Musings by George O’Neill

Update!!  The following message was mailed to all members on Friday, August 4, 2017. The original Musings column continues after this message. 

Joint Data Share Announcement From RAHB and ORTIS

ORTIS and RAHB are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement regarding data sharing. The data share that you all enjoy now, as either users of ORTIS or members of RAHB, will continue, uninterrupted when RAHB moves from its current Fusion platform to Matrix. We’ll be in touch with further details in the near future. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact RAHB’s MLS® department at 905.667-4650 or mls@rahb.ca.

To allow time for CoreLogic to put in place the data share program, RAHB will extend the cut over date to its new Matrix system from August 15th to the beginning of October. Until then RAHB and ORTIS users will experience no change in the existing data share and data access.

We wish you and your family all the best for the long weekend.  Thank you for being a RAHB member.

Sincerely,

George O’Neill
RAHB CEO

Lou Piriano
RAHB President


 

It was one year ago, in my August 2016 Musings column, that I spoke about the decision RAHB’s Board of Directors made to proceed with the upgrade of Fusion to our own Matrix system, instead of cutting over to the regional Matrix system operated by ORTIS.

At that time, after a great deal of deliberation, our Board decided it was not reasonable to give up management of our MLS® System to another entity. Even though we did not wish to be part of the regional system business model as it evolved to, our founding goal remained to secure a data sharing agreement with our neighbouring real estate boards and associations, so that all our members could continue to benefit from access to a wider pool of MLS® information.  So we embarked on negotiating a data share contract with ORTIS.

Here we are, one year later. We now have our own Matrix 7.0 MLS® System in place and in preview mode and ready to launch within a number of weeks. But as I write this, appropriate control of MLS® data is still being resolved as we work to finalize a data sharing agreement with ORTIS.

On July 19, RAHB President Lou Piriano and I sent an update to each full RAHB member, explaining our current situation; a copy of the letter is reprinted later in this issue.

In a nutshell, we made concessions on eight of the last ten areas we were concerned about with respect to ORTIS’s most recent version of the data sharing contract. Compromise is often required to move things forward, and your Board was willing to make concessions to give you, our members, access to the regional MLS® data you want.

However, our Board was unable to compromise on two fundamental issues: the control of the distribution of your listing information and reciprocity of data access. We thought these issues had been worked out with ORTIS earlier in the year, but they were subsequently deleted from the contract proposed by ORTIS.

RAHB’s business lawyer has amended the contract to include the two items previously agreed upon, and ORTIS has a copy of the amended agreement.  It is our hope the ORTIS board will bring negotiations to an end by signing the agreement and giving members of all the boards and associations what they want – that is, region-wide listing information.

This has been a long and rocky journey to bring you a wide range of MLS® information so you can better serve your clients and customers.  Through it all, your Board of Directors has acted with integrity and always with the best interests of you in mind.

To each of you I’d like to say, thank you for your patience, thank you for your understanding, and thank you for being a member of RAHB.

On August 1, we are launching a weekly e-newsletter, NewsReal, especially for breaking news about our discussions with ORTIS, and our progress towards Matrix. It will be emailed to you every Tuesday throughout the remainder of this summer and fall. Please be sure to check your email, and don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you have questions or comments. We have also tentatively planned a general meeting for August 22 at 9 a.m. We’ll hold it if ORTIS and data sharing issues are still outstanding at that time. For now, please put it in your calendar. We’ll confirm it closer to the date.

**

There are two new events coming up this fall that I’d like to bring to your attention.

The first is RAHB’s ProDev+ professional development event on Thursday, October 12 at the Holiday Inn Burlington.  This is an upgrade on Professional Development Days and will give you the opportunity to spend a day becoming more informed about current topics in real estate. It’s also a great chance to socialize with your colleagues in the courses, at the trade show and at the wind-up Signature+ cocktail mixer.  Check out the information about ProDev+ later in this issue.

The other event is the Real Estate Outlook on Wednesday, November 8 at Liuna Station. This is a joint venture by CMHC and RAHB, and will include a presentation by a CMHC market analyst and feature a panel of experts who will help you navigate the current local marketplace.  Real Estate Outlook will also offer great networking opportunities. There is more information about the event in this issue of Realinfo.

 

Milestones – T. Glen Chambers Retirement

Congratulations to T. Glen Chambers (Chambers Commercial Real Estate Group Inc.) on his recent retirement after 67 years of RAHB membership!

The Association would like to recognize members who have recently retired after achieving 40+ consecutive years of RAHB membership.  If you know of a member who should be recognized, please contact Camryn in Membership at camrynh@rahb.ca or 905.529.8101 X251.


Thank You To Our Sponsor:

ACISS

Professional Development

Register now for these great courses!

**New**  FINTRAC Legal Update – Mark Weisleder
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
10 a.m. – Noon
Cost: $30+HST

**New**  Agency: Practical Facts for Dealing with Buyers – Hugh Foy
Thursday, August 17, 2017
10 a.m. – Noon
Cost: $30+HST

REIC 2600: Ethics in Business Practice – Gareth Jones
Monday, August 28 – Wednesday, August 30, 2017 (3 day course)
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Cost:  $625+HST

Master Open House Amyn Chagan
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
​9 a.m. – Noon
Cost: $79+HST (Early Bird price if registered prior to September 5, 2017; otherwise $99+HST)

​** New**  Negotiation Strategies for Commercial Leasing – Don Patterson
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Cost: $45+HST

Multiple Offers – Bill Johnston
Thursday, November 9, 2017
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Cost: $45+HST

** New** The Best Practices of Forms – Hugh Foy
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
10 a.m. – Noon
Cost: $30+HST

All courses will be held at the RAHB office (McCullough Room, lower level).

New Professional Development event!

ProDev+
Burlington Holiday Inn
Thursday, October 12, 2017
9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Courses and Tradeshow
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Cocktails and Networking
Cost: $10+HST (Register by October 2, 2017 to receive a complimentary drink ticket for the Signature+ cocktail mixer)

Register for any Professional Development course or ProDev+ through RAHB Education/Account Services (button on your SSO at my.rahb.ca) or by contacting Angela at angelam@rahb.ca or 905.529.8101 x233.


Thank You To Our Sponsor:

Hamilton Economic Development Ad

RAHB Charity Golf Tournament update – the final tally is in!

Two local women’s shelters – Halton Women’s Place of Burlington and Interval House of Hamilton – shared the proceeds from RAHB’s annual charity golf tournament held May 18, 2017. The final tally came in at $7,022, with $3,511 going to each organization.

“As real estate professionals, we understand the importance of having a safe place to call home,” says RAHB CEO, George O’Neill. “RAHB REALTORS® are proud to support these two community-based shelters.”


Thank You To Our Sponsor:

Hamilton Spectator Ad

Musings from RAHB CEO George O’Neill

(This message was originally sent to all members on July 5, 2017, but bears repeating)

Data-Sharing Agreement

I am following up on the message I sent to you on June 26, 2017 about the status of the data sharing contract between RAHB and the regional boards and associations that are members of ORTIS.

Based on the last version of the contract ORTIS proposed to RAHB, [on July 4] RAHB forwarded to ORTIS updates we believe are fair and equitable for not only RAHB members but also for REALTORS® from the regional boards and associations. The terms and conditions are back in alignment with those already agreed to in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between RAHB and ORTIS in January 2017.

We understand ORTIS has a board of directors meeting on July 6, 2017, at which time they are expected to review this contract. We are optimistic they will agree with the updates so we can proceed to instruct CoreLogic to develop the data share program.

RAHB continues to plan the cutover from Fusion to our own Matrix platform on August 15, 2017. Following are more details about that transition, and what you can do to be ready.

Matrix is coming!

I’m excited to announce that you will have your first look at RAHB’s new Matrix system on Wednesday, July 12, 2017!

Starting on July 12, you will be able to access the RAHB Matrix system using the RAHB Matrix button which will be added to your single sign on (SSO) dashboard (use the URL http://my.rahb.ca and login as you would normally login to Fusion or your current SSO dashboard– no additional login is required)! Remember to mark the new SSO URL as a favourite – it will be your gateway to Matrix, RAHB news and membership services, and other REALTOR® tools.

Once you’re inside the RAHB Matrix system, you will be able to search the RAHB MLS® database for all RAHB MLS® listings and check the accuracy of your client searches and contacts records (which will be migrated from Fusion and/or the regional Matrix system).

What about the regional Matrix system?

At this time, we are still negotiating a final contract for sharing data with the regional MLS® boards and associations via ORTIS. Until our final cutover on August 15, RAHB will continue to upload listings from Fusion to the regional system, so you can continue to access the regional system for your regional searches. We will communicate the status of the data share as soon as it becomes finalized.

What about broker loading listings?

Until cutover, you will continue to load your listings into Fusion – there is a Fusion button on your SSO dashboard to take you directly to Fusion.

More information?

Over the next few weeks until cutover, we will be sending you information about the new Matrix system, helpful how-to videos and tutorials, the new data input forms, how to customize Matrix for yourself and your clients, and more. Be sure to watch your inbox!

One final word

On August 15, 2017, when we make the final cutover to our own Matrix system, Fusion will be retired and you will do everything – enter and maintain listings, searches and statistics – in the RAHB Matrix system. Please use the preview period to become familiar with what our Matrix system offers you. It is the most up-to-date version and has enhancements not found in the regional system.

Need help?

As always, if you have any questions about how to use Matrix, please contact our MLS® help desk at 905.667.4650.

Regards,

George O’Neill
RAHB CEO

RAHB welcomes new members!

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington extends a warm welcome to its newest members from May 20 to June 21, 2017!

 

Joey D’Ambrosio
Ambitious Realty Advisors Inc.

Yuriy Nesvit
Apex Results Realty Inc.

Emily Sidawi
Chase Realty Inc.

Jessica Cocks
Coldwell Banker Community Professionals

Cyril Crasto
Colliers Macaulay Nicolls Inc.

Christine Bellavia
G. Walker Real Estate Inc.

Cosimo De Santis
Keller Williams Edge Realty

Rebecca Windfeld
Michael Graham Smith Real Estate

Kim Ludwig
PC275 Realty Inc.

Charlene De Silva
RE/MAX Realty Enterprises Inc.

Gabrielle Neveu
Right At Home Realty Inc.

Meaghan Lazenby
Rock Star Real Estate Inc.

Jennifer Avon
Isabel Zulian
Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services

Jordon Tillotson
Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre Inc.

Soni Brar
Matthew Cosentino
Royal LePage State Realty


Thank you to our sponsor:

Hamilton Economic Development Ad

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

Smithville Area 57 boundaries extended

The RAHB Board of Directors approved a change to the Smithville (SM 57) boundary to line up with the official urban boundaries for Smithville Township.

The previous Smithville boundary was set many years ago, prior to the recent residential development in the township. Some new developments are legally within Smithville Township but lay outside the long-standing RAHB boundaries and therefore had to be listed in GR55. Anyone searching for properties in Smithville might well have missed those listed in GR 55.

RAHB’s MLS® Committee consulted with members who are active in the area and with the Township of West Lincoln, and recommended that RAHB’s boundary should follow that of the Township.  Now, members with listings in Smithville and those searching for listings in Smithville will be able to use the SM 57 area code and be confident the properties are located in the correct area.

The change in boundary is now in effect. All active and historical listings have been updated in Fusion and Matrix. RAHB’s Outlying Areas map will be updated at the next printing, and CoreLogic will update the boundary for the overlay on the map search prior to RAHB’s full cut over to Matrix.

Smithville Boundary

MLS® Update: data sharing (reprint)

This message from RAHB CEO George O’Neill went to all members on June 26, 2017. We are reprinting it here in case you missed it!

Over the past two weeks, RAHB held three webinars for our members, plus a Broker of Record/Manager meeting. At those meetings, we discussed RAHB’s plans to cut over to our own Matrix MLS® system in August as well as the status of the data sharing discussions with the regional boards/associations via ORTIS. Thank you to each of the 250+ members who attended the meetings either in person or  online.

 

RAHB has heard loud and clear that our members, as well as many other REALTORS® from across the region, strongly desire to have RAHB’s data sharing in place prior to cutover, so we have taken immediate action. Just after the Broker of Record/Manager meeting, I called ORTIS representatives to discuss how we may work together to finalize the contract.

 

I am pleased they have agreed to work with me and RAHB’s lawyer, as the contract, as is, require refinement to make it fair and equitable for RAHB members and for those of the regional boards/associations.

 

I will provide a further update next week as to the status of the data sharing contract at that time.

 

Sincerely,

George O’Neill
RAHB CEO

Bay Area leaders connect to push the region forward

Bay Area Economic Summit

The Bay Area Economic Summit held Tuesday, June 27, 2017, created in cooperation with a regional advisory committee, focused on four interrelated topics.

1. Innovation Corridor: benefits for Bay Area companies, start-ups, entrepreneurs, institutions1. Innovation Corridor: benefits for Bay Area companies, start-ups, entrepreneurs, institutions and not for profits

2. Regional Goods Movement: the Bay Area play  for improved connectivity

3. Climate Action: economic advantages for the  Bay Area community 4. Smart Intensification: compact development  of employment and residential lands in the Bay Area

4. Smart Intensification: compact development 4. Smart Intensification: compact development  of employment and residential lands in the  Bay Area

 

Marquee speakers included Premier Kathleen Wynne; Tom Jenkins, board chair of OpenText Corporation and a key champion of global competitiveness; and Birgit Matthiesen, a highly respected commentator on Canada-U.S. trade.

The day also included a conversation between McMaster’s Marvin Ryder and David Cheney, Managing Partner of Bedrock Industries and new owner of Stelco as of July 1, 2017.

RAHB President Lou Piriano participated in a panel entitled Effective Intensification of Residential and Industrial Lands in the Bay Area, where he discussed intensification from the REALTOR® perspective.

Presentations will soon be posted at www.bayareasummit.ca.

Media Roundup – RAHB in the news (June 2017)

Jump in house listings may signal a cooling in Hamilton’s hot housing market (CBC Hamilton)

Is this a sign of a rebalancing of the market the province was hoping for? The official housing market numbers for May won’t be out for a few days, but early indications show a big jump in the number of homes for sale in the Hamilton and Burlington real estate market as of early this week.

‘Healthier’ housing market emerging as listings spike in May in Hamilton (CBC Hamilton)

A record-breaking number of homes were listed for sale in the Hamilton area last month, according to new data from The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB). And that spike marks a measurable move toward a “healthier” and more balanced market, says the area’s real estate board.

Increase In Listings As Investors Cash Out (Hi Business)

The current stats that was released showed that existing owners and investors seem to have cashed out of the blazing real estate market. In the course of last month as stated by the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington, latest listings went up in Hamilton as existing home owners made best use of the blazing market.

Hamilton real estate boom expected to continue despite big listings spike (Hamilton News)

Numbers released June 5 by the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington show a record 3,208 new listings processed last month, a whopping 41.1 per cent increase over the previous May.

Hamilton area bucks trend as GTA home sales plummet in May (Hamilton Spectator)

Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area plunged 20 per cent last month compared with a year ago, according to the latest data from the country’s largest real estate board. But the GTA’s slide is in contrast to the continuing hot market in the Hamilton-Burlington area, which boasted 3,208 new listings in May, a whopping 41 per cent increase from the same month last year, and nearly 35 per cent higher than its 10-year average.

Hamilton home prices post record increase in May despite Ontario’s ‘cooling’ measures (CBC Hamilton)

The listings increase was announced last week by the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington, and showed 3,208 new listings were processed through the organization in May, which is 41.1 per cent higher than May of last year and 34.8 per cent higher than the
10-year average.

Homeowners Decided to Cash In (The Bay Observer)

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported a record 3,208 new listings were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service System in May, which is 41.1 per cent higher than the same month last year and 34.8 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

REALTORS Care® Foundation Motorcycle Ride for Charity (93.3 CFMU Radio)

On July 5th, REALTORS® across Ontario will be riding their motorcycles and gathering across Hamilton, Brantford, Kitchener-Waterloo, Grey Bruce Owen Sound, Huron Perth and Sarnia-lambton to raise money to assist a variety of local shelter-related charities in each  of these communities.

20 questions with George O’Neill, CEO of REALTORS® Association of Hamilton –Burlington (Hamilton Spectator)

From business to life advice, this piece covers it all. Get to know RAHB’s CEO!


Thank you to our sponsor:

Services Spotlight: From RAHB Government Relations…

RAHB Government Relations

Did you know that RAHB has its fingers on the pulse of what’s going on municipally, provincially and federally through its Government Relations Committee? And that RAHB has built relationships with business organizations to become an influential member of the community?

Your association is very much part of the local and wider communities so that your interests – and those of home buyers and sellers – are considered and protected when decisions are being made.Your association is very much part of the local and wider communities so that your interests – and those of home buyers and sellers – are considered and protected when decisions are being made.

 

Here are just a few of the ways RAHB has been involved in local, provincial and national issues:
  • RAHB’s leadership and Government Relations Committee representatives participate in annual CREA and OREA Political Action Conferences,  where the big event is meeting with local MPs and MPPs to discuss real estate-related issues. These relationships are built further at local visits with  the same representatives.
  • RAHB worked to dissuade Hamilton City Council from adopting landlord licensing and to encourage the city to develop and present a program to encourage landlords to safely create secondary suites through simple, legal means. As this conversation continues at City Hall, RAHB has  a voice at the table to ensure affordable housing is maintained in a safe way.
  • In 2015, RAHB’s Government Relations Committee successfully lobbied City Councillors to discourage them from considering asking for powers to impose  a municipal land transfer tax.
  • RAHB partnered with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Hamilton-Halton Home Builders Association in the 2014 civic election. Together, as the Hamilton Business Leaders, the group hosted a Q&A with the mayoralty candidates.
  • Representatives from RAHB are consistently invited to participate on committees, as part  of focus groups and in other forms of stakeholder engagement in Hamilton, Burlington and beyond, allowing members voices to be heard as well and information to flow both ways.
  • RAHB holds membership in all Chambers of Commerce of communities within its boundaries,  and actively participates in Chamber activities in Hamilton and Burlington through sponsorship of events, including most recently, the Bay Area Economic Summit.

Thank you to our sponsor:

Ross and McBride