Musings by George

RAHB as an “efficient” market?


Have you ever taken a minute to think about what RAHB’s role is in contributing to the “efficient” real estate market in the Burlington, Hamilton and outlying areas?

RAHB is a not-for-profit corporation that offers services to advance member interests.   I think most members (RAHB has 3,085 at the time of writing) would agree the MLS® System is the single most valued RAHB service since each member’s livelihood depends on it.  However, to thoroughly understand the total value offered, we need to go beyond thinking of the MLS® System as just a single service. Rather, we should also consider the two complementary services that go hand-in-hand to contribute to making RAHB’s MLS® System an efficient marketplace: the first is the MLS® Rules and Regulations and the second is our Professional Standards and Discipline process.

Rules and Regulations are needed to set the ground rules by which the market will operate.  Without rules there would be chaos.  Participants need to know the rules and abide by them in order for any marketplace, some may say exchange, to work efficiently and fairly.  Rules and Regulations provide the input structure to the market.

Professional Standards and Discipline services are needed to encourage market participants to follow the rules, and when they do not, these services provide appropriate disciplinary measures with the aim of motivating that individual to abide by the rules in the future. Some may think of these services as market output services to correct inappropriate behaviour and encourage application of the rules and regulations, again with the aim to create a fair and efficient market.

Now let’s look at three market descriptions.  Do the following sound familiar?

The organization likely descended from the Association of Brokers…. twenty-four … gathered at the Masonic Hall …– summarized from Wikipedia

[The organization]… does not own what is traded. Instead, it acts as a market where …buyers connect with …sellers – summarized from Investopedia

The primary function of [the organization]… is to help provide liquidity; in other words, to give sellers a place to “liquidate” their … holdings. – summarized from  Investopedia

Could those descriptions outline how our association and MLS® System began, and how the association works today?  I think they could.  However, they are actually describing stock exchanges in general and, in the case of the first quotation, the Toronto Stock Exchange, or TSX, in particular.

RAHB’s MLS® System is an example of an “efficient” market:  it contains reliable data; everyone using the data works to the same rules, which creates a level playing field; and there is a process in place to enforce compliance to the rules so the market remains stable.

There are additional similarities between our MLS® System and the TSX. Brokers (or participants) using the TSX are all licensed under the oversight of a regulatory body that enforces Ontario securities law.  That governing body – the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) – has rules all licensees must follow, and the TSX has additional rules and regulations that those market participants must follow.  These rules create a level playing field where participants know what they have to do, what’s expected of them and how they must serve their clients.

In addition to the rules, there is also an enforcement or compliance process that comes into play when rules are broken, for what good are rules where there is no way to make sure they are being followed? In this column last month I touched on that exact point.

So what does all this have to do with RAHB?

The financial marketplace governing structure sounds very similar to our industry’s structure with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) setting overall rules for real estate registrants to follow, and RAHB having additional rules and regulations associated with using our MLS® System.

RAHB’s MLS® System has evolved to have much in common with the financial services market, or exchanges.  We have created an efficient marketplace for the trading of real estate, and that marketplace has clear rules in place to ensure everyone – members, buyers and sellers – is treated fairly.  We have also created a mechanism for enforcing the rules – that is, a discipline process.

Our MLS® System is the real estate exchange for our market. Rule-setting and ensuring compliance to those rules are two integral components to make this market both efficient and fair for all.


On a different note, I hope to see you at the RAHB Annual Charity Golf Tournament to be held on May 18, 2017 at the Beverly Golf and Country Club! The tournament is raising money for two local women’s shelters:  Halton Women’s Place in Burlington and Interval House in Hamilton – both great causes.


Best regards, George


RAHB welcomes new members!

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington extends a warm welcome to its newest members from March 22 to April 19, 2017!

Mike Hijazi
Bridgecan Realty Corp.


Natalie Hashka
Ramsin Kamo
Jennifer Isaacs
Coldwell Banker Community Professionals


Dylan Stewart
ComFree Commonsense Network


Jacob Poirier
Keller Williams Edge Realty


Irina Arkhipova
Mahassen Farah
Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.


Corinne Briggs
Peter Milne
Mark Fleming
Rob Silenzi
RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc.


Carmen Arancibia
RE/MAX Escarpment Walsh & Volk Group Realty Inc.


Inder Singh
RE/MAX Realty Enterprises Inc.


Nastasia Harris
David Alexander
Robert Jendrzejczak
Right At Home Realty Inc.


Vanessa Rosati
Royal LePage Signature Realty Inc.


Nathan Vancardo
Holly Estey
Sutton Group About Town Realty Inc.


Caressa Anglin
Zoocasa Realty Inc.

RAHB welcomes new members!

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington extends a warm welcome to its newest members from January 24 to March 21, 2017!

Jennifer Hansen
Apex Results Realty Inc.

Sharon Caetano
Bradbury Estate Realty Inc.

Dale Murphy
Century 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd.

Khalid Bajwa
Century 21 New Age Realty Inc.

Nicola Caruso
Ashlee McLean
Coldwell Banker Community Professionals

Ira Greenspoon
Com/Choice Realty

Sal Mohammad Alizadeh E.
Homelife Professionals Realty Inc.

Don Henderson
Keller Williams Complete Realty

Jamie Buckrell
Sandra Naccarato
Nicole Burns
Karl Wulf
Keller Williams Edge Realty

Boby Singh Multani
LEADEX Realty Inc.

Devin Todd Keller
Raechel Roganowicz
The Listing House Real Estate Brokerage

Myka Wroblewski
Mick Neale
RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp.

Dave Bartolacci
Joshua Bennett
Helen Cen
Sarah Donnelly
Zaya Oshana
Kevin Wen
Jessica Zimmer
RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc.

Victoria Fiore
Scarlett Strati
RE/MAX Escarpment Frank Realty

Jacob Campagnaro
RE/MAX Escarpment Lisa Weber Realty Inc.

Samantha Sposato
Rachael Hensen
RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc.

Betsy Wang
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc.

Sonia Sandhu
Right At Home Realty Inc.

Sabrina McCaig
Olivia Rapson
Angelika Zammit
Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services

Michael Hesson
Royal LePage Macro Realty

Sal Difalco
Royal LePage State Realty

Rudy Carneiro
Filomena Dias
Oksana Holubiez
Anabela Serra
Royal LePage Supreme Realty

Alex Irish
Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

Benjamin Clarke
StreetCity Realty Inc.

Visalinh Saythavy
Stonemill Realty Inc.

Milestones – Retirement

Congratulations to Fred Amalfi (Right at Home Realty Inc.) on his recent retirement after 43 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 or 905.529.8101 X251.

RAHB dues deadline March 31, 2017

The quarterly RAHB dues have been billed and e-mailed to you as part of your February monthly invoice.  Please note that dues are payable no later than March 31st, 2017.
DuesAcceptable methods of Payment are:
In Person: Visa, MasterCard, Interac, cash or cheque
By Phone: Visa or MasterCard
Online through Fusion: Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Visa Debit (New)
Online: CIBC/PC Financial, Royal Bank, Scotia Bank, TD Canada Trust – for assistance in set-up, please contact Karin at 905.529.8101 x 258.

Pre-Authorized payment subscribers will be processed on Tuesday March 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.)

Tax TimePrint your RAHB invoices for your tax return

Tax time is here! Here’s how to print off your RAHB invoice:

  • Log into the Fusion Homepage
  • In the Resource section, select “Smartlinks”
  • From the drop down menu, select “Education/Account Services”. This will open a new window
  • Select “Print Members Statement”
  • Enter the date parameters of your choice. For example, if you want to create a copy of your 2016 invoices, you would enter a start date of 01/01/2016 and an end date of 12/31/2016
  • Select “Run statement, Print”

** If you get a printer error, go to “select a format” (found above the RAHB logo), select “Acrobat Adobe PDF”, “export”, “print”. **

Musings from RAHB CEO George O’Neill

In this issue of REALINFO we are focusing on an important RAHB member service:  Professional Standards. RAHB is charged with running the organized real estate marketplace within the geographical boundaries of the Burlington, Hamilton and surrounding communities. To do that we focus on two areas: first, we manage the local Multiple Listing Service® System and, second, we define and enforce rules with the goal of ensuring the marketplace functions in an efficient and fair manner for all participants. Of course, those participants are mostly our members, but they also, more frequently, include REALTORS® from other areas who may work with a client or customer within our area.

RAHB strives to hold our members to high professional standards. That means we expect you to abide by the rules for real estate trading found in REBBA 2002, as well as those in RAHB’s MLS® Rules and Regulations and Policies.  We also expect you to uphold the Code of Ethics in REBBA 2002 as well as the CREA REALTOR® Code. Links to all those sources can be found on page 13 of this newsletter.

RAHB has among its membership an overwhelming number of ethical, upstanding real estate professionals who do an exemplary job of helping buyers and sellers. We expect you are part of that group by demonstrating professionalism daily when working in a way that is both fair to fellow REALTORS® while working for your clients and customers. You help consumers with one of the largest, and often most emotional, transactions of their lives. What you do affects many people.

Unfortunately, when something goes wrong and a member willingly or unwittingly ignores a rule or acts unethically, it can reflect negatively on all REALTORS®. This is where RAHB’s Professional Standards services apply.

RAHB’s Professional Standards Committee exists to investigate allegations of wrong-doing on the part of a member. If you encounter a situation where a REALTOR® hasn’t followed the rules or has acted unethically, you should file a formal complaint with RAHB’s Professional Standards Committee. It is the only way that Committee can follow up and ensure that improper behavior is investigated and appropriate disciplinary action is taken. The process is outlined on page 13.

It takes years to build a positive reputation, but only minutes to lose it. By helping the Professional Standards Committee fulfill its mandate, you can help ensure all members are upholding the high standards of the profession you deserve.


Best regards,

George O’Neill

Musings from RAHB CEO George O’Neill

I know you are all waiting to hear when RAHB will be going live with our new Matrix MLS® System, and I’m pleased to tell you that we are still on track to cut over to Matrix before the spring market, 2017. RAHB’s Directors and staff have been working diligently over the past several months to deliver this new system.

As you read in this column last month, there have been a few unexpected developments along the way, the most surprising of which came in a letter from ORTIS in late December, just before the holiday. At that time, ORTIS had not committed to listing sharing with RAHB. Since then, however, RAHB and ORTIS have come to an agreement to share listings and are looking to put in place a contract, hopefully to be signed before the end of February, 2017.

RAHB has been very clear about our desire to share listing information on a go-forward basis and about our strong belief that members of all boards and associations are best served by doing so. It’s not just our members who benefit from shared data; all REALTORS® in the regional area benefit from access to a wider pool of listing information. The internet has made information available to all, and your clients and customers expect that you will have the same access to listing information across southern Ontario.

We have said all along that RAHB will share listing data with any board or association on a reciprocal basis. We continue to work to achieve the goal of sharing listings with our neighbours. The more information you have, the better you can serve your clients and customers. And isn’t that ultimately what an MLS® System is all about – co-operatively sharing listing information among REALTORS®?

RAHB will continue to lead the charge to bring the best, most complete compilation of listings for the benefit of everyone.


Please don’t forget that RAHB’s REALTOR® CONNECTIONS AGM, Conference and Trade Show is coming up on March 9, 2017! Register now for this one-day event that has been planned just for you, our members.

Best regards,

George O’Neill

Gala highlights

RAHB’s annual Appreciation & Awards Gala was an evening to celebrate members for their 40- and 25-years of RAHB membership, to recognize RAHB members who served on RAHB committees and task forces in 2016, and to award members who have gone above and beyond to serve the association and their community.

The Gala took place on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at Michelangelo Event Venue and Conference Centre.

RAHB Volunteers

RAHB President Lou Piriano recognized the three 2016 Directors who completed their terms on the Board – Kim Alvarez, Gary Herron and Paul Martindale. He also recognized the 101 RAHB members who served on committees, task forces and the Board.

Long Service Awards

Long service pins were presented to the newest members of the Long Service Club. 10 members reached the 40-year milestone in 2016 and 42 reached the 25-year milestone!

Gala2(l-r) Robert Schinkel, Tamer Fahmi, John Goritsas, Drago Saric


Front row (l-r): Richard Deverson, Mike Cusano, Jim Griffen
Back row (l-r): Carol DiStefano, Janet Bedford


Front row (l-r): Louis Volk, Rob Cecchetti
Back row (l-r): Alison Walsh, Lois Simpson, Tina Nixon


Front row (l-r): Louie Fabbroni, Darren Van Leeuwen, Mike Mattina
Back row (l-r): Alice Liu, Catherine Poirier

RAHB Service Awards
Congratulations to the following RAHB award recipients!

Gala6Margaret Reid
(Royal LePage State Realty) received the Volunteer of the Year Award, which recognizes a member who has demonstrated exceptional qualities, enthusiasm and perseverance or has gone above and beyond to serve their fellow members.

Margaret has served on various RAHB committees and task forces since joining RAHB and, in fact, has worked on a committee or task every year with only one exception. She is active on not only RAHB committees and task forces, but in community committees and initiatives as well. Margaret is described as a “true example of leadership and giving”, a mentor with phenomenal patience and as “always available to lend a hand”.


Gala7Bonnie Dowling
(B. Dowling Real Estate Ltd.) received the Outstanding Community Service Award, presented to a member who has shown outstanding dedication to the real estate profession and exceptional volunteer service to his or her community.

Bonnie is a 33-year member of RAHB, a past president of the Association and an Honorary Life Member. She also received the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2012.

Bonnie has been active in the City of Hamilton Public Health “Community Food Advisors” program for over 20 years. She has served as Chair of the program, and continues to actively participate in a monthly seniors’ lunch program. As well as these current activities, Bonnie has been involved in lunch and children’s food programs, performed cooking demonstrations for seniors and Aboriginal men and others, and promoted healthy lifestyles in the community. Her infectious enthusiasm has made the learning experience enjoyable for others.


Entertainment during the cocktail hour and again during the gala program was provided by magician Mike D’Urzo.

Musical entertainment following the Gala program was provided by the George St. Kitts Band.








RAHB welcomes new members!

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington extends a warm welcome to its newest members from December 15, 2016 to January 23, 2017!

Sean Ferney
Ambitious Realty Advisors Inc.

Tyler Misener
Century 21 New Age Realty Inc.

Mir Rahimi
Marck Daood
Harun Shaheri
Homelife Professionals Realty Inc.

Darren Stewart
Sean Dawson
Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.

Glenda Cavan
Brad Aitchison
Keller Williams Complete Realty

Cherylene Stimers
David Maurice
Keller Williams Edge Realty

Jim Tatti
Christina Musacchia
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc.

Loren Gindl
RE/MAX Escarpment Lisa Weber Realty Inc.

Julie Tamayo Field
RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc.

Joe Bandula
RE/MAX Realty Enterprises Inc.

Christopher Climie
Deanna Bodden
Royal LePage State Realty

Nanthadeth Keochanh
Royal LePage Macro Realty

Alex Brott
Sage Real Estate

Danielle McKirgan
Lorraine Hughes
Sutton Group Innovative Realty Inc.

Dev Brar
Roy La Chappelle
Lexx Varghese
Lucie Brusse
Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services

Emese Zaduban
Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre