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Local REALTORS® Love Learning!

Updated: May 3, 2023

The Guelph & District Association of REALTORS® believes that education doesn't stop the day a REALTOR® becomes licensed. Learning should continue for the lifetime of our Members' professional careers. We host regular, industry-leading professional development sessions so our Members are up to date on everything they need to know to best serve their clients. We love hearing from our members and welcome feedback on what sessions to host in the future.


Focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism

Throughout our first quarter at GDAR this year, there was a heavy focus on several Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism initiatives! Our New DEIA task force has been meeting to plan a number of activities for GDAR Members for 2023 in an effort to create a more inclusive workplace and industry. REALTORS® also need to care about diversity to better serve the people that they are representing.


Black History Month

February was National Black History Month, during which several Members met to discuss their experience as self-identified persons of colour in the industry over the life of their careers thus far. You can see what they had to say in the video below:

Anti-Oppression & Feminism 101 Workshops

February 23

Presented By: Women In Crisis Educator - Cindy McMann


GDAR hosted an Anti-Oppression 101 workshop for all of our leaders including staff, the Board of Directors, all committee and Task-Force chairs, and our DEIA committee members. It was also held virtually for our entire membership. The course was taught by Cindy McMann who is the Public Educator with Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis and has been teaching about gender issues for 15 years.


In this FREE webinar, presented by Women In Crisis educator, Cindy McMann, we were introduced to the basics of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism (DEIA). This workshop helped participants learn how to recognize different forms of oppression like racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, and ableism. We unpacked how oppression shows up in our culture and what the impacts are on marginalized communities and we were provided with some tools and resources to challenge those forms of oppression and create more compassionate, more inclusive spaces for everyone in our community.


Cindy also kicked off March with International Women’s Day and special training on “Feminism 101". We look forward to welcoming Cindy back again in June for a Gender Identity training session in honour of Pride Month.


International Women's Day Social Media Awareness Campaign

March 8, 2023


This year’s theme was "Embrace Equity". GDAR invited all of our members to send photos of “Embracing Equity” for International Women’s Day social media videos and posts. Equity isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society's DNA. And it's critical to understand the difference between equity and equality. The IWD 2023 campaign theme drives worldwide understanding of why "Equal" opportunities aren't enough!


Professional Development Sessions

Several webinars were presented by our GDAR Partners on timely topics including Taxes and Budgeting for REALTORS®, Investment Properties, and Appraisals and Financing.

Reverse Mortgages

January 9th

Presented By: Alix Greene, Canada Life; Becky Miele, Home Equity Bank


Fran Robinson Mortgages hosted a double education event and brought in 2 experts to talk to a sold-out room of GDAR members about Reverse Mortgages and the brand-new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA).


BECKY MIELE, Business Development Manager, Home Equity Bank, discussed Reverse Mortgages. This is a very strongly regulated mortgage product in Canada as it’s geared towards a population that can sometimes be vulnerable – seniors. Our GDAR members learned how they could help clients use this tool at point of purchase to free up their cash for legacy/kids/to eliminate payments/afford a more expensive home etc.

ALIX GREENE, Financial Securities Advisor, Canada Life, spoke about the brand-new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA). Our GDAR members learned how to help first-time buyers save their down payment and get into the market sooner.

Reverse Mortgages

Presented By: Sandra Lastovic, The Mortgage Centre; Becky Miele, Home Equity Bank


Back by popular demand…GDAR hosted an in-person session for “Reverse Mortgages” in January that was sold out and had a huge waiting list. This time we offered the session virtually so that all could attend. Our GDAR Platinum Partner, Sandra Lastovic of The Mortgage Centre presented alongside one of her long-time industry partners, Becky Miele from Home Equity Bank, one of Canada's top providers of reverse mortgages.


Our members learned how to help buyers and sellers use Reverse Mortgages to purchase properties, gift money, or even do renovations to their existing homes before they sell. Most individuals will now be retiring with a mortgage, so a Reverse Mortgage is becoming more commonplace, and the minimum age for a reverse mortgage is only 55 years.


Taxes and Budgeting for REALTORS® - Webinar

February 15

Presented By: Eric Tuffnail & Sean O’Connor, RLB Chartered Accountants


This presentation covered everything REALTORS® need to know to keep their books organized for the upcoming year, including best practices for budgeting, record keeping, and how to make the most of tax returns as well as:

  • Income

  • Expenses

  • Capital items

  • Wages and contract workers

  • Income splitting using wages

  • RRSPs and other deductions

  • Installments and payments

  • HST

  • Professional corporations (PRECs)

  • & How to budget for the year ahead!

What REALTORS® Need to Know About Investment Properties

February 22

Presented By: Robert Sheldon, Paquette Travers


In this Webinar, Robert Sheldon talked about four specific considerations for investment properties:

  1. The mortgage – the complexities of financing a property that is not your principal residence.

  2. The off-title searches – how building, zoning, and fire inspections affect the purchase and what that means for your client.

  3. The tenants (those being assumed and/or evicted) – assumption of tenants vs. vacant possession and necessary notices.

  4. The closing adjustments – how are current months’ rent, rental deposits, and so forth adjusted?


Property Appraisals and Financing

February 28

Presented By: Sandra Lastovic, The Mortgage Centre; Alex Gulino, Value Connect


Sandra Lastovic, principal broker with The Mortgage Centre and Alex Gulino of Value Connect one of Canada's leading appraisal management companies co-hosted this webinar to review national and local trends in home valuations and how they will impact mortgage financing for 2023.


Trust In Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) - What REALTORS® Need To Know

Presented By: Ray Ferris


After March Break, GDAR welcomed Ray Ferris in a much-anticipated webinar to discuss all of the upcoming changes to TRESA.


This 90-minute presentation was exclusive to GDAR members and focused on the key points members need to be aware of including the new principle-based Code of Ethics, enhanced disclosures, elimination of the "Customer" relationship, the removal of the barrier to open offers, mandatory Consumer "Information Guide" and allowing assessors to issue financial penalties.


We hosted the event virtually and had 150 people registered to attend. The session received incredible feedback from the attendees. We hope to have Ray back again as the TRESA updates continue to roll out and RECO makes its final adjustments.



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