In The News
MUSKOKA – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® (The Lakelands) is set to donate $19,000 to charities across Parry Sound, Muskoka, Haliburton, and Orillia, continuing their tradition of supporting shelter-based organizations in the communities they serve. The association is accepting grant applications until Tuesday September 3, 2019. To raise awareness and ensure each year different organizations benefit, The Lakelands is reaching out to our community to spread the word.
“Our members are keen to contribute to their communities. Our Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation (ORCF) is a meaningful way to engage with, and support, residents,” says Wendy Webb, President of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. “We believe that Realtors’ roles extend far beyond just buying and selling.”
Their recent generosity and $5,000 donation to support area flood relief efforts this spring captured the attention of their provincial counterpart the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, and CREA (the Canadian Real Estate Association), bringing the total donations to the Muskoka and Minden areas to $20,000 ($16,000 to Muskoka Victim Services and $4,000 to the Minden Food Bank).
Each member makes monthly donations to ORCF. These amounts are then divided across the jurisdiction to assist local shelter-based charities. The contributions are very important to these communities. Many local brokerages support causes in their own specific communities on top of these monthly contributions.
Last year’s Grant Recipients from the Lakelands Association were:
- The Burk’s Fall District Food Bank ($3,000).
- The Alzheimer Society ($3,000) and Cottage Dreams in Haliburton ($1,500). Cottage dreams supports families touched by cancer, providing an opportunity for them to reconnect and rejuvenate at a private, donated cottage.
- The Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka ($1,500), a child-friendly centre in which multidisciplinary professionals provide services to children and youth who have experienced abuse.
- Couchiching Jubilee House ($1,500), an organization committed to empowering women to improve their quality of life through a program of individualized support and transitional housing.
- West Muskoka Food Bank ($3,000)
- Esprit Place Family Resource Centre ($3,000) is a ten-bed emergency shelter for women and children, serving the District of Parry Sound since 1986. They provide safe and secure residential accommodation twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
- Baysville Winter Pantry ($1,500) provides food support services during the winter months for people who live in the Baysville and Dorset areas.
- Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group ($1,500) operates two, 24-hour anti-violence crisis shelters for abused women and their children. Muskoka Interval House is located in Bracebridge, Ontario and Chrysalis in Huntsville, Ontario. Chrysalis also offers supportive transitional housing units for vulnerable women.
For further details about the Grant Application: https://realtorscareontario.ca/grants
The Lakelands represents over 850 licensed real estate professionals within the heart of Ontario’s and Canada’s cottage country. Major geographical areas within the regions include the City of Orillia, and communities within the District Municipality of Muskoka, Almaguin Highlands, Parry Sound and County of Haliburton. REALTOR® members throughout the region specialize in the trading of real estate representing different land use properties ranging from recreational, residential and commercial.
REALTORS® are committed to improving Quality of Life by supporting policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods.
Huntsville, ON – Access to adequate housing is a basic human need. However, it’s becoming increasingly out of reach for many people locally and across the country. Representatives from The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® have firsthand experience with this struggle and are working hard toward finding solutions in their communities.
The association launched a task force on attainable housing in fall 2018. The first meeting was held in spring 2019. “When we sent out tender for volunteers for the Attainable Housing Task Force, we had an overwhelming response,” says Chuck Murney, who is the task force chair. “Those who were selected to sit on the task force were chosen for their passion, commitment to their communities and overall skillset.” These agents are from all four of the major regions that the organization represents: Andrew Hodgson and Karen Nimigon of Haliburton; Debbie Gilbert and Paul Cleary of Orillia; Suzanne Martineau of Muskoka and Scott Broad and Murney of Parry Sound.
“As we connected we learned very quickly that the issues affecting Huntsville and Orillia were very similar to those affecting Parry Sound and Haliburton and everywhere in between,” says Murney. “Any time there has been an attainable housing event throughout the district we have had multiple agents looking to volunteer their time to share our collaborative REALTOR® perspective.”
One of the universal problems across all four geographical areas is people cashing out and escaping bigger centres to move to the Lakelands regions, which pushes up values and makes entering the market out of reach for a lot of first-time home buyers and entry-level consumers.
On top of meeting with this specific group, each of these individuals on the task force works directly with their local community groups and industries to address the attainable housing struggles that are specific to their jurisdictions. For example, Martineau, a seasoned Muskoka REALTOR®, sits on the broader Muskoka Housing Task Force. She acts as a liaison between stakeholders, ensuring that the that agents’ insights are communicated back to the regional task force, which includes developers, politicians and other decision-makers. “We speak for the people,” she says. “These issues are complex and multilevel.”
Lakelands Association of REALTORS® President Wendy Webb says it’s imperative that REALTORS® share their specialized, local insights in this way. “We do our utmost to help make our clients’ goals a reality. Part of that means serving as their advocates in these public spheres.”
The Lakelands Associations of REALTORS® Housing Task Force also coordinates with the organization’s political action committee to ensure that timely topics related to attainable housing are part of the conversations happening in Ottawa. The association expects that attainable housing will be a key issue in the upcoming federal election and representatives look forward to collaborating with candidates on various housing related solutions so that more Canadians can realize the dream of home ownership.
OC and ORTIS to Merge: Over 13,000 REALTORS® Spanning 22 Ontario Associations to be Served by Same Shared MLS® System
Ontario – (January 16, 2019) – The Governors of the Ontario Collective™ (OC), a regional group providing MLS® System services to 12 real estate associations representing over 5,000 REALTORS®, and the Directors of the Ontario Regional Technology & Information Systems Inc. (ORTIS), a regional group providing MLS® System services to 10 real estate associations of over 8,500 REALTORS®, are pleased to announce they have signed a Transition Agreement to blend their two separate systems into one common shared regional MLS® System.
“We are beyond excited to announce the blending of two of Ontario’s largest regional MLS® Systems,” said Steve Dickie, Chair of the OC. “For going on decades now, progressive REALTORS® and Associations have been working to break down the artificial walls that have separated them. This initiative will significantly enhance the opportunities and services for our REALTOR® members as well as their clients.”
Both groups are using CoreLogic®’s leading edge Matrix system to power their MLS® Services. CoreLogic® is a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider and Matrix is used by more than 700,000 REALTORS® across North America, and 32,000 in Canada alone.
“From the beginning, this has been a member-centric process where we have put the needs of the REALTOR® first and foremost,” says Brad Johnstone, ORTIS Chair. “REALTORS® and their clients all have the same wants, needs and expectations, regardless of the size and location of the association they belong to.” In addition, Johnstone highlights, “The systems our two groups developed independently of one another are powered by the same stable, secure, proven and reliable technology, and both were developed by REALTORS® for REALTORS®.”
Combining the two systems into a seamless one will result in a “best-of-breed” solution by taking the lessons both groups learned in their individual regional projects and bringing them together in this initiative. Central to this project from the beginning is the recognition that members are equal. No matter what part of the province a REALTOR® practices in they have the same need for high standards and dependable technology.
The two groups are now developing a new single corporate entity to manage the services to all 22 associations.
“We’re going to take the best of both systems, combine them together to make something even better,” notes Kati Strickland, Project Manager of the OC. “We’re working with CoreLogic® now to align the needed resources and flesh out our project plan with the objective of having members online with it in the fall of 2019.”
Kati Strickland, OC Project Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Duce, ORTIS Project Coordinator, email@example.com
About the Ontario Collective™ (OC). The OC is comprised of Bancroft and Area Association of REALTORS®, Kawartha Lakes Real Estate Association Inc., London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®, North Bay Real Estate Board, Northumberland Hills Association of REALTORS®, Peterborough and The Kawarthas Association of REALTORS®, Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® Inc., REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound, Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®, The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®, Tillsonburg District Real Estate Board and Woodstock-Ingersoll and District Real Estate Board.
About the Ontario Regional Technology & Information Systems Inc. (ORTIS). ORTIS is comprised of Barrie and District Association of REALTORS®, Brantford Regional Real Estate Association, Cambridge Association of REALTORS® Inc., Guelph and District Association of REALTORS®, Huron Perth Association of REALTORS®, Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, Mississauga Real Estate Board, Niagara Association of REALTORS®, The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board, and Simcoe and District Real Estate Board.
August 22, 2018
Huntsville, ON – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® welcomed 159 real estate professionals to Deerhurst Resort earlier this month for their Annual General Meeting to network, share the latest industry news and announce the 2018 board.
The morning was packed with valuable information about marketing and social media, market trends and government relations, with a focus on advances in technology and equipping Realtors with the latest in lock box options to better protect themselves and their clients.
“We’ve always been progressive,” says Mike Stahls, the board’s Past President. “We just need to keep that pace up and stay on top of the new technologies.”
Wendy Webb is the 2018 president of the board. Webb brings ample experience to the role. She served as President of the board in 2010 and worked for two years at the national level, where she garnered valuable insights into best practices and how different boards operate.
Webb and Stahls agree that engagement and collaboration with the association is the key to success within the association and for its members. “When you’re connected with the association, rather than just working as a Realtor doing your everyday business, you’re able to stay ahead of the curve. You know what’s coming down the pipe and are having a say in how issues should be dealt with,” says Webb. “If you can’t be on the board, it’s great to join a committee,” says Stahls. “You get to meet a lot of people, you gain knowledge from watching how others work.”
The 2018 Lakelands Association of REALTORS® board members are: Wendy Webb, (President), Mike Stahls (Past President), Catharine Inniss (President Elect), Lindsay Elder, D’Arcy Hunt, Mike Taylor, Debbie Gilbert and Chuck Murney.
Crystal Henderson, Executive Director
(705) 788-1544 ext. 222 Kelly Warr, Operations Manager
(705) 788-1544 ext. 229
December 20, 2018
Huntsville, ON – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® continued their annual tradition of supporting local charities, donating a total of $18,000 to regional not-for-profit organizations. The initiative is part of the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation (ORCF). Incorporated to the Ontario Real Estate Association in 1977, the foundation has been doing its part to support shelter and shelter-related organizations.
Since mid-December, representatives from the Lakelands Association travelled on behalf of the foundation to present cheques to the following organizations:
• The Burk’s Falls District Food Bank ($3000).
• The Alzheimer Society of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland & Haliburton ($3000) and Cottage Dreams ($1500). Cottage Dreams supports families touched by cancer, providing an opportunity for them to reconnect and rejuvenate at a private, donated cottage.
• The Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka ($1500), a child-friendly centre in which multidisciplinary professionals provide services to children and youth who have experienced abuse.
• Couchiching Jubilee House ($1500), an organization committed to empowering women to improve their quality of life through a program of individualized support and transitional housing.
• West Muskoka Food Bank ($1500)
• Esprit Place Family Resource Centre ($3000) is a ten-bed emergency shelter for women and children, serving the District of Parry Sound since 1986. They provide safe and secure residential accommodation twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
• Baysville Winter Pantry ($1500) provides food support services during the winter months for people who live in the Baysville and Dorset areas.
• Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group ($1500) operates two, 24-hour anti-violence crisis shelters for abused women and their children. Muskoka Interval House is located in Bracebridge, Ontario and Chrysalis in Huntsville, Ontario. Chrysalis also offers supportive transitional housing units for vulnerable women.
“We feel deeply entrenched in the communities we represent,” says Wendy Webb, President of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. “We see giving back to those in need as a vital component of who we are as an organization as it highlights the meaningful local support of our REALTOR® members.”
The Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation (ORCF) is supported by monthly donations by local REALTORS® to benefit community shelter-based organizations. The Lakelands Association has contributed $18,000 annually through The Foundation accumulating roughly to date $160,000 in grant funding across Parry Sound, Muskoka, Haliburton & Orillia. Shelter is defined as a refuge, haven or protection that provides or improves quality of life from hunger, the elements, physical/psychological abuse, disabilities and illness.
Crystal Henderson, Executive Director
(705) 788-1544 ext. 222
Kelly Warr, Operations Manager
(705) 788-1544 ext. 229