casaGURU: reducing the risk of being exploited

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with casaGURU

How casaGURU protects you from dubious professionals.

When talking about casaGURU it’s easy to mention just positives, but in actuality, part of the reason for casaGURU is to protect homeowners from negatives.

There’s a rigorous screening process that takes place before anyone is listed on the site. While requirements vary from profession to profession (there are 20 different types, after all, and each different in their own right), they are all implemented for the best interest of homeowners.

For instance, when a realtor is looking to be listed on casaGURU, he/she is required to provide proof of:

-Valid membership to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
-Government document with a GST/CRA number.
-Provincial real estate license.
-Errors & omissions liability insurance.

These, as well as other screening criteria, are put in place in order to protect the homeowner. Here’s an example of why. Though a number of realtors were indignant when asked to provide casaGURU with the documentation required to be listed on the site, we stuck to our guns and didn’t alter any provisions. Our stance was reinforced when we were made aware of the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s website, which lists professionals who are, essentially, in trouble (those who have had accounts frozen, counts against them and registration revoked).

Here's an example that was brought to our attention by a homeowner who was on the RECO site and saw a public advisory for RE/MAX Executive Realty Inc. (1996) and David Seto. According to the site, earlier this year there was a freeze of bank accounts, a temporary suspension of registrations as well as a notice of proposal to revoke registration, charges of 10 counts of failing to deposit funds in the real estate trust account to eliminate a shortfall and eight counts of failing to deposit trust monies into the real estate trust account.

Can you imagine if you fell into these hands without realizing the less than desirable record? One realtor is not the same as another. Not only do they vary in education, years of experience and personality, but their history can be drastically different. Through educating homeowners and our screening process we reduce the risk of coming into contact with a person or organization like the above example.

So next time you’re looking for a qualified professional and don’t want to get screwed, come to us and let us help direct you to someone who’s reliable.

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Comments (5)

Anonymous
Terry G

Thanks Emer!  Terrifying isn't it?  As a homeowner you never really know who you are hiring.  I wonder why RECO does not publish that information more publicly?  Are there privacy laws that protect companies that are being charged I wonder.  What is the RECO site's url?

Terry

Mar 30, 2009 08:55 AM
#1
Emer S
casaGURU - Toronto, ON

Thanks for your comment Terry. It can be quite scary not knowing who to choose or who to trust. Hence why casaGURU exists, in order help streamline your decisions and take some of your worry away. The url for RECO is: http://www.reco.on.ca/. Hope this helps!

Mar 30, 2009 08:59 AM
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Emer, I know I was asked all the questions above, when I registered.  I had no problem providing the information; except that I was very concerned about who would have access to all of the personal information you asked for.  After all, identity theft is doing just fine everywhere, and I don't want to be a victim.

The Real Estate Council of Ontario does make the information public, for anyone who wants to visit the site.  It lists all real estate salespeople and brokerages who are 'in trouble', or have been put through discipline.  It will give you information on the case, and each and every rule they broke, and also how much $$$$ were paid in fines.

http://www.reco.on.ca/ComplaintEnf.aspx?section=DiscHearDecisions

 

Even I check the site on a regular basis, because I absolutely only want to do business with Realtors I know are licensed (not suspended); and I don't want my client's cheques to end up frozen, because we are dealing with a realtor whose accounts have been frozen.

You provide a great service.  Thank you.

 

Mar 31, 2009 06:09 AM
Anonymous
Tom Cordoba

Thanks Emer!

Interestingly enough, so many "professionals" within our industry are in fact far from that. Unfortunately, these malpractices extend beyond agents...casaGURU has filled a definite void.

I will definitely send my clients to casaGURU.com, its a no brainer...I'm jumping on this train!

Thanks again for the recommendation.

Tom

Mar 31, 2009 01:56 PM
#4
Emer S
casaGURU - Toronto, ON

Sylvie,

We understand yoru concerns about identity theft and our registration process is encrypted to reduce the risks to information submission on our site. While we collect business documentation and credentials, we do not publish sensitive information on the site, and merely give it a varified status to benefit homeowners.

While some professionals will not feel comfortable with our screening process, it is because of our high standards and process that we have earned the partnership of Yahoo! and Reader's Digest. 27,000 homeowners joined the community last months to find professionals who have been filtered through our screening process.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at 1-877-798-9771.

Thanks for your comment!

Emer

 

 

Apr 07, 2009 08:57 AM