September 2019

Page 1

Issue #363

September 2019

Sterling Wong: Online tech fuels company’s growth Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 42218523 - Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to 2255B Queen St. E., #1178, Toronto ON M4E 1G3

Page 12

iBuyers enter Canadian market Page 3

22 boards, 1 MLS system Page 10

How to dominate Twitter Page 18




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iBuyers move into Canadian market

Instant offer companies are taking market share in the United States and the iBuyer concept is now being introduced in Canada. By Mario Toneguzzi


he real estate industry is facing plenty of disruption these days because of technology and innovative ways of doing business. The initiative getting the most buzz is the iBuyer, which has been wellestablished in the United States by firms such as Zillow and Opendoor. “Currently these companies are crushing it,” says Ed DePrato of Sweetly in Edmonton, who is launching his own iBuyer brokerage. “They’re dominating the market. They’re already controlling more than 10 per cent of the available inventory in the cities where they operate.” He says, “What iBuyer does is save the consumer all of the costs and headaches and hassles normally associated with being for

and we come up with a value and make you an offer online – all without ever seeing your property.” If a seller decides to accept the offer, they can set the closing date. The buyer isn’t moving into the home because it is simply buying it to re-sell the property. DePrato says his company’s fee will be eight per cent of the value of the property. DePrato says this online way of doing real estate is the wave of the future because people are so used to doing everything online these days, from buying clothes and food to booking travel. “Heck, we even find love online,” he says. “It’s a way for people to trade in their home just like they would trade in a car.” Properly, a Toronto-based real

Properly has been offering an iBuyer program in Calgary. The founders, from left: Sheldon McCormick, COO; Craig Dunk, COT; and Anshul Ruparell, CEO.

sale. When you’re selling your home, the goal is to be sold. Being for sale is no fun. “With an iBuyer there’s no interruption in your life. You simply go onto a website, answer a series of questions . . . It takes about 20 minutes and you can add a bunch of pictures if you want, pictures that help us understand the condition of your home. You can even submit information on what makes your home unique, what makes it more valuable or more desirable. Once we get that information we consider that information and weigh it against anything else for sale or sold recently in your neighbourhood

estate technology startup, launched an iBuyer program in Calgary last year, and recently announced that it has secured funding to expand to Edmonton and other Canadian cities. The company says in a news release that it is “buying or selling a home nearly every day and growing rapidly.” “There’s been a lack of innovation around real estate in Canada, but that’s changing with Properly,” says Gavin Myers, general partner of Prudence Holdings. “Investing in Properly was a clear choice because they’re providing the services homeowners want – convenience and trans-

parency – while eliminating the pain points of selling a home.” Properly offers a price match guarantee, which means if the home sells for more than Properly’s offer, “the majority of the upside is refunded to the customer,” the company says. “Properly’s service provides certainty, convenience and transparency, eliminating common issues associated with a home sale – inconvenient home showings, costly repairs, uncertain timelines and the risk of the offer falling through,” the company says. Ross Kay of Ross Kay Realty Consultants in Burlington, Ont. says the iBuyer concept is simply a guaranteed sales initiative like many other ones in the market today. “It’s just a scam. They’re trying to make the legacy brokerage model look as if it’s not legacy any longer when all they’re doing is rehashing old technologies, old approaches that have been around for four decades,” says Kay. “Any guaranteed sales program, which is just what an iBuyer is, is structured so that the brokerage really cannot lose money. You’re not really giving them a market value price. Traditionally market value means the Realtor will try to sell your house for more money than what the neighbour sold for. Historically, that’s what market value has meant in organized real estate. Each new property you try to get a higher price. In the iBuyer program, it’s based on the old prices,” says Kay. Cliff Stevenson, co-owner of Re/Max First Calgary and currently vice president of CREA, says the No. 1 reason for the proliferation of iBuyers on the market is convenience. “There’s an argument to be made that the selling process can be challenging from a logistical perspective and preparing your home, doing repairs, maintenance, setting it up with your Realtor for showings, accommodating showings… The house could be on the market for quite awhile. There’s a convenience

Ed DePrato

element for it for sure,” says Stevenson. “There’s also a timing element for some people. Some of these iBuyer programs are able to complete the transaction relatively quickly for sellers – if somebody needs to get out or needs to know their number today and get out right away and move on somewhere else. The iBuyer option may work for them because they’re now having a very quick process as opposed to something that could take some time.” But the main disadvantage, says Stevenson, is that a seller is not taking advantage of the pool of buyers on the open market. “You don’t have exposure to the broad market to understand what your potential market value truly is,” he says. “But the other thing is that consumers have proven over the years that the advice they receive from a real estate professional is a huge part of the transaction. They want advice. They’re looking for ways to strategize the selling process. There’s an absence of that in many of these iBuyer models and you don’t have a trusted advisor like a Realtor to navigate through the process. You’re sort of on your own.” CREA president Jason Stephen of Royal LePage Atlantic in Saint John, N.B., says the attraction of iBuyer programs is that it can be seen as an easier process for home sellers. “The downside is at the end of the day, does somebody really

know they’re getting full value for their house?” says Stephen. “It’s like any real estate transaction. There’s risk and reward…My only concern is that homeowners should really understand what the true market value is on their house because they could be leaving a lot of money on the table. That’s why we point people to seeking advice from a professional Realtor. One of the jobs of a professional Realtor is to make sure that the transaction is easy and smooth but it’s very complex.” In Atlanta, Ga., a traditional real estate brokerage is competing with the iBuyers with what it calls an instant offer comparison tool. The brokerage gathers instant move offers from companies such as Opendoor, Zillow and Offerpad, and then compares them to the estimated cost of a traditional sale using their company. “We treat instant offer companies just like any other buyers and, in limited cases, an instant offer may be the best option for the seller,” says Craig McClelland, vice president of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers. “But in other cases, the convenience fees aren’t worth the lost equity. We pull together the information on the homeowner’s behalf, so they see the entire picture. That way, they can make an informed decision on how to sell what’s generally their most expensive asset.” REM


Multiple Listings By Jim Adair, REM Editor

Do you have news to share with Canada’s real estate community? Let REM know about it! Email:


oyal LePage Aspire Realty, formerly Royal LePage Prince George Realty, recently expanded with two new locations in Northern B.C. Royal LePage Aspire Realty is the largest brokerage in Prince George and No. 1 in market share, the company says. Owner Rob McLeod opened a new location in Valemount, B.C., which is near Mount Robson Provincial Park. The new office recently welcomed agents Tanya Russell and Tammy Vandenobelan. Six months ago, Royal LePage Aspire opened a branch office in Quesnel, expanding its footprint south of Prince George. The brokerage was honoured earlier this year with Recruiter of the Year award and the A.E.

Barry Lebow

LePage Brokerage of the Year honour for British Columbia. ■ ■ ■

Re/Max has teamed with Teranet to offer a Home Value Estimator on its website. “Today’s homebuyers and sellers are savvier than ever, and most do their own research before reaching out to a real estate agent to start the process,” says Christopher Alexander, EVP and regional director at Re/Max of Ontario-Atlantic Region. “A big part of the decision to buy or sell is determining if it makes sense financially. Unfortunately, home values have always been a murky area for consumers, as prices vary dramatically from one city to the next, and even between neighbourhoods within the same city.

Our new Home Value Estimator provides that insight on demand, empowering consumers to make an informed decision.” Users must register on the site and enter a Canadian address that isn’t already listed by a real estate agent. The home value estimate appears at the top of the searched property page. Elton Ash, regional EVP, Re/Max of Western Canada says, “Anecdotally, we’ve already received a lot of positive feedback regarding the usefulness of this tool during our pilot project in Kelowna, B.C. We’re excited to now offer free home estimates for communities across the entire country.” ■ ■ ■

Toronto real estate veteran Barry Lebow is launching what he calls a new concept in real estate

Dimitri Kalkounis Wendy Hay

BMW Canada teams with The Heaps Estrin Real Estate Team to place luxury vehicles in the driveways of listings.

Rob McLeod, owner of Royal LePage Aspire, with Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper.

brokerage – a team to handle the most complex situations. Lebow says the Senior Team GTA will work in areas such as helping seniors move or downsize, hoarders, estates, divorces, mortgage arrears, business partnership split-ups, court actions and stigmatized properties, in both residential and commercial situations. The new team will operate under the Re/Max Ultimate Realty banner. Lebow says he took many months to develop the team. The planning included creating a new website as well as a book specifically for lawyers. More than 450 of the new books were handdelivered to lawyers in Ontario in attractive black gifts bags with each lawyer’s name on the bag in calligraphy. The new slogan for The Senior Team GTA is: “The Complex, the Most Difficult is Our Norm”. Lebow has more than 51 years of experience in real estate and has worked with lawyers in more than 600 trials. He is a long-time REM columnist. ■ ■ ■

Macdonald Realty in Vancouver has partnered with Inside Real Estate to provide the technology platform kvCORE to agents in their corporately owned residential offices. “Macdonald is excited to give our agents the most powerful lead generation tool on the market,” says Rosey Hudson, vice president of operations. “We have been working with Inside Real Estate as our technology partner since 2016. The innovations and AI capabilities they offer in the new kvCORE platform is a phenomenal advantage for our agents.” Key features of the platform include a set of lead generation tools, which allow agents to generate leads organically or with built-in paid advertising solutions; highly customizable websites including real-time IDX home search; an AI driven, automated CRM; and “behavioural nurturing” that “delivers unique, relevant and timely content, driving up to 10X higher engagement across both new leads as well as personal sphere of influence contacts,” the company says.

■ ■ ■

The Heaps Estrin Real Estate Team from Royal LePage in Toronto has teamed with BMW Canada to stage the exterior of exceptional properties. The initiative sees the luxury automotive company placing their highestend vehicles in the driveways of some luxury listings in the GTA. “With our focus on innovation and seeking new ways to reach the luxury buyer, we saw an incredible opportunity to team up with The Heaps Estrin Real Estate Team to create a truly unique platform in automotive and real estate marketing,” says Michael Oliver, national manager of BMW Brand Communications for BMW Canada. The initial pilot launched with several Heaps Estrin Real Estate Team homes of distinction ranging in list price from $2.9 million to $5.9 million in some of Toronto’s most soughtafter neighbourhoods, including Rosedale, Moore Park, Bennington Heights and Leaside. Each home featured one of three of BMW’s highest-end luxury vehicles. They have been featured in digital home listings and are also made available for use as part of the exterior staging for open house events. ■ ■ ■

Blue Door Realty Group in Toronto recently joined the Aventure Realty Network. Broker/owner Dimitri Kalkounis has 19 years of corporate and IT leadership experience and strengthens his brokerage through his entrepreneur mentoring programs, says Aventure president Bernie Vogt. Blue Door Realty Group delivers residential, new construction and commercial services to its markets. KB Realty in Kingston, Ont. has also joined the network. Broker/owner Wendy Hay has a successful background in sales, marketing and customer service, says Vogt. The company delivers a full suite of residential, commercial, recreational and military transfer services to the Kingston and area market. The network of independent brokerages now has 54 member companies and nearly 3,000 sales professionals. REM

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Real Estate Council of Alberta suspends Royal LePage Innovate and Paul Seib Royal LePage says it terminated its relationship with the brokerage before the RECA suspension was issued. By Tony Palermo

Cover photo: ELIJAH SHARK

to ensure consumer clients receive a high level of service” but would not elaborate on what specific obligations the brokerage failed to meet. Royal LePage Innovate was operated by the husband-wife team of Paul Seib and Dione Irwin, who appeared in an Aug. 25, 2016, REM article announcing their return to Royal LePage. The article reported that Royal LePage Innovate was the most productive brokerage on a per-agent basis in Airdrie, located just north of Calgary and with a population of just over 61,000. A search of RECA’s online Public Licence Search database shows that Seib had been registered to trade in real estate since Dec. 5, 2008 until his recent suspension. Calls to Seib by REM were not returned. Irwin, who is still in good standing with the regulator, is now associated with Calgary-based Re/Max House of Real Estate. When contacted by REM, Irwin declined to provide a comment. Ron Jobbagy is a former Royal LePage Innovate agent who was affected by the suspension. Jobbagy, who now operates with Re/Max Rocky View in Airdrie, says he and his partner are out one deal – not a huge problem, he says. More concerning to him, however, is the lack of communication and information surrounding the suspension. “Our only concern is the lack

of response from anyone from RLP corporate or the previous brokerage owners,” says Jobbagy, adding that there has been “a complete lack of response” from any industry authority. When asked if there were any signs of problems with the brokerage, Jobbagy said about two weeks prior to the suspension, it appeared most of the agents and one of the owners transferred over to a Re/Max office. “This was certainly a sign of the (Royal LePage Innovate) office closing, but not a sign that would

brokers when they face distress. “An example of this would be those affected by the Fort McMurray fires,” said Gardiner, adding that “confidential assistance may be provided to agents impacted by the closing of the (Royal LePage Innovate) brokerage.” Douey says that he believed there were two other brokerages suspended by RECA within the last five years, adding “brokerage suspensions are much rarer than individual suspensions of the broker or of associates.”

The Alberta Real Estate Association plans to introduce a commission protection insurance product by the end of the year. leave us to believe anyone would be left high and dry,” he says. Gardiner told REM that Royal LePage Innovate had 14 agents at its peak – fewer when terminated – and that all of the affected agents have found new brokerages to work with. While she could not comment about any lost agent commissions, Gardiner said Royal LePage may confidentially assist agents and



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In an Aug. 29, 2016 REM article titled Former Royal LePage Foothills agent warns all commissions are at risk, top-producing agent Kirby Cox told REM he was out over $275,000 after long-time broker Ted Zaharko ran into financial problems and closed all six of his offices. Only months later, Discover Real Estate, an even larger brokerage that had offices in Calgary,

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

Phone: 416.425.3504 REM is published 12 times a year. It is an independently owned and operated company and is not affiliated with any real estate association, board or company. REM is distributed across Canada by leading real estate boards and by direct delivery in selected areas. For subscription information, email Entire contents copyright 2019 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. 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 complies fully with the CREA’s Trademark Policy (section ISSN 1201-1223

Edmonton, Red Deer and Strathmore, told its nearly 400 agents that they would have to find work with another brokerage. It was reported at the time that several agents who were owed commissions had started legal proceedings in an attempt to recover their money. Alberta’s real estate industry leaders, including the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), took notice and came together to form the At-Risk Commissions Working Group. Their goal was simple: to address how to better protect Realtors’ commissions. “Agents’ livelihoods depend on their commissions and they shouldn’t be jeopardized in this manner,” said then AREA CEO Ian Burns. “I think (the At-Risk Commissions Working Group members) are all in agreement though that we’re working together to find a solution because we all believe something is required.” Three years later, Alberta Realtors’ commissions are still at risk but according to current AREA CEO Brad Mitchell, that will soon be changing. “The AREA membership voted in October 2018 in favour of developing a commission protection insurance product,” says Mitchell. “That product is currently under development and is on track to be rolled out as an AREA member service by the end of 2019, at no additional cost to members.” REM

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he Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) has suspended the real estate license of Paul Seib for refusing to co-operate with one of its investigations. The regulator had previously suspended the license of his brokerage, Dione Irwin Real Estate, operating as Royal LePage Innovate in Airdrie. In a June 20 news release, RECA said it suspended the brokerage’s license under Section 35(2)(c) of the Real Estate Act, which allows the regulator to do so if it receives information that the broker is no long able to perform their duties and responsibilities as outlined in the act’s rules. Specific details on why the brokerage suspension was issued remain under wraps, but RECA communications and connections manager Bryan Douey says, “This is usually because either the broker is incapacitated in some way, or the broker is in some way being interfered with and being actively prevented from their duties.” Royal LePage communications director Sarah Louise Gardiner told REM that Royal LePage terminated its relationship with the brokerage before the RECA suspension was issued. “The former broker/owner was terminated by Royal LePage for failing to meet his obligations,” said Gardiner in an email to REM. She says that independent Royal LePage brokerages must meet the contractual obligations “designed

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One MLS system to serve 22 boards

When the system goes live it will serve more than 13,000 Realtors across Ontario. By Sohini Bhattacharya


e talk about disruptors in the industry, but if you’ve been around in the industry long enough, you realize that the greatest disruptors are our members themselves,” says Bill Duce, executive officer of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors. Duce was part of the team that recently co-ordinated an agreement between two regional real estate MLS systems in Ontario. In January, the Ontario Collective (OC) – representing more than 5,000 Realtors and comprising 12 boards and associations – and the Ontario Regional Technology & Information Systems (ORTIS), representing 8,500 regional Realtors and 10 boards, signed a transition agreement to combine their two separate MLS systems into one comprehensive regional one. Technically not a merger, it will allow members of all the boards to access listings across the system. It is projected to go live in the first quarter of 2020. “Our members do the same job, they have the same needs, the same wants, the same concerns that are keeping them awake at night,” says Duce, adding that with ORTIS and OC joining hands, their members are better served collectively than they

would be individually. “It’s that whole concept of we smarter than me,” he says. More than a year ago, the groups came to the realization that Realtors and consumers were doing most of their real estate research online and that “the access to data had blown way beyond what anybody thought it would be,” says Kati Strickland, project manager of the OC. With each of the 22 partner associations having their own history, maintaining a singular vision and managing their expectations has been, so far, the greatest project hurdle for ORTIS and OC. “It’s like going out with a group of friends and agreeing to have dinner, but then deciding where exactly to eat in order to accommodate everyone’s diet and preferences,” says Duce. While correcting legacy issues inherited through years of data duplication, directors of ORTIS and OC remain mindful that the transition project “isn’t just about giving our members what they had before but with more data, but also enhancing the quality and amount of services in order to support brokers’ and salespeoples’ ability to be competitive in the current and future real estate landscape,” says Duce. On the technical side of the operation, the biggest challenges

Bill Duce

Brad Johnstone

Steve Dickie

were to ensure that the “database fields and selections captured the diverse needs of all 22 of the associations involved,” says Steve Francis, vice president of information services at ORTIS. One of the goals was mapping to the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) standard to provide users a superior interface with the data from IDX, websites, apps and other marketing technology. Albeit tedious, Francis adds that it was “a necessity, since doing so ensured we future-proofed the system and designed a database that will directly benefit the members and consumers.” With the transition to an integrated MLS well underway, ORTIS and the OC have launched IntraMatrix, a system that allows Realtors of both groups to access each other’s

data. The only drawback is that it’s not one database. The advantage, says ORTIS chair Brad Johnstone, is that members now have access to all the data that, in the past, they could access only as members of multiple boards. “As an interim measure, it’s very positive. The goal will be when we go live on our new system, that duplication will be removed and Realtors and consumers will have one complete database,” says Johnstone. Recognizing that Realtors will have a learning curve to adjust to the new and integrated MLS system, Johnstone foresees online and townhall meetings, along with live training sessions for their members, to ensure they have a full understanding of how to work with the changed system. Allaying fears that some members might have of losing

their autonomy, Steve Dickie, chair of the OC says, “In any board you’ll have agents who work in the interior of that geography and from their perspective, that may not affect them very much, but it’s mostly the agents who work on the borderlands of the board who’ve, in the past, been forced to belong in two or three or multiple boards to get at the data. Now they don’t have to do that.” The integrated MLS system is set to work equally well across all types of properties with greater focus on commercial and waterfront properties. “There are certain boards that are more recreational, more waterfront, commercial or industrial. But by ORTIS and the OC coming together, we’re taking the best of everybody’s input and building a better system,” says REM Johnstone.

Toronto’s LTT: A brief history

By Bill Johnston


ntil April 1974, Ontario didn’t have a land transfer tax. Then our (Conservative) government of the day gently introduced LTT to property buyers. April 10, 1974: 0.3 per cent up to $35,000 and 0.6 per cent on the balance; Average house price was

$52,806 ; Average LTT was $211.84 Five years later, it got worse. April 11, 1979: 0.4 per cent up to $45,000, 0.8 per cent on the balance; Average house price was $70,830; Average LTT was $386.64 Seven years later, it got worse. Jan. 1, 1986: 0.5 per cent up to $55,000, one per cent on the next $195,000 and 1.5 per cent on the balance; Average house price was $138,925; Average LTT was $1,114.25 Three and one-half years later, it got worse. June 1, 1989: 0.5 per cent on the first $55,000, one per cent on

the next $195,000, 1.5 per cent on the next $150,000 and two per cent on the balance; Average house price was $273,698; Average LTT was $2,580.47 Nineteen years later, it got far worse for Torontonians. Spring 2008: In addition to the provincial LTT, Toronto home buyers were saddled with the Municipal LTT: 0.5 per cent on the first $55,000, one per cent on the next $345,000 and two per cent on the balance; Average house price was $379,347; Average LTT was $7,683.68 Nine years later, it got worse for

some Torontonians. March 2017: 2.5 per cent on the portion of purchase price over $2 million Today, Toronto has by far the highest land transfer tax rates in Canada. Ball-parking the average home price today of $700,000, the average LTT is $20,200! So, while average prices have gone up 1,325 per cent since 1974, LTT has gone up 9,528 per cent! That is seven times faster than house prices. Keep in mind that home buyers get absolutely no benefit from paying the tax. It is simply a cash grab

at a time when buyers typically are under the financial pressure that accompanies a move. Remember too that buyers are paying the tax in after-income-tax dollars, as is the case with HST, and gas and liquor taxes. Generally speaking, property taxes should be levied equally on the beneficiaries of municipal and provincial services. Land transfer tax is a windfall for the city and the provincial government with absolutely no benefit to the buyer who pays it. Bill Johnston is manager of Bosley’s Merton office and legal counsel for the firm. He is a past-president of the Toronto Real Estate Board and currently is a director of the Real Estate Council of Ontario. REM

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Online tech fuels Search Realty growth

Lead generation is what makes or breaks an agent’s business, says Search Realty founder Sterling Wong. His firm puts an intense focus on online lead generation and search engine marketing. By Susan Doran


f drama sells, I’ve got lots,” says Sterling Wong, founder of emerging trail-blazing brokerage Search Realty, an industry technology pioneer. Wong doesn’t elaborate much on this intriguing statement, other than to explain that he was born with a cleft lip and palate and spent much of his childhood undergoing corrective surgeries at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. On the plus side, this motivated him to give back to the medical community, with one per cent of the majority of Search Realty commissions being donated to the hospital. But there have also been lingering effects that he believes continue to hold him back, despite the success of the surgeries. “I don’t like to be in the spotlight. I’m not comfortable in front of cameras, or public speaking,” says Wong. “It’s a disadvantage.” His wife is adamant that it’s time he got over it, he adds. If practise does indeed make perfect, his wife will likely get her wish. Wong and Search Realty have increasingly been attracting media and industry attention since the brokerage’s inception in 2012. Under Wong’s leadership as broker of record, and with the arsenal of websites and online technology tools he’s developed, the Mississauga-based brokerage has grown to include six offices in southern Ontario and 225 agents. Wong – who had trouble getting a job after graduating college and spent several years flipping burgers – has created a successful business model. Last year Search Realty was ranked among the fastest growing companies in Canada

on the Canadian Business and Maclean’s magazine Growth 500 list. Rated on five-year revenue growth, it’s a mark of impressive entrepreneurial achievement. Search Realty made the list thanks to its five-year revenue growth of a staggering 1,942 per cent.

determinants such as location. The system will then deploy ads on various search engines based on the specified details. In a nutshell, you create an order and the software then disperses ads across the web and starts delivering leads to your inbox (reputedly within one day).

Search Realty puts an intense focus on online lead generation and search engine marketing. Lead generation is what makes or breaks an agent’s business, Wong says. Well aware that the vast majority of home buyers now start their search online, he feels that the recognition he and his company are receiving “underlines how effective our Leads on Demand system is for generating consistent, quality leads for agents.”

This can save time, money and energy for both the brokerage (more automation means less staff) and agents. It has the potential to free up agents’ time so they can forgo traditional marketing techniques like handing out flyers and door knocking, and instead focus on servicing clients, says Wong. This is a big advantage in an industry where the majority of real estate agents are uncertain of where their next deal will come from.

Leads on Demand is the patent-pending, lead-generation custom software platform developed by Wong over a period of many years. (“I knew I was on to something.”) It started to germinate even back before he founded Search Realty, when he was with a different brokerage, keeping a keen eye on an agent he now refers to as “the king of the internet”. Designed to automate, leverage and manage real estate lead generation, Leads on Demand comes up with multiple types of leads for agents anywhere, in any language and in any price range. Wong says “keyword tuning” is used to pinpoint high-quality leads. You don’t need to be tech savvy to navigate the system, he says. Search Realty agents first log in and enter the number of leads they are looking for (having predetermined the income they wish to achieve) along with the

Agents put in orders for leads, which can be paid or free, Wong says. “Everything in our system is based on leads.” For example, a Search Realty agent referring a new sales rep to the brokerage will be given 25 free leads, he says. And new agents get 100 free leads right out of the starting gate. Although Search Realty offers agents a range of digital marketing solutions, Wong says that Leads on Demand is the brokerage’s most popular product and has gained nationwide attention. “It’s a system I’ve never seen anywhere else,” he says. He’s currently in the midst of spinning the platform off into a separate business/brokerage. “That way, I can provide it to agents North America wide, instead of just Search Realty agents,” he says. Wong believes that his software provides more accurate

Sterling Wong (Photo by Elijah Shark)

and exclusive information than other lead generation systems, most of which in his opinion have not caught up yet. He feels he has an edge due to having developed his entire business through search engine marketing. “A lot goes on that no one knows about. We see the end results. The tech companies don’t,” he says. “People say, ‘Get Facebook leads – it’s cheaper.’ But we get more qualified buyers.” But he is keeping an eye on Facebook for other reasons. He says, “If Facebook or Google were to get into our industry, we’d be toast. Who else is going to come up with those numbers in search results?” Also fuelling Search Realty’s success is the internet presence the brokerage has created, with

an abundance of websites (“too many to count,” says Wong) and potentially 30,000 new website visitors monthly. A supportive workplace can’t be hurting either; the brokerage recently received certification from Great Place to Work, a global authority on positive workplace cultures. And in the same location as Search Realty is Wong’s own mortgage brokerage, Search Mortgage Corp., offering one-stop financing options. Wong recalls starting out in the real estate business 12 years ago with no capital or database. Now he has plans to franchise across the country and even into the United States. “There are 100,000 real estate agents in Canada and two million in the U.S. That’s a big difference,” he says, ever the enterprising entrepreneur. REM


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FRANCIS LAVOIE Montreal, QC “This system made me a Millionaire by the time I was 26 years old� “In 2010, using the Craig Proctor System, I earned over $1 Million Dollars GCI. I was only 26 years old at the time. Every single year since then, I’ve achieved over $1 Million Dollars in GCI, hitting $2 Million GCI in 2015 and $2.9 Million dollars in GCI last year with over 400 transactions.�

SANDY CASELLA Burlington, ON “After 24 years of not being able to break $150k, I’ve tripled my business and will hit $1 Million in the next couple of years� “After 24 years in the business I’d hit a ceiling of $150k. I was tired, burnt out and ready to quit. Last year our team did $400k and our target is $1 Million in the next two years. I got involved with Craig’s system because I felt it would help me generate more leads and build a business, but it’s given me so much more than that: association with the most successful agents on the continent who have become my friends, the freedom to travel, the peace of mind that comes with consistent and predictable business growth and so much more.�

“After 29 years of living just over broke in this business, we found the Craig Proctor System which was like a sudden magic carpet ride to success. Within 28 months, our income consistently escalated from $171,561.23 to $530,008.86 to $1,011,794.30. Utilizing the amazing systems given to us, we inexpensively generate 300 to 500 leads monthly. My dad taught me to constantly be asking, ‘how can I turn my yearly income into my monthly income?’ Craig has given me a turnkey business system to do that and more.�

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long to see the consequences of that decision. My business had zero structure, was stagnant in growth and I was exhausted and fed-up. In 2014, I came back !" to $500,000 in GCI. Over the next 36 months we jumped from under $100k to over $1 Million in GCI. Craig Proctor has paved the path for so many agents, and because of his system I’ve been able to start my own brokerage. We’re on pace this year for $2 Million GCI. As Craig says, copy and you’ll succeed. I’m living proof that this is possible.�


“Within 3 years of using Craig’s system, I was making annual GCI of $6.6 Million�

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Online marketing a ‘game changer’ Jas Takhar says, “My brand equity has shot through the roof” since he switched from traditional to online marketing By Danny Kucharsky n any given week, Jas Takhar may be posting a video about a $14-million US penthouse condo at Hudson Yards in New York City, a podcast about wine or a meaningful Instagram quote. The co-founder and managing partner of Don Mills, Ont.-based REC Canada abandoned traditional advertising for online content a bit over a year ago and has not looked back. Providing a regular stream of content everywhere from YouTube to Spotify has been a game changer, he says. “My brand equity has shot through the roof,” Takhar says. “Most people who meet with me now have done a little bit of a digital dive into me and they’re coming with open arms. I’m spending no time on telling them who I am and what I do. The credibility speaks for itself.” He says about four or five people a day discover him through his online content “that didn’t know me from Adam before they saw a video or a podcast and said, ‘Can we meet and have a coffee?’” “I’m no longer selling; I’m allowing people to find what I really do.” At REC, which he co-founded


Canadians honoured on Coldwell Banker 30 Under 30 list The Coldwell Banker global organization recently unveiled its annual list of top affiliated real estate professionals under the age of 30 who have achieved success in sales, philanthropy and leadership, including three honorees from Canada. They are Paige Cyr of Coldwell

about 15 years ago, Takhar manages a team of 32 Realtors that does about 650 transactions annually and he’s involved in about 120 of them. REC – which stands for Real Estate Centre – operates under the Royal LePage Signature banner. Takhar decided to stop putting his marketing dollars in traditional media like billboards and TV because “I just don’t think anyone’s attention is there anymore.” He says people’s attention is now on videos, podcasts and social media in general and he wants to be where people’s eyes and ears are. “By me doing a video, I’m able to have content and content is king right now. Whoever is producing content from an educational or entertainment perspective is either winning now or will win in the future.” About six months into his online content venture, Takhar hired a full-time media team, which includes a videographer, copywriter and graphic artist. Not only does having a media team allow him to spend more time selling and meeting with clients, but it helps him attract bigger-name guests. “I knew that to get more high-

Banker Fort McMurray, Fort McMurray, Alta.; Stephen Jacyk of Coldwell Banker Park Avenue Real Estate in Beausejour, Man.; and Chantal Varcoe of Coldwell Banker Ronan Realty in Alliston, Ont. Already earning national honours, Paige Cyr was named Canada’s Rookie of the Year for 2018 with 39 transactions. She earned her license and joined Coldwell Banker in 2017 after moving cross country to start a new life. Beginning her real estate

profile guests, they needed to take me a little bit more seriously, and equipment would help in that perspective.” Guests are now taped in a full-blown studio that Takhar built in his office. Guests have ranged from the Los Angeles stars of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing and Scott McGillivray of HGTV’s Income Property to Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper. But Takhar doesn’t just talk to high-level businesspeople and TV stars. He’ll post content on people launching a bakery, clothing store or gym about the ups and downs they’re going through. By transferring his marketing spend to the internet, Takhar is spending about 25 per cent more than he used to spend on traditional advertising, but “it’s been the biggest game changer in my 15-year real estate career.” Takhar, who was initially uncomfortable with video content, launched a YouTube page in January called the REC Experience Podcast and now posts videos on a consistent basis. As of early August, the videos had more than 30,000 views and about 620 subscribers, numbers he is in the

process of building upon. Video gives him the opportunity to get much more content, he says. “What video allows me to do is rip the audio and also take still images and do some quote overlays and also write a longform blog.” Takhar believes in providing a large amount of content online. “Out of the quantity will come quality,” he says. Although much of the online content focuses on real estate, Takhar also has a strong interest in putting the spotlight on entrepreneurs and leaders in other fields. Some of the podcasts teach people how to sell their own home “because I know that less than two per cent of the marketplace will do it. And if I’m the guy who’s giving the information and being authentic about it, and not caring if they use me, they generally come back.” It doesn’t make sense for Realtors to act like gatekeepers and hide that information, since it’s all online, he adds. Many people ask Takhar how they can get started with online content. Find out what you’re most comfortable with – whether it’s videos, audio or the written word, he advises them.

career in a community where no one knew her was a challenge, the company says. Cyr saw an opportunity in Facebook community buy and sell groups that was not being used by her competition and used it to launch her career. She volunteers for causes such as the Youth Football League, Boys & Girls Club events, and has placed adoptable dogs through appearances at her open houses. Stephen Jacyk, 22, is the youngest of the honorees. He sold 32 units and was ranked among the top 10 per cent in Manitoba in his first year in the business. The company says he believes key factors in his success are that he treats every listing like it’s a million-dollar listing with full marketing support and is direct when dealing with unrealistic expectations. Chantal Varcoe comes from a

farming background. She saw the value of investing in land from an early age, which later sparked her interest in a real estate career. She offers useful information for buyers and sellers on all social media platforms, including market updates, homeowner tips and video interviews with local experts such as mortgage brokers, home inspectors and stagers. The positive feedback she has earned on social media platforms has generated many leads and new clients, the company says.

Paige Cyr

Jas Takhar

“Someone will say ‘I’m a little bit of an introvert; I don’t like the camera. I get shy and I get scared.’ But you might be okay on a phone call and a podcast is phenomenal for that because it acts like a phone call. ‘Others may say, ‘I don’t want anybody to hear my voice.’ No problem. Write about it.” Videos are “the mother ship” of all three possibilities because you can get podcasts and blog content from it. He notes people starting out have no need for fancy equipment – a smartphone is all that’s needed to record video and audio. Takhar urges people who are hesitating to “get over yourself” and just get started with online content. “I was scared too because I have a stutter sometimes – I just had to get over it and when I did it just became very freeing to me. The opportunities that have come my way, I couldn’t have even REM dreamed about them.” Varcoe actively participates in her brokerage’s many charity fundraisers and community events. The Coldwell Banker 30 Under 30 were chosen from the brand’s network of over 92,000 independent real estate professionals affiliated with approximately 3,100 offices in 44 countries and territories. The company’s founders, Colbert Coldwell and Arthur Banker, started their company at 24- and 28-years-old, respectively.

Stephen Jacyk


Chantal Varcoe


Offer negotiation: Commission accomplished By Ross Wilson “Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one.” - Baltasar Gracian n this sixth column of the offer negotiation series, let’s continue with the strategy for the counter-offer. Before proceeding, for continuity purposes, you might wish to review the last column. If the buyer agent readily agrees to the initial verbal counter-offer proposal of the primary price and closing date, make the changes on the offer and proceed to the initialling and signing in a methodical manner. The buyer agent can double-check the changes and initials. The buyer agent may not oppose your seller’s primary terms,


however, for a couple of reasons. They either believe their client will accept them, lack sufficient skill and experience to effectively handle the situation (they’re just order-takers) or they don’t care about getting the best terms for their client. If you suspect a lack of skill, to hopefully prevent a further counter-counter offer from the buyer and to save everyone a lot of time and effort, here’s what you can do. Prior to making the changes on the offer, suggest the buyer agent call their client to seek verbal approval of the proposed terms. On the other hand, if your gut instinct tells you the terms may be acceptable to the buyer, be quiet and proceed with the formal signback. If the buyer agent is an experienced negotiator, they may attempt to convince your seller to counter at a lower price or with a closing date more acceptable to

their buyer. If they sufficiently press the issue, keeping in mind the concept of give and take, with a nod from your seller, you can agree to counter at your seller’s secondary price, closing date or both. Chances are you’ll have just made a sale. The buyer’s agent will often enthusiastically agree to present a counter-offer to their buyer with the lower secondary price and/or closing date because they believe they’ve successfully negotiated better terms for their client. They return to their buyer in the belief that they successfully convinced the seller to cave – and that they’ll be perceived as a hero. They can boast that, in exchange for negotiating the price down from your seller’s primary amount, they saved them some money or got their preferred closing date. The agent’s enthusiastic energy usually generates acceptance. If the buyer refuses to accept the secondary price, maybe your

seller’s expectations are unrealistic – or the buyer’s are. Your seller may need guidance to objectively reevaluate their property. If the market fails to give them their dream price, they mustn’t blame you. If the market disagrees with their lofty and patently subjective estimate of value, they must accept that the market doesn’t lie. They may have to adjust their expectations and reduce the asking price – or prepare themselves for no sale. When all else fails, maybe that buyer wasn’t meant to be the next owner of your seller’s house. Unless it’s a strong sellers’ market, making unreasonable demands usually proves disastrous. The same holds true for the opposite case in a buyers’ market. During normal balanced conditions, however, it’s give and take by both sides, like a gentle waltz. The key word is not to demand, but to negotiate. A successfully negotiated APS is usually a balanced one, a fair

exchange scenario. In practice, unless duress or competitiveness due to market conditions is involved, a seller rarely gets exactly what they want, nor does a buyer usually obtain their perfect terms. Having said this, seller markets make very happy sellers and buyer markets the opposite. This series on the offer presentation continues next month. Stay tuned for more on what can happen next, and how to effectively deal with it. Ross Wilson is a retired real estate broker with extensive experience as a brokerage owner, manager, trainer and mentor over a highly successful 44-year career. His book, The Happy Agent – Finding Harmony with a Thriving Realty Career and an Enriched Personal Life is available where print and e-books are sold, including the TREB, MREB, RAHB and OMDREB stores. For more details, visit REM

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How to dominate Twitter Listen, add value and engage


hen looking to up your social media game, consider using Twitter to make an impact. There are 326 million people on Twitter and more than 500 million tweets are sent every day. That’s almost 6,000 tweets a second! The trick to getting leads on Twitter is to connect with others and offer value to them. Think interactive and conversational. Providing value on Twitter is something Steve Saretsky knows well. A sales representative with Sutton West Coast Broadway Realty in Vancouver, Saretsky has more than 9,000 Twitter followers and 22,200 tweets. “Ask yourself what people would find interesting. Put out interesting content with a specific and consistent focus that your audience would find relevant. Twitter should not be used with the mindset of ‘how do I generate business or sales’. Instead, you should have the mindset of ‘how can I bring someone value’ and by doing so, the business will naturally follow,” says Saretsky. “Think of Twitter as the water cooler of social media; it is designed to have relevant and engaging conversations with friends.” Using Twitter correctly can result in an increase of traffic to your real estate website. To be effective, it is vital that you listen and be engaged. Getting on the platform and spouting only information about yourself and your listings

Steve Saretsky

By Toby Welch

isn’t going to take you very far. Not only is it vital that you tweet regularly and re-tweet valuable posts, but consider hosting regular group chats and take polls. People love when you ask them questions. To get conversations going, @ Tweet people. But don’t push them; tread slowly as if you were starting a conversation in person. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and inject humour into your tweeting. Real estate is ultimately a people business, so show your human side. John Pasalis, president and broker of record with Realosophy Realty in Toronto, has more than 5,300 followers on Twitter. “I would say that the key thing is saying something that is interesting and relevant – regardless of if it is positive or negative – about the housing market. People want to follow someone whose views are honest and transparent. What you should not do is talk about why it’s always a great time to buy real estate and why you’re the No. 1 Realtor in the city.” When on the site, it is to your advantage to post newsworthy items. Twitter did a study and found that 71 per cent of people who use Twitter read news on the site. Also, when posting things, use visuals whenever possible because that draws people in more than just words, leading to up to five times more engagement. Even better, use videos in some of your tweets.

John Pasalis

Twitter did a study on video tweets and found that those tweets attracted 10 times as much engagement as traditional word tweets. What not to do on Twitter is as important as what to do. If you are going to join the Twitter universe, you need to interact regularly or else don’t waste your time. Don’t just post about yourself. No one wants to see an endless onslaught of listings and open houses. Hashtags are valuable but don’t go overboard with them. Use two or three per tweet, tops. Avoid creating your own hashtags because they may not be picked up; stick with established ones. Until you have a handle on how Twitter works, consider using the 80/20 principle: make 80 per cent of your posts informative and the other 20 per cent about yourself and what you do. Deborah Rhodes has almost 20,000 Twitter followers and 55,000 tweets. The sales representative with Royal LePage Peifer Realty in Chatham, Ont. explains her game plan: “Great content is key to being successful on Twitter. I have been sharing helpful blogs on Twitter for over four years. During that time, I have had the opportunity to develop a strong online network of local residents, businesses and Realtors from around the globe. This network has played a significant role in assisting me to build my followers, grow my

Deborah Rhodes

reach and drive traffic to my website as well as other social platforms.” None of us have unlimited hours in the day to be on social media, so follow some real estate greats to get the biggest impact for your Twitter time. Here are a few that real estate influencers recommend: ´ REM: Real Estate Magazine – This isn’t a shameless plug. @ REM_Online has almost 29,000 followers and keeps Canadians in the know about all the goingson across the country regarding real estate news and those in the industry. ´ Chris Smith – This cofounder of Curaytor, a digital marketing and sales company, posts regular, entertaining and timely information for agents and his 38,000 followers at @ chris_smth. ´ Candace Taylor – This reporter for the real estate

Glen Tosh

section of The Wall Street Journal posts information that you may find valuable. Join her nearly 8,000 followers at @CandaceETaylor. Following real estate powerhouses that provide beneficial content will help grow your Twitter stratosphere. Glen Tosh, a sales representative and partner with Royal LePage Martin Liberty Realty in Brandon, Man., who has nearly 1,300 Twitter followers, leaves us with some final thoughts: “Social media is becoming or has become a very important piece of real estate marketing. There are many different social media channels to get involved in but you have to work the channel that you enjoy being a part of. If you don’t enjoy using it, it will become a chore and you won’t provide relevant content to your followers. I also believe it can’t be all business all the time. You need to share what’s happening in your personal life as well as share other articles and pieces that you think your followers might enjoy.” Facebook may be the go-to social media website for most agents and brokers but don’t discount the power of Twitter. REM


The big “T” word and its impact on the industry The following is paid, promotional content.

By Christopher Alexander Most of the time real estate agents have a love/hate relationship with technology. We know it’s a necessity, but sometimes we forget the value of simplicity. My most recent column in REM hailed the importance of getting back to basics and being mindful that real estate is a “people” business. But let’s not downplay the importance of technology too quickly. Instead, let’s learn how to harness it, to make our jobs easier and our work better. It wasn’t that long ago that a telephone (a land-line, no less!), a scanner/printer and a fax machine was all the technology an agent needed to do business. Today’s hustle looks a little different. The use of technology has grown expo-

nentially in the past few years, with today’s tools of the trade being mobile apps, e-signatures, lead generation websites and digital CRMs, which are all now the norm for productive agents. As more agents adapt their methods to keep pace with the expectations and consumption habits of Millennials and soon, Generation Z, you can bet technology will continue to impact how this whole home buying and selling thing is done. The agents who want to stay relevant need to stay on top of tech. Aside from our main objective of helping people buy and sell homes, good real estate agents also need to be skilled at a bevy of other things: marketing (themselves and their listings), finance (again, relating to their clients and their business), lifestyle, geography, economics, building codes, social media and whatever else happens to be trending on a given day. Whether directly or indirectly, this is a day in the life of a real estate agent. And yes, there’s an app for that.

Feeling “booj-y”? Technology has been a touchy subject in the real estate industry, with growing concerns about humans being phased out. But much like the Millennial generation who is behind the whole tech revolution, we should be viewing

tech as a tool to make our business better, our jobs easier and our offerings more tailored to our clients’ needs and wants. In an ambitious move to give the RE/MAX network a competitive edge, RE/MAX LLC acquired award-winning real estate tech firm booj last year. The RE/MAX booj platform will be a full ecosystem of tech products rolling out this year, with tools designed to put precious time back in the hands of agents and allowing them to focus on what really matters – building relationships that help consumers buy and sell homes. It’s about making administrative work easy, intuitive and automatic. Over the past year, booj and RE/MAX have been collecting feedback from our membership and this has directly impacted the tool’s function and functionality. booj officially went live in the USA last month, and it’s only a matter of time until we get our hands on this product north of the border. This is the type of technology we in the industry need to focus on; end-to-end tech that enables agents to better connect, cultivate and guide consumers through the buying and selling process.

The future of the business When it comes to engaging

their clients, there’s no magic pill for real estate agents. Tech or no tech, in order to be successful agents should be looking at ways to maximize their touch-points with clients however they can. Phone calls, email newsletters or a simple “Happy Birthday” text are all ways of staying top of mind. There are lots of tools that can help you make sense of your client database in a way that lets you connect in the right way, at the right time when someone is most likely to buy or sell a home. But even a simple calendar tracking anniversaries and birthdays can help you target your touches. As we look even further into the future, there is no denying that AI will continue to become a deeper part of the everyday life of a consumer. The Google Home and Alexa revolution are making their way into Canada, and retailers and businesses are evolving their advertising and marketing strategies to adapt. As agents, we are no different. Imagine the day your Google alerts you that after months of searching “how to install a pool,” there is a house for sale four doors down with a pool in it, and “would you like to connect to an agent to learn more.” Sounds kind of crazy? But don’t be surprised. The concept of a consumer searching for a house on

their own was once deemed a crazy idea. So, why do the masses love tech? Perhaps answer this question, first: who couldn’t use a little more time, convenience or peace in their life? Then ask yourself, if you aren’t already using technology to make your business better, why not? Successful and sustainable businesses are the ones that adapt well to change, regardless of what happens to be trending on any given day. As an industry we need to embrace technology and be ready to utilize the tools that are being developed around us so we can live up to what the end consumer is simply just expecting. Christopher Alexander is Executive Vice President and Regional Director of RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario-Atlantic Region. Christopher started his career as a Sales Representative at RE/MAX Professionals Inc. in 2010. He then joined the Regional Office as a Franchise Sales Consultant in 2014. Christopher rose through the ranks and is a third-generation RE/MAX leader, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, RE/MAX INTEGRA Co-founder and Chairman Frank Polzler, and his mother, RE/MAX INTEGRA, North America CEO Pamela Alexander.

About RE/MAX INTEGRA and RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario-Atlantic Canada RE/MAX INTEGRA, founded in 1980, is a privately held company by Canadian entrepreneurs. With regional headquarters in Toronto, Boston, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Zug, and Vienna, RE/MAX INTEGRA represents nearly a third of all RE/MAX Sales Associates worldwide. The company was founded on the premise of providing outstanding service and support both at the regional level and to the end consumer. The Ontario-Atlantic Canada region has surpassed 10,000 quality Associates; The US regions — New England and the Midwest (including the following states: Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana) – account for more than 6,500 Associates with over 2,600 and 3,800 Associates respectively; and the European region leads with more than 16,000 Associates. For more information about RE/MAX INTEGRA, visit


Old warehouses in demand for movie and tv shoots By Connie Adair


aw warehouse space is a movie, television and music video location staple. But these vintage spaces are getting harder to find as buildings are demolished, redeveloped or converted into condominiums. Two historic Hamilton, Ont. buildings are on the way to being converted into lofts by Stinson Properties, but before they are, production companies are flocking to film there. “The kind of space we have is what (film) people are looking for,” says Peter Scott, director of

ple backdrops at the same place. Gibson School on Barton Street East offers exposed brick walls and high ceilings. It also has lots of parking for production vehicles. The downtown location of both is close to amenities, including restaurants, and has easy access to highways. Locations managers hear about the buildings through word of mouth, or see details on the Stinson Properties website, says Scott, who joined the small team

Hamilton is also easier to get around than larger urban centres, and tax credits are also beneficial to productions. Renting the otherwise empty buildings brings in extra revenue. “It’s a good match for us,” Scott says. In fact, “we will keep some space for filming.” The list of productions shot in the two buildings includes Murdoch Mysteries, Titans, 12 Monkeys, Slasher, Frankie Drake and a number of music videos. Scott says you have to be flex-

Renting the otherwise empty buildings for movie and tv shoots brings in extra revenue.

Scott suggests getting to know location managers because once they know about a good location, they’ll keep coming back. business development, who manages the two buildings on behalf of Stinson. The former Cannon Knitting Mills building on Mary Street offers more than 110,000 square feet. It was built in the mid 1800s and was an iron foundry, then a cotton mill. It was functional until about a dozen years ago, Scott says. “The massive building has a New York 1970s warehouse look.” The property has multiple buildings that all look different, which is a bonus for production companies looking to shoot multi-

Peter Scott

Several television shows and music videos have been shot in the Hamilton warehouses.

three years ago after working as a production manager with Canada Post’s retail operations. He says the Hamilton film business continues to grow. Demand for the two Stinson buildings is strong, Scott says. “Just yesterday four different productions came in to see the space.” Finding raw warehouse space isn’t easy. “It doesn’t exist in Toronto, where buildings have been redeveloped, torn down or converted into condos.”

ible in availability because filming works around the clock but it’s a good opportunity for owners whose buildings might otherwise sit empty. Properties can be registered on a film locations list with the local municipality’s film office. Scott also suggests getting to know location managers because once they know about a good location, they’ll keep coming back. “We love working with the industry,” he says. The film industry component

came about by chance, but Harry Stinson is not new to the world of entertainment. In the past he has co-produced festivals and major concerts that included such artists as Harry Chapin, George Thorogood and Dire Straits. Stinson was also among the first to create residential lofts in unusual spaces, including the conversion of the former Ce De Candy Co. (maker of Rockets) factory. The Candy Factory Lofts is one of the earliest hard loft con-

versions in Toronto. Scott is project managing Gibson Loft Rentals, which will include construction of a tower and underground parking at one end of the site and a retail component, commercial space and space for filming in another. The project will be completed in phases. It is four blocks from the James Street North area and will suit creative buyers looking for a vibrant place to live. “It will be a dynamic building with lots of things going on at once. It will be a fun building,” Scott says. The former knitting mill, which will be known as Beasley Park Lofts, will offer suites with open space, exposed brick, large windows, a bathroom and a modern kitchen. In 2018, 811 film permits were issued, with direct spending of just under $60 million, according to REM Hamilton’s film office.

Imagine being able to start dreaming up, building collaboratively and daring to be more than just another broker.

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22 REM SEPTEMBER 2019 ■ ■ ■


he FIABCI 70th World Congress was held recently in Moscow with the theme “Digital Age of Real Estate” covering the application of blockchain and cryptocurrency in real estate financing. Led by Ontario-based chapter president-elect Aziz Kanjee, the Canadian delegation included directors Margaret Liu and Maria Belkoleva. Kanjee, who has previously served as both a provincial director and board president, was recently elected as vicepresident of the Americas Region. Prior to the World Congress, Kanjee and Belkoleva participated in a Ukraine trade and investment mission in Kiev. Kanjee says Ukraine is a rapidly developing Eastern European country, with construction booming in Kiev. He says there was considerable interest expressed in investing in fiscally sound countries such as Canada. He is proposing a two-way trade familiarization exchange with FIABCI-Ukraine next May, open to developers, architects, investors, government officials, property managers and Realtors. FIABCI, the International

Real Estate Federation, helps members acquire knowledge, develop networks and optimise business opportunities all over the world. ■ ■ ■

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) has appointed George Greenwood as its new CEO. With an MBA from Dalhousie, a Bachelor of Technology in Management from BCIT and designations of Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Planner, Greenwood brings a skill set that includes strategy, finance, operations and human resources, says the board in a news release. “This is an exciting time for OMREB, and we are confident that George’s highly collaborative approach and strong focus on members will move us even further along the road to becoming a stronger, more effective organization,” says OMREB president Michael Loewen. Greenwood takes office on Sept. 3.

The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) is now providing each of its 10,500 members with a subscription to the LifeLine Response safety application. The association says a recent event in Calgary highlighted the need for further member safety support. In June, a female sales rep was sexually assaulted during an open house. The association also says recent technology improvements have addressed the shortcomings of earlier safety applications. It says in a news release, “Following extensive research, AREA is confident that LifeLine Response – a premier mobile safety application for iPhone and Android users – will provide Realtors with an extra layer of protection. The safety app will allow Realtors to alert their personal support network or summon emergency responders to their GPS location. The application also allows its users to view threat notifications in their area, increasing their situational awareness while on the job.” Member subscriptions to LifeLine Response are included in membership dues at no additional cost.

the Eastern Ontario region. Held in Brockville with the Rideau-St. Lawrence Real Estate Board, discussions centred around the issue of affordable housing supply, ranging from development requirements between local municipalities to housing options for seniors. “For the first time in our lifetime, home ownership is on the decline in Canada,” says Mike Douglas, chair of OREA’s Government Relations Committee. “We need to keep the

FIABCI’s 70th World Congress was held recently in Moscow. Aziz Kanjee

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Members of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) were recently joined by Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark for a roundtable on housing and real estate in

George Greenwood

Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark joined OREA for discussion on housing and real estate in Eastern Ontario.

Expectations and surprises: A cautionary moving guide By Dan St. Yves


ack in 2006, I had a column appear here entitled The Zen of moving, wherein I suggested that to casual onlookers, our moving caravan may have resembled the semi trailer trucks required to keep Fleetwood Mac out on the road. My wife and I recently moved

again, and at an age where most couples are downsizing and living simpler, it appeared that as far as our moving seemed at least, The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney had joined forces to hit the road with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as an opening act. Okay, so you tend to accumulate a few things after a few dozen years together. As you can imagine, that gap between accumulations and our last move might prove to be a bit more expensive than in earlier years when relocating, especially if you are crossing a

Canadian dream of home ownership alive, which is why we’re pleased to see Minister Steve Clark and his team taking action to make home ownership more affordable with the More Homes, More Choice Act.” OREA says the government’s plan embraces eight of the association’s 10 recommendations, including modernizing zoning rules, reducing red tape, controlling development charges and freeing up surplus government lands for development. REM

few provincial borders. May I humbly submit a few words of caution when it comes to what you might expect with a large load, and a considerable distance to travel when considering hiring professional movers? 1) You have called a few wellknown national moving companies for an estimate and while trying to appear stone-faced and inscrutable, you are nonetheless stunned by said estimates. Should you have been surprised? a) No. The first representative literally pulled a paper lunch bag out of his pocket as he hyper-venti-

lated repeatedly in uncontrollable excitement. “This year’s bonus is gonna be spectacular,” he exclaims. b) Maybe. While appearing nonchalant as she inspects each room for her estimate, the agent keeps muttering “cha-ching” under her breath, followed by a long whistle. c) Yes – while your own wage has somehow progressively rolled back to 1973 levels, how could a national mover charge more than a few hundred dollars for a four-level split and a four-car garage move clear across the country? 2) You have taken great pains

to mark items “fragile” and seek assurances from the agent that these particularly delicate treasures will arrive safely in their new home. Have you done enough to protect these irreplaceable items? a) No. The hired hands are literally bulls fresh from a china shop, assisted by gorillas agitated by something bright and shiny. Your belongings will arrive with a plethora of breaks, bangs and bruises. b) Maybe. Although shouldn’t they have been carrying those boxes out to the van right-side up? c) Ha! Like the post office or a courier, fragile seems to mean “bouncy” in Latin… 3) You decided to pay for the movers to pack your home, as that will make the move-in far easier. Continued on page 34

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Good Works uis Moniz, a sales rep with Century 21 Heritage Group in Bradford, Ont., recently held his annual golf tournament to support Katelynn Fox. Katelynn has a severe form of distal arthrogryposis, known as Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome (FSS). Approximately 100 cases have been reported to date for this rare condition. Characteristics currently impacting Katelynn include club feet, hip dysplasia, windblown hands with joint contracture and low muscle mass affecting her mobility.


A cheque for $22,000 was presented to the Fox family at Century 21 Heritage Group’s Bradford office. The funds will help Katelynn get surgical procedures to correct her feet and hands, aids to keep them in place as she grows and various therapies. “This year was fantastic,” says Moniz. “We had outstanding attendance and support and everyone really enjoyed themselves. It is really humbling to have had so much continued support from the local businesses in our community.”

From left: Eryn Richardson, general manager, C21 Heritage Group; Isabel Sartisson, Bradford office manager and broker of record; Callum Fox; Kimberly Fox; Katelynn Fox; Luis Moniz, sales rep and tournament founder; and Carlos Silva, sales rep and golf tournament co-ordinator. (Photo: Lisa Fedele)

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Sutton Group - Ottawa Realty recently entered a team in HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Volleyball SummerFest, one of the world’s largest volleyball tournaments. Proceeds of all entry fees, individual donations and player pledges benefit Habitat for Humanity, Shelter Movers of Ottawa, Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. The team was in the corporate division, which has an entry fee of $905. “We enjoyed working as a team and meeting like-minded individuals from our community, who were also there to support a great cause,” says Lisa Hughes, executive assistant at Sutton Group - Ottawa Realty. Since its inception, HOPE has donated more than $3.5 million to 110 charities in the Ottawa area.

Royal LePage Triland Realty raised $26,000 for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation at its inaugural Charity Golf Tournament, held recently in Dorchester, Ont. Proceeds were distributed by the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation to emergency shelters for women and children escaping domestic violence in London, St. Thomas and Strathroy. “I’m exceptionally proud of my team in launching what we intend to become an annual fundraiser,” says Royal LePage Triland Realty broker/owner Peter Meyer. “We had a fabulous day together and raised a great deal of funds for a very worthwhile cause.”

From left: Shari Boucher, C21 Colonial Realty client services co-ordinator; Joel Ives, broker/owner; Kim Reddin, Centum Mortgage Partners broker/ owner; and Graham Stewart, C21 Colonial Realty marketing director. Peter MacKenzie and Ed Jensen, broker at Sutton Group – CanWest at the Stampede barbecue.

Welcoming guests at the Royal LePage Triland Realty Charity Golf Tournament are, from left: Matt Young, Branka Young, Peter Meyer and Barbara Meyer.

Several Sutton team members gathered early in the morning to blow up balloons for the Stampede barbecue, including, from left, Melody Zondag, Valerie ter Mors, Zorka Domazet and Doc Watson.

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Sutton Group - Canwest joined in the spirit of the Calgary Stampede again this summer with a Stampede barbecue. Children

lined up to pet mini horses, have their faces painted, play games, jump in a bouncy house and enjoy hotdogs fresh off the grill. Nearly 2,500 people enjoyed Lake Bonavista Promenade’s Stampede BBQ Shindig, which has become a favourite way to open the rodeo for locals as well as many volunteers from Sutton Group - Canwest. The brokerage has taken part in the event for past 12 years. Seventeen volunteers from both Sutton Group - Canwest offices set up for the day, then cooked and served lunch. The annual event is hosted in conjunction with all the vendors and merchants at the Lake Bonavista Promenade. This year, Sutton sponsored the mini horses and provided balloons. ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage brokers in Continued on page 26

Sutton Group - Ottawa Realty participated in the HOPE Volleyball Summerfest event. Stuart Berenhaut, broker/ owner of Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate in Winnipeg, shows off his catch at the Fish for Shelter fundraiser.

Participants from Royal LePage Village at the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Montreal event. Nadia Habib and Vito Campanale of Century 21 First Canadian

Phil Soper (centre) along with Gold Cure Society bandmates play at Shelter Rocks Oakville.



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Good Works Continued from page 24

Winnipeg collaborated on a Fish for Shelter fundraising event in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and local women’s shelter, Willow Place. The inaugural event raised $4,320. It was held on a northwestern Ontario island in Minaki. Guests were treated to a day of guided fishing for walleye, card tournaments and the opportunity to connect with like-minded colleagues. “The generosity and creativity of our Royal LePage family never ceases to amaze me,” says Shanan Spencer-Brown, executive director of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. “The families that seek safety and new beginnings at our shelter partners benefit not only from the funds that are raised at Royal LePage events like these, but also through the awareness that is generated on their behalf.” ■ ■ ■

Recently Century First Canadian in London, Ont. held a gala to raise money for Easter Seals.

Between ticket sales, sponsorships, a 50/50 draw and auction proceeds, the event raised nearly $72,000. The total net donation to send Kids to Camp is $55,842. “Seeing the smiles on kids faces fuels our determination to host this event,” says Vito Campanale, broker of record. “We know how much the families get out of Camp Woodeden, and we’re proud to support them.” ■ ■ ■

Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper, along with Royal LePage broker Gord Honor and their band, Gold Cure Society, recently played two fundraising concerts. The events raised more than $23,000 in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Shelter Rocks Oakville was cohosted by Kate Vanderburgh, Josie Attardo and Fionna Gossling of Royal LePage Real Estate Services. Shelter Rocks Toronto was cohosted by Colby Bayne of Royal LePage Signature Realty, Erin Gregory of Royal LePage Connect Realty and Eileen Stewart of Royal LePage Real Estate Services. At both events, Gold Cure Society played to audiences keen

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to dance and sing along to the band’s mix of summertime hits. Draws and silent auctions took place at both events. A live auction for a guitar gifted by Michael Hanson and signed by members of Glass Tiger rounded out the fundraising at Shelter Rocks Oakville. ■ ■ ■

Century 21 Colonial Realty recently hosted its 10th Annual Shred-A-Thon. In what’s become an annual tradition, people in Charlottetown lined up to get their documents destroyed and made donations to the Children’s Wish Foundation. At the end of the two-hour event, C21 Colonial Realty topped up the total to a round $5,000 donation, bringing the 10-year total to more than $15,000. “We look forward to this event every year. Between the feedback we get from the public, the service we provide and, most importantly,

the wishes we’re able to help fulfil, this makes giving back to our community easy,” says owner Joel Ives. “We look forward to continuing the tradition for years to come.”

Ministry of Natural Resources and federally by Canadian Wildlife Services to provide care and shelter for animal wildlife.

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Royal LePage Village in Montreal raised more than $47,000 at its fifth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. More than 85 men donned red high heels and walked a mile through the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood, raising funds and awareness to prevent violence against women. Many were unsteady on their feet and a few got blisters, but everyone did their best to complete the mile in support of the cause. Their route was lined with nearly 200 spectators and supporters. The funds raised were directed by the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation to local women’s shelter Auberge Transition. The shelter operates at capacity 365 days REM per year.

Rhonda and Brandon Grant of Sutton Group - Masters Realty raised $8,755 at their 6th Annual Charity Golf Tournament for Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre. Over the past six years, this tournament has raised a total of $38,831. Proceeds of this summer’s event will help to fund the construction of an aviary for injured birds. Rhonda and her son Brandon were first inspired to organize a fundraiser for the SPWC when they learned about the founder’s personal mission. In 1994, Sue Meech took it upon herself to rehabilitate injured and orphaned wild mammals, birds and reptiles/amphibians. She is licensed provincially by the

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Everyone should be in sales By Sharon Posius


used to despise salespeople. Always thought they were scheming in some way. Never thought they were trustworthy individuals. Always figured they were aiming to take or get something from me. But since I became a real estate sales representative two decades ago, oh, how the tables have turned! The main goal of salespeople, I have learned, is to help people solve a problem. If someone doesn’t have a problem, you don’t have a job. In real estate, a person may need a bigger home to accommodate more family. A smaller home to accommodate less family. Need to move because their job has been relocated. Or need to sell their home because of a tragedy such as a death in the family, job loss or a breakup. It’s our job as real estate

Imagine if salespeople were asked to help solve world problems, broker a peace settlement, arrange a barter agreement between nations. We could do it! salespeople to help people resolve their problems. In the retail world, a person may need a new cell phone or computer because theirs has broken or became outdated. They may need a new dress, suit, jacket or pair of shoes, because they have grown out of or worn out their old ones. We are a consumer-driven society, to be sure, so we don’t always have a big problem – but they are perceived problems, nonetheless. Imagine, if everyone was out to help someone else, to help them solve their problems, what a wonderful world this would be. It would be a win-win. Imagine if salespeople were asked to help solve world problems, broker a peace settlement, arrange a barter agreement between nations. We could do it! Without politics getting in the way. Sure, salespeople are getting

paid to help people, but in the end, the fact that they actually helped someone should be all that matters. Doctors are paid to help people. So are nurses, policemen and firemen. And teachers too, for that matter. We can’t all be doctors and nurses. But we can all aspire to be salespeople and help someone figure out and solve their problem. And if we gain some measure of payment in the end, to help put food on our table and gas in our cars and pay our bills, then it really is a win-win. Sharon Posius is a Realtor with Century 21 B.J Roth Realty in Barrie, Ont. She is a former broadcast journalist who keeps up her writing chops as a contributing writer to the monthly Focus 50+ News Magazine. She also hosts and writes her own blogsite, REM


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This is an international award that recognizes our rising stars across the globe.

For a confidential conversation about franchise opportunities, contact: Mark Lindsey RVP, Franchise Sales 1-800-268-9599, ext. 402 Join the blue.

©2019 Coldwell Banker LLC. All Rights Reserved. Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated. Coldwell Banker, the Coldwell Banker logo, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker LLC. Each sales representative and broker is responsible for complying with any consumer disclosure laws or regulations.


When to say no to showing requests By Jeff Stern


recently received a message from an agent who was faced with a tricky situation. Tell me how you would handle this situation if you were in her shoes. She’d received a call on a property. “I’d like to see the house you have listed,” said the woman on the phone. The first question the agent asked was, “Are you currently working with an agent?” “Yes,” she replied. She had an agent. But when asked who, she couldn’t recall the agent’s last name. Red flag number one. “My agent is not available right now,” she said. The caller went on to say there had been a death in

the family and the agent was attending a funeral. “So, I’d like you show us the place.” The agent replied, “I’m hosting an open house at that address on Saturday. Please come by then.” The caller couldn’t possibly make it during that time, she said, and again asked for a private showing. The agent was now torn. She wanted to serve her seller well by bringing serious, qualified buyers. She wanted to help the buyer who wanted to see a house. She also wanted to help her fellow agent by showing the house when that agent couldn’t. What was the right thing to do? Unsure, and knowing I’m deeply involved in real estate education, professional standards investigations and hearings, she messaged me for advice. Our conversation led to her making a very wise choice: she declined showing the property to this unknown caller, instead recommending that if they were unable to come to the















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public open house (that is what they are for), to contact their agent’s broker and ask them to assign an agent in that brokerage to work with them in their own agent’s absence. The agent and I had coffee a few days later and she told me she struggled all day with the decision to say no to the private showing, at least until the open house. In the end it had been all for nought anyway. I’ve seen a lot of things, and I must say, this agent should win a reward for her professionalism and ethical behaviour. She wanted to say yes and show the property in order to help everyone involved. Even so, she took my advice and declined the buyer’s request. The Manitoba Securities Commission Real Estate Brokers Act has rules about things like this, in particular, setting out that an agent from one brokerage cannot be involved with the client of another brokerage. Had the agent engaged the other broker’s client, it would have been offside and she could have been called to task. The days of showing houses indiscriminately to people who are

unknown to the listing agent, let alone pre-approved and who have not met and engaged their own buyer agent, are quickly dying. Sure, it was fine back in the days before computers in the real estate industry, when listings had a single black and white picture with a few feature remarks and details printed in daily update sheets delivered to broker offices that agents could photocopy. Even when we progressed to a bi-weekly book of properties and daily couriered update sheets, there was a need to go see the place in living colour. But we have internet now. Most listings have whole slideshows of photos and even virtual tours. There’s no longer a need to show homes randomly to every Tom, Dick and Harriett who asks. Showing randomly to anyone who asks is bad because: • It’s a disservice to your seller to ask them to jettison their family for an hour every time someone feels like having their own personally guided tour through a house they may or may not actually be legitimately interested in or even capable of buying. • It’s a risk to you, the agent. It

is risky not to screen people who want to get you alone in a house. • It’s a risk to the seller to expose their home to anyone who asks. Their security system, family schedule and jewellery boxes are easy prey for someone with the mind to take advantage. • It’s even a disservice to the person asking for a showing. By allowing them to run wild and free among whatever listings they have a whim to see, you’re not finding out their core needs and wants, and then using your professionalism and knowledge to help them find what they’re looking for… which is kind of your job, isn’t it? Jeff Stern, a 27-year real estate veteran with Re/Max Performance Realty in Winnipeg, received the 2017 CMHC/MREA Distinguished Realtor Award. He is an instructor for the Provincial Real Estate Licensing program. He gives back to the community as chair of the MREA Shelter Foundation and writes stimulating and enlightening articles on his blog at The opinions expressed are those of Jeff Stern and not the Manitoba Real Estate REM Association.

OREA urges government to change mortgage policies


he Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is calling on the federal government to “reverse detrimental policy changes that deliberately and unnecessarily have made it harder for families to borrow responsibly in order to purchase a home.” “With just under 100 days until the federal election in October, all four parties are missing a clear opportunity to offer a comprehensive plan to turn the declining home ownership trend around, keeping the dream alive for tens of thousands of young families,” says Tim Hudak, OREA CEO, in a news release. “It’s an urgent issue that needs to be addressed – and whichever party

does so stands a good chance of winning, especially in the voterich GTA and lower mainland of B.C.” OREA is calling on the government to • restore 30-year amortization periods for people with insured mortgages • move to a “more flexible and reasonable” mortgage stress test than the current one and • eliminate the stress test “for careful savers renewing their mortgage with a different lender.” “These restrictions in particular are unfairly disadvantaging home buyers, especially millennials looking to enter the market for the first time or young families looking to move up,” says Hudak.

“Ontario Realtors are continuing to fight for families who are having their dream of becoming homeowners dashed by bureaucratic overreach in the mortgage market, outdated red tape and expensive regulations restricting housing supply and choice across the country.” OREA says a survey by research firm Navigator supports these proposals, with 60 per cent of Ontarians saying they support a 30-year amortization period for insured mortgages. Fifty-eight per cent of Ontarians aged 18-34 support the federal government lowering the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages, with 51 per cent of all Ontarians also supporting the move. REM

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3 ways to improve email marketing By Mark Brodsky


n theory, technology is designed to make our lives easier, whether it’s having a computer in your pocket at all times, a car with a steering wheel that vibrates when you’re veering out of your lane or a piece of software that is designed to help you stay organized. The options are limitless. It’s difficult to know what features you actually need and which are gimmicks. This is the time to pull back and ask the question, “What is my goal?” A successful career in real estate is dependent on the relationships you have with your clients. The agents searching only for the next deal are not going to

be in the business for long if they’re not nurturing the relationships with past clients. What part of your real estate practice holds the most value? Your list of happy past clients. Email is the last broadcast channel available to reach everybody on your list and if you use it well, email will provide results and help you get value out of your database. You may not associate cutting-edge technology with email marketing, but in the 11 years since I’ve been in the email business, things have changed drastically. Back in the good old days of 2008, your email probably looked like a website – multiple columns and a lot of text. Not only that, you could email almost whoever you wanted. Now, emails are shorter and slicker and you have to obey the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. Technology has changed how consumers use email and how targeted businesses can get. Here are three ways to make

better use of your email marketing: Automation: Assuming you’re using software like Constant Contact or Mailchimp, for years your clients have been telling you what they are interested in when they click on an article in your email. Today, depending on how much you want to segment your database, you can have the software automatically tag a contact or add them to a list when they click through to an article you’ve shared. Home renovations? Best dog parks? Live concerts? Being able to identify what people are interested in means you can make your emails much more targeted, which leads us to… Personalization: Chances are you work with a variety of clients and while they likely have a few things in common, they are not identical. Rather than send the same email to everybody, you can customize it. You don’t have to create different versions, just use software that has “dynamic content”. For instance, let’s say you have

some clients who live in houses and some in condos. The clients who live in condos may be interested in an article on designing small spaces while the house owners may be interested in landscaping. Another example: if you have clients with children you can use the software to include a piece only to those people. It’s worth going through your client list to identify some characteristics – it also can act as a reminder of who’s in your database and who you may want to contact. Identify what your clients are interested in and then you can send out more specific emails to them, which leads to more people engaging with your emails, which ultimately leads to more business. Video: If you’re not using video in your marketing (both email and social) you risk being left behind. The good news is that it’s not too late. Whether it’s a DIY solution or a professional company working with you, video is ideal for conveying your personality, which

is what you are ultimately selling. Get some tips at A welcome video on your website, a quick tour of neighbourhood favourites or a personal tour of a new listing are all ways to leverage video. A great way to generate ideas for your own videos: check out the competition. Creep them on Facebook and Instagram and see what they are posting that is generating likes, shares and comments. Figure out your own style and work with it. Mark Brodsky has been helping Realtors with email marketing and social media since January 2008. He’s a regular speaker at real estate boards in and around the GTA and understands the challenges Realtors have standing out in a competitive marketplace. Website: (www.mbdigitalcommunications. com); Email: (mark@mbdigitalcomREM

Selling a home during a divorce By Jeffrey Wagman


Pictured: Gordy Khuman

RE/MAX Active Joins Forces with RE/MAX Gold Realty Inc. We are excited to announce that Gordy Khuman, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Gold, recently acquired RE/MAX Active. With over 32 years of experience in the industry, Gordy has been an award winning RE/MAX Broker/Owner since 2011 and has grown his brokerage to over 275 agents in the past nine years. With an active commitment to its community, RE/MAX Gold is passionate about helping the Children’s Miracle Network amongst other valued charitable organizations.

Gordy’s vision to continue expanding ng RE/MAX Gold made the decision to acquire RE/MA MAX Active an easy one, considering that mostt of o the agents were already living and working in the th area. RE/MAX Gold is committed to supporting th their family of agents with extensive marketing,, state s of the art facilities and advanced technology gy, years of experience and reputation within the co community. Congratulations too GGordy Khuman and RE/MAX Gold on your continued ed growth and success!

If you are interested in ownership opportunities with RE/MAX, the largest most productive real rea estate brand, contact Jennifer Dominey at 1.647.519.773 or Simon Schneider at 1.647.951.1468 to arrange your confi nfidential meeting, or visit

elling a home in which the clients are going through a divorce is one of the most stressful and difficult situations in the real estate business. For most families, the value of the matrimonial home is their greatest asset, and the emotions attached to the end of a marriage and selling a family home are extremely high. As an agent who has handled many stressful situations that have arisen when selling a home during a divorce, I can tell you that keeping control of the situation is key. The home was a happy place at one time and now emotions are divided. If kids are still living at home, it’s even more sensitive. Now the home is going for sale and

lives feel displaced – the Realtor has quite a situation to handle. It is extremely important to remain both empathetic and professional, as there is a job to be done while treading delicate waters. If one Realtor is involved for both spouses, one must be careful to represent both and not favour one. Often two salespeople, sometimes from different brokerages, are involved to assist and advise one spouse each. A professional Realtor remains objective and acts as a trusted advisor, with the main objective of preparing the house for a quick sale and maximizing the sale price. One of the most challenging matrimonial sales I experienced had a court order for the sale of the property that also prohibited the spouses from speaking to each other. I became the mediator, and it was not an easy situation to be in. Showing a home for sale is stressful to any seller – now imag-

ine if one spouse doesn’t want to sell but is forced to. In situations like this, the stress can get so high that arguments often occur that involve the salesperson, even though the salesperson is just trying to do his or her job. An experienced agent would not take this personally and realizes the stress of the situation is causing the anger and understands how to delicately put out the fires. A real estate professional who is trusted, experienced and knowledgeable is what makes all the difference in helping clients ensure a smooth and successful sale during this difficult time in their lives. Jeffrey Wagman is a partner and broker of record at Forest Hill Real Estate in Toronto. He sells homes and condominiums in the central Toronto market and is consistently ranked in the top one per cent of all real estate REM salespeople in Toronto.

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5 ways to improve FINTRAC compliance By Mark Weisleder recent study focussed on how buyers are using nameless corporations to attempt to launder money when purchasing real estate. Real estate agents, brokerages, lawyers and lenders all have a role to play in making sure consumers are not caught up in this. While giving FINTRAC seminars to brokerages, or conducting FINTRAC audits on a brokerage, I have been able to identify five areas where brokerages can improve to make sure they are not part of the problem.


1. Verify the corporation and the person signing: The main issue identified in the study is real estate purchased by numbered companies that may not have any real connection to Canada and are used as a vehicle to launder money. Make sure you ask for the articles of incorporation or a recent tax assessment to make sure the person signing for the company has authority. Then, personally identify the person signing. 2. Are there other directors, shareholders and addresses for the corporation? It is also important to ask if there are any other directors in the corporation. If so, their names and addresses must be listed. If anyone else owns 25 per cent or more of the shares of the corporation, these shareholders

and their addresses must also be listed. Also, look for the registered office of the corporation as well, which should be on the articles of incorporation or the tax assessment. 3. Ask the lawyer if you cannot verify the information yourself. The buyer’s lawyer will also have to verify that the person signing for the company has authority. If you are not sure how to read the documents, consult with the buyer’s lawyer, who can review all the company documents contained in the minute book, to make sure you have all the proper information. 4. Where is the money coming from? No one expects you to be a detective. Yet under the FINTRAC guidelines for completing

the receipt of funds form, it is requested that you obtain verification of the account number that the deposit money is coming from. If you have a certified cheque it will identify the account, but it is more challenging if a bank draft is used because the account information is not on it. While FINTRAC asks that you obtain either a void or cancelled cheque from the account that was used, or a bank form showing the account information, the fact is that many clients will refuse to give this to you due to fears about identity theft. In that case, ask the client directly if the deposit came from their account and then write on the form something to the effect of, “Buyer confirms deposit came

from their bank account.” 5. Is the company officer connected to your community? When the person signing for the company is connected to your community, there is less likelihood for fraudulent activity. This is why it is so important to clearly complete the occupation of the buyer on the FINTRAC forms, because it shows how the buyer is connected to your community. Different precautions will have to be used when you are dealing with overseas buyers. Mark Weisleder is a partner, author and speaker at the law firm Real Estate LLP.Contact him at or toll free at 1-888-876-5529 REM

Do real estate awards matter to consumers? By Jesse Loader here are few industries that covet personal accolades as much as the real estate industry. We have all seen the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts from fellow Realtors thanking their clients for putting their trust in them, so they were No. 7 in the office this month. Does any of that matter? Do those awards actually translate into future business? Or are they simply a well-worded humble brag? I’m all for celebrating personal success. In fact, I think we underrate the power of taking a moment to feel content with all the hard work we’ve been putting in. There is something to be said about living in the moment and at least being temporarily satisfied and


content with our day-to-day grind. To be successful in anything, it’s a constant battle between striving for more and feeling content in our lives. After all, what is it all for, if we never stop to enjoy it? My question is more about the

myself was that someone out there on the fence about selling their home, or at the beginning of their home-buying process, would see that post and trust me enough to at least make an inquiry. I can’t say it never worked. It’s

Does it really have an effect on the general public? Or is it an announcement to others in your industry that you’ve “made it”? specific examples we constantly see in our social feeds. I am guilty of this practice too. For many years I would post those same messages, thanking my clients for making me No. X this month or for reaching X award level within my franchise. The story I told

one of those intangible measurements similar to a bus bench or billboard. However, my opinion is that there are only two people (or groups of people) that care about those posts. You…and other Realtors. Does it really have an effect

on the general public? Or is it an announcement to others in your industry that you’ve “made it”? I’ve asked my brokerage to exclude me from any top-producing agent lists (except for team accomplishments, because that’s not about me, it’s about the team and some team members may share a different opinion). I feel that offering an extremely high level of service, producing valuable content to your community and sticking to your lead-generating activities produces a far higher yield of new business flowing in than any award that signifies money earned ever will. My other issue with those awards is that they are based on gross commission income, which is a poor measurement of success as a Realtor. As we all know, it’s not about how much money you make, it’s about how much money you keep!

There are no awards for the most positive Google reviews, client retention or number of repeat clients closed in the last 12 months…it’s all about money. Listen, I get it…a little friendly competition can be a great motivator for you to reach new levels. But my point is when we share this with the public in an attempt to gain more business, it always seems a bit disingenuous. A glowing review, a photo of the gift your client bought you, or discussing how you helped a longtime client out of a jam goes a lot further in establishing you as the real estate expert in the eyes of your social sphere. Jesse Loader is a licensed Realtor in the greater Edmonton area, host of the Reach Your Peak Podcast, and a real estate coach to agents looking to take their business to new heights. REM



$29.59B 24,664

Royal LePage

$20.47B 15,623


$11.53B 12,907

Century 21 $9.25B

Sutton Group

6,681 $5.18B

Right at Home

6,559 $4.82B

Total Units Sold Total Volume ($) Sold

JOIN THE MOST PRODUCTIVE REAL ESTATE BRAND. Data from Toronto MLS via IMS from 1/1/18 to 12/31/18. Greater Toronto Area includes the city of Toronto as well as the municipalities of Durham, Halton, Peel, and York. Volume has been rounded to the nearest million.


When the bank says no (or nothing at all) Buyer’s remedies when no mortgage funds are advanced on closing By Shaneka Shaw Taylor


he spring and summer of 2017 saw one of the hottest real estate housing markets in the Greater Toronto Area. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average year-over-year sale price increased by six per cent. Buyers and sellers scrambled to take advantage of the hot market with housing prices soaring to record highs amidst bidding wars and no-condition offers. When housing prices took a sudden, yet anticipated, decline in the fall, many buyers walked away from their Agreements of Purchase and Sale with impunity. This resulted in a spike in real estate litigation; however, many more buyers and sellers opted to re-negotiate the terms of their original agree-

ment. In cases where the failure to close the transaction was due to the buyer being unable to secure financing because their bank/ financial institution refused to fund, this proved a lot trickier for those transactions. In most residential real estate transactions, a buyer seeks financing to cover the balance of the purchase price once the deposit and closing costs have been factored in. In many instances, buyers finance up to 95 per cent of the purchase price through an insured-back mortgage. A prudent buyer works with a mortgage broker or directly with a financial institution to obtain a mortgage commitment before he/she “goes shopping” and once that commitment is in hand, that buyer feels great comfort in his ability to determine his “buying power”. The buyer then locates a suit-

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able property, makes an offer that is accepted and thereafter takes the firm Agreement of Purchase and Sale to his bank/financial institution. The institution then performs its due diligence on the property and the buyer with the end goal of funding the balance of the purchase price through a mortgage, on closing. But what happens where the buyer is willing, but not able, to close on the deal because the bank won’t ante up the mortgage funds? What recourse does a buyer have against the bank/financial institution for failing to advance mortgage funds on closing, thereby causing the buyer to breach the terms of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale? Generally speaking, a loan commitment can give rise to binding legal obligations between a buyer and the bank/financial institution, in which a failure to perform those obligations can give rise to an action, by the buyer, for breach of contract. In Kerr v. Miller, the plaintiff was a lawyer who agreed to fund $60,000 to the defendant to cover certain liens, arrears and expenses related to the defendant’s property in Kentucky and to keep the latter from falling into power of sale with his bank. The $60,000 loan commitment was reduced to writing in the form of a promissory note and second mortgage on the property. The defendant only requested, and the plaintiff only advanced, $31,000 of

the loan. The defendant later ran into more financial problems, which placed the property in jeopardy and the plaintiff, concerned that he may not recover on his second mortgage, commenced a suit to recover the full amount of the loan. The court, in deciding whether there was a legal obligation for the plaintiff to advance more than the $31,000 he had advanced, found that a loan commitment can give rise to binding legal obligations and the failure to perform that obligation can give rise to an action for breach of contract. However, the court noted that there must be a clear legal obligation to make the loan advance. In which case, the failure to advance the loan gives rise to a claim for damages caused by the breach. In a typical real estate transaction, a mortgage commitment usually provides that the bank/financial institution is only obligated to advance mortgage funds once a number of preconditions have been satisfied on the part of the buyer. If the buyer fails to satisfy these preconditions, the bank/financial institution is not required to deliver any funds on closing. Conversely, if the buyer satisfies all the conditions of the commitment, the bank/financial institution’s failure to advance funds in accordance with the agreement is a breach of the contract and the buyer is entitled to a claim for damages. In Bank of America Canada v. Mutual Trust Co., a developer had

Expectations and surprises...

your old home. That will make for some fast talking when your sister (a nun) is helping and you come across your S & M devices in the kitchen pantry box. c) Yes. In a perfect world, everything will be lovingly packed, plus clearly and properly identified for unloading in the new home. No tired mover (or disgruntled mover angry at their spouse that day) will have dumped the contents of a drawer into a shoe box, then shaken it and secured it with duct tape before jamming several shoe boxes

Continued from page 22

Was that money well spent? a) No. Despite having multiple levels and a wide variety of clearly marked rooms in your new home, the packers will only have identified “inside” and “outside” on the boxes. And most of those will be marked wrong. b) Maybe. There’s a pretty good chance though that to fill some boxes they will have to grab random items from different rooms in

taken out a construction loan with Bank of America. Later, another financier, Mutual Trust Company pledged a long-term mortgage to the developer and signed an assignment of takeout financing with Bank of America, permitting the latter to be repaid its construction loan from the funds advanced by Mutual Trust. In the early 1990s, the real estate market collapsed and Mutual Trust took the position that it was not legally obligated to advance any further funds to the developer or Bank of America unless the developer met additional conditions. Both the trial judge and the Ontario Court of Appeal found Mutual Trust liable for the Bank of America’s damages when it, without justification, refused to advance mortgage funds. Be careful to review the terms of your mortgage commitment in detail prior to firming up an Agreement of Purchase and Sale; otherwise, you may be on the hook to deliver the closing funds even if you are unable to obtain financing from your bank. If you or your client finds themselves in such a situation, consider obtaining an extension from the seller to allow you to assign the transaction to another buyer who is ready, willing and able to close. Shaneka Shaw Taylor is a partner at Boghosian + Allen LLP where she practices municipal, commercial and real property litigation. She is also a licensed real estate salesperson with Forest Hill Real Estate. She has authored several articles and speaks regularly on topical municipal ligation and civil litigation matters. She recently authored The Annotated Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 and Regulations (LexisNexis Canada). Phone 416-367-5558 ext. 214; email REM just like that into a five-foot-tall box heavier than a concrete driveway lion. Wait, did I say “perfect world”? Who am I kidding? Increase your line of credit, buy plenty of insurance and cross your fingers – the fun begins when you’re unpacking! Humour columnist and author Dan St. Yves was licensed with Royal LePage Kelowna for 11 years. Check out his website at, or contact him at REM


One size does not fit all

What are the actual benefits of a tailored workspace? We ask two companies sharing the same Regus Centre about why it works for them The following is paid, promotional content. Two businesses can look alike from the outside. For example, they may have the same number of staff and appear to be using an office space in a similar way. But in practice their different industries, working patterns, operations, technology needs, levels of customer interaction and company culture all influence the way they use a workspace to achieve their goals. Part of the problem with conventional office space is its inability to adapt to the particular needs of a business. Rather than the workspace dictating how a company is going to work, things ought to be the other way around. One case study that illustrates how this can work is at a Regus location in Belgium. Two tenants at GrootBijgaarden in the centre of Brussels, Belgium, are recruitment company QIS Jobs and property agency Morgan’s Real Estate. Both of these businesses evolved from being one-man-bands to growing into teams of four or five people. QIS Jobs began using the Regus centre’s co-working space, before eventually upgrading to a private office within the centre. “When we grew to a team of five people, we moved from Regus’ coworking package to renting a private office in the same building, which allowed more privacy for meeting candidates,” says Yves Vannerom, Chief Happiness Officer, QIS Jobs. “There were no

complications, it was really easy to change.” Meanwhile, Morgan Cornelis, founder of Morgan’s Real Estate, operated his business from home before going straight to renting private office space. “We didn’t have the money to have a real estate shop but, within three to four years, we grew to become a team of four letting agents and, in 2018 we moved to the Regus centre,” he says Cornelis. “I wanted each team member to have their own work station, so we have 24 square metres of our own personal office space in the centre.”

A similarity between companies lies in their need to host customers. “We needed a place where we could meet candidates,” says Vannerom from QIS Jobs. “At the Regus centre, there’s a staffed reception – when a candidate arrives, they can wait downstairs with a coffee if we’re still on a call, which creates a really professional set-up. When they come inside, we need a space where we can have a conversation and, if the meeting room is taken by another candidate, we can go to the kitchen or another area.” Cornelis says employees from

Morgan’s Real Estate also host customers in the shared meeting room or the kitchen area. However, a key need of their business is the ability to use other Regus centres in other parts of the city. “Someone who has an appointment on the other side of the city and wants to do some work nearby beforehand can make use of the Regus centre over there before their meeting, which is great if you know there might be traffic issues,” he says. “We discovered how easy and flexible it was, it makes us more efficient and it clearly links to our

With a range of office formats, as well as growing mobile, virtual office, and workplace recovery businesses, Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspaces. Customers include successful entrepreneurs, individuals and multi-billion-dollar corporations. To find out more, visit

business model, which has very few geographical limits. Thanks to the flexibility we have, we can be more agile in the areas we sell, compared to a real estate agent shop on the corner.” Both QIS Jobs and Morgan’s Real Estate have found that having a workspace that revolves around them has given them added value, allowed them to perform more efficiently and let them bring more flexibility to their staff. Rather than having a one-sizefits-all office structure, workspace should mould around your business as you upscale or downscale, as your priorities shift or as employees find a work set-up that helps them be most productive. Rather than locking yourself into a fixed, long-term contract with a conventional office space, perhaps it’s time to turn to flexspace – and find something that fits you like a glove. Get in touch today, visit or call 1 844 2441 25515.


4 reasons why you should work from the office By Kenneth Laroza


ne of the greatest perks of entering the real estate industry is freedom and schedule flexibility, but if you aren’t careful, it can also be one of the greatest challenges. Having the option of working wherever you choose is one of the most soughtafter criteria in a career today, heightened by our current digital landscape and the fact that a lot of what we do is online. Avoiding the traffic and trying to find parking is enough to make anyone stay home or work in a local coffee shop, restaurant or patio on a nice summer day. However, I’m here to tell you the four main benefits as to why you should work from your office. 1. Motivation: One of the biggest benefits of working out of your office is being surrounded by

your peers and colleagues. Some of these people have been in the industry for longer than you and may be at a place in their career that you strive to reach. Working alongside these role models can be a big motivator to do better, work harder and achieve higher goals than you originally thought possible. Everyone is working toward the same goal, to help clients in real estate, whether that is to buy, sell or lease. When working out of the office, you are drawing on this energy and when you see others actively working for their clients, you naturally want to do the same. You’ll be motivated to make one more call, one more post on social media, which could result in one more happy client. This isn’t something you’ll find at home – it’s special to your office. 2. Education: You can learn a lot from your peers and colleagues. You have the opportunity to hear and have conversations with these people about their experiences,

When you see others accomplishing their goals, you are more motivated and likely to do the same. Paralegal for the Real Estate Industry



Real Estate Broker (Nearly 50 Years) • Paralegal Direct: (416) 818-6130 • Legal Focus on the Real Estate Industry


That is who I am

Working out of your office can provide you with a competitive advantage.

market information, negotiation situations, client relations and more. Working out of your office also provides you with the advantage of being one of the first to discover new listings, exclusives or what is “coming soon” from them. This provides you with a competitive advantage. Having at least one other person to discuss what they are experiencing expands your understanding of the market. If you are missing out on that opportunity, it places you at a disadvantage. 3. Accountability: As an entrepreneur in real estate, you are your own boss. Admittedly, sometimes we go too easy on ourselves. We are the toughest critics and softest critics of our business when we want to be. This means if you want to, you can convince yourself that doing one less call, attending one less meeting or skipping out on that social media post won’t do any real damage. In reality, it is harming your business and your goals immensely. By taking the initiative to work inside your office (and speak to your manager/broker) you create accountability. If your manager or broker knows you are planning 10 things to do that day, you are more likely to finish them, simply out of

knowing that they may ask. On top of that, we revisit point No. 2 – that when you see others accomplishing their goals, you are more motivated and likely to do the same. Completing those tasks could mean one or two extra deals in the long run, which is definitely worth the extra effort. 4. Focus: Working from home makes it almost impossible for me to focus for long periods of time. I can convince myself that doing 10 minutes of work justifies a twohour lunch. Instead of jumping back into work, I find myself cleaning out the fridge, vacuuming, then walking the dog and doing everything other than working on my business. It’s easy to distract ourselves from things that you know you need to do but may not be overly excited to do. By surrounding yourself with people focused on work, in an environment meant for work, you will accomplish so much more than you would at home. Sure, you may be distracted by a conversation or coffee break or two with fellow agents, but even that is an opportunity to learn from what they are experiencing, which is a lot better for your business than scrubbing your toilet.

There is a lot to gain from working in your office, benefits that are not often highlighted, but doing so can create an environment that will help in elevating your business and its success. Important: All of the above benefits are only applicable if you like and trust the culture of your office. If you are in a space in which you don’t feel comfortable with your colleagues or management team, none of the benefits above can be achieved. It’s important to be in good company that you feel would be helpful in building your business. Only then would you be able to take advantage of the benefits of working in your office. Kenneth Laroza is the broker of record at PSR Brokerage in Toronto. He has been immersed in the real estate industry for over 16 years. He takes a hands-on approach to his job to see that the company maintains a high level of integrity and works closely with governing associations to ensure the brokerage meets and surpasses industry standards. Visit the PSR website at, Kenneth’s blog at or email kenneth@psrREM


Failure Was Not an Option. This Year I’ll Do $2 Million in GCI. A brand new agent and single mom lands in a brand new city knowing only that she must succeed ‌ and she has! Hi, Craig Proctor here. Allow me to share with you how to get crazy rich during a “badâ€? real estate market. I don’t mean just make more money. Just juice the income a little. I mean: SKYROCKET your income. I mean: STUN everybody else in loud-mouth braggart at every meeting. I mean: ACTUALLY HAVE PEOPLE LINED UP, PRE-DETERMINED TO GET YOU AND ONLY YOU to

NO competition. I mean: RUB EVERYBODY’S FACE IN IT KIND OF SUCCESS. Visible. Big. Confusing to others. “How the hell is he doing this?� I mean: “GREEN WITH ENVY� MONEY pouring in. I mean: MAKING SO MUCH SO FAST that all your debt is wiped away, your credit cards are clear, the new car you kept telling yourself “no� to is in your driveway, and wisely invest and get rich with. I mean: joining the Evil 1%.

advisor, a private banker, a wealth manager. I mean: actually living like the people who buy million dollar luxury homes from you. All while working LESS HOURS with LESS STRESS, doing fewer things, and getting greater results. Getting CrazyRich in real estate without having a disappointed and disapproving spouse and family. What you need is a system that works. Not a bunch of ideas. Not walking on hot coals or a bunch of motivational psycho-babble. I have an absolutely proven system. Not “ideas.� Not new fads. A real system. That works regardless of market conditions. Anywhere. Any time. All the time. Now. This year. Next year. It’s worthy of your time to investigate because after you work setting it in motion, it keeps working for you, permanently. You can just about “set it and forget it�. Listen, most real estate “trainers� and “coaches� are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It looks different and shiny ‘n new. It’s still the Titanic. It’s still headed straight for the

giant iceberg. Most of them have adopted the word “systemâ€?, but what they offer is hype. Frankly, I’m not the most exciting guy. I approached my real estate career more like a “systems engineerâ€? than an excited, excitable salesman. Maybe my consistency and constancy is boring to some, but the most successful agents in many franchises, over 300 agents with " & of agents transformed from years of struggle to success ‌ all of them are using my system. Get this: crazy-rich level success in this business is NOT about anything “NEWâ€? at all. Sorry. It’s about putting the right proven pieces, strategies, methods and tools together in just the right

way so that you wind up with ‘The SYSTEM That NEVER Fails.’ Crazy-Rich is hardly ever about invention. It’s about implementation. Contrary to widely held belief, Henry Ford did not invent the horseless carriage or gasoline engine. He developed a functioning assembly line to make the damn things, and a dealer-franchise system to get them sold. Two systems. Implementation, not invention. Steve Jobs didn’t invent computers, PC’s or phones. Credit his unique approach to retail and to “product ' ( deLuca at Subway did not invent cold cuts, the sub sandwich or ) ) system to it second-to-none,

and got crazy-rich. “IT’S THE SYSTEM� is my rallying cry. I did NOT invent anything in my System. Much of it came from outside of real estate and was revolutionary in real estate, but each piece I put together already lived successfully elsewhere. Here are the three mindsets you MUST have: 1) You have to be businesslike. Most agents think and act like worker bees, buzzing

) & &

idea, fad to fad, made-in-minutes guru to guru. They never create businesses. Just jobs. You have to think like a builder and developer, not a pirate. Or just a salesman. You have to think like a guy who owns 50 Subway shops or the whole company, not the guy who

Read More About Successful Agents Like Dione at

by Dione Irwin (Airdrie, Alberta) “I was a single mother, had just become a Realtor, moved to a new city where I had no friends or family and knew no one! I had just quit my job of 13 years in the to fail! I received a call from a CP coach telling me about the next

“I made it to the conference information and so exciting, but still there was a bit of

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# $

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% & ' classmates certainly were not having the same results! ( )* ' +-.*/000 2

I became too busy to handle the abundance of leads I was generating, I was coached on 2 2

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+: Million GCI this year but we 4 . * ( 4 kids and also have an exciting $ 4

“I joined Craig’s System right out of Real Estate School and did 35 deals that year. We have been earning 7-Figures for 5 years now.� “It is so exciting to be able to have an actual real estate

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and be able to start a Real Estate business with the tools I have 4

4 made over the years in the CP

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We have access to cutting edge materials and are always ahead of the rest of the crowd for sure! One of my favorite quotes: “You don’t have to be great to start, you just have to start to be great.� -- Zig Ziglar

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owns one, or the guy behind the counter making the sandwiches. 2) You have to intend to get and stay RICH in this business. This is for the agent ! " on his or her mind AND determined to earn it without selling soul to soul-numbing activities like open houses, doing listing presentations for prospects also having 4 more agents “audition�, playing tour guide, pushing business cards on people at cocktail parties, cold-calling FSBO’s and others. You have to be fed up, worn out and frustrated with the way most good-income agents work and everything they trade away for their income and absolutely committed to a better way of life. It’s said no team can start winning until they are absolutely disgusted and angry and fed up with losing. You can be making a good income in real estate and still be losing. # $ experience I’ll share with you. 3) You have to be able to focus and employ selfdiscipline, to stick with a winning plan once you get one. There’s no point in wasting your time or mine if you have the attention span of a ferret drinking Starbucks, the self-control of Donald Trump, and the selfdiscipline of a puppy. Warren Buffet has not changed his investment selection system one iota in at least 20 years. Disney has gone through two CEO’s since Walt. Their system for successful storytelling has never changed or wavered. FROZEN was built on exactly the same premise and template as was Snow White. ADHERENCE TO SYSTEM makes you crazy-rich. Flitting about has you starting over, over and over and over again. Okay, so, do you think you would value and could stick with a complete and ‘no stone unturned’, proven, up-to-date but not fad-ish, extremely productive system if you got one? If so, investigate, explore, learn. Attend a Free Craig Proctor Discovery Day where I’ll share with you exactly what to do and what it takes to be a Super-Successful Real Estate agent in Canada. For more information, visit:


Standing tall: Chile’s palafitos

Palafitos were once located throughout the island. But their numbers have declined over the years. Story and photos by Diane Slawych


t may be part of Chile, but the island of Chiloe moves to its own rhythm. This large, culturally distinct island has its own myths and legends, craft traditions, weather system (frequent rains) and cuisine. The most famous dish is a stew called curanto, which is traditionally prepared in an underground oven.

Many of the structures have been turned into restaurants and tourism accommodation.


Given all this, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn the architecture in Chiloe is a little different too. Most notable here are the palafitos – houses built on stilts along the waterfront. They’re an eye-catching sight, whether at high tide when the colourful wooden houses are reflected in the water, or at low tide, when the metres-high stilts that act as a platform for the homes are exposed.

“They used to be a traditional house of the fisherman,� says guide Isabel Vergara of the tour company Birds of Chile. Others functioned as inns and shops that catered to the logging industry during the lumber boom in the late 19th century. “Now palafitos are only for those who can afford it,� says Vergara. “Just being on shore is pricey.� Palafitos were once located throughout the island. But their numbers have declined over the years for various reasons. In the 1940s, a plague that affected the potato crops (a staple on the island) forced many people to migrate from the countryside to the city, leaving their homes behind. Two decades later, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded hit Valdivia (north of Puerto Montt), which affected Chiloe and far beyond. The 9.4 quake, which occurred on May 22, 1960, produced a tsunami. It claimed 1,655 lives and caused widespread destruction in southern Chile. Palafitos were among the many buildings that were destroyed. Later they made a comeback and continue to be a characteristic architecture of Chiloe. These days you’ll find them mostly in the island’s capital Castro, Chile’s third oldest city, which was founded in 1567. Many are constructed of wooden shingles, typical of houses of all

types in Chiloe, and can be seen in a variety of colours such as orange, yellow, blue, red, green, grey or brown. They are in four different parts of the city, typically with other houses rising up on the hills behind them. Fishing is still a way of life on Chiloe and you’ll often see small rowboats or launches tied up to the posts below the palafitos. Many of the structures have been turned into restaurants and tourism accommodation. Castro has at least three palafito hotels including the Palafito 1326, a boutique property in the Gamboa neighbourhood, one of the few areas to survive the 1960 earthquake and tsunami. The renovated three-storey building is constructed with brown shingles. It has a large terrace and rooms that look out over the water where black-necked swans and various shore birds can be seen. Though the architecture is traditional, there are modern comforts and upgrades inside, including thermal heating and insulation, while the floors are made from local wood. A few doors down is the charming Cazador – a blue-shingled palafito restaurant, known for its innovative local dishes and cosy space with eclectic dÊcor and the island’s endangered fox as its logo. Whether they’re converted to hotels or restaurants or remain as private homes, Chiloe’s palafitos brighten the local landscape. REM

Palafitos in Castro, the capital of the island of Chiloe in Chile.

Palafitos continue to be a characteristic architecture of Chiloe.


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The Royal LePage What’s My Home Worth? property valuation tool provides home sellers with instant home value estimates and directs them to our trusted advisors for comprehensive property profiles and comparative market analysis.

Visit to see it in action!

This is not intended as a solicitation of any sales representatives or brokers that are currently under contract. All offices are independently owned and operated, except those marked as “Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.”, “Royal LePage West Real Estate Services” and “Royal LePage Sussex”. Any copying, reproduction, distribution or other use of these materials is prohibited. ©2019 Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Manager Limited. All rights reserved.
























Adam Contos’ vision drives corporate strategy – and his skills in digital media, innovation, business operations, collaboration and personal development are shaping the RE/MAX of today and tomorrow.









Moose Hotel & Suites


Andrew Johns and Mick Dalla-Vee

Brett Jones and DJ Kav, guest DJ first set – MC and Dancers

The Rimrock Resort Hotel


Fairmont Banff Springs 1-403-762-2211 (RE/MAX rates sold out)




Each RE/MAX office is independently owned and operated. This advertisement is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for informational purposes only. If you own a franchise affiliated with another organization, this advertisement is not intended to offer a RE/MAX franchise or to solicit a change in your affiliation.

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