toronto real estate blog rant

Fact: there are nearly 35,000 licensed REALTORS in the city of Toronto. That’s 1 REALTOR for every 74 people.

You may also remember from an earlier blog (All Realtors are Not Created Equal) that in 2011:

  • 6,100 agents sold zero homes.
  • 5,500 more agents did one transaction
  • 4,000 agents sold two homes

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I sometimes like to get up on my soapbox about ethics and standards in the industry. Today, I take on the licensing requirements for Ontario real estate agents.

 

Getting Your Real Estate License in Ontario – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

To get your real estate license in Ontario, there are a series of courses that take around 200 hours to complete and which cost about $1,600. There’s a lot of focus on the history of real estate (!!), basic construction, professional standards, the role of the REALTOR, and paperwork. Almost completely absent from the courses: negotiation strategies, marketing, the difference between right and wrong and how to run a business.

In their first two years in real estate, new REALTORS are required to take three additional courses. Included in the selection: Property Appraisals and Real Estate Law. Yep, you read that right. If your real estate agent has less than two years experience, they may only have a very basic understanding of how to determine what a property is worth and the applicable real estate laws. Scary! [UPDATE: Starting April 1, 2016, Real Property Law is now a prerequisite course, before practicing real estate. Clearly we weren’t the only ones who thought that might be a good idea.]

Beyond the first two years, REALTORS are required to get 24 credits of continuing education every two years, roughly 24 hours of instruction. Included in the continuing education course selection? Feng Shui and Facebook. (Ontario agents are also required to take a refresher course on rules, standards and ethics, which while not the most exciting way to spend 6 hours, is extremely valuable.) [UPDATE: the continuing education course content must now relate to consumer protection, no more Feng Shui or Facebook credits]

Of course, some brokerages (not many) also see it as their responsibility to train, educate and arm their agents with the latest tools and techniques. It’s one of the reasons we joined Sage Real Estate. But for many agents out there, the basic licensing and continuing education courses are their full education.

And then there’s my biggest pet peeve: there isn’t a threshold of transactions that a REALTOR has to complete to keep their license. So that REALTOR with five years experience? They may have only ever sold two houses. Or none.

 

If I ran the world….

1.  Basic licensing courses would teach agents how to negotiate, market properties, communicate and run a business.

2.  Learning how to value a house and having a full understanding of real estate law would be mandatory BEFORE you could list a house or help a Buyer.

3.  REALTORS who don’t sell at least three condos or houses every year would be required to take a refresher course (not just about ethics). And if they don’t meet the threshold the following year? They lose their license.

4.  New REALTORS would be required to have a mentor or work as part of a team for the first year of their careers. On-the-job learning is all well and good, but Buyers and Sellers shouldn’t unknowingly be part of that learning process when it’s their money on the line. Apprenticeships are required to practice most trades…why not the trade of real estate?

Full disclosure: in my past life, I was a Director of Human Resources, so performance standards and training may be more important to me than most. But as a Buyer or Seller, wouldn’t you rather know that your biggest financial decision was being facilitated by someone who knew what they were doing?

 

If you’re a Buyer or a Seller:

Ask questions. Do your homework. Look for an experienced REALTOR or one who is working with a mentor or team. Look for someone who is making the effort to invest in themselves beyond the mandatory courses, who’s taken the time to learn the latest marketing techniques to sell your house and knows how to use technology to make finding you a house easier. And above all else, look for someone who knows how to negotiate.

The reality is that there are lots of great REALTORS in Toronto who take education and running their business seriously. I have some phenomenal peers in this industry. It’s just all the others that scare me.

Want to share your opinion? I thought you might. Please comment below….

 

  1. Melanie – I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, I’d go further. If I ran the world (as you put it) all new agents would be directly under a mentor or (as they are now, the Broker of Record – but REALLY under the Broker of Record) for their first 2 years while they complete their mandatory courses. During their 3rd year, they would be required to complete their Brokerage courses and at the end of the 3rd year, they would be required to be full Brokers – with all of the responsibilities for their actions, rather then with the corporation, as it now exists.

    The concept that a Broker of Record can keep track and know what every sales representative is doing every minute of every day with every member of the public is absurd, especially when we have Brokerages that now have well over 1,000 representatives in a single Brokerage. The experienced reps should be properly and fully trained and be responsible for their actions.

    As far as the continuing update training, I agree that much of it is a joke too. Part of that is the difficulty and time involved in getting good courses and material approved that qualifies for Continuing Ed Credits. The mortgage industry does a far better job at this.

    Anyway – GREAT rant and have a great New Year!

  2. Your mindset is so refreshing! Very well articulated! I know many realtors who are outstanding professionals, who take their role and business seriously….however I shutter at the others who don’t! Thanks for sharing. Happy new year!

  3. Let me go one further, I DETEST OREA! They are a bunch of uptight, bureaucratic, smug, holier-than-thou autocrats. Ontario in one of the few jurisdictions in North America where a real estate association controls real estate education. When I was running my appraisal firm we used to have highly educated people coming to us. They could tell you how many bricks were in a house, the quality of the bricks, the process of making the bricks but they did not have a clue about the value of the real estate. This article is bang on. I would make it mandatory for a class in business etiquette, one on how to be groomed and dress for success but more important, how to negotiate. Look, the turnover is absurd. Most don’t make it past their first year and one of the big reasons, they lack the training to actually sell. OREA will tell us that it is the brokerages responsibility to train and that is bullshit. Given the commission splits today that prevail, most brokerages cannot afford to train. Too allow the academics to control the education in Ontario is dangerous and we see the failure, the failure in those who have spent a lot of time and money to get in. It is not for everyone but given the present criteria, the weeding out process is too high. It is a doomed system, it sets itself up for failure as many come in without a lot of funds, they have sacrificed the time and money to get their licence and then they are not equipped to actually sell. As a former owner of a real estate school in Ontario, you have no idea how much I detest OREA and their education process. Education in real estate should reflect reality, be practical and give the students skills that they can use and can assist the public. OREA needs a total shake up starting with the head of their education department and RECO should not allow them to control the system. The present system sucks! Many people has licenses and are legitimate and will never sell. For example, broker/managers. Then appraisers need to be Realtors for MLS access. Commercial people can work on one major deal for a year and see it fail. Many property managers have licenses, the list goes on. You have to step away and see a picture that is not just residential centric.

  4. The best way to eliminate 90% of useless Realtors (those who do no business) is to charge 10x more the fees required to be an agent. Quickly they would disappear. Say your fees are $3K per year. Imagine charging $30K/year? And if you did 10 deals / year it may be worth it, but if you did 1, or 2, then obviously it wouldn’t. It’s just an example and a pie-in-the-sky idea but it would certainly skim the wheat from the chaff.

    • Have you thought what affect that will have on your fees. The will go up. Say thanks to those people when you meet them.

  5. Wow cares how many houses you sell a year. Its a free country, id like your self paying 30k a year to stay in bussiness.Means than 1 year your wife sick cant not focus you lose your job and investment sorry for ortografe english is my third language

  6. Love it! Love it! Love it! The only other thing I’d add in is to have the courses run through as University or College Course, and I DON’T mean the OREA College. People would have to meet certain basic criteria established and approved by the governing body of the Institution. It would increase the professionalism, ethics and overall perception of our members by the public.

    • Says the guy who did the OREA program. There is other ways to minimize the competition. Let me think now… Hard Work…. that’s it !

  7. There are statistics out there on actual work activity of RE agents in Ontario. I believe that within Toronto there is a significant proportion of registered REALTORS who only do one or two deals per year.

    I also think a strong argument can be made, in certain areas / segments of the market in particular, for only working with REALTORS who have worked through a market downturn. They tend to have a more realistic perspective.

  8. buying a house in toronto says:

    Your blog about value a house and having a full understanding of real estate law. Very interesting subject, especially for home buyers .thanks for putting up.

  9. Thanks for the interesting blog and follow up comments. I am just commencing the “education” process and already have issues with the “College”. I am very familiar with the absolute need for and value of a solid education and what it takes to have a chance to succeed in business. With my background in planning law I believe that I will bring a valuable skill set to the mix but without proper and thorough mentorship and education I am concerned about my ability to succeed. Currently starting my discussions with brokers about what I can offer them and what they will offer in return. Any ideas would be appreciated!!

    • Melanie Piche says:

      Congrats on taking this big step! My best advice for choosing a brokerage: don’t decide based on the commission ‘split’. Ask what training, mentoring and services they provide their agents – that’s what really makes a difference. If you want to make more money, sell more real estate – a few percentage points won’t matter if you aren’t in the right environment to succeed.

  10. I agree with your points. New real estate agents often enter the industry only to find out that the profession is not as easy as it seems to be. Great post!

  11. I am a new agent going through my first year and I couldn’t agree with you more the orea courses didn’t prepare me for the selling side of real estate at all! I can understand why most people drop out of the profession quickly.I was extremely unprepared to be in this business after I got my license I would love a mentor or to be part of a team but unfortunately that option isn’t available to me at the moment. I have to teach myself how to manage and run a business all while I’m trying to find clients to do business with. The last 7 months have been one of the worst times of my life Ive almost given up on several occasions and just walked away, simply because I don’t have the tools I need to succeed.
    Does anyone know of a training program that’s not a bull shit how to prospect program for a thousand bucks. I want to sell I want nothing more then to succeed in this business and I am willing to do the time! the problem is most days I can’t find a client to work with!

    • Melanie Piche says:

      Sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time…I suppose it won’t make you feel any better to know you aren’t alone. Have you reached out to your broker? There are some brokerages out there that teach newbies all the tricks of the trade (vs leaving you on your own). For us,a strong website and social media presence are both critical to finding buyers and sellers. We’re not cold callers or door knockers, so building relationships online was a necessity to grow our business.There are lots of kinds of prospecting/lead generation courses out there, but it really depends: what kind of agent do you want to be? What are you comfortable doing? What are your strengths? Spend some time figuring how you want to build your business, then figure out who can teach that to you. There are courses for building an online presence, generating leads from social media, or prospecting old-school (call X people/day, send x letters or postcards per week, etc.) kind of courses. What kind of agent do you want to be?

    • Its amazing how much things can change in a short amount of time when you work hard and give it 110%. Since the last rant back in November I took your advice and looked to my colleagues. Things couldn’t be better now my career is taking off and I’m feeling great. I love what I do, real estate is my true passion in life, the feeling I get when a first time home buyer cries with joy after their offer is accepted or when I’m putting up the sold sign on the lawn of a retired couple thats financing their retirement with the equity in their home, makes the initial struggle to get here all worth it! OREA taught me the basics my broker is where I learned how to put it all in action. The key to this business is to find the right brokerage to call home.

      • Melanie Piche says:

        That’s great to hear! There’s no doubt it takes hard work and determination to make a great career in real estate. Congratulations!

  12. To be absolutely honest; I don’t think the courses are that bad.
    It does lack some of the things you said, like marketing and negotiating with clients
    But I also believe these are the things you need to learn through experience.

    They do teach you how to appraise a house in the second book.

    Anyhow, reading this article gives me chills.
    I agree that new agents need a mentor or a training program through the brokerage
    But understand this, everybody has to start somewhere.
    We have ZERO sales doesn’t mean we’re not trying.

    If i’m in your world; without selling 3 condos then I will need to spend another $500 for the “refreshment” course, on top the other fees.
    Yes, you will succeed and eliminate almost all of the new agents who sells nothing.

  13. Here is my RANT!

    I am currently enrolled to obtain a Real Estate License.

    If someone is willing to spend THEIR MONEY to acquire a real estate education and pay all the relevant membership fees, “JUST LIKE YOU” no one has the right to deny or hinder their right to hold a valid license. This is the freedom and privileges we enjoy as a Canadian Citizen. While I respect your opinions and have given them careful thought, your methods seems unfair, if you ran the world.

    Why should new Representatives have to cover “negotiation strategies, marketing, the difference between right and wrong (THIS WAS TAUGHT BY OUR PARENTS OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN) and how to run a business” YOU DID NOT

    “And then there’s my biggest pet peeve: there isn’t a threshold of transactions that a REALTOR has to complete to keep their license. So that REALTOR with 5 years experience? They may have only ever sold 2 houses. Or none.” YOU DID NOT HAVE THESE REQUIREMENTS WHEN NEW. IF YOU DID MAYBE YOU MIGHT NOT BE HERE RANTING

    Also for every Registrant that is below or not 100% active translates into more Clients and Customers for you. What’s you gripe?

    Try not to be so dismissive about the hurdles new Registrants go through to obtain and maintain their licenses. We do have them just as you did when you were new. The program is not flawless but I find your extreme suggestions unwarranted.

    Competition drives our economy and workforce. Fair play is highly encouraged. If you cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen. I am getting into Real Estate and I like it hot.

    Thank God you don’t run the world!!

    • Melanie Piche says:

      I came to this business with a solid negotiating/marketing background, but I still feel I would have been a better agent in the early years if OREA had taken the time to teach me the skills that really mattered to the client. I’m not anti-new agent – I just think new agents would have a better chance at success if they were armed with the skills to succeed, and given mentoring opportunities – that would be better for the public and better for the agent. There’s a reason 50% of people who get their license aren’t in the business 2 years later, and that’s because they weren’t given the tools and training to succeed. I suspect once you get into this business, you’ll have a better understanding of the frustrations (and liabilities) in dealing with an agent who doesn’t know what he’s doing and doesn’t have anyone to reach out to for help. It sounds like you’ll be one of the good ones….I look forward to seeing what you think about this in a year’s time!

      • You make assumptions about why people do one 1 or 2 deals or why they drop out after 2 years. Those assumptions are not true for everybody. I became an agent just to save money on the buying and selling of my own place. I saved 60K after tax dollars and I schooled the so-called veteran real estate agent on my purchase. I know at least a dozen people who have become agents just to buy and sell real estate for themselves and maybe relatives. The commissions are so ridiculously high that it makes sense to do 1 or 2 transactions per year. I would hire a new real estate agent over any veteran agent for ONE reason — so that I can negotiate a better (ie. lower) commission. Figuring out the market price of a home is not a science and is easiest part of being an agent — the hardest part is convincing your client that it is the market price. I agree there are way too many agents but that is because it is such an easy job with easy money. I’m sure some fail but some people fail in every job. If you want to reduce the number of agents than put a cap on the commission per transaction (5K is reasonable) and you will see so many people leave the profession that you won’t be able count them.

        • Melanie Piche says:

          I think setting a price is only ONE part of the equation, and staging, marketing and negotiation are skills that come with experience. A $5,000 commission savings means nothing if the property sells for $20,000 lower than it would if it had been property staged and marketed. And yes, we see that happen all the time.

  14. I know of an agent who when he is upset by questions or comments about performance will say things like:
    Now you are making me mad
    You don’t want to get me angry
    And laugh at potential loss the client could suffer
    Not kosher

  15. the whole thing about real estate is that it’s for people who already have those sales etc skills.The education part is to weed out the bad apples, but it doesn’t because if you know basic math you’ll pass the course.
    I’ve met a lot of agents in my past and have seen many MLS listings and I say to myself “how did these people get into the business??” The listings lacked good descriptions of the rental/sale, pictures of the hallway or ceiling, bad pictures or no pictures in the listing. But I also met agents who loved what they’re doing and enjoyed it and have a passion for it.

    I think a lot of people get into the business not being prepared, it’s more than trying to make a lot of money. Most times you don’t. It all depends on the person.

  16. Thank you for sharing your views Melanie and for those who discussed the points Melanie presented. As someone who has just enrolled in the first course, the discussions for the most part have given me, as someone else mentioned, chills! I have been in the IT industry for over 20 years. My current situation has given me the opportunity to look at other careers. I’ve considered many options and determined that Real Estate is the one that fits me best. From the information I have read in these posts, it appears this industry is much like other industries (such as Electricians, Plumbers and others) where there are costs ($, time or other) to achieve and continue, and these costs, may not actually represent a fair trade. I’m ok for paying costs, but for those costs you should expect something in return, not just to make the journey difficult. If the courses that are required to be taken do not set a person up to be at least basically functional, then these courses should be altered and the organization mandating the need for these course should be held accountable. Image teaching an Electrician the history of electricity then sending them out to get a job! With regards to the yearly fees, this shouldn’t be something levied as an obstacle but rather a fair fee for return of goods (what ever the “goods” may be). You wouldn’t expect to pay $100 a month for say Condo fees without the expectation that in return the property would be maintained. So when I pay $430 to CREA/OREO and the other fees, I sure would like to know what I get in return.

  17. This is an old post, but I wanted to comment anyway. Beyond the fact that you are 100% correct… I REALLY wanted to note some things. I’m currently an OREA student on my second attempt at writing the final exam (2nd attempt because I got 74% on my 1st attempt and passing is 75%)… here’s what was on my last 50 question exam:
    30 questions about easements
    10 questions about well construction
    and 10 various questions about phone lines, roofing construction, and law in regards to the GTA’s planning act for condo developers.

    I’m fully prepared to go and sell houses in Toronto now armed with how to build a well, build roofs, and develop condos according to Toronto’s planning. It’s absolutely ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I won’t rant on here forever, but the realtors in this city are not trained whatsoever, there is NOTHING in the course text about how to actually sell a house. The course text is 40% construction 5% history/law 5% agreement forms, and 40% how not to get sued. It’s stupid.

    and on top of all this, the amount of people that I see cheat on their exams while no one does anything about it is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen. for example, we were waiting for our exam to start (at my 2nd exam) and a student there didn’t speak any english. They told her to fill out her name on the form, but she didn’t even understand what they were saying, nor could she read the form to fill out her name. Long story short, she finished the 55 question 3 hour exam in 20 minutes… when I questioned her at a later date, she had passed that exam, she subsequently passed the final exam weeks later and is now a realtor.

    OREA doesn’t care, and that just shows you one of the problems in this city with the way real estate is.

    • Melanie, I couldn’t agree with you more. I seriously cannot voice how frustrated I am with these courses; from my experience working in a real estate office, I can testify to the fact that the OREA College courses are uesless, not to mention littered with inaccuracies and grammatical/syntax errors. There are times when I read the info and think “Why would this ever be pertinent to selling a home?” or “When will I actually learn how to sell a home??” That is why I believe you are correct when you say that new realtors really should be entitled or required to having a mentor.

  18. Hi – I agree with most of what’s being said, but I’d like to pose one question – has anyone formally addressed these concerns with OREA?

    I’m considering getting my license, and if I go through with it, I will surely join a team – and most likely stay on it through to the end of my career.

    The fact is, 80% of the deals are done by 20% of the agents – this statistic will never change. These “super agents” who make up that 20% are very skilled in the art of business development, which comprises marketing, networking, relationship building and so on…

    Most sales people just don’t get it. They lack the strategic vision and passion required to be successful. Getting into real estate is essentially starting your own business. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn. I’m not surprised.

    Aside from the fact that OREA does not provide adequate education are the archaic systems and processes realtors use to negotiate and close deals. Agents have access to mass amounts of data and they have no clue how to strategically use it to deliver results. Agents are still manually signing contracts – why not innovate and move the contracting process to Adobe Echo Sign, an electronic signature platform? Why not use MS Word to track changes? What’s with the late night meetings at some random office lol? Multiple offer scenarios? That could be managed virtually.

    Or maybe that stuff is coming, I don’t know – I’m still doing my research.

    I would welcome the opportunity to have a 30 minute follow up discussion with a seasoned agent/broker to get his/her perspective on where the industry is going and what the most strategic way to break in would be.

    Thanks,
    Nick

    • Melanie Piche says:

      There’s no doubt there’s lots of room for innovation! Current Ontario laws do not allow us to sign Agreements of Purchase and Sale electronically, but there are agents (like us) who are using Docusign for electronic signatures on other documents. Change is coming – it’s here in many ways in fact – but getting people to adopt new technology is always the challenge!

    • Nick, I know several real estate agents who have told me outright that the OREA College provides a plethora of information that you will never use, or are highly unlikely to use, in the “real world” (meaning when you’re actually practising real estate). I myself am currently completing the first 3 required courses, as I currently work in a real estate office as an assistant but my abilities are limited in scope due to my lack of possessing a licence. The courses are littered with grammatical and syntax errors, many things are left unexplained (such as the equations and calculations for the math sections) and there are quizzes which ask you questions unrelated to anything you’ve just learnt. It is frustrating, to say the least, and makes one question just who, exactly, is responsible at OREA for creating (much less editing) these courses.

      I think you’re best bet would be to speak to someone you know who has already taken the courses and ask for their honest opinion. I am cautioned by real estate agents in my office daily, NOT to become an agent and, furthermore, am consistently told how useless the OREA College courses are. I am simply taking the courses to get my licence, but you should probably be 100% sure that this is the right fit for you and that you are willing to take the time because….it costs about $1,500. That’s a lot of money!

  19. The failure ratio is at 80% for RE agents, mortgage agents and even home stagers. RE is serious business as there’s no paycheck handed to you every 2 wks as in the corporate world. It’s not about the end results, but more about getting results! If you’re not of the right hustle mindset, you will fail. If you’re not disciplined to work at home on your own, you will fail. If you don’t know how to build relationships via online and offline, you will fail. Basically, if you don’t have a business mindset and willing to work hard building your business from the ground up…business is NOT for you especially anything related to RE. You might consider this before leaving your day job. Business is a mindset that in truth only 20% of the general population are blessed with. You’re either programmed or you’re not hence the reason for so many corporate positions. If you’re reading this post ask yourself this question “Is business really for me?”. Be honest with yourself, you might save yourself a lot of time and money just by taking a step back to be truthful to yourself. Great post!

  20. Hello everyone,

    About to write my first exam, and I am incredibly excited! I have a B.A. in English, college diploma in Advertising, and over twenty years’ business experience, including marketing, sales and customer service, and this change is for the better for me, professionally.

    i believe I’m looking at this from a stance of maturity and realism (I’m 48, single, and ready to put whatever time and energy I need to, towards my new career). I feel that real estate should not be a chosen profession by someone who is looking to make a quick buck. Like anything, it involves hard work, and tapping into/building your sphere of influence. It’s not just a “well, I’ll take off Monday to Thursday, and hit hard from Friday to Sunday” type of business. It “owns” you, for the first while.

    And, you know what? I’m learning a heck of a lot from my first OREA College course, and hope subsequent courses soak into the grey matter, too. I have already chosen my brokerage (luckily, I sell real estate print advertising, so know a lot of people who are in my corner on this venture), and can hardly wait to get started really selling. Yes, I do agree that selling, marketing, etc. have only just been touched on so far – not sure if they’ll go further into those in later texts – but, I feel that if you’re serious about what you’re studying to do, then you should network with professionals already where you want to be, in terms of their monetary success, and their knowledge of the business. Only then, will you be on the right path to success.

    Naysayers out there, aside. Excitement over positive change and one’s future trumps all! Can hardly wait to jump in, with both feet!

  21. Honestly, I think anyone who takes these ridiculously-priced courses would agree with your rant. I am currently taking the first 3 courses and all I think when reading through the material is: “Wow, here’s more crap I’ll never actually use, just like high-school learning.” Sorry, but these courses are filled with a lot of useless information, and don’t even get me started on the lack of grammatical accuracies. Who edited these courses? Not someone who could actually read, write nor spell. Which sucks for the students because, hey, I just paid $500 to take a course where half the content isn’t even spelt correctly. Then, there’s the random calculations and questions on the quizzes at the end of each chapter that a) aren’t expalined in the chapter or b) aren’t even mentioned! I was asked several questions about condos for one chapter that mentioned NOTHING ABOUT CONDOS. WTF?? I think whomever designs these courses needs to rethink the entire strategy because, right now, I’ve learned nothing useful yet I learn more valuable info working in a real estate office….the OREA College has actually turned me OFF of wanting to get into real estate, and I’m here hoping that I didn’t just waste $1,500. Beware people, these courses are loaded with inaccuracies and not to mention they are not properly formatted and half the time, things are not even explained and you are left with UNANSWERED QUESTIONS.

  22. All I see are a bunch of cry babies here. I’m literally about to begin the OREA course and Im confident as hell that I’ll do well not just in the course but in RE as a business. Maybe this is because I have another business on the side and the confidence of that success leads me to believe that anything is possible.

    I’m not big on educational organizations, heck I hated public education for the longest time (currently 27) but as someone noted earlier, you cant expect them to spoon feed everything to you, its not a bloody day care. Pick your self up, dust yourself off, grow a pair and GET OUT THERE and GRIND UNTIL IT HURTS….period (course don’t go broke in the process).

    I knew nothing about running a business, but being in the trenches and learning as I did as well as staying constantly positive All the damn time is the only way to succeed,… not to sound like a Tony Robbins, but seriously… YOU are the only obstacle to your success. No one will guide/mentor you? Tough Sh*** google it!!! , Watch some documentaries, read up on articles, etc etc etc you get the point. Or sit there an cry…up to you. You don’t want to compete with your competition, you want to Dominate! them. If you setting out to compete…. go home. Anyways… point is, be god damn positive !!!

  23. Penticton Real Estate says:

    The Real Estate Licensing Course is actually not all that difficult. I wouldn’t spend extra money on training materials. Just buy what is required. Study. Do the practice questions and then write the test.

  24. Everybody’s got to rant, but if you dont like how OREA runs the show then change it. nobody is putting a gun to anybody’s head making them take a real estate course. Also if an agent doesn’t sell a home in 10 years that’s their business. If I dont drive my car for a year should the government have the right to take my license away. Obviously not.

  25. For anyone posting after April 1st 2016, please note that OREA has changed its curriculum (perhaps they read your rant Melanie!). As of April 1st, new agents will have to complete 5 courses instead of 3, including real estate law and appraisals. Additionally, instead of choosing to learn commercial or residential real estate, they will learn both. I am looking into real estate as a career due to the flexibility of the job. I was in a serious car accident 6 years ago and it will be impossible for me to work a 9-5 M-F job with my disability.

    While I agree with 90% of your rant, I vehemently oppose that an agent should lose their license based on not meeting a quotient of transactions per year. I do, however, believe that their should be a central database of real estate agents. This database would be similar to ratemymd.com and the LSUC directory, giving the pertinent information of each realtor, the number of sales completed, the reviews/ratings of clients, and whether the agent’s license is in good standing or not. That leaves the decision to hire an experienced or inexperienced real estate agent up to the client.

  26. Truthteller says:

    I suggest not being a whiney bitch. If you are at all worried about the # of underqualified agents in the market, then you should grow some balls (or ladyballs) and realize they don’t hold a candle to you. When I’m on a different level of success, I don’t worry about the deadweight. If you don’t do this, I’d wager you are one of the miserable failing thousands.

  27. Pam Armstrong says:

    I am writing my final exam on March 21st and have already aligned myself with the brokerage I will be working with. I am a new mortgage agent as well but that being said, I have been a banker for 30 years and my children are grown and I need to do this. It is not a pass time. It is a career that I need to pay my mortgage and expenses. People, reality check, the world is going commission. The banks are offering their mortgage specialists and investment specialists (all commission). When I was let go from the bank last year, I decided to sell what I am good at and understand — housing and mortgages. I am thankful for my ‘sales’ background and realize that everyone is in competition with everyone. I realize my strengths and know that I can’t sit around and wait for business to happen. Its changing as we speak and the consumer is savvy as they should be. I fast tracked through the courses and starting writing in late November (including my REMIC). Every profession has dropouts and its simple, people go in for the wrong reason (money), instead of realizing their strengths and the hard work ahead. I can sit in the class and I know, in my heart of hearts, who is going to make it and who isn’t. Doesn’t make them a weak person, just someone who doesn’t understand the challenges ahead. It would be like me, trying to get my AZ License and put a truck down the road. Way more to it than that (I know, my husband has been a truck driver for 30 years). The course is good. Is it perfect, no, nothing is. Better than paying for a 3 year liberal arts degree at the university. I will not be a statistic and I know that my weeks ahead will be long. But, I’m OK with that. I expect that. I want that. I did that for the bank and did not receive the reward that goes along with that except adding to the bank’s bottom line. All professions have there naysayers, winners and losers. I am going in with a positive attitude and the dedication and drive this needs to move ahead. Good luck!

  28. Like some of you….I too am just getting started. I’ve wanted to make this career change for about 5 years, but just kept putting it off in favour of the “pay cheque”. Now I’ve finally jumped in (just this week), only to find out about the change in course requirements, Oh well. Anyway, I’ve read both the “concerns” and the “applause” stated here – it’s good information to know, and to keep in mind as plug away. I plan to succeed!

  29. gr8tservice4you says:

    As someone new getting into the business, I think most of these posts are related to the real estate in Toronto, and wanted to ad some information about the courses and Brokers in Ottawa. Yes, the rules have changed for 2016 and you now have to complete 6 courses to get your license and then one more elective course after. I have also been exploring brokers and I have spoken to (and seen) 3 for sure that offer constant training/tips etc for new and experience agents, as well as offering mentoring with an experienced agent for the new hires. I currently work in a law office doing Real estate transactions (and have been for the last 5 yrs), so I know what happens on this side of things, and what to consider with offers/sales, which banks are good etc. I think this information will be very useful for my future clients, as well as my honesty, and non pushy/crabby nature I’ve seen from other realtors. I will actually be acting in my best interest for my clients. I will always make sure they are properly informed about everything concerning the property/the area/legal side of things etc. I also want to make sure it is an enjoyable experience. 110% customer satisfaction is my goal. If I make people happy and satisfied with selling their home or buying, then I can be happy and pay my bills too! This business is truly all about customer satisfaction and I would definitely like to be part of the pack that is great and give people a satisfying and happy experience/outcome.

      • gr8tservice4you says:

        Hi Melanie, Thanks for the comment.

        I hope so, but that is my goal. To make a difference in the business, be well respected and hopefully liked by everyone involved (or at least most) but especially my clients. I’ve made great friends with Bank associates, home inspectors, other lawyers that I might partner with to offers clients a bit of a discount on legal fees, and whom I know do excellent work and can deliver great service. I look forward to making a positive difference in other peoples lives.

        • Noneofyourbidness says:

          I think a much deeper understanding of your profession may help and not the bubble in which you operate in. According to your revised rules the following people would lose their licenses:

          1) all those that park their license – but by your logic the more homes you sell the more ethical you are
          2) all those who work for commercial landlords
          3) all commercial agents

          Seems that would be a big group you would see fit to pull a license from. So in your mind if you aren’t a full time real estate agent in the residential field, you should have your real estate license revoked. Then you say oh okay, I forgot about commercial but the same rules should apply. Well then how would you track off-market deals which happens quite often in commercial world. Some agents don’t register many sales or leases at all on the MLS system.

          Seems like your off the cuff remarks weren’t quite thought out.

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