REALinfo

Keeping RAHB Members Informed

RAHB’s Latest News

Musings from RAHB CEO George O’Neill

Matrix Update

On June 6, 2017, you received an email from RAHB President Lou Piriano and me that announced a mid-August 2017 launch of our Matrix system. I’m excited about the launch since RAHB’s new MLS® System has been designed specifically for RAHB members and contains many new features that we are confident you will find to be very helpful in your day to day business as a REALTOR®.

Our new MLS® platform is Matrix 7.0, the latest version available from CoreLogic. It will include new market reporting tools, a new customer portal, a direct openhouses.ca interface and a host of other new features that will provide you with tools you can use to offer enhanced services to your clients and better ways to communicate with them.  And all this will be available on your mobile phone, tablet or desktop – it is fully responsive on all devices.

You can expect to preview our new Matrix system in mid-July, about four weeks before our cutover date.  If you are already using the regional Matrix system for searches, you will have no trouble with our system. The preview period will give you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with our Matrix and to ensure all your saved searches and customer contact data have been transferred properly from the regional system as well as from our Fusion system.  Training will be offered for those who wish to learn how to load and maintain listings in our Matrix system, even though many will find the interface very intuitive.  Listing search will be almost identical to the regional system, which you are most likely already familiar with.  Training will also be offered for the entire system, for those who require an update.

You will be hearing more about RAHB’s Matrix launch in the coming weeks – be sure to watch for information, webinars, tips and instructions in upcoming issues of The Shift. In the mean time, continue to load your listings and do all your listing maintenance in Fusion.

Now a word about data sharing. As we mentioned in our June 6 email, RAHB’s Board of Directors had serious concerns with the way ORTIS, the company managing the regional Matrix system, operates. This is not new; we communicated our concerns to you in the past. After almost a year of trying to have these issues addressed and to put in place an equitable data share approach, our  Board determined that ORTIS was unable to meet RAHB’s expectations of professionalism and the standards of service our members are used to. Therefore, our Board notified ORTIS that RAHB will be leaving ORTIS on our Matrix launch date.

What does this mean for you?  Based on understandings already in place with ORTIS, you should continue to have access to the regional Matrix system for your listing searches until cutover to the RAHB Matrix system.  We don’t have any guarantees after that date, but be assured RAHB continues to be open to discussing with our neighbouring boards and associations continued access to listing search  beyond our cutover date.

We are hosting webinars to address any questions you have and to provide more details about our Matrix launch. These will take place on June, 15, 16 and 20, all starting at 9:30 a.m.  An invitation was sent to all members on June 9, 2017 and you can register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/1491618748198792706. There will also be additional information in upcoming issues of The Shift. We will keep you up to date and help you prepare for your new Matrix 7.0 MLS® System!

Best regards,

George O’Neill
RAHB CEO

One step closer…

ABR class

Class photo of the participants in the May 15-16, 2017 Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) course. This two-day course was one requirement on the path to the designation. Congrats to all who participated!

Professional Development for REALTORS®

Held at RAHB – 505 York Blvd. Lower level room: C – Chambers    M – McCullough

Computer Courses:

New Member Computer Training Level 1
Thursday, June 15 – C 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Professional Development Courses:

Tax and Estate Planning (Lunch & Learn) – Peter Bowen
Monday, June 5, 2017 – M FREE
10 a.m. – Noon (followed by lunch)

FINTRAC Legal Update (NEW!) – Mark Weisleder 
Friday, June 9,  2017 – M
10 a.m. – Noon
$30+HST

Successful Email Marketing – Mark Brodsky 
Monday, June 12, 2017 – M
10 a.m. – Noon
FREE

New Interactive Zoning Lookup Tool – Sue Rimac
​Monday, June 26, 2017 – M
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
FREE

HST on New Construction (NEW!) – Mark Purdy
Wednesday, July 26,  2017
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

​Master Open House – Amyn Chagan
​​Tuesday, September 12, 2017
​9 a.m. – Noon
$79+HST Early bird (by September 5, 2017)
$99+HST regular

To register, or for more information, contact Angela at 905.529.8101 x233 or angelam@rahb.ca.

Promote listing and open house showings with metal sign frames from the Realty Shoppe!

Realty Shoppe Sign Frame

Colonial “L” style – 2 pieces (choice of black or white, 31”w x 72”h – 11” shank with stabilizer bar, $38.45 ea.*)
Colonial – top only (Choice of black or white $19.05 ea.*)
Colonial – bottom only (Choice of black or white, 35”h – 11” shank w/stabilizer bar, $23.65 ea.*)

 

Realty Shoppe Double "H" style signs

Double “H” style – 2 pieces (Black only, 24 ½”w x 54”h (14” shank), Holds 18”h x 24”w sign inserts, $35.95 ea.*)
Double “H” (bottom only $19.45 ea.*)

 

Realty Shoppe Open house “A” frame

Open house “A” frame (Choice of black or white, Holds 18”h x 24”w sign inserts, $31.55 ea.*)

 


Realty Shoppe Logo

Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. T.: 905.529.5979 F.: 905.529.7109
E.: realtyshoppe@rahb.ca * All applicable taxes are extra. Prices subject to change.

RAHB dues deadline June 30, 2017

The quarterly RAHB dues have been billed and e-mailed to you as part of your May monthly invoice. Please note that dues are payable no later than June 30, 2017.

RAHB Full Member Dues Are As Follows:

$125.00 – RAHB dues (July – Sept)

$28.75 – OREA dues (July – Sept)

$77.50 – CREA dues (July – Sept)

$30.06 – HST

$261.31 Total

Acceptable methods of payment:

In Person: Visa, MasterCard, Interac, cash or cheque

By Phone: Visa or MasterCard

Online through Fusion: Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Visa Debit (NEW) https://mdweb.mmsi2.com/rahb (Note: Requires your Fusion login and password.)

Online: CIBC/PC Financial, Royal Bank, Scotia Bank, TD Canada Trust – for assistance in set-up, please contact Karin at 905.529.8101 x258.

Pre-authorized payment subscribers will be processed on Wednesday June 21, 2017.

A reminder about notifying RAHB of terminations in your office

Brokerages are responsible for notifying RAHB when members in their office resign or otherwise leave. Notice must be received by RAHB within seven business days of the member leaving. If notice is delayed beyond the seven business days, the Brokerage will be assessed a penalty of $50 per incident. (RAHB Bylaw, Article 4, Section 1.02.)

Applications for the 2017 Karan Barker Scholarships are now available!

Does your daughter or son – or granddaughter or grandson – qualify for a Karan Barker Scholarship?

Does she or he…

1. attend, or have an acceptance to attend, university or community college?

2. demonstrate academic excellence? Get involved in school activities or the community?

3. show maturity, initiative and/or strength of character?

If this sounds like your child or grandchild have them complete an application for a 2017 Karan Barker Scholarship!

Application deadline is Friday, August 11, 2017.

Karan Barker Scholarship

Bully offers: know the rules

The RAHB Board of Directors recently approved a change to the MLS® Rules to address a very hot topic – pre-emptive offers, also known as bully offers.

So how do you properly prepare for a bully offer?

Step one: If you are suggesting holding offers until a particular day, or your seller wants to delay offers, you must discuss the pros and cons of this strategy with your client.

Step two: You receive clear direction from your client regarding how they would like to deal with bully offers. Using OREA Form #244, Seller’s Direction re: Property/Offers, make sure that your client has clarified how much information they want to receive if a bully offer comes in. Do they want to:

  • be notified of pre-emptive offers, without seeing details?
  • only consider offers that are above a certain price point?
  • consider all offers before the offer presentation date?
  • not be informed about any pre-emptive offers at all?

These particulars should be included in the REALTOR® Remarks field of the MLS® Listing.

OREA’s Form #244, Seller’s Direction re: Property/Offers is extremely important because as a REALTOR® you must act in strict accordance with the instructions that you are given. The law is clear: as a registrant, you must convey an offer to your client as soon as possible unless your client has given clear, detailed written direction to do otherwise.

Step three: Of course your client can still change their mind. However, you must make sure that you have a new written direction from your client via RAHB’s Amendment to Listing Agreement form.

Step four: Once you have a completed the Amendment to Listing Agreement form, you must do two more things before you can present a bully offer to your client:

a) update the property’s MLS® listing REALTOR® Remarks section to explain that offers are now being presented.

b) you must notify IN WRITING (text messages and emails are acceptable) anyone who has  expressed an interest in the property that offers are being accepted. This includes anyone who has booked a viewing appointment, has viewed the property, has informed you or your brokerage they are interested in submitting an offer, or anyone who has submitted an offer (or offer summary sheet) for the property.

With this clarification about who is considered to be an “interested party” and what is considered written notice, you will be able to deal with bully offers in a fair and transparent manner for the benefit of everyone.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact our MLS® Department at 905.667.4650 or mls@rahb.ca. Our staff will be happy to assist you.

Charity golf tournament: women’s shelters are the big winners!

Gusting winds, sweltering heat and predictions of thunderstorms didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of RAHB members, friends and sponsors at the 2017 Charity Golf Tournament.

The annual event, held May 18 at the prestigious Beverly Golf and Country Club, raised money for two local women’s shelters: Halton Women’s Place and the Interval House of Hamilton. Representatives from both organizations were on hand to play in the tournament and to receive cheques for the proceeds from the tournament. Each organization received $2,500, and will receive additional funds when the final tally is in.

RAHB 2017 Charity Golf Tournament Highlights include:

Ladies’ and Men’s Longest Drive
Jennifer Daniel and James Mink

Putting Contest
1st Nicole Vandervelde, 2nd Brian O’Donovan, 3rd Nic von Bredow

Foursome at Beverly Golf & Country Club
Frank Carestia

Grand Door Prize (Propane BBQ)
Dan Ciccone

View more highlights in the photos below!

RAHB Golf Tournament Charities

(l-r) Laurie Hepburn, Halton Women’s Shelter; RAHB President Lou Piriano; Nancy Smith, Interval House

 

RAHB Charity Golf Tournament Top Foursome

Top Foursome (l-r) Frank Salvatore, Paul Silvestri, Franco Silvestri, Frank Carestia

 

RAHB Charity Golf Tournament Closest to the Smirnoff Contest

Closest to the Smirnoff Contest Winner – Gary Stirling

 

RAHB Charity Golf Tournament Men’s and Ladies’ Closest to the Hole Contest

Men’s and Ladies’ Closest to the Hole Contest: (l-r) Mark Huttram and Sandi Allanson

 

RAHB Charity Golf Tournament Special Guest

The 18th hole featured special guest pro golfer Todd Keirstead of Golf with Attitude, who entertained golfers with his amazing trick shots. The hole was also a hole-in-two contest for a trip to Myrtle Beach; unfortunately, the prize went unclaimed.


Charity Golf Tournament Sponsors

Are your listings being hijacked?

Listings

We recently heard from a member whose listing photos and information were used by someone posing as a landlord offering the property for rent.

This person responded to a “Wanted to Rent” ad on Kijiji, and sent listing photos and a lease agreement to the prospective tenant. Luckily, the hopeful tenant drove past the property, saw the “For Sale” sign and contacted the listing salesperson before signing a lease agreement and paying anything to the pretend landlord.

This is not the first time listings have been used by scammers posing as landlords or property owners. Unfortunately, there is nothing a REALTOR® can do to stop this from happening. There are, however, some precautions you can take that may make your listings less attractive to scammers:

Occasionally check your listings’ addresses in a search, or on real estate sites like Kijiji, just to make sure they haven’t been posted for rent – or even for sale – by someone fraudulently claiming to be the owner.

Be cautious about the kinds of information you put in your listing description – notations like “vacant”, “motivated seller” or photos of a vacant property might make it more appealing for someone to use the information for fraudulent or illegal purposes.


Thank You To Our Sponsor:

Motorcycles ride for charity – and it all starts here!

It’s the 12th year of the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation Motorcyle Ride for Charity and this year’s ride kicks off at the RAHB office!

This one-day ride on Wednesday, July 5 will start from the RAHB parking lot around 9:15 a.m., and wind its way to the Sarnia Real Estate Board, with stops at the Brantford, Kitchener-Waterloo, Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound and Huron Perth real estate associations’ offices.

The ride raises funds for the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, which in turn supports local shelter-related charities. Through the ride and other fund-raising endeavours, the REALTORS Care® Foundation returned $38,440 to the RAHB area in 2016 alone.

You can support the ride and the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation by participating in the ride or sponsoring a rider. Register for the ride or sponsor a rider online at https://realtorscareontario.ca/ride.

It’s all happening on Wednesday, July 5, 2017! Come on down to the RAHB office between 8 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. (times approximate) to check out the bikes, chat with the riders and see them off!

 

Motorcycle RIDE for Charity

RAHB Member Discount: Bay Area Economic Summit

RAHB members receive a $100 discount on the regular price of $350!

RAHB Members are invited to the 2017 Bay Area Economic Summit! The Summit will feature 30+ expert speakers on intercity cooperation, business opportunities, real estate development, and more!

To get your $100 discount off of your tickets, use the code BAESNRH. Go through the registration process and then use the code at the “Registration check-out” screen – your discount will be applied at that point.

To register and learn more, visit http://www.bayareasummit.ca

Invite to Bay Area Economic Summit, June 27, 2017

Media Roundup – RAHB in the news

RAHB Media Coverage

 

As province moves to cool Toronto housing, what happens in Hamilton? (CBC Hamilton)
Toronto average price rose 33% from March 2016 to March 2017; Hamilton average price rose 28%

 

Hamilton area house sales continue at record highs (Hamilton Spectator)
House sales in Hamilton and Burlington set a new high for April with the seventh monthly record in a row, according to the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington.

 

Home sales cool last month, GTA leads decline (Hamilton Spectator)
The president of the local real estate association says Hamilton’s and Burlington’s housing markets appear to be cooling off in recent weeks, mirroring trends at the national level.

 

‘Blockbuster’ real estate April in Hamilton and  Burlington (900 CHML)
The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reports 1,770 homes were sold in April. That’s a new high for April, the seventh month in a row for new monthly records.

 

City Matters (Cable 14 TV)
RAHB, President Lou Piriano, spoke with Hamilton’s Cable 14 about real estate trends and current  market conditions.

 

Hamilton’s top neighbourhoods (Moneysense)
This increasingly young and hip city has affordable homes on offer.


Thank You To Our Sponsor:

Hamilton Economic Development Ad

Services Spotlight: How would you like to pay?

RAHB makes it easy to pay your monthly account and your quarterly dues.

How can you pay? Let us count the ways!

In person:
If you are at the RAHB office, you can pay your account either at the Realty Shoppe on the lower level or ask at reception for one of our corporate services staff. You can pay your invoice using Visa, MasterCard, Interac, cash or cheque.

By phone:
Just give Karin a call (905.529.8101 x258) and give her your Visa or MasterCard number and she’ll take care of the rest.

Online:
There are three ways to pay your account online.

RAHB SSO Dashboard

  1. Use the link called RAHB Education/Account Services on your dashboard (SSO) (rahb.starrs.ca – look under the RAHB News and Membership Services section). The link will take you to Membership Director*, where you will have to use your Fusion login and password to get to the My Services menu; use the Pay/View Bill Online option to see your account. Pay using Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or Visa Debit.
  2. Through Fusion – go to the Resources widget, click on SmartLinks, then click on Education/ Account Services. You will go straight to My Services where you can view and pay your bill online. Pay using Visa, Mastercard, AMEX or Visa Debit.
  3. For CIBC/PC Financial, Royal Bank, Scotia Bank and TD Canada Trust customers – contact Karin for assistance in setting up your payment through your bank.

Pre-authorized payments:
You can make pre-authorized payment through your Visa or MasterCard or by from your bank account. Forms are available on REALTOR Link® (look under the Forms and Member Changes section), the RAHB website (rahb.ca > Membership Benefits > Join RAHB Today button > Forms and FAQs section) or from Karin – give her a call.

Use the payment method most convenient for you!

*While you are in Membership Director, why not see what else you can do in this program?

RAHB Membership Director

This is where you can:

  • View your one-year invoice history for an overview of what you’ve paid inclusive of HST. (We do not advise using this for your taxes.)
  • Print your monthly statements and even an annual statement for your taxes – just put in a specific date range and you will see your purchases and charges itemized within that date range. For your taxes, use the date range of January 1 – December 31 of the tax year. This handy program will even break out the HST as a separate item!
  • See the record of RAHB committees on which you’ve participated.
  • View RAHB’s calendar of upcoming courses.
  • View your education/history records.
  • Register for RAHB’s professional development courses using your Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or Visa Debit.

Thank You To Our Sponsor:

Hamilton Spectator Ad

Call for Public Requests: Urban Hamilton Official Plan Employment Land Conversion Analysis

City of Hamilton Logo

The City of Hamilton is undertaking a Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) to fulfill the requirements of the provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Through this process, the City is reviewing Employment Land designations within the Urban Hamilton Official Plan. The purpose of this exercise is to identify if there are any Employment Lands that may warrant conversion to a non-employment use. The Growth Plan permits the conversion of Employment Land to non employment uses only through the MCR process.

The City is inviting members of the public to submit requests for sites currently designated “Employment Area” to be considered for possible conversion. This review excludes any lands that fall within the Airport Employment Growth District, which was recently approved in 2015. Only sites in areas that are mixed-use and located along the edges of Employment Areas may be considered for conversion. Additional evaluation criteria will also be applied to each conversion request.

Please include the following information with your submission:

  • Property description (include address and past/current uses); and,
  • Rationale for conversion request (i.e. How does the conversion request satisfy the evaluation criteria?What is the proposed use of the site, if not employment?)

Additional studies/information may be required by City staff. The costs of these studies will be the responsibility of the applicant. There is no guarantee that the submission of a request, or the preparation of the additional studies, will result in staff’s recommendation and /or Council’s decision to convert lands to non-employment uses.

The deadline for submissions is September 15th, 2017.

For more information about submission requirements, evaluation criteria, employment areas, and other questions you may have, please review our project website at: www.hamilton.ca/employmentlandreview

To speak to project staff, or to submit a request, please contact:

Heather Travis, Senior Project Manager, Growth Management Strategy
Policy Planning and Zoning By-law Reform Section,
Planning Division
Planning and Economic Development Department
City of Hamilton, 71 Main St. W, 4th floor, L8R 2K3
Phone: 905.546.2424 x4168
Email: Heather.Travis@hamilton.ca

Catherine Parsons, Planner
Policy Planning and Zoning By-law Reform Section,
Planning Division
Planning and Economic Development Department
City of Hamilton, 71 Main St. W, 4th floor, L8R 2K3
Phone: 905.546.2424 x2634
Email: Catherine.Parsons@hamilton.ca

Failure to disclose multiple representation leads to major fine

This article was originally published by RECO on January 27, 2017

Multiple representation is garnering media attention, and a disciplinary decision from last year emphasizes the consequences of mishandling the disclosure process.

All registrants should know that full disclosure is required when a brokerage represents two parties for the same trade in real estate (including when two different salespeople from the same brokerage are involved), and that disclosure is also required for any commission reduction agreement.

In an April 2015 hearing considering the conduct of Zahra Shaker-Shariat-Panahi (also known as Farah Shaker-Shariat-Panahi at that time, now registered as Zahra Panahi, also known as Farah Panahi), the discipline panel focused heavily on the close relationship between non-disclosure of multiple representation and non-disclosure of a reduced commission agreement.

“The disclosure of multiple representation on the part of a listing salesperson could easily raise the issue of a collateral commission agreement, something which other registrants and would-be buyers would have a clear interest in understanding and considering in making any offers,” it noted.

In the hearing it was revealed that:

  • Panahi failed to inform all the participants to the trade that she was the salesperson representing both a potential buyer and the seller.
  • She failed to disclose the terms of the reduced commission agreement to not only other buyers and their brokerages, but her own brokerage as well.

This is important to note because registrants can only trade on behalf of the brokerage that employs them. For this reason, registrants must do their part to ensure the brokerage conducts its affairs ethically on all levels. Panahi should have informed her brokerage of the details of the commission agreement to ensure it could comply with its own disclosure requirements.

The discipline panel described Panahi’s conduct as “disgraceful, dishonourable, and unprofessional”. Failure to disclose multiple representation and her commission agreement created an “effective monopoly over information,” which led to an “uneven playing field” over the trade of the property. As a result, Panahi was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine, and to complete an educational course on Ethics and Business Practice.

The panel concluded that Panahi breached the following sections of the Code of Ethics:

Brokers and salespersons

2. (1) A broker or salesperson shall not do or omit to do anything that causes the brokerage that employs the broker or salesperson to contravene this Regulation (With reference in this case to s.25 of the Code of Ethics set out below).

Agreements relating to commission

25. (1) If a brokerage has a seller as a client and an agreement between the brokerage and the seller contains terms that relate to a commission or other remuneration and that may affect whether an offer to buy is accepted, the brokerage shall disclose the existence of and the details of those terms to any person who makes a written offer to buy, at the earliest practicable opportunity and before any offer is accepted.

(2) Subsection (1) applies, with necessary modifications, to a brokerage that has a seller as a customer, if the brokerage and the seller have an agreement that provides for the brokerage to receive written offers to buy.

Fairness, honesty, etc.

3. A registrant shall treat every person the registrant deals with in the course of a trade in real estate fairly, honestly and with integrity.

Best interests

4. A registrant shall promote and protect the best interests of the registrant’s clients.

Conscientious and competent service, etc.

5. A registrant shall provide conscientious service to the registrant’s clients and customers and shall demonstrate reasonable knowledge, skill, judgment and competence in providing those services.

Nature of relationship

17. If a registrant represents or provides services to more than one buyer or seller in respect of the same trade in real estate, the registrant shall, in writing, at the earliest practicable opportunity and before any offer is made, inform all buyers and sellers involved in that trade of the nature of the registrant’s relationship to each buyer and seller.

Inaccurate representations

37. (1) A registrant shall not knowingly make an inaccurate representation in respect of a trade in real estate.

Error, misrepresentation, fraud, etc.

38. A registrant shall use the registrant’s best efforts to prevent error, misrepresentation, fraud or any unethical practice in respect of a trade in real estate.

Unprofessional conduct, etc.

39. A registrant shall not, in the course of trading in real estate, engage in any act or omission that, having regard to all of the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unbecoming a registrant.

 


This article was reprinted with the permission of RECO.

Could your brokerage survive a FINTRAC audit?

We have already witnessed the federal government targeting the real estate industry when it comes to money laundering and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) compliance.

Large fines have been levied against brokerage firms that have not been in compliance at the time of the audit. Here are some questions to ask to see if you are ready in case the FINTRAC auditors come calling.

1. Does your firm have an up-to-date FINTRAC policy and a FINTRAC compliance officer? Has everyone in your firm taken the required training online?

It is not enough to just have a FINTRAC policy. Every member of the brokerage, including sales reps, brokers and all employees should have read your company FINTRAC policy and taken the five modules on money laundering available through CREA. This should also be documented and records must be kept of this.

2. Does your brokerage provide FINTRAC update education every two years for all members of the firm, to confirm that any new guidelines are understood and followed?

For example, new FINTRAC guidelines for identifying individuals will take place after  June 30, 2017. Is your firm aware of the changes? I have been providing FINTRAC update education courses for brokerages and real estate boards for the last several years. I have tried to demonstrate in my seminars that complying with FINTRAC  can actually increase business if approached in  a positive manner.

3. Does your firm properly identify clients?

This may be the most important information reviewed by FINTRAC auditors. Are you making sure that your clients have a connection to Canada? The more connected they are, the less likely they will be involved in illegal activities. The more you know about a client’s employment and occupation, the easier it is to build a relationship with them. And you are complying with FINTRAC at the same time.

4. What are you doing to monitor clients in a business relationship?

If a client conducts a second transaction with your brokerage within five years, they are said  to be in a business relationship with your firm and this may require ongoing monitoring.

Does your firm have a policy in place to identify whether any new client has in fact done a deal with your brokerage in the last five years, and if so, how is this client to be monitored? What additional questions should the client be asked about their new purchase or sale and whether they are in the ordinary course of the client’s business?

5. Every broker of record is required to do a comprehensive risk assessment of their brokerage every two years.

Unfortunately, most just check off some boxes  on a form, stating that they have checked their records and their risk has not increased. Unfortunately, in almost all audits that I have seen, this is considered to be a serious concern of the auditors. They expect you to have reviewed a substantial number of random files to confirm that all documents have been properly prepared, signed and filed and that you have also considered other factors, including whether your firm deals with properties that are close to the U.S. border, whether your agents are part-time or full-time and the general crime rate in your own area.

Does your brokerage insist, for example, that no commission will be paid unless and until all documents, including FINTRAC, are properly completed and filed? This should be standard practice.

by Mark Weisleder


This article originally appeared in the February 6, 2017 edition of REMonline. Reprinted with permission.

New FINTRAC requirements soon in effect

New FINTRAC requirements that were announced in 2016 are just now coming into effect for REALTORS® on various dates starting June 17, 2017.

These changes will affect you in four ways:

1) The way you identify individuals has been improved to add more flexibility. There are three methods for identification:

  • Using a single piece of government-issued photo identification
  • Verifying the client’s name, date of birth and address match information obtained from a Canadian credit bureau that has been in existence for at least three years
  • Using two original, valid and current documents or information from independent and reliable sources, such as utility bills or bank statements

2) Whenever your brokerage uses a mandatory to identify a client on your behalf, you will now have to keep more detailed records of when you received identification information from the mandatary. You will also need to review the information to make sure nothing is missing.

3) The regulations expand on existing obligations to keep a record when you use reasonable measures to satisfy certain obligations under the law. The reasonable measure record obligations are reflected in:

  • New sections A.4 and B.1 in the Individual Identification Information Record
  • New sections A.3 and B.1 in the Corporation/ Entity Identification Information Record
  • New section E of the Receipt of Funds Record (which has also been reorganized to reflect additional FINTRAC guidance)
  • New records related to large cash transactions and suspicious transactions

4) Clients who have been identified by your brokerage in the past do not need to be identified again if you or your Broker of Record/ Manager have no doubts about the information you obtained previously.

This is only a very brief summary of the changes taking effect in June, 2017. To read the details and get the information you need about changes to forms and what it all means for you, go to the CREA site on REALTOR Link® and check out the new information in the Compliance Centre. [REALTOR Link > CREA > Resources and Compliance > Compliance Resources > Money Laundering (FINTRAC)].

Once you are on the FINTRAC page, be sure you check out the links to helpful documents near the bottom of the page – all the material has been updated. The FAQ document may be particularly helpful.

All CREA forms have been updated to reflect your new obligations under FINTRAC. Revised forms are now available on WEBForms®.

(Note: you may use your old forms until June 17, 2017. After that time, only the revised forms will satisfy your obligations.)


Thank You to Our Sponsor:

DocuSign accessed by hackers

CREA recently issued the following information about DocuSign – while the hacking event occurred in mid-May, the effects may continue for some time.

In May, 2017, DocuSign confirmed that one of their systems was temporarily accessed by hackers, and that email addresses were stolen.

DocuSign also confirmed “no names, physical addresses, passwords, social security numbers, credit card data or other information was accessed. No content or any customer documents sent through DocuSign’s eSignature system was accessed; and DocuSign’s core eSignature service, envelopes and customer documents and data remain secure.”

DocuSign has 200 million users in 118 countries, and has not yet confirmed how many emails were stolen.

As a result, phishing emails are being sent to these stolen addresses, and it seems they look like they were sent via DocuSign. These emails are designed to incite users to click on malicious links or to download infected documents which can install malware into users’ computers.

Legitimate DocuSign emails come from @docusign.com or @docusign.net email addresses.

DocuSign is asking users to forward any suspicious related email to spam@docusign.com, and then
delete them from your computer.

Emails may appear suspicious because:

  • You don’t recognize the sender;
  • You weren’t expecting a document to sign;
  • They contain misspellings (like “docusgn.com” without an ‘i’ or @docus.com);
  • They contain an attachment, or direct you to a link that starts with anything other than
    https://www.docusign.com or https://www.docusign.net.

Emails with the following subject lines have already been identified as malicious. There may be more out there, or new ones being sent:

  • “Completed: [domain name] – Wire transfer for recipient-name Document Ready for Signature”;
  • “Completed [domain name/email address] – Accounting Invoice [Number] Document Ready for Signature”;
  • “Legal acknowledgement for <person> Document is Ready for Signature” sent from dse@dousign.com

It is expected that these phishing emails will keep on being sent for some time to come.

For more information and regular updates please visit: https://trust.docusign.com/en-us


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Mark your Calendar – Upcoming Events

Meetings at the RAHB Office (505 York Blvd.)

Government Relations Committee
Tuesday, June 20 – Thompson Room, 9:15 a.m.

Board of Directors
Thursday, June 22 – Thompson Room, 9 a.m.

MLS® Committee
Monday, June 26 – Thompson Room, 9:30 a.m.

Governance and Bylaw Committee
Wednesday, July 18 – Thompson Room, 9:30 a.m.

Upcoming RAHB Events

REALTORS Care® Motorcycle Ride for Charity Kick Off
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
7 a.m. – 9 a.m.
RAHB parking lot, 505 York Blvd.

RAHB Open Forum: Caledonia 
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Grace United Church, 174 Caithness St. E.

RAHB Open Forum: Grimsby
Friday, September 8, 2017
Trinity United Church, 100 Main St. W.

RAHB Open Forum: Dunnville
Friday, September 15, 2017
Grace United Church, 301 Broad St. E.

RAHB Open Forum: Burlington
Friday, September 29, 2017
Appleby United Church, 4407 Spruce Ave.

 

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