At RAHB we strive to continuously improve everything we do, focused on the three core competency areas of our association:

  1. managing an efficient real estate marketplace;
  2. providing effective local advocacy; and,
  3. offering the best professional development opportunities for our members.

You may remember that in May of this year, in this column, I talked about how RAHB contributes to the efficient real estate marketplace in Hamilton, Burlington and our outlying areas. The three pieces that work together to provide an efficient marketplace are the MLS® System itself, the rules and regulations for ensuring the system is fair for all, and the discipline process that is invoked if a member works outside the rules.

A data sharing agreement has been achieved with the seven regional boards and associations around RAHB, and our new Matrix 7.0 MLS® System will be rolled out later this fall. The new MLS® System will enhance how you work in the marketplace and will improve what you can offer your clients. As for the other two pieces of our market – rules and discipline – there are indications that change is coming from outside our association.

There is a move by the provincial government to overhaul REBBA 2002. If that occurs, it may change the rules you currently work under and may possibly change the discipline process as well. RAHB may need to re-visit our rules and processes to accommodate whatever adjustments are made by the government, and manage how those changes affect the marketplace.

OREA is taking the lead in discussions with the government and in recommending measures to strengthen the real estate licensing legislation while taking into account how REALTORS® work in their respective marketplaces.

Local advocacy and government relations have been an important part of RAHB’s place in the community and our service to you. We will be placing greater emphasis on those two roles and looking to place RAHB more firmly as a voice for the real estate community and home ownership. We intend to forge stronger relationships with municipal elected officials and representatives, and continue working closely with OREA and CREA to develop those same kinds of relationships with provincial and federal representatives from our market area.

As you will read later in this newsletter, this is the last issue of Realinfo in both print and digital versions. We are putting aside the monthly format to bring you RAHB and industry news in a more timely, weekly manner.

Earlier this summer, we initiated weekly emails under the name of NewsReal. So far, NewsReal has covered updates on Matrix, some general news and reminders of upcoming events. Starting in mid-September, NewsReal will also include RAHB and industry news, plus the features such as Realty Shoppe specials, Ethics Corner, new members, Professional Development and more that you’ve come to expect in Realinfo. Going forward, NewsReal will be your weekly newsletter.

We have taken this step for several reasons. First of all, we want to be able to provide you with information about issues of importance to you when the information is still current, but without filling your inbox with additional emails from RAHB. Once-a-week communications will have us in touch with you regularly but not too often.

We are also concerned about conservation – conservation of paper and staff resources. Printed copies of Realinfo were historically circulated to all member offices, yet recently only a few members indicated an interest in continuing to receive a paper copy.

I’m excited we can be in touch more regularly, and you can be kept more up to date on RAHB news.

Last but certainly not least… I would like to encourage you to attend one or more of the four community open forums coming up in September. Your Member Engagement Committee has planned informative meetings in Burlington, Caledonia, Dunnville and Grimsby – come out and hear officials from the respective Planning Departments. Also on the agenda will be opportunities for open discussion – bring your questions and be ready to talk about the hot topics on your mind. I look forward to seeing you there. If you can’t attend, the Burlington meeting will be live streamed via Facebook Live. You must belong to RAHB’s Members-only Facebook group to see the feed, so join today!

Best regards,

George O’Neill