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3 Things Many Real Estate Brokerages Won’t Tell New Agents

Published August 12, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

This topic here today is quite a natural one given the fact that this service will be most attractive to new real estate agents in Canada. The majority will have already chosen a real estate brokerage and the bulk of you will likely be very happy working out of there. Some will have yet to make that decision, though, and it’s in the interest of helping these fledgling professionals that we’re going to use this week’s blog to share some realities of being new to a real estate brokerage that you may not be aware of.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system in Canada is an excellent way to increase the effectiveness of your client prospecting efforts and help you build your client base more quickly. Paired with the usually less-than-rosy realities of what it’s like to be new to the business and a brokerage you’re about to learn of here, the value of using technology to get your business gaining steam is probably going to be that much more attractive.

So let’s get right to it – 3 realities that most new realtors aren’t told during the brokerage interview.

The Curveball Pitch

Brokerage interviews are usually 30-minute sales pitches where the brokerage aims to impress on the new realtor why their brokerage is going to the best spot for them to branch onto. You’ll be making money for them, so they need you as much as you need them. Most brokerages will keep it all very upbeat and positive as a result, and avoid mentioning anything that could be perceived as a negative for them or the profession as a whole.

It’s not so much that they want to omit the information for its own sake. It’s more that they don’t want you thinking the bad stuff only happens at their brokerage.

Yes, all these pitfalls to extensive success early in a real estate career will apply to every new realtor and whichever brokerage they end up choosing to work with.

  1. Real Estate Business is Difficult, and You May Fail

To say directly – or even imply – that real estate is easy money is really doing a disservice to someone. Unfortunately, real estate is not as easy money as a lot of people make it out to be. It requires a great deal of hard work, patience and persistence. The fact of the matter is that real estate sales involve a lot of time doing a lot of work, and often for no money. There’s a lot of running around, researching, networking, following up, and showing and submitting of offers – all with people who could be ready to submit an offer or leave you entirely hanging after all you’ve done for them.

The success rate in real estate for newbies isn’t high can be pretty low and it’s possible that you may end up being one of the 1 in 6 realtors who leaves the profession within one year of becoming licensed – as is the statistic from the RERC (Real Estate Regulators of Canada).

  1. You Get What You Pay For

Brokerages make money by charging their fees. Charging agents to be a part of their brokerage is how real estate companies make money. That may be with a monthly desk fee, a commission split, an annual fee – or a combination of all three.

Just as it is in any business, the more you are able to charge equates to having more services, value and time you can provide. It’s simply not possible to provide quality real estate services to your clients if you’re charging discount rates. This applies to brokerages too, so choose wisely with this very important fact front and center in your decision process.

Unfortunately it’s fairly common for some agents to think they can pay the lowest possible brokerage fees and still get good service from it. That’s unlikely – be wary of brokerages that offer lower brokerage fees, as you truly do ‘get what you pay for’ here too.

  1. Prepare for An Extended ‘Cash-Strapped’ Period

A new real estate agent is always going to be in the process of building a real estate business. If you’ve ever spoken to any business owner, you’ll know that money is usually tight in the beginning. The biggest reason for that is there’s a lot of upfront costs that are being incurred ongoingly while you’re not creating income – or creating very little of it. Going for months like this in the beginning can make this business very intimidating.

Again, the reason brokerages won’t be telling you this very clearly is that they don’t want to think that’s a reflection on them. It’s the nature of the business, and so it really is smart to be prepared for a less-than-smooth start to your real estate career. Focus on the right things, provide real service and value, and be very proactive in learning the trade and you’ll be much better equipped to get through the lean period without second-guessing your career choice.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a guaranteed monthly quota of buyer and / or seller leads that are yours exclusively. You have your own region of any city or town in Canada, and all of the leads generated by individuals in that region will be sent to only you. It’s a sure-fire way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts and ensure that your new real estate business becomes profitable sooner rather than later.

5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Real Estate Agents

Published June 18, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

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

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

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

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

  1. Create Your Business Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Focus on Customers

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

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

  1. Inbound Marketing with SEO

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

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

  1. Tell a Story

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

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

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

Get on Board with This Today

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

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


The Basics of Putting Together a Solid Comparative Market Analysis

Published March 5, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

If you’re new realtor here in Canada you’ll quickly learn that offering a free market analysis for prospective clients and their homes is pretty much standard practice for every real estate agent. They’re a show of good faith and a nice little bonus for homeowners who are looking for an experience and knowledgeable realtor who is an expert with the local market. That’s an opportunity for you, and being able to put together a solid CMA for clients is definitely important. The same can be said for ANYTHING that helps you become ever more solidly cemented as a good realtor who’s known as a good choice.

Client prospecting is a multi-approach need for all realtors, not just those who are new to the business. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is a real benefit for those who understand what the power of the Internet is capable of in regard to identifying people who are very sincere about buying or selling a home in the near future. Nearly everyone who’s signed up so far has come to regard it as money well spent, and there’s plenty of room left to get onboard.

But back to the topic here, what are the basics of what goes into putting together a CMA for homeowners you’d like to eventually see become your clients? Let’s discuss that now.

Plain and Simple Comparisons

The purpose of a CMA from the realtor’s perspective is twofold; to share valuable information with the homeowner, and equally as prominently to hopefully make them into clients down the road. From the homeowners perspective, however, it’s much simpler. They’d like to know what the value of their home is in comparison to those seen with other similar homes in the neighbourhood that have sold for certain prices.

Accessing sold property records allows the realtor to select recently sold properties that are similar to the subject property and in the same geographical area. Comparing these properties is only just a start, as you need to adjust for feature differences, and the realtor should always make explicitly clear that this CMA is only an estimate of the value seen for the subject property. Keep in mind that the best realtors will always be just fine with doing a second different CMA for a seller or a buyer.

A second CMA would include comparisons to currently listed similar properties in the area. The same process would be used, but using only currently listed properties. This is smart because it allows an assessment of the current competition, and may highlight increases or decreases in the estimate based on the sold properties. And of course you can be certain your initiative in providing a second CMA will put you in a very good light with the homeowners.

Quality of Comparable Selections

A crucial part of any CMA’s accuracy and one where you really need to do your homework to make sure you’re in the right with it is determining market value based on a selection of the best comparable properties. It’s true that choosing even one different comparable out of three or four homes taken into consideration can result in very different valuations. You want to have a CMA based on the best comparable properties, and for two reasons.

First, it ensure that there’s very little chance the homeowners will be disappointed when finding that there home has been overvalued in the CMA. Second, the lower value that will come with may end up leading the home to be listed at a price that eventually is exceed in the sale price due to competition amongst buyers who see more value there.

How that will appeal to homeowners needs no explanation!

Considerations When Choosing Comparable Properties

  • When the property sold: Homes that sold more than two or three months ago are not good comps, especially in fast-moving markets. The more recent the sale of the home being completed, the less likely it is that the market has shifted enough to make the properties’ sold prices less relevant to the market analysis you’re preparing.
  • The property’s location: The most ideal situation is that the home is in the same neighbourhood. When that’s not possible then the next consideration is locating comparable homes in the same suburb or in a next-door neighbourhood. This is nearly always possible, at least in large urban / suburban centers. In more rural areas there’s a lot more leeway with comparative properties used.
  • The home’s characteristics: This is pretty straightforward – what number of bedrooms? Baths? Overall square footage of the home? Size of the lot? The homes you choose as comparable homes should be as similar as possible with regard to these considerations. It’s rare to find ones that match exactly, so choose the ones that come closest.

Quality of the Adjustments

You need to also keep in mind that you must tailor your CMA numbers to compensate for differences in the structures. A realtor will understand the need to make adjustments when weighing the sold prices of the comparable homes to those being considered for the subject property.

An example; The prospective client owns a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a two-car attached garage, and 2500 square feet of living area. You’re tasked to find three or four comps with all of those features at approximately the same numbers:

  • One comp only has two bedrooms. You can assume that it would have sold for more money with three, so you can go ahead and add some money back to its actual sold price to adjust it to having its 3 bedrooms. The same approach can be used for baths and garage spaces.
  • If it is the opposite, say three bathrooms to the subject home only having two, you’ll go ahead and subtract the value of a bathroom from the sold price as you work out an approximate selling value for this comparable home.
  • Generally, square footage calculations aren’t touched until you do your calculation final.

Once you have adjusted the comparable homes sold prices, then you’ll divide each sold price by their square feet to get an exact sold price per square foot. Next, average those for your three or more comps to get one average value per square foot that can be applied to all of them as a ‘housing average’ for the area. Then you simply multiply that by your subject home’s square footage to arrive at an estimated current market value.

These are the basics of putting together a CMA, and there’s plenty more to be learned – from your real estate brokerage colleagues most likely.

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, and for your own exclusively-served region of any city or town in Canada. That part of it makes it important to act fast, as once a territory is claimed it’s then unavailable to anyone except that one realtor. It’s a dynamite way to supercharge your prospecting efforts, and the testimonials of realtors bear that out in a big way.

Redfin The Next Disruptor to Arrive in Canadian Real Estate Business

Published February 19, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

We’ve talked briefly in the past about how the trend of industry disruptors has extended to the Real Estate world as well, and as we are now firmly into 2019 we are seeing yet another example of it again. Indeed, the ways the real estate business has been for many decades have changed very drastically over the course of just the last one, and as you might expect these changes have been very primarily fuelled by advances in digital technology.

As a realtor, one of the things that you must do is accept the reality of the situation. That reality is that these advances make it more of a challenge for you to work as a realtor exclusively in traditional means and approaches and still have the type of success that you envision for yourself. You definitely need to adapt, and revise your strategies and skillsets offered because, as we’ll discuss here today, there are new disruptors arriving in Real Estate all the time and that’s not likely to change.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is one major advantage for realtors that relies on the same trend where advances in digital technology are coming fast and furious. It leverages the power of the internet to provide real buyer and seller leads based on prospective buyers and sellers filling out forms online. There’s more to it than that, but long story short what you can know is that our service is one digital technology advancement that you can – and should – see very favourably.

Redfin Arrives in Canada in March

Now Redfin, like PurpleBricks before it, is yet another entry into the real estate business that most realtors will have difficulty seeing favourably. That’s because it markets itself as a more affordable way for people to buy and sell homes, and there’s no getting around the fact that services like Redfin and PurpleBricks eliminate a lot of the need for what you’re able to provide as a realtor. Not ALL of it, but a good portion of it.

We’ll say briefly that these types of websites and their services certainly won’t eliminate the need for realtors, but it is changing the playing field for sure. Let’s have a look at this.

Redfin is based in Seattle and will open in Toronto and Vancouver by March. It has plans to expand to other major Canadian markets once well-established in Canada’s 2 largest urban metro centres.

Redfin is a technology-powered brokerage that will have its own agents working in their offices while delivering much of the same services that you do as a realtor. You do it in person, they do it remotely via the Internet. That’s the start of what you need to understand about Redfin.

Redfin was built on the understanding that nowadays so many consumers start their search online. Being a technology-first brokerage helps them meet customers at a lower cost, and obviously that’s a HUGE benefit for the prospective home buyer or seller. Having services provided online means a streamlining of many of the processes that would require some back-and-forth, and time delays, when these customers are working person-to-person with a real estate agent.

Since 2006, Redfin has established its presence in more than 85 markets in the USA, and now Redfin’s website and mobile apps will show all homes for sale through the local MLS in Toronto and Vancouver. It will also put sold prices in those markets on display, whereas previously clients requested that information from their realtor and then waited for him or her to get back to them with it.

Canadian Market Plans

Redfin’s aim is to eventually offer services in other major Canadian cities, but that will obviously take time. For those of you working in the GTA or GVA, however, this powerful competitor is arriving soon and is expected to take root quite quickly. You still have the ability to prospect clients in traditional ways, and many people will still prefer the in-person service and human interaction / trust part of working with a local real estate agent.

That said, all realtors are going to lose prospective clients to these types of services with Redfin and PurpleBricks. That’s the just the way it is. You may need to rethink and reorient your service and promotion platforms and how you present yourself to clients, and it may be something you need help with. If so, don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board with a real estate business consultant expert.

Take note of the fact that salespeople working for Redfin will be employees of the company – not independent contractors – and will be paid bonuses based in part on customer satisfaction. The number of agents in individual Canadian offices would be a reflection of how busy those offices become.

Agents won’t be recruited in the way a conventional real estate brokerage does, rather customers will be recruited and then agents will be brought in based on the level of increased demand.

Redfin will charge home sellers a 1% listing fee, and the remote agents will provide complete home-selling services, including pricing and staging advice, free professional photography, a 3D walkthrough of the home, open houses, yard signs and nicely designed and put together marketing materials.

That’s right – a lot of what a realtor did him or herself in person for decades. Times change, and you need to change with them.

Big Potential Savings a Necessity for Many Now

Redfin has provided estimates on what they’re able to offer in the way of savings; for example, a seller in Toronto will save $11,250 on a $750,000 home sale when compared to paying a listing commission of 2.5%. The listing fee does not include a buyer’s agent commission, but that’s paid by the seller here with Redfin.

The appeal of services like Redfin are furthered by the reality that nowadays it’s harder to get a loan. Foreign investment has driven prices up, and there’s ever-greater numbers of people who need every last dollar possible put towards the house. In such a scenario, the cost savings made possible with services like these are obviously going to appeal to a lot of people.

Lastly the Redfin model rewards customer service, so agents are accountable to deliver the best outcome for their clients. Customers are asked to review the service they received from their Redfin agent, whether they buy or sell a home or not. The reviews will then be published on the agent’s online profile, and agent bonuses will then be based on these reviews – among other factors.

The New Realities

These ‘disruptors’ aren’t going to stop arriving any time soon, and they’re being seen in all sorts of different businesses and industries that have been the same way for decades up until now. It’s a trend that’s here to stay, and overall it’s a good one as it puts more clout back in the hands of the consumer and we ALL benefit from that – yourself included.

As a realtor, you’re going to have to adapt and, as mentioned, revisit all of your business promotion and marketing approaches to ensure you continue to have the same flow of business you’ve become accustomed to. If you’re starting out, you may be at an advantage as this ‘new reality’ will be the only reality you’ve ever known.

Experienced or new to the business, all realtors should sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online generated leads delivered to them exclusively for their similarly-exclusively served region of any city or town in Canada. Once you have it, it’s yours and yours alone and only you will receive the buyer and / or seller leads for it. Most realtors who’ve already jumped on the opportunity now see it as marketing budget well spent, and we’re sure you’ll find it to be the same.

Realtor Know-How: Calculating Land-to-Building Ratio

Published February 11, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

Every second week we try to shift our subject matter back to topics that are among the many that new realtors can – and should – familiarize themselves with when aiming to become a more knowledgeable and well-rounded real estate professional. It’s a worthwhile aim for sure, as it goes a long way in being seen as realtor who has more to share with all the different sorts of real estate clients who will have different buying / selling prerogatives.

All of this is of course done in the big picture perspective of building your real estate business. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way to get even more out of your client prospecting efforts. Putting the power of the Internet to use and connecting you with people who are genuinely interested and increasingly ready to buy or sell a home should sound good to any realtor, and that’s exactly what you get with Real Estate Leads.

Today’s realtor know-how topic is one that will be very handy and practical when working with commercial or investment real estate buyers; calculating land-to-building ratio. Let’s get started.

Land Parcel Percentages

We can start with understanding that every structure occupies a certain portion or percentage of the land parcel it’s sitting on. This percentage or ratio of the size of the building to the land is referred to as the ‘land-to-building ratio.’ A high ratio indicates that the property isn’t being used to its fullest potential. A low one is indicative of the property already being at full capacity.

The Equation

It’s quite easy to calculate the land-to-building ratio. Here’s the equation:

  • Divide the square footage of the land parcel by the square footage of the building

Here’s an example:

188,000 square feet of land divided by 43,500 building square feet. This works out to 4.32

This is a 4.32:1 land to building ratio, and that’s a high one. The average is between 2.5:1 to 3.5:1.

Relevance for Residential Properties?

There can be, but it’s typically not something that factors in as strongly for residential properties. The land to building ratio is rarely seen in residential appraisals. It is helpful to know that the ration can be limited by municipal codes and property restrictions, however. In some instances there is a desire to keep the size of homes to a certain percentage of the lot space available for building.

Land-to-Building Ratio in Commercial Applications

The use of the land to building ratio is obviously of much greater relevance with commercial and industrial applications. For example, building codes usually include very firm requirements for the amount of parking that certain size structures must maintain, and the same goes for setback and green area considerations.

A commercial space with an 11 to 1 land-to-building ratio might not be best utilizing the land, there would definitely be value in the additional space. Another property with a ratio of 2.5 to 1 could be at maximum capacity.

It’s easy to imagine that most considerations around municipal and other regulations occur with commercial, industrial, and institutional real estate. Environmental protection issues often come into play with industrial properties as well, and in particular ones related to hazardous materials.

Let’s look at specific commercial real estate types and the considerations that are added to the Land-to-building ratio for each:

  1. Retail Shopping Center or Mall

First and foremost here are population demographics considerations. A consistently sufficient flow of consumers to support the shops and businesses is a must. Traffic patterns are also important. Ratios of the tenant retail lease spaces and the overall theme of the center are important as well.

  1. Office Buildings

The type of offices they’ll house is something to consider. For example, A medical office or dental office complex would have very different space requirements.

  1. Warehousing and Specialty Operations

Warehouses require a lot of space, as well as large truck loading docks much of the time. They don’t need parking spaces the same way a retail development would. Specialty businesses like car and RV dealerships or any type of consumer service provider will have a whole array of different considerations that are unique to them, and different to land-to-building ratios

Excess Land Value

The decision where you will be more likely be expected to volunteer your expertise is whether paying for excess land and its zoning is a wise investment of capital. As the realtor, you may be asked if it that excess land can be divvied up and sold, either in the short-term or long-term. Is the overall land made up of two or more independent parcels? Do any existing or planned structures infringe upon one of them? Does the unused land have its own access? Can it be subdivided legally?

All of these are questions that your clients may ask of you. Be prepared to answer 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 – and only you – for your similarly exclusive region of any city or town in Canada. Once you sign up with us, that region is yours and all of the leads for it go to you and no one else. We can say truthfully that pretty much every single realtor who’s gotten on board so far is happy with the service and sees it as money well spent as part of the business promotion and marketing budget.

Try it for yourself, we can guarantee you won’t be disappointed with the way it put you in touch with real prospective clients for your real estate business.

The Increased Costs of a Variable Mortgage in Canada

Published December 25, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

As a real estate agent it’s pretty much common knowledge that the vast majority of your homebuyer clients will be purchasing their new home with a mortgage. There are a few buyers who are sufficiently deep-pocketed to buying a home outright without the need for financing, but they’re few and far between these days. Being regarded the way you want to be by your clients is a product of being seen as an expert on every aspect of buying or selling a home, and the ins and outs of securing financing in the best way is a part of that.

Buyers will have a choice of a fixed or variable mortgage when buying their home, and these days in Canada it’s a much more costly option in the long run to choose a variable mortgage. This is true in the face of that being very different from the way it’s been for decades where choosing a variable mortgage had many advantages to it.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system for Canada is a great way for you to get more out of your client prospecting efforts, and then share your expertise on anything and everything related to real estate – including what are their best choices when moving on to working with a mortgage provider. With that understood, let’s look at why variable mortgages are more often not the best choice anymore.

Understanding Variable Rate Mortgages

A variable rate mortgage involves the interest rate not being fixed for the life of the mortgage. Instead of being locked in a higher interest rate, the borrower has their interest calculated monthly and based on the lender’s prime rate (%). This can be a positive or negative for the borrower, depending on the type they have.

Conversely, a variable rate borrower pays a fixed monthly sum, but the amount paid towards the principal will change depending on whether the lender’s rates go up or down. If rates go down, you pay less interest and then more goes towards paying off your principal loan. This means your balance is reduced faster, and this has the potential to save you a significant amount of money. If your rate goes up, then you pay more in interest and reduce less of your principal loan amount. As you can see, that can cost you a lot more.

Over the past year, the variable mortgage rate has jumped considerably, and that’s been very disadvantageous for homeowners who chose variable rate mortgages

The Estimated Canadian Variable Rate Mortgage Is Now Up Over 22%

The cost of a variable rate mortgage has been increasing across Canada. The Bank of Canada has stated that the typical rate reached 2.72% on December 6, which is a jump of 2.25% from a month previous. The rate is now over 22.52% higher than it was at this time last year. The impact of this for borrowers is very substantial.

At mid-December last year it was at 2.23%. In late January of 2018 it spiked to 2.45% but in June it had levelled back out to 2.35%, but in July it began to climb hard. In October it shot up from 2.49% to 2.66% and his been rising ever since until now.

Paying More To Borrow The Same

Let’s look at that in real world impact. A borrower at the estimated rate who borrowed last year, would now have their interest payments sitting at a 22.5% higher rate. If they make the same payments, the amount paid to their principal would decrease by about 6.6%. When their variable term ends, they will have paid much more cash to the bank and made much less progress towards paying off their mortgage.

Interest rates fell for years, but now they’re starting to climb decisively. It used to be that variable rate mortgages worked in favour of borrowers, but as rates were cut these borrowers made principal contributions that tended to be higher. Now the scenario is exactly the opposite. Variable rates are rising in response to increasingly heavy mortgage debt levels, and this of course is making it more difficult for homebuyers to make real progress in paying their debt.

Long story short, advising your clients about the greater advisability of a fixed-rate mortgage these days may be something you’ll want to do.

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 similarly-exclusive region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a great way to get more out of your efforts and build your client base more efficiently and effectively.

Toronto Real Estate sees almost a 2% increase in sales in 2019

Published October 9, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Last week, the Toronto Real Estate Board announced that year over year sales in the Greater Toronto Area had seen a 1.9% increase in overall sales. This year over year increase is good news for local realtors and even better news for those who are looking to buy or sell in the hot Toronto market. This kind of increase was expected, but with sales through the multiple-listings system going up over 120 this month when compared to last year, the board has been ecstatic.

This news was only made better when the board compared average selling price in the Greater Toronto Area. Last year, the average home sold for $774,489, while this year the average is now sitting at $796,789, an increase of over 2.9%. This is a huge jump, and although this is still a cool housing market when you compare Toronto to the likes of Vancouver, GTA realtors are starting to take notice.

GTA realtors might be enjoying a larger than normal selling price when compared to last year, but one of the more concerning numbers for those realtors who sell a lot of below-priced homes it the fact that new listings are down. Overall, the GTA has seen a decrease of 3.1% in new listings, and this could start to affect the bottom line of some of the regions top agents.

The board has seen an increase in price growth mainly in higher-density properties around the city. This means that realtors who are selling townhouses, condos or semi-detached homes have seen an increase in both profit and movement around their properties. The numbers have finally started to stabilise after the provincial government introduced the foreign buyer’s tax and speculation fees on vacant homes that saw the market dip in the new year. However, realtors need the advantage to stay ahead, and that comes in real estate leads.

Real estate leads are one of the best ways for Toronto or GTA based realtors to get ahead of the curve and ensure they are one of the more successful realtors in the area. From being able to get leads on who is selling, and who is buying, you will be able to match homes or condos to prospective buyers with relative ease. Imagine not having to cold call throughout the day, and instead, have warm leads delivered to you in a competitive market like Toronto.

This is the reality for those who use real estate leads, and with a hot market like the GTA, you need to get ahead. Now is the time to see how real estate leads can help you take advantage of this almost 2% jump in the market, and the almost 3% jump in pricing, and enjoy being a realtor again. With leads in your mailbox, you will be able to focus on what you love about your job, selling houses, and finding perspective home buyers the house or land of their dreams. It is time to start enjoying work again, see how real estate leads can help make that happen!


Saleability Factors Clients Are In Control Of When It Comes to Selling A Home

Published August 15, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_68634522Even the greenest realtors will quickly find out that selling a home is stressful for clients, and particularly so if the market is more of a buyer’s one that an a seller’s one. That part of it is of course dictated by market forces and isn’t something either you or your clients should be dwelling on. Your clients will be looking to you to be the voice of authority and experience that is guiding them along the way to their receiving the best possible outcome with the sale of a property that they’ve likely invested a lot of their time into owning it. Needless to say, dropping the ball in that regard isn’t an option.

Now we do know that you don’t need to be convinced of that. Gaining clients isn’t easy, and it’s also very competitive in this industry. There hasn’t been enough ‘pie’ to go around for decades, and it’s pretty safe to say it’s never been more challenging than it is today. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way to reinforce your efforts there. Once you’ve made initial contact with these potential buyers or sellers, then you have the opportunity to wow them with your knowledge of the biz

Nothing is more assuring for folks in the early stages of the home being on the market than a realtor who can be the voice of reason. And further, if you can take that voice of reason and help them with saleability of the home, you’re well on your way to becoming ‘their’ realtor.

So, here are 5 saleability factors that are very much in your client’s control, that will help get their home sold at the right price.

  1. The Property’s Condition

The home in question may meet all of a buyer’s criteria (and look great on paper) but if it’s ‘run down’ in any way when a buyer comes knocking, he or she will likely leave quickly and scratch your client’s home off their list. Advise them that it is very much their job to make sure their home is in tip-top shape to ensure the home is sold at the best price possible. Make it clear they need to be certain that everything in the home is well-maintained. A good start is to have them declutter their home and make sure everything is orderly and well-serviced. A home that’s been cared for very well and promises to require very few repairs if any and minimal ongoing maintenance is very attractive.

  1. The Terms

Suppose your clients have met with a keen buyer. Here’s what they should do to do themselves a favour and make the purchase an easy decision and smooth process. A good many interested buyers opt out of a potential purchase for no other reason than that the terms are just too complicated or inconvenient. Advise your clients to be proactive in defending agains this. Investing in a home inspection report and dealing with the issues before their home hits the market is HIGHLY advisable. Doing so will help them seal the deal and enable you to reach a larger market as their realtor. Another factor to keep top of mind is their move-out date, and ideally one in the near future. Showing potential buyers that they are able to vacate the home quickly will work to their advantage.

  1. Availability

A client’s home could be the best-looking property on the local market, but what good is attracting buyers if there’s never any available time to meet with them? It is essential that clients adhere to a schedule that meets the buyer’s needs and to also be able to accommodate last-minute viewing requests – even if they will be disrupting their lives. It’s in their best interest to be flexible. Let them know that a buyer’s sense of urgency could be a positive indication that they want to move fast. Denying requests to see the home could mean your clients losing out on a sale. When they are preparing to sell their home, prompt them to take note of any issues that should be dealt with before it hits the market.

  1. Upgrades and Extras

Upgrades and extras go a long way in improving on a home’s saleability. From kitchen renos to installing a new heating system to window upgrades or even simply patching up holes and then applying some fresh paint. Advise clients to stick to practical renovations, as decor renovations are particular to a person’s taste and of course tastes vary wildly from one person to the next.

  1. Price Setting

Speaking with a realtor and being open to his or her suggestions as to what is the right price for a home makes so much sense for clients, and it is perfectly acceptable to state plainly tha pricing a home realistically gives them a much better chance of selling their property quickly. When pricing their home, they should set emotions aside to ensure that their price is fair and justifiable. Explain that the home’s value is best and most realistically indicated by reviewing the comparables. Researching homes that have recently sold in their market and which possess the same characteristics as your clients. Then sit down and show them what you’ve learned, and how it should dictate the way they approach pricing their home as it is prepared to be put on the market.

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 also for your own privately served area of any city or town in Canada. It’s a proven effective way to get so much more out of your prospecting efforts as you move towards becoming an established and trusted realtor in whatever part of the country you’re serving as a reputable real estate professional.


Market for Detached Homes in Canada Now Officially ‘Flat’

Published August 8, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Front elevation large single family homeRealtors all across Canada have certainly been beneficiaries of the tear Canada’s housing market has been on for years. Come mid 2018 and we’re seeing that that era may now be over, and in hot markets like Vancouver and Toronto it’s becoming the ‘bubble’ isn’t going to exactly burst as predicted, but it isn’t getting any bigger either. That of course means something of a plateauing for home values, and particularly for detached homes that were nearly always selling for way over asking as a result of bidding wars. This and the larger number of qualified buyers looking to buy homes before the new Mortgage Stress Test Regulations via the BoC.

Home sale volumes for the period between March and April hit a nine-year low, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), and that of course has effects of all sorts as the increased amount of inventory make it not so slantedly a seller’s market anymore.

Of course, realtors will have fewer prospective detached home buyers as a result of both these trends. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is a great way to get more out of your client prospecting efforts and connect with individuals you want to be in touch with as a new realtor.

No Pop, For Now

Home prices for the most part aren’t dropping, at least for now. The national average home price slid 6.4% last month as compared to May 2017. Most of that’s attributable to the fact that the mix of homes being bought and sold now includes greater numbers of comparatively inexpensive properties, like condos and to a lesser extent townhomes, and less in the way of detached houses. The national average lower is skewed lower accordingly.

Looking at CREA’s benchmark home price, home values were up 1% in May 2018 compared to May of last year. That’s not cause for alarm, but it’s still a very big dip from the often tens of thousands of dollars worth in annual home equity gains many Canadian homeowners had been basking in.

The reality now seems to be price increases in the low-single digits. CREA predicts national average home prices to rise by 3.8% in 2019, with gains in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and prices staying stable in the Prairies and Newfoundland and Labrador.

That trend of stagnating or modestly rising pricing, if it holds up, has implications for home sellers, home buyers and even homeowners who aren’t planning to sell.

Bidding Wars Becoming Fewer

Clients thinking of putting their home on the market should no longer rudimentarily assume that their home will sell for a higher price than their next-door neighbour received last year. There will be exceptions to that, and most likely in Ottawa and Montreal, where home prices are still recording healthy gains.

As a real estate agent, you should have a firm idea of how to price a client’s home competitively by looking at price trends over the past three months in your particular area. Being in the know up front prevents any type of misstep on the part of the seller that may hinder or disappoint them in the future. Know market value, and suggest listing prices accordingly.

Have your clients best interest firmly in place, and have all 3 of you ‘know’ your story as you say, knowing how to defend your price. Ideally, you’ll be able to present the buyer and the buyer’s agent with a spreadsheet showing prices for similar properties in your area over the past few months.

Pricing a home in the ‘high range’ of what it’s worth gives you and your clients room to negotiate, while underpricing a property with the idea of sparking a bidding war isn’t nearly as advisable as it used to be.

See bank appraisals for reasons for that. They’re not as assured as before either, and banks want to protect themselves as well in case of any downturn. Long and short of this is banks won’t lend more than a home’s appraised value. The winner of the bid war may not have the finances to cover the difference once the bank looks at mortgage terms.

It’s important to also have an end date for your client’s listing, to avoid their property languishing on the market and to place a cap on expenses incurred within listing the home professionally.

Downsizing Reconsidered More Often

As we mentioned in our blog of 2 weeks ago, more and more detached homeowners are staying put and not downsizing to smaller living spaces as has been the trend for a long time now. That’s because these owners are now having to resize their expectations, especially if home is Toronto or Vancouver.

Yes, sellers will still make a profit, but it won’t necessarily be the big gains they’d been planning on, and naturally their predisposition will be to hold tight for now

Relatedly, condo prices are soaring in all major urban areas in response to this and many other trends in Canadian real estate.

The prospect of getting a home for slightly less than the asking price has improved, and that’s good news for some buyers. Sign up here for Real Estate Leads and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online generated buyer and/or seller leads delivered to you exclusively for your independently-serviced area of any city or town in Canada. It’s a great way to supercharge your prospecting efforts and generate meeting opportunities with potential new clients.

Six Hallmarks of Successful Real Estate Agents

Published October 30, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Attractive Mixed Race Woman in Front of House and Sold Real Estate Sign.It’s been a while since we offered a blog post that wasn’t related to the nature of the market or the ins and outs of buying or selling a home for clients. Statistics reflect ever greater numbers of realtors becoming REB certified in most major cities in Canada, and while that’s to be expected it still poses competition issues for those who are new to the ‘game’ and feel a real need to start building their business with some expediency.

Here at Real Estate Leads, we’re happy to make our online real estate lead generation system available as a means of allowing these new realtors to start getting in touch with legitimate prospective clients in their area. We of course extend that invite to all of you, whether you’re new to the real estate business or well experienced. But today let’s get back to the basics and share tried-n-true approaches to getting your establishing yourself as a successful realtor, and sooner rather than later!

They are Genuinely Passionate about Real Estate

Quite plainly, nothing is more important than a genuine passion for both homes AND putting people in the right one for them. You need to get a real ‘kick’ out of doing so, and it MUST be more than simply a means of getting your commission. We can’t state this strongly enough.

They Return Calls and Emails with Little to No Delay

These are the realtors that take the opportunity of a lead and make something out of it the majority of the time. They immediately make contact and they follow up, answering any questions and perfectly happy to stay on the phone with clients for as long as the client needs to stay on the phone. They are never disconnected from email, text, and phone and they don’t loosen up on that until the entire client-service experience and transaction is complete.

What this does is foster and understanding in the client that they are very important to you, and that’ obviously a huge plus. In addition, be open to switching your communication avenue to match the client’s preferences. If the client prefers text, then text. If the client prefers calls, then call. Pretty simple really.

They are Familiar and Capable with the Latest Tech

This may be a challenge for some, and older newer realtors in particular. If you’re not 100% adept with modern communication devices and applications, putting time (and perhaps money) into getting up to speed with them ASAP is highly recommended. Most successful realtors are all about their tablets and smartphones, and you’ll find many are also quite capable with higher-end DSLR cameras. They make sure they have great data plans so they are never stuck without a remote internet connection. They try to go paperless as much as possible. They put nearly as much time into learning about technology as they do learning about the changing real estate industry in Canada.

They Know Their Neighbourhoods Explicitly Well

You want to become a “neighbourhood expert” as soon as possible. All top agents are walking, talking encyclopedias of what the neighbourhood offers for a prospective new home owner considering buying in the area. They know what’s on the market, what has sold recently, and the overall status of the neighborhood, including planned changes and developments lined up for the future. Becoming this way doesn’t just ‘happen’, you have to put in the time to learn and always have your ear to the ground to stay on top of what’s new in the neighbourhood.

They Are Entirely Open and Transparent Regarding Their Work

Successful agents don’t just make themselves available and then conduct their work out of sight until the client has a buyer for their home, or a new home to buy. The best ones are very active in ensuring their actions are entirely on display and relatable for the client. When they meet with the client for the first time they explain the process, the potential roadblocks, and any of the more likely scenarios that could occur. They keep the client entirely in the know with negotiations, and in this regard it’s better to be ‘overloading’ the client with information rather than supply a ‘reasonable’ amount of it.

Further, they discuss any perceived need to adjust their strategy with the client very proactively. Try to aim to make yourself so transparent in your operations that it’s unlikely that clients would even have the need to inquire about what you’re doing. But when they do, go on at great length and be very clear in why you think it’s the best course of action.

They Generate Leads by Any and All Means Necessary

Leads are nothing more than opportunities, and not all opportunities will lead to a new client. This is true in many cases where even doing everything in your power isn’t going to convert the lead into a client. That’s the nature of the business, always has been and always will be. Smart agents are experimenters, they try out different types of lead sources, they explore different types of ad campaigns, and they analyze what works and what doesn’t. They understand that having a social media presence is important and that advertising and promotion efforts need to be constantly reevaluated and changed given the current climates in the business.

They Have GREAT Networks

The best and most successful agents don’t just have a network to generate clientele, they have a network of top-notch real estate agent partners who have the same understanding of what’s required of them to be the top agents they are. They know the best contractors, appraisers, lenders, and insurance providers in the business. Aim to be a hub of a group of professionals that can advise and assist with anything real estate or home related. Top agents care for their network and are happy to refer clients to other agents from whom they can rely on receiving the best service. Further, they know and can identify realtors who don’t make the grade in this regard. Admittedly, the second part of that equation is one that takes some time to acquire

The best realtors are knowledgeable, authentic, and equal parts driven and passionate to really help people find themselves in the right home for that stage of their life. You too can become one of them, and signing up with Real Estate Leads here is a great start to begin generating those ‘opportunities’ we’ve been talking about. Follow the tips we’ve laid out for you here and you’ll almost certainly see more of your opportunities successfully converted into clients.