Throwback Thursday: Home Ownership Matters

Home Ownership Matters to people, to communities and to Ontario

It has been almost five years since OREA launched its very successful “Home Ownership Matters” campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to promote greater support for affordable home ownership to candidates, political parties and key decision makers.

Thanks to OREA’s public relations and adverting efforts, our message was picked up by major news outlets and more importantly, by key decision makers. Thanks to the “Home Ownership Matters” campaign, all major Ontario political parties included home ownership and housing friendly policies in their election platforms.

The message of affordable housing continues to resonate today and OREA continues to communicate this important message to government.

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Throwback Thursday: Home Ownership Matters

Do we really make a difference?

I was in a beautiful, small Ontario town attending a well organized, volunteer-based community event.

One of our members, who had received some of our volunteer leadership development training, was on the Board of Directors of the local Chamber of Commerce.

That member was no longer a volunteer on the local real estate board but they were contributing to their community and I felt a strong sense of pride about the volunteer training that we had done.

You can call it the multiplier effect or “pay it forward”. OREA’s volunteer training was helping volunteers make an additional contribution to their local community.

In the last 10 years 14,000 members have invested in volunteer training, so just imagine the ripple effect that it’s making on their community contributions.

As I drove away from that small Ontario town I realized the positive impact that real estate volunteers have made all over the province for the betterment of communities and it citizens. And I was proud that OREA was there to help.


Do we really make a difference?

A wake up call for meeting organizers

There are many times I have heard volunteers say after a meeting, “What a waste of time – we should have been finished an hour ago.” That should be a wake up call to all of us who organize meetings. Even comedian Milton Berle knew how painful meetings could be when he said,“A committee or board is a group of people who take minutes and waste hours.”

I’ve discovered three golden rules for volunteers:

1. give them work

2. never waste their time

3. recognize them.

For EOs and Chairpersons, we need to step up our game and respect our volunteers’ time. I could write a small book on how to improve meetings but here are some tips;

– Never call a meeting for the sake of calling a meeting

– Have a short and concise agenda and stick to it

– Don’t let one or two people dominate the discussion

– Get everyone’s opinion but reduce repetition

– Set a time for the length of the meeting and don’t go over

– If there are only a few items to discuss, try a conference call

Let’s make the volunteer experience productive and satisfying. Now is the time.


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A wake up call for meeting organizers

Uncommon Common Sense

“Yesterday I died.” It’s a common feeling among students subjected to communication and teaching styles based on ‘common sense’.

“First tell them what you’re going to say. Then, tell them. In the end, tell them what you said, again.”

This is sheer nonsense. I doubt this recommended, repetitive rubbish was ever true. It continues to be so widely accepted that the adage has entered the realm of common sense used as a banner of justification and rationalization.

Learning, listening, and understanding require engagement, passion, and drama. We tune out robotic principles and approaches that use repetition as its underlining architecture. In our world of explosive information, we can’t waste time ‘killing’ our students with reciting, retelling, and recapping, unless boring your audience is your unspoken objective.

Storytelling, replete with key knowledge, open to questioning, discussion, and debate is the uncommon common sense that is acutely needed.

Enough said.


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Uncommon Common Sense

7 questions that lead boards to better decisions

One of the challenges that we see boards of directors struggle with is how to reach a consensus decision. As board members share their perspectives and insights, discussions can get bogged down in unimportant details or get derailed by one member’s personal agenda. To avoid these pitfalls try discussing these Group Decision Making Questions as you deliberate. They will keep you on track and focused on the board’s fiduciary responsibilities leading you to better decisions for your members.

1) What are the objectives for making this decision – what do we hope to achieve?

2) How does the decision help advance the purpose of the association?

3) Which strategic goal(s) does the decision help achieve?

4) Does the decision serve the fiduciary responsibilities of the board?

5) What risk is associated with this decision and can it be mitigated?

6) What is the risk of not making this decision?

7) How will success be measured?

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7 questions that lead boards to better decisions


More Ontario residence now have a favourable opinion of the real estate market in their local city or town, according to the Ontario Home Ownership Index, a bi-annual research study commissioned by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and conducted by Ipsos Reid.

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What Your Buyers Need to Know About Tarion

Did you know, the statutory warranty protection on a home is valid for seven years from the original date of possession? Even if the home’s ownership changes hands in that time, the home warranty stays with the home.

To learn more about warranty coverage check out Tarion’s Resale Homes Resources. They have a number of great tools for real estate professionals and your clients.

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What Your Buyers Need to Know About Tarion

Is making money your passion?

Some questions give me feelings of cardiac arrest.

“Will I make a lot of money selling real estate?” Invariably, this is the most heartbreaking interrogation posed by prospective students. Regardless of my paraphrase of Confucius that you should choose a job you love if you want to never have to work a day in your life, these interrogators insist on putting a price on their career.

When I was young, education focused on values and, in particular, responsibilities. Today, people are more apt to pronounce, “That’s not my responsibility.” Folks seem to have embraced ‘my rights’, ‘my price’, ‘I’m the victim’ mentalities.

Research, popularized by countless ‘how-to’ books and motivational speakers, reveal that you become what you believe. If you see yourself as a winner, you win. If you see yourself as a loser, you’ll become a loser. This basic reality is important to understand.

If you pick your career to pursue money, realize that money makes you more of what you are. It doesn’t change you. Your focus on riches will only make you more materialistic.

A career in real estate is a people-oriented, problem-solving occupation. It requires commitment to others, not dabbling for selfish motives. If money is your passion, look elsewhere because real estate sales will not make you happy.

A career in real estate requires a great deal of self-knowledge. Don’t enter the profession without it.


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Is making money your passion?

New advertisements released in REALTOR® value campaign

An exciting new slate of advertisements is being released next week to promote the value of using a REALTOR® to consumers across Ontario. Television commercials will be shown across the province from March 2 to 22 and again from April 6 to 26 as part of the REALTORS® we do the homework™ campaign. As well, new billboard ads will be on display for four weeks, starting March 16. Social media and a consumer website, will also be used to promote the importance of using a REALTOR®.


New advertisements released in REALTOR® value campaign

Tips to Stay Organized

Meeting clients, returning phone calls, showings, and home evaluations. Let us acknowledge that we need to be organized to succeed.

Staying organized has a ton of advantages.

Arriving on time shows competence
Calling on time shows professionalism
Being prepared for home evaluations

Whether you, email, bring a folder, use your tablets, or smartphones. Staying organized is a challenge that can be overcome!

I like to keep a reminder on my phone that prompts me of important dates, times and calls.

I use these tools daily… I write in my weekly planner tasks or goals for the week, I have a separate monthly calendar that has my non business related events. If I know something is very important I make sure that I make notes on both. I may also plug in an address and contact number in my phone in case it is an appointment to meet a client. I like to be organized and give myself enough time to prepare. So I will set up the reminder notification for 1 hour prior to the meeting. I found this worked for me, see how much time you require as notice. Noting is wrong it is just different.

Regardless if you are a paper based or digital the best tool may be the item you use the most in your day. For most it is the phone, voice recognition technology has allowed us to talk into our phones to schedule an appointment or a reminder call for a specific time period.

My preference at this time is an annual calendar that allows me to quickly look months in the future and I do not have to worry about draining my battery, whatever tool you use make sure that you feel comfortable and that you will use it.

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Tips to Stay Organized