All posts for the month May, 2020

Average Home Prices in Canada Might Climb Despite Covid-19

Published May 25, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

There’s so much uncertainty and a whole lot of anxiety regarding how healthy – or unhealthy – the real estate market is going to be as we move into post-pandemic times, whenever that’s going to be. You certainly can’t blame people who are apprehensive about putting their homes on the market, and the same goes for others who aren’t sure if it’s wise to be buying a home at this time either.

Now of course that anxiety is going to be a reality for people who work in the real estate industry themselves. We’ve already established that major urban centres with more demand than supply realities are going to be more insulated against strong dips in the market, but there’s going to be noticeable downturns everywhere in light of what this is.

All of this is going to make the competitive nature of the real estate business even more competitive. It’s always been a scenario where anything you can do to gain an advantage is something you should pursue, and now perhaps even more so. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation service is an excellent way for you to be put directly in touch with people who are genuinely considering making a move in the real estate market – and do so before any of the competition has the same chance to do so.

But back to our topic, there are actually reasons to think more positively regarding the outlook for the housing market across Canada as a whole. Here’s why.

Likely 5 to 10% Gain By Year End

A renowned and premier economist in Canada, Peter Norman, is stating that Canada’s home prices are still likely to see a 5%-10% annual gain by year-end. Behind this belief is an understanding that despite the COVID-19 travel restrictions grinding the entry of wealthy foreign homebuyers to a halt, housing will probably return to an upward trajectory in late 2020.

There is plenty of fluidity to the situation, however, and that may mean there’s going to be a few valleys before we get to the modest peak. We need to keep all of this in context, and we will preface all of this by saying that nobody can or should be even trying to state that they’re forecasting with any degree of certainty.

One thing that is for certain is that we can expect to see migration being really weak for the remainder of the year, and perhaps beyond that. Immigration and homebuyers who are new to the country has been a macro driver for housing in general for a long time now.

We should also expect the pressures upon Canadian demographics and the economy to stay strong throughout the second quarter and even well into the third quarter, and the consensus across the board is that the numbers for the April-June period are very likely going to be pretty ugly.

However, what is likely going to be a positive countermeasure here is the housing sector’s fundamentals that may create a clearer path for the market’s speedy recovery once the crisis has passed.

Better Insulated

It’s not going to be helpful for anyone to overreact to seeing house prices go down in the immediate scenario, and we should also keep in mind that the country as a whole is much better positioned to be resilient as compared to other ones around the world. This is also true because the national economy is similarly poised to bounce back more emphatically.

We will see prices be all over the map for the next few quarters, and there are going to be both fewer homes on the market AND fewer buyers qualified to make offers on them. However, it’s almost certainly not going to be to the extent that many people are suggesting it will be.

Many in this industry are united in saying that by the time we get to the end of the year and momentum comes back, pent-up demand from the downtime and supply coming back on stream in the resale market is going to the buoying that the market is going to need to be in a better place than naysayers are insisting it’s going to be.

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 your similarly exclusively served region of any city or town in Canada. Once signed up and you’ve claimed your region, you’ll be the only realtor receiving those leads and you’ll quickly come to see how it works to supercharge your client prospecting efforts.

Writing Your Best Real Estate Agent Profile

Published May 18, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

Long before anyone actually makes the decision to becoming a licensed real estate agent they’ll be made aware of the fact that real estate is an extremely competitive business. One of the persisting realities in this business is that there are going to be far more realtors in any region than the standard level of business will allow for a satisfactory measure of success for each of them.

This is never going to change, and what a new realtor needs to accept – and ideally embrace – is that it’s going to be a tough go to get clients in the beginning. The good news is that if you are a skilled and dedicated professional you will very likely begin to make a name for yourself, and attracting new clients will eventually become easier. When that happens you’ll be enjoying what it’s like to have some ‘steam’ to your real estate business, but it certainly takes some time to get to that point.

Now what we’ll do next is share an age-old maxim that is as true today as it’s ever been..

‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression”

And in real estate that first impression is often pretty much everything. You need to have an excellent real estate agent profile, and another solid move is to make use of an online real estate lead generation system like the one we have here at Real Estate Leads. It takes the power of the Internet and harnesses it to put you more directly in touch with people who need the services of a realtor. That will give you the chance to sway them to become your clients before other realtors have a chance to do the same.

But today let’s look at what goes into creating the best real estate agent profile possible. It’s not difficult, and you’ll very likely see what it does for you in a very short period of time.

Put in Genuine Effort

Real estate agent profiles should be crafted with care and consideration. After all, you’re marketing yourself, so you want to put your best foot forward anywhere you have the opportunity to connect with a potential client.

As you might imagine, the very first focal point a prospective client is going to focus on is the photo you have of yourself. So that’s going to be number one on our list here.

  1. Pick the Right Photo

We’ll start here by saying that making sure you have a good photo of yourself as a realtor doesn’t mean having to update your headshot every six months. However, if you’re using an image that looks more like your high school yearbook photo than something taken in the last couple of years, then you are going to have to get new photos taken and choose them best among them.

What you need to do is avoid headshots where you’re rigid, impersonal, and serving as little more than a human logo for your real estate business. Remember that people want to connect with a professional who’s both a realtor AND a genuine person.

The best way to do this is pay a professional photographer to take a series of headshots for you. A LOT of them. These professionals will have the means of making you be relaxed and appearing personable in your photos, and that’s really so important.

Be willing to pay a professional photographer what they’re worth, because this photo is going to go a LONG way to your success as a realtor. That’s the plain truth of it, and it really is the best possible advice we can give you.

2. Clarify Educational Credentials

Perhaps you’ve seen a real estate profile that looks like this –

James P. Harrimon — MBA, ePro, ABR, CRS, CRE, CIPS, GRI, CPM, SRS.

How does that read to you? Does it make you any more impressed or trusting in this person as a professional. Surely there’s something to it, but what exactly?

Now educational attainments ARE important — but you need to present them in a manner that’s understandable and digestible for prospective clients who may have no idea what all those acronyms mean.

The better choice is to choose a few that you feel are most relevant and then both spell them out in full and provide some detail. As an example, rather than ‘ABR’ write out “I am an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and I’ve spent 200 hours in the last two years training, learning and refining my craft so I’m able to serve my clients better and be more naturally receptive to their buyer prerogatives and wishes.

Another good idea is linking to pages that explain what you learned in those designation classes.

3. Define your USP

A Realtor’s USP — Unique Selling Proposition — is what sets them apart in the sea of similarly qualified and equally opportunistic realtors who are after the same slices of the pie. It’s quite likely that there are a lot of real estate agents in your market, and they’re after that limited supply of buyers and sellers in the same way you are. What makes you different from all of them?

Now to be fair this is not something that’s easy to define. However, a good USP – if it’s well communicated but still in a straightforward manner – will go a long way in helping a consumer understand and visualize what you can do for them.

Many realtors will come up with their USP and then bounce it off their wife or husband or other family members to get feedback and / or constructive criticism on it. And some will even get the same type of feedback from a professional acquaintance who ‘has a way with words’, as the expression goes.

4. Be Mindful to not use too much ‘Agent-Speak’

Real Estate professionals definitely have their own ‘lingo’. And while some of it is okay, using too much of it and / or pairing it with too much bravado isn’t going to be beneficial in your agent profile.

One of the things that’s important to remember here is that prospective clients will usually be more swayed by more general but genuine expressions of sincerity rather than claims of your superiority in the business.

So rather than including words and terms that you see and use every day it’s better to take a step back and look at your real estate agent profile from the perspective of a consumer. Spell out abbreviations. Define industry-specific terms — or better yet, just avoid them. Don’t make it so that potential customers must try and translate your agent speak into terms they understand.

5. Avoid the Hard Sell

This part is very much related to the one above, and is part of the overall theme where you want to keep it very simple and human-interest / sincerity oriented in your delivery.

Think of your real estate profile as your biography. It’s a place for someone to learn about you, how you work, and what you can do for them. While it is true that you are using it to market yourself, it’s also important to not make it an overt advertisement. Rather than being a benefit, taking a hard-sell approach with your profile might cast you as as an agent who sees only numbers and new clients as a means to getting a new commission cheque.

In conclusion, we’ll state the plain truth in that real estate is still a very personal, face-to-face business, and your profile may well be your one and only chance to truly impress.

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 as the only realtor that’s signed up to serve that region of any city or town in Canada. It’s an excellent way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts, and pairing it with a well-crafted agent profile may go a long way in allowing you to hit the ground running with your new career in real estate!

Some Perspective on the ‘New Normal’ in Canadian Real Estate

Published May 11, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

To say this is a tumultuous time in Canadian real estate and for all the people who’s livelihood is tied to it would be a gig understatement. There’s no debating the fact that the market is depressed, and the market is neither a buyer’s or a seller’s one, and that has nothing to do with metrics. It’s probably one of the strangest times to be a realtor in Canada ever, but it shouldn’t necessarily be regarded as one of the most concerting times.

Now of course that is going to be dependent on WHERE you are practicing real estate in the country, and it is true that some markets are going to be more insulated against the tumult than others at this time. One thing that is going to be for certain is that there is going to be less of the pie to go around, if we’re to look at it metaphorically and of course all of you will know exactly what that means.

New clients are very likely going to be harder to come by, but here at Real Estate Leads our online real estate lead generation service is an excellent way to put the power of Internet marketing to work to give you a real advantage there.

It’s important to keep an open mind during this time, and that means not leaning too far towards pessimism OR optimism regarding what’s to come in the near future for real estate professionals across the country. With that mindset, let’s offer some perspective on all of this and hopefully put some of you more at ease.

Let’s start with a look at the residential housing market in the nation’s capital, Ottawa. The Ottawa Real Estate Board showed a sharp decline in listings for April; 913 properties sold through the MLS system, a massive drop from the 2,025 sold in April 2019.

Now while that’s in line with the doom n’ gloom way of thinking, let’s consider as well that average selling prices were actually up, 6.3% for condos and 6.8% for detached single-family dwellings. On the year-to-date, average selling prices are up a quite 15.1 and 18.5%, and those are fairly robust gains obviously.

Price gains of this sort will suggest a strong market, so what is one to make of all this?

Any economics course will make clear that price is going to be a function of supply and demand. Now if the two curves remain in balance, price stability is maintained. A shift in one without a shift in the other will result in prices changing.

Balance of Supply and Demand

What we do know is what has happened since the middle of March is that both curves shifted to the left, and did so pretty much entirely at the same time. Quantity went down, but prices didn’t go down with them. In fact, they actually showed measurable increases.

The reason residential real estate prices in Ottawa remained stable is because the fewer buyers are being matched by fewer properties on the market.

A sufficient number sellers – even if not an ideal number – balanced with enough active buyers makes it so that selling prices can be maintained and even track upwards in best scenarios.

This tends to be the case in most major metropolitan regions of the country. While the overall level of activity is down, the market as a whole remains in balance for the most part. Yes, a significant number of sellers have decided to wait and not offer their houses for sale, but that is countered by the number of willing buyers be temporarily down as well.

No one’s going to argue that a large number of realtors are being affected right now due to reduced deal flow, but let’s at least give it a couple more months with the emerging data before we start making wide sweeping negative conclusions about the health of the real estate market.

Market Adaptations, Realtor Adaptations

Real estate agents are doing their own adjusting, and retooling the way they do real estate. They are finding new ways to market properties and provide options for viewings using technology such as live-streaming open houses, posting virtual tours, and holding virtual showings.

All of which will serve to address social distancing needs and people’s fears. In the bigger picture though the way Canada’s large urban housing markets will fare over the short to mid-term future will depend on the socio-economic makeup of the local population. This factor is a big one and really needs to be taken into account by realtors working in different parts of the country

Varied Local Impacts

It’s been said that Canada’s economy is currently ‘frozen’, and that’s a very appropriate way of looking at it. The ‘thaw’ then is going to be faster acting and more pronounced in certain areas as compared to others. In terms of resale housing activity in major markets, we can foresee that willingness to change is going to be key.

With commercial real estate it is really going to depend on what the medium- to long-term impact will be in terms of rents getting paid. Yes, the numbers of arrears in April is something to be concerned about, but businesses are beginning to reopen and that will be a positive factor.

Likely Only Down for a Bit

It’s true that some folks would like us to believe that the sky is falling in as far as real estate in Canada is concerned, but we don’t agree. This is a storm that can – and will – be weathered like many other storms that have come before it. Some businesses and sectors of our economy have suffered and will continue to do so. Many, however, will be successful in finding ways to adjust and carry on, and that will buoy the economy and buoy the faith that prospective home buyers and home sellers will have in the not so distant future.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or sellers leads that are delivered exclusively to you. And what we mean by exclusively is that you will be the only realtor that’s assigned to the region of any city or town in Canada of your choosing. Only you get these leads, and as such you’re the only one who’ll be being fast-tracked to being in touch with people who are genuinely considering making a move in the real estate market. It’s a great way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts!

Rising Unemployment Rates Having Impact on Large Housing Markets in Canada

Published May 5, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

It’s not surprising that being well more than a month into the COVID-19 lockdown we’re starting to see how the way so many people have become unemployed or underemployed is making ripples in the housing market. The reality is that over the next few years there’s going to be fewer qualified (or willing) buyers bidding on homes because so many people will be adjust to new income-earning realities.

The direct correlation for this as it relates to realtors is that this means there will be fewer prospective clients out there, and while that will be truer for home buyer clients there will also be fewer people putting homes on the market due to decreased values that may only be temporary.

One way to counter this dip in client numbers will be to make use of our online real estate lead generation service here at Real Estate Leads. It harnesses the power of Internet marketing in a way that determines if a person taking interest in the real estate market has the makings of being one who may genuinely make a move in the near future. It’s great for getting more out of your client prospecting efforts.

But back to topic, it’s actually in the larger and more popular housing markets in Canada where this is starting to be seen. Again, not surprising as this will be where the greatest number of gainfully employed people will be living as that’s where the jobs are.

Significant Declines

So here we are with unemployment having a disproportionate impact on the country’s largest housing markets. The employment sector across the country dropped 5.3% from February to March, and that’s a representation of more than 1 million lost jobs being lost. Accordingly, the unemployment rate went up to 7.8%, and part of that being a record-high 2.2% monthly jump.

Now where this is most problematic is in the sharp downturn in employment in the private sector (- 6.7%), a rate nearly that’s close to double the public sector ( – 3.7%).

From Stats Canada – unemployment increased by 413,000 cases ( up 36.4%), and this is primarily due to temporary layoffs. In addition, 193,000 is the number of Canadians who had worked recently and were willing to but failed to meet the official definition of unemployed.

March figures from the same report also show that unemployment rates in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal have gone up rapidly in the last month, and the connection between this trend and the very detrimental socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are becoming very clear.

At the end of March Toronto’s unemployment rate stood at 7.8%, an 11.42% increase annually. Vancouver was much the same, with its share of unemployed workers going up by 68.89% year-over-year to reach 7.6%. This is in quite the contrast from the numbers traditionally associated with the West Coast hub city’s robust labour sector.

The worst case here is for Montreal, which suffered the highest unemployment rate last month, Their rates went up 51.67% annually to end up at 9.1% overall.

It’s going to be more than just something of a rocky road when it comes to economic recovery re-buoying the housing market, but as always it will be the professionals who have the means to dig deeper and think outside the box when it comes to real estate that will be keeping the success of their business relatively intact.

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 for your own privately-served region of any city or town in Canada. It’s an excellent way to ensure you have genuine client leads to pursue and knowing your using you time and energies most effectively. If you’d like to read what other realtors have to say about the value in Real Estate Leads, please have a look at these testimonials.