COVID-19 Resources

Keep Up-To-Date

RAHB’s Latest Updates

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit & The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Federal Government has launched the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS):

If you intend to apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), you can get started by familiarizing yourself with the application process and registering for your Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account prior to applications opening on Monday, April 2020.

Please apply during your allotted window, as designated by the CRA:

If you were born in the month of Apply for the CERB on Your best day to apply
January, February or March Mondays April 6
April, May, or June Tuesdays April 7
July, August, or September Wednesdays April 8
October, November, or December Thursdays April 9
Any month Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

 

How to know if you will qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you previously had an income and is someone who is not working because of COVID-19 (directly or indirectly).

As REALTORS®, you should expect to be asked for supporting documentation later in the application process.

In addition to the CERB and the CEWS, the government has taken steps to stabilize the real estate sector through several other measures:

  • The Bank of Canada lowered its target for the overnight rate to 0.25 per cent;
  • The Bank of Canada will be purchasing ~$500 million in mortgage bonds per week;
  • A deferral of GST and HST remittances and customs duty payments;
  • Launch of the Canada Emergency Business Account which provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses to cover their operating costs;
  • Export Development Canada will guarantee new operating credit and cash flow term loans that financial institutions can extend to Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises, up to $6.25 million;
  • A co-lending program for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months to:

  • Wage-earners and self-employed individuals, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance;
  • Workers who must stop working due to COVID-10and do not have access to paid leave or other income support;
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19;
  • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures;
  • Workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or a toll-free number.

For more information on Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, please click the buttons below:

RAHB REALTORS® Release March 2020 Market Statistics

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,098 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in March 2020. Sales are up 10 per cent over last month, but down 3.1 per cent over March 2019. The average price for residential properties increased to $658,161, which is up 1.8 per cent from last month and up 14.5 per cent from the same month last year.

Follow the links below for:

Burlington

Halidmand

Hamilton

Niagara North

 

Welcome New Members

We extend a warm welcome to RAHB’s newest members who joined our association between February 26 – March 31, 2020!

Fari Amin
Century 21 Dreams Inc.

Charlene Lefave
Century 21 Heritage Group Ltd.

Jake Lyons
Coldwell Banker-Burnhill Realty

David Wu
Dowling Real Estate
Daniel Jones
IPRO Realty Ltd.

Kyle Labate
Kyle Price
Alicia Salverda
Sean  Morley St Cyr
Keller Williams Complete Realty

Koko Kooner
Farhan Mahmood
Homelife Professionals Realty

Varia Bykova
Property.ca Realty

Samantha Stubbington
RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc.

Whitney Wakefield
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre

Margaret Fisher
Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services

Nathaniel Chiu
Royal LePage State Realty

CREA Update – Support for Canadian Businesses

The information below was sent by CREA to Members on Monday, March 30.

In an effort to combat negative consequences for Canadians and the Canadian economy resulting from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, this morning the Government of Canada unveiled additional support through a wage subsidy for businesses, while the Bank of Canada lowered its target for the overnight rate in an unscheduled rate announcement. These new measures come on the heels of the announcement for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), aimed at providing relief for Canadians workers who have lost their income.

Since the emergence of COVID-19, CREA has been in ongoing discussions with government departments and agencies. We have had meaningful conversations about the unique challenges facing REALTORS® and the potentially devastating outcomes of any interruptions to their day-to-day business.

While working to secure financial aid for REALTORS®, we also focused on the needs of small businesses, analyzing the measures announced by government, as well as programs implemented in other jurisdictions in order to find innovative solutions relevant to our industry. We discussed possibilities with stakeholder groups across the country to align and coordinate on proposed government action that would provide meaningful assistance to struggling businesses.

Government responded to calls for significant action today with the following measures:

  • 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to three months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Eligibility criteria for the wage subsidy has yet to be established, with government aiming to provide additional details on Monday. We will update members as information becomes available.
  • Bank of Canada lowered its target for the overnight rate to 0.25 per cent.
  • Deferral of GST and HST remittances and customs duty payments for businesses, including self-employed individuals, to June 30, 2020.
  • Launch of the new Canada Emergency Business Account, which will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs. The program will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC). Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 per cent (up to $10,000).
  • EDC will guarantee new operating credit and cash flow term loans that financial institutions extend to SMEs, up to $6.25 million.
  • Co-Lending Program for SMEs where the Business Development Bank of Canada works with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.

Additional details about these measures can be found on the websites for the Prime Minister of Canada, the Department of Finance Canada, and the Bank of Canada.

The new measures are expected to complement the CERB, a taxable benefit that will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and covers Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.

The government has said CERB will apply to contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance. CREB will also be available to workers who are still employed but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19. The new benefit will be available through an online portal that is set to launch on April 6, with funds expected to flow within ten days of applying.

CREA is monitoring the implementation of these programs and will continue to advocate on behalf of REALTORS®.

Please click below for more information on Support for Businesses:

Support for Businesses

 

OREA Update – Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The information below was sent by OREA to Members on March 26.

In these unprecedented times, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is working hard to make sure REALTORS® have access to government support programs and information to help them get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Canada introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This benefit will be distributed through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to provide up-to $2,000 a month for the next four months in income support to the following individuals.

  • Workers, including self-employed individuals, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, but do not qualify for Employment Insurance sickness benefits.
  • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for Employment Insurance or not.

While the program is targeted at self-employed Canadians, every individual situation is different. Any REALTOR® who needs assistance is encouraged to apply for the benefit.

Those who wish to apply for the benefit will be able to do so starting in early April 2020, and it should take approximately 10 days after applying to receive funding.

OREA will provide Members with instructions on how to apply once applications become available.

In the meantime, in order to prepare for your application, Members are encouraged to ensure that you have an online account with the CRA.

OREA has made it a priority to ensure that REALTORS® are captured under all programs provided to those who are self-employed. We will continue to closely monitor any additional programs that the Federal and Provincial governments introduce to ensure that Ontario’s REALTORS® are supported through this difficult time.

Please click below for more information on Support for Individuals and Businesses:

More Information on Support for Individuals and Families

David Greenspan Course

The below letter is from our 2020 AGM speaker, David Greenspan:

We hope that you and your family are keeping well during this time.

We are confident that COVID-19 will pass. Doing our part to be socially responsible by practicing social distancing right now, will help us all flatten the curve and get us back to our normal routines quicker.

As we are all staying home right now, we want to help you stay sharp and be prepared for when this ends, and this is why we would like to offer you this opportunity to join in on The MindShare Challenge.

It is an online marketing and sales course to help you with many aspects of your business.

We have worked out a special price for the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington Members to take advantage of 50 per cent off the normal $497, making it only $248.50 for you right now. The course starts on April 7, at 12 p.m., and will run twice a week for four weeks, every Tuesday and Thursday. There are eight sessions total, and each session is one hour of live training.

We are doing this in an effort to help you with self development while we all have a little bit of extra time on our hands.

You can learn more about the Challenge by going here – https://mindshare101.com/mindshare-challenge-live-online/

The 50 per cent Off Promo Code is: RAHB50

Update on Burlington Official Plan and Process of Development Applications RE: COVID-19

Attention REALTORS® who work and live in Burlington

Official Plan Update

The original timeline of the Burlington Official Plan has been delayed due to COVID-19. The policies will be released at the end of April and the Statutory Public Meeting will be scheduled for the fall.

Planning Applications

Regarding planning applications:

  • Development applications received by March 13, 2020, are currently being processed.
  • Inquires continue to be handled by Planning staff via phone and email.
  • Staff are exploring how new applications might be accepted and processed.
  • No Pre-application public meetings will be held at this time, including Millcroft Green, and will be re-scheduled at a later date.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has suspended all LPAT hearings scheduled to take place from March 16 until the end of June. The cancelled hearings will be rescheduled at a later date.

Building Permits and Inspections

Regarding building permits and inspections:

  • Building permit applications received by March 13, 2020, are currently being processed.
  • Staff has implemented a modified level of building inspections. Exterior building inspections continue and a modified process for interior inspections is in place that does not involve staff going into buildings and protects staff from physical contact in line with COVID-19 safety precautions.
  • Staff are exploring how new applications might be accepted and processed.

Business License Renewal

Existing business licenses that require renewal will be extended during the COVID-19 crisis.

Bank of Canada Lowers Overnight Rate Target to 0.25 Per Cent

On March 27, the Bank of Canada lowered its target for the overnight rate to 0.25 per cent due to COVID-19’s adverse effect on both the Canadian and global economy. COVID-19 has resulted in a substantial fiscal policy action in Canada to help support individuals and business stay afloat.

The Bank of Canada will continue to monitor the economic and financial conditions closely and will announce the next overnight rate targeted for April 15.

For more information, please click the button below for the Bank of Canada’s full press release:

Updated RAHB Residential and Commercial Property Information Forms

REMINDER that Friday, March 27, 2020 was the final day that members could use RAHB’s Residential and Commercial Property Information forms dated (July 2018).
The updated Residential and Commercial Property Information forms are available to be downloaded via WEBForms®.
Please Note: The Realty Shoppe is closed for in-person shopping; however, you may order new forms via phone and email, which will be fulfilled once the office reopens. You may place an order at 905.529.5979 or realtyshoppe@rahb.ca.
To read the previous communication, please click here.

Message From The President – March 26

OREA is taking the position – and RAHB agrees – that all REALTORS® should stop face-to-face business, including open houses, in-person showings, and maintaining agents and public office hours.

We recognize that RAHB cannot police this; however RAHB can say don’t undertake in-person activities.  The message we have received from OREA is that if REALTORS® don’t act responsibly, there is great potential the provincial government will take away the “essential workplace” designation for real estate. If this happens, then REALTORS®, as well as buyers and sellers, will not a have a choice.

We are relying on members to do the right thing for their communities.  We all have to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19, and help to maintain the health of our communities.

What does “closure of non-essential businesses” mean for REALTORS®?

Yesterday (March 23) Premier Ford announced the closure of all non-essential businesses in the province of Ontario. This will take effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight. This is a drastic, yet necessary, measure to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The provincial government has provided a list of essential workplaces under this direction, which can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces. Please note that under “other Business”, #67 “Land registration services, and real estate agent services and moving services” is included in this list.

Why was “real estate” deemed essential?

OREA asked for the essential service designation and for the Land Registry Office to stay open because there are thousands of transactions in Ontario right now that have yet to close officially. Every one of them is different.

While some may not require the help of a REALTOR® to close, others will. OREA was concerned that if REALTORS® were not permitted to support these transactions, those families and businesses could have been left high and dry.

Many other professional services appear in the essential list, including banking, lawyers, and accountants. Shutting down these sectors completely, like real estate, could have had a huge unintended consequences for consumers and damaging domino impact on other deals.

What does this mean for REALTORS®?

Most importantly, it means that REALTORS®, following the advice of health officials, will be able to support families in this difficult time who need to close on a home.

What it doesn’t mean is that REALTORS® are at liberty to conduct business as usual.

OREA is taking the position – and RAHB agrees – that all REALTORS® should stop face-to-face business, including open houses, in-person showings, and maintaining agents and public office hours.

The government gave the “essential” label to real estate to permit transactions to close – NOT to allow members to carry on with normal business practices during a crisis.

All members should be moving to remote work – full stop.

What about showings involving tenants?

No REALTOR® should, during this state of emergency, participate in a face-to-face showing, especially of a tenanted property. Legally, the Residential Tenancies Act may permit  showings, but for obvious health and safety reasons, these showings need to stop. Instead, OREA encourages members to work with clients who are landlords to show these properties virtually.

To underpin RAHB’s position that no in-person open houses be permitted by RAHB members during the Ontario COVID-19 state of emergency, RAHB has suppressed the open house function in Matrix.

Read important information about showings and virtual showings below.

Today the Premier emphasized that shelter-related business is a top priority; however, this situation is first and foremost a public health emergency, and the government will not hesitate to shut down other workplaces, as necessary to protect Ontarians.

The government has stressed that everyone should work from home when possible and where possible. To help businesses operate remotely, there are several initiatives taking place:

  • The big telecom companies have removed internet data caps amid COVID-19, allowing more Ontarians to work from home without worrying about extra charges.
  • The Premier announced the switch to off-peak hydro for the next 45 days to help Ontarians who are working from home. This reduction will be automatic on the bills of Ontarians. Small businesses may also be eligible for this off-peak hydro rate.

Effect on the RAHB market area  

REALTORS® have always been advocates for their community, and RAHB REALTORS® have been doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by cancelling open houses. It’s the right thing to do.

Currently, it is hard to determine what effects COVID-19 will have on the housing market; specifically, the number of new listings, sales, and average price. We have heard from some RAHB REALTORS® who have seen very little change in activity within our market, and there are others who have clients who are postponing their sale or search for a property until COVID-19 subsides. RAHB will closely monitor the housing market during this time of uncertainty.

As a reminder, RAHB releases weekly statistics every Wednesday on News & Alerts and our monthly statistics are at the beginning of each month.

RAHB Virtual Showings Update & MLS® Rules & Regulations 2.10 (i)

While the provincial government has included “Land registration services, and real estate agent services and moving services” among the list of essential businesses that can continue to operate during the current provincial state of emergency, RAHB emphasizes that this does not mean it is business as usual. We can’t state strongly enough that If the measures advised by health government and officials, such as social distancing and self-isolation, are to be effective, compliance by everyone is essential.  Full stop.

That being said, RAHB recognizes that the typical way of conducting business and the rules around how business is conducted are not 100 percent suited to a virtual world.

With this in mind, during the Ontario COVID-19 state of emergency, RAHB is temporarily relaxing MLS® Rule & Regulation: SECTION 2 – MLS® LISTINGS 2.10 (i).

What does this mean in practice?

  • A listing will not be suspended because a property is not available for in-person showings or inspections.
  • As in-person showings are temporarily prohibited, virtual showings are permitted instead.
  • By complying with direction from public health agencies at the national and provincial levels, RAHB members are individually and collectively helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, thereby  protecting themselves, their families and their communities.


What else do I need to know?

  • Let other REALTORS® know about your virtual showings by including this information within the REALTOR® or public (Client) remarks section of a listing.
  • Remember that REALTOR® contact information is not permitted within the REALTOR® or public (Client) remarks section of a listing – as per RAHB’s MLS® Policies Miscellaneous #5 and #6.
  • There are a variety of online and virtual tools that can easily be accessed to conduct business remotely with REALTORS®, buyers and sellers.

What are some tips and best practices for hosting a virtual open house?

  • Stick to a schedule – start planning now for your current listings and future virtual tours. FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or Zoom are great options. If you want your open house to be viewed by the public, social media offers “Live” features that are a great way to reach a wide audience (i.e., Facebook Live or Instagram Live).
    Practice – trial runs are crucial to make sure both your technology is working and your virtual open house layout is perfect. Walk and pan around the room slowly to reduce pixilation on your video.
    There is no such thing as being too descriptive – be sure to use as many descriptive words as possible to help a home buyer envision themselves living in the space.

If you have any questions, please contact the MLS® Help Desk at 905.667.4650 or support@rahb.ca.

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) Purge

The Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) purge is a feature included in the updates for the Matrix 8.4 Series.

Effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the CMA purge will run nightly and automatically purge any CMA that you have created in the past and have not modified in the last 180 days. If you have any CMA’s that you do not want to lose through the nightly purge, reopen it and resave it by Wednesday, and it will save for another 180 days.

Should you have any questions, please call the MLS® Help Desk at 905.667.4650 or e-mail support@rahb.ca

ShowingTime Update

Due to overwhelming agent demand and a desire for the safest possible showings for all concerned, ShowingTime will be updating all current listings and the default for new listings to be “No Overlapping Showings” so that by default two showing agents won’t be scheduled to be in the same property at the same time. Agents and offices can change their defaults later when or if they deem it appropriate, but we want to make sure that the default assumption on any listings in the ShowingTime system is “no overlap” unless specifically designated by the listing agent or listing office.
Any questions can be directed to the MLS® Help Desk 905.667.4650

Temporary RAHB Phone Numbers

If you are attempting to call the RAHB office and cannot get through, we have set up temporary phone numbers.

Reception:
Regular: 905.529.8101
Temporary: 905.963.1064

MLS® Help Desk:
Regular: 905.667.4650
Temporary: 905.481.0354

RAHB staff thank you for your patience during this time.

RAHB Physical Office Closed; RAHB Staff Working Remotely

In support of measures advised by government and health officials, the physical RAHB office is closed, with all staff working remotely during our regular business hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

What Does This Mean for RAHB Members?

  • The MLS® Help Desk is open during regular business hours. You can reach us at 905.667.4650 or support@rahb.ca.
  • We are accepting general calls through our regular business number at 905.529.8101.  If you have any questions, please call during regular business hours or leave a message; we will assist you in any way we can.
  • We have become aware that some members have been experiencing trouble while trying to get through to RAHB using the regular office phone number and MLS®  support number.  If you are experiencing troubles, please try the following numbers as an alternative – MLS Support at 905.481.0354 or reception at 905.963.1064.
  • All in-person member meetings, events and education of any kind are postponed or will be conducted via teleconference.
  • The Realty Shoppe is closed for in-person shopping and in-person account payments; however, we are taking orders via phone and e-mail, which will be fulfilled once the office reopens. You can reach us at 905-529-5979 or realtyshoppe@rahb.ca.
  • Online payments are highly encouraged; cheque payments may be dropped off in the RAHB mailbox, however processing of these payments may be delayed; cash payments are not permitted.
  • RealTrack service is not accessible.
  • OREA testing at the RAHB office has been cancelled until further notice.

Thank you for your patience as we all work together to keep our communities safe, while navigating extremely difficult and often unforeseen circumstances.

For Information/Updates on RAHB’s operations:
For updated information on COVID-19 as it relates to RAHB, please visit our blog page at  https://blog.rahb.ca/coronoavirus-covid-19-information/. We will keep members informed as further decisions about RAHB business operations are made.

Virtual Showings

RAHB strongly encourages REALTORS® have virtual showings. One way you can show other REALTORS® that you have a virtual showing is to include this information within the REALTOR® or public (Client) remarks section of a listing.

But, please remember that REALTOR® contact information is not permitted within the REALTOR® or public (Client) remarks section of a listing – as per RAHB’s MLS® Policies Miscellaneous #5 and #6.

If you have any questions, please contact the MLS® Help Desk at 905.667.4650 or support@rahb.ca.

Search by Category