recoBy Tony Palermo

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) is set to introduce a new online mandatory continuing education program that it says will provide significant benefits to registrants.

The courses will be administered and delivered directly from RECO, a move that has riled the province’s third-party education providers.

Set to start August 1, the new program represents a complete overhaul of the current system in terms of content, structure, price and how courses are delivered. The new course material has been limited to focus strictly on consumer protection, regulatory matters and current industry issues. These courses will be delivered in an online format only.

The entire continuing education program, which will be phased in over a two-year period, will cost registrants a mere $44 for the whole two-year cycle. RECO says this low fee is based on the fact that it is delivering the entire program online and that it is a not-for-profit organization working strictly on a cost-recovery basis.

This marks a significant departure from the current system where approved third-party education providers offer courses in several real estate, business and technology related subjects, and deliver these courses not only online, but also through correspondence and in a classroom setting.

Tom Wright
Tom Wright

RECO president and CEO Tom Wright says the revamp was necessary, noting the retiring program first came into effect in January 2000 and that there have been a lot of industry changes and developments since then. He also says that the needs and expectations of the registrants have also changed.

“The information coming back to RECO indicated that registrants wanted two things in particular,” says Wright. “They wanted their courses to be more focussed in terms of what they were required to learn and they wanted the delivery of the required courses to be more convenient for them.”

Wright says that by narrowing the course content to consumer protection, regulatory matters and current industry issues, it brings the material more in line with its role as a regulator.

But why did RECO opt to pull the entire mandatory continuing education program in-house and choose to deliver it only online? Wright says it all came down to consistency, control and what works best.

“We (RECO) wanted to have the ability to make changes to the course content in a speedy way so that the material is always current,” says Wright, adding that it’s much easier to control these changes when less people are involved. “And, there have been a lot of advances in online education over the last few years and we feel this method will provide a better learning experience for adults.”

Wright says pulling the mandatory course delivery in-house isn’t meant to push third-party education providers out of the market, but rather separate mandatory regulatory education from what he calls personal development learning.

But at least some third-party educators don’t agree.

Gabrielle Jeans
Gabrielle Jeans

“I’ve been waiting for this shoe to drop for a long time and it comes as no surprise to me,” says Gabrielle Jeans, president and CEO of e2000 Training Institute, a third-party online education provider. “There was a period where they were trying to find the demographics of our classes. I would ask myself ‘Why do they need to know that?’ To me, it was just collecting data to see how much money was being handed over.”

Jeans says she supports mandatory education on acts and legislation – in fact considers it essential – but that there are other areas of learning like teaching agents how to ethically survive in the real estate industry that are just as important.

“RECO separates the two and I don’t agree,” says Jeans. “I don’t think Ontario consumers are going to be better protected and served by this.”

Callum James, president of education provider CE Network, agrees. “RECO has chosen a model that disenfranchises long-standing and respected organizations whose contribution to Canadian real estate education has been extensive and crushes any potential or motivation for innovation,” says James. “It is a disappointing announcement for Ontario registrants who are accustomed to choice and seek to specialize.”

Don Kottick, president of Right At Home Realty in Toronto, says he feels strongly the continuing education changes are “terrible” on several fronts. For example, Kottick wonders what will happen to the educators and boards who depend on the continuing education revenue. He also questions how eliminating other training delivery methods like classroom education can be a smart move since doing so wipes out any face-to-face interaction and the sharing of real life experience.

Kottick says this move is contrary to RECO’s mandate of protecting Ontario consumers.

“There are people in this industry who need to be forced to improve their professionalism,” says Kottick. “A lot (of registrants) will take courses on their own but there are also a lot who won’t. That’s going to bring the rest of us down. I think the only people who are really applauding this are the people who want to save money.”

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) released a statement supporting RECO’s changes, saying: “OREA’s members appreciate RECO’s new online program for its province-wide consistency, accessibility and affordability.”

OREA president Ron Abraham says, “These changes provide OREA and real estate boards with an opportunity to offer members the education they want and need, on the learning platform of their choice, in addition to courses required to fulfill regulatory requirements.”

RECO’s move appears to follow a similar path taken by the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) nearly six years ago. Since October 2007, RECA has limited its Re-Licensing Education Program (REP) to regulatory and consumer protection issues only.

Kirk Bacon, deputy executive director of the RECA, says that RECA is extremely pleased with the results of their professional development policy. He refers to the voluntary survey that industry members are asked to complete at the end of each REP course, noting that this year 97.3 per cent of those who completed the voluntary survey indicated a positive response to the question, “The course content increased my awareness of industry issues and will be helpful in my real estate practice.”

Bacon says, “When industry members have a better understanding of legislation, compliance and regulatory issues, consumers are better protected. In addition, RECA is very supportive of industry associations and boards’ initiatives in the area of professional development of its members.”

  • Gail Fabiani

    I learn more in-class because of the interaction and conversation. Doing a course on-line doesn’t leave a lasting memory of the content. I have done both and much prefer in-class.

  • Chuck G

    I believe that both in-class and online can work and I agree that the inter-action between people can certainly be informative, if “the few” aren’t allowed to take control over the conversation aspect. It probably should be that certain courses are in-class only, each year (after all, this is a person to person business), while other courses could offer both options. The RECO Update course would likely be the best example of in-class only..(as RECO considers this so necessary). Finally, and I am biased on this point, a few comments here referred to the fact that in order to be professional and respected, the education standards need to be upgraded, improved, tougher. A university degree should be mandatory as the starting point. I didn’t realize that I was definitely a sub-standard person and that I could not possibly ever be a professional. Spending 4-5 years longer in a school environment (again, I know I’m biased and likely in a minority), doesn’t necessarily ever make the person. And here’s a question to those who automatically believe a university education should be a minimum standard…take a poll of those agents whom you believe are hurting the industry and find out how many are university grad’s…it might just be higher than you thought… Upgrade one’s education, certainly… In the case of real estate, that education is better to come from the industry directly, either in the form of RECO/OREA/other 3rd Party’s or how about the real estate broker house’s….after all..we should be learning from those who have “current experience”.

    • Brian Martindale

      Hi Chuck:

      I like your comments and I must say that you make some very good points. Of course you can be a professional Realtor without the benefit of a university education. There are always exceptions to every rule, and by your words and tone you seem to be one of those exceptions. However, the idea is to weed out the less than disciplined types in the first place from entering ORE, being those people who did not pursue post secondary education, either by choice (did not like school) or by academic inability. This seems to be the only way to limit the influx of ill-prepared wannabes into the business who for the most part become the 70% revolving door failures.

      I think that potential candidates who do not have any significant post secondary education, but who do have experience in vocational areas real estate related, should be considered for candidacy based upon said experience.

      Professionalism evolves from a disciplined mind. Achieving a university degree and/or a college diploma in a demanding category demands discipline on the part of the student. A disciplined mind is what is needed to become a professional Realtor. ORE needs not just some professionals, it needs 100% professionals.

      Weeding out potential candidates needs to be accomplished at the outset. Just anybody with some money for the courses should not be automatically granted access to same willy nilly.

      Some form of educational/experiential discrimination needs to be exercised by ORE in order to ultimately produce professional Realtors in possession of discriminating, disciplined minds. Most folks with post secondary educations tend to value education, and not view it as a necessary evil, something that has to be gotten over with as quickly as possible in order to get a licence.

      There is a reason why the acknowledged professions require a rigourous educational background before allowing potential candidates to pursue studies in their chosen professions, and the reason is the possession of a positive attitude regarding dedication to learning on the parts of those candidates. The schooling only gets tougher for these wannabe professionals post-post secondary schooling as they pursue their educations in law school, medical school, dentat school, engneering school, architecture school etc. So it should be for wannabe professional Realtors going forward with real estate school. Three two week per in-class shots here and there spaced out over a few months doesn’t cut it re acquiring a real estate licence, especially if one’s previous jobs were waiting on tables, driving trucks, working in factories, working in offices, selling cars, or anything else for that matter, or any other number of totally unrelated-to-real estate undertakings.

      The lack of overall professionalism within the ranks of Realtors rests squarely on the shoulders of ORE’s bureaucrats, for it is they who call the shots re underlying requirements for admission to real estate school.

      The sifting-for-gold-with-a-tin-pan-in-a-creek method of hopefully discovering nuggets of professionalism within the current Realtor production business is nothing more than a crap shoot at best, and a waste of peoples’ time and money, not to mention the publics’ trust, at worst.

      ORE needs to finally clean up its act, to do justice to the already existing professionals within ORE (and there are many, who are besmirched by the comings and goings of the failures-in-waiting) as well as to the public at large. ORE needs to produce not a 70% failure rate; it needs to produce at the very least a 70% (preferably 90%) success rate from a very limited number of chosen students per training cycle.

      Brian

      • C

        As a business owner, who did not attend university, I can tell you that when I hire, I seek creative minds. I don’t care that you wasted tens of thousands of dollars on a piece of paper and spent four years reading text books. How are you going to make ME and my company stand out? Certainly not by doing the same thing as everyone else. Your university education tells me you are foolish with money, and lack the ability to think for yourself.

        • Brian Martindale

          C:
          I chose to go to university, full time, when I was thirty-five years old. Prior to that I had a grade ten education. With that education, after working with my father building houses, I had begun working when I was eighteen years old as a steamfitter apprentice. By the time I was thirty years old, my wife and I had paid off our new home (we already owned a waterfront cottage, paid for), three cars, five boats, two snowmobile etc., and I only had to work six months a year to keep things going. So you are right, one does not need a university and/or post secondary education to get ahead in life…financially speaking that is.
          There are many in the real estate business who are very good at what they do, without the benefit of a post secondary education. They are the intelligent ones, but they are in the minority…by a long shot. There is a reason why the majority of newbies fail within five years of entering the real estate brokerage business. Why do you think that is the case?
          You sound like a fool when you say that a university education that focuses on political studies and psychology (my fields of study) is a waste of money and time. But one usually gets that kind of response from the uneducated with money. It’s called education envy…almost as bad as that other envy.
          It is up to ‘you’ to make yourself and your company stand out, and not some hired gun(s). Where is ‘your’ creativity…at the end of your pen strokes on a cheque book?
          I agree with you when you say that you want to be able hire people with creative streaks, but, many scammers and other criminals who steal from others are very creative via their methods. The key is to be able to hire creative souls who own disciplined minds, not lazy minds bent on doing things the easy, possibly sleazy, way.
          I stand by my position, uncreatively and educationally useless as you misguidedly judge it to be.
          By the way, your concluding statement betrays your ignorance.
          I would not waste my time trying to make you and your company stand out for any amount of money. My sense of intolerance for people who only think in terms of dollars, to be gleaned any which way, keeps me from working with money hoovers like you.
          Your lack of education tells me that you are a money monger whose money god’s values trumps a more fully developed mind’s values possessing balance. By your own words you indicate that you lack the ability to see anyone else’s side of the equation, rendering you as narrow-minded my friend.
          How’s that for thinking for myself?
          Creative enough for your uneducated judgement?
          Uncreatively yours,
          Bozo Trasher.
          P.S.: Grow some balls and try to spell your whole name…in public. This isn’t JEOPARDY. Take a chance! There is no wrong answer.

    • Gail Fabiani

      Asking for mandatory university education to become a realtor is overlooking the demographics of realtors. Many of us who are older did not go to university. It wasn’t as common in the 60’s and 70’s as it is now. Many who never went to university run their own companies and have been extremely successful and many who have gone to university have been complete failures. I think following this option will eliminate a lot of people who would be excellent Realtors. Just because you didn’t go to university, doesn’t mean that you are not smart, knowledgeable or ethical. This thinking seems to be elitist.

  • Garry Anderson

    I think it’s great that registration maintenance requirements will be standardized. A lot of courses were fluff and shouldn’t be counted towards credits but are.

    There’s nothing stopping anyone from taking other courses to enhance their understanding of how this business works. I think the registration part of continuing education should be standard and tough and primarily ethics based, because I have worked with a bunch of lose cannons that shouldn’t have or keep a licence and fluff CE’s just makes it easier for them to stay in business and harming the public.

  • John McCormack

    This is a retrograde step and will not enhance educational standards within the Real Estate “Profession”.
    I have long believed that RECO needs to significantly elevate entrance standards, to enrich pre-entry courses of study and to generally raise professional educational requirements. This process will strongly influence the quality of those entering the profession and will, over time, will do much to improve the public perception of Realtors. Instead RECO has opted to fold in with community colleges andthereby to adhere to the lower standards prevailing there.
    Now they have decided to water-down continuing education. Surely matters such as “Consumer Protection, Regulatory Matters and Current Industry issues” can me addressed adequately through the mandatory Real Estate Update, over which RECO already has full control. An exclusive focus on these issues will do little to ensure that Realtors continue their education by enabling the pursuit of courses of study of particular interest to them or that provide knowledge in areas of chosen specialization.
    This is a “one-size-fits-all approach” that I find quite unsatisfactory. RECO should look at what other professions (e.g.law and accounting) are doing to raise standards and provide continuing education. If we want to be seen as “professionals” we need to begin being regulated, and conducting ourselves, as “professionals”

  • Dave says

    Well done Mr Wright. This destroys an educational provider industry built on supplying useless information that was often inaccurate and rarely utilized. No more courses that bordered on fraudulent expectations.Let them get real jobs and stop living off of real Realtors.

    • Andrew Cassel

      Does anyone know if this was an administratrive decision or one that was approved by the Board of Directors? Was this open to debate or prior submissions from stakeholders?

      As noted, there are implications for both alternatives.

      I have attended both very weak courses and some excellent courses, and removing the ability of experts to share their experience is not in the best interests of the industry or consumers. I dont foresee a rush to compete on price, and I dont see a large demand to take courses for which credits are not given. In that scenario, will the consumer be better served?

      I am pleased to see debate and I hope our comments get to RECO.

  • Christine

    RECA (Real Estate Council of Alberta) is going in the same direction. I think it is a real shame that they will not be offering in- class education. It is so beneficial to be able to discuss certain issues with colleagues and the instructor. What really sticks out in my mind, is the Law class for the Broker’s license, which was taught by a lawyer who specializes in Real Estate law. Wow, what a learning experience that was. There is still such a gap between getting your first license and actually doing work in the field, new Realtors need all the help they can get!!

    • Lynn F

      I agree that most of my learning (other than in the field) was the classroom-style teachings of some of our brilliant educators who always offered much more than we paid for. During our question & answer periods, we again discussed at length different scenarios and strategies. This CANNOT be done online, and those of us with short attention spans (like myself) do much better in a classroom setting versus being stuck in front of an impersonal computer — hoping to glean something important. So easy to get distracted. I get that we need THAT style of study that ensures we are all learing what’s necessary to carry on business ethically and appropriately, but the OTHER education we get with our amazing, experienced and talented education providers is “priceless”. It would be a shame for this to eventually become “unavailable” as there is no point for them to continue if interest lags.

  • Lou P

    Agreed. Classroom discussion presents many benefits. Nothing stopping regristrants from continuing with that, espcially with all the money they will be saving. These courses are just not mandatory any more. If registrants take them it will be on the basis of merit and value to the registrant consumer rather than ” I gotta get more credits si sign me up”. If others don’t take them we who do will have the knowledge and bury the competition who don’t . Free enterprise forever.

    • marny smith

      Again I say Law of Supply and Demand says with fewer students ie the 20% that make 80% of the money taking the enriched classes will mean the current providers will no longer be able to stay in business.

      Thus you will lose access to all of those courses, whether you want to take them and are prepared to pay or not. They just won’t be available.

      Free Enterprise means that someone comes in and fills a need if there is profit to be made. No profit, no provider. Do you all not understand that.

      So to disagree with you Lou ”nothing stopping registrants from continuing with that ” is just not true if the courses are no longer available.

  • Bruce

    Now that I think about, it occured to me that RECO can raise the fees unilaterally, once they have removed all the competition. THIS IS NOT GOOD. I agree with Kottick’s comments as related to the death of small business and independent contractors. Government should stay out of business as RECO is government.

  • Wilf Mandel

    Unfortunate.
    Organizations should stick to their core business.
    RECO’s is administration of REBBA 2002 & Code of Ethics, not online course development, and setting up and running online syystems for delivery of courses. Will $44.00 cover setup and ongoing development and maintenance costS?
    While online delivery is “nice”, in a course like “RECO Update” what gets lost is the discussion around the table and sharing of experience…

  • Doug Hannan

    I really surprised at RECO and that they can’t acknowledge the lunacy of this decision. My biggest concern would be that this will open a new industry. People willling to pose as registrants and do on-line course requirements for a fee.

    I am a 25 year veteran of the industry and I also consider myself fairly “techie”. I’m not afraid of on-line however I always prefer doing “in classroom” course whenever possible. Although the topics of some courses maybe subject at times, there is a lot of value in the vast majority of third party provider’s courses.

    This is a huge step in the wrong direction. Wake up Tom Wright. You are going to screw up an already challenged industry.

    Doug Hannan
    Broker/Manager
    Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty

    • Tracie Tattrie, Roya LePage, Kingston, Ontario

      I agree. I took an in class course yesterday, with a room full of my peers and the discussions impact the learning. The real life situations and questions are invaluable. I have no issues with the tech world we live in and I (like most of us) constantly feel challenged finding the time to get everything done, however I choose to attend the in class education. What a shame.

  • Sharon

    Online only is the way to go. Those against it can go write in and protest on their typewriters. Time to cull the Ludites and bring in a new generation. Agruments against this decision are void of validity and nonsense. Welcome to 2013 everyone.

    • Brian Martindale

      Sharon:

      You are correct when you say “Online is the only way to go.” toward non-retentive, non-applicative learning.

      You four-liners always neglect to give reason WHY you think the way you do.

      “Time to cull the Ludites…”? Sounds like a dictatorial mind at work here.

      This “Ludite” challenges you to back up your statements, as I have done herein. Take a chance on debating with real logic based upon real experience, for a change.

      “Agruments..”?

      You can’t even bother to re read your comment and correct an error.

      Can you spell “lazy”?

      Can you identify with the “I don’t give a crap about how I appear online because I just wanna tell somebody off!” attitude? I thought so.

      Your “Agrument” is simply a void in and of itself.

      “Nonsense.”? you say. Where is the ‘sense’ in your “Agrument”?

      It is non-existent.

      C’mon, surely you can do better than this.

      Welcome to the world of critical thinking. It has always existed. There just haven’t been many practitioners, 2013 or not.

      Ludites-R-Us

      • Gary Grant

        Brian… Your logic and adherence to the fundamentals of the use of the English language (including spelling and verbs) is probably lost on this entity. Those who have some appreciation of the need for proper grammar (and spelling) will, as we always have, just maneuver around and try to ignore folks like this.

        • Brian Martindale

          Hi Gary:

          Agreed.

          Thanks for your input.

          Brian

      • Matt

        Brian, just because you may find that you can not retain information from an online course does not mean everyone does. Many do just fine with learning online and prefer to not be in a class setting where there are always a couple of people who seem to think it is their personal platform for commenting on issues which have nothing to do with the course. You know the type. The ones who enter a course about wells and septic systems and end up interrupting everyone to state that we need to shut down REALTOR.ca because it’s the only way they can stay in business. To some this is simply a social gathering where they can visit with other agents. Others find the classroom setting to be of no advantage and prefer to plan their own schedules as opposed to having the local board plan it for them. Whether we take courses in class or online makes no difference. If you were to ask agents who were leaving a classroom session questions after they had walked out of the room, many would not be able to answer the questions anyways. Should classes about how to operate your iPhone or Blackberry seriously be considered continuing education? Should breakfasts sponsored by lenders, lawyers, etc. actually be considered continuing education? Oh yes, they may have someone from CMHC show up to discuss the local market but being in the marketplace we know better what is going on than someone compiling stats behind a computer. But hey, this is continuing education. I took a farming for REALTORs course thinking it would discuss pricing and marketing of farm properties, clauses we should use, things we should watch out for (after all, this is what we do) but no, it talked about tractors and GPS units. Really? This is continuing education?
        All that being said, I do think that if RECO wants to take over the continuing education in order to provide a uniform CE platform in which they control what is being taught (probably a good idea), they should also be willing to offer these courses in-class at an additional fee to those who wish to take the course in this manner. I do believe that this option should be available to those who prefer to take courses in-class. What I disagree with you on is that the simple act of taking a course online versus in a classroom setting is somehow less educational or that those who take courses online are somehow less professional. For many it is simply a way in which they can manage their time better. I take classes both in-class and online and do not find either to be more or less educational than the other. Each have their pros and cons and each attract a different personality of individual. Just because you prefer(ed?) in-class does not mean those who disagree with you are any less concerned about education and professionalism.

        • Brian Martindale

          Matt:

          Nicely argued position.

          You are correct; most students won’t remember immediately after a class, or an online episode either, what was discussed in detail. It takes about twenty four hours for the brain to transfer informaion from the short-term memory banks to the long-term memory banks. The difference between in-class study and on-line study is that with in-class study, information is ‘connected’ to the teacher, and related discussions with other live bodies, via what is known psychologically as “Paired Associate” learning. That is to say, information is paired with visual images and auditory stimulation (the teacher talking and gesticulating, other students asking questions with responses thereto etc.) that causes the brain to store information in a connected-to-reality way. This type of learning is far superior to simply reading words on a screen and immediately regurgitating answers. There is, therefore, no corresponding stimulation of the brain to assist in pulling that same information to the fore twenty four hours, or more, later, when needed in real life situations. Thus, my preference for in-class learning with real live instructors. The only variable with in-class study is the quality of the instructor.

          I will, however, try to tone down my rhetoric regarding short-cut artists, as I regard them. To whit: I have seen far too many Realtors who simply regard education after-the-fact of gaining their licenses as a bother…something to be got over with as fast and as easily as possible.

          ORE does not need this type of “Realtor”…except for the money generated thereby to support its bureaucrats.

          Regards,

          Brian

          • Chris Angel

            Brian, on line does not necessarily mean a course cannot be conducted by a live instructor. It is far more efficient for providers to conduct their business using for example an “Adobe Connect” classroom than it is to stage conventional classrooms in several municipalities. I have only been in this business for something over 6 years and already despite my best efforts I have found many of the courses I have taken to maintain registration redundant or of very limited value. I left many feeling that the course I had just taken existed because of the renewal credits business, not the value of the information itself. There will always be a market for information of value. Going forward those information providers can present their product in the manner that best suits their market from $200 a seat regional classrooms to $5 per seat on line class. What we won’t be stuck with is mandated mediocre courses which amount to another fee of several hundred dollars a year per registrant.

          • sabine nassar

            Hi Brian,
            I will really try hard not to make any spelling errors….lol. Just want to let you know I always like and appreciate your comments. I do not have the time or patience to ready all 143 comments (I usually wait a couple of weeks to get to see them all), but would like to go on record that nothing beats in class studies, given the opportunity. I finished probably one of the last RECO updates yesterday. And yes, it cost me double than waiting for the new system to be put into place but it was worth every penny (ok nickel, no more pennies) to me. I am only due for renewal a year from now but I take any in class seminar that is offered by my board or office.for the learning experience and the Q&A sessions that go with it. (I could be done for the next 3 years if I chose to). And I am one of those “part timers” much frownd upon by many on this forum. I still do a better job than most other agents I deal with. (I know, sounds conceded but I know what I do and how I operate) . I make enough time for all of my clients so they know they are well looked after. Even worse, another blemish, I do not have a university education. I do believe that sometime life experiences are of the same or more value than a few letters behind ones name. I can give most a “run for their money” , My 31 years in the corporate world sure taught me the “do’s and don’t s” when it comes to customer service (in this case more like client service). Have a wonderful evening and I will move on to the next posts. Sabine

          • sabine nassar

            One mor thing as to calling myself a “part timer”. I so not have aother job, so I am available tom my clients 24/7. I just don’t work 80 hour weeks (been there, done that). I think there is a huge difference between a “part timer” and a “part timer”. If one has another FT job and cannot be available regularly to their clients, I don’t think it’s a “good thing”. I am available pretty much 24/7 but chose not to take on too much so I can serve my clients well. I work about 20-25 hours a week. By choice !

      • Mary K A

        Brian M…well said. Your response is perfect. Sharon is just one sample of “Tech” gone wrong. It is a wonderful world we live in to be able to have the convenience of emails and documents being sent over the, I guess, airwaves? However, nothing beats a face to face discussion or debate or interfacing. I know a lot of people who are going to have someone else do their “courses”, who will know? As a profession that is under fire these days you would think that the government body would be insistent to elevate our standards to prove to the world what we are trying to impress on a population that already thinks we get paid too much for an “easy” job. This move of Reco’s just proves their point.

  • marny smith

    Why is RECO getting inti course planning and delivery rather than spending time prosecuting all of those trading in Real Estate in Ontario without a licence. Since those don’t have the original licence they won’t be taking the updates anyway.

    RECO is the policing authority of all those who trade, or advertise that they trade in Real Estate, in Ontario. Why are they not being policed while RECO takes on a task that is unnecessary and not necessarily in their purvue. They are prescribed with the job of making sure that the continuing education programs are appropriate not with providing them.

  • Angela Nolan

    I am disappointed that the mandatory education will be available only through on-line. I find “in-class” discussions an invaluable part of every course and therefore an integral part of the learning process will be missing. I also really enjoyed having the opportunity to choose what I wanted to learn about, and things that I wanted to improve on. I thought the RECO course was there to keep registrants current of the basis requirements. Lastly, I am not a big fan of correspondence as I do not believe that you get as much out of these type of courses. Do not agree that this is a good move.

  • JohnR

    This industry seems to be going backwards. Sure online courses are convenient. And yes, OREA is a money grab. I really like the idea stated above that it allows the part timers to take the course without affect their full time “real” job! That just works really well for the professionals that take this seriously and put a full effort into it.
    It’s about time the real estate industry raised the standards bar and only allowed post secondary graduates to get a license instead of every Tom, Dick and Harry that wants a hobby or has empty nest syndrom.
    All it will take is for one person to print out the exam and the answers. Then we can pay a highschooler to zip through the course. There are so many checks and balances on the process because the professional standard has not been raised. Considering it is the largest purchase for most consumers it amazes me how easy it is to get a license. Cracker Jack box comes to mind.

    • Chris Angel

      Agreed: let’s raise the bar so that the inherent conflict of interest in most real estate transactions is no longer permitted.

      Let’s raise the bar so that the decisions of RECO officials can’t be linked to feather bedding their return to real estate sales or brokerage.

      At the very least any other field where practitioners commonly refer to themselves as “Professionals” a university degree is the start. Specialization in the “Profession” begins after the degree is obtained. It has nothing to do with how seriously people take themselves when they attend a course no matter how inconveniently it is scheduled.

      What the real estate industry needs is for every individual who is so devoid of empathy that they can unwittingly represent their own self interest as “raising the bar” to resign.

      The public is being asked to believe that an individual who could make such statements is totally committed to acting in their clients best interest instead of his or her own.

  • Dan

    So now the people making a living writing online courses for realtors who don’t take the time, will now have an even greater opportunity.

    Why all courses should be taught in class regardless of cost? So we confirm registrants are attending.

  • Al Dredge

    As noted in the article, Alberta has been doing on-line education for several years. I think a combination of on-line and class room would be the best approach. The class room which allows for questions and answers which would augment the on-line approach. Why do I say this? Even though respondents say “their knowledge has increased”; I can tell you from personal experience that those same students don’t know how to apply much of that on-line knowledge. I am constantly being asked “how do you know about that?” My answer: “It was in the Regulator’s Update.” My, my… it doesn’t sink in without real life examples.

    • Matt

      With many, it doesn’t seem to sink in regardless of the study method.

  • marny smith

    People learn in many different ways. Some learn more effectively reading and others must hear the content to absorb it.

    So firstly we are making a situation very difficult for someone like me who learns very effectively by listening, taking me through post graduate education by sitting through many different teachers and professors but who have difficulty absorbing the written word.

    Then there are situations such as before Christmas 2012 when OREA offered 9 free credit online. Those courses were so substandard as to being relevant to a real estate representative that it was laughable, but worse a total waste of time.

    I signed up for 9 and took three before I just couldn’t stomach how below even basic they were. If that is continuing education it is an embarrassment both to RECO and OREA.

    One of the courses asked you to take a test on the topic before you too the course and after. I got 97% before and 97% after. Since it was a legal course set up by a lawyer and i didn’t agree with his opinion I called a couple of lawyers myself to verify my opinion before writing the final test and since I and the other lawyers didn’t agree with the answer to one question I put the right

    answer in the test and lost those 3 points.

    I enjoy taking the RECO Update from a Lawyer but as I didn’t have time, as I had been ill before my licence was due to renew I took the RECO required class online the night before my renewal .

    And here I have some interesting information for my fellow registrants. Since I have a very difficult time learning by reading, and there were 4 Section tests I decided to look at the first section test. I couldn’t look at it without completing it so i completed it and received over 90%. So i went on to the second, the n the third and fourth. Getting over 90 on each I decided to take the final exam.

    In about 20 minutes I completed my RECO Update and had my certificate for the following day. Why would I ever spend 6 hours again.

    The answer WOULD HAVE BEEN because I have learned so much from the Lawyers that have presented that course but since THAT WILL NO LONGER BE TRUE someone better come up with a better reason.

    I have taken courses on the new energy program from people in the field showing us the equipment used and why. Try to put that on the computer. Courses from CMHC that taught us the inner workings of air pressure in a house, or reasons for certain furnace, terms that describe how different bathroom fans work, why one type most comanly used is useless, and another very effective as well as how they tested it.

    Regarding Alberta’s change to online learning I would like to give a subjective view. Recently I had the experience of managing an agent from Alberta who had one year experience. She wrote the test provided by OREA and passed. It was like managing my granddaughter who know as much about Real Estate as this person did.

    She did not know how to prepare an Offer, take a listing, prepare clauses, get a mortgage, qualify a client and on and on. And OREA gave her a full licence without requiring her to take the courses an Ontario student has to take before the end of year two. A joke and a shame. Who was taking care of our consumers while she is out on the road. By the was she knew nothing of our Ethical Standards either and it was very apparent.

    And I will say again… this will create a cottage industry for those who are very good at exams but can’t find a client. Sure we have some doing it today, and others sleeping through the courses they attend, but for the most part agent are serious about taking those courses.

    So here I will add a bit of an advertisement. Some of the best courses I have taken since this mandatory education started were presented by Barry Lebow and Gabrielle Jeans. I have recommended many of my peers into these courses because they are well thought out, presented well, no one sleeps as there is so much to learn and it is all relevant.

    And on the other side the worst courses I have take were put on by OREA.

    Looks like the powers that be want us to go backwards instead of forward.

    I will be taking all of the classes in a classroom for the nxt two years as RECO has allowed for. Maybe if we boycotted OREAS classes we could get our point across. Sadly all of those agents who are only doing 1 or 2 deals a year will be taking them online because they can’t afford anything else!

  • Bruce from Toronto

    I agree with Vicki below, as a part-time agent, this works perfect for me. I can do any courses online at work or in the morning before my full-time job. It was difficult going to courses during the day with my full-time job. Great change.

    • marny smith

      Yes. This will truly help all of the part timers who are fully employed in another field. Part timers help to fund OREA so that will keep OREA happy.

      Who is protecting the consumer from the agents who only do a few deals a year, and often forget the basics from deal to deal.

      Sorry Bruce I don’t know if this is applies to you, but it applies to so many I couldn’t let the opportunity go by.

  • Nicole

    I do hope that these changes will be introduced in BC.

  • Cameron

    At the end and years from now, we will look on this change as much ado about nothing. Is it of concern to some in the moment, of course, and like all other significant change will it have impacts leading up to it and the transition through it, yes of course. We can manage those impacts with compassion for the people and service to the industry. It will benefit us all to consider the opportunity in this change, an opportunity to set the REALTOR(r) apart from all others who provide real estate transaction services. We can now be the best trained, with training that is unfettered by regulation regarding that training. We can focus on providing education that is above and beyond the regulatory requirement. And who knows, we can in an attitude about this leave the door open to RECO to recognize the value in OREA’s College when they have to change the format in the future.

  • Izabella

    Personally, I would prefer the classroom environment versa online, isolated learning.
    Which i would do differently I would bring to class a real estate lawyer, who could share some “interesting” stories what can happen, what to avoid, and give some good advise how we should be dealing in different scenerios.
    Everyone could learn something, …we could share experiences, have discussions.
    This could really help even the ” unprofessional, bad ” real estate agents

  • Vicki Forgie

    It’s about time! Have always done the bulk of my courses online. I can do at 5 a.m. and keep my work day for actually listing and selling. If one wants to cheat the system by having someone else do the course online, that has always been an option! A lot of the same people that feel like they need the interaction of other salespeople, they are the same ones who don’t present their own offers – they fax or email them to the other agents. Come on guys…it was time! I believe those courses were a money grab! Thank you RECO!

  • Brian Martindale

    To date herein this issue looks like it has generated a 50/50 split in opinions pro or con for the ‘new way’.

    This then provides a perfect glimpse onto the psychological natures of the respondents.

    Half prefer associating with real live people in a structured classroom setting in an effort to learn, whilst half prefer to associate with a computer screen…in private…in silence.

    The people–people do not seem concerned about the cost of in-class courses, whilst the computer people do, for the most part.

    What does this all tell us?

    It tells me that the so-called “old school” types appreciate the “You get what you pay for” personal touch, whilst the new wave types appreciate ease of completion, on-the-cheap delivery of information without having to listen to others’ questions about the material, all in an effort to get it all over with quickly, without much bother.

    How does the latter mode set one up for dealing with people? It certainly sets one up for dealing with computer generated statements and answers on a rote basis. Memorize-answer; memorize-answer; memorize- answer. Next day: What was that answer again? What was the question? There is no “paired-associate” learning in play with computer lessons. Ergo the psychology aspect. If you don’t know what “paired asociate” learning means, and why it is more effective than non “paired-associate” computer learning as a means of gaining long-term retained knowledge, ask someone within the real estate world. Don’t know? Ask an educator.

    Generic computer based information delivery will never replace real live educators on a cost-per-module, cost-per-retained-knowledge-bit efficiency basis.

    Sorry, not to be unduly offensive with my assessment, but the computer favouring type of information delivery seems to me to be a perfect reflection of the Realty Guys, ComeFree et al way of doing business…bureaucratic, cheap, impersonal, convenient, easy, no accountability.

    Following up on my main point within my original comments herein, it is what the public perceives regarding the professionalism of ORE’s Ontario education system that counts, and not Realtors’ opinions who are in search of speed and ease.

    I am not saying that all Realtors who disagree with my position herein are lazy, but simply, that they may be misguided.

    Brian

    • Matt

      Or, the computer favouring types could be busy with clients, lawyers, inspections, municipalities, etc. during business hours and would prefer to be able to do courses when they have free time, not on the schedule of the local board. I am a Broker of Record and my board office is about a 30-40 minute drive away. So a 2 or 3 credit course takes up half my day. Instead I can do part in between meetings, then come back and finish later. Most people simply show up, sign in, chat with co-workers, sign out, and they’re done. What more have they actually learned versus the one who does it without the distraction of others? I do courses both online and in-class depending on what is being offered but do not find that I learn more with one method over another. Grouping everyone who prefers to manage their time in a different manner than yourself as being lazy or misguided is simply ignorant. I deal with people all day….taking a course online does not mean that I do not see people.

    • marny smith

      i agree with Brian, very well put.

      The other interesting thing is that you can look back at the text if you actually forget something.

      Another thing important to note is that ‘continuing education’ is supposed to add to a persons basic knowledge, not just reiterate what we are already supposed to know.

      Having gone into these courses I found the material so basic that it should be known before someone speaks to his first consumer, not after 2 years of dealing with the public.

  • Dan Elliott

    More importantly RECO needs to be focussing on the initial courses that agents must take in order to be licenced and practice as a real estate agent in this province. Promote professionalism from the onset similar to teachers, lawyers, doctors, etc… RECO should consider pairing up with the universities offering a mandatory degree in real estate which they would oversee ensuring that the proper material is being taught to our aspiring agents… the professionalism displayed by even one agent reflects on the perceived professionalism we all display in our day to day practice. We’re almost as bad as home inspectors… our society respects education… I’m not saying that a degree makes you a better agent but in the eyes of the public I believe it would convey a sense of professionalism and hence respect for the profession. There are too many registrants pretending to be realtors but in reality only working on the business part time closing a couple deals a year. How professional can they be if they seldom close real estate deals… we need to elevate our educational requirements from the onset and my belief is that the more time and effort you have committed towards your career, the more likely you will give it your undivided attention and truly excel at your profession… assuming you have what it takes.

  • William Willard

    Let’s face it. Many people hate change.

    It may be convenient for some of us to delude ourselves that sitting in a classroom (listening to someone presenting the same PowerPoint for the 20th time) will make us more professional than a competently created and presented online presentation with comprehension testing. There are multiple studies that show that this is simply not the case.

    Finally Reco is following the lead of other similar organizations. Prior to entering the Real estate industry, I built online courses for the CICA (Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountant), The University of Waterloo School of Accountancy and many other regulated organizations (starting in 1990). Money is spent on content creation rather than content delivery.

    Online education allows us to learn on our own schedule. Not when we should be lead generating and working with clients.

    Let us also face the fact that the number of regulatory changes that occur in a 2 year period are negligible.

    Many of the classroom courses were merely advertisements for lenders, law firms and other providers. Of course they will be “riled”. Their best prospecting method just got changed.

    A true professional (no matter what industry you are in) knows what they know; knows what they don’t know and has the initiative and curiosity to find the answers to the questions they don’t know the answers to.

    You can’t regulate that.

    • marny smith

      maybe that is why RECO wants online courses it does not want to spend the time and manpower sitting in on these courses once a year to see if they are well taught. Its a copout

    • PED

      Nonsense!

      Providing an online course that teaches CA students how to properly account for deferred taxes then testing them on it is not the same as reprinting sections of REBBA 2002 and providing a short synopsis of a case for the learner to read then having them answer a multiple choice question as to which regulation was violated.

      I’ve yet to have take a RECO update or real estate law course where the subject materiel didn’t produce questions that dug deeper into the issues or corrected some on what they thought they knew but didn’t.

      Ask 10 REALTORS who took the online courses how long a condo corp has to deliver a staus certificate and 9 out of 10 will answer correctly, but ask them how long the information can be relied upon and you’re lucky if 1 in 10 has the correct answer.

      • William Willard

        PED

        Do not presume to know me or the methods, topics or audiences that my previous work involved. For the record, it was continuing education for senior Tax and Law practitioners. The projects included video lectures and interactive testing.

        That started in 1998, my mandate was to take dry topics and make them interesting. I was successful.
        Here in 2013, I tend to agree that the content of some of the courses is less than stimulating. This new focus on the deliver y system of their courses is an opportunity for RECO to create great content at reasonable prices.
        Interestingly one of the reasons I moved into the Real Estate Business was that more and more clients starting creating content internally.

        Just as RECO is finally doing.

        Finally, everyone is entitled to their opinion. In my view, those that choose to use their real name in a forum such as this one, are more entitled than those that do not.

        • PED

          Please forgive me William Willard for not recognizing your post was

          about you!

          signed,

          unentitled to an opinion

  • Michael Marienwald

    I think you’re all missing the point. Does RECO believe a simple transfer of information amounts to learning, or is teaching what RECO is truly interested in? I believe RECO is not interested in smarter Realtors but in a way to more efficiently police us. By being the only course provider, and providing only regulatory matters and industry issues, should you make some mistake and have to go before them, there will be little grey for discussion of whether you are guilty or not. They will prove to you they provided their information on your computer screen, at the exact time you took the course, if they chose they could even tell you where you were while taking the course, and prove to you that you passed their course. Guilty as charged. It’s not about learning, it’s about better policing and don’t forget it. Look out George Orwell here comes RECO.

    • Matt

      And how often do you see people in-class simply playing on their phones, stepping out to take calls, chatting with their friends, etc as opposed to actually learning anything? Simply showing up, signing in and out, and leaving also does not amount to learning. Those who want to learn will learn regardless and those who do not, will not. The only way to ensure “learning” would be to have courses with real tests (not the online ones where you can go back and re-do your answers) but that is not the case now either. The regulator is choosing the information that they want us to learn as opposed to us being able to take fluff courses….that seems to be a good move to me. Again, those who wish to learn will do so and will take courses outside of the realm of the RECO courses.

      • marny smith

        However remember the law of supply and demand. Without the current demand the outside providers will not have the finances to provide us with the outstanding level of courses available today, leading to mediocrity and then their demise.

    • Jim Reid, Richmond Hill

      Good point Michael! The “consistency and control” spin didn’t add up in my mind. Neither did “significant benefits to realtors”.

      If they really want to help consumers, then give pre-licensing courses in essential skills like: advertising copy writing, sales promotion techniques, promotional materials design, customer relations, public relations, marketing I & II, market research, consumer research, database design, graphic arts, photography, web site design, negotiatin, professional selling, social media, public speaking, etc. etc. These are the things our clients appreciate- not the legal framework of real estate.

  • Margo Mc Nab

    What about choice? What about some level of the democracy we are all supposed to be allowed. Why do we – the Realtors who are being regulated AND who pay for this industry, not have a say in this matter? It reminds me all too much of CREA and the MLS issue. We are becoming a Totalitarian industry! I prefer to see my colleagues in a local environment; to hear their issues and concerns, as part of the learning experience! I do not like to be isolated, sitting dependant on a computer, with no chance for meaningful exchange.

    • Matt

      Why would the professionals be allowed to tell the regulator how to regulate us? RECO is not owned by us, it governs us.

      • marny smith

        However OREA who provides these online courses is OUR industry trade association. Who believes that they are able to provide proper training?

        • Matt

          RECO will be providing the online courses, not OREA.

          • marny smith

            RECO will be providing the online courses and their in house course provider is OREA, or so i have been advised.

      • PED

        Because the professionals Matt, arlready do and have been oh, forever?

        9 of the 11 RECO directors are REALTORS and only 1 is attached to the provincial government.

        RECO’s mandate is to protect the public’s interest, but perhaps whoever drove this decision has never read the far too numerous sentiments expressed by the public that we all get out licenses after 2 weeks of courses.

        Rather than work to correct that misguided sentiment, they’ve given the public more fodder.

        This is really annoying me! I’m going to write to Premier Wynne and risk whatever sanctions RECO might find to throw my way. The REALTORS who agree that this is the wrong approach can let our government and thus the public know that we feel this is watering down the system.

        Is anyone interested in adding their signature to that letter.?

        • marny smith

          I am willing to add my signature!

          Whose next?

        • Brian Martindale

          Hi PED:

          I’m just a consumer these days, but count me in if you need any help.

          brianfmartindale@hotmail.com

          Brian

          • PED

            Marny, Brian, I’ll be in touch with you within a few days.

            thanks

        • Carolyne L

          Count me in, PED.

  • Matt

    I think this is a great move. The only way to make it better would be to provide the courses in-class for those wanting to pay a bit more for their courses (afterall, hiring a speaker and providing the space does cost more than the online content). Some people are saying that people will suddenly start cheating on their courses by having others complete their online courses but that can already be done so no change there. Others say that they will miss being in-class and seeing their fellow Realtors but you can still take courses. Yes, I realize that most agents are too lazy to take any courses beyond what they are required to take but that is not RECO’s problem. In the end they are providing us with our CE courses in a cheaper manner and in a way which eliminates the fluff courses. If people want to take further education on a subject they are still free to do so and they will have saved some money on their credits to pay for the courses.

    • marny smith

      ”The only way to make it better” is what we have now, your explanation.

      • Matt

        I said to offer the new RECO courses (that we do not have now) as an optional in-class format….not allowing fluff classes from various course providers that we have now.

        • marny smith

          Might I suggest that you take a RECO update provided by RECO and then a RECO Update provided by a lawyer……the difference is off the map.

          Now go and take some of the free courses offered online. They are a joke but if that’s the level you want for” continuing education” then maybe I have misjudged your level

          Also you may be interested to find that OREA IS…..RECO’s in house provider!

          • Matt

            From the article: “The courses will be administered and delivered directly from RECO”

  • Gareth Jones

    I do not have an issue with the variety of course content offered through this program, the more relevant content offered the better. However, I do take issue with the delivery of course material being available on-line only and the lack of industry input in the decision making process. Classroom settings create dialogue, debate, interaction, absorption along with an opportunity to mingle with fellow practitioners to build rapport. Eliminating the classroom environment reduces the ability to make the subject being taught life-like and relative for many.

    At Right At Home Realty, we toyed with the idea of developing and making a Real Estate Fundamentals Program for new Registrants available on-line because it would be easier and less expensive. This idea was quickly shot down in favour of a six-week, one day a week, intensive mandatory training program teaching and demonstrating face to face real life as a new Realtor. How do you teach the most important items such as conducting a Public or Agent Open House, Offer or Listing Presentations, Forms, Clauses, Business Etiquette, Client Needs, Negotiating, Goals and Networking etc. on-line?

  • Ken Harten

    One question – an agent in Ottawa had other people go & take the courses. He was eventually caught and now we have photo ID cards. What is to stop the sleaze balls from just having joe blow go on line and complete all the necessary courses?
    Otherwise I want to save money and agree with the concept.

  • Ben

    RECO regulates the trade of real estate on behalf of the Ontario government. RECO regulates the activity of trade in real estate in the public interest.

    Protecting the public interest is achieved through:

    •Enforcing the standards required to obtain and maintain registration as a brokerage, broker or salesperson and delivering the duties of the Registrar
    •Establishing minimum requirements for pre-registration and continuing education
    •Conducting routine inspections of brokerage offices to ensure compliance with REBBA 2002 and educate brokers
    •Addressing inquiries, concerns and complaints about the conduct of registrants received from all sources and taking appropriate action to protect the public interest
    •Establishing and administering insurance requirements, which include consumer deposit protection
    •Promoting ongoing education and competent, knowledgeable and professional service.

    Suffice to say they answer to the government (the public) and not us and protect the public from us. Why would they conduct a survey of what we want etc…as stated by many here and claiming they do not answer to how we would like to be taught. In many ways very similar to a drivers licence, want to drive, play by the rules of the road as indicated in the Highway Traffic Act, or ride a bike. We do not own it through membership. OREA has no other choice really other than to agree unless as OREA members we complain and the OREA takes matters to RECO on our behalf.

    You must also voice concerns over changes to your local MPP or convince the public at large what they are doing to us is wrong. We do not own it through dues similar to CREA or OREA.

  • Tony Wilson

    This is a shame.
    Small boards rely on revenue generated by the CE courses.
    Also, the variety of courses and different modes of delivery, especially classroom will be greatly missed.
    I was upset when OREA jumped in and started their online CE credits, and I firmly believe that OREA, competing against the small boards, has not helped, and started to fuel the train that is now RECO’s.

  • Joe Peter

    I believe losing the classroom experience, and interaction with my fellow Realtors, and not being able to ask questions, and get immediate answers from professional instructors, is and will be a major, major, loss!

    • Nancy Harwood-Kosikar

      I am in agreement with Joe Peter. I personally look forward to some of the courses as a great learning experience, not only from the educators, but from my colleagues.
      Whenever there have been questions from my piers, mostly I have learned a new way of viewing or handling something.
      I believe I benefit more from the classroom approach then online.
      It would be nice if we still had a choice, as I am aware there are those who learn very quickly on there own as well.

    • Donna Ratz

      I totally agree! We so seldom get an opportunity in this business anymore to interact with groups of fellow realtors. I for one, learn far better when sharing and exchanging information….sitting in front of a computer will certainly diminish the experience!

  • Robert Ede

    No problem with new program – a lot of chaff was being presented in the name of Continuing Education, as Ms Jeans says,
    That said, TREB and many providers vetted & associated w TREB provided many specific/obscure topics by EXPERTS in the field -these will be missed as CEU courses, but can still be offered by the providers, less often, for larger audiences and at same/smaller cost per person.
    Online is not my favourite method of consumption, but $44 vs $10/CEU will help me get used to it

  • Patricia Prentice

    An individual’s approach to learning subject matter has never been a “one size fits all” scenario. People absorb information in different ways. Perhaps a compromise is in order. The RECO online offerings could focus on areas where consistency is a necessary component due to the nature of the material being covered dealing with changes in regulatory matters, consumer protection and other current industry issues. Other courses could still be offered in classroom settings which would allow for that dynamic flow of dialogue which so many of us enjoy. It would seem that there should be a place for both learning online and learning in the classroom. Whatever benefits registrants, ultimately benefits the public whom they serve.

  • Jim Pattinson

    Remember why we made the choice to become Realtors and the benefits that we have experienced because of our career choice. Continuing Education is an important part of what we do day in and day out and we owe this to our clients and families. RECO has a large voice and we truely are RECO. I will certainly miss the interactive meetings with fellow registrants but this form of education will allow us to experience a higher grade of course material. My view, “HAVE THE DAY YOUR GOING TO HAVE”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tom Sales

    I am getting so sick of sitting in front of a computer! It seems like I am loosing touch with the outside world. More and more of my time is spent isolated and It gets worse each year. It is snowballing out of control. I know it’s hurting my business too. I need to be out and about talking to people, fellow Realtors included. After 30+ years in the business I know what works. This business is still very much a people business. Every person you talk to in a day counts. This concept also takes away from my rights to choose. I don’t want to be spoon fed a canned inflexible education from RECO!!

    • Ben

      Don’t you hate it when things change and you cannot conduct business they way you want, according to your schedule and personal likes and dislikes. Afterall we cannot change what we do for a living if we no longer like it right?

      Courses are courses. I wonder where up till now you were getting your personalized, totally flexible classroom instruction?

      Tom you remind me of GM, Ford and Chrysler back in the 70’s.

      If you know what works Tom, why do you also claim that it is hurting your business?

      • Tom Sales

        Tom you remind me of GM, Ford and Chrysler back in the 70′s. Ya they wereall making money!

  • SAmuel Lloyd Green

    I am sure it’s all been said and to add to it might seem like flogging a dead horse, but I must add this:

    We all know that RECO’s mandate is based on protecting and serving the public, the consumer, not the realtors. So what surprises me oly a little is that they have taken the stance that this will protect the consumer when in fact it does exactly the opposite.

    By making all the courses available on line they have opened the door to those of us in the industry who have either a language, time or attitude challenge and will undoubtedly cheat by having someone else do the courses for them. That will certainly not be to the benefit of the consumer.

    The most surprising aspect of all this is that Ron Abraham, president of OREA, an intellligent man, has agreed with this action.

    I think these rocket scientists have at last reached their “final frontier”… SPACE!

    • Matt

      People can already take all of their CEU credits online as it is so those who want to cheat the system can already do that. This changes nothing on that front. This is just making sure that we are all getting the courses that RECO thinks are important rather than getting credits for some courses that are really a joke.

  • Jim Reid, Richmond Hill

    The update should be available in class or on-line. On-line will be great for the cheaters who didn’t learn their licensing material who I seem to come across every month.
    Class room will be for people like me who want the background and rationale behind new rules and regulations. This broader understanding enables me to explain things better to my clients and thus provide more professional service to the consumer. These classroom sesions also help us understand and respect our peers.
    RECO needs to re-think their justifications as their reasons aren’t going to be actually achieved. It sounds nice but in my experience I forget the on-line course material much faster than material acquired in a classroom environment where all my senses are functioning.
    Also, many realtors from new cultures and languages don’t have adequate proficiency in reading english or french so they will enlist coaches to do on-line courses. But then RECO will likley decide to do the course in 100 languages, after all this is Canada.

  • Carl Rabinowitz

    Courses “like writing the offer, clause interpretations, grow ops, inspections, construction methods, and on and on” offered by the “Cindy Pinkas, Mark Weisleders, Nick Ianazzos and Merv Burgards” will still, presumably, be available. There’s nothing in RECO’s decision to prevent REALTORS® desiring those very useful courses from taking them, and getting the benefit of a classroom environment, if the personal contact and anecdotal experience of others is desired.
    And those concerned about the cheating of unscrupulous REALTORS® who’ll have their assistants take the online courses in their stead, should consider the cheating that goes on now. How many REALTORS®, in the current system, stack their 24 hours of education with the fluff courses that so many people referred to in the comments above? Where there’s a will there’s always a way and no system will prevent cheating entirely.
    More consistency, lower cost, stricter focus on critical “core” content…with all due respect to those who think otherwise, this all seems like improvement to me.

    • Catherine Petre

      We should be allowed to do it either way and still get credits. See after a couple of years which way realtors prefer. I am with Tom’s response all the way. Catherine

      • Ben

        If they have assistants doing it for them, they must be doing something right! 90% of us do not have, can afford or have enough business to hire assistants.

        Perhaps we should be learning from them?

    • Lynn Clark

      I totally agree with your views Carl Rabinowitz however most Realtors don’t know that when you fill in your sheet with the courses you have taken over your 2 year period RECO cannot verify whether or not you have taken them. Now with this new online approach they have total control over what courses you take (and yes there will be some cheaters who have sombody else take them but they are likely doing that now) and my prediction is that once the current providers are out of business then watch the $44.00 go to $440.00. Unfortunately since the start of mandatory CEU’s its been all about money. Just as someone commented this is going to put some of the smaller Boards out of business. When are all the Registrants in this Province going to stand up, speak out and demand one MLS system for the Province like Quebec has had for more than 10 years. One fee to pay, access to all MLS information, active, sold and expired listings as we are licensed to sell in the Province of Ontario. The public do not know, and do not care, that some of us belong and pay into 2 or 3 boards so that we can properly market their home. Look at what has happened to our E&O Insurance since RECO took that over. I have been in this industry for 25 years now, and the changes to it have been fantastic but since CREA gave us away, and after reading some of the comments of us “oldtimers” maybe its time to start planning our Exit Strategy and let the next generation who love the online courses take it over.

  • Tom says

    I am getting so sick of sitting in front of a computer! It seems like I am loosing touch with the outside world. More and more of my time is spent isolated in front of my computer screen and It gets worse each year. It is snowballing out of control. I absolutely hate it. I know it’s hurting my business too. I need to be out and about talking to people, fellow Realtors included. After 30+ years in the business I know what works. This business is still very much a people business. Every person you talk to in a day counts. This concept also takes away from my rights to choose. I don’t want a canned inflexible education from RECO!! And it’s not about the money. The courses are deductible.

  • Chris

    What happened to choice? How was this decision arrived at? It seems pretty undemocratic to me. I think the better way is to allow the third party providers to continue in parallel with the new RECO system. Let the registrants choose. As always there are pros and cons to all scenarios but I don’t like being dictated to. If we continue at this pace realtors won’t interact with each other at all into the future. Everything will be by electronic transmission. This is a face-to-face business….with our clients and our colleagues. And there is a lot of value in that!

  • Karen

    I am an Alberta agent. The mandatory course is just a small fraction of the education I pursue to stay competitive in the market. There will always be those agents that do the bare minimum to stay licensed. The removal of the credit component of our education has allowed me to pursue other education providers to further my skills.

  • Miss Lead

    Another example of RECO making a cash grab. Totally non competitive This enriches their pockets and allows their organization to continue to grow and ignore our needs. The old system worked! I feel sorry for all the 3rd party providers who have been forking out dough to RECO in renewals yearly only to be screwed in the end!

    • Ken

      Not sure how this makes RECO rich?? Taken directly from the article …”The entire continuing education program, which will be phased in over a two-year period, will cost registrants a mere $44 for the whole two-year cycle. RECO says this low fee is based on the fact that it is delivering the entire program online and that it is a not-for-profit organization working strictly on a cost-recovery basis.” …

  • Pat Durant, M.Ed.

    Really RECO? Someone is forgetting that education is a multifaceted experience. We will lose a very valuable part of our learning by not having the in-class experience of hearing real life situations that occur daily in the lives of Realtors. The newer Realtors, especially, will lose tremendously. The ability to pose questions from more experienced Realtors and hear the responses, plus discussion, will be lost. Our growth will be stunted, cut off at the knees. How can this be advancement? I like our current system of being able to choose from some quality presenters who work everyday within the industry – i.e. Mark Weisleder – and, the ability to choose some courses from an online menu. Tweeking is good , as some have suggested : “cut the fluff courses”. Online learning may be convenient, but very limited. When looking at other “Professions”, how many of them use only Online Training? How long would they be considered to be “Professional” if their whole educational program was only online? We have enough trouble now elevating ourselves in the eyes of the public.

    • Stan Albert

      Well, what can I add to the pros and the cons? Obviously the courses for Credits needed to be updated. The steps that RECO has autoractically taken was, in part, due to the sruveys taken. Ok, but if someone is not proficient in English, what’s to stop one’s relative, son, or friend, from taking the course(s) required? this has always been a thorn in the side of this Ancient Professional and have made it known to OREA and to RECO.
      There’s no doubt in my mind, albeit the money making aspect for the Boards, that the interchange of ideas and dialogues by the presenters create a synergy in our offices that we normally don’t get the opportunity to do.
      The aspect of the integrity of the pre-licencing courses leave much to be desired. As a long time trainer and educator in the Industry, it’s a total travesty to bring to the fore as to what RECO has mandated for Ontario Agents.
      I cannot see courses like the Tenancies Act or Income Tax for Realtors, to mention a few, that would have any impact at all on our Registrants at all, without a group of realtors to be mixing with the Presenter.
      Take a course and check off the boxes ~~ True/False?! What will be the end result of that? Chaos personified in our growing business. It’s true the business model of training had to be changed. But such craconian tactics are far too much to handle.
      And a lot of you have weighed in on this aspect as well.
      Mr.Wright, in all due deference to you and your Committees, you’re way off base by this mandate.
      There are times when we get involved as Managers in offers that whatever hair I have left, gets torn out from what I hear from other Agent’s take on their offier! And mos to fthe fault lays not only with the present OREA basid licencing courses,but follow up courses.
      the model we should be looking at is the BC model of Education.
      which I believe is a 2 year Universtiy type of course.
      In summary, it’s far too easy to get into real estate in our business and too hard to succeed without proper education at the initial phases Our attrition rate is abysmal.
      Sincerely Stan Albert, Broker (’71) Broker Designate, ABR ASA

      • Brian Martindale

        Stan my man, you are bang on with your wise words indeed.

        To become a licensed Steamfitter I undertook a five year apprenticeship including regularly scheduled eight week in-class courses along with continuing night class courses whilst working in the field.

        To become a real estate appraiser I undertook six plus University courses administered through the University of British Columbia, via correspondence, writing three hour long exams at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. This process was similar to completing my degree in Politics, not as lengthy, but taxing nevertheless, as it should have been, at a cost to me of much more than $22.00 per year. I got plenty out of those courses…I made sure that I did…they were expensive ($600. per pop). This was a profession after all.

        Put in place a barrier to entry to the real estate world for all but the already proven people with discipline for the rigours of actual long-term study at a level above the average, and ORE will be populated with people equipped for the long-term demands of the then profession. There just won’t be nearly as many revolving door comings and goings of “Let’s give flogging real estate a try!” types of short-termers hoping for fast bucks.

        The many are the nemisis of the few,

        The few are the cream of the many,

        The many poison the well of the few,

        May the many go the way of the penny.

        Brian

  • Bonnie

    Thank you so much Tom Wright – finally RECO is listening! The online courses are fantastic – because there is a test to take, one must really learn the content – whereas the classroom courses often got sidetracked as instructor and students conversed, and there was no test to take. The online courses can be done any time that is convenient so we’re not wasting a whole day sitting in a classroom, and often, courses were cancelled due to not enough people signing up for them, so that would cause concern for realtors that needed that “final” course just before renewing their licence.
    As far as cheaters, that will never change for some people, no matter – they’ll find a way.
    Realtors can still take other courses to improve our knowledge and professionalism – and this can be arranged within a brokerage for their own salespeople.
    We’re in a new age of communication and in no way do I ever see that interaction with others will end, in fact, it has stepped up – when was the last time you read someone’s written electronic message – this is a good example right here!
    Thank you. Keep up the good work!!

    • marny smith

      What a joke! If you are a qualified agent you can pass the tests without reading the content…. and if you can’t they should take your licence away until you can.

      Maybe a simpler system would follow that logic. Give me the test. If i get 80% or more give me the credit without reading the content which I must already know or I wouldn’t have gotten 80% or more.

      If i take the test and get less than 80% then I have to read the content and retake the test! And over and over till I pass…… a joke!

      For all of you who like computers you can take all of your courses online now. Since I and those like me would rather be sitting in courses where we learn something worthwhile, and don’t spend our time reading legislation that we already know, we can avoid this waste of time using 20 minutes to pass a course and go on with taking care of clients.

      This should make all of the new generation that knows so much happy to play with technology, and leave the rest of us to go on learning topics other than legislation changes which we can keep up on through our Board’s news…….

      Or suggest a better way????????

  • Bob Grant

    I have always preferred classroom education! You can meet fellow realtors and without fail learn something from the course itself and from the experience of the in class discussions.Mark my words….Within 2/3 years these RECO courses will cost much more than the open competition that exists between course givers and experienced trainors.

    • Gail Burke

      I agree Bob!

      Sad, no human communication anymore.

  • Karen K.

    Well done RECO! Too bad my renewal is in March this year! Spent over $200 this year on “fluff” courses and then more $ on RECO update. Took RECO update for the first time online and decided I would never go back to a class again. Guess I didn’t have to make that decision, it was done for me. Now back to the “fluff” so I can renew my license!

    • marny smith

      Sadly Karen you have chosen fluff courses. Why?? There are excellent courses available in the marketplace. One thing I have found about the serious courses is that you have to be on time and cannot go out during the class….maybe that doesn’t suit your style.

      One thing I can tell you is that the online courses are below licence level so if that’s what you want who is protecting your clients.

      Check with RECO and take some good courses or just go on wanting mediocrity.

  • Ted 54

    Finally, This will separate the Men from the boys Er! Woman from the girls.
    I saw a course several years ago that offered 16 credits that was a cruse in the Caribbean. No wonder the consumer laughs at this industry.
    Good move by RECO. Compliance compliance compliance. At least now if in a discussion with a fellow realtor over regulatory issues it will be easy to refer to the latest updates that all Realtor’s have taken consistently from the same source. No difference if they live in Windsor or Sudbury. Whats not to like.

    • Robert

      Regulatory issues fine, but who will help the new guy, (or the old guy) with understanding septics, wells, shoreline road allowances, rural zoning, reforestation, radon gas, land claims, etc etc etc etc. When the courses for credit, (not the fluff0 were mandatory a lot of registrants took them to gain knowledge of that type of stuff out side the big cities, now I fear that the majority will not and will be less knowledgeable for it. I know I know the arguement will be they can still take them, but unfortunately we all know they won’t.

      • Paul Jackson

        Perhaps the brokerages will take on more responsibility and provide the training that they have been passing on to OREA and others for years. Ultimately, the broker of record is responsible for the actions of realtors in his charge. If he/she wants to stay out of court then he/she will ensure that the realtors are trained in house. It is also in the brokers best interests to ensure that the realtors get the “real World” training they need to make themselves and their brokerages money. This is an excellent opportunity. Let RECO ensure we’re meeting legislative requirements and the brokers can ensure that realtors are learning sales techniques and inviting people in to train on other aspects such as wells, septics, mold, grow ops etc.
        I think this is great!!!!

      • marny smith

        Well said. RECO doesn’t care about these clients. Maybe RECO will add the mandatory $44. To our fees as a fee hike and then let the other providers back in without removing the $44.

  • CALM

    Does anyone else see the irony of this decision vis-a-vis the battle over competition at the Federal level?

    • Ben

      That’s right. Here is a perfect example if why RECO needs to update the current CE credit program.

  • Karen Poshtar

    I am mostly unimpressed with what RECO does for me now. Is the complicated flawed Web Forms an example of how they will set up on line training. Trying to pay my insurance by fax!!! on an annual basis is painful, registering for programmes such as the RECO update is an example of how out of touch they are. Moving to take on more responsibilites is way beyond the level of competence

    • Robert

      RECO is government for the consummer, not sure what you think they have to do with webforms. problem with a lot of comments on here is that registrants don’t know the difference between, RECO (license, consummer protection, administer REBBA); Local board, OREA, CREA, our own trade organizations for our benefit.

      • Ben

        No kidding. If your going to play the blame game get your organizations right. Another example of total misunderstanding of someone who does not know about what is going on within their own industry but feel very capable of representing it to clients. Oh boy. Consumer protection should be a high priority, protect them for us.

        • Ben

          Sorry I meant from us not for us.

  • Sandy Bodnar

    I’m not good with computer courses, as there may be others too, so for me the person to person interaction was perfect. Not sure what I’ll do now. It’s always about money with RECO, & frankly I am not sure why we actually need that organization and OREA is another org. we dish out money to, & why? They couldn’t and wouldn’t and didn’t do anything regarding the competition bureau’s zelous minister a couple of years ago. EVERYTHING’S ABOUT MONEY!!!

    • Robert

      OREA had nothing to do with the CB.

  • ron

    who is looking after the out of gta area subjects like septics, dug wells, drilled wells, waterfront problems, road easements, road right of ways, shoreline allowances, local municipal restrictions eg waterfront rentals etc.

  • Penny

    Cost was never an issue — quality education by qualified professionals (like Cindy Pinkas, Mark Weisleders, Nick Ianazzos and Merv Burgards) is the issue. By offering courses only on-line allows the sales person’s unlicenced assistant to complete the course instead. How does that produce a “better educated sales person” who can protect the public consumer. Quick and easy is NOT always best especially in this situation. Realtors should have been asked what they want. This is NOT it.

    I want to sit in a class room with my fellow realtors who can share real life experiences with an experienced professional at the front of the room. I want QUALITY education so I can continue to be a caring and professional realtor.

    P.S. I hope my surgeon doesn’t rely on learning new procedures this way.

    • KennyS

      You seem pretty scared of cheaters. Every lawn has weeds and every profession has cheaters, including surgeons…and yes they too take online courses and updates.

      This by no means stops you from taking any course you wish. But to throw a little gas on your fire, your probably one of those agents who takes up entire class time to hear yourself talk.

      If you see or hear about someone cheating let your broker know, they are after all responsible for the actions of their agents.

      • Penny

        I hope the cheating surgeon doesn’t operate on me.

        • Ken

          They too get sued over wrong doing and I too hope I am never under the knife of one.

    • Susan

      I agree with Penny. I do a mix of on line and classroom courses and by far the classroom courses produce more learning. Having other Realtors share their experiences enhances the learning tenfold. The least we should be offered is the opportunity to do these mandatory classes at our board offices in person. In fact, perhaps that should be mandatory!

    • Matt

      You can still take courses in class if you so choose….they just won’t be a part of the CE process. And CE credits can already all be taken online as it is so anyone who wants to cheat can already do so.

  • KennyS

    Thanks RECO, I see to many agents taking the “Fluff Stuff” to get the easiest possible credits, but… why did you allow credits for those courses in the first place. I personally laughed at the iphone & blackberry courses with 2-3 credits assigned to them.

    This in no way stops those who wish to further themselves with other courses, but I think RECO is right and must focus on courses to insure we stop getting insurance claims over issues that should never occured in the first place.

  • Dave Mandeville

    Nothing will compare to the interaction of a group setting.
    We should have left the Update as a in-class cource.
    If RECO did not like some of the cource content we were taking dont approve them for a credit .
    As for how services on line are provided, i am not loyal to the third party players either.
    They are just an on screen company !

  • nmyers

    just another way of keeping realtors under the thumb of a regulatory body that spends most of its time making it difficult for us to preform our duties with integrity and fairness.an organization that is more inclined to abandon than rescue. as was said in a previous thread, , who can ascertain who took the course? AND as for discussion and clarity with the material…that goes out the window…who can we speak to during he course? i will have to settle for a 14 inch monitor.

  • Mary

    A wise person once told me -“Everything comes down to money”. Money, money, and more money for you know who!!!!!

  • Frank Kirschner, Sotheby’s Miami, FL

    Is anyone surprised…? Blah, blah, blah.

    • Stan Albert

      Frank Hi! no surprise at all my friend. Heres the crux of the matter: You and I have had numerous talks about the fact that eveyone thinks it’s easy to make money in the business. Sure we take courses to updateourselves.
      Maybe we should have an actual exam every 2 years to re certify ourselves as Agents?!
      Be in touch.

  • John O’Reilly

    After taking the same courses over and over with no updates to renew a license I have had since 1969, I think someone finally listened to my complaints and made changes that reflect todays world of doing business. I asked to just take the updates to the material and send me an invoice. It was not about the money – it was about the content. Yes people will cheat on this system, however they would have with the other method also. Thanks for the changes. John O’Reilly, Broker of Record (former M.P.)

    • Penny

      I have 58 credits for my next 2 year cycle and have never left a course without learning something.

  • Robert storring

    I think RECO has made a huge mistake and is not protecting the public interest. Aside from all the ideas above about who might actually do the courses they now only focus on regulatory matters. Sure lots of courses were “fluff” as mentioned but lots were very very helpful, courses like writing the offer, clause interpretations, grow ops, inspections, construction methods, and on and on. In a class room environ these all allowed interaction and assisted me to learn things that I need to better serve my clients. Some will say that can still be taken and some will continue to take them BUT my gut reaction is that the majority will not. So sad for our industry and public image. I am really mystified why OREA has rolled over and says it’s a good idea. They should know better.

  • David Wall, B.Sc

    I presented the two hour Well and Septic course with the Royal LePage Frank offices in Durham and the Kawarthas this past Monday.
    90 realtors showed up at 930am
    We were able to go through the material and answer specific questions
    on matters that home inspectors, realtors and contractors find in the field and share that information with others in the room. Some realtors had never done a transaction with a well and septic system and some were very knowledgeable. It is the real life experiences and face to face time that is going to be lost.

  • Dave Hobbins

    I guess the days of Real Estate Boards running bogus credit courses are over:
    1. How to take your Blackberry out of the box – 3 credits
    2. What colour should your vendor paint the front door – 2 credits
    3. Orea Carribean Cruise Scam – 6 credits

    • Penny

      Perhaps these types of courses shouldn’t even provide credits. They are “general information” courses and should be available on-line only. I agree all courses should be regulated and content reviewed by RECO

  • Kenny

    I don’t think RECO have any ground in changing the system without doing any survey to all the members to find out what we prefer. We the real estate professional in Ontario should have our own right to choose the type of CE courses and provider that we prefer. The current system is perfect .

    • Dave Hobbins

      Kenny…. Really think about what you just said. We the real estate professional in Ontario should have the right to tell the regulator how we should be regulated?????????

  • Mike

    The on-line system opens up the process to potential fraud and dishonesty. There will be no adequate participant verification system in place to confirm who is actually completing the manditory on-line session (easy to have someone else complete the session for a registrant). This challenge does not exist in the current face-to-face classroom setting.

  • Stan

    Since when did RECO allow Realtors to dictate how the education process worked especially when it clearly didn’t contribute to professionalism and higher standards but rather reduced costs and introduced convenience because Realtors wanted it that way? We have lowered the bar on the high quality education provided by the classroom teachers and the many teaching experts available in Ontario and I believe have weakened the profession both as viewed from within and also in the public eye. I feel I am watching the organised real estate implode before my eyes and I am very thankful that I am not a new entrant into this profession as I see a great lack of leadership at all levels of governance with the possible exception of the local board and it does not bode well for those who are in the early part of their career.

  • PED

    I think RECO’s move to focus the CE content on acts and regulations is wise choice because allowing registrants to collect credits for taking software courses and the like does nothing to promote and protect our clients’ best interests and based on the low attendance in all the classroom law courses I focus on for all of my CE credits, I suspect a large number of registrants prefer the easiest and shortest route to 16 hours to fluff credits.

    But RECO didn’t need to so expeditiously yank the CE credit approval to third party suppliers to achieve the end they say they want. All they had to do was stop giving accreditation to the fluffy courses.

    I detest the the impersonal one-sided approach of e-courses not to mention the fact RECO cannot assure that the registrant is in fact the one completing the online course, and let’s not kid ourselves RECO, you know full well that this will be pulled off by the unscrupulous characters in the crowd.

    Nothing! can replace the value of the lessons learned on acts and regulations garnered from the classroom settings of the likes of the Mark Weisleders, Nick Ianazzos, Cindy Pinkus’ and Merv Burgards!

    I do hope they continue to offer up their courses anyway but alas I doubt they’ll get the attendance to make it worthwhile.

    What a shame!

  • Brian Martindale

    I see a major flaw with this system, and it is a flaw not seen from the inside of ORE but from the outside, from the perception of public awareness. This flaw deals with the concept of value for money spent. It is a well known tenent within psychological circles that when one gets something for nothing, or nearly nothing, whereby there is very little in the way of actual cost, be it financial or time investment in nature or the giving up of something intrinsically valuable to one’s sense of importance, in trade for something made mandatory for advancement of one’s career, that the something “achieved’ will have very little intrinsic value in the recipient’s mind. A lack of personal output equals a lack of personal appreciation.

    Now let’s see…$44.00 per two years equals $22.00 per year equals 42 cents per week equals 6 cents per day…WOW!…what a premium! That is exactly what the perceived worth of the information amounts to, even if one achieves a 100% score on the cyber exam.

    I wonder what the public will think of a mandatory educational program that “costs” Realtors being ‘forced’ to pursue “professionalism” a whopping 6 cents per day?

    This is the lazy man’s/woman’s cheap way of displaying attention to details. This system is akin to the FSBO guys’ ways of supposedly delivering professional services on the cheap: cut out the personal touch; do it from a keyboard. Next thing we know ORE will come up with a non personal way of procreating online at 6 cents per day.

    Don Kottick is right. The powers-that-be have lost sight of what it means to be a belly-to-belly professional practising the ‘art’ of facilitating real estate transactions.

    The committee group-think types at RECO/OREA are trying to create Realtors in their own image, being bureaucrats in pursuit of cookie-cutter Realtors on the cheap, which invariably results in the dilution of the attitudinal quality of the “students”. Acquiring a professional “attitude” should be the prime directive of educational courses. “Attitude” can only be promoted on an interpersonal basis, and not via a computer screen. From an “attitude” of service flows a desire to improve one’s fiduciary performance in the public forum. 6 cents per day studying online at sporadic instances, or, rushed altogether at the last minue, ain’t gonna do it, and the public ain’t gonna believe in it either.

    RECO is misguidedly paying too much attention to what lazy registrants want vs what consumers want. Ergo Kottick’s statement: “…this move is contrary to RECO’s mandate of protecting Ontario consumers.”

    When registrants took in-class courses, they had to show up for same and show identification. They actually had to put out.

    Who knows who is at the end of a keyboard once it has been signed on?

    I think that caring Realtors need to overhaul ‘ORE’, from the inside…maybe eliminate living breathing overpaid (with your money) salaried bureaucrats and replace them with online computers, at 6 cents per day.

    After all, according to RECO/OREA et al, who needs people?

    This is just a delivery system, is it not?…so they misguidedly think.

    • Alison A.O’Neil

      Education through the intenet doesn’t allow for any discussion or clarification. I do believe that much of the course content will be misunderstood without even realizing it and many mistakes will be made due to very poor understanding of what was read especially with English as a second language. I know that learning in a class situation is the only way for me to fully understand the content and it distubes me greatly that class time has been totally taken away. There should be a choice of classroom or on-line as we all learn in a different manner.

    • Rhonda

      In Reponse to the Psychology..I am and believe the majority of Realtors are mature professionals. The amount we pay for a course has no bearing on our use or appreciation. I pay enough to value my position as a licensed Realtor and am thank ful for any break. I also appreciate that as a fairly new Realtor I will be navigated towards key areas.
      The only complaints are coming from the industry that will lose income.
      Lets be honest do we really want Feng Shui to be part of our professional development? I want to be part of A highly respected professional group of business people serious about protecting our clients.
      Thank you

      • Rhonda

        In Response to the accountability and classroom interaction, I agree that you cannot monitor who is doing the online course, and the interaction and Q and A is very beneficial in a live classroom.

  • patf

    I think this is a great idea! Consistency and low cost all bundled into one! Soneone was really listening! kudos!

    • John

      RECO will collect $44 from thousands of registrants online without competition from other good educators all in the name of protecting the public! Is this not anti competitive? Under the present RECO education system RECO approved course content and instructors and I believe the content and instructors did a fantastic job keeping our industry informed and I believe the public is well protected by the education and high ethical standards Realtors adhere to. What other profession forces it’s members to submit to this type of education every two years? RECO is becoming like a dictator who rules with an iron fist because they can!

      • Bill Croft

        Another sad moment in the future of real estate as a profession ! There is a definate need for open format discussion for licensed Realtors to share their misconception what they thought they had learned from on-line education. We are supposed to embrace this new cost efficient offering from RECO while the industry continues to deteriorate. After over 40 years in this industry , still making a good living , I still look forward to the open discussion format of the existing education system.Sharing questions and answers in an open format has probably been the most informative learning tool for those agents that don’t get direction or are afraid to address issues on their own. There’s more need for open discussion !

        • Mary K A

          I wonder where and how the stats were gathered by Reco for the decision they made. Sounds to me that more people favour the classroom method of learning. Is anyone going to challenge Reco about how they actually made this decision?

        • Chris Angel

          Truly open forums seem a whole lot easier to find on the internet as opposed to a class room setting.