Page 1

Issue #287

May 2013

Lawrence Dale moves to new Rogers real estate brokerage Page 3

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

Selling an (almost) unsellable house Page 8

Independent brokers: Going it alone has its advantages Page 57

Tina Mak

Dynamic Vancouver Realtor bridges East and West Page 20

To join an outstanding organization with outstanding agents, talk to your local RE/MAX Broker Owner or visit

REM MAY 2013 3

Lawrence Dale moves to new Rogers real estate brokerage Rogers’ website will relaunch to provide referrals to real estate agents across the country By Jim Adair


awrence Dale has shut down his controversial RealtySellers private sales brokerage and is now group head, real estate business for Rogers Communications, owners of the Zoocasa. com website. Rogers has applied to become a licensed real estate brokerage across the country and will relaunch the site in mid-May. Becoming licensed gives Zoocasa access to real estate boards’ MLS data, improving its home search engine for potential buyers. The site will also help consumers find a qualified real estate agent. Zoocasa is setting up a referral network of agents across the country. It will not hire its own sales reps. Dale, who championed a discount brokerage with RealtySellers and later partnered with for-sale-by-owner company, says his focus at Zoocasa is now “at the other end of the spectrum. We are providing consumers with the opportunity to hook up with a quality, experienced, traditional agent.

Our research shows that is what most people are looking for.” Carolyn Beatty, Zoocasa’s president, says site visitors are able to search for properties “much more efficiently than they could five years ago, but when it comes to finding an agent, they are at a dead end. We believe this will be a very efficient way of getting qualified customers in front of qualified agents.” To become part of the network, Zoocasa is encouraging sales reps to get in touch via email. “We will want a sense of your reputation as an agent, your history and expertise, and what you bring to the table,” says Beatty. “We are looking for professional agents who want to provide a full level of service to customers and also who are comfortable with the idea of being transparent.” A key part of the website will be a “rate your agent” section – similar to the Rate Your Realtor concept that was proposed as part of CREA’s Futures Project, but voted down at the association’s Annual General Meeting.

Beattie says Rogers held a series of focus groups to determine what consumers want from the new site, and found that many asked for a section where they could read reviews of sales reps’ performance. The CREA vote “doesn’t feel in step with the times in a servicebased industry,” says Beattie. “I don’t see why agents would not want to hold up their credentials and a key part of their credibility and reputation is the service they provide to their customers.” In addition to revamping the property search functions and introducing the referral service, Zoocasa will also offer other Rogers products for potential home buyers. “We also want to reach out and add larger national retailers,” says Beatty. “We think they will also add value back to the consumer.” Dale says, “We are consumer focused and consumers want as much information as possible so they can make intelligent decisions.” Dale has filed several lawsuits against the Toronto Real Estate

Board (TREB) and CREA over the years relating to RealtySellers, the real estate company that was originally formed in 2000. The company offered discounted flat fee services. Some of those actions are still pending. RealtySellers also had leave to intervene in the Competition Tribunal proceedings between the Competition Bureau and TREB that were held last fall. TREB is defending itself against a filing by the Competition Bureau claiming that it operates its MLS system using restrictive, anti-competitive practices. A decision from the tribunal is expected soon. Beatty says that Rogers is not concerned that Dale may be unpopular with people in organized real estate. “We looked at Lawrence’s history and his depth of knowledge in the business and we believe he brings a lot of expertise to the table, but most importantly, he really believes in this model. We think he can add a lot of value and I think any of the areas that he’s explored in

Lawrence Dale

the past are just that.” She adds: “This is all about serving the customer well and we think there is a group of professional agents who will see this as a performance-based model that is much more efficient for them, in terms of the dollars they spend to acquire customers, than other marketing options.” Referral fees are subject to negotiation, she says. To apply to be part of the network, email REM

Thumbs down for Rate Your Realtor CREA AGM turns down rating proposal; changes technology decision-making process


he CREA Futures Implementation Team (FIT) Rate Your Realtor proposal was voted down at CREA’s March 24 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Ottawa. “The membership has spoken and the proposal was turned down,” says FIT chair Cliff Iverson. Noting his disappointment, Iverson says all of FIT’s research pointed to several benefits of the Rate Your Realtor service for both consumers and Realtors. In large part, this included allowing

consumers the ability to check on Realtors they are considering using in a transaction – something Iverson says could also increase and promote professionalism for Realtors. CREA’s 2013 AGM agenda documentation echoes his thought. It says the goal of the Rate Your Realtor service was to demonstrate the value of Realtors to consumers while promoting Realtor professionalism by capturing consumer feedback on their interaction with a specific Realtor. This was to be done via a five-star rating system, where

both parties could comment on the interaction. The recommendation said this tool had the potential to create leads and enhance the overall perception of the value of a Realtor to consumers. “There were a number of supporters who saw the benefits of using the Rate Your Realtor service,” says Iverson. “Some of the people that came up to me after the meeting were quite disappointed that it didn’t move forward.” Reflecting on why he believes the proposal was voted down,

Iverson says the main concern coming back to FIT was the hesitation of Realtors to display negative comments. “I think the one main theme we kept getting was negative comments being offered up by the consumer,” says Iverson. Doug Pedlar is president of the London & St. Thomas Association of Realtors, one of the groups that voted against the proposal. Pedlar said that CREA’s past president, Gary Morse, attended one of his board’s meetings to explain the Rate Your Realtor feature.

By Tony Palermo

“There was a lively discussion, to say the least,” says Pedlar. “Our members were telling us that they did not want this to happen.” Pedlar says his members had several concerns, including the possibility that new agents wouldn’t get very high ratings; that people or agents could alter or sabotage the ratings; that CREA’s original survey did not conclusively show that Realtors were in favour of the feature; and if an agent didn’t want to participate, it wouldn’t look good on Continued on page 6

4 REM MAY 2013

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:


ore Assets recently launched its boutique real estate brokerage based out of Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood. The company says it will offer residential and commercial advisory services with a special focus on helping their clients reach financial goals through strategic real estate investment services. “With many discount and online brokerages popping up in the city, the firm felt that there was a need to go in the opposite direction and provide greater depth as a full service brokerage that can service individuals that want to use real estate as part of their overall

investment strategy,” the company says in a news release. “To do this, the brokerage has plans to build a team that is capable of handling both residential transactions as well as the complexities of commercial applications.” Adam Brind, co-founder and broker of record, says, “We are often approached by baby boomers that are searching for passive income but condos may not be the best approach. They may require a strategy that is more robust. It is important that we have access to all options from a single-family home to office towers.” Veteran real estate professionals Paul Siksna and Jordan

From left: Terry Willies, Sheila Francis, Michelle Hawthorne and Shane Goutsis.

Rasberry are also partners of Core Assets. ■ ■ ■

Re/Max Sabre Realty in Port Coquitlam, B.C. recently welcomed the Francis & Hawthorne Real Estate Team to the office. Terry Willies, Sheila Francis, Michelle Hawthorne and Shane Goutsis have had a long history in the marketplace and have always been held in high regard, the company says. L. Scott McDonald is the manager and broker of the office, which has 72 Realtors and eight staff members. ■ ■ ■

Toronto Real Estate Board past-president Richard Silver has joined Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. Silver has more than 33 years of experience, and was named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Real Estate for 2013” by Inman News. He is among the top one per cent of salespeople in Toronto. As an early adopter of technology and social media, Silver is also a sought-after speaker on the use of social media in real estate, as well as on the engagement of international real estate consumers. He sits as a Canadian representative on the Global Alliances Committee at the National Association of Realtors. Sotheby’s has made several other recent additions. John Poole, broker of record and managing broker, comes to Sotheby’s with more than 37 years of experience in real estate. During his career, he served as vice-president of Canada Trust Real Estate Services for Western Canada, Eastern Ontario and Toronto, vice-president of growth and development at Exit Realty International and vice-president of national franchise services at Coldwell Banker affiliates of Canada. Another former TREB president, Maureen O’Neill, has joined as co-manager. She currently serves as the Ontario Real Estate Association’s provincial director for central Ontario. O’Neill has

held executive positions at Royal LePage Services (Johnston and Daniel Division), Prudential Sadie Moranis Realty and Bosley Real Estate. Adam Parsons, broker and senior vice-president – sales had his own brokerage before coming to Sotheby’s, and formed a partnership with Penny Brown. “His experience in the real estate industry has developed his insight and passion for renovations and new developments, which set him apart from the competition,” the company says. Before launching his real estate career, he played professional hockey in Europe. Penny Brown, broker and senior vice-president – sales has 30 years of experience in luxury housing. Consistently ranked among the top Realtors in Toronto, she serves the Rosedale, Annex, Moore Park, Yorkville and North Toronto areas. ■ ■ ■

Kim Heizmann has joined Century 21 Executives Realty in Vernon, B.C. as a manager. Heizmann has been a sales rep at the brokerage for almost six years. Owner Bill Hubbard says she brings strong management and communication skills to the table. She also has a strong social media background. Heizmann is also community minded. She has been personally Continued on page 6

Janice Parish

Richard Silver

John Poole

Penny Brown

Maureen O’Neill

Adam Parsons

Mario Hermenegildo

The Core Assets partners, from left: Jordan Rasberry, salesperson/partner; Adam Brind, broker of record/partner; and Paul Siksna, broker/partner.

Josef Newgarden will drive the Century 21 car in the Indianapolis 500.



growth of real estate related searches on Google since 2009 (Source:NAR andGoogle, The Digital House Hunt:Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate, 2013)

At CENTURY 21 Canada, our strategic goal is to maximize Google search rankings for our sales professionals. THE

We provide: ü ü ü ü

Traffic from prominent online advertising and social media channels Google Adwords to market listings A customized, personal website optimized for search engines

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“We chose CENTURY 21 because of the extensive online presence of the brand.

They help me get valuable online marketing exposure that is local and, therefore, core to my business.”


John D. Stobbe CENTURY 21 Shackleton Realty



Independently Owned and Operated. ®/™ trademarks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC used under license or authorized sub-license. © 2013 Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership ®™ Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Inc. and Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership.

6 REM MAY 2013

Continued from page 4

involved in raising money for Easter Seals by organizing the brokerage’s annual fundraising dinner, and was a volunteer with the RCMP Victims Assistance program for 10 years. ■ ■ ■

Mario Hermenegildo, broker of record for Prudential Vendex Realty in Brampton, Ont. has joined the Royal LePage franchise network. The office will now operate under the name of Royal LePage Vendex Realty. Hermenegildo is a veteran of the real estate industry, with 25 years of experience. He originally opened his office with Countrywide in 1990 and converted to Prudential in 1993. Royal LePage Vendex Realty services Brampton, Caledon, Mississauga, Georgetown, Orangeville and Vaughan. ■ ■ ■

Century 21 Icarus Realty in Nanaimo, B.C. announced that Moe Lessan has joined its management team as a managing broker. Lessan formerly owned a business that provided accounting and management consulting for small businesses in Vancouver. He assisted clients in preparing business plans and business valuation for starting, purchasing or expanding their businesses. He says his goal is to increase the market share for Century 21 Icarus Realty through recruiting, education, use of technology and an aggressive marketing plan. ■ ■ ■

Royal Service Real Estate has joined the Aventure Realty Network. Janice Parish, broker/ owner, operates the growing organization with four locations in Newcastle, Bowmanville, Port


Hope and Millbrook, Ont. With a team of more than 40 Realtors, the brokerage “brings a history of strong market presence and performance to Aventure and expands the reach of its members into these important markets,” says Aventure president Bernie Vogt.

addition to the traditional streams of taking listings and making deals. Through “sponsoring”, associates earn a 10-per-cent single-level residual based on the gross commission of those real estate agents they introduce to the company who are hired.

■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■

Brian Rushton, senior VP of operations at Century 21 Canada, will take part in the Leading Cities Around the World “Who’s Buying Where” expert panel at The Global Real Estate Summit, hosted by the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), in Honolulu, Hawaii April 22. The panel will provide a market overview from hot global cities in China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S. and Canada. “Given that the Century 21 brand is at the forefront of the real estate industry, it’s our role to educate investors both locally and abroad,” says Rushton. “The strength of promising Canadian markets is generating strong international attention.” Century 21 LLC is an official sponsor of the summit, supporting the AREAA. The non-profit professional trade association strives to expand the housing options available to immigrant and minority customers by creating a powerful voice for the real estate professionals that serve this market.

Century 21 Real Estate LLC will be the primary sponsor for IZOD IndyCar Series driver Josef Newgarden’s car in the Indianapolis 500. The entry is owned by Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR). Newgarden’s Dallara/Honda/ Firestone car will forgo its traditional No. 67 in favour of No. 21. The 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on May 26. It is the world’s largest single-day annual sporting event with more than 300,000 people in attendance each year.

■ ■ ■

When Steve Morris founded Exit Realty Corp. International in 1996, he imagined a company where everyone in the corporation could get a piece of the action. Sixteen years, hundreds of offices and thousands of agents later, the company announced that it has paid out more than $250-million in single-level residuals to its associates across the continent. Exit Realty’s business model provides a third income stream in

■ ■ ■

This April, May and June, Century 21 is awarding 63,000 Air Miles reward miles in its Unlock An Escape giveaway. Consumers can win one of three monthly prizes of 21,000 Air Miles by searching for a home on and entering the Unlock An Escape giveaway. The giveaway is available to residents of Canada, except for Quebec, who are Air Miles collectors. Consumers may enter multiple times by finding and clicking on the bright pink banner located on the property listings pages on the website. Draws will take place during the months of April, May and June 2013. ■ ■ ■

Correction: A photo in the April Multiple Listings column misidentified Doug Thompson, president of the Canadian Division for Floyd Wickman Training.

Continued from page 3

the agent and therefore, forced agents to participate. His members also disputed the notion that the Rate Your Realtor service promoted professionalism, noting that other professionals are not rated in such a fashion. New CREA president Laura Leyser believes that what it really came down to was that some Realtors didn’t feel the Rate Your Realtor service should be offered by CREA. “It wasn’t as much about the fear of being rated as it was about the diversity across the country in the difference brokerages, big and small,” says Leyser. “(Realtors) just felt this was something the brokerage should be offering and not organized real estate.” Another FIT recommendation that was passed was the alternative option to the creation of an independent technology company. At CREA’s Special General Meeting in Winnipeg last fall, FIT presented their original proposal to create an independent technology company. However, after much resistance, FIT was asked to go back to the drawing board, deferring the vote until this March’s AGM. “After the fall Special General Meeting in Winnipeg, there was consultation with boards and associations across the country,” says Iverson. “We wanted to be able to offer up another alternative that people were asking for, and that was basically to streamline how we deal with changes to technology. That’s where the third option came from.” Instead of creating an independent technology company, CREA will now address the technology decision-making process in two ways. First, it will alter the role of the MLS and Technology Council (MTC) to an advisory one where internal and external experts, as appropriate to the issues at hand, can be called upon by CREA. Second, CREA will eliminate the current required votes on national technology, including the double majority. Iverson says this alternative option will still have a significant impact in terms of the responsibility and the timing of technology-based decisions. “The onus will be placed more on CREA’s staff to make decisions and, of course, under the current structure, it sometimes takes up to a year and a half to get changes passed,” says Iverson. “And when you’re dealing with technology, that’s certainly too long a period of time.” Leyser says it’s all about being nimble, noting, like Iverson, that it’s no longer going to take years to make decisions. And that, she says, will have a positive trickling effect right across the country with the various real estate boards. Leyser also says that CREA is undergoing a full governance review, noting that this will be an opportunity to do further REM housekeeping.


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Phone: 416.425.3504 REM complies fully with the Canadian Real Estate Association's Rules for Trademarks (CREA Rule REALTOR® and REALTORS® are trademarks controlled in Canada by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify licensed real estate practitioners who are members of CREA. MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned by CREA and identify the services rendered by members of CREA. REM is published 12 times a year. It is an independently owned and operated company and is not affiliated with any real estate association, board or company. REM is distributed across Canada by leading real estate boards and by direct delivery in selected areas. For subscription information, email Entire contents copyright 2013 REM. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The opinions expressed in REM are not necessarily those of the publisher. ISSN 1201-1223

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Multiple Listings

8 REM May 2013

Selling an (almost) unsellable house S

ome homes are inherently fatally flawed. Consider the following: • A bungalow steps away from a railroad track. • A condo tucked behind a McDonald’s. • A house where a cult leader committed a mass murder-suicide. • A dwelling beside a cemetery. • A duplex underneath power lines. • A residence within throwing distance of a highway. • A house with a gas station for its next-door neighbour. • A home near an airport and under a flight pattern. Unfortunately for sellers, a home identical to theirs without the fatal flaw will sell for a lot more than their home with the defect. The upside is that any home can be sold. Location, location, location is often touted as the main selling point for properties but price is another major part of the equation. For buyers who have a fixed price point, a bargain home may be worth it

even if it has some unredeeming qualities. To prospective buyers, a flawed property allows them to get a little of what they are looking for when otherwise they wouldn’t be able to get anything. Bad locations and negative stigmas do affect the value of a home, but hopefully it won’t be impossible to help your sellers see that and convince them to lower their price. Melody Scott is a former Realtor turned writer of real estate novels; her most recent work of fiction is Auraria Dead, about two sales reps who make a gruesome discovery on a property they have listed. Scott had a property that she considered unmarketable. Despite it being a healthy market for sellers at the time, the home wasn’t attracting any attention because it had been owned by a renowned Satanist. “Every house has its strong suits, but this one was woeful,” she says. “What had been a fenced Oriental meditation garden was now concrete and stone. Then there was the asymmetrical black room – ceiling, floors, walls, all black. One neighbour said it was for devil worshipers with lit

candles. The only people who saw it were Realtors. Nobody had a client for a Satan house.” Luckily a licensed nurse was prepared to remodel the house as a small group home for elderly patients. The nurse was able to visualize a locked tropical garden for her Alzheimer’s patients where there was only concrete. The selling price was adjusted to cover painting the hideous black insides and to accommodate for the stigmatization. The nurse was the only potential buyer who had even been willing to look at the home. When viewing a fatally flawed home, potential buyers often focus on the main issue that is the home’s cross to bear. Do whatever you can to draw a buyer’s attention to all the positive aspects of the home (which usually includes the price). Shine a million-watt spotlight on the upsides of the property. For example, if a twostorey home is on a lot next to a 10-storey apartment complex, highlight the great views from the windows that don’t look out at the apartments or plant trees to conceal the view of the apartment. If a home is by a

By Toby Welch

cemetery, point out to prospective buyers that noisy neighbours aren’t a problem. Most negatives can be turned into positives with a creative spin. Ask the sellers what attracted them to the property in the first place. Those attributes are often things that can attract the next buyer. There truly is a buyer for every home; you just have to work extra-hard to find that person. After all, a house that seems fatally flawed to you and the sellers will be perfect for someone else and the point they are at in their life. As Alex Aguilar, a Realtor with the Axia Real Estate Group in San Diego, Calif. says, “The right combination of curb appeal and aggressive pricing should be more than enough to appeal to motivated buyers. If there is a good enough deal to be had, a buyer will overlook almost anything.” If you take prospective buyers to view the flawed home, scope the neighbourhood out beforehand. Make a list of the positives in the surrounding area and be sure to point them out

Melody Scott

as you head to the property. If the buyers have children, show them the schools. Drive by the shopping centres, coffee shops and restaurants. When you list the property online, include driving directions that take people by the local amenities, even if it isn’t the most direct route to the property. Incurable defects keep a home’s property value from being as high as a comparable home without a flawed history or in a more desirable location. We keep coming back to selling price; that’s because ultimately that is what will sell a defective home. That fact is tough for many sellers to accept but it is the reality; a hard-to-sell house gets a lot more attention when the price drops. REM

Sales rep finds niche as condo consultant R

ealtor Robert Buckler saw a void in the condo market and stepped in to fill it. Buckler founded Beredan Management & Consulting Inc. in 2009 to help fellow Realtors, condo corporations, developers, management companies and others to navigate the confusing world of condominiums. He offers training and seminars and acts as a court-appointed administrator in extreme cases to settle disputes between condo owners and their boards and to get condo corporations back on track. Prior to launching his management and consulting business, Buckler was employed in various business roles,

including with a condo property management company. A fullservice sales rep with Century 21 Heritage Group in Thornhill, Ont., Buckler specializes in residential condominiums. He has also edited courses for the Canadian Condominium Institute.

common promises people make to be elected to the condo board is to keep maintenance fees low, or to lower fees, he says. When they get elected, fees are kept low or lowered and everyone is happy until several years later, when the reserve is depleted and the building has an operating deficit.

His varied experience makes him well-suited to his role as court-appointed administrator, where he acts as a third party, takes over from the board and does what needs to be done to protect investment and property, Buckler says.

Another problem is when decisions are made to put off major repairs, or to take shortcuts with repairs such as not hiring legitimate contractors.

Problems between owners and condo boards often revolve around maintenance fees. One of the most

There’s no prescribed process, but administrators such as Buckler would map out a transition process, getting ready for the election of a new board and then mentoring the board. Buckler

offers a course for condo directors. Topics of discussion include where the director’s role begins and ends, and where management begins and ends, he says. When Buckler feels it’s time, he goes back to court and outlines how he has worked with the board, shows its progress and that they’re ready to take over. With condominiums forming such a large part of the market, it’s important for Realtors to know how to protect their clients, says Buckler. He was recently asked by Ontario’s Ministry of Consumer Services to participate in Stage 2 of the Condominium Act

Robert Buckler

Review as a member of the Governance Work Group, co-chair of the Condominium Management Work Group, and as a member of the Expert Panel. He is one of only two Realtors in the group, out of about 40 participants. For information: REM

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use voice-activated software instead of two-finger typing. For the most part it works remarkably well... certainly much better than the alternative. At the same time, it has certain built-in “glitches” that are both perplexing and annoying on occasion. I am resigned to live with these problems because no one has ever called to ask me, “How’s that software working out for you Bruce?” No one ever checks to see if the purchase I made (or the service they provide) is standing the test of time. I suppose the software company thinks everything is great. But here’s my question: what is the possibility that the reason they don’t check is because they don’t want to know the answer? This whole dilemma gets me thinking about how salespeople could take advantage of this vacuum and create incredible customer loyalty. The best salespeople do a great job of staying in touch with their past clients. Under the current system you call them up, you ask them how they’re doing and you AFR (ask for referrals). Typically *Free Shipping on Canada Day Postcards or Greeting Cards Only. Not valid with any other discount. Not applicable to orders placed on the Create Yourself system. Offer expires June 7, 2013.

this should be done every 90 days. Here is an additional dimension that would set you apart from the competition. What if you created a “postdated quality-control system” for all your past clients? Salespeople are often hesitant to ask about how something worked out long after the service was provided. The fear is that it is nothing but a chance to hear a complaint. Au contraire... it’s a chance to show that you care (and a chance to learn how to get even better at what you do). Once every year, call your past clients and ask them, “How is that house working out for you?” or, “How are you feeling about that rental property you bought?” No one else is going to ask them that type of question about other items they have purchased. No one else is going to show that kind of concern two, three or even four years down the road. Start now by calling the past clients you have performed for in the last few years and ask them these questions. Next, have a plan to post-date this specific type of follow-up for all future business. This will separate you from your competitors, another way to show that you are different and that you care. Little things that make a big difference. No excuses. ■ ■ ■

After 40+ consecutive years in the sales business, you pick up a lot of great wisdom. Here are some of my insights to get you thinking

Letters to the Editor I

1.800.410.4510 •

Quality control

was just reading the February 2013 edition of the REM magazine. In the article titled Mould, asbestos and vermiculite, provided by the Home Inspection Network, it starts out mentioning that many people have preconceived ideas about topics, but education can assist them in making decisions. Then the article goes on to suggest that there is a problem with all vermiculite. Only vermiculite that was mined next to asbestos has

(caused) concern. I have had five out of six vermiculite tests come back “clean” – no asbestos. The concerns you are publicizing are again “media hype to scare people”. I respect the REM magazine and read it faithfully. I do now have an educated impression about Home Inspection Network – which is not favourable. Liz Koster Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre, Dunville, Ont.

about your business, your life and how you can make both work better for you. • Self-discipline is the packaging that reveals who you really are. • Faith and patience give you the future . . . lack of faith and patience gives you the past. • Be careful you aren’t stepping over silver dollars to pick up nickels. • Learn from the past, live for the present, plan for the future. • Your energy is the magnet that attracts people and success. • Falling is not about whether or not you get up... it’s about how fast you get up. • My favourite four letter word is next. • Be responsible for everything in your life, there are no good excuses. • The ability to say no is much more powerful than the ability to say yes. Bonus point: The people of value are the ones who make you feel good about yourself. Treasure them! No excuses. Bruce Keith, the “Results Coach” has over 23 years of experience. He is a sales and marketing coach and seminar leader in the real estate business, teaching what to say and how to say it. His high-energy, high-impact training style is sought after and acclaimed across North America. He says, “Success is possible; there are no excuses”. REM

The Home Inspection Network replies: Our intent with this article was to educate as we had heard that sometimes Realtors are faced with consumer concerns over mould, asbestos and vermiculite when closing real estate deals. We wanted to address this concern and relay the message that often it is really not an issue, but still something for Realtors to be aware of. We apologize if that was not how our message was interpreted, as our intentions were good. – Kate Bruyea, marketing manager, Centract and The Home Inspection Network REM

12 REM MAY 2013

Newcomers embrace Canadian real estate industry By Connie Adair


nocking on a stranger’s door to talk about real estate can be life changing. Just ask Jose Castillo and Claudia Pardo, who met while they were students in Montreal. One day Castillo appeared at Pardo’s door, curious about how much she was paying in rent. They’ve been together since. Pardo was an exchange student at McGill and Castillo was at Concordia. After graduating, “Jose moved back to the Dominican (and) I moved back to Columbia, where I’m originally from,” Pardo says. She moved to the Dominican in 2001, the same year real estate changed their lives again when they joined Re/Max Metropolitana. After an office split, they worked with Re/Max Lider. In the Dominican, they enjoyed successful careers, racking up about 50 transactions a year. They were in the 100% Club since 2005 (commissions between $100,000 and $249,999) and were presented with the Platinum Club Award (commissions between $250,000 and $499,999) in 2010 as a team. Things were going well, Pardo says, “but there’s no better time than when things are going well (to make a change.) You’re not pressured and you make

the right decisions.” They decided to move to Canada, where there would be more opportunities for education and culture for their growing family. They applied for residence and after ensuring their clients were in good hands, immigrated to Canada in 2011 when their daughter, Eva, was two and Pardo was four months pregnant with their son, Matias. The couple originally thought of settling in Montreal, but on the suggestion of Bill Soteroff, then executive vice-president at Re/Max International, they visited Toronto and met with Re/Max Hallmark Realty brokers Ken McLachlan and Debra Bain. The brokers and about 10 agents from the office met with the couple over a couple of days, filling them in about Toronto and the real estate industry. Pardo and Castillo were taken by the city, the brokers and their soon to be fellow agents. “They are incredible individuals. I love how they are in life. They’re not afraid of hard work,” McLachlan says. “They are not afraid to do what it takes to reinvent themselves. They are loved and respected.” The feeling is mutual – Pardo and Castillo say there was no need to look at any other brokers after they met McLachlan.

When they came to Canada, the couple had to get their Canadian real estate licences. In the Dominican Republic, you don’t have to have a licence, Castillo says. There’s a lack of formality in the Dominican. Anyone can decide in the morning to become an agent and put a sign on the lawn that afternoon. That creates a lot of competition. A property can be listed by numerous agents at the same time – it’s not uncommon to see three or four signs belonging to different agents on one lawn. There is no MLS, no ruling institution and no organized real estate board, Pardo says. In Canada, “It was a dramatic process to study and get through exams. It took two or three months. It was traumatic to study, learn about the culture and get to know about real estate. And we were expecting a second baby at the same time.” The couple got their licences in July 2012 and started in the business last September. Castillo says they enjoy the structured real estate industry in Canada, and having information, such as the MLS, at their fingertips. Castillo and Pardo reach out to the Spanish-speaking population and newcomers to the city. “They can relate to what we’ve been

though and we can help them with things like their driver’s licences, to get a feel for the city and to get their bearings,” Castillo says. However they reach out to all potential clients through the usual prospecting methods, such as cold calling, regardless of their backgrounds. Castillo and Pardo say they strive to be open and up front, building relationships and offering as much information as possible to clients. The bottom line is that people appreciate service-added value, they say. Castillo and Pardo are working with first-time buyers and condos, a product they feel comfortable with. They’re still getting used to “older houses,” they say. “In the Dominican Republic, a 10-year-old property is old. We have to get to feel comfortable with 100-year-old properties here” and all that goes with an older property. Condominiums are also in a price range they’re more used to dealing in. The average sale price in Santa Domingo, where they were working, is $100,000 to $150,000. They also did a lot of work with rentals, which in the Dominican Republic, is a good source of income, Pardo says. They are using leases as a way to learn about the Canadian real estate market.

Claudia Pardo and Jose Castillo

Tips they can offer to agents new to the country? Do your homework. Get a feel for the city. Make appointments at brokerages and go with one that will help you grow. It helps to have brokers who are available for you 24/7. Be patient. You’re starting from zero and you can’t get frustrated. Your business will grow. Studying and books don’t prepare you to go out into the real estate world. You need a coach, someone to provide insight into what they do is key. Experienced agents have helped them understand things, they say. Being new to the city offers an advantage, Castillo says. “We offer a fresh perspective and an eagerness REM to do things.”

Is a Realtor a professional? By Ozzie Logozzo


n Italy, I observed that it is common to call learned individuals “professore” or “professoressa.” It is an open compliment extended with a mixture of envy and esteem. Sadly, I have never heard the term in reference to a Realtor. It is not unheard of for ItaloCanadian traditionalists to give

gifts of wine and “cioccolato” to their lawyer-professore or doctorprofessoressa. However, for their Realtor acquaintances, espresso suffices as it does for other common folks. Is this an indication that Realtors are not viewed as erudite within Italy and Little Italys everywhere? Is this a custom of multicultural proportions? Or, is it simply confusion as to the meaning of the term “professional”? While some Italians cling to a traditional definition of what constitutes a professional, it is clear that there is a proliferation of professions in our society. With the technological revolution, professionalism has

been democratized. Everyone from A- acupuncturist to Z-zoologist is a professional. The term has expanded well beyond the domain of medicine, law and the clergy. This is positive news. Would you want to live in a closed culture steered by a few guilds or do you prefer our modern era of an abundance of professionals providing reliable quality and efficient specialized service? But is a Realtor a professional? It all depends on your expectations. From a “must do” perspective, a Realtor is a professional. A Realtor must secure a minimum level of schooling. A Realtor must be granted accreditation or certification. A

Realtor must subscribe to the prescribed code of ethics and standards of business practice. Within these works are the very attributes or behavioural competencies expected of Realtors as professionals. From an “aspire to” perspective, a Realtor may fall short of being called a professional, as would a host of other so-called professionals in the workplace. To “aspire” invokes standards of excellence. Here expectations exceed the minimum and with it arise a whole new set of questions: Is secondary schooling sufficient? What constitutes a comprehensive curriculum? What is a suitable exam structure and testing methodology? Doesn’t

readiness and accountability demand a mentoring or internship period? Should ongoing recertification be the capstone measure of a profession? The answers to these questions are game-changers. But then, if you want more you have to require more. Ozzie Logozzo is executive director of the Ontario Real Estate Association Real Estate College. He is a Fellow of the Real Estate Institute of Canada and was the 1993 recipient of OREA’s Education Merit Award and the 1997 recipient of Real Estate Educators Association’s prestigious Educator of the Year Award. REM

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14 REM MAY 2013


By Ross Kay


s I read the announcements of Zoocasa’s entry into the real estate brokerage business and its arrogantly worded public announcements on how they are gaining access to the entire contents of MLS databases across Canada, it was with great disappointment that warnings given to some organized real estate bodies in Canada as long as three years ago were not only ignored but kept from the eyes of their memberships. I shook my head, remembering the day, less than two years ago, when a CEO of one of Canada’s oldest real estate associations took the warn-

Zoocasa and the coming attack ings about Rogers that were supplied to his Board of Directors, along with all the supporting documentation showing how this attack was coming, and threw it in the garbage, telling the board it wasn’t true. Actually the word that came out of his mouth was “nonsense”. Now more than 2,000 members of that board, historically one of the most innovative in the nation, have been placed in serious jeopardy. Rogers Media’s attack on organized real estate and the MLS data held in associations across Canada is backed by the most powerful marketing company in Canada, one with resources calculated in the billions of dollars. At an initial cost of under $100,000, Rogers will buy up MLS data currently worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars, data that was previously owned by you! As previously disclosed here on the pages of REM for over three years, Rogers is simply following a tried and true methodology already established by a media company

similar to it, the REA Group in Australia. Every agent or brokerage across Canada had better understand that Zoocasa brokerage and its published motives of generating referral fees, and its selection of Lawrence Dale as lead broker, are nothing more than “red herrings” thrown out to confuse you and organized real estate both. Sure, referral fees will fund in its replacement of, but what Rogers was really interested in was the MLS data and what opportunities it contains. Being a multi-faceted corporation with many business divisions, Rogers will use the data contained in the MLS downloads and the traffic that goes through Zoocasa to fuel its other businesses. Using that data and the marketing power of Rogers cell phones, the Maple Leafs, Rogers Cable and so on, Rogers will start selling goods and services to your clients without your permission or the need for Rogers to pay you for that right. Whether it’s one year of free

Rogers home alarm system, 100 free monthly minutes added to any Rogers cell plan or a Rogers branded cash back Visa card hosted on its, the opportunities for Rogers are limitless and their desire to control where Canadians search for real estate is almost insatiable. Imagine the millions in mortgage referral fees paid to, with no disclosure needed by Zoocasa brokerage, that any bank would gladly cough up to get your clients’ business because Rogers certainly does! Imagine how much Rona or Home Depot will pay Rogers to be the exclusive home for renovations on Remember, it was only a short couple of years ago that Rogers, through Zoocasa, wanted your MLS data so bad that it willingly stole MLS data and was found guilty in court. Remember, less than one year ago Rogers, through Zoocasa, paid CREA $50,000 to get listed in the data distribution facility with Point2Homes and

conned thousands of agents into allowing Zoocasa to index not only their listing addresses with Google but also their names and contact details. Remember Zoocasa was using the click-through agreements agents and brokerages previously agreed to years ago, to drive traffic to Zoocasa and away from A final warning to members of organized real estate. Rogers won’t be alone in attacking and your business. Bell Media and Shaw Media Group have similar desires to access your MLS data and unlock the earning potential contained in it. With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, these companies certainly won’t sit back and watch! Will you? Ross Kay is a former third generation member of CREA, who says he forfeited his affiliation in order to be able to speak freely and discuss viable solutions. Kay says he is Canada’s foremost expert on listing data distribution. He is currently CTO of REM

INTRODUCING MAUREEN O’NEILL Sotheby’s International Realty Canada is proud to announce that Maureen O’Neill has joined our Toronto office in the role of Co-Manager, leading its growth and expansion with John Poole, VP Ontario Brokerage and Broker of Record. Maureen is a highly regarded leader in the Canadian real estate industry. She is a past president of the Toronto Real Estate Board and currently serves as the Ontario Real Estate Association’s provincial director for central Ontario. Maureen has also held executive positions at Royal LePage Services Ltd. (Johnston and Daniel Division), Prudential Sadie Moranis Realty and Bosley Real Estate Ltd. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada has marketed Toronto homes locally, nationally and internationally for nearly a decade. Maureen joins us at an exciting time of growth as we expand in Toronto and across the country.


E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Brokerage. Independently Owned and Operated.

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16 REM MAY 2013

How mortgage rates are set By Idriss Bouhmouch


t’s easy to say that mortgage rates are “affected by economic factors,” or more specifically “bond yields” or “the Bank of Canada”, but are you really getting an understanding with those answers? If so, you may understand economics better than most Canadians. But if the responses above present more questions than answers, we will try our best to break it down for you here. First off, there are two types of mortgage rates: variable and fixed. Both are indeed driven by similar economic factors, but they are affected by different factors too. Variable mortgage rates, as they sound, vary and fluctuate with what is known as the prime lending rate. This rate is set by the Bank of Canada based on its interpretation of the state of the economy and inflation targets. When the prime rate goes up, variable mortgage rates go up, and vice versa. This is why variable mortgage holders take on a bit more risk over the term of their mortgage and should watch the Bank of Canada announcements. Fixed mortgage rates, where the interest rate is fixed over the course of the mortgage term, are a little more complicated – they shadow Government of Canada bond yields of the same term. In fact, there is a very positive correlation between the two. Bond yields are determined by the price of bonds and have an inverse relationship with them. For example, if a five-year bond falls in price, this means the yield (return for investors) goes up. Similarly, if the price increases, the yield falls. Bonds are like safe havens for investors: they offer guaranteed repayment on funds the investor loans to the issuer (in this case, the government) after the term of the bond has passed (plus a set rate of interest known as the coupon). When the economy is booming and the market is good, big returns can be had by investing in alternatives, and bond prices tend to fall so bond yields rise. When the mar-

ket is bad, demand for safe money increases, so bond prices rise and yields fall. Meanwhile, mortgages are funded through capital issues and often the bond market. The interest rate on a mortgage depends on the yield (return) the bank provides bond investors. When investors demand a higher yield, mortgages must also be issued at a higher fixed interest rate that is in line with the cost to the bank. The cost of borrowing for the bank to fund mortgages is essentially the percentage yield paid to investors of the bond. The second factor influencing fixed mortgage rates will be the spread required by financial institutions, on top of the bond yields. Three main components influence this spread: the cost of trades and transactions of the loan, a risk premium (in the case of default payment) and finally the profit margin that the financial institution desires. We could summarize that for the duration of a loan, fixed mortgage rates are determined on the following basis: cost of capital + administration costs and/or mortgage negotiations + risk premium (in the risk of the borrower defaulting on the mortgage) + the bank’s desired profit = cost of the mortgage for the borrower. In short, if you are trying to predict where fixed mortgage rates are headed, look to the bond market. Overwhelmed? This is a lot to take in, and it may not all make sense right away. But the introduction of these concepts hopefully provides a little more insight and trust in the mortgage process. As with all financial transactions, mortgages are driven by supply and demand, and underlying economic factors. Idriss Bouhmouch is director of operations in Quebec for, a mortgage rate comparison website. The company says mortgage information should be presented in a transparent, easy-to-understand, and comREM plete manner.


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18 REM MAY 2013

What’s your experience worth?




By Stan Albert “Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t!” – Pete Seeger, noted singer and lyricist.


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hen we look up what experience means in the dictionary we get an assortment of meanings from verb to adjective to noun: knowledge, venture, background and on and on. So now we face yet another competitor in our business in the guise of a soon to be broker, Rogers Communications (via the Zoocasa website). Rogers’ Canada-wide enterprises totally overwhelm the miniscule numbers of members of CREA. At the helm is the welldocumented hero of slash and burn commissions, Lawrence Dale, formerly of RealtySellers. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way denigrating either Rogers or Mr. Dale’s entrepreneurship. I’m questioning and shrugging at the same time. Do we really need Rogers in our business? We’re not in theirs! From what I have read, Rogers, under the watchful eye of Mr. Dale, will grace our incomes with referrals based on who will give them the highest referral fee. Hmm. Let me see, if an experienced agent is working his system, he doesn’t need Rogers’ lead system. It may be okay for an inexperienced agent who is hungry for his

first deal or first several deals. But at what referral cost(s)? And would a typical homeowner want an experienced agent to sell his most valued possession based on a referral from a telecommunications company? A mega corporate giant with no attachment or credentials to perform the services that we can, as long-standing providers of real estate related services? Mr. Dale is a learned lawyer and has been recorded as an opponent of the current MLS systems. I am sure he will render great advice to Rogers in their quest to become a Realtor’s best friend! Not too many of you remember Moneytree Mortgage Fund in the U.S. They too thought that they could feed Realtors leads from their clients. They are no more. So, back to experience. What’s your experience worth? What’s it worth if you get what I’d call a legitimate referral from a friend, business or another agent? I’m not saying that a new agent who takes a Rogers referral will necessarily mess up, but let’s pretend than we’re not agents for a minute and we’re transported to being consumers. We would want someone who had knowledge and the expertise to see an offer/listing through from start to finish. And all of that has a value that’s transposed to the commissions we charge. The value of your experience(s) dictates what commission you feel you are worth. For newer agents, my advice is to associate yourself with an experienced agent to lend credence to your zeal and quest for a successful career. Experience the help of a mentor. Then later in your years of business, pay it forward! I encourage all of you to tap into your own experience and then decide if Rogers’ referral system will add to your ability to earn the money you deserve. Stan Albert, broker/manager, ABR, ASA at Re/Max Premier in Vaughan, Ont. can be reached for consultation at Stan is now celebrating his 43rd year as an active real estate professional. REM

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20 REM MAY 2013

Tina Mak bridges East and West

Mak’s Chinese heritage and the fact she is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin helped her gain a strong foothold in the Asian market. Now she is helping other sales reps expand their businesses. By Susan Doran “All I saw were G-strings. It was kind of an Oh-My-God thing. You never know where you are going to end up in this business,” she says. Mak certainly didn’t set out to wind up in real estate – she claims it was “a fluke.” In 1992, recently married, newly arrived in Vancouver from Hong Kong and experiencing cabin fever as a result of working out of her home as a piano teacher, she obtained her real estate license on the off-thecuff suggestion of a friend. (She also has her broker’s license.) She’s been a top producer pretty much ever since. Inman News recently placed her among the top 100 most influential real estate leaders in North America.

Tina Mak (Darla Furlani Photography)


ll successful real estate sales reps are “control freaks,” says Tina Mak, newly elected founding president of the Vancouver chapter of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). She laughs when she says this, but she’s not joking. She readily admits she’s a card-carrying member of the control freak club. “I’ve fired 13 people in my career. If they are not up to par they are not up to par,” she says. “Why should I lower my standards? That ain’t going to happen. I would rather have quality people than quantity.” She’s well aware that many people (for starters, those she’s fired) likely consider her to be just this side of obsessive compulsive. “I have been scolded a million times that I need to slow down and smell the roses,” she says.

“I can afford to have a balanced life but I’m not doing it. I don’t encourage people to work like me. I know I’m a workaholic.” The flip side, she says, is that she’s fun loving and has a sense of humour that often leads people to tell her she “could be a stand-up comic, like Russell Peters.” With clients, she’s all about relationships, she says. “I’m not interested in just doing volume. ...People come first, profit after... Eighty per cent of my clients have become my friends. I like to take care of clients like I do family. People find me authentic, because I tell the truth.” In fact, one pair of Chinese men were so comfortable with her they had her meet them at a seedy strip club to close a real estate deal. She’d expected the place to be a pub.

A top-producing 20-year real estate industry veteran who’s with Coldwell Banker Westburn Realty in Burnaby, B.C., Mak is also host of her own weekly real estate radio show aimed at the Chinese community, and she is a popular speaker at real estate conferences. She credits Coldwell Banker Canada president John Geha with being a mentor. In a past REM article, Geha, who has professional affiliations with AREAA, explained that the organization has “deep roots” in the U.S. and hopes to make inroads in Canada in order to help better serve the growing Asian market. An international, non-profit, professional trade organization geared to promoting sustainable homeownership opportunities for Asian communities in North America with the help of a network of housing and real estate professionals, AREAA’s mandate is to provide international referral, networking and educational opportunities to its 13,000 members worldwide. Membership




individuals of all nationalities who are interested in understanding or connecting with the Asian market, from Realtors to accountants, lawyers, property managers and web designers, says Mak. With her own extensive international connections allowing her to market her clients’ properties both locally and internationally, Mak is excited about AREAA’s potential to help Canadian real estate professionals become increasingly culturally educated and able to collaborate with other professionals worldwide. She plans, at least initially, to leave cultural politicking to other organizations. In her assessment, “Essentially AREAA is a networking organization.” Her Chinese heritage and the fact she is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin have undoubtedly helped her gain a strong foothold in the Asian market. “Chinese still tend to work with Chinese, Indians with Indians,” she says. She likes to consider herself a “bridge from East and West,” and a conduit to the further opening up of global transactions. (“Money has no sense of direction,” is another of her favourite adages.) There is a huge “buzz” about the Chinese around the world, says Mak. Their buying clout here in Canada is clearly evident in Vancouver, a gateway to Pacific Rim economies (although Mak says that at the moment, Vancouver is witnessing a slowdown for Asian buyers and an upturn in local buyers). That doesn’t mean that professionals in Vancouver or elsewhere in this country generally necessarily know how to work with Asians, says Mak. Her hope is that through education, AREAA can help change that.

She has some eye-opening cultural observations. “As a Realtor, you don’t want to ask an Asian where the money is coming from. They don’t want to tell you,” she says. “We Chinese are very discreet.” In addition, “Chinese are frugal,” she continues. We like to get the best deal in town. We were not raised in a consumer environment – we don’t spend more than we make. But now parents are spoiling kids in a way, so they don’t save as my generation did. It will be different – there’s a feeling of entitlement, due to the one-child policy in China. I’ll be interested to see if the new generation will become spenders, with credit card debt, just like North Americans.” She also expects to see changes in the way negotiations are handled. Many Asians over 40 tend not to be keen on using technology to do business, often preferring to interact face-toface. Not so with the younger generations, says Mak. “It’s bizarre right now. Maybe negotiations will all be done through text messaging in the future,” she says, laughing. Realtors should bear in mind as well that in Asia, dual agency – where one agent represents both buyer and seller – tends to be the rule rather than the exception. This means that the clients’ best interests are not always respected there, resulting in a lack of trust of Realtors, Mak says. Thus, taking time to establish trusting relationships with Asian clients is key for North American sales reps wanting to get a leg up on the market. Asked if she can offer any advice for new agents, she gives a typical over-achiever’s reply. “Do not think of having a day off. It’s a 24/7 business at first,” she says. “Don’t talk about balancing your life until you balance your books. That’s the Asian way.” REM for iPad

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22 REM MAY 2013

Industrial, Commercial & Investment

By Lloyd R. Manning ere’s a true story from many years ago. As a commercial Realtor, one is often confronted with unusual situations. None were more unusual than the sale of Mickey Mouse Electronics. I have forgotten the company’s real name but Mickey Mouse is appropriate. The term refers to a business that is an insignificant player in the market. That is what it was; a very small company, under-capitalized with nowhere to go but down. Its net worth consisted of a handful of assorted tools, some equipment of questionable value, a few boxes of parts of who knows what, a lease on somebody’s garage and the seller’s assurance that the package included many great ideas and a glorious future. Few tangibles; oodles of intangibles! The company was manufacturing a type of electronic reader board, one for Realtors to have in their offices to tell them what was listed, pending transactions and what had been sold. Perhaps some companies could have used it to keep track of inventory. Although obsolete by modern standards, the concept was not bad for the time. This was the early 1970s when the computer was still considered by most to be only a toy. The asking price for this


company was $40,000 and it was worth every penny of it, or so the owner said. Its tangible net value was probably about $2,000. It was all those great ideas and that glorious future that made this company an invaluable gem. Mickey Mouse Electronics had been in business for about two years and made few sales. Net profit – zip! Here was a typical case of a business being offered for sale for health reasons – like starvation. True, it was a going concern. Only the direction was uncertain. The owner admitted he had insufficient capital to expand, bring in employees, purchase more equipment, stock up on parts and market extensively. Still, the enterprise was loaded with potential, or so he said. It was only due to a lack of capital that the owner doubted if he could make it into a major concern. Although he didn’t admit it, there was the ever-present probability that the bank would call in his notes and he would be left only with the tools, the equipment, the boxes of parts that no one would want and those great ideas and that glorious future. I did not think that listing this company was worth the bother. At the standard commission rate, after few showings and a few advertisements, I would be a loser even if it were sold at full listed price, which was doubtful. Questioning my own wisdom for doing so, I still accepted the listing. My rationale was that beating the bushes to sell this company might lead to good things, such as more clients. Some buyers are only shopping. Some sellers are just sizing up the market. In this business, having a pocketful of saleable listings and anxious buyers is everything. On the other hand, perhaps Mickey Mouse

The motivated seller Here’s a true story from many years ago. As a commercial Realtor, one is often confronted with unusual situations. None were more unusual than the sale of Mickey Mouse Electronics. Electronics did have some potential. There just might be a modicum of goodwill. Maybe, as the owner suggested, a larger and better financed electronics company would pick it up, not for its tangible assets, but all those great ideas and that glorious future.

dwelling on all of those great ideas and the glorious future, he said that he wanted to buy. His offer for the company, lock, stock and barrel was $500! I smiled and blurted out, “You can’t be serious.” Casually, demonstrating almost total disinterest, he

This shook the seller. Nothing like this was contemplated. After considerable pondering, he asked, “How much do you want for commission?” Thinking that it was not worth spending too much time or money on promoting, at the seller’s insistence I placed an advertisement in the Edmonton Journal. Shock of shocks, I received an inquiry. “You have Mickey Mouse Electronics for sale?” “Indeed I do!” This followed: “Drop over to my office. I’d like to make an offer.” The caller did not bother to obtain any of the pertinent details or ask the price. Still, from the tone of his voice he seemed sincere. Strange, yes, but selling businesses is at times a strange business. For a $50 advertisement and no showings along comes a willing buyer. The buyer was in a similar line of business, yet considerably larger and far more successful. After detailing for his benefit Mickey Mouse Electronics, its tangible assets, its potential and

politely replied, “Oh but I am.” He waved his finger at the papers lying on the desk before him and said, “Write it up!” Becoming quite defensive, I emphatically stated that I would never take such a low-ball offer to the seller. “This is no joke. Write it up! Here’s my cheque.” He was adamant. “When you deliver it, tell that S.O.B. that if he does not accept my offer I will sue his ass off for violating my patents. Besides, I don’t care what he wants. Five hundred dollars is more than it’s worth. There’s nothing there, just a few tools, some obsolete equipment and a couple of boxes of scraps. Those brilliant ideas, all that goodwill, forget it. If they ever existed, and I doubt it, they’re only in his mind. He’s lucky I’m so generous.” When shown the offer, the

owner was livid. “No damn way! That’s crap!” He snatched the agreement from my hand, started to tear it up, then briefly paused and shouted, “This is asinine. I should sell for $500? No way. I would rot in hell first!” Then pausing briefly, thinking that he misunderstood, he more calmly said, “That must just be the deposit. What’s the total price?” I replied, “That is the total price.” “No! Never! This is a good little company loaded with potential; on the threshold of great things. You just got yourself some clown who wants to play games.” “I don’t think so,” was my curt reply. “If you don’t accept his offer he will sue your ass off for violating his patents. He was very serious.” This shook the seller. Nothing like this was contemplated. After considerable pondering, he asked, “How much do you want for commission?” I replied that under the circumstances, thinking that as I had not done that much, I would split the $500. With a severe frown this crestfallen motivated seller, appearing whipped, asked, “Where do I sign?” The $40,000 company with all those great ideas and that glorious future just got sold for a net to the seller of $250. And all those contacts I was going to make from selling Mickey Mouse Electronics? They didn’t materialize either. Lloyd Manning, AACI, FRI, CCRA, PApp is a semi-retired commercial real estate and business appraiser and broker who now spends his time writing for professional journals and trade magazines. He resides in Lloydminster, Alta. Email REM

Refer with Confidence recommend your clients to an AMP The Accredited Mortgage Professional designation is Canada’s national proficiency standard for the mortgage industry. Ensure your clients deal with a mortgage professional who has met the highest industry standards.

24 REM MAY 2013

Employee vs. independent contractor What you need to know


s a real estate professional, are you an “employee” or an “independent contractor”? The legal difference is important and has significant ramifications for your work-related benefits and liabilities, especially in relation to the taxes you may owe to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). What is an “employee”? The employer/employee relationship is the more traditional arrangement, by which the employer formally hires the worker, controls what and how his tasks will be, and is legally responsible for the employee’s negligence. The employer pays for the worker’s employment benefits (such as benefits under medical and dental plans), any required employer contributions to company pension plans, and remittances relating to the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance. The employer is also required to deduct the employee’s income tax at source and remit it to the CRA on behalf of the employee.

By Martin Rumack

In contrast, “independent contractors” essentially run their own businesses, dictate their own manner and method of work, and are themselves personally liable in the event they are negligent in performing their duties. They do not receive employment benefits, nor do they have any entitlement to company pensions. They are obliged to make their own Canada Pension Plan contributions. Because the employer does not withhold income tax at source for these workers, independent contractors must remit their own income tax instalments. There are some tax benefits to the independent contractor. He is entitled to deduct all reasonable business expenses from income for tax purposes. The CRA uses an established test – based on long-established legal jurisprudence – to determine the true nature of the relationship and whether an individual is properly classified as an employee or an

independent contractor. There is no single factor, but a set of several general considerations: 1) Control – This involves posing the question: “Who has the right to have the final say in the amount of remuneration to be paid, and the frequency and manner of payment?” Another factor is the consideration of who does the decision-making on matters such as the date of commencement of the work and the length of time, location and manner in which the work will be done. For an independent contractor these issues are all generally subject to negotiation between the parties, and the independent contractor has significant input. Conversely, in a true employer-employee scenario, the employer calls the shots. 2) Ownership of tools – Generally speaking, an independent contractor will supply his or her own tools that are needed to do the job. This test is particularly telling in connection with bigger-

ticket tools that have to be purchased, leased or rented (computer equipment, construction equipment, motor vehicle, office equipment). 3) Chance of profit/risk of loss – The level of financial involvement and risk is another factor in the determination of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Does the worker cover the operating costs? Does he bear the risk in connection with either incurring a loss (for example due to bad debt, delays or damage due to equipment)? 4) Integration — This involves evaluating the extent to which each of the parties has integrated his activities into those of the other. Whose business is it? If the worker integrates the activities of the employer into his own activities, then he is likely an independent contractor. If the worker’s activities are integrated into the employer’s commercial activities,

then it is likely that a traditional employee/employer relationship exists. What are the risks of being wrong? The employee-vs.-independent contractor determination is assessed individually, after evaluating all the facts. The parties’ own expectations, or what they choose to call their business relationship, is generally not relevant either legally or from the perspective of CRA. Real estate agents should always make sure their relationship is expressly defined in writing (with specific mention of the four tests outlined above, if at all possible). This will solidify each party’s intentions, and will be especially useful in the event of a future dispute. If a brokerage hires an independent contractor who is later determined by CRA to be properly categorized as an employee, then both the brokerage and the individual salesperson will be liable for any unpaid taxes, penalties, CPP and EI premiums, plus any interest for late payment that arose from the initial improper categorization. It is always best to discuss the matter with your lawyer and accountant at the beginning of your working relationship so the arrangement is properly structured and papered in order to avoid problems with CRA later on. For further information, see the Bulletin published by CRA, Employee or Self-Employed? (Bulletin RC4110). Sometimes we have to spend a dollar to make a dollar. If in doubt, spend a few dollars to ensure your arrangement is structured properly from both a legal and accounting perspective in order to minimize the chance of the CRA stepping in later to classify you as an employee rather than an independent contractor. Toronto lawyer Martin Rumack’s practice areas include real estate law, corporate and commercial law, wills, estates, powers of attorney, family law and civil litigation. He is coauthor of Legal Responsibilities of Real Estate Agents, 3rd Edition, available at Visit Martin Rumack’s website at REM

Dan Plowman

Kathleen Black

WHAT YOU’LL TAKE AWAY FROM THE EVENTS How to recruit and hire without error Create an abundance of leads Convert more leads than you can imagine Retain top talent The art of leverage: get more with less, or much more with a similar effort Why splits don’t work! How to compensate your team members

We will also walk you through how to: Write property ads that generate a ton of calls Convert leads into an abundance of face to face appointments Create loyal clients with the Million Dollar Buyer Presentation

- Kelly, Re/Max

It was everything it was promised to be and much, much more. I’m very excited about getting back to my office and starting to implement some of the things I have learned.

Not sure if anything has excited me so much, that the time flew as quickly as it did for me. There was so much information. I certainly wanted to spend a few more days with you.

Plus over $3900.00 in additional system resources to implement after you leave!

- Susan, Royal Lepage

Dan Plowman Team Systems 2013 Events Schedule Calgary Vancouver Oakville Barrie Sudbury Niagara-On-The-Lake

Team Leadership Team Leadership Team Leadership Team Leadership Team Leadership Team Summit

Tues May 28 Thurs May 30 Tues September 24 Mon October 22 Wed October 23 November 27-29


26 REM MAY 2013

Your personal mission statement

By Karen Donaldson


ou read correctly, a personal mission statement. Not a mission statement for your business, but for you. A statement that connects what you do, day in and day out; and sets out your actions, with meaning and significance. Do you have one? For independent sales professionals, there will be good days and not-so-good days. The real question is how you stay consistently motivated and empowered. Especially on those days where the warmth of a down-filled comforter and a rainy day presents itself, or a slow sales month is looming above your head. It can be a challenge and I think it is fair to say that everyone has been there at some point in their career. One of the ways to help stay focused, motivated and empowered is to create a personal mission statement that defines why you do what you do, who you truly are and your aspirations. When you take the time to develop a statement, your actions have meaning and significance. On those days where the bed is calling your name or there is a lull in your business, it’s your personal mission statement that can keep you moving toward your goals. It helps you move away from having the “daily grind” mentality of just doing and doing for revenue sake. A personal mission statement provides that clarity for the many roles we have and how we exist in the realities of our life. Your mission statement is the best guidance tool that keeps you on track to professional and personal success, success defined on your terms. It is surely the best tool to measure

career and life choices. When it comes to personal motivation, you can feel it when your drive just is not there. In these moments, many tend to justify the lack of action with the circumstances, and soothe themselves by waiting for it to pass. Your personal mission statement is grander than your circumstances, and serves as a personal commandment to re-focus and re-centre yourself. So how do you develop a statement, and where do you start? Follow these tips. Your personal mission statement should include: 1. Your values. 2. Your skills and abilities (please don’t be modest, proclaim what you do well). 3. Your passions (why you want to excel and be a success, what difference it will it make in your life). 4. Your personality traits. Ideally it should be around three to four sentences. Nice and concise, not a book. Type it up, print out three copies and frame them (yes, that’s right, frame them. If you can frame a picture of your beloved pooch Toto, your personal mission statement surely deserves a frame too). Hang a copy in your office, one in your bathroom and one right beside your bed. You want to be able to see it and read it every day. I challenge you to write, print and post your personal mission statement in the next three days. From the words of my past mentor, Herbert H. Carnegie: “The ball is now in your court.” Karen Donaldson, president of Karen Donaldson Inc. A.K.A “Your Next Level Coach”, is a self-leadership and communication coach, consultant and motivational speaker. She works with corporations, independent business professionals, senior managers and politicians, showing them how to re-shift and strengthen their mindset, communication and ability to take action leading to business and leadership success., (416) 414-2082; REM

Being Better Rocks. Brokers who are part of the Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate family are linked to an iconic and trusted brand that has been synonymous with the home since 1924. We are committed to helping our franchisees grow by: opening up new markets, increasing profitability, and attracting exceptional talent. We have the right marketing tools, innovative technology and lead-generation strategies to help you succeed. You’re good at what you do. But with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate you can Be Better. To find out how you can Be Better: 1-855-466-0003 BHGCANADA.CA

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©2013 My Lifestyle Brand Inc. Better Homes and Gardens® is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC and used with permission. Each Franchise is Independently Owned and Operated.

28 REM MAY 2013


By Marty Douglas


’m writing this column on the ironic alignment of holiday and calendar as agnostics and atheists join those who celebrate the religious tradition of crucifixion and resurrection culminating on April Fools’ Day. (I’m not suggesting they meet in the same hall.) All Fools’ Day, as it is sometimes called, actually may predate Easter according to a Wikipedia entry, citing the oldest prank tradition occurring around the same time in ancient Persia in 536 BC. The first prank in print occurred in 1698 when readers of a poster were encouraged to visit the Tower of London on April 1 to

April fools and Rate Your Realtor observe the washing of the lions. There is a long history of pranks by the media, continued today, but perhaps none quite reaching the cult status of a British documentary on April 1, 1957 featuring the spaghetti harvest. (You could look it up.) In terms of the top 10 pranks of all time, Burger King announcing the left-handed whopper and the state of Alabama passing a law rounding pi from 3.14159 to 3 are my favourites. Well enough of that. It’s now fully into spring when a young man’s fancy turns to the results of the CREA Annual General meeting. I am sorry about this shift in focus because I am perfectly happy discussing the inanities of All Fools’ Day but due to a recent observation about content, I’m trying to insert some real estate relevance into every column. I gather discovering real estate content in a magazine called Real Estate Magazine is a reasonable expectation on the part of a reader, but rather narrow and limiting don’t you think?

I wasn’t at the CREA AGM but I understand those members present voted in large numbers to reject the notion that clients might have an opinion of their services and that opinion might be worth knowing. Rejected. And with the rejection the most important plank – in my opinion – of the CREA Futures Project is ripped off the side of our ship. On the CREA home page there are no less than four links to topics discussing our future. In a related, equally important bit of recent news we have the entry, or more properly re-entry, of Lawrence Dale, he of RealtySellers fame, only this time he brought some friends to the party. Big friends – Rogers and Zoocasa. Guess what they plan to do? As Jim Adair’s excellent piece on page three of this issue states: “A key part of the website will be a ‘rate your agent’ section – similar to the Rate Your Realtor concept that was proposed as part of CREA’s Futures Project, but voted

down at the association’s Annual General Meeting . . . Rogers held a series of focus groups to determine what consumers want from the new site, and found that many asked for a section where they could read reviews of sales reps’ performance. “The CREA vote ‘doesn’t feel in step with the times in a servicebased industry,’ says Beattie. ‘I don’t see why agents would not want to hold up their credentials and a key part of their credibility and reputation is the service they provide to their customers.’ ” Of interest to Realtors? You tell me – this article appeared on REMonline on March 26 and in three days had 140 responses. The ‘Beattie’ in the quote is Carolyn Beattie, president of Zoocasa. Just what we wanted – a perhaps biased third party with the ability to comment on our profession backed up by public opinion. (Forget for the moment nationwide access to MLS.) A knee-jerk reaction might mean we will soon see our real

estate boards beefing up their communication departments to include a consumer defence division. On the other hand, we will be able to say, proudly or with regret is yet to be seen, our fingerprints are nowhere to be found on the consumer feedback model. Opponents to the Rate your Realtor proposal may say organized real estate can now save money and concentrate on its knitting, focus on education, bolster ethics and harass governments, leaving rating standards to others, and confident in our ability to tell our side of the story. At the very least we have eliminated a motto for the real estate coat of arms: “We don’t follow in anyone’s footsteps – we make them.” Contact Marty Douglas by email at . Follow or connect with Marty on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. He is a managing broker for Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty in Comox and Courtenay, B.C. REM

Growth. Excellence. Success. Celebrating 70% growth in our inaugural year*. Join a dynamic network of experienced commercial professionals. Benefit from: • Nationwide presence • Networking opportunities • A suite of business and marketing tools • Professional development resources • An established brand

To join our network, visit *Based on the number of participating agents, at the time of print production. Royal LePage is a registered trade-mark used under license. This is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, including a solicitation of any sales representative or broker that is currently under contract. ©2013 Brookfield Real Estate Services Manager Ltd. All rights reserved. Any copying, reproduction, distribution or other use of these materials is prohibited.

Growth. Excellence. Success. Celebrating 70% growth in our inaugural year*. Join a dynamic network of experienced commercial professionals. Benefit from: • Nationwide presence • Networking opportunities • A suite of business and marketing tools • Professional development resources • An established brand

To join our network, visit *Based on the number of participating agents, at the time of print production. Royal LePage is a registered trade-mark used under license. This is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, including a solicitation of any sales representative or broker that is currently under contract. ©2013 Brookfield Real Estate Services Manager Ltd. All rights reserved. Any copying, reproduction, distribution or other use of these materials is prohibited.

32 REM MAY 2013

What’s in your tool box?

By Julian Pilarski


MO SU PE N Sa T R le H en L SA ds Y Ma S VE y3 P 1st E R ,2 C 01 IA 3 L

t’s nice when the process of buying or selling property goes smoothly. In fact, it’s a luxury. Even at the best of times the waters can get a little choppy. When the unexpected occurs, clients want someone with the experience and support to calmly arm them with the knowledge and reassurance they need to weather the storm. As a Realtor, I have developed a keen eye for the various deficiencies, pitfalls and even blatant defects of some properties. Yes, more often than not, buyers and sellers have their homes inspected by qualified inspectors during the

sale or purchase process. But shouldn’t the individual brokering one of the most expensive transactions of our clients’ lives be able to bring some fundamental information about the home to their attention? Here are some of the tools that I use on my routine inspections with clients: Receptacle/GFIC tester: This is a fantastic way to help give an overall scope of a home’s electrical systems. The device is a simple tool that essentially accomplishes three tasks – it confirms a plug’s grounding, verifies the proper wiring of a circuit wiring (correct, reverse, incorrect) and tests the proper function of a ground fault interrupter circuit. Plugging this device into any receptacle will help identify any electrical related issues commonly found in any home. A simple check will help establish the need to investigate further, and offer insight into the overall health of the electrical systems. My favourite use is illustrating

to a client that just because a brand “new” electrical receptacle/outlet has been installed, it does not always indicate that the electrical system has been updated or is even safe. Voltage detector: The “magic electrical wand” as I often refer to it; the voltage detector is a simple device that detects any voltage without direct contact to an exposed wire. The device allows you to safely detect if a wire is live. My favourite use for it is exposing the truth about active “knoband-tube” wiring. Most of the original homes in Toronto were built with this now out-of-date wiring. It is an expensive and laborious task to retrofit an existing home with new standardized wiring. As a result, often claims are made that this primitive wiring has been “updated” or is no longer in use. With a quick wave of the wand, I can detect an active line in seconds – it’s safe, easy and effective. Digital moisture meter: Damp basement? Rotting bathroom


tiles? Funky smell? There are hundreds of practical applications for a digital moisture meter. A simple probe can help indicate areas of elevated moisture in homes. Whether it is suspect area in a basement, a questionable area around the tub or a patch on the ceiling, the moisture meter will aid in identifying a potential problem where moisture could pose a concern. My favourite use for this tool is showing my clients that the “newly finished” basement might be nothing more than a cover-up for a damp basement. Digital infrared thermometer: If it sounds impressive, it’s because it is. This tool is one of my favourites. Beam the infrared sensor at any object and in seconds a digital temperature will appear. This tool is critical in helping establish levels of insulation (or lack thereof), a leaking window or doorway, the proper functioning of heating and cooling systems, and in some cases discovering

gaping holes in foundations. My favourite use is helping illustrate to clients the importance of insulation materials and in some instances to raise questions about that “newly insulated” home. These are just some of the tools that I find myself using on routine inspections with clients. These tools along with the application of common sense, knowledge and experience help assure that my clients are well equipped with what they need to make an educated decision. What’s in your tool box? Julian Pilarski is a sales rep with Royal LePage in Toronto. He has established himself as a top performer (Top five per cent in Canada). Pilarski says he has built this early success on two basic business principles: honesty and integrity. He focuses primarily on the West End Toronto market where he was born and raised. REM

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34 REM MAY 2013


By Donald H. Lapowich


n a recent court case, a paralegal and a real estate agent sued the previous owners of a home (which they believed they were entitled to purchase), as well as the new owners of the property and the lawyers facilitating the purchase. The paralegal and real estate agent then alleged that a judge of the Ontario Court granted a judgment ex parte, declaring the defendants guilty of conspiracy and fraud, and awarded damages plus exemplary damages and costs. Ex parte means that the defendant

parties were not in court and the decision was made without their knowledge or attendance. The matter was brought before the judge who allegedly made this decision in the Superior Court. The judge found that the plaintiffs (paralegal and real estate agent), or one of them, acting in concert, falsified his signature by cutting and pasting a copy of his signature from another Order or Endorsement on to the judgment. The paralegal and real estate agent sent copies of the alleged judgment to the defendants, and threatened serious consequences and criminal proceedings. The judgment was also sent to the governing bodies of the professionals (the defendants). Both the paralegal and real estate agent are appealing the judge’s ruling, alleging that he in fact did sign the ex parte judgment and simply forgot. The judge, however, found that the plaintiffs were “faking a Judgment of the Court” and awarded $40,000 in costs to the defendants. On the date that the judgment was allegedly signed, the judge was

in Family Court. He never would have signed that form of ex parte judgment in any event. It is certainly worthy of disciplinary action against the professionals if they both conspired to carry out the alleged fraud. (John Joseph AKA John D’Souza and Peter D’Gama v. Ritchie James Linton, et al., 2013 ONSC 70) ■ ■ ■

Another case involved the death of a guest who was swimming in an unattended pool at Blue Mountain Resorts in Ontario. An inspector under the Occupational Health and Safety Act took the position that Blue Mountain had to report the person who drowned because this happened at a “workplace”. As strange as this may seem, the Ontario Labour Relations Board upheld that position, as did the Divisional Court. Finally, the Court of Appeal of Ontario set aside the lower decisions and refused to create such a broad interpretation of the act because there was no nexus between the pool giving rise to the Network and the author of several real estate books. David Franklin of Toronto is counsel to The U.S. Property Shop and an expert on Canadian and U.S. real estate.

Real Estate Books Buying U.S. Real Estate: The Proven and Reliable Guide for Canadians By Richard Dolan, Don R. Campbell and David Franklin Wiley $27.95 Canadians are one of the largest groups of foreign buyers of U.S. real estate, but as the economy and laws change around ownership of U.S. property, Canadians need to have the most current information at their fingertips. This new book addresses issues such as the legal requirements surrounding the acquisition of foreclosed or distressed properties; cross-border financing and

Barron’s Dictionary of Real Estate Terms, Eighth Edition accounting issues; and the fundamentals of buying a property, such Barron’s $16.99 as: •How to begin your search and find data on specific neighbourhoods; •Knowing all of your finance options, and what you need to know about U.S. tax laws; •How to work with contractors, renovators and property management experts; •Putting together an estate plan. Richard Dolan is the CEO and senior analyst of the U.S. Property Shop, a U.S. real estate capital advisory and research company based in Toronto. Don R. Campbell of Vancouver is a founding partner of the Real Estate Investment

Boasting about 3,000 terms and definitions relating to real estate, architecture and construction, this small but thick book is designed to be a quick reference guide for home buyers and sellers and anyone involved in the real estate industry. It has extensive listings for American associations and government agencies relating to real estate, but not for the Canadian counterparts. Many of the legal and mortgage terms are also not suitable for Canadians. However, there are lots of useful definitions on the architecture and construction side, many with line illustrations, charts and graphs.

death and a risk to a worker’s safety at that place. In other words, although workers may work or did work or will continue to work to clean up the pool or other matters, the fact that a guest died in the swimming pool did not lead to the owner having to make a report because a worker might reasonably be affected. To put things in perspective, in workplace terms, this was simply a swimming pool. (Blue Mountain Resorts Limited v. Ontario (Labour), 2013 ONCA 75) ■ ■ ■

In a B.C. case, the plaintiffs purchased a home from the defendant vendors. The purchasers contacted a real estate agent and visited the seller’s property with this agent. The agent told the purchasers that a home inspection had already been done. The agent did not mention potential problems with mould or mildew. After the purchasers bought the home, they discovered a situation that made the house unliveable. Because of the mould and

Next! Jump Out of Bed Sales Strategies for Real Estate Salespeople By Bruce Keith Personal coach, seminar leader and REM columnist Bruce Keith recently released his first book, a collection of sales tips for professionals. They offer

mildew, the purchasers could not move back into the house as several experts were unable to fully “resolve the problems”. The purchasers brought an action for breach of contract against the vendors, the real estate agent and his brokerage for deceit. The court dismissed the action against the vendors because there had been no warranty with regard to the state of the house (as is). The action, however, was allowed against the real estate agent and brokerage. The plaintiffs were awarded general damages of $37,000 and aggravated damages of $10,000. In addition, the agent and brokerage were ordered to pay the court costs of both the plaintiffs and the vendors. (Gundersen v. Savoy, 2012 BCSC 1047) 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 short, timely, to-the-point tips that you can apply to your sales effort right now. At the end of each tip, Keith says there are no excuses for putting off action now, and if you could use some help, there’s no excuse not pick up this book. REM

2013 Election of Directors — Here are your candidates Election of Directors is conducted by online voting only. Online voting instructions were e-mailed to registrants the week of April 8th from domain Please save the e-mail address to your safe senders list to avoid future delays in delivery. Online voting closes at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Region 1

ROBERT JOSEPH BUCKLER, Salesperson, Thornhill Century 21 Heritage Group Ltd., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments: I have been in the real estate industry for almost ten years, initially focused on condominium management. As a residential Realtor® now specializing in condominium sales, and through my consulting firm, Beredan Management & Consulting Inc., I provide a variety of condominium consulting services. To my knowledge, I am the only Realtor who serves as a Court-Appointed Administrator for condominium corporations where I replace the Board of Directors to rehabilitate a troubled condominium community back to health. In addition, I provide services to condominium developers, management companies, and owners, as well as answer condominium questions from my Realtor colleagues. I have and continue to volunteer in many industry-related committees, most recently being appointed to two Work Groups and the Expert Panel of the government’s Stage 2 Review of the Condominium Act. I am also an OREA instructor for the Property Management course, teach

Years Registered: 2.5

Condominium Law for the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario and have developed and delivered course curricula for many years. I am seeking election on the RECO Board again this year to work on behalf of Realtors in two areas: 1. To ensure that the RECO’s new professional development approach benefits Realtors so that we are better equipped to provide the highest quality service to our clients; and 2. With the shift to more condominium transactions than ever before, I would like to utilize my experience and knowledge to help RECO address the changing marketplace so we are better able to prepare consumers when they move into their condominium. I hope that I can count on your support. If you have any questions about my election platform, please feel free to contact me.

SAM DHILLON, Broker, Brampton AJ Lamba Realty Group Inc., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 12

I have held following positions in the past Chairperson – Parent Teacher Council – Derry West Village P.S. Chairperson – Parent Teacher Council – James Potter P.S. Chairperson for Social Committee @ Torpharm Inc. Chairperson for Health & Safety Committee @ Torpharm Inc. Volunteer at local temple for last 15 years Broker of Record for AJ Lamba Realty Group

HOWARD DRUKARSH, Broker, Toronto Right At Home Realty, Inc., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments: Toronto Real Estate Board – Member of Arbitration/Hearing Committee -2006/2007 Member of Communication Committee – 2006/2007 Member of Arbitration/Mediation Committee – 2008/2009 Right At Home Realty, Inc., I am a co-founder of this brokerage. With my late business partner Arthur Bartram we created the business model and strategic plan to grow the company from no salespeople in 2004 to over 2300 today. I also sit on the Board of Directors of the company. Habitat For Humanity, Toronto I have been a member of the Chair’s Advisory Council since 2011. The membership includes senior business people from the real estate industry 3300 Bloor Street West, Suite 1200, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario M8X 2X2 The content contained in the candidate profiles is supplied by each candidate.

Years Registered: 29

as well as other fields whose role is to contribute to the Board of Directors strategic plan and advise in an independent manner the direction the charity is pursuing. Royal LePage/Johnston & Daniel Division I was a member of the marketing committee responsible for the rebranding of the Johnston & Daniel brokerage (1995) after being acquired by Royal LePage. Toronto Real Estate Board-Annual General Meeting-Panel Discussion (2008) I was invited to participate with national real estate companies executives on the future of the industry.

2013 Election of Directors — Here are your candidates Election of Directors is conducted by online voting only. Online voting instructions were e-mailed to registrants the week of April 8th from domain Please save the e-mail address to your safe senders list to avoid future delays in delivery. Online voting closes at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Region 1 continued

IRENE GOODMAN, Broker of Record, Toronto Regency Park Realty Limited, Brokerage Email: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 34

I have been a member of the Toronto Real Estate Board in good standing since 1979 and opened my own brokerage in 1989. I have earned my FRI designation. As I take our business very seriously and have 34 years experience, I feel I have much to bring and share with the idea of enhancing our position as realtors. I considered real estate as my profession and enjoyed the various aspects of the business. I would like to ‘make a difference’ and would welcome the opportunity to serve as a director.

HARJIT SINGH KHALSA, Salesperson, Toronto Homelife Superstars Real Estate Limited, Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 11

Experienced (24+ years) IT professional, Entrepreneur, selling Residential and Commercial Real Estate since 2002. Administrator of a big brokerage (570+agents) and very well known among local Realtors as an Information resource, Career coach and a Problem solver. Knowledge, Hard work, Honesty, Professionalism and Creative thinking are what you can expect in everything that he does. He helps local food banks and other social organizations in creating awareness, fund-raising and technical know-how. This highly mobile, connected, tech-savvy and knowledgeable individual is very well suited for a high level position in professional organization that RECO is.

MASOOD KHAN, Broker, Mississauga Re/Max Legacy Realty Inc., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 32

Since 1980, other than selling Real Estate on full time basis, I have also served and still serving the membership in various capacities at RECO, TREB, OREA, MREB and other organizations, few present and previous portfolios are listed to give you an idea of my volunteer services. Address on MLS listing was one of my proposals to the industry.

*Founder – Talent Search International

*Member – RECO’s Discipline and Appeals Committee under REBBA 2002 for the past 6 years

*Member – Skydome Advisory Committee

*Member – RECO Discipline and Appeals Committee under By-Law No. 10

*President – Rate Payer’s Association of Ward-06, Mississauga (15 years)

*Vice-Chair – TREB’s Professional Standards Hearing Committee, also served as a member of Ethics Committee

*Co-Chair – Teacher-Parent Association of Hazel McCallion School

*Director – MREB, Chair Political Affairs Committee, also served Ethics, Arbitration, Membership committees *Vice-Chair – City of Mississauga’s public vehicle committee (two terms/6 years) *Chair – Canada Day Committee of South Asians *Chair – Canadian Association of the Pakistani Media (owner Eastern News, Canada)

*President – Canadian Film Producers Inc. *Chair – Credit Ridge Resident Association *Director – St. John Ambulance *Vice-Chair – Trillium Hospital Public Advisory Committee

*Director – Block Parents Association of Ontario *Director – Canadian Helping Arms (raised funds for Hospitals, shelter, earthquake and tsunami victims) ***City of Mississauga honoured with a street name “Khan Crescent”, recipient of Queen’s Jubilee Medal, TREB’s Civic Service Award, City of Mississauga’s Civic Award (3 times), International Volunteer Award, Crime Prevention Award

3300 Bloor Street West, Suite 1200, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario M8X 2X2 The content contained in the candidate profiles is supplied by each candidate.

2013 Election of Directors — Here are your candidates Election of Directors is conducted by online voting only. Online voting instructions were e-mailed to registrants the week of April 8th from domain Please save the e-mail address to your safe senders list to avoid future delays in delivery. Online voting closes at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Region 1 continued

RAJINDER LALL, Broker of Record, Toronto Sector Realty Inc., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 10

Present Experiences and Achievements:

Past Experiences and Achievements:

*Broker/Owner of Sector Realty Inc., Brokerage,

*President of a Manufacturing Sector Corporation (3 and ½ Years),

*Ten years of experience in Real Estate Sector,

*President of a Mortgage Corporation (1 Year),

*SRES and Member of National Association of Realtor (NAR),

*Vice-President of a Manufacturing Sector Corporation (1 and ½ Year),

*ABR and Member of Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), a division of NAR, and

*Supervisor experience in a Manufacturing Sector Corporation (4 Years), and

*Real Estate Institute of Canada Candidate 2013

*Humber College Graduate-1991 (Industrial Maintenance Mechanic)

BRYAN LAW, Broker of Record, Mississauga Prodigy Realty Corporation, Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 20

My goals:

Volunteering Experience

>To provide better service to members.

>President of Association of Canadian Lease Auditors, 2004 – Present

>To promote members’ professionalism to the public.

>Education Committee Member of OREA, 2006 – 2007

>To lobby for better business environment for members.

>President, Real Estate Broker Owners Association of Ontario, 2005-2006

>To better use of the resources of RECO to serve both the public and members.

>Director, Mississauga Board of Chinese Professionals and Business, 19992004

Professional Experience

Professional Designations

>Specialized in commercial leasing and residential brokerage since 1994

>MVA-Residential, REI, CLA

>Certified Instructor of OREA Real Estate College, 2005 – Present

Education >Bsc, LLM

CECILIA LUU, Broker of Record, Toronto Gold Mountain Realty Inc., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 9.5

Rotary Club of Etobicoke – International Committee – 2012 – 2013

TREB – Education Committee (Past)

Downsview Toastmaster Club – 2012-2013 – Spring Conference Workshop: Best Ambassador in Action – Vocal Mobility Toastmasters Club – 2012 – 2013 March

Davenport Liberal Association – Fundraising Committee (Past) + VicePresident Committee (Past)

Shelter Box – Ambassador 2012-2013

Queen’s Park Toastmaster Int’l Club – Area Governor (Past)

3300 Bloor Street West, Suite 1200, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario M8X 2X2 The content contained in the candidate profiles is supplied by each candidate.

Rotary Club of Toronto – Membership Committee (Past)

2013 Election of Directors — Here are your candidates Election of Directors is conducted by online voting only. Online voting instructions were e-mailed to registrants the week of April 8th from domain Please save the e-mail address to your safe senders list to avoid future delays in delivery. Online voting closes at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Region 1 continued

BRIAN MADIGAN, LL.B, Broker, Toronto Re/Max West Realty Inc., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 8

Real estate broker, commercial and residential, real estate litigation advisor, expert witness, venture capitalist and educator, approved RECO Education Provider (Disclosure Laws), Continuing Education Developer and Instructor (Agreement, Chattels and Fixtures, Surveys, Boundaries and Adverse Possession, Competition Law, Family Law, Estate Planning, Risk Management, Liability under law of Torts), published over 2,600 articles on real estate for the consumer emphasizing ethical practice by real estate practitioners, developed independent comparative performance index for real estate; served as mediator and arbitrator in real estate matters; accepted as expert witness by Superior Court of Justice in Ontario related to professional standards under REBBA 2002; graduated Osgoode Hall Law School 1974; practiced law in Toronto for 25 years, commercial and negligence litigation, professional discipline experience as advocate, prosecutor and chair, professional liability experience; over 1,000 court appearances including Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Appeal; closed over 5,000 real estate transactions; served on Board of Public Hospitals, Foundations and Chairman of Investment Committees for publicly funded pension plans, advisor to Insurers underwriting corporate governance policies; previously Speaker, Canadian Bar Association, Lecturer, Law Society of Upper Canada, Instructor Bar Admission Course; Director, numerous non-profit organizations. As a member of the RECO Board, I would encourage professionalism, foster education, permit accredited specialization, allow personal incorporation of real estate practices. Please confirm your commitment by exercising your right to vote!

ALVARO A. MALLARINO-CRUZ, MBA, Salesperson, Toronto Your Choice Realty Corp., Brokerage E-mail: Years Registered: 2 Years 4 Months Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments: Alvaro Mallarino-Cruz is a recognized Real Estate professional, investor and entrepreneur with a strong financial background spanning over 15 years. Alvaro’s involvement with the Real Estate industry dates from 2005 when Alvaro saw and realized investment opportunities in multiplex units in Toronto. Alvaro’s previous experience includes several years of employment in the Corporate Finance and Strategic Consulting groups at Ernst & Young and Deloitte & Touche in Toronto. Alvaro provides an exemplary service not only as a Realtor but also as consultant and advisor to investors and homeowners. In addition, Alvaro assists other realtors in reaching out to a more sophisticated consumer base through the use of digital media including web, mobile and social networks. Alvaro’s interest in contributing to RECO stems from his passion about Real Estate and his belief that creativity and hard work are key success factors in this dynamic industry. Alvaro has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Toronto, and is a CFA charterholder (Chartered Financial Analyst)

LAWRENCE (LOU) MCDONALD, Salesperson, Port Perry Century 21 Wenda Allen Realty, Brokerage E-mail: Years Registered: 3 Current(+3- 1976 – 1978) Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments: Working as full-time Realtor – last 3 years (plus 3 year previous – 1976 – 1978) Strong Business Acumen – Over 35 years of Business Experience – Retail and Wholesale Worked many years in Management position for International Companies (e.g. BMW Group Canada, General Motors of Canada, Mazda Canada) Ran Small Business Enterprise as General Manager and Equity Partner for 5 years Held District Manager positions involving Dealer Networks (Ontario & Western Canada) Coordinated, Organized and Chaired Committees for National Company

Recruited, Vetted and Signed up over 50 Automotive Retailers in Ontario and Canada (including execution of complex legal documents and contracts) Strong Oral and Written Communication Skills Strong Computer Skills (Excel, Work, PowerPoint, Internet) Excellent Time Management and Negotiation Skills Strong abilities in establishment of goals and action plans Able to meet deadlines Strong meeting organization and presentation skills Strong Business Writing skills (letters, documents and contracts) Drafted and Published many policy and procedure manuals etc.

Attended International Committee meetings in Canada, USA and Germany 3300 Bloor Street West, Suite 1200, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario M8X 2X2 The content contained in the candidate profiles is supplied by each candidate.

2013 Election of Directors — Here are your candidates Election of Directors is conducted by online voting only. Online voting instructions were e-mailed to registrants the week of April 8th from domain Please save the e-mail address to your safe senders list to avoid future delays in delivery. Online voting closes at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Region 1 continued

STEVEN SCHMEISER, Broker, Thornhill Homelife/Bayview Realty Inc., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 25

Member and Vice Chair of Arbitration Committee at the Toronto Real Estate Board Active broker and Manager of successful Real Estate office and career development trainer. I truly have a passion for our business and my objective is to continue the quality representation of the Real Estate Industry on the Board of Directors, and promote the interest of Realtors, to find a balance between our industry and consumers by bouncing ideas around and being receptive to others

RICHARD SILVER, Salesperson, Toronto Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 33

2012 – 2013: Past President, The Toronto Real Estate Board

Ontario Real Estate Association

2011 – 2012: President, The Toronto Real Estate Board 2004 – Present: Director, The Toronto Real Estate Board

2011 – Present: Member of Global Business and Alliances Committee at the National Association of REALTORS

2013 – 2015: Current Member of the MLS and Technology Council at The Canadian Real Estate Association

2009 – Present: Member of REBAC Advisory Council at the National Association of REALTORS

2009 – 2011: Member of the MLS and Technology Council at The Canadian Real Estate Association

2009 – 2011: Director of the REALTORS Care Foundation, Province of Ontario

2011 – Present: Member of the Electronic Signatures Task Force at The

ROBERT SOPRONEY, Salesperson, Mississauga Re/Max Realty Enterprises Inc., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments: Member of RECO’s Discipline and Appeals Committee (Since 2000) TREB Hearing panel (10 years) Miss. R.E. Board Investigation/Hearing Panel (1995-2000) Miss. R.E. Board Director 1998/99 Miss. R.E. Board Chairman of Operations, Chair Social Committee, Member of Nomination, Web Design Committee (MREB)

3300 Bloor Street West, Suite 1200, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario M8X 2X2 The content contained in the candidate profiles is supplied by each candidate.

Years Registered: 38

Public Vehicle Advisory Committee – Vice-Chair (City of Mississauga) – 3 Terms (9 Years) When elected, expect duties to be carried out in a precise, conscientious manner. No Disappointments! A VOTE FOR ROBERT SOPRONEY INSURES A VOICE IN RECO FOR YOU!

2013 Election of Directors — Here are your candidates Election of Directors is conducted by online voting only. Online voting instructions were e-mailed to registrants the week of April 8th from domain Please save the e-mail address to your safe senders list to avoid future delays in delivery. Online voting closes at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Region 1 continued

SHELLY SRIVASTAV, Salesperson, Markham Premier Matrix Realty Ltd., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 1

1. 18 years of experience in Accounting, finance, audit & Taxation

4. Serving as Treasurer on an Executive Committee since 2011

2. A Chartered Accountant in Ontario, Canada, a Certified Public Accountant from Colorado, USA & a Chartered Accountant from India

5. Serving as Secretary on another Executive Committee

3. Excellent knowledge of various accounting & other computer softwares

A volunteer for Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario’s annual Tax clinic.

SCOTT CHRISTOPHER WEBSTER, Broker, Toronto Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments: 2011 – PRESENT, Toronto Real Estate Board Professional Standards Review Panel 2013 – PRESENT, Real Estate Council of Ontario Finance Committee 2010 – PRESENT, Manager of Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc. As the full time managing broker with Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc. downtown Toronto I understand the issues face by salespeople each and every day. When elected I will bring a common sense approach to solving these ongoing challenges and will act as a strong advocate for change. I

Years Registered: 10

envision a RECO that promotes the highest levels of skill and professionalism from its members while creating a business culture that allows members to thrive in our changing business landscape. In my humble opinion, clarity is the key to understanding and this is an area where I feel RECO can improve. I intend to explore new processes and procedures at RECO that will improve clarity and help ensure that members are able to stay in compliance with REBBA 2002. I believe that RECO needs new ideas and a fresh perspective and that is exactly what I intend to bring once elected.

3300 Bloor Street West, Suite 1200, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario M8X 2X2 The content contained in the candidate profiles is supplied by each candidate.

2013 Election of Directors — Here are your candidates Election of Directors is conducted by online voting only. Online voting instructions were e-mailed to registrants the week of April 8th from domain Please save the e-mail address to your safe senders list to avoid future delays in delivery. Online voting closes at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Region 2

ANN FORBES ARNDT, Broker, Hamilton HomeLife Macro Realty Inc., Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 23

My background and experience within organized real estate and other volunteer organizations has given me a solid basis to be an effective Director. It is important to listen to all stakeholders and take different viewpoints and ideas into consideration. I look forward to being an active participant in the discussions that determine the strategic direction of RECO.

Finance Committee (Member in 2007 and 2010-2012, Chair 2010)

The following is a list of some of my committee experience:

OREA Legal Resource Committee (2012)

REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington:

I have completed all the OREA Leadership courses.

Board of Directors (2007 – 2011)

Please feel free to email or call me if you would like further information regarding my experience or if you have any questions. I would welcome the opportunity to talk with you.

President (2011)

Governance Task Force/Committee (Member 2010-2011) Membership Area Representation Committee (Member 2007 – Present, Chair 2007-2009) Ombudsman Task Force (2009)

PETER HOFFMAN, Broker, London Royal LePage Triland Realty, Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments:

Years Registered: 37



Throughout my long career I have been actively involved in organized real estate. Some professional highlights include: having been an OREA instructor for licensing and Brokerage courses; elected in 1994 as President of the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) after serving for a number of years as Director; chaired and/or participated in virtually all of LSTAR’s committees and task forces; recipient in 1998 of LSTAR’s Outstanding Service Award; sat on the OREA Finance Committee.

In 1990 along with my then business partner opened our independent real estate brokerage which has steadily grown to 5 locations in Middlesex, Elgin and Oxford Counties. As co-owner of Royal LePage Triland Realty I am proud to be affiliated with our entire team of 275 professional salespeople.

Currently completing my first term as a RECO Director. At RECO I chair the Finance Committee and the Premium Stabilization Committee. In addition I have sat on the Insurance Committee.

3300 Bloor Street West, Suite 1200, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario M8X 2X2 The content contained in the candidate profiles is supplied by each candidate.

Personal: I live in Old South London with my wife Sue and mini golden doodle puppy. Enjoy golf and reading and proud of my two sons, both well established in their chosen careers. After three years of steady learning as a RECO Director, I now seek reelection and feel that I will be able to contribute even more with the experience I have gained.

2013 Election of Directors — Here are your candidates Election of Directors is conducted by online voting only. Online voting instructions were e-mailed to registrants the week of April 8th from domain Please save the e-mail address to your safe senders list to avoid future delays in delivery. Online voting closes at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Region 3

PEGGY BLAIR, Salesperson, Ottawa Royal LePage Team Realty, Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments: I was a lawyer for 30 years and have a doctorate in law. A Harvard-trained negotiator, I taught Property Law at the University of Ottawa as well as Mediation/Negotiations at Queens before becoming a realtor. I served as the Senior Legal Counsel and Director of Legal Services to a non-profit organization with 165,000 members (the Canadian Medical Association). In that capacity, I provided advice to a national board as well as a number of sub-committees on a wide range of matters including Codes of Conduct and Ethics, and the fiduciary responsibilities of board members. I am very familiar with the challenges involved in the management of a non-profit organization. I taught courses in Legal Ethics and Advocacy as an instructor in the Law Society of Upper Canada’s bar admission course. I have also trained negotiators (lawyers and others) in interest based negotiations. I was a trainer on contract to the UN in Serbia, where I trained judges in human rights issues. I am a former member of the Canadian Human Rights

Tribunal and sat for a number of years as a Senior Adjudicator and later Deputy Chief Adjudicator in the Indian Residential Schools process. I am highly experienced in interpreting legislation, and have been a policy advisor to the Senate, various Parliamentary Standing Committees, the Privy Council Office and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal peoples. I have been named as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in Lexpert every year since 1996, even though I no longer practice law. Since joining Royal LePage, I have organized and hosted a number of successful seminars on real estate in cooperation with TD Canada Trust. I developed, produced and hosted a show on real estate on Rogers TV this past fall and winter called Ottawa Experts: Real Estate. I am regularly interviewed by the media about real estate matters in Ottawa. I have a strong social media presence and am a published author. Because of my legal experience and background, I have a unique perspective to bring to the Board as we deal with the challenges ahead.

JODY LAVOIE, Broker, Nepean Royal LePage Team Realty, Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments: Jody Lavoie was first elected to RECO’s Board of Directors in 2010. He has served as Vice Chair and as a member of RECO’s Audit and Governance Committees, and is currently on the Insurance, Education and Finance Committees. In addition Mr. Lavoie was a member on the Advertising Guidelines Task Force at RECO which worked to simplify the advertising guidelines used today. He currently sits on the Education Review Sub Committee which revamped the Continuing Education System while keeping it affordable and accessible to all registrants.

I was licensed as a Sales Representative in 1985 and obtained my Broker’s License in 1989. I am an active member of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association and have served on my local board since 1992. I started as a Director and served as president of the Kingston Board in 2004 and 2010.

Years Registered: 8

Mr. Lavoie began his career as a real estate salesperson in 2005 and is currently registered as a real estate broker. He has the distinction of winning the Award of Excellence consistently since 2009 and is currently in the top 3% of Royal LePage agents in Canada. Jody is also an active volunteer who has served as a member on the MLS, Arbitration, and Technology Committees at the Ottawa Real Estate Board. Jody Lavoie is looking for re-election to continue the progress that he has made over the last 3 years.

SUE TALLEN, Broker, Kingston Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty, Brokerage E-mail: Area(s) of expertise, committee experience (RECO, real estate, other), additional comments: I believe my experience and my commitment to the real estate profession make me a good candidate for the position of a Director at RECO.

Years Registered: 3

Years Registered: 28

I served as a Provincial Director for Eastern Ontario on the Ontario Real Estate Association Board of Directors in 2007 and 2008. During my term I was a member of the Finance Committee and the Legal Resources Committee and I chaired the Communication Committee. Since completing my term as a Provincial Director I have served on the Education Committee, Standard Forms Committee and Arbitration Committee at the Ontario Real Estate Association. I have enjoyed representing my fellow Salespeople and Brokers and will continue to be your voice at RECO. I want to hear your issues and be part of a resolution to making change if needed in our profession. I would welcome your comments and invite you to contact me.

I have chaired the following committees for the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association; Discipline Committee, Arbitration Committee, Finance Committee, Attendance/Liaison Committee, MLS Task Force, Royal Bank and Kingston and Area Real Estate Association Charity Golf Committee and I am currently Chair of the Political Affairs Committee. 3300 Bloor Street West, Suite 1200, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario M8X 2X2 The content contained in the candidate profiles is supplied by each candidate.

44 REM MAY 2013

Good Works C

entury 21 brokers and agents raised more than $440,000 in 2012 on behalf of Easter Seals. Seven Canadian Century 21 System members were recognized internationally, as part of the “Top 21” North American fundraisers on behalf of Easter Seals in 2012: No. 4 – Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty, Barrie, Ont.; No. 5 – Century 21 Dome Realty, Regina; No. 9 – Century 21 Assurance Realty, Kelowna, B.C.; No. 13 – Century 21 Fusion, Saskatoon; No. 15 – Century 21 Seller’s Choice, St. John’s, Nfld.; No. 18 – Century 21 Classic Realty, Dartmouth, N.S.; No. 21 – Century 21 Bachman & Associates, Winnipeg.

Since 1979, Century 21 has supported Easter Seals by raising millions of dollars for families living with disabilities nationwide. ■ ■ ■

The owners of Pawlowski Realty in London, Ont. recently donated their real estate services to help sell a “green home” built through the donations of materials, products and labour from members of the London Home Builders’ Association. Long-time members of LHBA, Chester, Lynn and Randy Pawlowski of the family owned brokerage are strong advocates of energy-efficient homes and have taken numerous courses to educate themselves abouit green construc-

The bowlers from Sutton Group – Showplace Realty – from left, front row: Crystal De Jager, Rabia Shafi, Jen O’Gorman, Nicole Johnston. Back row: Kelly Johnston, Cameron Gemmell, Martin Taroni, Donna Peet and Angela Thraves.

Winn Adair

tion. They say being knowledgeable in this area allows them to advise their new home buyers about the options and benefits of using the latest in energy-efficient, environmentally friendly technologies and materials. The LHBA green home is built with a cutting-edge exterior house proofing system, high-performance windows, water conservation systems, energy-efficient features and recycled materials. It is registered for LEED, Energy Star and Greenhouse certification. With a suggested retail value of $600,000, the home is being offered for sale at $449,900 with the proceeds going towards the completion of London’s Cancer Survivors’ Garden at Wonderland Rd. and Riverside Dr. – the LHBA’s 60th Anniversary Legacy Project. ■ ■ ■

For the fifth year in a row, Realtors and staff from Sutton Group - ShowPlace Realty in Chilliwack, B.C. participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters “funraising” Bowl for Kids Sake Bowl-

Jane Hoffman and partner won the Judge’s Choice award and raised $58,000.

The team at Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty

a-thon. Events like this were held across Canada to raise money for youth mentoring programs. This year’s bowl-a-thon coincided with Anti-Bullying (Pink Shirt) Day. “Realtors and staff wore pink shirts or ties throughout the day to show that we take a stand against bullying,” says Rabia Shafi, administrative assistant at the brokerage. Each bowler was required to collect $50 in pledges in order to participate. Over the years, Sutton Group - ShowPlace Realty has raised thousands of dollars that have allowed local children to be matched with mentors. ■ ■ ■

International Women’s Day was the backdrop for a celebration luncheon in support of Family Transition Place, with Royal LePage RCR Realty as a sponsor. Family Transition Place provides emergency shelter, counselling and community programs for women and children seeking refuge from family violence in Durham and Caledon (Ont.) communities. The event included guest speakers, a women’s vendor mar-

Debbie Van Wyck, Gillian Vanderburg and Manda Jones, sales representatives from Royal LePage RCR Realty, were part of the fundraising committee for an International Women’s Day luncheon in support of Family Transition Place.

ketplace and a video booth where attendees were encouraged to share “who is the woman who inspires you.” ■ ■ ■

The team at Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty recently presented a generous donation to The Salvation Army to support the Tuesday Hot Lunch Program, the SonShine Lunch Club at St. Georges Church in Courtenay, B.C. Serving 6,240 guests last year, a team of volunteers and staff prepare and serve hot meals to those in need. For many the hot lunches may be their only nutritious meal each day. Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty has been supporting the program since 2008 and in total has donated $67,000. ■ ■ ■

More people in need can experience warm, safe shelter courtesy of Realtors and caring community members who contributed to the success of the 4th annual Gimme Continued on page 46

Royal LePage Atlantic agent Sheila Banser poses with the winner of the bread bake-off, fellow agent Bill Cooley.

Lorraine O’Quinn (front, centre) of Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty with participants at her Dance Walk for Shelter.

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46 REM MAY 2013

Turn one listing into 4 more transactions By Glenn McQueenie


love listings! And so do all of the top agents. We all understand that our goal is to get the most money for the sellers, as quickly as possible and with the fewest problems. This is the universal goal of all top listing agents. What if we were to be a bit more strategic, and focus on picking up a minimum of three more transactions for every new listing we take? Let’s start with getting the listing first. I will lead generate and get one listing appointment from one of these eight sources: 1. Sphere of influence. 2. Farm area. 3. Craigslist, Kijiji, Facebook or other social media/marketing. 4. FSBOs. 5. Referrals from past clients or friends. 6. Targeted door knocking in high turnover areas. 7. People I meet throughout the day. 8. Other Realtors across the country and the U.S. Then I can start to “vertically

market” around that listing. For example, if I have a listing appointment in a “move-up” area: 1. I could start a marketing campaign to the people living in their first home, who are most likely to move to this neighbourhood. The easiest way to find out these patterns is to go through all of the recent sales in the “first-time” seller neighbourhoods during the last two years, enter the sellers name in and see where they moved to. The patterns will become clear. 2. I could also call my past clients who live in that area. 3. I could market either the listing (if I have it) or the fact that there will be a new listing coming out on either Craigslist or Kijiji and generate leads from potential move-up buyers. I could advertise the monthly carrying costs on the “looking to rent” or ” homes for rent” sections of these sites as well. 4. I could hold a neighbours’only sneak-peek open house before the listing comes on to the market and generate new business. 5. I could approach FSBOs in the first-time seller neighbourhood to see if they would like to come and see my new listing. 6. I could go “upstream” and lead generate in the market where my seller is moving to. 7. I could place an ad on Craigslist or Kijiji and target the area that my sellers are moving to. 8. I could go and door-knock the first-time seller neighbourhood

and tell them about my new listing. 9. I could market via flyers or postcards to the upstream market (see #6). 10. I could hold an open house on the weekend like most sales reps do, or start holding open houses during the week between 4 and 7 pm. Just add an additional sign that says “Neighbourhood Real Estate Information Centre”. The great thing about follow-

Good Works Continued from page 44

Shelter fundraiser in Winnipeg. Countless volunteer hours, 500 attendees and more than 100 business sponsors raised close to $50,000 for the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) Shelter Foundation. The evening included fire dancers, three live bands, silent and live auctions and karaoke. Winn Adair, a sales rep with Sutton Group - Kilkenny Real Estate, has worked on the event for four years and was the chair of Corporate Donations for 2013. “I’m among 100 board builders who contribute $1,000 each so we have a fund of $100,000! I hear from time to time people complaining about what’s bad so I always encourage them to join us and make a difference. That’s why I get involved.” ■ ■ ■

ing the “vertical marketing’ strategy is that for every new lead, listing and buyer that you meet, simply “rinse, lather and repeat” this strategy and you will be well on your way to making this your best year ever. Glenn McQueenie is the operating principal of Keller Williams Referred Realty and broker of record of Keller Williams Referred Urban Jane Hoffman of Coldwell Banker Jane Hoffman Group in Kelowna, B.C. participated in the annual Swinging With the Stars fundraising dance event for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association. The event raised $226,000, and Hoffman’s team won the award for most pledges raised, bringing in more than $58,000. Hoffman’s dance of the Cha-Cha won the Judges Choice award. ■ ■ ■

Through her “Shedding for Shelter” campaign, Lorraine O’Quinn of Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty in Trenton, Ont. raised more than $10,500 in support of her local shelter through the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, and she has lost more than 35 pounds. O’Quinn’s campaign wrapped up with a “Dance Walk” where 60 participants danced a five-km

Realty in Toronto. His first office was launched in 2004 and has now grown to over 230 agents in two offices. His passion is teaching, coaching and mentoring agents to help them get more referrals from their sphere of influence, converting more leads and getting additional transactions from every listing you take. Email; Phone 416-445-885; Blog at REM route in colourful costumes with travelling music. Funds raised were directed to second stage housing at Three Oaks shelter in Belleville, Ont. ■ ■ ■

Chili, bread and healthy competition were on the lunch menu at Royal LePage Atlantic in Halifax recently. At this annual event, agents and staff bring a batch of their best chili or homebaked bread for a chance to win office bragging rights, prizes and to support a worthy cause. This year’s event featured six chili and nine bread submissions. For $10, 46 attendees received lunch and a ballot. Winner for best chili was Stefan Sieber, while Bill Cooley took home the prize for best bread. All funds raised are directed to Phoenix Youth, a local organization that supports at-risk and homeless youth. REM




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48 REM MAY 2013

Krazy glued

Costa Poulopoulos and Mary Johnson Realty Executives Elite Ltd. Brokerage Named

OWNER OF THE YEAR 2012 Realty Executives International, a company with more than 550 franchises in over 27 countries worldwide and 8,000 + Executives recently announced their 2012 International award winners. Congratulations to Costa, Mary and Realty Executives Elite Ltd., London, Ontario on their International awards.

Owner of the Year Circle of Excellence These awards only happen with dedication, determination and an excellent support team. I congratulate Costa, Mary, the Executives and staff for their continued high standards of professionalism and service. To obtain these awards is outstanding and unparalleled. I wish you continued success and thank you for choosing to be an Executive. Please congratulate Costa and Mary at (519) 649-6900 or Scott Gilmour President Realty Executives Regional Inc. Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada

By Dan St. Yves


razy Glue – what a gripping invention. Literally! With this miraculous liquid bonding agent, I have personally cemented together: • the flimsy plastic handle that opens and closes my flimsy living room blinds, • a ceramic souvenir statue of the mythical Canadian lake creature Ogopogo, knocked over while practicing lariat swinging in my basement as a child and • multiple fingers and once even a couple of toes. Krazy Glue boasts adhering capabilities that most other glue products can’t even come close to offering. The one I would now strongly recommend avoiding is the ability of the product to bond hair. Specifically, the hair that men often accrue below their noses. Yes, I am talking moustache hair. How (you might well ask) does one find out this sort of thing? Well, you would typically discover a use such as this entirely by accident, and not by happy accident – like say, the discovery of electricity or an extra chicken leg at the bottom of the KFC bucket. An unfortunate accident like the one I am about to describe is entirely preventable and if your partner happens to capture it with her smartphone, regrettable. First, let me explain that I’ve always reserved Krazy Glue for the use that it had been originally intended for – repairing what accident or anger may have torn asunder. However, a colleague recently informed me that Krazy Glue can also bond human skin – intentionally! Now, everyone knows that somehow (no matter how careful you are), enough glue will always somehow dribble down your

repairs and instantly secure your fingers together. This friend suggested that if you have a small cut somewhere, Krazy Glue can be used to close a laceration, in lieu of a bandage. That got my attention. I have a skin condition known as psoriasis. There are plenty of small splits and openings all over my hands on any given day. So this advice sounded brilliant. I could save a fortune on bandages! Test day: I bought a brandnew tube of Krazy Glue, laid down a newspaper on my bathroom counter and poked the tube to open it up. The first gush is always proficient – and I did manage to get a good amount to drop on to one of my finger splits. Perhaps too much. It just sat there, like an opaque little pool of water, too thick to harden. So I gently blew on it, which is recommended as a tactic to make it harden faster. Which it did, but completely around a cluster of moustache hairs, which had come too close to the product to remain glue-free. I couldn’t pull the hair and fingers apart painlessly, so I hoped that a pair of scissors might offer freedom. However, I am lefthanded, which best described the digits that were attached to my moustache. My right-handed attempts to trim the hairs almost left me with gills. This is when I had to swallow my pride and search out my bride. I clearly required an extra set of hands to extricate myself. Blackmail photos aside, I was happily released. Incidentally, I’m trying out a retro pencil moustache for awhile. And well-intended advice aside, I’m okay sticking with bandages. Humour columnist and author Dan St. Yves was licensed with Royal LePage Kelowna for 11 years. Check out his website at, or contact him at REM

REM MAY 2013 49

Century 21 Percy Fulton named No. 1 worldwide Century 21 Real Estate LLC, the franchisor of the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization, announced Century 21 Percy Fulton as the No. 1 office worldwide in the Century 21 System based on sales production in 2012. This is the office’s second consecutive year receiving the international award. The company, which has been recognized as the No. 1 office in Canada since 1990, was honoured at the Century 21 Global Conference in Las Vegas in March. Clare Fulton, the owner of the brokerage, was presented with his award on stage in front of thousands of international system members. Century 21 Percy Fulton Ltd. was founded in 1977 by Clare Fulton’s father, Percy Fulton. Clare Fulton took over ownership of the company in 1988. Today, the brokerage has 225 agents in four offices serving the home buyers and sellers of the Greater Toronto area.

CREA Lifetime Achievement Award for Peter Brady Peter Brady, broker/owner of Trophy Property Corp. in Haliburton, Ont. and a 42-year veteran of commercial councils at CREA, the Toronto Real Estate Board and the Ontario Real Estate Association, has been awarded the CREA Lifetime Achievement Award. Brady launched Trophy Property Corp. in 2011. In its first year of operation it established itself in the Ontario cottage country marketplace by selling out the area’s first 30-unit waterfront condominium project, and brokering

several commercial businesses, resorts and marinas. “I am deeply humbled by the recognition from CREA peers,” says Brady.

NBREA Dave Hawkins Award Jacques Piche of Gardiner Realty Royal LePage in Fredericton has been named this year’s recipient of the Dave Hawkins Award, presented by the New Brunswick Real Estate Association (NBREA) to recognize an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the real estate industry. Piche began his real estate career in 1990 after retiring from the Canadian Forces. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Fredericton Real Estate Board and served on numerous NBREA committees. He has been president of the Oromocto Chamber of Commerce, president of the Federal Superannuates National Association, director of the Local Advisory Council Fredericton, and served with several other community organizations. Piche and his wife Gloria have been married for 46 years and love spending time with their children and grandchildren.

ARR Realtor of the Year The Association of Regina Realtors (ARR), in conjunction with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has selected its second-longest serving member, Glen Hantelman, as 2012 ARR Realtor of the Year. The award recognizes an ARR member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and dedication to both the real estate industry and the community at large. Hantelman has served on

countless committees for the association and has been a tireless volunteer for many worthy causes, especially helping Regina’s less fortunate, ARR says. “Glen is a giver – generous with his colleagues, his clients and his community. Humble and helpful, he personifies the very best of our profession and we couldn’t be more pleased to honour and thank him with this award,” says ARR president Stacy Svendsen. Hantelman, who works with Sutton Group Results Realty, started his real estate career in 1970, following in his father’s and brother’s footsteps balancing Realtor duties with farming. Hantelman sold the family farm near Rouleau in 1989 and has concentrated on real estate ever since, always managing to find time to fundraise for organizations close to his heart and help colleagues newer to the business who turn to him for advice. After 43 years as a Realtor, Hantelman has no plans to retire and says he, too, is still learning: “You can never know everything in this business because it’s something different every day.”

LSTAR president wins Volunteer Leader Award Doug Pedlar, president of the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) has won the 2012 Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) Volunteer Leader Award. This award recognizes an individual who has played an important role or addressed a major issue or challenge facing his or her association over the past year. “In our estimation, Doug’s ongoing efforts over the past year to educate organized real estate, real estate associations and the public on the potential negative impacts of wind turbines on human and animal health and on property values made him an absolute stand-out for the OREA Volunteer of the Year Award,” says Barb Whitney, 2012 LSTAR president. “Not only did he thoroughly research the issue himself and put together his own presentation on the subject, he took that presentation across the province in 2012, Continued on page 50

Client Communications

MAY 2013 SPECIAL realtyreport

Market Connections Inc.®

Compliments of Danny Brown


Real Estate Agent Market Connections Inc.® 94 Scarsdale Road Toronto, ON M3B 2R7 Tel: (800) 387-6058 387 6058 Fax: (800) 800-7093 Greetings! You’re receiving this newsletter with hopes that you find it informative and entertaining. If you’re thinking of making a move, or are just curious as to real estate trends in your area, please feel free to call at any time. It’s always good to hear from you! All the best,

Danny Brown


Market Remains in Balanced ed d Territory Territory Te

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) continues tinu ues to monitor the overa erall housing national real estate climate, and so far verifies thatt our overall market remains firmly in balanced territory.

CREA keeps track of the number of home sales processed through the MLS® systems of real estate boards and associations and other cooperative listing systems in Canada. CREA President Wayne Moen confirms, “There is little new to report about national sales activity, which continues to hold fairly steady at the lower levels first reached when mortgage rules were tightened in mid-2012.” He adds, “That said, things are becoming more interesting among local markets, with improving sales in Vancouver and Toronto likely to come as something of a surprise to some. As always, all real estate is local, so buyers and sellers should speak to their REALTOR® to understand how the housing market

is shaping up w where they live or are considering to live.” Timely updatess and market information aree vital in today’s real estate climate. mate. In addition, a recent survey highlighted the need for specific conversations about affordability in today’s market, with more than 63 percent of Canadians indicating a “major need” for more information about the financial details of buying a home. That figure rose to 70 percent for respondents between 18 and 29. Remember that your one-stop information source about all things real estate is just a phone call away. Please call anytime with all of your real estate questions! CNSF

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50 REM MAY 2013

And the honour goes to... Continued from page 49

speaking to 20 different groups.” A podcast of the presentation, which has received more than 2,500 viewings on YouTube, is at “Motivated by a really genuine concern for the people of Ontario and their Quality of Life, Doug devoted enormous amounts of personal time and energy to this cause,” says Betty Doré, LSTAR’s executive vice-president. “Opposition to the way in which the Green Energy Act was rolled out was not an easy sell in all circles, especially at first. However, he persevered and the questions he was among the first to raise are now the subject of much public debate.”

Century 21 Centurion Awards Three Century 21 System members recently received the coveted 20-year Centurion Award, which acknowledges 20 years of the highest levels of production in the system. The recipients were Stephen Gagne, Century 21 Macintyre, Chelsea,

Que.; George Lou Karmiris, Century 21 King George Rd., Brantford, Ont.; and Peddy Tsui, Century 21 A.L.L. Stars Realty, Edmonton. The awards were presented at Kickoff 2013, held by Century 21 in eight cities across Canada. In a single week, the event launched in Halifax then continued on to Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Red Deer, and Richmond, B.C. It featured keynote speakers, gala dinners, luncheons, presentations, trade exhibits and the opportunity for all Canadian real estate professionals to grow their business.

REBGV names award recipients North Vancouver Realtor Sadru Mitha was recently named the recipient of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s (REBGV) Professional Excellence Award. The award is presented to a Realtor who exemplifies the highest level of professional knowledge, ethics, peer and client relationships and community involvement. Mitha was nominated by his peers for the award and was chosen by a panel of five judges.

During his lengthy career, he has mentored many colleagues and is often called upon for advice. Mitha, an associate broker with Prudential Sussex Realty, is also a Fellow at The Real Estate Institute of Canada. Outside of real estate, Mitha, a former heart patient, regularly counsels patients preparing to have open heart surgery. He is also the longest serving member of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. REBGV also recognised the recipients of the Realtors Care Award, which is presented annually to Realtors in Greater Vancouver who work and advocate for their communities through fundraising or volunteer activities. Ron Antalek of Re/Max LifeStyles Realty, Maple Ridge was instrumental in helping the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation raise $238,000 at its gala fundraiser in 2012. He was also a key volunteer for the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society, Cynthera Transition House, Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Community Services and the District of Maple Ridge. Michelle DeFehr of Re/Max Crest Realty, North Vancouver is a long-time volunteer with the

annual Realtors Care Blanket Drive. Her efforts have helped drive steady increases in the number of donations and volunteers involved with the program on the North Shore. She has also developed a special relationship with B.C. Children’s Hospital and has been instrumental in encouraging colleagues to donate part of their commissions to support the hospital. Eric Huffey of Prudential Sterling Realty, Port Moody has experienced first-hand the effects of prostate cancer and has dedicated himself to raising funds and encouraging men to get checked regularly. He has also helped counsel individuals faced with a cancer diagnosis. Huffey has worked to increase prostate cancer awareness on the national, provincial and local level. Dexter Associates Realty in Vancouver has raised more than $225,000 for the B.C. Cancer Foundation through its participation in the Ride to Conquer Cancer. The real estate company has also hosted galas for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, raising more than $55,000, and has fundraised for several other charities.

Patrick Lofto gets 2012 Realtor Partner Award Generating career high mortgage originations in 2012 through an alliance with Re/Max Realty Enterprises in Mississauga, mobile mortgage specialist Patrick Lofto was honoured with the Realtor Partner Award at the Mobile Mortgage Specialist (MMS) Conference held recently in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The annual TD Bank Group Award is presented to an individual mobile mortgage specialist who fosters exceptional business development and demonstrates a commitment to exceptional service in conjunction with a Re/Max affiliate partner. Lofto has worked with Re/Max Realty Enterprises since 2009, maintaining an office at the company’s Mississauga franchise. “Being chosen among more than 900 TD mobile mortgage specialists across the country is incredible,” says Lofto. Re/Max broker/owners Ryan Gilmour, Jodi Gilmour and Jeff Penelas have been very supportive. Their team of top-notch professionals sets the stage for a seamless level of continuity, which is highly valued by our mutual clients.” REM

The team at Century 21 Percy Fulton Sadru Mitha

Ron Antalek

From left: ARR Realtor of the Year Glen Hantelman, ARR president Stacy Svendsen and Derek Ramage of CMHC. From left: Jamie Ryan, executive director, NBREA; award recipient Jacques Piche; Paul Burns, NBREA president; and Lincoln Thompson, owner/broker, Royal LePage Gardiner Realty.

Michele DeFehr

Doug Pedlar

Eric Huffey

Dave Peerless of Dexter Associates Realty

Peter Brady

Elton Ash, Regional EVP, Re/Max of Western Canada with Patrick Lofto

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52 REM MAY 2013 ■ ■ ■


indsor-Essex-based real estate broker Phil Dorner has assumed the role of president of The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). Active in the real estate profession for 32 years, Dorner is broker of record with Louis Parent Realty in Belle River. He is a member and past-president of the Windsor-Essex County Real Estate Board and has served on the OREA board since 2009. Costa Poulopoulos of London will serve as president-elect. OREA directors-at-large are: Patricia Verge of Ottawa; Tom Lebour of Mississauga; and Richard Leroux of Timmins. John Filipetti of Sault Ste. Marie will continue to serve as commercial director and Gerry Weir of London will continue on as the director representing the provincial association to CREA. Paul Etherington of the Toronto Real Estate Board will reprise his role as substantial membership director. Ronald Abraham remains on the board as pastpresident. Provincial directors representing different geographic areas are: Eastern Ontario, Linda McCallum; Central Ontario, Maureen O’Neill and Ettore Cardarelli; Northern Ontario, Diane Erickson; Southern Ontario, Ray Ferris; Northeastern Ontario, Valerie Miles; and Western Ontario, Anna Vozza. ■ ■ ■

Jennifer Lynch, a Gabriola Island Realtor and former president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, has been elected president of the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA). Lynch is a managing broker with Coast Realty Group. She has contributed extensively to the real estate industry, serving

on numerous committees and as a director at BCREA and VIREB, where she was president in 2007. Joining Lynch as officers of the association are presidentelect Jake Moldowan of Re/Max Jake Moldowan Realty in Richmond, past-president Jim McCaughan of Landmark Realty in Abbotsford and CEO Robert Laing. For the first time, BCREA is also welcoming two nonlicensees to the Board of Directors to bring a public angle to the association’s decisionmaking processes. They are Donna Bridgeman and Sharon Bryan. Returning Realtor directors include Claudia Holland (Quesnel), James Palanio (Penticton), Dick Pemberton (Kamloops), K. Scott Russell (Richmond), Rosario Setticasi (North Vancouver) and Jim Stewart (Nanaimo). ■ ■ ■

The Association of Saskatchewan Realtors (ASR) recently announced a new Quality of Life Legacy Initiative. The association has placed $130,000 under the professional fund management of the Saskatoon Community Foundation. From that amount, $100,000 will be used to establish a long-term endowment fund and $30,000 will be used in 2013 to provide a grant of $5,000 to eligible charities in each of six different regions across the province. As part of its new initiatives to promote Quality of Life in Saskatchewan, the ASR launched a Legacy Awards Competition in each of the regions. Charitable organizations with project ideas that support the ASR goals for improved Quality of Life are encouraged to apply for an award, which will be awarded to the best application in each of six regions across the province.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) recently introduced Sandra Wyant as its 2013/2014 president. Wyant replaces outgoing president Eugen Klein. Wyant was one of the first instructors in the industry’s Ethical Leadership Program. At the provincial level, she has served as a director of the B.C. Real Estate Association. She also served as an REBGV director for a number of years before stepping into her current role as president. Wyant is with Re/Max LifeStyles Realty. The other members of the Board of Directors: Ray Harris, president-elect, Re/Max Sabre Realty Group; J. Darcy McLeod, vice-president, Re/Max Results Realty; Eugen Klein, past-president, Royal LePage City Centre; Rishi Dhir, Royal Pacific Realty (Kingsway); Gerrit Focker, Royal Pacific Riverside Realty; Danny Gerbrandt, Royal LePage Brookside Realty; Ilan Heller, Sutton Group - West Coast Realty; Michael Mitsiadis, Royal Pacific Realty (Kingsway); Phil Moore, Re/Max Central; Dan Morrison, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada; Heidi Neff, Sutton Group - West Coast Realty; Howard Or, Sutton Group - West Coast (Van49); Jill Oudil, Coldwell Banker Westburn Realty; Sheldon Scott, Colliers Macaulay Nicolls; and David Yang, Royal Pacific Realty. ■ ■ ■

Last October, Mississauga City Council considered a motion asking the Ontario government to give municipalities the ability to levy a municipal land transfer tax. The motion also asked other municipalities across the province to endorse the request. “Thanks to the efforts of the Mississauga Real Estate Board, Toronto Real Estate Board and the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), Mississauga took the motion off the table and referred the matter to the Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO),” says OREA president Phil Dorner. “LUMCO is a group made up of the mayors of

Ontario’s 25 largest cities. The caucus’ sole purpose is to lobby the provincial and federal governments on municipal issues.” Dorner says OREA has learned that LUMCO plans on lobbying provincial political parties in the lead-up to the next election. “Specifically, they aim to get provincial parties to commit to giving municipalities new revenue powers,” says Dorner. “If a second land transfer tax is imposed on Ontario homebuyers the consequences would be serious for the provincial housing market and for Realtors. In Toronto, a C.D. Howe report confirmed that the city land transfer tax has caused a 16-percent reduction in sales each year since it was introduced.” OREA’s Board of Directors has approved a multi-faceted campaign to stop the spread of the municipal land transfer tax. The campaign will be launched in the lead-up to the next provincial election. “Our message to policy makers is that the municipal land transfer tax is unfair, unbalanced and economically irresponsible,” says Dorner. ■ ■ ■

Ontario Realtors are now one step closer to enjoying peace of mind when handling agreements of purchase and sale electronically. On March 21, the bill to remove an exemption of agreements of purchase and sale from the Electronic Commerce Act passed its second reading in the Ontario Legislature with overwhelming support from all three political parties. OREA has been championing the issue of electronic agreements of purchase and sale for years and says that Bill 28, if passed, will provide electronic transactions with added legal protection and therefore eliminate Realtor reluctance to handle the agreements of purchase and sale using modern-day technology. The legislation, introduced by MPP Todd Smith (Prince Edward—Hastings), was inspired by two local Realtors who came to Smith’s local Belleville office last spring and told him that the way transactions are handled in

Ontario lags behind the available technology, OREA says. ■ ■ ■

Realtors in Nanaimo, B.C. have donated $1,000 toward having filmmaker Paul Manly’s documentary about the Nanaimo River Watershed duplicated and distributed to schools throughout School District 68. The film, Voices of the River, “crosses a number of different parts of the school curriculum,” says Manly. “From history and First Nations studies, to science and geography the Nanaimo River is an integral part of the region when looked at from different perspectives.” Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) director Jennifer Merilees says, “We’ve been big supporters of the film since its premiere last September. Using monies from our RealtorsCare Fund, we help ensure that local students learn about this important watershed and its impact on the area.” ■ ■ ■

The London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) won the 2012 Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) Quality of Life Award. The award goes to the association that has most actively worked over the course of a year to improve the quality of life in its community. Some of the initiatives for which LSTAR was recognized include the Home at Last Affordable Homeownership Partnership, with partners City of London and CMHC; the expansion of Youth Opportunities Unlimited’s kitchen prep area and equipment purchase; ongoing support of homeless and women’s shelters; support for the London Homeless Memorial; advocacy around industrial wind turbine issues; and Realty Watch, a community policing program. ■ ■ ■

The Second Annual VIREB Realtor Charity Hockey Game raised $2,684 for the Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. Held at the Nanaimo Ice Centre

REM MAY 2013 53

Arena, 31 players consisting of Realtors and members of the local business community suited up and took to the ice to battle for their chosen cause. Jeanne Fahlman, the Hospice Society’s development officer, picked up the cheque at the VIREB office. “The funds

are going towards Expand the Heart of Hospice, helping Hospice move into our new home and expand our services to people in our community dealing with dying, grieving and care-giving. Events like these are a huge boost to our fundraisREM ing efforts.”

From left: ASR president Al White (North Battleford); Quality of Life committee members Elaine McMillan (Prince Albert) and Karen Krawczyk (Moose Jaw); Kristy Rempel, representing the Saskatoon Community Foundation; committee chair Joanne Kerr (Saskatoon); and committee members Deb Honch (Prince Albert) and Kelsey Adam (Swift Current).

Phil Dorner

Sandra Wyant

Jennifer Lynch Ray Harris

Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) directors Kathy Koch, left, and Jennifer Merilees present the cheque to filmmaker Paul Manly. J. Darcy McLeod The new Board of Directors for CREA was introduced at the AGM recently. From left: Wayne Moen (immediate past-president), Lorne Weiss (regional director, Manitoba), Bill Briggs (regional director, Alberta), Gerry Weir (regional director, Ontario), Cliff Iverson (regional director, Saskatchewan), Beth Crosbie (president-elect and regional director, Atlantic), Roy Milley (regional director, Atlantic), Moss Moloney (regional director, B.C./Yukon), Sheldon Zamick (director-at-large), Andrew Peck (director-at-large), Bill Johnston (director-at-large), Mike Pedersen (MTC chair), Pauline Aunger (vice-president), Mike Carson (director-at-large), Barb Sukkau (director-at-large), Daniel Dagenais (regional director, Quebec), Krista Del Gatto (AEC chair), Laura Leyser (president), and Allan Corbett (CCC chair). (Photo: Lipman Still Pictures) The London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors won the 2012 Ontario Real Estate Association Quality of Life Award.

From left: Realtor Dave Hammond, Jeanne Fahlman, and Realtors Justus Edmundson, Jordan Belveal and Jim Stewart. The Toronto Real Estate Board won the Canadian Commercial Council award at the recent CREA AGM. Accepting the award on behalf of TREB is Cynthia Lai, shown with CCC chair Allan Corbett. (Photo: Lipman Still Pictures)

The AEC Award of Excellence was awarded to Brad Scott, chief operating officer of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, at the recent CREA AGM. Above, Scott receives the award from CREA CEO Gary Simonsen, left. (Photo: Lipman Still Pictures)

54 REM MAY 2013

How I would choose a Realtor Royal LePage Commercial Program Manager

By Duncan Fremlin

Lucie Piazza

Kelly McCain, Director, Business Services is pleased to announce Lucie Piazza has joined the Royal LePage Commercial team in the role of Program Manager. After earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University, Lucie began her career in the highly competitive world of residential real estate in Toronto, where she was formally recognized and awarded for outstanding sales and customer service. Lucie then developed her business skills as a franchise owner, successfully launching and operating a thriving recruiting franchise that generated more than $2.4 million in annual sales. When Lucie subsequently ventured into Commercial real estate sales, she had already built her own portfolio of investment properties and had worked in property


management and rental property leasing. Most recently, Lucie was with Coldwell Banker Commercial. In her new role, Lucie is responsible for continuing to build and support the growing Royal LePage Commercial network. She will develop the competitive advantage of our national reach across urban centres and smaller markets, coast-to-coast while managing and developing our exclusive suite of Commercial tools and services. Lucie Piazza can be contacted at: Royal LePage Commercial 39 Wynford Drive, Toronto, ON, M3C 3K5 416.510.5825 †

†Royal LePage is a trademark used under license.


Royal LePage Vendex Realty Mario Hermenegildo

Brampton, ON

Mario Hermenegildo, broker of record for Prudential Vendex Realty, has joined the Royal LePage franchise network, effective March 20, 2013. Mario’s office will now operate under the name of Royal LePage Vendex Realty. Mario is a veteran of the real estate industry, with 25 years of experience amassed thus far. He originally opened his office with Countrywide in 1990 and converted to Prudential in 1993. Throughout his career, Mario has focused on consistently providing a high level of customer service and professionalism. With the strength of the Royal LePage brand behind him, Mario’s goal is to increase his roster of 33 sales representatives to more than 40.

Royal LePage Vendex Realty services Brampton, Caledon, Mississauga, Georgetown, Orangeville and Vaughan. Mario and his team can be reached at: 4 McLaughlin Rd.S. Unit 10 Brampton, Ontario L6Y 3B2 Phone: 905-452-7272 Fax: 905-452-7646


Congratulations to Mario and the team at Royal LePage Vendex Realty.

Teranet partners with HomeVerified Home History Reports

For information on the Royal LePage franchise program, please call: Tel (416) 510-5827 or email:

† †Royal LePage is a trademark used under license.

‘ve had the privilege of working side-by-side and across the table with hundreds of my fellow Realtors these past 25+ years and have learned everything about being a successful Realtor from them. By watching and listening, I’ve learned what to do and say, what not to do and say, how to act and how not to act. I know how agents sell their listings for the most money with the fewest problems, and I know why. I know what it takes for agents to maintain a high level of professionalism in their day-to-day affairs and have witnessed how this can be a great benefit to their clients. So if I can for a moment don the hat of a buyer or seller, this is what I would do to find the best Realtor to represent me in a real estate transaction. The first thing would be to ask for a recommendation from a friend or neighbour I trust, preferably someone who recently bought

Teranet, the exclusive provider of online property search and registration in Ontario, announced a partnership with HomeVerified, which provides home history

or sold. The industry changes almost daily, so a recent success story has more value than a fiveyear-old one. I would Google the candidate and explore the links with rigour. I know that most agents Google their clients, so here’s a “right back at ya” moment. After studying their online brand and presentation material, before I would sign anything, I’d ask myself the following: Do they spend generously on their marketing and presentation? Is their marketing material professional and of the highest quality? Do they present themselves, and more importantly the houses they sell, in the most professional way? In short, do they spend the money necessary to sell a house or condo for the highest dollar? Are they forthcoming with information about the process of buying or selling? Do they provide current “evidence” – a comparative market analysis to support the price of a home I’m buying or selling? People can choose to use this data or not. It is, however, important that it be available. Are they involved in the community, in the city? It’s no surprise reports and national home and neighbourhood history information. Jeremy Fisher, Teranet’s strategic product manager for real estate, says, “The additional information the HomeVerified report provides is valuable to Realtors, individual home owners, home buyers and home inspectors. It is a great way to market and sell both your home and its neighbourhood.” The report provides photos, insurance claims history information (sewer back-ups, fire damage, flood damage, burglaries, vandalism), a proprietary marijuana growop database, local school rankings, neighbourhood amenities and other information. The companies say the information is crucial to sellers to assist with proper disclosure and to help buyers with their due diligence. For information: and

that the agents who are the most engaged in the world around them have more knowledge about what’s going on in the marketplace. Are they consistent? Do they offer the same service to the $300,000 condo owner that they do to the $2-million homeowner? Is their focus on themselves (“look at the awards I’ve won”) or their service? Are they punctual? Do they do what they say they will do? After sorting through this maze of information, I’m sure I’d settle on the Realtor who simply felt right, someone I liked. Realtors aren’t like many other service providers who visit the house for an hour or so to fix something. Both the buying and selling process can involve spending a lot of time together. It helps a great deal if everyone enjoys each other’s company. Duncan Fremlin is a broker with Re/Max Hallmark Realty in downtown Toronto. He’s also an avid blogger and writer. is now in its 7th year. Email; Phone 1877-462-1888; Twitter @banjoREM dunc.

Victoria Common sweetens deal for Realtors Victoria Common, a new urbanism “community within a community” in KitchenerWaterloo, Ont. is offering a fourper-cent Realtors’ commission, effectively doubling what a real estate sales agent would normally earn on a sale. In addition, the developer says it is providing comprehensive on-site sales support as well as ongoing educational seminars for investors and brokerages. Once a leather tannery, the completely remediated site is being transformed into a cosmopolitan centre, including 220 townhomes by Losani Homes, and five condominium buildings ranging from four to 12 storeys by Queensgate Development Inc. For information: or 1-888-240-5332. REM

REM MAY 2013 55


By Elden Freeman


he story of the three little pigs has a certain relevance in our modern, ecoconscious world. Based on the fairy tale, brick homes are the strongest and most enduring, attributes any homeowner would value. But plenty of other cladding or siding options are available so clearly there are contenders that beat out sticks and straw and may even give bricks a run for their money. Whether you’re building a new house, adding an addition or perhaps just patching up an old one, it’s good to know what your choices are. Cladding materials come in a wide range of prices, materials,

Eco-friendly cladding colours and styles depending on your budget and taste. So let’s take a look at what really counts: exterior cladding materials that get a green thumbs up because they go easy on the earth. Vinyl – Vinyl or PVC siding accounts for a large chunk of the flexible siding market in Canada because it’s a relatively inexpensive product. Light and easy to install, vinyl is a low-maintenance siding that never needs scraping or repainting. This versatile material comes in dozens of colours and profiles and can be recycled when its time is up. On the down side, vinyl siding is made from oil, which is not a renewable resource. Also, a lot of energy is burned to produce PVC. Subjected to fire, its performance isn’t the greatest and the fumes can be toxic. PVC is pretty much the bottom of the barrel from an environmental standpoint because of its chemical formation. Wood – Wood offers homeowners a beautiful, traditional look. It’s readily available in

Canada and its production emits small amounts of pollutants so it’s common to think of it as a great renewable resource. From a practical standpoint, wood has its challenges, though. It’s not the strongest material and can be prone to mould and rot, insects and rodents. Needless to say, it’s not the most flame-retardant material either. Wood is also fairly high-maintenance, requiring regular painting or staining and caulking to prevent weather damage. It also tends to be pricier. Stucco – Esthetically, stucco is versatile and can be textured and shaped to achieve a variety of architectural styles. Stucco rates well in its resistance to pests and rodents. It’s fire resistant and the materials required to manufacture stucco – traditionally a cement mixture with sand or lime – are in heavy supply. Unfortunately, making concrete creates a large carbon footprint. It doesn’t weather as well as other materials and stucco is difficult to install and to maintain.

Brick and stone – The durability of these materials makes them building superstars. Granite, slate and limestone are virtually immune to the ravages of Mother Nature. Brick, which is made of fired clay, means some maintenance for homeowners, as a light washing may be required from time to time. Brick and stone resist the elements extremely well and are impermeable when it comes to pests, mould and fire, making them low-maintenance products. On the pricier side, brick and stone are difficult to install. They also burn a significant amount of energy during their extraction and production processes, but fans of the products say their longevity makes up for this. Metal – On the performance end, metal ranks high. Resistant to weather conditions, mould and parasites, metal is easy to install and maintain. It’s also durable, long-lasting and recyclable. While it’s been mainly used for roofs, it is gaining ground as a siding option. However, mining the products

that go into some metals (copper and zinc, for example) come at a high energy cost to the environment. While considerations such as durability, water resistance, energy efficiency and esthetics are big factors, don’t forget to consider the environmental cost your product has made on the planet. How much energy went into extracting the materials used in those shingles or bricks? How about manufacturing and transporting them? Thankfully, big bad wolves don’t really huff and puff at our doorsteps. But if there’s a moral to this story, it’s keep up your chinny chin chin, do the right thing and select the greenest product your money can buy. The National Association of Green Agents and Brokers (NAGAB) provide a Greenbroker and Greenagent certification program to Realtors across Canada. To get more information or to sign up for a course, visit Elden Freeman M.E.S., AGB, broker is the founder and executive director of the non-profit organization. 1-877524-9494 Email REM

56 REM MAY 2013


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


Tim Syrianos, Broker Owner, welcomes

Heidi Schweichler

to the RE/MAX Ultimate Realty management team.

No stranger to the business, Heidi has specialized in the sale or resale homes condominiums and pre construction as well as residential leading and assignment sales in Toronto and surrounding communities since 1989. She has provided an exceptional standard of service to local and international buyers, a skill set that has earned her a solid reputation both here and abroad. A citizen of three continents and fluent in five languages, Schweichler understands what it takes to be a success in real estate. With over twenty years of experience, these attributes will serve her well in her new role as Broker Manager for RE/MAX Ultimate Realty. Her primary focus, mentoring and coaching will elevate an already remarkable team of real estate professionals who are serious about their career with a desire to take their business to the next level. Having worked for a variety of brands and business models Schweichler is excited to work for a global leader in the real estate industry, that provides and abundance of lead generation and marketing tools. RE/MAX Ultimate Realty 416-530-1080

Industrial, Commercial & Investment Ground broken for first Montreal tower in 20 years The Cadillac Fairview Corporation recently hosted a ground-breaking ceremony for Deloitte Tower, Montreal’s first new, privately owned and financed commercial office tower to be built in more than 20 years. The ceremony marked the launch of Cadillac Fairview’s $2billion multi-year plan to redevelop a prime sector of downtown Montreal. Deloitte Tower will comprise 495,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of retail space. Typical floor size will be approximately 22,300 square feet. Deloitte will be the anchor tenant, occupying almost a third of the available space (160,000 square feet). Located on Avenue des Canadiens-de-MontrĂŠal, the 26storey Deloitte Tower will rise 436 feet between two Montreal landmarks, the Bell Centre and the heritage-designated Windsor Station. “Globally, business leaders are demanding space that is more flexible, more comfortable, more efficient and more sustainable. A new world standard is emerging, and in Montreal, it can be found

at Deloitte Tower. This is a building designed not just for work, but for success,� says Salvatore Iacono, a senior vice-president with Cadillac Fairview. Linked directly to the city’s underground network as well as Lucien-L’Allier and Bonaventure metro stations, and within easy walking distance of the city’s main commuter hubs, Gare Lucien-L’Allier and Gare Centrale, and the South Shore Transit downtown bus terminal, the site is also easily accessible from Autoroutes 10 and 720. Primary pedestrian access to the tower will be at the courtyard level located on Avenue des Canadiens-de-MontrÊal. A renovated public courtyard will feature extensive landscaping, seating and a reflecting pool in fair weather and a skating rink in the winter. A soaring glass, metal and stone lobby will integrate elements of a 19th-century heritage rail shed. The courtyard level will also feature a restaurant suitable for fine dining and business events.

Lucie Piazza joins Royal LePage Commercial Royal LePage Commercial is marking one year since the brand

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was re-launched and recently hired Lucie Piazza as program manager. “Growth over the past year has come not only from within the Royal LePage ranks, but also from external recruitment and acquisition,� says Piazza. “In just 12 months, the number of commercial practitioners has increased by 70 per cent, with a 115 per cent growth in participating brokerages from coast-to coast. We are entering our second year in a very strong position.� Royal LePage’s commercial niche is in the mid-market segment where 85 per cent of com-

Lucie Piazza

mercial transactions occur. This necessitates national representation in smaller markets as well as the urban centres. To mark the one-year milestone, Royal LePage Commercial has established a partnership with Investit Software Inc. The partnership extends a license of Investit’s real estate analysis software, Investit Pro, along with a suite of learning tools. In her new role, Piazza is building out Royal LePage’s Commercial offering through 2013 to include more networking events, new business tools, expanded brand building and marketing tools, and additional avenues for professional development, the company says. “I intend to use feedback surveys and close contact with our practitioners to enhance and continue the momentum we have built thus far,� says Piazza. “Ensuring we meet the on-going needs of our commercial network will be key to our continued growth and success.� REM

REM MAY 2013 57

Going it alone has its advantages

Two Realtors on opposite sides of the country talk about forming their independent brokerages By Christina Pellegrini


hat has your broker done for you lately? Have their tools, support systems and structures helped you succeed? Are the benefits of your affiliation greater than the costs? Debbie Simmonds, a Realtor on Vancouver Island, asked herself the same questions. The answers: there wasn’t any free sales training at the big-name brokerage she was working for, managers didn’t offer performance feedback and the listing fund she’d been contributing to rarely led to new leads. Those answers prompted a life-changing career move. Fees and commissions were “digging into my pocket month after month,” says Simmonds, who worked in British Columbia’s forestry industry for 19 years before she got her real estate license and joined a big-name brokerage in 2001. “But I really had enough of that program. The conventional commission model is broken.” So she got her broker’s license, left the brokerage, turned down a job offer from another big-name real estate company and partnered with Alberta-based financial education and investment firm Fast Track Group. She opened the company’s first real estate office in British Columbia last December, Fast Forward Real Estate. Today,

she is a member of five real estate boards and is the managing broker of a growing team in B.C. and Alberta. Affordable and effective online advertising platforms have enabled and empowered real estate professionals to get their broker’s license, open their own independent brokerages and compete head-to-head with traditional real estate models. Through unconventional marketing plans, enhanced customer service and new business models, small brokers are proving that going it alone can be profitable. At Fast Forward Real Estate, Simmonds offers clients three distinct marketing plans—basic, enhanced and full service—with a list of prescribed services at a fixed cost, some of which is paid for up front, and charges clients commission fees lower than five per cent. The model, she says, is more transparent for clients, doesn’t “alienate the real estate community” and helps keeps costs down for both parties. “A Realtor can spend upwards of $3,000 to list a property and they’re choking on all that cost until the sale is made,” Simmonds says, describing the conventional marketing and payment models. “The listing can just expire and the client can go to another Realtor.”

People who’ve purchased the enhanced marketing plan can save $5,000 on a $500,000 home or $7,500 in savings with the basic marketing plan, Fast Forward Real Estate advertises. “By keeping Realtors’ costs down,” Simmonds says, “those savings can then be passed down to our clients.” “What made me really sad when I came into this industry is that I saw Realtors doing our basic plan and then charging full commission,” Simmonds says. “Fast Forward is a different mindset of how to do real estate.” She isn’t the only one who’s trying to go against the status quo. Victoria Harnum, owner of Dream Realty in Carbonear, Nfld., got her broker’s license in 2010 after working at two big-name brokerages for five years. “I was working so hard and I was giving almost half of my money to the broker,” she says. “You don’t end up with much at the end of the year.” Instead of joining an established franchise, Harnum created a new company, purchased a URL, hired a designer to create a website for her new company (to accompany her personal website) and a logo, and set up an office in her home. “I’m the salesperson and the broker,” she says, adding that most

of her leads are generated from online search engine results to her own webpage, not from her listings on the real estate board’s website. “I’m saving thousands and thousands of dollars.” Harnum says big-name brokerages that offer lots of sales training and support systems are great for new agents, for people who want to “learn how things actually work” and for those who need an extra push to sell. Her decision to go independent three years ago comes down to fewer fees, less bureaucracy and more control over her personal brand. “I get to keep all the commission now,” she says. If you wanted a property to be noticed 10 years ago, you had to pay for expensive and coveted print and television advertisements – and usually, the large brokerages were the big buyers of these spots, she says. “The biggest thing is finding you and your listings. You have to have the listings too. If you don’t, there’s nothing to see.” Harnum and Simmonds are proof that a client’s relationship is with their Realtor, not the brokerage. Look at where your own leads and sales are coming from, whether from referrals, search engine results or the brokerage’s listings fund, and determine how

Debbie Simmonds

Victoria Harnum

many are self-generated or a consequence of your affiliation with your big-name brokerage. “Agents need to think very carefully about who they work for and their start-up costs,” Simmonds says. “And they need to interview the broker, not the other way around.” REM

58 REM MAY 2013


By Heino Molls



s a long-time observer of this industry, it continues to be glaring to me that the real estate agent in North America is the focal point of a real estate purchase or sale. Spare me all the mean-spirited comments about Realtors self-promoting and marketing their own pictures and names in advertising. They are the business! They have to advertise themselves to get more business. What business do you know that does not advertise itself? A Realtor in the process of selling a home creates business for others. Home inspectors, mortgage brokers and agents, home stagers, lawyers, appraisers, loan officers at banks and trust companies, surveyors, legal clerks, movers, renovators, window blind makers and everybody you can think of is in the blast of business that is set off when a real estate agent pulls the trigger on the sale of a home. I have even talked to automobile salespeople who have told me that cars are

The real estate agent often purchased once a home is sold because that’s when people tend to review their financial resources and decide this is also the time to get a new vehicle for the growing family or the empty nesters. They claim it is common that these purchases go hand in hand. I am told an astute car dealer watches the real estate market. Everything begins with a Realtor who lists a home and gets maximum value for their client as they guide them through the process of selling or buying their property or both. It is a nonstarter for the do-it-yourselfers who do not know their way down this road. In over 30 years of working for this industry I have never once come upon a Realtor who claimed to be an expert on any of the work they create by marketing or buying a home. Every agent I have known talks about the importance of calling upon expertise for a particular service. The great irony to me is that sometimes I hear people in the service field claim that they are more knowledgeable about buying and selling homes than the very Realtor who provided the work they were hired to do. I am agog when I hear about a painter who will be well paid for his expert painting say to the homeowner; the next time she or he wants to

sell or buy a home they should call on him instead of the Realtor. What gall! In the hurly burly of buying or marketing a home, the swirl of activity spins around the real estate agent who efficiently organizes the steps, outlines the service needs and acts as a buffer for the shills that come out of the woodwork ready to take advantage of the home owner seller or buyer. How is it that some people in our communities whose work and expertise in their field are promoted by Realtors turn on the very Realtors who help them? Why do some people come to Realtors for advice on the market and guidance on how to buy or sell a home and then claim that this is all stuff they know when they repeat the very same advice to others? Think about it. I understand that Realtors guide more property sales and purchases in Canada by almost nine times more than private sellers. I think more people have made more money in real estate transactions working with Realtors than all other money making ventures in Canada combined. So if you are buying or selling real estate without a Realtor, like, what are you thinking? Heino Molls is publisher of REM. Email REM

Trade Shows and Conferences For complete listings, visit To add a listing to this calendar, email London St. Thomas Association of Realtors 2013 Annual General Meeting and Exhibitor Trade Show Tuesday, April 23 London Convention Centre London, Ont. Tracy Marino -

Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors Realtor Xpo Thursday, May 9 Bingemans Conference Centre Kitchener, Ont. Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors Wednesday, May 15 Ciociaro Club of Windsor, Oldcastle, Ont.

Mississauga Real Estate Board 2013 Annual General Meeting and Exhibitor Showcase Monday, April 29 Mississauga Grand Banquet & Convention Centre, Mississauga, Ont. Oakville, Milton and District Real Jennifer Vogel - 905-849-5151 or Estate Board Halton Symposium and Tradeshow Thursday, Sept. 19 Toronto Real Estate Board Oakville Conference Centre, Oakville Realtor Quest Cyndi Amodeo 905-844-6491, May 1 – 2 Ext. 106 Toronto Congress Centre, Toronto Dominion Lending Centres National Tradeshow doors open at 8 am TREB Spring General Meeting May 1 Sales Conference Sept 22 - 25 at 10 am The Sheraton of New Orleans Keynote speaker: David Chilton New Orleans, La. Compiled with the assistance of Bob Campbell at Colour Tech Marketing,

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May 2013  

May issue of REM for 2013.

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