Will Cornerstone’s members still have access to the ITSO boards? +

Yes. Cornerstone members will have full MLS® System access to all ITSO’s participating boards PLUS the four amalgamating Cornerstone associations. 

What MLS® System will Cornerstone’s subscribers have access to? +

Cornerstone subscribers will have MLS® System access to the ITSO’s regional Matrix MLS® System that will include all participating boards PLUS the four amalgamating Cornerstone associations. 

Subscription access is available to appraisers and REALTORS® who are not members of Cornerstone or ITSO for a quarterly fee through Cornerstone. 

If you are interested in subscribing to Cornerstone’s MLS® System (which includes access to the ITSO boards), our Subscriber Agreement will be made available after July 1st.

What about Interboard listings? +

We’re excited to share that Cornerstone happily accepts interboard listings within its market areas at no charge. These areas include Mississauga, Burlington, Hamilton, Waterloo Region, Niagara North, Haldimand County, and most of Norfolk County. We strongly believe that all Ontario REALTORS®  should have access to all Ontario MLS® information, and we’re open to collaborating with other systems to make this happen. In the meantime, we kindly encourage all REALTORS®  to ensure they place any MLS® listings on the MLS® System for the area of that listing so that local consumers will find them and the REALTORS® who regularly practice in the area can work together on your listing for the benefit of your sellers! This cooperation is what the MLS® System was built for. 

Is Cornerstone considering PropTx? +

(June 06, 2024)

In May, the PropTx team presented Realm to the Cornerstone task force, and the demonstration was greatly appreciated. However, Cornerstone resources are committed to the successful amalgamation between the four associations which includes maintaining its well-known and mature MLS® System for members without disruption. Cornerstone remains steadfast that all Ontario REALTORS® should have access to all Ontario MLS® Information and remain open and willing to collaborate with other systems.

What will happen to MLS® Services? Does this mean Cornerstone will be part of ITSO? +

(Updated April 25, 2024)

On February 29, 2024, Cornerstone and ITSO announced they will collaborate to provide enhanced services to all of ITSO’s member associations. In simplest terms, rather than ITSO managing the MLS® System directly, Cornerstone will manage the day-to-day operations of the MLS® System for both Cornerstone and ITSO.    

On July 1, 2024, the Cornerstone MLS® System will be the one you currently use—Matrix™. Ensuring a stable platform out of the gate is critical so that you will experience no substantial changes.

Will Cornerstone share its MLS® data with other real estate associations or MLS® Systems in Ontario? +

(April 25, 2024)

Cornerstone believes all Ontario REALTORS® must have access to all Ontario MLS® information to fulfill their fiduciary duty of care to their clients. 

Cornerstone is keen, ready, and able to have data share agreements (or willing to review any other solution) with any Ontario real estate board/association or listing platform. These can be done collaboratively with all the necessary protections and security.

Why are these four boards amalgamating? +

(Updated April 25, 2024)

The Directors of RAHB, WRAR, SDREB and MREB recognize that REALTOR® members want and deserve better services. This amalgamation seeks to solidify REALTOR® members’ confidence and heighten the value they receive from their membership.

RAHB, WRAR, SDREB and MREB are also mindful of ongoing changes in the structure of organized real estate. The consolidation of MLS® Systems, amalgamations of boards and associations – and imbalance of influence among boards in Ontario, along with the evolving relationships between provincial and national associations, member boards and REALTORS® –  generally are affecting any one board’s ability to impact positive change for their REALTOR® members.

In this context, RAHB, WRAR, SDREB and MREB will establish a new, more influential and capable organization to meet these changes and provide members with the most robust MLS® System. The four boards appreciate the value of having a more assertive and aligned voice for members. Through amalgamation, REALTORS® will benefit from increased coordination and value. Notably, this is an evolving opportunity, and we welcome discussions with other boards and associations. 

What will this mean for our local identities? +

Over many years, every one of our boards has built meaningful connections with local stakeholders, positioning REALTORS® as valued and respected members of our communities. These relationships, whether with the local chamber of commerce, local charitable organizations, or local government, will remain vital as we move forward. 

What about membership fees and core services, such as e-signature and Showing Services? +

These are all currently being worked on. Along with a review of membership dues, we are also examining the array of services currently provided by each board/association. The focus is to ensure that members do not lose access to the member services they are currently using such as e-signatures, BrokerBay, or ShowingTime. 

During the two-year transition, Cornerstone will work towards identifying the services that best serve members’ needs.

What about Professional Standards? +

(Updated April 25, 2024)

Cornerstone and ITSO will work together to maintain the rules and policies related to the system’s use. 

ITSO will interpret rules for Cornerstone and its member associations to ensure consistency in their application and enforcement.

ITSO will manage PSC complaints and Arbitration for Cornerstone and its member associations that delegate that authority.

What about lockboxes? +

Currently, Waterloo has a mandatory electronic lockbox program, but RAHB, Simcoe, and Mississauga do not. For services like electronic lockboxes—where we don’t have alignment among the four boards—the status quo will apply initially. Then, over the course of the two-year transition, the Board of Directors of Cornerstone will undertake a review of this service and work towards a solution or harmonization.

Is Cornerstone open to hearing from other boards/associations that may be interested in joining the amalgamation? +

This project started with two boards and is now moving forward with four. While the success of this project is laser-focused on what is best for the members of the four boards, we remain open to discussions with other real estate boards that share our member-centric values and wish to explore participation in the amalgamation effort. For more information, please see our join us page.

What assurances are there that the associations’ buildings won’t be sold or the offices closed? +

During the two-year transition period, the four boards anticipate maintaining their respective offices to function as local centres for REALTOR® excellence. However, no one can predict how this might develop in the coming years, and that could include reducing our number of offices, or it could mean increasing it.

That said, office usage and requirements will continue to be monitored and assessed to determine how best to serve members as needs and services evolve.

How will the Board Governance be affected? +

(Updated April 25, 2024)

With the creation of a new entity, a Board of Directors will be formed that will model governance best practices.

The inaugural Board of Directors will include Directors from each of the four boards, who will be elected by their respective Boards of Directors.

These inaugural Directors will serve a two-year term, and a nomination process will be developed that will allow the membership to elect new Directors once the inaugural Board of Directors has completed its term of office.

The inaugural Board of Directors will also appoint a CEO.

Updated governance documentation, such as Bylaws,  Policies, Practices, and Rules, will be developed and adopted.

What will happen to the staff? +

The Board of Directors will appoint a CEO.

The four boards anticipate maintaining their existing staffing levels.

We can assure members that the Board of Directors of Cornerstone is committed to ensuring that the corporation’s tools, services, and resources are focused on supporting the success of the membership in every way possible. 

Staffing requirements will be continuously monitored and assessed to determine the levels of staffing required to support members best.

Will this save the four boards – and members – money? +

The four boards are in solid financial positions and saving money is not a motivating factor in this amalgamation.

One key objective of amalgamation is enhancing the value all four associations provide to members. By uniting resources, we believe the member experience will be enhanced to a greater degree than any of us can achieve individually.

While the four boards are committed to financial stewardship and recognize that costs are an important consideration, they also believe that enhancing services and value will help make members more competitive and valued by their clients.

How do the four boards align on the Ontario REALTOR® Wellness Program (ORWP)? +

All four boards are now participating in the ORWP, as required by OREA’s bylaw. There continue to be concerns with OREA’s ORWP program, which all four boards share and continue to monitor.

Is Cornerstone going to remain a member of OREA and CREA? +

The focus for Cornerstone is working towards the rapidly approaching amalgamation and on creating positive change for our members.

The Cornerstone leadership understands that the future of OREA, CREA, Cornerstone or any other membership association is directly tied to the value they can provide to all of their members. Cornerstone most certainly supports the construct referred to as “organized real estate,” but we also recognize there are serious issues and challenges with some of these legacy models. The realization that we simply cannot continue to do things the way we always have and still remain relevant was one of the factors that drove these four like-minded associations together.

Cornerstone does not have any plans to leave either OREA or CREA.

What are the benefits of amalgamating? +

By taking a proactive stance towards the future, rather than simply reacting to changes, the four boards can pave the way for our members’ brighter future.

In this context, the four boards propose amalgamating to establish the following:

  • The value of having a more assertive and aligned voice for members
  • REALTORS® will benefit from enhanced services, increased coordination, and greater value
  • Quite simply, joining together will magnify, solidify and unify our individual strengths to create a more influential and capable organization as a whole.