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Issue #272

February 2012

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

Paperback writer

Adventures of a real estate rookie Page 6

Use referrals to build your business Page 14

B.C. allows personal real estate corporations Page 34

For sales rep and author Peggy Blair, persistence pays off Page 8


REM FEBRUARY 2012 3

Grace period ends for Quebec brokerage rules By Danny Kucharsky

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f you’ve been using For Sale signs in Quebec sporting photos of yourself that were taken when Milli Vanilli was big, you have to remove them immediately. That’s because it’s no longer possible for brokers to have 20year-old plus photos of themselves on For Sale signs or other forms of advertising in Quebec. It’s all part of a new law that makes it obligatory to have promotional photos that are not more than five years old. The move is aimed at ensuring clients will be able to recognize their brokers. It does not oblige brokers to use a photo on their signs, although the practice is prevalent in the industry. It is just one of several changes

imposed by the new brokerage law of the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ). The OACIQ replaced the Association des courtiers et agents immobiliers du Québec. While the law has been in effect since May 2010, brokers had an 18-month transition period to make sure their advertising conformed to the changes and to clear out old stock of forms, business cards, letterhead and other stationery. Changes to publicity, outlined in an 80-page plus OACIQ guide, also cover email signatures, websites, TV and print ads. The new act also does away with the term real estate agent,

OACIQ to appeal FSBO company ruling A

recent Quebec Court decision upholds the right of the for-sale-byowner firm DuProprio.com to put For Sale signs outside properties and to advertise in newspapers. The court rejected the argument that the unlicensed DuProprio is allowed to act like a traditional real estate broker. In her judgement, Judge Nicole Martin wrote that DuProprio does not identify itself as a real estate broker and that its advertising does not make it seem that it performs the tasks of brokers. Selling a home is not the exclusive domain of real estate brokers and the way an owner decides to sell a home “belongs to him or her and several options are possible,” she wrote. In a statement, Robert Nadeau, president and CEO of the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ), expressed concern about the ruling, which

he called contradictory. The court is acquitting a company “that performed actions that gave the impression it was authorized to perform the functions of real estate brokers,” Nadeau said. The OACIQ maintains DuProprio acts in a matter similar to that of real estate brokers and by doing so confuses the public, which can be left unprotected if troubles arise in the selling or buying of a home. The court action was started in 2009 by the OACIQ’s predecessor, the Association des courtiers et agents immobiliers du Québec. Just before Christmas, Nadeau announced the decision will be appealed. “We have serious reasons to believe that DuProprio committed several infractions of the Loi sur le courtage immobilier (real estate brokerage law) and that’s why we’re appealing this decision,” he says. – Danny Kucharsky REM

with all agents in the province to be called brokers. Mortgage brokers are also covered by the legislation. It replaces a law that had been in effect since 1994. The OACIQ was introduced as a result of a new real estate brokerage act in the province, aimed at making the real estate industry more professional by increasing the degree of difficulty for obtaining a license. It includes regulations covering brokers’ and agency licenses, brokerage requirements, records and bookkeeping, disciplinary proceedings, indemnity fund and professional liability premiums and professional conduct. Not surprisingly, a law that adds new costs to brokers has not been met with universal acclaim.

ecognized for giving back to his community both locally and globally, Jesse East of Re/Max Kelowna is the recipient of the Realtors Care Award for the Central Okanagan Zone of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB). East was recognized for donating his time to many volunteer efforts and is especially focused on raising funds for cancer research. He has been instrumental in organizing many events to benefit the B.C. Cancer Agency, the board says. Every year he organizes a team for “Movember”, and this year raised the most money on his team for the prostate cancer charity. He took September 2010 off to drive across the country filming and driving for a team of cyclists that was raising money for cancer research. He continues to participate in the annual Vancouver to Seattle Ride to Conquer Cancer charity bike event. To date, his efforts have raised more than $9,000 for this charity. Every year, his family gives to charity rather

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Broker Claude Leclair, manager of Maison du consommateur in Rosemère, north of Montreal, says real estate professionals have been forced to change their titles from agents to brokers despite the fact clients have never been able to tell the difference between the designations since he started his real estate career in 1989. “The main goal of the OACIQ is to protect the public. How is the public protected if it’s Courtier immobilier agréé (authorized real estate broker) or Agent immobilier agréé (authorized real estate agent)?” In an email he sent to the OACIQ, an admittedly frustrated Leclair calls the organization “specialists in imposing expenses that

than exchanging gifts with each other. He continues to sponsor a young boy in Africa through World Vision in order to enrich the youngster’s quality of life and to help his community become a better place in which to grow up, the board says.

are really unnecessary to justify its mission to protect the public.” Leclair says he now has $5,000 worth of promises to purchase forms, signs and stationery that are now useless. He is now printing out forms and stationery only on an asneeded basis. He fears that in 10 years a new generation of bureaucrats will change the name again and independent brokers will have to pay again to make changes. “Every time bureaucrats play intellectual masturbation games, it costs us money,” he says. In response to his missive, Leclair says he received a lawyers’ letter warning him to be careful with his words and to respect the profession. REM ket, his or her reputation in the industry and community/industry involvement. He garnered the award for his role in completing several significant transactions in the GTA. Beaudry’s recent sale of the former Nortel Carling Campus in Ottawa to Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) was also a watershed deal for the Ottawa region. Beaudry was recently re-elected as president of the SIOR Central Canadian Chapter for 2012. REM

Jesse East

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Industry veteran Kevin M. Beaudry has been named SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors) Canada’s Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Office Broker of the Year for 2011. Beaudry received the honour after joining Avison Young less than four months ago as a principal and senior vice-president, focusing on corporate real estate advisory in the GTA West market and Ottawa. He is based in Avison Young’s Mississauga office. Beaudry was selected for the award by a committee of peers including GTA brokerages, landlords and developers. The criteria for the award focuses around the impact the broker has in the mar-

Geoff Kreusser (left), president of SIOR, presents Avison Young’s Kevin Beaudry with SIOR Canada’s 2011 Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Office Broker of the Year Award.


4 REM FEBRUARY 2012

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: jim@remonline.com entury 21 Heritage Group recently hosted an open house to celebrate the opening of its new office in Newmarket, Ont. The new spacious office design was developed by Integrated Groundworks & Design and boasts modern and contemporary function and a bright and welcoming space. Hallways of individual and multiple agent offices line the corridors and contemporary art work hangs in every principal room. The office also houses various meeting rooms, a kitchen and large presentation and training room with kitchenette, as well as all-new updated equipment. Broker of record/owner Pamela Prescott has been providing real estate services for over 30 years. She started Heritage Group in Richmond Hill with a three-agent office. Now her company has grown to include more than 400

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sales reps and multiple office locations. ■ ■ ■

Re/Max Quinte in Belleville, Ont. has increased its sales force and reach with the addition of three new Realtors and it and plans to open a new satellite office in Tweed in 2012. Seasoned broker Dave Denison and sales reps Ted Cassidy and Terry Lesage have returned to Re/Max after several years with a local competitor. The growth in agent count comes ahead of planned expansion to neighbouring Tweed, where a new office at 259 Victoria St. N. is undergoing renovations prior to a grand opening scheduled for early 2012. Sean McKinney, broker of record for Re/Max Quinte, says, “It’s a wonderful area, with a strong sense of community and a great

deal of potential. Our new satellite office will allow us to extend our reach north and better positions us moving forward.” ■ ■ ■

Dale Cameron has rejoined the team at Atlantis Realty in Dartmouth, N.S. as a condominium sales specialist for the $300-million King’s Wharf project on the Halifax waterfront. Cameron took some time away from Atlantis over the past couple of years to focus on his hospitality businesses and co-authored a best-selling, award-winning cookbook, George House Heritage Bed and Breakfast Kitchen Recipes. “I’m happy to be working on this development on Canada’s most vibrant urban harbour and to rejoin forces with Fares Real

Estate and Atlantis Realty,” says Cameron. ■ ■ ■

MacKay Real Estate of Wolfville, N.S. is the newest member of the Aventure Realty Network. Broker/Owner John MacKay and his team serve the Annapolis Valley, Kings and Hants counties from the main office and a second location in Windsor, N.S. MacKay is a past recipient of the Distinguished Realtor of the Year award, presented by the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors to individuals who set themselves apart by their dedication to both the industry and the community. ■ ■ ■

Right At Home Realty of Toronto is expanding into

Durham Region. Company president Don Kottick says the new office will be in Whitby and will be operational by March of this year. ■ ■ ■

Eavan Travers of London, Ont. was one of just 16 people in North America accepted into the 2012 Jay W. Levine Leadership Development Academy, a program established by the CCIM Institute to help foster the development of the next generation of leaders in the commercial investment real estate industry. Travers, a sales rep with Re/Max Advantage Realty, is the only designee from Canada who will participate in a wide range of leadership and team building exercises throughout the year. Established in 2003, the Leadership Development Academy is designed to build a network of CCIM leaders whose increased awareness and commitment to service will help shape the future of the CCIM Institute, the governing body of one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world. Participants also develop personal talents and skills that impact and influence Continued on page 6

Eavan Travers

John Bar

Dave Denison

Ted Cassidy

The new Century 21 Heritage office in Newmarket.

Broker of record/owner Pamela Prescott (centre) of Century 21 Heritage Group cuts the ribbon at the Newmarket office with, from left, Chris Needler, manager, Century 21 Heritage Group; Maddie Di Muccio, Town of Newmarket councillor; Bill Fisch, chairman and CEO of the Municipality of York; and Nicolas Marton of Integrated Groundworks & Design.

Graduates from the Century 21 Canadian Management Academy.

Terry Lesage


Century21.ca


6 REM FEBRUARY 2012

Continued from page 4

everyday business relationships. Based in Chicago, the CCIM Institute confers the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation to commercial real estate professionals through an extensive curriculum of 200 classroom hours, in additional to professional industry experience. ■ ■ ■

Southwestern Ontario industrial broker John Bar has joined Avison Young’s brokerage operations in Guelph, Ont. as an associate vice-president and sales representative, specializing in industrial property sales and leasing. Prior to joining Avison Young, Bar served as an industrial, land and investment sales broker for eight years with Cushman & Wakefield in Calgary and then Mississauga. He established himself as a top 10 broker within two years. Bar negotiated the sale of industrial buildings, assisted clients with business park development planning and lot sales and sold ICI and residential development land. He also listed and marketed properties for private and institutional landlords and provided tenant advocacy services for local and Fortune 500 firms. ■ ■ ■

Forty-seven Century 21 managers, brokers and owners graduated from the Century 21 Canadian Management Academy, a five-day intensive course held in Toronto recently. Led by Canadian business development trainer Chris Leader, the sessions addressed seven fundamentals of real estate office management to help sales professionals proactively and profitably run their business. ■ ■ ■

“Socialpreneur”, Realtor and author Shannon King will be the keynote speaker at Century 21 Canada’s Kickoff 2012, an annual

Cover photo: RYAN PARENT

industry meeting and networking event happening in seven cities across Canada. King will speak about her firsthand experience of moving into new markets, creating a unique brand, building a client base from scratch and using mobile technology to create a streamlined process, the company says. Also appearing in Montreal on Feb. 24 is entomologist and founder of the Montreal Insectarium, Georges Brossard. He won’t be sharing his bug collection, but he will address one of the main emotions that bugs induce in people – fear. Stand-up comedian Derek Edwards will appear in Toronto on March 1. The Kickoff events will take place in Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto and Red Deer, Alta. They are open to all interested Realtors. For information: www.century21.ca/kickoff2012 or speak to a Century 21 broker. ■ ■ ■

Via Capitale recently launched two new tools to help with the purchase or sale of a property. Viamag is an eight-page real estate magazine devoted exclusively to a single property. It contains numerous photos and detailed descriptions that allow for a detailed look at the property. It is designed to save time for both buyers and sellers and it will also be a source of pride for the sellers and a souvenir of their former property. Via Visit allows sales reps to show clients a home online, with a minimum of disruption for the owner. While the broker walks through the house, smart phone in video mode in hand, the buyer sits in front of his computer, visiting the house in real time and listening to the broker’s comments. The buyer can even ask questions. Via Capitale is a network of 60 real estate offices in Quebec, with more than 1,500 real estate brokers. REM Publisher HEINO MOLLS email: heino@remonline.com Director, Sales & Marketing DENNIS ROCK email: dennis@remonline.com Manager, French Edition MICHEL CHEVALIER michel@remenligne.com Digital Media Manager WILLIAM MOLLS web@remonline.com Brand Design SANDRA GOODER

THE REAL ESTATE ROOKIE

By Peter D. Wilton

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joined the line of shuffling would-be real estate representatives on a mid-April morning in 2011 and slowly made my way towards the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) information desk and a new beginning. I took note of my line mates. Most were middle-aged women dressed business casual and most were on their cell phones speaking or Twittering. It was my wife who first suggested real estate to me. “It will suit you,” she said, and then as an after-thought, added, “You are very personable.” As I listened to the woman in front of me complain to her invisible cell phone friend about the cost of chicken, I wondered if my wife had been right. For the previous 25 years I had worked as a writer, but the world has changed and the long essay had been replaced by the 78 character twits. So I put the pen and pad away to buy and sell homes. “So, I says to him, I don’t want your stink’en chicken, and I threw the package down and left the store!” the lady in front of me droned on. The line edged forward. I asked the woman behind me, “Do you know what the best position in a line is?” She didn’t answer, so I continued, “Second from the front.” She looked confused. “Because there is less pressure being second than first, but you have the satisfaction of being next!” She nodded and smiled. Yes, I thought, I am personable.

Editor in Chief JIM ADAIR email: jim@remonline.com Distribution & Production MILA PURCELL distribution@remonline.com Senior Editor KATHY BEVAN email: kathy@remonline.com Art Director LIZ MACKIN Graphic Design SHAWN KELLY

Chapter 1: Starting out Soon I was at the counter pulling out the Visa card and signing up for the first of the three preregistration courses required to get your probationary real estate license in Ontario. The OREA rep was named Debra. It turned out that my university degree saved me from the pre-course registration tests. She typed away, inputting my info into the system. Debra looked up and smiled. “Do you want to take the course through correspondence or in the classroom setting?” I opted for correspondence because of the flexibility. I could start immediately, while there was a long waiting list for the classroom course. “Why don’t you get your real estate license?” I asked her. “It’s not for me! I wouldn’t be any good at it,” she replied. “Too iffy! No security!” I almost bolted for the door. Debra input away and then asked when I wanted to schedule my first exam. “Do I have to tell you now?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied, “Now.” I pondered, “What is the average length of time between starting the course and the exam?” She was still calm, even though the line of people behind me was growing longer. “Six weeks is recommended.” I said, “Make it eight weeks.” Debra input this into the system. “Do you want passit?” she asked. “Yes, I want to pass it,” I replied. “I’m not signing up to fail!” “No,” Debra patiently replied. “I mean the online tutorial program. It might help you pass, and we recommend it.” Another swipe of the Visa card and I had ‘passit’. Once processed and in the sys-

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

Phone: 416.425.3504 www.remonline.com www.remenligne.com REM complies fully with the Canadian Real Estate Association's Rules for Trademarks (CREA Rule 16.5.3.1) 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 distribution@remonline.com. Entire contents copyright 2012 REM. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The opinions expressed in REM are not necessarily those of the publisher. ISSN 1201-1223

tem, I was handed a nondescript brown cardboard box. I said my goodbyes to Debra and nodded towards the chicken lady. When I opened the box, I found a handsome OREA computer bag and a text book entitled Real Estate as a Professional Career. To my horror, when I cracked it open, it was full of math questions. The first step into the real estate profession was taken. Six months later, I was through the courses. Rookie lessons that I have learned: 1) The first of the three courses required to be registered in Ontario can be done quite easily at home. 2) Remember you need a mark of 75 per cent to move forward with the courses. 3) Buy the calculator that is recommended. 4) The math is not that difficult once you get your mind in ‘math mode.’ 5) The second course is quite difficult and would be worth doing in the classroom. There are lots of definitions and the text is about a third longer than the first text. 6) The third course consists of two texts. I found the three-weekin-class course helpful. 7) Buy the “passit” study aid. It does help you pass it! 8) Take advantage of any real estate help line that is offered. 9) Reaction from family and friends about your newly chosen career will vary, depending on their perception of the business. Peter D. Wilton is a sales representative with Sutton Group Sadie Moranis in Toronto. 416- 4492020. REM Printed by Metroland Media Group, Ltd. A certified SFI Printer

Multiple Listings


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8 REM FEBRUARY 2012

For Peggy Blair, persistence pays off “I tell clients, if I did this to write a book, imagine what I’ll do to sell your home.” flattened and was getting ready to leave. I couldn’t afford to attend workshops so I went to a bar to say goodbye to some people I had met.”

Peggy Blair with her book, The Beggar’s Opera.

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“ ’m going to write a

novel,” she said, matterof-factly. Her daughter Jade rolled her grey eyes the way a 22-year-old can but she should have known not to take her mother’s words lightly. Around Easter 2009, Peggy Blair wrote the first draft of her mystery novel, The Beggar’s Opera. It took her three weeks. After polishing the draft, Blair, now a sales rep with Royal LePage Team Carling in Ottawa, sent a letter and synopsis to more than 150 literary agents over a seven-month period. Some responded quickly, some took their time and many didn’t respond at all. When Blair did get feedback, she used the agents’ comments to hone her story before sending it to the next agent. “In January 2010, I figured, this isn’t working,” says Blair. “I changed tactics and decided to enter writing competitions.” She focused on writing her real estate exams and began looking for brokerages. Blair was a lawyer for 30 years and decided it was time for a change. Becoming a Realtor combined her interest in real estate (her father was a contractor and she has been involved in

(Photos by Ryan Parent)

many renovations) and her knowledge of negotiations. In July, a letter arrived from England. It informed her that she had been shortlisted for the Debut Dagger Competition. “Several wellknown authors have been short-listed for the Dagger and have gone on to do very well,” Blair says. But she didn’t think she would be able to attend the competition’s awards ceremony. She worked almost every day on the book and was completing real estate exams at the same time. “I had received an exemption from some (courses) because of my legal background (but) had to study to take the challenging exams, so I wasn’t working,” Blair says. “There was no way I could cover a flight and hotel to go to Europe. It was my friends who talked me into going and said I’d be crazy not to go. They helped me out with fundraising/donations,” Blair says. Even her doctor made a donation. She was off to England to attend the awards ceremony and meet with agents. Unfortunately she didn’t win, and the agents who promised to meet her didn’t show up. “I was feeling very

The bar was empty – everyone was in workshops. Everyone, that is, except for Scottish author Ian Rankin, U.K.’s No. 1 best-selling author. “Crime Writers of Canada had asked me to take a picture of any celebrities for their site. I happened to have my camera, and had had a glass of wine, so I went up and asked Ian for a photo.” Rankin complied. Their conversation turned to Canada – he had recently been to the Ottawa Blues Festival in scorching temperatures. Later, when he found out she had been short-listed but didn’t have an agent, he suggested Blair contact his publisher. “I said I had been rejected by 150 agents. I’m sure your publisher doesn’t want to talk to me. He said, “She will if you mention my name,’” Blair says. She contacted the publisher, who referred her to an agent, Peter Robinson of RCW in the U.K. On a Friday, Robinson asked if “he could read it in a few months because he was going to the Frankfurt Book Fair and was busy,” she says. That night, Robinson picked up the book, intending to give it a quick scan, but he later told Blair he couldn’t put it down. He contacted Blair on Monday to tell her that he wanted to put The Beggar’s Opera on the hot list at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the biggest book and media fair in the world. A week after the fair, with Robinson as her agent, Blair got an email congratulating her on the deal with

Germany. She also has a deal for foreign rights with Norway and Holland, and a two-book deal with Penguin with film rights potential. Blair is busy planning her book launch in Ottawa on Feb. 16. Not a typical wine and cheese-type launch, Blair’s event will offer Cuban music, food and art. Some of her co-workers and clients are pitching in to help. “I love real estate,” says Blair. “Writing is isolating and balances with real estate, which is very social. I’m thankful for the office and the support network.” Her experience as a writer has helped her real estate career and vice versa. “I have a thicker skin than when I started. When someone chooses to go with another agent, I don’t feel it at all. And I’m not easily deterred. I wasn’t a persistent person before. I learned the only way to guarantee failure is to give up.” When writing the book, and even into the editing process, she had long days and nights. “I worked hard. I focused on it. I tell clients, if I did this to write a book, imagine what I’ll do to sell your home.” Real estate has helped with her writing career too. During a Royal LePage meeting about QR (quick response) codes on real estate

By Connie Adair

signs, Blair got the idea to include a QR code on her book jacket. Her mind never stops, and neither does she. Her business card says, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” Blair loves to multi-task. When she was a lawyer, she owned an antique store, worked on getting her PhD and taught several university courses. Along with writing books and selling real estate, she is now looking for a house to renovate. “Someone else’s full-time would be my parttime,” she says. “When I started with Royal LePage Team Realty, Kent Browne (our broker/ owner) made it clear that they only hire full-time people. I told him about the book upfront and he was extremely supportive. Royal LePage knew when I started that I would have certain obligations related to the book – Kent didn’t think those would interfere with my capacity to work as a fulltime sales representative, and he was right.” To check out the flashy trailer for The Beggar’s Opera, the new series featuring Inspector Ramirez, go to http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=55oVtqWocAo&featur e=youtube. For upcoming events, news and blogs, visit www. inspectoramirez.com. REM

Blair says her experience as a writer has helped her real estate career and vice versa.


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Prenuptial agreements for real estate teams By Ronn James

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n a time where consideration for the financial picture of a couple is contractually arranged before the wedding nuptials, is it time for similar agreements in the real estate industry? Let’s consider a couple of options. The first scenario is the ad-hoc partnership arrangement between two like-minded individuals who happen to work in the same real estate office. As a sales manager, I can assure you the moment that two agents approach me with this plan, I shudder. I instinctively begin to prepare two exit letters as the chances of disillusionment are high. Let’s look at the partnership itself. There is often difficulty deciding how to share the workload, the expenses and the profits equally. It is not just as simple as splitting everything 50/50. Emotions tend to snowball, and ultimately someone can (and likely will) feel that they are being treated unfairly, resulting in a partnership that begins to fail. While there are exceptions to every rule, and role models who manage to make this type of arrangement work, many broker/managers have been left to deal with the carnage of nasty break ups. There are other issues to consider as well. If you are truly a partnership, have you disclosed this to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the appropriate tax filing purposes? In the event of an audit of either or both of the partners, how do the documentation, expenses and reports called in as evidence get handled? How can CRA review the paperwork and tax filings based solely on the knowledge that you have a handshake agreement on your business partnership? Let’s assume the partnership is actually successful. What happens if there are lots of listings and buyer clients under contract, and perhaps an assistant or two, and one partner is seriously injured or suffers an

illness or worse, dies? What happens to the partnership agreement? What happens to the monies owing? What happens to a (potential) claim from a surviving spouse? What liability does the real estate brokerage have? Even the best of friendships and/or partnership can turn sour. And when things go bad they can go really bad, especially if the partners are spouses or worse, partners who became spouses as a result of their partnership, both of which are now ending. Who gets to play the mediator in that split? Further still, who would want to? There are so many elements that need to be dealt with: the current and active clients, the business itself, the assistants and the outstanding deals and future closings. Who is entitled to the client database? This issue becomes especially difficult if one of the partners was routinely the face of the business. So far we have talked only about partnerships that encompass two partners’ overall business. We should also consider two random colleagues planning to share or split a single deal. This can create a wealth of problems when a sale is generated and commission sharing needs to occur. Were both agents’ names on the sign and marketing materials? If not, whose phone rang to generate the offer? How do you fairly split that commission? Is the named agent entitled to half of listing and the full buying side commission? Would there be a difference if the named agent wasn’t the agent who originated the listing? Beyond the commission issues, there is potential referral business to consider. Upon the successful sale and equitable commission split of the home, the named agent gets a call to list a neighbour’s house. If a referral is generated as a result of one of the Realtors being recommended (even though both worked on the file mutually) this creates further complication to this “single deal” arrangement.

If you were involved as the partners, how would you handle the dispute that can and will arise when a situation like this occurs? How do you suppose the sales manager/ broker would deal with this? Regrettably it often ends with one or both agents leaving the company, citing favouritism as the main detractor. Trust me when I say no sales manager/ broker envies this break down. It is not fun for anyone. Most small business lawyers and accountants would suggest the only way to prevent or minimize risk to a transaction in partnership is to generate a solid signed agreement BEFORE the piece of business starts, while both parties are still friendly and keen for mutual success. What should these agreements say? Who should create them? Should both parties have separate council review these agreements to ensure their interests are protected? Who will be assigned as the mediator on handling disputes? How are assets and liabilities dissolved if the partnership ends? If you consider how you would advise your client on the legalities side of their sale or purchase, you’re likely to find the right answers to the above questions. For an industry that is skilled at generating, negotiating and facilitating well-written and signed contracts for big ticket items, shouldn’t real estate partnerships (and itinerant agreements) be treated with the same prudence and diligence? With a track record that spans 27 years, Realtor Ronn James says his ambition is to educate the public and Realtors alike. He has landed appearances on Breakfast Television, CityLine, Real Life and a host of radio shows. James has also been a regular contributor to New Homes and Condos For Sale Magazine, Toronto Sun and Canadian Homeplanner. Website: www.RealEstateCommissionMatters REM .ca, phone 289-242-9050.


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12 REM FEBRUARY 2012

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The 5 profit centres of real estate By Malcolm Silver

W

ith the volatile financial markets of the past three years, wise investors are looking for alternative vehicles for their wealth. Real estate investments offer five profit centres: 1. Market appreciation 2. Earned appreciation 3. Positive cash flow 4. Mortgage reduction and leverage 5. Tax deductions Compare this to stocks, which have just two profit centres: dividend and capital gain. However, to make a wise investment it is important to understand how each of these five profit centres work to maximize the opportunity for gain. Market appreciation is the gradual inflation that increases real estate values over time. In the last 50 years Canadian residential real estate has increased steadily by six per cent per year. Over the past 44 years commercial real estate has increased by seven per cent. These are average Canadian figures, but they illustrate that real estate generally rises over time. The purchasing power of money drops over time, so investing in an appreciating asset is a sound way to maintain and grow your wealth. This is even more pronounced if an investor buys in a down market. Earned appreciation is one of the most powerful aspects of real estate. Real estate increases in value when it is renovated and upgraded, even in bad times. The potential of earned appreciation depends on the purchase of a rundown or antiquated building. It cannot be achieved by buying a new and impeccable property. Again, you cannot add a basement suite to your mutual fund and create extra value. Positive cash flow is when rental income exceeds all expenses and a cash surplus remains at the end of each month. This eventual accumulation of cash will enable the wise investor to buy more properties and eventually achieve financial independence. The ideal

real estate investor always expects cash flow to be tight initially, but as rents rise with inflation and mortgage rates on the property remain the same, cash flow increases. It is this gap between the rent and the mortgage that increases cash flow. Mortgage reduction and leverage: When a property is bought using a bank loan, this debt is eventually paid off by the tenants rather than the investor. Your best partner in a real estate deal is a sound tenant. A good tenant looks after the building and helps you pay down the mortgage with his rental contribution and walks away with no financial interest in the building. If your mortgage is amortized over 25 years after that time, the property is yours free and clear. So with mortgage reduction and borrowing, even with no cash flow, you still end up owning the property at the end of the day. The beauty of real estate is the ability to secure a loan for at least 65 per cent of the cost, leaving the investor to put up only 35 per cent but allowing him to earn on 100 per cent. Tax deductions are a profit centre because they enable you to keep more money and boost income. The key tax benefits of investing in real estate are: • Depreciation on the building’s cost can be used to shelter cash flow • Interest on the mortgage is tax deductible • Renovation work that can be considered repairs is fully deductible. • Appliances can be depreciated more quickly and used to offset tax. In summary, real estate offers an exceptional set of profit centres for smart investors. Malcolm Silver is offering investment partnerships in buildings in Toronto, Hamilton and Waterloo. For more information contact him at 416-488-3393 or Malcolm@msilver.com. REM


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14 REM FEBRUARY 2012

Use referrals to build your business

A

re you making the most of your past and present clients to get referral business? The dream of a phone ringing relentlessly with nonstop referrals can be a reality if you implement an effective referral strategy.

“We send them e-birthday cards. We help them in other ways with their handyman and gardening needs. We help them with real estate needs.”

The 2010 Realtor Technology Survey Report by the National Association of Realtors in the U.S. shows that 88 per cent of Realtors consider referrals to be a “very important” aspect of generating leads.

Most Realtors send out snail mail or email messages, but consider picking up the phone and calling past clients to touch base as well. Most of them want to hear from you and will be glad to chat. You never know where the calls will lead.

Many Realtors agree that staying in touch with clients once the transaction is over is key to getting referrals. By keeping your name uppermost in people’s minds and doing so in a positive way, clients are more apt to recommend you when someone asks if they know a Realtor who will do a kick-butt job.

Joseph Barry Martin

Joseph Barry Martin, an agent with Pemberton Holmes Real Estate in Victoria, shares how he keeps himself in the forefront: “We call clients three times a year and chat on the phone. We ask them whether they would be willing to refer us to their friends, family and associates. We send out real estate updates once a month by email and Feng Shui timely tips once a month. We treat them to feasts and gatherings of our clients; we cook turkey! We give gifts at Christmas.

does show those Realtors that if I am willing to go to the effort to make the connections, they can expect I am also prepared to work as hard for their friends, clients, or relatives.”

About 90 per cent of Martin’s business comes from referrals.

Yara Chard, a sales rep with Valhalla Path Realty in Nelson, B.C., gets about 40 per cent of her business from referrals. How does she do it? “I service the heck out of everyone and go beyond what is expected. I also make a donation with each sale to a local charity instead of housewarming presents and people seem to really like that. I also have a professional website that brings new referral business because people see my site while researching Realtors in this area and contact me.” Chard offers advice on how to get referrals: “Just ask. Most of the time if you have done a great job for people they are happy to refer business to you. Stay in touch with past clients and remind them that you are still in business and are always looking for referrals.” A sales rep who prefers to remain anonymous started selling homes in 1990. He found that when he changed his mentality from focusing on selling houses to focusing on building relationships, his referral rates skyrocketed. He did this by putting himself out there as a resource when clients need information, continuing the client relationship after closing, exceeding expectations and providing excellent service. Timing is important with referrals. You need to get to your future clients before the person is wrapped up in another agent

By Toby Welch

Timing is important with referrals. You need to get to your future clients before the person is wrapped up in another agent relationship. relationship. Don’t wait until you are done with someone to ask for referrals. As you are in the buying or selling process, let people know you are happy to get recommendations. Point out that you will take care of referrals as well as you are taking care of them. People are hesitant to give

Yara Chard

referrals as they are concerned it might backfire on them down the road. Do everything in your power to take this fear away by giving your clients exceptional service.

Referrals from other Realtors are a vital part of some client bases. Glen McPherson, a sales rep with the McPherson Group through Royal LePage Parksville-Qualicum Beach Realty in Parksville, B.C., attends conventions across Canada to build relationships with Realtors; he normally gets at least one referral for his efforts at each conference. “Referrals are all about trust. The way we build that trust is getting to know the Realtors whom you wish to do business with. Many of the Realtors I choose are a result of a network I have of Realtors from various companies who I call upon to give me their recommendations and experiences of Realtors in a given area. I usually call the Realtor’s broker/manager to verify the choice as well. It is their reputation on the line also and every time I have been given the correct choice for my needs.” McPherson goes on road trips to Alberta and B.C. to visit agencies to build relationships with others in the industry. “It

McPherson says, “Not all ‘big name’ Realtors are the best choices. I have a Realtor in Saskatchewan whom I have sent clients to on three occasions. I constantly have to call the client to see if this Realtor has been in contact with them as I am not kept in the loop. To date, none of these have panned out. I have discovered this prairie lady to be all hat and no cattle. On the other hand, I have done three referrals with a Realtor in St. Albert and each and every time it has been successful. The reports back from the clients are glowing.” McPherson also gets a portion of referrals from past and current clients. “When these come in we make sure they have top priority. Those calls are made within minutes, not hours.”

Glen McPherson

Martin shares some parting thoughts on how to ask for referrals, “Just be humble. Give clients a call and ask how you can support them best at this time. Then ask if they would be willing to give you a call the next time they know of someone who needs to buy or sell a condo, town home, or single-family dwelling. Always thank them for their support.” REM


Who’s the best in customer satisfaction? Coldwell Banker® pioneered Ultimate Service® in Canada 15 years ago, providing a signed written pledge to deliver quality service based on an individual consumer’s specific needs. So it’s probably no coincidence that for a remarkable 15th year in a row, Coldwell Banker® Real Estate received a 98%* overall customer satisfaction rating in a survey of more than 60,000 Canadian home buyers and sellers.* It’s a claim no other real estate brand in Canada can match!

If you want to know about the quality of service that Coldwell Banker agents deliver, don’t take our word for it – ask our customers. They’ve given us what you might call the “ultimate” compliment.

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Hear what top sales representatives are saying about Coldwell Banker Real Estate at coldwellbanker.ca/join.

Watch this and see why others made the move. © 2012 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. A Realogy Company. All Rights Reserved. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker,® the Coldwell Banker Logo and “We Never Stop Moving” are registered service marks licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.


16 REM FEBRUARY 2012

Writing great real estate ads: Tip No. 8

By Ian Grace

O

nce you’ve created a great ad, run it at least four times. Research shows people need to see the same ad or message three times or more, on average, before they will respond. This is particularly true for real estate publications and printed matter, whether magazines, journals, newsletters, flyers or newspapers. In Canada, real estate advertising in newspapers has diminished dramatically, but in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, there is a huge amount of real estate advertising in newspapers. The Gold Coast Bulletin in

Queensland, which covers the area where I live, has 100 to 200 pages of full-colour real estate advertising every Saturday. This is mostly because of a local phenomenon where sellers, working with their Realtors, actually pay for the advertising for their property. I’ll talk more about that in a future column. Even if newspaper advertising is not a big part, or any part, of your campaign, the same rule applies to any magazines and journals you’re using, as well as your flyers. Put the message in front of your audience four times or more to get the best results. Realtors often change ads quickly, only running them once or twice, because they feel they’re not getting the result they want. If the ad was a good one, it’s like going fishing, throwing out a line and bait, getting a nibble then cutting the line and throwing out fresh bait and starting from scratch.

Others may change an ad because they think it has grown stale and perhaps people out there will be saying, “There’s the same ad again, obviously they can’t sell that property.” We must forget about them. Even if they are thinking that, it doesn’t matter because they as they are not the right audience and their opinion doesn’t matter. Keep in mind that the market is changing every day and new buyers are constantly coming into the market. A good campaign will work with them. I’ve already emphasized the importance of putting a media mix advertising campaign together, where the ads carry the same message, same main photo and headline in all the media. All too often, when the Realtor changes an ad, they only do it in one medium, which means the new ad is not matching the ads in the other media. Therefore it is not a campaign, which has decreased the

chance of an effective result. All too often, Realtors adopt the shotgun approach, trying to aim at everyone. The reality is, we only need one person to sign the contract and having another two or three interested in the property at the same time helps to push the price as high as possible. We don’t need to reach millions of people, only a few of the right ones, effectively. Effective advertising works accumulatively, with buyers seeing the same ad time and time again, with the same message, across different media. Delivering my programs across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand over the past 17 years, I have seen countless examples where buyers have seen ads for properties eight times or more, even as many as 20 times. That was a Realtor himself, who drove past a photo signboard for a property (prevalent in Australia in New Zealand – 6 x 4 signs with fullcolour photographs, headline and

some wording) – at least 20 times and it finally “grew on him” enough that he ended up buying the property. So it goes to show, if you’ve put together a great campaign, keep it running consistently across all your media and you will obtain the results your buyers deserve. That doesn’t mean you are not constantly reviewing the performance of your campaign, the properties competing in the same price range, the weather and any other events that can affect response to your advertising. Known internationally as “Mr. Real Estate Advertising”, Australian born Ian Grace is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading authorities on real estate advertising. Since 1994, he has delivered his programs throughout Australia, New Zealand, U.S.A, Canada and the U.K. His articles about real estate advertising have been published around the world. REM www.iangrace.com

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18 REM FEBRUARY 2012

Dare to prepare for objections By Steve Randell

I

once heard that it was better to be prepared for an opportunity that never presents itself than being unprepared when one does. So how can we apply this to our real estate careers? How can we develop the ability to sell our services quickly and easily when the opportunity presents itself? I believe it is all about preparation. Preparation is one of the most essential (and underutilized) elements to successfully earning a potential client’s business. Ask yourself, “How do I expect to earn someone’s business if I cannot quickly and concisely sell my ser-

vices?” Let’s face it, if you have been in the business for even a year or so, you are already aware of the most common concerns people have. So why not be prepared with some great answers to those concerns? In a world where competition is continually increasing and more and more companies are announcing, “I’ll do it for cheaper” you need to prepare yourself for the most common objections we all face. Maybe it’s pricing, commission, rate or speed of sale. Whatever the objections are, you need to have readymade answers that make sense to the potential client that you can call upon quickly and explain in a few basic statements. It also must be clear enough to avoid any possible confusion to the potential client. Remember, the confused customer never buys. If I asked you right now to present to me your seller or buyer

benefits in five minutes or less, could you convince me it would be worth my time to give you an interview? Now, I am not saying that a buyer or seller benefits presentation should necessarily be short. Once in front of a potential client, you may need much more time to review all the values you are bringing to the table. I am referring to your own knowledge and ability to quickly and easily explain to someone the added value you bring, and why they could be missing an opportunity if they did not sit with you and allow you to present your entire buyer or seller benefits package to them. If you are serious about being successful in this business, you will be honest with yourself and embrace the fact that there is always room for improvement. You will welcome constructive criticism, even if it comes from within!

So here is where the rubber meets the road. Let’s ask ourselves some basic questions and, if you find yourself not having great answers readily available, this is your chance to challenge yourself and start improving. To help you get started, here are a few common objections that no doubt you all have heard at some point. Please remember that these are only suggestions to help you get your own creativity flowing. Depending on your marketplace, you need to come up with the objections most relevant to you and your current market. That said, try starting with these few examples: • I think my house is worth much more than you are suggesting. • The other agent said they would net me more money. • Why are you charging (insert your commission here)? • Why wouldn’t I use the com-

pany that boasts the lowest commission rate? • I am thinking of trying to sell my home privately first. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write out the five most common objections customers are challenging you with, then, next to those questions write out at least two or three solid, provable answers to those objections. I think you will find the exercise both challenging and informative. I encourage you to challenge yourself and take a few minutes to invest in your best asset, YOU. When you dare to prepare, the dividends can be huge. The rest is up to you. Steve Randell is owner and salesperson at HomeLife Advantage Realty in St. John’s, Nfld. Phone 709-237SELL (7355); email steve@homelifeadvantage.ca; website www.homeREM lifeadvantage.ca.

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20 REM FEBRUARY 2012

DIY keywords – quick and dirty! By Chad Bowe

O

ne of the most important factors of success for any website is its use of keywords. Real estate websites are no exception and understanding how to create and effectively use keywords will send you straight to the head of the class. Not sure what constitutes a keyword? For the purpose of this article, a keyword is any word or group of words used in a website’s content or in a search query used to find a website via one of the major search engines including Google and Bing. It is important to understand that the term keyword refers not only to single words but also phrases. For instance, “realty” is a keyword and “buy a home in Vancouver” is also

referred to as a keyword. The slightly more tech-savvy refer to multiple word keywords as longtail keywords, and short phrases or single word keywords as short-tails. Focus on long-tail keywords. When you use specific keywords on your website, you make it easier for the search engines to connect searchers with your content. For instance, if you are selling homes in south eastern Mississauga and your website has a lot of content that contains the keywords “homes in south eastern Mississauga,” when someone types in a search query like, “buy homes in south eastern Mississauga,” assuming everything else is in order, your website stands a very good chance of ranking highly in the search results and thus being visited by that searcher. The value here is in the fact that the searcher is interested in real estate from the exact area that you specialize in (think pre-qualified lead!). What if your website only featured less specific keywords in its content like “Mississauga” or

“South Mississauga”? Well, everything else being equal, your website would prove to be no competition for websites that are optimized for the afore-mentioned longer, more specific keyword. While specific is good, don’t go overboard with keyword length. A three- or five-word keyword is what should be aimed for. Any more words and things will get messy quickly. There are many different approaches to crafting effective keywords; the following simple, two-step technique assumes that you don’t know how to perform keyword research or how to analyze keyword trends. In other words, it is a natural and businessspecific way of identifying keywords without the help or qualification of external information. Step 1. “Where am I?” What neighbourhood(s) do you sell the most homes in? What area(s) do you know best? Answers to these questions will produce a short list of generic, geographic keywords like “Riverside,”

“Glenora” or “Point Grey”. Once the preferred geographic areas have been identified, you will have successfully produced the substantive portion of all of your keywords. While Riverside, Glenora and Point Grey are all legitimate keywords on their own, they are far too generic to be of much use to a real estate website. Step two makes them useful. Step 2. “Add it on!” Step two involves choosing add-on words that turn basic geographic keywords into long-tail keywords. Here are a few examples of add-ons to attach to the generic geographic keyword “Glenora”: buy homes in Glenora, Glenora real estate, Glenora’s best real estate company and property for sale in Glenora. Words like real estate, homes, buy and Realtor are good general add-on choices for any real estate company trying to formulate long-tail keywords. Create a list of 10 to 15 longtail keyword options for each geographic area. Since this isn’t a highly technical approach, use

your instincts, common sense and the advice of friends outside the industry to narrow the list down to keywords that you feel a searcher in your area would actually type into Google or Bing. Your goal is three or four long tails for each geographic area (don’t feature more than two geographic areas on any one of your website’s pages). Easy enough, right? Now include the new keywords in your website’s copy, headers, blog posts and wherever you can to boost your rankings. Chad Bowe is the owner of The GTA Consultant, a digital marketing consulting company in the greater Toronto area. His passion is helping Canadian real estate companies succeed in the digital space. Looking forward, Chad says he believes that technology and its proper application will be the deciding factor and point of differentiation that separates leading real estate companies from the pack. www.gtaconsultant.com Email info@gtaconsultant.com; Phone 416830-4715. REM


2011 Royal Chairman’ s Club 2008 RoyalLePage LePageNational National Chairman’s Club

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4. Marie-Yvonne Paint* Royal LePage Heritage Montreal, QC (514) 934-1818

5. Cathy Rocca Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services° Burlington, ON (800) 290-0163

6. Patrick Morris* Royal LePage Performance Realty° Ottawa, ON (877) 757-7386

7. Kirby Cox* Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (888) 384-4557

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12. Kelly McKelvie Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (800) 841-0672

13. Jackie Peifer Oakville, ON (905) 257-3633

14. Karen Millar* Royal LePage Signature Realty° Toronto, ON (888) 954-4100

15. Mark Faris Royal LePage First Contact Realty° Barrie, ON (877) 728-4067

16. Michael O’Sullivan* Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services° Burlington, ON (800) 290-0163

17. Brent Roberts* Royal LePage Coronation Park Surrey, BC (888) 649-4299

18. Christine Lefrançois Royal LePage Dynastie Mont Royal, QC (514) 735-2281

19. Rina DiRisio* Oakville, ON (800) 514-4094

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21. Fernande Sirois* Royal LePage Vallées de l’Outaouais Gatineau, QC (819) 561-0223

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26. Amy Flowers Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty° Milton, ON (800) 514-3316

27. Jacques Doucet* Royal LePage Vallées de l’Outaouais Gatineau, QC (819) 561-0223

28. Tracey Bosch* Royal LePage Wolstencroft Realty Langley, BC (877) 611-5241

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31. Manon Sénéchal Royal LePage Groupe Newton Montreal, QC (514) 481-0241

32. Svetlana Chkarboul Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Richmond Hill, ON (905) 731-2000

33. Chris Coveny Royal LePage Performance Realty° Ottawa, ON (877) 757-7386

34. Paul Nusca Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

35. Minoo Ashtari Royal LePage Northshore Vancouver, BC (604) 926-6011

36. Carl Langschmidt Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Toronto, ON (416) 637-8000

37. Robert Nimmo Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

38. James Wright* Royal LePage Team Realty° Manotick, ON (800) 490-8130

39. Karen Paul* Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services° Burlington, ON (800) 290-0163

40. Matthew Regan Mississauga, ON (877) 822-6900

41. Sylvia Smith Royal LePage Solutions Calgary, AB (403) 251-2900

42. Lauretta Stewart* Toronto, ON (800) 622-9536

43. Robin St. Jean Royal LePage State Realty° Ancaster, ON (877) 648-4451

44. Rob Kelly Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty° Mississauga, ON (866) 821-3200

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46. Christine Hauschild Royal LePage Team Realty° Kanata, ON (888) 757-7155

47. Jacinthe Dubé* Royal LePage Jacinthe Dubé Sherbrooke, QC (819) 564-5000

48. Roger LeBlanc* Royal LePage Atlantic Moncton, NB (888) 444-7572

49. Mark Jontz Royal LePage Kelowna Kelowna, BC (800) 421-3214

50. Kate Vanderburgh* Oakville, ON (800) 514-4094

51. Joan M. Smith* Royal LePage Team Realty° Kanata, ON (888) 757-7155

52. Jean-François Bérubé Royal LePage Evolution Sherbrooke, QC (888) 820-8363

53. Suzan Trottier* Royal LePage Atlantic Moncton, NB (888) 444-7572

54. Kevin Lapp Royal LePage Network Realty Corp. Sylvan Lake, AB (877) 587-2286

55. John Hripko* Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (888) 384-4557

56. Ken Morris Royal LePage Integrity Cochrane, AB (888) 384-4557

57. Robert Marland Royal LePage Performance Realty° Ottawa, ON (877) 757-7386

58. Julio Florez Royal LePage True North Realty Fort McMurray, AB (780) 743-1137

59. Jeff Greenberg Royal LePage Team Realty° Ottawa, ON (800) 307-1545

60. Nina Asensio Royal LePage Credit Valley Real Estate° Brampton, ON (800) 631-5216

61. Don McKay* Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate Sherwood Park, AB (888) 797-7653

62. Lorraine O’Quinn Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Trenton, ON (800) 263-2177

63. André Dussault Royal LePage Inter-Québec Ste-Foy, QC (418) 653-0488

64. Chris Pennycook Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate Winnipeg, MB (877) 800-5066

65. Christine Simpson* Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

66. Anne Chilton Royal LePage First Contact Realty° Barrie, ON (877) 728-4067

67. Paul Richardson* Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Belleville, ON (866) 418-8884

68. Sean McCann Royal LePage Team Realty° Ottawa, ON (800) 307-1545

69. Brian Elder Toronto, ON (800) 622-9536

70. JoAnne Gludish Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

71. Mani Bagga Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate Edmonton, AB (855) 431-5600

72. David Weir Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Trenton, ON (800) 263-2177

73. Raymond Tsim* Royal LePage Champlain Brossard, QC (450) 672-6450

74. Art Divers Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Unionville, ON (905) 940-4180

75. Tanyse MacLeod Royal LePage Performance Realty° Ottawa, ON (877) 744-8757

76. Kathy Guitard Royal LePage Atlantic Moncton, NB (888) 444-7572

77. Leigh Sugar Royal LePage York North Realty° Newmarket, ON (866) 773-9595

78. Liam Swords Royal LePage Team Realty° Manotick, ON (800) 490-8130

79. Glen MacAngus* Royal LePage Top Producers Real Estate Winnipeg, MB (866) 989-6900

80. Brigitte I. Burdman Royal LePage Heritage Montreal, QC (514) 934-1818

81. Margorie Grime* Royal LePage RCR Realty° Orangeville, ON (905) 450-3355

82. Libby Broady Royal LePage Elite Beaconsfield, QC (514) 697-2181

83. Donna Michaud Royal LePage Northern Lights Realty Cold Lake, AB (780) 594-4414

84. Bob Maskell Royal LePage ArTeam Realty Edmonton, AB (888) 366-5656

85. Theodore Babiak* Toronto, ON (866) 335-1900

86. Sheree Cerqua Royal LePage Signature Realty° Toronto, ON (888) 954-4100

87. Rachelle Starnes Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (888) 384-4557

88. Doreen Kirkwood* Royal LePage Champlain Brossard, QC (450) 672-6450

89. Janice Newton Royal LePage Groupe Newton Montreal, QC (514) 481-0241

90. Jamie Edwards Royal LePage In The Comox Valley Courtenay, BC (800) 638-4226

91. Luc Grisé Royal LePage Privilege Saint-Bruno, QC (450) 441-1576

92. Tod Niblock Royal LePage Top Producers Real Estate Winnipeg, MB (866) 989-6900

93. Alain Gravel Royal LePage Inter-Québec Ste-Foy, QC (418) 653-0488

94. Karl Robert Royal LePage Inter-Québec Quebec, QC (418) 622-7537

95. Mike Robinson Royal LePage Team Realty° Kanata, ON (888) 757-7155

96. Laurent (Larry) Patry Royal LePage Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean Jonquière, QC (418) 547-2111

97. Joseph Brazeau Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty° Milton, ON (800) 514-3316

98. Cheryl Bejcar Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC (800) 263-4753

99. Andrew Keyes Oakville, ON (800) 514-4094

100. Garry Parkes Royal LePage Dynamic Real Real Estate Winnipeg, MB (877) 800-5066

101. Alba DiPlacido Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Richmond Hill, ON (905) 731-2000

102. Joseph Cartaginese Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Vaughan, ON (905) 832-6656

103. Bill Parnaby Royal LePage RCR Realty° Bolton, ON (800) 748-6789

104. Robert LePage Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

105. Kevan O’Connor Royal LePage Niagara R.E. Centre° Niagara-onthe-Lake, ON (800) 635-9228

106. Judi Rufo Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Belleville, ON (866) 418-8884

107. Dionis Padron Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty° Mississauga, ON (866) 821-3200

108. Morley Forsyth* Toronto, ON (800) 622-9536

109. Johanne Laforest Royal LePage Team Realty° Kanata, ON (888) 757-7155

110. Susan Forrest Royal LePage Parksville-Qualicum Beach Parksville, BC (800) 224-5838

111. Martin E. Mazza

112. Jillian Jarvis Royal LePage Gale Real Estate° Manotick, ON (800) 387-2526

113. Leslie Battle Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

114. Michael Wilcox Royal LePage City Centre Vancouver, BC (604) 408-9311

115. Marc Bonenfant Royal LePage Inter-Québec Québec, QC (418) 653-0488

116. Dario Mattei* Royal LePage West Realty Group° Toronto, ON (866) 753-7243

117. Paul McCunn Royal LePage Performance Realty° Ottawa, ON (877) 837-8885

118. John Lawler Royal LePage First Contact Realty° Barrie, ON (877) 728-4067

119. Julio Muzlera Royal LePage West Realty Group° Toronto, ON (866) 753-7243

120. Michael Scrannage* Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Kingston, ON (800) 247-6311

121. Nutan Brown Royal LePage West Realty Group° Toronto, ON (800) 515-9783

122. Jason MacDonald Royal LePage Team Realty° Ottawa, ON (888) 780-7747

123. Nicolas Tétrault Royal LePage du Quartier Montreal, QC (514) 353-8770

124. Horst Richter Toronto, ON (416) 252-4368

125. Barbara Polson* Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

126. Chuck Charlton Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty° Milton, ON (800) 514-3316

127. Jeff Golding Royal LePage Coronation West Coquitlam, BC (604) 939-6666

128. Paula Mitchell* Royal LePage Credit Valley Real Estate° Brampton, ON (800) 631-5216

129. Marcel Bergeron Royal LePage Inter-Québec Québec, QC (418) 653-0488

130. Lorraine Jordan Royal LePage In Touch Realty° Midland, ON (888) 480-2224

131. Kathie Pillar Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services° Burlington, ON (800) 290-0163

132. Brett Smiley Oakville, ON (905) 257-3633

133. Danielle Johnson Royal LePage Atlantic Moncton, NB (888) 444-7572

140. Anthony Fata Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Richmond Hill, ON (905) 731-2000

141. Brian Lamb Royal LePage Coronation West Coquitlam, BC (604) 939-6666

142. Peter Pobojewski Royal LePage Kingsbury Realty° Mississauga, ON (866) 754-2121

Stuart Sankey Designate Toronto, ON (866) 335-1900

Danny Gerbrandt Designate Royal LePage Brookside Realty Maple Ridge, BC (888) 467-5131

Bernice Bartlett* Royal LePage Team Realty° Kanata, ON (888) 757-7155

Maureen Chan* Royal LePage Westside Vancouver, BC 604-261-9311

Yves de Niverville* Royal LePage Performance Realty° Orleans, ON (888) 830-8757

Paul Delaney* Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Toronto, ON (416) 213-5736

Evelyn Froese* Royal LePage Westside Vancouver, BC (888) 661-9311

Serge Gabriel* Royal LePage Groupe Newton Montreal, QC (514) 481-0241

John Gerber* Royal LePage Signature Realty° Toronto, ON (888) 954-4100

Robert Johnston* Royal LePage First Contact Realty° Barrie, ON (877) 728-4067

Mary Ann Keary* Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Brockville, ON (866) 345-3664

Mary Montgomery* Royal LePage Realty Plus° Mississauga, ON (877) 828-6550

Royal Royal LePage LePage Real Real Estate Estate Sevices Sevices Ltd., Ltd., Brokerage, Brokerage, unless unless otherwise otherwise noted. noted. *Denotes *Denotes Lifetime Lifetime National National Chairman’s Chairman’s Club Club Members. Members. °Brokerage °Brokerage

Suzanne Grisé Royal LePage Privilege Saint-Bruno, QC (450) 441-1576

Heather Heaps* Toronto, ON (416) 424-4900

Yoki Nichol* Royal LePage Solutions Calgary, AB (403) 252-5900

Isaac Phillips* Royal LePage State Realty° Hamilton, ON (877) 574-4601

Michael Regan* Mississauga, ON (877) 822-6900

Karen P. Scott* Royal LePage Team Realty° Ottawa, ON (613) 725-1171

Heather Waddell* Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (888) 384-4557

We recognize

Royal LePage this group State Realty° Stoney Creek, ON of 153 tremendously successful (877) 574-7441 individuals who, through their achievements, have reached the top 1% of our national network of 14,000 realtors. Selected based on annual top residential sales135. forKeltiegross ‘closed and 137. collected’ commissions, they 134. Blair Mackey Law 136. Shaheen Zareh Norm Cholak* 138. Mark Bultje 139. Stuart Berenhaut Oakville, ON Royal LePage State Royal LePage Royal LePage Noralta Royal LePage Royal LePage (888) 645-4267 Realty° Regina Realty Real Estate Signature Realty° Dynamic Real Estate have mastered the core values of RoyalToronto, LePage which Ancaster, ON Regina, SK Edmonton, AB ON Winnipeg, MB (877) 648-4451 (877) 359-1900 (780) 431-5600 (888) 954-4100 (877) 800-5066 include helping consumers in every step of their search for the perfect home – as ‘helping’ is what Royal Congratulations members of our 2011 National LePagers do! This group to ofthereal estate experts Chairman’s Club, professionals who have reached continually surpass and deliver®. the topall 1% ofexpectations our national network of REALTORS Achievement is earned based on gross ‘closed and excellence in customer service and sales. We sincerely collected’ commissions. These professionals have mastered the core values of Royal and are congratulate each one and wish them all LePage, continued Frances Wedlake* ambassadors of the Royal LePage brand—Helping Oakville, ON success the upcoming year. striving in pursuit of achieving you for is what we do , continually TM

(888) 645-4267

excellence in customer service and sales.

Phil Soper With our sincere congratulations and best wishes for the coming year. President & Chief Executive Phil Soper, President & Chief Executive


2011 Royal Chairman’ s Club 2008 RoyalLePage LePageNational National Chairman’s Club

1. Loretta Phinney* Mississauga, ON (877) 822-6900

2. Dan Cooper* Oakville, ON (800) 514-4094

3. Daryl King* Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Richmond Hill, ON (905) 731-2000

4. Marie-Yvonne Paint* Royal LePage Heritage Montreal, QC (514) 934-1818

5. Cathy Rocca Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services° Burlington, ON (800) 290-0163

6. Patrick Morris* Royal LePage Performance Realty° Ottawa, ON (877) 757-7386

7. Kirby Cox* Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (888) 384-4557

8. Sue Mills Royal LePage Signature Realty° Toronto, ON (888) 954-4100

9. Simon Giannini Royal LePage Signature Realty° Toronto, ON (888) 954-4100

10. Elli Davis* Toronto, ON (800) 622-9536

11. Barbara Beers* Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services° Burlington, ON (800) 290-0163

12. Kelly McKelvie Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (800) 841-0672

13. Jackie Peifer Oakville, ON (905) 257-3633

14. Karen Millar* Royal LePage Signature Realty° Toronto, ON (888) 954-4100

15. Mark Faris Royal LePage First Contact Realty° Barrie, ON (877) 728-4067

16. Michael O’Sullivan* Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services° Burlington, ON (800) 290-0163

17. Brent Roberts* Royal LePage Coronation Park Surrey, BC (888) 649-4299

18. Christine Lefrançois Royal LePage Dynastie Mont Royal, QC (514) 735-2281

19. Rina DiRisio* Oakville, ON (800) 514-4094

20. Julie Kinnear Toronto, ON (866) 335-1900

21. Fernande Sirois* Royal LePage Vallées de l’Outaouais Gatineau, QC (819) 561-0223

22. Andrea Morrison* Toronto, ON (866) 335-1900

23. Cailey Heaps Estrin Toronto, ON (416) 424-4900

24. Susan Lore Royal LePage True North Realty Fort McMurray, AB (780) 715-1382

25. Mary Lou McCormick Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (888) 384-4557

26. Amy Flowers Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty° Milton, ON (800) 514-3316

27. Jacques Doucet* Royal LePage Vallées de l’Outaouais Gatineau, QC (819) 561-0223

28. Tracey Bosch* Royal LePage Wolstencroft Realty Langley, BC (877) 611-5241

29. Philip LeMay Royal LePage Vallées de l’Outaouais Gatineau, QC (819) 561-0223

30. Leo L. Ronse Royal LePage Wolstencroft Realty Langley, BC (877) 611-5241

31. Manon Sénéchal Royal LePage Groupe Newton Montreal, QC (514) 481-0241

32. Svetlana Chkarboul Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Richmond Hill, ON (905) 731-2000

33. Chris Coveny Royal LePage Performance Realty° Ottawa, ON (877) 757-7386

34. Paul Nusca Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

35. Minoo Ashtari Royal LePage Northshore Vancouver, BC (604) 926-6011

36. Carl Langschmidt Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Toronto, ON (416) 637-8000

37. Robert Nimmo Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

38. James Wright* Royal LePage Team Realty° Manotick, ON (800) 490-8130

39. Karen Paul* Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services° Burlington, ON (800) 290-0163

40. Matthew Regan Mississauga, ON (877) 822-6900

41. Sylvia Smith Royal LePage Solutions Calgary, AB (403) 251-2900

42. Lauretta Stewart* Toronto, ON (800) 622-9536

43. Robin St. Jean Royal LePage State Realty° Ancaster, ON (877) 648-4451

44. Rob Kelly Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty° Mississauga, ON (866) 821-3200

45. Susan Taylor Mississauga, ON (888) 828-0422

46. Christine Hauschild Royal LePage Team Realty° Kanata, ON (888) 757-7155

47. Jacinthe Dubé* Royal LePage Jacinthe Dubé Sherbrooke, QC (819) 564-5000

48. Roger LeBlanc* Royal LePage Atlantic Moncton, NB (888) 444-7572

49. Mark Jontz Royal LePage Kelowna Kelowna, BC (800) 421-3214

50. Kate Vanderburgh* Oakville, ON (800) 514-4094

51. Joan M. Smith* Royal LePage Team Realty° Kanata, ON (888) 757-7155

52. Jean-François Bérubé Royal LePage Evolution Sherbrooke, QC (888) 820-8363

53. Suzan Trottier* Royal LePage Atlantic Moncton, NB (888) 444-7572

54. Kevin Lapp Royal LePage Network Realty Corp. Sylvan Lake, AB (877) 587-2286

55. John Hripko* Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (888) 384-4557

56. Ken Morris Royal LePage Integrity Cochrane, AB (888) 384-4557

57. Robert Marland Royal LePage Performance Realty° Ottawa, ON (877) 757-7386

58. Julio Florez Royal LePage True North Realty Fort McMurray, AB (780) 743-1137

59. Jeff Greenberg Royal LePage Team Realty° Ottawa, ON (800) 307-1545

60. Nina Asensio Royal LePage Credit Valley Real Estate° Brampton, ON (800) 631-5216

61. Don McKay* Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate Sherwood Park, AB (888) 797-7653

62. Lorraine O’Quinn Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Trenton, ON (800) 263-2177

63. André Dussault Royal LePage Inter-Québec Ste-Foy, QC (418) 653-0488

64. Chris Pennycook Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate Winnipeg, MB (877) 800-5066

65. Christine Simpson* Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

66. Anne Chilton Royal LePage First Contact Realty° Barrie, ON (877) 728-4067

67. Paul Richardson* Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Belleville, ON (866) 418-8884

68. Sean McCann Royal LePage Team Realty° Ottawa, ON (800) 307-1545

69. Brian Elder Toronto, ON (800) 622-9536

70. JoAnne Gludish Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

71. Mani Bagga Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate Edmonton, AB (855) 431-5600

72. David Weir Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Trenton, ON (800) 263-2177

73. Raymond Tsim* Royal LePage Champlain Brossard, QC (450) 672-6450

74. Art Divers Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Unionville, ON (905) 940-4180

75. Tanyse MacLeod Royal LePage Performance Realty° Ottawa, ON (877) 744-8757

76. Kathy Guitard Royal LePage Atlantic Moncton, NB (888) 444-7572

77. Leigh Sugar Royal LePage York North Realty° Newmarket, ON (866) 773-9595

78. Liam Swords Royal LePage Team Realty° Manotick, ON (800) 490-8130

79. Glen MacAngus* Royal LePage Top Producers Real Estate Winnipeg, MB (866) 989-6900

80. Brigitte I. Burdman Royal LePage Heritage Montreal, QC (514) 934-1818

81. Margorie Grime* Royal LePage RCR Realty° Orangeville, ON (905) 450-3355

82. Libby Broady Royal LePage Elite Beaconsfield, QC (514) 697-2181

83. Donna Michaud Royal LePage Northern Lights Realty Cold Lake, AB (780) 594-4414

84. Bob Maskell Royal LePage ArTeam Realty Edmonton, AB (888) 366-5656

85. Theodore Babiak* Toronto, ON (866) 335-1900

86. Sheree Cerqua Royal LePage Signature Realty° Toronto, ON (888) 954-4100

87. Rachelle Starnes Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (888) 384-4557

88. Doreen Kirkwood* Royal LePage Champlain Brossard, QC (450) 672-6450

89. Janice Newton Royal LePage Groupe Newton Montreal, QC (514) 481-0241

90. Jamie Edwards Royal LePage In The Comox Valley Courtenay, BC (800) 638-4226

91. Luc Grisé Royal LePage Privilege Saint-Bruno, QC (450) 441-1576

92. Tod Niblock Royal LePage Top Producers Real Estate Winnipeg, MB (866) 989-6900

93. Alain Gravel Royal LePage Inter-Québec Ste-Foy, QC (418) 653-0488

94. Karl Robert Royal LePage Inter-Québec Quebec, QC (418) 622-7537

95. Mike Robinson Royal LePage Team Realty° Kanata, ON (888) 757-7155

96. Laurent (Larry) Patry Royal LePage Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean Jonquière, QC (418) 547-2111

97. Joseph Brazeau Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty° Milton, ON (800) 514-3316

98. Cheryl Bejcar Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Victoria, BC (800) 263-4753

99. Andrew Keyes Oakville, ON (800) 514-4094

100. Garry Parkes Royal LePage Dynamic Real Real Estate Winnipeg, MB (877) 800-5066

101. Alba DiPlacido Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Richmond Hill, ON (905) 731-2000

102. Joseph Cartaginese Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Vaughan, ON (905) 832-6656

103. Bill Parnaby Royal LePage RCR Realty° Bolton, ON (800) 748-6789

104. Robert LePage Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

105. Kevan O’Connor Royal LePage Niagara R.E. Centre° Niagara-onthe-Lake, ON (800) 635-9228

106. Judi Rufo Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Belleville, ON (866) 418-8884

107. Dionis Padron Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty° Mississauga, ON (866) 821-3200

108. Morley Forsyth* Toronto, ON (800) 622-9536

109. Johanne Laforest Royal LePage Team Realty° Kanata, ON (888) 757-7155

110. Susan Forrest Royal LePage Parksville-Qualicum Beach Parksville, BC (800) 224-5838

111. Martin E. Mazza

112. Jillian Jarvis Royal LePage Gale Real Estate° Manotick, ON (800) 387-2526

113. Leslie Battle Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

114. Michael Wilcox Royal LePage City Centre Vancouver, BC (604) 408-9311

115. Marc Bonenfant Royal LePage Inter-Québec Québec, QC (418) 653-0488

116. Dario Mattei* Royal LePage West Realty Group° Toronto, ON (866) 753-7243

117. Paul McCunn Royal LePage Performance Realty° Ottawa, ON (877) 837-8885

118. John Lawler Royal LePage First Contact Realty° Barrie, ON (877) 728-4067

119. Julio Muzlera Royal LePage West Realty Group° Toronto, ON (866) 753-7243

120. Michael Scrannage* Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Kingston, ON (800) 247-6311

121. Nutan Brown Royal LePage West Realty Group° Toronto, ON (800) 515-9783

122. Jason MacDonald Royal LePage Team Realty° Ottawa, ON (888) 780-7747

123. Nicolas Tétrault Royal LePage du Quartier Montreal, QC (514) 353-8770

124. Horst Richter Toronto, ON (416) 252-4368

125. Barbara Polson* Toronto, ON (888) 336-1871

126. Chuck Charlton Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty° Milton, ON (800) 514-3316

127. Jeff Golding Royal LePage Coronation West Coquitlam, BC (604) 939-6666

128. Paula Mitchell* Royal LePage Credit Valley Real Estate° Brampton, ON (800) 631-5216

129. Marcel Bergeron Royal LePage Inter-Québec Québec, QC (418) 653-0488

130. Lorraine Jordan Royal LePage In Touch Realty° Midland, ON (888) 480-2224

131. Kathie Pillar Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services° Burlington, ON (800) 290-0163

132. Brett Smiley Oakville, ON (905) 257-3633

133. Danielle Johnson Royal LePage Atlantic Moncton, NB (888) 444-7572

140. Anthony Fata Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Richmond Hill, ON (905) 731-2000

141. Brian Lamb Royal LePage Coronation West Coquitlam, BC (604) 939-6666

142. Peter Pobojewski Royal LePage Kingsbury Realty° Mississauga, ON (866) 754-2121

Stuart Sankey Designate Toronto, ON (866) 335-1900

Danny Gerbrandt Designate Royal LePage Brookside Realty Maple Ridge, BC (888) 467-5131

Bernice Bartlett* Royal LePage Team Realty° Kanata, ON (888) 757-7155

Maureen Chan* Royal LePage Westside Vancouver, BC 604-261-9311

Yves de Niverville* Royal LePage Performance Realty° Orleans, ON (888) 830-8757

Paul Delaney* Royal LePage Your Community Realty° Toronto, ON (416) 213-5736

Evelyn Froese* Royal LePage Westside Vancouver, BC (888) 661-9311

Serge Gabriel* Royal LePage Groupe Newton Montreal, QC (514) 481-0241

John Gerber* Royal LePage Signature Realty° Toronto, ON (888) 954-4100

Robert Johnston* Royal LePage First Contact Realty° Barrie, ON (877) 728-4067

Mary Ann Keary* Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty° Brockville, ON (866) 345-3664

Mary Montgomery* Royal LePage Realty Plus° Mississauga, ON (877) 828-6550

Royal Royal LePage LePage Real Real Estate Estate Sevices Sevices Ltd., Ltd., Brokerage, Brokerage, unless unless otherwise otherwise noted. noted. *Denotes *Denotes Lifetime Lifetime National National Chairman’s Chairman’s Club Club Members. Members. °Brokerage °Brokerage

Suzanne Grisé Royal LePage Privilege Saint-Bruno, QC (450) 441-1576

Heather Heaps* Toronto, ON (416) 424-4900

Yoki Nichol* Royal LePage Solutions Calgary, AB (403) 252-5900

Isaac Phillips* Royal LePage State Realty° Hamilton, ON (877) 574-4601

Michael Regan* Mississauga, ON (877) 822-6900

Karen P. Scott* Royal LePage Team Realty° Ottawa, ON (613) 725-1171

Heather Waddell* Royal LePage Foothills Calgary, AB (888) 384-4557

We recognize

Royal LePage this group State Realty° Stoney Creek, ON of 153 tremendously successful (877) 574-7441 individuals who, through their achievements, have reached the top 1% of our national network of 14,000 realtors. Selected based on annual top residential sales135. forKeltiegross ‘closed and 137. collected’ commissions, they 134. Blair Mackey Law 136. Shaheen Zareh Norm Cholak* 138. Mark Bultje 139. Stuart Berenhaut Oakville, ON Royal LePage State Royal LePage Royal LePage Noralta Royal LePage Royal LePage (888) 645-4267 Realty° Regina Realty Real Estate Signature Realty° Dynamic Real Estate have mastered the core values of RoyalToronto, LePage which Ancaster, ON Regina, SK Edmonton, AB ON Winnipeg, MB (877) 648-4451 (877) 359-1900 (780) 431-5600 (888) 954-4100 (877) 800-5066 include helping consumers in every step of their search for the perfect home – as ‘helping’ is what Royal Congratulations members of our 2011 National LePagers do! This group to ofthereal estate experts Chairman’s Club, professionals who have reached continually surpass and deliver®. the topall 1% ofexpectations our national network of REALTORS Achievement is earned based on gross ‘closed and excellence in customer service and sales. We sincerely collected’ commissions. These professionals have mastered the core values of Royal and are congratulate each one and wish them all LePage, continued Frances Wedlake* ambassadors of the Royal LePage brand—Helping Oakville, ON success the upcoming year. striving in pursuit of achieving you for is what we do , continually TM

(888) 645-4267

excellence in customer service and sales.

Phil Soper With our sincere congratulations and best wishes for the coming year. President & Chief Executive Phil Soper, President & Chief Executive


24 REM FEBRUARY 2012

SALES COACH

By Bruce Keith

P

eriodically someone will say to me, “This prospecting is not working.” This conclusion usually comes from an individual who in their own mind has been working hard and not getting enough results to make it “worth my while”. It is at this point that as a business and sales coach it is my job to come up with some answers. Let’s look at this dilemma right from the start. One of the basic Laws of Sales that we need to accept is the Law of Contacts. It is pretty simple and goes like this: “When done proper-

This doesn’t work! ly, the more contacts you make the more sales you will get.” Obviously the key to this law is the “done properly” part. Essentially, selling is a numbers game. The more people you talk to, the more sales you will make. The challenge is that if it was that simple, all you would have to do is stand on a street corner and talk to people and you would make a fortune.

When someone tells me that “this is not working”, the first thing we need to do is to look at the variables and see which part of the Law of Contacts needs to be addressed. Here are the variables: 1. Are you really making enough calls? Are you actually talking to enough people? If you’re only talking to 10 people per day, then you need to make more contacts.

Are you really making enough calls? Are you actually talking to enough people? If you’re only talking to 10 people per day, then you need to make more contacts.

2. Are you talking to the right people? In its simplest form it breaks down like this – is your target audience in a position to purchase what you are selling? Make sure that the demographics are right. There is no point in trying to sell a new car to a list of people who have just bought a car. Same for houses…. some neighbourhoods are full of seniors who have been there for years and there is very little turnover. 3. Critical point – this is the BIG one. Are you saying the right things? Are you sticking to a proven script? Have you practiced your delivery? Are you listening carefully to their answers? Has anyone critiqued your delivery lately? So here is the bottom line whenever you run into that frustration that says. “You don’t understand, Bruce. My area is different, my market is different, the Law of Contacts doesn’t apply here!” If

you are passing the test on #1 and #2 above, then the answer lies in #3. This is the hardest one to fix because what it really says is that you could do it better. If you come to the conclusion that you need to improve on #3, go back to the basic questions in that point. Answer them one by one and I assure you, your results will change. Be honest with yourself and the Law of Contacts will ultimately work in your favour. After all, it is a law. No excuses. Bruce Keith, the “Sales Coach”, began his sales career at IBM and 15 years later used his marketing and sales expertise to develop a highly successful real estate business. He is a master of teaching “what to say and how to say it”. His high energy and entertaining training style has allowed him to create a popular coaching and seminar business for numerous sales organizations during the last 12 years. www.brucekeithresults.com REM

earn more

An REIC C de desi sign g at atio io on in nccrreaases your vissib bility. The e FRI designation signifie es you have extensive kno nowle o ed edge, experiience an nd a comm co m it mm itme ment nt to high high hi gh busin usines us in nesss ssttanda daard rds and etthi h cs. Be the REALTOR® off choicce with employe erss an nd d clilien ents en ts. ts In ncrease your earn nin ing p po otent tential. Vi te V sitt www.reic.ca or ca c ll 1-800-542-7342 2 for mo more e inf nfor orma maati t on on.

learn more achieve more


Canadian International Award Winners Awarded at EXIT Realty’s 13th Annual International Convention in Nashville, TN in 2011!

Philip Duplisea & David Sawler Franchisees EXIT Realty Advantage, Fredericton, NB Largest Grossing Office – North America & int’l Brokers of the Year canada

Anne Squires Franchisee EXIT Realty on the Rock, St. John’s, NL

Sterling Stephens Franchisee EXIT Realty Citadel, Halifax, NS

Loretta Hughes Franchisee EXIT Realty Fusion, Regina, SK

Largest Grossing Multiple Offices

International Ambassador Award – Canada

nasby’s Knuckles (On the far right: Erica Nasby, Corporate Trainer & Bill Nasby, VP Personal Development)

Left to right, Tami Bonnell, President U.S., Joyce Paron, President, Canada and Steve Morris, Founder & C.E.O.

Canadian Award Winners

MAGGIE TESSIER Franchisee EXIT Realty Matrix, Orleans, ON #1 Agent in Canada for Gross Closed Commissions, Ends Sold, Listings Taken and Sponsoring

Lois McCormack Sales Representative EXIT Realty New View, Miramichi, NB Canadian Rookie of the Year

PRODUCTION YEAR 07.01.10 — 06.30.11

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26 REM FEBRUARY 2012

Top 10 things to learn about your clients By Matthew Collis

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n my last article I talked about the importance of a using a real estate specific contact and activity management system (or CRM). I emphasized how vital it is to the growth of your business. After all, how else would you be able to organize yourself effectively, keep track of prospects, ensure you’re maintaining key relationships with those in your sphere and market yourself easily and effectively? But, now that you’ve hopefully subscribed to a real estate CRM system, what type of information should you learn about your clients to really get the most value from it? Here are the top 10 pieces of information to learn about your sphere of influence (SOI) and add to your database. 1. Details of your last conversation. The first important piece of information you’ll want to record is when you last spoke with your client or prospect and what was discussed. Some key challenges for Realtors that I constantly hear include not remembering client information or simply being hesitant to pick up the phone and call a past client because, quite honestly, you might not know what to talk about or where to begin the conversation. By recording the details of your last conversation, you won’t need a rock-solid memory (wouldn’t that be nice) and you can be rest-assured you’ll have always something relevant to talk about. 2. Birthdates. One of the easiest things you can do to show people that you care is to acknowledge them on their birthday. I strongly recommend entering birthdays into your real estate contact management system – not just for your main contact, but for their spouse/ partner as well. Simply sending a birthday card when it’s least expected is one more thing you can do to stay top of mind. 3. The names and interests of children and/ or immediate family members. In real estate, it’s all about relationships. When every-

one’s business card and ads seem to say “president’s club” or “top-producing agent,” relationship-building becomes extremely important – the true differentiator. In order to build relationships with the people in your database, you need to learn about them, which includes learning about the important people in their life, like their children. Know their names. Try to get a little bit of a glimpse into their lives. Next time you speak with John, ask him about Sara’s upcoming volleyball tournament. You’ll be amazed at the impact this simple expression of interest in John and his family will have. 4. Wedding anniversary date. Wedding anniversary dates are important dates for people so, just like birthdays, it’s a good idea to acknowledge your contacts on their wedding anniversary. Because it’s much rarer for “outsiders” to wish people a happy anniversary than a happy birthday, the simple act of sending a happy anniversary card, and possibly making an accompanying phone call, really becomes very memorable for the recipient. It’s just another opportunity to “WOW” them. 5. Referrals. Although this isn’t something you “learn” about your clients per se, it’s essential to add the referrals your clients have given you to your CRM. This will allow you to generate reports that list the top referrers in your database. 6. Profession and work address. It’s beneficial to know your contacts’ profession and work address because for one, what someone does for a living usually plays a big part in their life and by knowing this information, you can begin to have conversations that are meaningful to each individual contact. Moreover, as a Realtor, you’re in a position where you’re able to recommend a wide array of service providers. If you’re comfortable recommending the services of your clients I would highly recommend you do so, as this serves to 1) keep you top of mind with your clients and make them more likely to refer your services or use your services again; and 2) it expresses goodwill and is something that’s generally highly appreciated.

7. Interests and hobbies. With this information, you can use your real estate CRM to schedule “keep in touch” activities for John and Mary that involve a round of golf because you know it’s the couple’s favourite pastime. Or, if John referred a client to you, you may want to buy him tickets to the Toronto Raptors game because you know he’s a huge basketball fan. 8. Date moved into current home. I wonder if John is ready to make a move. Well, by knowing the date he moved into his current home, this might provide you with some insight. People move roughly every three to five years so if John moved into his home six years ago, it might be worth

reaching out to him. 9. Details about current home and “dream home.” By capturing this information on John and Mary’s dream home, you’re in a great position to be the only Realtor who immediately calls them when that perfect fit hits the market. You can create an opportunity with a client that will be so impressed by your initiative that they’ll likely choose you to help them with the sale of their current home as well. 10. Mortgage details. It’s good to know mortgage details, such as the amount, term and interest rate. Why? Well for one, many people think about moving when their mortgage is up for renewal or about

to be paid off, so it’s a great time to touch base with past clients. Make sure your database or contact management system makes it easy for you to capture and leverage these kinds of information. The sooner you start adopting a system into your business and day-to-day life, the more effective you’ll be in both the short and long term. Good luck! Matthew Collis is the sales and marketing manager at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, he works with Realtors to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. He has written a wide array articles, news releases and blog posts on contact management strategies and implementation. Email matthew.collis@ixactcontact.com. REM

Your newsletter content By Mark Brodsky

W

hen it comes to content for your newsletter, how much is too

much? “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful,” said Mae West. But would your subscribers say the same thing? Just as you may struggle on occasion to come up with content for your newsletter, sometimes you may find you have the opposite problem: there are too many interesting articles, new listings or other news you want to share. People have short attention spans. Your subscribers, even the most loyal, are only going to spend a few moments looking at your email. The last thing you want to do is put together an email that’s so long, people get overwhelmed and just delete it. How do you figure out how

much is too much? First, send yourself a test of your email. How far down do you have to scroll before you get to the bottom of the email? If it’s more than two pages, it’s likely too long. Determine where you can cut content, and link to it somewhere else. If it’s original content, point them to your blog or website. If it’s an article you’re sharing, link to the original source. Another way to see if you’re including too much: take a look at your reports (your email service should be generating these) and compare the number of people who are clicking to the links higher up to the ones that are clicking below. It’ll just take a minute and it will be valuable information. Here are some basic tips to grab your clients’ attention: • Lead with the articles and listings you would most like people to pay attention to. Chances are, the higher up on the page it is, the more likely it is to be read. Not many people are fascinated by the monthly market news prepared by your local real estate board, but if you refer to it in your introduction

and include a link there, you’ll find people will click through. • Keep your copy to a minimum and link to the full piece. People will know if they’re interested in an article by the headline, photo and opening paragraph. When you publish an article in its entirety, you can’t track what people are interested in. • If there are additional articles you want to share, you may want to link to them in your introduction or even have a separate item that might list other articles of interest, with a heading or a link. Remember, when you’re choosing content, it’s more about what your readers want to read than what you want to tell them. Mark Brodsky runs Mark Brodsky Digital Communications, a company that specializes in email marketing and social media. In addition to email newsletters and targeted campaigns, MBDC co-ordinates the setup for major social networking sites and ensures that they’re co-ordinated, so one piece of content gets shared many ways. www.mbdigitalcommunications.com; Email mark@mbdigitalcommunications.com REM


REM FEBRUARY 2012 27

Battles with technology AS I SEE IT FROM MY DESK

By Stan Albert

A

few months ago I wrote a column about why everyone needed to keep up with new technology. Here are a couple of stories about my recent experiences with technology. On Boxing Day, Best Buy advertised a slew of tech stuff, including the BlackBerry Tablet at $249.95 plus shipping. Wow! But I’m not one to stand in line. Nosiree! I’m tech savvy and I go online to order. I set up the buying process by establishing myself in the “waiting room.” At 6 pm, I’m already set to go for when the site goes live at 8 pm to order. When 8 pm comes, Visa card at the ready, I anxiously peer into the “time bar” below. After 15 minutes, I’m in and ready to order a 32 GB tablet. Another 15 minutes and I’m reviewing the order and all seems in order. Ready to go! Then, oops! The right side of my hand hits the space bar. You know what happens – the system goes back to square one. It’s now 8:35 pm and I sit quietly fuming over my lack of hand-eye co-ordination of late. About 10 minutes later, I’m in to order again. But his time, the system has defaulted to the prior order and I am now looking at an order of TWO 32 GB tablets and one 16 GB tablet. My brows furrow and I grit my teeth and hope I can fix it. Sure enough, the site has a “review” icon. Now, one week later, I am the proud owner of the much coveted tablet that I worked so hard to get. With some exacting effort, my friend Shirley Porter helped me to “bridge” it to my aging Blackberry

Bold and I’m now cool, as my young charges at the office tell me. Some of you may know that I have been restoring a 1973 Mercedes-Benz 460 SL hardtop/convertible for the past five years. Maybe we’ll be done in another two years, unless someone buys it. The Benz and I have some somewhat costly memories (I think I’m into it for about $20,000). I decided to take it through the automated car wash at a Petro station after retrieving it from my mechanic, who had winterized it. I’ve always taken it to the hand wash but I had an extra car wash ticket, so what the heck. It was a little disconcerting as I entered to the rails, as we’d never done this before. I slipped the ticket into the bar reader, but nothing happened. It kept asking me to reenter. I did so successfully, except for the fact the car was still in drive and we were propelling forward. I became so flustered that I was reaching for the window buttons on the side instead of the counsel. Water accompanied by suds flooded the car, soaking me in the bargain. Attendants came running, shouting instructions to me, stopping the wash and handing me a roll of paper towels to clean up. As I’m exiting, my wife is waiting for me in our other car. She sees soap bubbles galore and withholds her laughter until I come out again from a second car wash, this time a secured one! Ah, the vestiges of aging! This was not a comfortable one. Why do they call it the Golden Age? It’s the forgetting and sometimes stumbling age. But nonetheless, it is rewarding still to be able to share some “intimate” details and stories of your humble REM writer. Happy 2012! May all your dreams come true and may you all enjoy good health and prosperity. Stan Albert, broker/manager, ABR, ASA at Re/Max Premier in Vaughan, Ont. can be reached for consultation at stanalb@rogers.com. Stan is now celebrating 40 years as an active real estate professional. REM


28 REM FEBRUARY 2012

STOP SELLING HOUSES & START MAKING MONEY

By Debbie Hanlon

I

n my last column we talked about something we’ve all felt at some point in our careers; the complete loss of control. That feeling of being at the centre of a hurricane where everything is spinning out of control around us and there’s absolutely nothing we can do to change it. It’s very much a feeling of helplessness. We decided the only real thing we can do under those circumstances is to step away from it in our minds and admit we have lost control. That puts a certain mental distance between us and the situation, which stops us from being sucked even further into that dark vortex. Whether it was our own fault or outside forces that led to the loss of control, it is a very unpleasant head space to be in. It’s important to remember that what we want is a sense of

A matter of control, part 2 control, not control itself. There are times when we simply cannot control what’s going on. We want to stop that loss of control from seeping into other areas of our lives. That’s where trouble lies. That’s what leads a person to simply throw up their hands and say, “What’s the point? There’s nothing I can do.” Separating yourself from the situation, giving yourself distance from it, allowing yourself the room to think clearly about it is the first and most important step you take in regaining your sense of control. But then what? When you feel like you can’t control anything, control the things you can. It doesn’t have to be anything big or life-changing, or heroic, or epic. In fact, it should be something simple, something small. Something you can control. Imagine for a moment that your mind is a sheet of paper. The circumstances you’re in that lead you to feel completely out of control are like a pen that’s just drawing circles on that page. Circles and circles and circles that end up being just a big scrawl on that page. It’s a mess. You can concentrate on that mess, or you can look for a corner that’s still clear. That’s the corner of your mind you want to occupy until you regain control. That lit-

tle blank space is free. It’s yours to do whatever you choose to with. You control that space. Concentrating on that small space helps fade away the mess on the rest of the sheet. By doing that you stop your mind from controlling you and you start controlling it. Once you’ve zeroed in on that free space, you need to take the next step, which is moving from thought to action. I call it taking a do-day. It’s a day when everything around you is spinning out of control, when there’s nothing you can do to change it and you react by doing something. Once I had this huge deal I’d been working on for months. It was going to pay for a muchneeded vacation, but at the last minute, in the space of a few hours, it completely fell apart. I was devastated. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion, knowing that I was driving the train. The brakes were gone and all I could do was watch it happen. What I did that day may sound silly. It might seem like nothing in the face of what was happening. When I got the call saying there was a problem, I realized that all the hours of work I’d invested were for naught and that there would be no big payday and

When you feel like you can’t control anything, control the things you can. It doesn’t have to be anything big or lifechanging, or heroic, or epic. there was absolutely nothing I could do to change a thing. I felt completely powerless. I had to do something or I’d go insane, so I went into my kitchen and cleaned out my fridge. After that day, whenever I felt like I was losing control, that’s what I would do – clean the fridge. It didn’t stop the train wreck from happening, but it got me off the train. I’m not saying everyone should rush out and clean their fridge. What I’m suggesting is when there’s nothing you can do to change a situation, do something you can do. Do the laundry, do the dishes, organize a closet, clean up a room, clean up your desk, get your car washed, get a

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hair cut, do something. You’ll be amazed at how much that little chore takes your mind off what’s happening around you and reestablishes your sense of control over things. Does it work? Well, let’s just say I feel very much in control of my own life and I’ve got the cleanest fridge in town. Debbie Hanlon is the founder of Hanlon Realty and CEO of All Knight Inc. She is a three-time top 50 CEO winner and was named one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs in Canada. She is currently an elected city official in St. John’s, Nfld. and is available for motivational and training seminars. Email REM debbie@allknight.ca


REM FEBRUARY 2012 29

When do we start working?

By Terry LeClair

I

’m going to ruffle the feathers, get in your face and perhaps even piss you off – but enough is enough! When the heck are the “goobers” of real estate going to start working and take their profession seriously? For those of you who know me, you know that I use the term goober in an endearing, heartfelt way. I was a goober and still am one once in a while. Sometimes the truth hurts but it’s important to hear it. I am simply fed up with seeing great people, smart people and charismatic people give up on real estate because they “can’t make it work” or they simply say, “It’s not right for me” when really it is right for them and they can make it work. All it takes is a plan and that mighty force they call “work ethic”. The one thing everyone reading this post has to remember is that we are independent business owners – all of us. You don’t have someone there to kick your sorry butt out of bed, and you don’t have someone to give you the magic potion to success. Success comes to those who work. You don’t even necessarily have to work smart....just HARD. So why as an industry (and I am sorry to generalize – I mean “most”, not “all”) do we always try to avoid work? As a software company CEO/founder (and a successful Realtor) I cannot tell you how many times I have heard from agents, “I just want to turn it on and do nothing” or “This is too much work” or even worse, “I don’t know much about computers and have no time to learn” when attempting to start up their own website. If these words have ever crossed your lips then yes, you too

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are a goober! Why is it that when Realtors see products like Top Producer (a data management CRM) or even our product RealtySites PLUS, they complain because “it’s too complicated”? In my mind this is absolutely absurd and so hard to comprehend that as independent contractors or self-employed Realtors, we cannot spend a measly three hours of constructive time to learn and implement a great CRM or web technology that can enhance and even change our real estate careers forever. I know it does, because it has worked for me. If you want to go back to or start a fresh 9 to 5 kind of job, you will spend on average five full days training for your new job – or

I’m going to ruffle the feathers, get in your face and perhaps even piss you off – but enough is enough! more. Heaven forbid you have to spend half a day learning how to create a great Facebook Fan Page, set up a Twitter account, or implement new web technology – all to better your own success! We are the masters of our own success. If we as an industry want to be taken seriously and continue to expect the consumer to see real value in our services and propositions, we had better stop being so damn lazy, implement great technology, and start to work harder. If we don’t, there are many people and organizations that know what it’s going to take and many consumers who will start to wonder why they need us at all. Terry LeClair is the CEO and founder of RealtySites PLUS, a suit of software and online tools that were built by Realtors for Realtors. www.RealtySitesPLUS.com.

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30 REM FEBRUARY 2012

ate about serving the needs of the association members,” he says. ■ ■ ■

T

he Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR) has appointed Jason Yochim as executive officer. Yochim’s real estate career began in the residential field with Re/Max Saskatoon in 1993. In 2006 Jason made a switch to commercial real estate looking after leasing, acquisitions and disposals of property for the Province of Saskatchewan in the Saskatoon Region. He joined SRAR as the manager of member services in September 2011. In addition to selling and leasing, Yochim has owned and operated a small construction company for three years. He says he has always been a proponent of life-long learning and hard work, “which is easy when you are fortunate to be doing what you love to do and are passionate

Jason Yochim

about helping others succeed in achieving their dreams and goals.” Yochim and his wife, Jackie, have made their home in Saskatoon for the past 30 years and say it is the ideal place to raise their three children. “This is an exciting time to be in Saskatchewan where we are currently experiencing unprecedented growth in all sectors of our economy and population with no end in sight,” he says. “There will be unique challenges associated with a growing city and an ever increasing membership.” Yochim says some of the key areas that will be the focus of SRAR will be Realtor professionalism, technology and education. “I am fortunate to be surrounded by an experienced and dedicated team at SRAR that are passion-

Cameron Nolan has been elected president of the Realtors Association of HamiltonBurlington (RAHB) for 2012. Cameron succeeds Ann Forbes Arndt to lead the 2,500-member association, the third largest real estate association in Ontario. He has been member of the association for eight years and is a broker with Re/Max Escarpment Realty. The other members of the 2012 RAHB Board of Directors are: Bruce Moran, president-elect; Tim Mattioli, vice-president; and directors Donna Bacher, Dan Gies, Bill Lawson, Brenda McKinley, Sean Morrison, Gloria Payton, Jenny Pearce and Bob Van de Vrande. ■ ■ ■

Nearly 19,000 working poor and homeless people across the Lower Mainland in B.C. received donations of blankets, clothing, and other necessities this year from the region’s longest running blanket drive. Over the years, the drive has grown to become the largest collection of its kind in the region.

Organized by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and the Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board, the drive has been an annual event since 1994. “Many people in our community who are struggling financially will be blessed and warm this winter because of the Blanket Drive,” said Lorraine Pilling, clothing coop manager at Higher Ground Ministry, a charitable organization in Port Coquitlam. This year, for the first time, a video blog was created to tell the stories behind the Blanket Drive. Learn how it started, how volunteers collect and sort donations, and how charities distribute the items by visiting www.blanketdrive.ca. ■ ■ ■

The Council of Battlefords Realtors in the Battlefords, Sask. raised $20,000 to help build a new multiplex in North Battleford. The complex will consist of a new arts theatre, a water park, a curling rink and a field house. The facility is in the process of being built and the local fund-raising committee has pledged to raise $10 million towards the total cost

of $58 million. This is the first major complex infrastructure in the community since the 1960s. The current swimming pool is at the end of its functional life and the curling rink has been closed for two years. The arts theatre and the field house are new to the community. The Council of Battlefords Realtors represents five offices and 35 agents in the Battlefords area. ■ ■ ■

The Ontario Real Estate Association has donated $55,000 to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg. Real estate boards and associations across the country have been supporting this endeavour with “the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights” campaign with a goal to raise $150 million. To date, $125 million has been raised. When it is completed in 2012, the museum will serve as a centre of learning where Canadians and people from around the world can engage in discussion and commit to taking action against hate and oppression. Toronto Real Estate Board president Richard Silver also

The Council of Battlefords Realtors in the Battlefords, Sask. raised $20,000 to help build a new multiplex in North Battleford.

The Real Estate Board of Fredericton Area raised $23,000 for the Fredericton Community Kitchen. Front row, from left: Marianne Glover, Sean Daly, Jan Lockhart of Community Kitchen, Joe Trevors and Edie Whitman. Back row: Peter Atkinson, Wendy Hallihan and Ellen Abbott. Roberta Weiss, chair (left) and Hannon Bell, vice-chair (second from right) of the MREA Shelter Foundation visit Esther House.

Hannon Bell and Roberta Weiss from the MREA Shelter Foundation chat with staff members at the North End Women’s Centre.


REM FEBRUARY 2012 31

encouraged members to contribute to the museum recently. “In Judaism we have a saying, ‘never again’, but again and again human rights continue to be trampled around the world,” Silver wrote in a message to TREB members. “We need a reminder. We need to be vigilant so that someday we can live in a better world where we are not afraid of those who are different. We have an opportunity as Realtors to help build something for the future that reminds us of mistakes from our past.” ■ ■ ■

Since it was granted registered charitable status in 2007, the Manitoba Real Estate Association Shelter Foundation has improved daily life for many fellow citizens. Over $250,000 has been raised since inception, and in October 2011 the foundation granted $43,105 to five Manitoba-based shelter-related charities; Siloam Mission, Nova House, Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg, North End Women’s Centre and Esther House. A video showing the difference Manitoba Realtors and others are making in the community is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

=5Yl_HME6U-4. Siloam Mission is a Christian humanitarian agency offering programs and services at no charge to those experiencing homelessness. The MREA Shelter Foundation grant will enable installation of a chair-lift at the recently purchased Madison Memorial Lodge on Evanson Street. Nova House, incorporated in 1985, is a 14-bed facility providing shelter for abused women and children and is located in the Interlake region of Manitoba. Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg builds affordable homes for low-income working families to purchase. The grant will support a home to be built in Portage la Prairie in 2012. The North End Women’s Centre has been serving women and their families for over 25 years. It is a community-based organization that provides women with support, knowledge and opportunity as they move forward on their journey towards independence and a healthier lifestyle. Esther House is a non-profit, community-based facility that provides shelter and support to women in second stage recovery from addiction.

■ ■ ■

Members of the Real Estate Board of the Fredericton Area joined friends and associates for several hours of fun bowling to raise money for the Fredericton Community Kitchen. The event raised $23,000 in support of the Fredericton Community Kitchen. The money will be dedicated to the month of March, one of the leanest months the kitchen experiences. The charity has been in operation since December 1982 and serves over 100,000 meals a year to those less fortunate. ■ ■ ■

The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals and the Mortgage Brokers Association of British Columbia have announced a new Joint Membership Program, featuring time and cost savings for those who choose to be members of both associations. The two associations have worked in collaboration for the past four years on areas such as endorsing the AMP designation and enhancing member value, the associations say. REM

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The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors recently honoured members John Bowes, who has been in the business for 61 years, and Lorne Smith, who has been in the business for 60 years. They have both been prominent members of the association, serving on the Board of Directors, and both are past-presidents. From left: Lorne Smith, PKAR 2011 president Richard Hawkins and John Bowes.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors recently donated $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region. The donation was the result of Habitat’s successful grant application to the Realtors Care Foundation. From left: Vaughn Bender, chair of fund development; Sara Hill, president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors; Dianne Stickney, chair of the board; and Ken Freeman, executive director, Habitat for Humanity.

Santa Claus took time out of his busy schedule to attend the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR) Children’s Christmas Party on Dec. 14. Santa posed for photos with 117 good boys and girls, and listened attentively to their Christmas wishes. As part of the celebration, Realtors donated unwrapped toys for the Salvation Army’s Tree of Angels toy drive.

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32 REM FEBRUARY 2012

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ith our warm summer days a distant memory, let’s look ahead to next year and introduce you to some decidedly fresh subject matter: cool pavements. If you’ve ever walked barefoot over a steaming hot asphalt driveway, you know that these surfaces soak up much of the sun’s energy and emit heat back into the air. Even though concrete is a lighter coloured surface, it also darkens over time and manages to heat up thanks to the accumulation of tire residue, dirt and oil. Neither asphalt nor concrete allow rainwater to be absorbed and cool the area. Similarly, interlocking bricks installed on top of limestone screenings or other materials that reduce drainage will contribute to a hotter environment. Concrete and asphalt can reach peak summertime temperatures of between 48 C and 67 C. That’s a lot of hot air left to blow off, especially after sundown. And in many urban centres, pavements represent the largest area of land cover (estimates range from 29 to 45 per cent) when compared with surfaces covered by roofs and vegetation. This contributes to warmer urban areas, which can lead to a host of problems such as water quality issues from storm water being heated up. This phenomenon is known as an urban heat island, a contained microclimate in cities in which building materials such as concrete, pavement and asphalt shingles radiate the heat they’ve absorbed. Enter cool pavements, which

are new technologies that store less heat and have lower surface temperatures than conventional products. Advocates say cool pavements provide numerous advantages including reduced smog and air pollution, longer pavement durability, better visibility for drivers and less energy use. Perhaps one of their biggest immediate benefits is in reducing the effects of heat stroke and other heat-related effects, especially for the elderly. The technology for cool pavements is still developing and there is no official standard or labelling program for cool pavements in Canada. Generally, cool pavements have increased solar reflectance and use permeable material that allows water and air through it. They are distinguished by their lighter colouring. They can be created with asphalt and concrete as well as newer approaches such as the use of coatings or grass paving. Last summer in Phoenix, citizens got a taste of a large cool pavement after a solar reflective coating was applied to a 90,000square-foot asphalt parking lot. The result? A green-coloured parking lot and a ground heat reduction of about 30 F. Large parking lots, terminals, airfields, urban roadways and large paved areas are especially suitable for cool pavements, but homeowners concerned about the environment and saving energy costs would be also wise to consider cool pavements or at least consider using materials that are more reflective and porous. Be sure to let your clients know about this ground-breaking technology. They’ll see you as leading edge, well-informed and wellintentioned. And that, my friends, is really cool. Elden Freeman BA., M.E.S, broker is the founder and executive director of the non-profit National Association of Green Agents and Brokers (NAGAB). (877) 524-9494; www.nagab.org; elden@nagab.org. REM


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34 REM FEBRUARY 2012

B.C. allows personal real estate corporations

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B

ritish Columbia is the first Canadian province to allow individual real estate licencees to form personal real estate corporations (PREC). Under the Real Estate Services Act and the Real Estate Services Regulation, Realtors can take advantage of the benefits of incorporation in a manner similar to dentists, accountants and lawyers. The tax advantages of incorporating a PREC include: 1. Tax deferral - Licensed Realtors who generate more commissions than required for their needs may retain earnings within a PREC. Taxable income of a PREC is taxed in the year earned at the low corporate tax rate of 13.5% on the first $500,000 of taxable income and 26.5% thereafter. These rates reduce in 2012 to 11% and 25% respectively. This compares favourably to the tax rate for individuals of 43.7% on taxable income over $127,021. 2. Tax savings through income splitting - The PREC may employ and pay salary to family members such as a spouse, common-law partner or child for services performed. More importantly, the PREC may issue a separate class of “dividend-sprinkling” shares to family members (or a trust for family members) that allow dividends to be paid to the family members without contribution of effort by the family members. Income earned by family members may be taxable at lower marginal rates

than if earned directly by the Realtor, which would result in a reduced overall family income tax bill. 3. Deductions for business expenses - Deductible business expenses are not limited to the amount of commission income earned or the other limitations imposed on sale expenses of commissioned employees. Rather, the PREC’s income for tax purposes is its profit, which is generally the sales commissions less reasonable business expenses. However, there are some disadvantages. There are legal and tax considerations that can be pitfalls for the unwary, including: 1. Personal services business – A licensed Realtor who is the voting shareholder of the PREC and who would be an employee of another entity but for the existence of the PREC would be considered to be operating a “personal services business” (PSB) with adverse income tax consequences. A PSB is not entitled to the preferential lower corporate income tax rates, and the deductibility of expenses is generally limited to remuneration paid and the cost of benefits and allowances provided to the incorporated employee, certain expenses of selling property and negotiating contracts, and legal expenses to collect accounts for services rendered. 2. Attribution and “kiddie tax” – Any PREC that includes family members must be established with the attribution rules in mind. For instance, the attribution rules could attribute dividend income incurred by a family member to the Realtor in certain circumstances where the Realtor transfers property to the PREC (including the Realtor’s existing business). As well dividends paid to children before the year in which they turn 18 on shares of the PREC will be subject to tax at the top marginal tax rate, reduced only by a dividend tax credit (effective tax rate of 33.71% on non-eligible dividends). This is as a result of the rules for split income, which is

commonly referred to as the “kiddie tax”. In this way, opportunities for income splitting with minor children are reduced. Realtors should also consider: 1. Costs of incorporating a PREC include legal costs (approximately $3,500 depending upon such factors as the nature of the incorporation, share structure and assets to be transferred). 2. The PREC will require the preparation of financial statements and an additional tax return, generally performed by an accountant. 3. The PREC must account for payroll source deductions for its employees and Harmonized Sales Tax for commissions charged. 4. The Realtor, as the sole officer of a PREC, may be personally liable for any source deductions or HST that the PREC fails to remit. 5. A PREC is generally required to be registered for WCB. 6. An additional city business license and real estate license is required for the PREC. 7. A separate bank account for the PREC is required. A Realtor may be engaged and paid by a PREC to provide real estate services if the following requirements are met: • The Realtor is the sole voting shareholder, director and president of the PREC (and there are no other officers). • Each non-voting share is owned by either the Realtor or certain affiliated people – the spouse, common-law partner or child (the “family”), a corporation whose shares are beneficially owned by the Realtor or his or her family, or a trust, all of the beneficiaries of which are the Realtor or his or her family. • Each of the Realtor and the PREC have a real estate license. • The licensed Realtor is “engaged” (employed or acting as an independent contractor for the PREC). • Any other persons engaged by the PREC are not licensees Continued on page 39


REM FEBRUARY 2012 35

ECOHOME NEWS

By Chris Chopik

T

he Economist’s World’s Most Liveable Cities issue ranks cities according to 39 data sets including safety, education, hygiene, health care, culture, environment, recreation, political-economic stability and public transportation. Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary sit in the top five on the The Economist’s list. These key Canadian real estate markets share the top five positions with Vienna, Austria and Melbourne, Australia. New York is used as baseline. Interestingly, some of the world’s most buoyant real

Promoting Canada’s liveability rankings estate markets are also on the list of top 100 cities. The implication to Canada’s real estate marketplace is not directly correlative. I have many conversations with colleagues and clients who speculate about where our marketplace is getting its tenacity. Generational wealth transfer is definitely one source of Canadian real estate stability and growth. I believe the attraction of global foreign investment in a time of social, economic and environmental instability has a major impact on our market, and I think liveability taps the psyche of wealthy people the world over. A recent Vancouver Board of Trade expert panel asserted that the concept of a bubble in Vancouver’s market can be dispelled with immigration projections, which experts suggest is secured by strong liveability

scores as key drivers. At the urban neighbourhood level, liveability can be seen in the demeanour of people, the affluence expressed through cars and clothes, and through the quality of neighbourhood retail and restaurants. In rural areas, much the same phenomenon is true if measured differently. Liveability is the measure of the quality of life available to most constituents. Real estate is inextricably entwined with this complex measure of societal success. The quality of life indicators used to report liveability in The Economist put major Canadian cities on the map for global investment of every kind. Canadian cities are cited as exceptional places to source human resources, to locate businesses and to live. This is in my view a pivotal reason for the real

estate community in Canada to advocate for the real estate values of Canadians through the expression of liveability within municipal, provincial and government policy. The Ontario Real Estate Association recently launched www.homeownershipmatters.ca to advocate policy that positively impacts home ownership. This includes a call for the continuation of NRCan’s ecoEnergy program, which is slated to discontinue in March 2012. Taking this concept further to hold government accountable to delivering liveability may be a way for Canadian Realtors to uplift the too often denigrated profession. While we leave the liveability valuation of our marketplace to planners, entrepreneurs and politicians, there is no profession better suited to discussing the “liveability” related value of

location and building than you and I, Realtors. While liveability is only one indicator to predict the future success of our real estate markets, I think it is an important factor in attracting foreign investment. If scoring high in liveability metric gives Canadian real estate a gold or sterling standard for stability against risk, we should work to optimize our ongoing performance en mass together. I am writing a series of articles on emerging public policy, building technologies and social trends. If you have any idea subjects that you would like to see covered in my upcoming columns, please contact me at chris@evolutiongreen.com. Chris Chopik is a sustainability communication and policy consultant, Realtor and real estate REM instructor in Toronto.


36 REM FEBRUARY 2012

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By Donald H. Lapowich

T

he plaintiff owner of a property has a deed that included a right-of-way for the various defendant cottagers. This right-of-way was a laneway on the owner’s property. However, it was no longer in the same location as set out in the deed. The cottagers used the lane owned by the owner to obtain access to their cottages. The lane was narrow and was prone to icing in the winter. The municipality would not assume the lane as a municipal road unless someone upgraded it to municipal standards. The owner did not use the lane and did not want to pay for an upgrade. The cottagers did not wish to upgrade and therefore the owner brought an action. The owner sought Summary Judgment that the cottagers did not have an easement over the lane and an injunction to prevent them from using it. The cottagers in turn brought a Cross Motion to strike out the owner’s Statement of

Recent land disputes Claim and for Summary Judgment against them. The court held that the owner’s application should be dismissed and that there should be a judgment in favour of the cottagers. This was appealed by the owner and the appeal was also dismissed. It was clear by the evidence that the deed by which the owner acquired the property through his predecessor stated a right-of-way in favour of the cottagers. In addition, there was evidence of year-round use of the owner’s lane going back at least to 1975. The use of the lane was sufficient to support the judge’s conclusion that the cottagers used the cottage properties and the lane year-round for many years and had obtained an easement by prescription in any event. (Sunnybrae Springbrook Farms Inc.) ■ ■ ■

The claimant purchased a small island that was connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. The problem was, the strip was generally submerged under water. “Occasionally� the water levels receded, court was told. The claimant sought ownership of the strip and the owner of the mainland objected. The problem was easily resolved. Since the strip of land

was covered by water, the Crown became the owner and it was ruled that no individual could claim rights to it. (Bailey v. Barbour, 2011) â–  â–  â– 

A plaintiff and defendant owned adjacent cottages. One cottage fronted on a lake, while the second one was located behind it. The property behind had a right-of-way to maintain a pipeline to draw water from the lake into a pump in the front cottage’s boathouse. In addition, the rear cottage had a right-of-way of access to the lake for recreation. The owner of the front cottage wanted each right-of-way to be exercised on one side of the front cottage, whereas the documents as drafted created rights-of-way on each side of the front cottage. The court refused to combine the two so as to run on one side only, as to do so would be to rewrite the instruments giving the rights-ofway. (Lywood v. Hunt) Donald Lapowich, Q.C. is a partner at the law firm of Koskie, Minsky in Toronto, where he practices civil litigation, with a particular emphasis on real estate litigation and mediation, acting for builders, real estate agents and lawyers. REM

Consumers don’t know skills of Realtors - survey O

f the more than 120,000 Ontarians who used a Realtor to buy or sell a home last year, many did so without fully understanding the expertise and skills Realtors provide, says a new Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) survey. Conducted by Leger Marketing, the survey says only 10 per cent of Ontarians who have used a Realtor know that Realtors are trained in environmental issues, and even fewer (six per cent) are aware that family law is part of a Realtor’s education. Barbara Sukkau, president of OREA, says, “Most clients do not realize that Realtors are aware of family law issues when selling a family home during a divorce, or that Realtors can advise about home inspections based on our knowledge of building construction in the province.� Even though people who have used a Realtor in the past were not aware of specific areas of a Realtor’s education, they do recognize the ethical integrity of the profession as 70 per cent of respondents knew that Realtors must abide by a code of ethics. Also, 50 per cent knew that Realtors must continue their education when they begin practicing to stay informed of changes in the industry. OREA has produced a video about what a Realtor can do for them, available at REM http://bit.ly/OREARealtor.


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38 REM FEBRUARY 2012

Good Works W

over the next few days. “That second load was enough to fill the back of a pick-up truck. We even had an Okanagan retail store call and donate boxes of new hoodies,” she says. The collected items were donated to the Howard House and Gateway Shelters.

inter is especially challenging for individuals and families who cannot afford proper clothing, food and shelter. Beth Marks, a sales rep at Sutton Group - Lakefront Realty in Vernon, B.C. founded the Sutton Warm & Fuzzy Shelter Collection. Marks and a dozen colleagues greeted drivers in the parking lot of the office to accept donations of coats, gloves, hats, blankets and more. “We collected enough to fill a mover’s truck to about half-full,” says Marks. “We collected all types of winter clothing from long johns to coats and also blankets.” Because the story was featured on the Okanagan news, more people found out about the event and dropped off items at the office

■ ■ ■

Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty has supported the Kelowna Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots campaign for 10 years. Every year the brokerage opens its offices as a toy drop off depot. Through email, networking and social media, the sales reps and staff campaign for the worthy cause to hundreds of clients and family members, as well as co-operating businesses in

Burtch Plaza. At the brokerage’s Christmas Party, staff and salespeople raised $1,300 through the sale of door prize tickets, roses and cigars. The brokerage donated $700 to bring the total to an even $2,000. As well as the cash raised, the front office at Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty was overflowing with toys brought in by staff, sales reps, clients and businesses. ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage Performance Realty in Ottawa raised $14,548 at its recent Royal LePage Shelter Foundation auction/luncheon. The entire office pitched in and brought food, solicited donations and bid on auction items. Pierre de Varennes and his team hosts several fundraisers each year for the foundation. ■ ■ ■

Shawn Jacula, broker/owner of Re/Max Prairie Realty in Vermilion, Alta., recently returned from a trip to a small village of

1,200 people near Colima, Mexico where he participated in a work week held by Project Amigo. It is a charitable organization with a mission to enable poor children of the Colima state to achieve their highest potential by providing education opportunities, material support, enrichment activities and medical and dental services not otherwise available to them. “I first learned of the project through fellow Rotarians who visited the project in the past,” says Jacula. “After looking into it some more it was an opportunity that I had to participate in.” Projects including sorting donated clothes, wrapping them for 333 children, and delivering the gifts as well as insuring the clothes fit each child. For more information: http://canada.projectamigo.org. ■ ■ ■

On Christmas Day, 60 underprivileged children of all ages had gifts to open thanks to the efforts and generosity of sales rep Dan Chisholm and his clientele in the

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Beth Marks and her colleagues at Sutton Group Lakefront Realty collected coats, hats, gloves and blankets for a local shelter.

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Halifax area. It began when Chisholm was looking for a non-traditional method to connect with his current and past clients during the holidays. Since his wife’s family owns a Christmas tree farm in Antigonish, he felt it was a natural fit to buy the trees as gifts. Alan Hennigar, broker of Sutton Group - Professional Realty, suggested that clients be invited to a special open house to enjoy holiday hospitality and pick up their free tree. They were asked to bring a toy or non-perishable food for families in need. The event was called Trees for Tots 2 Teens to help remind people that very young and older children are often overlooked in charitable giving. It brought in approximately 60 toys and 150 food items. “I’m now looking forward to seriously expanding the program next year and hopefully capturing the imagination of my colleagues to join the cause. I can assure you that many children and teens are counting on it,” says Chisholm.

Sales reps Tracey Appleton and Dave Tidd are joined by Peter Benninger, president, and Amanda Taylor, residential division assistant, at Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger’s annual Trees for Toys customer appreciation event and toy drive.

The first-place gingerbread house by Lorraine Horn.

Kempston & Werth Realty, with offices in Listowel, Palmerston and Wingham, Ont., donate annually to local food banks in the three towns. This year $5,900 went to the Listowel food bank, $2,050 to the Palmerston food bank and $2,200 to the food bank in Wingham. All year, sales reps donate $25 per end, which is matched by brokers Bruce Kempston and David Werth. The offices also donated more than $2,000 to other charities.

Sales reps from Royal LePage Champlain gather for a group photo.


REM FEBRUARY 2012 39 ■ ■ ■

Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty’s Real Estate Consumer Centre in Kitchener, Ont. was visited by approximately 1,200 guests who donated over 400 toys at the annual Trees for Toys appreciation event. Along with enjoying face painting, pony rides, pictures with Santa and refreshments, clients who attended the event picked up a gift of a tree or wreath and then gave back to the community by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy for the Waterloo Knights of Columbus New Toys for Needy Kids Toy Drive. The local fire department attended with several educational tools including the 38-foot Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty Fire Safety House and the fire safety education van that the brokerage donated last fall. ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage Champlain in

Brossard, Que. hosted a community Christmas party that featured a cocktail hour, meal, silent auction, performance by former Cirque du Soleil artists and a live orchestra. With almost 100 people in attendance, $11,000 was raised for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. ■ ■ ■

Eight families in Oakville, Ont. received toys and snowsuits for children as well as gift certificates for transportation, food and household necessities after Sutton Group - Quantum Realty sales reps and staff donated approximately $900 for these local families selected through the Angel Foundation. Broker Tina Gardin says, “We did a drive and asked for $5 to $10 gift certificates for Metro, Food Basics and Walmart. The gift certificates went to supplement the contributions of other volunteers who provided snowsuits and toys to the eight families in need…It was rewarding to team up with volunteers from

Royal LePage Performance auction organizers, from left: Fred Winters, Karim Mohamed, Janny Mills. Standing: Retah Jennings Lalonde, Jutta Witteveen, Judy Mulligan, Laura Payne, Marnie Donavan.

Oakwood Public School and Henderson Partners LLP, who helped to purchase toys and drop off the gifts.” ■ ■ ■

Coldwell Banker Your Calgary Home Selling Team supported Calgary’s largest Christmas Toy Drive this year in support of the Salvation Army’s Family Assistance Christmas. Broker/ owner Susanita De Diego and her team donated toys to the drive on behalf of their clients and business contacts. ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage South Country Realty in Oliver, B.C. organized a gingerbread house creation contest to raise funds for their local women’s shelter. The creations were auctioned off to benefit the South Okanagan Integrated Community Services Society, which Royal LePage South Country Realty supports through the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. REM

Sutton Quantum Realty in Oakville helped out eight local families through the Angel Foundation.

B.C. allows Continued from page 34

(such as assistants). • The PREC’s only business is the provision of real estate services and directly associated ancillary services. • The Realtor and the PREC comply with the Real Estate Services Regulations. • The legal name of the PREC includes nothing other than the legal name, a short form of the legal name or the licensee name of the Realtor and the term “personal real estate corporation”. • The PREC must be licensed to the same brokerage as the Realtor and must be engaged by the same brokerage to provide real estate services. Incorporating a PREC is a good strategy for minimizing income tax for a Realtor who can

retain income in the PREC or can benefit from income splitting. However, a PREC is not right for everyone. Realtors should consult with qualified legal counsel in order to determine whether they are in a position to take advantage of the PREC structure in their individual circumstances. Daniel L. Kiselbach and Cheryl Teron are partners at the Vancouver office of Miller Thomson. For Kiselbach, phone 604-6431263; email dkiselbach@millerthomson.com. For Teron, phone 604-643-1286; email cteron@ millerthomson.com. The authors welcome comments or questions. This article provides a general summary only, does not set out all advantages, disadvantages and requirements for a PREC and is not to be used or relied upon as legal advice. REM

Royal LePage Au Sommet in Magog, Que. organized and hosted a Santa sleigh ride for women and children living in the area’s women’s shelters. In addition to the excitement of accompanying Santa on a sleigh pulled by sturdy horses decked out in jingle bells, the children also received Christmas presents.

Avison Young’s Vancouver office raised more than $12,000 for Movember, the worldwide moustache-growing charity event that raises awareness and funds for prostate cancer.

From left, Alan Hennigar, Jeannine Hennigar and Dan Chisholm at the Trees for Tots 2 Teens event.

Shawn Jacula in Mexico

Coldwell Banker Horizon collected $2,000 and dozens of toys for the Kelowna Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots campaign.


40 REM FEBRUARY 2012

METES & BOUNDS

By Marty Douglas

I

MARKETPLACE

have my column pretty well complete. Just a little tweaking and a day or two to settle and it should be good to go. That’s the good news. The bad news is – it’s my column for July 1st! So looking at www.remonline.com I see this is a regular aberration in my column archive, probably as a result of the depletion in brain cells between Christmas and New Year’s Day, which is when our fiendish editor has set the deadline for February copy. So, dust off the travelogue. Last year was pretty good for my travel agent – Nuevo Vallarta, Toronto, Tampa, a western Caribbean cruise, Seattle and for the Christmas holiday, back to the Caribbean to the Mayan Riviera. Tour providers were WestJet, Air Transat and Carnival Cruise Lines and I have to admit one slip-up – I couldn’t avoid a flight with Air Canada, but like Toronto, sometimes you just have to travel the dark side! I can go either way when it comes to Mexican holidays. Being addicted to five star all-inclusive

Marty’s travel tips resorts, available on either coast, it probably boils down to departure city. Because the Mayan is an hour longer flying time from the west coast of Canada, it frequently requires one or two overnights in Vancouver added to the expense. Departures for Puerto Vallarta frequently leave from Vancouver Island cities and so a seven-day vacation is usually…seven days. Here are some observations. Wear airport-friendly shoes for the metal detector. If you are planning to wear the same shirt for the flight and balance of the travel day, the chances of the mayo escaping from any sandwich remain fixed until the last bite. The pleasure of complimentary champagne, head sets, wine with lunch and movies will always be dampened by the dieting, sleeping and reclining passenger in front of you. When the recliner is absent, the oversized (3XL) adjacent seatmate who can gurgle and snore while sitting upright will appear. A wall-mounted four-bottle liquor dispenser is a unique furnishing and removes clutter from the bar fridge for more cold beer. It will take your mind off the tubshower combination. I mean, who bathes in Mexico – that’s what the pools and ocean are for! If you are going to fall off a bar stool, make it the one at the swimup bar. If the resort entertainment

promises Grease or Abba, it won’t be a Broadway production. I know lip-synching in a foreign language is a challenge but if Jean Chretien could do it… If the nightly feature is karaoke, run Forrest, run! And after winning a contest, faced with a choice between a T-shirt and tequila, always, always, always take the tequila. Adult-only resorts are missing something – oh yeah, kids peeing in the pool and waking up at 6 am. But the lack of children is no excuse for some of the, shall we say, more mature females, seeking to eliminate unsightly tan lines by going topless without posting warning signs. Henna tattoos will get you through one week but by the last day folks are beginning to wonder if you are out of soap. What was once a very attractive skull-squid rendering when you paid the $40, now looks like early onset varicose veins. Mexican resorts do a very good job of Italian and Asian cuisine themed à la carte restaurants. Surprisingly, they are not as good at Mexican. Locate the hypochondriac in your travel companions for there you will find your druggist, supplier of the Advil or anti-histamine you meant to pack. And beware the local citizen who seeks out BC Bud, claiming to have glaucoma. And for those puzzled by “BC Bud” – it ain’t Budweiser!

If you must stay in Toronto, the Cambridge Suites downtown is a great deal. You can walk to the theatre, the Eaton Centre and if you must, City Hall to see what the fuss over the new mayor is all about. I can’t do Toronto without Montreal smoked meat on dark rye. At the Pickle Barrel you can get that while your date enjoys a Kung Pow stir fry. No matter where you are, Toronto or Tampa, if you interrupt the cab driver’s foreign language cell phone conversation to ask about a passing building, the result will be neither helpful nor transcribable. If you go to Tampa, plan a trolley ride to Ybor City, a fascinating part of Tampa’s history, a Spanish version of old town New Orleans. While cruising, always take the late dinner sitting rather than open dining. Unless you don’t want to meet a nuclear engineer from South Carolina with fascinating insight on the Japanese nuclear plant event following the tsunami. Or discover there are 1,200 professional Santas in the U.S. Thirty of them in cruise apparel and snowy beards are a bit of a show stopper. Open dining doesn’t develop the same dialogues that occur over several nights with the same companions. A shaken martini requires precisely seven and one-half slow motion shakes. Shore excursion bus drivers will not stop to let you pee, as one Yankee beer drinker discovered to his chagrin and our amusement. Either go before the half-hour bus

ride back from the beach or learn to dance and clamp. Until you have been in a four hour line-up for the China Pavilion in Shanghai at Expo 2010, do not complain to me about line-ups to clear customs. Comedians help make life’s journey more pleasurable – laughter is good for you and good for sales. From the street vendor in Playa who shouted, “I’ve got better stuff than Canadian Tire!” to the tour rep on the bus who said, “I’ve got a friend in Canada from Regina, married for 20 years but with the wind-chill, seems like 40.” From the beaches to the ships to the airlines, those in service who made our day a little brighter are more successful and that’s a lesson that crosses over into every facet of the business of real estate. If you make them feel better about themselves and the decisions they have made, make them smile or outright guffaw, they will remember you and seek you out. “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” Chinese proverb. You can find Marty Douglas on Twitter – http://twitter.com/ 41yrsrealestate – Facebook and LinkedIn. He is a managing broker for Coast Realty Group, with offices on Vancouver Island, the Discovery and Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast of B.C. Marty is a past chair of the Real Estate Errors and Omissions Corporation of B.C., the Real Estate Council of B.C. , the B.C. Real Estate Association and the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. mdouglas@coastrealty.com. REM

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REM FEBRUARY 2012 41

Canadian-isms…

By Dan St. Yves

A

few years ago I was sitting comfortably with writing colleagues at an annual Board of Directors meeting in Ventura, Calif. At some point during the course of general discussion I casually made what I thought was an innocent (and quite frankly, universal) statement: “Well, this is just our first kick at the cat, right?” By the horrified, wide-eyed stares looking my way in the wake of that comment, I wondered just how universal that familiar old saying might be. Hastily adding that I don’t typically advocate kicking cats as a general rule of thumb, I made a mental note to set out to determine if any of my other American friends were familiar with that phrase, or if my fellow

What’s

New New title insurance product offered to commercial Realtors First Canadian Title (FCT) is now offering commercial Realtors a Draft Commitment to Title Insure for a specific property when it is listed. The company says it brings added value to a listing by providing prospective purchasers with more confidence when submit-

board members perhaps just led sheltered lives. Surprisingly, I could not find a single person who had ever heard the phrase, nor looked at me like they weren’t making mental notes to immediately contact the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as soon as I walked away. All of which led to an epiphany – the phrase I used was likely a “Canadian-ism” – something we commonly use here, instead of simply adopting popular American sayings – such as “nothing ventured, nothing gained”, “where there’s a will there’s a way”, or “up your nose with a rubber hose”. Our neighbours to the south do have a certain eloquence with word play. While many sayings vary depending on the region you live in, there are certainly phrases and/or words that are uniquely Canadian. As Canadian as beavers wearing parkas. As Canadian as wearing a toque to the beach in August. As Canadian as getting teary-eyed whilst hoisting a Tim Hortons coffee at a curling brier, ting an offer and greater certainty that the deal will close. Mike Morreale, a former CFL receiver for the Argonauts and Ti-Cats, and current FCT director of business development, is spearheading the launch. “As a licensed commercial Realtor I was always looking for greater protections for my clients. FCT’s Draft Commitment to Title Insure has been designed to meet this requirement so that a deal can close quickly and without conditions,” says Morreale. He says it “may allow the listing to sell at the highest price because FCT can insure against many issues that may otherwise hinder a smooth closing.” Commercial Realtors interested in learning about the product can contact Morreale to arrange a seminar at 905287-3142 or by e-mail at mmorreale@firstcdn.com. For information: www.firstcanadiantitle.com. REM

while waving a maple leaf: 1) “La Premiere Etoile”. Even though we are a proudly bilingual country, many Canadians sadly aren’t all that fluent in French (I once got a C in high school for suggesting that the French word for “orange juice” was “le Tang”). However ALL Canadians know that invigorating phrase, with respect to Hockey Night in Canada. It refers to the “first star” of the evening’s match, and in most broadcasts refers to any player NOT associated with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Apologies to that fine city. 2) “Forty-Pounder”. This is an old phrase for a large bottle of booze that has somewhat been displaced by our conversion to the metric system, but will still be used by males wearing sunglasses, ACDC T-shirts, and sporting mullets. We also charmingly refer to a case of beer as a “two-four”. Who says math is irrelevant after (or if) you’ve graduated? 3) “Double Double”. No, this isn’t that little Roman cartoon character that sells pizza on TV – this is a reference to how we prefer our coffee, and ONLY refers to Tim Hortons coffee. A Starbucks barista will politely ignore your request as he or she awaits proper instructions in Canadian Italian. Oh – that phrase refers to double cream and double sugar. Yet another practical application for math in the real world. 4) “Hoser”. You might assume that this refers to firefighters, your gardener or the pool boy but once again, you’d be wrong. This is simply a catch phrase made famous by Canadian Second City TV characters Bob and Doug McKenzie, who aren’t real people, but are revered just the same here in Canada. If hearing “Take off, Hoser” brings a smile to your face, you are clearly Canadian. Whoops! Out of space – there are certainly way more popular Canuck-isms, but this list today was just my first kick at the cat, eh? Humour columnist and author Dan St. Yves was licensed with Royal LePage Kelowna for 11 years. Check out his website at www.nonsenseandstuff.com, or contact him at ThatDanGuy@shaw.ca. REM

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42 REM FEBRUARY 2012

THE PUBLISHER’S PAGE

By Heino Molls e are coming up on St. Valentine’s Day. It’s the day that grocery stores have extra flowers shipped in to accommodate shoppers who rush to the store to pick up a last minute bouquet or box of chocolates to express their feigned thoughtfulness. It is also a time when there really are genuine gestures of love through romantic dinners and meaningful gifts. The best gifts of all are cards. I have always believed that the whole concept of sending cards is magnificent. Regardless of whether a card is a dollar store purchase or an original creation, it is an act of genuine thoughtfulness to get one or write one out and mail it to someone. The best cards of all are the ones the kids make for you at school. All in all, even at my old age and the sieges of life that I have been through; I can still say that I enjoy the idea of St. Valentine’s Day. I like the whole idea of saints, all manner of saints. My favourite is St. Christopher. There are many legends that refer to him. The one most meaningful to me is where St. Christopher is a helper for travelers who must cross a river at its most dangerous point. The legend describes how even the strongest among us need guidance to cross the river and the weakest among us need to be carried. We learn that spiritual faith is the ticket we need to receive St. Christopher’s guidance and his strength to carry us. Regardless of your faith, the symbolism is beautiful. St. Joseph is frequently mentioned in our business. I have often heard that St. Joseph is the saint for real estate sales repre-

W

Saints preserve us sentatives and brokers. Some stories about this saint seem absurd to me, such as burying a statue of St. Joseph in the front lawn of a property to compel its sale. The most comforting legend of St. Joseph is the story that he is a carpenter who built and arranged homes for others. It is the latter story that moves me the most. Mary Magdalene has been named a saint in a number of religions and is named as a patron for a number of causes, in particular those of redemption. I cannot think of anyone who would not be endeared to St. Mary Magdalene as we all have so much that we must make better or redeem. The best part about all the saints is that they run the gamut of every religion in the world. All duly recognize elevated per-

cial in 1969. Yet they endure. Regardless of the faith or religion or walk of life, the connotation of the word “saint” is significant. If we want to pay a person the highest compliment we can think of, even in business, we say that person is a “real saint”. We use expressions like “saints preserve us” and may the “saints be with you”. In many countries around the world from Lebanon to Germany to Ireland, even in specific cities such as New Orleans, there is an “all saints day” when flowers and candles are brought to the grave sites of cherished relatives. It is not uncommon to hear sons and daughters refer to their dear “sainted mother” or “sainted father”. You don’t have to follow a certain religion or attend a particular house of worship to incur

St. Joseph is frequently mentioned in our business. I have often heard that St. Joseph is the saint for real estate sales representatives and brokers. sons or saints within their community of faith no matter what label they run under, no matter what church, temple or mosque they worship. Every saint is a person to aspire to or a spirit to turn to for help. The coolest thing about saints is that they simply endure. Some organized religions declare saints and sainthoods official. Some religions pick and choose saints like a hand from a deck of playing cards. St. Christopher and St. Joseph, for example, have been declared official and unofficial for years. Last I looked they were both declared unoffi-

the word saint. You just have to be a person who understands and respects the ideal of goodness. We are all taught that in business and in life it is not what you achieve but how you achieve it that makes your mark. It is the example of our conduct that reflects who we are among those who know us only by reputation. I am often reminded that we can’t all be saints but we can all aspire to be like them. Heaven knows I’d like to try. Heino Molls is publisher of REM. Email heino@remonline.com. REM

Trade Shows and Conferences For complete listings, visit www.remonline.com To add a listing to this calendar, email jim@remonline.com Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Conference & Trade Show Feb. 1 - 3 Coast Hotel & Convention Centre Langley, B.C. http://conference/fvreb.bc.ca

Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington Realtor Connections AGM, Conference & Trade Show Thursday, March 22 Hamilton Convention Centre Sheila Sferrazza – sheilas@rahb.ca

29th Annual Re/Max of Western Canada Conference Feb. 9 - 10 Victoria Conference Centre Victoria Kelsey Woodliffe kwoodliffe@remax.net

Canadian Real Estate Association AGM - Saturday, March 24 Leadership - Sunday, March 25 Westin Ottawa Ottawa Anik Aubé – aaube@crea.ca

Century 21 Kickoff 2012 Friday, Feb. 24 Palais des congrès de Montrèal Montreal Garlice Mak - 604-606-2149 garlice.mak@century21.ca

The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board Halton Symposium and Trade Show Oakville Conference Centre Thursday, April 19 Cyndi Amodeo – cyndia@omdreb.on.ca

Century 21 Kickoff 2012 Thursday, March 1 The Toronto Congress Centre Toronto Garlice Mak - 604-606-2149 garlice.mak@century21.ca New Brunswick Real Estate Association AGM & Conference March 15 - 16 Fredericton, N.B. www.nbrea.ca

Toronto Real Estate Board Realtor Quest 2012 May 2 – 3 The Toronto Congress Centre Toronto www.realtor-quest.ca Kitchener/Waterloo Real Estate Board REALTOR XPO 3.0 Thursday, May 10 Details to be confirmed. For questions about exhibiting contact inquiries@kwreb.on.ca

Compiled with the assistance of Bob Campbell at Colour Tech Marketing, www.colourtech.com


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February 2012