AutoProp coming this month – what you need to know
We’re putting the final touches on our custom version of the Land Title and Survey Authority’s (LTSA) AutoProp service. It’ll be available to you later this month as part of your MLS® fees.
AutoProp allows you to aggregate real estate data from different sources and produce detailed, user-friendly reports for your clients.
The version we’ll provide will include Paragon, BC Assessment data, Walkscore integration, zoning details, development applications, and school catchment information from a variety of municipalities.
You can also add data feeds from the paid services that you subscribe to and that are integrated with AutoProp. Examples include myLTSA, Commercial Edge, or Urban Analytics.
AutoProp will be accessible to you through an AutoProp icon next to each listing in Paragon. You’ll also be able to access it from www.autoprop.ca with your MLS® username and password.
Preparing for AutoProp
- Visit AutoProp’s resource centre here to familiarize yourself with the service.
- We’re working with AutoProp’s team to develop a series of webinars for you to learn more about the service. Look for information on these webinars in the coming weeks.
What else you need to know
- If you want all of the features available in AutoProp’s highest service level called Enterprise, you’ll need a separate agreement. We’ve negotiated a 50 per cent discount in subscription fees for the Enterprise level for members over the next six months.
- If you already have an AutoProp subscription and wish to cancel it in favour of the version we’ll soon provide, you can email REBGV@autoprop.ca to discuss a possible refund or account credit.
Update: Suspicious person targeting female REALTORS®
We’ve heard from members, over the last month, that a suspicious man has been contacting female REALTORS® around the region to get them alone at showings and open houses.
The man has called claiming he’s interested in listings close to Skytrain stations. He’ll attempt to set up showings or tours and will insist that the Realtor come alone. We also believe that he's attended open houses hosted by female Realtors, trying to stay past the end time.
Local police are aware of this person. A file is open with the following police detachments:
- VPD case number VA-68631
- New Westminster RCMP case number NW19-6908
- Coquitlam RCMP case number 2019-10877
- Delta Police case number DE19-8271
VPD has assigned a detective to investigate this person. We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
What we know about the suspect:
- male, approximately 30 years old;
- has gone by “Sean Z” or “Lee Chang.”
What if I’m contacted by the suspect?
Do not meet this individual. Report suspicious activity to your local police.
We’re also collecting information to help aid the investigation. If you’ve been in contact with this person, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org right away.
Speaking with the media
Since we first sent a member warning regarding this person, Board President Ashley Smith has spoken with media outlets across the Lower Mainland to get the word out. These include:
Safety tips for Realtors:
- Always have another Realtor at your showing or open house.
- Jot down your client’s car descriptions, license plate numbers, and physical descriptions.
- Trust your gut — if you sense someone is up to no good, keep a close eye on them.
- Do whatever it takes to remove yourself from an uncomfortable situation.
- Always walk behind the attendee and show the house by directing, not leading, them.
- Notify someone in your office or a friend that you’ll call every hour on the hour when conducting an open house or showing. If you don’t call, they should notify police.
How to make your Paragon search notifications more efficient
Paragon’s saved-search feature can alert you and your clients to the latest listing information as soon as it becomes available. But the way you enter your search parameters can affect how quickly these notifications reach your inbox.
To help you make your saved searches as efficient as possible, we’ve built a one-page how-to guide. You can download this guide here.
The Ethics Guy®: Where do I go from here?
You probably think we take complaints over the phone all day long. We don’t. Most of our callers have queries like ‘Where do I go from here?’ 'What site is that on?’ and ‘Give me a rule to show my agents.’
So, here’s a link list that may be good to save and keep close by.
Let’s start with rules and regulations. Our Rules of Cooperation is where you’ll find rules that govern the MLS® and the Board’s everyday practices. You’ll find the guide to lockboxes, data use, multiple offers, what you need to put a listing up, and much more.
The REALTOR® Code is essential to our profession. It governs all REALTORS® in Canada when it comes to your duties as an agent.
Our member website, which houses all of the above information and more, is www.rebgv.ca(or as staff call it, ‘The Portal’). It’s our definitive site for all connections to WEBForms, rules and regulations, bylaws, what’s new, and on and on. Check it out!
The BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)are easy to find. One Google search and you’re in. CREA’s Resources and Compliance information contains a range of resources such as National Do-Not-Call list information and FINTRAC FAQs.
The Real Estate Council of BC (Council) website includes regulatory information such as a searchable Professional Standards Manual, FAQs, a Report from Council newsletter, summaries of their disciplinary decisions, a licensee search, and a handy index of clauses: https://www.recbc.ca/psm_section/index-to-clauses/
The Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance Corporation provides liability insurance for 27,000 BC licensees and can answer that age-old question, should I sell my own home?
If you have questions about commercial real estate, check out the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Commercial Edge database. It’s a comparable sales database with records dating back to August 2004 for commercial, industrial, multi-family and vacant land properties. There’s a resource page on our portal located at https://www.rebgv.ca/content/rebgv/en/REBGV/Board/Commercial/commercial-resources.html.
You can get most answers for licensee education at UBC Sauder School of Business Real Estate Division, the Real Estate Institute of BC, or check out your education progress on our site at https://www.rebgv.ca/content/rebgv/en/Education-and-Technology-Support/My-Education/my-pdp-status-and-course-history.html
At the provincial level, real estate is affected by a range of legislation, regulations and rules. Real estate is governed by the Real Estate Services Act and real estate development is governed by the Real Estate Development Marketing Act.
Realtors help their clients buy and sell farms, so we keep up to date on the Agricultural Land Commission Act. Realtors sometimes help clients buy and sell heritage homes so it’s important to understand the Heritage Conservation Act.
Many of the calls we receive enquire about rules surrounding the rights of tenants, landlords and stratas. These three links should answer your questions: Rentals are under the Residential Tenancy Act and LandLord BC, while stratas are under Strata legislation.
Some questions, such as those about vacancy, speculation and property transfer taxes are ongoing. Our Government Relations department works hard to deliver the latest information on these issues – check out their publications here.
As a Realtor, you’ll constantly be the go-to person for many things. These resources should help you develop a knowledge base that can address many of these issues that we talk to people about every day.
Bookmark this article and make life easier for you and the inquiring mind of your client. And maybe someday, through your diligence, you’ll be able to use this link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalsBlog/2019/01/07/best-tropical-vacation-destinations/
Other great sources to help you comply with professional standards
Home Builders Association Vancouver: The voice of Greater Vancouver’s residential construction industry. Contains new home construction data from developers, builders and renovators.
Building Owners and Managers Association BC. Represents 300 member companies that own or manage commercial buildings in BC. Contains some stats and data.
Professional Association of Managing Agents (PAMA): Residential property managers. Contains some statistical data.
Urban Development Institute – Pacific Region: Represents residential, commercial, industrial and institutional developers, property managers, lenders, lawyers, engineers, planners, architects, appraisers and others involved in land development and planning. Contains data and stats.
Agricultural Land Commission: Oversees the Agricultural Land Reserve, which comprises five per cent of BC land (4.7 million hectares).
BC Assessment: Crown agency provides current assessments for 1.9 million BC properties.
BC Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA): Manages, operates and maintains BC’s land title and land survey systems.
BC Stats: Contains statistical information related to housing and real estate, including population demographics, building permits and GDP by industry, including real estate.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC): National housing agency provides mortgage loan insurance, mortgage-backed securities, housing policy and programs, and housing research, as well as reports and updates.
Do Not Call List: A registry of Canadians who opt out of receiving telemarketing calls and faxes.
Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC): Federal government agency which collects, analyzes and discloses financial information and intelligence on suspected money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Contains stats on the number of investigated cases involving organized crime. Implements the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act,
If you have a terrific source of information let me know at email@example.com.
Accommodating future density and cost savings programs
West side residents vocal about development and transit
The 90-acre Jericho Lands in Vancouver will potentially house thousands of new residents. Neighbours are eager to have a say in the type of development and transit coming to the area.
Richmond City Hall Update
Richmond continues to be one of Metro Vancouver’s fastest growing municipalities with new developments coming on stream. Here’s what’s planned.
Cost saving programs
Read our annual list of grants and rebates to help your clients buy a home, make their home or business more energy efficient, or even buy an electric car.
Demographics shed light on common real estate myths
According to the latest headlines, Metro Vancouver’s real estate market is plagued by fleeing millennials, million-dollar homes no one can afford, and a glut of supply.
These are all misconceptions, according to Andrew Ramlo, a demographer and vice president of intelligence at the Rennie Group.
At a presentation for the Urban Development Institute in April, Ramlo looked at the media myths about our housing market in an effort to set the record straight.
Here are the highlights.
Millennials aren’t fleeing Vancouver
Ramlo says there’s no millennial flight from Vancouver. In fact, there’s been an increase. These demographic shifts in Vancouver have more to do with the composition of our housing stock than anything else, he contends. Vancouver has the highest portion of rental stock in the region and as millennials come of age to leave their parents’ homes they’ve been moving to the city.
“Vancouver is swimming with millennials,” said Ramlo.
This has happened with every generation. Residents under the age of 35 will come to the city to find homes and will leave for the suburbs as they enter their family formation years. Ramlo looked at this current trend in relation to past generations and found a similar pattern.
Months ago, the hashtag #DontHave1Million trended in Metro Vancouver, showing listings of homes over $1 million to imply that locals would never be able to afford a home in the region.
Ramlo pointed out that 74 per cent of all home sales in the Lower Mainland fell below $1 million in 2018, and while less than one per cent of single-family homes in Vancouver sold for less than $1 million, 43 per cent of single-family homes across the region were below this marker.
Even without its exaggeration, this hashtag was highlighting a bigger affordability problem that we face. According to Ramlo, comparing average and median incomes to average and median sales prices doesn’t present an accurate picture of affordability since it ignores equity already built in the market.
We need supply
Last year, a Kwantlen Polytechnic University professor released a report that said that Vancouver was building enough homes to keep up with demand, implying that prices were rising due to another factor.
According to Ramlo, while it’s true that Vancouver saw record housing starts, the author of the report didn't account for demolitions. Because of the Lower Mainland’s land constraints, most new construction can only take place by first demolishing existing housing. This means that even if new housing starts meet population increases, when the number of homes demolished to create this housing is factored in, the result is a net shortfall.
At the end of the presentation, Ramlo stressed that supply-side measures are desperately needed in Metro Vancouver. More than 100,000 more homes need to be built to meet the next decade of demand, if Ramlo’s demographic projections are accurate.
“This is like adding another five or six river districts,” Ramlo said.
You can view his presentation here.
ICYMI: New guide explaining DORTS for potential clients
We've created the article below to help explain the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services form to the public. We've posted this on Realtylink.org and rebgv.org for you to share with your potential clients.
What’s the Disclosure form that Realtors are asking you to sign?
You’re casually talking about the housing market with a REALTOR® you’re interested in working with when the conversation shifts to your personal financial situation.
The Realtor stops the conversation and politely asks you to sign a form called “Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services” (DORTS) before they can continue.
This may seem a little sudden, but it’s perfectly normal. In fact, this means this Realtor is following the rules the BC government put into place in 2018.
Having professional representation is important when you’re looking to buy or sell a home. Realtors are required to inform you, up front, about your representation options. This is what the DORTS is for.
When do you need to sign a DORTS?
Realtors can share factual information about the properties they list for sale. They can also give factual information about the real estate market at large.
You need to sign a DORTS if you wanted to discuss with them:
- personal information;
- your financial situation;
- why’d you’d like to buy or sell; or
- any other information that could affect a real estate negotiation.
Realtors can only discuss this information with someone they represent, or with someone who understands they’re not being represented and what that entails.
What does a DORTS do?
This document explains what your options are when it comes to representation and ensures you acknowledge that you understand these options.
It outlines the advantages of working with a real estate professional and what their legal obligations are to you if they provide you client (agency) representation.
It also details the pitfalls you can encounter if you decide to be unrepresented (no agency) in a real estate transaction.
Read through the form carefully, and speak with the Realtor, to fully understand the types representation available to you.
If you choose to continue unrepresented, a Realtor will ask you to sign a form called the Disclosure of Risks to Unrepresented Parties. This form outlines that you understand you’re unrepresented and what that entails.
Ultimately, if you’re unsure about the situation, just ask. Remember, Realtors are professionals that deal with these issues every day – they’re there to help!
When you decide you want representation, you’ll form an “agency” relationship with your Realtor. This means your Realtor is legally duty-bound to protect your interests. For example, an agent has fiduciary duties of loyalty, confidentiality, and disclosure to a client.
Once you establish agency, your Realtor becomes your agent and a professional advisor. They can:
- help you adopt a sound negotiation strategy based on industry knowledge and experience and can negotiate on your behalf;
- help you market your home and/or buy a home and become a link with other Realtors to locate homes that meet your needs;
- handle the different contracts and paperwork involved in a transaction;
- recommend other professionals, such as certified home inspectors, lawyers or notaries, insurance agents, home movers, or contractors; and
- help you analyze the market to find the right home at the right price – or help you get the most from your sale.
Still looking for more information? Talk with your Realtor or review the Real Estate Council of BC’s website at www.recbc.ca.