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Vancouver Real Estate Developers Create New Home Inventory Drop Over 90%

Published September 3, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

If you’re a resident of Vancouver, you’d have to have been completely out of touch with the local media in order to not know that the housing crunch is a major issue in the city and has been for some time. No one is debating that Vancouver needs affordable housing, and part of achieving a greater supply of affordable housing is increasing the housing inventory overall.

Now the common logic belief would be that increasing the number of new housing starts in the city would be an integral part of these affordable housing efforts, but instead the reality seems to be that many of the NDP government’s efforts to ‘cool’ the housing market have done the same for developers and builders and and cooled off their enthusiasm for new projects at the same time.

Needless to say, big picture trends like this do a lot to influence the the industry environment for real estate agents in Vancouver, and it’s something that real estate and housing industry across all the country are likely keeping tabs on too. There’s the potential for downturns, and as a realtor that means you need to work harder to get your share of clientele. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way for realtors to get more out of their client prospecting efforts.

But back to topic here, it’s interesting news to read that Greater Vancouver real estate developers are launching less units – a lot less, to the tune of 90% less than were started for this time last year.

New Low for Pre-Sale Units and Launches

MLA Canada numbers for last month (July ’19) saw the fewest new pre-sale units launched in years. Developers have been choosing to delay new releases as a result of pre-sales not being absorbed as speedily or thoroughly as before. It’s true that these fewer launches did help to firm up the absorption ratio, but sales still came in very low.

Greater Vancouver pre-sale launches for that same time period were also extremely low. The number given for the number of new pre-sale units hitting the market in July was just 157, and that’s down 91.82% from last year. Industry experts didn’t expect a number so low, and it actually comes in in 43.07% lower than forecasted.

The MLA is also stating its belief that poor absorption is resulting in delayed or cancelled projects. Lower priced projects may also be stalled so that the developers can cash in on the Federal Liberal Government’s first-time buyer incentive (which many economists say will do nothing to make Vancouver or Toronto affordable for the people the program is supposedly going to benefit – but that’s a whole different topic)

Greater Vancouver New Pre-Sale Real Estate Listings

If we go back two years this month, to September of 2017, the number of newly available pre-sale units of new homes across Greater Vancouver was in the vicinity of 900 homes. Skip forward a year to September 2018 and it has actually dipped to 700 or so. However, the very next month – October of 2018 – saw this number jump exponentially to to some 2,4000 new home pre-sales being available.

The number came down again slightly, but stayed in excess of 1,000 for the next four months. It was only in February 2019 that things started to fall again, and it’s been a downward slide since then, confirming housing industry and economy experts to suggest that the foreign buyer’s tax and vacancy taxes, among other ‘cooling’ measures introduced by the government are actually serving to counteract the benefits they’ve created for homebuyers by making more difficult for many of them to find suitable homes for sale.

Developers Only Sold Slightly More than Half Of Pre-Sales

Also seen last month was a sharp drop off in volume for sales of newly launched pre-sales. Only a little more than half – 58 – of all the pre-sale units launched in July were sold. That’s a BIG decline of 95.34% from last year. In fact, it was the fewest pre-sale launch sales for any month over the course of the last two years at least.

Greater Vancouver Pre-Sale Absorption Highest In Months

Much fewer launches did promote a better sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR). The SNLR came in at 37% for July, down 43.07% from last year. However, that’s a high mark for the ration going back to December 2018. An SNLR above 60% is what’s known as a ‘seller’s market’, where prices usually go up. Between 40% and 60% means the market is balanced, and homes are generally priced ‘as they should be’. Below 40% and it becomes a buyer’s market, where prices typically go down.

  • Jan 2018 – 92
  • May 2018 – 70
  • Sept 2018 – 38
  • Jan 2019 – 18
  • Mar 2019 – 28
  • July 2019 – 27

 

Greater Vancouver’s absorption has picked up, but the ratio still isn’t at a balanced level as of yet. The industry is decreasing the number of new project starts due to weak absorption, and the number buyers for new launches appears to be dropping as well.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered exclusively to you and for your own one privately-served region of any city or town in Canada. It’s your region, and they’re your leads, every month and it’s a great way to get a leg up on your local competition when it comes to digging up prospective clients who are genuinely interested in buying or selling a home in the near future.

Understanding ‘Subject To’ Clauses for Real Estate Transactions

Published August 27, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

As is the case with any profession, there’s a whole lot of terminology that newcomers need to get up to speed with understanding, and do so as soon as possible. The bulk of them will be answered thoroughly during your real estate licensee training before you get your license, and as we’ve said so many times knowledge is persuasion power when it comes to both doing your job well AND attracting new clients who will be more likely to see you as reputable IF you obviously know your stuff.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our Canada online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way to put you in those situations – more specifically, where you have the opportunity to convey your real estate expertise to prospective clients. If you’re new to the business, it’s an excellent investment into putting the power of the Internet to work for you and giving you a leg up on meeting people who are genuinely interested in buying or selling a home.

But back to topic, a Subject To is one of the most common qualifying conditions that will be attached to the sale of a home, and as the listing realtor they’re definitely a ‘big deal’ as more often than not failing to meet the Subject To conditions means the offer will quickly be dead in the water. So it goes without saying that having an airtight understanding of them is really going to benefit you.

Subject To ____, Not Subject 2

That heading is chosen there because it’s not that this is the 2nd of a list of subjects. Rather, it’s the sale is subject to (condition being met as stipulated by potential buyer submitting offer). That’s the first important distinction you should be making here.

In terms of property sales, a common clause that is included in many agreements is that the sale of the property is subject to the sale of another property. This is what’s referred to as a suspensive condition, and that means that if the sale of a property is subject to the sale of another one, then if that event does not take place the transaction lapses and the buyer would not have to initiate any further cancellation of transaction proceedings, either through their realtor, the brokerage, or a financial institution.

Most often, this simply means that the purchaser needs to sell his property in order to raise funds to pay the seller. Do note that many realtors will insist that any ‘subject to the sale of another property’ clause in any agreement should include a condition to protect the seller, if that’s who they’re representing.

When accepting a ‘subject t’ offer which includes only a simple term like stating the offer is subject to the sale of the purchaser’s property within, say, 60 days then that will mean that the home’s seller is bound to this one purchaser for 60 days and that they cannot sell to another buyer within that time frame. If the home does not sell to that buyer within the allotted period, the seller’s home then goes back on the market.

Time Limitations are Important

As a means of protecting the buyer and the seller, a good realtor will ensure that the terms and conditions state that the ‘subject to the sale of another property’ clause is limited to a certain period of time. The home seller should be advised to keep on marketing his property within this period. It’s also common if another offer is received within the period to then give the existing buyer an option to eliminate the subject to condition.

It’s also standard for sellers to have the right to accept an offer with better terms and conditions.

Subject To Advantages

Subject To conditions benefit sellers when they are still allowed to market the property and if they are able to maintain control over the offers that can be accepted.

Obviously, there’s much more to gain for potential home buyers. This is especially true when the purchaser is not in a position to pay for the home without receiving funds from the sale of his current home, as mentioned. It’s common knowledge that the purchaser should never eliminate this clause unless he has other means to pay for a property.

In addition, there is always the possibility of another buyer who has sufficient funds available immediately coming along and offering to buy the property. There are 2 rules that come into play with subject to clauses, and they are as follows:

Rule 1:

The purchaser has a fixed time frame where they need to have the property sold by a certain date. They then put the property on the market at a realistic market value in order to sell within the given period. The estate agent selling such a property should give the purchaser ample information to establish a realistic market value.

Rule 2:

This one applies when the buyer is not able to compete with a cash offer. In this instance, the buyer should then accept that they have not sold their home and the intention of the seller is to get the money from the sale of his home as soon as possible..

More often than not, would-be buyers have no other choice but to purchase with a “subject to” condition, so be prepared to work with them – a lot. Understand as well that subject to offers normally come in higher than cash offers, and that puts some pressure on the home owners for obvious reasons. Do they take the sure thing (cash offer) or do they roll the dice and hope the subject to offer works out?

Sign up with Real Estate leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads that are not delivered directly to you, but delivered only to you. That’s right, you get them and no other realtor does. That’s because you also have the ability to claim your own exclusive region of any city or town in Canada. Your region, your leads for that region, and your success in that region.

Follow the lead of other satisfied realtors and get in on this big-time marketing advantage today!

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!

7 Best Customer Service Practices for Realtors

Published May 13, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

We imagine there’s not even one practicing real estate agent who needs to be convinced of the importance of superior customer services when it comes to advancing their business. Further, the vast majority of realtors will already be providing their clients with good customer service, but it’s entirely fair to say there’s always room for improvement. As is the case with nearly everything, getting right down to the absolute truth of a matter often involves going beyond conventional thinking, and this is entirely accurate in the real estate business.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system for Canadian realtors is an excellent way to augment a realtor’s client prospecting efforts. More leads equals more opportunities, and the best realtors will know that turning a prospect into a client often isn’t as much of a challenge as retaining that client for future business opportunities as well. Enjoying repeat business from a client who decides to buy or sell a home again in the future is dependent on your being every bit the knowledgeable and reputable professional they hope you to be.

That, and meeting their every expectation when it comes to your role as their realtor. Obviously, customer service is going to be a big part of that and so our focus here to day will be on a handful of proven-effective customer service practices for realtors.

There’s no industry where customer service (client service, if you prefer) is more essential than it is in real estate–an opinion I’ve found support for even as the list of industries and professional services niches for which I’m a customer service consultant and speaker has climbed above a dozen. In real estate, empathetic, patient customer service from a dedicated agent, supported by a skilled, polished, and motivated office staff, is a prerequisite for success. If you work in real estate, the principles and best practices I offer below will put you on your way to building a superior level of client service, thereby creating loyal customers, generating word of mouth marketing, and building passionate brand ambassadorship.

  1. Always be Quick to Respond

Real estate clients in today’s world expect speedy service, and now more so than ever before. The saying that an hour represents a year in internet time is pretty appropriate when it comes to what they considerable to be reasonable in as far as response times are concerned. A prospective client who doesn’t hear back from you before the end of the day (at the very latest) may very well move on, or at the very least be starting to develop an unfavourable opinion of you.

Smartphones make it entirely possible to respond to any manner of digital communication quickly. You have one, so be sure to use it and always respond to client communications as promptly as possible.

  1. Anticipate Client Wishes to the Best of Your Ability

It’s a fact that when a client’s wishes are met before they’ve needed to be expressed, that client is going to be plenty pleased with their realtor. Making yourself better equipped to do this requires aligning your systems and your people to anticipate what your clients – and well in advance of the point where they feel they need to ask for it.

It’s true that much of this foreword thinking is the type that only comes with experience working as a realtor, but it’s also true that you can go a long way in this regard simply by thinking about what your wishes would be if YOU were the home buyer or home seller. aligning your systems to focus on what clients really want from your processes is really a key, and make sure to understand that each and every client is going to be different from the next in this regard.

  1. Take Initiative to Share Information with Clients

Clients that feel empowered tend to be satisfied ones, and that comes from the satisfaction of being possession of all the facts they deem to be important. For you, the focus should be on explaining what they need to know and why – before they need it. You can start by NOT assuming that ANYTHING is common knowledge between you and the client. Even if they do, you’re not going to be disadvantaging yourself by sharing it with them, and if anything they’ll see it as evidence of the fact that you’re making entirely sure they’re sufficiently in the know.

  1. Choose Wisely When Building a Real Estate Team

Every real estate firm will have measures in place to promote their clients receiving superb service, and if you’re a realtor who’s become successful to the point that you need to start building a team then you should choose those team members very judiciously – keeping in mind the importance of great customer service in real estate. It’s true that a single disagreeable or unresponsive team member can severely diminish client loyalty. You can and should aim to become an expert at recruiting, selecting, training, evaluating and reinforcing the efforts of service personnel.

  1. Master your Greetings and Farewells

Industry research has indicated that clients that the parts of an encounter they remember most vividly are the first and last minutes of them. It’s for this reason that you should focus on ensuring you have the interaction skills and moxie to make sure these parts of the conversation / interaction are most to the clients’ liking. Yes, that often means engineering them, and while that many not be ‘natural’ it’s perfectly fine to have scripts in place for these parts of your discourse and meetings with clients.

Practice them so that they are natural, but do make sure that you have them in place to make certain that you start and end on the right notes with clients.

  1. Acknowledge Returning Clients in a Personal Manner

You stand to benefit immensely from being able to speak to a returning clients with the kind of ease, naturalness, and personability that indicates you both remember them and know of their individuality. This goes a LONG way in creating the impression that your excellent customer service is paired with a continuing degree of genuine interest in these clients as distinct people.

Some realtors have expressly strong memories that serve well for this purpose. For those of you who don’t, it’s advisable to make notes in your digital files on clients where you jot down little things you catch onto about them. Keeping a notes file in your phone so you can add to it immediately after meeting with them is the best idea, and you then transfer those notes to a master file on your computer once back at the office or at home.

  1. Don’t Measure Yourself Against Prevailing or Conventional Standards

This one is fairly self-explanatory; you shouldn’t be resting on your laurels based on the fact you’re meeting or exceeding what’s seen as the minimum for customer service in real estate. Instead, benchmark yourself against the best practices you can find throughout a variety of service-intensive industries, and do so because that’s going to provide your with a more realistic interpretation of what clients ACTUALLY expect from ANY service provider – their realtor included.

Every client interaction with you is judged based on expectations set by the most receptive and in-tune providers in hospitality, the financial services industry, and other areas those who’ve mastered customer service best practices have reaped the rewards for their efforts.

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 any area of a city of town in Canada that’s protected for you exclusively within our system. The region is yours and yours alone, and you’ll be the only realtor who’ll receive leads for it. It’s a proven-effective way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts and you’ll have more in the way of opportunities to showcase your real estate excellence – including exceptional customer service.

Marketing Real Estate with Facebook Retargeting Ads

Published April 16, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

Even realtors who were especially cool to it for the longest time have had to come around and accept the importance of social media marketing in real estate. Facebook is front and center in this regard, and not because it’s superior to any of the other leading social media apps. Rather, it’s because Facebook has become the social media app of choice for older people. Yes, a good number of Mom and Dads out there have discovered how Facebook is great for keeping in touch with friends.

Now the relevance of this isn’t hard to understand – no disrespect to younger generations, but it’s people who are in their 30s and upwards who are more likely to be buying and selling real estate. If you’re on Facebook you’ve almost certainly seen real estate agents and / or real estate brokerages using paid ads that promote properties for sale or their real estate services.

As such, making good use of Facebook is something you may want to consider for your real estate business. Same can be said for our online real estate lead generation system here at Real Estate Leads. Long story short, whatever can create the short distance between A and B when it comes to you meeting with prospective clients is something you should pursue as enthusiastically as possible.

What is a Retargeting Campaign?

A retargeting campaign is the part of a digital marketing strategy that gives you a significant edge in re-engaging customers at specific parts of their journey throughout your site. How Facebook comes into it is that it provides a piece of code called a pixel that tracks how many times that specific visitor stops by you site.

To be brief, Facebook Pixel enables you to measure and optimize ads plus build audiences for your ad campaigns. Once you have it, you then use this pixel to know which group of people visited which page of your website and how they interacted with it once they’re there.

Who Will I Retarget with Facebook Retargeting Campaigns

There’s really no limitations here once the individual has visited your site, even just one time. Keep in mind that you won’t know the personal data of any person that you are retargeting, but you will be aware of the exact behavior of people on your site. Because of this you can retarget any visitor or group of visitors who come to your site.

Here are some examples of useable information you can obtain from Facebook Retargeting

Retargeting people who read through your blog, sending them more relevant content that is designed to further enhance their purchase interests

  • Retargeting people who visit a specific URL, providing them with a tailored message for the next step
  • Retargeting people who visit a page for a webinar with incentives to register for the webinar
  • Retargeting existing customers with new offers
  • Retargeting website visitors with lead ads to collect new subscribers

There’s also much more you can do with retargeting – it really is only limited by initial traffic received and what you imagine you can do with the information.

What is more defined is all the ways to implement Facebook retargeting. That’s why it’s best to get set up for these ads with your Facebook user account and you can see what kind of results you’ll get within a few days.

Retargeting Campaign to Set Up First

A good idea is to set up for an abandoned cart or form sequence as your first retargeting campaign. These will be instances where people took the time to start an action, but didn’t complete or submit it. The term for these actions is ‘hot audience’ because they’ve already signaled some degree of purchase intent.

Here is an example of how this works:

Abandoned Appointment / Inquiry

Let’s say someone began filling out a form for more detailed information on a home, or to request a meeting with you to discuss a property you have on the market. Facebook pixel would allow you to know who filled out that form. You respond by retargeting them with a communication, infographic, or special offer that gives them incentive to return and this time fill out the form completely and submit it.

It’s also helpful that you can do this automatically through Facebook using a type of ad called a dynamic ad with a product catalog. This combination allows Facebook to serve ads based on the exact behaviours of the customer while they were at your Real Estate website as linked to it by your paid Facebook ad.

Surprisingly Powerful Tool

We spoke with a real estate agent in Western Canada a while back and she reported that she made contact with a couple that became her clients via a Facebook Retargeting Ad within a few weeks of first trying them. Granted, she is sufficiently social media savvy and had been using her own sponsored ads for Facebook for some time, but it was her first go around with retargeting ads on Facebook.

There’s no debating they’re an excellent fit for real estate marketing, and in large part because of the nature of what’s involved with buying or selling a home. People may window shop at homes, but if a person has taken some level of interaction with your site it can usually mean there’s some definitive level of interest in making a real estate move.

Retargeting is a powerful technology that allows you to create virtual lists of people who have visited your site and serve them ads based on the behavior on your site. Facebook retargeting ads are highly recommended for realtors.

As is Real Estate Leads! Sign up for real estate leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads delivered exclusively to you and for your very own region of any city or town in Canada. Their your leads for your area, and only you receive them. It’s a dynamite way to supercharge your prospecting efforts and you’ll almost certainly come to seen it as money well spent for growing your real estate business.

Vancouver-Based Online Real Estate Investing Platform Promises to be Well Received

Published April 1, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

One of the inescapable realities of living in Canada’s most popular urban areas is that every aspect of life is intimidatingly expensive. When it comes to owning – and investing – in real estate, that expensiveness is at its apex point. Likely no one needs to be told that real estate is supremely expensive in Toronto and Vancouver, but it’s that reality that of course makes many people want to be able to invest in it.

As a realtor the bulk of your clients will be buying homes to live in them, while others will be buying them as revenue properties with the aim of renting them at rates the market will bear. In either scenario, however, it’s a fact that the people are making investments, and in most cases it’s an investment in both their immediate future AND their financial future.

Here at Real Estate Leads, the benefit of our online real estate lead generation service is that it puts you in touch with buyers and sellers who are legitimately considering making such a move, and as their realtor it’s your responsibility to tailor your efforts to meet their prerogatives.

The fact of the matter is if you’re a realtor working in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, or Montreal there’s going to be would-be buyers who are prevented from being prospective clients because of the market being unaffordable for them. That’s an inflexible reality and simply a part of market forces, but it’s unfortunate that it means fewer would-be clients.

Seems there may now be a little bit of an equalizer for people who’ve until now been resigned to being priced out of the market. There’s a new platform could make investing in Canada’s most expensive real estate market less daunting.

Introducing Fraction

Fraction is a Vancouver-based equity stake lending platform that promotes itself as a more secure option than traditional home equity lines of credit. Their premise is that by taking a 40% equity stake in a property, it can reduce a buyer’s mortgage payments by 35%. The home buyer still must secure mortgage financing for the remaining amount, but the drastically lower figure is much more workable in that regard.

Now of course, yes, this significantly diminishes the amount of equity they can build up in the property by making their monthly mortgage payments. However, it’s best to look at it this way; if you own a home and want to take some equity out of it, your existing option is you could sell, or get a HELOC or reverse mortgage. The 2nd party-financier option may be better because you can sell up to 40% of the future value of your home to them.

Provided the market’s robust enough – and in Canada’s big urban centres it most certainly is – a client can still count on making a tidy profit on the original investment even while still reimbursing Fraction its 40 percent.

Investment Properties Too

It also promises to be a good choice for investing in additional real estate properties.

Those who want to invest in real estate in Vancouver, for example, would be able to buy securities from Fraction and have the value of those securities being debt-protected. It doesn’t take anyone with an advanced understanding of economics or investment savvy to see the potential advantages in that. “

The investment serves to be a mortgage charge on title, and by that they’re able to secure their stake in the property. That’ fine, but what about my part of it your client may ask. Well, it also means that their principal is more secure too.

Adding to First-Time Buyer Incentive

The 2019 Federal Budget arrived last week, and it includes a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation equity stake incentive for first-time buyers. However, that incentive is capped at 10%, and household income cannot exceed $120,000. Plus, the total cost of the home can’t be greater than four times that amount.

With a service like Fraction, the impediments put up within the first-time homebuyer incentives being introduced within the budget are not nearly as prohibitive when it comes to buying property. The investment is quite a bit safer because it’s not a down payment. It’s still a mortgage on title, so it’s way safer than the CMHC one, which will be more like a down payment itself most of the time.

An Example

Let’s put together an example of how this would work. Let’s say the owner of a home worth $1 million—not uncommon at all in Vancouver or Toronto — wants to take out $200,000. They’re able to sell 20% to Fraction, and when they sell the home 4 or so years later for something in the vicinity of $1.5m, that 20% is worth $300K. That’s paid at sale, and they’re still $200K up when all is said and done.

Appreciating at 5.5% per annum has been the norm for Canadian properties, and so if a property invested in with this model and service fails to increase by that much there’s a built-in interest rate of 3%. Of course, that rate will vary by region once Fraction spreads out a bit.

It’s easy to see how this is something that you as a realtor should be recommending to buyers who don’t want to be stretched too thin in the beginning but can see the near certainty of that property appreciating nicely in the not too distant future.

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 you similarly-exclusively served region of any city or town in Canada. What this service does is put more opportunities in front of you, and when you’re an informed realtor it’s that much easier to become a reputable realtor based on an ever-growing track record of what you’ve been able to do for your clients.

What Clients Want from Their Real Estate Agent

Published March 26, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

Every once in a while it’s good to get back to the fundamentals, and that’s true whether you’re talking about your career, your golf game, or even your culinary capabilities. Often you’ll find that by reorienting your foundation in smart ways means everything that’s built on top it is improved as well. Being a service-plus real estate agent in Canada is no exception, here.

While experienced realtors will quite likely have a firm grasp on strong fundamentals in the real estate business, it is novices like many of you taking advantage of our opportunity here who’ll benefit from first understanding them, and then revisiting them often.

Speaking of opportunities first, however, our online real estate lead generation system for Canada here at Real Estate Leads comes extremely well recommended for any realtor who’d prefer to hit the ground running and build up his or her real estate business with greater rapidity. Long story short, it puts qualified leads for you area in the hands of one realtor and one realtor only – you. Of course, those leads are only opportunities – what you do with them is up to you, but a market and industry-savvy realtor is always up to that challenge.

Back to today’s topic though – what are the fundamental basics of what clients want from their real estate agent?

Buyer Client Expectations

The first difference to understand with buyers in comparison to sellers is that they’re a whole lot more complex and varied with their prerogatives most the time. There are different levels of experience and requirements. First-time buyers often need an overly guided approach to their buying a home. Investors, on the other hand, will usually want lots of data. Transactional help, lots of interpretation of documents, and help with decisions are often also standard wants / needs for buyers.

But that’s likely quite obvious for many of you, so let’s look at specific buyers based on the properties they’ll be evaluating.

If a client is focused on the vacation or resort home market, they’ll almost always need even more support. Many of these properties are in rural, mountain or seaside areas, and these are areas that often have strict environmental, developmental and building codes. If your client is an out-of-area buyer they will be looking to you to provide skilled representation to ensure they aren’t buying something with hidden future problems.

When representing buyers in other specialized areas or property types, these buyers will tend to lean more on your expertise and local market knowledge. Condominiums are the purchase of-choice for most buyers these days in Canada’s large urban centers, and they’re that way very much out of necessity. Condo rules (via strata) and financial particulars will be extremely important to these buyers, and they want their realtor to be explicitly in the know about them before they go to see the property together for the first time.

Next, investment property buyers. As a whole, these buyers will usually be the most ‘informed’ demographic you’ll serve as a realtor, and just because this ‘isn’t their first rodeo’ as the expression goes. When it comes to these buyers, they often approach you with a great deal of market knowledge. Interestingly, what they value most in a realtor is an ability to take an aggressive approach to helping them locate good investment deals, and then strong negotiating skills to help them get their desired property at the right price. A real estate professional who can catch things they may have missed and bring them to their attention before an investment mistake is an invaluable resource for them.

Seller Client Expectations

It’s inadvisable to look at sellers as individuals who just want to sell their home quickly and for as much as possible. Yes, on the whole sellers are less likely to be overly reliant on their agents for help in the process. Most sellers will know how technology has changed the game in as far as how a home is marketed to the masses these days.

So where are their priorities now, and what do they want most from a listing realtor? Their hope will be that you will take the initiative when it comes to commissions and finding ways with creating lower costs with roughly equal marketing options. If you’re working with aa full-service commission arrangement, you need to have at least a few instances where you’ve gone ‘above and beyond’ and left them with the impression that it’ more than they might have received from a lesser real estate professional.

One very interesting trend that’s been observed from client satisfaction surveys in real estate for North America is that some home seller client really appreciated how their realtor was able to effectively and rationally explain to them how commission-free or low-commission real estate services (which are popping up absolutely everywhere these days) are inferior to that provided by a genuine in-the-flesh / at-your-door real estate agent.

This doesn’t mean simply stating – however truthful – that these homes tend to stay on the market longer. Instead, you should be able to explain why that is and what you’re able to do counter that eventuality if they choose to work with you.

Be in the know – and very in the know preferably.

All Consumers

We’ll conclude here today with a bullet point list of the skills and qualities actual home buyers and sellers of all types will typically be looking for in their realtor:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Knowledge of purchase process
  • Responsiveness
  • Knowledge of real estate market
  • Communication skills
  • Negotiation skills

There are others, including people skills and technical skills, but these 6 are boxes that you need to be able to check and list out how you meet those needs exactly. Your marketing may feature these skill sets, or it may not. Either way, there’s always room for improvement doing your very best in these areas.

In conclusion, we can say that the qualities of a good real estate agent will vary based on consumer needs but the basics will always apply and are worthy of ongoing focus as a result.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads provided to you – and only you – for your similarly exclusive region of any city or town in Canada. Nine times out of 10 that’s going to mean more in the way of client prospecting successes for you and you’ll be in the position to do what realtors do best most often – putting people in touch with the best buyers for their property, or finding that perfect property for a buyer.

Check out our testimonials for stories from actual realtors who’ve gotten on board with the service and are now continuing to benefit from it immensely.

 

Young Canadians Still Holding onto Detached Home Aspirations

Published March 19, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

Much has been made lately of the way the new home development industry has shifted more and more to a focus on condominium development over the years due to land constraints, average consumer purchasing power, and the need to build upwards in popular major metro areas in Canada. All of this continues with just the same energy as before, and it is true that multi-family housing development IS the future of housing in Canada’s big cities whether people like it or not.

Successful realtors adapt to the new realities of the industry, and it’s likely fair to say that the majority of first-time homebuyer clients are going to be looking at condos exclusively if they’re looking for a first home in Vancouver, Calgary, or Toronto. Where you put your energies is a very strategic decision, and being more explicitly in the know about the condo market may be an advantage. However, it would seem that the classic dream of a detached home with a backyard and every other kitschy appeal isn’t one that some people are willing to forego.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is a proven effective way of being put in touch with prospective clients who are genuinely considering buying or selling a home sometime in the near future. As far as would-be home buyers are concerned, they may well have their eyes on a condo that’s in town and near to work for the couple, but if there’s kids in the picture they may well be willing to take on a higher mortgage (provided they’ll qualify) and accept a longer commute to have everything a detached home has to offer.

So what’s the ins and outs of why some young people aren’t willing to give up on owning a detached home like the one many of them were likely raised in? Let’s have a look at that here today.

Still Worth It for Some

It’s a given that condo supply in the country’s largest markets will see significant increases in the near future, but a recent Globe and Mail report indicated that for the most part young professionals and those starting families will still prefer to buy and live in single-detached homes.

Federal policy focused on boosting the availability of low-cost condo units in downtown areas is smart and well intentioned, but it has unwittingly encouraged urban sprawl by forcing more Canadians to look further out into the suburbs to be able to realize their dream of a owning a detached, single-family home with a yard.

Why most – especially singles or couples – would see a condo as their best fit is fairly easy to understanding; they’re more likely to be able to extend the amortization period on insured mortgages, easing the stress test introduced last year or increasing the $750 tax credit for first-time buyers.

However, it seems that many millennials still ultimately aspire to purchase single-family homes.

Look at Montreal

Greater Montreal is a good place to see this phenomenon playing out. Updated numbers provided by the Quebec statistics agency showed that nearly 24,000 residents (many of whom met ‘young household’ criteria) moved from Montreal to the suburbs and beyond over the course of 2018. This migration was the largest off-core one since 2010.

The consensus seems to be that attempts by policy makers and urban planners to coax Canadians into accepting condo living as a semi-permanent state in life may come from good intentions, but it is has not stopped millennials from dreaming the suburban dream and realizing that 600-square feet is going to impinge their quality of life to an extent that many of them will deem unacceptable.

If you’re a realtor in one of these pricey urban areas you’d be well advised to NOT approach any young buyer individual / couple without kids with the assumption that they’re going to want to get into a condo. Yes, most will but you shouldn’t make any assumptions – especially for the reasons being laid out here.

Willing to Commute

It seems that younger Canadians are willing to take their mobility in their own hands if it means having their own suburban single-detached property. If a big yard for the kids is a must, many of them are willing to spend 2 or more hours of their day getting to work and back. That of course has it’s own negative ramifications, but it is what is in as far as understanding your prospective clients’ motivations.

It is true that more Canadians than ever are driving to work, proof that efforts to promote mass transit and densification have done little to kill the dream of a house in the suburbs. If that’s what a client wants and is willing to pay for (both in financial terms and what they’ll pay for in lost time commuting) then you’ll be best served by understanding and relating to their buyer prerogatives and catering to them like any good real estate agent would.

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 for your privately-served region of any city or town in Canada. You can count on having many bonafide opportunities to turn these leads into clients, and it’s a fact that most realtors who’ve already gotten on board with this see it as 100% worthwhile investment in the current and future success of their real estate business.

Maximum Loan Amortization Extension from Feds Has Major Potential Ramifications

Published February 26, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

Most people in the real estate industry will agree – even if grudgingly – that the new mortgage stress-test regulations rolled out by the Federal Government a year+ ago we’re entirely necessary to normalize the market and prevent hundreds of thousands of Canadians from becoming ‘house poor’, as the expression goes. This of course has had the effect of their being fewer qualified first-time home buyers, and the direct correlation between that and less business to be had for real estate agents is easy to understand.

It would seem now that the Federal Government is considering a reactionary move to improve the housing market, and we can safely assume that it’s in large part a response to the pinch felt by industries that are directly tied to the home construction and renovation industry, and to a lesser extent to stimulate the housing market as a whole.

These are trying times indeed, and it’s unlikely that we’ll see the the limited numbers of qualified buyers increasing anytime soon. As is always the case, when the going gets tough the tough get going and realtors now must work harder to secure new clients. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent means of putting the power of the Internet to work for that aim. It’s highly recommended, but let’s get back on the topic here and discuss why this move by the Feds may have some rather unintended consequences.

Longer Amortizations, Lower Payments, More Interest

That’s the long and short of what this possible move is going to entail. The Government’s Ministry of Finance may not be intending to increase household debt with this move, but that’s what it will almost certainly do in the long run. In the short term, however it promised to be beneficial. Economists and those most familiar with the housing market are saying that – most relevantly – it’s likely to drive prices even higher when the next housing cycle begins.

What we would see is lower payments relative to 25-year amortizations, in exchange for paying more interest, and a proliferation of 30-year mortgages for first-time homebuyers.

What’s in Amortization?

As mentioned, the Feds are considering extending the maximum amortization schedule on mortgages. Amortization is the length of time determined for a borrower to be paying off their loan before it. Currently, insured mortgages are limited to a 25-year term, meaning that buyers can plan on paying off the home in 25 years. That’s not short period of time, but the reason we’ve become fairly accustomed to that in Canada is – plain and simple – that it allows Canadians of lesser financial means to buy a home.

What we’ve recently become aware of is that Canada is considering allowing first-time buyers the ability to amortize for 30 years. The aim is to increase affordability, but is that what we can expect it to do.

Hard Numbers

Let’s look at a typical scenario here; at typical Toronto home costing $761,800 (average median price for a detached single-family home at this time). Let’s assume next the the borrower has 10% down and is then borrowing at a rate of 3.59% on a 5-year fixed rate throughout the whole mortgage, which underestimates the cost.

What we see is that the minimum monthly payments drop roughly 12.5%, and that’s what makes it appealing to the would-be buyer. This is a result of lengthening the amortization, and while it might seem appealing it increases the amount of interest these buyers will be paying if they take they full time to pay off the mortgage (which nearly all buyer do nowadays).

It’s not going to increase it a bit, it’s going to increase it quite a lot, and that of course means increased household debt. Many people would agree that with this you’d be making people less house poor, but more indebted long term, and that the two sort of cancel each other out to really offer little to no tangible savings or affordability benefits for prospective homebuyers.

So going back to that average Toronto homerunning those payments on the 25-year amortization models works out to a hefty $351,103 in interest payments over the term. Bump that up to a 30-year amortization and it climbs to $431,511.

Not as appealing as it might have seemed, is it?

More Expensive Housing in the Long-Term

We tend to agree that extending amortizations only makes housing more affordable temporarily, since credit inflates prices. Lowering the cost of borrowing is often thought of as a way to increase affordability. It may, but not in the long run and if you’re in a 25 or 3-year amortization mortgage the ‘long run’ is definitely part of your reality

Disposable Income to Service Debt Ratio

Over the past 5 years real home prices across Canada have increased 42.65%. The amount of disposable income to service this debt increased only 12.65%. Affordability today actually improved across Canada by 7.29% since 2007. Real home prices have gone up 86.54% over that same period.

Real estate agents are always inclined to wonder whether home prices will go higher, but perhaps now more so than ever. remember that’s long-term. Real estate works in a cycle, and right now prices need to correct for new buyers to enter. The most important consideration here is that borrowers with a 30-year amortization will pay less towards principal. In the long term that costs borrowers more, and it inflates home prices – which of course will be viewed very negatively in the not-too-distant future.

 

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads delivered to you exclusively and for your very own, protected region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a proven-effective way to get more out of your client prospecting efforts, and we’re nearly certainly you’ll quickly come to see it as a very worthwhile monthly expense when it comes to promoting your Real Estate business.