All posts for the month June, 2019

How Clients Can Reduce Taxes on Real Estate Investments

Published June 25, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

It’s been said a hundred times before, but it’s as true as ever – an informed and knowledgeable realtor is a reputable realtor in the eyes of a client who’s purchasing real estate as an investment. Much of this knowledge is the type that comes over time as a realtor moves over the course of his or her career, but of course there’s plenty you can do to speed up the process and become more in-the-know about the housing market and what is possible within it.

The success you’ll have as a realtor is going to have a dollars-and-cents relation to the number of new clients you’re able to prospect. With over 10,000 realtors licensed and working in Canada, it’s very fair to say that a larger slice of the pie isn’t going to be easy to come by. That’s a big part of why our online real estate lead generation system for Canada here at Real Estate Leads is so advantageous for realtors. It gives you more in the way of the opportunities you need to turn prospective clients into established clients. And yes, being perceived as a ‘knowledgeable’ realtor will go a LONG way in that regard.

This will be true of clients buying homes as residences, but it’s especially true for those buying homes as investors. Any piece of information you can share with them that will benefit their bottom line in both the purchase and future resale of the property will be most welcome and put you in the most favourable light.

Which leads us to today’s topic – Helping clients pay less tax on real estate investments.

Fewer Taxes – Happier Clients

There’s no getting around the fac that taxes have the potential to cut into the profits on a real estate investment. Investors who have an understanding of complexities of the modern tax landscape have the potential to make significant tax savings. If you can be the individual who guides them to having that understanding, you’re going to have satisfied clients and, fortunately, satisfied clients are often inclined to be repeat clients.

Here are two tax strategies that can be put to use by your investor clients:

  1. Make Purchase Mortgage Tax Deductible

In Canada, investors are allowed to transfer the proceeds from a home mortgage loan over to a loan used to buy a rental property, and once that’s done then this loan is tax deductible.

For example, let’s say an investment property is purchased for $500,000 with a mortgage for $400,000 for the first year in a variable mortgage. Once the market value of the investment property has increased and the mortgage is paid down, there is now the option of refinancing or selling the property.

Let’s now assume that in the 5th year the investment property is sold for $600,000 – creating a profit of $100,000, plus the proceeds of the pay down in the mortgage for another $35,000. After fees and capital gains tax, the $90,000 coming from this sale could be used to pay down the mortgage on your principal residence. Provided the mortgage is set up to allow a re-advance, the $90,000 could be re-invested.

Now that the interest on the $90,000 portion of the home mortgage would be tax deductible, and is that way because it was used to purchase the investment.

  1. Reduce Taxes by Setting Up a Company or Family Trust to Operate Investments

It’s helpful to know that there is usually a minimum level of income or asset base that is required before the accounting and legal cost of setting up those planning options become worth the tax savings. One simple tool that is at investors’ disposal here in Canada is the ‘Section 85’ roll over.

This is a tax deferred roll over in Section 85.1 of the Tax Act, and it makes it possible for a Canadian to transfer real estate holdings and other kinds of investments into a company while not paying any recapture or capital gains tax at that time. For a family looking to grow their investment holdings and then aiming to manage those assets for the next generation, the section 85 roll over approach is a solid choice because it allows for the required taxes to be deferred at the outset.

Then over time the investor will be able to create a family trust, which could be used to manage the ownership of the new holding company long term. Of course, investors should seek professional advice from a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) or tax lawyer before implementing any tax strategy – and ideally you’ll be able to refer a good one to them!

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered to you exclusively and for your very own and privately-served region of any city or town in Canada. That region is all yours, and the leads are all yours alone too. It’s an excellent way to really supercharge your client prospecting efforts, and you’ll almost certainly be pleased with the opportunities it creates for you.

5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Real Estate Agents

Published June 18, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

It used to be that realtors who were skeptical about this new ‘social media’ trend could actually dismiss it as a passing fad, or perhaps even as something that won’t be as relevant for ‘their’ clientele. Well, here we are in 2019 and the first part of that is now definitely untrue, and in truth the second part of it isn’t likely very accurate either.

Social media is used very integrally to promote consumer interests – and pretty much any consumer interest. Real estate is no exception to this, and almost certainly the majority of you are already putting at least some part of your budget into social media marketing for your business and in promoting properties that you have listed. And it’s 100% percent true that older people have now come around to the appeals of social media too. Not to the same extent millennials and the like have, but still enough that it’s a viable advertising means for people with ‘deeper pocket’s too.

Real estate is a competitive business, no one needs to be convinced of that. Finding homes for buyers, and buyers for homes, isn’t easy and effectively prospecting clients is a must if any realtor is to be successful. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way to see to it you have more in-contact opportunities with prospective clients.

Social media can be helpful in this regard too, and especially in the way it increases your visibility as a real estate expert for your chosen area. Today we’ll look at 5 different tips realtors can use to maximize

  1. Create Your Business Page

It’s true that Facebook is not the social media app of choice for young people any longer. However, it is the one of choice for people who buy homes. Yes, greater numbers of adults are enjoying using Facebook to keep up with all the activities of their friends, and any time you pique the interest of a potential homebuyers with the ability to actually buy a home then you’ve potentially done very well.

Facebook allows you to create a business page, and it’s entirely different from the ones you can have for your personal profile. It’s highly recommended to create your own Real Estate Business Page on Facebook, and use it to promote yourself, your properties, and – last but not least – a resource page for testimonials for satisfied customers. You can link it to your own website, or your blog (there or otherwise), and a whole lot more.

It will take about 10 to 15 minutes of your time, and you also have the opportunity to place paid ads through it that will be shown to Facebook users. Highly recommended.

  1. Make Your Facebook Page the Hub of your Social Media

Plain and simple, your Facebook Business Page should be your hub and the main funnel for your online presence. Your followers’ email and phone numbers can be collected with FB messenger, ad forms, or with a chatbot. The interface of the page provides access to your photos, calendar, stories, bio, contact information, timeline, events, and more. People who are comfortable in the social media realm will like seeing that you’re comfortable promoting yourself there, and they won’t hesitate to contact you and express whatever real estate interests they may have.

In addition, you can even manage your Instagram business from your Facebook page. A great Facebook page really can go a long way in making your real estate business visible to prospective customers

  1. Focus on Customers

Traditional marketing has always been geared around understanding your target customers’ needs, and then tailoring your strategy and ads campaigns to them. Inbound marketing is entirely different. It’s based on the strategy of creating content that your target market with an Attract —> Engage —> Delight model. The last part of that – delighting – is all about giving your customers what they want.

What goes into that depends on the type of client base you’re targeting, but research goes a long way here.

  1. Inbound Marketing with SEO

There may be some realtors who are familiar with search engine optimization, but if there are we imagine they’re few and far between. Having the content you enter on your social media profiles beign SEO optimized is very important. Now if that’s beyond you, no problem, as there are plenty of paid resources online that can make it easy for you to determine which keywords are most searched on that subject matter – and most often the ones you’ll be after will be along the lines of ‘homes for sale in _____’ or ‘________ real estate’

The objective is to rank your content on the first search results page, and it’s really advisable to hire somebody to do this for you effectively if you can’t do it on your own. It’s an essential part of social media real estate marketing (there’s one right there 😉 ) that works.

  1. Tell a Story

Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories are well suited for promoting real estate. Many people will even insist that this should be your template for creating new ads. Tell a story with photos and video of the real estate you’re promoting. Don’t focus on selling primarily, and instead put your focus on attracting and engage your audience. Engaging content is the key, and as with everything, practice makes perfect. Be smart about it and you won’t be able to go too wrong, and you’ll almost certainly improve with them.

What’s more, if you do create one and decide it’s not to your liking you can always take it down as quickly as you like.

If you take nothing more from this, make sure your social media marketing starts with a Business Page on Facebook. Being on multiple platforms is advisable, and Instagram and Twitter also lend themselves to real estate business promotion too.

Get on Board with This Today

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered to you exclusively for your similarly-exclusive region of any city or town in Canada. It’s your region, and they’re your leads. You’ll almost certainly come to see it as money very well spent in the interest of growing your real estate business in much the same way so many other realtors across Canada already have.

Want to read about that yourself? Check out our testimonials page.


Smart Civic Planning Strategy Working Contributing Nicely to Vancouver Housing Market

Published June 11, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

Over the course of their careers most realtors inherently develop at least a basic understanding of civic planning, and it’s helpful to understand how smart civic planning makes for better housing developments. That is of course beneficial for everyone, and realtors included in as far as the volume of their business is concerned. Nowhere in Canada is smart civic development and housing needed more than in the hotbeds of Vancouver and Toronto.

Not only is it important to try to counter urban sprawl as much as possible, but it’s important that people be able to live in suitable homes and immediate communities and not have overly long commutes to get to work. Again, realtors will be acutely aware of this, and those working in either of Canada’s two biggest metro areas will have heard these concerns from clients. Fortunately, it seems as if there are positive developments being seen.

Generating client leads and turning them into clients will require many things of you, and not the least of which is being attuned to what locations and opportunities there are in your city. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way to harness the power of the Internet and be put directly in touch with these types of individuals.

But back to the immediate topic, and specifically how Vancouver is seeing the fruits of its planning strategy across the last decade.

Seeds of Change

Metro Vancouver’s vision for this started 8 years ago, and their planning strategy is seeing specific areas of the suburban Vancouver area growing into standalone cities within the city.

It’s easy to see the many new and towering urban enclaves that are taking root throughout the city. Neighbourhoods like Vancouver’s Oakridge, Burnaby’s Brentwood, Lougheed and Metrotown town, plus nearly a dozen other once-suburban areas around the region are becoming developed into smart urban centres.

It’s quite impressive how former regional shopping centres and transit-oriented sites are being redeveloped into mixed-use communities that have the ability to house thousands of residents while also providing clusters of amenities like shopping, entertainment and hospitality, and news office spaces too.

The city’s regional growth strategy had Metro Vancouver – representing the region’s federation of 21 municipalities – laying out future plans for development. City planners and stakeholders chose to focus on urban centre locations and areas connected to major transit stations via Translink’s SkyTrain and Canada Line networks.

Direction was provided to the municipalities, but also to developers and investors so that high-density growth could occur in what is well known to be a very land-constrained market. Once the municipalities adjusted their own zonings and plans for the hubs, it made it possible for investors and builders to buy up land and under-developed assets in regional town centres at Surrey Central, Burnaby’s Brentwood town centre, Richmond Centre, Vancouver’s Marine Gateway and Oakridge neighbourhoods.

Dramatic changes in those neighbourhoods are in progress. A large number of towers – some 60 storeys or higher – are either being built or planned for formerly-low density residential areas. The Brentwood area in Burnaby and the corner of Willingdon and Lougheed Highway is likely the best example.

Brentwood and Oakridge’s Major Transformations

Nowhere has the change been more dramatic that with Burnaby’s Brentwood neighbourhood. Nearly 30 residential and commercial towers are either underway or in their planning stages at four major development complexes. This is going to work out to more than 13,000 homes and 3.86 million square feet of retail and office space being built over the next decade.

The rebirth at Oakridge in Vancouver will also be remarkable. It will have 16 or more new towers itself, comprising one million square feet of retail space, 450K square feet of office space and more than 5,000 new homes.

One of the key strategies of the RGS that’s really been wholly integrated with both was to build towers that replace large tracts of existing surface parking wrapped around suburban shopping centres.

Developing Urban Enclaves

Many cities in North America are developing urban enclaves, but Vancouver is doing it in a big way, and especially so for a relatively small city. What’s unique about Vancouver is it is an overly land-constrained market and the scale of these developments is occurring in what is really a very small geographic area.

All this is going to be important, as Vancouver projects to have a million additional residents over the next 20 years. It needs to become more liveable, and of course with more housing stock comes a greater opportunity for ALL people in any facet of the housing industry. Realtors included.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered to you – and only you – for any region of any city or town in Canada. That region is also yours to serve exclusively, and nearly all of the realtors who’ve gotten on board with us already are more than thrilled with what it’s done for their business with the greater number of prospective clients they’re put in touch with.

Defining ‘Exurbs’, and Why They’re Increasingly Popular for Real Estate

Published June 3, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

One of the things that most people who have an understanding of economics and the big-picture relation to the real estate market and industry will know is that never before in the history of the Western World have we seen such a multitude of external forces changing the realities of buying real estate. There are a whole host of reasons why many employed, middle-class families are being priced out of markets in places like Vancouver and Montreal.

That dynamic is also being seen to a lesser extent in many other areas of the country, and in the United States as well. Indeed, a ‘city’ realtor needs to be more familiar with the areas outside of that city’s metro area than ever before. Many of his would-be clients may be eyeing a move there, and here at Real Estate Leads our online real estate lead generation service for Canada is an excellent way to give yourself an advantage with prospecting new clients in what is an ever-more competitive arena for real estate agent.

What’s an Exurb?

Which leads us to our buzzword for today – ‘Exurbs.’ We’ll assume all of you are familiar with the term suburb, and if so you’re perfectly set up to come to understand what an exurb is. An Exurb is (quoting directly from Merriam-Webster for anyone questioning authenticity) ‘a region or settlement that lies outside a city and usually beyond its suburbs.’

Right, that much of it isn’t difficult to come to understand, but what’s the relevance of that to as far as being an increasingly popular choice for real estate? Well, for that we need to evaluate the second part of the definition – ‘an area that is often inhabited primarily by well-to-do families.’

Now when you really weight the entirety of that it makes sense. With urban densification becoming more and more pronounced around the world, it’s becoming more and more challenging for even the most financially well-equipped to live the detached home and 2-car garage / picket fence ideal. So these significantly more deep-pocket would-be buyers are looking EVEN FURTHER outside of town.

It may be a bit of a commuter nightmare for some, but these homeowners aren’t going to be overly concerned with the price of motor fuel. (Nearly $1.60 or higher per litre here in Vancouver these days)

The Trend

These ‘Exurb’ secondary municipalities, some being located as far as double digit or even hundreds of kilometres from the large urban markets, have slowly become more viable purchase destinations amid high housing costs. Some may be choosing community and lifestyle over ‘urban excitement’ and career opportunities, and it seems that many of them are skipping the suburbs right now and going even farther out.

Some info contained in a recent survey conducted by Queens University:

  • As of 2016, 3/4 of Canadians are living in suburban communities
  • From 2006 to that year, exurbs experienced 20% population growth, and auto-dependent suburbs experienced 17%
  • 8 of the top 10 fastest appreciating exurbs nationwide are in Ontario, and specifically in areas surrounding Hamilton, London, Windsor, Kingston, Guelph, and the Tri-Cities, among other locations
  • For BC, secondary municipalities in the Hope area beyond the Fraser Valley and Kamloops Exurbs regions saw the most growth

The connecting theme between all of these is they’re a significant ways away from a metro region, but overall that’s not as daunting as it used to be for people. Another reputable-source study found that – not surprisingly – elevated prices weigh heaviest among the minds of young and first-time buyers.

It will be advantageous for realtors to expand the boundaries of their areas of familiarity and expertise to go beyond where they’ve consolidated their efforts, and particularly so for more well-to-do clients as compared to the way it would previously.

All of this is of course connected closely to being put in touch with these types of clients. 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 and for your own privately-served region of any city or town in Canada. Harness the power of Internet marketing and get a leg up on your competition that puts you in direct contact with people who are genuinely considering buying or selling a home.

After all, there has to be something to be said for having the first crack at turning prospects into clients for your real estate business!