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Archive for August, 2013

Demographic InformationOne thing that Canada is known for around the world is its multiculturalism and diverse demographics. It is what attracts people to this country, and it is also what makes this country unique. The things that someone new to Canada may look for, in terms of choosing a country to live in, are similar to the ones that a homebuyer may look for, when choosing a community to lay down roots.

As a real estate sales professional, you know that where your client chooses to live is based on a number of different factors. Features such as location, proximity to parks, schools, public transit, etc. may influence the decision to settle in a given area, but what about elements that, perhaps, cannot be determined with a drive through the neighbourhood? Do you want to have to drive through a neighbourhood to be able to learn demographic information? Is what the eye can see even accurate? Demographic information, especially when it relates to your client’s neighbourhood of interest, is very important, and your ability to provide it improves your customer’s experience when working with you.

Is a subdivision the right fit for your client? Is the area abundant with young children or a mature community with less young families? Are a vast majority of properties in the area rentals? What is the average income in a community? Many people want to live in a community with others who are like them, and these are things that you, as their real estate sales professional, should be taking into consideration when researching potential properties.

The Neighbourhood Demographics Report, available on GeoWarehouse, can help you to determine neighbourhood demographics, and is the best way to collect this information. The information included in a Neighbourhood Demographics Report can help you answer your clients’ questions regarding age distribution, marital status of residents in a given community, and average household income. The structural types of housing, as well as the percentage of rented homes versus owned, are also key elements of this report.

Demographic information is not always evident when driving through an area; being able to provide this information will make your client more informed and lead to more referral business as more and more clients are wowed by their experience working with you!

For more about the Neighbourhood Demographics Report please visit www.geowarehouse.ca or call us today at 1-866-237-5937.

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August 26, 2013

Orea LogoOREA is hosting a series of events for REALTORS throughout Ontario in the coming months. Check out this link for more details www.orea.com/emerge.

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Manuel Bustamante

We are very excited to announce the winner of our Facebook contest. Manuel Bustamante, sales representative from CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Limited in Oakville, Ontario, was the proud recipient of a Kobo E-Reader. We thank all of the real estate sales professionals who participated in the contest.

Stay tuned for our next contest and an opportunity to win something great!

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Real Estate Lead GenerationWhat makes the difference between a somewhat successful real estate sales career in Ontario and one that is very successful?  The answer is a rock solid plan for real estate lead generation. In this blog, we will cover some proven techniques that successful real estate professionals have adopted, and that can accelerate your real estate lead generation.

Social Influence

We all know that the arrival of social media has changed the way that we communicate, network and generate new business. In this regard, social influence is the key.

Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect.  Imagine you were having coffee with a colleague, and shared that you were thinking about purchasing a property. If your friend offered a recommendation, how likely would you be to take that recommendation? This is the whole premise of social influence, the only difference is that now recommendations occur online.

Let’s take Facebook as an example of social influence: if you were to ask a happy client to visit your Facebook page and post about their experience, the result would be that their connections would see the post in their feed. Someone else, who may be in the market to buy or sell a home, may be influenced by their connection’s positive experience with you.

In fact, statistics show that 1 in 3 people make a buying decision based on recommendations from those in their social networks. We know that finding time to manage social presences can be daunting, but starting with a single presence, that you check regularly, is a start. Here are techniques that you can employ to improve social influence within your networks:

  1. Create a Facebook presence that caters to your real estate endeavours (not your personal Facebook page).
  2. Anytime you meet someone invite them to join your network on Facebook.
  3. Anytime you close a deal, ask your client to post on your Facebook page with respect to their dealings with you.

In no time at all you will begin to see the fruits of your labour.

Thought Leadership and Recognition

Consumers want to deal with a professional who is a thought-leader in their field. You have access to many tools and resources that help you discover an abundance of information, so why not blog about them? Showing your prospects that you are knowledgeable and able to address all their questions is key.

Here is a great example: in Ontario, thousands of real estate sales professionals use GeoWarehouse to learn about sales histories, neighbourhood demographics and more. Why not share this knowledge with your online networks.

Here is how to do it: If there is a particular demographic that you want to speak to, write a quick blog about neighbourhoods that cater to that demographic. This will speak directly to those you want to market to and establish you as a thought-leader in an area that is important to them.

Being in the Right Communities to Expand Your Referral Networks

Referral relationships are an awesome way to generate ongoing volume business with little ongoing marketing investment. Sites like LinkedIn are amazing for this purpose. On LinkedIn you can join groups that are frequented by target referral sources; CAAMP is a great example. If you want to establish new referral relationships with mortgage brokers, the CAAMP group on LinkedIn is the perfect place to find them. Get connected to new referral opportunities on LinkedIn and then leverage the “Projects” module inside your LinkedIn profile to post listings and keep your connections in the loop with respect to your current listings. More exposure of your listings equals more sales.

Some other ideas could include posting to free classified sites like Kijiji, Craigslist and, where possible, paying to be a top sponsored listing. Sponsored listings on Kijiji are a very affordable way to gain a lot of exposure. Kijiji also gives you the ability to access a list of people who are posting looking for your services.

These are just a few examples of ways that you can leverage technology for the purpose of real estate lead generation. Join the conversation – what best techniques are you using to generate more business?

If you would like information about GeoWarehouse please visit www.geowarehouse.ca or call 1-866-237-5937.

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GeoWarehouse StoreThe GeoWarehouse Store is available to Real Estate Sales Professionals who subscribe to GeoWarehouse. In the store, Real Estate Sales Professionals can access a vast range of information, searches, reports, certificates, documents just to name a few. This blog highlights the top 5 GeoWarehouse reports that Real Estate Sales Professionals purchase in the GeoWarehouse Store and why.

 

Parcel Register                                         

The Parcel Register is a component of the property title search that reveals a property’s ownership information, legal description information and a history of all transfers, mortgages, liens and other encumbrances. Real Estate Sales Professionals use this report to verify who owns a property, what mortgages they have (validate equity), identify issues that could impact the real estate transaction from closing and more…

Instrument Image

Instrument images provide vital details when an issue is identified in the Parcel Register and further information is required. For example, let’s say there is a mortgage registered on your client’s property by a private lender, a discharge statement is required and no one knows where to obtain it. An instrument image can provide you with the private lender’s information and also the private lender’s lawyer’s information, including contact information. This can enable you to help your client obtain a discharge statement. The same is true if the Parcel Register reveals that a lien has been registered against the property. An instrument image can reveal the registrant, contact information and the amount of the lien. Instrument images are a very useful tool for Real Estate Sales Professionals and can result in significant time savings.

HomeVerified

The HomeVerified Insurance Claims history report can be purchased through the GeoWarehouse store and is an excellent tool to learn the insurance history on a property. Uncovering damage claims can reveal floods, potential electrical problems and more… Through HomeVerified you can also verify if the property you are listing has been used as a grow op.

Survey

Gone are the days of having to order, organize and pay for expensive surveys. Surveys are now available on GeoWarehouse. If a survey for the property is available it can be purchased online, through the GeoWarehouse Store. A digital format will be emailed immediately to you after completing the purchase process.

MPAC Assessment Data

Many Real Estate Sales Professionals turn to MPAC assessment data when they need information like a property’s accurate municipal address and to identify missing information on a transaction. There are a wide range of MPAC Assessment Reports available in the GeoWarehouse Store. MPAC Assessment Reports include information such as current value assessment, property type, site area and unit of measure, year built, zoning, last valid sale date, last valid sale amount, heating type, air conditioning, basement total area, basement finished area, garage type, and garage spaces.

Another very valuable report available through GeoWarehouse, just not through the GeoWarehouse store, is the ability to request condo status certificates on any real estate closing that involves a condo. As a Real Estate Sales Professional you know the act of obtaining a condo certificate is both costly and timely. Condo corporations demanding payment of the fee by certified funds, tight time lines on closings and needing to retrieve the certificate can really make obtaining a condo status certificate a grueling task. Condo status certificates can be ordered. By registering for Conduit through GeoWarehouse and then processing an order. Incorporating these very useful products into your workflow will result in you having more knowledge about your clients and their properties and save you time and money through increased efficiency.

If you would like more information about how you can access the GeoWarehouse Store please visit www.geowarehouse.ca or call 1-866-237-5937.

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Property Title SearchEvery real estate transaction will involve a title search; all parties involved in the transaction (the Real Estate Sales Professional, the mortgage broker, the lender and the real estate lawyer) will require a property title search for different reasons.

Historically, the Real Estate Sales Professional, mortgage broker and lender would rely on the real estate lawyer to perform the property title search, as it is one of their formal responsibilities. The only challenge is that sometimes, when the real estate lawyer performs the property title search, issues can arise that can complicate and delay closing; in some cases, these can even prevent a deal from closing altogether.

Advancements in technology have made relevant aspects of a property title search available to land professionals, like Real Estate Sales Professionals.

GeoWarehouse provides Real Estate Sales Professionals with online access to Parcel Registers which are an integral component of a property title search. Parcel Register data comes from the POLARIS database and is the most current and accurate information of its kind available. Accessing a Parcel Register online saves you an incredible amount of time and provides you with an abundance of information, including the legal description of a property, the property’s PIN, property owners, types of ownership, a history property of transfers, liens, and mortgages.

A Parcel Register helps you uncover issues that may delay, complicate or prevent a real estate transaction from closingsuch as:

  • Un-discharged mortgages – Too often mortgages that are paid off do not get formally discharged by the lender’s lawyer.  Un-discharged mortgages must be discharged before a future real estate transaction can take place.
  • Liens or encumbrances (property tax arrears, condo fee arrears, construction liens etc…) – liens often come as a complete surprise to sellers and it should be identified if they exist.
  • Other people on title.
  • Lack of property equity – if a seller has no property equity they cannot pay you. Finding this out quickly is important to see if there are other arrangements that can be made for payment, otherwise you may want to pass on the client.
  • Restrictive covenants, easements, and other registrations…

Issues like previously un-discharged mortgages that ended up being paid off can be overcome by obtaining proof and providing it to the lawyer, as can liens that have also been paid off. However, other people on title who do not want to consent to the sale of the propertyor insufficient equity to cover real estate and legal closing costs, can stop a deal dead in its tracks.

While it may end up ultimately being the real estate lawyer’s responsibility to perform the property title search, it pays to perform a Parcel Register and identify any potential issues, determine if they can be addressed, and address them long before the transaction ends up with the real estate lawyer. This will lead to higher closing rates, better time management (you will not be wasting time on deals that won’t close), strengthened relationships with partners, as more of your deals will close, and heightened due diligence that will prevent you from taking on clients who are unable to pay for your services.

If you would like more information about how you can obtain a Parcel Register online please visit www.geowarehouse.ca or call 1-866-237-5937.

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