Archive for the 'Real Estate Technology' Category

December 3, 2018

We are excited to announce new enhancements for the GeoWarehouse® solution.

Effective immediately, users will now be able to add several new features to their property search repertoire.

Available now:

  1. Basic Client Report

This new, one-page PDF report contains the most essential information. You’ll be able to get a short, but information packed, overview at your fingertips.

  1. Business Card Inserting

 Users can now insert their business cards into the PDF reports.

  1. Easier Condo and Townhouse Searches.

With condos and townhouses rising in popularity across the Canadian housing market this will help you find available properties faster.

  1. Insert Static Street View

 Users can now insert Static Street View images into PDFs.

  1. Saved LRO Available Across Multiple Browsers

Map window displays with saved land registry offices (LROs) are now supported across multiple browsers.

We have worked hard to make GeoWarehouse® a comprehensive solution for you. We hope you enjoy these enhancements when conducting property searches, accessing Parcel Registers and Instrument Images, and more.

If you have any questions, please call us at 416.360.7542 or 1.866.237.5937 or email us at GeoWarehouseFeedback@teranet.ca 

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November 23, 2018

The Canadian real estate market is in a state of fluctuation, which can make determining a listing price difficult to say the least.

Between rising interest rates, mortgage stress testing regulations, uncertain house prices, increased competition, and the like, there are many factors that might be affecting your usual process for determining property value.

That said, there are several practices that you can use to set a listing price no matter what is happening in the Canadian housing market. Here are our top picks.

  1. Assess the Property Details

This is step number one because it should be on your list regardless of market conditions. You need to understand the property details. For instance, what year was the home built? What data is included in the Land Registry?

In order to start thinking about your listing price, you need to know the answers to these questions and more.

  1. Get an AVM

You may have considered getting an appraisal done — this can be a great idea. But have you thought about an automated valuation model (AVM) report as well?

An AVM report can confirm home value, ownership, and other details quickly and efficiently. It can estimate property value by comparing and analyzing property characteristics against public record data.  It doesn’t replace an appraisal, but it is a good companion to one.

While an AVM can’t review interior and exterior property conditions, some include street view imagery that can help identify issues with exterior conditions, such as property boundary discrepancies. It’s great to leverage automation and historical data analysis to generate the latest information on pricing and ownership and create a big picture report.

  1. Consider the MPAC Assessment

MPAC is the largest assessment jurisdiction in North America. It determines revenue requirements, municipal tax rates, and property tax collection for the Government of Ontario.

An MPAC assessment isn’t always the same as a property appraisal, and often listing prices are different from MPAC’s valuation. That said, it is still valuable information that can be used in your determination.

  1. View the Sales History

Along with the property details, you will also want to consider the sales history. While today’s market may be very different from the last time this house sold (particularly if it is an older home), that data is still important to review.

  1. Look Up Comparable Sales

One of the best ways to determine home value is to see how comparable properties are selling. You can get a real-time view of what similar houses have sold for and use that to set your listing price.

You can also narrow your search by neighbourhood to specifically understand the area where you are selling. Certain regions will be more desirable based on factors like school proximity, parks, shopping areas, and the like. This will stay in style even with a market shift.

  1. Use a House Price Index

The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index is released every month with up-to-date information on house prices across Canada. This digs into 11 different markets and the house price trends those regions are experiencing.

This is important for you to know when making your assessment.

  1. Examine Market Insights

In a shifting real estate market, you want to stay on top of the latest real estate trends. For instance, if you know that condos are some of the most popular dwelling types for millennials, and you are trying to set a listing price for a condo in an area that appeals to millennials, that will help make your decision.

The Teranet Market Insights Report is released regularly and contains data that you can use for your property valuation needs.

While it may be simpler to set listing prices during non-turbulent housing market conditions, it’s still possible to do so in more uncertain times. Be sure to do your due diligence and assess information from multiple sources. Trends can change so fast that you need to stay on top of the data.

Luckily, GeoWarehouse makes it easy to stay informed up-to-the-minute. Our property reports take data from the Province of Ontario Land Registration Information System (POLARIS), so you can trust the reports you receive are accurate and timely. They are also available almost instantly, so you can make a decision with the latest figures.

Learn all about our GeoWarehouse reports today. Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

Want more information on determining a listing price? Download our free eBook, Digital Property Evaluation in 1-2-3! Get your copy here: http://www2.geowarehouse.ca/property-evaluation-general/.

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November 6, 2018

Real estate sales professionals, do you serve the condo market in your sales territory? If not, you should consider starting. If you already do, read on for tips to help you sell even more.

In many cities, the condo market is a sweet spot because it is the cheapest entry point into the housing market. For example, in Toronto or Vancouver you can still buy property for $500,000 in the condo market — handy for new homeowners who would be priced out of larger homes.

Whether you are selling in the Toronto condo market, the Vancouver condo market, or another area, there’s a lot of room for opportunity — especially if you use a real estate tool like GeoWarehouse.

In the past, when real estate agents would search for a condo address, it would be difficult to source the unit or suite. Now, however, they filter by floor, parking, or even by storage level in GeoWarehouse to get the unit data they seek.

With these search functionalities, the possibilities expand. Now you can use GeoWarehouse to get the same property report information on the condo market that you would on other dwelling types.

For instance, you could:

  • See all condo units in a building.
  • Search by level if the suite number or address is missing.
  • Look up related Property Identification Numbers (PINs) for condos to find the property report, including plans and surveys, valuation information, and sales history.
  • Access the full legal description for every condo unit.
  • Find out if the condo owner has additional assets, such as parking or storage lockers.
  • Look up common name information.
  • Search for condominium corporation information.
  • Find the date of condominium declaration.

The GeoWarehouse data team has been hard at work updating the addresses for close to a million condo properties in the past year. Can you think of how you could use this information?

Access your condo market data today to use in your real estate marketing and property searches. It’s all part of your GeoWarehouse subscription.

Not a subscriber? Contact us today. Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

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If you are looking for real estate training, GeoWarehouse is the place to go.

We offer many different types of training on how to use our property tools that make you the expert.

Three main ways we provide our training:

  1. Webinars — both for individuals and for groups.
  2. Live training sessions for groups of 20 people or more (this is a popular choice for real estate associations and the like).
  3. Classroom training in person at our 123 Front Street West location in Toronto.

These training sessions give you the opportunity to learn how to harness real estate technology for your business, in the way that you learn best.

If you’re interested in an upcoming training session, here’s what we have on the horizon:

Live Training

October 16, 2018: Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®

November 5, 2018: Northumberland Hills Association of REALTORS®

November 9, 2018: Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of REALTORS® Inc.

November 13, 2018: CENTURY 21 Green Realty Inc., Brokerage* MISSISSAUGA

November 15, 2018: Royal LePage Realty Plus in Mississauga

November 20, 2018: Manor Hill Realty Inc. in Toronto

If you would like to join any of these sessions, please contact the Real Estate Board or Organization directly to register.

Webinar: NEW GeoWarehouse – Tips & Tricks

In this webinar we will explore the top tips & tricks and best practices for using NEW GeoWarehouse.

  • October 23, 2018 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • November 12, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • December 3, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Webinar: All About NEW GeoWarehouse

In this session you will learn about all of the features available in your GeoWarehouse subscription.

  • October 29, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • November 19, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • December 10, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Webinar: NEW GeoWarehouse – All About Condos

In this webinar we will explore all of the unique features related to condo-type properties using the NEW GeoWarehouse.

  • November 19, 2018 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • December 10, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Webinar: NEW GeoWarehouse – PDF Reports

In this webinar we will explore how to generate and customize the PDF Property Report, Comparable Sales Report, & Client Report.

  • October 23, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • November 12, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • December 3, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Webinar: The GeoWarehouse e-Store

In this webinar we will explore all additional due diligence opportunities available through the GeoWarehouse e-Store.

  • October 22, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to noon
  • November 12, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to noon
  • December 3, 2018 from 11:30 am. to noon

Interested in attending one of these sessions? Learn more about how to sign up on our website. Visit http://www2.geowarehouse.ca/resources/contact-our-trainers/.

Is there another session you’d like to see, or a custom training you would like to arrange? No problem! Theresa Corindia, our Training Program Leader, would be happy to help. Get in touch with her today. Email geowarehouse.training@teranet.ca or call 1-866-237-5937 ext. 2224.

With GeoWarehouse’s tools and our real estate training, you can become a true property expert. Visit www.geowarehouse.ca to learn more about how our technology helps.

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Your Go-To Guide for Using Property Data for Background Checks, Real Estate Fraud Investigations, and More

When you need to conduct a property investigation, time is of the essence. You want as much information about a property as possible, as quickly as possible. And the data must be accurate.

With a GeoWarehouse Property Details Report, you can get all the information in one place.

A Property Details Report tells you:

  • Who owns the home.
  • The value of the home.
  • Mortgage registered against the home.

From this you can tell if your client appears to be honest, or if you need to dig deeper.

Red flags you’ll want to examine further include:

  • Other people on title who weren’t disclosed to you.
  • Many transfers of the property.
  • The values of these transfers.
  • Odd transferees – non-arm’s-length, companies, etc.
  • The mortgages registered – are there lots of them? Who are the mortgage lenders? Etc.
  • Is there enough equity for you to get paid?

The value of these property reports can go beyond your peace of mind. It’s important that you execute due diligence and catch potential problems. Even if there is a reasonable explanation for a red-flag item, it’s still better that you know about it early on.

Whether you’re conducting a background check, investigating potential real estate fraud, or conducting your due diligence, the property report is a vital part of the process. That’s why we’ve made GeoWarehouse property reports convenient for you.

With a GeoWarehouse Property Details Report, you:

  • Get your report sent to you instantly — no unnecessary wait times.
  • Can trust the data you’re getting. We take our property data from POLARIS, the Province of Ontario Land Registration Information System, so it is kept up-to-date, complete, and accurate.
  • Receive a comprehensive report. All of the above items are included, making it easy for you to know where to dig deeper.

Property investigation in 15 minutes (or less) is completely possible with GeoWarehouse. We help you save time and money by making you the property expert.

Get started today. Give us a call to begin your property investigation right away. Contact 1-866-237-5937 or visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

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Real estate technology is creating a lot of advancements, including when it comes to property surveys. Did you know that you can often access land survey records online?

A survey can provide potential issues, such as fencing that extends past the property line, or an overhanging garage roof. In the past, obtaining a survey has been a major cost and inconvenience, especially when a new survey is required. But some services offer the ability to access online property surveys and plans.

A survey can also reveal important information to your client. For example, if they plan to put in a double garage, they’ll need to check if the property is zoned for one. Or maybe your client wants to use part of their property for a business. A survey can reveal these restrictions that may pose problems later.

Whether your client is buying or selling a house, a property survey may be required.

  • When buying a home, you might need to confirm that what is being sold is actually for sale.
  • When selling a home, you may need to confirm what land is actually available for sale.  
  • If considering building or renovating, permits for many exterior projects require survey plans.
  • Boundary disputes: a survey plan can help quickly resolve this.

GeoWarehouse offers online property surveys and plans, so if your client needs a survey, check our store first — we might have one available for the property in question.

In our online store, subscribers can access plan images, such as reference plans and plans of subdivision. This can help identify property boundaries and their location. You can also view an image of the Survey Plan portion of a Surveyor’s Real Property Report, Building Location Survey, or other undeposited Plan provided by third-party surveying firms. This can grant you dimensions of boundaries and structural elements on the land.

If a survey is available online, it can save you a lot of time and money and make you look even better to your client. Online property surveys cost a lot less than requesting a whole new survey! The time to get it is also vastly reduced as its delivered electronically.

Don’t let a sale be delayed because of a lack of survey — the next time your client needs a property survey, check online first. Search for surveys and plans in the GeoWarehouse Store. If you’re not already a subscriber, become one today at www.geowarehouse.ca.

 

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July 9, 2018

Use Appraisal Technology to Boost Your Business

Do you want to become the “Agile Appraiser?” Besides sounding like a superhero name, increasing your appraisal agility will help you work faster, adapt to changes, and boost your client appeal. The secret doesn’t lie in a red cape or a radioactive spider bite, though — instead, it’s in your appraisal technology.

Real estate tools are enabling home appraisers to approach their profession and automate their workflows like never before. With streamlined tools, easy searches, and instant results, you can do more from your desk. Multi-property search functionality makes finding the data you need easier than ever.

According to Canadian Property Valuation Magazine, when they’re relevant to the appraisal, a desktop review can dramatically increase production rates (valuations/reviews per day). Most jurisdictions conducting a desktop review can complete it in approximately 10 minutes, whereas a site visit can take approximately 40 minutes, not including travel. This can allow you to spend more time in analysis, rather than building the data.

Don’t wait to get started. Want to become the “Agile Appraiser?” Here are the tools that will get you there:

  1. Access Property Details Virtually

Appraisal technology like the GeoWarehouse Property Details Report lets you access gives you valuable Land Registry information, MPAC Assessment data, property ownership information, sales history, images, and more. Plus, it’s completely customizable. Use this when determining a property’s market value — all the information you need in one place.

  1. 3D Virtual Property Tours

In many cases, you can view a property without ever stepping foot on it. StreetScape and PivotView Imagery lets you virtually “walk” around a property, even peering around corners. With crisp, clear images that can rotate 180 degrees, you can get a good overview of the site without leaving your desk.

  1. Surveys and Plans at the Click of a Button

Property surveys and plans can oftentimes be accessed online. Data includes legal boundaries, easements, encroachments, and rights of way, plus the location of physical buildings and structures and their dimensions. In our GeoWarehouse store you can access reference plans, subdivision plans, and condominium plans.

If you’re looking to increase your appraisal agility, you need high-quality, accurate, and dependable data. That’s where GeoWarehouse comes in. Our reports are easy to access, up-to-date, and most download instantly.

Find out how to become a GeoWarehouse subscriber today to access our appraisal technology. Visit www.geowarehouse.ca for more information.

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When the spring housing market heats up, you need to be able to react quickly. That’s where real estate technology comes in.

When a new real estate lead lands on your desk, you want to get the sales process started as quickly as possible, particularly in the busy spring/summer season. Luckily, gone are the days of long wait times and having to travel to in-person offices to access vital information. With real estate technology you can get the property data you need in real-time, all from the comfort of your computer.

Real estate tools not only can you save time and money in the sales process, but you can also take it even further — quickly identify new leads, determine property value, find out the property’s sales history, and much more, all with the use of technology!

Here are some ways that technology can help you stay flexible this spring/summer season:

  1. Show Properties Virtually, Right from Your Office

Some real estate tools, like the GeoWarehouse Property Details report, lets you show the property virtually. While a client will likely still want to see the property in person, being able to get an idea of the house online first can significantly narrow down your showings.

Technology like the GeoWarehouse StreetScape Imagery also lets you virtually walk around the exterior of a property. PivotView allows you to rotate the property 180 degrees for expanded views of the property.

  1. Rule Out Undesirable Neighbourhoods and Narrow Your Focus

Before you accept a listing, you want to make sure that it is one in your target market, or that there aren’t any glaring issues. The Neighbourhood Demographics Report can help you do that. Demographic data helps you learn about age distribution, marital status of residents, owned/rented properties, average household income, dominant language, and more. Not only can this help you weed out properties that aren’t in your wheelhouse, but it can also help you find areas that do fit your list.

  1. Detect Potential Fraud Early

The last thing you want is to go through the sales process only to find out that a client has an undisclosed lien or mortgage on their property.  A POLARIS Parcel Register* will tell you the Property Identification Number, the legal description of the property, the type of ownership, registration (instrument) numbers for items registered on title, and more. If you have an instrument number, you can also go further and obtain an Instrument Image*, an image of a registered document with the Land Registration System of Ontario. These could include liens, mortgages, transfers, and condominium declarations, among others.

* An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.

  1. Easily Find Nearby Schools, Parks, and Other Amenities Remotely

If you have the time, driving or walking around a neighbourhood to see nearby community features is great, but it’s not always realistic. When you’re busy, going on a neighbourhood tour might not always be possible, especially if you have a client in the office asking you how close a house they’re looking at is to area schools. With technology like the GeoWarehouse Aerial Imagery, though, you can find out this information without leaving your desk chair.

  1. Determine Property Values When Listing or Evaluating Offers

With the GeoWarehouse Neighbourhood Sales Report, you can learn about the sales in the neighbourhood where the subject property is located. If you’re evaluating a property for listing or evaluating an offer on a home in an area that you’re not familiar with, this can be a big time-saver.

Real estate technology is constantly changing and adapting, but here at GeoWarehouse we believe whatever tools you choose they need to be easy to use, provide real-time data, and, above all, accurate. We’ve taken care to ensure our technology meets all three categories.

See all the features GeoWarehouse has to offer at www.geowarehouse.ca.

 

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If you’re still requesting your condo status certificates by fax, there’s a better way.

Just like technology has increased efficiency with many different things — cellphones make staying in contact with others easier, ice machines built into fridges make having a cold drink easier, you can turn your TV on with your voice only — so, too is there a more efficient way of requesting condo status certificates.

The old process for requesting condo status certificates was:

  1. A real estate sales professional or lawyer would request the condo status certificate from the condo corporation or management company in writing.
  2. At the time of the request, payment for the administrative fee had to be made.
  3. The property management company on behalf of the condo corporation may have taken up to 10 days to prepare the condo status certificate.
  4. Once ready, the condo status certificate had to be retrieved from the condo corporation or property management company.

For seasoned real estate sales professionals, you know why there is value in obtaining the condo status certificate directly, but some newer agents rely on the lawyer to do this. A condo status certificate provides essential information about the financial status of the subject condo and other intelligence, such as whether or not the previous owner was up to date paying their condo fees, if there are increases in condo fees that are about to come into effect, and if there has been a lien placed on the condo for any reason. The old process was slow, inefficient, and often caused delays. Delays that could pose challenges for making the sale.

But there is a better way! Did you know that with tools such as GeoWarehouse you can request your condo certificates online?

New real estate technology, like the tools from GeoWarehouse, can speed up processes and ease frustration. In many cases, a condo status certificate can now be requested online through GeoWarehouse. Real estate sales professionals can request the condo status certificate online, make payment online using a major credit card, receive an email notification when the condo status certificate is ready, download an electronic file containing the condo status certificate, and then email it to the solicitor who is acting for the purchaser.

The end result? A simpler, more efficient process that is not only faster, but also means less work, less frustration, and less follow up for you to do, meaning you can focus more energy on other areas of your real estate business.

Obtaining a condo status certificate online through GeoWarehouse takes the pain out of going through the motions of obtaining a condo status certificate for your clients.

For more information about how you can obtain a condo status certificate online, please visit www.geowarehouse.ca or call 866-237-5937.

 

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customer relationship management- feauture imageDuring recent years, Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRMs) have become increasingly popular in the real estate industry. CRM’s offer real estate sales professionals the ability to keep track of all interactions with clients, market directly to them, encourage strong relationships with them, and also connect with other professionals in the industry.  This means more time spent on the deal itself and less time going back and forth to get there! CRM’s also result in better organization with greater ease.

So while this is well and good, real estate sales professionals have a whole host of platforms to consider when choosing the right CRM for their needs. Most CRMs offer many of the same capabilities: marketing, tracking, workforce automation, etc. and, of course, there are pros and cons for each kind. So does size matter when choosing your CRM for real estate? Is bigger always better?

Let’s take a look at a CRM like Salesforce. As one of the most popular CRMs available, Salesforce is a major player on the CRM scene.  CRM, and others like it, offer a plethora of options for businesses looking to fully automate their workflows. And this is great, but does one size fit all?

Your budget is an important consideration when it comes to the CRM that best fits your business size and needs. Larger, major players can charge more for their services, and if your budget allows for expansion, one of the big names might be a great fit for you. However, smaller businesses, especially real estate professionals who work largely independently, would likely find a CRM with a proportionately smaller price point to be a better option.

Does less money mean lower quality? Not by any stretch. But it will likely boil down to fewer capabilities – which this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes narrowing down the list to include only what you actually need just makes better business sense.

Configuration should also be taken into consideration. With the big name companies, configuration can take more legwork. If you have the support to carry configuration out with no issues, then it is advantageous for you. But if your team consists of you and you alone, perhaps you may want to consider how much time you can devote to configuration. Again, this is all relative.

A CRM custom-fit for your business may actually be one that is better when bigger – especially if you have the time and budget to make it work for you. However, bigger isn’t the answer for everyone, and many businesses have chosen to cater their CRM to fit their needs, doing so without attachment to a big name. It’s perfectly viable to opt for specifics rather than adopting the ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ approach.

What CRM are you using? What capabilities are most important to you? Join the discussion.

For more, or to join the conversation, visit www.geowarehouse.ca today.

 

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