President's Message: Attend our Special General Meeting on December 6 and vote yes
We’re one week away from our Special General Meeting (SGM) where members will discuss and vote on a proposal to amalgamate six BC real estate boards and the BC Real Estate Association.
You don’t want to miss this meeting. The decision members make on December 6 will have a lasting impact on our REALTOR® community for generations.
Voting yes would allow us to form a smarter, better-resourced, more influential association to support Realtors in BC. We could realize millions in annual savings, gain a stronger public voice, and provide you with greater access to MLS® data around the province.
We need to redesign our profession both for those of us who are Realtors today and for the generations to come.
This proposal is the culmination of years of discussion, extensive research and member consultation. It’s been a long journey.
Your Board of Directors believes it’s time to evolve the structure that serves you. This structure hasn’t changed significantly in half a century.
The potential benefits of the amalgamation far outweigh the potential risks in every analysis that’s been done. Meaningful change always comes with risk. I believe, however, there’s a greater risk in maintaining the status quo.
This is a historic opportunity. I ask you to attend our December 6 meeting and vote yes.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president.
Just one week to go - register for our SGM today!
Here are the key meeting details:
What: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) is hosting a Special General Meeting (SGM) for members to discuss and vote on the proposal to amalgamate six BC real estate boards and the BC Real Estate Association.
Where: The meeting will take place at the Pacific Coliseum at 100 North Renfrew Street in Vancouver. Free parking is available in lot 6, just north of the Coliseum.
When: December 6. Registration opens at 9 a.m. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. with a question and answer session. Next, a motion to approve the proposed amalgamation will be made, discussed, and voted on by the members in attendance or represented by proxy.
Meeting package: Click here to view your SGM package. Note that we won't have copies of the package at the meeting due to the size of the document.
This document contains:
1) Notice of Special General Meeting
2) Proxy Form
3) Special General Meeting Agenda
4) Special General Meeting Rules
5) Explanatory Notes for the Special Resolution
6) Appendix A – Special Resolution
7) Form of Amalgamation Agreement for the Realtors Association of BC, including:
• Form of Constitution (Schedule 1)
• Form of Bylaws (Schedule 2)
8) Realtors of BC Business Case Executive Summary
Proxy forms: Members who come in person can carry one proxy. Note: Only non-probationary members can carry or assign a proxy.
Who can vote: Only active (non-probationary) members can vote, assign, or carry a proxy for this meeting.
Why can't I vote online?
Our bylaws don't permit online voting for special resolutions. To change this, members would need to approve online voting at a future special meeting.
For more information on the Realtors of BC proposal:
• Visit www.realtorsofbc.ca for the latest news and updates.
• Read our updated backgrounder and FAQ document.
• Watch this video that imagines what the future would look like if you approved this amalgamation.
Special General Meeting infographic
Get all the details about the December 6 Special General Meeting in this interactive infographic. Click on the links for more information.
Government and real estate roundup: Empty Homes Tax details, National Housing Strategy summary report, regulating Airbnbs, and more
The Federal Government, as promised during its election campaign, is moving toward a National Housing Strategy. After months of consultations, here's a summary of what Canadians have told the government they want in this strategy.
The province will spend $516 million of the Foreign Buyers Tax it's collected on 2,900 new units of housing in 68 projects by the spring of 2019.
The City of Vancouver is bringing in a 1% Empty Homes Tax effective January 1, 2017. The city estimates the tax will encourage vacant home owners — about 20,000 — to rent their property. The tax is estimated to raise $2.2 million a year when fully implemented.
Vancouver is also reviewing its rules on short-term rentals including Airbnbs, and studying the effect these rentals - there are close to 6,000 of them - are having on rental and home ownership housing stocks. The city will work with stakeholders to develop a detailed compliance and enforcement system. We're talking to the city about opportunities for input.
Vancouver is also looking at character home rezoning in Vancouver for pre-1940 homes and is conducting a character home review. There are opportunities to attend an open house and take an online survey.
The Ethics Guy®: At the end of the day, would you “save changes?”
At the end of the day, would you “save the changes?”
Would you choose to save or delete some of the things you've said in the past? If you’re like me you’d probably end up doing a bit of both.
Thankfully, for really bad days when we've gone from placid to outraged, we have the comfort of knowing tomorrow gives us a clean slate and we can start over again. (We’re hyper-sensitive about a lot of things these days. What ever happened to “mildly annoyed?”)
Some of us wish we could fix the world. “Fix” probably means something different to all of us.
How do we begin? I think the best way is to carefully choose our battles.
We don’t have to go ballistic in the face of every irritating thing that bedevils us. At least, that’s the theory. (I can see my assistant Barb’s eyes rolling now.)
We could instead ask ourselves, “Is this a hill we want to fight and die on?” If not, take note of what happened and move on. If it’s a hill worth a bit of (figurative) blood, then decide what can reasonably be done to improve the situation.
Sometimes it’s making a complaint. Sometimes it’s a little collegial education. Sometimes it’s saying a mea culpa. And sometimes it’s holding ourselves back from having to have the last word.
It’s been said that “perfect is the enemy of good.” Not everything can be fixed. If you’ve had a bad day and recognize that you could have done something better, accept what happened and learn from it. Save the learning as your changes and start the next day fresh.
Thinking about these things and understanding what makes us angry can be a useful exercise since most of what we do involves maintaining good relationships – even with our competitors.
Top Tip: Completion, Possession & Adjustment Dates
If your buyers need to move into their new home right away, remember that things occasionally don’t go as planned and completions can be delayed. And, if the sellers haven’t received their money, they’re entitled to instruct their REALTOR® not to release the keys.
Obviously that’s a problem if the buyers have signed the papers, paid their money, and are sitting in the moving truck in front of their new home.
Banking delays, last-minute snafus, and end-of-month work volume delays can all create this sorry situation. To avoid it, consider setting the possession date one or two days after completion (closing).
This will help ensure any delays or kinks in the closing ceremonies are ironed out before possession. (Customarily, the adjustment date is the same as the possession date— but it doesn’t have to be.) If your buyer doesn’t need to move in right away, then a delayed possession is probably not necessary.
A reminder: New listing email blasts
Beware of member-to-member spam. You can use email to advise your colleagues about a new listing if they’ve expressly consented to receiving your email blasts. I guarantee that if you haven’t asked for permission to send an advertisement to colleagues, you’ll receive an earful from some of them when they get your message.
Annoyed recipients may block you from sending them messages, which may cause communication issues, hampering future deals. (Don’t forget that any email blast must have an unsubscribe message.)
Geoff Jarman of Sutton Group West Coast Realty is sending a bouquet to Suzanne Callaghan of VPG Realty. Here’s what Geoff said:
“It was a pleasure working with Suzanne on this deal! I wish more REALTORS® were like her as she made everyone’s job much more enjoyable and easier with far less stress! She showed the home well, was professional throughout negotiations, gave lots of local information to my client for their children, and provided my buyers with rental options due to the dates not matching with my buyers' sale and their purchase. Suzanne is a class act!
Use your lockbox app to display listing information
Homespotter, our new mobile MLS® app, works with SentriLock’s SentriSmart app to deliver listing information when you open a lockbox. You’ll need to have both apps on your mobile device for this to work.
When you use the SentriSmart app to open a lockbox, you’ll receive a prompt from Homespotter asking if you’d like the app to open and display the listing information for that property.
For more information, contact the Help Desk at 604-730-3020.
Homespotter wins ‘Best in Show’ award
Homespotter was recently honoured with the ‘Best in Show’ award at the Real Estate Standards Organization’s Show and Tell event in Nashville, Tennessee in October. Learn more.
Demand for land and industrial properties lead a steady third quarter for commercial real estate in the Lower Mainland
The commercial real estate market in the Lower Mainland remained active in the third quarter (Q3) of 2016, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
There were 645 commercial real estate sales registered in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2016. This represents a 6.3 per cent increase from the 607 sales in Q3 2015.
The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2016 was $2.399 billion, a 1.9 per cent decline from the $2.445 billion in Q3 2015.
“While we saw some declines in office and retail sales this quarter, overall demand in the commercial market remains steady thanks to healthy economic growth in our province so far this year,” said Dan Morrison, REBGV president. “It was the busiest third quarter in the last five years for sales in our commercial market.”
Q3 2016 activity by category
Land: There were 255 commercial land sales in Q3 2016, which is a 23.8 per cent increase from the 206 land sales in Q3 2015. The dollar value of land sales in Q3 2016 was $1.306 billion, a 46.4 per cent increase over $892 million in Q3 2015.
Office and Retail: There were 203 office and retail sales in Q3 2016, which is an 8.1 per cent decrease from the 221 sales in Q3 2015. The dollar value of office and retail sales in Q3 2016 was $438 million, a 45.4 per cent decrease from $802 million in Q3 2015.
Industrial: There were 153 industrial land sales in Q3 2016, which is up 15.9 per cent over the 132 sales in Q3 2015. The dollar value of industrial sales in Q3 2016 was $335 million, a 17.3 per cent increase over $286 million in Q3 2015.
Multi-Family: There were 34 multi-family sales in Q3 2016, which is a 29.2 per cent decrease from the 48 sales in Q3 2015. The dollar value of multi-family sales in Q3 2016 was $321 million, a 31.2 per cent decrease from $466 million in Q3 2015.
Click here to download the full commercial stats package.
Display your active listings on your REALTOR.ca profile
Did you know that you can display your active listings on your profile page on REALTOR.ca? Call Member Services (604-730-3090) and ask them to opt you in to this service.
PDP deadlines for 2016
Here are some key dates and deadlines to remember as 2016 winds down.
The last classroom course of the year is Friday, December 16. This means you have less than three weeks to complete a classroom course this year. If you need to become PDP compliant, now’s the time to act.
Classes fill up quickly, so register as soon as possible for the best chance of getting a seat in the class you want. Check course availability and register from our course calendar. Courses will resume on January 5, 2017.
- UBC: If you’re planning to register for an online course through UBC’s Sauder School of Business, remember there’s a blackout period from 12 noon, December 23, until 12 noon, January 4, 2017. This blackout may result in delays in receiving course completion notices from UBC. If you need UBC to send us completion information, please request it before December 22.
- REvia: All courses offered through the REvia online learning platform must be completed by December 28, with the exception of these three:
- Anti-Spam (CASL)
- Competition Act
The deadline to complete these courses is December 15.
Check your current PDP status by visiting My PDP Status and Course History in the Education and Technology Support section of www.rebgv.ca. You’ll find all your PDP information there, including your compliance deadline, how many credits you’ve earned, how many credits remain outstanding, and of those outstanding credits, which category they need to be (A, B, or C).
If you think our records are not up to date, email us at email@example.com. Remember, we don’t automatically receive information for courses you’ve completed from our other providers. If you’re unsure, please email or call 604-730-3087. We’re always happy to help!
Obituary - Shirlee Middleton
Former REALTOR® and Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) employee Shirlee Middleton passed away in October. She was 64.
Shirlee was first licensed with Royal LePage Real Estate Services in 1986. She eventually worked her way up to managing broker.
She joined the REBGV as the Manager of the Education Department in 1997. She stayed in that role until 2005 when she became the managing broker of RE/MAX Advantage Realty. Shirlee retired from real estate and took a job with the BC Lottery Corporation in 2007.
Outside of real estate, she was an avid knitter and quilter who made beautiful works, and enjoyed the solitude of her cabin at Cain Lake where she spent her summers.
Friends and colleagues remember Shirlee for her cheery, infectious personality.
"Shirlee was a bubbly spirit who could brighten your day just with a smile," said Brad Scott, REBGV CEO. "She made valuable contributions to the Board in her time here, and we'll miss her deeply."
She is survived by her husband Walter; children Erica (Myles) and Matthew (Kindra); and grandchildren Isabella, Kai, Jake, Leela, and Dylan. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favourite charity in her name.
Nominate a colleague for a Professional Excellence or REALTORS Care® award
Deadline: January 16, 2017
Nominate a colleague who represents the best of what it means to be a REALTOR®!
Professionalism is about putting your clients’ interests first, a commitment to lifelong learning, and volunteering your time and expertise. These qualities are what the Professional Excellence Award stands for.
Do you know someone who fits this description? Nominate them for this year’s Professional Excellence Award. Click here to complete our nomination form.
REBGV members are eligible for nomination.
For more information, contact Fiona Youatt at 604-730-3068 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
REALTORS Care® Award
Deadline: January 16, 2017
Nominate a Realtor or real estate office that makes an extra effort to help others by raising funds, volunteering, or doing other good deeds in the community for a REALTORS Care® Award!
You can nominate them by completing this nomination form.
Last year’s award recipients were Chris Chan and Jimi Brockett.
For more information, contact Fiona Youatt at 604-730-3068 or email@example.com.