May 5th - 2010

OREApedia helps members find information quickly

Quick and easy access to the vast amount of information on the OREA website is now possible through a feature called OREApedia.

Quick and easy access to the vast amount of information on the OREA website is now possible through a feature called OREApedia.

OREApedia is like Wikipedia, except that the information pertains to issues that affect Ontario REALTORS®. OREApedia puts all of the essential information in one place. Every subject is introduced in a quick summary, and relevant materials and links are contained in the article, with a table of contents to guide you to the particular aspect of the topic that you might be looking for.

“The OREA website contains a great deal of useful, practical information for our members,” said OREA President Dorothy Mason. “Now they can access that information quickly. OREApedia basically summarizes all the information on the orea.com website.”

Before OREApedia, a search on the topic of “title insurance,” for instance, would result in links to 35 different items and REALTORS® had to sort through all that information. Now that search delivers one complete article, starting with a summary of the topic and links to those sections of the topic that might be of interest to users.

“An excellent source of information”
OREApedia has already proven useful to one Ontario executive officer. Dave Burke of the Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board wanted to make sure the board had up-to-date FINTRAC information for its members after a $27,000 fine was levied against a Hamilton area brokerage.

“We had produced a compliance manual for our member offices and I was wondering if the manual might now be out of date,” Burke said. “On OREApedia I got all I needed to update our manuals. My general opinion is that it is an excellent source of information.”

For topics like FINTRAC compliance, a lot of information can be found in different places on the web. CREA has a great deal of very helpful information in its FINTRAC Compliance Requirements section on REALTORLink® and, of course, FINTRAC’s own site has a wealth of information. What OREApedia has done is put all the essential information in one place.

The material has been woven together by Charlotte Sloan, former General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of OREA, who pulled information from Legal Forum, REALTOR® Edge articles, OREA Standard Forms, OREA owned courses, REALTORLink® resources, REBBA 2002 and various other internal and external resources. The resources are also mentioned in the articles, so that members can opt to read even more.

Some topics are broken down into a series of entries. If you are looking for information on Offers/Agreement of Purchase and Sale, for instance, you can narrow it down to Amending the APS, Assigning the APS, Contract Essentials, Conditions, Deposits, Offers and Counter offers, Parties, Signatures and Property Descriptions, and Representations, Misrepresentations and Warranties.

Lawyer, columnist and OREA course instructor Merv Burgard wrote in an email: “I have used OREApedia several times in referring members to assist in their research and discovery of answers to issues that concern them. This is a very useful advantage to Ontario's REALTORS®.”

While the OREApedia articles cover a lot of material, they should really be considered “for information only”. Every effort is made to pull together reliable information, but there is no guarantee all of it is accurate, complete, and up-to-date all of the time

So members need to keep in mind that the information contained on the website isn’t a substitute for getting legal, accounting or other professional advice.

In 2008, members said in a survey that there is a tremendous amount of useful information on the OREA website, but accessing that information quickly is a challenge. A topic search typically gives users hundreds of pages to sift through. What members asked for is a website that is “searchable, easy-to-use and convenient for members.”

That’s exactly what OREApedia delivers. Go to www.orea.com and log into the Members Only section to find it. That page contains the OREApedia table of contents page. From there, you can click on any of the topics listed in the Table of Contents, or use the Search function from any page on the OREA website.

While logged into the Members Only section of the OREA website, you can access OREApedia at any time by selecting the OREApedia entry in the blue menu on the left side.

OREApedia is a work in progress. Expect more topics to appear over the next few months. And the topics that are there are not static. For instance, if OREA issues a new Standard Form, or RECO or the Registrar issue new information, or amendments are made to Acts or Codes, the topics will be updated.

And member feedback is essential. Members may want an existing OREApedia topic to deal with additional aspects or they may have suggestions for new OREApedia topics. If the suggested additions will benefit the membership as a whole, they will be added. Send comments to orea@orea.com.

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For more information contact

Ontario Real Estate Association

Jean-Adrien Delicano

Manager, Media Relations

JeanAdrienD@orea.com

416-445-9910 ext. 246