Musings from RAHB CEO George O’Neill

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

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

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.


George O’Neill

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.


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 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.


George O’Neill

Musings from RAHB CEO George O’Neill

Matrix Update

On June 6, 2017, you received an email from RAHB President Lou Piriano and me that announced a mid-August 2017 launch of our Matrix system. I’m excited about the launch since RAHB’s new MLS® System has been designed specifically for RAHB members and contains many new features that we are confident you will find to be very helpful in your day to day business as a REALTOR®.

Our new MLS® platform is Matrix 7.0, the latest version available from CoreLogic. It will include new market reporting tools, a new customer portal, a direct interface and a host of other new features that will provide you with tools you can use to offer enhanced services to your clients and better ways to communicate with them.  And all this will be available on your mobile phone, tablet or desktop – it is fully responsive on all devices.

You can expect to preview our new Matrix system in mid-July, about four weeks before our cutover date.  If you are already using the regional Matrix system for searches, you will have no trouble with our system. The preview period will give you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with our Matrix and to ensure all your saved searches and customer contact data have been transferred properly from the regional system as well as from our Fusion system.  Training will be offered for those who wish to learn how to load and maintain listings in our Matrix system, even though many will find the interface very intuitive.  Listing search will be almost identical to the regional system, which you are most likely already familiar with.  Training will also be offered for the entire system, for those who require an update.

You will be hearing more about RAHB’s Matrix launch in the coming weeks – be sure to watch for information, webinars, tips and instructions in upcoming issues of The Shift. In the mean time, continue to load your listings and do all your listing maintenance in Fusion.

Now a word about data sharing. As we mentioned in our June 6 email, RAHB’s Board of Directors had serious concerns with the way ORTIS, the company managing the regional Matrix system, operates. This is not new; we communicated our concerns to you in the past. After almost a year of trying to have these issues addressed and to put in place an equitable data share approach, our  Board determined that ORTIS was unable to meet RAHB’s expectations of professionalism and the standards of service our members are used to. Therefore, our Board notified ORTIS that RAHB will be leaving ORTIS on our Matrix launch date.

What does this mean for you?  Based on understandings already in place with ORTIS, you should continue to have access to the regional Matrix system for your listing searches until cutover to the RAHB Matrix system.  We don’t have any guarantees after that date, but be assured RAHB continues to be open to discussing with our neighbouring boards and associations continued access to listing search  beyond our cutover date.

We are hosting webinars to address any questions you have and to provide more details about our Matrix launch. These will take place on June, 15, 16 and 20, all starting at 9:30 a.m.  An invitation was sent to all members on June 9, 2017 and you can register here: There will also be additional information in upcoming issues of The Shift. We will keep you up to date and help you prepare for your new Matrix 7.0 MLS® System!

Best regards,

George O’Neill

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 O’Neill


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

Musings from RAHB CEO George

Let’s talk about what is coming up in the year ahead!

The most obvious place to start is with RAHB’s Matrix system. Our staff and CoreLogic have been working diligently to develop a made-for-RAHB MLS® System that will be compatible with the regional Matrix system, so that listing information can be easily shared between RAHB and the regional group.

If you have been using the regional Matrix system for all your searches, you should be comfortable using  RAHB’s Matrix. If you haven’t been using the regional Matrix system, you can get a good idea of what RAHB’s system will be like by checking out the regional system now. Call our MLS® services help desk at 905.667.4650 to learn how to access the system.

We are still working to launch RAHB’s Matrix system before the spring market of this year, so be sure to watch for updates in our email publication The Shift.  Past issues of The Shift are located on REALTOR Link® – look under “Regional Info” on the right hand side of RAHB’s page.

Beginning this year, RAHB will be participating in the CREA MLS® Home Price Index, or HPI. The HPI will show house price trends in neighbourhoods for various housing types, providing valuable information you can use to better serve your clients and customers.

The last thing I want to touch on is the highlight of every spring for members  – REALTOR® CONNECTIONS AGM, Conference and Trade Show. We have made some changes this year – the date of the event is March 9, and we have moved the event to the Grand Olympia in Stoney Creek.  The planning committee is putting together a program that will help you “Choose Success” for your business, and it promises to be an excellent day. Registration is already open – look for more information in this issue of REALINFO.

I am personally looking forward to a year of continuing to provide you, our valued members, the products and services you need and want, and to fulfilling RAHB’s mission of “empowering REALTORS® to succeed”.


Best regards, George O’Neill

Musings from RAHB CEO George O’Neill

Another year is coming to a close and already, with the election of the new members to the 2017 Board of Directors, we are planning for next year.

The planning begins right away in December when your Board of Directors will be discussing goals for the Association at their planning meetings on December 6 and 7, 2016.  The outcome from these meetings are what will set the agenda for 2017 and, possibly, beyond.

Also looking ahead at next year, we will be introducing RAHB’s own Matrix MLS® System before the spring market.  I am excited to tell you that this will truly be a made-for-RAHB system, and our system will be compatible with the regional Matrix system. Be sure to watch our regular updates in The Shift for the most up-to-date information.

Again looking at next year, RAHB’s annual REALTOR® CONNECTIONS AGM, Conference and Trade Show is shaping up to be another great event.  It will be held three weeks earlier than usual, on March 9, 2017.  Watch for the all the details coming to your email inbox and in REALINFO – you won’t want to miss it!

Even though there is a lot to look forward to in 2017, I would be remiss if I didn’t also take a brief look back at one of RAHB’s marquee events – the REALTORS® 4Kids Charity Auction.  It was held on November 17, 2016 and it once again showed what great things REALTORS® do in their community.  The final tally isn’t in yet, but it appears that we raised at least $60,000 for The Children’s  Fund – that is an impressive amount!  What’s even more impressive is that, over the 28 years RAHB has supported The Children’s Fund, our total donations equal just over 1 million dollars!  Congratulations to everyone who has supported this event and this cause through the years – you have done great work for your community.

As 2016 draws to a close, I would like to wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous new year.

Best regards, George


Musings from RAHB CEO George O’Neill

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people.  Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote – a very different thing.  ~ Walter H. Judd

Every year, RAHB holds an election for new Directors for the Board of Directors. The election is an important part of association life, as the resulting Board of Directors is empowered to make decisions on behalf of all members.

When your vote has such important consequences, how do you know whom to vote for?

RAHB offers several ways for you to learn more about the candidates for the 2017 Board of Directors.

First is to watch their videos and read about why the candidates believe they are good choices as Directors. Links to candidates’ videos and statements will be emailed to all members along with the final slate of candidates on Wednesday, November 16. They will also be posted on the electronic voting site. Even if you don’t vote early via electronic ballot, you can still watch the videos and weigh what the candidates say before you cast your vote at the Annual Election Meeting.

Next, come to the “Meet the Candidates” event on Monday, November 21. Our candidates will be on hand to talk about the election and what they would bring to the Board table, and you can ask them how they will represent you.

This year, the Meet the Candidates event is being held with RAHB’s first-ever Chili Cookoff, so bring your questions for the candidates and your appetite for the chili competition – you can begin your voting early by voting for best chili of the day!

And then there’s the Annual Election Meeting on Wednesday, November 30. Each candidate will have an opportunity to talk a bit more about themselves and why they are running for the position of RAHB Director, so you have one final chance to hear what they have to say. And then it will be time to vote for who you think are the best choices for the RAHB Board of Directors.

With so many opportunities to learn more about the candidates who want to represent you, you can certainly be casting a very informed vote.

Just a word about the Annual Election Meeting ….

Please plan to come to the meeting on November 30, even if you have already voted in the advance electronic poll. We will have bylaws to vote on, a CREA Open House, scholarship presentations and a brief look at the past year, all in addition to the election and the swearing in of the 2017 Board of Directors. We have a packed agenda of items important to you as a member, and I hope to see you at the meeting.


While I am looking ahead to the annual election of Directors, I must also talk about the REALTORS® 4Kids Annual Charity Auction on Thursday, November 17. This is a great evening of good fun and good cheer, all for a great cause. Tickets are only $60 each or $600 for a table of 10 – contact Sheila (; 905.529.8101 x234) to reserve your seat!

Best regards,



by CEO George O’Neill

The U.S. election is big news right now, and the focus is on which candidate is the right one for the job.

The RAHB election might not be on as grand a scale as the U.S. election, but it’s equally important for RAHB members.  The question is the same – which candidates are the right ones for the job as Director of the 2017 Board of Directors?

What makes a good director?  If you have been reading the information being sent out over the past few weeks, you will have seen references to desirable qualities in a director – an experienced REALTOR®, business acumen, strategic thinker, good listener, and so on.

The RAHB Board needs directors with varied and diverse skills and experience.  No one director will possess all the desirable qualities we’ve been talking about, but every director should have some of the qualities.  Why?  Because it takes lots of different viewpoints and life experiences to create a strong, effective Board that can make great decisions for the Association and all members.

Do you know a RAHB member who possesses great qualities that would be put to good use on the Board?  Or do you think you’d be a good Director?  Now is the time to nominate members – or have another member nominate you – to stand for election to the RAHB Board of Directors.  Then on November 30 it will be up to RAHB members to decide which candidates are right for the job of Director.

Nominations open on October 5.  Watch for information about the nomination process, and make sure you think about members who would serve well as a RAHB Director.

* * * * *

October is also the month for Professional Development Days and I’m pleased to report that this popular week of education has been a hit with 350 members registered to attend – selling out the week again!

Best regards,

Musings from RAHB CEO George O’Neill

Now that September has rolled around, we at RAHB are getting ready for a busy fall season, as I am sure you are as well.

First on the agenda are Open Forum meetings scheduled for three communities in our market area – Grimsby (September 28), Dunnville (October 4) and Caledonia (October 11).  These are informal meetings where you tell us what you would like to talk about, and we will discuss what’s going on at RAHB.  RAHB’s Member Engagement Committee is planning and hosting these meetings, and hopes that you will be there to share information and for the opportunity to network with your fellow RAHB members.  Look for further details in this issue of REALINFO.  You might want to know that I have heard something about door prizes – one more reason to attend!

Professional Development Days are next up, occurring from October 12-14.  This is a great opportunity to take courses on topics that will help you both personally and professionally.  There is more information about the PD days in this issue of REALINFO.  Be sure to register early so you get in on the free registration; the cut-off date is September 23.

RAHB’s Annual REALTORS®4Kids Charity Auction is taking place on Thursday, November 17.  This is an event that truly shows the charitable spirit of RAHB members, and it’s also an evening of entertainment, friendly rivalry in bidding for amazing auction items, and networking.  I have seen some of the live auction items and I can assure you it will be another great event.

RAHB’s Annual Election Meeting is coming up on Wednesday, November 30.  The election is your opportunity to have a say in how your association is governed.  By now, you should have received the first announcement about the upcoming election including the schedule for all activities around nominations, hearing from and meeting the candidates, and voting.  You will receive more information in the coming weeks.   I hope you will take the opportunity to nominate a candidate as a Director (maybe you!), watch videos made by the candidates, come out and meet the candidates, and vote.  And make sure you plan to attend the Annual Election Meeting to hear the results of the election and watch the new Board being sworn in.  We have some other business on the agenda as well, so I hope you will be there.

The fall is also the time for you to consider who of the REALTORS® you know would be suitable nominees for RAHB’s three service awards – the Award of Merit, Volunteer of the Year and Outstanding Community Service.  These awards are all about members recognizing other members for their achievements and service to RAHB, the real estate profession and the community.  There is more information about these prestigious awards in the Services Spotlight column of this issue of REALINFO, and you will be hearing more about them in the weeks ahead.

While you work in your busy fall real estate market, please make time to take in the activities that RAHB offers for you.  Thanks for being a member of RAHB!


Best regards,