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Summertime Property Preparation for Home Sales

Published July 10, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Junge Frau enrfernt Unkraut vom WegIt’s no surprise that the Real Estate market typically peaks in the summertime in Canada, and it’s in large part due to the fact that the weather is usually great and it’s as agreeable place to live as any you could find. Now, of course, we do have Canadian winters too but most people enjoy winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing as much as they do enjoying outdoor activities in the sun and warmth of the summer. A well kept home with a nice front and back yard looks especially good at this time of the year, and it’s a fact that many a man actually enjoy taking out the mower and cutting the grass.

Anyone selling their home at this time of the year is putting both the home itself and the lifestyle it offers on display for prospective clients. Savvy realtors will be able to advise clients on the importance of ‘curb appeal’ and other perspectives that are relevant when a buyer is evaluating a property for sale as much as the home itself. A good realtor is an experienced realtor, and here at Real Estate Leads our online real estate lead generation system is a great way to invest in your prospecting efforts for real results and build your client base more quickly.

Here’s some tips that are good advice for home sellers:

Consider a fresh coat of paint

Time and weather wear on your wooden porch or fence big time over the years, but other painted outdoor surface can also degenerate quickly in tough Canadian climates. Thoroughly cleaning and then painting a home does much for making a yard look fresh and full of potential. Ideas for owners to consider would be painting a front door or redoing paint on pillarwork around the exterior.

Take a Look at Paved Areas

Driveways, walkways, and sidewalks can be redone for much less than owners would expect, and more often than not what is commonly done is more of a makeover. Edging to remove overgrown grass can creates clean, defined lines along entryways and flowerbeds and removing weeds from cracks is advisable as well. Power washing or resealing the driveway are also good choices to add to a clean appearance. Levelling out uneven paving stones is smart as well and not much is required to do it.

Trim and Shape Vegetation

Tidy up flowerbeds to a reasonable level of presentation shouldn’t take more than a full afternoon’s work. Simply cut back any dead foliage, rake out straggling leaves, and then if inclined you can also add in some mulch or coloured wood chips to give beds a crisp, fresh look. Decorative trees or shrubs should be trimmed and they should be sure to dispose of yard waste as thoroughly and as soon as you can before the home is shown. Something you’ll also want to prevent buyers from seeing is yellow spots in their grass left by pets. At least show that you are aware of this issue and are treating and re-seeding the area currently.

Add Final Touches

A few basic planters – hung or planted – with colourful blossoms will they enhance a clients’ home’s charm. Another great idea is to suggest they add some light staging to their outdoor areas. Many stagers will arrange patio furniture to create a space for conversation, adding a few outdoor throw pillows and perhaps an outdoor table setting. Have the place looking great, with a sharply manicured lawn and garden on display!

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a month quota of qualified, online-generated leads delivered to you exclusively as the only realtor servicing a specific region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a great way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts as a new Canadian realtor.

2018 2nd Quarter CREA Real Estate Report

Published July 3, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Rising house sales conceptThe 2nd Quarter of the 2018 year has now passed and the overseeing body for real estate in Canada, the Canadian Real Estate Association, has released it’s 2nd quarter report. It indicates that housing market fundamentals continue to be strong in many parts of the country but that several housing markets continue face adversity due to policy headwinds.

Understanding the temperature taken for the housing market nationwide is of course going to be of great importance for all realtors, but in particular for new agents who understand the value in having a grasp of the big picture for the business – and the profession of serving it – in the country. There is of course a correlation between these statistics and a realtor’s ability to generate new business. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is highly recommended for new realtors looking to get more out of their efforts in this regard.

Back to the report; The new mortgage stress test introduced last October was expected to result in homebuyers rushing to purchase homes in advance of the new rules coming into effect in January. This was then expected to create a ‘pulling forward’ of sales activity that would then result in fewer transactions occurring during first half of 2018.

However, that hasn’t been the case. Seasonally adjusted national home sales last December having surged to the highest level ever recorded before dropping considerably by the time early 2018 had arrived. Actual national sales figures represent ones that are not seasonally adjusted, and these ones for March, April and May are usually among the most active months for any given year.

Delayed Response

It’s interesting to note then that combined sales fell to a nine-year low for this three-month period in Canada for 2018. This trend indicates sales momentum has not yet begun to rally as many expected it to. Consider as well that interest rates are expected to rise further this year and in 2019. Home sales activity is still expected to strengthen modestly in the second half of 2018 though, as housing market uncertainty decreases moving forward.

With these factors taken into account, the national sales forecast has been revised downward with a projected decline of 11% working out to some 459,900 housing units this year. This decrease is powered primarily by weaker sales in B.C. and Ontario and resulting from heightened housing market uncertainty, ongoing supply shortages, provincial policy measures, high prices for detached homes, and then the aforementioned new mortgage stress test.

The national average home price is projected to go down to $499,100 this year, and that is not much of a departure from the CREA’s previous forecasting of a decline of 2.1% from 2017. However, only in Newfoundland and Labrador are average prices expected to dip that significantly, while more than half of all provinces can expect to see increases. The national average price reduction also incorporates fewer numbers of transactions in and Ontario and B.C.

The average price decline predicted for Ontario is -1.7%, and that is largely a reflection of fewer higher-priced home sales in Toronto. This is especially relevant during the important spring market, which typically exhibits seasonal jumps in the average price that this year failed to materialize. This seasonal pattern is expected to resume in 2019, but the increase to the annual figure from the spring push hasn’t been observed this year.

Eastern Canada Rises

Contrasting to all of this is the way that home prices in Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia are expected to continue moving up in response to increasingly firm market conditions seen over recent years. Not surprisingly, British Columbia is now forecast to see its average price rise in 2018 as well, with prices in the province being more resilient than than had been expected previously.

  • Alberta home prices should dip down by 1%
  • Saskatchewan is predicted to decrease by 1.5%
  • Newfoundland and Labrador is predicted to decreased by 2.9%, with supply remaining elevated in relation to demand as it has been for years

In 2019, the forecast for national sales is that they should rebound modestly to 474,800 units but remain below annual levels seen from 2014 to 2017. The anticipated partial recovery in sales for the second half of this year from deferred purchases made from January to June in Ontario and B.C. is subsequently expected to diminish through 2019. The consensus is that this is because interest rates will continue to rise. This trend is also predicted to occur in other provinces, but be most significantly seen in Ontario and B.C. Transactions in these two provinces have dropped sharply over the first half of 2018, and this occurred even though housing demand seems to be buoyed by relative economics and demographics.

Further, the national average price is also predicted to bounce back to $518,300 in 2019, and this is seen to be in response to an expected return to normal seasonal patterns for spring sales activity and prices in Ontario housing markets. It’s good to see that the MLS® Home Price Index is rising in prominent urban centres in B.C. and Ontario.

Market balance also continues to firm in Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Added price increases, albeit modest ones, are expected to be seen in these provinces, but with rising interest rates holding price gains in check. Prices in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador should remain relatively stable from this year to the next.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a guaranteed monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads delivered to you exclusively for your protected region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a proven-effective way to generate more clients for your real estate business, and accordingly nearly every realtor will see it as money very well spent!

10 Tips for Buying Your First Real Estate Investment Property

Published June 25, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_20945576Speculation has become a rather negative term when used in reference to buying real estate these days, but in truth investing in real estate with an aim to creating profit for yourself down the line has been going on for hundreds of years. It certainly require as level of acumen, wisdom, and the ability to act judiciously however. While it’s true that most investment buyers have these traits and often will be very experienced with buying investment properties, a decidedly fewer number of them will be leaning on the expertise of their realtor to advise them in the best manner possible.

Our online real estate lead generation system here at Real Estate Leads is an excellent way for new realtors to acquire greater numbers of clients through their prospecting efforts, and while the majority of them will likely be buying for a place of primary residence some of them may want to be investment buyers. Let’s look today at some good tips you can share with them regarding buying real estate as an investment.

  1. Be Certain Real Estate Investing is for You

Being an incapable handyman is perfectly normal, but if you buy a home that needs work and you need to bring in tradespeople it will eat into your profits. It’s common for property owners who have one or two homes often to do their own repairs to save money. If you’re not inclined or capable of getting your hands dirty and / or don’t have unlimited finances, being a landlord may not be right for you.

Then there’s also the time required for the work. Do you have it to spare?

  1. Start by Paying Down Debt

Some well-enabled investors might carry debt as part of their investment portfolio, but it’s very inadvisable for the average person. If your financial solidity is already spread quite thin, purchasing a rental property may not be a smart move for you, at least at this time.

  1. Can you Afford the Down Payment?

Real estate investment properties in major urban centres in Canada usually require a larger down payment than elsewhere and non-owner occupied homes can have more stringent approval requirements. How much you’ll need exactly will be yet to be determined, but be prepared for it to be much more than perhaps you had originally expected. Deeper pockets are often required.

  1. Be Wary of Bigger Interest Rates

The cost of borrowing money is always fluctuating, but the interest rate on Real Estate Investment properties will almost always be higher and again often more so than you imagine. Keep in mind that your clients as investors will need a mortgage payment that’s low enough to not eat too heavily into their monthly profits.

  1. Profit Margins Must be Calculated

Individuals should set a profit margin goal that’s pretty inflexible around 10%, while estimating maintenance costs at 1% of the property value annually. There’s also insurance, HOA fees (if applicable), property taxes and a whole host of monthly expenses that you won’t be expecting to encounter. Count on it.

  1. Avoid the ‘Fixer-Uppers’

Many buyers like the idea of a house that you can get at a bargain and flip it into a rental, but if this is your first property, that’s likely far from the best idea. Unless you have a contractor who does quality work affordably or you’re like Mike Holmes or Brian Baeumler when it comes to home improvement, then you’re likely going to pay too much to renovate. Purchasing a home that is priced below the market that needs mostly minor repairs is likely a much better choice.

  1. Calculate Operating Expenses

You can advise clients to expect that operating expenses on their new property will be between 35% and 80% of their gross operating income. Charge $1,500 for rent and their expenses come in at $600 per month, they’re then at 40%. An even simpler calculation is the 50% rule. If the rent charged is $3,000 per month, they should expect to pay $1,500 in total expenses.

  1. ‘Cash on Cash’

Clients should ask themselves what is their return on every dollar? Stocks may offer a 7.5% cash-on-cash return while bonds may offer 4.5% back. If a buyer can get 6% in their first year as a landlord, that should be agreeable since that number will likely rise over the long term.

  1. Low-Cost Home is Preferable

The more expensive the home, the higher their ongoing expenses will be. Some real estate experts suggest starting with a $150,000 home. Consider location when looking at lower-priced properties as that is what will go farthest in making them good rentals.

  1. Location

Going further with the focus on location, it’s advisable to look for areas with low property taxes, a decent school district, a quality neighbourhood with low crime rates, an area with a growing job market and plenty of amenities like parks, malls, restaurants and movie theatres.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads delivered to you exclusively for your protected region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a great way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts and really start to build up a client base for your real estate business. Join the many like-minded realtors who want to be successful who’ve already claimed their territory and are receiving leads each month.

Appearance Tips for Real Estate Professionals

Published June 18, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Happy realtor woman showing keysThe real estate business is without a doubt one of those businesses where your image is projected through your professional appearance. As much as it may be poor form to do so, some clients will put as much weight on your appearance as they do your reputation, how knowledgeable you seem, or how well spoken you are. In this business, first impressions really do matter.

Fortunately, this will be a reality that most who’ve entered the profession could have foreseen being one, and so it won’t take much convincing if any to ‘look the part’ as an agent who’s helping people make one of the biggest decisions of their life. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system won’t have you looking sharp, but it will take care of another aspect of being a new realtor that’s not so easy – prospecting for clients.

To help you project the right image and a proper professional appearance, here’s a collection of sensible tips on how to look and dress the part of a successful real estate businessperson.

When in Doubt, Be Conservative

Appearance will always be extremely important in this business, as most clients tend to choose their agents based on appearance and a measure of ‘gut feeling.’ The standard has been and continues to be that men wearing freshly pressed shirts with a nice tie and clean shoes look professional. However, it’s been proven that too much jewelry makes many people perceive you negatively. A watch is fine, and maybe one other piece of jewelry. But that’s it, and keep in mind that all this goes hand in hand with good visible hygiene traits. For example neatly trimmed and clean fingernails.

Keep up with current fashion trends also benefits you, and having a fashionable hairstyle helps too. Male agents will gain from keeping up fashion and clothing trends via magazines like Esquire, GQ, and so forth, while female agents can do the same with Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue. One thing that can’t be overstated enough is the suitability of wearing conservative-length skirts.

Then there’s the idea of dressing for your market by wearing attire appropriate to your surroundings. For example, a sharp blazer and dark-wash jeans work better for young, hip regions.

Appearing Professional Other Ways

Your choice of vehicle can go a long way with potential clients too. Consider this; a broker in a US big city always traded for a new Jaguar sedan every year, and then let her agents borrow it to drive wealthy buyers around fancy neighborhoods for showings. Apparently the way the car had an effect on potential buyers was very clear.

The appearance of your office also sends a strong message to clients, or would-be clients, the first time they visit. Keep it organized and meticulously clean, and displaying attractive curios and artwork is a good choice. A messy desk is a big no-no, no matter how well established you are.

One other tips is to always have a change of clothing ready when the situation requires it, especially if there’s a chance you’ll be with entirely different people in an entirely different environment within the same day.

Professional appearance tips for real estate agents will vary depending upon the individual’s situation. Different types of property, weather, and clients should lead you to make different decisions regarding the professional attire that is most appropriate. This is of course something of an art, and much less of a science, but if you hit the ground running as a realtor while still keeping your appearance in mind you’ll very likely figure it out before long.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive an monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads delivered to you exclusively for your protected region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a smart investment, particularly with the way it gives you so many more opportunities to lead leads into clients. That’s something established realtors do well because they have learned to do it well.

Taking on Mortgages More Financially Demanding Than Ever

Published June 12, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_44279157_PreviewFor many decades and a good number of generations now, getting a mortgage on your way to owning a home was something that vast majority of people did almost as a given part of working your way into adulthood. The fact that following a similar path in places like Vancouver and Toronto is quite a daunting prospect nowadays is well understood, but the reality is that it’s fairly daunting no matter where you’re buying a home.

 

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system has really done wonders for new realtors who need to get more out of their client prospecting efforts. Being a knowledgeable and market savvy realtor is a must, but so is the need to be receptive to the way clients will want to really look at the entirety of what will go into their buying a home.

When we look at the new statistics coming out about just what is required to ‘service’ a mortgage, on average, in Canada it is really quite something with the way it forecasts how so many prospective homebuyers would be assuming a punishing financial burden to see their mortgage through to term.

Ain’t Like it Used to Be

Baby boomers will really need to stop saying that buying a home was harder in the 1990s than now. Stats Can numbers now show mortgage debt service ratios (DSRs) at the end of the first quarter of this year have reached levels not seen in more than 26 years. Despite near record low interest rates, the size of loans given for mortgages have pushed the lack of affordability for homes to similar levels. Today this is more of a concern however, as interest rates start to rise and the debt becomes decidedly concentrated.

Mortgage Debt Service Ratio

A mortgage debt service ratio (DSR) is the term given to the amount of gross income dedicated to servicing a mortgage. Understand here that gross means before taxes, so then a good part of the buyer’s income that is not going towards the ratio is now spoken for. Only the principal and interest payments are officially measured here in Canada, and so this means other required payments like property taxes, etc. are not included. Debt service ratios are deceptively low as a result, and especially so when the number comes from the government. Mortgage brokers will of course prefer to advertise those less-than-factual fees.

Debt service levels are very relevant when considering the general outlook of the economy. The more money that goes towards servicing debt, the less money there is for spending on consumer goods and services. And of course the less money floating around your economy, the harder it is for the economy to continue to grow. It’s for this reason that a sudden boom in housing often leads to a slowing of the rest of the economy, and the opposite is also true. When less money is servicing debt then more money is available to push other components of the national or provincial economy.

New Highs

The mortgage debt service ratio (DSR) has this year risen to new highs. The mortgage DSR rose to 6.67% at the end of 2018’s quarter 1, up 6.89% from the last quarter of 2017. Huge jumps like this are seasonal, but the number is still up 1.83% from the same quarter last year. We’re now sitting at the highest ratio since the fourth quarter of 1992, and it’s interesting to note that the 1990s were the last time Canadians showed similar levels of exuberance for real estate.

Distributing Mortgage Debt Is Key

That number may not sound like all that much, but understanding distribution is key to really putting it into perspective. The 6.89% mortgage DSR is split across all households, but that’s not really how it actually breaks down. Census 2016 showed that only 41.2% of households have mortgages. Older households also tend to have higher incomes, along with considerable equity in their homes. By this we can see that younger households are taking the worst of these record DSR levels.

The Bank of Canada issued a caution about the debt concentration just last month. Their estimate is that 8% of households hold more than 20% of all household debt in this country, adding further that these households stand to be at risk in the coming years when rates continue to normalize – as they are expected to. Since we’ve achieved record high mortgage DSRs at record low interest rates, we can certainly expect some serious disruption and more than few wildfires as rates normalize.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads delivery to you exclusively for your protected region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a proven effective way to supercharge your prospecting efforts, and nearly everyone who’s taken advantage so far now sees it as a very worthwhile investment in their real estate business.

 

 

4 Must-Do Steps for Converting Online Leads from Real Estate Leads

Published June 4, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Small house on laptop keyboard. Real estate agency online. Concept. 3d illustration

Here at Real Estate Leads, what we offer to our clients here is fairly self-explanatory given the nature of our name. Our online real estate lead generation system for Canada provides realtors here with even more in the way of opportunities generated from prospecting. It’s something all realtors need to do, but doing so while harnessing the power of the Internet can make for some downright impressive results when it comes to the volume of leads you can dig up.

We’re not going to start here by saying that you need to follow up on these leads quickly. That’s true, but we’re not going to tell you something you didn’t already know. With this understood, however, it’s interesting to note that statistics indicate that about 48% of all online leads go completely unanswered.

Now, the difference here of course is that your leads provided by us are provided to you EXCLUSIVELY, meaning you will be the only realtor to receive them. Yes, that’s a big point! But there’s factors to consider here, including the fact that most online leads are 6-12 months out from selling their home or purchasing one.

You still need to move quickly, however, and so let’s get right to our 4 must-do steps for getting the very most out of your online real estate client leads.

  1. Speedy Is Timely

The sooner you are able to reply to an inquiry, the better. And when we say soon, we’re talking the same day ideally. Don’t put it off, send whatever form of communication you think is best and present yourself as a realtor who would be happy to help them as the begin the process of buying or selling a home.

If you don’t contact them, a competitor will and yes, that’s going to be true 90+% of the time even if you’re the only one to receive the online generated lead. The smart choice is to have a system in place that can respond when you can’t. An autoresponder like a text message or anything to acknowledge that lead and let them know that you are there and ready to help is fairly standard.

Nowadays A.I., or Artificial Intelligence, has made its way into real estate too. With AI you can mimic live-time text message responses that are genuine to the point of seeming as if they’ve only recently been created by the realtor themselves. They can also respond intelligently too, and the if questions go beyond their scope of comprehension, they will then pass it over to the G.I., or Genuine Intelligence – that, of course, being you!

Bots can still feel impersonal, though. Many agents instead choose to go with concierge services that connect with leads right away, and these prospective clients then hear from a real person. You can also have them categorize your leads. It’s not unlike having your own inside sales team, and for many realtors it turns out to be money well spent.

Another thing to keep in mind when responding to a lead inquiry is to always respond using the same method with which you received the inquiry; if they sent a text, you reply with a text. If they emailed you, you respond with an email. If they phoned, you phone. This is proven good advice and extends to sales professionals of all types, not just realtors in Canada.

  1. Qualify Those Leads

It’s a fact that top agents sort their leads based upon how ready these prospective clients are to take action. This is something you can do too, and it’s decidedly easy.

Put your leads into one of these 3 categories:

A: Leads are ready to do something now – they must buy or sell for any specific reason, and are ready to make moves.

B: Leads are motivated, but may not proceed further for up to six months.

C: Leads have shown significant interest in listing or beginning to house hunt but are not sure when they will take action. No timeline can be predicted here.

Naturally, you should be calling those A-leads right away. For the other categories, you should be staying in touch. Enter them into your database and recognize the length of time you’ll need to stay in touch for them based on your determinations. Be sure to periodically remind them of who you are, and that you’re ready to help them when they need the professional assistance.

  1. Be Entirely Prepared

Real estate has always been a numbers game. Those who know know the area best, comparable homes for sale, market stats, etc., will have much better chances to make something of their leads.

Then there’s the importance of being well versed and prepared when you enter into regular communications with a lead that’s gotten warmer. This also makes you look like the professional you are. Being prepared gives you confidence, and that attributes is always extremely visible to the prospective client.

  1. Think in the Long-Termfor Better Successes

As stated, many online leads are for people in the looking / preliminary research phase and may well be 6-12 months or even longer away from making any time of firmer decision. This is where having some sort of CRM or follow-up system is extremely valuable for incubating that lead and staying in touch.

Drip email campaigns, video email, even offering a monthly value-added digital newsletter subscription are all great ways to do this. And don’t overlook simply picking up the phone and making a call to them at a select interval. A real connection strengthens their understand of who you are and where you are for them.

This whole idea is predicated on responding to the lead without delay and then consistently following up with them from that point forward. Again, so much of this is related to the basics of how you do business in sales. Make sure your leads continue to be your leads!

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a guaranteed monthly quota of buyer and / or seller leads for your protected region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a dynamite way to get so much more out of your prospecting efforts, and hopefully now you’ll be much better prepared to manage those leads once you’ve acquire them.

The Emerging Green Roof Trend with Canadian Properties

Published May 28, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

RealEstateLeadsdotca-affordable-housingWe all stand to benefit greatly from the myriad of new eco-friendly technologies being incorporated into buildings these days, and that includes homes and commercial properties. Solar energy utilization is first and foremost there of course, but there’s much more that’s either been introduced or is just around the corner.

Homes that feature these sorts of new technologies have their value significantly increased by them, and it’s a fact that an increasingly large number of prospective home buyers are explicitly looking for homes that lend themselves to their living with less of a footprint. As a realtor, all of this should be very interesting for you, as the best in the profession will always have their ears to the ground looking for and then understanding current trends that play into their client demographics.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system puts you into greater numbers of position to put that know-how to use in making clients aware that you truly are an expert in the real estate business. We like to do what we can to assist in that process, so let’s spend today getting to know one of the eco-technology home advancements a little better.

A Green Roof Overhead

A newly released survey by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities – the North American green roof and wall industry association – has found that Montreal and Quebec are among the top ten North American cities when it comes to green roof installations.

Toronto leads the way in the 2016 Annual Green Roof Industry Survey, while Montreal places sixth and Quebec City tenth. Vancouver rounds out the Canadian cities in the top ten at #9.

It’s somewhat to be expected that Toronto is tops in green roofs: In 2010, Hogtown passed a first-of-its-kind Green Roof Bylaw in North America that made it a requirement for new commercial, institutional and multi-family residential developments to cover between 20 and 60 % of their buildings with vegetation.

2016 saw close to 700,000 square feet of green roofing installed in Toronto, while Montreal, Vancouver and Quebec City each installed more than 100,000 sq. ft during that same period.

Cities like Montreal and Quebec City, however, lack firm bylaws requiring green roofs and as such it’s hard to encourage builders on a large scale. There’s really no incentives for the general population to install green roofs, so in most instances the homeowner decides to do it on their own. Some Quebec cities put requirements in place for LEED environmental certifications for new projects and that’s one effective way that cities ALL ACROSS Canada can promote the installation of green roofs. Done effectively, we could at least see a lot more green roofs on institutional buildings.

It’s believe that if formal economic and political incentives were put in place for green roofs, their numbers would multiply.

Smart Practicality

Rooftop farms are the best example of application of this type of technology where it’s really needed.Plants are irrigated with water from a dehumidification system, and the green rooftop reduces heat islands and improves and promotes bio-diversity.

This application can be both residential and commercial, and a home with a viable rooftop growing plot would be extremely attractive to any number of buyers. The thought of growing kale, Swiss chard, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, green beans, yellow beans, tomatoes, eggplant, etc. etc. would be very appealing to many green-minded young 1st time home buyers.

We are definitely seeing only the tip of the iceberg with all of these new green home technologies, and it’s definitely exciting for anyone who works in the business of housing, real estate agents most definitely included.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a guaranteed monthly quota of online-generate buyer and / or seller leads delivered to you exclusively and for your own privately-owned area of any city or town in Canada. It’s a bonafide dynamite way to get so much more out of all the effort you’ll be putting into client prospecting as a new realtor.

Trio of Mindfulness Exercise for Overworked Realtors  

Published May 21, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Real estate concept. Realtor is passing keys to the client sitting behind desk with contract on blurred background.

Anyone who gets into the real estate business in Canada thinking it’s going to be an easy path to becoming independently wealthy is definitely going to be in for a rude awakening. Being successful in this business requires much in the way of your time, dedication, resiliency, and a true investment of yourself into serving your clients and taking on all the obstacles that will come your way as your forge your career.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is a great way for newly licensed realtors to get more out of their prospecting efforts as they begin their career. These newbies won’t have been put through the wringer, as they say, like a veteran realtor. That veteran will have a made a name for themselves and won’t need to make the same extent of effort that the newbie will, but don’t think that accomplishment’s come easily.

They’ll likely have found their job to be very taxing, and in many cases they’ve likely had to find ways to prevent themselves from becoming ‘burnt out’ and maintaining the degree of focus and mental acumen that’s required in this business.

So how do they do that? Well, that’s a broad answer subject but one of the better ways to keep your mind and spirit rejuvenated is by trying mindfulness exercises like these 3. Try them out, learn how to do the most effectively, and do them regularly to make sure you don’t become too burned out yourself. That’s important, because this job is definitely going to demand more of you than you think.

You can do these anywhere, and at any time:

  1. Rhythmic Breathing:

Many people forget the value of contemplative breathing as a means of reducing stress.

Find a place where you can sit alone for a short period. If you’re in your car, find an empty parking lot or something similarly remote

  • Place your hands on your stomach and close your eyes
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, feeling your stomach expand
  • Exhale slowly, again through your nose
  • Focus on doing the entirety of this in a steady, consistent rhythm
  • Repeat this exercise 15-20 times

 

  1. Practice Mindful Walking:

Professionals of ALL sorts tend to walk with purpose, often multitasking as they head from one destination to another. A great way to reduce stress is to become mindful as you walk.

  • Pay attention to each step as it hits the ground beneath you. Be thankful for the health and vitality of your body that allows it to undertake these most basic functions that we shouldn’t necessarily take for granted!
  • Coordinate your breathing with your steps
  • Listen, but don’t react, to the sounds around you. Remain focused on each step and each breath.
  1. Try Guided Imagery:

Being in a more remote and picturesque locale is often a great way to reduce stress. But it may not be convenient for you to take time off to find such a spot. Again, find a place where you can be alone for a few minutes.

 

  • Get comfortable and do some deep breathing.
  • Imagine yourself walking through a rich forest or perhaps on a beach. Perhaps you have a favourite place that allows you to recreate a location in your mind’s eye
  • Take yourself to that place, even if it’s only for a short period of time.

If you need more rational convincing of the effectiveness of these techniques, research has shown that mindfulness practice reduces stress while also serving to improve mental capacity and productivity. These exercises are a simple way to work mindfulness practices into your daily routine while asking very little of your time or available resources. One big thing though – just always remember to breathe!

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of online-generated, qualified buyer or / and seller leads delivered to you exclusively and for your similarly-exclusive protected region of any city or town in Canada. It will go a long way to giving you more opportunities to secure people as clients and grow your real estate business.

1/3 of National Mortgage Debt in Canada Found in 2 Cities

Published May 15, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_133974291Read the title here and we imagine that nearly all of you will correctly guess which 2 cities those are. Toronto and Vancouver have had grossly inflated real estate markets for years now, but it’s equally clear that homebuyers continue to wade into them just as they always have. The difference now, of course, is that in doing so they’re taking on mammoth levels of mortgage debt and collectively they are making it so that the vast bulk of mortgage debt in the entire country is for property in those 2 cities alone.

Here at Real Estate Leads, we’re keenly aware of how market dynamics influence the decisions realtors make regarding the best interests of clients. The current picture of what many will have to take on to buy a home in Canada’s 2 most-desirable locations is definitely something worth considering. Fewer ‘qualified’ buyers means less in the way of opportunities for realtors to gain legitimate clients. Our online real estate lead generation system for realtors is an excellent way to get more out your prospecting efforts there, and ever more advisable given this current state.

Impetuses to Buy

As the incentive to buy real estate increases – and most commonly because prices are seen to be rising fast – more buyers charge into the market. Many of them are determined not to ‘miss out’ on the profits that can come from home ownership. Many of these same people will turn to private lenders if they don’t meet the banks lending criteria. It’s certainly not advisable, but the numbers indicate that hasn’t deterred thousands of homebuyers from going this route.

Private lenders don’t report data to anyone, so the full extent of this form of ‘shadow banking’, if you will, isn’t entirely known. As a result, the numbers that Canadians owe 1.2 million in mortgage debt may be lower than the truth, and therefore a more rosy evaluation of Canadian mortgage debt.

Mortgage Debt Addiction

Canadians may have a bit of problem. Reliable data shows them collectively having $1.208 trillion in mortgage debt as of the end of 2017. And yes, the highest concentrations of that big mortgage debt are in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. Toronto households in particular owe more than $268 billion, which works out to roughly 22% of outstanding mortgage debt.

Vancouver households come in at $133 billion, accounting for 11%. Montreal households owe more than $118 billion, working out to 9.79%. The sum of all 3? 42.79% of all mortgage debt.

All of which requires a massive amount of cash to keep going. Canadian homebuyers with mortgages make $7.32 billion in payments each month. This is also likely less than the real number for what’s required to service this debt.

Expensive Servicing

Looking at that more critically, it’s the same 3 cities topping the list for mortgage servicing:

  • Toronto has monthly scheduled mortgage payments of $1.52 billion – 20.7% of the total payments scheduled
  • Montreal – $731.9 million – 9.99% of payments per month
  • Vancouver – $731 million – 9.84% of payments per month

Note that while Vancouver having more debt but lower payments scheduled is a reflection of a preference for longer amortizations.

The concentration of mortgage debt puts these 3 local markets in a vulnerable situation. Toronto and Vancouver are both considered “overvalued” by the CMHC, and thus might experience a price correction. If so, that would devalue large amounts of equity that homeowners there have built up over the years.

In a best case scenario interest rates will rise, and with them the amount of money going towards to servicing debt. The result would be lower amounts of available capital for productive investments, and consumer spending. However, that also tends to lead to higher rates of unemployment, and lower home sales. The result of that? Again, a loss of equity. It’s not a particularly promising scenario if you are a homeowner.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads delivered exclusively to you, and for your similarly exclusive area of any city or town in Canada. It’s a smart investment in seeing to it you make connections with homebuyers and home sellers, and especially valuable given the fact that there will be fewer qualified buyers out there all the time.

6 Common Disadvantageous Client Behaviours for Realtors  

Published May 7, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_20945576Buying a house is a process, and often a very drawn-out one at that. As a realtor, you’re trusted by your clients to keep them on the straight and narrow and work to cater that process to their interests. This is, of course, in much the same way the selling realtor is doing the same for his clients selling the home. There’s a whole lot of positioning and deductive courses of action that come into play along the way. Realtors should be aware of the most common ways that their clients can put themselves at a disadvantage, and be proactive in nipping those problems in the bud.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system continues to be very popular with both new and established realtors who need to get more out of their prospecting efforts. Once a client is acquired, there’s much that goes into retaining that client – both in the present and for future dealings as well. Being in the know about these potential ‘stumbles’, if you will, can go a long way in establishing you as the expert and one who truly has their best interests in mind.

Here’s 6 disadvantageous client behaviours to be on the lookout for:

  1. Too Much Emphasis on Aesthetics

Any real estate agent will be happy to show you as many houses as you want, but when buyers become overly caught up in how those houses look right now they are really limiting themselves and being detrimental to the overall big picture and long-term aim.

Many will dismiss houses that are dirty, outdated, or in need of small repairs. But renovation is really a thing, and a legit option much of the time. It’s all too common to have clients see some marks on a wall or a stain on the carpet and conclude that the home needs thousands of dollars of work.

Call it pessimism, call it whatever you like – but really do try to make these types of clients aware that it’s not helpful to dismiss what is otherwise a very ideal and accommodating home because of visual imperfections that can often be remedied quite inexpensively.

  1. Tipping Their Hand

Most often homes are viewed with the listing realtor in attendance. That changes the dynamic of any discourses quite considerably, and clients do themselves no favours when being too up front with their feelings on a home. Voicing criticisms can actually be quite harmful.

People tend to be quite finicky and uniquely dispositioned, and when it comes to their home there’s also matters of pride. Don’t allow your clients to give the listing party anything that might make them see your buyers (and perhaps even you) in a negative light.

  1. Waiting Too Long

Your clients have decided they want to buy a house? Don’t hesitate in getting your offer in. Taking too long to make an offer in a competitive real estate market drives buyer agents crazy, and it’s quite natural that it does.

Having too much time pass between a buyer viewing a home and making an offer can lead the seller to not take you as seriously as another party who expressed interest without delay and maintained communication. Do whatever you can to make sure you’re the realtor of that type of buyer, and not the first one.

  1. Seeing $$$ Only

We’re not debating here that how much your clients are willing to offer for a house isn’t very important. But you shouldn’t allow your clients to focus on that exclusively, or even predominantly. It’s not necessarily the highest offer that the seller will accept. Sometimes it will be the best structured offer.

The best offers are a mix of timing, the right price, and reasonable contingencies (like possession dates for example). Decide on a price but then being too firm on contingencies can also put you at a disadvantage.

  1. Ignoring Seller Wishes

Never forget to make your clients aware that they’re buying from another person who has to choose them as the buyer. Sellers become motivated for different reasons – maybe for some it’s all about the money, but for others it may be more about seeing their first home go to someone who will love it as much as they did.

Try to identify and understand these dynamics, and communicate them to your client accordingly before taking them into account as you communicate with the selling party.

  1. Lowballing with Counter-Offers

Last but certainly not least. It’s very common for sellers to not accept original offers, but be willing to consider a counter offer. Clients that are smart about it and make reasonable counter offers are great, ones that aren’t NEED you to step in on their behalf. Even if they don’t recognize the need for it initially.

Poor counter offers will frustrate a seller at the best of times, and insult them at the worst. They’ll be harming themselves and putting themselves in a disadvantageous position. Don’t give them the opportunity to do that and they’ll be very, very thankful for your intervention down the line!

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads delivered to you – and only you – for any region of any city or town in Canada. The consensus definitely is that it’s a great way to expand the reach of your prospecting efforts, and a smart investment in the health of your real estate business.