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Condo Development in Toronto Booming Despite COVID-19

Published July 13, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

There are many people – real estate agents in Canada among them – who question why anybody would want to live in a ‘glass box in the sky’ as condos in Canada’s major metropolitan cities are often referred to. What’s important to understand, of course, is that nine times out of 10 it’s not that the person necessarily chooses those accommodations. Rather, it is more that such accommodations fit their urban lifestyle and more often than not it’s primarily a case of what they can realistically afford.

Now if you’re a real estate agent practicing the business in any of Canada’s larger urban centres, the way new condominium builds in Toronto are booming is definitely something you want to take note of. Supply is usually created in response to demand, and whether that demand is actualized or anticipated. In Toronto it’s definitely actualized, as these are the homes people in the city want and can afford for the most part.

Now if only this reality could be paired with an adjacent one where there’s fewer realtors practicing in the city, but obviously that’s not the case. This continues to be as competitive a business as ever, and it’s for that reason that using an online real estate lead generations service like the one we have here at Real Estate Leads is something that all realtors should consider if they’re looking to get more out of their client prospecting efforts.

But back to topic – there’s such a flurry of activity with new condo builds in ‘The Big Smoke’ as it’s called that it has some very real potential for revitalizing the real estate market in the city sufficiently enough until normal returns after this pandemic.

A Reshaping of Downtown T.O.

Despite all the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Toronto’s mega-development boom does indeed continue to reshape downtown Toronto – and vertically in particular. Construction sites are getting back up to speed in a hurry and it is definitely a full-steam ahead approach with condo developments as the warm weather of summer arrives.

What is a constant at all times is real estate developers looking ahead for new, innovative ways to incorporate new realities and consumer wishes – from green space to working from home arrangements, and catering to new buyer prerogatives that are coming into existence in the face of these times is a way developers are even further promoting continued investment in these types of projects.

The demand has always been there, but what’s being done very smartly now is developers are fine tuning that demand even more. It’s a very positive development for the condo real estate market in Toronto, and yet another example of how not every corner of the real estate market in Canada is in the perceived moribund state that some think it is.

Post-Pandemic Sensibilities

Many of the new design principles and approaches being seen with condos in Toronto may well be similarly incorporated elsewhere in the country. They include wider sidewalks at street level and incorporated green spaces inside of the building in order to promote social distancing and healthy living.

Others are health and gym areas that are designed to promote social distancing more naturally and some are even going to have thermal scanners for fever detection in the public areas of the building, built into the security cameras.

Luxury Real Estate Market Remains Strong

Despite the pandemic, demand for luxury real estate hasn’t missed much of a beat in Toronto. One reason is that supply and demand for luxury living has not been altered. This is of course in large part attributable to the fact that Toronto is still one of the foremost destinations for immigration in Canada, to the tune of over 125,000+ immigrants arriving in Toronto each year and higher-end condos make for ideal living arrangement for these newcomers – many of whom have the pockets required to purchase them!

Expanded immigration and a growing tech industry are the leading factors fueling this current condominium boom in Toronto, and if you’re a realtor who needs further convincing of that it’s now know that there are 400 proposed high-rise projects in the pipeline for Toronto.

Get while the getting is good as they say, and get more of that getting by signing up with Real Estate Leads here. You’ll receive a monthly quota of qualified buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered only to you, and with them you’ve got bonafide opportunities to do what you do best and convince these prospective clients as to you being the best choice to help them navigate such a major purchase decision in their lives.

Winnipeg Well Positioned for Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Market Strength Following Pandemic

Published July 6, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

This week’s post will continue with what’s been a theme here with our blog for some time now. That being the projections for what the real estate market will be once this global pandemic begins to die out and some ‘normalcy’ returns to live in Canada. As to when that happens is anyone’s guess, and it’s safe to say that it’s likely going to take a long time after that to see the market return to its previously vibrancy. But that will happen, and what everyone who make their living in the real estate business needs to do is just weather the storm.

Part of weathering it for a lot of realtors is going to be working harder, both in the general sense and when it comes to doing what it takes to ensure there’s a sufficient amount of new clientele being brought into the business. Here at Real Estate Leads our online real estate lead generation service in Canada is an excellent way to get more out of your efforts there and it comes highly recommended from growth-minded realtors just like the majority of you will be.

Which leads us to today’s take on the recovery-to-be in the Canadian real estate market. With all the talk about Vancouver, Toronto and other bigger metropolitan areas, not enough is said about Winnipeg. The city that is the gateway to the West has long been one of the places where you can get the best bang for your buck when it comes to housing, and it is now becoming clear that may be equally true for commercial and industrial real estate in the not too distant future.

Repeat Performance Possible

Winnipeg’s economy bounced back from the ‘08-’09 recession in quite good shape, and it seems it may well be able to repeat that success following COVID-19. This is particularly noteworthy when you look at the neighbours to the West and markets like Alberta that have struggled with cratering oil markets manifesting themselves in the poor health of the economy and the real estate market along with it.

What we will be looking for is for owners to be divesting very good assets in Winnipeg, and if they do there’s going to be a ready list of buyers who see the opportunity with buying real estate in Winnipeg. Further, there is enough local and regional capital willing to take up opportunities to acquire these assets, and that’s not to mention qualified real estate investors from out of Province who should be taking a similar interest.

Industrial Sector Standing to Benefit

There is every reason to see Winnipeg’s industrial real estate market being particularly well-placed right now, and seeing more in the way of increased warehousing requirements is going to be a positive. There is also the possibility of more on-shoring playing a market-changing role (particularly if the move to reconsolidate manufacturing in North America takes hold as many expect it may) and Winnipeg is ideally situated to benefit from any such trend.

A new 250,000-square-foot package sorting facility being built for FedEx Ground and some 25 commercial condominium units under construction in South Landing Business Park are good examples of new and promising commercial development builds in Winnipeg.

Office Vacancies and Rents

Greater Winnipeg has the largest office inventory among Canada’s medium-sized cities, with almost 12.4 million square feet as of the first quarter of this year, and in drastic contrast to what we’re seeing in Calgary the first-quarter vacancy rates were 7.4% for class-A, 7.7% for class-B and 6.7% for class-C downtown buildings. This is an indication that businesses ARE setting up shop in Winnipeg, and with a revitalized commercial market comes a revitalized residential housing market.

Winnipeg Commercial Leasing

We may be able to safely assume that the Commercial Rent Relief benefits are not as urgently needed in Winnipeg as they are elsewhere in the country. We do know that there aren’t any data points indicating industrial or office buildings are worth less now than they were at the beginning of the year.

Interesting to note the major success story Skip The Dishes has chosen to consolidate its Canadian headquarters in the East Exchange district of Winnipeg, and speaking to a Commercial real estate expert in Winnipeg we’ve been informed that new offers from interested parties were coming in for retail properties for pre-COVID-19 market rents in mid-April and lease signings were taking place in shopping centres in early May.

Winnipeg’s downtown class-B office market has seen consistent demand and that continues to be the case right through the heart of the COVID economic slowdown, so this bodes especially well for what will the situation after we come out of it. There is reason to believe the greater general affordability with land values here will also apply to the next biggest city as you head west – Saskatoon – and that this is all a part of a general fairly positive outlook for commercial real estate in Canada outside of the major city centers in the country.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads for people who are genuinely considering making a move in the local real estate market where you have your real estate business. It’s an excellent way to harness the power of Internet Market and get so much more out of your client prospecting efforts.

Benchmark Price for Homes in Vancouver Stays Steady Despite COVID-19

Published June 29, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

There’s an age old expression that’s true much of the time, and it’s that the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. Real estate is always a hot topic here in British Columbia, and it’s at the least a fairly warm one no matter where you are in Canada. Here we’ve had so many different industry insiders predicting the worst for the market, and included in that is an expectation that home prices will fall in Vancouver.

It’s definitely been quite the polarizing subject of discussion, with those on one side enthusiastic at the thought of lower housing prices, while the less selfishly minded being concerned about what plummeting values might do for the equity that hard working people have built into their homes over a long time. And then of course there are the realtors who work in the city who also have a very vested interest in seeing house prices maintain some measure of stability.

Here at Real Estate Leads we are entirely in the know about how this is very much front and center for a lot of people, and we will take every opportunity to promote our online real estate lead generation system for Canada as a way in which realtors can better position themselves to obtain new clients in a new reality where those clients aren’t as easy to come by as they once were. Truth is, however, real estate has always been a very competitive business and there are always going to be many chasing after a few in this regard.

But back to topic – the good news for those who wish to see more positivity in regards to the real estate market in Vancouver is that recent information is indicating that housing prices for properties in the city will NOT be going down considerably in response to the economic chill that’s coming with the COVID-19 economic uncertainty.

Rents Go Down, Home Prices By and Large Don’t

The benchmark price of a property in Greater Vancouver has essentially remained constant — going from $1.02 million in February to $1.03 million in May, and indicating that the supply and demand equation HAS insulated the market here in the exactly the same way experts suggested it would. 

There is evidence to suggest the price of rentals has dropped in the last three months, but that’s not been the case for the ownership of homes. What we can safely assume here is also what certain industry experts were saying – that people most impacted by the economic downturn weren’t the same people who would have the financial means to make moves in Vancouver’s housing market to begin with. 

For higher income individuals still in the market – and the nature of Vancouver means there’s plenty of them in this category – it’s likely they were still going to be in the market regardless of what might have happened.

One thing that may take a bite of the market is there may be fewer qualified buyers going after properties and contributing to ‘sold well above asking’ trend that’s been so prevalent in Vancouver and Toronto over the years.

(And while we’re on that topic – Toronto realtors, the same supply and demand factors are going to be insulating the market and benchmark home prices in the same way)

The biggest part of that is going to be lower levels of immigration, and the extent of that influence remains to be seen. However, economic predictions counter that somewhat and all of this seems to be borne out by what’s being reported by the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation).

Possible Marginal Dip in Future

On Monday, they released a housing outlook that predicts the lower range for the average home price in Metro Vancouver may fall from $892,790 in 2020 to $809,215 by 2022. The belief here is that average house prices will decline with weaker household budgets and the uncertain nature of the economic reopening.

With all of this, however, they did state that Vancouver’s ownership markets are less vulnerable to Covid-19-related downturns, and we can safely assume this is going to apply to Toronto too. Keep in mind as well that real estate buyers tend to be older than renters and as a result are less likely to have become unemployed or less-employed as a result of the forced economic downturn.

One more thing we should also consider is that the ‘new’ reality that comes to be once the global pandemic comes to an end may mean an entire revisioning of what the ‘work’ world is, and part of that may mean greater numbers of people no longer being required to live in major metro areas for work. This has the potential to vitalize real estate markets and new builds in other areas of the country, and this will have a hugely beneficial influence for realtors working in smaller communities across the country.

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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 as the only realtor receiving them for that region of any city or town in Canada. You’ll be made aware of people who’ve indicated their genuine intention of making a move in the real estate market there.

You’ll be be able to take advantage and be the first realtor to approach them and offer your professional services to help them be in the home of their dreams or sell an existing home as part of that process.

Housing Remains Best Investment for Majority of Canadians

Published June 22, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

We’ll preface right away here with today’s blog that the understanding that housing is among the most solid investments a person can make has been THE predominant understanding in this country for a long time. If we’re to look back across however many decades you’d like we’re going to see that’s held true.

Now today, however, there’s not much debate that the real estate market in Canada is weathering a storm, but it turns out that seeing the solidity of investing in housing is just as sound perspective as it’s always been.

One of the things we will say though is that one of the less-than-ideal aspects of the COVID storm is that there’s less of that proverbial pie to go around for realtors in Canada these days, and especially so for ones working in major metropolitan areas of the country.

It’s for that reason that the online real estate lead generation system we have here at Real Estate Leads comes more highly recommended than perhaps it’s ever been before. Putting the power of Internet Marketing to work providing you with bonafide client leads is something that can’t help but benefit your business at this time, and all the time for that matter.

But back to topic – we feel it’s important to be equivocal during this time when so many people are talking doom and gloom about the real estate industry, and it’s a good testament to the other side of the picture to point out what’s going to be continuing to motivate home buyers – the fact that real estate remain the best investment option for most people in Canada, and all up and down the social ladder.

The Soundest of Decisions for Investment

Owning a home remains the largest single investment for most Canadians. For this reasons it shouldn’t be surprising that fear over an economy that’s on its side right now is generating anxiety for a lot of people.

The CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) recently predicted the ongoing pandemic and resulting freeze of the economy could push down the country’s average home prices somewhere between 9 and 18 percent, and the primary factor in that being job losses and uncertainty forcing many Canadians to the sidelines.

Further, the federal housing agency is predicting the housing sector will not return to pre-pandemic levels until around the time 2022 is drawing to a close. Yes, that’s concerning any way you slice it, but let’s continue on with what’s to be said here before we decide on a big-picture consensus.

We are seeing housing analysts pointing out vulnerabilities in big cities and the booming Vancouver and Toronto condo markets especially. There’s no getting around the fact there’s dark clouds there.

Now that’s of course going to be bad news for speculators or others who have recently purchased a home in a vulnerable region and were hoping to sell for profit  in the not-TOO-distant future.

However, for most long-term homeowners able to maintain an adequate source of income, the very roof over their head is instead the best and safest investment possible. And that is no departure at all from the same way it’s been for as long as homes have been bought and sold as part of a real estate market in this country.

5% or More for More for Nearly 3/4 of a Century

Canadian house values have increased by over five per cent annually over 25-year periods going back the middle of the 1940s, after WWII ended. The 2008 global financial meltdown is included in that of course, and the concurrent predictions for a housing market collapse along with it truly never materialized.

Many homeowners have already benefited from the pre-pandemic housing boom, and for new homeowners, any decline over the next three years can easily be absorbed once the market gets back on track. 

Now as far as potential homeowners are concerned, the next three years could present an affordability window into the residential real estate market. One of the biggest pre-pandemic risks in the housing market was the threat of higher mortgage rates, but we can now be fairly certain that borrowing rates will remain low for a long time. 

It of course needs to be said that a home should never be the only investment in a retirement portfolio, as it’s unique from other investments in terms of risk. A short-term theoretical drop in the value of a home is not to be disregarded, but it checked by the understanding that homes are bought and sold far less frequently, which decreases the risk of making a price decline a real loss and allowing sufficient time for that investment to recover.  

Intrinsic Value in Homes

What really sets a home apart from any other investment is its intrinsic value. A home is considered real estate. That means it is a real, tangible, asset and will always have a significant basic value, and by living in it you are changing the way you’re nurturing that investment asset in a positive way. You’re making it more resilient to market force dips and the like, and with its potential to increase in value you (or your client as might be the case here) are receiving a sort of dividend equal to the cost of rent if you didn’t own a home.

Then there’s the fact that home ownership also allows average investors to build equity by borrowing at a low interest rate in the form of a mortgage by using the property as collateral. Over time, that equity may be repurposed for borrowing at a low interest rate through a home equity line of credit (HELOC). 

Last but not least and very specific to the ‘here and now’ –  it’s quite possible that the biggest measure of the intrinsic value of a home comes from its newfound role as sanctuary during this global pandemic. The value of a home in a time when social distancing could become the norm for years to come may well prove to be immeasurable, and don’t think for a second that’s not going to be motivating individuals who don’t have that right now to make sure they do for the future.

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 – as the only realtor who’s assigned to serve your requested region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a dynamite way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts and speed up the development and growth of your real estate business.

Fraser Valley Real Estate Market Remains Buoyed During Current Instability

Published June 15, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

We’re now right in the exact middle of June. While the market downturn in the Lower Mainland is the same as seen elsewhere in major markets in Canada due to COVID-19 there continues to be indicators that the real estate market in the country overall is showing itself to be more resilient than many have given it credit for.

As we’ve stressed many times, Canada is in a more fortuitous position to whether this storm as compared to other countries (and in comparison to the USA in particular here in North America) because of the realities of our supply and demand dynamic here. Without going into too much detail, the demand for homes in this country – and in particular in and around major metro areas like Vancouver and Toronto – outstrips supply.

That is turning out to be very much a counterbalance against seeing the market become too depressed. Which of course benefits new realtors working in certain areas, and in much the same way that our online real estate lead generation system for Canada here at Real Estate Leads is a real advantage for them in utilizing Internet Marketing methodologies to be fast-tracked to being put in touch with genuine prospective clients.

There are many would-be homebuyers who have turned their attention to Langley, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley as a response to being unable to afford a detached home in Greater Vancouver, and they’re a large part of why the Valley is in fact one of those areas that’s contributing to the resiliency we pointed out above for the Real Estate market in Canada.

May and June to Date Exceeding Expectations

Fresh data from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) are showing that the region’s property sales and listings have showed notable recovery in May, and that this trend seems to be continuing through the first half of June.

The local industry consensus is that the main driver of this is the market’s steady adjustment to new safety measures required to buy and sell a home during the provincial state of emergency due to COVID-19, and the last part of that is directly from the FVREB (Fraser Valley Real Estate Board)

Agents and economists alike agree that this is an encouraging sign. Real estate is an essential service and in BC it’s an irreplaceable economic driver for the Province. It hasn’t been easy for people to adapt quickly to physical distancing, virtual tools, and strict personal safety protocols, but the market continues to see more and more transactions happening daily as we all familiarize ourselves with the new normal and become comfortable with it.

Sales activity for May in this part of the Southwestern Corner of BC went up 17% from April, and that created some 800+ transactions. This volume was 47% lower than May of the year previous (2019) and its level of 1,517 sales. At the same time 2,207 new listings went live in the market, which was 56% higher monthly and 38% lower annually.

Active listings in the Fraser Valley stood at 6,454 properties, which was an increase of 8% from April but a decrease of 24% from May of last year.

Resilient Market, and One of Many

Yes, overall numbers remain significantly lower than seasonal norms, but there’s no way around that given the way so many buyers have had their purchasing power taken away from them during this time. However, the market continues to show itself to be resilient and people in the real estate industry continue to work together to ensure public safety. This is going to help the market improve even further once the best workings of it are figured out.

The Fraser Valley’s REB (real estate board) data release also indicated overall prices remaining stable, pointing to a benchmark price for single-family homes of $990,400. This is down by 0.2% monthly and growing by 2.7% annually.

Overall – and again touching on what we talked about in the beginning of this blog –  a lot of downward pressure on prices is attributable to a shortage of inventory. It might come as a surprise to some that multiple offer situations are even being seen where buyers are paying above-asking price, but honestly it hasn’t been for us here.

Wishing you all continued success and resiliency of your own while working in real estate during this time.

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 as the ONLY realtor who receives the leads for your protected region of any city or town in Canada. What it does is streamlines the process for putting you more directly in touch with people who are genuinely considering making a move in the real estate market. From there the opportunity is yours to turn them into your clients, and that’s an opportunity we imagine you will make good on!

5 Tips for Growing Your Real Estate Business

Published June 8, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

The vast majority of realtors who have newly entered the business are doing so because they see it as a means to generate a higher level of income for themselves to give them and their family a better quality of life. Along with that is a realization that the ongoing demand for housing in North America makes it a fairly reliable source of self-employment, but with that of course comes the need to understand that this business is among the most competitive of all of them.

It’s also true that the majority of people choosing to become realtors are going to be both ambitious and motivated to get off to the best start possible with their new profession. To that end, our online real estate lead generation service here at Real Estate Leads is an excellent way to gain a real advantage and be put in touch with people who are genuinely considering either buying or selling a home.

Now of course all this does is provide you with the opportunity – what you make of it will depend on the way your present yourself as someone who can help those folks be in the best home for them. Don’t take away from any measure of the focus on becoming a true knowledgeable professional.

With that said, there’s a lot going for taking the approach that anything that gives you a leg up on your competitors is a good thing. If you’re real estate business is growing, then that’s the best reflection of the fact you’ve made the right choices and are building in the best manner possible.

So the question becomes what are the most effective strategies to go about getting more clients, and making more money from real estate?

Here are 5 strategies and tactics real estate agents use to bring in additional revenue or maximize current revenue.

  1. Fix It and Flip It

Buying a house, fixing it up, and then selling it is referred to as ‘flipping’. Many real estate agents have repeat clients who engage in house flipping as a means of creating an additional income stream. And of course, having even one such client can be a big benefit to you.

However, there is a lot of risk involved in flipping houses. In order for this strategy to work, a purchaser needs to buy a house below market value and then be able to accurately estimate the cost of repairs. Understanding how to do this best comes only with actual experience.

Advise your clients to be able to calculate approximated After Repair Value (ARV). They will expect their real estate agent (you) to be able to help them figure this out. You can get a preliminary idea by looking at the recent sales value of houses in that same neighborhood.

Another option is buying at a wholesale price, and then selling  as quickly as possible.

2. Dig Up Hidden or Off-Market Properties

Many properties that are going to make your clients (and you) money are the ones you won’t find on the usual online locations or the MLS. Often they’re ones owners needs to get rid of quickly, and not necessarily the foreclosures.

An off-market property is sometimes called a ‘pocket listing’ and might be one owned by a couple going through a divorce, or a property an owner no longer wants for any number of reasons – including unexpected financial hardship. They’re the houses that the owners can’t usually sell through traditional channels as they need to move fast. These can be gems for investor clients of yours.

Quite often they’ll be able to acquire these properties at below market value.

3. Target Vacation Rental Markets

Vacation rental properties can also be a good choice for clients of yours who are looking for different profitable ways to invest in real estate. However, you should always advise clients that the real cost of a vacation rental is in managing and maintaining them. The key to a successful vacation rental is to price the property low enough that it stays rented year round. If that’s not possible, your client needs to calculate whether they can make enough during the ‘good’ season.

HomeAway, a vacation rental site, states that that the average homeowner on their site rents his property for 18 weeks of the year (about four months) and grosses around $28,000 annually (that’s in USD though). For property owners that may account for a large percentage of their mortgage on the property each year and properties in desirable locations will usually always increase in value year over year.

Before your clients rush headlong into this market, however, be sure they’re entirely aware of the ongoing costs of maintenance and management and repairs.

4. Stage Properties Being Sold

Prospective buyers like to imagine what their life might look like if they were living in a home. Marketing an empty house means it may be hard to sell, and that’s also true because would-be buyers pass judgment to some extent from the moment they view a property for the first time.

Pretty much everyone looking for a house begins their search online. For this reason, among many others, it’s a good reason to tell home seller clients that they should stage their house. It’s a well-known fact that homes that are staged sell more quickly, so the expense of bringing in furniture, adding temporary character and charm touches, artwork etc. so the potential buyer can get a better idea of what this house looks like lived in is ALWAYS beneficial

5. Generate Leads Using Direct Mailers

This old-school method still works as well today as it ever has, especially if you hone in on your desired target market. You can expect the same ROI as you get from social media marketing, and direct mail outperforms all digital channels. In terms of cost-per-acquisition, it’s also very competitive.

The only downside to direct mail is how difficult it is to track where leads are coming from, or where they see you for the first time. However, there are ways to track direct mail that may take a bit more effort or a slightly larger expenditure.

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. Sign up and request your region of an city or town in Canada (provided it’s still available), and once you have it you’ll be the only realtor receiving these leads. Again, it’s an opportunity – but if you come across as a reputable professional you’ll likely turn these individuals into clients and be growing your real estate business that much more quickly.

Federal Rent Relief Program To Be A Big Help for Commercial Real Estate

Published June 1, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

It’s understandable how residential real estate dominates the headlines and interest of most Canadians when it comes to the national real estate market, but for many property owners their investments in commercial real estate are just as much at the forefront. As it is in most countries, this is particularly true in major urban centres where – just like residential real estate – the risk / reward proposition is much higher than it would be elsewhere.

In much the same way that the fact people need a roof over their head is the eternal driving factor for residential real estate, needing a place to do business is the same for the commercial real estate market in Canada. Both of these facets of the market are hurting in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the good news in regards to both is that many industry experts and economists are suggesting the pain may be much more temporary than many people think.

In the short term, however, real estate has become an even more competitive business than it was previously. Generating new clients is never easy, but for those who are new to real estate it may be an even more menacing challenge. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system for realtors in Canada is an excellent way to harness the power of the Internet to give you a distinct advantage when it comes to that aim.

And in this time – as always – it’s a good idea to take advantage of every one that’s available to you.

But back to topic, and it’s yet another piece of good news in relation to the real estate market that the Federal Government is rolling out a rent relief program for people holding commercial real estate.

No Way Around It

The fact of the matter is that the coronavirus pandemic has hit the commercial sector especially hard. It’s been suggested that somewhere around 21% of Canadian commercial tenants requesting rent relief in April, and that forecasts to continue in the coming months as tenants that are prevented from doing business aren’t creating the revenue they need to make rent, much less profits.

This applies to all of the retail, industrial, and office sectors, and separate surveys are also finding that nearly half of these tenants are looking like they won’t be able to afford rent payments, many of which are payable today – June 1st.

Business analysts are stressing that the focus here needs to be on understanding and co-operation, as tenants and property owners openly communicate and maintain strong working relationships to keep businesses on both sides operating. No one is going to debate the fact that property owners should be doing all they can to enable tenants to remain open or reopen safely, and that’s especially true for tenants who’ve been ‘good’ ones for years or even decades and will be that once again once normal returns

The response to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program of a few months back now was as big as it was expected to be, but it hasn’t been without problems on both sides. One interesting thing to note was that small-business tenants were 2.7x more likely to request rent relief than regional, national, or international tenants, but that shouldn’t be a surprise and the reasons for that should be obvious.

It’s important to sustain local businesses, and that’s something that the real estate community all across the country is acutely aware of.

Welcome Relief

The CECRA program is being re-evaluated, and it’s expected that there are more commercial rent relief measures on the way.

Seeing that tenants whose businesses were completely shut down were 3.4x more likely to request rent relief than tenants who remained open is fairly predictable too, and a valid indication as to why this rent relief is so needed.

Landlords and tenants are facing pending rent deadlines with some uncertainty, as there are landlords who have indicated that they are still waiting for more program details before deciding to apply for CECRA.

However, with this we should consider another important point that was highlighted at CBC.ca today, where it was shared that owners who refused the CECRA relief funds will NOT be able to evict their tenants.

This is a judicious move by the Feds, as there certainly would be owners who’d see the opportunity to legitimize evicting business tenants and then leasing the space for higher monthly rates in the future.

What we should be eagerly looking to see is how the program will treat landlords who have agreed to revised rental payment terms for April or May with their tenants, when the loan funds will be available, and how this program will be rolled out for each province.

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It’s a proven-effective way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts, and have a look at our testimonials from business-building realtors just like you.

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!