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CIBC’S Foreign Income Program Finish to Affect Foreign Buyer Capability

Published February 20, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

A healthy real estate market is one where the bulk of the market is based on local supply and demand influences and one where speculation isn’t rampant. Most real estate agents will agree that real estate primarily means homes for housing families, and allowing families to put down roots and build strong communities. Sure, everyone wants to do well and succeed in the business, but Canadians need to have affordable housing in the cities where they live and work.

Market Trends Balance

In places like Vancouver and Toronto, there’s never going to be enough supply to meet the demand. Finding buyers for homes is a certainty, and here at Real Estate Leads our online real estate lead generation system is proven effective for allowing new realtors to gain an advantage when it comes to prospecting – and that includes home buyers.

Seems as if a recent announcement from the CIBC indicates that local buyers will gaining an advantage of their own when trying to find a level playing field when competing with deep-pocketed foreign speculation buyers – something that’s rampant in both of Canada’s biggest cities.

On Feb. 1st, The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) made its mortgage advisors aware that the “Foreign Income Program” will no longer continue to be available. The new program is designed to ensure compliance with B-20 guidelines from OSFI.

And so you have it – expect a drastic impact on those using foreign income to qualify for a mortgage. This will almost certainly necessitate some changes with how many realtors will direct their advertising, along with how prospective buyer clients are qualified.

The Way it Worked

Foreign buyers and international students could qualify for a mortgage easily through the CIBC’s program. All that was required for an uninsured mortgage was a deposit above 35%, and oftentimes without any need for income verification. The bank would only be at a loss if the buyer would have to immediately stop paying their bills, and prices then declined by 35%.

CIBC reportedly even had one branch sign advertising “no income verification,” for international students.

The New

The new income verification system is significantly stricter, in compliance with B-20 guidelines. The internal document sent to mortgage advisors walked them through the new system, with the following new requirements being notable:

  • The client’s T1 General, submitted complete with foreign income stated -line 104
  • CRA Form T1135, (Foreign Income Verification Statement) showing assets
  • Company applications will require a CRA Form T1134 (Information Return Relating To Controlled and Non-Controlled Foreign Affiliates)
  • A Canadian credit bureau report, plus foreign credit bureau report confirming any liabilities

Mortgages will now be limited to the amount of overseas income and assets declared to the CRA. That may not sound overly significant, but it will be for Toronto and Vancouver. This is particularly true given the known trend of buyers purchasing expensive homes in desirable neighbourhoods but then declaring poverty levels of income. That’s been made possible with overseas income not being declared locally. Citizens groups and politicians have been clamouring for this problem to be addressed, and now it appears maybe the ball is rolling.

CIBC is the first bank to make this kind of move, but sources at two other Big Six banks confirmed similar rules are being discussed.

Clamping Down on Big Capital Expenditures

What we’ll likely see is welcome downside pressure with this improved income verification system for Canadian real estate prices.

  • It will now be more expensive for non-residents to buy a house and expect to be able to dodge local taxes
  • the amount foreign buyers can borrow will now be stress tested against the declared income, which must be verified

Buyers won’t be able to buy a home and then declare income poverty levels. Tax evaders will have to pay the additional cost of contributing local income taxes, and those incomes taxes are going to dampen profit expectations for property, with lowered resale values.

But this stress testing of non-resident or non-permanent buyer incomes is also expected to throttle capital.

Uninsured buyers could previously buy almost anything so long as they could meet the downpayment requirements, and without actually proving they had sufficient income. Now that uninsured mortgages will be subjected to stress tests and incomes need to be declared, certain borrowers are going to be handcuffed in ways they’ve never been before.

As mentioned, the other banks are likely to follow, and so foreign money faces a new hurdle when investing in a home with Canada’s biggest lender banks. OSFI B-20 regulations may be one of the corrections protected affordable housing advocates have been looking for.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads delivered to you exclusively and for your similarly exclusive region of any city or town across Canada. It’s a great way to supercharge to take advantage of the power of the Internet to supercharge your prospecting efforts.

Smart Scheduling for New Real Estate Agents

Published February 15, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Beautiful girl on telephone in office.

Many real estate agents laud the fact that they have freedom to set their own hours as one of the big perks of the career. That’s NOT to suggest that you have more free time than you would with other careers – in fact it’s often quite the opposite! And if you slack off, then you’ll fail to make a living working as a realtor – it’s as simple as that. However, it’s true that real estate agents can make their own schedule. But you absolutely must be smart about it.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system in Canada has a been a big boost for new realtors looking to get a leg up on others when it comes to prospecting. Take advantage of it, and pair it with a solid schedule every week to start building up your client base.

Alright, on to this week’s tips for building a smart daily schedule for realtors.

Step 1 – Know Yourself

The first step might not be what you expected to see here. You need to be completely honest with yourself. Start with determine whether or not you are a morning person or an evening person. Next, when do you do your best thinking? Do you have a morning ritual? If so, what does it do for you? You get the idea. Know yourself and cater to your personal inclinations and you’ll be better set up to start developing an effective schedule.

Step 2 – Schedule Your Activities

The word may be a tad strong, but it’s important to have a work ritual. Real estate agents have several tasks that they need to do on a daily basis, and then others that need to be done on a weekly basis.Daily tasks will of course include checking email, returning phone calls, checking MLS listings, and previewing properties. Then of course you have prospecting, and Real Estate Leads is an ideal resource for that and a smart investment.

Time blocking is an effective way to determine how much time you should schedule for each activity. It helps you stick to the smart schedule you’re working to create.

Work with the concept that the task will grow to fit the time you allot for it. If you give yourself one hour to make 10 phone calls, for example, you should be open to the possibility that it’s not enough time to make 10 phone calls as effectively as you like. So maybe you make 7 effective phone calls rather than 10 less-than-effective ones. Put everything on your calendar, including both personal and professional appointments. It’s important when it comes time to schedule appointments with your ever-growing list of clients.

Step 3 – Maximum Flexibility

Be mindful of having a strong routine and sticking to it, but also be mindful of the need to be flexible. Properties will arrive on the market and certain clients will want to see them immediately, or a last-minute listing appointment may mean that you have to drop everything to accommodate a client’s wishes. These won’t happen often, but when they do you need to ensure your schedule can be reworked in the short term if necessary.

Step 4 – Realism, and Apply Yourself

Being a real estate agent doesn’t mean you need to work 7 days a week, and 10+ hours a day. Yes, that might bring you some impressive results (IF you’re using that time wisely that is), but you won’t have much of a life outside of real estate. Put your schedule together with a firm idea of how much time you’re willing to devote to real estate. In general your days will range from 4 to 8 hours a day of work. Apply yourself to the max during those times and really give it your all so that when you stop working you can enjoy your time off knowing you’ve done what you needed to do that day.

This is a big part of being successful – when you’re working, you’re getting after it 100% and using your time with maximum effectiveness. By designing a smart schedule and sticking to it, you will find that you become more focused on the activities you need to do to be successful as an agent. These activities will now be connected to specific goals and the way they contribute to them should be clearly defined.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads delivered to you exclusively for your similarly exclusive area of any city or town in Canada. It’s a surefire way to boost your lead generation results for real estate, and a smart investment in your success.

We welcome any and all questions, and any feedback you might have.

Canadian Real Estate Prices Now The Fastest Falling in the World  

Published February 5, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_68732394Go back just a short time to late 2017 and Canadian real estate prices were the fastest rising anywhere in the world. Now, interestingly, as the market pulls a 180 and explores where prices should be. Reputable source numbers showed a decline in home prices for the third quarter of the previous year. For the first time in over five years, Canadian real estate prices have declined for a quarter. However, despite this quarterly decline prices still stay at significantly higher numbers than we saw in 2016.

All of this should be a little startling for real estate professionals, and perhaps alarming for their clients. The best realtors know the market and its dynamics as thoroughly as possible, and here at Real Estate Leads our online real estate lead generation system gives new realtors the ability to hit the ground running when it comes to building their business. This, of course, gives you more of the opportunities to make clear just how extensively you know the housing market in Canada.

Looking at the US Federal Reserve Home Prices Index

This information shared here today is referenced via the Dallas Fed and in particular their Real House Price Index (RHPI). It’s the same concept followed by the HPI that Teranet and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). It helps them get a cleaner, and more comprehensive look at the general market.

The inflation adjusted score tracks the aggregate of urban markets across the country, and is updated quarterly. Realtors shouldn’t expect to use these numbers to determine how much their clients will be paying in comparison to a neighbour’s house. You and fellow realty professionals should instead be using these stats for a clearer view of national home buying trends, and the Canadian economy in general. Needless to say, housing is a very large industry in Canada, and a slowdown would damage the economy quite significantly.

Q3 Canadian Real Estate Prices Dropped 3.82%

According to the Dallas Fed, what we’re seeing is Canadian real estate prices dropping at the most rapid rate seen since the early 1990s. Real home prices – or more specifically home prices adjusted for inflation – fell 3.82% in the third quarter of 2017. This single quarter decline is the first one of its kind since 2012, and the largest since the first quarter of 1991. Further, it’s the largest single quarter decline in the world apparently, with the second largest decline being observed in Italy, and prices fell 0.38% in the same quarter there.

Canadian Real Estate Prices Remain Up Over 7%

Despite this considerable quarterly decline, Canadian real estate prices are still much higher. The index is 7.44% higher than the same quarter for the year previous, and almost twice as much as the aggregate index for other countries. The increase is quickly tapering from peak growth observed in the first quarter of 2017. While this quarterly decline is significant, the real estate market in Canada is outperforming many other markets, and that of course is a definite bonus when looking at the big picture.

It’s important to keep in mind that a single data point isn’t indicative of a trend, but a decline of this size is worth taking note of. Up until this point it has been 5 years of trending upward with the housing market, and while it might just be a breather – like in 2012 – it could also be the beginning of a broad market correction like the one seen in 1990.

Most noteworthy in all of this as far realtors and the homebuying capacities of their clients is concerned is the fact that this occurred starting six months before OSFI mortgage rules were rolled out to cool conventional mortgage borrowing. The rule changes add significant uncertainty to the market, and especially so after prices are beginning to be a little softer than previously.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here to receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads delivered to you – and ONLY you – for your similarly exclusive region of any chosen city or town in the country. It’s a great way to supercharge your new client prospecting efforts and give yourself greater opportunities to grow your real estate business.

5 Disrepair Clues for Steering Clients Away from a Property

Published January 29, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

A stressed out business man holds his head in despair as he fears that he will have to file for bankruptcy or go into liquidation

Every realtor is going to enjoy seeing their clients take a strong and sometimes even passionate interest in buying a certain home they’ve seen. As much as you’ll want to foster that enthusiasm for them, it’s also a part of your responsibility to temper that enthusiasm if you see any warning signs for the home that they’re not able to see. For an experienced realtor it will be easier to make those assessments, but for someone who’s newer to the business it may be more challenging to spot potential ‘red flags.’

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system for Canada is proven effective for giving realtors a leg up when it comes to prospecting for new clients. Once you’ve made those connections, you then of course have the opportunity to start down the path to finding the perfect home for your clients, or the perfect buyer FOR their home.

Your knowledge and expertise is expected, so here’s 5 clues to look for that may suggest an otherwise ‘appealing’ home may not be as appealing as it appears.

  1. Sagging or Visibly Distressed Roof

A sagging roof or one that has missing or curling shingles could indicate water damage or rot beneath the exterior. This is very common in locations that have milder and wetter winters, and you can also look for moss growth as an indicator too. Water stains on top-floor ceilings are a good indicator that the problem is extensive.The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, states that the lifespan of a roof is usually between 20 and 25 years, so a realtor should ask about the age of the one on homes being viewed if there’s any suspicions.

  1. Water Supply Issues

We’ll assume most of you aren’t plumbers on the side, so while you may not be a pipes expert you may be able to spot any obvious problems by flushing the toilet, running the taps, and turning on the shower. Be on the lookout for slow drainage, leaky faucets, or low water pressure, as well as mildew beneath sink enclosures – a sign of slow leaks. Rooting out the sources of these plumbing issues could be time-consuming and costly.

  1. Patchy Fresh Paint

This one can be an immediate red flag in many cases. Sure, there’s nothing unusual about homeowners painting before they sell, but finding a few freshly-painted spots on the walls or ceilings could be an indication that some kind of damage was covered up very recently. The extent of the damage underneath could vary considerably, from water stains to smoke damage to worst of all – mould. If you see this, ask right away and if necessary ask for a home inspector assessment if your clients still wish to move ahead.

  1. Wet basements

Again, this can be an immediate red flag too, and believe us when we say that drainage problems are often HUGE problems. Keep in mind that water problems in the basement may only occur once or twice a year and be immediately visible at those times, but you can see evidence of them after with the appearance of the walls, both a the ceiling and at floor levels. Changes in the paint texture near the floor may indicate water has pooled on the walls, and drywall seams occurring roughly a foot above the floor often indicate repair work after flooding. Take a long look at exposed joists or studs for water stains, and look to see whether bricks show signs of spalling. And if there’s a dehumidifier resting in the corner of the room, that’s a big-time indicator right there.

  1. Improper grading

One of the ways water ingress problems in the basement can be identified elsewhere is with a yard that slopes toward the foundation of the house, instead of away from it. Improper grading can also eventually promote foundational deterioration and poor drainage in the yard, so it a sloping backyard is something you always want to take note of for your clients. You can often sense or see the slope of the grade, and if you can actually see pooling water in the yard – especially near the house – it’s something that’s going to warrant further consideration.

Identifying any of these signs may suggest that even the most functionally and aesthetically appealing home may not have been well maintained or is not soundly built. Before crossing the property off your list, however, speak with the seller’s agent to find out more – but of course be wary of the validity of the information you receive and do your own follow-ups as necessary.

Last but not least, home inspectors provide a VERY valuable resource for prospective homebuyers and if you haven’t made professional acquaintances with one already, you really should!

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads delivered to you and only you for your similarly exclusive area of any city or town of your choosing across Canada. It’s a dynamite way to supercharge your real estate client prospecting efforts, and as we all know – it’s the early bird that always gets the worm!

Canadian Real Estate Condo Market Outlook for 2018

Published January 23, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Real estate agent showing the effective date of lease on calendar (random english dummy text used)

As realtors, there are few better than folks like yourself when it comes to having a clear understanding of the big picture of housing trends in your city and across the country as a whole. Certain trends will need your expertise and industry wherewithal, but others will be clear to even the most layman of people. One of those certainly is the fact that the days of hoping for detached home ownership are over for the majority of people living in overpopulated urban centres.

That has meant that condominiums are increasingly the focus of prospective homebuyers, and many realtors are putting the bulk of their energies into focusing on them when connecting buyers to sellers, and vice versa.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system has been a big help for realtors who find they’re struggling to prospect on their own via traditional means. It allows you to get more out of your efforts, and we’ve enjoyed seeing how so many have benefitted from it.

So getting back on the topic here – condominiums were officially the strongest-performing housing type in 2017, and they outpaced single-family homes in terms of price growth all across the year according to Royal LePage’s house price survey.

This survey found that strong overall year-over-year housing market growth – the national average home price rose 10.8% to $626,042, – coincided with condos increasing a much larger 14.3% to an average price of $420,823. This is especially significant when you consider that 1-storey and 2-storey houses rose just 7.1% to $522,963 and 11.1% to $741,924 respectively.

Not only are condos increasingly in demand for homeowners, but they’re also increasingly a better investment for investment buyers.

Toronto and Vancouver at Forefront for Condo Growth

This one probably comes as no suprise. Most of the price growth in the condo sector was fuelled by activity in Canada’s largest markets. Toronto saw prices rise 19.5% to $476,42, while Vancouver moved up 18.77% to $775,806. The consensus seems to be that condominiums are the last bastion of affordability for prospective homebuyers, and especially so for first-time buyers whose purchasing power has been reduced by tightened mortgage regulations.

So it’s quite natural that realtors who have an eye on the future will be focusing more on condominiums entering the market than previously. Are you following suit?

Consider further that condos were the only housing type to appreciate on a quarterly basis, rising 1.1%, while single-family homes moved nowhere in price growth.

That’s the exact opposite of the way it was for decades previously, with condo prices typically having risen more slowly compared to the always-more-expensive detached homes.

This is because condos have appreciated at a slower pace than detached homes, and primarily because supply constraints have been easier to address, with new building development being much more cost-effective and city-zoning friendly in comparison. But now we’re seeing demand for condos being so high that the trend has been reversed.

We will likely see builders bringing in new planned product to the market to help alleviate supply and moderate prices, but we can be sure that Canada is now primarily a nation of condo dwellers much like most other advanced economies around the globe.

Expect Condo Sales to Surge in Back Half of 2018

The bulk of the condo sales growth seen in 2017 occurred in the first part of the year, before measures like the Ontario Fair Housing Plan were implemented. Activity slowed significantly in the fourth quarter, and especially for detached homes. The consensus seems to be that we will see a slower start to the 2018 market as new OSFI mortgage rules become entrenched in buyer spheres, and we’ll also see typical supply and demand factors making for a more robust second half of the year.

It’s predicted that home prices will rise 4.9% nationally by end of 2018, with 6.8% in the GTA, and 5.2% in Greater Vancouver. Montreal is expected to see 5.5%

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive qualified, online-generated leads delivered to you exclusively for your exclusive region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a dynamite way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts and acquire more in the way of opportunities to build your client base.

7 Reasons Friends Aren’t Always the Best Choice as Realtors

Published January 15, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

GeschäftspartnerThose of us who are working as real estate professionals need to accept that these days nearly everyone will have a friend or close acquaintance that also works as a realtor. Wish as me might that that weren’t true, it simply is most of the time. It’s a popular profession choice these days, and especially in places like Toronto and Vancouver where the premise of potentially lucrative earnings draw many to the business.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system has been a big success right across Canada with realtors like you. That’s not surprising with the way it allows you to add to your prospecting efforts and increase your reach, but today we’ll give you another perspective you can share with anyone who thinks they’ll be best served by going with their friend as their realtor.

While it’s perfectly natural to consider it, many times those folks will find that – while their loyalty is admirable – they haven’t really made the best choice when it comes to selecting someone to guide them along as they make such an important purchase or sale.

With that understood, let’s look at 7 reasons why it’s not always advisable to go with your friend as your realtor.

 

  • They Might Not Be Enough of a Neighbourhood Expert

Having a strong understanding of geography and local knowledge is important as they relate to the housing market. Any prospective buyer or seller should be working with someone who knows the ins and the outs of THAT specific real estate market. If a friend or acquaintance in the business doesn’t typically serve that region, that’s going to put you at a disadvantage – plain and simple.

Why is that?

Local agents will have built up a roster of neighbourhood-specific clients, meaning that if you’re looking to sell then that agent will likely already have a number of potential buyers on tap who are interested in properties in the neighbourhood.

Agents who don’t have this familiarity don’t have the same advantage, and have to invest more time to prospect clients who would be interested in buying in your neighbourhood.

Alternately, anyone looking to buy in a particular neighbourhood will benefit from how a local realtor will have an idea of how many homes have hit the market recently, what inventory is like and again he or she may perhaps have clients listing homes that fit your needs and wants.

  1. Part-time real estate agent?

A good number of realtors operate on a part-time basis, being of ‘many hat’s with other careers too much of the time. This is particularly true in hot markets, where booming prices have led to intense growth in the number of realtors looking to get a piece of the pie. For example, in the last ten years the number of realtors operating in Toronto has jumped from 20,000 in 2004 to 40,000 in 2014.

So if you’re thinking of hiring a friend or family member, you need to determine first that real estate is where they put the bulk of their focus on professional development and excellence.

Part-timers will put less time into your home buying and selling efforts, and that can mean having your dream home slip through your fingers or your current property sitting on the market far longer than it needs to. These part-timers will be budgeting their time between multiple jobs, and that may also make for availability / response-time issues.

  1. ‘Friendly’ rather than professional advice

Some might think that your realtor being a person you’ve known for years as a friend will be an advantage, but you’d be surprised just how often the opposite can be true.

Why is that?

The nature of common friendship dynamics can cause tension during house hunts or sale marketing. Further, it’s not uncommon for personal boundaries to be crossed as compared to a more professional relationship with an agent with whom you have no connection but who will provide more concrete and unbiased advice.

Rather than treat you as a client, a realtor friend or family member may see themselves as equal partners with some measure of the same footing in the decision-making process.

  1. House Hunts May Become Too Casual

Your agents will be working for you, and understand that they will be taking both THEIR time and YOUR TIME into account, along with a more exclusive focus on reaching the goal in an objective period of time

When friendship comes into this picture, the lean client-first approach can dissolve quickly. For example, important questions about negotiating prices can begin to overlap with weekend gatherings, or be squeezed in-between a night out with the friends. Valuable time may end up being spent on a little more time enjoying chats and drinks over lunch.

You get the idea.

  1. Your Friend May Not Give It to You Straight

Sometimes the offer you’re making on a home is far too much of a lowball. Sometimes your budget is going to be unrealistic based on market conditions for certain types of homes. Sometimes you’re overlooking key considerations that aren’t immediately apparent.

These situations require someone to really tell it like it is. A realtor that is your friend may opt to keep their mouth shut in the interest of not dampening your obvious enthusiasm for buying a home.

This can be particularly true when it comes to money matters, where discussions regularly revolve around incomes and budgets. When it comes to those more personal-finance related factors, you want to be speaking to a professional who has nothing to sway their judgment and will ‘give it to you straight.’

  1. House Hunting Can Lead to Strained Friendship

There’s an old saying that money and friendship don’t always mix well, and it can be very true in this context. While you and your realtor friend may get along as well as you always have, their approach to business may be completely out of line with yours and you’ve never had any previous means of determining that.

This can be particularly true when entrusting them to guide you in buying a new home. It’s a massive decision with significant financial repercussions if it goes wrong.

  1. Better Deals Potentially Had Elsewhere

Many people will choose a friend as their agent for a financial incentive, and most commonly in the form of a discounted commission rate. Often times, however, people will make the assumption that they will be presented with a lower commission rate on account of the fact they are working with a friend.

The expectation can exist even with nothing to suggest it beforehand. That can lead to some resentment and tension if the friend / agent hasn’t been thinking along the same lines.

Keep in mind that a number of full-service real estate brokerages offer incentives that could outdo anything a friend might offer. Not suggesting they’d receive the same level of service, but they might and as a whole it’s not good to make ANY type of assumption based on what an individual might expect from their ‘friend.’

It’s important for people to take all these factors into account if they’re evaluating whether or not they should work with a real estate agent friend or family member when buying or selling a home.
Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of online generated, qualified buyer and seller leads delivered to you exclusively for your also exclusively-protected region of any city or town in the country. It’s a great way to supercharge your prospecting efforts and give you many more potential clients.

BoC: More Mortgage Seekers Inquiring Outside Regulated Lenders

Published January 10, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Mortgage loan agreement application with house shaped keyring

General logic would suggest that’s a risky proposition, and there’s no debating that it is. But it may not be as risky as you think. A recent Bank of Canada (BoC) working paper, The Rise of Non-Regulated Financial Intermediaries in the Housing Sector and its Macroeconomic Implications, is suggesting that non-regulated lenders are taking a bigger share of the mortgage market. Regulated banks still hold onto the lion’s share of the mortgage market, but they’re giving up an ever increasing portion to non-regulated intermediaries.

Which, apparently, isn’t such a bad thing for most of any prospective clients you might have who are looking at every possible financing option.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our Canadian online real estate lead generation system continues to be a big plus for realtors who see the need to get more out of their prospecting efforts. Leads are opportunities, and a big part of making the most of your opportunities is being explicitly in the know about EVERY aspect of your clients’ home buying process.

Non-Regulated Financial Institutions

The term given to these lesser-known lenders is Non-regulated financial intermediaries (NRFIs). They’re also sometimes referred to as shadow banks, defined by the fact they’re not bound by regulations. In contrast to regulated financial intermediaries (RFIs), they can’t take deposits. That’s not as problematic as you might think, due to the fact they don’t have to satisfy a minimum capital requirement.

Seeing an increasing market share go to these lenders was pointed to as a primary contributor to the US Recession, but the consensus up here seems to be that the same concerns shouldn’t exist.

These lenders offer lower rates, and securitize the bulk of their mortgages. The BoC found that these lenders offer lower mortgage rates than regulated lenders, with an eye to attracting buyers with better / best credit scores. Quite logical.

Further, securitization is used to limit risk due to the fact they can’t raise funds easily, and most of that is done through the government’s National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities (NHA MBS) program. Participating loans must have the same criteria as regulated institutions. In addition, NRFIs issue securities and sell them to regulated financial institutions.

So, the question – are they any riskier than your typical mortgage?

Lower Rates, Bigger Loans

Determining that these lenders are going after the best qualified borrowers is important to understand. They issue loans with lower interest rates and higher median mortgage sizes. Prospective buyers should understand that these lenders likely aren’t being used by those rejected by regulated lenders. A higher rate of mortgages being issued by non-regulated lenders sounds scary, but the BoC working paper argues otherwise. The growing combination of these loans throughout the broader system doesn’t forecast to be a problem.

The Big & Small for Average Buyers in Canada

As stated above, the new mortgage regulation stress tests in Canada are inevitably going to disqualify ever greater numbers of would-be homebuyers from moving forward. As a realtor, this is inevitably going to put constraints on your business and particularly so if you’re working in a market that is not constantly propped up by the demand end of the spectrum.

These findings from the Bank of Canada should be something of a reassurance for anyone thinking of assuring prospective clients who are considering getting financing from a NRFI, but it’s important to pay especial attention to what we underlined above – the low mortgage rates will work to deter the validity of any applicants who don’t have a quality credit score, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is always going to be a prominent inherent connection between a buyers’ stress test qualification and their long standing credit rating.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and seller leads delivered to you exclusively each month, and for your specific requested region of any city / town / province in Canada. It’s a superb way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts, and as they say – the early bird ALWAYS gets the worm!

5 Reasons Certain Real Estate Agents Don’t Last in the Business

Published January 3, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Beautiful Female Holding Keys & Sold Real Estate Sign

First and foremost, we’ll begin as we should by saying Happy New Year and best wishes to all of you who’ve chosen to join us here at Real Estate Leads. The promise of a new year and all the possibilities that come along with it will always be exciting for any self-employed professional. Real estate agents of course are no exception there, but those who will get ahead will continue to be those of who’ve built the foundations of their business more solidly.

So while there’s no intention to start the New Year on a sour note, it’s worth discussing why certain real estate agents fail to have success in the business while others flourish. The fact that you’re here does suggest you’ve got the initiative to leave no stone unturned in building your business, but let’s have a look at 10 specific reasons why some real estate agents flame out of the business – and usually rather quickly at that.

  1. They Refuse to Prospect – Or Prospect Sufficiently

Many people subconsciously learn to associate “no” with not getting what they what. That can be a real negative mindset, because – as we all know – real estate is a numbers game. Too many real estate agents say they aren’t in sales, and more that they just want to help people. While that’s fine, realtors that want to increase their business have to work through the numbers and that applies to the ‘just want to help crowd’ equally as much

If you are going to have success in real estate, you have to prospect. Extensively. There’s a 99% chance that what you’re doing currently isn’t enough. Don’t be complacent.

  1. They Don’t Follow Up

Follow-up is everything in real estate. It’s rare and almost unheard of to hear someone say “Yes, I want to buy or sell a home immediately! Let’s make that happen pronto!”

Follow up with EVERY one of your leads with the same level of enthusiasm, and pair that with a firm understanding that the majority of leads that you’ve deemed to have ‘gone cold’ aren’t necessarily as cold as you think them to be.

  1. They Don’t Get Past Downturns

It’s quite natural and far too easy to wallow in how bad a situation is and make negative forecasts based on them. Some professions allow for you to do that without major negative ramifications. Real estate – plain and simple – isn’t one of them.

Things like

  • Losing an escrow
  • Having a client suddenly say they are going to work with another agent
  • Getting a remonstrative letter from the municipal or provincial real estate regulatory department Having a client yell at you

ARE going to happen at some point. Letting them get to you and making you second guess yourself or be more reserved in the way you approach growing your business can be majorly problematic in the long term.

Keep moving, deal with the situation, and do the best you can to remedy it. If you have given everything you can into turning it around or finding a solution, move on and do something else that’s productive. Too many realtors fail to adjust to these setbacks properly and for some it changes their psyche irreparably.

  1. They’re Not Affirmed Enough in their Decision to be a Success

Real estate is not a complicated business. You find people who want to move from one place to another, and assist them in that process. That said, real estate is NOT an easy business.

Yes, if you talk to (the right) people, be genuine in your approach, and have a proactive plan of follow up, you’ll likely do well.

What makes real estate difficult for many is related to their inherent perception of what difficulty is. The excuses for it are as endless as they are true; because of the economy, the market is bad, too much competition.

The best agents resolve to be a success no matter what obstacles they come across. They focus on what they’ll gain when you they do well, and then hold themselves to that expectation.

It starts first and foremost with your mindset, but your discipline, stamina, determination, a personable attitude, and the ability to ask people the right questions are super important too, along with a do-whatever-it-takes mentality, perseverance and genuine resiliency.

Quite simply – how badly do you want it?

  1. They Resign Themselves to Real Estate being ‘Too Competitive’

More and more commonly these days, there are just too many realtors working in a specific city or region with not enough of the pie to go around sufficiently. That is what it is, and it’s not likely to change if that describes your locale. Everyone there knows probably five to seven realtors, maybe more.

 

Successful realtors – and ones that make it through the beginning stages of their career – accept that reality for what it is and simply determine that they’ll do what it takes to overcome that competition as it poses an obstacle to their success. If you are great, clients are going to find you. They focus on building their skill base, cultivating relationships and associating with other like-minded professionals.

Do so effectively and the ‘weight’ of the competition isn’t going to be dissuading at all. If you’re truly good at what you do, you’ll be doing all the right things to allow that fact to distinguish you from other professionals in your field.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive qualified, online-generated leads delivered to you each month exclusively and for your exclusive region of any province in Canada. Contact us to learn more, and we wish everyone much success in the coming year.

Looking Ahead to Canadian Home Price Projections for 2018

Published December 28, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

one house with a web address bar and a signboard with text: for sale, concept of real estate on the web (3d render)The struggle to balance affordability and amenities has been at the forefront of buyer prerogatives across the country in 2017, and it would appear that’s going to continue into 2018. While that’s far from a rosy outlook for many buyers in Canada, it’s worth noting that it’s a trend that’s very pronounced in nearly every developed country in the world these days. Realities are just that – reality – and the most successful and satisfied buyers will be those that arm themselves with as much information as possible and then work within the current market.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system has been especially well received through 2017, and we hope that continues into next year. The best real estate agents are those who are always working to be explicitly in the know regarding the market their clients are working within, and as such it’s always advisable to have a sound understanding of where home prices are going across the country.

Let’s take a look at what’s predicted in that regard for 2018, as it’s just around the corner.

GTA and GVA Continue to be Priciest

2017 had single-family detached home and condo markets diverging on distinctly different paths in Canada’s two priciest real estate markets, the Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto Areas. The trend is expected to continue into 2018 as a mix of relative affordability for condo units has paired with price appreciation for detached homes to nudge many buyers toward condo ownership rather than looking for detached homes.

Vancouver

  • Demand for condos continues to outpace supply, resulting in the average price of a condo rising an estimated 16% year-over-year, from $553,604 in 2016 to $643,778 in 2017. There’s no reason to assume anything will buck this trend as we look to 2018.

Toronto

  • The GTA’s condo market saw price appreciation of 22% in 2017, as the average sale price for a condo rose to an estimated $523,437 in 2017, up from $429,241in 2016. What’s noteworthy here is the lack of stability in comparison to Greater Vancouver, with prices up a significant 8% in the GTA for 2017.

The single-family detached home segment of the market in both cities has been most significantly impacted by recent provincial government policy changes designed to slow the record-setting price appreciation in those regions over the last few years. Any constraint on the buying of detached homes, however, seems to be refocused on condominiums.

The majority of brokers from key real estate markets across Canada are expecting the average home price in Canada to increase 2.5% in 2018.

This of course suggests that the appetite for home ownership remains strong with roughly half of Canadians. Stats indicate that 48% of citizens are considering the purchase of a home in the next five years, and primarily for one of three reasons:

  • To upgrade their current home
  • To purchase a starter home as a means of entering the housing market
  • To upsize from their current home to accommodate a change in family make-up

Another primary and ever-more common consideration for buyers is access to outdoor spaces with their new home. Green spaces are important, as is having a backyard for many.

Many buyers are continuing to look at real estate markets outside of the country’s largest urban centres to find a balance between the home features they’re after and what they’re able to afford. These ‘move-over’ buyers as they’re called are leaving the GTA and GVA and contributing to increased demand and considerable year-over-year average price increases in the following cities most prominently:

  • Kelowna (9 %)
  • London-St. Thomas (18%)
  • Hamilton-Burlington (15%)
  • Barrie (19%)
  • Durham Region (19%)
  • Niagara (23%)
  • Kingston (8%)
  • Ottawa (9%)

For Ontario in particular, much of the activity in regional markets has been fuelled by price appreciation in Toronto during the first four months of the year prior to the introduction of the provincial government’s Fair Housing Plan.

The new OSFI mortgage qualification rules that come into effect on January 1, 2018 are also noteworthy. They’ve impacted housing market activity toward the end of this year and are expected to slow activity in real estate markets across Canada in the first part of 2018. Suburban regions around major metro centres have and will continue to see increased demand resulting from this.

Some interesting statistics related to the average house prices and the way they correlate with owner / buyer / seller demographics across the country:

66% of Canadians are homeowners

  • British Columbia: 62%
  • Alberta: 78%
  • Saskatchewan and Manitoba: 69%
  • Ontario: 68%
  • Quebec: 60%
  • Atlantic Canada: 65%

48% of Canadians are considering purchasing a home in the next 5 years

British Columbia: 51%

Alberta: 60%

Saskatchewan and Manitoba: 43%

Ontario: 50%

Quebec: 40%

Atlantic Canada: 38%

90% of Canadian households with children would prefer to live in a home with a backyard and 79% would prefer to live in a single-family detached home compared to other property types

73% of Canadians would prefer to live in a detached home compared to the just 27% that prefer a townhome and 24% that would prefer a condo

37% of Canadians are not aware of the OSFI stress test regulation changes, or how they will affect their ability to purchase properties in the future

58% of Canadians are aware of the new OSFI stress test regulations. Of this group that is aware of the changes:

  • 27% don’t believe it will impact the type of property they purchase in the future
  • 18% believe it will impact the type of property they purchase in the future
  • 13% are unsure of how the new regulations will affect their ability to purchase a property

For the full 2018 RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook report, click here.
Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive an monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and seller leads delivered to you exclusively and for your exclusive region of the country. It’s a great way to supercharge your prospecting efforts, and we image that that’s going to be one of your forefront resolutions for the new year regarding your real estate business.

4 Real Estate Trends on the Horizon for 2018

Published December 19, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Recapping November in the Canadian Real Estate World2017 is drawing to a close and the promise of a brand new calendar year is looking mighty appealing to real estate agents right across the country. While we imagine that the previous year has treated you well as regards your business, we’ll also assume that you’re never one to be satisfied or rest on your laurels. That’s the mark of an ambitious professional, and to be admired

Here at Real Estate Leads, we’ve had even more agents get onboard with our online real estate lead generation system this year and we’re very happy to have them here. Being able to have these leads delivered exclusively to these specific agents is obviously very appealing, and why wouldn’t it be? This is a competitive industry to be sure, and any advantage available should be taken.

Ebbs and flows in the industry are to be expected. As we look ahead to 2018, we find it interesting to note that a few elements are at the forefront as agents foresee a need to sharpen their skillset in order to compete in this ever-changing real estate business landscape.

It’s well understood that when the real estate market turns, a good half of the agents exit with it. Being successful as a real estate agent requires resiliency. Many will agree with the belief that any downturn in the market will ‘weed out’ a good many of the agents who entered the business for the wrong reasons.

Independent of what stage you’re at in your career, real estate is a notoriously competitive industry. Most industry experts have a consensus opinion on what’s on the horizon next year, and here are 4 trends that are at the forefront of these predictions.

  1. Specialist vs. Generalist: Know Who You Are

In recent years, it’s become ever more true that the best agents differentiate themselves by specializing, and then paying attention to the small nuances that most others leave out. With the fact there’s so much diversity in the housing market along with an ever-increasing blend of demographics to target, you really need to put as much effort and introspection into deterring ‘who’ you are as an agent.

Paying attention to the finer details can help set you apart in a crowded marketplace. A whole host of factors – where you’re doing the bulk of your business, the primary resident demographic there, etc. etc. – should factor in quite strongly as you define yourself. There’s no better time than the present to reinvent yourself if it means advancing your career, and that’s especially true right now moving into the new year.

  1. Focusing on Building Your Digital Brand Will Bring Results

Building your digital brand involves showing off the portfolio of work you’ve built up online. Now more than ever, prospective clients go online to evaluate you and your collection of properties transacted, and the breadcrumbs of information you leave for them is very important.

That’s because they help buyers and sellers make informed decisions, and make them in full confidence with your quality of work and a sense of who you are. A strong, consistent and authentic online presence will help put some distance between you and your competition. We are very much living in the information age, and you need to build and maintain your digital brand and identity to the best of your ability. Aim for educational, inspiring or entertaining bits of content, and once you’ve built that momentum you need to keep it rolling month after month.

Some ideas in this regard:

  • Developing infographics on key stats regarding current market conditions.
  • Creating a step-by-step guide for first time homebuyers on what to know.
  • Building an eBook outlining everything to know if you’re selling your home.
  • Leveraging Instagram stories for open houses.
  • Using Instagram’s scrolling feature to highlight professional photography
  • Blog on how Millennials can make a splash into the market, and not become house poor.
  1. Harness the New and Considerable Power of Millennials and Generation Z

This is related to the last point above. Indeed, so much has been written about ‘Millenials’, so decoding them isn’t as complex as we might think it to be. Surveys indicate they’re 40% more likely to stay in touch with their agent, and 55% more likely to recommend their agent in comparison to older generations. This of course is entirely dependent on their experience being a positive one.

As regards their younger cohort – Generation Z (born after 1995) we need to first keep in mind that Generation Z is expected to include 2.56 billion people worldwide by 2020. That represents a mammoth amount of consumer power, and not a lot of agents are prepared to accommodate that or the buyer dispositions that will come with it. Add the fact this is a lucrative age bracket that will be flooding the housing market in waves and you really want to be the early bird on the worm when it comes to understanding how they’ll view and purchase real estate.

  1. Networks Will Be Determining Net Worth

The Vancouver housing market is a good example here. It received international headlines on account of its inflated numbers that raised speculation that a bubble was about to burst. In a crowded market where some agents might only enjoy a pair of deals a year, it shows how valuable it can be to tap into networks for referrals.

All of this is dependent on a strong sphere of influence.

It stands to be your most valuable resource as an agent, and the engine behind your strongest personal and professional relationships within your career. If your SOI extends to 100 people and each of them knows 100 people, that equates to 10,000 opportunities for repeat and referral business.

Indeed, that’s a big deal.

This core nucleus of contacts will typically comprise some 60-80% of an agent’s business, so it is nothing to be taken for granted. It takes time to carefully nurture and keep in touch with each over time and on a personal level. As the market begins to tighten, agents that have developed their sphere of influence best will be the ones that don’t see their bottom line damaged during challenging economic conditions.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads delivered to you exclusively for your exclusive region of the country. It’s an excellent way to supercharge your prospecting efforts and build your stable of clients.