The Tale of a Town exhibit on display in Oakville

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 – for immediate release

The Tale of a Town exhibit on display in Oakville

An interactive exhibit showcasing the personal stories and memories of Oakville community members will be on display at the Queen Elizabeth Community Cultural Centre (QEPCCC) from February 11 to 20, 2017.

Hosted by the Town of Oakville, in partnership with FIXT POINT Arts and Media, The Tale of a Town exhibit is part of a national storytelling project that gathers the rich histories of main streets and downtown cores through personal interviews with the people who live there.

In June 2016 the project’s Storymobile (a recording booth on wheels) gathered over 100 stories from local Oakville heroes, community stakeholders, neighbourhood residents and independent business owners. The exhibit features active listening stations, a quote wall, an activity station and a recording booth to continue to capture new stories.

In September the exhibit will be brought to life, alongside stories from across Canada, in a stage performance piece at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts.

The exhibit is on display in the Main Gallery of QEPCCC located at 2302 Bridge Road. Admission is free.

For more information, visit oakville.ca and search “Tale of a Town.”


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The Tale of a Town exhibit on display in Oakville

Brokers of Record: The Buck Stops With Them

American president Harry S. Truman had a desk sign, measuring 2½” x 13”, that read “The buck stops here,” which meant responsibility and accountability ultimately rested with the president. In real estate, the buck stops with the broker of record.

All brokerages in Ontario must designate a broker of record, an individual who, above all, ensures that the brokerage and its employees (brokers, salespeople, other persons) comply with the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, and Regulations (collectively known as REBBA 2002), and standards are maintained.

If the brokerage is a sole proprietorship, the sole proprietor must be the broker of record. If the brokerage is a partnership or a corporation, the broker of record is designated by partnership or corporate resolution, respectively. For corporations, the board of directors makes the resolution, and it is signed by the officers with the appropriate signing authority. A copy the resolution must be sent to the RECO registrar.

Partnership and corporation brokerages can also designate an “alternate broker of record” (i.e., another broker as an alternate signing authority to review and sign off on trust and trade transactions when the broker of record is unable to act). Again, this is done via partnership or corporate resolution. The alternate must be approved by the registrar.

Duties of the Broker of Record

•  Ensures the brokerage fully complies with REBBA 2002

•  Actively participates in the management of the brokerage

•  Ensures an adequate level of supervision for brokers, salespeople, and other brokerage employees

•  Takes reasonable steps to address failure to comply with REBBA 2002 by all brokerage employees

•  Reviews and signs monthly trust account reconciliations and trade record sheets

•  Signs brokerage financial statements, as required by the RECO registrar

Duties of the Alternate Signing Authority

The alternate signing authority must review and sign off on the following transactions only during that time when the broker of record is absent or unable to act:

•  trust account transactions

•  monthly trust account reconciliations

•  trade record sheets

 

Reference:

Ontario Real Estate Association and Acronamic Learning Systems Inc. (2015). Real estate broker course. Don Mills, ON: MediaLinx Printing Group.

 

 

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Brokers of Record: The Buck Stops With Them

Accessory Apartment: Is it legal?

A second unit, more commonly known as an accessory apartment, is a self-contained unit with kitchen and bathroom facilities within a house, rendering the house a two-unit residential property. While accessory apartments can be beneficial to homeowners, there are also many challenges.

Benefits

According to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, second units benefit homeowners and the community by:

•  providing homeowners with additional income

•  providing more housing options for extended families, elderly parents, or a live-in caregiver

•  maximizing densities

•  creating jobs in the construction industry 

Challenges

Accessory apartments must comply with applicable legislation, such as Ontario Building Code and Fire Code, and municipal bylaws (zoning and fire safety standards). The Building Code applies to construction of new buildings, and alterations, additions, and changes in use within existing buildings. Homeowners considering establishing a second unit may need a building permit, depending on whether alterations to the house are needed. Similarly, the Fire Code (specifically, Section 9.8) regulates fire safety in existing structures, including two-unit residential properties. Finally, each municipality will have specific zoning and fire safety standards to which second units must adhere. 

What Salespeople Should Know

When dealing with houses with accessory apartments, the one issue salespeople must determine is whether it is legal. Determining legality can be accomplished by asking the following questions:

1.  When was the unit constructed?

2.  When was the unit occupied?

3.  Was a building permit issued at the time of construction?

4.  Did the unit meet fire code provisions at the time of construction/occupancy?

5.  Did the unit meet zoning requirements at the time of construction/occupancy?

6.  Did the unit meet electrical requirements, in accordance with the Electrical Safety Code, at the time of construction/occupancy?

7.  Were all necessary inspections (i.e., electrical inspection and an inspection by the local fire department) completed to ensure compliance?

When representing buyers considering purchasing a home with an accessory apartment, salespeople should encourage them to include a condition in the agreement of purchase and sale to provide sufficient time to consult appropriate experts. 

 

References:

Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (2015). Secondary units. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1BzSMoN.

Ontario Real Estate Association and Acronamic Learning Systems Inc. (2015). Land, Structures and Real Estate Trading. Don Mills, ON: MediaLinx Printing Group.

 

 

 

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Accessory Apartment: Is it legal?

SpeakingPhoto – simplifying the photo slideshow

A picture is worth a thousand words. Especially in the world of real estate. While a thousand words is nothing to sniff at, you save even more verbosity once you combine picture with voice-over. Enter SpeakingPhoto, a voice-recording photo app that’s going from strength to strength.

The app allows you to take photos or to select images from your photo gallery and record 30-second captions. You can then preview your slideshow before sharing across all the usual social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

There are a number of rival software applications that enable you to lay a soundtrack down with a slideshow, but SpeakingPhoto stands out because of its easy usability. The three button options: Shoot, Speak, Share keep the interface clean and simple. It’s a handy app for people short on time.

The app can be used for a range of tasks from illustrating listings, to personalising emails, from sharing newly available properties with followers, to conveying instructions to stagers or inspectors. It’s quick and user-friendly and thus easy to integrate into daily life.

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SpeakingPhoto – simplifying the photo slideshow

How much do you know about condos?

Condominiums are a system of land ownership where an individual owner holds title to a specific unit and owns a share of common property, referred to as common elements. Condominiums are found in rural and urban markets, can be broadly grouped into two types (leasehold or freehold), and come in many shapes and forms to meet diverse lifestyles. In other words, trading in these types of properties is complex.

The Residential Real Estate Transaction course contains a section on residential condominiums. Take the following True-False quiz to determine if you are prepared to represent condominium buyers and sellers. Answers will be provided in next week’s blog.

1. Condominium monthly maintenance fees always include expenses such as building insurance, heat, and hydro. TRUE / FALSE

2. A Status Certificate is a document that can be provided by the property manager of a condominium, and the document only confirms that the seller is a resident owner in the condominium. TRUE / FALSE

3. Rules cannot be made, amended, or repealed by the Board of Directors without holding a general meeting of owners. TRUE / FALSE

4. The floor level and exposure of a condominium unit can have a major impact on the monthly maintenance fee paid by the unit. TRUE / FALSE

5. The balcony of a condominium unit is described as a common element. TRUE / FALSE

6. The money in a reserve fund can be used to pay for major repairs and replacement of common elements. TRUE / FALSE

7. Condominium unit owners need the approval from the Board of Directors for a major renovation to their units. TRUE / FALSE

8. A phased condominium is a condominium corporation that allows the declarant to create additional units within the corporation. TRUE / FALSE

9. Bylaws can be amended by a vote of at least 33 per cent of the unit holders in a condominium. TRUE / FALSE

10. The Board of Directors usually carries out the day-to-day duties of a condominium corporation such as collecting the maintenance fees and paying the condominium expenses. TRUE / FALSE

 

Reference:

Ontario Real Estate Association and Acronamic Learning Systems Inc. (2014). Real estate as a professional career. Don Mills, ON: MediaLinx Printing Group.

 

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How much do you know about condos?

The 4 Ps

Oxford Dictionaries defines marketing as the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. The focus is satisfying consumer needs. As real estate professionals, consider two questions: Do you sell products or services? What marketing mix is best?

The answer to the first question is both – you sell products (properties) and services (knowledge of the profession, putting clients’ needs first). The latter, in the form of referrals and repeat business, is the best type of marketing. In addition, you may offer value-added services, such as additional online distribution channels to promote a seller’s property. 

The answer to the second question – marketing mix – is more complex. Activities you choose to bring your product and service to consumers will depend on the brokerage you work for, local market circumstances, and competition. Whatever the combination, however, your marketing mix should include four variables, known as the four Ps – product, promotion, price, and place. This concept was introduced by American marketing management professor Edmund Jerome McCarthy in 1960. 

Briefly, the four Ps are defined as follows:

Product: Tangible products or intangible services offered to consumers

Promotion: The method of communication by which the marketer provides information about the product/service; includes various forms of advertising

Price: The price customers are willing to pay to purchase the product/service; price is dependent on demand 

Place: The market where the product/service is sold 

The four Ps can be applied to real estate if each Ps is broken down to buying (attracting clients/customers who want to sell their properties to the brokerage) and selling (promoting the listed properties). For example:

Buying
Selling

Product (& Service)
Detail the advantages of dealing with a particular brokerage, such as quality/type of service, market niches served, franchise affiliation, additional services offered (e.g., financing, appraisal)
Obtain all necessary information about the property (e.g., location, property size, room size and configuration, amenities) and ensuring information is accurate; obtain knowledge about the neighbourhood (e.g., schools, public transit)

Promotion
Outline institutional and targeted advertising, local/national promotional strategies, MLS®, direct marketing, website content, print media options
Establish a specific marketing plan for seller’s property based on brokerage and broker/salesperson marketing (e.g., advertising, open houses, signage)

Price
Establish what commission (or flat fee) will be charged to represent sellers and buyers, bundled services for the fee, fee flexibility, and special incentives
Determine listing price strategy for optimum marketability based on competing properties, sold properties, expired listings (those listed but removed unsold from the market) and overall market trends

Place
Determine methods to get the message out to target groups (e.g., direct contact by salespeople)
Identify appropriate distribution channels to attract buyers

Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision

Consider the fourth P, place, as the tools you will use to market your services. Such tools include high-quality business cards (which you should distribute at every opportunity), email account (usually through your brokerage), website (your own website or a personalized page on your brokerage’s website), and direct mail (either addressed, non-name addressed, or unaddressed).

Finally, and most importantly, make certain your advertising complies the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, and RECO guidelines.

***

References:

McCarthy, E.J. (1960). Basic marketing, a managerial approach. Homewood, Ill: Richard D. Irwin, Inc.

Ontario Real Estate Association and Acronamic Learning Systems Inc. (2014). Real estate as a professional career. Don Mills, ON: MediaLinx Printing Group.

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The 4 Ps

What kind of REALTOR® superhero are you?

What kind of REALTOR® superhero are you? A fun and interactive quiz developed by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) asks that question. This online personality quiz with lively, colourful illustrations takes a lighthearted approach to the business of real estate. It aims to engage OREA members in a playful way. It notes that “All Realtors are superheroes. You juggle, you plan, and somehow, you make it all seem effortless.” Find out what kind of real estate superhero you are. This quiz is for entertainment purposes only. Start the quiz now by clicking here. Have fun!

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What kind of REALTOR® superhero are you?

5 Ways to unplug and recharge during summer

Being able to carry your office around in a pocket-sized smartphone is both a gift and a curse. The difficulties are amplified when vacation time rolls around; you know you deserve a break, you know you should switch it all off, but the temptation to answer emails, spruce up your blog, or tweet your thoughts on the latest property headlines can be overwhelming. Here are 5 tips to help you unplug and take a real break:

1. Plan ahead

If you’re worried about a complete social media absence, do some extra work before you go and schedule a blog post or two, or some twitter tips to go out while you’re offline. You can make your life even easier and schedule old posts you think your followers will appreciate seeing again.

2. Remove temptation

If you’re going abroad, don’t buy an international phone package. You won’t use your phone if you know it’s going to cost you a small fortune. Pack some old-school items, a camera, paperback, pen and notebook, iPod – now you have no reason to turn on your phone.

3. Connect with the offline world

During your vacation read the local newspaper, visit book and music stores, buy tickets for live events, hang out with friends. You’ll be too busy offline to wonder what’s happening online.

4. Slow your life down

When you’re juggling a thousand balls you need a slew of apps to keep things moving. Your vacation is the time to slow down. Try not to plan more than one activity a day. Take life at a gentle pace so you’re not running around, longing for your Google Maps or Waze any of the other apps that help you live life at warp speed.

5. Embrace inspiration

A holiday allows you to relax and refresh, the optimum conditions for inspiration. If work thoughts do pop into your head, don’t reject them, jot them down and make a mental note to explore them properly after your vacation. Who knows what extraordinary ideas you might take home.

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5 Ways to unplug and recharge during summer

5 ways to use video in real estate

Video is like an adrenaline shot when it comes to online content. It ranks higher in search engine results than text or audio and can boost a website’s ranking much quicker than mere SEO.

How can you best employ video in your real estate work? Here are five suggestions with video examples.

 

1. Make a lifestyle marketing video.

Yes, you need a significant budget to put together a polished film, and yes, the property you’re selling needs to be exclusive enough to justify the cost, but nothing sells a property more effectively than selling the buyer a lifestyle along with it.

 

2. Introduce yourself

Create a video for your website that introduces you to your clients. It’s the perfect opportunity to brand yourself and make clear why you’re a better choice than the competition.

 

3. Walk potential buyers through your listed property

If you’re comfortable in front of the camera then do your sales pitch to camera. YouTube is the world’s largest search engine after Google, in 2013 it had 1 billion unique users a month. Imagine how many of those users live in Ontario. Seize the opportunity to tap into a huge audience.

 

4. Emphasize the features

If you’re not a TV natural then help your seller stage their property and shoot a video walk-through that emphasizes the property features.

 

5. Use 3D models

You don’t have to wait until a property is built to start showing it off. Visual effects companies can make digital representations of unbuilt properties based on architectural and interior designs then simulate a camera fly-through.

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5 ways to use video in real estate

Proximity marketing is the new For-Sale sign

Ask a marketer about the four pillars of sales and they’ll reel off the usual: product, price, promotion and placement. It’s a line-up that hasn’t changed since the 1960s. That is until ‘Proximity’ rode into town and became the new buzzword.

Proximity marketing (sometimes called hyperlocal) is about spotlighting your product when the consumer is physically close to it. It uses phone technology to send marketing messages to mobile-device users who have opted in. There are unlimited ways the system could be employed in real estate.

1. A potential client is walking through a neighbourhood. They pass a property that’s For Sale and a message pops up asking them if they’d like details of the property. They can then use their wi-fi or bluetooth to browse text, photos or video of the property for further details.

2. A potential client is peering into a Real Estate window when a message link pops up inviting them to watch an aerial video of the neighbourhood with the current For-Sale properties spotlighted and nearby amenities listed.

Both of those scenarios would work better with a smart antenna, a five-watt, waterproof, weatherproof box that can be placed inside a property window. It transmits up to 300 feet and works with iOS, Blackberry and Android.

Then there’s the iBeacon, Apple’s offering to the market. iBeacon devices are small and easy to position. The transmission range is shorter but they work well in localised situations. Say you’re holding an open house. Interested buyers often like to roam the property alone so you can’t share all the info you’d like to. If the buyer accepts the iBeacon’s pushed messages, their phone could alert them as they pass certain features. A personalised guided tour.

Then there’s the data. REALTORS® can add a poll for feedback on anything from the price point of a house to the décor. The devices will also gather info on the number of phones reached, the number of users who accept and decline, duration of people who browsed further, number of pages viewed, and so on.

Proximity marketing could be a huge step forward for REALTORS®. The only way to make your pushed, For-Sale message more dynamic would be to stand there on the street corner yourself.

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Proximity marketing is the new For-Sale sign