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Realtor Best Practices with Electronic Signatures & Exchange of Documents

Published September 9, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

We try to make a point of keeping this blog as a nice balance between real estate market news and industry developments along with tips for realtors that allow them to be better in what is an extremely competitive career field. As we continue to stress, knowledge and industry-savvy is very much power when it comes to retaining clients and building your personal real estate corporation. Today we’re on that side of things, and hopefully making you more aware of some of things new realtors may be not be aware of after finishing their licensing course.

Prospecting new clients isn’t easy, and that’s a part of what makes our online real estate lead generation system here at Real Estate Leads so valuable for those who are new to the business. It harnesses the power of Internet Marketing (and Internet surveys more specifically) to put you more directly in touch with people who are genuinely considering making a move – either buying or selling – in your local real estate market.

Today we’re going to look at what are the best practices when it comes to electronic signatures and exchanges of documents. Something that’s a fairly regular occurrence nowadays, and so it makes sense to be as in-the-know as possible with this stuff.

E-Signatures

When it comes to e-signatures or wet ink signatures, it is best to have someone be witness to the signatures. One of the benefits of e-signatures providers is that they provide the ability to identify the exact time and location for when the signature was placed on the document, doing so with security certificates. However, be aware that not all e-signature software suites provide security certificates when applying a signature to a document.

Further, programs and apps such as PDF Expert are not set up to provide digital security certificates when documents are signed. They are beneficial in the way that they properly flatten and embed signatures into documents, but they’re not as secure as a digital certified software like – among others – DocuSign.

It is important to note that the real estate regulatory bodies in most Provinces have legislation requiring that every service agreement must be in writing and executed in the presence of witnesses. This applies to agency agreements and offers to purchase, and means that any security certificate provided by credible e-signature providers are not recognized as the witness to the e-signature – at least not yet.

This is something you’ll need to determine for the Province you’re living and working in.

Hand Drawn vs. Stamp Signatures

A hand drawn e-signature – or ‘wet’ signature as they’re also referred to – is created when the signer’s handwriting is entered electronically on a touch screen. This is done with either your finger or a stylus pen. Each signature will be different, and they look very much like what your actual ‘real’ ink signature would.

The stamp e-signature is very common these days. You pick your signature and an initial style from a list of fonts and then place them on pre-defined areas of the document by dragging and dropping with your mouse or cursor control pad on a notebook. The click is then digitally recorded with a security certificate.

Mandatory & Standard Forms | Different Rules

Here, again the different Provinces will have different mandatory forms required of realtors when conducting and registering property transactions. One constant is that commission forms are mandatory for use by all registrants and treated differently than standard forms signed by realtors in Canada.

In most provinces the policy with mandatory forms is that only a hand drawn e-signature is permitted. Where the Real Estate Act requires an agreement to include a written signature, the signature requirement usually needs to be an electronic signature that is:

  1. a) A digital representation that can be seen to be an authentic representation of the individual’s handwritten signature; and
  2. b) Digitized and embedded permanently in the written agreement being submitted.

Either hand drawn e-signatures or a stamp e-signature can be used on standard (non-mandatory) forms in most Provinces, but again it’s best to confirm this on your own.

Electronic Signatures & Exchange of Documents

Generally speaking, electronic signatures (e-signatures) are no different from wet signatures. You and/or your clients will be affixing your name to an agreement in order to provide tangible proof that you are hereby agreeing to the terms set out in the document. Choosing to do this with ink, with a stylus, or with a digital signature serves the same purpose.

Bear in mind as well that when there are multiple parties to a contract (spouses, more than one individual on title, etc.), all parties must sign individually, although they can wet ink signatures or if you or e-signatures providers like Authentisign, DocuSign, Faltour, and more that are currently out there.

Precautions when Authenticating Signatures

It’s true that whether it’s a wet ink signature or an e-signature, there is always the possibility of fraud. Experienced realtors will always take precautions to check the identity of the clients. Asking questions about the content of documents to both spouses separately can help you confirm that both parties are aware and agreeable to the contents of an agreement.

And yes, this lack of certainty applies for wet ink signatures as well. In instances where you may not be physically present when the documents are signed it is best to keep a record ofthese conversations in your notes.

e-signatures and exchange of documents are a new development in the real estate practice, but overall the steps to take to ensure agreements are signed properly do not differ much from ‘original’ wet ink signatures – meaning the types with ink from a pen held in hand. Use common sense and you’ll be fine 90+% of the time.

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. They’re yours, and you’ll be the only one to get them. Plus, you also have your own similarly exclusive region of any city or town in Canada, and this service will go a long way towards turning you into one of the busier local real estate professionals there. Get on board today and claim your territory.

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.

How Clients Can Reduce Taxes on Real Estate Investments

Published June 25, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

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

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

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

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

Fewer Taxes – Happier Clients

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

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

  1. Make Purchase Mortgage Tax Deductible

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

CMHC: Canadian Housing Market No Longer Overly Vulnerable After Prices Ease

Published May 21, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

For some time we’ve heard that while the Canadian housing market is flat, the market itself and the value homeowners have in their homes in relation to it have been perched precariously over the last little while for a number of different reasons. It goes without saying that there are many people and livelihoods that have a vested interest in the well being of the housing market, and of course realtors like you are certainly one of them.

It’s for this reason that no matter where and how your interest in the health of the housing market is found, it’s good news these days as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is saying it no longer has the country’s housing market being ‘highly vulnerable’ after an overall easing of price acceleration has been seen across the country.

While that isn’t going to necessarily equate more homes being sold, it will mean a greater number of prospective homebuyers being further empowered within the overall sphere of business, and that bodes well for a realtor’s prospecting efforts as he or she seeks to drum up more business for themselves. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way to get more out of your efforts in this regard, and it comes highly recommended from many real estate agents who are already onboard.

Moderate Market Now

The CHMC’s report from Thursday of last week states that it rates the overall market at ‘moderate’ after 10 consecutive quarters of being rated ‘highly vulnerable.’This with the disclaimer that some cities remain at an elevated risk. A spokesperson said “the state of the national housing market has improved to moderate vulnerability.”

The consensus is that though moderate evidence of overvaluation continues for Canada as a whole, improved overall alignment between house prices and housing market fundamentals has been seen as of late.

The inflation-adjusted average price for a home in Canada went down 5.4% in the last quarter of 2018 from the same period in the year previous.

Vancouver Remains Vulnerable

The CMHC also reported that while house prices in Vancouver, Toronto, Victoria, and Hamilton moved towards more market sustainability, a high degree of vulnerability was still being seen in those markets. Further, Vancouver remains highly vulnerable, and in particular in response to overvaluation of homes there.

The largest cities in the Prairies are staying at a moderate degree of vulnerability. Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, St. John’s, Quebec City, and Moncton are all seeing little to no risk of vulnerability.

The report determined vulnerability via several criteria; price acceleration, overvaluation, overbuilding, overheating, and others.

Relatedly, price acceleration has eased nationally, and in large part because of the federal government’s mortgage stress test regulations of 2018. They raised the bar as to what’s required to be able to qualify for a mortgage, and the entirety of tighter mortgage rules made for less demand for housing, as well as contributing to the seen decline of house prices.

The report concluded by noting that inflation resulted in personal disposable income dropping by 1.2 per cent, and this corresponding with a reduction in buying power. This was partially offset by a young-adult population that increased by 1.9 per cent and added to the pool of would-be (hopeful) first-time homebuyers by a small amount.

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 similarly-exclusive region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a nearly guaranteed way to be put in touch with genuine people who are genuinely looking to buy or sell a home in the area of the country where you hang your professional hat. Try it out, and we’re certain you’ll quickly come to see it as money well spent when it comes to advancing your real estate business.

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.

 

Weak Loonie Hampering Snowbirds’ Property Buying Tendencies in U.S.

Published March 12, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

Certain spots in the USA have long been hotspots for Canadians who have the financial means of buying an owning a vacation property in the US. While there are exceptions, it tends to be that those from Ontario eastwards have always gravitated to Florida, while those Manitoba and westwards have done the same for Arizona. And the term given to them – ‘snowbirds’ – is pretty self-explanatory; they ‘fly’ south to get away from the snow and the rest of Canadian’s chilly winter temperatures.
It goes both ways too, as there are always American clients who’d like to own a vacation home in Canada. Often times, their prerogatives are exactly the opposite – instead of trying to get away from the snow they’re trying to be enjoy the best of it as they don’t have the same skiing or snowmobiling opportunities down where they call home. As a realtor you’ll be very thankful to meet these would-be buyers from south of the 49th parallel.

Effective client prospecting for real estate agents means putting out feelers as far as possible, and that can include doing so for Americans interested in Canadian real estate opportunities. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation service is an excellent way to meet would-be buyers of ALL different interests, and it’s true that some of them may not call Canada home.
Currently, discrepancies between the dollar’s worth for each country is going to mean that American interest in Canadian properties is going to outstrip Canadian interest in American properties quite handily. That might be to your benefit, so let’s have a look at why fewer Snowbirds are looking at purchasing U.S. real estate these days.

CDN $ at 13-Year Low in Comparison to U.S. Greenback
With the value of the Canadian dollar hitting a 13-year low, a Canadian’s purchasing capacities down south are seriously constrained right now. Cross-border travelers and snowbirds face higher expenses for everything from groceries to rent due to an unfavorable exchange rate. To put it in a real estate-perspective, if a Canadian was to buy a $200,000 home in all cash then the current exchange rate would have them spending an extra $66,000 to buy that home.Easy to see why the numbers are very down right now

Professional Advice for Clients Determined to Buy in USA
Some people will still insist on forging ahead and buying the vacation home in the USA they’ve wanted for years, and nearly all of will have some pressing reason to be willing to overlook the very tilted market dynamics.
If you are serving one of these types of real estate clients, here are some tips to help improve the experience for them AND see to it their money goes as far as it possibly can:

• Advise them on how to get the best exchange rate – tell your clients that rather than exchanging money several times throughout their visit to the U.S., exchanging it in one lump sum will usually mean a lower exchange rate paid. Tell them not to be dissuaded by paying a higher one-time processing fee for the transaction.

• Make them aware of the possible benefits of refinancing their home – many Canadians bought their U.S. home between 2009 and 2013 when the CAD $ was near to or equal with the U.S. dollar. Naturally, many of these homes will have appreciated over the years. Those who are already U.S. homeowners in popular snowbird markets are in a unique and favorable position to take advantage of their property’s appreciation and the strong U.S. dollar.
Refinancing may allow them to take the surplus earned on the currency exchange, and use it to repay debts or make new investments back in Canada. Money kept in USD can be spent on renovations to their U.S. home or placed in a high-interest savings account in the U.S. where it will grow more than it would in Canada and remain FDIC-insured.

• Buy, Don’t Rent – It’s a fact that rent is expensive during certain times of the year (if not all year) in popular snowbird hotspots. If property values weren’t still comparatively affordable in comparison to similar housing in Canada then it might be wise to rent until the loonie gains strength. But property values are comparable, so you can be confident in telling clients to still go ahead and buy if they find a property that really works for them.
To give an example, renting a condo in Fort Lauderdale, FLA might cost $3,000 in monthly rent during peak season. However, the monthly mortgage payment when purchasing the same property would only be $1100 or so. Unlikely that they’ll find ANY type of acceptable accommodations for anything less than $1100, or the even higher number that would include strata payments and maintenance.
Tell them to keep in mind as well that while rent payments continue to climb each year, monthly mortgage payments stay consistent. And they can rent the property when not using to cover their mortgage, homeowners’ association fees and property tax.

• Suggest They Take a Mortgage on Their U.S. Property, Even if They Can Buy It Outright – It’s wise to advise clients to consider a U.S. mortgage instead of paying for the entirety of the home’s price in cash. By applying for an adjustable rate mortgage with a fixed term, they’ll be able to avoid the one-time cost of currency exchange in a large amount now. Plus it creates the possibility of paying off their mortgage without any prepayment penalties if the Canadian dollar improves.

• Clients Will Pay Less for U.S. Purchases with a U.S. Credit Card – this is one piece of advice that most clients will be able to figure out on their own, but if not you should go ahead and make them aware of the fact that obtaining a U.S. credit card will let them save foreign transaction fees on purchases made in the U.S

If you’re newer to Real Estate and you’ve never helped clients with buying out of country you’ll almost certainly be challenged by it, but in truth common sense and a willingness to learn as you go will work out just fine for any realtor. Use these suggestion tips to build a rapport with your clients, and be sure to dig deeper and learn more on your own.

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 for your privately-served region of any city or town in Canada. You’ll be given the means to be directly in touch with people who are genuinely considering buying or selling a home in the near future, and the opportunity presented by that is yours and yours alone.
Many realtors have gotten on board already, so if you’d like to be the exclusive recipient of leads for your preferred area of any city or town then we encourage you to be in touch with us without delay!