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In this edition of We Go When You Can’t: OREA REALiTY 2018 we have a special guest poster presenting her Top 3 Takeaways.

So thank you to the great Charlene De Silva, a REALiTY ambassador for sharing her thoughts on the conference below.

 


 

Last week in the heart of downtown Toronto, the Ontario Real Estate Association hosted the first ever REALiTY Conference, a 3-day action packed event with a strong underlying theme of the changing landscape of Real Estate!

We had the opportunity to learn from some of the best of the best in the industry on topics like Facebook Live, Block Chain, Chat Bots, and even a controversial conversation with Zillow.  In addition to this, we also had the privilege of learning about things like the ‘3 Black Swans in Real Estate’ from Rob Hahn, an inspirational morning with Tony Chapman speaking about ‘Telling your Story’ and a great lunch with former BC Premier, Christy Clark, who gave us some eye-opening insight on BC’s approach to cooling the Vancouver housing market.

All this great information coupled with some incredible opportunities to network at the Teranet Opening Party hosted at Ripley’s Aquarium and the Presidents Reception, welcoming in new OREA President David Reid, made this truly an event you wouldn’t want to miss! For those of you who did, all is not lost – myself, along with other dedicated Ambassadors for the conference made sure to stay social and keep you up to date on the top takeaways!

Some of my biggest highlights and takeaways from this conference weren’t necessarily the ones I expected going into the event. Eager to learn and be inspired, I sat in the front row focused and engaged and after leaving the conference, here are my top 3 takeaways that have stuck with me.

 

OREA is Embracing Change

 

It’s no secret that OREA lost the ability to be the provider of Real Estate training in Ontario as of 2020, and with this change many of us began to question their relevancy and fate.  If this conference did not put those questions to bed, what you are about to see from OREA in the upcoming months and years will surely do so.

Not only has the organization leaned out its staff and expenses, it is more focused than ever on being bold in the face of change and helping Realtors succeed in building stronger communities. It will continue to fight for our rights at Queen’s Park and has empowered its members to help in the ongoing up-hill battle in the form of The Ontario Realtor Party started in 2017.

This conference was a great indication of the commitment OREA has to supporting its members and becoming a better, stronger professional association!

 

Zillow is Coming…

 

There was a lot of buzz at the conference and leading up to it, Realtors either intrigued to hear what Zillow had to say or down right angry that OREA would provide this controversial company a platform in which to reach its members. I sat somewhere in the middle. Do I want Zillow in Canada? Well… let’s be honest, does it even matter what I want?

Whether we like it or not, Zillow has plans to invade our comfortable little bubble in which Realtor.ca has held monopoly for quite some time. Zillow is a definite disrupter; we’ve seen the impact it has had on the US Market and what it could potentially do in our own backyard.

However, with that said – I was extremely proud of OREA for bringing Zillow in to speak with us. You cannot beat your competition without first understanding why they are competition to begin with.

Zillow had the opportunity to first present their company and model to us on Day 2, then sat on a panel on Day 3, allowing the audience to ask questions and voice concerns. And so, we did. Mostly united, Realtors asked intelligent questions in regards to data integrity and Zillow’s plans for Canada. Sadly (for Zillow) these very reasonable questions went mostly unanswered by their representative, Jim Bridges, furthering our frustration and causing more distrust.

So, what does that mean for Zillow and Canada? I’m not sure, but one thing was very evident is that Zillow is doing the research that we should be doing. Zillow is providing the platform to consumers that we should already be providing and if they do come in and disrupt our lives, it begs the question, who is to blame?

 

Tell your story!

 

No matter who the speaker, no matter what the topic – the one thing that jumped out at me during this whole conference is knowing your story and speaking your truth. The chat bots, the Facebook ads, the video marketing – they’re all just platforms for you to tell your story, to be authentic and connect with your clients in a consistent and capturing way.

It’s also not about making yourself the hero, because let’s face it; you’re not. It about making your clients the hero, making your community the hero – it’s about highlighting all the reasons why your clients want to live in that home, live in that community and last, but certainly not least – work with you.

 

It’s so hard to summarize three full days of content into 3 quick takeaways but the most important thing is to get out there and tell a story using unique platform opportunities, pay attention to the potential disrupters in our industry and find a way to be a disrupter yourself all the while knowing we have a great organization behind us, fighting for our rights as Realtors!

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