-president Barb Sukkau, 2011 Niagara Association of Realtors president Donald Parr, assistant executive officer Crystal Henderson, 2012 Public Relations Committee chair Patrick Dummitt and OREA president Ron Abraham.

George Heos, Senior Vice President, Network Development is pleased to announce Dale Thom, broker/owner of the brokerage formerly operating as Coldwell Banker Exceptional Real Estate Services, has chosen to join the Royal LePage franchise network. Dale began his real estate career in 1985 after graduating from Carleton University and obtaining his REALTORÂŽ license. In 1994, Dale opened Coldwell Banker Exceptional Real Estate Services in Toronto. Between 1990 and 1993, he managed offices for Montreal Trust Realty and Canada Trust Realty. Dale currently serves as vice-chair of the Professional Standards Committee at the Toronto Real Estate Board and has been in leadership roles in the industry for more than two decades.

Peter Dickson

Royal LePage Exceptional Real Estate Services has a team of 69 salespeople with two offices in the east end of Toronto. In addition to serving the Toronto area, the team also works in many surrounding regions of the city including

Markham, York Region, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Mississauga, and Brampton. Dale Thom and his team can be reached at: 3107 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M1T 3J7 Phone: (416) 497-9794 Fax: (416) 497-5949 Email: 100 Dynamic Drive, #104, Toronto, Ontario M1V 5C4 Phone: (416) 497-9794 Fax: (416) 497-5949 Email: Please join us in welcoming Dale and wishing everyone at Royal LePage Exceptional Real Estate Services continued success. For information on the Royal LePage franchise program, please call (416) 386-6016 or email:


†Royal LePage is a trademark used under license.

Scott Olson

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s new Board of Directors


Guy Bezeau

Desired Skills & Experience

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s Board of Directors: from left, front row: Gary Gray, Guy Bezeau, Jim Stewart. Middle row: EO Bill Benoit, Jason Finlayson, Margo Hoffman, Heather Parker, Frank Fairley. Back Row: Jennifer Merilees, Corey Zaal, Blair Herbert.


7SLHZLMVY^HYK`V\YYLZ\TL[V! Yvonne Ratigan Royal LePage Canada E-Mail: Fax: 416-510-5856 We thank all applicants for their interest but only those selected for interviews will be contacted.

Regina Pats captain Brandon Davidson presents a 100th anniversary jersey to ARR president Mike Duggleby.

48 REM APRIL 2012


By Dan St. Yves emember way back to when you were studying for your real estate exam? All those terms and laws that you had to memorize, only to be forgotten as soon as you started your career and met the in-house mortgage broker? He or she immediately became the smiling face you inevitably dropped your clients off with, and then subsequently prayed that he or she would find some hidden wealth that might actually qualify them to purchase a home. Many of those mortgage terms are actually quite practical to retain throughout your career, even if they might only ever be utilized while explaining to Mr. & Mrs. Jones that a) they will indeed require pre-qualification prior to a purchase, b) you are not a miracle worker, and c) third bankruptcy filings are generally frowned upon in the lending community. However, there are the “actual” mortgage terms lenders will use, and then there are the unsaid, possible meanings of those mortgage terms. Allow me

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to present a few examples to expand on that theory: Debtor – Actual: The individual owing money to a person or institution. Possible: When Paula Abdul had a hit with Forever Your Girl, that might be a more polite wording than the euphemism the lender might use privately. Debt-to-income ratio – Actual: A calculation of monthly housing costs and overall debt payments, divided by the purchasers’ gross monthly income, which ultimately determines the size of their available mortgage. Or something like that. Possible: The grosser the purchasers’ income, the higher the likelihood of the purchasers receiving a booklet from the lender titled Renting - Stick With It, Folks! Debt consolidation – Actual: An option where the debtor takes out one larger loan to consolidate several smaller ones. Possible: Way too many additional loans can lead to a debt “consolation” advisement from a lender, like, “Have you considered fleeing the jurisdiction?” Balloon mortgage: Actual: Wow! There was a whole lot of reading to go with this mortgage term, but essentially it is a deferral of standard mortgage payments until the specified mortgage term “matures”. Possible: Considering that most modern mortgages mature slower than Grandma, and that you will repay roughly 111 times the value of the mortgage before it is paid off, “balloon” and “mortgage payment” are essentially synonymous.

Default – Actual: When the borrower fails to meet the terms set out by the lender at the start of the mortgage. Possible: The borrower can pleadingly suggest that it was default of de bank, or they can try to suggest that it was default of de forces outside of his control. De lender won’t care, and will likely start de foreclosure. Foreclosure – Actual: The legal process whereby the lender regains control of the property and the debtor will begin test-driving various empty appliance boxes. Possible: NOT an exclamation prior to a wayward golf ball finally landing on the green, this process signals what is likely the end of receiving annual birthday cards and invitations to client appreciation dinners from your lender. It may also dampen a planned romantic evening when you arrive “home” to find the locks changed, and your collection of Anne Murray memorabilia strewn across the front lawn. These are just a handful of the many common mortgage terms currently in use. I hope that you will find that these mortgage term explanations are either informative, or nostalgic. I also sincerely hope your own experience has primarily been with the “actual” definitions. Humour columnist and author Dan St. Yves was licensed with Royal LePage Kelowna for 11 years. Check out his website at, or contact him at REM

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Continued from page 47

Sahota, Sutton Group - West Coast Realty, Surrey; Sharon Wayman, Sutton - Premier Realty, Surrey; and Charles Wiebe, Landmark Realty Corp., Abbotsford. Also serving on the Board of Directors, elected prior to the AGM, are Ralph Visser, Century 21 Ace Agencies, Abbotsford (chair, Brokers Council) and

Dennis Germyn, Macdonald Realty, Surrey (chair, Commercial Executive Council). Past-president Sukh Sidhu, Re/Max Little Oak Realty, Abbotsford will serve as an ex-officio member of the directorate. ■ ■ ■

Ladysmith Realtor Guy Bezeau was sworn in as the 2012 president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) at the professional organization’s Annual General

Meeting recently. Also sworn in during the ceremony were president-elect Gary Gray (Port Alberni) and past-president Jim Stewart (Nanaimo). The VIREB Board of Directors for 2012 include: Heather Parker (Campbell River), Corey Zaal (Comox Valley), Margo Hoffman and Frank Fairly (both from the Parksville - Qualicum Beach area), Jennifer Merilee (Nanaimo) and Jason Finlayson and Blair Herbert from the Cowichan Valley. REM

REM APRIL 2012 49


By Stan Albert


’ve often written about what makes a great salesperson. Recently during a trip to Jerusalem, I met up with my wife Audrey, who had completed two weeks of volunteering at a medical facility north of Tel Aviv. Our self touring took us to the Wailing Wall in Old Jerusalem. After doing the tourist thing, we wound our way back through the myriad of shops around the narrow cobbled streets, leading out to the main streets connecting to taxis and transit to Old Jaffe Gate.

A sales experience I won’t forget We found ourselves walking through the Armenian sector, which is filled with shops offering Ahava lotion, carpets, trinkets, religious items and jewelry of all types. Every shop owner beckoned us to visit his shop and have a mint tea while we shopped. Towards the end of the winding and crowded street filled with fellow tourists, workers, students and the ever present JOF soldiers and security people, we encountered, in my opinion, the best salesperson I’ve ever met! “Sir, pardon me, could you tell me how to spell phenomenal?” asked a 20-year-old Armenian. I obliged him by spelling it out on his paper. (He thought it began with an f). With a warm smile and handshake, he thanked us profusely. He needed to know this to complete an article he was writing for his business course at college. I explained the meaning of the

Earn More

word and he acknowledged that he had already researched it, but was confused by our English spelling. He asked if we’d come into his jewelry laden shop. “Please Madam,” he beckoned to my wife. “Look at this new shipment of beautiful stone necklaces I received this morning.” “I’m not buying anything else,” my wife responded. “But if you were to buy one of these three lovely pieces, which one would you buy?” (He had quietly placed three gorgeous pieces on the brightly lit showcase.) “I have enough jewelry, but thank you for showing me these, they’re quite nice, but no thanks just the same,” retorted my spouse. The young salesperson, whose name was Hamed, dug in. “Okay. But if you were interested, which one would you pick for yourself?” I thought to myself, “Smooth

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move,” as I watched my wife’s stubbornness start to melt away. After he offered a beautiful necklace at the equivalent of $100 CDN, he and Audrey started haggling back and forth. I had to exit the small shop because I was openly laughing about the transaction that I knew would take place. “Well,” said Audrey, “I’d take the middle one.” “And what would you pay for that one?” asked Hamed. “About 30 dollars,” replied my wife. “Wonderful, that will help me with my tuition,” said Hamed. As we walked up to the Jaffe Gate exit with Audrey’s newest acquisitions, I asked her what she settled on. “I picked the middle one of course, but he had me when he said he needed the cash for his next semester’s tuition!” I thought about this for some time on the long flight back a

week later, and decided that Hamed understood what phenomenal meant. Extraordinary, outstanding service, exceptional, unusual are some synonyms that come to mind. Each of us can be phenomenal, extraordinary and unusual, as our young salesperson, Hamed, showed. I believe that each and every one of us has the capacity to offer outstanding services to our clients – whether we are support staff, management or agents servicing our clients. What outstanding services or acts have you done in your careers? Do you think that Hamed will make a great entrepreneur? Stan Albert, broker/manager, ABR, ASA at Re/Max Premier in Vaughan, Ont. can be reached for consultation at Stan is now celebrating 40 years as an active real estate professional. REM

50 REM APRIL 2012


By Bruce Keith


ne of the ways to generate bigger paycheques is to sell more expensive products. In my Interview with a Superstar, coaching client Robert Kroll of Re/Max Realtron in Toronto shared his formula. He has increased his average sale price significantly over the last 23+ years. Robert now earns a sizable income selling 60 homes per year with an average sale price of in excess of $1 million each! If you want to increase your average sale price, there are some great ways to do it. Here’s how Robert did it: 1. Sit at open houses for listings in the desired area.

Increasing the selling price… and your commission 2. Preview every property that is for sale in the area, become the “resident expert”. 3. Prospect the area personally. Make telephone calls and go door knocking (unless it’s a gated community) every day. Become recognized. 4. Sponsor some activities in the area to become better known in the community. Be visible. 5. Associate with people in the area. Learn how they think. Join clubs; be involved in children’s sports and charity functions. Follow the above five points and then, as soon as possible, do exactly what Robert did – move there. It certainly worked for him and it will for you. One final thought: Do not “throw the baby out with the bathwater” while you are making this transition. Wherever your business is coming from now, keep doing it. Too many times salespeople make

a decision to change their target market and in doing so go broke before the new approach becomes successful. Always rely on your bread-and-butter market. Have a plan and follow it. Expect that the change you are implementing will take approximately 12 to 18 months. ■ ■ ■

The market is always changing. It isn’t so much that the market is changing that you need to be concerned about... the key is to react quicker than your competition. Most sellers feel there is a “magic pill” to getting their homes sold. Everyone has pride in their home and they feel that everyone else will be thrilled with what is being offered. The reality is that everything has a price at which it will sell. For example, a great location versus a bad location must always be reflected in the price. So how can we help our sellers under-

stand this more easily? If you have a listing that is not selling, the price needs to be addressed. Here are some ways to help your seller understand how you know that the price is too high. Share these indicators with them: 1. The number of hits on your website or on the MLS website for their home. 2. The number of sales in their price range since you listed their home. 3. The number of new listings that have come on the market since you listed their home. 4. Details regarding homes you have inspected that are comparable to theirs. 5. The number of showings on their home and the number of offers. It is not uncommon for a seller to complain that “all you ever do is talk to me about the price... we

need more blah, blah, blah.” Share the data from the above points and help them understand that the buyers are passing them by because they do not see the value in their home. The seller needs to know that you’re on their side. Support your advice with the above information and you will get the necessary price reductions faster. Be strong, be professional, be empathetic and help them get more offers. That’s why they hired you. No excuses. Bruce Keith, the “Sales Coach”, began his sales career at IBM and 15 years later used his marketing and sales expertise to develop a highly successful real estate business. He is a master of teaching “what to say and how to say it”. His high energy and entertaining training style has allowed him to create a popular coaching and seminar business for numerous sales organizations during the last 12 years. REM

REM APRIL 2012 51


By Marty Douglas


really liked the old days of real estate. Get a listing, put an ad in a prairie newspaper, weeks later get a letter from a cold flatlander, clip out some supermarket flyers, take a Polaroid of the view from the backyard, pop it all in the mail and in a couple of weeks or so forget about it – until a letter arrives the next winter asking if the property is still available. Today the listing is uploaded before the sign goes in the ground and some wired 30-something is texting to ask for a viewing – by Skype! And so it is with journalism – assuming you allow my REM columns that definition. Used to be I could write something outrageous, fax the copy, get the hard copy issue two months later, read the outraged replies two months after that and craft a witty response to fax to the editor. Total elapsed time about four to six months. Not today. The March edition of REM hit the online stands on Feb. 29 and before close of business

Send in the clowns that day there were 58 responses; some invoking Shakespeare, calling me a monkey, questioning my context, threatening the Competition Bureau and asking about my wife! I rarely have time to respond to a column in the following issue but in this case I do – but I’m not going to do it. You can’t make me. Just because this is April Fools’ month I’m determined to stick to my pre-planned topic – the role of the fool in real estate. I know – you’re shocked that there’s a plan! When I was a callow university lad, experimenting with long hair, paisley bell bottoms and the occasional herb – mostly malted barley – I did a senior level English lit thesis on the role of the clown or fool in Shakespeare. All I remember, besides the title, is almost every play, whether comedy or tragedy, had one. Sometimes well disguised but present nonetheless. Here are some excerpts from my encounters with clowns. Rookie: (considering an offer with a horse as part payment) “What’s a 21-year-old Arab stallion worth?” Veteran: “How much does it weigh?” On expressing the truth but with a spirit of optimism, a couple of examples. “This home is perfect for the young couple starting out with nothing – except cash.”

“The home could be a rental for very poor people or it could be bulldozed.” “With the proper amount of fill this could be a good view lot.” “The lot has a beautiful view as long as you face away from the house.” On why being No. 1is the best, “If you ain’t the lead dog, the view never changes.” And, “Only the mediocre are at their best all of the time.” And from Andy Rooney: “Having been someone isn’t nearly as good as being someone.” Richard Mendenhall offered this comment on past presidents: “This year’s proud peacock is next year’s feather duster.” On motivation from speaker Cliff Baird: “If a thirsty horse refuses to drink – shoot him.” From an empathetic manager: “List, list, list! Or you’ll be missed, missed, missed!” “You don’t have to be sick to get better.” On whether to fire first or hire first, David Knox: “What would you rather have? An empty kennel or a dead dog?” On work ethic from speaker Hank Trissler: “In a down market you have to kiss more frogs to find your prince.” And from Richard Flint: “Real estate is the only fulltime business where you are unemployed every morning. Sometimes we find inspirational humour outside of real estate – but we know it’s equally applica-

ble. Iris Dart in her book Beaches II wrote: “There is no problem which cannot be solved by the direct application of explosives.” Peter Drucker: “When the only tool you have is a hammer, all the problems begin to look like nails.” The Dali Lama: “Learn the rules so you can break them properly.” Al Capone is attributed with: “If you want to succeed you only need three things – a smile, a gun and a plan. If you have to give up any of these, give up the smile, then the gun. Never give up the plan.” Will Rogers: “Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you

can find a rock.” Back further in time to Daniel Boone: “I’ve never been lost but I remember once being bewildered for two or three days.” Ben Franklin: “There are three faithful friends – an old wife, an old dog and ready cash.” Finally, from my two favourite

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You can find Marty Douglas on Twitter – realestate – Facebook and LinkedIn. He is a managing broker for Coast Realty Group, with offices on Vancouver Island, the Discovery and

Here are some excerpts from my encounters with clowns.

Together we have all the tools


sources whose first names start with the letter Y: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up there.” – Yogi Berra. “Do or do not – there is no ‘try’.” – Yoda. Look around your own stage – if you can’t spot the clown, perhaps it’s you.

1 Please refer to the policy for full details, including actual terms and conditions. The TitlePLUS policy is underwritten by Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO®)/ Assurance LAWPRO®. Assurance LAWPRO is the registered name used in Québec by Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company. Contact LAWPRO for brokers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and Québec. TitlePLUS policies issued with respect to properties in Québec and OwnerEXPRESS® policies do not include legal services coverage. ® Registered trademark of Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company.

Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast of B.C. Marty is a past chair of the Real Estate Errors and Omissions Corporation of B.C., the Real Estate Council of B.C. , the B.C. Real Estate Association and the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. REM

52 REM APRIL 2012


New Homazooma offers anonymous advice and home listings A new website offers real estate listings, financial planning and mortgage decision tools and anonymous home evaluations. is a free public resource with no industry biases or affiliations, its founders say. The site says it provides its members with all the calculation tools and professional expertise required to make confident, informed choices – anonymously and hassle-free.

In addition to browsing (or posting) real estate on Homazooma’s search engine or crunching numbers with mortgage calculation and credit management tools, members can solicit the advice and opinions of as many real estate and financial professionals as they wish without having to reveal their own identity. For licensed real estate agents, financial planners and mortgage professionals, Homazooma says it represents the opportunity to connect with – and impress – potential clients in a neutral, permissionbased context. “The whole idea behind Homazooma is that you can go about your business and get the information you need, when you need it, anonymously and with no strings attached. Your identity remains confidential until you decide to reveal it to the professional(s) of your choice,� says Tracy Thomas, co-founder. Following almost two years of research and development by its parent company DataAbacus Inc., Homazooma offers tools and features not available anywhere else, the company says. That includes

“the most advanced mortgage calculation tools on the Internet today,� as well as “a robust and detailed alternative to MLS,� the company says. Homazooma’s search engine allows members to search for homes across Canada and to choose from over 80 search criteria, from the height of the ceilings to whether the roof has skylights or the lot is treed. Members can anonymously post details about their homes to receive evaluations from different real estate agents. Members can also complete an anonymous financial profile – no name, address or employer – and post it to message boards for review and recommendations by mortgage and financial planner professionals. It’s up to the member to directly contact their professional of choice when they are ready.

Monica Stanciu named Stager of the Year Toronto-area home staging consultant Monica Stanciu from Staged 2 Sell Solutions was selected as the Real Estate Staging Association 2012 Professional

Stager of the Year for Canada. Stanciu’s award was presented at the 2012 International Home Staging Convention awards banquet recently in Las Vegas. “Being chosen as the best home staging professional in Canada is not only a great accomplishment, but an incentive to work harder and help more home sellers and Realtors to get their properties sold faster and for the highest amount of money,� says Stanciu. She also nominated the winner of the 2012 RESA Realtor of the Year, Arsen Gulesserian from Re/Max Crossroads Realty in Toronto. Stanciu is the founder and principal decorator at Staged 2 Sell Solutions, a home staging and redesign corporation. Since its inception in 2007, the company has helped sell more than $300 million worth of real estate. The company provides staging consultations, vacant and occupied home staging, staging for investors, furniture/accessories rental and redesign services. Stanciu is also a mentor with the CSPI Training Academy and mentored over 50 new staging

graduates. Her work and dedication as a mentor was recently recognized by the CSPI Training Academy with the 2011-2012 CSP Mentor of the Year award. She is also the recipient of CSP’s Best Marketing Campaign and Most Promising Star awards. For information:

‘People & Pay Services’ tailored for small business Ceridian Canada recently launched a new online service that gives small business owners the tools necessary to pay and manage their people in one convenient location, the company says. Ceridian for Small Business provides employee-related solutions, which will result in up to a nineper-cent reduction in labour costs for organizations with less than 50 employees, the company says. Ceridian Canada president Dave McKay says, “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but they are unnecessarily burdened when it comes to managing people in a fast-paced environment. Too many services, with



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T R A D E S H O W F E AT U R E S O V E R 2 0 0 E X H I B I T O R S !


REM APRIL 2012 53

unrealistic pricing, distributed across too many providers, has meant that small business owners have been unable to identify and draw upon the resources they need. With Ceridian for Small Business we want to level the playing field and support their growth by putting all the latest high-quality tools at their fingertips at the prices they can afford.” The company provides a single-source provision of employeerelated services by allowing employers to go online to arrange the monthly service plan that best suits their needs. Upon registering, they can access Ceridian’s range of on-demand services when the need arises on matters such as employment law advice, recruiting, background checking and training. Ceridian for Small Business helps small business owners ensure they are fulfilling all Canada Revenue Agency requirements and complying with employment standards legislation. The site also gives users access to experienced HR advisors who can offer asneeded advice on a range of subjects including payroll, employ-

ment standards compliance, recruitment and employee support. For information:

HomeProof report offers property history The HomeProof Report is a new product that offers a complete home due diligence report (detailed history) on any Canadian property, the company’s owners say. It is created by searching the address against millions of records from key sources and obtaining the most comprehensive and current claims data available. HomeProof delivers the report to customers electronically, in an easy-to-understand format. The report details data on theft; floods, natural disasters, fires, water damage, clandestine labs and drug operations data from various police sources. HomeProof founder Alexandre Morin and his partners say they created the HomeProof Report as a way to add transparency to the process because the report gives only factual information and data

that can affect a person’s decision to purchase a home. “The real estate industry will have a tool that is transparent and factual, and that will help build trust by providing just the facts,” says Morin in a news release. “The risk of not knowing the information our HomeProof Report provides is simply too high. The cost of the HomeProof Report is just .037 per cent of the price of an average Canadian home.” To see a sample HomeProof Report, visit

moments can improve the victim’s survival rate by up to 75 per cent. There are currently 63 Two Men and a Truck vehicles on the road throughout Ontario. The Mikey Network chairman is president of Heathwood Homes, Hugh Heron. “We challenge other companies with vehicles on the road to follow suit and install Mikeys and have their staff trained in CPR/AED,” he says. REM Mikey defibrillators and trained personnel are now on board Two Men and a Truck moving trucks, giving anyone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest a second chance at life. In this simulated save, two movers apply a Mikey and CPR to save a young basketball player’s life. (Photo: Paul Casselman)

Movers add defibrillators to 63 trucks All Two Men and a Truck Canada moving trucks are now equipped with a defibrillator as part of the Mikey-on-Board program. Working with Emergency Medical Services, Two Men and a Truck Canadian franchisees, their drivers and staffs have been trained to use a Mikey. The Mikey Network, a registered Canadian charity, is committed to helping people who experience Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) get a sec-

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ond chance at life. To date, there are over 1,200 Mikeys placed in high-risk locations across Canada and 12 lives have been saved. SCA is the leading killer of Canadians. More than 10 per cent of occurrences happen in public, and victims who are not revived within three to five minutes usually die. The use of a public-access defibrillator by a trained “target responder” within the first

54 REM APRIL 2012


By Heino Molls


omewhere in the country right now there is a salesperson sitting at their desk or at their kitchen table with their head in their hands and in deep despair. This person could be a woman or a man, old or young, rich or poor (but probably poor) and probably very much alone. We all know that sales is a hard profession. It is a monster that can eat you up literally and spit you out in rags of ripped emotions and shredded self-worth. You may have a good product and you may have an exceptional service but somehow, for reasons you cannot explain, you are told “no sale”. The self-doubt and the lowness of selfworth that accompanies it all can be overwhelming. And it can be infuriating. All the good advice we receive about sales seems futile. We are all in sales no matter what we do for a living. You could be a mechanic who repairs cars. You still have to get customers. We are all looking for customers. You could be a teacher showing kids how to do math. We are all trying to teach our customers the math. We are all teachers. At the end of the day we all have to sell our services and our products. Many of us end up in great despair when we cannot sell. It is personally devastating. It is those times when even bigger mistakes are made. Rash decisions to alter sales plans, forceful presentations and desperate methods cause nothing more than greater rejections. The result is even greater despair. The solution to it all is elusive and different for everyone. I have seen people turn things around by attending a key seminar. Others have told me that a particular book they read was the reason for their success. Still others claim a certain system they applied worked for them. I believe it is all true. The

From despair to success bottom line is no one can claim that any one thing will work for certain for any given salesperson. With that said, I must admit that I have seen one method of sales help work more often than most to help turn sales careers around. That method is coaching. I have to qualify this claim. I do not know much about coaching. I have never had a formal regular coach in my life. I have not been overly successful financially in my life, which probably makes the point better than anything. As an observer of the real estate industry for over 30 years, I have found the successful salespeople had a coach or mentor or teacher in their lives. Coaches, like successful salespeople, come in all different shapes and sizes. I have met many. Some are humble and quiet, some are dynamic and loud. Some are low key and some are high energy. A good coach, the right coach, will turn things around for a salesperson in the deepest despair. I have often seen check lists prepared for new salespeople in the real estate industry, outlining tools that are necessary in launching a sales career. They list items from cars to computers. Some bluntly advise, “Be prepared to work with-

out a sale for six months.” Some even suggest a year. I cringe when I hear that because it seems so unrealistic but I admit it may be brutally honest. The one thing often missing on the list is how to find a good coach. Given the number of times I have heard about the value of a coach I would think that such a thing should be written and underlined. If you are that person in the throes of worry at your desk or at your kitchen table, I can tell you few things that are for certain. No one can give you the instant answer to make sales happen. You are not alone. Do not alter your marketing to be more aggressive or passive or different in any way. Look for a coach before you do anything else. Finding the right coach is not easy. Finding a good teacher is a job in itself. Don’t give up. You may think your despair is an emotion you cannot bear any longer but I promise it can turn around and when it does the height of success will be greater for you because you have lived in the depths of despair. Heino Molls is publisher of REM. Email REM

Are teams ‘the future of real estate’? By Barry Lebow

Barry Lebow interviews The Plowman Team on

wanted to write a piece on the future of real estate – about where this business will be in a decade. What innovations will there be? Will there be a major shake-up? Will the excessive access to information by the public make Realtors go the way of travel agents? I interviewed Dan and Michael Plowman of the Dan Plowman Team recently and was surprised that they have trademarked the slogan, “The Future of Real Estate.” The Plowmans are actively engaged in training others in real estate across Canada about how to set up, manage and thrive from teams. They were my go-to people for this interview. See the story now at to see if you agree that teams are the future of real estate. REM


Trade Shows and Conferences For complete listings, visit To add a listing to this calendar, email Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Agent and Broker Universities Events open to Realtors – “Great keynote speakers and social media training” London – April 16 Four Points by Sheraton – Four Points Hotel & Suites London Toronto – April 18 Paramount Conference and Event Venue, Woodbridge Ottawa – April 23 Brookstreet Vancouver – May 9 The Fairmont Vancouver – (not confirmed) Victoria – May 11 Four Points by Sheraton Victoria Gateway Halifax – June 20 Four Points by Sheraton Halifax To register for all cities: Association of Saskatchewan Realtors ASR Symposium April 17 – 19 Sheraton Cavalier Saskatoon, Sask. 1-877-306-7732 The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board Halton Symposium and Trade Show Oakville Conference Centre Thursday, April 19 Cyndi Amodeo – London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors Trade Show Tuesday, April 24 London Convention Centre Tracy Marino –

Toronto Real Estate Board Realtor Quest 2012 May 2 – 3 The Toronto Congress Centre Toronto Kitchener/Waterloo Real Estate Board REALTOR XPO 3.0 Thursday, May 10 Bingemans 2012 HomeLife International Conference May 10 – 11 Casino New Brunswick Moncton, N.B. 1-800-668-0186 Windsor-Essex County Real Estate Board Realtor Trade Show Wednesday, May 16 Ciociaro Club of Windsor Windsor, Ont. Krista Del Gatto – 2012 AEC Seminar June 4 – 7 Sheraton Centre Toronto Anik Aube – Via Capitale Annual Convention Sept. 19 – 20 Best Western Plus Hotel Drummondville, Que. France Massé – 2012 MTC Technology Forum Monday, Oct. 29 Fairmont Winnipeg Winnipeg Anik Aube –

Compiled with the assistance of Bob Campbell at Colour Tech Marketing,

AR REM ad 2012


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*Based on 2011 closed transactions. Source CREA and RE/MAX.

April 2012  

April 2012 issue of Real Estate Magazine (REM).

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