Let’s negotiate: Ability to reach agreement vital


If you lack negotiation skills, you won’t be able to put together a deal for your clients or keep your business afloat. Negotiating skills are crucial in real estate and, luckily, they can be learned on the job and improved throughout your career.

The REALTOR® Edge newsletter spoke with two Ontario REALTORS® and a negotiating expert to gain insights into how to succeed in negotiations.

Sharon Shortt of Belleville sold more than 1,000 homes during her 25-year sales career. Now a broker of record, she says she understood that her role in the negotiation process was that of a mediator between buyers and sellers.

“Although I am representing my client, if a deal can be negotiated that leaves both the buyer and the seller happy with the result, then we have a successful transaction, and ultimately everyone wins,” says Shortt.

“As REALTORS® we strive to serve the best interests of our clients, but it’s rare for both sides to get every single thing they originally wanted in a real estate transaction. All of us want to serve our clients, but the overall goal is for both buyer and seller to be happy with the result in the end.”

“The goal was for both buyer and seller to be happy with the result, even if they didn’t end up with every term that they originally wanted,” says Shortt.

There is usually something that needs to be negotiated from an original offer, Shortt notes, whether it is the closing date, price change, chattels such as appliances, or numerous other items. Sentimental items can also be a sticking point in negotiations, such as a tree planted by owners when their daughter was born that they wish to take with them. She has seen offers go back and forth as many as eight times, which isn’t that uncommon, she says.

“The challenging points are always the situations you least expect,” she adds. “Sometimes you can work them out, and sometimes you can’t.”

Negotiations can be very difficult, says Shortt, but she considered the challenge as “the very nature of the business — every Realtor has experience with negotiating.”

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Stickhandling offers and negotiations: Join seminar

When the words “tough negotiations” came up in conversation, she thinks back to the pricing negotiations she undertook a number of years ago for a chain of sales where the last buyer made an offer conditional upon the sale of his home, and the offer was accepted. “Unfortunately, as time passed, it became apparent that this buyer wasn’t going to be offered the price he needed for his own property to buy the other. We had to go back and renegotiate the sale price on each of the three properties involved in the chain,” says Shortt. “It was a lot of work to get everyone to agree, but in the end, the transactions all closed successfully.”

Chattels can be a huge stumbling block in the negotiating process, says Michael Gibbons, a Chatham Realtor who turned to real estate six years ago after a 20-year career in retail. He recalls a transaction when ownership of the washer and dryer was a heated point of dispute among the two parties. The laundry room had been custom built with a unique setup and the appliances fit perfectly.

“The washer and dryer were taken out and put back into the offer about four times,” Gibbons says. “It was a big sticking point and both sides were really hung up about it. The fate of these appliances probably added three extra days to the negotiations.”

A creative solution was eventually proposed by Gibbons: he offered to give the buyers his own washer and dryer, which were the same size and would also fit the space perfectly. “From a real estate perspective, it worked out well, but my wife wasn’t happy,” laughs Gibbons. “Sometimes in the heat of negotiations, you have to make quick decisions. In retrospect, I probably should have discussed the idea with my wife beforehand, but fortunately everything worked out in the end.”

“The job for a skilled negotiator is to build enough trust to uncover what’s really important to everyone”

Buyers and sellers sometimes let their emotions take over, which can hobble the negotiating process, he adds. Often, emotion overshadows the professional advice the client receives from the Realtor.

“How important is that chandelier?” Gibbons asked rhetorically. “Emotion always seems to make the value of the items under negotiation worth more.”

When clients dig in their heels and refuse to negotiate, Gibbons often takes them back to the questions he asked during the qualifying process so they remember the bigger picture. He asks them to once again consider carefully what they need and want, and whether the property in question fulfils their requirements.

“In those cases, I know that it meets their needs because they’ve made an offer, so I remind them they might be upset later to lose a property they love because of a disagreement over vertical blinds,” he says.

“Negotiation is where Realtors can bring real value to a transaction,” says Suze Cumming, who sold real estate in Toronto for 25 years prior to opening the Canadian branch of the Negotiation Institute. She now coaches Realtors across the country on negotiating successfully. Cumming believes in a collaborative win-win approach, but says Realtors also need access to competitive tactics to be successful.

People are the complicating factor in any negotiation, says Cumming. “Real estate transactions are unique because there’s so much emotion involved,” she says. “If people don’t feel heard and understood, the negotiation process will be far more challenging.”

When clients dig in their heels on a given point, Cumming examines the stand the clients are taking, tries to understand their area of concern and probes further to discover what’s motivating their behaviour.

“The job for a skilled negotiator is to build enough trust to uncover what’s really important to everyone, and to make sure everyone’s needs are met.”

She recalls a situation when her buyers were among 10 bidders competing for a property they really wanted, but they were unwilling to “grossly overpay”. Cumming learned that the seller had his eye on another property. She advised her clients to submit an offer contingent upon the seller’s ability to purchase the house he wanted. He accepted their offer, even though it was lower than some of the other bids, because that offer took his own needs into account.

“That’s win-win collaborative deal-making,” Cumming says. “The offer put the buyers in a good position because it met everyone’s needs and the seller looked favourably on them.”

“Negotiation skills matter more than any other skills for Realtors because they create better experiences and outcomes for the clients.”

Negotiating Tips from the Three Sources Quoted Above:

Don’t be afraid to ask; the worst the other party can do is say no.
Make sure all agreements are written into the offer and the APS.
Negotiating is a learning process; if you make an error, learn for next time.
Become flawless in the essentials of real estate: legal issues, ethical issues, financial issues and negotiation.
Remember that clients, unlike Realtors, don’t negotiate daily. Don’t press them. Most people are reasonable if they are given enough time to think things through.
Share all relevant information with your clients so they can make good decisions.

Story by Elaine Smith

Sources: Suze Cumming, Michael Gibbons, Sharron Shortt

Editor’s Note: Suze Cumming teaches courses on negotiation in real estate across the country. Her course to become a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®1 designation) is being offered in May in Toronto at REALTOR® Quest, Canada’s largest REALTOR® trade show and conference. For details, visit www.thenatureofrealestate.com/negotiation or www.realtor-quest.ca.

Editorial Policy: The REALTOR® EDGE newsletter is produced 11 times a year by the Ontario Real Estate Association. The newsletter aims to provide practical and useful news and information about the real estate industry to members of the association. The opinions expressed in the newsletter are not necessarily those of the publisher. The newsletter welcomes submissions from the real estate community, including letters to the editor, opinion pieces, events and news. The newsletter reserves the right to edit, based on space restrictions and/or suitability, and/or to refuse submitted material for inclusion in the newsletter without reason. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher, OREA, is prohibited. Contents are copyright of the Ontario Real Estate Association.

Editor: Mary Ann Gratton

Contributors to this issue: Merv Burgard, Mary Ann Gratton

Web Editor: Shade Lapite

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Let’s negotiate: Ability to reach agreement vital

OREA president featured on radio show

Ray Ferris, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, will be the guest expert on a radio show starting this weekend. 

The show, “Ask the Experts”, is scheduled to run on Saturday, April 2 at 5 p.m. on Newstalk 1010 and is hosted by Iain Grant. This weekend’s show will introduce Ferris and OREA to the listening audience and aims to cover a variety of real estate questions and issues. The president will discuss the value that a REALTOR® brings to the real estate transaction, as well as answering questions from the host about real estate.

The one-hour radio program can be heard across the province at 1010 on the AM dial. Ferris is scheduled to appear on the show again in several subsequent interviews this spring and fall. His second interview is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 at 5:00 p.m. and will cover some of the less-well known ways that a REALTOR® can help the public during a real estate transaction.

“Ask the Experts” is a public radio show described on the station’s website, www.newstalk1010.com, as an opportunity for members of the public to “talk directly to the movers and shakers. You will get inside information and knowledge that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s a great way for you to get free advice on everything from plumbing to legal.”

If you have questions, comments or ideas for future real estate topics on the radio program, send an email to info@orea.com with the subject line “Radio program comments.”

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OREA president featured on radio show

Tories Hold on to Whitby-Oshawa

The results are in for last night’s by-election. PC candidate, and Ontario’s newest MPP, Lorne Coe won the seat with a comfortable 25-point lead over Liberal candidate Elizabeth Roy.

Whitby Oshawa is considered a conservative stronghold. The seat was previously held by PC MPP Christine Elliott for a number of years.

OREA’s GR team would like to congratulate Mr. Coe on his election. We look forward to working with him and his team on key REALTOR® issues.

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Tories Hold on to Whitby-Oshawa

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

Slowing down: Surviving the lean season

Winter is often a slower period in real estate. The cyclical nature of real estate sales poses challenges for REALTORS®, who must manage the lean times in order to remain in business during the busy season. The Edge newsletter talked to three REALTORS® in different cities to learn how they adjust to the ups and downs of the sales cycle.

When Don MacDonald, who has been a REALTOR in Sault Ste. Marie for 50 years, was first starting out in the business, sales were slow and money was tight in December.

“We got a $50 bonus and I used it to pay my electric bill so I would have electricity for Christmas,” MacDonald says. Even after he settled into his career, “I don’t ever remember a good December,” he says.

Nonetheless, MacDonald never sits idle at year’s end; instead, he plants the seeds for business in the New Year by sending out his trademark calendars to former buyers and prospective buyers and by spending time meeting people and volunteering.

“If you put effort into those things, you’ll benefit from the preparation time later,” MacDonald says. Meanwhile, he makes sure to have a “rainy day fund” for the leaner times of year. He suggests setting aside at least three months’ salary as a safety net.

“You must build up a backup to carry you for a few months,” he says. “That way, you won’t be in a bad spot where you’re unable to take care of your affairs. Put some money aside during the good times.”

MacDonald never sits idle at year’s end; instead, he plants the seeds for business in the New Year.

Over the years, he has also learned to budget.  He estimates the number of contacts that lead to a showing; the number of showings that lead to offers; and the number of offers that lead to sales. With a particular income goal in mind, MacDonald knows what’s necessary to achieve it. “My philosophy has always been that my budget is what I spend, so if I spend more, I need to work more,” MacDonald says.

Lydia Ingles, a Newmarket REALTOR® with 28 years’ experience, says that she has learned to put money aside regularly for the times when deals aren’t happening. She also has her brokerage automatically put aside her HST funds so that she can pay the government without thinking twice about it.

“When you first get into the business, you blow your cheques on expensive cars or trips, but now I try to invest money or put it into a separate account,” she says. “For every deal I do, I keep $500 and treat myself.”

During the slower times of the year, “I emphasize my marketing, networking and volunteering,” Ingles says. “I’m always volunteering and it makes a difference. For example, I’m always at church working in the kitchen, and now that people know I’m in real estate, they ask me how things are going and come to me with real estate questions. I do industry networking, too, through OREA and CREA.”

Read the January EDGE
Campaign success prevents expanded land transfer tax
Living beyond your means in real estate

It really pays off, Ingles says. All of her business during the past year was either from repeat customers or from referrals. “If you give, you get, but you must give unselfishly,” Ingles says. During slack times, she also prepares marketing materials for distribution during busier periods. Her signature postcards – “they get a great response” — go out four times a year, so she readies them in advance.

“I try to be ready so that when I’m busy, I don’t have to do other work,” Ingles says. Ingles also finds that the slower season is a good time to take industry-related courses; most recently, she took a class focused on electronic signatures. She suggests that for those new to the business, it’s a perfect time to ask a more experienced colleague for advice and guidance.

Georgiana Woods, a Toronto REALTOR® with 28 years of experience, notes that REALTORS® who are early in their careers probably spend everything they make “because they need to do so.” However, it’s important to develop a business plan and a budget, she says, so they know what they need to spend each month, as well as for the year.

“Be aware of the rainy day syndrome and save for a rainy day,” Woods says. “Don’t spend every penny you make if you can help it, because I can guarantee there will be rainy days in real estate: times when a deal doesn’t close or when interest rates go up.”

“Don’t spend every penny you make if you can help it, because I can guarantee there will be rainy days.”

Even during slower times of the year, Woods stays busy because she’s looking ahead. “You must prospect continually,” Woods says. “I also believe in automated systems that are working when you’re not, such as emails and newsletters. It’s important to reach out and connect with people on a regular basis.

“Use database marketing. I work through my database of clients and put aside time for calls and prospecting daily. I keep records through a contact management system with notes on whether someone’s daughter just graduated from college or if they had a new baby. If you don’t remember them, they won’t remember you.”

At slower times of the year, Woods reviews her systems and ensure that they are up-to-date. She also takes some “me” time to go to the gym and makes more time for her family, since time is a commodity that can be scarce during the busier months.

Woods also takes time to build up her networks. She has created a chain of REALTORS® across Canada whom she can turn to when a client needs a referral in another market.

“I’m hugely into networking and brainstorming,” says Woods. “I arrange an annual get-together for us so that everyone knows someone they trust in other markets. It’s nice to be able to send clients to someone who will take extra special care of them.”

Tips for Surviving the Slower Periods:

Build up your rainy day fund
Put savings into a separate account – if you don’t see it, you can’t spend it
Host open houses for colleagues to make contacts
Phone people to say hello
Join groups and volunteer
Get all the training you can
Never give up.

by Elaine Smith

Sources: Lydia Ingles, Don MacDonald, Georgiana Woods

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Slowing down: Surviving the lean season

Things to think about in the new year

I once read that there are 3 kinds of people;

1) Those that make things happen

2) Those that watch things happen

3) And…those that say “what just happened”

 Which one are you?

If you are a Realtor and want to choose one of those 3 options, maybe you should consider volunteering on your local board. But why? It’s going to take time, you have other priorities – family, friends, not to mention your business.

Please let me offer 3 good reasons;

1) You will learn what is really happening in the real estate business –trends, new techniques, technology apps, how to stay out of trouble

2) The board will pay for your volunteer leadership training which will also translate to better business practices, more referrals and more business

3) You will have the satisfaction that you made a difference in making your profession better – how often does that happen?

Take a look at the 3 kinds of people again….can you afford Not to volunteer?

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Things to think about in the new year

Miss Real Estate Manners – Part 3

This is the third installment of tips on courtesy in real estate, taken from guidelines produced by the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR). The following article in the REALTOR® EDGE newsletter is excerpted from the guidelines with permission from LSTAR.

Real estate is a reputation business. What you do today may affect your reputation and business for years to come. Bear this in mind: in professional life, where career and business depend on the way you deal with your peers and clients, courtesy is of paramount importance. Here are 12 tips to help you observe the three Cs in real estate: courtesy, communication and common sense.

Ensure that your Open House and For Sale signs are in compliance with municipal by-laws.  (A professional knows better than to post signs that aren’t.)

Use sidewalks and paths. Avoid unnecessary walking on the grass and through flowerbeds.

Don’t smoke, eat or drink in a home while showing it. Encourage your prospects to wait until they are outside before lighting up or cracking open that can of pop. And don’t let them bring their pet to the viewing.

If occupants are home during showings, ask their permission before using the telephone or bathroom.

Extend a courteous and positive attitude to your administrative staff and the administrative staff of other offices, clients, colleagues and the public.

Ring the bell or knock on the door before entering a home (this also applies to a home that has a lockbox), since the owner may still be home. Call out when you enter a home if you were unable to reach someone by knocking on the door. Let them know who you are. You don’t want to give the sellers a heart attack … or be savaged by their pit bull.

Knock and announce yourself loudly before entering any closed room. It might be closed for a reason. Inform occupants that you are leaving after showings so they don’t have to wonder whether you’re still there.

Communicate clearly; don’t use jargon or slang that may not be readily understood.

If your lockbox is in an unusual place, inform the showing REALTOR® where it is.

Remove shoes or boots upon entering a home and encourage your customers and clients to do so as well. (Remember, we live in Canada; our shoes and boots are yucky a good part of the year!)

Do not tell people what you think.  Tell them what you know.

Promise only what you can deliver and keep your promises.

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 – Part 3

Election 2015

Canadians are halfway through one of the longest federal election campaigns in recent memory. Canadians from coast to coast to coast are scheduled to vote October 19th, 2015.

In the lead up to election day, the Canadian Real Estate Association has put together a great toolkit for REALTORS® across the country to engage with local candidates and get involved.  To learn more, make sure to login to CREA’s REALTOR® Action Network and gain access to a wide array of member only advocacy tools.

For more information on registering to vote, riding information, advanced polls and other voting related inquiries please visit the Election’s Canada website.

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Election 2015

Featured Alumnus: Bruce Brown

When Bruce Brown decided to switch professions – to real estate from high technology – he knew he would be working on the weekends. One year into his real estate career, Bruce still believed he had made the right choice.

To learn about Bruce’s profession prior to becoming a REALTOR® and why he made a switch to real estate, please join our Alumni Program. It’s free to join!

The Alumni Program has a dedicated, members-only website that includes information on networking events, links to real-estate specific media, discussion boards, and online members; directory. In addition, members may download the following audio podcasts for free:

How to Build a Successful Real Estate Team

The 5 Pillars of Loyalty

Mentoring Matters

What Makes a Successful REALTOR®?

Building Your Personal Brand

The Matrimonial Home: Some Basic Facts

Closing the Sale

What is Due Diligence?

To join, you must be a graduate of OREA Real Estate College and a member of OREA. To join, go to http://bit.ly/1IryRuO.


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Featured Alumnus: Bruce Brown

Mentorship in real estate

Mentorship comes in different shapes and patterns, but many REALTORS® can benefit from the guidance of others, no matter how that mentoring is delivered.

From one-on-one sessions to group meetings and formalized training programs, mentorship in real estate takes many forms. Various methods and strategies are used by REALTORS® in Ontario to encourage and support learning. The REALTOR® EDGE newsletter spoke with various professionals who talked about the importance of sharing and passing on knowledge.

Anna Vozza, a Windsor REALTOR®, entered the real estate business 15 years ago to work for an independent brokerage. Now a director at the Ontario Real Estate Association, Vozza says she has had the good fortune to be mentored informally by the brokerage owner, Bob Pedler.

“He is my grandfather’s age, and he mentored me and took me under his wing,” Vozza says. “He has been the president of organizations of every level of real estate, and I want to follow in his footsteps. I am a leader now in real estate because he pushed me.”

“Having a mentor who shares his wisdom and experience has been a godsend.”

Each morning of the business week, Vozza has coffee and an informal chat in the office with her mentor.

“It’s one-on-one time where we talk over the coming day, the listings and the issues arising from deals that are on the go,” Vozza says. “He has taught me that nothing is unachievable if I put my mind to it. During my first commercial deal, he stood by in case there were problems, but he kept encouraging me and telling me, ‘You can do it.’ ”

Vozza believes that success in real estate “isn’t something you can learn from a book. We’re in the business of building relationships.” Having a mentor who shares his wisdom and experience has been a godsend, she says. “Depending on what’s going on at the time, he can be a listener, advisor or coach,” she says. “My mentor listens to me vent, is a sounding board in a deal, gets me back on track positively and helps me work through the next deal. He also advises me on how to deal with different personalities.”

Formal Mentorship

When Sue Symons first became a REALTOR® seven-and-a-half years ago, she was assigned to a mentor at the office where she was based. “The broker assessed people to see if there would be a good fit between mentor and protégé,” she says of the brokerage’s mentorship program. “The mentor had to have experience, but the match was based on the broker’s assessment of whether the two personalities would work well together.”

Symons was paired with the same REALTOR® who had sold her home, a woman with several years of experience. “It was the right fit for me,” Symons says. “My mentor was client-focused and she is one of the hardest workers I know. Our mentoring process was fairly informal. We discussed how to write a deal or talked about wells, tanks and technical things. She also brought me in and trained me on things like running an effective open house.”

The benefits of mentorship became very clear from that experience, says Symons.  She is now the owner and broker of record at her own North Bay real estate brokerage, with 28 REALTORS® on site. Symons has established a mentorship program at her own brokerage that combines mentorship with formal training. The mentorship officially lasts a year, but informally, it can continue forever. “The value of teaching people to be true professionals is so important,” she says.

Each REALTOR® who joins Symons’ brokerage is required to attend a week of intensive training, along with scheduled weekly sales training sessions that address topics such as how to build trust and technical subjects such as understanding agency agreements. Although these sessions are mandatory for new salespeople, they are open to everyone.

“Our whole office has a mentorship focus,” Symons says. “We spend a lot of time on training and mentoring, and everyone is encouraged to ask for and provide help to others. I would call it a mentoring environment.”

Mentoring even comes into play when Symons works with a client, something she does not do often in her current role as broker of record, unless the client insists on her services. In that case, she will take the project on as a co-listing with one of her REALTORS® and use it as a teaching opportunity.

“Mentoring people through the entire sales process is a great way to help them when they’re getting started in this business,” Symons says.

Read the September EDGE
Complaints service helps at stressful time
Serving buyers in the pre-construction phase

Many Minds Are Better Than One

At the Toronto brokerage where Bill Johnston works as a REALTOR®, mentorship takes the form of collective wisdom through a process the firm calls Mastermind. Every Wednesday morning, many of the REALTORS® gather in a conference room to come up with solutions to problems posed by individual salespeople or brokers.

“For anyone with an issue or concern, that group can brainstorm,” says Johnston, who has been in the business for 33 years. “That session is the most practical and beneficial mentorship I’ve come across during my years in real estate. It is very concrete and specific, and we get a lot of input and insights.”

The session lasts one hour. The facilitator is usually one of the managers at the brokerage who keeps strict track of the time since everyone has a busy day ahead.

“I support the group approach,” says Johnston. “Although it can be helpful to have one person as a sounding board, too much one-on-one mentoring can foster dependency, and the mentor may not always be around. REALTORS® need to learn to be self-sufficient.”

“It’s up to the facilitator to keep the discussion moving so that topics don’t get left behind or beaten to death,” Johnston says. “It’s fair to say that there is at least one answer offered for every problem. Even after 33 years, I still learn new things at these meetings.”

Mentoring Advice for Brokers:

  1. Set up a mentoring program. These programs help new people and enhance the professionalism of the industry across the board
  2. Reach out to other brokers who have programs. Sharing knowledge reduces the need to re-invent the wheel.
  3. It doesn’t have to be complicated. A mentorship program is simply an opportunity for people to learn from others and apply those lessons. It can be as simple as you make it.
  4. Mentoring programs support ongoing learning. Continuous learning is worthwhile even for seasoned professionals. These programs get everyone thinking and involved.
  5. REALTORS® are honoured to be asked to participate. They see it as a responsibility and take it seriously.
  6. Emphasize the value of seeing other REALTORS® as part of the family. Help other agents and learn from them. The more you give back, the more you gain, ten-fold.
  7. Mentorship teaches the importance of being a good self-manager. This business provides a great deal of freedom but there is also lots of room to fail. Mentorship keeps the focus on self-discipline, professionalism, due diligence and good work habits.

Story by Elaine Smith

Sources: Bill Johnston, Sue Symons, Anna Vozza

For more information on mentorship in real estate, the OREA Real Estate College has produced A Mentoring Kit for New Salespeople. The kit contains chapters on resources, planning, sales, skills and professionalism, along with CDs and information on how real estate is structured in Ontario. It can be purchased for $10 plus tax. To purchase the kit through OREA’s e-Store, visit www.orea.com and click on OREA Real Estate College and then on Learning Tools to find A Mentoring Kit for New Salespeople. You can also order the kit by telephone by calling (416) 391-6732 or toll-free 1-866-411 6732 and speaking with one of OREA’s customer service representatives.

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Mentorship in real estate