Ring in 2019 in #BurlON

The last holiday of the year and it is my personal favourite – New Year’s!…

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Ring in 2019 in #BurlON

Town commissioning outdoor public art for Trafalgar Park Community Centre

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 – for immediate release

Town commissioning outdoor public art for Trafalgar Park Community Centre

Professional Canadian artists invited to submit Expressions of Interest by June 15

The Town of Oakville is looking for a professional artist to create a permanent outdoor public artwork as part of the redevelopment of Oakville Arena and Trafalgar Park. The successful artist will have their work featured at the north entrance of the redeveloped facility which will be renamed the Trafalgar Park Community Centre.

“Public art is accessible to everyone and reflects the vibrancy and richness of the Oakville community,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “This an exciting opportunity for an artist to create a unique piece of artwork that will live on in the community for years to come.”

Professional Canadian artists and artist-led teams are invited to submit Expressions of Interest by June 15, 2017. During stage one of the competition, applicants will be reviewed based on the merit of past work, professional qualifications and experience. In phase two shortlisted artists will be required to submit an artwork concept proposal and model.

The public art concept will be selected by an independent committee made up of visual arts professionals, community representatives and town staff. The project will be awarded in September, installed during the summer of 2018 and unveiled when the Trafalgar Park Community Centre opens to the public in September 2018.

Oakville Arena, located at 133 Rebecca Street, was originally built in 1950 and has served as a community hub for more than six decades. It’s also one of only four remaining arenas in Ontario with a distinctive wooden truss roof system designed by Norman Otto Hipel, an Ontario politician and builder who patented the roof system in 1928. Following extensive public consultation, Council approved a resident-supported plan to revitalize and expand the facility while maintaining its historical features.

The project will expand the existing Oakville Arena to a 65,500 square foot community centre while retaining the arena’s wooden roof trusses. The community centre will include an NHL-size ice pad, a seniors’ centre, public meeting space, fitness centre, full-size gymnasium, and an indoor running track. Trafalgar Park will feature a fully accessible playground with a shade structure, a double tennis court that will be converted into an artificial outdoor rink in the winter, and exterior washroom facilities.

For more information visit our Public Art and Exhibitions page.

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Town commissioning outdoor public art for Trafalgar Park Community Centre

Get creative in Bronte and paint the lake for a chance to win

Friday, July 22, 2016 – for immediate release

Get creative in Bronte and paint the lake for a chance to win

Art contest will be part of Bronte Lake Walk on August 4, 2016

Calling all budding and professional artists, as well as those who just like to get creative! Oakville residents are invited to showcase their artistic talent at the Paint the Lake event on Thursday, August 4, 2016, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Bronte Heritage Park located at 2340 Ontario Street.

Offered as part of the town’s Summer Cultural Connection events series, Paint the Lake will take place in conjunction with the Bronte Lake Walk. Participants will choose a picturesque scene of Bronte Harbour and create their own masterpiece for a chance to win great prizes. Paint supplies and canvases will be provided while supplies last.

Each painting will be shared on the Bronte Village Facebook page where people can like their favourite. Prizes will be awarded in four categories: Kids (10 and under), Youth (11-17), Adult (18+) and Professional. The contest runs from August 5 to 12, 2016.

Paint the Lake is offered in partnership with the Bronte Village Business Improvement Association (BIA). Visit the Summer Cultural Connection page for more information.

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Get creative in Bronte and paint the lake for a chance to win

Program change will boost student knowledge

OREA and Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) have been collaborating on a strategy that will boost the knowledge of students completing the pre-registration segment of the Salesperson Registration Education Program.

Students enrolling on or after April 1, 2016, will be required to complete five mandatory courses in the pre-registration segment instead of three. This strategy will ensure that students are better prepared to trade in real estate upon obtaining their initial registration with RECO.

The five courses must be completed in sequence, as follows: Real Estate as a Professional Career; Land, Structures and Real Estate Trading; The Real Estate Transaction—General & The Residential Real Estate Transaction; The Commercial Real Estate Transaction; and Real Property Law. The timeline for completion (18 months) will remain the same.

In the Articling segment, students will be required to complete one elective course within the two-year timeframe. The electives from which students can choose are: Principles of Appraisal; Principles of Mortgage Financing; Principles of Property Management; and Real Estate Investment Analysis.

This change will not affect students who enrolled in the program on or before March 31, 2016.

Course requirements for the Broker Registration Education Program remain the same.

Course fee increase 

Fees for courses in the Salesperson Registration Education Program and the Broker Registration Education Program will increase for students enrolling on or after April 1, 2016.

The new fee schedule is listed on http://bit.ly/1nY9e0l.

Educational Services Agreement extended

RECO has extended the Educational Services Agreement (ESA) with OREA to December 31, 2020. The ESA makes OREA Real Estate College the designate authorized to deliver the Salesperson Registration Education Program and the Broker Registration Education Program in Ontario.

The extension of this contract will allow for an 18-month transition period between the current program and the new program, expected to launch in 2019 following a thorough review of registration education by RECO.




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Program change will boost student knowledge

Miss Real Estate Manners: Always be professional

This is the seventh and final installment in a series about courtesy in real estate. It is taken from guidelines produced in the Miss Real Estate Manners document created by the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR). The following story in The REALTOR® EDGE newsletter is excerpted with permission from LSTAR. 

Oral agreements are meaningless and only create problems. Never, ever make oral agreements and assume they are binding. Follow precisely the regulations set forth in Bill 55.

Explain what steps must be taken to complete and effect a successful closing.

In any transaction or advertisement in which you are acting as a principal, disclose in writing your status as a registrant to sellers, buyers and other registrants.

If a REALTOR® becomes aware of any practice that is damaging to the public or that may bring discredit upon the real estate profession, it is his/her obligation to report it to their local real estate board or RECO. You are not being a snitch. You are protecting and upholding the reputation of your profession.

Accept and recognize cultural differences. Avoid voicing your personal views regarding other cultural, religious or ethnic groups even with customers and clients who appear to agree with you. You never really know when you might offend somebody. Besides, Canada is famous and well-respected for being both multicultural and tolerant; it is an ideal to which we should all aspire, especially in our professional lives.

Return calls from other sales representatives promptly. They may have an offer or may need additional information to enable them to prepare an offer. Speak clearly and slowly when leaving a message on someone else’s voice mail to ensure that the recipient understands your name, message and telephone number (with area code).


Read the January EDGE
Slowing down: Surviving the lean season
Campaign success prevents expanded land transfer tax

Receive private calls through your pager/cell phone to avoid tying up the office telephone or administrative staff.

Subscribe to voice mail. This ensures that your callers never encounter a busy signal or are put on hold. Voice mail encourages callers to leave a detailed message to facilitate a faster response.

Ensure that the seller has provided a security code or pass word for his/her alarm system. After use, ensure that a lockbox is secured properly.

Ensure that all co-operating brokers who are visiting a house with an alarm system know how to turn the alarm off and on again.

Remember to leave your business card when viewing a property. All appointments must be made as directed on the listing form. If you are unable to keep an appointment to show a property, advise the listing brokerage and/or seller (an appointment should be cancelled via the same method and person by which it was made).  It should be remembered that it is very annoying to wait for prospective buyers who do not arrive.  Always leave your business card once you have viewed a property – as a courtesy.  Even with the electronic key boxes, a business card goes a long way.

Follow the directions on listings for showings.

In conclusion

Members of organized real estate have long been concerned about their public image and, historically speaking, they had good reason to be. For many, many years, public ranking of REALTORS® has placed them very low on the totem pole indeed. That has started to change, thanks in part to CREA’s national advertising campaign and OREA’s REALTOR® value campaign, but also to the increasing professionalism of REALTORS® globally. If you wish to elevate the image of your chosen profession, set an example – walk the talk. Be courteous; communicate; and use common sense. In other words, be professional. You will not regret it.

The above tips are excerpted with permission from the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®. Read LSTAR’s full Miss Manners document here.

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Miss Real Estate Manners: Always be professional

The Top 10 in 2015

What is year’s end without a recap of the year’s events and a top 10 list? For the College, this means identifying the 10 most popular blogs of 2015.

In descending order, the top 10 College blogs of 2015 are:

10. Exercise Care and Skill

Regardless of whether home buyers or sellers become clients or customers, these consumers are vulnerable because they are about to make the most important decision in their lives. This blog highlights seven consumer vulnerabilities and how these can be addressed.

9.  The Atom of Success

Bookstores (actual and virtual) are replete with self-help publications, from how to communicate professionally to how to foster teamwork to think strategically. This blog peels away the excesses and focuses on four self-help protons that comprise the knowledge nucleus configuration.

8.  Yes We Can

Be optimistic in everything you do or say is the key message of this blog and the key to success.

7.  College Wins REEA award

The Real Estate Educators Association (REEA) presented the College with the 2015 Education Program of the Year Award for a new curriculum, blended learning, developed for Real Estate as a Professional Career, the first course in the registration education program.

6.  Uncommon Common Sense

Learning, listening, and understanding require engagement, passion, and drama. This blog unveils an activity that engages all these senses – storytelling.

5.  Get Ethical

Learning, regardless of topic, needs to be engaging. This blog posits that ethics can be taught, but learning ethics requires understanding of key principles, such as empathy, commitment, loyalty, and respect.

4.  Turning Cold Calls ‘Hot’

Group calls to potential clients into three groups – cold, warm, and hot. This blog reveals tips on how to build your client list through cold calling. REALTORS® are reminded that they should not contact anyone on the National Do Not Call List or whose property listed for sale with another brokerage.

3.  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. Trading in these types of properties requires specific knowledge. This blog is really a true/false quiz – to help Realtors determine if they are prepared to represent condo buyers and sellers.

2.  Top 10 Reasons to Hire a REALTOR®

Selling your own home is complex, time-consuming, and emotional. This blog provides 10 reasons why you should hire a Realtor®.

1.  The Matrimonial Home

Selling a divorcing couple’s matrimonial home is complicated. This blog focuses on two points – determine if the property is, in fact, a matrimonial home and seek legal advice.

Stay tuned for more blogs in 2016.

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The Top 10 in 2015

Town of Oakville wins planning award

Oakville’s inZone project recognized for excellence in planning

On November 5, 2015, the Town of Oakville was presented with an Ontario Professional Planners Institute’s (OPPI) Excellence in Planning award at a ceremony held at Queen’s Park in Toronto. The town was recognized in the category of Municipal Statutory Planning Studies for their highly regarded inZone project, which helped guide the review and development of the town’s new zoning by-law. The town’s Joe Nethery, manager, Zoning By-law Project accepted the award.

“The inZone project resulted in a clear, concise, and user-friendly by-law that will help maintain and shape the charming nature and characteristics of our town,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This award recognizes what can be achieved as we continue to work together to create Canada’s most livable town.”

The end result of the inZone project was Council’s unanimous passing of the town’s new Zoning By-law 2014-014. The by-law provides new zoning permissions and regulations expressed in the town’s official plan, and sets out the rules for what, where and how buildings can be constructed in Oakville. The inZone project implemented several significant improvements for public consultation, customer service, and information management related to land use regulation in Ontario.

Oakville’s inZone has been recognized by other municipalities, who seek to emulate the project in their zoning reviews.

“Zoning reviews are extremely technical processes. They rarely inspire great participation or recognition outside the project team. Oakville’s inZone project achieved both, and has shown how municipalities in Ontario and further afield can meaningfully engage a broad demographic and identify and implement process improvements,” said Mark Simeoni, director of Planning Services at the town.

The Excellence in Planning Awards recognize innovation, creativity, professionalism, problem-solving, and communications. Award recipients represent the best of the best in community planning across the province.

Oakville has been further recognized by the OPPI, who have asked town staff to sit on their Best Zoning By-laws of 2015 panel at their annual conference in Toronto.

About OPPI

The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) is the recognized voice of the province’s planning profession. The institute’s more than 4,000 members work in government, private practice, universities, and not-for-profit agencies in the fields of urban and rural development, community design, environmental planning, transportation, health, social services, heritage conservation, housing, and economic development. Members meet quality practice requirements and are accountable to OPPI and the public to practice ethically and to abide by a Professional Code of Practice. Only full members are authorized by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute Act, 1994, to use the title Registered Professional Planner (RPP).

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Town of Oakville wins planning award

College wins REEA award

The Real Estate Educators Association (REEA) has awarded the 2015 Education Program of the Year Award to OREA Real Estate College for its blended learning curriculum of Real Estate as a Professional Career, the first course in the registration education program. This award recognizes the educational program deemed the most successful effort of the year.

The successful effort and generally positive feedback from students enrolled in this model is due to the College’s unique approach. The blended learning model comes in many forms. The College’s model combines customized case studies and reflection questions written by curriculum staff, instructor-facilitated discussions using the Socratic Method, and computer-mediated communication.

The case studies are based on key concepts in the textbook and focus on real-world scenarios. The Socratic Method is a student-centred questioning technique that encourages disciplined, thoughtful dialogue and promotes independent thinking. The instructor’s role is to engage in shared dialogue with students, and push the dialogue forward using open-ended questions.

Computer-mediated communication means that students can access online resources, including relevant videos, in the classroom and on their own time.

REEA is a society of real estate educators. REEA’s mission is to provide resources and opportunities for professional development to individuals and organizations involved in real estate education.

The REEA award is the second award the College has received for its blended learning curriculum, a first in real estate education. The Learning Resources Network (LERN), the world’s largest association devoted to continuing education and lifelong learning, presented the College with the 2015 LERN International Award for Excellence in Programming. For both awards, the College was selected from hundreds of applicants from across North America.

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College wins REEA award

The Ottawa YPN – Triumphs and Travails

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) created our very own Young Professionals Network (YPN) in the fall of 2013, with the help of OREA’s YPN, and spearheaded by the newly formed OREB YPN Committee. Organized real estate has really changed in the past few years. So the main goal of the new YPN was to help strengthen relationships and bring the face-to-face back to real estate through networking and educational events.

Right from the beginning, we wanted the YPN to be inclusive of all Members. Shortly after its inception, we coined the term, “It’s about attitude, not age” when talking about who would be included in this new network of professionals. The YPN was seen as an opportunity to network and learn from peers. Everyone – young or old, new to the business or more ‘seasoned’ – has a lot of knowledge to share, and if we all work together to spread our knowledge, we can create a stronger network of professionals.

Making great strides

In its second year, the YPN Committee hit great strides, hosting two very successful networking events – the Summer Social Kick-off and the Fall Social. These “Socials” were designed to encourage communication and co-operation among Board Members of ALL ages and experience levels.

Our plan was to hold quarterly “Socials”, switching up the restaurant location with each event to cater to Members in different parts of the city.

Changing our name

After mulling over the name “Young” Professionals Network for quite some time, the committee agreed that the transfer of knowledge from Member-to-Member was really important, and if we only focus on “young” professionals, we will cut Members out who have a lot of knowledge to share. If all Members want to participate, and have been, why should we put a restriction on age?

So we changed our name to Your Professional Network, still keeping it within the YPN family. Our Members responded well to this and we received kudos for becoming a more inclusive network.

A big success

Our first event after our name change was our Social Meets Smart Round Table sessions this past April. We held it at the OREB offices and invited Members who were experts in a certain topic, to be presenters. Each round was about 15 minutes, and Members were able to sit in on each of the six presentations. We had approximately 70 Members attend the event.

An electronic survey was sent out during the event and we encouraged attendees to take a few minutes to complete it, and let us know their thoughts immediately. Surprisingly, we had 50 people respond to our survey! We received a lot of great constructive criticism. The majority of the comments concerned the length of the round table sessions, they wanted them to be longer. Other great suggestions were to conduct the cocktail/networking hour ahead of time, and then move on to the sessions. A lot of people didn’t stay for the cocktail hour afterwards, but people wanted to network ahead of time.

Overall, a great success, with suggestions on how we can improve next time!

With this event, we also set-up a Google Database so that we could keep track of RSVP’s to all our events, and to also collect email addresses, names, and phone numbers. We would use this database to promote our next events. 

Then we failed miserably…

In efforts of full disclosure, our most recent Spring Social was a failure. We crashed and burned. We had a very low attendance, with the majority of attendees being the YPN committee itself…The thought was that we may have done more harm than good with this one. A few new people attended this social, and may have gotten a bad taste in their mouth because it didn’t provide a great opportunity to network, or even learn anything.

This really opened our eyes as to what appeals to Members, and what gets them to come out to events. The thought was that people only want to come out to events if they are offered something more than just networking. There needs to be some sort of enticement to get people to attend. Socializing/networking alone just doesn’t cut it. We must have networking AND some sort of education/speaker at our events. 

Moving onwards

After the failure of the Spring Social, we decided to cancel the Summer Social, and focus all of our efforts on a fall educational event to take place the evening before OREA’s Ottawa Emerge session. We decided that this event will be educational in nature, with a small social function held afterwards.

Our big draw to this event is Mayor Jim Watson, who will be talking about Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit project and the City’s plans to revamp Sparks Street.

We are optimistic that this will be a successful event for Ottawa’s YPN. An opportunity to get more Members excited about learning in a social environment.

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The Ottawa YPN – Triumphs and Travails

Six Reasons to Choose Real Estate as a Career

As September slouches toward us and students ready themselves to return to school, have you considered your own career options? More importantly, have you considered real estate? 

Following are six reasons why you should choose real estate if you are thinking of a career change:

1.  No waiting required – part 1. You may apply to the College at any time – either online, by telephone, or in person. All you need to do is meet the following admission requirements:

Have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equipment

– OR –

Be at least 18 years old and pass the OREA Real Estate College Admissions Test (which you can book online)

2.  No waiting required – part 2. You may start the first course in the program – Real Estate as a Professional Career – upon meeting the admission requirements and enrolling in either the correspondence or e-learning method of delivery. Some wait times may apply for classroom delivery but these are usually minimum since sessions are scheduled monthly.

3.  Unlimited income potential. Income will depend on many factors – the number of transactions you close and the brokerage’s compensation plan. Compensation plans will vary depending on the brokerage. For example, some brokerages pay a high percentage of the total commission but the salesperson must pay monthly fees to the brokerage regardless of whether commissions are earned.

4.  Variety is the spice of life – part 1. REALTORS® do perform “typical” tasks, such as prospecting for clients, listing and showing properties, and writing offers. But, no two days are alike, such as no real estate transaction is alike. You will meet and interact with a variety of people with different wants and needs and at times other than the typical nine-to-five. 

5.  Variety is the spice of life – part 2. The first image of a real estate professional is of someone selling a house, which is like saying Bobby Flay is just a cook. Real estate offers many career options so you can match your career in real estate with your personal preferences, interests, individuality, and income expectations.

Selling options: residential resale, new home sales, condo sales, rural and agricultural sales, recreational sales, commercial sales and leasing

Non-selling options: property management, property appraisal, mortgage financing (N.B. – non-selling options may require additional education)

6.  Hit the ground running. OREA Real Estate College is a registered private career college under the Private Career College Act, 2005. Private career colleges offer career-specific training, shorter program durations, hands-on learning, and small class sizes. In addition, private career colleges have their programs approved by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Upon graduation, students of OREA Real Estate College will have the requisite knowledge and skills to practise in the profession.

For more information about real estate as a profession and OREA Real Estate College – http://bit.ly/1uayeT


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Six Reasons to Choose Real Estate as a Career