March Break 2015

Wondering what to do this March Break?  For kids that can’t wait for a week off school and for parents that are anxiously looking for activities to keep them busy, look no further.  Burlington is a great destination for a … Continue reading →

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March Break 2015

Featured Alumnus: Jim Datlen

Jim Datlen has always been in the ‘service’ profession.

First, it was the restaurant industry when he was still in high school; then it was the hotel industry for nearly 25 years. Today, he’s a broker for Century 21 Millennium, Brampton, the only place he’s worked since becoming registered as a salesperson in 2007.

Although Jim had been thinking of a career change for a few years, something happened that prompted him to make the move. To discover what happened to Jim that spurred him to switch professions, we invite you to join the College Alumni Program and read Jim’s profile in the featured alumni section.

The alumni program has a dedicated, members-only website that includes features:

•  discussion boards; most recent discussion board is Share your top 3 open house tips

•  links to real-estate specific media

•  online members’ directory

•  free audio podcasts; most recent topics include—Being Responsible for Your Success, Choosing the ‘Right’ Brokerage, and How to Build a Successful Real Estate Team

•  factsheets on select topics (e.g., what to include in a listing presentation, successful negotiation tips, and top 10 reasons consumers should hire a REALTOR®)

The website also features networking events where members can reconnect with old classmates and instructors, and meet new colleagues. The next event is on May 18, 2016.

To join the Alumni Program, go to Please note: you must be a graduate of OREA Real Estate College and a member of OREA to join.



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Featured Alumnus: Jim Datlen

OREA endorses recommendation for special levy to fund REALTOR® value ad campaign

Promoting the value of REALTORS® to the public across the province has been the subject of a mass advertising campaign for the past few years. That’s because you, our members, have rated this as your top priority for the association. After an extensive survey, an overwhelming 97 per cent of you said your top priority for us at OREA was to promote REALTOR® value to the public. Moreover, 94 per cent of you said it should be done through a mass advertising campaign.

We heard you, and we listened. The We do the homework™ campaign, featuring television and billboard ads, has been running for two years and has been a tremendous success, moving the public’s perception of REALTORS® in a positive direction that benefits all of us in this profession across the province.

We want to continue running this amazing ad campaign for another two years. However, in order to continue funding it, we will need to find a new path. Delegates at the upcoming OREA Annual General Meeting and Assembly will be asked to vote on a special levy to continue to fund the ad campaign. The campaign has been a huge success and we want it to continue. It is, after all, your campaign and we’re eager to extend this amazing initiative.

To date, the ad campaign has been funded by OREA reserves and will continue to be supported by reserves for a third year, through 2015. After 2015, however, the association’s reserves will no longer be able to support this kind of campaign.

We’re now at a critical juncture — specifically, how to continue to pay for this professional campaign that our members have said is their leading priority. That’s why, after considerable research of other provincial associations as well as robust discussions and consultations, our OREA board of directors approved a motion at our December meeting to recommend a special levy starting in 2016 to continue to fund the REALTOR® Value ad campaign.

OREA’s revenue, which supports member services, amounts to about $9 million annually, but funding a professional and effective ad campaign will cost the association about $2 million a year. It is worth noting that OREA worked to trim back our budget in 2012 and 2013, and this involved staff layoffs and significant budget cutbacks. It is also worth noting that OREA has not had a dues increase since 2008. With an ad campaign representing over 20 per cent of the current member services budget, attempting to further cut a lean budget would not deliver the required funds and would have a negative impact on valued existing programs. We find ourselves with nowhere left to cut. That’s why we’ve had to explore a new funding model for the campaign.

The special levy that has been recommended by the OREA board of directors is for $30 per member per year, for a period of three years, starting in 2016, to fund the REALTOR® Value advertising campaign.

Real estate board members who are voting delegates to the OREA Annual General Meeting and Assembly will have the opportunity to vote on the recommendation for a special levy during the meeting on March 11 at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto. This is your campaign, and we’re aiming to continue to deliver on your highest priority. We look forward to your support as we strive to extend the campaign and continue to promote REALTOR® value across Ontario.

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OREA endorses recommendation for special levy to fund REALTOR® value ad campaign

Music and jamming support a good cause

Brokers and salespeople got into the groove with music, dancing and jamming at the Jam with a Past President event held in conjunction with the Political Affairs Conference (PAC) earlier this week.

The Jam with a Past President was a highlight of the annual conference organized by the Ontario Real Estate Association. This year’s PAC took place from Sunday through Tuesday at Toronto’s Park Hyatt Hotel, while the Jam was held in the Arcadian Court of the Simpson Tower on Bay Street on Monday night.

This is the eighth consecutive year that the “Jam” has been held, with proceeds going to support shelter-based charities through the Ontario REALTORS CARE® Foundation. This year’s event raised more than $5,000 for shelter-based charities around the province.

Started in 2007, the year that REALTOR® Brian Walker was president of OREA, the Jam that year was billed as “Jam with the President.” Ever since then, Brian Walker has graciously continued to host this musical event, demonstrating his talent on guitar along with his band, Shakey and the Blue Notes, while inviting other musicians from the world of real estate to jam with him.

Now called the “Jam with a Past President”, this annual musical event has become a highlight of the PAC conference. The event has raised more than $35,000 since its inception.

The Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation is the charitable arm of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). It supports shelters and shelter-based charities across Ontario, and funds raised help to provide shelter, warmth and hope to people who need your support. The Foundation awards grants primarily to shelter-based organizations across the province.

Some of the recipient charities are: Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations across the province, Collingwood Crisis Centre, YWCA Sudbury, Covenant House Toronto, Couchiching Jubilee House, Domestic Abuse Services Oxford, Community Living Mississauga, the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa and the Regional Hospice of Quinte. For more details, see the “Grants” page of the foundation’s website.

It’s not too late to make a donation. Visit:


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Music and jamming support a good cause

Sound of Music Festival

I have always loved music, especially live music.  There is nothing better than the feeling of being part of a crowd looking up at the stage as your favourite artist plays the songs that you have listened to over and … Continue reading →

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Sound of Music Festival

Reaching Out to Prospective Students

It’s been nearly four years since OREA Real Estate College began hosting its successful Career Nights, a fact-filled, yet fun, evening showcasing the many opportunities of a career in real estate, such as commercial sales and leasing, rural/agricultural sales, and property management.

There was only one Career Night in 2010. Since then, we have hosted 25 Career Nights, the most recent in Don Mills on February 12, 2014. And since 2010, more than 2,800 individuals (or potential real estate students) registered to attend.

The College took its first road trip in 2012 when it hosted a Career Night in Hamilton. Since 2012, we held sessions in Brantford, London, Oshawa, Ottawa, and Peterborough.

Our work to showcase the potential of a real estate career continues. Ten more Career Nights are currently scheduled for 2014; six at our Don Mills location, the other four scheduled for Windsor, Kitchener, Sudbury, and Kingston.

The schedule is listed below. The time for all sessions is from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


April 2, 2014
Don Mills
OREA Real Estate College

April 30, 2014
Holiday Inn & Suites (Ambassador Bridge)

May 28, 2014

June 11, 2014
Don Mills
OREA Real Estate College

August 13, 2014
Don Mills
OREA Real Estate College

September 17, 2014
Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel

September 24, 2014
Don Mills
OREA Real Estate College

October 22, 2014
Don Mills
OREA Real Estate College

November 19, 2014
Travelodge Hotel Kingston LaSalle

November 26, 2014
Don Mills
OREA Real Estate College

Why a real estate career?

A career in real estate offers many opportunities and possibilities, such as:

the ability to work independently
flexible hours
unlimited income potential
variety – as in there’s more to real estate than residential resale

Career Night flyers are posted online in community newspapers, as well as at high schools, and on college and university campuses.

To register, go to

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Reaching Out to Prospective Students

Road Races coming to Burlington in March

I’ve always loved the idea of running.  I watch runners and I am envious of their graceful stride and sense of freedom they radiate.  The truth of the matter is I am not a runner, I can’t get my breathing … Continue reading →

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Road Races coming to Burlington in March

Family Day in Burlington

In the midst of the winter comes a long weekend dedicated to spending more time with the people we love (no it’s not Valentine’s Day).  Family Day is the perfect time to staycation and Burlington is a great location for … Continue reading →

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Family Day in Burlington

Recognizing the Valuable Efforts of your Volunteers

One of the highlights during OREA’s annual leadership conference for me has to be our Volunteer Leader Awards. The presentations are always emotional and go a long way towards showing volunteers that we in the industry appreciate all they do throughout the year.

Once again this year, OREA will be honouring volunteers from real estate associations for their significant contribution as a volunteer member.  Executive Officers and Presidents of real estate associations have the opportunity to nominate a member by submitting a 2 page submission form to the OREA Centre for Leadership Development by January 31, 2014.

The prestigious Volunteer Leader Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant volunteer contribution while demonstrating sound leadership qualities on a committee, task force or board.

Nominees are judged on various criteria including the impact of their volunteer work and their exceptional commitment on a major issue faced by their association.

The Volunteer Leader Award will be presented during the OREA Annual Conference at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto on March 5, 2014. For additional information, contact me at Looking forward to your submissions!

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Recognizing the Valuable Efforts of your Volunteers

Key systems to grow your business

Building relationships that lead to success in real estate is a longer-term effort than many in the business realize, according to Toronto REALTORS® Thomas and Sally Cook.

They were among the presenters at the October 23 event in Toronto titled Emerge: Moving You Forward with the Tools for Tomorrow, organized as part of a series by the Ontario Real Estate Association. Held at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, the Toronto event featured a slate of speakers on topics aimed at helping brokers and salespeople to stay on the cutting edge of technology in real estate. Emerge events have been held across the province, with upcoming sessions on Nov. 14 in North Bay, Nov. 21 in Windsor and Dec. 10 in Kitchener-Waterloo.

“Communicate with people, build trust and loyalty, and get to know them,” Thomas Cook told the audience of more than 280 attendees at the Toronto event. He cited a survey of people who bought services online, which revealed the 50-15-85 rule. “For every 100 people who inquired online about a service, 50 per cent of them eventually bought that service, but only 15 per cent bought the service within the first 90 days. The other 85 per cent of people, the vast majority, bought the service between 90 days and 18 months after their first inquiry.”

The same principle can be applied to real estate, he says. If you disregard prospects because they do not respond as quickly or immediately as you wish, you may be eliminating a large source of potential business, he says. “They may be someone who’s part of that 18-month cycle,” he says. “Don’t forget about them just because they’re not going to buy or sell within 30 days. Treat them as if they will be a valid buyer until they prove otherwise.”

Make prospecting a part of your regular daily routine and it will benefit your business in the future, says Sally Cook. “If you make these tasks and activities a part of your routine, they will become habits that you don’t think twice about. You must prospect on a daily basis, and we found that by doing that, we could build relationships with people, one sentence at a time.”

Thomas and Sally Cook were among the speakers at the recent Emerge conference. They have been working from leads generated online since 1998 and shared their insights and experiences about online lead generation and lead conversion. Other topics addressed by speakers at the event included: The Paperless Office; Niche Marketing; and Laptops? How Vintage! For more details on upcoming Emerge events, topics and speakers, or to register online, visit or send an email to


Key systems to grow your business