Page 1

Issue #268

October 2011

Hallmarks of success Ken McLachlan and Debra Bain

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

Page 24

Century 21 wins Zoocasa lawsuit Page 3

The parting thoughts of Ron Esch Page 12

Competition Bureau, TREB spar over privacy Page 4


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REM OCTOBER 2011 3

Century 21 wins Zoocasa lawsuit

“We weren’t going looking for a whole lot of money,” says Century 21 CEO Don Lawby. “We were looking for principle – that’s what it was all about.” By Melanie Epp

Don Lawby

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(Photo: Jennifer Gauthier)

entury 21 Canada president and CEO Don Lawby says he is pleased with a court’s decision regarding the lawsuit the company filed against real estate aggregate site Zoocasa.com in December 2008. In its claim, Century 21 accused Zoocasa, a subsidiary of Rogers Communications, of breach of contract leading to copyright infringement for collecting and reproducing data from its website without consent. Century 21 was granted a permanent injunction against Zoocasa.com, further preventing it from posting data from the site, but received a damages award of just $1,000. The Supreme Court of British Columbia judgment says Century 21 asserted that the Terms of Use displayed on its site constituted a binding contract between the website’s owners and its users. The defendants

claimed that the terms were not displayed prominently enough and that Zoocasa, therefore, was not bound by the contract. Interestingly, Zoocasa.com uses an almost identical Terms of Use on its site. “The court enforced the online terms that appear on our website,” says Lawby, “And the court found that they were taking data without our permission and so ruled against it.” While Century 21’s claim for copyright infringement was dismissed, since it can only enforce licencing, not copyright, claims by two of its agents were deemed valid. Property descriptions and photographs were found to be “the product of skill and judgment” and therefore entitled to protection by copyright. “The court upheld the copyrights for the agents – and we were really doing it to

protect the agents,” says Lawby. “It is their content and it is copyrighted content, so the court recognized that.” For breach of copyright, sales rep Charles Bilash was awarded $30,750. Sales rep Michael Walton was awarded $1,250. “We weren’t going looking for a whole lot of money,” says Lawby, “We were looking for principle – that’s what it was all about.” The judgment says that Rogers Communications began construction of a vertical search engine in the summer of 2007. The search engine, which later became the foundation of Zoocasa’s website, was launched to the public in August 2008. Zoocasa is an aggregate site that said it is “the Realtors’ best friend” and “a new, innovative way to search for homes in Canada.” Shortly after the launch, representatives of Rogers met with Century 21 in the hopes that the latter would co-operate with Zoocasa’s plans for the site. Century 21 was not interested and decided not to participate. Despite the response, Zoocasa decided to access Century 21’s site anyway, ‘scraping’, ‘framing’ and ‘indexing’ data without their permission, the judgment says. In September 2008, Century 21 sent a letter to Rogers stating that it did not consent to the above actions. A Terms of Use contract, which asks users not to “frame in another website, post on another website or otherwise use content for any public, commercial or non-personal use,” was placed on the site in October. Despite this, Zoocasa continued indexing data from Century 21’s site, the judgment says. Lawby says, “If we don’t want Google to index us, we just

tell them and they stop. That wasn’t the case here. And the difference between indexing and actually taking the content and not linking back is very different too.” Century 21’s solicitors sent another letter stating that consent to access data had not been given and demanded that all material be removed from Zoocasa’s site. In response, rather than removing the data entirely, Zoocasa began posting truncated descriptions and thumbnail photos instead, taking what they referred to as “snippets” of information. The attempted “compromise” was unacceptable to Century 21. By February 2010, Century 21 brought forward an action for copyright infringement. In March 2010, Zoocasa stopped indexing Century 21’s data, except in cases where individual agents requested it. The case sought to resolve a number of issues. First, whether or not the Terms of Use was indeed an enforceable contract, and if so, were damages recoverable for the breach of that contract? Had the

Communications was also liable, since it had “directly supported and promoted” the Zoocasa website. Rogers is the sole provider of funding for the project and a number of Rogers employees were directly involved in the development and maintenance of the site. Rogers could have been found liable for authorizing copyright infringement through direct or indirect actions, “including a sufficient degree of indifference.” Since there was no evidence to support that Rogers’ role amounted to anything more than that of a shareholder, all claims against Rogers were dismissed. Agents Bilash’s and Walton’s claims for injunctive relief were denied since there was no indication that Zoocasa would continue to infringe their copyright. However, given the difficulty in assessing damages as a result of breach of contract, Century 21 was granted a permanent injunction against Zoocasa.com. The injunction restrains Zoocasa, “by itself, its servants, agents, affiliates, subsidiaries or otherwise from

“The court upheld the copyrights for the agents – and we were really doing it to protect the agents” defendant, Zoocasa, committed copyright infringement and if so, were damages for that breach recoverable? Was Rogers liable for Zoocasa’s actions? And finally, was Century 21 entitled to injunctive relief, meaning that Zoocasa would be forced to cease its behaviour in future? According to the judgment, Century 21 claimed that Rogers

accessing the Century 21 website.” “So all in all,” says Lawby, “We came away feeling very good – that you can’t just go out and take whatever you want from the Internet and create a for-profit business, so to speak.” Zoocasa representatives reached by REM declined to comment on the case. REM


4 REM OCTOBER 2011

Competition Bureau, TREB spar over privacy T

he Toronto Real Estate Board’s response to the Competition Bureau’s complaint “offered no defence for its discriminatory treatment of TREB members who wish to operate a VOW (virtual office website), versus those who operate a traditional model,” says the bureau in its latest filing. Commissioner of Competition Melanie Aitken rejects all of TREB’s arguments in her response, stating that while TREB “labels the Website Rules as a ‘VOW’ policy and rules, TREB continues to prevent genuine VOWs.” She says, “Brokers who wish to operate a VOW remain unable to offer the same real estate brokerage services available from a traditional broker in a ‘bricks and mortar’ setting, including providing valuable MLS information to consumers through a VOW.” On the question of privacy rights, she says: “TREB glosses over the fact that while its Website Rules, in purported defence of privacy rights, do not allow innovative brokers to provide consumers with valuable MLS information, TREB imposes no such restrictions on traditional brokers. If TREB is genuinely contesting the commissioner’s position on privacy grounds, then TREB’s traditional member brokers must already be in widespread violation of the very privacy rules TREB claims to be concerned about. TREB cannot have it both ways.” In reply, TREB issued a statement that says: “Contrary to what the commissioner has indicated, the privacy concerns of consumers will be adversely affected. Should Commissioner Aitken get her wish, Ontarians who use the current MLS can expect: • Their contact information openly accessible to all on the Internet; • Private information about the details of the property ownership made public; and • Unrevealed personal and private details of the contract made public.” “The Competition Bureau has completely failed to explain how it is possible to release private consumer information on the Internet without unnecessarily sacrificing consumer privacy rights,” said TREB president Richard Silver in the release. “The commissioner

continues to posture, but consumer privacy rights are too important for this kind of recklessness.” In the Competition Bureau document, Aiken says: “TREB’s practices protect the interests of the majority of its traditional, dues-paying members from the competitive threat of innovative brokers who want to use VOWs to enter or expand in the market and offer more attractive services to consumers. As a trade association, TREB has used and is using its rulemaking ability and power of exclusion to maintain the status quo, stifle innovation and significantly harm competition. Those members of TREB who provide services using a traditional model benefit from TREB’s anti-competitive conduct. Those members, or potential members, of TREB who wish to innovate and deliver key MLS information to consumers through a VOW, are prohibited from doing so. As a consequence, consumers who could benefit from innovative services offered through VOWs are unable to take advantage of them.” She says: “The commissioner pleads that TREB must enact, apply and enforce rules, policies and agreements that are the same for all brokers. To do otherwise, as the TREB MLS Restrictions provide, is discriminatory and substantially prevents or lessens competition in the relevant market.” The Canadian Real Estate Association and Realtysellers Real Estate of Toronto both applied for standing at the upcoming Competition Tribunal hearings, which are not expected to begin until sometime in 2012. In its application, CREA said: “The Tribunal’s decision in this proceeding will have national implications for the real estate industry and therefore will directly affect all of CREA’s members.” CREA says that although what the bureau is seeking is “broad and imprecise, any finding made, or order issued, in respect of VOWs (virtual office websites) and other Internet vehicles will directly affect the ability and manner in which CREA’s members across Canada can and will provide services to their customers using the Internet.” CREA said it would be supporting TREB in the proceedings “from its different perspective as the national representative of the Canadian real estate industry.”

In its summary of CREA’s efforts to promote the use of technology and Internet access, an affidavit by Gary Simonsen also outlines its data distribution facility (DDF) proposal that will be the subject of the association’s Special General Meeting Oct. 25 in Toronto. “CREA’s DDF proposal, developed after research and consultation with the industry, is intended to supply publicly available MLS listing content for publication on both member and non-member (i.e., third party) websites. It is a permission-based system that will allow brokers to share their listings with other brokers, as well as to send their listings to third-party websites. The DDF consists of three modules and at each stage, brokers will be able to decide if they wish to share listing content for display on other brokers’ websites, display the listing content of other participating brokers on their own website, and/or send their listing content for display on third-party sites. “The rules and policies relating to DDF that boards/associations will be required to follow are in the process of being finalized and it is expected that the DDF will be available before the end of this year.” The Realtysellers affidavit for standing at the hearing, by president and CEO Lawrence Dale, says, “I bring a unique and distinct perspective to these proceedings as I have more experience operating and attempting to operate non-traditional brokerages than any member of TREB, having been pursing the cause for over a decade.” Realtysellers, which recently partnered with FSBO company PropertyGuys.com, is “only offering limited à la carte MLS services concentrating on the ‘sell side of the business’ such as a simple MLS posting for consumers who do not want to purchase any other brokerage services,” says Dale. Realtysellers says that even though it has only been operating for “two months, offering very limited programs,” it is the largest nontraditional brokerage in Canada. It says it has posted more than 600 properties on realtor.ca and is “currently signing up more than 100 customers per week, with that number growing each week. Realtysellers anticipates assisting over 30,000 consumers with only

Richard Silver

Melanie Aitken (Photo: Couvrette/Ottawa)

Lawrence Dale

its current limited program offerings in the next 12 months. “However, Realtysellers is unable to materially expand its service offerings with the current restrictions that TREB has placed on its ability to provide the same MLS information that traditional agents and brokerages can provide to consumers by hand delivery,” says Dale. “Realtysellers does not want to provide any different infor-

mation than what is provided by the traditional agents and brokers, but wants to use what Realtysellers believes is a better and more efficient delivery process for this same information, namely through the Internet in a virtual office environment as opposed to by hand in a bricks and mortar environment.” For the latest updates on this story, visit www.remonline.com. REM


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6 REM OCTOBER 2011

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 n editing error in the September issue of REM mixed up two items in this column. The story should have said that Century 21 Lloydminster Realty recently announced Fred Falkner as the newest member of the management team. He joins Alex Palmer, Keith Weinbender and Chris Hassall as a new owner. Rod McLeod is the new broker/owner of Royal LePage Prince George in Prince George, B.C.

vice-presidents, sales. The company says the trio is “ranked among the top one per cent of Toronto real estate agents.” “Christian, Paul and Fran are recognized by their peers and clients as leaders within the Toronto real estate industry,” says Ross McCredie, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

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Royal LePage Kincardine Real Estate in Kincardine, Ont. was recently acquired by Natasa Roufos, Dimitrios Roufos and Dave Oates. David MacKenzie, former broker/owner, is looking forward to his retirement. Roufos

A

Christian Vermast, Paul Maranger and Fran Bennett, who are billed as the Trilogy Team, have joined Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s Toronto office in the roles of senior

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will manage the day-to-day operation of the brokerage. She started her real estate career in early 2007. As a new broker of record, she says she is looking forward to the challenge and the competition that the real estate industry presents. ■ ■ ■

Betty Hillier, one of Ottawa’s top-producing real estate professionals, has returned to Keller Williams VIP Realty after a stint with another brokerage. Hillier has been developing a team of real estate professionals in the Ottawa area since 1990. She is a native Nova Scotian. Miette Driver, team leader at Keller Williams VIP Really, says,

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Century 21 Bravo Realty has expanded its services in Calgary with a new satellite office at #213, 178-96th Avenue NE. It’s the third office for the company, allowing its agents to serve clients anywhere in the city. The brokerage is owned by Graham Wilson. Wasim Elafech, a sales rep at Century 21 Bravo, says, “Our goal for this office is to double the number of agents we have so we can assist our clients better.” ■ ■ ■

Todd Simpson enjoyed a lengthy 10-year NHL career, including serving as team captain with the Calgary Flames and going on to play with the Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes,

Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens. Today, he is a full-time Realtor with Royal LePage West Kelowna and resident of the Okanagan. Simpson will compete on the CBC’s fall season of Battle of the Blades, every Sunday at 8 pm starting Sept. 25. ■ ■ ■

Kim Brookes, a long-time top producer and multi award winner at Re/Max in Durham Region, Ont. before joining Keller Williams in 2009, has now returned to Re/Max at Re/Max First Realty in Whitby. Brookes has nine years of service to the Durham Region and is actively involved with youth sports in the area. Re/Max First Realty opened in Pickering in 1992 and now has three offices and 155 salespeople serving all of Durham Region. ■ ■ ■

Continued on page 8

Paul Maranger

Christian Vermast

Natasa Roufos

Betty Hillier

Todd Simpson in his NHL days (Getty Images)

Fran Bennett

Graham Wilson

Peggy Hill

Kim Brookes

Todd Simpson today

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Phone: 416.425.3504 www.remonline.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. Subscriptions are $40.95 per year (including $1.95 GST), payable by personal cheque. Entire contents copyright 2011 REM. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The opinions expressed in REM are not necessarily those of the publisher. ISSN 1201-1223

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Multiple Listings

“It’s an honour to have Betty Hillier associated with the Keller Williams name. She is an icon in the Ottawa market.” The Keller Williams VIP Realty Market Centre currently has 134 associates.


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According to 2011 REAL Trends 500 report among brokers with greater than 500 closed sales and the REAL Trends Canadian 200 (Ranked by Closed Sales Volume for 2010). Prudential numbers do not include HomeServices of America.


8 REM OCTOBER 2011

Multiple Listings Continued from page 6

Kevin Lackey, with over 30 years of experience as an independent broker, recently opened Century 21 HomeTown in Weyburn, Sask. “Our goal is to make our brokerage the clear choice as the listing agent by providing welltrained, hard-working agents with world class tools achieving the highest possible sale price for every home we sell,” says Lackey. “In short, the Realtor you would want to recommend to your friends and family.” Lackey has also sold over 100 properties by auction and is a certified appraiser who has provided hundreds of valuations to individuals, banks and legal firms. The office currently has three sales reps. ■ ■ ■

Frank Kirschner, a wellknown industry veteran, has been appointed to the professional management team at Royal LePage

Steve Morris

Kevin Lackey

Frank Kirschner

Brooks Findlay

Your Community Realty based in Richmond Hill, Ont. Lead by broker/owner Vivian Risi, the firm now has more than 800 sales reps. “We have significant future growth plans,” says Risi. “The addition of Frank will enhance our strategy.”

closed-door sessions coined Face Off. It’s a three-hour training program designed to reduce and eliminate restrictive and negative habit patterns including inhibitions, compulsions, obsessions and certain addictions, the company says. “Face Off deals with what it means to go from the unconditioned to the conditioned without pain in order to create habits and beliefs of absolute unlimited success and achievement in all walks of life,” says Exit in a news release. “You will succeed to the degree of your inhibitions and not one

step further,” says Morris. “Our agents are our assets. Providing them with this complimentary program that gives them real hands-on tools and understanding of how to take charge of their life, in all areas, is at the core of what Exit stands for,” says Joyce Paron, president – Canada.

suite of residential, commercial, farm and new construction services to the marketplace. Findlay is focused on marketing innovation, technology integration and staff professional development and on the continued growth of the strong independent brand, says Aventure in a news release. Peggy Hill & Associates Realty of Barrie, Ont. has also joined the network. Broker/owner Peggy Hill was recognized by the Barrie and District Real Estate Board as the top-selling Realtor in 2008, 2009 and 2010 based on units sold. With a group of 12 Realtors, the brokerage has already established itself as a leader in independent brokerage, says Aventure. The network now has more than 50 member companies with 2,250 Realtors across Canada.

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Exit Realty International recently launched a new program for its associates across North America. Steve Morris, founder and CEO, will address Exit associates and their guests in exclusive

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Rock Bridge Realty of Regina has become a member of the Aventure Realty Network. Brooks Findlay, broker/owner, and his team of Realtors bring a full

iPro aims to offer a tangible difference ‘Our goal is to make people so happy they want to stay.’ By Connie Adair oming up with the concept for iPro Realty was easy, says company co-founder Rui Alves. “We don’t sell, but if we were to start selling again, what would be a fantastic company for clients and agents?” It would be a company that offers a tangible difference from the real estate models currently offered and that’s what iPro Realty does, says Alves. “Agents can see the difference. Clients can see the difference.” The new business concept strives to improve on four main areas of existing brokerage models. Multiple locations: Realtors no longer sell homes just in a local market, but most brokerages are restricted to a geographical grid, says Alves. Even most Realtors from large franchises can’t walk into another branch and have access to services, and don’t have access to a different office after hours or on holidays. Instead, when working outside of their office area, these sales reps are forced to meet their clients in public locations.

C

iPro provides its agents with 24hour key fob access to all of its offices. Even when entering an iPro office for the first time, the agent will know exactly what services and amenities are available (everything from a full-time receptionist to meeting and board rooms and computers). “Why belong to a big organization and have to meet clients in a coffee shop?” Alves says. The new model also benefits co-operating agents, who can drop off or pick up deposit cheques or other documents at their nearest iPro office. “It makes it attractive to do business with iPro agents,” he says. Technology: Some companies offer multiple locations but they don’t make full use of technology, he says. iPro offices have networked computer and phone systems. Front desk staff can monitor appointments from any office and callers can be sent directly to an agent rather than being asked to call another office where the agent may be on a given day. If the agent is not logged into the system, calls are forwarded to their cell phone. Agents working

from home can get a phone that is tied to the office system with no monthly fee. Marketing: Some companies are reducing costs by cutting back on marketing. Even as an independent, iPro co-founders Rui Alves (left) and Fedele Colucci. iPro is committed to promoting the brand and its agents to the pub- allow cost savings, which are passed lic through regular advertising on along to its agents. television, print and public transit. iPro has no quotas and no mini“We want the public to identify iPro mum contract period. “Our goal is Realtors as professional-grade to make people so happy they want Realtors offering full real estate ser- to stay,” Alves says. vices and the latest in marketing Fees start at $50 a month with a tools available,” Alves says. high percentage of commission to Fees: Each franchise is a sepa- the agent and other options are rate office and has its own costs. available. Working under the same corpoiPro has also developed a Realtor rate banner eliminates franchise fees Concierge Service that helps agents and duplicate accounting and legal Continued on page 14 departments. Economies of scale

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Re/Max Orchard Country in Summerland, B.C. recently hosted the Summerland Wine Fair and Competition, a public event that was the largest public tasting fair of Summerland produced wines ever. “This was an exciting new event featuring Summerland’s largest exhibition of local talents; a chance to come taste what Summerland wineries have to offer, all in one place, the historic Summerland Fall Fair,” says Patrick Murphy, broker/owner of Re/Max Orchard Country. The event was preceded by a commercial wine competition for invited guests and media. Summerland wines were judged by a panel consisting of celebrity wine aficionado Terry David Mulligan and wine masters including John Schreiner, Liam Carrier and Kelly Symonds. Participating wineries included Dirty Laundry Vineyard, Thornhaven Estates, SummerGate, Sumac Ridge, Okanagan Crush Pad, Bonitas, Heaven’s Gate, Sonoran and Vinegar Works. REM


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10 REM OCTOBER 2011

O B I T U A RY

T

he sudden death of Sharon Enright, who died Aug. 25 with her family at her side following an aneurysm, was met with widespread shock and sorrow by those who knew her. Sharon was broker/owner of Royal LePage Enright Real Estate in Arnprior, serving the communities of Arnprior, Calabogie, Horton Township, Pakenham, Renfrew, Stittsville, West Carleton, White Lake, Ottawa, McNab/Breaside and Kanata in the Ottawa Valley. She was lauded for her hard work and business acumen and her involvement with the community. “Sharon was one of our first franchisees at Royal LePage and will be remembered for her positive attitude and her commitment to her business and her community,” says Yvonne Ratigan, vice-president, network service, Royal LePage Canada. “She was a wonderful lady, who

won both hearts and confidence with a friendly smile and a knack for getting things done.” Enright was an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoyed keeping fit at the gym. She leaves her son and daughter and their spouses, along with three grandchildren and a grandson on the way. She was one of six girls and leaves her five sisters and their respective spouses and extended families. A funeral service was held Aug. 29 at the Pilon Family Funeral Home in Arnprior, followed by a funeral mass on Aug. 30 at St. John Chrysostom Church. Charitable donations in Sharon’s memory can be made to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation to support the women’s shelter in Arnprior. Online credit card donations can be made at www.royallepage.ca/shelter or send a cheque to Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, 39 Wynford Drive, Toronto, ON M3C 3K5. REM

Letters to the Editor

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www.colourtech.com ® Aeromove and Aeroplan are registered trademarks of Aeroplan Limited Partnership.

Doug Baird’s letter to the editor in the September edition insults every community-minded contribution Realtors and our industry have made over the years. Since when is “volunteering” less professional than giving back nothing as Mr. Baird would suggest we do? What’s next, no Realtors in public office, sitting on charitable boards or serving as members of the military? The entire premise of Realtor Care Awards in provinces across Canada, supported by the CREA, is a pillar of our profession and one I am proud to proclaim loudly. Marty Douglas Managing broker Coast Realty Group Courtenay, B.C. REM


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The parting thoughts of Ron Esch The Calgary Real Estate Board’s CEO is retiring on January 13 after 24 years serving CREB members. Recently he spoke with REM about changing role of real estate boards and associations, the Competition Bureau and CREB’s unique programs for Realtors. Interview by Toby Welch REM: You’ve been the CEO at CREB since 1987? Ron Esch: I started here in July 1987 and replaced someone who became a real icon in this industry – Frank Johns was here for 33 years. We are the only two people who have ever been CEOs of this board. I’m proud of that. REM: What was your biggest challenge as CREB CEO? Esch: There are so many things. The events that challenge the CEO of a board like this one are things like changing the MLS computer systems. Planning a building like this is a very big event because the decisions you make represent a lot of money and it is the members’ money. Dealing with the changing roles of Realtors and how consumers relate to them and helping Realtors adjust to the changing times has been a challenge. We continue to look at what kind of services we are offering to our members and how can we make sure that we are offering the right services at the right price. We represent the members, the members pay us and they expect a certain level of service from us and we need to deliver. REM: In general, how do you think the role of real estate boards in Canada is changing? Esch: Real estate boards have to provide services to their members; it’s their reason for being. They have to advocate for their members for legislative changes and advocate for making sure that consumers understand that Realtors are different than real estate practitioners. By belonging to a real estate board, Realtors adhere to a higher code of ethics and standards of business practice. The boards have to do a good job of identifying that and promoting it. Real estate boards also have to understand that their members are looking for services at different levels of real estate.

One of the concerns I have for real estate boards (and it includes the provincial associations and CREA) is that we don’t duplicate services at the different levels. We all need to make sure that whatever we deliver at each level compliments the other two and doesn’t just add on or duplicate a service. It’s happening where provincial associations are starting to do things that boards would do. And CREA is doing a bit of that. We need to make sure that we don’t keep piling it on and then the member has to pay for the same service at two or three different levels. REM: What do boards need to improve upon to better serve their members? Esch: They need to improve on their service models. Real estate boards need to be more strategic in how they operate. They need to look further ahead than just to the end of this fiscal year. We’re still in many cases reacting to issues instead of being more proactive. If we were more proactive, we’d be looking five and 10 years out and saying, “This is what is coming down the road, this is what we need to prepare for and we better start doing stuff to get us there,” as opposed to saying, “We had a problem yesterday and we need to fix it,” and just waiting for the next problem. With technology we can see a bit of what is going on but it changes so fast we can’t see too far ahead. But with things like regulation and changes in consumer attitudes, you can sense that a bit further out and see where consumers are changing their requests of Realtors. We need to be able to respond to that and think ahead about how other industries are dealing with these sorts of things and how can we deal with that. REM: How do you think the current issues between the Competition Bureau and the

Toronto Real Estate Board will play out? Esch: This has been around for awhile, this is not new. The Competition Bureau has always been up there, that big, dark cloud hanging over us for all these years. When I came to Calgary in 1987, we were one of the boards that was under the scrutiny of the bureau. We were charged and had to go through all that. It was a very difficult time. The bureau wants to change the industry. It wants the industry to change in ways we are not prepared to change nor do we think we have to change. We spent a tremendous amount of money and time over the years building up the MLS in this country. There is nothing like it. There is no other industry that has anything that comes close to a multiple listing service. The bureau doesn’t understand how it works. The co-operation between Realtors from competing firms is a remarkable thing. Real estate boards help that because with our policies and our code of ethics we make sure that these Realtors, while they are competitors, are working in the best interest of the consumer. The bureau doesn’t get it. The bureau thinks it should be just an open season and everybody should be able to do what they want. But, at the end of the day, if Realtors and real estate companies decide that the MLS system doesn’t work well for them, they won’t use it anymore and then it will disappear. It’s because of the conditions, the regulations and the rules that we’ve put in place that make it work, it gives it credibility. If the bureau continues down this path where they want it opened wide up, nobody is going to care anymore. You’ll just put stuff on, you really won’t be concerned that the data is accurate, and the pricing will be whatever. People are going to say, “Why would I

Ron Esch

waste my time?” I think the bureau is focused on TREB because it is the biggest board in the country. If they can bring it down to its knees, then the bureau comes out looking like a hero to this country because they brought the big board down. But does that mean that other boards are doing things that much differently than the Toronto board? I don’t think so. Particularly today with all these different business models, the consumer can go to any variety of real estate companies and get all kinds of services or not get services, pay this commission or that commission. They can tailor it to their own needs. The bureau has been after our industry since 1986 in my recollection. I have no great respect for the Competition Bureau. REM: Any thoughts you would like to share on what you hope your legacy will be as pastCEO of CREB? Esch: I do what I do because I like doing it. I have no aspirations to have my name on a wall somewhere or anything like that. I am proud of this building. We built it in 2000; we used to be downtown. We put on a lot of education and classes so the parking lot is often filled. We are

going to continue our focus on training and education so Realtors can do what I said earlier – show value to the consumer. We bought the building behind us and a vacant lot to give us more parking so we’ve expanded quite a bit. We’re the fourth largest board in Canada (5,300 members) and we take it very seriously, the business of providing service to our members. We’re proud of that. There are three things I want to point out that other boards don’t do that I’m really pleased with. We were one of the first real estate boards to start a charitable foundation. We started our foundation in 1987 and in 1988 it officially got its status. Our charity, the Calgary Real Estate Board Charitable Foundation, has given out more than $3.5 million into the community for housing and for other shelter-related projects. I’m very proud of that. There are two other things I don’t think any other board has. One is the Critical Illness Benefits Society. If any Realtor member gets critically ill (there’s criteria around what that means) and they can’t work, we will give them a cheque for $10,000. There’s no other board in North Continued on page 14


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14 REM OCTOBER 2011

Parting thoughts Continued from page 12

America that I know that does that. Realtors don’t work on a salary so when they are not out there actively working, they are not bringing in any money. We’ve had members who had to go to the food bank because they are so ill they couldn’t work. We needed to do something. All of the members contribute to it and it’s $20 a year. We’ve helped 15 Realtors in one year, 10 in another year, for example. The families really find that that is the thing they need to help them through such a difficult time. The other thing we have here is the Realtor Assistance Program. The Realtors and their eligible dependents are entitled to 12 hours of counselling by a professional psychologist if they are having problems. It’s all anonymous and they get this counselling free of charge. It has been great. REM: What do you plan to do with your time starting in January? Esch: My father used to say after he retired that you always

need a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning and get dressed and do something. I’ve always believed that. I need to make sure that my life is filled with purposeful things. I would like to stay involved in the industry but not in a capacity that’s near the CREB. I may serve on a committee or a task force within the industry somewhere for a short period of time rather than leave cold, if you will. I’m a member of the Rotary Club and we do a lot of volunteer work. That could become a fulltime job if I wanted it to, which it won’t. A good piece of my time will start to focus on that. And family. I’m fortunate to have two little grandchildren, one nearby, and I want to spend a little more time with him before he starts school and make the connection there. I have the typical projects around home and want to do a bit of travel and a bit of golf. Not too much structure but a little bit of structure. Maintaining my health and enjoying family is uppermost. A longer version of this interview is posted at www.remonREM line.com.

iPro aims Continued from page 8

focus on listing and selling rather than on mundane administrative tasks. “It’s like having an assistant without the salary and management commitment,” Alves says. When a sales rep hands in a listing, they check off an à la carte menu of services they want (professional photography, putting up a sign or lock box, creating a single address website, video) and iPro concierge staff make all the arrangements for the agent. Another bonus of the service lets the agent make the best technological marketing tools available to their clients, even if the agent is not technically savvy themselves. By having its concierge team look after all of iPro’s agents, it’s possible to co-ordinate with the best suppliers for the best prices and savings are passed along to agents, Alves says. It saves agents time – they don’t have to call and co-ordinate each item they want. “Suppliers like it because they

deal with the same couple of staff all the time and get paid by us.” In less than two years, iPro Realty has become one of the largest and fastest growing brokerages in the GTA, recently opening its sixth location in The Danforth neighbourhood in Toronto, says Alves. iPro also has offices in Mississauga, Brampton, Orangeville, Georgetown and Shelburne. “Our goal is to have offices in every community across the GTA, opening about one office every six months,” says Alves. iPro was co-founded by Alves and broker of record Fedele Colucci. They opened the first office in the fall of 2009. The company acquired 240 agents in 21 months. Alves and Colucci had been in the real estate business for 30 years and had owned an operated a major franchise brand brokerage for more than 20 years before iPro became a reality. REM


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16 REM OCTOBER 2011

SALES COACH

By Bruce Keith

T

he father of modern personal development, Earl Nightingale, was credited with the statement suggesting that “life is all about choices.” Earl said that “the choices we make on a daily basis fashion who we are, what we do and who we become.” Obviously that’s true when it comes to sales. Do I choose to get up on time today – yes or no? Do I choose to prospect today – yes or no? Do I choose to close one more time – yes or no? There are dozens and dozens of choices that all salespeople must make every day. So the real issue is not about

Making better choices making choices, it’s about making the RIGHT choices. Here are some situations where great salespeople always make the right choices: 1. Do I ignore all inbound telephone calls when I am lead generating? (YES...Set up a system so that temptation does not have any power.) 2. Do I write out the top three things I know I must accomplish today before I get started? (YES... and do them, before noon.) 3. Do I go to bed on time when I know tomorrow is a regular work day? (YES...and if I didn’t, do I still get up on time?) 4. Do I make sure that any negativity in my life is quickly pushed aside? (YES...No gossip, no backbiting no whining.) 5. Do I make a commitment every day to not rest until I set at least one prequalified, highly motivated appointment? (YES... always!) Choices choices choices...they are everywhere. It’s almost like they are sent to us to test us. The

great salespeople recognize the opportunity that this multitude of choices presents. Lesser salespeople fall into the trap of choosing the path of least resistance. ■ ■ ■

There’s an old joke that starts off with the following question: “How many people work for you?” The answer is, “Let me see now….oh, about half of them!” It got me thinking about how the answer would go for, “How many salespeople actually work?” Hopefully the answer would not be “half of them”. There are as many different work habits as there are salespeople. We do know one thing – success leaves clues. There is a definite pattern that successful salespeople follow. What are the clues? Some are: consistently prospecting in one form or another, consistently showing up on time for work and consistently being available for their customers. No surprises here. Let’s look at some of

the more “hidden clues” that aren’t quite so obvious. Successful salespeople... • focus only on NOW Business. They have a clear list of their top leads, they prequalify better, they don’t waste time on “time vampires”. • practice for 30 minutes, five days a week. They make the time because they know this is the secret to developing superior skills. • have a clear business plan (yearly, monthly... even weekly) and they track their progress regularly. • have a presentation that clearly demonstrates the differences between them and the competition. They are great presenters. • are coachable and accountable. They have a “NO excuses” mentality and are 100 per cent responsible for their growth and their results. • work on improving their mindset daily. They never forget that sales success is 90 per cent mindset and attitude.

• put in the extra effort that separates them from everyone else. Appearance, presentation, sales skills, commitment. Bonus point: all of the above clues require a different level of commitment. The difference between being average and being great is creating an intensity in your work day that is consistent and unrelenting. The good news is that to pay the price for great results, you don’t really have to do that much more than the average salesperson. You just have to do it at a higher level. That’s why the last clue above is so important. You don’t have to work that much harder.... you just have to work hard when you are actually working. NO excuses. Bruce Keith, the “Sales Coach”, began his sales career at IBM and 15 years later used his marketing and sales expertise to develop a highly successful real estate business. He is a master of teaching “what to say and how to say it”. His high energy and entertaining training style has allowed him to create a popular coaching and seminar business for numerous sales organizations during the last 12 years. www.brucekeithresults.com. REM

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here is no excuse today for real estate agents to not be aware that the environmental status of properties needs to be addressed in the purchase agreement. By becoming aware of the issues, sales reps can avoid unexpected environmental issues. Environmental liability is applied to a wide range of actors, not just the polluter. There are methods to investigate and if required remediate the contamination. The level of due diligence required varies with the nature and use of the property, both past and future. In Ontario, the primary tool is an environmental site assessment (ESA) for this investigation. This starts with what is referred to as a Phase I – mainly a paper search to determine actual and potential site contamination both on and offsite. A Phase I usually takes two to three weeks and costs approximately $2,000 to $3,500. A Phase II is considered an intrusive investigation to assess potential or known impacts to the soil and groundwater. Usually boreholes and monitoring wells are installed. Samples are taken and analysed at a laboratory. The cost varies with each project. There are many activities that are inherently high risk to cause contamination. A short list would include chemical plants, battery manufacturing, recycling facilities, asphalt manufacturing, electroplating, metal fabrication, circuit board manufacturing, steel works, leather tanneries, ship building, repair yards, textile mills, drycleaners, scrap yards, service stations and properties with

underground storage tanks. ESAs are important to allow for the risk/cost to be allocated properly. If a vendor has an ESA completed prior to offering the property for sale, the vendor can dictate the terms in the agreement, which could include restrictions on the future use of the property to limit liability. The vendor might also choose to remediate the property prior to the sale to maximize the sale price and increase interest. Professionals should be involved early. Full disclosure and indemnities are key to limiting liability. A record of site condition (RSC), which is available under the Environmental Protection Act (again, in Ontario) can provide immunity to the current and future owners if required in the purchase agreement. It is important to be aware that an RSC is required under the Environmental Protection Act when the use is changing to a more sensitive use – for example, industrial to residential. Real estate agents need to be aware that environmental contamination is best addressed in the purchase agreement. Former owners may still be liable even when selling on an “as is” basis. Purchasers may be liable for existing contamination, ongoing mitigation or offsite discharges. Agreements that properly allocate the risk and cost are complicated. Representations and warranties need to be clearly drafted. Covenants and conditions to closing are likely required. Indemnities are key but only as good as the party providing the indemnity, which is why holdbacks, securities and environmental insurance might be required. To avoid the tricks and traps associated with contaminated properties, environmental issues should be addressed early. Knowledge of the risk/issues can lead to solutions. Shari Elliott is a lawyer practicing environmental and real estate law in Barrie, Ont. at Elliott & Elliott. For more information on contaminated properties contact her at Shari@elliottlawyers.com. REM


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20 REM OCTOBER 2011

STOP SELLING HOUSES & START MAKING MONEY

By Debbie Hanlon

O

ne of the most important things I had to learn on my way to No. 1 in Canada, and one of the hardest things I now teach agents as a coach, is how to win the blame game. We’ve all played that game. Every one of us has dealt with clients who made us shake our heads in disbelief. What is wrong with them is a frustrated refrain I’ve heard 100 times from agents who were not only shaking their heads but ready to beat them

Win the blame game against the nearest wall. Let’s face it, this business can be trying on everyone involved and human nature pretty much dictates that when things go wrong we tend to think that it’s the client’s fault. But is it? Recently one of the agents I coach came to me and told me he didn’t know what to do with a client he had. A couple of days before he went to the client’s home, did the listing presentation I’d tutored him on and obtained the listing. As we all know, getting the listing is sometimes the easiest part of the game. It’s what happens after that drives agents insane or to the nearest bar. This agent was pretty much at that point so I asked him to go over what happened. He got the listing without much problem. The listing presentation we had gone over helped him there. Then he went into the post-listing system I’d given him and things were mov-

ing along as expected. The problem was, he found out that day that his client had gone to another agent at another company to buy a condo. Then he looked at me and said what we’ve all said before, “What’s wrong with him?” The first thing I asked was if he’d done his buyer’s presentation when he met the client. He hadn’t. If someone is selling, chances are they’ll be buying, so he should have closed both ends of that deal before he left. He thought it was obvious that you use the same agent. For the common Joe out there, it isn’t. They don’t know how real estate works any more than we know how the business they’re in works. I told the agent that he should never assume that a client knows as much as him and that he had to educate the client. That means going over the selling and buying presentations so everyone is on the same page from page one on. Once that’s done and the con-

tracts are signed, the client knows exactly what the agent’s responsibilities and duties are. That’s the beginning of a healthy real estate relationship that everyone wants. After that you simply stay on top of things and slightly ahead of the client, which makes for a much less stressful time and repeat as well as referral business. I told this agent that he had the systems needed to make that happen, he simply hadn’t used them. Then I told him that any time something like this happens with a client, instead of asking what’s wrong with them, he should ask himself, what’s wrong with me? What could I do to make this right, to make it easier, to make it work? Yes, sometimes it is totally the client’s fault but more often than not, the blame lies with the agent because they don’t have the systems in place that ensure each step is automatic and stress-free. Imagine if you had a checklist

of everything you had to do from signing to selling. Then if something goes wrong you check your list. You may find that you didn’t do this step or that one and that’s where the problem lies. Or you may find you did every step. Either way you can show your client where and when the problem originated and how it can be fixed. With a system like that, your client will be able to understand what’s happening. Plus it will help ensure they’ll want to do more business with you and tell their friends about you…and who can blame them! Debbie Hanlon is the founder of Hanlon Realty and CEO of All Knight Inc. She is a three-time top 50 CEO winner and was named one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs in Canada. She is currently an elected city official in St. John’s, Nfld. and is available for motivational and training seminars. Email debbie@allknight.ca. REM


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CASEYCOMBDEN,HUMANPOTENTI ALSPECI ALI ST Caseyhasper sonal l yt aughtmi l l i onsofi ndi vi dual sabout successandl i vi ngwi t hami l l i onai r emi ndset .Hehel pspeopl e di scovert hei runi queness,l i vei nt hei rgr eat nessandget ever yt hi ngt heywantoutofl i f e.Hi spr ovenpat t er nsf orcr eat i ng weal t hhaveshapedmoder ni zedf or mul asf orsuccess. Hei sani nt er nat i onal l y ,hi ghl ysoughtaf t erspeakerandl eaderi npeak per f or mancest r at egi esf orl i vi ngyourbestl i f e.Casey’ spower f ulmessageof per sonalempower menthashel pedt housandsofpeopl emakesi gni f i cant , posi t i vechangesi nt hei rl i ves. DANPLOWMAN,TEAM DEVELOPMENTEXPERT Si ncebegi nni nghi sr ealest at ecar eeri n1989,Danqui ckl y est abl i shedhi msel fasaTopPr oducer ,wor ki nghi swayupt he r anksandear ni ngawar dseachyear .Formanyyear s,Dan hover edar oundt he$150, 000$200, 000mar k,butal wayshad t hedr eam ofbui l di ngat eam t ot akehi mt ot henextl evel . “ Whenwepl ugi nt ot hepr opersyst emsandt r ustt hem wi t hanopenmi nd, heal t hyt eam gr owt hj usthappens,al l owi ngusasTeam Leader st oenj oyaver y bal ancedl i f e.Byt heway ,mor enetmoneyi sanat ur albypr oductwhenour f ocusi sonhel pi ngourpar t ner sort eam member sgr owt hei rbusi nessf i r st ! ” Just8shor tyear sagoDansol d44homesonhi sown.TheDanPl owmanTeam sol dmor et han800homesi nt hel ast24mont hsandar eexpect i ngt hi syeart o bet hei rbestever .Syst emst hatwor k-DanPl owmanTeam Syst ems.

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22 REM OCTOBER 2011

AS I SEE IT FROM MY DESK

By Stan Albert “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul. The blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” – Napoleon Hill

T

wo senses gave rise to this brief article. One was visual, the other was

audio. On the Labour Day weekend, my wife and I decided to visit our family in Lindsay, Ont. It’s normally a 90-minute drive by the 401 and 115/35 highways, but we

Detours and the Fosbury Flop decided to go the picturesque route, which took us through rolling farm lands, villages, towns and beautiful housing developments. As we passed through the Town of Uxbridge en route to Lindsay, we noted a sign: “Durham County Rd. 1 – Bridge out”. Not being totally familiar with where the road work would end, we continued to drive on at my suggestion, great navigator that I am (not!). So, guess what? After about 10 to 15 km, we came to two massive concrete barriers, which of course had a sign: “Bridge Out – Local Traffic Only”. Eventually, we arrived at our destination, albeit 45 minutes later than normal. The audio portion of this article came as a result of a snippet of a CBC broadcaster interviewing Dick Fosbury, former Olympic high jumper, who currently lives in Ottawa. Fosbury made history at the Mexico Olympics by doing what is famously called the

“Fosbury Flop”. He set a world’s record, beating the former record of 7.4 feet by doing something totally unorthodox. Instead of the normal “scissors” or “straddle” technique, as he did his run at the high bar, he turned his back on the bar and literally flew over the bar on his back, inventing what is now called the Fosbury Flop. His record stood for some time. I mention these two events as it relates somewhat to what we do in our everyday real estate activities. We see certain road blocks – the Competition Bureau, more bureaucracy, more and more challenges to our everyday activities. Do we have to pay attention to these events/situations? Are they telling us to take a detour and follow another path? Can we reinvent the way we have done things in the past? We have a little over three months left in this year to make some sales that we may have

missed somehow this past summer. Take a look at your past successes – your happy buyers and sellers. Did you manage to stay in touch with them on a regular basis? Have you tapped into your potential list of investors to tell them that there are still great buys to be had, both in resale and new home sales? How many of you go to the new condo presentations? Do any of you follow my Yellow Page Canvassing to find Buyers and Sellers (see my archived articles at www.remonline.com) as well as other tips and ideas from my past years writing this column? Or the other fine contributors who have made superb contributions to help push forward your business acumen? If managers and brokers alike would use some of REM’s articles for their sales meeting ideas, they’d never have to lack for an idea. Ditto for you dear readers! Detours, changing how you do

things and how you approach various challenges in your career, all amount to getting to where you’d like to be. So, whether you’re being coached by Ferry, Robbins, Buffini or other great coaches (maybe even one of us broker managers!), are you following what they’re saying? This could be the best three months of your career. Get going and you will see the results of your efforts. But pay attention to the detour signs and try to do the Fosbury flop. Have a great fall campaign. Many thanks for all the comments about my last two articles by the way. Your comments are always welcome, pro or con. 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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24 REM OCTOBER 2011

Re/Max partners create hallmarks of success Ken McLachlan and Debra Bain guide a 30-year-old company to new heights.

T

Ken McLachlan

here are many ways to define success and no shortage of people willing to divulge the secret to attain it. Benjamin Disraeli said, “The secret of success is consistency of purpose,” and John D. Rockefeller suggested, “The secret of success is to do the common thing uncommonly well.” Both definitions could be applied to Ken McLachlan and Debra Bain, but these successful Realtors say the secret is that there is no secret. McLachlan is broker of record and broker/owner of Re/Max Hallmark Realty in Toronto, and Bain is broker/ owner. They run one of the largest brokerages in the Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic franchise network. McLachlan started selling real estate 32 years ago and joined Re/Max Hallmark in 1986 at an office on Pape Avenue in Toronto’s Riverdale district. There were 55 agents working in two offices at the time and McLachlan was one of four partners. Bain, who got her real estate license in 1980, joined the firm as an agent in

Debra Bain (Photos by Marko Shark)

1993. Six years later she was managing the Queen Street East office in the Beach. By then, there were three offices, 150 agents and two owners. Five years ago, Bain bought out one of the owners, Kent Sheppard, who is now a shareholder. Today, Bain and McLachlan oversee 525 agents in seven offices in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and two in Muskoka’s cottage country, where an office opened in Port Carling in March 2010. A smaller satellite office is in Dorset. “We are always on the lookout for new opportunities to strengthen our franchise and add value to what we already have,” says McLachlan. “Sure, we’d love to have 1,000 agents one day but our vision is not about numbers, it’s about the quality of people we hire.” Bain agrees, adding that they are focused on their agents: their training, production, performance and the overall quality that drives the business. The partners are quick to explain they are not the “end all and be all” of the company.

There are 70 on staff, including people responsible for front desk reception, office administration, a head of human resources (Joy Robertson); a managing director, North Division (Steve Tabrizi); managing director Central Division (Adrienne Lake); and many more important cogs in the wheel that drive the organization. “We encourage everyone to continually raise the bar,” says McLachlan. “As coaches, Debra and I tell everyone who works for us that our business is building their business.” The co-owners do not regard their sales associates as employees, but rather as independent businesspeople. And as this myriad of entrepreneurs grows and improves their business, Hallmark Realty grows and becomes a better company. To help their Realtors build their businesses, Hallmark has instituted mentor and coaching programs for three levels of sales associates. Helga Teitsson is the new agent coach/mentor who

works with new Realtors entering the profession. She guides them along the first six months of their career paths. For Realtors earning $100,000 to $249,000 a year, Bain has developed a group program that provides critical insights into how to run and finetune their current business and systems. The third level is for Realtors producing $250,000 and up, and it’s handled by McLachlan, who provides a one-on-one coaching and mentoring program that is geared to the specific and special needs and requirements of a topproducing agent. When asked what they look for when hiring a real estate salesperson, both agreed that commitment and a passion for the business is essential. “If a person is passionate about this business and has the discipline to make a successful business of it, sales skill will follow,” says McLachlan. While both say they are “highly connected” to agents and are accessible to all of them, McLachlan says his primary duties are on the “macro level” of coaching top agents, dealing with Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) issues, licensing of the company, ensuring its financial health and other “big picture” functions. He even coaches other broker/ owners throughout North America. Bain oversees the day-to-day operations, is responsible for recruitment, deals with the agents and coaches them, problem solves, and makes sure – on a micro level – that the company is running as smoothly as possible. Both partners have spoken at

By Dennis McCloskey industry functions around the world, including Bahamas, Israel and Scotland. McLachlan says both he and Bain are “incredibly optimistic” about the future of the industry. He has no concerns about the Competition Bureau’s interest in the industry nor does he see any impact on his business from listing websites. “Ours is a valueadded business and it’s a knowledge business,” he says. “People are willing to pay for value and knowledge and that’s what they get when they hire a professional real estate agent.” Among their many successes and the pride of ownership that they feel for their company (which last year had sales volume of $3.1 billion and was the largest multi-office Re/Max franchise in Canada) the co-owners are proud of the firm’s contributions to the community. Among their many charitable activities is a Feed the Kids Breakfast Program; a scholarship program for a child of a past or present client of a Re/Max Hallmark sales rep or broker; support for a Canadian Olympic athlete; and last year Re/Max Hallmark Realty was recognized for exceeding the $1 million mark in donations to Toronto Sick Kids Hospital through its contributions to the Children’s Miracle Network. The broker/owners constantly deflect praise and acclaim from themselves and onto their staff and agents. “We take pride in their success,” says Bain. “It is only through them that we can make a difference.” REM


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26 REM OCTOBER 2011

LEGAL ISSUES

Nice try, condo board

By Donald H. Lapowich

the terms of the settlement so the remaining defendant will know the alleged real damages the plaintiff is claiming. The Master went on to say that the settling defendant may even be required to give evidence so the court can assess the proportion of fault of the nonsettling defendant. It will be interesting to see if this case is appealed. In our prior litigation, it was clear the judge would proceed with the one defendant left in the action, determine fault (1% = 100%) and assess damages. Only then would the judge open the envelope to subtract the amount already recovered by the widow. Certainly, the judge appreciated that knowledgeable counsel could settle, giving the widow the wherewithal to continue the David/Goliath battle.

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purchaser of a commercial condo unit required a “clean” status certificate, which was signed by the president of the condo corporation and the purchase closed. The president had not inspected the purchaser’s unit and only later was it discovered that the doorway had been widened 10 feet, without approval of the condo corporation (in breach of the corporation’s declarations). Investigation showed that the doorway was widened many years before the purchase in question. Notwithstanding, the corporation sued the purchaser for an order to restore the doorway to the original width. The court held that the corporation had provided a faulty and incomplete status certificate. The cost to restore was to be allocated among all the other unit owners. ■ ■ ■

My client, a real estate broker, drew an Agreement of Purchase and Sale but a developer backed out of the deal because of a drop in the real estate market. The plaintiff, a widow, sued both the broker and the developer for damages. For many reasons, including a sympathetic plaintiff, an at-fault developer and a term in the purchase/sale agreement that may have been vague, I settled with the plaintiff’s solicitor for a sum that permitted the widow to proceed against the co-defendant developer and obtain a “very substantial judgment”. The settlement by the plaintiff and broker was sealed in an envelope and handed up to the trial judge and the trial commenced. My client and I withdrew from the courtroom. Some years later, a Master of the Court has held that where a plaintiff has settled with one defendant, the plaintiff must disclose to the remaining defendant

■ ■ ■

In a recent Ontario case, the vendor moved to rectify a provision in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale between it and the purchaser. The agreement was prepared by the vendor’s solicitor and provided a payment according to a certain schedule. Unfortunately, the solicitor used an old schedule and not a new one that would be of a substantially higher benefit to the vendor. On an application to rectify the terms of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, unfortunately for the vendor, the purchaser declared that it always intended the older standard or schedule would apply. Under these circumstances, there was no “mutual mistake”. Rectification by a reason of a unilateral error is not available. 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


L

et’s say you work as an agent for EXIT. You introduce Mary to your broker and she is recruited as a salesperson. This introduction is called sponsoring at EXIT Realty. As Mary’s transactions close, you are paid an amount equivalent to 10% of Mary’s gross production as a special bonus. This is paid from EXIT’s head office. In this example, Mary earns $100,000 annually. This means you will receive $10,000 in bonuses. In the EXIT system, associates can sponsor into any office right across the continent and those bonuses continue for as long as the agent introduced stays and produces business. In the above example, let’s say you sponsor in nine more agents producing

the same amount of earnings. You would then benefit financially to the tune of $100,000 annually. This amounts to $1 million dollars over 10 years. These bonuses are over and above your commission. They fill in the gaps between closings and provide you with abundant cash flow streams heretofore unavailable in real estate and you become totally recession proof as a result. The broker of your office benefits also because everyone in the entire system in North America has a vested interest in the growth of his or her office. And to top it all off, sponsoring bonuses are now paid out by e-business. Could you do anything with this?

Ed Martens Sr. VP Franchise Sales, Canada 1-800-630-3948 Direct: 647-388-3948 Email: emartens@exitrealty.com REM_AD_OCTOBER.indd 1

www.exitrealty.com 9/13/2011 11:01:13 AM


28 REM OCTOBER 2011

GREEN REAL ESTATE

Setting

THE STANDARD! ®

By Elden Freeman

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s we approach the fall, our thoughts turn to shorter days, fall colours and the chill air that only a Canadian winter can provide. Heating our homes in winter has become an increasingly costly exercise shrouded with uncertainty and misunderstanding about matters of efficiency, economy and environmentally sound methods. Add partisan government squabbling over coal versus nuclear energy and wind power versus solar and we have even more confusion. One lesser-known energy source that gets top grades for its cleanliness and sustainability is geothermal. The word essentially means earth heat. It harnesses the thermal energy of the earth’s interior. The beauty of geothermal is that unlike wind turbines and solar energy, you can’t see or hear it. Not only does it heat your house in winter, it also cools your home in summer. Because no combustion occurs in the process, carbon monoxide threats are eliminated. Geothermal works thanks to a heat pump unit that is generally located in the basement of a house. The unit is connected to a loop of polyethylene piping that is buried in the earth or perhaps in a nearby lake or pond. The pipe is buried at a depth of six feet or more, which provides a constant temperature of between 10 C and 15 C. Water and antifreeze circulating through the piping absorbs the heat from the ground and takes it back into the house. The geothermal unit concentrates the heat from outside and transfers it to air that is drawn through the unit and blows the warm air around the house using standard air ducts. Alternatively, the heat is distributed through

Don’t freeze out earth’s energy pipes containing water for in-floor heating. In the summer, the process reverses. Heat is taken from the air in the house and put in the ground or water, which is now cooler than the air. It uses far less electricity than conventional air conditioning because geothermal is using the 12 C temperature below the earth’s surface and only needs to circulate it, not cool it further. At a constant 12 C, the earth easily absorbs the hotter fluid temperature. Conversely, conventional air conditioning gets rid of the heat through the air, so the hotter it is outside, the harder it must work. The only drawback to geothermal heating and cooling is its cost. Geothermal systems typically range from $25,000 to $30,000. Look for provincial and federal incentives that help offset your costs. You also need enough room on your lot to install the pipes. Still, the savings can be great with geothermal operating costs running about half that of highefficiency natural gas and return on your initial investment ranging between eight to 12 years. Clients looking to save on their energy bills should be encouraged to consider installing a geothermal system. Payback on their investment isn’t too long and the younger the client, the greater potential for even more savings. Elden Freeman B.A., M.E.S, broker is the founder and executive director of the non-profit National Association of Green Agents and Brokers (NAGAB). Freeman says he believes that Realtors across Canada can play an important role in educating their clients on increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (877) 524-9494; www.nagab.org; elden@nagab.org. REM


30 REM OCTOBER 2011

Whitney, with members Carrol Belanger, Neera Chopra and Mark Mohan. Cho, a graduate of Oakridge Secondary School, is attending the University of Waterloo to study biotechnology and economics, while Mullan, a graduate of Central Secondary School, plans to study architecture, also at the University of Waterloo.

T

he Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors (LDAR) has implemented the Point2 real estate listing syndication program. Point2 says in a news release that “supporting the association’s efforts to ensure property data consistency on a number of increasingly popular consumer real estate websites, the implementation will also enable local brokers and agents to automate listing data uploads to the Point2 Agent online marketing and lead management platform, which is currently used by a number of Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors members, by importing the data directly from their local MLS system. LDAR will co-market the Point2 Agent real estate marketing system to its members.

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The London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors recently announced the recipients of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LSTAR Scholarship. They are Na Hyun Cho (Jona), the daughter of LSTAR member Won Cho, and Levi Mullan, the son of At the KWAR cheque presentation, from left: George Patton, president of KWAR; Brian Spall, program chair, KWAR; and Sandy Dietrich-Bell, executive director, ROOF.

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up new, powerful online marketing channels designed to help them generate more leads and business.â&#x20AC;? Point2 powers property listing syndication for more than 240 real estate organizations in North America, including associations and boards in Grande Prairie and several organizations across Saskatchewan. The network covers over 60 third-party real estate consumer websites and major search engines including 25 destinations that feature Canadian listings.









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LSTAR president Jack Lane presents the scholarships to Na Hyun Cho (Jona) and Levi Mullan.

Margaret Van, EO for LDAR, says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our focus is on delivering the knowledge, tools and solutions that can help our members to maximize productivity and revenue. By syndicating our listings in partnership with Point2, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve technically eliminated manual data entry issues for our members and opened

LSTAR members Kim and Terry Mullan. Eligible applicants must be either the children or grandchildren of an LSTAR member or staff. The final recommendation was made by LSTARâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Scholarship Advisory Group, chaired by LSTAR president-elect Barb

â&#x2013; â&#x2013;  â&#x2013; 

The Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR) raised $23,000 for Reaching Our Outdoor Friends (ROOF) at the associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual charity golf tournament. Since 1989, ROOF has been providing support to homeless and at-risk youth ages 12 to 25 in Waterloo Region. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tournament exceeded last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fundraising effort by $3,000. â&#x2013; â&#x2013;  â&#x2013; 

With Toronto City Council expected to make important decisions on city services and finances soon, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is calling on council to move ahead with getting the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finances in order and repealing the Toronto Land Transfer Tax. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The public spoke loudly and clearly in last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s municipal election. It is clear that they want change from City Hall and that they want the Toronto Land Transfer Tax gone,â&#x20AC;? says Richard Silver, president of TREB. A recent public opinion poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs found that 75 per cent of Torontonians support Mayor Rob Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to repeal the Toronto Land Transfer Tax. Even when asked to consider the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget shortfall, the publicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support remains very strong, with 68 per cent indicating that city council should follow through with the repeal of the tax, TREB says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Toronto Land Transfer Tax is a job killer: economic analyses have shown that about 40,000 Toronto jobs rely specifically on the economic activity that is generated when people buy and sell homes in the city. For resale housing alone, spin-off spending related to home buying, on things like renovations and moving services, pumped $1.4 billion into Torontoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy last year,â&#x20AC;? says Silver. REM


32 REM OCTOBER 2011

Crash Boom! Make a Fortune in Today’s Volatile Real Estate Market By Greg Rand Career Press

Real Estate Books Prospect with Soul By Jennifer AllanHagedorn Bluegreen Books www.sellwithsoul.com Denver real estate broker Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn says that if you’ve been frustrated so far in your real estate prospecting efforts, what you read in this book may sound “completely nonsensical, counterintuitive or even nuts if you’ve been brainwashed by the vast majority of the real estate sales training out there.” She writes: Prospect with Soul is not just another book about prospecting for real estate business. It’s about building a real estate business without selling your soul to do it… “If you’ve bought into the idea that you have to spend a fortune on advertising, pester strangers and even your friends for business, beg everyone you know for referrals and subject strangers to your sales pitch at every opportunity, accepting what I’m about to share with you may require a fairly significant shift in your mindset. Or…maybe

not. Frankly, most people who are attracted to the Prospecting with Soul philosophy get it right away – and wonder how on earth they missed something so obvious.”

Fire Sale How to Buy U.S. Foreclosures Now By Philip McKernan Wiley “This book delivers the definitive fundamentals you need to buy foreclosed (or distressed) properties in the United States,” says Vancouver-based author Philip McKernan. “Its pages teem with the unbiased and reality-based information you need to structure a real estate deal in the U.S., and all of this great information comes from a group of experts who invest in real estate themselves.” It’s divided into four sections: an explanation of what distressed property is and how to buy it; renovation and management; tax planning and legal considerations; and general information about buying in the U.S.

This book has some brave words about the current U.S. real estate market: “Mark my words. You are here, right now, being confronted with the opportunity to play a major financial trend with near-perfect timing. We are at the starting point of the next real estate wave. Don’t let yourself look back in five years and realize that you missed it,” says author Greg Rand. The book looks back at The Great Depression and explains how some of America’s wealthiest families emerged to thrive. It then looks at the current meltdown before declaring that the U.S. is about to see “a robust and vibrant rental market well into the future, and an improving economy that will support property values in most parts of the country. The stars are aligned to make this the best time in modern history to be a landlord.”

Legal Responsibilities of Real Estate Agents, 2nd Edition By Rosemary Bocska and Martin Rumack Butterworths www.lexisnexis.ca/ bookstore Ontario lawyers Bocska and Rumack have updated this reference book in the second edition, adding new cases about condominium transactions, agents’ mistakes, commission, dealing with special parties and more. The authors say the book is aimed at real estate agents “who must fully understand their obligations whether they represent buyers, sellers or both; as well as for real estate board officials, insurance representatives and real estate lawyers. Other topics covered include estate planning and dealing with special transactions.

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Buying and Selling A Home for Canadians for Dummies, 4th Edition By Tony Ioannou and Sarah Daniels Wiley The fourth edition of the popular Buying and Selling A Home for Canadians for Dummies includes updated information about the new mortgage rule changes instituted by CMHC and how the HST impacts purchases in provinces that participate in the tax. It’s a detailed explanation of everything that happens when buying or selling a home or condominium. The Dummies series also includes an earlier title called Real Estate Investing for Canadians for Dummies, by Douglas Gray and Peter Mitham, that is now on its second edition. A third real estate title in the series is Flipping Houses for Canadians for Dummies, by Ralph R. Roberts, Joe Kraynak and Camilla Cornell. REM


34 REM OCTOBER 2011

Halloween for adults

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o reference the inexplicable popularity of vampires on big and small screens these days, perhaps getting older really does suck â&#x20AC;&#x201C; at least in relation to Halloween. Maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just me, but I seem to recall that when we were younger, Halloween was almost as big a deal as Christmas on the annual holiday scale. Maybe even as big as your birthday. Certainly it was way bigger than Arbour Day. Every Halloween as a kid, you got to dress up in some exotic costume and go door-to-door collecting candy. I never did dress up as a Realtor, but I was a cowboy more than once. You could be a gypsy, a tramp, or a thief and nobody would ever tease or judge you (Clarification: NOT a tramp like you may be thinking. I meant the hobo type of tramp.).

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With one of your parents safely assigned to chaperone from the sidewalk, your neighbours would ooh and ahh over your clever disguise, even though they knew exactly who you were. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d drop sweet gobs of candy into your bag and every so often youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d run back home, dump the contents and start all over again on a whole new street. It was, like the younger set often states, awesome. As you got a bit older though, and it seemed to become a bit more difficult to get off work early enough for Trick-Or-Treating, the lustre of the holiday faded somewhat. Simply wearing jeans, an old Rolling Stones tour t-shirt and a medical eye patch from the corner drug store just couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t convince anyone that you were a pirate. Formerly generous neighbours now refused to give you candy. Like Aspartame, you were significantly sugar-free. Unless you had big plans for a costume party, even dressing up for Halloween seemed a bit awkward as an adult. Much as I still loved squeezing into my Vegas-era Elvis

satin jumpsuit, not everybody gave me a big thumbs-up when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d wander the streets in it. Maybe there are still a few Halloween memories to look forward to as an adult. Just like that â&#x20AC;&#x153;holiday seasonâ&#x20AC;? in December, Halloween always features a few classic jingles that turn up on the radio. If no oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s around, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do The Monster Mash, or pretend to be one of those howling Werewolves Of London. In recent years though, I have abandoned my scene-byscene Karaoke re-enactment of Michael Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Thriller during the office Halloween party. Celebrations and holidays like these are for the kids anyway. That really was when I enjoyed it the most. Judging by how much little Billy is howling to get out for his own round of Trick-Or-Treating right now, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have to agree. Humour columnist and author Dan St. Yves was licensed with Royal LePage Kelowna for 11 years. Check out his website at www.nonsenseandstuff.com, or contact him at ThatDanGuy@shaw.ca. REM

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The majority of Canadian businesses use a Windows platform to manage their day-to-day activities. The Motion CL900 Tablet PC solves some of the key issues our business customers are facing when working in the field or moving around an office by allow- The Motion CL900 Tablet PC, now availing them to run the able from Telus. Windows applications they depend on through a without a separate keyboard. The mobile, large-screen tablet that is tablet comes with a digitizer pen, both robust and lightweight,â&#x20AC;? says hidden in a nifty compartment on Jim Senko, Telus vice-president of the side, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easier to use than small and medium business. taping your fingers on the screen. Equipped with a Corning When you need to enter informaGorilla Glass screen to protect tion to, for example, visit a website, against scratches, the unit has been you can use the pen and included tested to withstand drops up to four Windows software to write in the address. feet. The tablet is available at Telus REM tested a model and found it easy to learn its features and work with a price starting of $999 on with. If you have yet to switch from a three-year contract. For infora laptop to a tablet, the biggest mation: www.telus.com/tablets. REM challenge is learning to get along


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36 REM OCTOBER 2011

METES & BOUNDS

Paul Burden, President of Advance Commission Company is pleased to welcome Mike Turner to the ACC family. Mike, Director of Marketing for Atlantic Canada, with a degree in Business Administration, brings over 25 years of experience in Marketing and Sales to the Business community. Committed to providing a high level of customer service, Mike recognizes the importance of building and maintaining long–term relationships. As a believer in giving to the community, Mike is very active in coaching many sport teams, including hockey and baseball. Mike lives in Kentville, Nova Scotia with his wife Tracie, and sons Isaac and Noah. Mike can be reached at mturner@advance-commissions.ca or toll free at 1 866 933 2277.

By Marty Douglas

L

George Heos Senior Vice President, Network Development

Phil Soper, President & Chief Executive, Royal LePage Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of George Heos as Senior Vice President, Network Development. As a member of the senior executive team, Mr. Heos assumes responsibility for sales operations and strategy across the organization. A business development executive with more than 20 years of experience within the food services and retail development industries, Mr. Heos has a reputation for formulating winning market development plans. He has extensive knowledge of Canadian markets and a proven track record of leading franchise networks to sales and marketing success. He was most recently with Cara Foods, a Canadian

company with over 700 restaurants with leading brands including Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s and Kelsey’s. In his new position as Senior Vice President, Network Development, Mr. Heos will lead the continued growth of our national network of companies operating under the Royal LePage brand. Currently, Royal LePage has 600 franchised offices across Canada with more than 14,000 sales associates. Our offices are supported by a unique set of corporate services and resources with a focus on creating business success. For more information on Royal LePage franchise opportunities, please call 416-510-5700 or email franchise@royallepage.ca. †

†Royal LePage is a trademark used under license.

adies and gentlemen, boys and girls, thanks for joining us on this tour of the Canadian Real Estate Museum, located in the instant town of (pick one of Kitsault, Ocean Falls, Dakota Ridge, Inverhuron, SaintJérôme), created from the leftover broken promises of (pick one of mining, pulp and paper, recreation, the Zenn), funded by grants from various levels of government but basically from you, the taxpayer. Our first exhibit is the onepage contract of purchase and sale, AKA the Interim Agreement. Note that the commission agreement formed the bottom paragraph of the document, removing the necessity of listing contracts and the subsequent evils of prospecting, listing contests and the MLS. Here we have the key security system, consisting of a round cardboard key tag and key file box – total investment in 1970 dollars, $10 for an unlimited supply of listings. It was replaced by the electronic lock box, electronic key and charger plus the office spare for emergencies. Total cost for the whole package including insurance: $200 per listing. The mechanical lock box, precursor of the electronic model, had a key or combination. It was frequently found on boat houses and sheds of former Realtors who couldn’t figure out a use for it while in real estate. The Polaroid Land camera and its favourite accessory, the aluminum warming clip, held under the arm for developing one picture in 60 seconds in Canada’s northern climate. Of course, while you stood there with your parka unzipped, you froze to death. The mortgage calculation tables for Canada where we compound semi-annually. The early editions gave monthly mortgage payments from four per cent to 10

Welcome to the real estate museum per cent. In the early ’80s when rates burst through 20 per cent, those of us who could afford the updated book were burdened by its weight. The interest rate factor – a number of about 27 digits following the decimal place, which allowed calculation of the monthly interest only owing based on semi-annual compounding. Of course our calculators couldn’t ingest the whole number so those of us with memories of the times tables and long division were kept busy. Sort of like monks illuminating the King James Bible. The Hewlett Packard programmable financial calculator. The early versions cost about $1,200 – I saw my first in the late ’70s, and you needed a degree in Fortran to run it – but it did fit in the palm of your hand, if you had big hands – I mean huge. And you know what they say about men with large hands. The teletype was the coolest future boat anchor in the office. It chunked and clanged as its carriage hammered out the incoming text and was of absolutely no use in my career except for exchanging jokes. Come to think of it, sort of like email today. The telegram. Widely used for offer and acceptance and surprisingly legal despite the lack of a signature. The in/out board – we still have one. Some were peg boards, some electronic, some magnetic. Didn’t seem to matter what you had, the person marked in was usually out and return times were generally forgivable exaggerations. The Gestetner. When it was cranking out multiple copies, the fumes made Woodstock look like a smoke-free environment. Never mind asbestos and second-hand smoke – what about Gestetner fluid? Carbon paper, made obsolete by the photocopier. Correcting tape made obsolete by the IBM Selectric with autocorrecting ribbon.

The pink message slip and the message slip spike. Carbon dating on the spiked messages determined office seniority. The dumb terminal. Need I say more – it was too dumb to breed. The daily pages of multiple listings in three-ring binders. The standard commission page from the daily pages. (If you have one, the Competition Bureau would like to set up an anonymous tip line. But you have to be first!) We’re running short of time so we’ll rush past the rest of the exhibits just to give a sense of the enormity of change in our business. The MLS catalogue, buried with its cousins from Sears and Eaton’s. The branded ashtray and cigarette lighter. The pyramid Christmas booze letter. The engineers’ scale and slide rule. The Beta tape library. The cassette tape library. The cassette player. Toe rubbers – really, that’s what they’re called. The digital camera, killed by the smart phone. The suit and tie. The Christmas party. The beer fridge. The flip chart. The overhead projector. The gentleman in a fedora holding open a door for a lady. The fedora. The lady. And by the way, to show change is not always constant, the ball point pen and the QWERTY keyboard have been with us for more than a century and show no signs of fading. You can find Marty Douglas on Twitter - 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. mdouglas@coastrealty.com. REM


REM OCTOBER 2011 37

The Agents launches second season W

hen something happens to a TV producer, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not surprising when the experience becomes the subject of a reality show. Catherine May of W Networkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Agents sold her house. She was fascinated by the agentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; open house, when 30 real estate agents looked at her house and then freely offered their opinions about her agentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s selling strategy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The range of feedback was astonishing,â&#x20AC;? May says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The differences were fascinating and I got thinkingâ&#x20AC;Ś.â&#x20AC;? The Agents is back for another season, this time with a difference. Instead of watching public open houses, viewers will get an inside look at the workings of agentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; open houses and see how agents come up with strategies to price a home properly to get their clients the best price. For viewers who are agents, the show offers a chance to see their colleagues in action. For the public, the show offers a chance to

learn the tricks of the real estate trade as agents weigh the risks of pricing a house above, below or at market value, says May. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The right strategy makes an agent a hero, the wrong strategy, zero.â&#x20AC;? In each episode, two agents compete against each other to see which one of them can come up with a winning strategy. Viewers see one agentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s open house. Agents who attend talk about the strategy and what they would do the same, or differently. Then viewers see the other agentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s open house and hear agentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; comments. In the end, viewers see which agentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s listing sold and who chose the right strategy. In the first episode, sales rep Janet Sinclair must price and sell a three-bedroom, fully detached home complete with a Tiki bar, while sales rep Steve Massaroni must sell a Victorian row house that has undergone a high-end renovation. Eight agents, most from Leslieville, The Beach and East

Gary T. Taitt, Linda Ing-Gilbert

Shirley Yoon, Linda Sargeant

Steve Massaroni, Janet Sinclair

York in Toronto, are featured in the six episodes, which aired in a marathon on the W. Network in July. All six episodes can be seen online at www.wnetwork.com/ theagents. The sales reps featured are: â&#x20AC;˘ Janet Sinclair of Re/Max Hallmark Realty in Toronto, who has more than 21 years in property management and real estate. â&#x20AC;˘ Steve Massaroni of Citysites Realty, who has been in the business for two years. He works mainly in the Leslieville area of Toronto and in Vaughan. â&#x20AC;˘ Kristin Peterson of Core Realty Group, who grew up in a small town outside of Montreal but moved to Toronto after graduating from Concordia University. She has been a real estate agent for seven years. â&#x20AC;˘ Linda Sargeant, founder and broker of record for Core Realty Group, a boutique brokerage in Toronto. Prior to her career in real estate, she developed dental and medical centres.

â&#x20AC;˘ Shirley Yoon, also with Core Realty Group, who moved to the boutique brokerage in 2010. She hopes to create a concept-based project space in support of emerging and established artists. â&#x20AC;˘ Stuart Sankey of Royal LePage Real Estate Services, an agent for eight years, prior to which he dabbled in a variety of different professions from restaurant management to acting. â&#x20AC;˘ Gary T. Taitt of Re/Max Hallmark Realty, with more than 15 years of real estate sales experience. His past career as an appraiser helps him in his real estate career. â&#x20AC;˘ Linda Ing-Gilbert of Re/Max Hallmark Realty, a full-time agent since 2005. In a single year, she personally handled more than $10-million in property transactions for her clients. â&#x20AC;˘ Kimme Myles of Royal LePage Johnston and Daniel Division, who was inspired by her father, Lou Myles, a celebrity clothREM ier and self-made man.

         

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38 REM OCTOBER 2011

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Good Works T

he fourth annual Royal LePage Your Community Realty Golf Tournament brought 150 golfers to support the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and Yellow Brick House. It is a shelter serving York Region in southern Ontario, where Royal LePage Your Community Realty broker Vivian Risi serves as capital campaign chair. Golfers enjoyed a great round followed by dinner and auctions emceed by Michelle Risi. Tournament organizers Shawn Zigelstein and Justin Risi say over $40,000 was raised this year, with a grand total of close to $100,000 for the four years combined. ■ ■ ■

After weeks of training and multiple fundraising events, eight members of Team Sutton Seafair

in Delta, B.C. climbed onto their bicycles for a gruelling two-day, 240-km ride from Aldergrove, B.C. to Seattle. They raised $26,000 for the B.C. Cancer Foundation through the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. Kathy Dickinson, associate broker at Sutton Group - Seafair Realty and the team captain, credits her colleagues for their willingness to participate in the long distance ride and the enthusiast support of a large network of Realtors, staff, friends and clients. She was able to attract seven team members including Realtors Don Ross, Bridget Ross and Ben Lim from the Tsawwassen office, and Merilee McCaffery and Izabela Wasiela from the Richmond office, along with “many supporting cast members”. Each bicyclist was required to raise a minimum of

$2,500 in pledges and complete fitness training. Dickinson says that in addition to individual fundraising efforts, the team organized a bingo night, a pub night and a luncheon to raise money for the cause. The entire Team Sutton Seafair has signed up again for next year. ■ ■ ■

Recently Century 21 Canada president Don Lawby conquered his fear of heights and lowered himself down Regina’s iconic Hill Centre Tower II in the Easter Seals Drop Zone challenge. “My heart races and my palms begin to sweat when I think about what I have to do,” said Lawby before the event, “but I’m committed to climbing over that edge and help some kids go to camp.” The annual event raises funds for Easter Seals programs, such as the fully accessible Easter Seals camps. The focus of these programs is to foster independence, self-confidence and create access to recreational opportunities for children with disabilities. In 2008, Century 21 Canada created the Kids to Camp program, Continued on page 40

Opportunity: Business Development Leader Keller Williams Ottawa Realty (KWO), one of Ottawa’s largest and fastest growing real estate firms, is looking for a Business Development Leader. This key position within the KWO leadership team plays a critical role in continuing the Company’s growth, developing its industry leadership position, and driving the Company toward future success. The successful candidate will be a respected leader and motivator to over 300 KWO sales associates and staff. As such, the Business Development Leader will possess the integrity that reflects the core values of KWO and will have earned a solid reputation and significant influence in the local Ottawa Real Estate community. The Business Development Leader will be focused on meeting the company’s revenue goals through people development. This means cultivating a winning sales force through strategic recruitment, leadership, coaching and education. If you possess the talent and skills needed to build a high achieving sales force, to coach associates to success, to set and meet strategic company goals, and have extensive real estate experience, we invite you to apply in confidence by forwarding your resume to recruitment@kwottawa.ca

www.kwottawa.ca

From left: Vivian Risi, Zebedah Din, Joanne Colangelo, Mario Colangelo and Darren Mason at Your Community’s golf tourney.

Royal LePage Performance Realty managers stepped out in red high heeled shoes recently. From left: Pierre de Varennes, Rick Snell, Russ Perkins, John Rogan and Bob McCulloch. Don Lawby

From left: Kathy Dickinson, Bridget Ross, Ben Lim, Izabela Wasiela and Merilee McCaffery of Sutton Group Seafair Realty.

Above: Sutton Group – Landmark sales rep Aaryn Lightbown hands out balloons at the company’s annual barbecue. Kathie Rouse, second from right, presents Marilyn Field (far right) from Family Life Resource Centre in Brampton with $9,000. Also pictured are Shannon and Yvette, staff from the women’s shelter.


Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies Management Summit KEY NOTE SPEAKER

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Good Works

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Continued from page 38

which raises funds to send children with disabilities to Easter Seals camps across the country. Since its inception, 558 children have been given the opportunity to experience a summer at camp. “For 30 years I’ve been promoting Easter Seals and their cause and it’s now time for me to take action,” says Lawby. “I am personally sending a child to camp in Saskatchewan, my home province, and I’m rappelling so that even more children can experience these great camps.” ■ ■ ■

Since 2000, Royal LePage Credit Valley agents, support staff, suppliers and friends have raised close to $250,000 for the Family Life Resource Centre (FLRC) in Brampton, Ont. Their efforts have included fundraisers, fishing derbies, garage sales and golf tournaments and many from the brokerage have spearheaded their own events and volunteered their time at the shelter. This year Dominion Lending Mortgage Plus joined the office in hosting their 9th annual charity

golf tournament, adding to the success. Thanks to their efforts the centre will be able to build a multipurpose room to allow for more group programming and skills development for moms, where social support and friendships can flourish for children. Owners Kathie and Ron Rouse and their team at Royal LePage Credit Valley say they are thrilled to help make this dream come true. ■ ■ ■

The Sutton Group - Landmark Realty Barbecue in Red Deer, Alta. has become a favourite tradition during Westerner Days. Over the past 14 years, this event has raised $5,000 for various charities. Barb Munday, office administrator at Sutton Group - Landmark Realty and a sales rep for 26 years, helped her colleague Henrietta Thompson, who was in charge of organizing the event. “It was so great to see so many people open their pocketbooks and their hearts to a good cause,” says Munday. Mundy says the participation of so many staff and Realtors was rewarding. “It showed a great sense of camaraderie, as always. We

800 + Members and Growing Across Canada

The Accredited Senior Agent Designation It is NOT just an education seminar, it is an ongoing, active program dedicated to bringing education to the members, promotion, media attention and best of all, teaching them how to make money in the most rising market, the senior’s demographic. To find out more, to see if you qualify, about the course and the location of our upcoming courses contact us. And yes, our core material is approved for 11 continuing education credits in Ontario for 2 days

Jerry Aulenbach (far right) presents a cheque to (from left) Gerry Hood (2011 chair, Sign of Hope Campaign), Ted Campbell (program manager, family violence and housing, CSS) and Liz John-West (program supervisor, LaSalle Shelter).

even had one person drive 1.5 hours from a satellite office to come help out at this event.” ■ ■ ■

Social media enthusiast Jerry Aulenbach (aka: ZoomJer), from Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate in Edmonton, organized a successful “Tweet up” fundraiser and auction to raise funds for the Shelter Foundation in support of LaSalle Shelter. This year’s #yegHelp fundraiser included prizes for the best costumes, live music and dancing. A silent auction and Twitter auction added to the fun. Aulenbach has raised $12,000 through his three Tweet up fundraisers. ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage Performance Realty in Ottawa held a fundraiser lobster/barbecue for staff and agents and raised more than $5,100 for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. As part of the fun, Performance Realty managers donned red high heels as part of the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign, a program to illustrate male support for women’s anti-vioREM lence programs.

Royal LePage First Contact Realty of Barrie, Ont. participated in the 3rd Annual National Garage Sale for Shelter in May, raising $16,506 for the Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie. Proceeds from the sale were used to build a Serenity Garden at the shelter, where Royal LePage owners and staff presented the cheque. From left: Larry DeWilde, owner of the brokerage; Barbara Stranks, broker of record, Heather Croft, community development co-ordinator for Women and Children’s Shelter; Lynda Muir, executive director of the shelter: Lee-Anne Renton, garage sale co-ordinator; and Shirley DeWilde, owner of the brokerage.

www.thesenioragent.com 416-784-9806 Toll Free 1-855-TALKASA (825-5272) Fax Toll Free 1-888-594-6040 Check out our listing presentation at www.alistingpackage.com

Dana Demmings a sales rep with Royal LePage Gardiner Realty in Fredericton was recently presented with a Merit Award for his contributions to the Province of New Brunswick. Demmings lives in the Village of New Maryland, where he is known for his presence as a Realtor and as an active neighbour and contributor to the community. From left: New Maryland councillor Scott Sparks, Mayor Frank Dunn, Dana Demmings, vice-mayor Judy Wilson-Shee and MLA Jack Carr.


REM OCTOBER 2011 41

CRM system helps build relationships

By Matthew Collis

A

re you struggling to keep in touch with current and past clients? Do you find yourself feeling disorganized and pressed for time? Or perhaps you despise calling those in your sphere of influence (SOI) because you simply don’t know what to talk about. I speak with Realtors every day who share these sentiments but are unsure of what they’re doing wrong. If you can relate, chances are you’re doing a poor job of contact management. One sign of this is having data scattered all over the place (on your smartphone, notepad and mail client for, example). Another indicator is the inability to find the information

you need, when you need it. When this information is found, if it’s found at all, it’s often inaccurate or incomplete. Have you ever felt embarrassed because you missed an appointment or forgot key details about a past client? This is yet another indicator of poor contact management. What does it mean to practice good contact management? It means storing contact information in one consolidated place. It’s about being able to recall the exact details of your last conversation with a prospect or client. It means feeling comfortable calling your SOI because you have something relevant to talk about. Not only that, a sales rep who practices good contact management has clients taking the initiative to call them between transactions because they are viewed as an expert on homerelated services. This same sales rep frowns at batch and blast emails, and instead sends mass emails that are personalized and targeted to specific groups or segments. A good real estate customer

relationship management (CRM) system will help you ensure that you never forget to follow up or keep in touch with someone in your SOI. You’ll be able to easily pull up important profile information and know the last time you spoke with a client or prospect, and the details of the conversation. You will feel in control of your business and become empowered. You’re going to want a CRM that will allow you to set up automatic prompts to remind you to send a newsletter, email, letter, or make a phone call. By doing this, you’re making certain that you never miss an opportunity to build loyal relationships. It’s also vital to have an integrated to-do list so you can track your progress on a listing or a new marketing plan, for example, and constantly be aware of what still has to be done and what has already been completed. In addition to the standard contact details, record interests, hobbies, birthdays and information about a client’s partner and children. This data allows you to have

more meaningful and relevant conversations with your SOI and wow them. You’ll be able to send show tickets to Mary on her birthday, for example, because you know that she and her husband enjoy the theatre. What’s more, you won’t dread calling a past client because this time, you’ll be able to start the conversation with a topic that is applicable or significant to their life. So far, all this might sound great, but as a Realtor, you’re always on the road. You want to have the ability to update pertinent client information from your smartphone and have the changes wirelessly synced to your real estate contact management system. You use your calendar too so you’ll want to ensure both your calendar and your smartphone are wirelessly synced. This ensures nothing is forgotten or falls through the cracks. Above all, a CRM system must be easy to learn and use, because if it’s not, nothing else matters. You should use a real estate CRM every day, and personally speaking, I

know I wouldn’t consistently use any software unless it was easy to work with. By taking a contact management approach, your business will flourish and you’ll have more free time to focus on non-business related matters. Using a real estate CRM might seem like a large time commitment, but it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes per day to be effective and the payoff is tremendous. It’s all about relationship building in this industry. Focus on your SOI, grow the existing relationships that you have, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll see happening. Matthew Collis is the sales and marketing manager at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Matthew works with Realtors to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. Email matthew.collis@ixactcontact.com. REM


42 REM OCTOBER 2011

THE PUBLISHER’S PAGE

By Heino Molls

I

like the idea of going to church. When I see people going to church on Sunday or a house of worship on a Saturday or a mosque or temple on any day, I think that what they are doing is wonderful. In many cases folks going to worship are wearing, as some say, “their Sunday duds; all decked out or dressed to the nines” and as I’ve heard in parts of old Canada, “all up in their best bib and tucker”. Some worshipers come in traditional religious gear and clothing. Some people don’t fuss with how they look, they just come as best they can and that’s fine too. The charm for me is that people from every corner of this country, in every town and city come to a place together with an attitude of genuine pleasure to see one another and say hello. They come in many cases to sing together, which is what I like the best. Others may chant together, recite prayer or just be quiet together. It can be very pleasant to be in a house of worship because it is a gathering of people like no other. Before the service starts and when it is over you can talk to others without raising your voice, even in a full room. The acoustics in some places of worship are often so good

Going to worship that you have to lower your voice in case you are too loud. I find that to be unique to any other event or gathering of people. It’s a lot different when people come together at hockey games or baseball games where there is a lot of shouting for encouragement during a full count or groans of dismay when the puck just misses the net. People come to bars for a good time or parties with loud music for dancing or atmosphere. In some cases it is so loud that you can’t hear yourself think. Maybe that’s the point. People also come together at rock concerts, mostly when they are young, and sales conferences, mostly when they are older. In both of those cases there is milling about in either mosh pits or seminars. Focus is hurried, brisk and abrupt. People come to sporting events and party places to have fun, let loose and be entertained. That’s the point. That’s the intention. Good on them. It is hypocritical of me to comment on all this because I rarely go to any events. I am too old and uncomfortable to go to rock concerts. I am in no mood ever to sit in the hot sun at a ball game, chow down on a soggy hot dog and drink warm beer with thousands of other fans jostling me for elbow room. I am too crabby to make small talk at a party. I am also very uncomfortable at church when the religious leader says things I know in my heart are wrong. Having said all that I confess that I am endeared to the intent of worship. While I am not naïve enough to suggest there is no entertainment or even shouting at a house of

worship, the intent is different from other gatherings. It is the intention, not the doctrine of what is there that has the real value, at least to me. There is a meaningful difference. I have seen young men dressed in all manner of frocks, robes, wide brimmed hats, small caps and turbans going to worship. All black or white or orange and other traditional colours of dress depending on faith. I have observed some of these young men walking in opulent neighbourhoods. Great wealth is irrelevant when they walk to worship. They are humble. They are magnificent! I have also seen the extraordinary dignity of a single mom who lives in extreme poverty as she makes her way to church with her children. She is dressed in all the finery she can manage and her children are scrubbed clean and clothed in their Sunday best. For the entire week they barely survive with limited resources, even basic food, but on this day, for these few hours, they look stunning and will be surrounded by a wealth of friends and fellow parishioners. They’ll belt out wonderful hymns and exchange sincere greetings after service. For this short time, for all those who go to church or mosque or temple or sanctuary of faith, their intention is about as perfect as humanity can get. We should all strive to this in all things that we do every day at home, at play and at work. How hard can it be? Heino Molls is publisher of REM. Email heino@remonline.com. REM

MARKETPLACE

Trade Shows and Conferences For complete listings, visit www.remonline.com To add a listing to this calendar, email jim@remonline.com WinnipegRealtors Technology Conference and Trade Show Thursday, Oct. 13 Victoria Inn, Winnipeg www.wrexpo.ca Lucy Hajkowski – 204-786-8854 lhajkowski@winnipegrealtors.ca

Realtors Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound Trade Show Wednesday, Nov. 2 Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound Marilyn Newbigging – MarilynN@ragbos.com

Niagara Association of Realtors Harvesting Your Business Trade Show Thursday, Oct. 13, Niagara Falls, Ont. Crystal Henderson - 905-684-9459

NAR Realtors Conference and Expo Nov. 11 – 14, Anaheim, Calif. www.realtor.org/convention.nsf

27th Re/Max Canadian Conference Hosted by Re/Max of Western Canada Oct. 13 - 15 Quebec City Conference Centre Quebec City kwoodliffe@remax.net Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board Technology & Trade Show Wednesday, Oct. 19 Blue Mountain Conference Centre Collingwood, Ont. exhibitor@gtrebTNT.com CREA MTC Technology Forum Monday, Oct. 24 Hilton Toronto, Toronto Anik Aube - aaube@crea.ca Ottawa Real Estate Board Annual Tradeshow Thursday, Oct. 27, Ottawa Wilda Brown - wilda@oreb.ca The Professional Home and Property Inspectors of Canada Inspection Connection 2011 Oct. 28 - 30 Four Points by Sheraton, Kingston, Ont. www.phpic.ca

Lone Wolf Management Summit “The Real Estate Office of the Future” Thursday, Nov. 17 Dave & Busters, Concord, Ont. Gary Schnarr – gschnarr@lwolf.com or 1-866-CRY-WOLF ext. 1211 Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals Mortgage Forum 2011 Nov. 20 - 22 Metro Toronto Convention Centre Toronto www.mortgageconference.ca Mississauga Real Estate Board 2011 Annual Election meeting and Trade Show Wednesday, Nov. 23 Mississauga Convention Centre Mississauga, Ont. Gay Napper – 905-608-6732 Royal LePage Shelter Foundation Gala Friday, Nov. 25, Toronto sharonpromm@royallepage.ca Compiled with the assistance of Bob Campbell at Colour Tech Marketing, www.colourtech.com

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October 2011  

October issue of REM in 2011.

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