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Issue #281

November 2012

Wayne Moen REM interviews the CREA president

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

Page 16

Gurinder Sandhu named Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic EVP Page 3

Take a page from the Property Brothers Page 12

50 lessons my broker taught me Page 40


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REM NOVEMBER 2012 3

Gurinder Sandhu named Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic EVP Sandhu takes over the position from Michael Polzler, but he says you shouldn’t expect changes in the company’s management style. By Tony Palermo

G

urinder Sandhu, Re/Max O n t a r i o - A t l a n t i c ’s recently appointed executive vice-president and regional director, was only 18-years-old when he earned his real estate licence. A few months later, he sold his first condo to the son of a local hardware store owner. “I went in to buy a screwdriver or something and we just started talking,” says Sandhu. “He said he was looking for a condo so I started showing him some. And, I remember exactly where the one he bought is – Weston and Finch (in Toronto). It was fantastic. I still remember the thrill of that sale to this day.” Sandhu pauses, reflecting on his first sale. A few seconds later, he bursts into laughter.

– six years from when he first started – to focus on his new career at KPMG. All he had experienced to this point was real estate but moving to KPMG exposed him to a whole new world of business. “Every couple of weeks there was a new assignment or a new company,” says Sandhu. “And I was looking at all kinds of different industries – service providers, manufacturers, small companies, big companies – and the world was just kind of opening up in my eyes.” Three years later, Sandhu accepted a position with publishing giant TorStar Corporation, which exposed him to business on a global scale. While he says he loved the challenges and experiences of travelling the world, he found that something in his life was missing.

“Pigs at a trough?” Sandhu asks rhetorically. “I don’t think so. This represents hard-working Canadians making a living.” “Imagine, the person who bought the condo off of me wasn’t a friend or relative,” says the now 45-year-old Sandhu. “I look back on it now and I think if an 18-yearold tried to sell me real estate, I’d look at him kind of funny. It was definitely an interesting and really fun time in my life.” Sandhu continued selling real estate while he went to York University to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in economics, followed by an Honours of Administrative Studies degree. This eventually led Sandhu to obtaining his Chartered Accountant (CA) designation. New designation in hand, Sandhu stopped selling real estate

His passion for what he was doing day-to-day was fading. After having been out of the real estate industry for approximately 10 years, Sandhu realized that’s what he really missed. An opportunity came up with Royal LePage on the relocation side of their business and for Sandhu the move was like a breath of fresh air. He was back in the game and his passion reignited. A couple of years later, Sandhu was promoted to vice-president of finance, residential real estate, where he remained for the next six years. A few years later, Sandhu had the opportunity to meet with Walter Schneider and Pamela

Alexander of Re/Max – a moment Sandhu says changed his life. “Walter, Pamela and I connected in a way I never connected before in the business world and real estate community,” says Sandhu. “From the very first moment we started talking, I realized that I belonged at Re/Max. My goals were definitely more in line with theirs.” And so the Re/Max journey began in 2010 when Sandhu was hired as chief financial officer, a position he held for about two years. Coincidentally, it was almost two years to the day that the executive team asked Sandhu to become executive vice-president and step into Michael Polzler’s shoes (Polzler is now the managing director of Re/Max Europe.) “I consider it an incredible honour that the Polzler family asked me to run the OntarioAtlantic region, especially considering this is the first time in the 32year history of the company that a non-family member has been in this kind of leadership role,” says Sandhu. “It’s such a terrific feeling.” Sandhu says he has no major shift in direction planned and everyone can expect a comparable management style to Polzler’s. “Our management styles are very similar,” says Sandhu. “We share the same aggressive vision on how we grow our business. We’re both passionate about the business and industry. He is an advocate for the broker and Realtor, and so am I.” Certainly, the charismatic Sandhu’s passion quickly comes across when he comments about the ongoing Competition Bureau’s hearing against the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). In his opinion, Re/Max and Royal LePage were caught in the crossfire of sensational numbers and media headlines. He points to the claims that agents from both companies collected over 40 per cent of the com-

Gurinder Sandhu

missions paid by GTA homeowners, totalling approximately $2.2 billion. “Wow, big numbers, right?” asks Sandhu. “I’m sure many people are thinking, pigs at a trough.” But as he says, people need to sit back and boil it down. First, says Sandhu, no one can unequivocally prove how much commissions are charged because the data isn’t readily available. But even assuming $2.2 billion number holds, if you divide that amount by the number of sales reps in TREB, approximately 36,000, it works out to just over $60,000 per year, per Realtor.

“Pigs at a trough?” Sandhu asks rhetorically. “I don’t think so. This represents hard-working Canadians making a living.” Before parting, Sandhu offers a final comment about the Canadian real estate market. “There have been a lot of headlines over the last few weeks about how the sky is falling in Canadian real estate,” says Sandhu. “But they’re pointing out just monthly stats. You have to look at the whole picture. Year-to-date August sales are up 2.8 per cent. Average prices are basically on par.” He says: “Go ahead and put REM that on the front page.”


4 REM NOVEMBER 2012

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

S

terling Stephens, owner of Exit Realty Citadel in Halifax, has purchased Exit Realty Metro from owners Wayne Cochrane and Jeremy Cowan. The two brokerages will continue to operate independently. The acquisition gives Stephens the most Realtors of any company in Nova Scotia. “Our decision to combine under one management team with more locations and more agents supported by our great administrative teams made sense,” says Cowan. Cochrane and Cowan will continue as agents at Metro. They are consistently ranked in the top five Exit Realty agents in Nova

Scotia for closed transactions annually. Citadel and Metro’s combined 160 plus licensed Realtors will continue to operate from three locations in Halifax, Bedford and Dartmouth. ■ ■ ■

Shelley Porritt, broker/owner of Porritt Real Estate Inc., has joined the Royal LePage franchise network. The company will now operate under the name of Royal LePage Porritt Real Estate, serving Toronto, Etobicoke and Mississauga. Porritt represents the third generation of a family-owned business,

From left: Joyce Paron, president - Canada and Steve Morris, chairman and founder, Exit Realty Corp. International; Wayne Cochrane, Exit Realty Metro; Sterling Stephens, Exit Realty Citadel; Jeremy Cowan, Exit Realty Metro; and Michael McCarron, supervisor of growth and development for Canada at the turnover meeting in Halifax.

At the grand opening of Exit Realty Solutions, from left: Carson Beier; Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston; Amy Beier and two of the three Beier children, Jaxon and Addison. Preston, Beier’s oldest son, was also present.

which has operated since 1955. She received her real estate license in 1997 and went on to obtain her broker’s license in 2001. Shelley is the broker of record in the office she owns with her parents, Carl and Liz Porritt. ■ ■ ■

experience and bringing it into the 21st century. Consumers aren’t fully aware of the possibilities that exist. Our goals are very ambitious. We’re not just going to raise the bar – we’re going to bring it to a remarkable level.” The state-of-the-art, 4,500square-foot facility incorporates the latest in technology and infrastructure, the company says. It includes a café/expresso bar and integrated presentation suites. “Re/Max Legacy is a pioneering franchise, well ahead of its time,” says Gurinder Sandhu, executive vice-president, regional director, Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada. The brokerage has three Mississauga offices and 220 fulltime sales professionals. It says the new office “has the potential to propel Re/Max Legacy’s current sales force to over 400 Realtors by year-end 2013.”

Brandson, Ed Eggerer and Keith Wilson – their commitment to the real estate business and their clients. This year, the three friends will celebrate 35 years with the Century 21 brand. They all work at Century 21 Powerrealty.ca in Airdrie, Alta. Brandson, Eggerer and Wilson have seen the industry evolve from the days of building wooden signs for each listing to now, when online listings are king. They’ve watched the town of Airdrie grow to become home for more than 45,000 residents. When asked their secret to success, persistence and a positive outlook was the general consensus. It’s also important to make sure you don’t burn out. As veterans in the field, Brandson, Eggerer and Wilson have this advice for new sales professionals and those considering entering the industry: it’s hard work and you have to keep at it. Technology has made business more efficient, but in the end, real

Re/Max Legacy officially opened its newest marquee location at Mississauga’s Square One Shopping Centre with a grandopening celebration that combined “showmanship with innovation, showcasing new technology and the brokerage’s plans to revolutionize the real estate experience,” the company says. Tariq Khursheed, broker/ owner, says: “We’re serious about our role in advancing the customer

In an industry of continuous change, one thing has stayed constant for sales professionals Milton

Grenville Wharram

Barry Lebow

Anissa Ho

Shelley Porritt

Tariq Khursheed

Milton Brandson

Ed Eggerer

Keith Wilson

Vince Tersigni

■ ■ ■

Continued on page 6


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6 REM NOVEMBER 2012

Continued from page 4

tural industry. The three once owned their own company, Century 21 Castlewood, before returning to their sales roots.

estate is a people business. You have to love working with people to be successful. Brandson and Wilson focus on residential real estate while Eggerer deals with land development and acquisitions as well as the agricul-

Carson Beier, franchisee of Exit Realty Solutions in Spruce Grove, Alta. recently celebrated the opening of his new office loca-

Eric Willis

Lee Rhodenizer

■ ■ ■

tion. He purchased and renovated a landmark bank in the city. At the two-day opening celebration, hundreds of Realtors, clients and friends came out for the ribbon cutting and to tour the 4,000square-foot office. Guests included Bill Nasby, vice-president of personal development for Exit Realty

and Anne Squires, regional owner for Exit in Alberta. The festivities included a cheque presentation to Habitat for Humanity, Exit’s charity of choice. ■ ■ ■

Vince Tersigni, broker/owner of Prudential Elite in Mississauga,

■ ■ ■

Phil Soper with Jessica Holmes

MaxWell Capital Realty recently opened a satellite branch office in Sundre, Alta. Nestled in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Sundre is a favourite destination for cowboys and foothill recreation properties, the company says. The office is operated by Tom and Debra King in the town of 2,500 people, which is approximately 100 km northwest of Calgary.

Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz officially opens iPro Realty’s Milton branch. From left: Lynda Rao, recruiting manager; Rui Alves, co-founder; Krantz; Fedele Colucci, co-founder and Bob Pridham, manager.

■ ■ ■

Barry Lebow has joined Re/Max Ultimate in Toronto. His long and varied career has included roles as real estate broker and appraiser, an expert witness on the subject of stigmatized properties and the founding of the Accredited Senior Agent program. Now he’s added radio commentator to his resume. “Two years ago, I sold the commercial division of Lebow Appraisal to my long-time partner Lois Hicks. I sold the residential division to long-time manager Jim Parthenis and in both divisions I remain as an adviser and minority

Travis Carmichael, Barry Clark

The Realtors of Royal LePage Advance Realty in Campbell River, B.C. with their award. From left, presenter Darren Kardynal of Glacierview Financial Services; Sandra Parkes; Diane Rogers; Stephen Grant, president; Anita Painter; Debbie Sharko; Diana Grant and Bryan Watkins (general manager).

Cover photo: RYAN PARENT

Sales reps take part in the Royal LePage Listing Lab.

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Ont., has joined the Royal LePage franchise network. His company will now operate under the name Royal LePage Elite Realty. Tersigni became licensed in 1971 and obtained his broker’s license in 1976. In 1989, he purchased Countrywide Realty with Grenville Wharram and in 1998, they converted the brokerage to Prudential Elite. Together, Tersigni and Wharram have more than 70 years of real estate experience, covering all facets of the industry. More than 30 sales representatives and support staff work for the brokerage, and plans are underway to recruit more salespeople as a result of joining Royal LePage. The office services Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Burlington, Vaughan, King Township, Milton and Georgetown.

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Phone: 416.425.3504 www.remonline.com www.remenligne.com REM complies fully with the Canadian Real Estate Association's Rules for Trademarks (CREA Rule 16.5.3.1) REALTOR® and REALTORS® are trademarks controlled in Canada by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify licensed real estate practitioners who are members of CREA. MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned by CREA and identify the services rendered by members of CREA. REM is published 12 times a year. It is an independently owned and operated company and is not affiliated with any real estate association, board or company. REM is distributed across Canada by leading real estate boards and by direct delivery in selected areas. For subscription information, email distribution@remonline.com. Entire contents copyright 2012 REM. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The opinions expressed in REM are not necessarily those of the publisher. ISSN 1201-1223

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8 REM NOVEMBER 2012

METES & BOUNDS

By Marty Douglas

I

’m writing this column the week before Thanksgiving in Canada and I’ll connect the holiday to the topic in a paragraph or two. But my column notes reminded me of a conversation with a shuttle bus driver while my wife and I were in Las Vegas this summer. We had told him we were Canadian and, considering we have different Thanksgivings – the U.S. celebrates in November, on a Thursday so they can squeeze in more football games – he wondered if we celebrated Christmas on the same day. “I’m pretty sure Jesus was born on the same day world-wide in the Gregorian calendar,” I suggested kindly, but I took his point. So in the run-up to our

Multiple Listings Continued from page 6

partner,” he says. “I started the Accredited Senior Agent program for Canadian Realtors in 2009 and from nothing there are now 1,300 members in three provinces. It was never my intention to remain as CEO. I sold it last year to Chris Newell, a longtime friend and I remain as an adviser and minority partner.” At Re/Max Ultimate, he will join Lou Berkovits on his radio show, Inside Real Estate on 640 AM in Toronto every other Sunday at 11 am. “Lou is not the first person to ask me to be his partner or associate but within 15 minutes of Lou meeting with me, he started to discuss Ve’ahavta, a great charity that I am committed to as it helps people get off the streets. Lou wanted me to partner with him in real estate and in turn to dedicate part of our joint income to this great charity,” says Lebow. “This turning 65 and retiring may be good for many but not for me. So, I am going back to my

Give the gift of education Remembrance Day – the U.S. Veteran’s Day – and the U.S. Thanksgiving on Nov. 22 this year, another iconic anniversary of the first Kennedy assassination, I was struck by how thankful I am to be associated with the real estate industry. For a couple of reasons. Real estate – shelter, investments and careers – has been very good to me and my family – parents, brother, sister and our children – since we immigrated from England in 1951. The real estate industry has made me very proud to be a member. I was recently reminded of the good we do when I attended an awards presentation at North Island College, our local community college. I was impressed by the number of students receiving financial assistance. I’m sure your colleges provide similar support, under appreciated by the general public, but critical to the future success of a variety of marginalized students who otherwise would not be financially able to take the next step up in their lives. And what a mixed group – sinroots. I want to knock doors, to return to basics, despite all of my social marketing skills and make direct contact with people,” he says. ■ ■ ■

Anissa Ho recently joined the iPro Realty management team as broker/branch manager of iPro’s Mississauga office. “Anissa will be an invaluable asset to our team,” says iPro cofounder Rui Alves. Previously she worked at Right At Home Realty and Re/Max. iPro Realty says it is one of the fastest-growing brokerages in the GTA, having attracted more than 350 agents and opened eight locations in less than three years. The company now has offices in east and west Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Milton, Georgetown, Orangeville and Shelburne. ■ ■ ■

Close to 900 Royal LePage sales reps and brokers from across Canada attended the 2012 National Sales Conference in

gle moms, mature students, students retraining from other career paths, pursuing education in the trades and in professions. Some of the recipients dressed for a formal occasion – there would be photos after all – some assumed the Lady Gaga look would make an impression. It did. There were impassioned thank-yous of course and frequently children accompanied mom to the podium, shyly peeping out from a sheltering leg or in the case of the extrovert, posing for the photo op in the theatre filled with proud family members. What does it take to support a couple of students in a meaningful way? About $25,000 would set up a fund proving a couple of $500 bursaries annually. Got that sort of loose change lying around? Burning a hole in your pocket? No? Can you find it in someone else’s pocket? Our real estate board (Vancouver Island or VIREB) partnered with the Real Estate Foundation of B.C. two years ago and created two $60,000 legacy funds to support students in business administration, constructionVancouver recently. The event served as the official kick-off of the company’s 100th anniversary in 2013. Comedienne Jessica Holmes brought down the house with her backwoods love duet with Phil Soper, Royal LePage president and CEO, and a variety of memorable impersonations. John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Organizing Committee, delivered the keynote address. The evening events, including the Through the Decades party, a 100th Birthday Party and the Royal LePage Rocks evening, provided ample opportunity for attendees to network and enjoy themselves. There was a trade fair along with more than 60 breakout sessions. The 2014 Royal LePage National Sales Conference will take place in Toronto. ■ ■ ■

Recently Royal LePage Advance Realty in Campbell River, B.C. was honoured as the intermediate-sized Business of the Year by the Campbell River

related trades and apprenticeship training at North Island College and Vancouver Island University. This was the first year of the awards. Three students were the proud recipients and representatives from VIREB were happy to shake hands on the deal. Many if not all post-secondary institutions have their own foundations or are in partnership with a broad-based entity such as the Vancouver Foundation in order to maximize returns on investments. These foundations frequently have matching funds programs enabling your contribution to be significantly higher. And while alumni are a favourite source of contributions, the business community has a role to play because of the positive economic impact a learning institution has on the local economy. With a predominant swing to the trades and away from the standard BA leading nowhere, local colleges, especially those offering trades training, are more important than ever. With lower tuition costs and the opportunity for kids to live at home, more families are considChamber of Commerce. “Half the city seemed to be in attendance and it was very well publicized due to this being the Chamber’s 80th Anniversary,” says managing broker Bryan Watkins. “During our acceptance speech it was noted that it is Advance’s 30th, the Chamber’s 80th and Royal LePage’s 100th anniversary and so it would appear to be the perfect confluence of positive events.” Watkins says, “In a time when it seems our reputation and skills are seemingly under attack from every direction, it is nice to find a city where the community not only recognizes Realtors’ value and supports Realtors but also recognizes all the extras we do for and in the community…We are all quite proud.” ■ ■ ■

Gold Key Realty of Charlottetown is the latest member of the Aventure Realty network. Brokers/owners Eric Willis and Lee Rhodenizer bring a history of successful independent operation and strong market presence to Aventure, says president Bernie

ering a local college, especially those with transfer programs to more traditional universities. What have you or your brokerage or your real estate board or association done lately of a philanthropic nature? Well, you should know so you can include the Realtors Care program of CREA in your listing resume. Looking for an idea? Where did you or your children go to school? Contact a local post-secondary institution. If you wish, you can direct funds towards students who are pursuing careers that touch the real estate industry. In 1964 Marshall McLuhan stated: “The future of work consists of learning a living.” Nearly 50 years later it continues to be very good advice. You can find Marty Douglas on Twitter – http://twitter.com/ 41yrsrealestate – Facebook and LinkedIn. He is a managing broker for Coast Realty Group, with offices on Vancouver Island, the Discovery and Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast of B.C. Marty is a past chair of the Real Estate Errors and Omissions Corporation of B.C., the Real Estate Council of B.C. , the B.C. Real Estate Association and the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. mdouREM glas@coastrealty.com. Vogt. “Delivering a full suite of brokerage services, Gold Key Realty is focused on timely customer service, the growth of a strong local brand and the development of a national service strategy,” says Vogt. ■ ■ ■

Barry Clark, a 47-year real estate veteran and president of Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty, says he is excited to celebrate the company’s 65th year in business, serving the people of Nanaimo, B.C., Vancouver Island and area with their real estate, insurance and property management requirements. The company, founded by Frank Ney, has seen many changes over the years. Clark says the company “helped mould the growth of Nanaimo by providing affordable addresses to a multitude of settlers. “It’s amazing that a lot of the developments and housing projects were sold on easy terms, with one per cent down and one per cent per month, which helped the local Continued on page 26


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Montreal board will stay with CREA – for now Members will decide after CREA’s spring meeting if they’ll leave the national association By Jim Adair

T

he Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB) will remain a CREA member until after the national association finalizes its Map to the Future proposals next spring. The decision was made by the GMREB Board of Directors after a vote by members “overwhelmingly” rejected the status quo, says board president Patrick Juanéda. Members were given three choices in the vote: leave CREA on Jan. 1, 2013; postpone the decision until after the spring meeting; or remain a CREA member. The majority (40.4 per cent) picked option one, opting to leave CREA, but the Board of Directors has decided to wait. “Although the option to leave CREA was chosen by the largest number of members, the Board of Directors analyzed the results in their entirety and has decided to wait until after CREA’s annual meeting before making a final decision,” wrote Juanéda in a message to members. Before the vote, the Board of Directors had recommended that the board

withdraw from the national association. The final vote was: Leave CREA: 1,394 (40.4%) Postpone: 1,086 (31.5%) Remain with CREA: 973 (28.2%) A total of 3,453 members out of a possible 10,217 took part in the vote, a participation rate of 34 per cent, says Juanéda. Léger Marketing, which conducted the electronic vote, says the margin of error is 1.36 per cent, “which means that if all members had voted, the final result would have essentially been the same,” says Juanéda. Prior to the vote, Juanéda said after three consultation meetings with members in early September, “there was consensus on the need to clearly define the role and responsibilities of the different organizations (in organized real estate), to find a permanent solution regarding the management of advertising money, to end duplication between CREA and real estate boards, and, finally, to review CREA’s questionable expenses.”

He said, “Serious concerns exist with CREA’s future projects, particularly regarding intrusions to the Real Estate Brokerage Act and the various legal disputes (Competition Bureau vs. Toronto Real Estate Board and a lawsuit from RealtySellers) that are currently underway. Finally, many members are calling for à la carte services” (where the board would pay only for services used). Juanéda also said there was “strong consensus that Centris.ca, whose development is being accelerated, is a superior and more modern tool than Realtor.ca. However, the loss of traffic coming from Realtor.ca has raised concerns…” After the members’ vote, Juanéda said delaying the final decision “will enable us to evaluate the decisions that will be made (at CREA’s meeting). Until that time, every effort will be made to defend your interests and, above all, move forward with our plan to promote real estate brokers and increase awareness of Centris.ca.” REM

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hree more Quebec boards have elected to discontinue their membership in CREA effective Dec. 31, 2012. Four boards and the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards have now resigned from the national association, but five other Quebec boards have indicated they will continue their membership. On Sept. 19 Muriel Mongeau, president of the Chambre immobilière du Centre du Québec, wrote to CREA advising that under the provisions of bylaw 8.4.1 the 150 members of her board had voted 68 per cent to discontinue the boards’ membership in the national association. The board serves the Drummondville and

Victoriaville areas. On Sept. 21 Hugo Gaillardetz, president of the Chambre immobilière de la Mauricie, wrote a similar letter noting that a majority of the 190 members of his board had also voted to withdraw from CREA. The Mauricie board includes the Trois-Rivières and Shawinigan areas. The Chambre immobilière de Saint-Hyacinthe in SaintHyacinthe has also indicated they will leave. Earlier the Chambre immobilière de la Haute Yamaska and the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards gave notice that they will not be renewing membership in CREA. After the federation

announced that it was leaving CREA, the association received letters from five boards confirming that they will stay “within the CREA family,” says Pierre Leduc, media relations officer at the association. They are the Chambre immobilière de Québec in Quebec City; the Chambre immobilière de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, based in Rouyn-Noranda; the Chambre immobilière de l’Estrie, Sherbrooke; the Chambre immobilière du Saguenay-LacSaint-Jean in Jonquière; and the Chambre immobilière de l’Outaouais, based in Gatineau. – REM Michel Chevalier See ARR votes to stick with CREA, page 40.


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12 REM NOVEMBER 2012

Take a page from the Property Brothers By learning more about renovation and construction, you can bring added value to your clients and your reputation By Connie Adair

J

onathan and Drew Scott are young, good looking and as genuine as they appear on their W Network television show, Property Brothers. And they’re successful to boot. So what Realtor wouldn’t want to follow in their Gucci loafers/construction boots to find clients fixer-uppers to transform into dream homes? A television show might not be in your future, but you can follow the brothers’ lead. Start by sitting down with your buyers and narrowing down the areas in which they’d like to live. Make up a list of their must-haves and help them determine their budget. This is where many buyers have a disconnect – they don’t realize they can’t afford the house of their dreams. On Property Brothers, this is when Drew steps in and takes the buyers to a move-in ready home that has all of their must-haves. He then reveals the price tag, shockingly tens of thousands of dollars over their budget. It’s a nasty and extreme dose of reality.

Although Jonathan says he feels it is a mean thing to put potential buyers through, it does bring them down to earth. “People want move-in ready, but move-in ready comes at a big cost,” he says. Instead of buying someone else’s dream home, buyers need to be educated about how they can renovate to create their own. Seeing a move-in ready house also provides inspiration, and ideas for furniture and décor, Drew says. You might not want to go to such extreme measures, but it will be helpful to show your buyers what move-in ready houses cost. First, do your homework. Educate yourself about the neighbourhood and the types of houses it contains. When looking for fixeruppers, look for things you can’t change such as location and square footage, says Drew. Familiarize yourself with different types of renovations. Many Realtors don’t understand renovations or the value those improvements bring, says Drew. Check out some properties, renovated and

The Scott brothers have a new show set to debut in January.

not, in the same area and compare prices. You may not want to go back to school for years to become a master builder like Jonathan, but taking a building and renovating course will help you understand the process. As a professional Realtor, you will know about zoning issues. If the buyers want to build an addition or a garage, find out if it’s allowed. Also, if the home has an income suite, ensure that it is legal. If additions have been made to the house, check with the city to ensure proper permits were issued. If a renovation was not professionally done, you have to ask yourself what’s inside the walls, Jonathan says. Talk to neighbours, who can often provide a lot of information about a house, and ensure the buyers get a home inspection. Before they purchase, buyers should get a quote from a contractor so they can make sure they can afford the cost of the house as well as the cost of the renovation. Be prepared to hold buyers’ hands and help them through the financial aspects, Drew says. On Property Brothers, buyers with limited resources often pitch in to do some work themselves, sometimes lending a hand with demolition and painting. However, your buyers need to be realistic and only tackle jobs they are able to complete. Realize that the timeline of a TV show is not realistic and that work that takes five weeks to complete in the television world would realistically take twice as long in real life. Although clients are responsible for finding their own professionals, you can provide them with resources. Just be sure that you know the contractors you recommend. Make sure they are personable and have a reputation for quality, Drew says. “Interview a bunch of contractors. Remember that the most expensive doesn’t mean the best quality.” Never lie to a client, says Jonathan. If you don’t know, find out. Have a professional come in

and give you an opinion if you don’t know. On Property Brothers, Jonathan often calls his engineer for professional advice. “A smart Realtor never has answers for everything,” says Drew. Caution your buyers against over-renovating or emotional buying. “Go by the numbers. Always think resale and consider how big a buyer base there will be to buy the home,” Jonathan says. For example, a home backing on to a train line will (eliminate) 20 per cent of potential buyers. Make sure your buy- Jonathan (left) and Drew Scott ers are not afraid to ask when they bought their first investyou questions. You should be the ment property right after high centre point for all they need to school. From 1996 until 2003, they know. Establish a relationship, he invested in residential properties says. with the help of local Realtors, and Don’t be afraid to walk away. then decided to get their licenses Some houses will simply cost too and do it themselves. much to renovate and are not a They are no strangers to film good investment. and television, having acted and Having the right experience hosted television shows since they and education is invaluable, and were children. They founded the brothers put their knowledge to Dividian Production Group in work every day. Drew got his real 2002 (now Scott Brothers estate licence in early 2004. Entertainment) with their older Jonathan got his soon after and brother JD. The company produces later that year the brothers founded short films. Jonathan’s experience Scott Real Estate, which oversees as a master builder/contractor is the the sales and construction of resiicing on the cake. dential and commercial projects. To see the guys in action, tune The firm has offices in Vancouver, in to Property Brothers Tuesday at Calgary and Las Vegas. 8 pm ET/PT on the W Network. Jonathan and Drew have been REM investing in real estate since 1996,

New series for Scott brothers

As if they aren’t busy enough, Property Brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott are working on a new series, Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers, which will premiere on the W Network in January. On the show, the brothers will help homeowners sell their current homes and buy a new property. Jonathan will tackle the renovation, transforming and staging the home for a successful sale, while Drew will help the family find a new home that meets their needs, budget and deadline for moving out.

Want to be on the show?

Visit facebook.com/PropertyBrothers or http://www.wnetwork.com/ BeOnTV.aspx#Property-Brothers


14 REM NOVEMBER 2012

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here are scores of pundits preaching about the biggest trends reshaping our institutions and society. We are being “Apple-ized” or “Androidfied.” Social networking is the place to be. Virtual realities are said to be supplanting bricks and mortar. Texts and tweets echo through the airways. Tablets. Wi-Fi. Mobile platforms. The list of technological innovations is seemingly endless. Consequently, the future, particularly the future of real estate education, appears veiled with uncertainties. Worse yet, the rate of change is accelerating. My household has a bounty of what I call “genuine fakes” – recent original, authentic gadgetry that have become today’s obsolescent trash. I have smartphones that have been outperformed by newer models, tablets that are too big or too heavy or lack HD screen performance, CDROMS that might as well be frisbees, storage hard drives that run slow and look like portable safes and cables that misalign or have no receptive outlet. I even possess books that have dropped to the bottom of the growing thought pyramid. What is a poor aging professional or profession to do? It is the one person, company, institution or society that is most adaptable to change that “will live long and prosper.” Darwin was right and real estate education is no exception. For real estate education to survive, adaptation is a must. Tablets, social media, Google searches, blogs and other technological

functionalities need to be channeled into the real estate education curriculum and become inherent competencies exercised by the real estate professional. Traditional tools, paper directories, lecturing as the dominant delivery methodology and other outdated and outmoded programs and trappings must be pushed aside. Interactive learning, gaming and “cloud” educational services must take precedence. To persist otherwise would create a “genuine fake” sickly education organism. Marxism may have been close to the truth in sensationalizing property as commodities. Education is a commodity. For it to retain its value, indeed increase in value, we need to monitor societal trends and develop cost-effective ways of integrating best products and practices into the real estate education knowledge database. To “wait and see” is risky. We must become “experimental” within reason and we must be proactive. Real estate education must be mobile, social and technological. Students will then encounter an environment for learning that is fundamentally motivating. Learning will be participatory and fun, so much so that younger folks will be attracted to our profession. I would have preferred to be more definitive and descriptive in my prognostication but: I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now From up and down, and still somehow It’s cloud illusions I recall I really don’t know clouds at all (Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC) 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


16 REM NOVEMBER 2012

REM interviews CREA president Wayne Moen sale-by-owners and non-MLS data on realtor.ca. But the Futures Implementation Team looked at it, looked at the legal considerations, and decided there was too much risk to the trademarks and so decided not to pursue that any further. Gary Simonsen: It will be subject to our assembly approval, but that’s the recommendation. REM: Have there been a lot of changes since the proposals were first introduced?

2012 CREA President Wayne Moen (Photo: Ryan Parent)

E

dmonton Realtor Wayne Moen is the 2012 president of CREA, in one of the association’s most tumultuous years in recent history. The ongoing Futures project is examining all aspects of how organized real estate operates in Canada and not everyone is happy. So far four boards and the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards have announced they will leave CREA at the end of the year. The Montreal board voted to leave as well, but its Board of Directors has decided to wait to see how the Futures project plays out before making a final decision to leave (see stories, page 10). Prior to CREA’s upcoming Special General Meeting in Winnipeg in late October, REM editor Jim Adair interviewed Moen in Ottawa. Also at the interview were CREA chief executive director Gary Simonsen and media relations officer Pierre Leduc. Here’s an edited summary of the interview. For more, visit www.remonline.com. REM: You picked a great year to be president. How’s it going so far? Wayne Moen: I’m really enjoying it. I’ve been involved

in volunteer work for well over 20 years now as president of the Edmonton board and president of the Alberta association. I love the dynamics of board work and I love the challenges – I’m enjoying it. REM: What is the current status of the Futures project? Moen: Last fall the Futures Implementation Team identified four strategic focus areas that they wanted to concentrate on: development of a state-of the-art technology platform, providing information and tools to Realtors and to consumers; increased emphasis and enhancement of professional development to increase our value to consumers; looking at restructuring organized real estate – the governance – to expedite decision making, and ultimately reduce costs and duplication; and finally to acquire consumer insight so organized real estate can understand changing consumer needs and improve our relationship with consumers. Out of these strategic areas, we had 23 initiatives that were proposed. One of them that generated a fair amount of controversy was the proposed action to consider putting for-

Simonsen: We are going to initiate a consumer engagement strategy that will be done on a national basis. We will use a consumer panel, which is not something we have done previously. That’s a facility we will be making available to boards and associations across the country. We will be talking about it at this upcoming assembly meeting. We are going to seek some input with respect to the roles and responsibilities of the various levels of organized real estate. We have some study groups that are working away on those and they will be presenting some preliminary reports and seeking input from the members in attendance. REM: Why is CREA looking at Rate Your Realtor? Moen: It’s not CREA, it’s the Futures Implementation Team and the whole Futures process – so this is a member thing. There are pros and cons. Is this a way to improve engagement with consumers and improve professionalism? There are other groups that have tried it and there have been some negatives things as a result. So they are going to look at both sides and see if there is enough of a case to try and institute something and set up the right rubric for installing it if that’s the ultimate decision. I think there is a major board in

the United States that has had it for some time and it’s been pretty successful. REM: What are some of the initiatives that you feel strongly about? Moen: We are going to review the governance structure (of organized real estate). Is there a lot of duplication? Are there things we can do about it? I think the buzzword is that we have to be more nimble. The way it goes right now, something coming from a member or a smaller board, it might take two or three years to really look at it and get a consensus and actually implement it – that’s way too long. REM: You have small boards in Quebec that are pulling out of CREA and Montreal voted to pull out but they are going to wait until next year. Do you think there is a place for special rules for them? Moen: I think we have to be really careful about that. I’m from Alberta and Albertans think they are special. We have 10 different provinces and the territories and we need to act in the best interests of our members right across the country. REM: What do you think is going to happen if Montreal does pull out? How will that impact CREA, losing that many members? Moen: We don’t think they are going to pull out. We have a year to communicate with our members and communicate what we do for them. I think they will see there is great value and I’m very confident they will stay. REM: Communication with the members is important. We get a lot of complains about CREA on our comments on the REM website. Are you seeing a lot of the same comments?

Moen: There are those comments but we’ve been quite happy – people have thanked us for communicating with them directly. We now are communicating with over 90,000 of our members directly and I think that’s a real positive step – and we are getting very good feedback on that. Some of the comments say we wish you had done that before. Because of the protocols, we were not necessarily able to. Butt I think generally our members are quite excited to hear from us. REM: Do you listen to the members if they lodge complains? Do you read their comments? Moen: Absolutely. We all try to listen and respond and the staff has been great. That’s our job. You can always improve communications at all levels and we are working on that. Simonsen: We undertook a communication initiative earlier this year to all members across the country and briefed them on some of the key issues in the Futures plan, and we asked for their input. That’s unprecedented. We have had literally thousands of members who have engaged in that process, which is ongoing. REM: Some members have also said that CREA should have fought harder against the Competition Bureau, rather than sign the Consent Agreement. Do you think that was the right decision? Moen: I think we made the right decision at the time. Under CREA, there is room for every kind of business model. REM: Is there anything else you would like to tell the members? Moen: We are there for them and we are listening. Please call us. Let us know what you are thinking. REM


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18 REM NOVEMBER 2012

Remembering toy guns and soldiers

By Dan St. Yves

W

hen I was a kid back in the late 1960s and early ’70s, I would join with the other youngsters in my safe suburban neighbourhood and the whole gang of us would play war. Most often we ended up playing games inspired by the popular TV shows of the time, such as Vic Morrow’s gritty Combat! or Rat Patrol, which incidentally happened to star a pre-The Young and the Restless Eric Braeden (Victor Newman, FYI. It’s not like I watch the show, I’m just a stockpile of general trivial knowledge. P.S. He didn’t have his trademark moustache back then.). War as a game was great to play as a kid because you didn’t need much else aside from a stick or tree branch for a rifle. If you wanted to, you could spend your entire allowance on anything from a plastic camouflage helmet to a toy bazooka that fired plastic missiles. True confession – a buddy and I actually ordered the “real” submarine that you could order off the back page of a comic book. Sadly, the submarine never arrived, nor did we ever see our money again. Probably just as well, I would likely not fit into it today anyway. Even more elaborate than the life-sized war gear for us kids were the countless accessories for our rugged G.I. Joe action figures. You could purchase everything from a scuba set to snappy navy dress whites. Oh yeah, and a very realistic-looking acoustic guitar, because Elvis Presley had one in G.I.Blues. We read war-themed comic

books, like Marvel’s Sgt. Fury and comic strips like Sad Sack & Beetle Bailey. As I mentioned earlier, TV had loads of serious war shows that parents watched as well, and also some admittedly not so serious, like Hogan’s Heroes. As a kid, I often wondered how Richard Dawson finally made it safely out of Stalag 13 and onto hosting Family Feud. Around the time my chums and I were playing war, music artists were shifting from traditional patriotic songs to protest efforts. Give Peace A Chance, For What It’s Worth, Springtime For Hitler. Okay, that last one was Mel Brooks, but the point is the artists were reaching out to a society growing increasingly weary of war. That lasted for decades. Until 9/11. After that unprecedented attack so close to home, music quickly reflected the stunned feelings of peaceful nations. I remember attending Elton John’s lavish Las Vegas Red Piano show, where he framed his classic song Daniel as a moving video tribute to Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter kidnapped and killed in Pakistan. In the first minute alone, a wounded young soldier in the foreground, you got the intended message loud and clear. Playing war as a carefree kid may have been fun, but as an adult, I couldn’t be happier that in my lifetime the sacrifices made by others over so many years ensured that I’d never have to strap on a real gun with a group of my own young buddies. And for that matter, allow me to grow up to the ripe old age that I have. Many others have not been as lucky. November is our time to remember that. Lest We Forget. Humour columnist and author Dan St. Yves was licensed with Royal LePage Kelowna for 11 years. Check out his website at www.nonsense andstuff.com, or contact him at danst.yves@hotmail.com. REM


20 REM NOVEMBER 2012

AS I SEE IT FROM MY DESK

By Stan Albert

S

elling a stigmatized home, office or apartment can be downright tough. Some agents puzzle about why a property has so many showings with no offers, or why people in an office feel weird sensations... or wondered if maybe, just maybe, they felt a chill of sorts when coming down the stairs? (a quote from Barry Lebow’s Selling the Stigmatized Home article) Over the past 2 1/2 years, my office has been graced by a scintillating young lady by the name of Jaye McKenzie. She is a professional “clearer” of paranormal situations, an energy specialist. Our in-house stager, Michelle Finnamore, recently used Jaye’s services in the cleansing of two high-end homes. Now for a little background, I spoke with Jaye recently about her motivation for becoming involved in this rather unique profession.

Boo! Is there a paranormal chill in here? Stan Albert: Jaye, tell us a bit about your background, and when you became aware of your extraordinary gifts or abilities? Jaye McKenzie: I became aware of this special gift at the tender age of four. I am the fourth generation intuitive/healer to have this special DNA. Point in fact, my first recollection of this gift was exhibiting telepathic abilities with my late mother. Albert: How long have you been doing this professionally? McKenzie: It’s been four plus years. When I met my mentor, Allison DuBois, who’s the reallife inspiration for the long-running TV series Medium and is renowned as one of the best mediums in the world, her endorsement of my abilities compelled me to take my gifts to a professional level. Albert: Did you have to have any special training/education and have you added to your knowledge? McKenzie: I had already majored in psychology in university, which helps with my positivity coaching and readings work. In addition, I am a Certified Reiki Master, which

assists me in my “energy clearings”. What I have is a natural ability but I’ve also honed my gifts by studying with others in my field. Albert: You have had storied eclectic careers. From actor to successful real estate agent to now healing/coaching professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, brokers and company CEOs. And you are also working with Toronto Police Services. Of all the careers you’ve had in your young years, what made you decide to specialize in the study of the paranormal? McKenzie: This job is not merely what I do, it’s who I am. After soul-searching, I realized this is my passion/calling and I must honour it. My path is to help those who need and will benefit from my unique services. Albert: Has there been one clearing situation that was the most challenging? What made it so? McKenzie: There have been many fascinating cases I’ve worked on. One in particular, I was called by a top Toronto broker to assist on a multi-million dollar property that two other brokers also could not sell, over a

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one-year time period. I discovered there was massive “negative energy” and an apparition that said, “Boo!” After successfully clearing the energy and the ghost, the home sold in 14 hours. I’ve completed close to 200 clearings in the past two years alone. Albert: You’re also working on a draft for a book on the paranormal, which you hope to have finished in the near future, and a TV show is in the works. What are you usually called in for? McKenzie: It ranges from properties for sale, to homes that feel strange to the homeowner (lights going on and off, unexplained health issues, stoves turning on by themselves). Typical calls are to assist offices in promotion of their business by cleansing stuck energy and bringing in prosperous energy. Most recently it was the clearing of documents for a project for a Grammy/Gemini-nominated composer. The range continues in the removal of negative energy from luxury cars to business deals to individuals themselves. My energy clearings have many applications with abundant, successful results.

Jaye McKenzie

Albert: Thank you Jaye for this fascinating look into your unique career. McKenzie can be reached through her website/blog at www.jadeintuitive.ca; phone 416784-4120 or email jadeintuitive@yahoo.ca. Stan Albert, broker/manager, ABR, ASA at Re/Max Premier in Vaughan, Ont. can be reached for consultation at stanalb@rogers.com. Stan is now celebrating 40 years as an active real estate professional. REM

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22 REM NOVEMBER 2012

The fountain of youth

SALES COACH

By Bruce Keith

S

omebody asked me the other day, “Bruce, who writes all these daily sales tips that you send out?” I was rather taken aback. It seemed like a rather strange question. I responded, “Why, I do, of course. That’s one of the responsibilities I have taken on…. That’s what I do.” I thought more about that question later on. In retrospect, I was glad the person asked me. It made me reflect on all the benefits of writing meaningful daily sales tips day after day. Doing so has created some amazing benefits for me. At this juncture, I know I have

sent out in excess of 700 different tips. Here are some of the paybacks I have accrued: Writing these tips 1. Forces me to keep growing, never getting stale. 2. Induces me to research and learn new material. 3. Opens my mind to bigger thinking.... getting outside my box. 4. Connects me with and helps literally thousands of people I would not meet otherwise. 5. Constantly reminds me of the incredible power of a rock-solid routine. 6. Bottom line... it keeps me young! Now let’s talk about you. What can you do to grow and keep young? Consider these personal growth questions: 1. What new challenges are you taking on to stretch yourself? 2. What books are you reading? 3. What seminars are you going to? How about something outside your current business universe? 4. What changes are you making to your sales presentation?

5. What routine changes could you introduce into your life right now? 6. What new aspects to your health regimen should you take on? How much are you growing? Are you the same person you were 12 months ago? Centuries ago, explorer Ponce de Leon set out in search of the “Fountain of Youth”. He never found it but you can! It’s called grow every day. Make sure you have a plan to do so. No excuses. 60 yards to go: In the sales business it is easy to get wrapped up in “stuff” while the main goal gets lost in the shuffle. Consider if you were the quarterback for a football team and you were trotting out on the field with your teammates and it was the first down. Here’s what you would be thinking: 1. My main job is to get the ball over the goal line, which is currently 60 yards away. 2. I can see the goal line from here and I know there is going to

be some opposition but it can be done. 3. In order for me to get there I have to maintain control of what we are doing and move the ball forward 10 yards at a time. 4. The best part is I don’t have to do it all at once. I can move towards the goal line gradually. 5. For now, all I have to decide is: What play am I going to call next? Do we run the ball “off tackle” or do we do an “end around” or do I “throw a pass”? 6. For now, all I have to do is keep the goal line in sight and keep moving the ball forward, one play at a time. The business of selling is exactly the same as the process described above. Here is how it plays out: 1. Decide on your ultimate goal for the next few months. 2. Post this goal on the wall and keep it in sight at all times. 3. Keep moving the ball forward. 4. You don’t have to get to the goal line in one play... be patient and keep doing the right things

over and over. You will get there! 5. Critical point: You don’t have to know what play you are going to call every step of the way. You just need to know what play you’re going to call next. Have faith in your ability to get to the goal line. Things will become clear as you move down the field. Don’t expect to have all the answers before you get started. You don’t need that right now. The quarterbacks who fail are those who try and throw the “long bomb” and hope for the best. They want everything to fall into place without doing the hard work. Make sure you are one of those quarterbacks who follows the process to the goal line by marching down the field slowly but surely... doing all the right things over and over. This way you will score every time. 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. He says, “Success is possible; there are no excuses.”www.brucekeithresults.com REM

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Thank you to our 2012

National Sales Conference attendees.

You made it our most successful event ever! Our keynote speakers shared inspirational insights, including Phil Soper’s reflections on his decade with the company and pledge to harness the collective power of Royal LePagers from coast to coast “to build on a wave of confidence as we embark on our 100th year.”

The more than 60 breakout sessions and trade fair, provided the latest industry insights, tools and resources to help our REALTORS® grow their businesses.

To learn more about Royal LePage Events, visit www.royallepageevents.ca

Canadian comedienne Jessica Holmes brought down the house with memorable impersonations and a hilarious duet with President and CEO, Phil Soper

Setting a new record for any Royal LePage conference, raising more than $100,000 for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.

Themed networking events, included the “Through the Decades” party, “100th Birthday Party,” and “Royal LePage Rocks” provided opportunities to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.


Thank you to our 2012

National Sales Conference attendees.

You made it our most successful event ever! Our keynote speakers shared inspirational insights, including Phil Soper’s reflections on his decade with the company and pledge to harness the collective power of Royal LePagers from coast to coast “to build on a wave of confidence as we embark on our 100th year.”

The more than 60 breakout sessions and trade fair, provided the latest industry insights, tools and resources to help our REALTORS® grow their businesses.

To learn more about Royal LePage Events, visit www.royallepageevents.ca

Canadian comedienne Jessica Holmes brought down the house with memorable impersonations and a hilarious duet with President and CEO, Phil Soper

Setting a new record for any Royal LePage conference, raising more than $100,000 for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.

Themed networking events, included the “Through the Decades” party, “100th Birthday Party,” and “Royal LePage Rocks” provided opportunities to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.


26 REM NOVEMBER 2012

Buying a partial interest in a brokerage When buying a partial interest in a real estate brokerage you need to consider all of your options and select the one that works best. By Lloyd R. Manning

I

f you are buying into the real estate brokerage that employs you and in effect forming a partnership of some sort, many questions must be answered. Consider the ramifications of acquiring a partial interest only, which could be either a majority or minority ownership position. A majority interest is the holding of 50 per cent plus one of all issued shares of an incorporated company. A minority is less than this. At law, there is no such thing as an equal interest. If exactly 50 per cent of the issued shares are owned by any party, this is a minority position. In smaller companies such as most real estate brokerages, control is usually obtained by owning more shares that anyone else or all other shareholders combined. A minority interest holder may have a small voice, a growth investment and perhaps a job with slightly more security than otherwise; but legally, little else. The person who holds the majority interest, special covenants excepted, controls the brokerage. With certain exceptions, that individual can make all of the decisions and run the firm as he sees fit. Although there are some legal protections in the day-to-day operation, minority shareholders are at the mercy of the majority share-holder. Although you may have been involved in the brokerage for some time, it is always wise to have the financial statements reviewed by an accountant who is not connected with the brokerage. A common problem is that insiders allow sentimental attachment to hinder their good business judgement. An impartial look-see will be well worth the expense. This same professional

may be in a position to give you a rundown on the value of the brokerage, from which the value of a partial interest can be calculated. If there is a professional practice appraiser in your neighbourhood, this is the way to go. However, the supply of professional practice appraisers is limited. An important factor is the market into which the brokerage trades, its growth potential and the competition. Another consideration is the sales force, their ages, experience, abilities and longer-term probability of their remaining with the firm. When selling partial interest, it must be to an employee of the brokerage or, if to an outsider, only after obtaining the consent of all shareholders. These sales are usually the sale made at “fair value”. However, often there is a misunderstanding as to what the term “fair value” means in practice. A buyer would equate this as “fair market value”, which suggests the value of a minority position should be discounted. A seller would argue that a majority interest is entitled to a premium. Although several factors could combine to make the value of a minority interest less than its proportionate share of the total value of the brokerage, a majority interest is seldom entitled to a bonus. In this situation a “notional market” must be inferred. This implies an open market condition when in fact no such market, as usually defined, actually exists. Valuation is always made on a going concern basis, which assumes continuance of the business, not a liquidation. Subsequent to applying other discounts, additional factors must be taken into account, particularly lack of liquidity or marketability for the partial interest. In practice, a broker who wishes to sell a partial interest in his real estate business will have difficulty with-

out reducing the pro-rata sales price. When valuing, much depends on what comes with the package. If, for example, you buy the interest of the broker and assume his position; or alternately, purchase the interest of someone’s spouse who is part owner in name only, all else being equal, it would seem that the broker’s shares would have more value. Yet, legally, the per share value of both party’s interest is the same. A normal discount would range from a low of 20 to a high of 50 per cent. The selection is more of a “shoot from the hip” than one based on market criteria. A general rule of thumb, and it is very general, is discount a 50-per-cent interest by onethird, a 25-per-cent interest by one half and all others around or between these ranges. There are no strict rules or infallible guidelines. Often a discount, if any, is arrived at by mutual agreement between the parties. Sometimes for a minority position a discount of 50 per cent may be insufficient and in another 20 per cent may be too high. It all comes down to what you anticipate gaining and what the seller will settle for. Consideration should be given to: • The percentage of the brokerage being acquired. The value of a minute percentage is always greatly reduced, particularly if it is of the employee stock ownership, non-voting class. • The division between the in situ value of the capital assets and goodwill. • The financial condition and earning capacity of the brokerage. • The history and reputation of the brokerage. • Its dividend paying capacity. If you only get the same remuneration you got without ownership, why buy?

• Limitations created by the articles of incorporation. • The capabilities and contribution of those who hold the remaining interests, particularly the majority shareholder. The highest premium would be for 51 per cent of the brokerage, as control would be obtained for a lower investment, the premium declining as ownership increases to 100 per cent. However, these are being steadily reduced as the rights and benefits accorded to minority holders are becoming better protected by law and better understood by their owners. The criterion in establishing the bonus is measured by the benefit to be derived by the acquiring party. It must be on account of added value with strong subjective motives. It is not a fact of the market. With a buy-in, the usual procedure is that the seller’s interest is acquired over an extended time

Multiple Listings

frame, usually not less than two years and seldom more than five. The purchase price is agreed to when the buy-sell contract is entered into. The major difference between this and traditional seller financing is that the seller remains active as a transitioning partner until the full debt owing is retired. However, there is no typical template to fit all situations and as such a buy-in should be negotiated carefully. The last word is that before buying a partial interest in a real estate brokerage you need to consider all of your options and select the one that works best. 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 lloydmann@shaw.ca REM

population to gain a foothold in real estate,” he says. “Nanaimo Realty, carrying the Royal LePage banner, continues to provide professional services to the families of yesteryear (now grandchildren), and new residents.” He says he and managing broker Travis Carmichael “would like to thank all those who have helped us along the way.”

feedback from the brokerage’s agents was unprecedented,” says Heidi Noel, area manager, Mississauga. “A follow-up clinic is in the works and eagerly anticipated.” The lab was designed with Debra Harris, director of professional development, and presented by Trish Manning, manager, Royal LePage on Yonge Street; Lynn Hoffmann, manager, downtown Oakville; Kevin Somers, area manager, Central Toronto; and Noel.

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Royal LePage Real Estate Services recently launched a new training initiative in each of its 15 branches. The Listing Lab was designed to provide agents with compelling materials and strategies to help them win more listings, and to do so at the commission they want to earn. “The

Michael Appleton has been contracted to teach his Masters Program exclusively with Right At Home Realty. He has not joined the company in a salaried position. Incorrect information was provided to REM and appeared in the October issue. REM

Continued from page 8


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Tax implications of disposing of a business By Martin Rumack

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f you are a small business owner and you are in your early 60s or older, have you given any consideration to the manner in which you will deal with the business when you wish to retire? This is a matter of great importance whether you intend to sell the business to family members, employees or a third party. You want to ensure that in order to obtain the greatest net after-tax dollars, the transaction is structured in the most efficient tax manner. It is common for a family business to be transferred to the next generation. This may arise if one or more of the children are already involved in the business and have expressed an interest to continue

working in it. Or, it may arise if one or more children are interested in becoming involved in the business after possibly doing something else, or after obtaining experience either with a competitor or in another type of business altogether. A question that sometimes arises is, what are you to do if not all of your children are involved in the business, or even if they all work in the business, but you are of the opinion that one is more capable of carrying on and growing the business than the others? How do you treat them equally from an estate planning perspective in order to avoid future tensions and issues between you and your children and among the siblings? If you are dealing with your children as parties in the disposition of the business, you have several options available to you. These include selling or giving your shares to your children. You

may initially be inclined to gift your shares to only those children who are already involved in the operation of the business equally; alternatively you may choose to gift your shares (whether equally or not) to all of your children, even those not involved in the business. In my opinion, this is not a good idea and may result in future family problems and issues. I have seen this result too often! Finally, the gifting option is only feasible if you will not require the money you would receive from a sale of the company to a third party. The route of gifting or even selling shares at a non-fair market value will result in income tax issues that need to be carefully considered in order to minimize the income tax, which becomes payable as a result. Pursuant to the income tax rules, Canada Revenue Agency will take the position that you gifted the shares

at a value equal to the fair market value of the shares as of the date of gifting. The gain, which is based on the difference between the cost of the shares and the deemed fair market value, is subject to tax on 50 per cent of the gain taxable at your own rate of taxation in the year the shares were gifted or were sold below fair market value. If you sell the shares to your children, as a good parent you will want to give them a good deal on the price. This well-intentioned gesture may result in a doublewhammy of taxes under the provisions of the Income Tax Act: the rules dictate that if you sell shares to a related party you are treated as having received monies equal to the fair market value of the shares, while the children will be treated as having a cost base for the future determination of any capital gains, based on the price actually paid by them to you.

To paint a clearer picture, if your business is worth $4 million but you sell it to your children for only $500,000 and they, at a future date, sell it for $6 million, they will pay tax on the $5.5 million capital gain. Meanwhile, assuming your cost in acquiring your share was only $1 because you started the business, you would be paying tax on a deemed gain of $3,999,999. You and your children will ultimately both pay a major amount of income tax. There are two methods that can be implemented to help reduce, if not totally eliminate, income tax, or at least help defer the payment of the tax owing. First, if you sell your shares to your children and take back financing (a promissory note for the total proceeds of sale payable over a 10year term) you can defer the tax payable, and have the tax payable stretched out over a 10-year period based on the provision of the Income Tax Act permitting a reserve for amounts not yet due from the proceeds of sale. The other route that may assist you in avoiding taxes completely, or in significantly reducing the tax payable, would be to claim the $750,000 lifetime capital gains tax exemption. This exemption is available when the shares of an active Canadian Small Business Corporation are sold; in other words, up to a maximum of $750,000 of the capital gains would be exempt from taxes payable. This is also contingent on you not having used up your $750,000 capital gain exemption previously. This type of planning must involve both your accountant and your lawyer. You should commence the process as early as possible. 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 www.lexisnexis.ca/bookstore. Visit Martin Rumack’s website at www.martinrumack.com. REM


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30 REM NOVEMBER 2012

Industrial, Commercial & Investment DTZ appoints new Canadian president DTZ recently announced the appointment of Colin Ross as president of Canadian brokerage operations. In his newly expanded role, Ross will assume responsibility for developing and implementing DTZ’s growth strategy for the Canadian transaction and advisory skill lines, with a focus on expanding business relationships with corporate occupiers, owners/ developers and government/public sector clients, the company says. Ross originally joined DTZ (then known as JJ Barnicke Ltd) in 1986 as a Toronto leasing transaction specialist and then returned to the firm in 2007 as the brokerage leader for the firm’s downtown Toronto brokerage operations. UGL Services and DTZ (including the DTZ Barnicke sub brand) were recently rebranded to DTZ, a UGL Company. DTZ has 47,000 employees including subcontractors, operating across 208 offices in 52 countries.

Jones Lang LaSalle names VPs in Vancouver, Montreal As part of its continued expansion in the Vancouver commercial real estate market, Jones Lang LaSalle has hired Matthew Brown as vice-president of agency leasing. Brown comes to Vancouver from Jones Lang LaSalle’s London office, where he was director responsible for leasing commercial space for many of the U.K.’s largest institutional landlords. Brown will focus on the development of leasing strategies, branding and marketing of office space, market positioning, identifying prospective tenants and negotiating lease terms, the company says. For owners that require more extensive services, Brown will advise on the development of office space, realignment strategies

and leasing campaigns, it says. The company has also appointed Jean-Philippe Daunais as vicepresident in the firm’s industrial brokerage team and agency director for the Montreal office. Daunais will specialize in advising tenants, landlords and investors on their industrial real estate in Montreal and the surrounding region. Prior to joining Jones Lang LaSalle, he was a chartered real estate broker at DTZ Barnicke.

Moscow is Europe’s skyscraper capital Five out of the 10 tallest skyscrapers in Europe are in Moscow, including the tallest building in Europe, called Mercury City. According to Emporis, a building database, Moscow is also the European city with the most skyscrapers. Altogether, Moscow counts 87 buildings that are at least 100 meters high or have more than 40 floors. More than two-thirds of them are not older than nine years. Even the London-based skyscraper The Shard, inaugurated in July and celebrated as Europe’s tallest building with a height of 310 meters, has been overshadowed by Mercury City. After its completion, Mercury City will be nearly 29 meters taller than its competitor in London, says Emporis. Matthew Keutenius, data analyst at Emporis, says: “Many Russian and foreign investors focus on prestigious building projects, such as are being built in the new urban district Moscow City, where Mercury City is located.” He says there are fewer building regulations in Moscow than in other European cities. Besides The Shard, only Sapphire Tower in Istanbul comes close to the Russian skyscrapers. The tower, designed by Tabanlioglu Architects, is 261 meters tall – only three meters shorter than Triumph-Palace in Moscow.

Compared to international high-rise architecture, the European skyscrapers are rather small. Even though the three tallest European buildings all hit the 300-meters mark, the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper with a height of 828 meters, is 2 1/2 times taller than Mercury City will be after completion. The Torre de Cristal, which holds the 10th place on the Europe list, only reaches one-third of Burj Khalifa’s height.

Toronto building gets LEED platinum certification Telus House Toronto at 25 York St. in downtown Toronto has achieved LEED Canada Platinum Certification for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. The development team includes managing partner Menkes Developments, Alcion Ventures and HOOPP Realty. Adamson Associates Architects and Sweeney Sterling Finlay & Co. are the architects. Completed in October 2009, 25 York St. includes such features as raised floor cold air delivery, deep water cooling, built-in blinds and perimeter radiant panels, all of which help reduce green house emissions, minimize operating expenses and provide year-round comfort for tenants, their employees and visitors to the building. The 781,236-sq.-ft. building includes 29 floors of commercial space topped with two mechanical floors on the roof and three floors of underground parking. Platinum is the highest level of certification awarded by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an international third-party certification program.

Colin Ross

Matthew Brown

Jean-Philippe Daunais

Michael Davidson 25 York St. in Toronto

Michael Davidson moves Commercial sales rep Michael Davidson has moved to Re/Max West in Toronto after five years with Re/Max Commercial Advisors. He is a retail leasing expert and does urban streetfront investment property sales in the downtown core. Davidson was also appointed to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Commercial Division Council. REM

Mercury City in Moscow (Copyright: Liedel Investments Limited)


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What real estate salespeople can learn from Steve Jobs By Andy Herrington

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teve Jobs, one of the greatest minds, greatest salesman and possibly worst people recently left this world. He left behind a legacy that will be hard to duplicate. But he also left behind some very good lessons for us. If we want to look at them and instil them into our own businesses we can see incredible results. But what can a real estate salesperson learn from the CEO of a multi-billion dollar computer company? I think there are three lessons that everyone could learn and implement, and see tangible results in a short period of time. 1. Earth stopping showmanship – If nothing else Steve Jobs, was a showman. He understood the importance of being a spectacle. Apple became a worldwide phenomenon in 1984. It was a commercial that did it, not the computers or the innovations but a lone Super Bowl ad that had amazing imagery and shockingly long staying power. The ad

really needs no introduction and if you don’t know what I am talking about, go to Google and type Apple 1984 and you will find the video. It won many honours in the advertising world. It got a continent talking about Apple, and it was only telecast once. Jobs then followed that up with an amazing stage presentation of the product and followed that up with another great ad campaign, “Think Different”. While the lessons of 1984 and the Macintosh unveiling are important, it is the campaign “Think Different” that I think Realtors need to pay most attention to. Real estate agents over the years have fallen in a trap. Hardly any stand out from the crowd. This is where you can find an advantage. Think different than your competition; figure out how you can be seen as different, because only then can you ever be seen as better. Then continue the path and provide different and better service and results. If you are different you will be talked about and your reputation will grow. 2. Fanatical attention to detail – Apple is known the world over for its sleek and stylish

design. It is known for having amazing innovations that no one else could think of. It is known for taking care of the little things, the details. Real estate salespeople should be no different. Ensure that the details are covered, the smallest ones to the biggest ones. Don’t have spelling mistakes, or an offer that has no flow to it. Have a social media presence, and a PowerPoint presentation. Show your clients that you are a professional and that you take every aspect of your job seriously. They will feel better, safer and less stressed throughout the process, and remember that after all is said and done, your clients do not remember the words that you say, they do not remember the things that you do or the ads that you wrote, but they will remember how you made them feel. Attention to detail is the single best way to make a hugely positive impression on people, and if you make a positive impression you will be talked about and your reputation will grow. 3. Laser-like focus – Jobs took this lesson to another level, and frankly went too far, ostracizing most of the people in his life. But there is still a huge lesson to

learn. Jobs took Apple down a path of focus. The company wanted to make the premier computer in the world. It would have four products (in the beginning) of home and professional-style laptops and desktops. It would control everything and be focused on innovation and fine details,

time, rather than looking for unimaginable results by tomorrow. We tend to jump at everything we see and don’t give anything the focus it deserves. This leads to a jumbled mess and things start to fall through the cracks. Focus your efforts and soon

Real estate agents over the years have fallen in a trap. Hardly any stand out from the crowd. This is where you can find an advantage. making the experience the best for the end user. Everything it did as the company grew continued to have this laser-like focus. It focused on only a few products at a time, improving and perfecting them all. It didn’t worry about making a zillion different varieties of each computer, but one or two. It targeted and captured the top 10 per cent of the computer marketplace, the people who were willing to pay more for better equipment, and it focused on them. This focus slowly made the Apple a mainstream product known for its innovation and superior function. It can sell the product for more money and have ridiculous loyalty from its focus group. Realtors can do the same. Focus your attention on the people you want to work with – stop trying to please everyone and do everything. Focus on improving one aspect of your business at a time and try to capture a specific audience with your unique selling proposition. Focus on small incremental changes over a period of

enough you will be known for that focus. You will be able to provide service to that focus group that no one else can match. You will be seen as providing a service beyond what your competition does. If you are known for service beyond your competition, you will be talked about and your reputation will grow. If we look at Apple computers and Jobs we see an outline for success. It wasn’t simply the innovations and well-built computers, but the philosophies behind the company that made it the success it is today. What are the philosophies behind your business? Can you find the focus, the attention to detail and the showmanship in your business? Andy Herrington is a real estate salesperson who was a member of some amazing top producing teams prior to becoming a real estate coach and inspirational speaker. His main message is for all Realtors to have “belief in the message” and to create a higher standard of professionalism for our amazing profession. www.andyherrington.com REM


34 REM NOVEMBER 2012

Fire safety DVD a great client gift

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Royal LePage Elite Realty Vince Tersigni

Grenville Wharram

George Heos, Senior Vice President, Network Development is pleased to announce that effective October 5, 2012 Vince Tersigni, broker/owner of Prudential Elite Realty has joined the Royal LePage franchise network. Vince’s company will now operate under the name Royal LePage Elite Realty. Vince became a licensed REALTOR® in 1971 and obtained his broker’s license in 1976. In 1989, he purchased Countrywide Realty Inc. with Grenville Wharram. In 1998, they converted their brokerage to Prudential Elite. Together, Vince and Grenville have more than 70 years of real estate experience, covering all facets of the industry – from residential, land, industrial, commercial and investments. Vince is proud of his 38 years in real estate and to operate a traditional, successful brokerage with his REALTORS®. A supporter of organized real estate, he has served on the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) on various committees. Both Vince and Grenville believe in giving back to the community and have been involved in sponsoring local teams, a charity golf

Mississauga, Ontario

tournament for handicapped children and raising money for the Ronald McDonald House. More than 30 sales representatives and support staff work for the brokerage, and plans are underway to recruit even more sales people as a result of joining Royal LePage. They service Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Burlington, Vaughan and King Township, Milton and Georgetown. Vince, Grenville and their team can be reached at: 5090 Explorer Drive #100 Mississauga, Ontario L4W 4T9 Phone: 905-629-1515 • Fax: 905-629-0496 VinceTersigni@royallepage.ca Please join us in congratulating Vince, Grenville and the team at Royal LePage Elite Realty. For information on the Royal LePage franchise program, please call: (416) 510-5827 or email franchise@royallepage.ca †

†Royal LePage is a trademark used under license.

ou can show your clients you really care by giving them a closing gift that might save their lives. A Simple Guide to Home Fire Safety, a DVD created by 27-year Ottawa Fire Services veteran Capt. Daly McLaughlin, offers fire safety scenarios presented in an easy-tounderstand format ideal for the whole family. McLaughlin created the DVD based on his experiences as a fire fighter. He says he has seen terrible things over the years that could have been prevented by taking simple measures, he says. The DVD is divided into segments and doesn’t take long to watch. But the time will be well spent. The one to three-minute segements are: 1. Children’s fire safety. “It’s not there to scare children. Kids have to know about fire safety,” he says 2. Survival tips in event of home fire 3. How to prepare a home escape plan 4. General home fire prevention tips including for the kitchen, fireplace and furnace 5. How to buy, operate and

maintain smoke detectors 6. Fire safety in condos 7. Christmas fire safety 8. How to use a fire extinguisher 9. When to use a fire extinguisher The big tip for all: Smoke detectors are the most important line of defence. “A smoke detector gives you a heads up (so you can) get out,” Capt. McLaughlin says. Most of the information on the DVD can be found scattered on the Internet, but McLaughlin wanted to offer home and condo owners a convenient and time-saving tool that would make fire safety hard to ignore. “Fire Safety Week in October brings fire safety to the forefront for a week, then it’s forgotten,” McLaughlin says. He hopes his DVD will help keep the topic top of mind throughout the year and he hopes Realtors can help him spread the fire safety word. He says a Realtor he knows gives gift baskets containing fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, escape ladders and his A Simple Guide to Home Fire Safety DVDs. In fact, he came up with the idea for the DVD after his real estate agent aunt inquired about fire safety

Daly McLaughlin

DVDs for her clients. The DVD was filmed at McLaughlin’s house, with his 17year-old son, Cody, recruited as an actor. Some footage, all shot specifically for the video, was filmed professionally and some is home video footage. McLaughlin, who has been teaching fire extinguisher and commercial high-rise fire safety training for years, did the voiceovers. He used professionals to produce the DVD, design its cover and create his website, www.thefireman.ca. The DVD sells for $9.95. A volume discount is available to agents. Visit the website for more information, or email info@thefireman.ca for details. REM

Parking is pricey in Canadian cities

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Royal LePage Porritt Real Estate Toronto, Ontario Shelley Porritt George Heos, Senior Vice President, Network Development is pleased to announce that effective October 1, 2012, Shelley Porritt, broker/owner of Porritt Real Estate Inc., has joined the Royal LePage franchise network. Shelley’s company will now operate under the name of Royal LePage Porritt Real Estate. Shelley represents the third generation of a family-owned business, which has operated since 1955. She received her real estate license in 1997 and went on to obtain her broker’s license in 2001. Shelley is the broker of record in the office she owns with her parents, Carl and Liz Porritt. Shelley is currently on the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) Board of Directors and is co-chair of the TREB Government Relations Committee. She also runs an organization that distributes gift baskets to women in shelters throughout the Toronto area during the holiday season.

Shelley looks forward to future growth and expansion of her company with the Royal LePage brand behind her. Her office services the areas of Toronto, Etobicoke and Mississauga. Shelley and her team can be reached at: 3385 Lakeshore Blvd. W. Toronto, Ontario M8W 1N2 Phone: 416-259-9639 Fax: 416-253-5445 ShelleyPorritt@royallepage.ca Please join us in congratulating Shelley and wishing everyone at Royal LePage Porritt Real Estate continued success. For information on the Royal LePage franchise program, please call: (416) 510-5827 or email: franchise@royallepage.ca †

†Royal LePage is a trademark used under license.

anadian drivers should not expect relief any time soon when pulling into a parking lot in major cities across the country, as parking rates continued to climb this year according to Colliers International’s 12th Annual Parking Survey. The average median rate for a monthly unreserved parking spot grew by 2.7 per cent over the past year, now at $241.72, compared to $235.33 the year prior. Calgary maintains its title as Canada’s priciest city to park with an average median parking rate of US$439.93, second only to New York (US$562 Midtown, US$533 downtown) and higher than other large North American cities such as Boston (US$405) and San Francisco (US$375). However, the rate increase in Calgary this year was somewhat moderate at only

two per cent, below the national average. While Calgary experienced a moderate parking rate increase, drivers in Montreal ($330.96), Regina ($182.50) and Edmonton ($295) saw their parking fares spike by 11.7 per cent, 8.3 per cent and 7.3 per cent, respectively, compared to 2011. On the other end, Torontonians ($316.40) and Vancouverites ($277.82) felt some relief as the average median parking rates in these cities decreased from last year by 4.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively. “Improving economic conditions, a strong office market and limited future supply of new parking spots are all contributing to the continued increase of parking rates in all categories and across the country,” says Ian MacCulloch, national research director with

Colliers International in Canada. “Currently, only Calgary, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Waterloo Region and Winnipeg are expecting to add new parking spots over the next year and in limited numbers. This shortage of new supply will continue to put upward pressure on parking rates.” Canada monthly unreserved parking rates by city (in Canadian dollars): 1. Calgary $456.75 2. Montreal $330.96 3. Toronto $316.40 4. Edmonton $295 5. Vancouver $277.82 6. Ottawa $225 7. Victoria $184.80 8. Regina $182.50 Canada national average $241.72 REM


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REB, the Calgary Real Estate Board, says it applauds Alberta on its intention to legislate expanded new home warranty protection. The new regulations will also help protect resale buyers and sellers of properties covered by the warranty, CREB says. “New buyer protection is such a contentious issue in our communities, especially considering the recent problems with some condos that have been identified around the city, and it’s good to see the province is finally responding to the need,” says CREB president Bob Jablonski. “Buyers and sellers can have greater confidence that a structure is sound.” But it says a number of questions about the program remain to be answered. CREB and its provincial partner, the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), are also calling on the province to adopt air quality standards for properties of all kinds and to complete the review of the Condominium Property Act it began three years ago. This reminder comes in the wake of recent media coverage on reported leaky condos in the

Calgary area. According to those media reports, some condo owners are facing thousands of dollars in repair bills. Without a provincial air quality standard, there is no way of knowing whether the air within the property has been adequately remediated for such problems as leaky building envelopes, illegal grow-op activities or high levels of continued humidity that produce mould, says CREB. Without these standards consumers may be at risk. “Over the years, this has become a problem area for consumers as safety codes and municipal inspections have been outsourced and downgraded,” says Jablonski. “Building envelopes seem to have fallen off the radar and have not been attributed to any particular inspection authority that we are aware of, and that is a problem.” ■ ■ ■

For the fifth year in a row, the Realtors of the Greater Moncton area held their Annual Realtors Care Golf Tournament in support of the Breakfast for Learning program in the region,

raising more than $11,000. “Although the weather was a little torrential we had a great turnout of 25 teams. One of the highlights of our event was the auctioning off of an official Wayne Gretzky signed Oilers jersey that went for $800,” says Peter Dickson, president of the Greater Moncton Realtors du Grand Moncton. Breakfast for Learning is the leading national non-profit organization solely dedicated to child nutrition programs in Canada. “It is very important that we recognize the support our members and the community give our Realtors Care initiatives. Without them we would never achieve this level of success. I also would like to recognize our dedicated volunteer base who ensured our golf tournament was a big success once again this year,” says Dickson.

and other members of law enforcement. It is one of four similar events organized by law enforcement officials across the province each year. Since its inception in 1998 the Tour de Rock has raised nearly $17 million for the Canadian Cancer Society and it is one of the main fundraisers for the society in B.C. ■ ■ ■

Brian Walker, 2007 OREA

president and current CREA director, is hosting “Jam with a Past-President” at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Toronto on Nov. 20. It is geared to attract the “built-in” Realtor audience who will be staying at the hotel for OREA’s political action days. Last October Walker hosted the sixth annual Realtors Care Foundation “Jam with a PastPresident” at the El Mocambo in downtown Toronto, which more

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The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s parking lot was an exciting place Oct. 1 as the entire Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock cavalcade stopped off for a rest break and to pick up a $4,000 cheque for children’s cancer research. VIREB president Guy Bezeau and past-president Jim Stewart made the official presentation to Tour de Rock member Chris Fernades. The money was raised through personal donations and by a donation approved by the VIREB Board of Directors. The Tour de Rock is a 1,000km fund-raising event featuring primarily police officers, the media

Pat Maloney, Marlo Nickerson, Brian Lekas and Brian Richford from Re/Max Quality Real Estate take part in the Realtors Care Golf Tournament in Moncton.

The Tour de Rock collected a $4,000 donation at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board.

Why does the Peak Real Estate Network keep growing? Why not check it out? www.peakrealestate.com

The Barrie & District Association of Realtors held its 9th Annual Charity Golf Tournament recently. The golfers enjoyed a beautiful day of golfing and raised $2,860 in support of Samaritan House Community Ministries. From left: Dave Thomson, committee member; Bonnie Seymour, staff liaison; Kerry Ploughman, executive director, Samaritan House Community Ministries; Walter Doret, board president; and David Burgess, chairperson, committee member.


REM NOVEMBER 2012 37

than 100 Realtors attended to see more than 20 musicians display their musical talents. Walker is currently looking for five sponsors for the event, to contribute $1,000 each. For information, contact Walker at brianwalker@trebnet.com or Stephanie O’Brien at the foundation. I I I

The Nova Scotia Association of Realtors (NSAR) raised $16,169 for Feed Nova Scotia through the Realtors Miles for Meals campaign. This provincewide effort united Realtors in an effort to raise funds and awareness for its 2012 Charity of Choice as part of the national campaign, Realtors Care. Since every dollar donated allows Feed Nova Scotia to distribute $14 worth of food, the campaign makes a big difference. “The overwhelming worry that comes with staring into an empty cupboard or fridge and knowing there won’t be any money for groceries for three more days is something no one should have to endure. Unfortunately, thousands do – in communities right across our province,” says Dianne Swinemar, executive director of Feed Nova Scotia. The highlight of the campaign was a two-week journey spearheaded by NSAR’s executive officer, Roger Boutilier, who cycled from Sydney, N.S. to Yarmouth. He was joined by member Realtors; some cycled with him and others organized fundraising events along the route or made donations. Boutilier cycled 731 km, the first time he has cycled such a long distance. I I I

Sir William Stephenson has been selected as Winnipeg’s 2012 Citizens Hall of Fame Inductee. He was born in 1897 in Winnipeg as William Samuel Clouston Stanger. Enlisted in Winnipeg’s 101st Battalion in the First World War, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1917 and was credited with downing at least 16 enemy aircraft, earning him the Military Cross. Between wars he patented wireless photography and became a wealthy industrialist in Britain. His travels through his high-level business dealings in Europe gave him great insights and connections into

what was happening in Germany and his own intelligence from these gatherings was communicated often to British authorities and his friend Winston Churchill. Upon outbreak of the Second World War, Churchill invited Stephenson to be his personal emissary to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It became Stephenson’s task to garner favour from FDR to access the industrial might of the United States and sway public opinion to join the allied war effort. He ran a covert intelligence operation in New York City, a year prior to the U.S. entering the war. His mission was to create a secret British intelligence network throughout the Western Hemisphere and operate it very broadly on behalf of the British government and the Allies in aid of winning the war. Stephenson ended up overseeing a vast intelligence network that deciphered the German Enigma code, an accomplishment said by historians to have helped end the war earlier and save countless more lives. He set up what is said to be the first training school for wartime operations in North America. Around 2,000 British, Canadian and American covert operators were trained in Whitby, Ont. from 1941 to 1945. Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond books, was a graduate of one of his training schools in Europe and it is said Stephenson was an inspiration to his spy novels. By the end of the war, Stephenson, who acquired the code name Intrepid, was considered the single most powerful intelligence operative in the Western Hemisphere. Although Stephenson only came back to Manitoba once after the war, he was appointed chairman of the Manitoba Economic Advisory Board in 1959 and kept his connections with his home province for many years to come. He endowed a major scholarship at the University of Winnipeg. Established in 1986 by WinnipegRealtors, the Citizens Hall of Fame is a program honouring outstanding citizens who brought recognition to the city or have made outstanding contributions to Winnipeg ’s quality of life. Each inductee has a likeness sculpted and prominently displayed at the Citizens Hall of Fame site in Assiniboine Park. REM

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By Elden Freeman

D

id you know that nearly 60 per cent of Canadians use a forced-air furnace to heat their homes, while 30 per cent use electric heat sources? According to Statistics Canada, natural gas and electricity were the most common types of energy used in 2007, accounting for 80 per cent of all energy consumed by Canadian households. But there are more eco-friendly ways to heat your home this winter. Pellet stoves are the new darlings of eco home heating. They are inexpensive to install as many don’t require ventilation, so there’s

Eco home heating no need for a chimney. They burn little compressed wood pellets that are cheaper to buy than firewood or even electricity, and best of all, they are a resource that can be renewed easily. Some burn corn or nut shells as well. Pellet stoves do require electricity, to keep the fan motor running. But that cost is small compared to other forms of electric heat. Eco fireplaces might just sound too good to be true. Not only do they burn a clean and renewable resource known as liquid bioethanol, but they’re easy to install and look quite stylish. The heat is efficient because the fireplaces are flue-less so all of the heat stays in the room. They come in a variety of styles, including fireplace inserts that you place in your traditional fireplace, and modern-looking, portable pieces of “fire” furniture. Here’s the catch: while these eco fireplaces are good for room or spot heating, they can’t replace the kind of whole home heating you get from a furnace.

Geothermal energy or groundsource heat pumps capitalize on the constant temperature of the ground or of a nearby water source such as a pond or lake. Geothermal systems work with a heat pump unit that’s connected to a loop of piping buried at a depth of six feet or more. Water and antifreeze circulating through the piping absorbs the heat from the ground and takes it back into the house. The opposite occurs in summer when the system draws on the earth’s lower temperatures to cool a house. A heat exchanger draws energy from the liquid in the pipes to either heat or cool the home. Solar home heating is perhaps the granddaddy of eco home heating as its long history will attest. Passive solar technology relies on the sun’s rays and doesn’t require mechanical or electrical devices. A good example of this is sunlight that lights or warms a room. Active solar technology employs pumps and fans to transfer the sun’s power to where it’s needed. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems consist of solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity to power your home. While this does require an initial investment, there are a number of programs that can help reduce the cost of the system. Radiant heat is an interesting alternative to gas or electricity and it is also an ancient form of heating. Using invisible electromagnetic infrared waves, it doesn’t heat the air, it heats objects that come into contact with the rays, like a bathroom floor. Once it heats up, it radiates heat to other objects in the room. Other examples of radiant heating are fireplaces and fireplace inserts, wood stoves and portable electric heaters. 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 www.nagab.org. Elden Freeman M.E.S., AGB, broker is the founder and executive director of the non-profit organization. 1-877524-9494 Email elden@nagab.org. REM


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40 REM NOVEMBER 2012

50 lessons my broker taught me By Ronn James

I

began selling in real estate in 1982 when I was 21-years-old and I already knew it all. My only distractions were money, the opposite sex and not-so-occasional adult recreational beverages. There were no computers. There was no Internet. Consequently there was no Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or social games and there certainly were no smartphones. When it came to selling real estate it was all about STP. I was given a sticker for this well-known oil company from my broker. I promise to tell you the significance at the end of this article. Here’s what I learned: • Take a card and leave a card. Build your database with friends, family, spheres of influences and other Realtors. They all help to sell your listings and send you buyers. • Return calls. It is rude to ignore people. Even people you think can do nothing for you. • Carry a pen and something to write on. Always be ready to take a number down – it will always lead somewhere. (Adjust accordingly for the advent of smartphones!)

• Always overdress. Someone will always notice even when you don’t think anyone’s watching. • Wear a watch. Use it. • Make appointments. Keep them. Showing up is half the battle. • Call if you’re going to be late. Yes, even 10 minutes. Aside from common courtesy, this gives the other side a chance to reschedule if they haven’t left enough time for you. • Apologize. Ten minutes or 10 years from now it may not matter to you, but it will to someone. • Carry a hanky. You never know when you’ll need a tourniquet or get invited to a Greek wedding. • Know your limits. Too much on your plate will make you less effective. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t do it all. • Don’t drink while you’re working. Pick your moments and have your time – on the job isn’t one of them. • Listen to tapes. (Okay, MP3s or podcasts). Empty your wallet into your brain. Educate yourself. • Read a book. There is always a message for you in everything you read. It promotes thinking. • Tune out. Know when to disengage. Fatigue doesn’t make you more effective. • Play against stronger players. You may lose, but you will gain incredible insight and skill. • Practice often. Do what you do, before you have to do

it for money. • Follow up. Find out how your sales call went. Pick up the phone. Accept criticism graciously. • Get someone to teach you the sales cycle. It’s real, it works and it lets you know how close to the sale you are. • Picky people do buy. They just need a good reason. Give them one. • People who love everything, love nothing. If it seems to be going too well to be true, it probably is. • Buyers are not really liars, they’re just still afraid to trust you with the truth. • G.T.M. Get the Money. Never date, befriend or marry the client before they buy. • Seventy-five per cent of your revenue is made by June 30th. Work accordingly. • Never calculate your commission on the way to an offer. • Don’t wing it. You are not that good even when you think you are. Practice your shtick. You’ll actually believe it yourself one day. • Always leave the other guy cab fare. People respect a fair dealer. Be one. • Remember people’s names. It is their favourite thing to hear. • Go to company and industry events. • Always leave an empty seat. The person who finds it usually turns out to make your day. • If you are not sure, shut up. The fastest way for someone to

ARR votes to stick with CREA

M

embers of the Association of Regina Realtors (ARR) voted down a resolution to consider pulling out of CREA at the ARR Annual Meeting in September. The resolution, proposed by sales rep Stew Fettes, was not supported by the ARR Board of Directors. It was defeated by a show of hands. In his presentation at the meeting, Fettes said CREA had failed its members by agreeing to co-operate with FINTRAC regulations, and by signing a consent agreement with the Competition Bureau. He proposed that ARR

hold a secret ballot no later than May 1, 2013 “to decide on whether we should withdraw from CREA in an orderly fashion and replace it with one dynamic association office in Saskatchewan to manage and insure all members are protected, and that organized real estate continues to live on in Saskatchewan.” After the meeting, Fettes told REM: “Although the resolution was not passed today, it is very evident that I have put a shot across the bow of CREA, and they had better start paying attention to their members.” He

says several people at the meeting came up to him after the presentation to shake his hand. Fettes says there is discontent with CREA across the country. “We’ll see what happens as it spreads across the nation…I think the debate is just starting on this whole issue.” Cliff Iverson, a CREA director and past-president of the Association of Saskatchewan Realtors, updated the meeting about CREA’s Future Planning proposals, which will be formally presented at a CREA meeting in Winnipeg in late October. REM

know that you don’t know is when you speak. • Introduce everyone in the circle that gathers. New friends, old friends. It keeps the conversation lively. • Compliment people. On anything and everything appropriate.

spot them and learn from them. • Wash your car. Show someone you respect their business especially, but not only, if they ride with you. • Be inspired. Inspire others. • Be humble. • Greed is good. Particularly when it is about spending time

Buyers are not really liars, they’re just still afraid to trust you with the truth. • Always assume that you are catching someone in the middle of something. Give them an out. This courtesy will repay you. • Ignore your smartphone. The app that slaps you every time you watch your smartphone should be installed. • Use language people know. Industry slang is inappropriate in many situations, and it’s rude. • Say thank you. And please. And all of the other manners people taught you. • Let other people win every once in awhile. They’ll come back if they have a 50/50 chance. • Smile. If required to do so, listen to something that makes you really laugh before every appointment. • Take your shoes off. Every time. • Address all family members. This includes the kids, the dog and the grandparents who don’t speak English. They’ll notice. • Know your audience. Amaze people with the knowledge and respect that you learned something about them before you even met. • Introduce your team. They’re not people who just work for you. Everyone plays a role. • Be curious about the future. Invest yourself in understanding skills, tools and practices that can and will likely change your business. • Find mentors. They come in every age, size and gender. Learn to

with people you love. • Share the wealth. You don’t need it all, and sharing the loss as well as the win is still a win. • Know your strengths. Surround yourself with people who are strong where you are weak. • Know when it’s time to go. Making it uncomfortable will only build resistance. Bow out graciously. So these are the 50 lessons that I have spent 30 decades absorbing, learning from, remembering and hopefully employing in my day-today business. I am blessed and grateful to have had a great many people show me how to be the best I can be. Humbly, I am fortunate to share the education I have with the next generation of learners who wants it. Earlier I promised to share the meaning of the red and silver oval sticker. STP: See The People. Real estate is still about people needing homes and those who help them do this face to face. With a track record that spans 27 years, Realtor Ronn James says his ambition is to educate the public and Realtors alike. He has landed appearances on Breakfast Television, CityLine, Real Life and a host of radio shows. James has also been a regular contributor to New Homes and Condos For Sale Magazine, Toronto Sun and Canadian Homeplanner. Website: www.RealEstateCommissionMatters .ca, phone 289-242-9050. REM


Dan Steward, President & CEO Pillar To Post REM is the first place the Canadian real estate industry turns to for news and commentary about their business. Pillar to Post turns to REM as the first place to advertise to the real estate community in Canada. Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post is North America’s premier home inspection company. With over 400 locations, Pillar To Post has worked with nearly 500,000 real estate professionals and has performed approximately two million home inspections. Pillar To Post became the yardstick for real estate professionals to measure high-calibre home inspection by professionally trained inspectors, who provide their clients the best service possible. If you have a message for Canada’s real estate professionals, REM is where your advertising should be. Contact REM today.

www.remonline.com


42 REM NOVEMBER 2012

Good Works A

tradition of fundraising in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation was alive and well at the company’s National Sales Conference in Vancouver recently. Royal LePage agents and brokers supported the foundation through a variety of events,

including a silent auction, the “Grouse Grind 4 Shelter,” a golf tournament, trolley rides, whisky tastings, a seaplane flight to Whistler, a poker tournament, a trivia contest and networking parties. Volunteer auctioneer Kent

Jessica Prasad

Coast Realty has pledged $30,000 to Habitat for Humanity. At the Royal LePage Wolstencroft Realty office opening and cheque presentation, from left: Clayton Lindberg and Leo Ronse, co-owners of the brokerage; Bridget Houghton, general manager; Jamie Schreder, president; Nancy Brewery of Ishtar Transitional Housing Society; David Jarvis, coowner of Royal LePage Wolstencroft; and Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage Canada.

Continued on page 43

Right: Sutton Group - Showplace Realty in Chilliwack, B.C. raised $1,600 for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Michael Gouchie, broker at Royal LePage Lifestyles in Lacombe, Alta., takes a faux fur coat from Hootie Johnston of Royal LePage Westside in Vancouver as part of the auction held at the Royal LePage National Sales Conference. The coat has been auctioned off at every conference since 2008. Gouchie’s bid for the coat of $2,500 was matched by another $2,500 from other bidders, helping to send the total raised by this thrift store find to more than $15,000 since it began making its rounds. Thirty people from Sutton Group - Heritage Realty in Oshawa, Ont. rode the Big Bike to raise more than $3,600.

From left: lawyer Yuri Tarnowecky; Sutton Group - Masters Realty sales rep and event organizer Bob Steacy; Jeff Wilson of Mortgage Professionals; and Bill Steacy Jr.

Red Carpet Royal Realty in Toronto recently held a promotional draw to raise money for the SickKids Foundation. All prizes were donated and a cheque for $1,000 was presented to the foundation. The lucky winners were clients of Nisanthan Nirthananthan, left, and Ranjan Francis, right, sales reps with Red Carpet Royal Realty. They are pictured with Joan Miller, office manager.

At the Hot Dogs Under the Sutton Tent event, from left: Mike Murillo, Cary Ronspies, Harold Beaulieu and Phil Heninger.


REM NOVEMBER 2012 43

Staging a home after a marriage breakup Breaking up is hard to do…

I

n 1975 Neil Sedaka wrote about the end of romance – a song that most Baby Boomers remember well and could probably sing from memory.... “Don’t take your love away from me Don’t you leave my heart in misery If you go then I’ll be blue ‘Cause breaking up his hard to do” (© EMI Music Publishing) According to Billboard Magazine the song hit number one in 1976 when the divorce rate was a fraction of what it is today. Divorce will always be a part of our society, caused by a variety of circumstances and cultural shifts. The current divorce rate in Canada is approximately 44 per cent – a rate that has gone up over 1,200 per cent in the past 50 years. It is expected to increase in the next decade. So what happens when these relationships fail? The pressure is on

Good Works Continued from page 42

Browne, broker/owner of Royal LePage Team Realty and Royal LePage Gale Real Estate, worked his magic at the Shelter Live Auction lunch, where bidders contributed to a week of fundraising that set a new record: $100,000 was raised in support of the foundation’s mission to help end family violence. Over the years, more than $1 million has been raised at Royal LePage conferences. ■ ■ ■

At the annual Whoop Up Days parade in Lethbridge, Alta. this summer, the team at Sutton Group - Lethbridge hosted the Hot Dogs Under the Sutton Tent event. The team offered food and refreshments to more than 250 people and raised $550 for Kidsport, an organization that offers assistance with sports equipment costs and registration fees so that all children have the opportunity to stay fit and have fun. Trish Lyons, administrator at the brokerage and the main organizer, says, “This was a big undertaking, but almost all of the Sutton

By Suzanne Morrow

to equalize the couple’s assets (even in the case of common-law marriage). This often includes preparing the matrimonial home for a quick sale. Staging a home for this purpose takes great sensitivity and diplomacy. It can be extremely stressful on all parties. One or both of the sellers may be quite emotional, given the memories that linger. Sometimes there are children in the home who are watching this process unfold – struggling to understand. When divorce or separation is the motivating factor for listing a house for sale, there are a number of things to keep in mind. First and foremost is sensitivity. A home that was once a place of harmony may now be a place of some discomfort. The sale may or may not be a mutual choice between the joint owners – instead, it is being sold out of necessity. There may still be emotional attachment to the home so tact, respect and sensitivity

are all key factors. “Research has shown that divorce and separation is one of the most powerful stresses of life, closely similar to the stress resulting from the death of a spouse,” says Kerry J. Mothersill, Ph.D. I have experienced situations where one of the spouses has already moved out and removed half of the furnishings. The task of a good stager in this situation is to work with the remaining contents and make the house appear full or to provide furniture and accessories that will make the home feel complete again for the purpose of showcasing it to potential buyers. I have visited homes for a consultation that I could immediately identify as a break-up situation. When you open a closet door and there is only one gender of clothing pushed to one side, or when the laundry room looks like a bomb went off – it’s obvious that, while it

Group - Lethbridge Realtors were able to pitch in to help.”

munity garden,” says Prasad. “For a small commitment, the landlord wins, the street becomes more beautiful and people have a chance to flex their green thumbs. It will be wonderful to see what grows out of this project – both in terms of local food and neighbourhood interaction.”

■ ■ ■

Mobile community gardens are an innovative way to provide temporary garden plots to people who wish to grow their own food while beautifying neighbourhoods and providing tax benefits to landowners. Jessica Prasad, a sales rep with Sutton Group - West Coast Realty in Coquitlam, B.C. sponsored a new mobile garden project in Vancouver. The site had been vacant since 1986 after a grocery store was demolished. “More than 60 volunteers came out…to help set up the garden boxes, shovel soil and engage with neighbours,” says Prasad. “Music, food and great weather created a great community building event. The garden was created in just one day.” The initiative, called Can You Dig It, was made possible through many volunteer hours and partners including Shifting Growth, a nonprofit organization. “Shifting Growth has a threeyear land agreement with the owner to run the site at Clark Drive and 12th Avenue as a com-

■ ■ ■

About a dozen Coast Realty Realtors traded in their suits for working clothes recently as they took part in a Habitat for Humanity construction project in Nanaimo, B.C. Coast Realty has pledged $30,000 over three years to Habitat for Humanity MidVancouver Island as the non-profit organization builds a series of three duplexes – created to provide less fortunate families with new homes and a positive legacy for their lives. The hands-on construction blitz was a bonus “sweat-equity” investment in the project by the Realtors. Funding for the project came from Coast Realty’s Raise the Roof campaign, where nearly 100 Coast Realty Realtors contribute on an ongoing basis to a charity fund set up specifically for the project.

appears to be a family home from the outside, half of the partnership is gone and the party remaining is “toughing it out” and trying to keep the house in shape. For example, if the man remains, the house might lack a certain feminine scent and decorating touch. When a woman is holding the fort, the home is missing the expected masculinity – suits in the closet and shaving cream in the ensuite. I will sometimes add these elements to create a sort of “virtual person”, minimizing any suspicion that a shift in family dynamics has forced the sale of the home. Providing a staging balance to the home is necessary to reduce any assumptions. If a potential buyer picks up clues that the home “needs to be sold”, the door is open for a low-ball offer and for your sellers to be taken advantage of. It’s my responsibility – as a sales reps’s business partner – to assist in protecting ■ ■ ■

The 4th Annual Hit ‘n Giggle Putts Fore! Mutts Golf Tournament was a resounding success for the players and organizer Bob Steacy, a sales rep at Sutton Group - Masters Realty in Kingston, Ont., but especially for the cats, dogs and other abandoned animals at the Kingston Humane Society. The event raised $6,500, which will help provide animals with adequate food, a warm place to sleep and a chance for a better life. Last year, Putts Fore! Mutts raised $5,000 for the shelter and prior to that, proceeds benefited the Mission Food Bank of Kingston. The four-year fundraising total is $19,500. “The community participation at the tournament is always great to see,” says Steacy. “This year, 124 golfers teed up in a four-man scramble, which included local Realtors, lawyers and members of Kingston’s finance community.” ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage Wolstencroft Realty officially opened its new home on Willowbrook Drive in Langley, B.C. on Sept. 14. As part of the celebration, $10,000 was

your client’s investment. It is inevitable in our society that relationships will fail. However, couples who have invested together in property deserve the best effort from real estate professionals (including your staging partner) in order to maximize the return on their investment and to help them bring closure to what is a stressful chapter in their lives. Susanne Morrow is the owner and creative eye behind Stiletto Staging, a professional home staging company serving the Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Mississauga and Hamilton areas. As a former real estate sales rep, she understands the challenges that Realtors face when convincing homeowners that they can successfully sell their home. She offers a partnership approach that demonstrates an intelligent home marketing strategy. www.stilettostaging.com. Email info@stilettostaging.com. REM presented to Ishtar Transitional Housing Society. The donation was raised through a fundraising golf tournament and gala hosted in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. ■ ■ ■

Sutton Group - Showplace Realty in Chilliwack, B.C. raised $1,600 in the 4th Annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake. With team names like the Bowling Stones, Lane Rangers and The Pinguins, “each team dressed up according to their team name,” says Rabia Shafi, the office administrator. “It was a blast! We enjoy a strong family feel at our office.” ■ ■ ■

Sutton Group - Heritage Realty in Oshawa, Ont. took part in the Big Bike event to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Thirty people from the office participated in the event and collected donations totalling more than $3,600. Riding the oversized bicycle was fun and a great team-building experience but one of the best outcomes was giving back to the community, says office administrator Elaine Mayhew. REM


44 REM NOVEMBER 2012

Research your advertising to ensure it works Bonus tip no. 11 of the top 10 tips for writing great real estate ads

By Ian Grace

T

here are two steps to researching your advertising to guarantee its effectiveness. First, test your ads before they appear in any media. Professional advertising agencies pre-test their advertising campaigns to see if their message is right for their target market. As a professional Realtor who should know how to advertise someone’s property effectively, you can (and should) do the same. An ad is broken into seven basic elements and they all need

LEGAL ISSUES

to flow together properly: 1. Photo – matching the headline – not the other way around. 2. Headline – Offering a benefit or implied benefit; new/news or topical; curiosity that is relevant, not just a gimmick for gimmick’s sake. 3. Qualifying copy – Quickly confirming the promise in the headline. 4. Body copy – Where you walk the reader through all aspects of “living there” in that property and area. 5. Reinforcing copy – If an effective headline has attracted the reader, it makes sense at the end to remind them about what attracted them initially. 6. Action copy – Pretty

Solicitor approval the defendant “acted in good faith”. (Draper v. Morrow, 2010) ■ ■ ■

By Donald H. Lapowich

A

Manitoba “Master” of the court held that when an Agreement of Purchase and Sale contained a condition precedent for solicitor’s approval, a defendant’s solicitor could advise real estate agents that he would not approve going through with the sale. The condition precedent protected the defendant and although it was irrelevant how the solicitor reached the decision, the fact was that the defendant met with the solicitor and decided not to proceed. There were no restrictions on that decision even though the court found

straightforward but not always done properly – your full name (with the word “me” in front of it), plus all contact details and open house directions if necessary. 7. White space – An ad needs to “breathe” and should be easy to read, not crammed to capacity as I often see, sometimes with flashes and strips and starbursts, where the eye doesn’t know where to look first and read in a logical sequence. Once you have put your advertising campaign together, give it to one or more of your colleagues, with a checklist, so they can objectively tell you if they totally understand what you are trying to impart. If not, don’t try to convince them – you don’t

In 1998, the owner of land gave a mortgage to a private corporation. The balance of the mortgage was due on May 1, 2003 but default occurred as early as 1999. A demand to pay went unanswered. The mortgagee did nothing. In 2007 the owner petitioned for a discharge of the mortgage while the corporation countered for foreclosure. The court held that claims (plural) on the mortgage were statute barred. The right to sue on the covenant and the right to foreclosure all arose on default on first payment because you look to when the mortgagee first had a right to sue on the covenant and bring foreclosure. The court dismissed the notion that foreclosure could be brought when the mortgage first became due in 2003. (492621 B.C. Ltd. v. Bustin Farms Ltd., 2009)

■ ■ ■

An Ontario real estate agent assaulted his estranged girlfriend and was convicted. He received a conditional sentence. The Registrar of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act issued a notice proposing to revoke the real estate agent’s registration. The License Appeal Tribunal found that the agent’s conduct did not meet the threshold necessary to revoke the license. However, it also found that his conduct warranted imposition of conditions. On appeal to Divisional Court, it was held that the Act contemplates conditions may be imposed where it is in the public interest, even if the revocation of the license is not warranted. 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

have that luxury with somebody out there in the marketplace reading your advertising. This will stop mistakes and wrongly targeted ads before they happen. Powerful stuff – now you should be on track. The second step to guaranteeing your ad’s effectiveness is to research potential buyers who respond. This stage can accomplish a lot more for you, than just seeing if your advertising is effective. Potential buyers are often defensive and now is a perfect time for you to become the Realtor they remember after they have viewed the properties on show at weekend open houses. See if the following suggested dialogue works for you: Greeting upon arrival at open house and exchange of names, establishing they have come as a result of your ad, perhaps asking where they saw it. “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I wonder if I could ask for your help/advice/opinion.” (People love helping, giving advice and sharing opinions. Now you have aroused their curiosity.) “You see, with my advertising, my aim is to give the most honest and truthful depiction of what the property has to offer and what living here in this house and this area will be like. To confirm I am on the right track with my advertising, after you have had a good look through the property and asked me any questions you may have, it would really help me to know if this property has matched your expectations from the advertising you saw.” This will give you fabulous feedback, to see if your advertising message is on track or has gone astray (particularly if they say, “We were disappointed in.........”). “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, thank you for pointing that out. I can now understand how it can be read that way. I appreciate your feedback and will make immediate steps to change that in my

future advertising.” What is important now is to ensure you make the change you have promised. If by any chance one of the media you are using already has a closed deadline, then tell them you will be too late for the next ad, but after that it will be changed. This is really important because if they see your ad again and it hasn’t been changed, you’re just another Realtor who is not credible. However, if they do see the ad again and it has changed according to their feedback, they will feel good having contributed and will have formed an opinion that they have met a Realtor they can trust. Be the Realtor who is remembered. Think about it – if a prospective buyer has visited four or five open homes and spoken to four or five different Realtors, who are they going to remember? Think of those words above – the most honest and truthful depiction – if you were to say, “I am honest and truthful, trust me,” just like a used car salesman, they wouldn’t necessarily believe you. However, in this instance, you have explained what you are aiming to do and invited them to be a part of the process. Out of the four or five Realtors they may have seen, they will always remember the one who involved them in putting honest and truthful to the test. That’s the end of my top 10 tips, including bonus Tip No. 11 – I hope it helps you become more successful in your endeavours. Known internationally as “Mr. Real Estate Advertising”, Australian born Ian Grace is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading authorities on real estate advertising. Since 1994, he has delivered his programs throughout Australia, New Zealand, the U.S.A. Canada and the U.K. His articles about real estate advertising have been published around the world. www.iangrace.com REM


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46 REM NOVEMBER 2012

THE PUBLISHER’S PAGE

By Heino Molls

I

MARKETPLACE

grew up in Toronto. During my younger years I drove a taxi for extra money part-time on weekend nights. I know every alley way, every corner and every curb side in town. I raised my oldest son here. For all the heartache I have had in this city, I have to say that in my day it was a fabulous place to live. I left Toronto for a time and lived in the marvellous City of Stratford for 12 years when I had young children again and my oldest son went out to B.C. for a teaching career in North Vancouver. I visit my grandchildren there now on an annual journey out west. So today I know my way around Lynn Valley and the Sea Bus station as well as the Festival Theatre and the Old Grove in addition to the streets of Toronto. We moved back to Toronto a few years ago. As I had made a bad career choice to become a newspaper publisher instead of a Realtor, I cannot afford to buy a house here. But we are happy in the heart of downtown Toronto. We found a co-op housing organization and are

Cityscapes and blinking lights pleased to live in this community. It is an oasis. The lake is just across the street and we are lucky to see it every day between the behemoths of buildings that surround us. It is a real challenge to live downtown in Canada’s biggest city. It isn’t just big, it is massive. We are cheek-to- jowl down here, shoulder to shoulder with the hoi polloi. I can tell you first-hand, unless you live here, you don’t know the meaning of the word crowded. The staggering number of condominium towers and the thousands upon thousands of apartments is boggling. It can seem an endless stream of building after building, filled with so many units, so many small little living spaces that it is almost mindless because of its vast conformity. In past years, if you had challenged me to describe its never ending sameness in a couple of words, I would say; extreme uniformity. In one word; monotonous. Now that I am an old guy and I have the maladies that befall old men, I have been urged by the medical people I deal with to walk whenever I can. I have been trying to do that. I found the heat of day, especially the heat of the past summer days, to be so unbearable that I have taken to walking at night. I confess that my nightly walks have changed my outlook and in some small ways have even inspired me.

Me, of all people, inspired by conformity. I walk along the waterfront to the pier at the foot of Spadina Avenue, which is one of Toronto’s major streets. Spadina has a long history itself but these days it is a sea of condo buildings. At night almost every unit in these buildings is lit up. The lights from thousands of windows stretching around the curves and corners of architecture that I previously only generously called functional all becomes brilliant. I have to admit, it is magnificent. Behind each structure is the presence of Toronto’s most iconic structures, such as the CN Tower, the skydome and the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre. It is all so vibrant because it is all right there and immediate. With all the activity going on it is shocking to realize that standing on the pier, it is so quiet you could hear a pin drop. At 10 o’clock the Island Airport shuts down and most watercraft are tied up for the night. It is like holding a remote at the very edge of the city and hitting the mute button. The scene is nothing short of extraordinary and surreal. When I look up at all this I am in awe. Not just of what the city has become but what potential it still has. To think that all the madness and chaos could present itself

Trade Shows and Conferences For complete listings, visit www.remonline.com To add a listing to this calendar, email jim@remonline.com Realtors Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound Technology & Trades Show Tues., Oct. 23 Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre Owen Sound Marilyn Newbigging – MarilynN@ragbos.com 2012 MTC Technology Forum Mon., Oct. 29 Fairmont Winnipeg Winnipeg Anik Aube – aaube@crea.ca

National Association of Realtors Conference & Expo Nov. 9 – 12 Orange County Convention Centre Orlando, Fla www.realtor.org/convention Mississauga Real Estate Board Home & Trade Show Thurs., Nov. 22 Mississauga Convention Centre Mississauga Gay Napper – 905-608-6732 ext. 29 or events@mreb.ca

Compiled with the assistance of Bob Campbell at Colour Tech Marketing, www.colourtech.com so peacefully is incredible to me. For the past few nights, one small unit, amongst the thousands and thousands that I see, stands out. It is in the middle of one of the tallest buildings. It has what appears to be a string of white lights along its tiny balcony with each corner flashing. It is unobtrusive. Probably no one notices, cer-

tainly no one in that building or the building complex around it. But I see it. It tells me that this unit is different and that everyone does not have to conform. I take a quiet comfort in that. It keeps me going. Heino Molls is publisher of REM. Email heino@remonline.com. REM

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& YOU The RE/MAX & YOU Event is a great opportunity for RE/MAX Sales Associates to join their colleagues from around the province for a day of insightful information on RE/MAX, and resources available. Whether new to the real estate industry, new to RE/MAX or a seasoned RE/MAX real estate professional, you stand to benefit from attending this event.

Date Tuesday, Nov. 20th, 2012 Venue Mississauga Convention Centre Location 75 Derry Road West, Mississauga, ON, L5W 1G3 Register www.BestAgent.ca Complimentary Event Highlights Learn from Top RE/MAX Producers Engaging Keynote Speakers Visit the Supplier Showcase Explore the RE/MAX Toolbox Each office is independently owned and operated.


November 2012 (v2)