REM – RECO decision riles education providers

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) is set to introduce a new online mandatory continuing education program that it says will provide significant benefits to registrants.reco

The courses will be administered and delivered directly from RECO, a move that has riled the province’s third-party education providers.

Set to start August 1, the new program represents a complete overhaul of the current system in terms of content, structure, price and how courses are delivered. The new course material has been limited to focus strictly on consumer protection, regulatory matters and current industry issues. These courses will be delivered in an online format only.

The entire continuing education program, which will be phased in over a two-year period, will cost registrants a mere $44 for the whole two-year cycle. RECO says this low fee is based on the fact that it is delivering the entire program online and that it is a not-for-profit organization working strictly on a cost-recovery basis.

This marks a significant departure from the current system where approved third-party education providers offer courses in several real estate, business and technology related subjects, and deliver these courses not only online, but also through correspondence and in a classroom setting.

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REM – Networking 101 for new agents

handshakeOne of the most important ways to meet new prospects in real estate is by networking, both online and offline.

Before you decided to become a real estate agent, you had to figure out if you had the qualities required to do this job. Being social and outgoing are two of the most important traits necessary to make it in this tough industry. I’ll be perfectly honest with you; I was not the most outgoing person before I started this career. But I learned the importance of the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” and have since mastered the art of networking.

Here I will explain the basis of networking face-to-face and online. Some of it might seem like common sense or very basic to you but, trust me, I’ve seen and heard some horror stories when it comes to networking.

The why is simple. Your goal is to be top of mind when someone decides to sell/buy real estate. You have to get the word out that you are a qualified real estate agent who knows the market. Advertising will only take you so far. I consider advertising to be the re-enforcement of your networking efforts. If all you do is advertise and never network, you will not be able to maximize your brand out in the market and will have to spend a lot more money.

REM – CREA partners with FCAC

CREA is collaborating with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to help consumers navigate theLaunching The Homebuyer’s Roadmap, from left: Pauline Aunger, CREA director-at-large; Ursula Menke, FCAC commissioner; Gary Simonsen, CREA CEO; Shelly Glover, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Finance; and Ansel Clarke, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. complexities and financial implications of purchasing a home. The Homebuyers’ Road Map was recently launched on CREA’s website at

In a recent Nanos Research survey for CREA, more than 63 per cent of Canadians indicated a “major need” for more information about the financial details of buying a home. That figure rose to 70 per cent for respondents between the ages of 18 and 29.

“As Realtors, we appreciate that young Canadians and first-time homebuyers are craving more information about the financial details required to purchase a home. The purpose of the Homebuyers’ Road Map is to empower consumers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions about one of the largest purchases they will ever make,” says Gary Simonsen, CREA’s CEO.

Launched to coincide with Financial Literacy Month, the map is a guide that will help Canadians better understand the home buying process as well as appreciate the importance of negotiating with lenders and researching government programs, says CREA.