Canadian Staging Professionals™ invites Toronto Real Estate Professionals to Evening Seminar in Toronto Sept- 6-8

August 29, 2007

logo.gifNext week, as part of its 3-day Conference in Toronto, Canadian Staging Professionals™ has invited real estate professionals in Toronto to an engaging evening with keynote speakers: Sunjay Nath and Christine Rae.

The location is the Renaissance Toronto Hotel Airport and doors open at around 6:30pm. With tickets only $25.00 and limited seating, anyone interested should act quickly by contacting 1-888-STAGING or email liz@stagingtraining.com

On the Agenda:

Move Your Team to the top 10%

Since 1995, professional speaker Sunjay Nath has unlocked the benefits of the 10-80-10 Principle for more than a half-million people. Learn how you and your real estate team can operate at this same dynamic level – all the time. The 10-80-10 Principle guides people towards recognizing and developing these Top 10% behaviors and eliminating the Bottom 10% actions that block success. The 10-80-10 Principle combines best practices with small wins to help people achieve more and find balance.

Powerful RESULTS… with Staging by Christine Rae

You will learn:

  • How the home staging industry is growing and why it is recognized as a valid service before marketing a property
  • Home staging trends in the Canadian marketplace
  • Five marketing steps to position home staging into your markting and attract more clients
  • How including a CSP™ on your team will mean more money in your bank account
  • What to look for when hiring a staging consultant.

 About CSP™

CSP™ training is at the top of the Staging field offering the opportunity to gain vital entrepreneurial skills to expand or establish your own Staging Business. They offer a cutting edge course available to Decorators, Designers, Organizers or anyone with a creative flare looking to jump into a Staging Career.

Some of the course topics include:

  • Building alliances with Real Estate Agents
  • How to market yourself as a Stager
  • Creating multiple streams of income
  • Industry networking
  • Proven Staging techniques
  • And much more!

Canadian Staging Professionals™ gain extensive skills and knowledge to target market and apply broad appeal to any property for sale, making it stand out from the competition.


Growing Number of Real Estate agents in Canada employ Professional Photographers

August 27, 2007

photo.jpgAn article appeared in the Globe and Mail over the weekend discussing the growing use of professional photographers by real estate agents in Canada to better market their listings through slick property imagery, particularly among luxury properties.

In the article, Adriana Barton writes, the days of lacklustre photos snapped by realtors may be numbered. Despite digital cameras, a growing number of real-estate agents are hiring professional photographers to showcase properties online, according to Ann Bosley, a Toronto real-estate broker and president of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Blurry photos of dark rooms, open-lidded toilets and fridge doors littered with kids’ drawings and ladybug magnets just don’t cut it.

“More and more, our clients are picture-rather than word-oriented,” Ms. Bosley says, adding that real-estate websites now accommodate many digital images. Professional shots make sense even for low-end properties, according to Richard Silver, a real-estate agent who sells homes at all price levels in the Toronto area. Since Mr. Silver began using professional photography two years ago, his sales have gone up by about 25 per cent, he says. “I don’t even put out a listing without the professional photos.”

In fact, UniqueHomeSites.com offer a great companion service for photography professionals and real estate agents alike as they provide a cost-effective, professionally-designed single property website template solution in which they can easily upload all of their still, panoramic, and video files for display on the Internet.

UniqueHomesites is the preffered service to other ‘virtual tour’ providers in that they include an easy-to-use site building wizard with an ever-growing template library, a unique domain name of the agents choice (i.e. www.123UniqueStreet.com), as well as hosting of the website for one year. Each site also comes equipped with a Canadian school locator, agent branding, recipricol links to the agents website, lead generation tools, plus much more.

Barton also refers to Canadian blogger, Saskatchewan real-estate agent Norm Fisher, who posts his Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photo Hall of Fame at Teamfisher.com.

For thos agents who can’t afford a professional photographer, Barton offers a number of tricks of the trade, compliments of Photographyforrealestate.net:

Remember that the photo’s purpose is to sell real estate. Focus more on the architecture and room spaces than on furniture and decor.

Simplify images. Exclude everything that detracts from the home’s attractiveness, such as towels hanging from the oven door.

Viewthe front exterior as the key shot. Spend extra time on it, since this is the image often required by Multiple Listing Service rules.

Render interiors light and bright. Since light interiors are more attractive to buyers than dark ones, use an external flash unit or a long exposure shot on a tripod to make a room look bright.

Keep the verticals vertical. All vertical lines, such as wall corners, should be shown parallel to the sides of the image, otherwise they distract the viewer’s attention. If the use of a wide-angle lens creates distortion, restore verticals with digital photo-editing.

Stick to horizontal shots. Most real-estate websites are designed to work best with landscape-mode images; a mixture of horizontal and vertical formats can be distracting.


Canada’s Resale Housing Market is Red-Hot

August 24, 2007

mls_logo.gifCanada’s resale housing activity is hotter than ever, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), who recently issued its July 2007 sales activity and average price statistics.

Year-to-date transactions set new records in almost all major markets in July as MLS® home sales via Board and Association MLS® systems numbered 235,980 units in Canada’s major markets during the first seven months of 2007, up 10.3 per cent from the same period in 2006.

The major market MLS® residential average price rose 13.1 per cent year-over-year to $332,442 in July. This represents the largest year-over-year growth in average price since April 2004. Average price reached the highest monthly level on record in Calgary, Regina, Québec City, and St. John’s.

“As this report shows, Canada’s resale housing market has shrugged off the subprime problems that have been affecting the housing market in the United States, and a number of investment funds,” said Ann Bosley, President of The Canadian Real Estate Association. “Canadian lenders have launched some alternative mortgage options in the past year, but they appear to be more conservative and are unlikely to overdo any subprime lending, which has been the problem affecting the U.S. housing and borrowing markets.”

The resale housing market in many cities is more balanced than earlier in the year, the CREA President notes, and overall fundamentals are still a positive influence. “Canada’s economy is strong, and the employment statistics released last week were very strong,” added Bosley. “Canadian lenders and consumers are learning from the U.S. experience, and it has not had any major impact on consumer confidence in the housing market.”

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 90,000 REALTORS® working though more than 100 real estate Boards and Associations. CREA’s primary mission is to represent members at the federal level, and to defend the public’s right to own and enjoy property.


Generating Quality Homebuyer Leads from your Website

August 22, 2007

lead.jpgIn a recent article posted on the U.S. National Association of Realtors website, entitled ‘Make an Offer they Can’t Refuse’, real estate training expert Michael Russer gives advice on getting prospects to interact with your website by providing appealing incentives that will set you apart from your competition.

Mr. Russer writes:

To get consumers’ attention nowadays you need to step it up with an “irresistible offer” — the term I use for a special package, piece of information, document, or item that will be viewed as extremely valuable by your customers. Here are the qualities of irresistible offers:

  • Targeted to your specific niche market.
  • Considered extremely valuable by members of that market.
  • Is unique — only you are offering it, or better yet, you are the only one who can offer it.
  • Uses an attention-grabbing headline or has a catchy name.
  • Uses a request form that invites the visitor to share personal information, and assures them that their information will be kept private.

The key concept here is to offer something on your website that a prospective homebuyer wants (or even better, needs), then make it accessible only by filling out a very short contact form. This allows you to capture their contact information and do the appropriate follow-up to win them over as clients.

Some techniques that are commonly used in the market today, as well as those suggested by Mr. Russer include:

  1. Offer a free home valuation based on similar properties (and your expert knowledge)
  2. Offer a neighbourhood analysis report
  3. Neighbourhood discount books
  4. First-time buyer tips and advice
  5. Have virtual tours only accessible to registered guests

A Tale of Two Real Estate Markets – Canada and the United States

August 22, 2007

feature_img_1.jpgKen McLachlan, principle broker for Re/Max Hallmark Realty in Toronto, Ontario writes a very insightful post on his blog describing the differences between the real estate markets in the United States and Canada.

http://remaxhallmark.typepad.com/remax_hallmark_blog/2007/08/two-different-m.html

Interesting real estate times we live in. Our friends south of the border have been experiencing quite a different market than us. We had to know that the sensational growth of their market several years ago could not be maintained. Much of the real estate market acceleration in the States was fueled by speculators and secondary financing.

This type of play created a real estate market which wasn’t real. How bad was it? More than 30% of every residential real estate deal done in the States at one time involved a speculator, someone who was purely buying a property to trade in it like one would a stock. Their mortgage market fueled the strong growth as well. It wasn’t uncommon for a purchaser, (unqualified) to obtained over 100% financing on a property. No questions asked or verified at least.

Imagine the lure of buying a property with no money down with a payout to you the buyer on closing! Rates would be very very low to start, with “an adjustment” down the road. The adjustment time came and many many unqualified buyers found out they didn’t have the stomach to carry their “home” and simply walked away.  So the lethal combination of owners walking away from properties in droves and 30% of the market now not interested in playing has killed the real estate market in many regions in the States.

At home, we haven’t had many speculators working in our markets and certainly our mortgage rules and habits are much more controllable. The debt service ratio is very very healthy in Canada which is another good indicator of a mature market. Price increases our moderate on average and supply – although a problem in some markets – is good.

Traditionally the real estate market in Canada has mirrored the market in the States. Not this time. We learned our lessons hard from the recessions of the 80’s and 90’s – hopefully.

In a buyers market, where listings are plentiful, real estate agents must put a lot of energy into marketing a property for sale, in order to attract and expose it to as many potential homebuyers as possible.

In a sellers market, where listings are harder to come by, it is important for agents to demonstrate to their prospective selling clients how they will go above-and-beyond other agents competing for the same listing.

Under either of these scenario’s, UniqueHomeSites provide real estate agents in Canada with a powerful tool to market their listings on the Internet, attract buyers, and win more listings.


Target Marketing Key to Getting More Business

August 21, 2007

img6.jpgCanadian real estate marketing guru Mike Blaney submitted an interesting posting on his blog, which provides insight into how marketing impacts women differently than men.

Interestingly, there have been a growing number of discussions on the web of late discussing women as an important and ever-growing consumer segment – particularly in the context of real estate.

On the RISMedia.com website, Desiree French addresses this topic in an article entitled ‘Individualizing Consumers: Segmentation becomes Key to Getting More Business’.

In the article, she provides a comprehensive set of tips for real estate agents to increase their profitability by targetting specific consumer groups in their marketing efforts. With regard to women as a consumer segment, she notes:

The Internet, which has indisputably played a wide and crucial role in how real estate is bought and sold, has been identified as a tool that makes it easier for brokers, both large and small, to more effectively target consumers for products and services and to segment properties by price, cities, and school districts.

According to Kaira Sturdivant Rouda with Real Living, the Internet allows brokers to become experts in their areas in ways they could not using traditional media outlets for advertising and marketing. In fact, in 2006, a few years after Real Living was created from a merger, the company had an opportunity to focus on what it felt was missing from its marketing strategy. The answer: women.

Thus, women became the company’s primary consumer group, and that change, Rouda says, is reflected on Real Living’s Web site and in the knowledge that “women control or direct 90% of all home purchases.” She concedes that it’s a broad focus. “It’s not that we don’t like men, but you can’t be all things to all people,” Rouda says.

After identifying women as an important group, Real Living then segmented that broad population into eight subsets, including buying types, demographics, and lifestyle.

The move isn’t so unusual. In the spring, First Team Real Estate completely restyled its Web site to cater to women, who—whether single or married—are responsible for making a disproportionately large number of decisions about home purchases. The First Team site is not necessarily family-oriented, but it has softer images, themes and colors.

Just as a sidenote, UniqueHomeSites.com has a growing professionally-designed template library for its Single Property Website solution.

The variety of themes available allow real estate agents in Canada to present a look-and-feel that is consistent with their target consumer market.


Top industry trainer Daryl Davis offers eleven winning techniques for building your listing inventory

August 17, 2007

There’s an old saying in our business: the office that controls the inventory controls the marketplace. Many agents, however, steer away from listing presentations because they don’t have a clear process to follow.

Below, top industry real estate coach and trainer Daryl Davis reveals ten specific tips for obtaining listings — all of which are now used with great success by students participating in his year-long training course, The POWER Program ® .

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