By Joseph Richer

Most people like free stuff. Heck, some folks go to tradeshows and take swag just because it’s free, whether they need it or not. How many times did you grab an information packet, or a bag or a pen just because somebody handed it to you? When you got home, you either forgot about it or dumped it in the recycling bin.

You didn’t keep those items because they didn’t provide much value to you. But suppose a respected third party offered you a reference letter; suppose they offered to vouch for your professionalism and ethical character. Such an endorsement could be a useful – and valuable – tool when you need to break the ice with potential clients.



The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) has a number of tools that can support you in your sometimes very difficult task of educating buyers and sellers. (My experience has been that real estate professionals prefer working with informed consumers). The best part is that those tools are free, and you can brand them with your own contact information.

A great example is RECO’s Registrant Toolkit. We recently relaunched it to make it even easier for you to share our materials on social media.

The toolkit is an online resource where salespeople are able to download content they can share with clients. If you haven’t yet checked out the toolkit at www.reco.on.ca/toolkit, I invite you to do so. The toolkit includes handouts on topics such as understanding representation agreements, open house safety and the value of working with a registered brokerage, as well as checklists for buyers and sellers.

We launched the toolkit in 2016 in order to address a need felt by consumers and our registrants alike. Toolkit materials allow you to provide an independent source of factual information to buyers and sellers. When you use materials from our toolkit, you help RECO speak directly to consumers. You help buyers and sellers make more informed decisions. Providing independent objective information demonstrates you are interested in their best interest, not exclusively your own.

Since 2016, the toolkit site has been visited more than 33,000 times. Anecdotally, quite a few of you have told me you like to print out toolkit materials and include them in the packages you provide to clients.

When consumers know that salespeople are regulated, somebody is enforcing the rules and the industry takes professionalism and consumer protection seriously, they’re more likely to feel confident in the salesperson and in turn the profession as a whole.

In an age of smartphone apps and social media, many Canadians believe they can buy or sell a property entirely on their own from start to finish. They don’t realize that navigating their way through a real estate transaction can be tricky (that’s especially true when you’re inexperienced), so RECO reminds them that it pays to work with somebody who understands how to get you the best deal in a transaction and is looking out for your best interests.

I often hear comments about the value of being part of a regulated profession: it provides a level of credibility to the public. However, the profession itself has to move the needle from there.

RECO is committed to engaging with real estate salespeople, brokers and brokerages to raise the bar for professionalism. Consumer protection is a shared responsibility. Using RECO’s Registrant Toolkit shows you’re serious about meeting that responsibility.

I think you’ll find the toolkit products useful for generating long-lasting relationships with your clients, but I’d like to hear your thoughts: how are you using the toolkit? How could we make it even more useful for you and your clients? This is an important discussion and I hope we can continue it in the New Year.

In the meantime, from my RECO family to yours: Happy Holidays!

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