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New to Canada Homebuyer Program A Big Plus For Recent Immigrants

Published February 19, 2024 by Real Estate Leads

Beautiful Female Holding Keys & Sold Real Estate SignWe certainly don’t need convincing that Canada is a great country. Here at Real Estate Leads, we’ve met all sorts of like-minded people in our aim to introduce realtors to ways to get more real estate leads as an agent and it seems the consensus is unanimous.

What makes Canada so appealing to those of us from families who’ve been here for generations is what makes it appealing to newcomers too. Many of us had great-grandparents who came to Canada from the British Isles hundreds of years ago with the same idea of a new and better life.

Back then you could get a large parcel of land for what wouldn’t even be half your down payment on a home these days, and the word ‘condo’ didn’t even exist. With the fact home ownership can be dauntingly expensive, it’s ideal that the New to Canada Program for Immigrants has been introduced to make home ownership a possible reality for people who have recently immigrated to Canada and are bringing their professional expertise and career prospects with them.

This versatile program makes it possible for qualified homebuyers new to Canada within the last 5 years to purchase a home with a down payment of as little as 5%. You can purchase a home, build equity, and become economically established in Canada sooner than ever before.

The property value must be less than $1,000,000, and loan security is available on first mortgages. Borrower qualifications include standard income and employment verification, plus 3 months minimum full-time employment in Canada, with borrowers being transferred under a corporate relocation program being exempt.

Only certain homes and home purchase quantities are allowed within the program. The maximum number of units an applicant can purchase is 2, and 1 unit must be owner occupied. Newly constructed home must be covered by a lender approved New Home Warranty Program, and existing resale properties must be readily marketable residential dwellings, located in markets with demonstrated ongoing re-sale demand. The estimated remaining economic life of the property should be a minimum of 25 years, as may be determined by a qualified provincially-appointed appraiser if deemed necessary.

Other lending stipulations for this program include:

  1. Applicants must have a 90.01-95% International credit report (Equifax or Transunion) score demonstrating a strong credit profile OR 2 alternative sources of credit demonstrating timely payments (no arrears) for the past 12 months
  2. Applicant must have immigrated or relocated to Canada within the last 60 months
  3. Must have a valid work permit or obtained landed immigrant status
  4. All debts held outside of the country must be included in the total debt servicing ratio (note: rental income earned outside of Canada is to be excluded from the GDS/TDS calculation)
  5. Guarantors are not permitted
  6. Foreign diplomats who do not pay tax in Canada are ineligible for this program

Qualifying terms and interest rates are as follows:

  1. Fixed, standard variable, capped variable and adjustable rate mortgages are permitted
  2. Maximum interest rate term of 25 years
  3. The qualifying interest rate is the greater of the contract rate or 5-year benchmark rate

and purchase transactions may be made up to a 95% LTV (loan to value) limit, with – as mentioned – a 5% down payment on properties up to 500,000 in value, and a 5% down payment on $500,000, with an additional 10% down payment on the portion of the home value above $500,000 if purchased for any price between 500k and 1 million.

We hope this programs is helpful for valuable newcomers coming to Canada to make our country a better place to live, as has been the case for well more than 200 years now. And we also hope it makes for more clients for our realtor readership. Check Real Estate Leads Availability here and receive qualified online-generated leads provided to you exclusively for your exclusive region every month, and ask away with any questions too.

Best Promotional ‘Swag’ Choices for Real Estate Professionals

Published June 13, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Home keyIn today’s super competitive market for real estate agents, you need to make every effort and really strive to get your name and brand front and center for prospective clients. Here at Real Estate Leads, we are enthusiastic about providing realtors to have success with our online real estate lead generating system, but we’re also keen to help you make smarter choices on your own.

Today, we’re going to discuss which promotional items are best for getting increased exposure and how you can allocate your marketing and promotion budget more judiciously as a result of having the understanding. No matter how you tend to disperse this ‘swag’ as these types of promotional items have come to be referred to, there is plenty of it out there to choose from.

The key is to find products that will generate buzz and leave a lasting impression.

Pens, keychains, notepads, business-card holders, USB sticks and more. But does distributing your promotional materials really pay off, and if so – how much, and which items are your best choice?

Well, for starters, research has indicated quite clearly that they absolutely do pay off. Now how much and which are best will vary, but let’s move now to discussing the types and then we’ll discuss some of the variances in how swag can contribute to you generating greater numbers of new clients.

Putting Your Name & Agency In Front of Buyers & Sellers

Swag used for marketing purposes falls into one of two categories. Promotional products include useful or decorative items imprinted with the real estate agent’s name, logo or message and then distributed free to would-be clients. Imprinted items that are offered as an incentive for a specific action are known as premiums.

Manufactures of promotional products like those listed above report a consistently strong demand for these types of products from real estate agents, and that’s true of every region in the country.

Here are some interesting findings regarding how effective it is for realtors to distribute promotional materials to prospective clients:

84% of people remember the advertiser shown on a product they’ve received
42% develop a more favourable impression of an advertiser after they’ve received a specialty advertising product
24 % report being more likely to do business with an advertiser they’ve been reminded of via items they’ve received
62% of respondents have done business with the advertiser listed on a product after they’ve received it and it’s been in their possession for more than 2 weeks

And this last one is HUGE. Take especial note:

The average cost-per-impression attached to an advertising specialty item is $0.004, making it less expensive per impression than nearly any other medium

Other research has indicated that 58% of those responding to a survey said they kept these types of promotional products from anywhere between one to four years. Consider that even if the recipient only uses the item once per week, that adds up to a minimum of 52 impressions over the course of a year plus the possibility of more than 208 over the next five years.

Further, promotional products foster positive regarding of a business by:

Increasing in positive overall image;
Increasing the positive perception of that business;
Creating a higher likelihood of recommending that business
Creating a higher likelihood of their patronizing that business

The Importance of Useful

Promotional products that actually add value to a customer’s life in some way are light years more effective than any type of impractical stuff they will likely end up throwing out before long.

Useful promotional swag items for realtors should improve the prospective clients’ life in some way, while still being relatively affordable for you to buy it in quantity. In addition, it should be personalized with your real estate info so you will be the first tome come to mind when they think of acquiring the aid of a qualified real estate professional.

Best Ideas for Promotional Items

Two particularly smart choices for real estate agent swag are a branded tissue box sleeve and a branded pocket hand sanitizer sprayer. The tissue box sleeve will slide over a store-bought square issue box, and for most people that box will sit somewhere in regular view for months upon months. The cost per sleeve shouldn’t be much more than $3, if that.

Those branded hand sanitizers typically go for about $2.00 each and also will last for a good long while. Further, they show you care about the recipient and by that they are intended to create a more personal, authentic connection

Other good ideas for realtor swag are:

Credit card RFID protectors
Jar openers
Fridge magnets
Fly swatters
Tape measures
Smartphone desk stands

While all of these above are good choices, we’ll conclude today by saying that when you are considering any of them you should go through a series of questions regarding the specifics of your relationship with the prospective client. You should ask yourself

What is the potential return on investment?
What season of the year is it?
Is it more likely to be left at the office, or taken home?
Is it a novelty item, or useful item with some practical value?
What are your competitors doing similarly?
What have you yourself received that made an impact on you?
What will the cost of distribution be?
How long is this particular item likely to last / be retained?
Is it too overtly ‘saying’ that you are trying to buy their business?

And the most important question for any marketing strategy – can you measure its effectiveness?

We hope this communication is helpful for any of you who’ve been wondering where to best spend your marketing budget funds when it comes to promotional swag items. Whatever you can do to make you visible as a realtor is beneficial, in much the same way that signing up for Real Estate Leads here is a huge plus too, with qualified online-generated leads delivered to you exclusively each month and for your exclusive region of the country. Make sure you get your locale by signing up without delay!

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late: The Need For Proper Insurance Coverage

Published May 15, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Home Insurance Coverage Abstract Illustration. Large Blue Umbrella Covering Single Family Home. 3D Illustration Isolated on White.

Recent events in the Eastern part of Canada are a reminder that shifting global weather patterns and trends – likely prompted by global warming – are seemingly making extreme weather events a much more common seasonal risk for certain communities.

Here at Real Estate Leads, we aim to provide ways for realtors to increase their home seller and home buyer leads, but we also realize the value in having realtors be able to appraise their clients of wise choices when it comes to home ownership. In light of the aforementioned events, and others like the increase in wildfires in the west every summer, it’s important to remind clients of the need for home insurance that matches the specific risks they face based on the regional location of their home.

With regards to these floods, it appears that the majority of Canadian homeowners aren’t insured for flooding and could be left on the hook for at least part of the bill after heavy rains in several areas across the country, experts say.

A representative for the Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates that only 10 to 15 per cent of Canadians have overland flood insurance

. This type of add-on insurance policy is typically not included in the clauses of standard home insurance packages in Canada, and most notably it wasn’t offered prior to 2013, the last time severe flooding affected certain communities in Canada.

The reason for this was that it wasn’t until that time that flood risk maps were developed for the whole country. Keep in mind that the insurance industry needs to be able to quantify the risks so they can assess which premiums should be charged to which people. A risk-per-region determination was required before any type of coverage guidelines could be established, and that took time.

And so, many homeowners with policies negotiated years ago may be insufficiently covered after heavy rains left several communities in Quebec and Ontario struggling with rising floodwaters over the weekend and parts of New Brunswick and British Columbia also faced flooding.

Delayed Roll-Out Inevitable, But Unfortunate

Insurers began working on the overland flood insurance add-on as soon as they could following the establishment of those maps, but naturally it took time to roll the policies out. The add-on has been available for most policies since late 2015, but – as is so often the case – policy owners are often lax about revisiting their policies once they’ve obtained them.

It’s important to do this, and particularly so given the fact that climate change is making calamitous acts of nature much more common across North America. It’s highly advisable to appraise new homeowners you’ve worked with – and ones you’ve similarly worked with in the past and keep in touch with – that they should be having a look at the coverage provided in their policies at least once every year to make reassessments as necessary.

Then there is the fact that most Canadians only interact with their insurance broker when the time comes to renew their policy. Most people are not even aware that overland flood insurance is available, unless they have been directly in a conversation with their broker or agent when renewing over the past year.

Further, homeowners should be adamantly reminded to NOT be expecting to be able to rely on government assistance in the event of an emergency situation, for obvious reasons given the fact that the funds available to cover such incidences are at an all-time low. In addition, government assistance is often designed to compensate homeowners for core essentials only.

Out Of The Know

A study last year that surveyed 2,300 Canadians who live in high-risk flood areas found that the a 70% majority of those polled reported having not been contacted by an insurance company about newly available overland flood insurance. It also revealed confusion on the part of respondents about what is – and isn’t – covered by their insurance policies. The majority of those surveyed thought overland flooding was already covered under their insurance policies by default.

As a realtor, there is a real opportunity here to both further the connection and reputability you have with your clients, as well as ‘do the right thing’ in making them aware of the need to be especially critical when looking at their home insurance policies.

By being a real estate professional you have an inherent level of authority regarding subject matters related to home ownership, and as such your clients are more likely to heed to your advice and or urgings regarding home insurance coverage than if they were to hear it from someone else. Take advantage of this to further your professional capacities, and enjoy being regarded so highly!

Operating your real estate business ethically and responsibly is indeed rewarding, and of course having greater numbers of listings for both buyers and sellers is fortuitous for giving you these opportunities. Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive qualified online-generated leads delivered to you exclusively for your protected region of Canada each month. From there, you’ll have a foot in the door and chances to do what you do best!

Housing Craze Spilling Over Into Condo Market in Lotus Land

Published May 10, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_60052898The Foreign Homebuyer’s Tax instituted in BC last year has no doubt cooled housing prices in the city as intended, but it would appear that some of that buyer focus has shifted from detached homes to condominiums. That’s likely both a direct and indirect result, especially considering that while condos have been a nearly as popular choice for buyers looking for an investment property in Metro Vancouver, they’ve also commonly been the standard entry-into-market choice for young professionals and working couples who have yet to start a family.

Here at Real Estate Leads, we’re eager to continue providing a valuable marketing resource for realtors but we’re also keenly aware of some of the challenges, risks, and – for lack of a better word – general craziness that are marked characteristics in Canada’s big cities at this time.

After a heated four months for condos and townhouse sales, the average sales price for a condo on the west side of Vancouver is now nearly $1 million. Condos have indeed been quicker to recover than single family houses in response to the 15% tax, but of course the trickle down effect is both frustrating many qualified potential buyers as well as forcing other prospective buyers further down the chain.

Recently, realtors have made note of incidences where ‘extreme bidding wars’ that they typically only saw with detached homes are now becoming common for Condos in downtown Vancouver and on the city’s desirable west side. Some condos are selling for in the vicinity of 100k more than listing price, and according to agent Darryl Shaburo of Park Georgia Realty, “what’s quite marked about this trend is that these buyers are quite willing – and able – to compete and continue to outbid their competitors to numbers that most people find quite staggering for 800 to a thousand square feet of real estate.”

April of 2017 saw the average price for a condo in Vancouver west of Commercial Drive rise to $969,579, compared to $572,000 for East of it. What Greater Vancouver’s REB prefers is to use a measurement called benchmark price, which the board says more closely represents a typical housing unit. The April benchmark price for Vancouver West condos would seem to be more relatively indicative at $718,400 and $480,300 for Vancouver East, but agents and insiders say that doesn’t take into account the new phenomenon of ‘super bidding.’

The Concern of House Poverty

Furthering the issue is the fact that demand continues to far outstrip supply, and that is one of the trends in real estate in Vancouver that’s unlikely to change soon, if ever. Shaburo states that market is picking up these days, however, as it “always tends to do during the spring season.”

The greater concern in the big picture, and both for individuals and for the Canadian economy, is that by paying such exorbitant prices for housing – condos and detached homes – they will become what is called ‘house poor’ and be put at significant detriment due to carrying such a large household debt. As this becomes more common, it of course lends itself to premonitions of the ‘housing bubble burst’ that occurred in America in 2008.

We’re a ways from that in our opinion, but there has to be concern here. Both on the national interest level, and in making housing affordable for the people who make cities breathe and not just those who have the finances required to make investment purchases. Balance is essential.

As realtors, we stand to benefit from a profitable housing market, but it must be a healthy housing market as well. Plus, a great many of us actually live in these cities too! You want business to be good, and doing good. In in the interest of the first part of that, we suggest you check out Real Estate Leads and enjoy qualified online-generated seller and buyer leads delivered to you exclusively for your exclusive region of any specific locale in Canada

Hard to Argue Against Concerns Over Vancouver / Toronto Market Outlooks

Published April 14, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Canada High Resolution Real Estate ConceptThere’s been a whole host of different opinions on the state of the markets in Canada’s 2 biggest cities, and ones where – not surprisingly – there’s the most demand for housing and the ever-increasing development of ‘bubbles’ of the same variety that proved to be the start of a major detrimental turn events in the USA nearly 10 years ago now. Here at Real Estate Leads, we have endless tips for realtors but we’re not exactly experts on the connection between the economy and housing investment in Canada

There was a recent interview with someone who most definitely has the credential to say he is an expert. Royal Bank of Canada CEO Dave McKay was one that didn’t see things as rosy (or perhaps ‘rosier’ would be more accurate) as others do, and considering he’s the head of a major financial lending institution you can imagine he’s got his thumb on the pulse of all this in a way most of us couldn’t even begin to.

An Unhealthy Combination

McKay attributed the rapid increase in housing prices in the two cities to an “unhealthy combination of factors” and went on further to cite an imbalance in supply and demand for residential properties, low interest rates, and speculative activity.

“All of these factors are mixing to push prices up to unsustainable levels, stressing household balance sheets and locking many people out of the housing market,” McKay remarked at the bank’s annual general meeting in Toronto on Thursday.

“More and more disposable income is going towards servicing those houses,” he said, adding further ” and more capital is getting invested in those homes. And the real risk for us as an economy is the long-term drag that has on the rest of the economy as so much of a person’s net worth and cash flow goes into servicing their home.”

As stated, this kind of precarious arrangement was a big part of what preceded and initiated the crash in the US in 2008, and the concern of course is that something similar could happen here.

More of the Up, Up, Up

McKay offered his observations a day after the latest data from the Toronto Real Estate Board showed the average price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area increased by 33% over the last 12 months concluding at the close of March 2017.

What’s come as a result is a whole array of responses about what can be done to rein in housing costs in the city, which are now spilling over to the rental market via exorbitant rent increases. After all, the operating principles of supply and demand never really change.

What’s Up Out West

While it is true that price increases in Vancouver have cooled off, Lotus Land has also seen runaway double-digit gains, month after month after month, until the implementation of a 15% tax on foreign buyers last year.

McKay believes one single solution being applied to the entirety of these problems is unlikely to be successful.

He said interventions from federal, provincial, and local governments to come up with a more nuanced solution to a very complex problem would have much more propriety.

“We would welcome any effort by the three levels of government to coordinate their interventions, and to do so reasonably quickly,” he said.

“But longer-term, I believe all parties need to come together — governments; developers; realtors; banks; community groups and others — to accelerate our progress in finding policies and solutions for this issue.”

2 Further Sobering Statistic Comparisons

In bearing out a good portion of what MacKay has alluded to, have a look at these 2 charts indicating average home prices in both these cities in comparison to others, along with what is required for a down payment on that home.

Purchase prices

  • Vancouver: $420,000
  • Calgary: $370,000
  • Toronto: $425,000
  • Montreal: $250,000
  • Atlantic: $185,000
  • *National median: $293,000

Down Payment

  • Vancouver: 20%
  • Calgary: 10%
  • Toronto: 21%
  • Montreal: 13%
  • Atlantic: 8%
  • *National median: 12%

Of course, that means business is good for realtors in Toronto and Vancouver, but the need for housing is a social issue and naturally we all take a vested interest in the well being of that.

Check Real Estate Leads Availability here and help yourself to a bonafide lead generation system for realtors that’s great for ANY region of the country, even the hotbeds of Vancouver and Toronto.

Quick Property Evaluation Reference Tips for Home Buyers

Published April 5, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_95521865For most prospective home buyers, there will only be a few properties that match their most immediate buying prerogatives. For these folks and in this scenario, there’s going to be much more in the way of time and resources available for weighing each of the 1, 2, or maybe 3 homes that line up as a potentially good fit. They can go over each of them much more thoroughly than the buyer who has a good many home they need to make a decision on.

And quite often those decisions need to be made rather quickly, as quality real estate doesn’t last long on ANY market. We’re all well aware of that!

Here at Real Estate Leads, we’re all about providing ways realtors can get an advantage, but this week we’re going to spin it around somewhat and talk about advantages buyers can use as they work with the real estate agent towards purchasing the home that’s best for them.

So let’s get into our house hunting evaluation tips, with specific focus on the exterior, interior and basement for now:

  1. Exterior Considerations

Make a note of your impressions of the exterior of the home, with a particular note of the lot size and shape, position of the house on the lot (facing north or south, east or west), and whether it has a private or shared driveway. In addition, does it have a large front yard, side, and backyard? How is the landscaping, how well has it been maintained, and – perhaps most importantly – how much maintenance do you foresee it requiring to continue looking like you’d expect it too after you potentially buy the home. Trees? Hedges? Your opinions of them?

What type of siding does the home have, and in what condition is it currently in? Does it have an attached or detached garage and whether it can accommodate one or two cars.

Also note whether there is a porch or veranda, storage shed and is the yard is fenced (or perhaps it should be?). How much privacy does the layout of the grounds afford the home?

Take a critical look at the roof, and make detailed notes on its general condition and age. Check to see if any roof repairs were made recently, and make a point to check the eavestroughs and down spouts for signs of deterioration. Now move on to the foundation of the home. This is a big one! Are there any visible cracks or holes or signs of seepage?

This applies to all the points we’ll cover here, but it’s the ideal time to relay a very important piece of advice. You might consider hiring a certified house inspector for a thorough, professional survey — outside and inside — of any home you’re thinking to possibly buy.

  1. Interior Considerations

It’s hard to argue that’s there’s not 2 more important parts of a home than the kitchen and bedroom. We’ll start with the kitchen.

Take particular note of the general size and colour of the kitchen, as well as whether it has an eat-in area and what you’d consider to be sufficient cupboard space. Is there a pantry or food preparation island? Are the countertops and sink in good condition? Are the cupboards old or new? How is the floor holding up, and what is it made of? Is the existing lighting adequate and set up properly for carrying out kitchen tasks, as well as providing dining table light if the eating area is adjoining the kitchen.

Make a note of whether there are enough power outlets to run your appliances and have them spread out along the countertops and not bunched together out of necessity. Are the fridge, stove, and dishwasher included with the sale? Are they all operating, and more simply – do you like their looks? How many burners are on the stove top, and is the stove gas or electric. Is the oven self-cleaning?

Now were’ going to move to the dining room. Take first note of its size, whether it’s separate from the kitchen and the condition of the floors and walls. Is it big enough for the table you have, or will have in the near future based on your family size? Are there any built-in cupboards? Is there a chandelier, and is it being sold along with the house? Now have a look at the living room. Is there a fireplace? How many windows are there around the room, and what is your opinion on their layout and sizes? Are the window coverings staying, or leaving with the seller?

If the home has a family room, determine whether it’s closer or adjacent to the kitchen, does it feature outdoor access, and does it have a fireplace or wood stove. Is the stove CSA approved? Again, check the condition of the floor or carpet – and look for cracks and other potential problems.

Next up are the master and secondary bedrooms . Take note of their size and closet space and whether there are any window coverings or ensuite / adjoining bathrooms. Many people put some emphasis on the type of flooring in each bedroom and the colours given to each of the rooms.

How many bathrooms are there, and is that number in line with what the size of your family dictates as necessity? What are the condition of the bathroom fixtures, and do you think they’ll need replacing any time in the next 5 years? Check all faucets and flush toilets to make sure they are in good working order as well as determining if there is adequate water pressure. Look for signs of mould and deterioration as these are possible indications of inadequate ventilation.

  1. Basement Considerations

Now we head down to the basement. Your first assessment should be whether it is a full basement, or a partially finished one, or an unfinished one. Is that in line with your needs / wants? If not, are you willing to finish the basement yourself after purchase? Next, determine if there’s adequate headroom for moving about, remembering that we’re all of different heights. Is there a fireplace or wood-burning stove? Again, be on the lookout for signs of moisture – such as watermarks and peeling paint.

Note whether there is a utility area and – if the washer and dryer are set up in the basement – whether they are being sold with the house. Again, look for signs of water damage.

Last but not least – and this applies to any area we’ve discussed – find out if any recent renovations have been made to the home. It’s also very important to ask about the type of heating, water service, plumbing and the standard electrical amperage for the home. Is the hot water heater owned or rented? Is it gas or electric, and what is its storage / output capacity? What type of insulation is installed around the house?

This is of course is just a scratching of the surface as regards to what buyers should look at when making quick reference decisions about the suitability of a home. Your real estate professional will be able to add to this list extensively and judiciously, and we wish all 3 (or more) of you happy house hunting!

Creating Yourself as a Brand as a Realtor

Published March 27, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Happy realtor woman showing keysHere at Real Estate Leads, we won’t even began to suggest we’re experts on the subject but we do know of a number of tips for getting ahead as a realtor. These days – in the age of digital media – one of them most prominent of them is being able to create yourself and your services as a brand all within itself. Some of you may not know exactly what that entails, so let us explain.

What Exactly is Branding?

To give a definition, branding is “the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product or a service from other products or services. In a nutshell, a brand is what sets us apart from our competition.

That’s exactly it – we want to secure greater numbers of clients, and setting ourselves apart from our competitors in the industry is key to doing that. Clients have choices – plenty of them. Being really good at what you do just isn’t enough. You need to start making yourself recognizable as a distinct choice for them. Different from others. A unique name or catchy slogan won’t come even close to doing that on their own.

Every part of your marketing collaterals need to be geared towards creating a greater ‘whole’ – if you will – that’s regarded by prospective clients as a brand.

What Makes Up a Brand?

There is the “look of a brand” or the visual components. This can include logos and colours that you use on your website, specific repeated images, communication language choices, etc.

To use a very well known example, think about Apple. The distinctive logo, the “i” precursor in the titling of its products, etc. You associate a quality personal computing product when you see them, right?

When done properly, your brand will tell your customers exactly who you are and what they can expect when they use your company.

Creating your brand involves online and offline strategies, and that probably comes as no surprise. Your brand might begin with your website. Give some thought to the following; when someone goes to your website from one of your promotions, what do they see? Do they see the same logo? Do they feel like your website is an extension of your personal brand that you have built? If you can’t say ‘yes’ to that definitively, you either may not have much of a brand for yourself, or your brand is a work in progress.

That’s perfectly fine, and it’s not like this has been a staple process for realtors for decades. We’re still adjusting to the information age.

Getting Started

You want to create a ‘total’ brand. That’s the sum of two parts; the first being your companies brand (likely already well established if you’re part of a major brokerage) and the second being your personal brand (which again, is perfectly natural to be lacking at this point) The first step here – again considering we’re in the 21st century – should be a no-brainer. Secure a domain name that is immediately associated with ‘you’ as a realtor. And yes, that’s your name!

If you don’t already own your “name domain” you should get that as soon as possible. So if your name is Ron Donaldson you will ideally acquire the domain Don’t delay in making the inquiry with a reputable web hosting provider asking if that domain name is available

Next up is a sharp, distinctive logo that speaks to who you are – both as an individual and a professional. Don’t hesitate to hire a creative designer who can coax ideas out of you if you’re at a loss for them yourself. You can get a simple logo on for just $5 bucks or if you want to spend a little more you can check out companies like

On to your tagline, or slogan as it’s also called. It should tell everyone what you do, but not be so plain and obvious as ‘I sell homes.’ Try to be creative, and again it’s vastly preferable to hire a communications pro rather than settle on something you came up with yourself if you’re really not sure about it.

Just do a little brainstorming to come up with your own tagline. This is just one more way your customers can remember you.

Consistency is Key

Before you begin this whole process of building your brand, you want to spend some time thinking about the big picture. Everything that is used in your business should contain the same branding. The same logo, colours, and tagline should be incorporated uniformly with all of your printed materials – letterhead, newsletters and business cards, all pieces of marketing collateral. The look and message of your website should be consistent with this too. If you buy company apparel you will want those to be the same too.

Your brand should embody your values, your ethics and your way of doing business, along with a healthy bit of who you are ALL the time, not just when you’re working as a real estate professional. The brand that you create is how you want people to think about you. Just remember that if you aren’t able to deliver what your brand promises or what it stands for, then a nice logo and some cool colours won’t make up for that.

We’ve just scratched the surface of what brand building for realtors entails here, but there’s a wealth of information out there for you and we’re happy to introduce you to the idea if it’s something that’s unfamiliar for you. Advancing your real estate career is going to be a priority for all of you, and it’s a great idea to sign up with Real Estate Leads here for qualified buyer and seller real estate leads delivered to you each month for your (and yours alone) territory in Canada.

Quarter-Mark Stats & Trends

Published March 22, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_83998665Here we are almost at the quarter mark for the year, and here at Real Estate Leads we like to discuss the state of the markets from coast to coast, in addition to providing a valuable online resource for real estate agents.

Vancouver and Toronto continued to see significant price appreciation in the first quarter of the year. In keeping with that, the average residential sale price of a Vancouver home in the first quarter of 2016 – compared with the same period for 2015 – rose 24%, while single-family homes in the city of Vancouver were selling for upwards of $2 million on average. In the Greater Toronto Area, the average residential sale price during the first quarter rose to $675,492, up 14%.

Inventory continues to see reductions in both cities. Competition among buyers has discouraged sellers from listing their properties, and while sellers know their homes would be quick to sell there are conversely many who are reluctant to become buyers themselves and enter what continues to be a highly competitive market. In addition, some potential sellers are hesitant to list their homes, buoyed by a belief that home prices could appreciate further.

Nest Eggs

Keep in mind as well that many Canadians are relying on their homes as a source of retirement income. They will move cautiously accordingly. According to a recent RE/MAX poll conducted by Leger, 56% of Canadians aged 55-64 who are considering selling their homes will be selling to release equity for retirement. Outside of Vancouver and Toronto, surrounding regions continue to experience a ‘spillover’ effect. This means buyers are moving farther out in search of affordable single-family homes. This has led to significant price appreciation in regions such as Victoria (+10%), Hamilton-Burlington (+10%) and Barrie (+14%). The population growth in these regions – in large part driven by housing demand – is providing a related boost to local economies as restaurants, shops and services expand.

In Flux

Some Canadian cities have experienced an economic slowdown due to the significant drop in the price of oil, and for these cities there are a pair of factors that have been mitigating the short-term economic effects. Take Calgary for example. It has a diversified economy after years of population growth, while Edmonton and St. John’s are benefiting from numerous capital projects in the region including infrastructure investments and continued investments from the oil industry.

Conversely, other areas of the country have benefited from the return of workers who had moved away to pursue employment opportunities in the West. Regions that for years experienced an exodus of their young working population as they headed to Alberta have started to see that trend reverse. In Atlantic Canada, young people from outside the urban centres who would have moved west several years ago are now going to cities such as Halifax. It’s having a positive effect on those economies.

This trend is notable in Southern Ontario, where manufacturing cities are offering greater numbers of employment opportunities as a result of the low Canadian dollar. Windsor previously had one of the highest unemployment rates in Canada, but it is now trending below the national average. It’s expected that this trend will continue for smaller cities in Southern Ontario, and that’s good news for the regions.

In Canadian housing markets where prices have softened, construction has also slowed to align with decreased demand. This is expected to stabilize prices as population growth catches up to inventory levels. When you consider that Canada is on track to welcome approximately 300,000 new permanent residents this year – the highest number since 1913 – that trend is particularly noteworthy with everything it connotes for certain cities.

We’re eager to see what the next quarter-year has in store for us, and as things look up it means even more in the ways of opportunities for realtors to find new clients. Sign up here for Real Estate Leads and have qualified buyer and seller leads provided to you every month.

Tips for Even More Success with Open Houses

Published March 14, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Open House signIf you’re a successful Real Estate Agent, chances are you spend nearly every Saturday and Sunday holding Open Houses. And while that keeps you very busy on the weekends – truth is, you wouldn’t have it any other way! These events are an integral part of the selling process for homes, and prospective buyers obviously put a lot of value in their ‘walk through.’

We imagine you hold great open houses, and that a good many of them lead directly to you matching the right buyer with your seller. But there’s always room for improvement isn’t there? Here at Real Estate Leads we’re all about advice for real estate agents, so here’s 10 tips for making your Open Houses even better.

  1. Advertise online: This is a no-brainer these days of course, but advertise online with an aim to STAND OUT from all the listings in the neighbourhood. Write colourful, descriptive ads and place them in web classifieds or open house directories, too. Post Internet listings everywhere.
  1. Map your open house signs: Find the busiest intersection closest to your home and put an open house sign at that corner, with arrows pointing buyers in the right direction. Repeat them every few blocks until you end up at your house, and don’t be afraid to jazz them up so that they’re remarkable. It helps!
  1. Remove all vehicles from the driveway: A clear and unobstructed view from the street is preferable. If you feel comfortable, ask the neighbours to help out by not parking in front of your listing.
  1. Let in the Light!: Open all the drapes, blinds and window coverings –– natural lighting does wonders for the real ambiance of a home shining through. This is true even if it’s not sunny outdoors.
  1. Serve beverages and refreshments.
  1. Do NOT use air fresheners of any sort: Many people are allergic to synthetic odours.
  1. Illuminate!: Turn on every light in the house, except lights that produce noise such as exhaust fans without separate on / off switches.
  1. Soft, pleasant music: If possible, play it at an appropriate level on each floor to help set a mood.
  1. Have good looking print collaterals for buyers: 4r-colour flyers filled with quality photos and attractive points for the property should be available for all buyers, even if more arrive than expected.
  1. Do the same for materials with financing options so buyers can make estimations regarding financing and long-term affordability.

Being upbeat, cheery and greeting each buyer who enters the home is also highly advisable. Try to prioritize your movements around the home and similarly try to be engaged with all guests in a timely manner. Find out what the buyers are looking for and, if possible, show them why your home fits those requirements.

And last but not least, ask for feedback. Ask each buyer what they thought of your home and would they consider buying it. Agents and sellers can be hesitant to ask for a buyer’s opinion, but just put your apprehensions away and ask. It’s the only way you’re going to get a direct answer, and the answer just might surprise you and help you make more informed choices.

All the best in your ventures this week, and we always welcome feedback here. Sign up with Real Estate Leads to receive qualified monthly leads provided to you exclusively as the only realtor assigned to a specific area of the country. It’s a big plus and definitely worth the investment!

Location, Location, Location: Drone Video Footage for the Biggest Picture

Published March 9, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

drone flying over prairie landscapeNot only will every real estate agent be familiar with the ‘location, location, location’ adage, but we imagine nearly every one of them will also agree with it. The home itself is one thing, but where it stands and all that’s around it is just as much – if not more – of the equation. As always, we’re very happy to discuss tips and strategies for real estate agents in Canada. Here’s one that’s not only super effective, but also involves some good old fashioned fun as well!

Realtors in generations past would take plenty of photos of a listed home’s nearby features and the neighbourhood as a whole, but they wouldn’t have the time or inclination to take shots beyond say a half-kilometre beyond the property. And all of those photos were taken from eye-level, unless of course you had one that was inclined to climb trees!

Enter the Drones

All of this has now changed with the introduction and increasingly common use of drones these days. Many models have an integrated video camera that can be remotely activated from the controls and uploading the video to your smartphone, notebook, tablet, or desktop is easy. The appeal this will have with both real estate agents and selling homeowners (including FSBOs) is easy to understand. Now you’ll have photos and videos of the home from the standard perspective AND a really appealing and informative view of the large neighbourhood and even the city or town itself.

Cameras that feature a wide-angle lens with panorama view option are preferable, as is 1080p video resolution for obvious reasons. Choose a sunny day and get your drone up high and video rolling! Flying drones is surprisingly easy, and it’s been reported that the average user is ‘fully proficient’ with operation of the drone within 30 minutes. It’s definitely not a difficult task, and the higher-end models are surprisingly stable in the air and easy to lift off / land.

A Surprisingly Versatile Marketing Tool

Video footage generated from a drone can also be utilized for more specific purposes, and shared in formats outside of the standard uploading method. For instance, drones are excellent for providing an up-close analysis of the condition of a home’s roof or chimney. And higher-end drones will allow you to stream live, either on their own or via your mobile internet device of choice.

The newest drones have built-in redundancy. If an operator lets go of the controls, it simply hovers in place. In addition, standard prices for high-quality drones are expected to drop to as little as $500, though drones with higher-end features, including gyro-stabilized platforms, which help steady the video images, will still run in the vicinity of $1,000 to $1,200. The smaller gyro-stabilized drones, with the rotors shut off, can also be handheld and walked inside a home to provide steadier images during a video walk-through.

Have you already got on board with drones as part of your marketing efforts, or are you considering purchasing one and doing so? We’d love to hear about your experiences with them, and – as always – the more listings you have to try out your new toy video recording them from on high, the better. So sign up with Real Estate Leads right here and get a big online boost to your lead generation efforts today!

The ‘Monitoring Dashboard’ – What is It, and What’s it Saying about Real Estate in Canada?

Published February 27, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Needless to say, all of the major financial institutions have a vested interest in the state and well being of the Canadian Real Estate Market. As an agent, you’re always looking for resources for realtors and it’ll likely be good to know how the big banks employ the Monitoring Dashboard for real estate market conditions in Canada.

The Monitoring Dashboard has 10 separate individual categories, and to each of them one of three colour-coded statuses will be applied at any time.

The 10 categories are:

  1. Affordability
  2. Resale Market Balance
  3. Rental Market Balance
  4. Interest Rates
  5. Labour Market
  6. Demographics
  7. New Home Inventory – Singles
  8. New Home Inventory – Multiples
  9. Homes Under Construction – Singles
  10. Homes Under Construction – Multiples

And the statuses are:

  • Red – ‘significantly outside historical norms and posing a higher risk than usual’
  • Yellow – ‘modestly outside historical norms and posing a moderately higher risk than usual’
  • Green – Within historical norms and not seen to be creating any immediate risk

These findings are generated from the Canadian Housing Health Check Report, which is compiled by the Royal Bank of Canada. It provides solid insights into the overall Canadian housing market and the contrasting regional risk profiles and trends.

So what’s the Monitoring Dashboard saying for 2017?



Reds for affordability and HUC multiples indicate what is called ‘overheating.’ Home prices in the city are becoming increasingly unaffordable, and a downturn in the building of multiple-unit housing developments compounds the issue. Also relevant to this trend is the city’s seeming unwillingness to consider a foreign-buyer tax like the one Vancouver has put into place.


Vancouver sees the same reds, but one more in demographics as well with the fact the city is bulging at the seems and struggling to accommodate the rate of population growth it’s seeing.

Home prices in Vancouver have been falling in recent months, with the average price dropping 3.1 per cent as of the end of last year. Vancouver does have “solid economic underpinnings,” though and the market appears to be adjusting in an orderly fashion with the aforementioned foreign-buyer levy.


Alberta’s capital would seem to have the greatest cause for concern according to the Dashboard, with reds for rental market balance, labour market, demographics, and new home inventory for multiples.

Increasing numbers of condos and rental units are sitting empty in Calgary, due to job losses that are in large part an outcome from the lower price of oil – a resource that’s a major contributor to Alberta’s economy. Accordingly, the market here is most at risk of any big city in Canada. Recent drops in condo construction and a slightly improving trend for home resales have been positive developments however, suggesting that risks might ease in the period ahead.

Here’s to hoping things look up all across the board with real estate in Canada, and to that end you should make sure you’re exploring every avenue to increase your business leads. Sign up with Real Estate Leads and receive qualified buyer and selling leads that are yours exclusively for your protected region of the country. Proven effective!

The Less-Conspicuous Driving Force Behind Soaring Home Prices

Published February 22, 2017 by Real Estate Leads


3D rendered illustration of rising real estate pricesA very interesting article in the today by journalist Geoff Dembicki entitled ‘The Real Reason You Can’t Afford A Home’ highlights a specific aspect of the new global economic realities that is manifesting itself in many people no longer being able to afford a home in hot spots like Vancouver and Toronto. There’s much in the way of real estate trends and news these days, but it’s hard to argue this isn’t easily at the forefront of them.

To introduce it in a more-simplistic overview, it’s that the amount of global capital becoming available for investing is rising much more rapidly than actual economic growth. Here now in 2017, there’s so much capital available that investors don’t know what to do with it all.

The response has been to pour a large portion of it into real estate, and not just here in Canada but in popular metropolitan city areas all around the world. It’s considered a ‘safe’ investment given the current climate, and prices are becoming sky-high as a result as the impetus for the investment shifts to a much more speculative one.

The 2 Distinct Spheres

To understand this in a more brief and easily digestible piece, we need to look at why there is both ‘real’ and ‘financial’ economies, and how distinct they are from each other as it relates here. The “real economy” – as Dembicki puts it – is what most of us are familiar with, all the goods and services produced across the world — the global GDP — and the infrastructure that makes this activity possible.

The “financial economy” is something different altogether. This is where investment happens. Securities, mutual funds and bonds, along with the balance sheets of banks and other financial institutions. With all this talk about a ‘bubble’ for real estate in Vancouver and Toronto, it’s the financial economy that’s blowing the air into it.

The article states – very correctly – that digital technology and globalization are the 2 primary contributors to the rise of this investment boom and all that comes along with it, good and bad. Digital technology has allowed investors to create more sophisticated and profitable ways of investing, while globalization led to massive amounts of new wealth in countries that never had much of it before.

The volume of this newfound ready-to-go capital is enormous, and it’s entirely natural that investors have begun looking for new opportunities. The simple fact is real estate is the one of the best avenues for investing now, and so here we are with super-inflated markets in our big cities.

A Persistent Market

It’s true that corrections always tend to occur with big-stage global economic trends, and this will likely be no exception. The ‘invisible hand’ always shows up, but the reality is that this trend of ‘unaffordable’ homes is likely here to stay for a good long while. And it should be said that there are plenty of very ‘liveable’ cities in Canada outside of Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary!

To Be A FSBO… Or Not

Published February 4, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

We’ll start this week’s post by explaining that we’re well aware that this is a real estate topics blog and that the majority of our readership will be real estate professionals who’ll be well aware of what exactly ‘FSBO’ means. We’re going to take a quick moment though, to explain this wacky acronym to anyone who’s not so familiar with it.

For Sale By OwnerFSBO (fizz-bo) stands for For Sale By Owner, and it’s a term used to describe a homeowner who’s made the decision to list and sell their home on their own, without the assistance of a realtor. Now we’re similarly aware that the same majority of you will obviously recommend against such a practice with vehemence, but let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons to being a FSBO. After all, being a well-informed realtor who can offer perspectives without bias or prejudice reflects very well upon you and it’s good to be able to appraise prospective clients of both sides of the coin, no matter how it may end up.


  1. Avoiding Commission

This one’s simple to understand from the seller’s perspective, as much as it’s in contradiction to your interests as a listing agent. On average, they’ll pay about 6% to sell their home—split evenly between you and the buyer’s agent. They should factor in the realtor’s commission when determining the asking price for their property. Their decided-upon sale price should be enough to pay off the remaining mortgage balance on the property, plus pay the commission. If that calculation leaves a little bit to be desired, this is one reason they might consider becoming a FSBO.

  1. There are Plenty of Selling Resources These Days

The days of creating your own yard sign and then putting an ad in the local newspaper’s classified section are long gone. Now there are an array of resources available to help you sell a home. These included locale-specific real estate purchase agreements that can be found online, and local title companies or a real estate attorney can help with the legalities and answer questions – often online as well if you can’t contact them in person or by another means. This is huge for folks in more rural areas. Perhaps more important though are the excellent resources available on the web for advertising your property. You can include photos of your house, as well as detailed information about the property, including the number of bedrooms, upgrades, square footage and other features. The Internet is pretty much the greatest thing to ever happen to FSBOs!

  1. Sense of Accomplishment

This one doesn’t need a whole lot of explanation. If you’re the type who likes doing all manner of things yourself, and saving money accordingly – you’d probably make a great and determined FSBO.


  1. Lack of Access to MLS (Multiple Listings Service)

This is definitely drawback numero uno when it comes to choosing to go FSBO as compared to working with a real estate agent. Working within a city or town’s MLS is restricted to participating (and paying) realtors exclusively, and having a home for sale featured in the MLS is of paramount effectiveness in putting the home in front of the largest number of buyers and the realtors they’re working with. It’s pretty much the bible in this regard, and selling your home without having it featured there puts you at an immediate disadvantage when it comes to exposure and finding the ‘right’ types of prospective buyers – no doubt about it.

  1. Lack of an Industry-Professionals Advice Regarding Pricing, Etc.

A qualified and experienced realtor is often invaluable with the way he or she understands the value of a home in the bigger context of the ever-changing housing market in any specific locale. You may think your home is worth X-amount – and you may have some very solid reference points in coming up with that number – but it may simply not be a realistic asking price given the conditions of the market and any of the other factors that can come into play. The majority of which are beyond the scope of understanding for anyone other than a professional realtor.

Pricing yourself realistically but fairly goes a long way in having you sell the home within the timeline you envision, and FSBOs often struggle right out of the gate this way.

  1. Being Overwhelmed / Intimidated with Requisite Paperwork

There’s a LOT of paperwork involved in selling or buying a home, and often more than the average person could ever imagine possible. Without having a realtor who’s gone through these documents many times previously on your side, you may well find yourself moving along at a snail’s pace, and becoming immensely frustrated accordingly.

  1. You Alone are the Open House Coordinator

This one’s also fairly self-explanatory. Prospective buyers will always want to tour homes they’re considering buying, and if you choose not to work with a realtor you’re very much on your own when it comes to scheduling, staging, promoting and so on and so forth. An agent can filter calls and inquiries from other real estate agents and coordinate open houses and showings for your property, so you can go about your everyday life and not have to concern yourself with it – and it always involves a LOT of concerns. And last but not least, a realtor can speak of your home and it’s attractive features and amenities in a smooth, convincing manner in a way you simply can’t. It’s a developed skill.

Here at Real Estate Leads, we provide realtors with qualified leads generated online and exclusive to them and their region in Canada. We also like to talk about trends in real estate, and if you’ve got anything to add to this post or any other we’d like to hear what you’ve got to say!

Recent talk of putting some control on the demand side of foreign investment in Canada

Published June 27, 2016 by Real Estate Leads

Foreign investment is not the only problem with Vancouver’s stratospheric prices but proper taxation would help to fix Vancouver & Toronto’s home price inflation.

The most drastic fix, now being talked about, is to put a cap on Vancouver’s seemingly out-of-control home price inflation through some taxation on foreign real estate investors. It is logically about the most the effective way to simmer down Vancouver’s epic market rise; without precipitating a market collapse.

Stopping foreign investment entirely is not a nice, nor effective solution, as foreign investment is only one of the drivers of high prices; but it has been a quite noticeable one indeed.

So if our politicians can get their minds properly wrapped around the issue then some intelligent new taxing regulations could effectively put a damper on the recent run-away market behavior – which most experts are saying is a bubble that will eventually suddenly/remarkably pop.

When investors come in and purchase real estate who actually have no intention of living, nor working, in Canada, but instead principally as a profit-generating investment – that is the problem that needs to be addressed. A portion of the foreign investors are only involved to transfer funds internationally and/or make quick money.

In a nutshell what is being discussed is “taxing speculative activity”.

Australia and New Zealand & and other areas experiencing similar housing problems have successfully implemented foreign ownership tax rules and laws. Australia has made a rule that restricts foreign investors to purchase only *brand new* developments.

Australia is saying, that if you build something new, at least they are creating some extra GDP – some economic momentum, employing people, adding something to the economy for the benefit of all. If they are just playing the resale market, then they really not adding anything to the economy – only higher prices.

Vancouver faces a fundamental supply problem, as do many other large cities such as Toronto; so solutions like taxation are limited in how effect such changes may have.

Vancouver is an island … from a real estate perspective. In Vancouver, the supply can not be soon expanded, but taxation of foreign-non-resident speculation can help control Vancouver’s staggering home price inflation.

A solution to the drastic home inflation trend being seen in Vancouver and Toronto can be found by discouraging demand.

These aren’t our ideas – just a summary of what we see being discussed on real estate forums. What are some of your ideas? We would love to hear from you.

RealEstateLeads not only wishes to provide you new leads in real-time, but also pertinent and fresh market knowledge through our weekly updated blog.


The Big Benefits of Proper Lead Cultivation

Published June 13, 2016 by Real Estate Leads


There is a myth in the industry that we wish to focus on. Real estate agents who are closing a disproportionate number of deals are not getting better leads – truly they are performing a better job at nurturing the leads that are coming in to them. To those who feel that they are struggling, this insight is good to know as it means that you have more power and control than you might have thought before.

Really conversion rates are dependent not so much on your lead generation system or techniques (although that has some weight) but what will mainly drive your success is the on the effort (and finesse) you put into lead follow-up.

Even more wonderful news is that you will not be tasked with reinventing the wheel to efficiently convert leads. What is critical is to develop good follow-up habits which will provide higher conversion rates for you.

The Element of Speed

If you secured constant web leads each day – which you have done if you are lucky enough to have an account with – then you might just think everything is set. However, our lead service is only half the equation for success; the other half is naturally up to you. So if you are not calling your leads then you are definitely not on a path for high-conversion rates. Various studies have pointed out that calling your leads within the first 5-10 minutes enable much better results even than calling 10-30 minutes or more or later. What are they doing after 10 minutes of submitting their information on the internet? Chances are they are in an anxious mode and perhaps already dialing another agent, or perhaps they are just engaging back into their work, domestic duties, or regular routine.

Studies have shown that most leads will work with the 1st agent they engage in a conversation with; even if they speak to some other ones afterwards. Of course, this also depends on how well you tell them what they are hoping to hear without being dishonest. So if you call a lead in those five to ten minutes; you are making a good impression – and so you are also most likely to be the agent of choice that will they end up working with. One study reported that quick lead response positively impacts lead conversion by 230%.

The reason why most agents don’t pick up the phone as they should is not so much because they are lazy, but often because they feel afraid to fail. Failing sometimes is always guaranteed, but as the old adage goes – “no pain – no gain.” A tried & tested way of overcoming calling fears is rehearsal of scripts. For great script examples, see our previous article on that topic. So every time you make a call, you have a fine tuned the script right in front of your eyes, so you effectively reduce your chances of losing control of the conversation.

The Art of Following-up

Again an immediate reaction to a online lead should be calling them about 5 minutes after the lead was delivered to you – despite any automated email that might have been sent. Not every lead is going to answer your call immediately, but with today’s smartphones – they should be able to see that you called – and they will appreciate that when you are able to get a hold of them. It should be repeated again NOT just send an a manual or automated email – that is, unless you want to be a member of the big bucket of agents who convert less that 10% of leads. Realistically you can push that number higher that 50%, or more.

If nobody answers your first call,leave a voicemail and perhaps also send a text if it is a mobile number. Your text will most likely be full read in any case. Also, if you have it set-up – automated home searches sent from your website and drip campaigns are both good methods for keeping in touch.

The biggest mistake you can make, other than being rude or insulting to the prospect, is to decide to stop following up with a lead because you quickly feel you are not getting the response you hoped for. But if a lead specifically asks you to stop, you should continue to follow-up with them at least by email or text; or even by snail mail if you have an address.

Not all leads are ready right to talk away. As you might already know, a small percentage of leads will either sell or buy (or both) within a few months. Most leads actually take up to a year (and in some cases longer) before they will take the plunge. However, your job in the meantime is to make sure you are in their line of sight, so to speak, whenever they are ready.

Setting up a meeting with your lead, face to face, is equally crucial as a call. Negotiate with them on the phone to initially schedule an appointment for discussion over a cup of coffee. Another idea is to invite them to one of your open houses for a more light-hearted approach. Nothing beats real physical visual interaction. If you can swing it, try to arrange for a skype video call with them.

The main idea is to build rapport and therefore meeting your leads in person too. Choose voice calling over email or sms – those are a dime a dozen sort of speaking. Of course you know this, but it goes in line with this train of thought – purchasing a house is probably one of the biggest decisions and investments your leads will ever make. Therefore, they will probably want to take their time, so feel them out and react likewise. Use their feedback to build their trust in you.

With a smart and strong system in place, you can practice with every lead to iron out the art of following up and working those leads down. The net result of doing this better = more deals.


Don’t be disillusioned. Follow up with leads is a lot of work, but such efforts will turn into your bread & butter. You shouldn’t just go at it freestyle. Each new lead should be another chance to perfect your communication skills. Best wishes from your secret helpers at