All posts for the month October, 2018

From Biggest Booming to Fastest Cooling in Canadian Real Estate

Published October 29, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Toronto and Vancouver. Those are pretty much the sweeping consensus answers when asking anyone even remotely in the know to name the two hottest real estate markets in Canada. That they are that way hasn’t really been much of a surprise considering both are a cosmopolitan metropolis that ranks highly on liveability scales and have strong local economies. These days, however, the real estate market in Canada overall has become what experts call ‘flat’ – meaning that home values haven’t really gone up or down to any significant extent.

For realtors working in either of these cities, or elsewhere for that matter, this type of a market means that many homeowners who might have been considering selling their home will now hold off on doing so. At least until the market warms up somewhat and it becomes more advantageous for them to list. This makes it more challenging to generate leads, but here at Real Estate Leads our online real estate lead generation system is a great choice for new realtors who are looking for any edge they can get when it comes to increasing their client base.

Let’s have a look today at how the cooling of housing markets in Canada’s 2 hotspots has occurred, and what goes into it becoming more of a buyer’s market than a seller’s market. First in doing that is to understand the sales to new listings ratio (SNLR).

Sales to New Listings Ratio

The sales to new listings ratio is a basic but powerful indicator used by the real estate industry. It’s pretty much exactly as described, being the ratio of homes sold compared to the number of new listings for sale on the MLS. The CREA makes determinations on whether it’s a seller’s or buyer’s market. A seller’s market is defined as when the ratio is above 60, and generally this means an increase in prices. A buyer’s market is below 40, and generally this will promote a decrease in home prices. Between the two means a balanced market – which is ideal, but rarely the case.

Two things to keep in mind here are the speed in change and multiple listings of the same property. A fast-changing ratio can mean a market acts completely oppositely from its true nature at that time. If a buyer’s market is rising quickly, it may seem like a seller’s market, and the opposite can also true. This makes context important.

Real estate agents themselves often can play a role in this disguise. They do this by employing creative and persuasive means to generate a lot of new listings. Often this involves relisting a stale property but that doesn’t really mask the overall trend of weak demand. Using active listings only obfuscates the number of stale listings. There’s something to be said for that in energizing the industry when it needs it, but just remember that no indicator is perfect. Context is everything, and for that reason it’s best to use multiple indicators before coming to a market conclusion.

Highest SNLR Is East Of Toronto

The major regions with the highest ratios are London, Ottawa, and Montreal. London’s SNLR reached 76.8 in September, and that was the highest in the country. Ottawa was next with an SNLR of 68.7, up from last year’s mark of 62.5. Montreal’s ratio was 68, up from last year’s 61. The highest SNLRs are all east of Toronto, and each featured price growth over the past few years.

Here’s a list of all of the top SNLR real estate market locations:

  1. London
  2. Ottawa
  3. Montreal
  4. Victoria
  5. Hamilton
  6. Winnipeg
  7. Fraser Valley
  8. Vancouver
  9. Toronto
  10. Calgary
  11. Edmonton

Toronto And Vancouver Real Estate Now Among Lowest SNLRs

The lowest ratios are now in Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver. Edmonton had the lowest of any major region, dropping down to 46 in September. Calgary had a better showing with 47.6, still down last year’s 54.9. Toronto came in third with 49, a significant dip from last year’s 56.8. Vancouver was 4th lowest, with an SNLR of 50.7. There’s a lot of different market dynamics in each of these cities, so it’s probably best not to read too much into this.

Montreal And Ottawa the Big Winner Markets

Only a pair of major markets saw improvements to their SNLR – Montreal and Ottawa. Montreal’s ratio of 68 is an 11.48% increase froim last year. Ottawa’s SNLR of 68.7 is up 9.92% compared to the same month last year.

Here are the Canadian markets with the best SNLR changes, dependent of at least 500 sales in September:

  1. Montreal
  2. Ottawa
  3. London
  4. Edmonton
  5. Winnipeg
  6. Hamilton-Burlington
  7. Calgary
  8. Toronto
  9. Victoria
  10. Fraser Valley
  11. Vancouver

British Columbias Real Estate Markets Declines Most Severely

Somewhat surprisingly to some, but not to industry insiders, it’s now a fact that BC is home to the fastest cooling markets in Canada. The SNLR in Vancouver slipped down to 50.7 in September, down 21.76% from last year. The Fraser Valley also fell to 56.4, a 20.23% dip from last year. Victoria fell to 63.6, down 16.43% from last year. Toronto SNLR of 49 is a 13.73% decrease from last year. With all the unsustainable growth seen in these markets over recent years, however, this slowdown shouldn’t come as a surprise.

With only those two major markets showing growth, while all others cooled, indicates this is a national trend. Blaming the mortgage stress test regulations would be incorrect. That’s because most markets don’t have price to income ratios high enough to cap buying. Vancouver and Toronto are two that definitely do, but prices were so far detached from local incomes made the impact minimal. Instead, this probably has more with higher interest rates. Steep prices and the rising cost of debt servicing is making it difficult for greater numbers of buyers to find the incentive to jump into the market.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-marketing generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered to you exclusively and for your protected region of any area of a city or town in Canada. You’ll quickly see what many other growth-minded realtors have found out for themselves – it’s a great way to get more out of your prospecting efforts and putting you in touch with real clients looking to sell or buy a home.

Understanding What an Unlicensed Real Estate Assistant Can / Can’t Do

Published October 22, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Many real estate agents in Canada make use of a real estate business assistant. It’s a popular choice for realtors who are spread too thin due to the success of their business and finding that they just can’t be in 2 places at once as often as they need to be. These assistants can no doubt be worth their weight in gold for a busy realtor, but it’s important to know what they can and can’t do when it comes to helping you manage the day to day of your real estate business.

Having to hire a realtor assistant is a good problem to have, as it generally means your business is successful to the point that it’s ‘too much’ for just one person – you – to manage. Getting to that point is going to be the aim of every realtor just starting out, and a large part of whether that happens is how effectively you prospect and promote yourself. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is a great way for aiding you in getting more opportunities to meet and secure real estate clients.

These are only general guidelines of what a real estate assistant can do for you when they do not have a real estate license. They may vary slightly based on your Province, and if you want more explicit clarification you are encouraged to contact your local municipal Real Estate Board.

1. Obtain Information with Written Instructions

Your assistant can obtain information pursuant to written instructions from the responsible person from public records, a multiple listing service, a listing exchange, or from 3rd– party sources including surveyors, banks, appraisers and title companies.An unlicensed assistant can provide great value for you pulling together the many documents and details related to getting a new listing going. However, do understand that they cannot talk to the client about it. Their job is only to gather data and documents, and they are able to go to the courthouse and pull information that’s related to the property

2. Conducting Open House Duties

Hosting and / or distributing literature at an open house is permitted for assistants provided that:

  • He or she does not discuss, negotiate or solicit offers for the property or provide any information outside of printed material prepared and approved by the responsible person
  • the responsible person is present at the open house where the unlicensed assistant is working and all inquiries are referred to the responsible person or other associate brokers or qualifying brokers

An unlicensed assistant who is chatty and likes to engage people may not be the best choice in light of these needs. You may not want to put them in the position where they’re on the frontline for receiving certain questions at an open house. Plain and simple, they shouldn’t and are not allowed to be answering them

3. Distributing Prepared Information

Your assistant can disseminate and distribute information prepared and approved by you, or anyone else with a valid real estate license. They can hand out and drop off brochures, take documents to title companies, and submit documents to appraisers and surveyors.

4.Delivery of Documents to Brokers

Most municipal real estate boards will have rules determining whether unlicensed assistants can pick up and deliver paperwork to associate brokers or qualifying brokers on behalf of their licensed submitters.
Naturally, a real estate professional’s time is best spent working with clients directly, so having unlicensed assistants take over permitted delivery duties can be a big plus.

5. Document Delivery to Clients with Limitations

An unlicensed assistant can be instructed to pick up and deliver paperwork to sellers or purchasers after a contract has been executed. This is provided that the paperwork has already been reviewed and approved by the responsible person, and without answering any questions or providing any personal recommendations to the recipient of the paperwork. Keep in mind as well that all substantive questions must be directed only to the responsible person.

Again, be cautious about having a chatty and very forthcoming person in these situations.

6. Write and Place Advertising

Your assistant can write advertisements, flyers, brochures, and other promotional materials and then have them approved by you, and they can also place classified advertisements that have been approved by you.

Having a talented writer or ad person as an assistant is great. They’ll be able to create ads and property descriptions that work. Just make sure that you review the document and approved them before going out or going live online.

7. Place and Remove Signs

The assistant can place and remove signs from properties. This is fairly obvious we imagine, and again for a busy realtor that’s going to be advantageous.

8. Order Repairs

Under your direction, an unlicensed assistant can order repairs or services for a property.
As such it may free you up to do more direct work with clients.

9. Banking, Accounting, and Documents

The individual can receive and deposit funds, plus be responsible for maintaining books and records while under your indirect supervision. They can also type and word process documents provided the material has been created by you.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered exclusively to you and for your exclusively-serviced area of any city or town in Canada. It’s a great way to supercharge your prospecting efforts by harnessing the power of Internet Marketing and many realtors have already hopped on board. Join them today!

4 Considerations for a Career in Commercial Real Estate

Published October 15, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Residential real estate is where the vast majority of realtors will choose to hang their hats and focus on generating clients and building their real estate business. However, commercial real estate can be an equally lucrative field, but the first thing a realtor considering expanding to commercial real estate should understand is that it’s quite a demanding area of the profession. Any belief that it equals fast money and minimal work hours should be discarded right off the hop. There are certain skills, considerations, and duties anyone should evaluate for themselves before becoming a commercial real estate agent. For some realtors it’s a natural transition, but for others it’s overwhelming.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way for realtors to harness the power of the Internet to allow them to get even more out of their prospecting and new client generation efforts. It’s ideal for realtors selling and placing homebuyers in residential properties, but it can also be effective for anyone who’s expanding the scope of their business to include commercial real estate as well.

So today let’s have a look at the ins and outs of working as a commercial real estate agent, and then you’ll be better informed to decide if it’s something you might like to consider further.


An agent’s salary is based on commission in commercial real estate. Some bigger firms may offer a small supplemental salary, and others may let you draw against future commissions, but commissions will be the primary source of your income. Similar to a residential agent, a commercial agent usually retains a 3% fee on all sales and leasing transactions. The brokerage firm will likely take 35% to 40% of that fee, which is typically paid 30 to 60 days after completion of a deal.

Understand that commercial deals can be extremely complex and time-consuming. It can take up to six months to a calendar year for the parties to agree on a sales price, secure funding, sign the paperwork, close escrow, and then assume their ownership of the commercial property. Leasing transactions usually take less time, but you still need to wait for the lessee to assume tenancy before you’ll receive the full commission.

Another consideration is that commission payments may come quite sporadically, and you are best to go into every deal knowing you may not be paid for your work for quite some time, and that’s if the deal closes at all. It is highly advisable to have a backup fund with six months’ to a year’s worth of expenses when working as a commercial real estate professional. This fund is especially important at the beginning of your career, but also for when activity in the market drops and there’s slim pickings to be had.

Personal Qualities

Successful agents are successful salesmen. The top among them know all the big players in their markets, and that includes real knowledge of the competition as well as what potential clients want. The best commercial agents seek out leads proactively and aren’t reserved at all about introducing themselves at a networking event or on the phone with a cold call. Most agents are social, confident, trustworthy, patient, and persistent when it’s time to persist. They must work hard to gain every listing and client and must move fast when opportunities arise to prevent their valued clients from missing out on any locations which will suit them best.

Commercial agents spend a great deal of time convincing total strangers to jump into the market with the agent as their representative. Maintaining relationships with current and past clients is also essential and even more important than it is for residential real estate given the more transitory nature of business locations and resources. If you’re relationship maintenance skills are lacking, this is going to put you at a disadvantage if you work in commercial real estate in Canada.

Making and maintaining all these connections is going to take up a good bit of your time. Long days, late nights and weekend appointments are going to happen, and you need to be okay with accommodating them. Many clients will also have extremely full schedules, and missed meetings and constant rescheduling are part of the business too for that reason. Your professional and personal life will need to remain flexible to accommodate clients.


Every Province requires you to be licensed to sell commercial real estate. Like residential real estate, you must pass a written test that is administered after relevant coursework is completed. The time can vary, but expect to spend the same time and budget that you did for your residential real estate license. Often the coursework can be completed online or through classes at a community college or university.

Individually, you should also read relevant trade publications and news websites, as well as remain active in your community to build your name and reputation for expertise. Clients are typically educated, well-informed, successful individuals and companies who will expect an agent to be armed with the latest news and market analyses to assist them with making the best decisions about where they’re going to be operating from. In addition, a thorough understanding of economics, finance, and tax law will also benefit you big time.

Work Environment

Most commercial real estate agents in Canada work for large firms in metropolitan and urban areas, or in small to mid-sized firms in suburban areas. Some of the largest brokerage firms will have 20 or more agents in one office and all will have their eyes of the same types of deals. It’s quite common when you’re new to this to have to walk a fine line between socializing with others and keeping your clients leads to yourself. Are you good with withholding information and knowing when it’s best to be reserved with the information you’re volunteering?

In addition, a commercial real estate office can be just as high-paced, hectic, and stressful as the profession itself. It’s not uncommon to have little more than a desk and landline to conduct business when you’re in the office. Cubicles, noise, and a general lack of privacy are common in these offices. Being able to tune out outside influences and distractions is important for a commercial real estate agent.

You can also expect to spend a significant amount of time outside the office. Leads and clients require a lot of face time and follow up, and your understanding of the listings must be extensive. A diligent agent will also survey the competition, taking note of what other companies and investors are attracted to based on local market dynamics. Lastly, A clean car, polished appearance, and knowledge of building and neighborhood layouts are other hallmarks of the successful commercial real estate agent.

Commercial real estate isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve had success building your residential real estate business and you’d like to switch paths or expand your professional horizons then you may want to look into it further.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and seller leads delivered to you exclusively and for your own protected region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a proven effective way to put you in touch with increased numbers of potential clients, and for many realtors it has already proven to be money well spend for building their real estate business.

Toronto Real Estate sees almost a 2% increase in sales in 2019

Published October 9, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Last week, the Toronto Real Estate Board announced that year over year sales in the Greater Toronto Area had seen a 1.9% increase in overall sales. This year over year increase is good news for local realtors and even better news for those who are looking to buy or sell in the hot Toronto market. This kind of increase was expected, but with sales through the multiple-listings system going up over 120 this month when compared to last year, the board has been ecstatic.

This news was only made better when the board compared average selling price in the Greater Toronto Area. Last year, the average home sold for $774,489, while this year the average is now sitting at $796,789, an increase of over 2.9%. This is a huge jump, and although this is still a cool housing market when you compare Toronto to the likes of Vancouver, GTA realtors are starting to take notice.

GTA realtors might be enjoying a larger than normal selling price when compared to last year, but one of the more concerning numbers for those realtors who sell a lot of below-priced homes it the fact that new listings are down. Overall, the GTA has seen a decrease of 3.1% in new listings, and this could start to affect the bottom line of some of the regions top agents.

The board has seen an increase in price growth mainly in higher-density properties around the city. This means that realtors who are selling townhouses, condos or semi-detached homes have seen an increase in both profit and movement around their properties. The numbers have finally started to stabilise after the provincial government introduced the foreign buyer’s tax and speculation fees on vacant homes that saw the market dip in the new year. However, realtors need the advantage to stay ahead, and that comes in real estate leads.

Real estate leads are one of the best ways for Toronto or GTA based realtors to get ahead of the curve and ensure they are one of the more successful realtors in the area. From being able to get leads on who is selling, and who is buying, you will be able to match homes or condos to prospective buyers with relative ease. Imagine not having to cold call throughout the day, and instead, have warm leads delivered to you in a competitive market like Toronto.

This is the reality for those who use real estate leads, and with a hot market like the GTA, you need to get ahead. Now is the time to see how real estate leads can help you take advantage of this almost 2% jump in the market, and the almost 3% jump in pricing, and enjoy being a realtor again. With leads in your mailbox, you will be able to focus on what you love about your job, selling houses, and finding perspective home buyers the house or land of their dreams. It is time to start enjoying work again, see how real estate leads can help make that happen!


Using LinkedIn to Your Full Advantage as a Realtor

Published October 1, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

LinkedIn has become the nearly ubiquitous career-focus networking tool for professionals of all types, and realtors are no exception. We’re certain most of you already do have a LinkedIn profile. However, if yours is one that you created but then haven’t done much with since then you will be pleased to learn of ways that your LinkedIn profile can help you advance your real estate business. Today we’ll look at easy steps you can take to optimize your profile and then some actions you can take to put you more at the forefront for realtors in your area of the country.

All of this is important because lead and client generation in this business is never easy, and the competition is stiff nearly all the time. These days that’s more true than ever, and realtors should be looking for anything they can do to get a leg up on their competitors and demand a greater share of the pie. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system has been a big success for Canadian realtors who’ve decided to have the Internet working for them to provide them with quality leads putting them in touch with people who are genuinely looking to buy or sell a home and need a professional to work with them.

LinkedIn is definitely one of the most under appreciated social networks, but it continues to quietly grow and become even more entrenched as a super solid business networking tool. Real estate professionals across the country and around the globe continue to utilize the social networking tools provided by LinkedIn. Over 90 million users have now registered with LinkedIn to advertise their credentials, speak with others in their business community, and meet new clients and business partners.

LinkedIn Profile Tips

  1. Have a Solid Summary

A well-written summary paragraph for your profile benefits you in a big way. It’s displayed prominently on the user snapshot page, and serves as an elevator pitch to someone who is not familiar with your skill set and work experience. If you’re not particularly skilled with writing, spending some money hiring a writer to create your summary is a good idea. As it’s short, they likely won’t charge you much at all.

  1. Have a Great Photo

Pick a great photo to represent you, and again hiring a professional for the job may be a good idea. Pictures can make a great or terrible first impression, so choose one where you’re looking your best. Also, don’t think you’re obligated to be smiling in a photo. Sometimes just a pleasant and focused expression to your look will do if you struggle to smile naturally.

  1. Make sure your Profile is 100% Complete

Be sure to fill out all of the sections of your profile. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for appropriate real estate business partners and potential home buyers / sellers to identify you as a good fit and be in touch with you.

  1. Optimize It

You can and should have SEO keywords incorporated into your profile, and that’s in the summary and elsewhere. Make sure that they are incorporated naturally into the text, and that the sentences read as if the keywords aren’t ‘stuffed’ in there, it should read naturally.

If you choose to hire a writer, most copywriters will be familiar with keyword incorporation and keyword densities.

Use Connections to Represent Business Relationships

Through Connections, LinkedIn lets you demonstrate your industry relationships to the world. When making a connection with another user on the site, it’s established how both users know each other. Once the connection is made, both users can then exchange recommendations, send inMail (through LinkedIn’s internal email program), and easily make referrals from their respective trusted networks.

A greater number of connections means more potential for making new business contacts. Often posting and viewing status updates of other users lets real estate professionals maximizes this platform’s potential. Status updates allow a user to instantly update their entire network of connections on what is currently happening in their business community.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on these updates, as the next great opportunity may be posted to a user’s entire network.

LinkedIn Connections Tips

  1. Find Your Company

Most of you will work for a real estate company that already has employees on LinkedIn, so by looking up the company name you can easily connect with all of your co-workers. The same goes for those who went to school with you; search for the educational institution so you can quickly connect with them.

  1. Find Your Clients

LinkedIn supports the upload of many different contact file formats. You may find after uploading your contact file that many of your clients and associates are already on LinkedIn.

Invite Friends. It’s very easy to import everyone you know that has a LinkedIn profile. Simply go to the webmail import tool, enter in your email login information, and seconds later you can select those you wish to extend invitations to join your own trusted real estate network.

  1. Attract New Business by Answering Questions

Users can also interact on the site through LinkedIn Answers. This Q&A format lets professionals post and answer questions related to their industry, and it’s an opportunity to establish yourself as one of the experts. If your answers are voted “Best Answers” for frequently asked real estate-related questions they can generate a lot of business inquiries. Good, accurate, and informative answers can actually be advertising for you in this way!

LinkedIn Answers Tips

  1. Ask Questions

It’s good to ask questions here if you need to gain information. It’s not that you will be scene as being unknowledgeable.

  1. Express your brand

LinkedIn Answers gives you a great format to put your personality and expertise on display. Really try to be yourself and let your character come through. Answer questions in your voice to create something of a real estate business brand in LinkedIn Answers.

  1. Be Helpful

Share valuable information, but be judicious about it. Don’t put your insider secrets out there without giving it some thought, but overall being super forthcoming with information and being helpful is a big plus for you.

Advertising Opportunities

Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn provides an ad platform for users and advertisers to take advantage of the network’s reach and social graph and use images and text-based ads to promote their business and services. Relevant ads are served to LinkedIn users depending on their profile information provided, which make LinkedIn Ads very targeted.

LinkedIn Advertising Tips

  1. Start Small

Setup a simple, but targeted ad campaign by following the easy steps that LinkedIn provides for you. If you don’t have the budget for too much testing, then be sure to start your campaign with very specific, narrowed down demographic selections.

  1. Test, Test, Test

It’s best to use at least 3-4 ad text variations per campaign, and then test them against each other to see which one is performing best.

  1. Target Your Campaign

Establish an idea of who your target audience is and target your ads to them. Running a campaign for a large network may leave you spending too much of your marketing budget.

  1. Refine, Again & Again

Check your campaign regularly to identify trends and signs that could you could use to optimize your campaign. A particular ad that is getting a low click-through rate compared to another ad, for example, might benefit from optimizing the wording in that ad. Or you might pause it entirely so the better performing ad receives more impressions.

One last important consideration for LinkedIn is to protect your info. The site is as secure as any out there, but manage your login information as carefully there as you would for any other important site. The best advice is creating a complex, unique password for use with this site so that you’re the only one with any control over your profile and how you’re using it to market your realtor services.

Use LinkedIn effectively and it can and will do something for you when it comes to lead generation, but it’s a gradual process so the best thing you can do is to start seeing it in different light from other social media platforms and digital networking options.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads for buyers and / or sellers that are delivered exclusively to you and for your protected region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a dynamite way to supercharge your prospecting efforts and get more out of the energies you put into finding new clients.