Page 1

Issue #298

April 2014

Gifting homes to the world’s poorest people Page 3

How email killed the sale Page 6

The complex world of FINTRAC 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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Off to a fast start

Jordan Boyes’ real estate career takes off Page 10

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REM APRIL 2014 3

Gifting homes to the world’s poorest people World Housing is the world’s first real estate one-for-one gifting model.

A World Housing project in Cambodia


wo B.C. real estate professionals are spearheading World Housing, a social housing gifting project that allows condo buyers to contribute towards providing a home for some of the world’s poorest people. “We are the world’s first real estate one-for-one gifting model,” said Peter Dupuis, CEO of S&P Destination Properties as he announced the project in

Vancouver in mid-February. The gifting model is based on TOMS Shoes (www.toms. com), which gifts a pair of shoes to a child for every pair purchased by a customer from the shoe outlet. Dupuis and S&P president Sid Landolt met TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie on a flight between Vancouver and Los Angeles, and learned about the concept of social entrepreneurship and gifting. “It

Peter Dupuis, left and Sid Landolt in the Philippines.

really resonated with me,” says Dupuis, who liked the concept of using a business model to effect social change. He says it is taking action that improves the lives of others. Dupuis then thought about who would be the world’s most needy. “If you could give to anyone on earth, who would you give to? The answer was “people who live in slums, people who live around garbage dumps.” There are an estimated 1.2 billion individuals in the world who exist by harvesting material from garbage dumps, mainly in the Third World nations, he says. They live in makeshift homes devoid of security, electricity and water, and cobbled together from salvaged landfill goods. Dupuis, who was writing his master’s thesis, so liked the idea of real estate one-to-one gifting to effect social change that he changed his thesis topic. Over the three-year period that he worked on it, the thesis research provided information for a workable model. He visited communities established around

By Jean Sorensen

landfills in Mexico, Cambodia and the Philippines. Dupuis and Landolt, who have sold more than 22,000 condos and specialize in luxury and resort projects, work with developers that become certified to use the World Housing brand on a sales project. The developer pays a $25,000 certification fee, which goes toward marketing the project through Dupuis and Landolt. When a condo unit sells, the developer pays $3,000 to Community Contribution Company (CCC Inc.), a Canadian corporation founded by Dupuis and Landolt and six other founding members. A total of $2,500 flows from CCC Inc. to a builder in a foreign country, which supplies the home to a needy family living in or around a garbage dump. The remaining $500 is used to fund CCC Inc.’s operations. The organization’s goal is to have 30,000 people in 5,000 homes by 2020. Dupuis says that all profits generated by CCC Inc. will go back into expanding its housing initiatives. The other six World Housing founding members are Harry Wong, CEO of Creator Real Estate Group in Taipei, Taiwan; Hunter Milborne, CEO of Milborne Real Estate in Toronto; Jeffrey Stone, president and CEO of Resort Group, Honolulu, Hawaii; Laura Rowser, former international production manager for Lululemon in Vancouver; Robert Foord in Vancouver, president of Kal Tire; and Tony Allard, president of Hearthstone Investments in Vancouver. The 130-sq.-foot house provided is elevated on stilts to prevent against flood and vermin and is constructed of metal, with insulation against heat and cold. Locals from the landfill area are trained in the construction of

the homes. Homes are equipped with a solar roof panels but also are wired for electricity, if it is available in the area. A cistern for water collection is provided. There is also open living space below the raised units. For every five homes built in an area, a wash-house and toilet facilities are provided. Landolt said the homes are a first step in making families selfreliant beyond foraging in the garbage dump areas. “It is very hard for a family to become selfreliant unless they have a house,” he says. The family’s basic needs such as water and shelter are taken care of and there is a locked place for possessions. The homes are built in the areas that the families have known as their communities rather than transporting them to another areas. World Housing hopes to produce 40 homes a month with recipients selected on the basis of having a stable domestic life, free of domestic or substance abuse, and who want to send their children to school for an education. Dupuis and Landolt used a Hawaii development as a pilot project to raise funds for 53 houses for families living in a dump in Steung Meanchey in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Others projects are now being considered in places such as the Philippines (Manila’s Smokey Mountain landfill) and a landfill outside Puerto Vallarta. Projects in India and Africa are on the radar. Dupuis and Landolt said they expect to have a local housing project launched with World Housing branding in Vancouver by early summer. Another project in Toronto is in the works. For more information visit: REM

4 REM APRIL 2014

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:


he Julie Kinnear Team recently joined Keller Williams Neighbourhood Realty in the west end of Toronto. Kinnear was formerly with Royal LePage, where she received a Lifetime Award of Excellence. “I have known Julie for years and am continually impressed by her work ethic, spirit, willingness to support her colleagues and community and her ability to always find the ‘win-win’ in any situation,” says Norm Farquhar, operating principal of the brokerage. ■ ■ ■

John Mackenzie recently opened a 2 Percent Realty franchise in Surrey, B.C. “After a successful award-winning career with Re/Max, followed by the running of a team of agents at Century 21, John jumped at the opportunity to become involved at the ownership level,” says 2 Percent Realty founding broker Roy Almog. The new brokerage is called 2 Percent Realty Solution. Corey O’Neil, who has more than 10 years of experience in real estate sales and marketing, recent-

ly opened 2 Percent Realty Full Service in Nanaimo, B.C. “We welcome Corey O’Neil to our growing network of franchisees and look forward to seeing him develop his business on Vancouver Island,” says Almog.

ed manager of the Whitby office. He started his career 39 years ago and has been managing since 1986. He served four years as a director of the Durham Region Association of Realtors and is active in several community organizations.

■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■

Coldwell Banker R.M.R. Real Estate recently expanded with a new location in Beaverton, Ont. The office, formerly associated with the Century 21 brand, is led by Joel and Darlene Pringle. They will be joined at the Beaverton location by members of the company’s Uxbridge and Lindsay offices. The Pringles are active and involved in their community. Darlene was born and raised in Beaverton and Joel served as chair of the Beaverton Downtown Revitalization program in 2012/2013. With the expansion, Coldwell Banker R.M.R. Real Estate now has 150 associates and employees in 10 locations servicing Durham Region, Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland. Joe Jeronimo has been appoint-

Shelley Porritt, broker/owner of Royal LePage Porritt Real Estate, recently acquired the Royal LePage West Realty Group office at 1500 Royal York Rd. in Toronto. The office will continue to operate out of its current location, but under the Royal LePage Porritt Real Estate banner. Porritt represents the third generation of a family-owned business that has operated since 1955. She is the broker of record for the brokerage she owns with her parents, Carl and Liz Porritt. They joined the Royal LePage franchise network in 2012. Their other office is at 3385 Lakeshore Blvd. W. in Etobicoke. Jim Sturino and his team of 80 sales reps at Royal LePage West Realty Group continue to operate out of their locations at 5110

The Julie Kinnear team, from left: Julie Kinnear, Claire Hartviksen, Stephanie Mitchell, Holly Chandler, Jennifer Palacios and Tyler Delaney.

John Mackenzie

Corey O’Neil

Dundas St. W. and 306 Eglinton Ave. W. in Toronto. ■ ■ ■

Former Toronto Real Estate Board president Cynthia Lai will be running for Toronto City Council for Ward 39 ScarboroughAgincourt. The ward is currently represented by Mike Del Grande, who has announced he will not be a candidate in the fall election. Lai has been involved in the Toronto real estate industry for 32 years. She is a founding broker of Global Link Realty Group and has been an active community leader for many years. “I will work hard to address some of the current issues that the ward faces, including an aging population and affordable home ownership,” says Lai. “Given my experience in real estate, I am passionate about ensuring that everyone has access to affordable homes by lowering closing costs.” Other major issues facing the city include dealing with the city’s aging infrastructure and public transportation, she says. ■ ■ ■

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates has secured approval to conduct business in mainland China and has signed an agreement with Beijing Xin Rui Zeng Yi International Real Estate Brokerage, which is owned by Plus Investment Holding Group (Beijing), to open Beijing

The new Beaverton office of Coldwell Banker R.M.R. Real Estate, with digitally applied signage.

Joe Jeronimo

Sotheby’s International Realty. Liu Gang will serve as chairman of Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty, Kevin Corbett will serve as chief executive officer and Jim Hao as general manager. Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty is scheduled to open in the first quarter of this year. “Doing business in China is a key milestone for our brand,” says Philip White, president and CEO. “In September 2012, Sotheby’s became the first international auction house licensed to conduct auctions in China through its joint venture Sotheby’s (Beijing) Auction Co. Concurrent development in China has been a priority for the Sotheby’s International Realty brand for the last several years.” With the opening in Beijing, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand will have 27 offices throughout Asia in Australia, Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. ■ ■ ■

Correction In the story Martin Charlwood takes over as Century 21 CEO (March 2014), it should have said that Centum Interstate Mortgages placed more than $320 million in mortgages last year, and that last year Centum had six offices that placed more than $100 million in mortgages. REM

Cynthia Lai, surrounded by supporters, launches her election campaign for a seat on Toronto City Council.

Shelley Porritt

Jim Sturino CENTURY21Canada CENTURY21Canada CENTURY21Canada

6 REM APRIL 2014

How email killed the deal A

n Ontario Small Claims Court decision in January illustrates the complexity of using email to conclude real estate contracts and how easy it is to mess up a perfectly good real estate transaction. “This case,” wrote Deputy Judge J. Sebastian Winny, “would make a good case study for Realtors on how not to conduct a real estate transaction. And it is another poster-child for the wonders of miscommunication by email.” In the fall of 2011, Ian and Anita Pilon put in an offer on a Kitchener, Ont. property owned by Adrian and Florica Rosu. The price on the agreement was $400,000. The Rosus signed it back at $420,000 and initialled all the pages except page four, the critical signing page. The signback was then scanned and emailed back to the agent for the Pilons – missing the signature page. Thinking it was valid, the buyers countered at $410,000 and sent the document back to the sellers, again missing the signature page. The sellers met with their real estate agent, Ninoslav Orasanin. There was some confusion as to whether they intended to accept the $410,000 price or sign it back at $420,000. In any event, the change in price was never initialled and the document was returned to the buyers – still missing the signature page.


in existence but they were awarded return of their deposit. A number of lessons emerge for real estate agents from this case: • Always have the parties initial every page of an agreement and every change to the price and the wording. • It is imperative to retain a copy of every document version that has been signed. Make sure your clients also have a copy. If a copy is not readily available, take a picture of each page with a cell phone and email it to the clients. • Open, print and review all email attachments. • Carefully monitor every step in the negotiations to make sure nothing is missed. • Never assume the contents of a document without opening it, printing it and proofreading it. • Count the pages in each document and match them to the fax transmission sheet or the scanned version. If the pages don’t match, you’re in trouble. • And above all, make sure you have a minimum level of experience with scanners and email and that you are intensely focussed on getting the transaction done properly. • If you’re not comfortable with a scanner, don’t use one. The case of Pilon v. Rosu is available online at Bob Aaron is a Toronto real estate lawyer and chair of the Tarion consumer advisory council. His bi-weekly columns appear in The Toronto Star. He frequently lectures to real estate agents. Email Website REM

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Gary August, broker of Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty in Kelowna, B.C., died Feb. 22 after a long, courageous battle with cancer. He was 65. “Gary was actively involved in Kelowna real estate for over 40 years and his family has been well-known in the community for more than 60 years,” wrote Andy Puthon, president of Coldwell Banker Canada, in a note to system members. “An owner and founder of Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty since its inception in 1990, Gary helped lead Gary August his company to become an international award-winning Coldwell Banker office, which is consistently one of the top offices in Canada and around the world.” Upon graduation from U.B.C. in 1971 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, he returned to Kelowna to sell real estate at Geddes Realty. He then managed the Rutland office of Hoover Realty before becoming a partner in Four Seasons Realty. “Gary was proud to have been voted the best Realtor in the Central Okanagan by readers of Okanagan Life Magazine,” wrote Puthon. “His presence will be sorely missed on so many levels.” Gary is survived by his wife Deborah Jane Fraipont-August; her children Courtney and Spencer; his sons Shaun (Jean) and Scott; grandson Kieran, brother Brian (Irene); sister Arlene (David); nephews Mathew and James; nieces Erin, Kristen and Michelle; and his dog Bauer. The family says donations to the Central Okanagan Hospice REM Association would be appreciated.

Jones Lang LaSalle now JLL


ones Lang LaSalle is now using the name JLL and has introduced a new logo. The company says that “shortening its name to JLL is a natural evolution of the firm’s historically rich The new JLL logo. brand, recognizing that it is a truly global company located in multiple markets, with a wide range of expertise applied through many different client services. It also represents its adaptation to different communication styles in different countries, languages and channels, and especially the use of digital and online.” The JLL name and new logo will be rolled out globally over the next two years. The firm’s legal name, Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated and the name of its wholly owned subsidiary, LaSalle Investment Management, will remain unchanged. REM

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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 2014 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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By Bob Aaron

Looking back on the events, the deputy judge later noted, “It did not appear that (Clifton van Dincten, the buyers’ agent) examined the document with any significant care – if indeed he opened that email attachment and looked at it at all.” In this comedy of errors, all parties thought an agreement had been reached. The buyers thought they were paying $410,000 and the sellers apparently thought the price was $420,000. The sellers acknowledged receiving a “final” copy of the agreement of purchase and sale from their sales rep, but did not open the email attachment believing they were aware of its contents. They felt no need to review it. The buyers had the home inspected and waived the condition on home inspection. They were ready, willing and able to close on the scheduled closing date, but the sellers could not provide vacant possession since their tenant had not moved out. The deal ultimately died because of the confusion over the price. The buyers sued for damages exceeding $17,000 and return of their deposit. After analyzing the evidence, the deputy judge decided that a complete contract was never concluded since it was missing Florica Rosu’s signature and communication of the acceptance to the buyers was never completed. It also appeared that the parties were not in agreement on the price. The buyers were denied damages since there was no contract



Dear Real Estate Professionals of Canada, ®

Please join us as we celebrate our 4th Annual RBC REALTOR Appreciation Week! This event is our way of saying thanks for the expertise and commitment you provide to our mutual clients. We understand real estate professionals are indispensable when it comes to helping Canadians find the perfect home to suit their needs and budgets. Whether it’s working with first time home buyers or newcomers to Canada to make their home ownership dreams come true, or helping a family buy their next home, your commitment and hard work make a difference. With innovative tools like the RBC Inside Access® website, together we can build your business and continue helping clients find the right home. T:11”

The strong relationships we have with you and our shared clients are key to our success. Your continued support played a role in the honour we received as the Best Retail Bank in North America 2013*. To continue to grow these relationships, as part of RBC REALTOR Appreciation Week we will be hosting exciting REALTOR events. Reach out to an RBC mortgage specialist in your area for details. On behalf of everyone at RBC Royal Bank®, thank you for your ongoing efforts. forts. Sincerely,

Mike Linehan, National Head, Mortgage Specialists RBC Royal Bank



®/ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. *Retail Banker International Awards, held May 10, 2013, in partnership with Retail Banker International and exclusively sponsored by Fiserv recognizes the best within retail banking globally. More than 300 banks were nominated globally in 14 award categories. ‡ All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner(s).

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8 REM APRIL 2014

Sales rep and daughter ride on six-week fundraiser By Connie Adair


ruce Johnson and his 13year-old daughter Holly had high hopes when they set off on a motorcycle trip to Costa Rica to raise $25,000 for charity. The dynamic duo from Wasaga Beach, Ont., left Toronto on Nov. 3. On Feb. 22, Holly happily blogged that they had reached their fund-raising goal. Johnson, a sales rep at Re/Max of Wasaga Beach and Holly rode to raise money for Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and the Children’s Miracle Network in memory of Alyssa Rae, Holly’s sister, who was born in 1998 and died 20 days later. The Alyssa Rae Johnson Fund was set up in her honour. “We’ve raised well over $27,000 and we continue to roll along visiting Re/Max offices and explaining the need to support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN) because of the incredible work they do here in North America,� Johnson says.

“One child per second enters this system of hospitals. In their 30 years of existence, CMN has raised over $4.7 billion to aid these special hospitals. All three of my daughters have been in their care. I would walk through fire for CMN.� When she was 10-years-old, Holly talked to her parents about taking a motorcycle trip with her father. From those humble beginnings came Motorcycle for Miracles and a trip of a lifetime for father and daughter. The pair rode to Costa Rica, with Holly chronicling their adventures on her blog “It was the most remarkable experience to watch Holly react to the world around her and the kindness of its inhabitants,� Johnson says. “She never complained...not for one second through all the freezing cold, the endless rain, the searing heat of the tropics, the many border crossings. She is a

remarkable young woman with a kind heart and the world is now hers to explore.� Johnson says choosing a favourite moment from their six weeks of “constant togetherness� would be difficult, but one time comes to mind. “I’d have to pick the time while crossing from Honduras into Nicaragua at the Nicaraguan frontier when she fed all of our food to the endless stray street dogs.� Holly tells the story on the blog. From Costa Rica she flew home and Johnson began his solo journey north, stopping to meet Holly at the Re/Max convention in Las Vegas the first week of March. He will continue his ride home though Toronto to Wasaga Beach. Motorcycle riding isn’t something new for Johnson, who says he has travelled most of his adult life by motorcycle. “I did a 34month journey from 1993 to 1996 from the Canadian Arctic to the

southern tip of Argentina with my wife, Mary, and I have never had a sense of satisfaction like the way I feel every minute during this trip because it’s about giving back.� In addition to raising funds, Johnson’s goal is to inspire “fellow (agents) to reach beyond the confines of their car and office to make a difference in their business, community and world,� says his wife, Mary, in an email to REM. “Our youngest daughter is Jocelyn (Jossy) Johnson. She is 10. She is wonderfully loving, funny and does whatever she can each year to raise money on her own for the CMN. This past summer she set up a small booth on the street by our home and she and a friend were selling bracelets they had made with all the proceeds going to CMN and Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto,� Johnson says. “At this point she has absolutely no desire to take a long motorcycle journey with daddy...but her fundraising heart is already in place. Whatever

This photo of Holly and Bruce Johnson was taken in Chetumal, Mexico during a news conference, where they spoke about the CMN hospital system and their fundraising journey.

dream she comes up with, Mary and I will support her in every way we can.� As for Johnson’s experience with Holly, he says the time has been priceless. To donate, visit REM


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10 REM APRIL 2014

Off to a fast start

In his first year in the real estate business, Jordon Boyes closed $30 million in sales in a part of the country – Saskatoon, Sask. – where the average house prices are in the $300,000 range. By Yvonne Dick


ordan Boyes is motivated to move you. Whether it’s something brand new or a little older, commercial or urban, rural or condo in the city, he’s comfortable and adept at finding a home for each of his clients. “I met Jordan in 2007. He phoned me up when he was still pretty young, wanting to know what it would be like to be a real estate agent,” says Hallmark Realty broker Don McIvor. “Last year, Jordan surpassed our all-time high for company profits in real estate sales.” In his first year, Boyes made $30 million in sales in a part of the country – Saskatoon, Sask. – where the average house prices are in the $300,000 range. Last year, to make the all-time list, Boyes sold more than 150 houses. “When I wanted to start out I researched it, talked to other people to find out what it would be like to be a real estate professional and then decided to go back to work for four or five years first,” says Boyes. This foresight meant that starting out, Boyes could afford to be focused on the big picture and not just “the next sale” for his next cheque. Though his first months were slow, Boyes used the time to build up his clientele. He had up to six open houses a weekend for six months straight when he got licensed and began his career. He says the move was as much to meet people and learn from other sales reps as to sell a place. “I’d get up early on a Saturday and get out to see the buyers and just get my name out there. It can be quite difficult to get sales when you are first starting out. It helps if you have family and

friends who are interested in buying or selling, because this is a business where people are reluctant to go with the new guy versus someone who’s got years of experience.” But you don’t get experience without pounding the pavement and learning the ropes. “On my first open house I did end up selling a place, and that’s just how I kept doing it – I basically got my start with buyers,” says Boyes, “I actually sold (a place to) the first person I ever met at an open house about 10 days later.” He kept up the pace for the rest of the six months, not wanting to rest on the adrenaline rush of the last sale but to build his real estate portfolio of clients and contacts. After almost four years, Boyes’ focus has switched. He is now selling for a lot of developers. Now the focus at the open houses is on selling houses more than networking. He has a passion for it all. Boyes says that in Saskatoon you can still drive from one end of town to the other in about half an hour, so the concept of specialising in one area of real estate doesn’t apply to him. He prefers to leave his options open.

Jordan Boyes (Photo by Shannon Brunner)

independent company like Hallmark rather than part of a chain or franchise. He was a quick learner and just ran with it,” says McIvor. Behind the successful agent is a top support team. “I give a big thanks to my wife Brigitte and co-workers Sam, Alyss and Mandi,” he says. A top producer after only six months in the real estate industry and a top company producer ever since, Boyes shares some tips:

“I am incredibly competitive with myself,” says Boyes, “The first year I don’t think I took a single day off. The next couple of years I had a four-day vacation once per year. I’ll always be excited about real estate because I still wake up in the morning ready to go and eager to see what the day will bring.”

• Choose your company well. “I chose the company I work for because of the people. It was a more relaxed atmosphere and my broker and the other agents are very friendly in our office.”

McIvor says Boyes is a great example of how to get started in a real estate career. “Selling as a new agent can be hard, especially if you are with an

• Be tireless in networking. “To get started I emailed and contacted pretty much every single person I knew, whether an old friend, ex or co-worker

to try and get going as soon as possible.” • Have a success mindset. “Never did I think I was going to fail. I did three open houses per weekend day, 12 to 1:30, 1:45 to 3:15, 3:30 to 5 pm. I wanted to get to the top fast.” • Organise and optimise your working hours. “The first couple of hours I work on emails and getting organised for the day while at home. Then I go into my office, meet with the other agent I brought on and go over things. I generally don’t eat lunch unless it’s a meeting with a client. The rest of the day will consist of listing appointments, showings and other meetings. I get home around 8 pm and try not to do a ton from home in the evenings as I prefer to get up early.” • Delegate and work to your strengths. “My wife and team are

a huge part of my success. Brigitte is a fitness instructor working a lot of weekends and evenings – she gets the lifestyle. I’m getting better at handing things off to other people. At first I was often handing stuff out, then taking it back to re-read. That wasted a lot of time that I could have used in selling.” • Know what success looks like. “Surround yourself with successful people and try to mimic what they are doing. Offer to do open houses for them in return. I’ve found it will pay off. The agents who phone to help with my open houses are going to be the first ones I send leads to in return.” • Do right by your client and never be late. “Leave early and wait if you have to. Treat your clients great and they will look after you in return. It’s a lot easier than constantly trying to find new business.” REM

12 REM APRIL 2014


By Marty Douglas


attended the annual general meeting of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board on the last day of February. It was held in Nanaimo, the hub city of Vancouver Island. About 100 folks showed up, and at least a quarter of those were guests, invited from the usual cross section of the real estate industry. CREA, BCREA, the Real Estate Council of B.C., the Real Estate Foundation of B.C., the Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance Corporation of B.C. and real estate boards from Vancouver and Victoria honoured us by their presence. And filled the chairs. At the business meeting a budget of $2.6 million was approved, offset by income of $2.5 million, $100,000 short of a fully balanced

Where was everybody? budget. Not a peep was heard from those in attendance. The excess expense over income was covered by past reserves, to spare the membership from an increase in dues. Some concern was expressed about the dates of reporting of sales and the solicitation of expired listings and privacy but nary a histrionic over any issue. Also revealed at the meeting was an “oopsie”, an unfortunate loss of $150,000 due to a failed investment in a back office management software program with half a dozen other real estate boards. The $150,000 was our board’s per capita share, meaning the other participating “big” boards – Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Calgary – lost considerably more. Ouch! I can’t tell you any more of the details because the draining of the swamp involved a confidentiality agreement to protect the reputation of the contractor. But we were assured the participants had learned a great deal from the experience. Hmmm. No protection for the industry leaders who led our money down

the path to the money pit, AKA software development. So it appears the spending of other people’s money with abandon is not restricted to the Canadian Senate. Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Prime Minister of Great Britain, also known as the Iron Lady, once offered this opinion: “The unfortunate thing about socialism is that sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.” I know our Boards of Directors are volunteers with the best of intentions. I know from my industry time they are frequently making decisions on matters with which they have little or no experience. They rely on guidance and expertise from the professional staff of our boards and associations. But as good as they are, every now and then even professionals bowl a gutter ball. We should count ourselves lucky that it doesn’t happen very often. But still. We – a board of 950 or so members – lost $150,000. That’s about $158 each. Dinner for four with cheap wine. Cost of a lock box. One month’s dues.

Not a peep from the audience. And not much of an audience. Take away the guests and staff and less than 10 per cent of the membership of our board were in attendance, giving ultra-lite scrutiny to the $2.6 million budget. There was a time concerned executive and staff ran around to the local real estate offices scaring up participation like press gangs of old, in fear of an AGM stillborn without a quorum. To prevent a reoccurrence, we did what any organization would do in the face of declining participation of the membership – we lowered our standards. The current quorum requirement wouldn’t support an evening of duplicate bridge. If our quorum were spotted on a street corner in Kiev, Vlad the Impaler wouldn’t call out the troops. Not even the gay pride police. But to my point. Most of the heads in the room supported grey hair. Or dyed hair. Or the absence of hair. They are the old guard, accused once of being the old boys and girls club. But they were in the room, armed with voting sticks if only to stir

their Metamucil. Those who pay the most, with the most to lose, greater than 90 per cent of our membership, were no shows. At the back of the room sat an old friend, a salesperson I first hired more than 30 years ago. Phil Edgett has been licensed for 33 years and has attended 32 Annual General Meetings of his real estate board. Phil is very protective of his privacy and his lifetime achievements but suffice it to say, his is a life story, half lived. His challenges from birth are incomprehensible to you or me but just routine to Phil. His spirit, bravery and sense of humour are indomitable. And yet there he was, showing up. “What’s the point of being in the club if you don’t go to the meetings?” he asked. Thanks Phil. Contact Marty Douglas by email at . Follow or connect with Marty on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. He is a managing broker for Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty in Comox and Courtenay, B.C. He is a past chair of the Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance 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

The technology shiny penny By Des O’Kelly t least once or twice every year someone comes out with a newer, cooler, easier, prettier technology to purportedly give offices and agents a leg up on the competition. Most of the time the sales pitch for the new shiny penny is so good that you have no idea what you are buying or what advantage it will give you, just that it is really cool! Often overlooked are questions such as, “How will it fit in with our operations?”, “How will my staff be trained?”, “Will there be more work for staff?” and “Can I count on this shiny penny company being around for the long haul?”


If you want a really good example, think back to the craze over QR codes. “You’ve got to have these” was heard at every conference and meeting. “Put them on your signs, your ads, your benches, even your kids’ lunch boxes. If you don’t have QR codes in your office you are a dinosaur.” A year later, you never heard a whimper. In the meantime, software companies were scrambling around to keep up with the latest shiny penny. Office staff was scrambling to be trained and agents spent a lot of money getting all their printing changed. The biggest challenge is that brokers, agents and staff feel they have to jump into the first thing that looks good regardless of the consequences to time and money spent. It can be hard to stay competitive if the competing office down the street has a coffeemaker that brews your coffee by sensing

that your car has pulled into the parking lot. Hey, not a bad idea! The challenge is the new shiny coffeemaker doesn’t use the same coffee and filters and it requires special cleaning separately from other coffeemakers in the office. In the end, the expensive coffeemaker costs too much money and brews coffee every time any car drives by the office. Then, your agents become upset because they can’t just make a simple cup of coffee without viewing a 30-minute online tutorial. Sound familiar? With the industry buzzing about paperless closings, e-signatures, online closing rooms and all in the cloud, shiny pennies are popping up again. Many brokers have been bombarded with pitches about being paperless and signing everything online. Agents are asking their brokers, “What is this new shiny penny that you don’t have

and that my agent friends are telling me about?” There are benefits to these technologies such as the environmental impact, cost savings for brokers and improved efficiency on transaction processes for agents and their buyers and sellers. The challenge is when these new shiny pennies are introduced into the existing brokerage infrastructure, it takes planning and execution by your software vendor, management team and especially office staff to ensure a smooth transition. There are questions brokers should ask the shiny penny salesperson prior to adopting their new technology, such as, “How does your system work with my existing software products? Will I have to enter my agents and all my closings in two places? Will there be a seamless transfer of information back and forth as closing details change?”

While there are many software suppliers providing great new shiny pennies, ask yourself if they are interested in making your business easier and more efficient to run or just interested in turning their shiny penny into lots of your hard-earned dollars. Des O’Kelly, president and partner of Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies, joined Lone Wolf in 1990. Since then, he has focused much of his time and attention on the development, growth and enhancement of the Lone Wolf product line, the Complete Enterprise Solution. With a strong understanding of, and experience in the real estate industry, he has helped Lone Wolf grow to become an industry leader in real estate solutions and services. For more information on Lone Wolf’s Complete Enterprise Solution visit or call 1-866-279-9653. REM

14 REM APRIL 2014

ynette Keyowski has been appointed executive director of the OkanaganMainline Real Estate Board (OMREB), effective April 1. She replaces Janice Myers, who has left the board to become CEO of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. Long-time Ottawa board EO Carol Mallett has retired. Keyowski has a background in economics and not-for-profit association management. She most recently was manager of property information services at the Association of Regina Realtors.

Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) recently. Duncan-based Jason Finlayson was also installed as president-elect for 2014. Three new faces joined the Board of Directors this year, including Cholene Begin from Campbell River, Don McClintock from Duncan and Janice Stromar from Nanaimo. Rounding out the board are returning members Neil Woodrow from Courtenay, Kathy Koch from Nanaimo, Margo Hoffman and Frank Fairley from Parksville and past-president Gary Gray from Port Alberni.

■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■

Greater Moncton Realtors du Grand Moncton elected new directors on Feb. 21. New president Ricky Cormier brings almost 10 years of real estate experience to the position. He takes over the role from Roxanne Maillet. “The Greater Moncton marketplace is the strongest in New Brunswick but comes with challenges. It is important that we support our members in servicing this marketplace,” says Cormier. “Our mission is to be an industry leader, providing relevant, innovative member services that equip our Realtors to deliver exceptional service to consumers. I have been proud to be a part of the Board of Directors, who have worked hard to meet our mission and have big plans to move us forward in this everchanging industry.” Other members of the board are: 1st VP, Chantal Albert; 2nd VP, Ryan Davison; secretary treasurer, Kevin MacKenzie; directors Trent Wilkins, Andre Malenfant and Jeremy Lyons; past-president Maillet; and EO Kerry Rakuson.

The Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ), that province’s real estate and mortgage broker regulator, has launched a new website, a provincial advertising campaign and a new label. “We are happy to have implemented these new tools that show once again that protecting the public is at the heart of our daily work,” says Robert Nadeau, president and CEO of OACIQ. The redesigned OACIQ website offers a user-friendly navigation, a refined look and content tailored to consumer needs, says the association. Along with the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB), it has created a joint advertising campaign with an innovative concept, highlighting the benefits of using a real estate broker’s services. The label “is a genuine seal of competence that confirms the quality of the real estate broker’s profession,” says the OACIQ in a news release. “Taken from the OACIQ’s logo, it represents a partially open door where the doorway forms a stylized ‘i’, referring to the real estate world (immobilier in French). The new website is at www. To take a look at the advertising campaign’s microsite, visit REM


■ ■ ■

More than 100 Realtors and dignitaries were on hand to watch as Duncan Realtor Blair Herbert was sworn in as the 2014 president of the Vancouver

Lynette Keyowski

The 2014 VIREB Board of Directors, from left, front row: Frank Fairley, Gary Gray, Blair Herbert and EO Bill Benoit. Back row: Margo Hoffman, Cholene Begin, Neil Woodrow, Kathy Koch, Jason Finlayson, Janice Stromar and Don McClintock (Photo: Artez Photography)

Ricky Cormier Recently members of the North Bay Real Estate Board, along with board staff, family and friends, participated in the Coldest Night of the Year event in support of the Gathering Place – North Bay’s Community Soup Kitchen. The board’s team raised more than $1,770. In total, the walk raised $70,732. From left, front row: Scott Carr, Cindy Carr, Tammy Malcolm, Colette Revenboer, Ron Pigeau. Back row: Tracy Farquhar, Susan Nosko.

The new OACIQ logo

In 2013, the North Bay Real Estate Board donated $12,142 to several shelter-based organizations in the area, thanks to the efforts of board volunteers.

Greater Moncton Realtors participated in the Annual SPCA Curl for the Animals bonspiel and helped the local SPCA raise more than $10,000 for the animals. The RealtorsCare team was Trent Wilkins, Kerry Rakuson, Jennifer Richford-Hicks, Shane MacPherson and Chris Constantine.

J U N E 2 & 3 , 2 0 14 | VA N C O U V E R , B C

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16 REM APRIL 2014

Non-competition covenants By Ben Hanuka


on-competition and non-solicitation agreements, which are “restrictive covenants”, are used to restrict one party from competing with the business of another, usually during and after the termination of a business relationship. In the real estate industry, franchise arrangements tend to impose non-competition covenants on franchisee brokers and in some cases even on their sales representatives, to restrict them from engaging in a competitive business. Non-solicitation covenants aim to restrict franchisee brokers from soliciting customers, employees or other people associated with the franchise system.

In Canada, non-competition covenants must be unambiguous about the geographic territory of the restrictions, the period of time during which they are effective and the extent of the prohibited activities. Non-solicitation covenants are not subject to the same territorial restrictions. In a 2013 Supreme Court of Canada decision, Payette v. Guay Inc., the court held that territorial restrictions in non-solicitation clauses have generally become obsolete in the modern economy since customers are not limited geographically. The analysis of non-competition covenants is complex. They are required to be “reasonable”. Canadian courts have sought to balance the public policy against restraints of trade and the desire to promote freedom of contract in commerce, using the “reasonableness” test. Key to this analysis is the nature of the contractual relationship. In a pure commercial context,

where a party may seek to restrain a seller of a business from competing with a buyer or prevent a shareholder from competing with a company he is leaving, the courts more readily enforce restrictive covenants. In Payette, the Supreme Court even created a presumption in favour of the restrictive covenants. In employment cases, courts often find unequal bargaining power between an employer and employee and construe noncompete clauses more strictly against an employer. Non-compete covenants have to be restricted in their geographic territory and time to not more than what is reasonably required to protect an employer’s legitimate interests. Franchise relationships in the real estate industry typically impose non-competition covenants on two distinct levels: covenants against a franchisee broker and covenants against sales reps. Starting with the latter for its simpler legal principles, real

estate sales representatives are akin to employees for purposes of the legal analysis. Enforcing non-competition covenants against sales representatives, whether by the franchisor or franchisee broker, is likely very difficult given the much higher employment threshold. Franchise relationships fall on a continuum between a pure commercial relationship on the one hand, and an employment relationship on the other. While real estate franchisors and franchisee brokers are independent contractors, many franchise agreements are “contracts of adhesion”. The agreements are drafted entirely by the franchisors and presented to the franchisees in a non-negotiable final form. Canadian courts have traditionally agreed to consider many surrounding factors in franchise disputes relating to restrictive covenants, such as the nature of the franchise system; franchisees’ sophistication and access to professional advice; the extent of negotiations; the uniqueness and sophis-

tication of the franchise system and its methods; training provided to franchisees; and the franchisee’s subsequent competing business that is at issue. The sophistication of franchisors and their franchise systems in the real estate industry in Canada vary. There are large national and international networks, managed by highly sophisticated franchisors. And there are smaller systems, operated regionally. Some are owned and operated by an independent franchisor, while others are operated by a master franchisee regionally or nationally. The quality of restrictive covenants in these franchise systems’ franchise agreements similarly varies widely. How all these and other relevant factors combine together greatly drives the question of whether a particular non-competition covenant is enforceable. Ben Hanuka is principal of Law Works PC (, a Toronto boutique firm practicing in the areas of franchise law and commercial litigation and arbitration. (416) 915-4212; email ben@lawREM



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18 REM APRIL 2014

Your wicked-awesome client bank By Amanda Ross “…build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos, CEO


id you hear that noise? That was your client bank getting a little lighter. Gaining that loss back is going to be twice as hard! Your client calls and gets your voicemail for the third time in a week and even though you generally call them back within a couple of hours, they think, “Geez, doesn’t he ever answer his phone?” With every client or prospect you have a bank of trust that you can grow or shrink. It happens every time you’re amazing and every time you drop the ball – no matter how

big or small it seems to you. If you say you’re going to do something by X date/time (nothing wrong with giving yourself a little buffer just in case), you better do it by then or that bank just got a little lighter. You may think that it’s no big deal, but to them it means something. It tells them you don’t care or that you’re too busy. And, that they’re not important. Always remember that if they don’t hear from you; they’re making up why that is. Don’t let them build that story…it’s not going to be a good one. Don’t you know that they chose you? They could have chosen any one of the other agents in your area, but they chose you – you’re it! They believe in you, until you show them that they shouldn’t. Did you respond to them in a timely manner? Did you do what you promised them when you spoke last? Did you send them that update? It’s not just about you either; it’s about everyone and everything

that surrounds you. Was your financial partner awesome when they handled their mortgage questions? Did the handy man you recommended make them feel confident in his work? How is the phone answered at your brokerage? You must surround yourself with those who will treat your clients like the special gems you do – it all reflects back on you. For example, at the brokerages I’ve managed, my goal was to be sure that every agent was happy and felt important and that meant keeping their clients/prospects happy and feeling good too. One rule was that the front desk had to answer the phone in three rings, offer their name and then actually listen to the response from the caller before putting them on hold. None of this, “ABC brokerage, hold please.” And bam! You’re waiting! We have a whole new world of social media, where instead of them just telling their handful of

friends how great or not-so-great you are, they’re telling their 300 friends on Facebook, 500 followers on Twitter, and/or their 200 contacts on LinkedIn. Do you know what your clients are saying right now? The moment you ended a conversation with them, they turned to someone and started telling them what just happened. Are you sure you’re okay with what they might be saying? One of the easiest ways to maintain a growing client bank is by being responsive. People just want to know that they’re being heard. So, when they call – answer! Or get back to them quickly. If you can’t contact them, leave a voicemail that states when they’ll likely hear from you and follow through with it. Even though I no longer manage brokerages in a 24-7 world, I still work that way. If any of my clients contact me, even on a Saturday night, they will get a response (unless I’m sleeping), even if that response is, “Thanks so

much for this, I’ll look at it in more detail by Monday at noon.” They’re not left wondering until Monday whether or not I received their message. They know that I know. Period. After every interaction, ask yourself: If I hang up/walk away/leave now, what’s the story they’re telling their spouse and/or friends about it? Will they refer you after your last touch point? Would you if you were in their shoes? Do your clients feel important? Do they feel like you care? What can you commit to today to start building a stellar experience every time? Amanda Ross is the owner and CES (Creator, Educator, and Strategist) of RealtyBoost (, where she helps brokerages and sales reps build strong brands, smart strategies and more knowledge that brings value to their clients. Follow Amanda on Twitter, @ImAmandaR and/or RealtyBoost at @RealtyBoostCA REM

How I Automatically Produced $9.7 Million per MONTH Selling Real Estate …and how you can too. My easy-to-use Real Estate System inexpensively and automatically generates prospects with absolutely NO cold-calling, and is being used successfully by over 30,000 agents from across North America.


y name is Craig Proctor, and I sold real estate right here in Canada for over 20 years. At the beginning of my career, I worked much too hard for every dollar I earned… just the way many of you probably are. You see, when I first started out, I made the same BIG MISTAKE most new agents make -- I looked around and copied the Old School, traditional techniques of cold calling and door knocking, chasing FSBOs, hounding Expireds, and wasting my weekends at long and uneventful open houses. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

“I burned myself out and almost made the decision to leave the business.” I was young and single at the time, so I was able

to basically give up my personal life in pursuit of my job. What I found was that if you’re willing to work at it, and if you can get past the constant rejection and humiliation, these nauseating tasks actually can help you find prospects and clients. I’m living proof of that. In fact, at the age of 29, I actually sold enough houses to become the #1 agent worldwide for RE/MAX®. Sounds great doesn’t it. The problem is that I quickly came to the realization that it’s really hard work to sustain the energy, enthusiasm and thick skin required to make this work day in, day out, 7 days a week and too many hours a day. It seems agents have had it beaten into their heads that there is a direct link between hard work, long hours and income in this business. It was after doing it the hard (stupid) way for my first few years that I burned myself out and

almost made the decision to quit the business altogether. But over the last 20 years, I developed a real estate system that entirely changed my life. I can prove to you that there’s a very different, hidden business waiting

Craig Proctor, shown here with Dave Liniger, co-founder of REMAX® International, topped the RE/MAX® International charts for over 15 years.

for you in real estate that does NOT require you to absorb untold amounts of rejection, stress and drudgery; does not require you to be out all hours or to be

a stranger to your family. In the last few years of my career, I consistently sold more than a home a day to earn almost $4 million a year in commissions, and I accomplished this while working less than 40 hours a week. This was all the more critical to me now that I was married with three children. It enabled me to be present in my marriage and participate in my kids’ growing up. So easy and duplicatable is the system that I developed, that it is now being used successfully by over 30,000 of your fellow agents from right

across North America. You may have read some of their testimonials in this publication, and you can listen to agents share their success stories first hand on my toll free eavesdrop line at 800-700-0958. Like me, they’ve found that my system allows them to earn great money in real estate without having to work long or inconvenient hours, or engage in the demeaning, demoralizing tasks like coldcall prospecting that so many of you are finding yourselves tragically consumed by. Most importantly, the agents who use my system now have control over their lives, and a business that serves their life rather than the other way around.

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MARIANA COWAN, Halifax, NS: “After 12 years in the business, I was near burn out working 16-18 hour days. Craig’s system changed my life. I no longer work evenings and weekends and I take 4-5 months vacation a year even though my business predictably sells 300 units every year!” is your marketing partner 2,079,841 emailed to a friend

1,026,505 emailed to a REALTOR®


emailed to a Brokerage office

To receive your share of the leads from, make sure your email is up-to-date in your board’s MLS® System. Contact your board or the CREA Member Service Centre at 1-888-237-7945.

Trademarks are owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA (REALTOR®) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS®). is your marketing partner 2,079,841 emailed to a friend

1,026,505 emailed to a REALTOR®


emailed to a Brokerage office

To receive your share of the leads from, make sure your email is up-to-date in your board’s MLS® System. Contact your board or the CREA Member Service Centre at 1-888-237-7945.

Trademarks are owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA (REALTOR®) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS®).

22 REM APRIL 2014


Real Estate Marketing Solutions


WE DELIVER! Targeted Neighbourhood Newsletters: Versions include Single-Family, Condo, City-Specific - and more! Market Connections C s Inc.ÂŽ Inc.ÂŽ Market Connections 94 Scarsdale Road Toronto ON M3B 2R7 Danny Brown Real Estate Agent Bus: (800) 387-6058 Fax: (800) 800-7093

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2 Volume 8, Issue


itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s IS IT SELLIN estate season,â&#x20AC;? n spring as â&#x20AC;&#x153;real In fact, the Canadian people think of Although most only time to consider a move. even last fall the d that certainly not n (CREA) discovereresults. sales Real Estate Associatio surprisingly strong summerr produced some home sales over last

n Canadian Toronto and Vancouver A strong rebound in increase of 9.8 percent in overall average markets, and fall resulted in an taking into account those two active transaction prices. Nota 4.3 percent increase, reinforcing the continuing prices still came in at stability. d and trend of overall market again, in the Toronto than ever, especially, from the Canada Mortgage Condos are more popular In fact, latest ďŹ gures that those two cities led Vancouver markets. showed n (CMHC) market. and Housing Corporatio housing starts with 51 percent of the condominium apartment the convenience of that buyers wanting just the typical high-rise Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to recognize a choice of more than recognize as a condo. The condo services have that most people condominium apartment other condo options: following chart shows RE TYPE (%) CONDOMINIUMS





Neither snow, nor sleet, nor the never-ending cold that characterized DAYS ON AVERAGE NO. SOLD could MARKET Toronto in February contain local homebuyers this year. PRICE

While house sales rose just 2.1 in February 2014 over February 2013, it was the rising prices that got people talking. The average selling price for February 2014 sales rose by 8.6 percent yearover-year to $553,193. The lack of single-family home inventory was SEMI-DETACHED a contributing factor to the price increases, although there was a good selection of condominiums to meet buyer needs.

DETACHED percent

%) ((%

Percentage 36 Structure Type 31 (fewer than 5 storeys) Low-rise apartment 23 (5 or more storeys) High-rise apartment 6 moveable dwellings) Row house semi-detached houses, 4 single-attached houses, Other dwelling (duplexes, Survey, 2011) Single-detached house (National Household ny in from Statistics Canada sale for adapted CMHC, Source: of condos are available

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Despite the continuation of inclement weather in February, TOWNHOUSE we did see a moderate uptick in sales activity last month. The sales increase was largely driven by resale condominium apartments. New listings of resale condominium apartments were up on a year-over-year basis, giving

out what types sellerrs! Please call today to ďŹ nd conditions are like for both buyers and area and what local market

housing typee andd on factors besides Market values depend involved. Real Estate Association. location are some other key factors ÂŽ reported by the Canadian lot size and specific on MLS sales as Figures are based square footage, upgrades, Overall condition, number of bedrooms. Real Estate Association Source: Canadian

of Danny Brown From the desk

Market Connec tions Inc.ÂŽ



Volume 8, Issue 3




Are you looking for a new home this spring? Wondering how much your own property is worth? Need some help navigating through the busy spring real estate market? Please call today! TREB



â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we see renewed growth in listings for low-rise home types, the pace of sales growth will accelerate as we move through the year,â&#x20AC;? Ms. Usher continued.



buyers ample choice. This is in contrast to the listings situation for singles, semis and townhomes, where supply continued to be constrained. Some would-be buyers had difďŹ culty ďŹ nding a home that met their needs,â&#x20AC;? said Dianne Usher, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.


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13 20 8

Figures are based on MLSÂŽ sales as reported by the Toronto Real Estate Board. Market values depend on factors besides housing type and number of bedrooms. Overall condition, square footage, upgrades, lot size and specific location are some other key factors involved.

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By Stan Albert


ast month I vented about why new agents fail. This month, I turn my thoughts to why successful agents continue to remain successful. When I started my research on the ingredients that make successful agents stay successful, the reasons are, not surprisingly, the exact opposite of why others fail in this business. 1. Successful agents usually have a yearly plan and review it regularly with their manager or coach. 2. Once the plan is in place, they make a commitment to it. They make themselves accountable. 3. They research properties and become totally familiar with the market niche they want to capture. 4. They attend seminars and

How to stay successful invest in their careers, whether by buying into a coaching contract and/or attending related workshops in their area, and by going to conferences outside their area. 5. They make time to spend with their families or if they are unattached, they make time for themselves. 6. They take additional skills courses other than required provincial courses. 7. They exercise regularly. 8. They take courses or talk to a mentor to sharpen their marketing and negotiating skills. 9. They review open houses every week and do at least one per week, excluding holidays. 10. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve read this far, then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re well on your way to being a top producer. So now that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve given you my Rx for a spring tonic, here are the nuts and bolts of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. For anyone starting out or even current top producers, my advice is to concentrate on a group of town houses and condo apartments that are close by, as well as rental apartment blocks. Send out unad-

dressed 5x7 cards every three weeks with messages such as, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is it time to move up?â&#x20AC;? Townhouse owners move for a number of reasons, similar to renters. Noise, smells and lack of space and/or privacy are primary reasons. The next logical step for townhouse owners is to buy a semi. The next step for condo apartment owners is a townhouse and renters would naturally move to a condo apartment or a townhouse. I think by now youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting the picture. Condo dwellers and renters are always looking for that dream home. By sending out repeated messages and following up every week, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never be short of leads for buyers and for sellers. All it takes is for you to put your plan in motion and keep it in motion. Have a great spring market. Stan Albert, broker/manager, ABR, ASA at Re/Max Crossroadsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; iRealty office in Toronto can be reached for consultation at Stan is now celebrating his 44th year as an active real estate professional. REM

Canadians counting on home equity in retirement N

early one-quarter of Canadians plan to use their homes as their primary source of income after they leave the workforce, according a survey conducted for Sun Life Financial. Seventeen per cent do not know if the investment in their home will serve as their primary source of income during retirement. Canadians on average expect approximately 10 per cent of their retirement income to come from home equity. They expect 30 per cent to come from government plans, 27 per cent to come from

personal savings, 23 per cent to come from employer plans, five per cent to come from inheritance and six per cent to come from other sources. Some market experts predict that Canadian expectations to not rely on home equity may change due to economic factors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Real estate will likely endure some difficulty with a slowing Canadian economy and a weak demand for the dollar,â&#x20AC;? says Sadiq S. Adatia, chief investment officer, Sun Life Global Investments. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With an already overheated market, there may be additional pres-

sures from upcoming retirees who feel they lack enough savings for their retirement. As a result, they may feel the need to downsize their homes for additional income.â&#x20AC;? The survey found that 28 per cent of Canadians expect to be retired at 66. Twice that many (56 per cent) are expecting to work past the traditional retirement age, with 65 per cent citing that they will need to. Among Canadians closest to retirement, those aged 55-65, the average expected retirement age is 67. REM

“It’s an extreme honor to be selected by such a prestigious, international real estate company. With the success that my company has experienced over the past 19 years, it seems to be a natural step in catapulting us to an international level.” Sandra L. Wilken, Engel & Völkers Scottsdale

Only the best in the business join our brand. When she started Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties 19 years ago, it was to change the industry by raising the standard of service

to a level never offered before, she said. She built and supported a team of top agents, building a reputation for premium service and properties, and has lead the brokerage to multiple award winning status, consistent ranking within the Top 10 Arizona brokerages year after year. As Engel & Völkers Scottsdale, the hiring of additional agents doubled the size of the team with the expectation

of increased production numbers across the board. In addition, they now have the support of a globally recognized brand and a network of Engel & Völkers brokerages in premium markets throughout 38 countries spanning six continents.

Engel & Völkers Canada 2 Bloor Street West · Suite 700 · Toronto · Ontario M4W 3R1 · Canada · Phone +1-416-323-1100 ·

©2014 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage independently owned and operated. Engel & Völkers and its independent License Partners are Equal Opportunity Employers and fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act.

24 REM APRIL 2014

Free program gives feedback on listings W

hat does that client really think about the house he just viewed? What did people who attended the open house think about the property? Obtaining that candid feedback from clients can be one of the toughest aspects of the job for a sales rep representing or showing a property, says Don St. Germain, a four-year veteran with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Victoria. The clients may not tell their agent exactly what they think and a comment form that is handed out may simply not make it back to the sales rep. “It’s really a passive business,” says St. Germain. Client after client may walk away from a home that the sales rep and seller see as a good deal, without commenting about why it has not struck a responsive sales cord. St. Germain tells of one home where a dip in the driveway raised doubts with those viewing the property. When their concern was eventually revealed, the seller was able to show it was caused by a drainage ditch. In another case, the price of a condominium was being compared to two others in the building that had hardwood floors, but it took feedback to nail just why buyers were walking away.

That’s why St. link to individuals Germain sat down and who have toured a wrote a program called home. It asks them ASAPfeedback six questions (from a ( drop-down menu) that he now wants to about the property make available to sales including price. reps for free. It’s a simple Before the informasystem to use, although it tion is posted, the will take some work for agent has to either reps to load listings if they Don St. Germain approve it or delete are not on the current it. There is no ability MLS for the Victoria area. to edit it, only Once a password to the system is approval or deletion. Once the obtained for both sales rep and material is approved, the homeseller, they can go online and see owners can go into the site and see what comments have been left by what comments are shaping up, a those viewing the home after a feature that helps both the owner visit. and the agents. To try the site out, visit If all the comments are and log on ing to one concern about the propusing demo as username and demo erty, the seller and listing agent as password. To try out the Realtor know there needs to be some dashboard, visit www.asapfeed- action taken. It opens another with 0000 door for sales, says St. Germain, as Realtor ID and guest as the pass- since it provides the agent with a word. remedy for their concerns and an To begin the registration invite for clients to return. “You process, sales reps must email can ask, will you come back and St. Germain at dan@asapfeed- look again or the other sales rep and indicate the pass- can ask them to come back again,” word the agent wants to use, the he says. MLS system the agent uses and a St. Germain created a nationcontact number where the agent ally successful Victoria-based comcan be reached. He will follow up puter chain in the ’90s before turnto make sure they are Realtors. ing to real estate. – Jean Sorensen REM The agent can send an email

Trade Shows and Conferences For complete listings, visit To add a listing to this calendar, email Coldwell Banker Canada Gen Blue Sales Rally & Broker Meetings March 25 – The Halifax Club, Halifax Rosann Copfer – Realtors Association of HamiltonBurlington Realtor Connections 2014 Trade Show Thursday, March 27 Hamilton Convention Centre Hamilton, Ont. Sheila Sferrazza – CREA Annual General Meeting & Leadership Summit March 29 & 30 (March 30 tradeshow) Westin Hotel, Ottawa Anik Aube - aaube@crea.cac New Brunswick Real Estate Association AGM & Conference April 2 – 3 Delta Hotel, Fredericton, N.B. Erika Smith – London St. Thomas Association of Realtors AGM & Trade Show Tuesday, April 22 London Convention Centre London, Ont. Tracy Marino –

HomeLife International Conference April 28 – 29 Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas Lori Cimerman 416-733-9966 Toronto Real Estate Board Realtor Quest May 7 – 8 Toronto Congress Centre, Toronto Stella Guo – Aventure Realty Network National Meeting May 6 – 8 Calgary Bernie Vogt – Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors Realtor Trade Show Wednesday, May 14 Ciociaro Club of Windsor 65th FIABCI World Congress May 17 – 22 Luxembourg

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

26 REM APRIL 2014


By Debbie Hanlon


et’s catch up on the three years since I last wrote for REM. I’ve been incredibly busy overseas setting up a mobile ESL program for the Asian market while here at home, I’ve been writing children’s books, holding public office and building my real estate, financing and business consulting firm. While I was in Korea, I had the opportunity to work directly in real estate and wouldn’t you know it, even though it’s a completely different world like night and day, the role of the real

Real estate, Gangnam style estate professional is very similar. It’s a people business. I had one contact in Seoul, an American lawyer my son had befriended, who was familiar with real estate dealings in Korea. He introduced me to Susan, a local business woman. Susan then introduced me to a real estate agent named Mr. Kim. I felt an instant comfort level and his confidence and knowledge of the various neighbourhoods he showed me instilled a sense of trust. I came to rely on his advice and soon we found our commercial office, which is located in the ever-so-popular Gangnam District. Then he went to work and found me a home to live in, a beautiful condo. While a backyard was out of the question, my roof top garden was simply out of this world. It came with a full vegetable and fruit garden with a hardy selection from watermelons to hot red peppers, a clothes line, a golf practice range and a view of the majestic

Seoul skyline that few people will ever get to experience. Kim was also a shrewd negotiator and got me a fantastic price. I got to move in earlier than I expected. After that transaction, Kim stayed in touch via my mobile phone – it truly is a paperless world in Korea. He would send little helpful informational tips that helped me settle into my neighbourhood and he added a few social activities that were written in English, which was awesome. He even included easy-to-use metro directions to get me to where the events were happening. Thanks to Kim I got to attend a free concert in Seoul, where Psy himself performed his global hit, Gangnam Style. Wow! My real estate agent made that happen. I have done thousands of real estate deals and I realized something in Seoul that I had always believed was true: people do business with people. Even though I was in a coun-

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try where everything from the language and customs to the culture was foreign, I managed to find a real estate agent that I could trust. A person I could do business with. While the transaction was different, the contracts were in a foreign language, the streets had no names and there was hardly a westerner in sight, I found an agent who made me feel very comfortable. And I found him through a recommendation from a friend of a business contact, word of mouth. That, no matter how far you are from home, is by far the most powerful referral source possible. Real estate in any country and in any language is a people business. Kim understood my needs and he not only took care of my real estate needs, but he went that extra step and extended a hand of friendship to a foreigner lost in his land. I have continued to do business through my consulting firm with Kim and I have referred several

Canadians to him. Our business relationship is still growing. Just the other day I received an email from Kim asking me to take care of a Korean family moving to Toronto. I immediately searched my data base of sales reps in the Toronto area and within days the connection from Korea to Canada was made. I was as happy to help them find their way in my country as Kim was to help me in his Gangnam style. Debbie Hanlon is an experienced real estate broker who has helped train hundreds of real estate professionals. She brokered and managed a national real estate franchise, created an independent franchise and became the No. 1 one buyer controlled agent in her national franchise in her first year. Currently she coaches sales reps all over the world. She is a dynamic keynote speaker, a real estate, finance and business consultant, a published children’s author and the creator of the national I’m No Bully Show. REM

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28 REM APRIL 2014

Do you present offers in person? Let’s meet and celebrate. Two hours later: BA: John, sorry but my buyer is backing out.

By Michel Friedman


ere is a sample phone conversation between listing agent (LA) and buyer agent (BA). BA: Hi John, I have good news for you. My buyer wants to put an offer on your 123 Main St. LA: That’s great, let’s make a deal. I can really use the commission. BA: My buyer will pay $800,000. I believe it is a good price. LA: But Jim, you know the property is listed for $900,000. My seller will not accept $800,000. No way! BA: You know John, the property has been on the market for 90 days and is vacant. Your seller should grab the $800,000 and run. LA: If you can not bring at least $875,000, you are wasting your time and mine. BA: Let me talk to my buyer. (BA calls his buyer and tells him he has to come up with more money.) BA: Hi again John. My buyer says $850,000. That is his final. LA: Let me ask my seller. (LA phones seller.) LA: Sorry Jim, seller insists on $875,000. BA: I will talk to my buyer. (BA calls his buyer.) BA: John! We have a deal.

Unfortunately I see too many similar cases in my practice. Are we watching too many real estate TV programs about California practices and applying them here? Is everybody aware of all the illegal issues in the above example? Legality aside, do you present in person or do you prefer to send and accept offers by fax? I advocate what I always practiced myself, which is presenting offers in person both as a listing agent and as one representing the buyer. When you are the listing agent, notify the seller as soon as you are being notified of a registered offer and ask to meet the seller to present the offer. Invite the buyer agent to come to the meeting with the seller and present the offer. Then the listing agent and the seller can ask probing questions such as: 1. Is this a starting offer or is this the maximum the buyer will pay? 2. How important is the closing date? 3. Why is there a condition on financing? Has the buyer been preapproved? 4. Why is the offer price lower than the asking price? What did they base this offer price on? Even though the buyer agent has their fiduciary obligations to their client (the buyer), they sometimes “volunteer” information that is to the advantage of the seller.

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This mostly happens face-to-face. When the issue of price comes up (in the event that the listed property is overpriced), the BA may pull out comparables that are the same comparables that the LA showed the seller when he listed that property. (The seller then insisted on a higher list price even though the LA told them that all agents are working from the same database and that buyers are asking their agents what they should pay and agents will pull out those same comparables.) Now, the LA has proven to the seller that all agents DO work from the same database and will base their offer on those stats. In many cases the BA is just being so engaging with the seller at the presentation and so convincing in their arguments that they actually make the SA’s job easier. Many times the BA would have their client waiting outside the house where the presentation

takes place or at a coffee shop across the street. The sign-backs happen fast and a deal is made in minimal amount of time. When you are a BA and you are presenting in person, bring comparables to the seller’s table to justify the buyer’s offer price. I would always ask the seller questions about flexibility in price, flexibility in closing dates, reason for selling (to try and dig for level of motivation). It’s true that I do not always get my answers but I would not miss an opportunity to ask if I can. I have the opportunity to “connect” with the seller, which will help with his decision to sell to my client. When you are a BA and you are faxing in an offer, it is the LA’s duty to notify the seller of the arrival of an offer. The seller’s natural response is to ask: How much? My question is: If an offer comes in at full price, is it a good offer? The answer is: not necessari-

Real Estate Technology Reaching out via DDF The creation of the Data Distribution Facility (DDF) means that real estate agents and brokers can now use their websites to advertise almost the same full list of properties that is found on “For most of the local real estate boards in Canada, the DDF represents the introduction of national reciprocity almost 14 years after it was first introduced in the U.S. It’s a wonderful system that leverages a centralized Canadian MLS database,” says Aaron Lagadyn, a sales rep with MacDonald Realty in Langley, B.C. and owner of computer services company TRES. TRES is one of the few registered providers for the DDF database. The company is offering a free, pre–built Wordpress website with each new DDF listing

account. The offer includes two hosting accounts and weekly search engine submissions for $29.95 per month. By opting into the DDF through TRES, the process of registering and getting approval through CREA begins. Help can be simple or detailed depending on what you need and your experience with computers. Once approved (two to three weeks), the DDF can be set up on your website through your account. Agents and brokers can then have listings and data added to their site. Somewhat like RSS feeds, information is live and accurate and shows listings from any sales rep or broker who is

ly. It depends on the rest of the terms as well as schedule A. However, the seller may not have the patience or will to listen to the rest of the offer and just react to the price, thus in many cases “killing” a good offer that could have ended up with an acceptable price after proper presentation and signbacks. Present offers in person and with the presence of the buyer agent. It will make the sale easier and faster with a better ratio of success and will eliminate any legal issues of what “presenting” means. Remember that a verbal offer (or counter offer) may not be worth the paper it is (not) written on. Michel Friedman is president and broker of record of Orange Square Realty, a fast-growing brokerage in Toronto, and the creator and trainer of Star Agent, an advanced real estate selling techniques course. REM also listed with DDF from across the country. TRES offers basic to advanced level searches using its module through Wordpress for monthly fees, which vary according to complexity of searches. For information, email or call 1-877-5564233.

Royal LePage’s mobile app has draw-andsearch feature Royal LePage’s new mobile app, developed in partnership with mobile agency Plastic Mobile, includes a draw-andsearch feature that allows users to zero in on a specific geographic area of interest on a map by drawing the area of choice with their Continued on page 32

Royal LePage’s new mobile app

30 REM APRIL 2014

Good Works R

eal Estate Centre’s Farm Team in Coaldale, Alta. held its 1st Annual Charity event recently. Hosted by sales rep Ben Van Dyk, broker/manager Heleen Jacobsen and the Farm Team sales reps, the event was combined with an appreciation event for their clients, many of whom have been longtime business partners and friends. More than 150 guests were treated to a turkey dinner and a free bar, followed by a short presentation about the charity of choice, Stephanos Foundation, which helps children in Malawi and other parts of South Africa to have a better chance in life. The evening included an auction of items donated by local businesses. More than $10,000 was raised for the cause. ■ ■ ■

Sutton Group - First Choice Realty of Stratford, Ont. recently contributed $5,000 to help feed

children whose families cannot afford adequate or nutritious food. Broker/owner Kim Graham says her staff and sales reps made monthly contributions to fund the project. “We wanted to support a local charity and when we learned that an increasing number of children go to school hungry, we wanted to help,” says Graham. “The Breakfast and Healthy School Program is different at each school and can include breakfast, lunch, snack, classroom nutrition boxes, education about healthy eating, exercise and guidance related to well-being,” she says.

The Easter Seals Committee of Century 21 Home Realty in Kitchener, Ont. recently presented a cheque to Nicole Rombouts, senior development officer for Easter Seals, in support of the Kids to Camp Program. From left: Brian Riddell, Julie Martin, Nick Bergmann, Jeff Gingerich, Rombouts, broker/owner Roy Singh and office administrator Sandra Singh. Absent: Sarahlynn Chounramany.

Josh Statham (left) and Bill Bailey of Coast Realty Powell River in Powell River, B.C. man the grill at the company’s fifth annual Powell River Kings Game Day Tailgate Party. Their prize draw and barbecue brought in a combined $3,250 for United Way and was the best-attended game of the season.

■ ■ ■

Four and a half years ago Cam Toews of Century 21 in Brandon, Man. had a dream to put on a curling bonspiel that would raise funds for the Easter Seals Send a Kid to Camp Program. He enlisted the help of fellow curlers and sales reps

The team from Sutton Group - First Choice Realty along with program volunteers.

From left: Michael Barrett, Cindy Stumme of SDM Services and Cam Toews.

Mary-Ann Mears, managing broker of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Calgary in a STARS Air Ambulance, which transports some of the sickest and most critically injured patients in Western Canada to hospitals.

A selection of cupcakes baked by sales reps and staff at Sutton Group – Fort McMurray to raise funds for the SPCA.

Lisa and Sean Purdy

Bruce Sworik, broker of record at Sutton Group Select Realty, presents the award to Ann Smith.

The Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka Booster Night organizing committee, from left: Michelle Cheeseman, Val Schrauwen, sales rep Wendy Webb and broker Joan Ricard.

Heleen Jacobsen presents the Real Estate Centre’s Farm Team cheque to Peter Klok for the Stephanos Foundation.

REM APRIL 2014 31

Michael Barrett and Ryan Shields from the office. The Inaugural Easter Seals Send a Kid to Camp Bonspiel was held in 2010, with 20 rinks participating and raising $4,500. The bonspiel has become an annual event, being tweaked and improved upon each year under the direction of Toews and Barrett. “Each year the interest seems to be stronger with participation and profits continuing to grow,” says Barrett. “A great deal of the success of this event can be attributed to Cam’s untiring efforts to solicit participants, prizes and sponsorship donations.” This year’s bonspiel saw 32 teams (128 players) participating, raising $13,500 for the charity. During the four years, the event has raised $32,000. ■ ■ ■

Agents, staff and guests of Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka of Bracebridge, Ont. recently attended the 2nd Annual Booster Night to raise funds for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Supporters enjoyed appetizers provided by sponsors. Bidding was competitive during the silent auction, which saw donations double those of last year’s event. With more than 100 attendees, $2,801 was raised to benefit Muskoka Interval House in Bracebridge and Chrysalis House in Huntsville. ■ ■ ■

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Calgary recently hosted Ripple Effect, a fundraising event with art, wine, food, a live jazz band and dancing. The event featured a collection of art created by some of Calgary’s most talented artists, many of whom were affected by the devastating flood that took place in Calgary in 2013. More than $14,000 was raised by the event and proceeds went to Calgary artists directly affected by the floods, the Alberta Arts Flood Rebuild Program and STARS Air Ambulance. ■ ■ ■

The two Royal LePage Burloak offices in Burlington, Ont. held a Valentine’s Day Raffle with all proceeds going to two local shelters, Halton Women’s Place and Carpenter Hospice. The brokerage raised $695. The lucky winners of the basket at the Mainway office were

Lisa and Sean Purdy, sales reps. ■ ■ ■

The team at Sutton Group Fort McMurray in Fort McMurray, Alta. participated in National Cupcake Day and raised $450 for their local SPCA. Many sales reps and staff spent part of their weekend baking treats for the event. Sales rep Christina Traverse organized the event for her office. Traverse owns 30 sled dogs. She began the sport when she was 19-years-old and now, four years later, she trains and races internationally. She has also served two years as a director on the board of the Fort McMurray SPCA. ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage Team Realty in Ottawa is getting local artisans/ trades to build designer doghouses that will be auctioned off on June 12 in a live auction. Sales rep and fundraiser organiser Peggy Blair says there will also be a silent auction. Damon Bennett of Holmes on Homes will be a celebrity judge of the doghouses, along with Leanne Cusack of CTV and Mayor Jim Watson. “So far, we have a red Snoopy doghouse, one that looks like a barn, one of reclaimed wood, one of wrought iron from a local blacksmith, two repurposed TV consoles and so on, so we’re getting lots of creative entries,” says Blair. Local restaurants and bars will be hosting “Yappy Hours” in the weeks leading up to the event. All proceeds are going to the Ottawa Humane Society. For information: ■ ■ ■

At a recent office meeting, Ann Smith of Sutton Group – Select Realty was presented with the 14th annual Michele Montour Award. The award is presented to a member of the team who has the inspirational attributes of Michele Montour, a sales rep with the firm who died of cancer. Smith “is the first to volunteer and readily helps organize as well as participates in all company functions and events, specifically our charity golf tournament, always taking a leadership role,” says the company in a news release. She is a past volunteer for Meals on Wheels and a committee member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of London. REM

32 REM APRIL 2014

Real Estate Technology Continued from page 28

finger. Property listings within the selected region will pop up on the screen. House hunters no longer need to log in or fill in forms to see search results, the company says, and with one tap, users can save their search to get updates on new homes, open houses and current listings within the geographic area they selected. The app is available for iPhone. Melody Adhami, president and COO at Plastic Mobile, says the draw-and-search feature â&#x20AC;&#x153;is designed to provide the most intuitive user experience so that homebuyers donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to browse through all of the clutter to find what they need.â&#x20AC;? For information:

Paperless rent payments available online Wall2Wall Media is now offering its rental property website clients the ability to add a RentMoola portal to accept paperless payments online. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With Rentmoolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s payment services, landlords can quickly and

easily accept online and mobile payments,â&#x20AC;? says Jacky Hill, VP of Wall2Wall Media. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This free service to landlords not only saves our clients time and money, but the early adopters have a significant lead generation advantage when promoting their properties to potential tenants.â&#x20AC;? RentMoola gives the industry the ability to accept secure credit card and direct debit payments at no cost. A 2.75-per-cent service fee is charged to tenants for each payment, enabling them to leverage rewards credit cards from over 100 countries. They can also pay with direct debit for $2. The industry compliant platform allows tenants to make autorecur and one-time payments while giving them access to RentMoolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exclusive program that offers additional perks and rewards. Patrick Postrehovsky, cofounder and CEO of RentMoola, says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;With strong brands such as the Renters Guide and a leadership position in both print and online lead generation solutions, we are excited about our roadmap to expand the RentMoola payment system throughout the Wall2Wall Media network in Canada.â&#x20AC;?

Helping newcomers to Canada By Erica Nelsen


ach year we welcome more than 650,000 immigrants to Canada. These individuals experience a number of firsts: bank account, credit card, car loan and eventually, mortgage. This spring will mark the first time many of them will participate in the home purchasing process, a true Canadian rite of passage. Newcomers often look to industry professionals who live and breathe the housing and mortgage financing market for guidance on this important decision. The biggest challenge newcomers to Canada face is credit history. Newcomers must be able

to feel they have the recognition as a newcomer as they navigate the Canadian landscape and settle in their new country. At some banks, including RBC, newcomers to Canada now have up to five years to qualify for special rates and offers that were previously extended only to newcomers in their first few years in Canada. Here are some tips for real estate professionals working with newcomers as they navigate their options for homeownership: 1. Get a foundation for how much your clients understand about the home buying experience in Canada â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it can be entirely different than their home country. 2. Take your clients through the home buying process and timelines so they understand all of

the rules and requirements, and additional needs that may be required to complete a sale. 3. Explain housing budgets and financial expenses as they relate to the purchase of a new home and longer-term home ownership needs. 4. Educate your clients that different financial institutions have policies and programs available to newcomers, such as no credit history policies, recognition as a newcomer for the first five years and more. Erica Nielsen is vice-president of Products and Segments with Home Equity Financing, for the Royal Bank of Canada. RBC celebrates the 4th annual RBC Realtor Appreciation Week April 7-12. REM


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anneSQUIRE “We’ve only just begun”

When Anne Squires left home at the ripe old age of 17 she carried ed with her little more than a suitcase and a sense of adventure. She he was determined to “make a go of it” and see what she could accomplish. Leaving a small rural community in St. Mary’s Bay and heading for what was then considered too be the big city of St. John’s was something she always knew she would do. She had graduated highh school in the spring of 1976 and with $35.00 in her pocket and little else she set out to conquer thee world. And conquer it she has! Today Anne Squires is the owner of EXIT Realty on the Rock, one of the largest real estate companies in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2004, after 17 years of working as a real estate associate she set out on her own and purchased the first EXIT Realty Franchise offered in the province. Her belief that EXIT Realty represented a unique opportunity was quickly confirmed and today there are 8 EXIT Realty offices inn the province. If she had stopped there her position as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Newfoundland and Labrador would have been secured. But to Anne this was no time to stop. To heer she was only just beginning. Just recently, Anne acquired the EXIT Realty Region in Atlantic Canada as well as the regional rights for the province of Alberta. So when you put it all together her business is huge. In total she is responsible for 31 EXIT Realty offices across Canada covering four time zones. Her banner now oversees responsibility for over 650 personnel. Anne attributes her success to a tried and true formula. Work hard and hire good people. While she is an inspiring speaker with a dramatic success story to tell her message is a simple one. “I’m like a dog with a bone,” she says, “I am here at the office day light and I’m certainly here until dark.” She says her franchisee owners in her Regions and personnel at the provincial office in Newfoundland and Labrador reflect that same kind of dedication to the business. She says their work ethic is on parallel with hers and she credits a lot of her success to the success of those who work around her. “We are truly better together,” she says. Anne started her business at the right moment as well, so perhaps a little luck played a role in it. She opened EXIT Realty on the Rock in late 2004 just as the oil boom hit Newfoundland and Labrador. She admits that her timing was good but maximizing the opportunity is where the real story lives. She says that real estate was always a good business even when interest rates on mortgages were over the 20 percent mark. “Brokerages managed to sell real estate then and we managed to sell real estate when inventories were really high, much higher than they are today.” She says the real challenge when they got started was gearing up to capture the opportunity she thought was there. “We were in the queue for everything from finding an office location to setting up our computer systems,” she says, “and because of the hot economy we often paid “a tad over market value” to get things up and running.” These days Anne Squires spends a lot of time on airplanes. She says her relationship with Air Canada is a little “too close” but her expanding operations demand a “hands on” approach and she is determined to provide that whenever she can. While she is not a micro-manager she does believe that being involved in all aspects of the business is important. Sales is very much an exercise in positive human relations and people have to trust that you will do the best for them even if that means telling them a truth they don’t really want to hear. Not every opportunity turns into a sale. Knowing how to roll with the punches, accept loss and move on is an important lesson everyone who starts in the real estate business has to learn. EXIT Realty

on the Rock has taken that lesson to heart and today anyone coming into the organizaation “fresh” attends the EXIT Realty Real Estate School. Annne believes in training and she backs it up by teaching new associates hhow to ddo iit right i h ffrom the h fifirst dday on the h jjob. b Shhe’s ’ not shy h iin admitting d i i that h such traaining is in her best interest as well. Associates who can get it right from thee very beginning, have a better chance at success and her success is dependeent on their good work. Tossing agents into the industry, after passing the Provvincial real estate exam and not training them, is simply unacceptable to her. “We We drive new associates crazy with mentoring, training, coaching…it’s a tough job – either they get it right or they hang their hat elsewhere.” Training in all aspects of life is always on the agenda at EXIT Realty on the Rock. “Training is motivating and inspires people,” she says and its one of the many tools she uses to keep staff members positively engaged. When it comes to leadership her philosophy is an old one, but as she herself admits it’s one that stands the test of time. “There are two things which I think good leaders must provide,” she says. “They must lead by example and be able to delegate to others. Many of us go into leadership roles thinking we are experts in everything, but really, leaders have to be able to stand back and say there is somebody out there who can do this better than I can and give that person the ability to become the eagle, to spread their wings and do what they can do best.” Anne’s personal success speaks to the wisdom of that approach. “I would not be where I am without good people around me” she says, and she means it. Does Anne Squires have dreams beyond being a real estate mogul? Are there other things she would like to pursue? Right now she says she wants to stabilize the business and get a better balance in life. She wants to train and coach those coming into the business. Despite the success being enjoyed by EXIT Realty and her role in it, she still feels like it’s only the beginning. Does she have a secret passion? Something she would like to do outside of business? “I have always wanted to be in politics,” she says, “but I’ll probably be too old by the time I get out of this, but I would just love to do it one day.”


34 REM APRIL 2014

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Johnson and the brokerage received the honour for the rapid growth of its newly opened office in Markham, Ont. Last year the brokerage and managing partner Heidi Kostyra received the award for its office in Thornton, Ont. In 2006 it won the award for its Scarborough, Ontario office. The award is based on the highest net percentage of growth compared to the previous year for an individual Re/Max office in Canada.

Re/Max Crossroads Realty won the award for Highest Net Growth for a Metro Office in Canada at the Re/Max International conference in Las Vegas recently. Broker of record Barney Johnson says, “The organization cannot recall any of its over 7,000 franchises being awarded this honour in two consecutive years.”

Re/Max Crossroads Realty now has four offices. Johnson says he gives the credit for this year’s recognition to his Markham office’s managing partner, John Kim, and his idea of running a Boot Camp twice a year. “This is an original training program that John created. It involves several weeks of intensive training and lifestyle improvements. This is the main reason for this office being so successful so quickly. John is an incredible hard-working individual with over 20 years of real estate experience.” The brokerage and Johnson will soon celebrate their 35th anniversary with Re/Max. Johnson is currently expanding the facilities and space at his north Toronto office on Yonge Street. He says, “Watch out, this could be our fourth Net Growth Award winner!”

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Madeline Sarafinchan receives her award from Sheldon Johnston, director with the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

John Kim Barney Johnson

Ken Johnston

Coming June 2014:

Our Special 25th Anniversary Issue ™

We are excited to announce that in June 2014, REM will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a special issue that recognizes the people and events that have shaped the real estate industry over the past 25 years, and look ahead to see what’s coming in the next quarter century.

Fiore Vecchio

Doug Singleton

Harold Schmidt

Wayne Heine

Geneva Tetreault

Ben Oosterveld

Chad Griffiths

James Mabey

If you are interested in being a part of this special anniversary issue, contact us today at or give us a call: 416-425-3504 ext 1.

REM APRIL 2014 35

Realtors Association of Edmonton The Realtors Association of Edmonton recently presented the highest honour of the industry, the Realtor of the Year Award, to Madeline Sarafinchan, broker at Jayman Realty in Edmonton. Sarafinchan has held a real estate license since 1989 and has been a Realtor since 1996. As well as being the broker for a new home building company, she has won numerous sales performance awards. “Sarafinchan has earned the respect and admiration of her fellow Realtors who have recognized her optimistic spirit, boundless enthusiasm and skills with this award,” says the association in a news release. In addition, life memberships in the association were awarded to six active Realtors including three who celebrated 50 years of service to the real estate industry. They were: • Edwin Koester, who many know as Gerry, the broker at Koester Realty. • Ken Johnston, associate bro-

ker at K. W. Johnston Real Estate operating as Liv Real Estate. His son Sheldon Johnston carries on the family business as broker and also received a long-service award. • Fiore Vecchio, sales rep with Pat Mooney Real Estate. • Gary Krutzfeldt, who was presented with a life membership as “someone who exemplifies all the characteristics of a true industry professional,” says the association. He is the broker/owner of Re/Max Real Estate Centre. • Past-president Doug Singleton, an associate broker at Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate in Edmonton, who also received a life membership. The life membership in the Board Builder category is presented each year to a Realtor who has served the real estate board and the industry with distinction and commitment. This year’s recipient was Harold Schmidt of Realty Executives North. In another ceremony, the association presented its Marketing Excellence and Leadership Awards. The Marketing Excellence

Award went to Wayne Heine of Realty Executives Leading. He was recognized for his unique marketing plan, which involved a mobile office that travelled to lake destinations west of Edmonton to promote his real estate business as a “seasonal lake specialist”. The Realtors Community Foundation Volunteer of Distinction went to Geneva Tetreault, broker of Century 21 Vantage, who “has gone above and beyond expectations and proven to be a tireless and hardworking supporter of the foundation, giving of her time, her talent and her heart,” says the association. The Rookie of the Year 2014 award was presented to Ben Oosterveld of Royal LePage Arteam Realty. The Young Professional award went to Chad Griffiths of N.A.I. Commercial Real Estate, who is not yet 35 but has already served on local and national real estate association committees and chaired local business associations. He has a successful commercial sales record and teaches commercial real estate courses.

James Mabey of Realty Executives Masters was presented with the Broker/Manager Leadership Award. He received 21 nominations and support letters from four other brokers. He merged his brokerage with another office in St. Albert this year and is well regarded for his community and organized real estate activities.

CREB Calgary and area Realtors were recognized for their contributions to real estate at a ceremony emceed by 2010 Olympic gold medalist Jon Montgomery. “The Recognizing Our Accomplished Realtors (ROAR) awards are especially meaningful because the nominations were made by industry peers, and in the case of the People’s Realtor category, by clients,” says ROAR committee chair Corinne Lyall. “Each nominee has demonstrated excellence in real estate and all are great ambassadors of our profession.” More than 200 CREB members were nominated for awards and more than 1,100 public votes were cast for the People’s Realtor.

The 2014 winners and nominees: Marketing Excellence – Winner Karen Salmon, Royal LePage Benchmark; nominees Dennis Plintz, Sotheby’s International Realty and Sam Corea, Re/Max House of Real Estate. Mentorship Distinction – Winner Guy Mitchell, Community Partners; nominees Justin Havre, CIR Realty and Robyn Moser, CIR Realty. Community Impact – Winner Dennis Plintz; nominees Derek DuBoyce, Royal LePage Benchmark and C.R. “Dick” Brown, Re/Max House of Real Estate. Commitment to Education – Winner George Mathews, Re/Max House of Real Estate; nominees Lynn Martin, G.M. Bain Real Estate Services and JunaidMalik, People’s Realtor – Winner Brenda Nault, Maxwell South Star Realty; nominees Sharon Cragg, Re/Max Real Estate (Mountain View) and Lisa Wood, Re/Max REM IRealty Innovations.

36 REM APRIL 2014

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ast September, Global News reported the biggest real estate transaction in Canadian history – the sale of the top three floors of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver. The price? A cool $55 million, paid entirely in cash according to the purchaser’s salesperson. The purchaser? According to the salesperson and news reports, a prince from the Middle East. Investigators with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) may open a file on this transaction. Not because there are any obvious red flags or suspect behaviour but because as every regulator with financial crime oversight knows, almost no one complies with every regulatory requirement in every transaction. Non-compliance is usually not deliberate, but it flows from a combination of factors – the main one is that in Canada, financial crime compliance is legally complex and is particularly challenging for real estate professionals, who rarely hire external counsel to advise on compliance requirements until it’s too late. A real estate transaction in Canada triggers the filing of reports to FINTRAC by real estate agents and banks. If the transaction involves the importation of currency, it also involves the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

The filing of the reports to FINTRAC invokes its jurisdiction over those reports, but FINTRAC also has jurisdiction over the transaction by its regulatory oversight of real estate agents and banks for anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing purposes under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (the PCMLTFA). According to the purchaser’s salesperson, the foreign prince bought the condo entirely with cash. I suspect this statement is not accurate and the salesperson meant to say that the prince did not finance the purchase of the condo. But if I’m wrong and the condo was purchased entirely with cash, then both the prince’s purchasing salesperson and the vendors’ agents (there were apparently four vendor’s agents) would have been required to file large cash transaction reports with FINTRAC. All of them “received” $10,000 or more allegedly in “cash,” triggering the reporting requirement to FINTRAC. There is an exemption from the large cash transaction reporting requirement for real estate professionals if the cash is received from a bank. However, no Canadian bank would likely ever provide $55 million in cash to a client because it would require an extraordinary amount of bank resources for due diligence compliance and suspicious transaction reporting. All-cash real estate

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transactions do occur in Vancouver. A salesperson told me that his office recently received $1.2 million in cash from a client from China to close a house purchase. It was delivered to the agent’s office in a suitcase. If the transaction was all-cash, FINTRAC would have received at least 10 large cash transaction reports about the prince from the real estate professionals (at least five reports for the deposit and at least another five at closing). Assuming the condo was paid for in cash and the prince came to Vancouver with $55 million cash to close the transaction, he would have been required to declare the funds to the CBSA upon entry into Canada and complete a cross border currency importation declaration. That declaration is sent to FINTRAC and the details entered into FINTRAC’s database. And finally, if the sale was a cash sale as the salesperson stated, all of the various deposits and closing payments deposited into banks by the real estate professionals involved in the transaction would have triggered another series of reports to FINTRAC by each bank that received $10,000 or more in cash. Regardless of whether the condo purchase involved cash, if any of the reporting entities involved in the transaction (the real estate professionals, the banks or accountants – if any) had any suspicions regarding the funds, they would have been required to file a suspicious transaction report with FINTRAC. Most reporting entities do not know what a suspicious transaction is under the PCMLTFA and as a result, they have a difficult time justifying to FINTRAC on an audit why they did, or did not, report a suspicious transaction. A suspicious transaction is one that a salesperson has reasonable grounds to suspect is related to a money laundering or terrorist activity financing offence and involves a predicate offence. Most real estate professionals do not know what that actually means

REM APRIL 2014 37


because they do not know what constitutes reasonable grounds in law or what a money laundering or terrorist activity financing offence is, or even what a predicate offence is. They also do not know that suspicious transaction monitoring requires screening for the identity of terrorist groups to determine whether they are dealing with funds owned by a terrorist group that may involve a terrorist activity financing offence. Nor do they know that there are lists of terrorists groups that they are required to consult, or how to locate those lists. In fairness to real estate professionals, the PCMLTFA is poorly drafted and understanding money laundering and terrorist financing activity offenses is no easy task. It requires knowledge, not just of the PCMLTFA, but also of the Criminal Code of Canada, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46. And because this area of law is complex, real estate professionals tend to fail to report suspicious transactions. With respect to terrorist financing specifically, on an audit by FINTRAC, real estate professionals have to show how they comply with the counter terrorist financing aspects of their obligations to report suspi-

cious transactions under the PCMLTFA and this is an area in which they inevitably are deficient. If any of the reporting entities involved in the transaction, including real estate professionals and banks, and anyone else in Canada (such as lawyers) that may have dealt with the $55 million, believed that any part of the funds were controlled or owned by, or on behalf of, a “listed person”, they would have been required to file a terrorist property report with FINTRAC, the RCMP and CSIS. Not only that, but the banks were also required to immediately freeze the funds and were prohibited from completing the transaction. A “listed person” is a person, organization or entity (company, partnership, joint-venture, charity) designated as such pursuant to the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on the Suppression of Terrorism. If any of the people who dealt with the $55 million were not aware of who was on the listed person list, or how one accessed and verified who is on that list at the time of the transaction, they may have difficulty explaining to FINTRAC during an audit how they deter-

mined that the funds were not terrorist property. Most of the listed persons are from the Middle East. A $55 million transaction involving funds from the Middle East, whether paid in cash or not, will be of interest to FINTRAC and to the CBSA whether or not the prince filed a cross border currency importation declaration. Under the PCMLTFA, every financial institution involved in the purchase of the condo would have been required to determine if the prince was a politically exposed person if he (or a company he incorporated or controls) opened a bank account in Canada for the purchase of the condo. Most members of the royal families from the Middle East are politically exposed persons because they typically hold high-ranking positions in government, the military or a state-owned organization, or they hold a judicial office or are closely related to such a person. Politically exposed persons (PEPs) are more high risk for money laundering worldwide and as a result, banks must conduct enhanced due diligence with those clients, including ascertaining the legitimacy of their source of funds. PEPs are not reported to FIN- Free WordPress Website, DDF Listings, $29.95/mo.


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TRAC but FINTRAC will, on an audit, confirm that the person’s identity was ascertained and that their bank accounts are consistently monitored for signs of proceeds of crime from financial crimes. It is the latter, the financial activity in the bank accounts of PEPs, that is reported to FINTRAC, both as suspicious transactions where warranted, and as electronic funds transfers. In the condo transaction, if a bank was involved, it likely determined that the prince was a politically exposed person and if it could not obtain comfort from the prince as to the source of funds, it may have filed a suspicious transaction report to FINTRAC. The bank is prohibited from informing real estate professionals or the PEP about a suspicious transaction report. There is a second obligation regarding PEPs that arises under Canada’s Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (FACFOA). Those obligations require banks to determine on a continuing basis whether it has any money on deposit that is owned or controlled by certain listed PEPs from certain countries and to freeze those funds if it does.

Banks involved in the purchase of the condo would have been obliged to determine whether the prince was on one of those PEP lists. Real estate professionals and lawyers involved in the transaction involving the prince also had an obligation under FACFOA to determine if the funds in their control or possession were owned or controlled by a listed PEP – that’s because they were each required to inform the RCMP if they were dealing with a listed PEP. Every bank involved in the purchase of the condo would have reported to FINTRAC when it received or sent any amount equal to or greater than $10,000 internationally. What that means is that when any salesperson involved in the transaction made an electronic deposit, transfer, wire or withdrawal associated with that transaction, it was reported to FINTRAC as an electronic funds transfer report if it was international. If law firms were involved and funds were electronically deposited into law firm trust accounts and subsequently withdrawn, wired or transferred, each of those transactions were also reportContinued on page 38

38 REM APRIL 2014


By Heino Molls


anada Post has announced that right-to-your-door delivery will be phased out to save money and make it more efficient. Rolling out this new postal delivery program will be a real juggle. In the transition there is going to be a lot of confusion and loss of service as Canada Post struggles to continue to operate its old system while it installs a whole new program. I do not know for sure but I would imagine that the cost of hiring, training, equipping and paying wages and benefits for a new postal delivery person is huge. When you think about the scale that Canada Post operates on, the normal rate of attrition is probably in the hundreds each month or so. It seems that hiring new people for an old system does not make sense when you are going to replace them in the near future. I continue to hear reports about mail not getting delivered in parts of Canada for days. I think that is because they just have not replaced the postie who would normally be doing the route regularly. I think to myself, they are not replacing that person because the new system will eliminate them anyway.

Changes at the front door In all my years I have seen the loss of many door-to-door services. We used to have milk delivery and yes; I do remember the milk man delivering with a horse pulling his Borden’s cart through downtown Toronto where I grew up. I remember the Sunbeam girl on the side of the old bread delivery trucks as well. I remember Fuller Brush salespeople, the aluminum siding “tin men”, Girl Guides and all sorts of others who would come to our neighbourhood with their wares and their services. You don’t see any of them door-to-door anymore. Things have changed. I have often lamented and I have written in previous columns that real estate agents offer one of the last of the person-to-person services. Agents come to your door to deliver licensed, professional services. I do not think that this is something of the past. I think it is the way of the future. Businesses that bring products and services to your door are growing in leaps and bounds almost without acknowledgement. How can this be such a secret to so many? They include all manner of food services, from the delivery of artisan bakery creators who bring their products right to your door to the fresh veggie growers who happily deliver their goods for a price. There are many health care services that now visit patients at home. There are professional musicians, home meal delivery services, computer technician squads and dog walkers, all coming to your door. Earlier this year, Amazon unveiled a new delivery system of the future through the use of drones so they could deliver prod-

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ucts, including fresh food items. Things have certainly changed yet somehow they are fundamentally the same. I remember when real estate salespeople set themselves up as local experts on everything. They hung out their shingles on every main street selling real estate and insurance. If you wanted gossip, you went to the local barber shop or the “hair dresser” but if you wanted to know what was really going on in the community, you

The complex world Continued from page 37

ed by banks to FINTRAC as electronic funds transfers if they were equal to or greater than $10,000 and were international. Like most countries, Canada has an economic and trade sanctions regime in place. The regime applies to everyone in Canada, including real estate professionals and banks but the obligations are different for each group and under each sanctions program. The sanctions programs generally involve cutting off access to the Canadian financial system by prohibiting transactions, the provision of services and sometimes goods, and dealing in any property of sanctioned people and entities. In Canada, there are sanctions against Iran (including people in Iran, property or funds in Canada owned or controlled by certain Iranians), Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and several other countries. With respect to Iran, for example, the sanctions program requires that banks determine whether they possess or control funds of sanctioned Iranian people, companies or affiliated entities and report that information. Real estate professionals must disclose to the RCMP and CSIS if they have funds they believe are owned or controlled by sanctioned Iranians, Iranian companies or people associated therewith that are sanctioned, in their possession or control. Sanctions reports may be a suspicious transaction requiring the filing of a suspicious transaction report to FINTRAC. If FINTRAC was reviewing

went to the real estate office. I remember when anyone who presented themselves as a home inspector was given pretty short shrift by the local real estate guy, who would come just short of running them out of town for suggesting they could be helpful in buying a house. Things have changed. Today real estate agents are facilitators who guide buyers and sellers. They are knowledge centres who call on other professionals with this condo transaction, they would likely seek to confirm, with respect to the purchaser’s salesperson and all the vendors’ real estate professionals: • That they have a written compliance plan in place that includes measures to address counter terrorist financing. • That the compliance plan is based on a risk assessment that was undertaken. • There is an appointed compliance officer in charge of antimoney laundering compliance. • If the transaction was all cash (which I doubt), it was reported as a large cash transaction. • The purchaser was properly identified and the records exist to establish identity. • Whether the transaction involved beneficial ownership structures with share ownership obscured and the use of tax havens for the wiring in or out of funds. • If the transaction involved beneficial ownership structures, that corporate records were obtained and retained showing the beneficial ownership of all the entities right through to share ownership of a natural person (not just legal person). • Steps were taken to verify that the prince was not listed on any of the lists referred to above. With respect to the banks involved, if FINTRAC was reviewing this transaction, they would likely seek to confirm that the banks: • Took steps to confirm whether or not the prince is a PEP. • Consulted the sanctions lists. • Consulted the listed persons lists.

expertise in related fields of finance, legal issues, construction estimations and many others including home inspectors. Agents are the source for information about every aspect of selling a home and buying property. Real estate professionals today are far more than sales representatives. They are high value professionals who come right to your door to facilitate your greatest investment. Things have changed. Heino Molls is publisher of REM. Email REM

The penalties for non-compliance with the PCMLTFA and sanctions law are substantial as follows: • $2 million, imprisonment of up to five years, or both, for failing to report a suspicious transaction. • Imprisonment of up to 10 years for failing to report a terrorist property report to the RCMP. • $2 million, imprisonment of up to five years or both, for failing to report a terrorist property report to FINTRAC. • $1 million for failing to file a large cash transaction report with FINTRAC. • $1 million for failing to file an electronic funds transfer report with FINTRAC. • $500,000, imprisonment of up to five years, or both, for failing to properly ascertain client identity. • $500,000 for failing to keep required records. • $500,000, imprisonment of up to five years, or both, for failing to have a compliance program. • Imprisonment of up to 10 years for failures to comply with most of the sanctions programs. I suspect that this year FINTRAC is going to focus more on reporting compliance by real estate professionals and will also be directing its resources on ensuring that all reporting entities comply with counter terrorist financing obligations for the protection of all Canadians. Christine Duhaime is a regulatory lawyer and financial crime and antimoney laundering specialist with Duhaime Law. She works in Toronto and Vancouver and can be reached by email at and by phone at (604) 601-2046. REM

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