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Archive for October, 2015

geo2What do the words neighbourhood demographics mean to you? Pretty much everything you want to know about who lives in a particular neighbourhood and the composition of their families. How is this useful? A number of different way. For example, neighbourhood demographics can help you tell investors where there is high rental potential in a particular neighbourhood or perhaps highlight an area that a family starting out may not want to live.

So what demographics are really relevant and how can they be leveraged? When looking at neighbourhood demographics there are 4 key areas that you may want to hone in on.

  1. Population – this deals with family composition. Naturally people want to live in neighbourhoods where other families similar to theirs live. You can’t tell by looking at the outside of a home how many people in the neighbourhood are married, single, have children or don’t, age distribution, etc… Perhaps seniors that are downsizing would like to live in a quiet community that has a higher population of older residents. On the marketing side, looking at trends in the population can enable you to adjust your messaging to hone in on niche markets in the area you serve.
  1. Households – this deals with the types of properties in the area and how they are being used. You want to be able to know percentages of owned vs rented properties for both investors and families who may not want to live in neighbourhoods that have a high % of renters. Average sizes and ages of homes in the area are also very relevant demographics that you want to know and be able to discuss with your clients. You can also use this information to identify shifts in neighbourhoods and what it could potentially mean to you later if you cater to a particular market but the face of the community you are working in is changing.
  1. Socio Economic – Back on the theme that people want to live in communities that have other people like them – many buyers would probably like to know things like the education levels in a community. The type of worker – white collar vs blue collar, dominant professions etc… Socio economics also play a huge roll in marketing. The needs of a family can change depending on income levels, likes and education. Targeted marketing works better. Again, knowing the people in the community you are marketing in enables you to come up with marketing initiatives that connect with prospects.
  1. Cultural – Cultural demographics are important not just for your clients but also to you in terms of your marketing efforts. Cultural demographics highlight ethnicities, religions and dominant languages of people who live in a community. From the perspective of your marketing – identifying neighbourhoods that have common cultural demographics can enable you to look at marketing in ethnic magazines or even in other languages.

Knowing the demographics of the neighbourhoods you serve, for obvious reasons, makes you more knowledgeable and able to offer a higher level of service – and it also makes you more agile because you can diversify your marketing and even messaging according to the communities you are marketing in.

If you would like information about a tool that helps you access all of the above neighbourhood demographics information and more please visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

 

 

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October 21, 2015

Being that ViMO is our little brother we thought it prudent to dedicate this week’s blog content to a fantastic new feature that the ViMO team at Teranet rolled out this past month.

As you likely already know, ViMO is a mobile app for real estate that real estate sales professionals use to market listings, collaborate and manage relationships with prospects, clients and partners, administer documents, research properties – and oh, did we mention… market to customers??

Your marketing is your bread and butter and we know it, which is why the developers continually add and develop new ViMO features.

Introducing the Market Intelligence Report!!

Using the Market Intelligence Report you can create customized reports about industry news and neighbourhood sales activities that you can market to:

  • Prospects – generate leads
  • Clients – nurture leads
  • Partners/Colleagues/Referral Sources – generate new relationships!

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Only GeoWarehouse customers can register for ViMO – Visit myvimo.ca to learn more about the Market Insights Report or about the full capabilities offered by the full ViMO mobile app for real estate.

 

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October 14, 2015

geo2Here at Teranet, we are constantly blogging about real estate and mortgage fraud because it is the biggest plague that exists in the real estate industry today. Fraud really does cost us all with more regulation, the burden to do more due diligence, and mortgage lenders being more stringent both when approving and funding mortgages for financing.

Mortgage fraud impacts every professional across the mortgage industry from real estate sales professionals, to mortgage professionals, to lenders, insurers and more. As an industry, we must collectively work together to combat real estate fraud.

You, the real estate sales professional, are the first line of defence against mortgage fraud! Often you are the deal originator because the entire sequence of transactions follows you engaging a client to buy or sell real estate.

Along the way, you’ve probably encountered real estate fraud either where you stopped it or suspected it but were not certain enough to take action.

Being a real estate fraud buster is easy and comes down to collecting and independently verifying some of your client’s information to ensure that there is nothing amiss.

After completing a preliminary interview with your client and gathering their basic information – there are 3 main things you will want to do to flag potential fraud:

  • What are the parties to the transaction and what is their relationship to one another?
  • Who is the legal homeowner of the property?
  • How is the client financing their purchase? Where is the money coming from?
  • What is the sales history of the property – previous owners and timing of transactions?

This is as simple as performing a property search using a tool that can validate all of the above in a single instance.

If something fishy comes up – it doesn’t necessarily mean your deal is dead in its tracks. It may just mean you need to ask more questions to either determine that a serious problem exists or that there is an innocent explanation for something that appears offside at an initial glance. For example – a property may have passed hands through related parties a couple of times in a short period of time, but upon further investigation the original owner was a grandparent so the property passed to an aunt and then the grandchild. On the other hand, a property changing hands a number of times in a short period of time between related parties, especially a lawyer, could signify a fraud scheme.

Your client will appreciate you for it because digging deeper shows them that you are a real estate sales professional who follows a high code of ethics and professional standards which is a big plus!

Use GeoWarehouse to conduct this due diligence and stop real estate fraud and all the resulting consequences. Visit www.geowarehouse.ca today.

 

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geo2Many Canadian economists have speculated that the Canadian economy is at risk of being in a recession. This would appear to be very scary news considering that it has been widely reported that Canadians are carrying record levels of debt.

The question many have had is will this end up having a negative impact on the real estate market?

Look at urban centres like Toronto where it was recently reported that the average sale price of a single detached home has exceeded 1 million dollars. Will these markets stay hot?

Some speculate that urban centres may cool off while the “burbs” will heat up. One thing is for sure, when the economy falters and Canadians are struggling to maintain their housing payments with their other bills like payments to debt, some will look at downsizing. This may include moving a little bit further away to be able to buy more for less.

When Canadian families are struggling financially there may be less lower income families coming into the housing market, but folks moving to put cash flow back into their households can more than offset this.

In a strained economic environment you have to be even more diligent when pre-qualifying new clients. Why?

  1. Pre market-crash of 2008 – mortgage financing rules were more lax so there are a high volume of people walking around who took out mortgages at 90-95% the value of their homes, amortized over 35 years and so have less equity.
  1. People in debt generally turn to debt consolidation as a first measure before making the difficult decision to sell their home. This can result in 1 very large mortgage refinance or perhaps 2 or 3 additional mortgages behind the first mortgage.
  1. When people have financial problems they can fall behind making monthly payments to things like property taxes, condo fees, income taxes and other bills leading to property liens – the homeowner may not even know is one has been registered.

What do the above 3 scenarios have in common? They can all result in there not being enough equity to pay you!

You can mitigate this occurrence by doing a basic preliminary background check on new listings:

  1. Validate that your client is the legal homeowner
  2. Look at the sales history of the property
  3. Estimate the value by reviewing comparable sales
  4. Review financial encumbrances like mortgages
  5. Check for liens

An unstable or underperforming economy doesn’t necessarily mean a negative impact to the real estate market but what it does mean is that you have to be agile to adapt in conditions that may emerge as a result.

If you would like to be able to access a tool that enables you to perform the due diligence discussed in this article and more please visit www.geowarehouse.ca.  

 

 

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