Here are some of the highlights from REALTOR® CONNECTIONS 2016 held Wednesday, March 23 at the Hamilton Convention Centre:



  • Recognition of RAHB’s 95th anniversary
  • The 2015 audited financial statements were presented and received
  • RAHB CEO George O’Neill presented an update on Matrix and the regional MLS® System

Professional Development

  • Rebecca Mountain led a session on Online Lead Generating: The Simple Solution
  • Rick Shelley spoke on Multi-Residential: The Ins & Outs
  • Don Patterson presented CREA Update and Info for Commercial Practitioners
  • Pam Morton and Todd Targgart helped members Get (Re)Acquainted with Matrix
  • Industry leaders and service provides shared their expertise on a variety of topics in Knowledge Pods in the Exhibit Hall
  • Lunch Panel:  “Planning the Future”  Jason Thorne from the City of Hamilton and Mary Lou Tanner from the City of Burlington moderated by Keanin Loomis provided updates and insights on municipal planning initiatives


  • RAHB President Kim Alvarez and CEO George O’Neill were on hand to meet and speak with members
  • RAHB Directors chatted with members about their ideas and RAHB services

Trade Show

  • Members met with suppliers of goods and services and left with great information and a few goodies

Realty Shoppe

  • The Realty Shoppe buzzed with activity most of the day and offered show specials and prize draws

MLS® Help

  • RAHB MLS® staff were on hand to answer your questions about Matrix and Fusion


  • $95 Tim Horton’s gift card, for being the 95th RAHB member to register for REALTOR® CONNECTIONS (to celebrate RAHB’s 95th anniversary!) – Suzanne Burnside (RE/MAX Real Estate Centre)
  • $100 Keg gift card from the social media contest leading up to REALTOR® CONNECTIONS – Michelle Shivbarran (Royal LePage State Realty)
  • Free 2017 RAHB Dues draw at RAHB AGM – Darlene Wissenz (Sutton Group Innovative Realty Inc.)
  • Paid registration to CREA’s Canadian Commercial Forum in Toronto Regional Commercial Network, courtesy of the Regional Commercial Network – Nicolas von Bredow (Royal Lepage Marco Realty )
  • $50 Bon Appetit gift card, in the Member Engagement Committee’s “Get Connected” contest – Ken Murphy (Royal LePage State Realty)
  • X6 Laser Distance Meter for responding to RAHB’s REALTOR® CONNECTIONS survey – Rose Cipriani (RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc.)

REALTORS®4 Kids draws:

  • Sterling silver necklace – Stan Ivkovic (Royal LePage State Realty)
  • Rodney Carrington tickets – Roman Radojewski (Royal LePage State Realty)
  • Monster Jam tickets – Mary Atto (J.M. Edwards Associates Inc.)
  • Michael Kors wallet – Nicolette Wandio (Coldwell Banker Community Real Estate)
  • Gumball machine – Brian Gerrard (RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc.)

Realty Shoppe

Draws for three baskets of Realty Shoppe goodies, each valued at approximately $180

  • Kirk Sharpley (Keller Williams Edge Realty)
  • Natalie Pavkovic (Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.)
  • Larry Paletta (Re/Max Escarpment Realty Inc.)



What happened at the RAHB AGM?

RAHB’s AGM on March 23, 2016 at the Hamilton Convention Centre included a brief overview of RAHB’s strategic initiatives for 2016 by RAHB President Kim Alvarez, the presentation of the audited 2015 financial statement by Audit Chair Lou Piriano and an update on Matrix by RAHB CEO George O’Neill.  Here are some of the details:

Kim Alvarez Strategic Initiatives

  • Strategic goals centre on ensuring RAHB addresses members’ needs
  • Strategic imperative known as Member Development, Service, Engagement and Enablement (MDSEE)
  • MDSEE is all about members – helping members expand their knowledge and skills, offering services REALTORS® need, engaging members and ensuring RAHB’s infrastructure (like MLS® service) is reliable

Lou Piriano – Audited Financial Statements

(Members received a link to the audited financial statement through the Annual Report emailed to each member on March 11, 2016)

  • Deficit of $47,335 at the end of 2015
  • Increases in both revenue and expenses: revenue increased by $208,100 and expenses by $399,541.

Contributing factors:

Increase in revenue

  • 6% increase in membership – increased dues income; however, also increased monthly service costs and decreased income from monthly service fees from the $6 reduction approved by directors in 2014
  • More professional development sessions, including designation courses (higher registration fees)
  • Rental income increased as per lease agreement
  • Decrease in investment income with decline in interest rates

Increase in expenses

  • Building operations increased 7%
  • Increase of 6.5% in MLS® services: increase in membership increased costs to provide MLS® services through Fusion and GeoWarehouse; increase in cost of digital/virtual tour packages; increased computer costs related to data sharing with STARRS members
  • Administrative and Office Expenses increased by 11%: salaries increased 3% (CPI increase); non-recurring expense in benefit payout for retiring staff; professional fees for CEO search; decrease in advertising and public relations costs; no member survey

Other factors

  • Increase in outstanding accounts over 2014 due to waiver of monthly service fee in December, 2014
  • Long-term prepaid expense continuing to decline

Karan Barker Scholarship Fund

  • Scholarships paid from interest earned
  • Four students received $2,000 scholarships


  • According to policy, $50,000 was transferred to Building Reserve

Deloitte LLP appointed as auditors for 2016


George O’Neill – Regional Update

  • Overview of extent of area covered by eight associations participating in regional MLS® system – 8,200 REALTORS®, with 35% of total made up of RAHB members
  • Two separate initiatives – Matrix and ORTIS, the group overseeing and managing Matrix
  • Matrix is live and the sole MLS® system for Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo and Oakville/Milton associations; Matrix is available to RAHB, Brantford, Niagara and Simcoe for listings search across all the regional associations, but not fully for listing loading and maintenance
  • RAHB has concerns to resolve with regard to ownership of listing data, ORTIS mandate and cost control, governance and decision making structure, MLS® Rules and service quality – all being discussed among eight associations
  • RAHB will not cutover to using only Matrix until, at the earliest, after the spring market and all concerns with ORTIS are resolved. Until that cutover, Fusion will continue to run for loading and editing listings, in parallel with Matrix for listings search functionality across the regional area. We know this is not ideal from a member use perspective, but we believe it is better to resolve these concerns now when any potential negative impacts to members is minor.


RC1This one-day conference is filled with opportunities and events designed for REALTORS®, and you are invited to attend!


  • Rebecca Mountain:  Online Lead Generation:  The Simple Solution
  • Rick Shelley:  Multi-Residential:  The Ins and Outs
  • Don Patterson:  CREA Update and Information for the Commercial Practitioner
  • Knowledge Pods in the Exhibit Hall – stop for a few minutes and learn
    from the pros
  • Lunch time PanelMary Lou Tanner, Director of Planning & Building for the City of Burlington and Jason Thorne, General Manager Planning and Economic Development Department for the City of Hamilton will take part in a lunch time panel discussion moderated by Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Keanin Loomis
  • CONNECTIONS Café – a place to meet and chat with colleagues about issues of the day
  • Trade show with 55+ exhibitors
  • RAHB Annual General Meeting (AGM)
  • Light breakfast and buffet lunch

More COMMERCIAL content this year!

For more information
Register online or contact Sheila at the RAHB office
– 905.529.8101 x234 or email


* Members who register before 8:30 a.m. Monday, March 7 but do not attend REALTOR® CONNECTIONS (and do not cancel their registration in advance of the event – see cancellation policy below) will have a $35+HST administration fee charged to their RAHB account.

Cancellation Policy:
Cancellations will be accepted until 8:30 a.m., Monday, March 14.
Cancellations received after that date will not be eligible for any applicable refund.


RAHB’s annual conference and trade show – known first as REALTORS® without BORDERS and now as REALTOR® CONNECTIONS – has been one of RAHB’s most important member services for the last 15 years, and was rated as RAHB’s Number One event in the Member Satisfaction Survey in 2014.

Prior to the first fully-fledged REALTORS® without BORDERS Conference and Trade Show, RAHB offered various forms of education days both alone and in conjunction with other real estate associations.  Then came the first REALTORS® without BORDERS in 2001, which offered professional development (and MCE Credits) and a large trade show.

In 2010, the event underwent a name change to REALTOR® CONNECTIONS and in 2012 it was combined with the RAHB AGM to give members a one-day, everything-in-one-place event.

The focus of the event has always been bringing members the best in professional development, vendors in the trade show and other features to assist members in their roles as REALTORS®.  A more recent addition is a focus on member engagement and developing two-way communication with members.

Here’s a quick look at how REALTOR® CONNECTIONS has developed from 10 years ago:


Quick Facts:
Most exhibitors:  70 (2014)                 Highest registration fee:  $45 (2007-2010)
Highest attendance:  585 (2004)        Lowest registration fee:  FREE (2011-2016)

No matter what you call it – Education Day, REALTORS® without BORDERS or REALTOR® CONNECTIONS – this is the event that focuses on what members need and want to do their business better.

Online registration to this year’s event is open until 8:30 a.m. Monday, March 14.  REALTOR® CONNECTIONS 2016 is FREE for members who register by 8:30 a.m. Monday, March 7. 

For more information about REALTOR® CONNECTIONS 2016, please visit our website.


Plan now to attend REALTOR® CONNECTIONS 2016, a one-day extravaganza of speakers, workshops, trade show vendor, RAHB business and networking!  It all happens on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at the Hamilton Convention Centre.

The planning team is again putting together a day that will have something for everyone.  New this year – more commercial content!

Registration is free for members who register before 8:30 a.m., Monday, March 7, 2016.  Watch Message of the Day (MOD) on Fusion for the opening of online registration; watch REALINFO and your email inbox for more details about REALTOR® CONNECTIONS.

See you there!


REALTORS® 4 Kids Charity Auction – not the same old cocktail party!

RAHB’s 27th annual charity auction underwent a rebranding (remember the Christmas Tree of Hope charity auction?) and a change of format for 2015, and drew almost 500 REALTORS®, their clients and friends for an evening of great food, fun and – most importantly – fundraising for The Children’s Fund.




The evening included a four-course sit-down dinner, live and silent auctions, draws, door prizes, giveaways and the chance to make a difference in the lives of children in the Hamilton/Burlington area.

RAHB engaged the services of professional  auctioneer Linda Leija, “the Auctionista,” to act as emcee for the event and to conduct the live auction.  Guests were entertained and challenged to open their wallets for the cause.


The final tally of the proceeds from the evening was not available at the time of publications; watch Message of the Day (MOD) for the final number.

2015 CMHC Housing Outlook Seminar: What Will Drive the Market?

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will present its annual Housing Outlook Seminar on Thursday, November 12, 2015.

CMHC Regional Economist Ted Tsiakopoulos will speak on the topic of Will I Move or Renovate, Senior Market Analyst Abdul Kargbo will offer an in-depth analysis of Hamilton’s new home, resale and rental markets and Arlene Etchen, Knowledge Transfer Consultant will address the topic of Will Secondary Suites Trend Up?

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Michelangelo Events & Conference Centre
Breakfast: 8 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Seminar: 9 a.m. – 12 noon

Individual: $50
Table of 6: $225

Hot breakfast, conference materials and HST included.
Educational credits for CAAMP, IMBA, AIC and RECO are available.

For more information or to register, call 1.800.668.2642 or go to

What’s old and new at the same time?  RAHB’s annual charity auction!

RAHB has supported The Children’s Fund for over 25 years – that’s a long history of helping children in the Hamilton-Burlington community.  To date, RAHB has raised over $838,000 for The Children’s Fund – that’s huge!  And it’s a tradition worth carrying on.

But it’s time for a new beginning, so everything about the charity auction
is changing.

The REALTORS® 4 Kids auction will still be an awesome evening of fun and fellowship, but with new twists and opportunities for you to support The Children’s Fund, and go home with great finds in the live and silent auctions.

Watch for more information about tickets and fantastic auction items.  This is an event you won’t want to miss!


Here are some of the highlights from REALTOR® CONNECTIONS 2015, held Tuesday, March 24 at the Hamilton Convention Centre.


  • The 2014 audited financial statements were presented and received.
  • An amendment to Article 4, Section 4.01 of the RAHB Bylaw (see RAHB news, Processing Fee Change, for further information) was approved.
  • RAHB CEO Ross Godsoe and MLS® Chair Lou Piriano presented brief reports on the new regional MLS® System and Matrix, the new MLS® platform RAHB members will begin using in mid-June.
  • Todd Targgart of CoreLogic provided a demonstration of Matrix, highlighting functions and featuresTS3










Professional Development

  • Keynote Chris Leader issued a challenge: Dare to be ExceptionalTS1









  • Kathy Hogeveen led an early bird presentation on Developing an Online Strategy
  • Industry leaders and service providers shared their expertise on a wide variety of topics in Knowledge Pods in the Exhibit HallTS2









  • RAHB Directors were on hand to chat with members about their ideas about RAHB and RAHB services
  • Members shared their idea for services RAHB should investigate


Trade Show

  • Members had the chance to speak with suppliers of goods and services and walk away with great information and a few goodies


Realty Shoppe

  • The Realty Shopped buzzed with activity most of the day and offered its usual great show specials and prize draws.


Member Services

Inside the Exhibit Hall

  • MLS® staff and Todd Targgart were on hand to answer questions about Fusion and Matrix.

Outside the Exhibit Hall

  • representatives of the RAHB Charity Auction took donations for the Children’s Fund and names for prize draws
  • RAHB President Donna Bacher and CEO Ross Godsoe were there to answer members’ questions



(l-r) RAHB President Donna Bacher with:










CONNECTIONS Café draw for HP Stream 7 tablet
Heather Cianciolo, Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate

X6 Laser Distance Meter
Bonnie McAuley, Coldwell Banker-Burnhill Realty

2016 RAHB dues
Irena Kovaleva, Right at Home Realty


Realty Shoppe – gift baskets with goods worth approximately $180 each
Ruth Morehouse, Royal LePage G. Bruce Macdonald Real Estate;









Sharon Musson-Maxted, Royal LePage State Realty;








Ted Fletcher Jr., Realty Network: 100 Inc.








Charity Auction draws

Beaded necklace & bracelet
Steve Azmier, RE/MAX Escarpment Realty;

$50 Ancaster Mill gift certificate
Jack Mills, Jim Mills Real Estate;

$250 Vartanian Rugs gift certificate
Doris Chiu, Royal LePage State Realty;

Autographed Blue Rodeo poster and t-shirt
Paul Martindale, Wink Properties & Realty Inc.;

Two tickets for Def Leppard
Rose Cipriani, RE/MAX Escarpment Realty.


AGM, Conference and Trade Show

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Badge pick up begins at 7:30 a.m.)
Hamilton Convention Centre
1 Summer’s Lane, Hamilton

FREE for members who register by midnight Sunday, March 8 $30 for RAHB members registering after midnight Sunday, March 8

  • RAHB Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 12:30 p.m.
    – yes! p.m.! – immediately following lunch
  • RAHB Financial Report;
  • Demonstration of Matrix, the new
    regional MLS® System;
  • Draws for a new HP Stream 7 tablet*,
    an X6 Laser Distance Meter and 2016 RAHB dues
  • Kathy Hogeveen:  Developing an Online Strategy
  • Keynote presentation by Chris Leader:  Dare to be Exceptional

And there’s more!

  • Trade show
  • Knowledge Pods – learn from the pros
  • CONNECTIONS Café – meet with your colleagues; share your ideas; grab a coffee, and enter your name for the draw for the HP Stream 7 tablet
  • Realty Shoppe specials
  • Meet the President and CEO
  • Continental breakfast and buffet lunch included

* Share an idea and enter the draw at CONNECTIONS Café.

All this is FREE for RAHB members who register by midnight March 8, 2015.  Complete details and all the fine print are on our website at

Register online at