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Real Estate Leads & Lead Generation

Spring will be here soon and you’re on the hunt for high quality buyer and seller leads looking for houses for sale. They’re online and if you don’t have a great web presence, you might still be able to leverage lead generation services or advertise on good real estate sites.

Contact me about advertising on my site. I have high volume pages that might work for you including city specific markets in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and the Bay Area, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Miami, and Florida, Houston. (1 million visitors per year)

Good Exposure for $200/month for Realtors on the Move.

 




Companies which specialize in attracting real estate leads are known as lead generation companies. They advertise houses for sale and other remarketing advertising on Facebook and Google Adwords along with blogs and news sites to cull leads. They promise to rid you of the advertising and prospecting work and accelerate the lead generation process.

Unfortunately, when scraping for leads this way, a lot of poor quality leads are served up to participating Realtors. And the terms of the arrangement may not be attractive.

If it worked, who wouldn’t sign up? Well, nothing’s ever that easy. So let’s take a closer look.

Realtors from BostonMiamiLos Angeles, Houston, San Diego, SeattleNew York,  Vancouver and Toronto are wanting something better. Is it too good to be true?

Buyer sand Sellers. Find Good Real Estate Leads Fast!

There’s nothing wrong with fast, if it’s real. It can happen, and you shouldn’t be afraid to spend. Here’s 20 top lead generation services with a look at their strengths and limitations.



 

Leads Generated Still Need to Be Converted

This post is an exploration of 18 of the top online real estate lead generation companies in the US and Canada. And 2 more including Zillow Leads.  There’s more new lead generation startups arriving every week.

Acquiring leads this way won’t hurt, however converting leads has a lot to do with brand image. Even if they agree to work with you right away on the phone call, they will Google you online and visit your website. Who wouldn’t? Trust, transparency, responsiveness, and proven competence are what motivate them.

There’s no doubt you can sign a client right away, however you probably need to take a hard look at your online presence and ask yourself whether you like what you see. Would you hire you?




Real Estate Leads Fact Number 1  — 90% of Home Buyers Go Online

90% of home buyers go online, and you need to be in front of them and number one in your Zip Code.  Home sellers are there too checking out comps and searching using keyword phrases such as home selling tips, best return on home renovations to homes for sale + cityname, to bidding wars and best real estate agents. They’re doing hundreds of millions of searches using Google, Zillow, Realtor.org, Yahoo, and thousands of other websites.

Make sure you’re highly visible on Google for all of them. Set up an amazing new mobile friendly  IDX website, with outstanding, professionally optimized content, use some real estate videos, and do a little pay per click advertising.  Build a strategic plan, then work the plan.

With spring markets so inviting in Los Angeles, San Diego, Toronto, BostonHouston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle Phoenix, Charlotte, and Miami, you’ll want to maximize your presence now.

Sharing is Good for your Social Health 

Share this post with other agents you know. 




Who are Lead Generation Companies? 

These are firms who provide buyer (or sometimes seller) leads for realtors, using methods of aggregating online prospects (most often via Google Adwords or cheap ad networks) which they then sell to realtors. 3 drivers promote the growth: a lot of prospects are online, home buying is in a frenzied state right now, and the fact there is only one home sold for each realtor in North America — there are too many realtors and most have few quality leads.

agents-6 deals or less
Realty agents in the hot Toronto market face the same challenge as those in other US and Canadian cities

 




 

Questions: Let’s assume they can generate solid leads.

  1. do you have the patience and skill to nurture and close these types of leads?
  2. do you have a website that can help convert them?
  3. what is the real cost of doing business with them?
  4. would a luxury home owner from your target community use their websites?
  5. can you respond to these cold leads fast?

Here’s Some Leads, but Let’s See You Try to Convert Them

The way these lead generators collect leads may be why they could be of poor quality. Ad campaigns, auto-dialers, and sketchy email lists of people make for testy, suspicious prospects. And these are someone else’s leads — they initiated them, which takes the warm and fuzzy out of it. Anything transferred from one person/company to another loses something in the process – the problem is lead quality and lead conversion.

Some realtors say these leads are hard to close while others treat them like flies at a picnic.  They’re basically cold calls and the prospect knows nothing about realtor’s brand image or honesty. And how do real agents and brokers feel about lead generators?

I’ve never found an online lead generation system worth the investment. Better to cut out the middle man (Internet) and just get out there and meet… people! — John Souerbry, Agent, Fairfield, CA —

I have never bought a lead. I don’t think that is the way to be successful in this business.  You need to spend your money developing a strong internet presence. — Carmen Brode, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ

It’s very expensive to purchase online leads. I’ve paid as much as $4,000 per month, but today I spend about $500 monthly. — Brian Talley, broker-owner, Austin, TX

Here’s 18 of the most visible lead generation companies onlinealthough new ones are coming. I’m leaving out realtor.com, and Zillow Leads because they’re more like Google or Facebook advertising programs. Some are well known while others are regional or startups. They all seem to be missing the vital component that creates genuinely good deals (in your target Zip Code) – the ideal customer experience from beginning to end.

The Good and the Bad about Paid Lead Generation

With some of them, the fees are low, sometimes only $20 a month and other times a little high, but almost never outrageous. For most, it’s like playing the penny slot machines at the casino. There’s a chance you could win, but is the payout worth it?

A few of the companies you’ll see below actually have you set up an account to be available for leads. Sort of like realtors sitting around a poker table. If you don’t respond fast, the lead is sent to someone else. In other cases, you will have to “buy your territory.”  The lead gen firms will push you in that direction once they have you on the hook.

Before you hire a lead generation company, consider how home buyers and home sellers themselves buy and sell a condo, home or property. They likely already know a local realtor or they’ll go to Google to search.  So online is a great place to be to lure the prospect away from his/her familiar agent.

Real Estate Search: Prospects begin with Google even though they could go directly to realtor.com or realtor.ca for MLS listings in their Zip code, or a major brokerage website such as remax.com, sothebys.com or kellerwilliams.com. Google has a better brand, a better search experience, and it leads to realtor’s websites or phone numbers where they can begin a trusting relationship with that agent.

Few condo or home sellers would type their personal details into the text box of an unknown website. And buyers are normally pretty cautious too. They want to get to know the realtor, so they’ll Google his or her name and if that discovery experience is unsatisfying, it dampens their spirit. That’s why it’s a good idea to be online in a good way – i.e., a great realtor brand image — an image built on prospects needs and preferences.

Google Adwords is the Lead Generator’s “Go to Source”

Google Adwords and remarketing programs could capture some good leads online.  The highest quality leads will often originate from Google.  However, most realtors could do this advertising themselves assuming they have a website with lead converting webpages. These programs are just a normal part of what a real estate digital marketer would offer along with lasting, sustainable, marketing assets.

Would I recommend using the lead generation companies? If they’re very cheap you probably don’t have much to lose other than your time, yet you could get distracted and fail to put 100% into your career. If you’re bright, you may learn a little about how they generate and convert leads.

Top Real Estate Lead Generation Websites

1.     Bold Leads – Bold leads advertises on unspecified networks to capture leads and direct them to you. If the lead doesn’t give away info, boldleads will continue to nuture the lead for you. You are given your own landing page on the boldleads site.

Bold Leads
Bold Leads

2.   Agent Locator – tells you straight they’ll conduct your ppc advertising and generate 480 leads for $6000. I like how they’re open about it. It may be worth gambling $6000 to try it out.
realtyleads3

 

3.   Market Leader – Aggregates leads from their own site called homevalues.com, Trulia.com, and via ppc advertising. Market Leader guarantees they won’t sell the lead to another agent. You get to manage it all from your “Pro” account.
realtyleads18

4.    Point2Homes Leads – offers low priced straight forward advertising options on its website where prospects arrive to search for a home. They also provide you with a webpage on their site.

5.    Real Estate Pipeline Leads – Real Estate Pipeline Leads says it has a network of real estate sites where it draws leads, and it gives realtors full ownership of their territory, although the size of that territory isn’t explained. Drip email campaigns are a big part of their service. Their basic package is $1164 for 12 leads.

 

6.   Agent Pronto Leads – Agent Pronto is different. There’s no upfront charge for leads! You will only be matched to referrals who have specifically requested to speak with an agent. They match each referral with a single agent that they believe is the best fit for their needs. Once you accept the referral, they provide your with the prospect’s full information and the details from their conversation with them. Sounds good. Their site looks a little lacklustre, but give them a good look.

7.   South Florida Real Estate Leads – This firms specializes in south Florida leads. They say they have a variety of sources of leads. It appears to be owned by Lex Levinrad who is a real estate coach and owner of the Distressed Real Estate Institute™

offrs-territory8.   Offrs –  Offrs uses vague sounding smart technology to find homeowners who are going to put their house on the market. It’s based on predictive algorithms or just social listening perhaps. If it works, it would be very exciting technology.

Combine that with communications that encourage homeowners to actually sell the property and that could be very powerful, particularly right now in places such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto and Vancouver where prices are very high.  They list by territory, but sadly your territory or Zip Code may be taken.
realtyleads7

9.  Trulia – Offers a service for seller leads with Market Leader, a company that was in severe trouble before the purchase. Trulia is no Zillow, but it does have some traffic.

10.   Prime Seller Leads – Prime Seller leads creates a bunch of pages on their site for you. The CMS offers the ability to send epostcards and eflyers and their system integrates with many broker CMS.
11.   eRealting – eRealting doesn’t sell leads, they give you a website to send all your traffic to! It’s kind of a CMS for rent. They state that it costs about $300 to create a client in their solution.

 

12. Lead Galaxy – Lead Gives you a home for your leads and uses the usual combo of Adwords, Facebook ads and telephone prospecting to create leads.

 

13.   Experian – Experian is a research and statistics business who have mailing lists of potential buyers and sellers. You can build your list online.

14.    Exact Data – Exact Data gets its lead list from telemarketing, opt in emails, and lists of prospective buyers and sellers. They claim superior data hygiene, however most list companies promise that.

15.    Commissions Inc. Lead Platform – Commissionsinc claims they are the #1 Real Estate Tech Solution. They offer a platform and an app to manage your leads.  They will run your Adwords and Facebook advertising campaigns for you. Sounds like a lot of noise. The value proposition is a little flaky.

 

16.   Firepoint Realty Leads – Firepoint says they deliver scalable lead generation with intelligent routing, to automated lead follow-up and task scheduling, to ROI and conversion reporting for all of your lead sources. The price is $350/month and you set you PPC budget which they manage. Is this better than a self-directed digital marketing program?


17.   Home Value Leads – Home Value Leads offers a CMS system for $59/month.
realtyleads16

 

18.   Refindly Seller Leads – REfindly helps you generate, engage, and convert leads using one convenient system. They claim that historically, their agents receive between 5 and 8 leads per $100 spent in advertising. You can spend as much as you like on ppc advertising and they give you a lead management system to use.

 

At the end of the day, it all comes down to leads and sales, dollars and time. I must say, I like Agent Pronto, and Offrs best.

Even the best lead generation sources and sites can be a negative if you neglect to build your own Internet presence and realtor brand image. People want to do business with those they know and trust.

Should getting known and trusted be your Job #1 in 2018?

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Real Estate Lead Generation Company in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Hamilton, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Raleigh, Albuquerque, Glendale, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita,  Henderson, Mesa, Temecula, Kirkland, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Indianapolis, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, Miami Beach, and Honolulu. Find a Los Angeles Real Estate Agent who  has the very best real estate marketing wizard to help you sell your home for more.

Toronto Condos – Booming Market for New Construction Condominiums

Beautiful New Condo Buildings in Toronto

Over the last 10 years, condo design has undergone dramatic shifts. Engineers are able to build whatever condo architects can dream up.  Normally dull and unimaginative, the skylines and communities of Toronto and Vancouver are undergoing rapid change with spectacular results in living and visual appeal.

In fact, we’re enjoying an explosion of interesting new architecture, property layouts and rich condo amenities for all newcomers to urban vertical living. As the latest Toronto market report reveals, prices are rising.

condos eau de soleil
Eau De Soleil in Toronto offers some impressive views for hot tub lovers.

Why Buy Toronto Condos?

Once prospective buyers make the mindset adjustment to see condos as “vertical communities” with all the amenities they most want, the decision to buy is a lot easier. With home prices out of reach, many first time buyers can only consider a condo purchase.

With buildings themselves projecting creativity, it helps launch buyers into the market with more purchase intent. What do most condo buyers demand in a new condo?  Views, especially views of Lake Ontario. Any spot on the waterfront from Queen’s Quay all the way to Burlington is in hot demand.




And the demand for condos in Toronto is strong. In fact, many projects almost abandoned due to the recession are roaring back into production, sometimes at a larger scale than previously planned.  According to TREB, the resale condo market jumped by almost 13%. Asian and Middle eastern investors are adding to the demand of first time buyers.

A Great Selection of Unique Condominium Spaces and Amenities

The selection of new condos in Toronto (and Vancouver) is almost ridiculous.  Formerly criticized for “oversupplying the market” experts are realizing supply won’t be enough in the coming years.  That availability will be a big drawing point for young immigrants from China whom we need to attract here. You’ve probably noticed some the designs have Asian themes which adds another interesting element to the condo market.

I’ve always believed there’s no contest between a house and a condo, but condo design has become very innovative. Both interiors and exteriors, plus building amenities are amazing. Pools, views, exercise areas, basketball courts, makes life very convenient and even romantic.

Given detached housing is unaffordable for most, condos are a nice alternative for those who want easy living combined with affordable pricing.




The Shop at Don Mills in Toronto seen below, is a nice sized development, the way they should all be, but with all the super amenities of course. You have to admit, that might be as good as condo living can get.

condostheshops

Living on the Lake Ontario waterfront is a dream for many. The BridgeWater Residences, Burlington, a 22 story story structure fused with a 7 story building gives you a spot overlooking the fast improving Burlington waterfront.  Residents will enjoy a state of the art fitness centre, an entertainment lounge, an indoor pool and even 24 hour room service and other hotel like services. 11,000 sq ft of commercial retail space has been set for the ground floor. Definitely a statement of luxury, prestige.

Condos for Sale Oakville Bridgewater Residences

The Shores in Oakville would be amazing to place to call home. Right above the Harbour on the waterfront. I walked around it and thought it was very nice.  The units have nautical themes and they were available starting at $390,000.

condostheshores

The Absolute Condos in Mississauga — an awe inspiring 56 story and 50 story condo couple that gives the city the distinction it never had.  Standing at the base of either building is even better than being under the CN Tower. It’s so odd how they lean over from high above. You shapes beckon you to dream about what it would be like to live here.

If you’re interested in purchasing a unit, call Damir Strk of Remax

Absolute Condos Mississauga

Eau De Soleil in Toronto is being hailed as one of the coolest condos in the world. The newest development on the Humber Bay shoreline will be home to more than 1000 residents. They will enjoy some of the coolest living spaces yet in Toronto. And the views as you can witness here are incredible.  For anyone who enjoys these social and vibrant communities, Eau De Soleil won’t disappoint.

eu de soleil Condos Humber Bay Toronto

eaudesoleil

edswaterfrontview-condo

Pier 27  Tower on the Lake will be constructed in the Queen’s Quay area at the bottom of Yonge St.  It will be one of the more unique luxury condominium developments in Toronto highlighted by the skybridge which joins the develpments 2 separate buildings. One 35 story building is easily recognizable to its piled plate design will have over 300 suites.

pier 27 condos for Sale

Garrison Point is a new Condo complex with a obelisk style design. It’s located in the southwest part of Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario. Excellent views.

condosgarrison

One Bloor is a spectacular new development near Yorkville gives residents of the advertising district a special home. The building is now Toronto’s second tallest residential building at 76 stories and 844 feet.  It will offer 27,000 sq ft of resort-inspired amenities and will include 100,000 sq ft of retail/commercial space. Condo for Sale Toronto

The Emerald Condos in North York offer a scary view for top floor residents. Architects are creating features that just don’t seem possible!

Condos for Sale - Emerald Park
Emerald Park Condos Toronto

The massive Ice Condos in downtown Toronto, offer awesome views. The Wow the designs  by Lanterra Developments and Cadillac Fairview are appealing. 57 & 67 story towers containing over 1200 units. Good opportunity for Asian investors.

Condos for Sale
Ice Condos Toronto

The rooftops on condo buildings are the top of buyers imaginations but not many condo developers have any respect for those wants. The more customer oriented developers are thinking “cruise ship” for their rooftops.

condosTridel-Aqualina-rooftop

With all this glass, you don’t have to worry about depressing Canadian winters.

Condo Interior Luxury Condo Toronto Waterfront

Toronto’s not the only Canadian City with stunning condominium developments. Take a look at some spectacular condos in Vancouver.

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Beautiful San Diego California

The World’s Most Beautiful City – San Diego

I’m sure there are a few people who would argue that other cities such as Vancouver, San Francisco, Banff  Lake Louise, Miami or Venice are more beautiful than San Diego. They might insist that Tuscany Italy, Swiss Alps, Costa Rica, and the Cote d’azur are more spectacular than Southern California. That’s fine, but I’m going to stick with San Diego County as the most comfortable and interesting place to be.

I think a trip to San Diego might be one of those transformative destinations for you. My point here is that it’s better to have these experiences in North America (i.e., California) where you can take your bike, tennis racquet, golf clubs, and running shoes with you. It’s like your regular life on steroids. Everything is better. And you will want to move there until you see the real estate prices.

How about a view of San Diego from the perspective of a skateboard?




And all about the city’s top tourist features including video of some amazing beaches.

It isn’t just the beaches in San Diego, or the views from La Jolla or the shops on Coronado Island. It’s that everything else you want is so close.  It’s the constant sunshine and 70 degree temperatures, the bike ride from Oceanside to Downtown San Diego, the restaurants in La Jolla, Del Mar and Solana Beach, and the quaint beach condos in Mission Beach that remind you of the 60’s surfer culture. It’s the golf courses, tennis courts, zoo, and California lifestyle. Even though San Diego doesn’t have mountain views like Banff or Vancouver, it has beach views that are awesome.

Top 10 Places you Must Visit in San Diego County:

  1. La Jolla and La Jolla Cove
  2. George’s on the Cove Restaurant in La Jolla
  3. Coronado Village on Coronado Island
  4. Driving over the Coronado Bridge to Coronado
  5. San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park
  6. Seaport Village
  7. Oceanside Pier
  8. Torrey Pines Park
  9. Seaworld
  10. Mission Bay

See more on my San Diego Pinterest Page. And don’t forget the fantastic views along the old highway 99.

San Diego California

catamaranresort




 

Dining in San Diego

georgesatthecoveEating on the terrace at Georges in La Jolla - San Diego, CAThe Gorgeous La Valencia. La Jolla, California. It really looks like this too. Perfect spot for a wedding!Bali Hai, Shelter Island, San Diego

 

For Your Adventurous Spirit in San Diego

del-mar-la-jolla-99

parasailingtorreypines




Zip Lining in La Jolla

Zip Zoom in La Jolla is an amazing thrill with up to 2700 foot long runs at up to 55mph. There’s training provided if you need a little warm up.

wavehouse
Pic courtesy of SDnews.com

la-jolla-zip-zoom Zip Lining in San Diego

la-jolla-zip-zoom-trainer
Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor.com
Exif JPEG
It’s not always sunny in San Diego okay. this pic proves it.




sandiegoharbour

Find out more about San Diego and the San Diego Housing Outlook.  Looking for low auto insurance in San Diego, or cheap auto insurance in your city?  Find out more about San Diego vacations.

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Is Your Copywriting Helping Your Customers?

Solve a Problem and Win a Customer

Of all your digital content, your copywriting is the one that moves the needle for business. It orchestrates and choreographs a persuasive process to grow leads and sales.

I can’t think of a more powerful aid to new business development and customer loyalty than great copywriting. Relevant, interesting topics that clearly and quickly help customers with their most vexing problems is what engages visitors and creates a lead conversion.

A Clear Value Proposition: I Will Help You!

Infographics, video, slides, memes, and podcasts can all capture attention and engage, however it’s your copywriting that moves visitor’s minds. And good copywriting is helpful and convincing. When fused within an excellent unique value proposition it engages visitors in a way they prefer.

Good copywriting helps readers identify and quantify their problems too. You can help them go from vague understandings of their poor business performance and stagnancy, to a clear vision of the remedy. That’s powerful.




There are plenty of ways to be helpful. Start with your customer profile/persona and consider their problems and the benefits they need. Now sew those benefits into your topical blog post,  and have links to your other relevant posts and suddenly your post is very helpful.

What Does Your Customer Need or Care About?

Your customers have a diverse set of needs/interests and you really do need to know them deeply. The closer you can get to your customers and their customers, the better. Take a look at their top competitors and see what they’re writing about.

A buyer persona is just a quick study of your typical customer characteristics, pains, and what they might need.

buyerpersonas
Infographic Courtesy of Single Grain Marketing

Shakespeare Really is Dead

I had fun attending a Shakespeare in the Park play a while ago. But wow, they make you work hard to understand what the heck what they’re saying, what’s happening, and why you should be interested (hence the low attendance). You can’t do that in web copywriting.

Helpful topics, visual useful information, and actionable information are much more powerful than pretty prose. Choosing your topics well and letting the reader know that you’re about to improve their lives and business results — that’s your real promise of value. Be generous and encouraging.

From your title, to heading, to first paragraph, to your visuals in your email, blog post or social post, your promise of helpfulness and fulfillment should be obvious (but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a few surprises too).

After you’ve ensured your topic is helpful and effective to your reader, then you can use your valuable keywords, make it visually pleasing, and make it sharable on social networks. Yes, the hard work of reaching more people to help them is never done.

Top 20 lists, how to, book reviews, and best information sources are some of the most read posts online. They’re easy-to-understand presentations of value (sometimes of difficult topics) with information and clarity empowers the reader. If the reader is empowered and acts on what you’ve written, then you’ve done your job as a copywriter.

Don’t worry that you don’t have the skill or budget to create fantastic videos or infographics. You can curate others stuff like I’ve done in this post. Just give the creator a link and a mention and they’ll be happy!

Need to brainstorm topic ideas? Check out this infographic from Brian Clark of Copyblogger. Copyblogger is a must read for anyone doing business copywriting.

copyblogger_infographic_1
Action is the most powerful result. What will your next action be?

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Real Estate Investment Opportunities for Chinese Buyers Grows

Chinese Buyers Lead the Growth of Real Estate Investment

The demand for homes in Canada and US continues to grow relentlessly. China buyers are eager to have a piece of the economic revolution happening in places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto where prices have shot up. Chinese buyers in particular are amazed by the size of homes and property they can buy here. And they should keep buying either as an investment or with intentions to emigrate here

The influx of Chinese immigrant investors looking for homes for sale has been good for Canada. And while Vancouver real estate is what they were after, they’re moving onward to explore Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal as possible places to invest.

Canada lacks the financial resources to build homes or to take advantage of our vast natural resources and the spread of the new financial infusion is creating business prosperity.  Currently, our economy is at its weakest in growth in 60 years.

While some foreigners have offered to bring in their own workers and take all the natural resources away, our government has wisely declined the generous offer. Instead, Chinese immigrant investors could make a huge difference to our quality of life by moving here and helping with our growth. And it might even prevent the social malaise of poverty that’s hit so many communities — particularly in the north where youth suicide is a growing problem. Homelessless is becoming a big problem in Canada too where it never has been previously.




Our Canadian dollar isn’t low enough for Canadian companies to compete internationally with China, India, Viet Nam and Mexico. We’re suffering and the easy fix for that is investment money from China. Chinese immigrants love the opportunity to own a beautiful home here and have their children educated at what are increasingly excellent schools. The rise in quality of education institutions across Canada is shocking. However, entry into the new schools is expensive.

Chinese buyers are looking for good tax haven/risk management, and that’s driving the market. If Vancouver doesn’t want new investment anymore, that’s fine. Investors will find plenty of real estate and high quality of life in Alberta and Ontario. Chinese investors are finding out more about Canada and that it isn’t as bad as they thought. The quality of life is very high and they can launch new businesses in travel, resource extraction and processing, and financial services. Canada’s banks are very stable, benefit from a low currency exchange rate, and thus risk is low with fantastic upside.

Student Housing in Vancouver

Investors from Asia are also taking note of the growth of education services for foreign students. The student housing rental market is burgeoning due to the explosion of students coming to cities like Vancouver. That makes student housing investment a hot ticket for those can access it. Companies such as CIBT in Vancouver are building and buying properties solely for housing foreign students from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Dubai and other locations across the globe. The lack of housing availability in Richmond, Vancouver, Surrey, and Burnabyis creating a demand for these solutions.

Instead of slowing investment growth, the foreign buyer’s tax in BC will actually launch a new level of investment in Canada.  This is just be beginning.

الاستثمار العقاري في كندا                                                投资在加拿大




The loonie has remained low so whether investors are moving their investment via Renminbe or Yuan, the exchange is still favorable. Investors can buy commercial or residential properties and see fantastic returns over 5 years.

china-home-buyers

vancouverhome
Picture courtesy of Malcom Hasman. Vancouver Luxury Home Realtor. Check out his exclusive magazine.

Middle East buyers are expected to spend 180 billion over the next decade across the world. 1/3 rd of all real estate purchasers in Vancouver are from China. Middle East and Chinese money will change Canada and the rest of the world. With the loonie so low, and active marketing by Canadian realtors, Canada’s share of that investment money could be huge.

It’s a window of opportunity for realtors in Canada and a key source of foreign investment in Canada. Without real estate money, foreign investment in Canada is at an all time low. Something our government doesn’t seem to be ashamed of.

购买加拿大或美国的房地产对中国投资者

欢迎中国投资者! 中国房地产买家大量购买房屋和财产在洛杉矶,纽约,多伦多,旧金山和温哥华。尽管有害的行动,如在温哥华的15%,外地购房者的税收,在加拿大的投资仍在继续。这一投资趋势是加拿大和美国非常积极的。 你可能不知道这里巨大的讨价还价。石油资源丰富的城市,如卡尔加里,埃德蒙顿,萨斯卡通有巨大的潜力。低买高卖。 在中国经济持续低迷,这让好运在加拿大和美国购买。公寓价格便宜这里有丰富的土地。亚洲买家在这里做得很好。阅读此报告中。 此外,起火的安大略省的环上读了。这是一个古老的流星降落站点的站点。该流星撞击形成了丰富的稀土金属 – 在金属的财富,他们打算尽快挖。贵金属数十亿美元,但如果将投资者从何而来?我希望中国的投资者将有助于做到这一点。告诉你的投资界的朋友约火圈。


Gòumǎi jiānádà huò měiguó de fángdìchǎn duì zhōngguó tóuzī zhě

huānyíng zhōngguó tóuzī zhě!

Zhōngguó fángdìchǎn mǎi jiā dàliàng gòumǎi fángwū hé cáichǎn zài luòshānjī, niǔyuē, duōlúnduō, jiùjīnshān hé wēngēhuá. Jǐnguǎn yǒuhài de xíngdòng, rú zài wēngēhuá de 15%, wàidì gòufáng zhě de shuìshōu, zài jiānádà de tóuzī réng zài jìxù. Zhè yī tóuzī qūshì shì jiānádà hé měiguó fēicháng jījí de.

Nǐ kěnéng bù zhīdào zhèlǐ jùdà de tǎojiàhuánjià. Shíyóu zīyuán fēngfù de chéngshì, rú kǎ’ěr jiālǐ, āi dé méng dùn, sà sī kǎtōng yǒu jùdà de qiánlì. Dī mǎi gāo mài.

Zài zhōngguó jīngjì chíxù dīmí, zhè ràng hǎo yùn zài jiānádà hé měiguó gòumǎi. Gōngyù jiàgé piányí zhè li yǒu fēngfù de tǔdì. Yàzhōu mǎi jiā zài zhèlǐ zuò dé hěn hǎo. Yuèdú cǐ bàogào zhōng.

Cǐwài, qǐhuǒ de āndàlüè shěng de huán shàng dúle. Zhè shì yīgè gǔlǎo de liúxīng jiàngluò zhàndiǎn de zhàndiǎn. Gāi liúxīng zhuàngjí xíngchéngle fēngfù de xītǔ jīnshǔ – zài jīnshǔ de cáifù, tāmen dǎsuàn jìn kuài wā. Guìjīnshǔ shù shí yì měiyuán, dàn rúguǒ jiāng tóuzī zhě cóng hé ér lái? Wǒ xīwàng zhōngguó de tóuzī zhě jiāng yǒu zhù yú zuò dào zhè yīdiǎn. Gàosù nǐ de tóuzī jiè de péngyǒu yuē huǒ quān. Http://Business.Financialpost.Com/news/mining/what-ontario-needs-to-unlock-ring-of-fires-mineral-wealth-is-a-marshall-plan




Aiding to this trend of foreign money is Canada’s reputation as a safe haven. And oil prices are expected to rebound in a few years and that will raise property values. With the loonie predicted to stay low for several years, Saudis and mainland Chinese will continue their quest to invest.

This all begs the question: “How do you get foreign real estate investors to your website?”

Sources of Foreign Real Estate Buyers

Here’s the likely sources of traffic to your website:

  • Google.sa organic search results pages and Google adwords advertising
  • Baidu.com organic and ad results
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google.com and numerous real estate sites such as zoocasa, trulia, zillow, realtor.com, Yahoo homes, and Dream Homes Magazine for US buyers.

Important Features of A Great Realtor Website

Creating a great real estate website isn’t easy, but you’re a realtor and you cherish the challenge.  Besides SEO and social media engagement, here’s what’s important in generating a powerful real estate sales machine:

Mandarain and Arabic Language: If your targets are wealthy Chinese and Middle Easterners, you’ll need specially designed landing pages written in Mandarin and Arabic. They’ll be seeking upscale, likely $1 million plus to live in or to invest in. Of course, some are immigrants and will want a home for themselves. They’ll be better informed and comfortable with you if you have content written in their language.

IDX Listings: Have an interpreter translate some of your regular copy in your IDX pages. These prospects will feel much more comfortable if they see their language in the home listing pages.

Excellent Content Strategy: Consider how your content is mapped to your conversion funnel.  You’ll have content that fulfills the buyer journey.  Oh, and it should be search engine optimized.  For US buyers, ensure your copy relates to the property’s investment value. Add any forecasts and outlook for the local economy, Canadian economy, scarcity of homes/condos, and again, the low loonie.

Obvious Value Proposition: You should have a blog post(s) written on the topic in an informative and persuasive fashion. Since the listing page may be the landing page for visitors from Google, have a link to your “investment value” page. Reinforce the value proposition right away, since it’s actually more important than the home listing itself. The visitor will give you a very short time to make a believable promise of value. Now they’ll stay a little longer on your site, read further, and view more listings.

Trust and authority:  are important too. They’re spending millions so they want to know they’re not wasting their time, and that you’re someone who can find excellent properties and help them execute investment deals. Don’t worry that you’re not Arabic or Chinese. They may actually trust you more because you’re not.  They’re hip to shysters. Build your value proposition and your realtor brand on the high value of working with you. You’re the only realtor they need to know in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Kelowna, or Edmonton.

These are Wealthy People Enthused About Bargains in Canada

Most investors won’t be looking at anything under $1 million. So their search will look much like this.

SEO-superheroWith special landing pages written in Mandarin or Arabic, your site will have a chance of ranking for keyword searches in those languages. You might even consider altering the design to appeal to their preferences. Anything you can do to keep them in their comfort zone will help.

US or European buyers won’t be affected by the presence of these languages on the site. It’ll actually reinforce the value of these properties if buyers and European and US investors know they’re competing with Chinese and Arabic buyers. It’s an international bidding war.

Here’s 10 tips for your Foreign optimized website:

  1. Use an experienced SEO with copywriting skills who has worked on real estate websites (not a technical SEO)
  2. Write content that reinforces the value of real estate investment in Canada.
  3. Write tweets, facebook posts, and pinterest pins on specific properties
  4. Use aerial views of the home (use a drone with GoPro camera to show a full view of the property because it’s more emotionally engaging and
  5. Use classy videos of you presenting a property because they want to see and hear the salesperson.
  6. Write authoritative blogs on topics that show your realtor expertise — it’s more important to build your brand than talk about small topics.
  7. Write blogs on investment, currency, and how Canadian properties are a better bet than any properties elsewhere
  8. Write blog posts that will expand their view of real estate, which helps them overcome any limited or naive perspective they might have
  9. Write posts that reflect Canadian culture and preferences and the buyers who will be buying the properties off of them (remember, someone’s going to buy that property from them, so remind them that you’ll be finding great buyers for them too)
  10. Use lots of pictures, because they can overcome the limitations of language and interpretation.

Appealing to this new stream of wealthy buyers from the Middle East, China and US simultaneously won’t be easy. Build your brand of trustworthiness, knowledge, and always promote your significant, personalized, unique value proposition. Good luck with your new content strategy. ترجمة- قاموس 祝好运.

Best Investments 2017 | Housing Market | Rental Income Property | Best Cities US | Los Angeles Real Estate 2017 | Homes for Sale

Gord Collins has been an expert  San Francisco real estate SEO, Vancouver real estate SEO, Boston real estate SEO, and Toronto real estate SEO consultant for 18 years.  Check out his posts on prospecting tips, how to get people to sell their home,  real estate agent importance, and tips for luxury real estate agents. Gord will help you master social media, Google, PPC advertising and persuasive content development. And for link building, there’s no one better to launch your outreach campaign.

15 Power Prospecting Tips for Lead Generation – Merrily Hackett

merrily
Merrily Hackett of Sutton Group West Coast Realty Vancouver

Merrily Hackett, CEO of Sutton Group West Coast Realty is enjoying a phenomenal career in real estate. I’ve talked about her a number of times because she’s a great role model for any salesperson or business person.

Having built 3 separate brokerages in the Vancouver area, and leading SG-WCR’s 25 office brokerage, she’s showing us how to outcompete the competiton.

Last year, U.S.-based author and speaker Stefan Swanepoel ranked Hackett at No. 15 on his list of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Residential Real Estate. Sutton – West Coast made 16,500 unit sales and over $11 billion in sales volume in 2014, which Hackett calculates brings them in at No. 5 in North America.

Create Quality Time for Relationship Building

Let’s not say “prospecting” anymore. Let’s call it relationship building.

You absolutely need to develop productive relationships with mortgage agents, renovators, landscapers, home inspectors, and prospects that include seniors and young couples.

Comprehensive Agile Digital Marketing Programs for Realtors




In an interview with Real Estate Magazine, Merrily talks about the importance of relationship building and how realtors need to focus on this key business development activity.

“It’s what I see over and over with agents that fail. I used to block off three to four hours daily for lead generation. That included calling expired listings, door knocking and cold calling, reaching out to a sphere of influence on a daily basis, asking people for referrals and to keep me top of mind. I was on the phone connecting with people, ensuring that pipeline was full. Consistency was key. You need to believe in yourself. Many times as a commissioned salesperson, you have those fearful thoughts and moments. A new agent has to have the expectancy and positive feeling that it’s going to come together.” — Merrily Hackett interview in REMonline.

15 Prospecting Tips to Build your Focus and Optimism

Here’s 15 useful prospecting tips –  a process to optimize your realtionship building.

  1. Vary your approach and method. Know your scripts, but go easy. A script is just a testing tool, not a final approach to relationship building. Be a friendly person first because people may find talking to a realtor boring. A warm introduction, maybe a comment on weather and economy to gauge their mood, then tell them your call is short and to the point – do they know anyone in their neighborhood, and about their family and friends that might be moving, BECAUSE, buyers are very eager to buy and you’d like to help them get a better price. Those are legitimate reasons.
  2. Segment all your prospects into relevant groups (hot, cold, buyers, sellers, advocates,mortgage agents, home services, etc) so you can develop unique approaches to each and have unique value for each. Think about how you’ll describe and present your unique value proposition for each type of prospect or advocate.
  3. Coach your advocates and give them support –  the people who may refer business to you sometimes need a little guidance if they have a hot lead. Tell them how to present you to them. Find out why they’re buying or selling — what’s the payoff for the person? With that knowledge, you can explain to your advocate how you’re relevant. With a little purpose, your advocate will make you look good, as opposed to you being part of an offhand comment.
  4. Relax — if you can afford it, you might want to consider getting a massage before you do your prospecting on the phone — you’ll appear friendlier, less threatening, more trustworthy, and more fun to talk to. Call them with a smile on your face and with your goal being networking, enjoying the moment, and finding good prospects. Sales comes later. Right now, you’ve gotta be thinking people and fun.
  5. Set aside 3 hours every day for phone calls to generate interest, gather information and make appointments. Build a positive attitude toward prospecting, that it’s the most important part of your day.
  6. Forgive prospects who waste your time and forgive yourself for wasting their time — this helps you to avoid guilt and other feelings that’ll weigh you down
  7. Remind yourself often that what you’re doing is important.  You’re helping people achieve their dreams and that’s more important that anything they’re doing right now. Their friends and contacts should be glad you’re in this to help them.
  8. Spend more time with your hot or top prospects — when you’re getting close, keep in touch and always be ready to offer help, information, and support for their decisions
  9. Have more value to offer — the more value you have to offer, the less likely prospects and advocates will consider you irrelevant. They’re not rejecting you really, you’ve failed to provide value in insight, help, and support.  How about mentioning the mortgage calculator on your website, the great mortgage agent you know who could save them money, or renovator/designer who could help them with a quick remodel to lift the selling price?
  10. Use consultative selling techniques to find every person’s most important needs and hurdles — be the person who creates a path for everyone to their dreams
  11. Spend your face to face time wisely by discussing the buyer/seller’s dreams – find out what their success symbols are and their favorite places to visit. Whether country or city, new home or old, the faster you find out what they want, the more likely they’ll choose you.
  12. Calculate how much prospecting/phone time and marketing effort it took to generate a successful lead.
  13. Keep in mind what buyers and sellers really want — a better lifestyle and ask them what their key priorities are as they begin to plan for their purchase/sale. In the end, it’s all about lifestyle and knowing what it is they’re really after is vital
  14. Study up on a new community that you haven’t explored and become an expert on the lifestyle value of that community
  15. Ask prospects what’s holding them back and ensure you develop a list of responses to help

Here’s Kevin Ward with his tips on prospecting. How about finding more people to talk to via Google and Social Media? Just a thought.

And Liz of Keller Williams with social media prospecting. Build relationships first then nurture them along with value, entertainment, and recognition.

Prospecting is a key part of good sales process and it hasn’t hurt Merrily Hackett’s business success. If your lead funnel is too weak, this might be the best thing ever for your career.  Now you can justify pursuing a strong Internet marketing program.

Let’s get started right now!

 

Related posts: Housing Market | Car Insurance |  SEO Consultant Vancouver | SEO Consultant Los AngelesRental Housing Market Outlook |  Los Angeles Housing Market | Toronto Housing Market | San Diego Housing Market | Real Estate Agents | Future of Real Estate | Toronto Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Housing ForecastDigital Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding | Toronto MLS | Merrily HackettReal Estate SEO Specialist | Top Real Estate Lead Generation Sources | How to Choose a Real Estate Agent | Housing Market in San Francisco

Gord Collins — Real Estate SEO Expert serving businesses in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Hamilton, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Raleigh, Albuquerque, Glendale, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita,  Henderson, Mesa, Temecula, Kirkland, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Indianapolis, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, Miami Beach, and Honolulu.

12 Tips to Make your Homepage Magnificent

Your Homepage Might Be Killing Your Business

Business owners take a lot of care in ensuring their brick and mortar location has “curb appeal” and an enticing entryway.  Ensuring they have a website with curb appeal is just as important. Although visitors arrive through many pages, the homepage plays a big role in creating a great customer experience. It welcomes and sets the tone.

Not much is written on the role, power and design of a good homepage, so let’s get some real insight into how visitors experience a home page.

The homepage is more than an introduction and welcome page.  It’s the epicenter, an orientation setpoint, even if visitors come in through a subpage. It helps visitors reset themselves so they can understand your value proposition in an effortless, pleasant way.

The homepage is a key part of the customer experience and if it sucks, it’s a disappointment and not the experience they were hoping for

Looking for a Good Experience and a Good Relationship

Visitors also arrive because they’ve Googled you or your company and want to know more about you and what your relationship with them will be. And that often starts with what they see in the Google search results. Whether B2B or B2C customers, they’re trying to visualize the relationship they want, which might be: (a) let’s work together, (b) I’d like the expert to handle it, or (c) I’ll tell you what I want.

Your homepage indicates which type of provider you’re going to be and whether you believe in the relationship they want.

wavescoffeehouse2

This homepage screenshot above is from a Vancouver company called Waves Coffee House. Their homepage suggests: “You’re going to have a superb, fresh cup of coffee.” The fresh, clean design tells you right away it’s about the coffee (and the cream). This isn’t Tim Horton’s or Starbucks (I’ll tell you what I want). It’s a different and more compelling brand (Let’s work together).  And it’s visual because coffee drinkers don’t want to read — they want a coffee experience – to taste it visually.

Their logo should have some vertical squiggly lines to represent the steam rising from a cup and perhaps a few more curves fused into the webpage design.  The site should have social media posts and it’s Twitter is good. It could use a game or more interactivity. Visit their site right now.

Dear Customer — Today’s an Adventure – Let’s Start It Right!

Right off the bat they give you their Toonie Tuesdays/Thursdays – a cheap latte, showing their generosity and customer appreciation. Their coffees, menus, and locations are easy to find. All you have to do is mouse over the location link and you get an instant view of their locations in Vancouver. They even tell you how to brew your own coffee using their Specialty Grade product:  the top 10% of coffee beans from Costa Rica and Columbia.  All of it is quickly accessible from the homepage navigation.

The value proposition really accents on good coffee, yet they have free wifi, good food and you can book their meeting rooms. What an interesting coffee house!  The only thing missing is a gallery of nice photos of the interior showing customers relaxing and enjoying their experience. I’ve never visited Waves, but it looks like a hip place to be in Vancouver.

In this case, the customer experience begins on the homepage. It creates a good impression of Waves Coffee House. For contrast, here’s Tim Horton’s and Starbucks homepages. For these companies, the relationship is more like you’d have with a vending machine (which is what quite a few consumers want).

timbucks

Oh oh, My Homepage Sucks

Before your eyes go red and you strangle your web designer, consider that you shouldn’t have put it all on their shoulders. They’re not marketers or sales psychologists. Instead, try to understand what’s going on. Actually, there’s a lot going on and you should work with them to create the customer experience you want to deliver.

Make your customers believe in your business and that this relationship is going to be the one they want.

Let’s go over all of things your homepage should do:

  1. welcome visitors and make them feel comfortable
  2. build credibility and relevance (Relevance is King): prove you believe what they believe and are the best provider of what they seek)
  3. build trust and and wipe out uncertainty (use sensible conversational style and be transparent and open)
  4. build desire for your solution and your brand (identify and show the satisfaction they’ll feel when they use your service/product)
  5. build urgency and intent (indicate why they should contact you right now)
  6. communicate your unique value proposition quickly
  7. promise satisfaction (imply the delivery of the benefits they want)
  8. build curiosity (links to interesting content)
  9. make a visual impact and be attractive
  10. present a few key benefits for them
  11. make the navigation understandable and have a purpose for all your pages
  12. route traffic to specific key sub pages (services and contact pages)

I’ve worked in every industry from health supplements to pharmaceuticals to online casinos and sports ecommerce, however I’ve developed particular expertise in real estate marketing. If you’re not in real estate, still look at these observations, because they apply to any industry.

A Great Home Page Needs a Good UVP

Your home page tells them who you are, what you do and what it means for them: that’s all about your Unique Value Proposition. You absolutely  must understand your unique value proposition. If you don’t, you’re operating your business in a fog with essentially guesswork about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. A good UVP matches you to the customer perfectly. That’s the best result possible.

12 Tips to Improve Your Homepage

  1. Outline your value proposition point by point (what is the essence of your offering and why you’re relevant to them)
  2. Get a modern mobile friendly design (html5 design and fast loading)
  3. Outline the key points about your brand/product/service (quick summary of top 5 features)
  4. Define your customer experience and outline the key benefits customers want (quick summary of top 5 benefits)
  5. Create simple navigational cues to your best content (pop up helpers on links)
  6. Make your page scannable with headings that speak your promise of value and satisfaction (smooth orderly progression of your benefits they can take in)
  7. Use original photography that evokes emotion and depicts the experience your customer dreams of
  8. Use headlines, subheads, small pics, bolded text to smooth out the flow of the reading experience and build your value proposition in their mind
  9. Include social proof – the number of likes, followers, and shares can influence readers and create trust, respect, credibility, and comfort
  10. Build urgency, capitalize on their impulse/intent, and have a call to action
  11. Build curiosity with teasers for your content pages where they can explore some topic that’s of vital interest to them.
  12. Have one key benefit idea that “hooks” them (e.g., cheap taste of a premium product)

There is no one perfect homepage design. You can only design after you’ve gone through the 12 steps above. The photos, fonts, layout, navigation, and headings you use all depends on what experience your targeted customer wants. That begs the question: Do you know your customer:)

See also: The Ultimate Business Owner’s Guide to Create a Great Homepage

How to Make a Great Impression with your Home Page

The Anatomy of a Great Homepage

A Great User Experience Leads to Conversions

What Should You Put on the Home Page?

How to Roll Out the Red Carpet on your Home Page

9 Steps to Write Your Ultimate Home Page Headline

Mastering Digital Marketing for Realtors

Creative, Sustained, High Value Real Estate Marketing

Your choice to become a Realtor is brilliant. You’re right. It is the best profession and when you check out the Toronto real estate forecast for 2017 and beyond, you realize realty will continue to be profitable. But now you must evolve to become a digital realtor.

uvp-bethebestAs you know, digital media is penetrating more of our business exchanges and culture. Facebook continues its relentless growth and business is beginning to exploit it, just as it did with Google. They’re the big players however, the range and complexity of digital marketing for realtors specifically, is intense. You can’t do it well on your own.

Home buyers go online to research nearly everything they are curious about. It’s no different for real estate. But when people go online to Google “homes for sale”, “neighbourhoods” or “mls” they’re often in the perfect mindset for realtors to reach them. So being omnipresent during those Google searches or web surfing moments could be worth millions to a brokerage and perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single agent. Realtors need to be present in digital media and be top of mind to home buyers and sellers.




You’re reading right now because you know it’s true. If you fail to develop your online presence in an era of huge growth in practicing realtors, you will lose even your word of mouth leads.

Too many realtors see digital marketing as a huge threat to their business as usual, and that fear is justified. The proper to look at digital marketing is not as an outside threat but as an aid to your business as usual.

Use Digital Media to Grow your Word of Mouth Network

In this post, I want you to understand what digital marketing for realtors is and why you need to see it from a broader angle. Because tactics without strategy creates a mess of costly hit and miss efforts. If you bring your strategy under the omnichannel umbrella, each channel and tactic powers each other.

You probably know how effective Google is in generating leads. Realtors compete fiercely to get a top ranking and they advertise for everything they can’t get for free. And there’s social media, yet it is getting noisy and it’s harder than ever to get noticed and make an impact.

Facebook can even be a good source of leads if you know how to get your local connections connected. If people in your community aren’t connected, then there’s no exchange of your promotional materials. Facebook users want interesting content and so do Google searchers. Do you understand the different approaches required for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram?

You’ll need to create a social media strategy, Adwords strategy, SEO strategy, content strategy, and outreach strategy and orchestrate it all. As a team, these will be powerful. It’s not enough to do one thing anymore. DM has progressed.

Here’s the 10 Simple Steps to a good Digital Marketing Program:

  1. Conduct an digital marketing audit
  2. identify your target market/audience
  3. Establish your marketing goals
  4. Create the digital media you’ll need
  5. Plan your budget
  6. Determine the content you’ll need to create
  7. Determine how you’ll market your marketing – content and strategy and prospecting
  8. Establish your unique value proposition
  9. Determine your Realtor brand image strategy
  10. How you will convert visitors and keep them loyal to you

Impact and Persistence

Advertisers know that attention, impact and repetition generates results. It’s believed it takes 10 ad impressions before the consumer responds. And with conversion rates at 1 to 2%, you can see how much visibility you need before you generate one customer. That’s a lot of AdWords spend! We need a better way.

The better way is this:

  1. create better, more original and compelling content for your prospects
  2. be helpful and be generous with yourself
  3. use SEO to capture free traffic
  4. use social media to connect with everyone and engage them in conversation
  5. use PPC to build total omnipresence
  6. analyze and optimize your conversion funnel process
  7. map unique content to each touchpoint in your customer’s experience
  8. leverage every asset possible to create value for your customers
  9. envision a powerful, personalized, significant unique value proposition
  10. use your digital presence to support your word of mouth networking system

Using digital marketing you’ll reach a lot of people: regular homeowners and their families, online influencers, bloggers, property managers, mortgage agents, and yes, rich foreign buyers. As you’ll learn though, succeeding on one channel such as Facebook and Google rankings just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Can Property Buyers even Find You?

chineseAnd if buyers or sellers never see you online, they’re unlikely to take you seriously.

Digital Marketing is a bargain. From Google Adwords to SEO to Social Media, it’s capacity to generate buyers and sellers for you is unlimited. The only limits are your own self-defeating attitudes.

Digital marketing is still underused and that may be because of a lack of competent digital marketers. Agencies and web design and hosting companies often get first dibs at presenting realtors with a digital marketing solution. The problem is that marketing isn’t their forte. If this is where you’re getting your marketing services from, this could be a serious limitation on your income and lead generation.

experian-2015-juneOf course I’m going to support my specialized realtor marketing capabilities. I can help you build your unique value proposition, improve communications, connect with more buyers and sellers. And reaching sellers is the big gold mine that 99% of realtors neglect. If you’re relying on spammy operators and sites like Zillow, you’re wasting your precious time.

 

These sites offer few leads and instead leverage your money to fulfill their own agenda and leads.

I want to introduce you to more channels, more touchpoints with prospects, and make them love your amazing brand and UVP.

The 12 Best Digital Media Channels

The 12 main digital channels to generate new leads:

  1. Free organic search engine rankings on Google
  2. Google AdWords advertising
  3. Google local maps/business listings
  4. Facebook shares
  5. Facebook advertising
  6. Tweets and Twitter engagement
  7. Excellent web content: blogs, infographics, local news
  8. Local mls listings
  9. Linkedin profiles and posts
  10. Guest blogging
  11. Distributed blog posts and property listings
  12. Major real estate portals: realtor.ca, realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, Yahoo homes, and Homes.com

To help you master Digital Marketing, I’ve created a series of posts that teach you how to innovate and excel at each opportunity including:

  1. Success Tips from real estate’s BIG Kahunas
  2. Content Strategy and making your content work cohesively
  3. Search Engine Optimization
  4. Persuasive, Engaging Copywriting
  5. Social Media strategies
  6. Reaching influencers
  7. Innovation in real estate marketing
  8. Building your unique value proposition
  9. Powering up your sales conversion funnel
  10. Building your brand image
  11. Improving your performance
  12. Improving your prospecting skills
  13. Overcoming personal challenges to success
  14. Increasing your generosity and communication skills
  15. Outcompeting to win markets
  16. Mastery through better blogging
  17. Capitalizing on buyer impulse – their true desire
  18. How to get people to sell their homes
  19. How to choose a great digital marketer
  20. How to power up your business growth
  21. Discover the lifetime value of a customer

Stick with me and I’ll give you the most effective results in traffic, leads and sales. Let’s start creating more money and more active leads right now!

Call me now to discuss your future in real estate. I’m ready to help. 416-998 6246

 

Serving Aurora, Newmarket, Markham, Richmond Hill, Toronto, Vancouver, San Diego and Los Angeles with exceptional skill in SEO, Copywriting, Social Media Engagement, advertising, and link outreach.

 

How To Create Your Perfect Realtor Brand Image

Personal Branding for Real Estate Agents

Competition in real estate sales is intense. There’s one sale for every agent. So how do you separate yourself from the hoards and avoid anything that pushes you back into the pool of unknown agents – the realty clones?  If you think it’s sexy to be one of the clones, well, it may actually be killing your personal brand image — the thing customers are buying.

clonesmallBuyers and sellers make a lot of assumptions based on what they believe about you — that’s your Realtor Brand Image. It’s time to create a unique significant professional brand image for you only.

You are special, you are the most significant and a brand guided by your Realtor marketing strategy leads to creating that special feeling about. Check out my new book which is about creating a laser clear brand, one that creates one single emotion in your audience – feeling good. And that’s when they call you.

You may have read my posts on SEO, Social Media, unique content, prospecting tips, the customer experience, top realtor skills, ambition and drive, and powering up your lead funnel. I know, they imply that digital marketing success is all about brains and real hard work. Yet this post tells you it can be fun and fulfilling too.

you
It’s not just to stand out. It’s in being relevant and making your client feel happy, satisfied, and secure.

There’s one thing as important than all those tactics, techniques and strategies — branding and how to build your own personal brand image.

It’s possible to have tons of traffic coming from Google, Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook, and even more from email to read your fantastic content, and still get no clients. If that’s happening, it’s almost certain your professional brand image is the killer. It could be poor or confusing.

This epic post should alter and modernize your views about branding. Hopefully, it’ll culminate with you understanding good things about yourself professionally and enjoying sharing them with your audience. They’ll love it because ironically, it’s all about them.

Do You Know What a Brand Image Is?

Your brand image is the message or promise of value and relevance you give to your visitors and clients. Upon arriving at your pages, they make an immediate judgement of your ability/promise to create value for them based on the impressions they receive.

Brand Image = Brand Promise = Unique Value Proposition

lamb
The Lamb theme looks funny, but Brad Lamb has done well with it. How would you run with that brand image?

If your website site sucks, is ugly, has no listings, is tough to read and navigate, offers dull, trite or cliche info, and doesn’t offer anything relevant to them, they’ll make this decision — you are irrelevant. And if your content is confusing, then this is where you discover how to align it with your professional brand image.

Your website is a key element in your personal branding and you get to build your brand on your personal/professional strengths on that living document.  You can identify the images, words, topics, and layout that tells them you are the most relevant real estate advisor. And they’ll believe it because collectively, you’ve made sure all of your online content is sincere and speaks to their beliefs and values.

Laurie Weston Davis of The Geeky Girls offers a general explanation of how real estate agents should create a unique value proposition online to establish their brand. As you’ll learn though, in the rest of this post, is that there are actually 14 key benefits you need to touch on to create your brand promise and big idea. Branding is very complex and the end goal is to simplify all the details you’re about to discover.

One Goal: To Make them Feel Happy, Satisfied, and Secure

In my last post, I talked about 18 benefits buyers and sellers want and that they can be congealed into a key emotional benefit — a feeling of satisfaction, happiness and security. All of your experience, skills, connections, and strength mean nothing unless you can register an emotional impact that reassures them they will be satisfied, happy and secure. It’s the same for a job hunter, home renovator, or a guy asking a girl to marry him. Each had their chance to get their “value proposition” across.

Trust is a big component of a great realtor brand image. Debbie Murray of Dallas created an excellent video that focuses on building trust, relevance and her capabilities.

Neil and Scott Higgins got their brand makeover from Agent Makeover

agent-makeover2

Your Unique Value Proposition is the same as your Brand Image

Your UVP is a compact statement of words and imagery that tell them how your services are relevant to them. The UVP or brand promise is your guarantee of value, results, customer experience, and a good relationship.

To make the best impact, your brand image needs to be consistent. In fact, it should be laser clear. If visitors aren’t contacting you, they may be confused. That’s why the “less is more” mantra became popular. Marketers felt they were better off saying and doing less so they’d avoid confusing customers.

However, if you can’t create longer, dynamic content, covering important benefits, it will be tough to prove you’re better than 40,000 other realtors in your city. How can you make your value proposition stand out if you don’t go into some detail? If your value proposition is well thought out, simplified and expressed creatively and with laser clarity, you could vaporize your competition. You’ll create such a connection with your audience that they’ll believe no one else exists.  You are the one — the only one.

How To Create Your Compelling Significant Brand Image

The benefit they want: a feeling of satisfaction, happiness and security. Simply list all of your strengths, assets, experience, style, attitudes, energy and knowledge and for each, make a statement of how that helps your target clients. Clients seek a realtor who is meaningfully different to them. That’s what we call significance.  You have to convince prospects of your significance.

And if they feel you’re irrelevant or not significant because of some criteria such as age, gender, race, or your website colors, your brand image must overcome that challenge.  The realtor market is crowded yet you’ll create a brand image that’ll launch you ahead of all of thm. Whoever does branding best, wins.

 

Just like your prospects on your website, you’re in a learning mode. You’re in between “I don’t know anything about this branding stuff” and “Can Gord realistically make my brand promise crystal clear.”  After, you read this article, you’ll know more about personal/professional branding than 99.5% of the population.

Who’s Doing a Good Job of Branding in the Realty World?

Here’s one real estate guy’s brand image that’s easy to comprehend and looks like he’s having fun. Ian Brett looks like a safari guide as he helps buyers wade through condo jungle. He’s converting your anxiety into a fun and painless adventure. Fits the type of service perfectly. That’s fun!

vancouvercondos-condo-jungle

Jason Soprovich greets you right away on his homepage. He communicates very quickly that he is all you need to buy or sell a luxury home in Vancouver. He’s almost larger than life, looking confident, experienced and belonging in the world of luxury, so much so that you forget all about details and nagging doubts. He’s going to make it happen, in style too.

The house  in the background too, helps convey uniqueness. The curved glass, the roof, and the hedge along with driveway are all excellent visuals, as is the muted cloudy blue sky background. Here, less is more. There’s no pressure, only a simple statement that he’s available should you have some questions. Elegant, understated, and credible. Of course, that’s the first impression. The job of communicating the value proposition or promise, continues in your main pages, blog, social media, and listings, and then in emails. It never ends.

jason

Jade Mills is a top Los Angeles realtor. In this video she speaks of integrity, customer service and a passion for helping buyers/sellers and building good relationships through networking. She’s likable, hard working, down to earth, gets results, and takes away the pain, even for other realtors.

The 14 Key Elements of Your Personal Unique Value Proposition or Brand Promise

  • Trust
  • Skill
  • Dedication
  • Determination
  • Honesty/Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Relevancy
  • Experience
  • Likability
  • Intelligence
  • Similar/congruent beliefs
  • Value that is clearly differentiated from your competitors
  • Understanding of their aspirations/values
  • A sense of familiarity/comfort

All of these attributes should be fused together with laser focus to move prospects to believe in you and hire you. If you thought your brand image was your photo and a few brags about sales, and your media appearances, you now know that clients are looking for something else.

The Final Piece: Do Your Homework — It’s Fun

What hampers most people in building a great brand image is themselves. We all need to monitor our thoughts about ourselves and counter our own negativity and others attitudes about us, and just enjoy being us. You don’t need permission or props. You deserve to feel good. Like the the 3 people you just met, you can be whoever you want to be. Create the image that represents your passions and values.

I’m going to borrow from the book , Branding Yourself by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy.  Their 5 principles of personal branding in the digital age can help you begin the process of how to create your brand:

  1. Discover Your Passion
  2. Be Bold
  3. Tell Your Story
  4. Create Relationships
  5. Take Action

1. Discover your passion.  I’ve written about passion extensively in this blog – about knowing why you do what you do (It’s the thing that makes you fascinating to other people. Believe you are fascinating).  What is that hope that gets you out of bed every morning? Who are you really doing it for? What is it you will do for them? The things we do most passionately, we do for other people (even though we behave like it’s for ourselves). What is the feeling you want? What is the lifestyle that will give you the social, material and personal things you crave?

What is it about real estate and helping others that drives you?  If it’s money alone, you won’t last long. You may want personal warmth, a sense of connection to your community, being a contributor to a better economy, making friends, a commitment to supporting and protecting others, or achieving an important role expected by others. If you know why you do what you do, and you commit to your passion for doing it, your customers will love you. There’s no doubt. I’ve seen it with numerous professionals who display their passion in how they celebrate every part of their lives.  They started with little (unemployed, bankrupt, uneducated), followed their passion and life just kept getting better. Their journey was interesting and colourful.

My favourite example is from Myhang Gibson a mortgage agent. She nails the social and celebration element of branding. Community, friendship, family, fun, and a full life are powerful images. Her brand is personal, helpful, knowledgeable, and she reflects beliefs and values that most people share.

myhang

2.  Be Bold. When you feel committed and certain about your passions, it’s easier to be bold and brave.  You develop a powerful urge, belief, and magnetism toward your goal. It’s not a hunger or deservingness either. It’s an internal, natural, personal direction that compels you to do things.  There’s an inner intelligence that tells you to keep going even though you don’t know why.

Do something new at home and work. Talk about yourself, promote yourself, and tell people who you are and what you’ve accomplished. It’s not to brag, it’s just to tell them who you are. If they’re real, they’ll appreciate your honesty and they can be certain about what you’re capable of and will likely do.  If your brand image is a good one, they’ll develop tremendous confidence in you. If you back up your brand image with appropriate action, you’ll soon get a reputation as someone who fulfills people’s needs and wishes.

3.  Tell a Story. When you have lots of connections, experience, and knowledge, you don’t have to tell people everything explicitly often. You communicate your personal brand image and your brand promise through your stories.  Your stories relate to how you help other people and the value they received. and stories are about your daily experience, passions, doubts, insecurities, and pursuits. It’s the real you, but expressed in a way that is relevant and valuable to your prospects and clients.

With one image, you can tell a compelling story. But please don't do this, you might hurt your back.
With one image, you can tell a compelling story. But please don’t do this, you might hurt your back.

Richard Branson has plenty of stories to tell and everyone one of them tends to be compelling. Just a picture of him makes you expect a story. Just as he does, you need to grow your experiences so you have more stories to tell. Strive for those experiences that give you the best stories to tell and ways to tell them.

Richard Branson for instance tells his stories using his entrepreneurial and travel experiences.  It’s nice to have extensive experience and a colourful imagination, but even if you don’t, you can work with what you have.

Stories are powerful anecdotes, stuffed with rich messages about behaviours, values and intentions. Stories speak strongly about our highest principles and best results.

Good storytellers can be persuasive, especially when their message is backed up with explicit material on a website, blog, etc.  When the stories match the statistical type stuff and other evidence, prospects will see you as being very credible. The stories and pictures will make you desirable.  And when you hit on the very things they believe, you create a powerful bond with them.

4.  Create Relationships.  By networking and talking about things others believe in and want to know more about, you create new contacts.  Meet people with genuine interest in knowing them, and know that they have connections too. These are people you can help. And you want to find ways to help them first.  In business, it’s very important to be a go giver.  Prospects do see your intent, your generosity of spirit and communication, your transparency, and the amount of value you can deliver to them. By shaping your personal brand image, you’re presenting an optimized value package to them. When your image and value is clear to them and they trust you, you’ve got a new client.

5.  Take Action.  When you’re clear about yourself, your skills, passions, and your market opportunities, and you’ve done your networking, taking action is not so hard. If you miss out on the previous steps, then action will be difficult. Nevertheless, no one is perfect and you just need to feed your passion and build an unstoppable belief in your mission.  The “Faith” everyone  talks about is actually a faith in yourself.  With that belief and confidence, there’s not much that can stop you. The first action, you’ve already taken. You’ve begun tackling the difficult process of finding your unique personal brand image and expressing it to your customers.

Discover and Focus to Find Your Main Idea

Once you figure out what types of digital content will work for you, and how you’ll present that to prospects, you need to find one main idea that becomes the focus of your branding. This one thing will help you stay aligned in your content and present yourself consistently with laser like focus. Your audience needs simplicity and you need to make an impact.

It’s the focus of your value proposition and image which etches you in their brain. When your significant, compelling UVP is clear in their minds, that’s when they call you. Your main idea/theme is the subject of my next post! Make sure you return for more useful, significant, relevant ideas 🙂

If all this is too complicated for you, hire someone to help you. It’s just a simple process. You can do it.

Agent Branding Resources

If you’re in Vancouver, you’ll be delighted to know Agent Makeover is in Vancouver. Lori Wiens can help you visualize and build your personal brand image. Check out the excellent work she’s done for her realtor clients.

agent-makeover

And, check out Tonya Eberhart for Brandface Real Estate.  Here’s what Tonya highlights with respect to important traits for realtors in personal professional branding:

  1. Character – being authentic and having a personality
  2. Confidence – knowing you believe in what you’re doing
  3. Clarity – achieving focus in your business
  4. Customization – be your brand – your unique value
  5. Being a Thought Leader – create good content
  6. Contacts – network and marketing to reach clients

Additional Resources:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-marketing/a-strong-personal-brand-will-enhance-your-life-no-matter-what-you-do-for-a-living/article29586510/

The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand

 

 

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Luxury Home Sales in Canada Continue Record Pace

Toronto and Vancouver Sizzling Hot Realty Markets

Although the US markets such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Miami are glowing brighter these days, Toronto and Vancouver are actually the hottest markets in the world right now. The Forecast for housing sales and combined with higher condo and home prices means realtors can raise their earnings considerably.

internationalhomepricesBoth Toronto and Vancouver are keeping pace for new sales records this year. And it’s a great time to be selling a $1Million+ home in these 2 cities. Excellent for those who have positioned themselves to sell these properties. Take a look at the sales Jason Soprovich is enjoying in Vancouver.

US and foreign investors are keeping their eye on the Canadian market as the Canadian loonie stays down at 75 cents US. There’s still time to get onboard the rising tide.

The globe and mail reports that in the first two months of the year sales of Vancouver homes valued at more than $1-million increased 23 % year over year. Toronto luxury homes were up an unbelievable 63% year over year. Overall in the GTA, home prices rose to about $720,000 on average.

Depicted at right are the world rankings of property prices around the world. Knight Frank’s most recent  world wealth report   shows “prime” property prices in Canada are rising at a rate that’s 4 to 14 times faster than the average of the rest of the world.

“Luxury home sales in Toronto and Vancouver will continue to defy gravity this spring. Both markets have the potential for significant gains and we expect heightened demand and insufficient inventory to drive price escalation and sellers’ market conditions.” — from a statement by  Brad Henderson, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, reported by the Globe and Mail.

Toronto Soars

TREB reported 7,621 home sales in February, up from 6,294 — a rise of 21%.  That’s despite the fact supply is actually very limited. More homes are sneaking above the $1 million mark thus giving them the tag of luxury homes, when in fact, some of them aren’t really luxury homes at all. Is it time to refer to luxury homes as those above $4 Million? The forecast for 2017 sales and new construction are positive. It’s been record growth recently.

Vancouver Rockets

Sales of detached homes rose by 37% year over year and the average price of a detached home in Vancouver has also risen 37% to $1.3 million.  Most luxury home sales in Vancouver are from 2 to 5 Million dollars. New listings in Greater Vancouver increased 7% so clearly homeowners are starting to get the itch to sell.  Ironically, the total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,299, a 38.7% drop compared to February 2015.

vancouver 5 year trend

It’s common knowledge that few Vancouverites can afford to buy a home. We have to ask who buyers are now in both Vancouver and Toronto?  Clearly, Millennials can only afford lower end condos in most areas of greater Toronto and Vancouver. The desperation of the market has increased the use of shadow flipping, which the BC premier says she intends to clamp down on. However, she also stated she will not do anything to affect homeowner’s equity– clearly signalling a “hands off” attitude that will appeal to luxury home and condo investors around the world.

vancouverluxury

As the white line above shows, Vancouver condos still haven’t taken off in price. Maybe this will be your investment opportunity? (Call me if you need a tenant — me. Don’t let that luxury condo sit empty when I could be minding it for you:)

With migration into Vancouver on the rise, the government will have to act fast to promote new home development. With low interest rates, investors and developers are eager to get into these fantastic market opportunites.

Luxury Home Realtors Having a Great Time

Vancouver area luxury real estate agents are enjoying a rare period of exceptional sales and income.  It could be another record year in 2016 for Sutton Group West Coast Realty who are clearly enjoying the fruits of being top dog in the current residential and commercial property boom.

Luxury home realtors may have to shift their marketing to the International investor and buying audience of Saudis, Chinese, Hong Kong, Australian, US and European buyers whose currency exchange rates given them a decided boost in purchasing power. Asian investors are buying globally, but nowhere do they feel more comfortable and welcomed as in Vancouver.

Additional Luxury Real Estate posts:

Who’s buying properties in Vancouver in Toronto?

What makes a better luxury real estate agent?

Are the most beautiful condos in Vancouver lifting the market even more?

What do home sellers really want from a realtor?

What’s up in Realtor marketing today?

 

Related posts: Housing Predictions 2017 | Los Angeles Housing Market | Toronto Housing Outook | San Diego Housing Market | Real Estate Agents | Future of Real Estate | Toronto Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Housing Forecast | Affordable Leads | Digital Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding | Bidding Wars | LA Real Estate SEO | Realtor Growth Hacks | Realtor Skills | Realtors Benefits | Home Search | Richmond Hill SEO | Boston SEO | Vancouver SEO | Rental Income Properties | Toronto MLS | Luxury Car Insurance Companies

8 Crazy Good Lead Generating Tactics You Need to Use this Selling Season

It’s 2016 and the Outlook is Excellent

We’re getting close to the 2017 spring selling season where 60% of your sales happen. It’s crunch time! Try these Top 8 Lead Generation tactics to grow your contacts and build a buzz about working with you. Ramp it up and one day you may be running your own brokerage.

Any luxury realtor, whether selling presale condominiums or million dollar mansions, can amp up their sales prowess by strategically adding on sales tactics and honing them within a more skilled strategy. The payoff for some might be millions in new commissions.




2016 is already off to a near record breaking start.  There’s plenty of economic factors in the Canada and US markets that will drive sales this year. And a surprising amount of demand is coming from China. It turns out that only a small number of realtors are pursuing Asian buyers. That leads us to tactic #1.

  1. Offer to pay Asian and Arab investors travel expenses if they visit and buy a property with you. You can set up a travel itinerary for them using Air Canada. They pay the airlines fee and a hotel room in your town. You pick them up at the airport. Ensure the accommodations look good online. You can dress this invitation up as a wonderful vacation of a lifetime. Many Asians would love to visit cities in the US or Canada. Places such as San Diego, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto have drawing power. You can leverage that.

chineseTreat the prospects trip like a vacation and let them know they have an opportunity to park their investment dollars into something with potential. San Diego is becoming a hot market, and Vancouver, BC, and Alberta properties are a bargain because of the 40% exchange rate.

A few realtors have gone to China to arrange visits by the plane load. It’s not hard to see the potential in 300 Asian investors landing in your city. They’ll be buying something. If they don’t buy, they have to pay their $5000 bill themselves.

Because the Yuan is depreciating, Chinese investors need to buy a property or something here as soon as possible. Build a new website in Mandarin and make your special offer. Add investment advice, and a little about how wonderful it is to live in a free country with lots of room.  A firm can make your site visible in Baidoo and Google.cn and other popular Chinese websites. These investors are often looking for big luxury properties.

  1. Use Google Adwords. Really? Yes, Adwords has incredible reach to people who are hunting for real estate or selling. Can’t beat it. But you need to do it well. What I’ve learned about Adwords is that you must test, test, test. Your quest is to find the best ad wording, landing pages and value proposition. Even after you optimize your ads and have amazing landing pages, you must have the best value offer.Analyze your UVP and your hook, and ask others what’s weak about them. Get lots of feedback. If you optimize your lead funnel, it will pay off despite the cost. Marketers are discovering that even with PPC, content marketing tactics are necessary to build prospect’s interest.  Buying real estate is a high involvement purchase and good content is something that increase comfort and and increase desire.
  1. omnichannelmarketoUse all Digital Channels. Yes, it is a lot of work, but one or two channels doesn’t cut it.  When you increase touchpoints with customers, you give them more emotional justification for working with you. And the repeated exposure is good. Omnichannel digital marketing works best with lots of content – infographics, long and short blogs, downloadables, whitepapers, case studies, videos, persuasive emails, and PPC advertising. Keep throwing value at the prospect and eventually they’ll break and give in. Persistence.
  1. valuepropositionbookImprove your unique value proposition. Are your tactics, brand and value proposition the same as thousands of others? That’s not good. You can run a fantastic marketing campaign, but if your UVP sucks it will bring everything to a halt. Every agent has a UVP. It’s what your prospect believes about you and your ability to make things happen.You must be compelling, relevant, and unique.  Your UVP is you and your offer of professional help. What can you add to your UVP to push you by your competitors. What will the others not do? Do that. Tell prospects they are going to get some special, wonderful treatment, other than hellos and smiles. That’s not enough.
  1. Create new original interesting types of content and optimize them for Google search rankings. Don’t say you know how to do this. I’m an SEO guy. I know how to do it. I see agent’s blog and pulse posts all the time and they get no traffic and don’t generate value. People don’t have time to read unless you get it into an exciting format such as a video, infographic, downloadable pdf charts, graphs, or photos. It’s not easy but it does set you out as someone to remember. Part of your content should be for use on other people’s websites, which creates inbound links to your website.
  1. Blog about, network with, and even promote other agents/brokers. Other agents can bring business to you. Coopetition has been a good tactic for a while. Link with as many other agents as you can on Linkedin, and retweet their tweets on Twitter. Create a friend as they will last longer than any other relationship. Work together like sheep dogs! Linkedin is a great tool. I’m linked with thousands of real estate agents.
  1. retweet-elmerBuild your email list and do direct marketing. A lot of agents don’t nurture their email lists. Build unique, valuable, and entertaining content to stay top of mind. email is still a powerful lead conversion tool. Set up an account with Constant Contact or MailChimp. Within your email campaign, run a contest for a 4K TV for men or a new wardrobe for women — use it to grow your contacts.
  1. Setup multiple Twitter accounts and a Facebook account to reach diverse local audiences on topics they’re interested in. Most people don’t want to talk real estate. It’s boring, stressful, and they’re so distracted today. Create accounts or even websites on interesting topics such as investment, travel, retirement, health, local sports, and health and wellness.Hire a great copywriter like me to fill these sites with relevant, engaging content. How about a site that is constantly updated with local sporting and events activities? Whenever they wonder about what’s happening in town, they’ll go to your site where it’s all laid out.
  2. There’s other services such as Follow Rocket that can help you get more followers and reach more people.

That’s 8 of the most powerful tactics you can use within your superb digital marketing strategy. As you get into this, even more opportunities will appear. They don’t appear until you get into it. Winners and leaders are more nervy and creative. Don’t be ultraconservative, old school, or burdened under the weight of your own skepticism. Get started.

Your future in business is completely in your hands. You decide right now what direction your business, income, and lifestyle will take. Make a good decision.

Related Housing posts: Housing Market | Los Angeles Housing Market | Toronto Housing Market | San Diego Housing Market | Real Estate Agents | Future of Real Estate | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Housing Forecast | Affordable Leads | Digital Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding | Bidding Wars | LA Real Estate SEO | Realtor Growth Hacks | Realtor Skills | Real Estate Lead Programs | Home Search | Rental Income Housing | Aurora Homes for Sale | York Region Real Estate

I have experience in every industry from real estate to hotels to travel to medical services. You’ll be my next success. Let’s talk now at 416 998 6246.

 

Instead of Fearing Disruption, Why not Leverage It?

Why You Should Believe in Disruption

The word disruption means entirely different things to many people. Increasingly, it’s becoming a very positive word in our vocabulary, particularly digital marketers. As you can see in the graphic above, disruptive companies are thriving. Is your business disruptive, or being disrupted? Are you looking beyond the waves of change to see what’s on the horizon?

Someone has to modify how things are understood and done. That modification is called disruption. Let’s not confuse disruption with new apps on Google play. This is about new ways of fulfilling your customers.

In fact, if you don’t disrupt your current unique value proposition and brand promise, you’ll find customers fleeing you and your advertising. The new disruptive business model makes your business relevant to what’s happening online and in customer word of mouth. Keep pace, and even Google will find your business and domain more relevant. You need to infuse the promise of disruption into your marketing.

Dr. Lalia Rach, said, in an interview before her  presentation on Navigating the Era of Disruption, about the recent M&A’s and whether that would create change in the hotel industry: “I wish I could say that it would push the industry forward, out of the past into today and tomorrow, but I am not convinced that will be the result. The need for progressive, thoughtful difference has never been more pronounced yet too often what we see is bigger companies doing the same thing.

Disruption in Real Estate, Hotels, Travel, and IT

In real estate and hotel industries, customers have more options. After they visit your site, they go to many other web sites for realtors, mortgages and insurance or for restaurants, tours, local attractions and experiences. They’re looking for a solution that resonates with them.

What they’re looking for is the best compelling, relevant unique value proposition. Helping them feel and want that new unique value proposition is the correct promotional goal. They’re leaving your site because they don’t like your unique value proposition and they found your customer experience lacking in satisfaction. It isn’t your web design, or your call to action, your flyers or drip email campaign. The bar is raised and you have to bring in real value.

If you’re still reading to this point, it means you’re smart and you have the kind of determination to persist to create the right solution. I’ve learned that cheap solutions don’t fool anyone. You need to disrupt, evolve and outcompete to win.  Traffic is good only if you can convert them to customers. You should be asking “what is the best relevant, compelling, unique value proposition and how can I make them feel this?”  Because their emotions do the buying.

In the case of Airbnb and Uber, people love the feeling they get when they save money or experience transportations and accommodation in a new way. Taxis and hotels must disrupt their brand image to provide a richer experience than a “ride and a room.”  How are the major hotels doing lately?

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Uber and Airbnb are Telling us Something 

airbnbsmallThe success of the ride sharing business Uber gives us more warning that our business and personal lives are being disrupted at a faster pace. Here’s a regulated sector that’s getting deregulated quick by popular demand. airbnb too breaks the mold and lets anyone vacation cheaply.

It’s easy to see that rapid change is only being slowed by government regulation.  However, in a global economy, governments are learning they can’t stop disruption.  We’re learning we need to know more about it and how to use it ourselves.

Service businesses that don’t use social features to lower barriers and increase efficiency will likely not survive long — from a Bloomberg report.

Smart entrepreneurs aren’t just learning about disruption and reacting to it, they’re actively applying disruptive techniques to create a competitive advantage. Adopting social media is disruptive. The new digital marketing is actually forcing professionals to change how customers will experience their service. I’m suggesting that you learn it and love it, apply it creatively and not just view it as some dark threat.

This post is also about your evolution from old school to new digital omnichannel marketing. You already know traditional marketing is dying as your customers plug into more digital channels. I’m stealing back the phrase omnichannel marketing from the retail people because retail is dying too. Retail gurus have tried to disrupt by relegating digital channels as a subset of retail. Sorry retail people, no can do. Digital is too basic to the market and comes before retail. Retail is a subchannel of digital.

Helping You Get Ahead on the Adoption Curve

You’re leaving money on the table. I’d like to help you use disruptive techniques to avoid losing more sales. What is this big disruption?  It’s innovating your business to become what the market wants. It’s the disruption of old school systems and practices.  Airbnb did it. Accommodations are cheaper and more plentiful. Now everyone can vacation. And Uber did it in a noisy way.  So many taxi drivers suddenly plunged into the digital networking and sharing economy. And no one can throw them a life preserver. Is the Uber wave about to hit real estate next? (29,000 people obtained their realtor’s license last year in Florida. That alone is disruptive. And why are so many people getting into real estate?).

Why is digital omnichannel marketing so important? Because it provides better reach and impact, and it has the power to connect you with your customer’s decision journey. It can disrupt their journey and provide an alternative seamless customer experience. That’s precisely what Uber did and it’s putting the traditional taxi service out of business. Soon driverless cars will hammer in the final nail.

If you’re about to be disrupted out of business, there’s hope.

It’s far better to look at the current methods for doing things, and then ask yourself a powerful question: Is there a far better way? That simple question, coupled with an understanding of what can now be done with the latest technology, will give you amazing and powerful answers — Daniel Burrus, Futurist 

Evolve to Match Up with Disruption’s Opportunities

If you look at the real estate, mortgage and insurance segments as an example, professionals and brokers alike haven’t evolved to adopt new tech solutions. They’re barely catching up in 2016. They’re now trying new solutions range from online purchasing and account management to omnichannel digital marketing.
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The big movement today is in avoiding travel time, and evading paying the fees of auto repairs, taxes, fees, phone company bills, utility bills, cable bills, insurance agents, mortgage agents, and real estate agents. The younger generation doesn’t have enough money or time and neither do older generations. Consumers see these are burdens not assets. Does your UVP need to persuade them otherwise?

Omnichannel means Total Connectivity to Customers

Some even believe that omnichannel isn’t enough, that we need to actively create disruption to make enough of an impact and provide a true seamless customer experience. Omnichannel provides better data/feedback from customers thus building better customer profiles and generating more opportunities to connect with them. And it’s hard to argue that being everywhere with great content is a bad thing.

 

I’m not suggesting omnichannel digital marketing is easy or that you can disrupt your market easily. Most rich, enabled marketing companies can’t do it well, but you have some advantages:

Perhaps the Key Benefit:  having a complete omnichannel digital business strategy lets you get your unique value proposition across very clearly. This will distinguish you from 30,000+ other salespeople in your market.

Too small to compete? Attack a niche market:  Small niche players can respond with more agility and relevance than the big brand dinosaurs. Big companies fear small agile companies will erode their marketshare.  If the Dow Jones falls, it’s because small biz America is gaining traction. Small biz entrepreneurs are more informed now and finding ways to outcompete big companies digitally and personally.

Consumers are becoming brand agnostic: — meaning the words Apple, REMAX, and Rogers don’t impress them. And they don’t put much faith in them. Your new niche brand can actually loom large in today’s markets. Digital channels actually put you in the driver’s seat and allow you to grow faster. As a Realtor and mortgage agent, you can start your own brokerage and do very well.

Omnichannel Marketing Makes you Omnipresent

The terms Omnichannel or integrated digital marketing describe a process of using multiple channels together – search, social media, sms texting, web to text, email, remarketing and PPC advertising. To know how to use them, we have to study our customers — what do they want and which channels do they use? And what kind of customer experience would we be capable of creating?

Multiple channels create more touchpoints and leave a more complete impression on visitors. Some visitors leave, but customers keep on reading because they feel a greater connection – a better experience. For instance, when they visit your Twitter page, they see a quick summary of issues they need to know about, and which you can solve. It takes them only a minute to get a wealth of info about you and your unique value proposition. You can respond by encouraging them to connect any way they like.

When they see your blogs, they can see how deeply you’ve reflected on solutions and success, and your services pages tells them how good your solution is. Using Facebook, you can get more personal and make them care. Just in using 3 channels you’ve made yourself relevant and shown intelligence and thought leadership. With all channels, you build transparency and trust.

So, in that sense, it’s all very simple. Your mastery of digital networking and marketing communicates your UVP clearly, and makes you relevant, likable, credible, 3 dimensional, and trustworthy, and strongly connected.

How Will You Disrupt your Market?

  1. make customers aware of their needs through multiple marketing channels
  2. segment your customers and develop disruptive, engaging content that responds to their individual beliefs
  3. tell customers they can connect with you any way they prefer
  4. remind customers that it’s all about them and how you’re inline with their lifestyle
  5. show how you’re faster, better, more rewarding, more informative and modern
  6. show them how you deliver better value point by point with video, copy, and other engaging media
  7. create conversations with them using several digital media and with a phone call
  8. show them how their values are relevant — validate how they connect with you
  9. spoon feed them bits of information via different channels that lead them to the right conclusion and choices
  10. make previous channels and marketing approaches seem obsolete and show how they waste time and energy

You’ll find my blog is full of disruptive ideas, however it’s not enough to disrupt. There has to be a clear path to your solution or anxiety will cause a visitor to shut down. Get them to see your UVP clearly using all the media available to you. Then a gentle call to action should push them to the channel they prefer. Which channel they prefer tells you a lot about your customer. Linkedin is very different from Twitter or Facebook or email and a phone call.

Contact me today whatever way you prefer. I’m sure you can teach me a lot about your preferred media. I’m ready to learn! and help you disrupt and capitalize on opportunities this year. Let’s talk right now.  What could it hurt?

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Social Media Marketing Works if You Have a Plan!

Generating Leads with a Social Plan and Strategy

While blogging and epic quality content generation are the workhorse for digital marketers, social media still has a vital role  With your social media strategy built on a great unique value proposition and great content, it will take your marketing high.

To understand social media’s role, you need to disregard its typical reputation – as a frivolous time waster where nothing of value is shared.  Good social media actually uses good content as a focal point, whether it’s brand building party pictures or published whitepapers or clever contests.  There’s a “something” in the middle of all that chatter. That something is good content that helps get your UVP and brand positioning across really well.




You may not make a sale right away on social media, but you can make impact, and a lasting impression around specific issues that are personally relevant to your network. At the very least, prospects will see your spirit, openness, and that you’re involved and active. People buy from people who share the same values and who make them feel good. The more you have going for you the better so make your prospects feel good.

Social traffic is growing. Allowing your business to fall behind in this rising channel is not wise.

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The use of digital media constantly evolves and Google Alphabet is proof that Google knows it’s search engine is becoming less important. Facebook and Linkedin are the future of digital marketing.

I’ve got an easy to learn process to build your social media plan for Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Each platform has its own user base and strengths, yet your digital marketing plan can bring them all under one umbrella.

The issue with Social Media is a lack of a cohesive plan to build an interesting customer experience with people. Each social channel has its own type of users and you can create a unique customer experience for each of them. And if your website doesn’t offer an emotionally charged, uplifting experience, then social is the perfect solution. You can make your brand look very interesting, interactive and even overcome your weak branding. And let’s not forget how good social media can be for your SEO.

Now That Sounds Like a Plan!

Your social media plan helps create an interesting, ready made experience for the visitor, regardless of what time of day they arrive, and let you funnel them onto your target conversion page. And if you do time your posts to reach the maximum audience, let’s say Thursday, that might be the only time you will ever get these people’s eyeballs. Any other time and they ignore you. Social is very good for reaching the unreachable.




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A realtor may only be able to reach home owners and home buyers in the evening or weekends when they’re active on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. You’ll want to post at those times. They may respond right away, and you can begin a conversation. If you know how to carry out these conversations, you can make quite an impact and generate a new client (and referrals).

Most social posting is done aimlessly, with posters acting on a hope that someone will find it. But most social posts disappear fast and are never viewed again, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Considering the speed and volume of posts today, you have to be particularly good at timing publishing and to ensure your wording carries that visitor to where you want them to go. No doubt it, Social Media strategy is challenging but so necessary. This is the future.

If you have a plan and you commit to the effort, you’ll start to see results. So let’s take a look at the structure of your social media blueprint and how it’s the foundation for a great strategy.

The Social Media Plan – An Infrastructure to Create Your Customers

Think of your plan as a network of roads and your strategy as how you direct traffic along those roads. Give people the proper signs at the right place and if they enjoy their driving experience, they might all become customers.

  1. set your social media marketing goals
    • specific
    • measurable
    • attainable
    • relevant
    • time bound

2.  create the customer experience model: describe how users will experience your social content and understand it clearly within a branded and topical context
3.  choose the social channels that will work best for you
4.  choose and describe your business persona or profile — your brand in social
5.  describe types of content that you hope to make sharable — be specific
6.  select dates of publishing and frequency – to coordinate content so it generates an impact and action
7.  select your call to action and goals for prospects – how will you get visitors to follow your ideal click path?
8.  set up Google url shortener for better social tracking – put urls on a spreadsheet and generate the corresponding shortened urls for use on your social posts
9.  identify social influencers in the field and large groups of like-people to target
10. Assess your social media goal attainment and refine it iteratively to improve results

Now that you have a methodical plan to visualize and create your material, you can begin building your strategy from start to finish.




Now You Can Brainstorm Your Strategy!

Your strategy describes how you’ll move the visitor from social sites to your blog or website (the final conversion goal) contact form or your phone number. In realty, a phone number is important. You want to capture the prospect while in they’re in the mood. Because one hour from now, they’ll be onto something else, or they’ll go to one of your competitors. That’s a horrible thing to let happen!

Within this social media strategy, you have to create a reason for influencers and other social users to share your content. That requires creating content of value for them — which will make them look good and more valuable to their audience. You need to develop awareness of their expertise and how you can engage with them.

It’s wise to write down a description of your social media account purposes. Give your accounts a pet name (your favorite celebrity?) so you have a theme that people can easily understand and like. You can use a little fun, dry humor and drama if needed to build a compelling social brand image. This image should be okay for influencers and make you look relevant to them. Social influencers are powerful catalysts if you can get them to support you.

The BIG Kahunas of Social Media — The Influencers

For instance, if you’re a realtor or mortgage agent looking to leverage the millions of mommy bloggers or real estate notables out there, you need to look at things from their perspective. How will your tweet or end goal matter to them and their audience? How about a story on how your home buyer’s lives improved after they bought their house? How did the kids change and become happier and healthier? What in the home was a catalyst for great things?

You can connect that catalyst to your realtor or mortgage services. It makes you relevant to the whole process of their lives. Now they have a reason to click through. Your hook might be how finding a new home can mean the difference between happiness and a poor quality life. The page you point to could be a home search or an article on the “7 features of a happy home.” Mommy bloggers will like that!

As you become more familiar with your strategy, you’ll get better at discovering what moves your visitors to click and to contact you. And you’ll discover trending topics might put you in front of a huge volume of people. You might even advertise if you have some content that’s capable of going viral.

We can’t avoid social media. Facebook is already refering more traffic than Google. That is monumental in the digital era. Things change so please don’t fall too far behind. You’ll regret letting this stuff go.

Top social media performance is no small task. Ensure it’s wired throughout your omnichannel digital marketing strategy. To outcompete, you need to use all resources effectively.

Here’s my phone number. If you’re a moderately successful agent, a digital marketing program with all the bells and whistles is what I offer.

 

A more desirable alternative to hiring a digital marketing agency or taking in an in-house college grad, is to hire a dedicated digital marketer from Toronto.  Together we can collaborate and build the most cost effective yet productive digital marketing solutions. And as an experienced and versatile SEO specialist, Social Media Strategist, and content strategy expert  I offer clients knowledge equity in addition to outstanding revenue results. 

Toronto and Vancouver 2016 Real Estate Market Forecast

2016 & 2017 Sales Potential is Looking Good

Has there ever been a better time to be a realtor, property developer or mortgage agent in Toronto and Vancouver? Probably not. CREA, Royal Bank and CMHC are giving the thumbs up for realty transactions over the next few years. Pros are going to do well.

Agents and brokers should be looking for new ways to be the BIG Kahunas of their markets through digital marketing strategies. The payoff for some will be shocking. I hope you’re looking at 2016/17 with an eye for income growth.

Sutton Group = West Coast Realty for instance had a record $11 Billion in transactions last year and this year probably higher.  If you’re a broker, you may want to look more closely at building a cohesive digital marketing presence, one that’s innovative and above common thinking about how to build realty business online.

Royal Bank: Outlook is Very Good

RBC is forecasting continued prosperity for the Toronto and Vancouver regions including stronger employment, rising exports, low loonie, low interest rates, and strong consumer spending.  BC is forecast to be the strongest at 3.1% GDP growth, with Ontario and Saskatchewan just behind.

2015 was ruined by a huge drop in energy company expenditures and unfortunately, Alberta will see further retraction. As the dust settles in the energy sector, the Ontario and BC economies will grow stronger. In fact, RBC believes Ontario’s growth will pick up steam in 2017 to 2.7%.  Both provinces are expected to see full time job gains in 2016 and beyond.

“Although frothy in some areas (e.g., Toronto), we believe that the provincial housing market will continue to be supported by strong demand, which will maintain housing construction at historically elevated levels.”

Toronto and Vancouver: Home Prices Remain High with limited Availability

Toronto and Vancouver home availability and prices will continue as a big story. Nationally, CMHC predicts that home prices will continue to climb over the next two years, but at a slower rate – 1.3 per cent in 2016 and 1.4 per cent in 2017. In this first graph from a report on the GTA housing market, it’s suggested that sales are edging lower due to affordability, however the real underlying problem is a lack of housing stock for sale. Realtors need to be more creative in enticing homeowners to sell.

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In Toronto, new housing starts may fall by 5% and another 10% although experts are not in agreement about that slowdown, especially regarding the new condo market. Most growth occurred in only 5 property developments, meaning there may still be untapped demand in the greater Toronto area.

Fewer new detached homes will be built in Toronto and multifamily construction will actually make up more than half of new homes constructed there in 2017. Existing home sales will drop to 87,500 units by 2017 as prices grow much too high for first time buyers. If China’s investment rule stays relaxed, more Asian buyers may support a less precipitous drop from 2015’s record home sale numbers and prices.

In Vancouver, CMHC forecasts Vancouver’ s host housing sales will slow only slightly in 2016 and 2017. Affordability is the issue that will cool sales from their record hot numbers. New housing starts are expected remain strong with 20,000 units under construction. The home resale market should grow to their highest levels in the last 10 years and moderately slightly in 2016 and 2017. 2015 was a sizzling year, rising 9% so a further 3% grow is actually fairly positive for realtors and mortgage agents.

Seniors in Vancouver and Toronto

In another story in the Advisor, it’s reported that seniors in Toronto and Vancouver may not want to sell their homes even though they may not be able to afford to live well in retirement. When seniors run out of money, they may have to sell their homes. Some may turn to reverse mortgages which are becoming a hot type of financial service.

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From a Report in the Globe and Mail

That means much of the available housing stock may not be sold. Seniors can live in them until they die and that means a good portion of the resale market will not enter the market. Of course, creative real estate marketers may find a way to help seniors understand the advantages of selling now while prices are so high. Seniors have options such as living in low cost Caribbean or South American countries, or moving to regions of Canada that are cheap.  With more babyboomers entering retirement, the sales potential of senior sellers and buyers will be of interest to innovative real estate agents.

Realtors who build their own brand of innovative services can get an edge in the coming years. Persuading homeowners to sell their home and progress with their lives, is just one example of innovation that top selling realtors will use. What else will they be doing? Take a look.

Looking for some more useful tips for Realtors?  What to do first?  A digital marketing audit can give you the insight you need to make better decisions about to be a winner in the digital wars.  Avoid the pain of being an unsuccessful realtor. It’s all in the insight and planning.

Is a high powered, responsive IDX-based website the only asset you need for the years ahead in your career? Actually, such sites are a great, but small part of the total integrated success program.

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21 Success Tips for Top Selling Realtors

BIG Kahunas Lead — And Make a Lot More Money

Millions of realtors, mortgage agents, new home builders, custom home builders, dentists, insurance brokers, architects, medical specialists, and vacation resort managers are all competing to be the Big Kahunas of their markets. Some will, and from humble beginnings.

The title graphic is courtesy of Inman. In the US, almost 10k agents had at least one transaction per week, or at minimum $20M in sales.

What do these BIG Kahunas do that sets them apart and launches them into continuous success?  They:

  • establish an unbeatable/incomparable unique value proposition
  • find the right clients, customers and business partners
  • find the best mentor
  • get the funding required
  • make their clients very happy
  • go all out to make their client successful
  • help their client learn
  • take the burden and pain away from their clients
  • think creatively, innovatively and persistently to solve client’s problems
  • strive persistently to become the BIG Kahuna in their market
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Lead in everything you can

Here’s 21 Big Kahuna Success Tips

  1. Visualize your customer –  Yes, think about who you’d like as your clients and build your marketing to capture those exact prospects – dig into their lifestyle and dreams
  2. Build a great digital content strategy as the foundation of your  marketing strategy — do this strategically so each channel drives the other simultaneously (omnichannel)
  3. Build inbound content that’s interesting, informative and sharable – this builds excitement into your brand image
  4. Build one very strong niche – such as ecology-mindedness, tax reduction, technology, entrepreneurialism, health, local sports, business trends, job trends, education, etc — whatever subject you believe will make your agent brand stronger.
  5. Advertise in local news flyers/sections have good reach to homeowners and buyers
  6. Advertise via Facebook, AdWords, and Linkedin ad platforms using excellent advertising techniques
  7. Design a new MLS fed website – look at the benefits of my real estate website development services.
  8. Rewrite your listings – using verbs, brand names, and desirable new product names – make it sound elegant
  9. Accelerate your leads through your sales funnel – use high quality digital content they like and need. answer key questions, build desire, and indicate fulfillment is just ahead.
  10. Build a great social media brand image — it makes you look good and builds trust!
  11. Use Facebook to build likability and engage prospects with fun, practical, entertaining material
  12. Use your successful website to attract and partner with other agents
  13. Create original and valuable stories/statistics/events for reporters/bloggers to talk about
  14. Use your linkedin account, plus your own prospect search to connect with investors, agents, and professional people who may need to buy or sell
  15. Use an email strategy to build prospects into your inner circle
  16. Be Generous  –  Do lots of good deeds – refer business, compliment, promote, offer help to your prospects with any issues they’re having, and set a tone of giving
  17. Be Awesome — this means being yourself but extending your sphere of interest to touch prospects dreams
  18. Stop thinking negatively — there are no limitations, only an abundance of leads and sales – create your own leads
  19. Take a vacation – Get Fresh! – you can’t lead if you’re depressed and worn out.  Get away from the source of your stagnation or low productivity to refresh or renew yourself – wipe the hard drive for a fresh, new, strategically effective start
  20. Use interesting apps such as Hyperlapse to create interesting videos to showcase your homes/condos/neighbourhoods.
  21. Hire a creative/innovative digital marketer with a winning program just for you

 

Building and maintaining a leadership position in your market requires professional help. How many helpers do you need?  Start with one, but pick someone who is awesome.  If they don’t add tremendous value, you’re wasting your money and time.

Gord Collins has been a leader in San Diego SEO, Montreal, Los Angeles SEO, San Francisco SEO, Vancouver SEO, Boston SEO, and Toronto SEO for 18 years. Your SEO strategy is in good hands.

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Top Real Estate Agents: In any Market be the BIG Kahuna

Market Kahunas Draw the Best Leads Possible

I was driving by a familiar area in town one day and noticed that a large 14 acre ranch was up for sale. Right in the heart of my town. Very rare and valuable land. I wondered how many millions it would go for in the market right now.

The For Sale sign was from Daryl King, a top millionaire realtor in this area (he has a small army of 34 agents working for him now), at least tops in selling high value properties (a great niche). The property owner has many other superb realtors to choose from, however they chose Darryl King, one of the top real estate agents in North Toronto.

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This happens frequently in other areas of business where people choose whoever they think is the “BIG Kahuna” in the market. It’s probably why Donald Trump sits on a mountain of cash. Despite his horrible personality, real estate executives want to work with him.  When the idea of selling a luxury house comes to mind, so does Daryl King’s team.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether they’re like Mother Theresa or Genghis Khan, the BIG Kahuna’s get the business. More people are drawn to who they believe is the top dog, rather than choosing someone who is more in line with their true interests and situation. BIG Kahuna’s make the most of wide visibility, authority, and opportunity. They leverage everything from advertising to partnerships to after-sales support to ensure everyone believes they are the best and will get them the best price.

BIG Kahunas pursue marketshare, aiming to monopolize any market they can.  And monopoly, arguably, is the goal of most millionaires. Of course, excellent branding and marketing can help move toward a type of uniqueness that is monopoly. By hiring me, you are very likely to dominate your city market. Be the BIG Kahuna.

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Show You Believe what They Believe

Foremost in the matter of choosing the BIG Kahuna is the belief they’ll ensure success via their network, skills, or marketing power.  So begin to develop a BIG Kahuna image yourself and they’ll believe in you. Good incentive to brush up on brand image strategy.

It’s one of those buyer core beliefs worth looking closely at. Simon Sinek says people will buy from you if you believe what they believe. Big estate owners believe Darryl King  has similar values and beliefs, and he is singly most able to get that extra one or two million dollars, and that he might be networked with multimillionaires. Maybe he isn’t.

Buyers and sellers believe the BIG Kahuna has the connections, selling power, persuasiveness and klout.

The BIG Kahuna removes the fear and paves the way to a big sale price. Big Kahunas seem to get rid of all the pain (okay, it’s the Witch doctor that actually does that:)

King has been a top real estate agent and broker for a long time and of course over the years has built a lot of connections whom he has likely groomed. And he has 34 realtors on his own team — a telling sign of a BIG Kahuna.

Sam McDadi sells over 700 homes a year. That tends to create some believers in the BIG Kahuna
Sam McDadi sells 2 homes a day. That tends to create some believers in the BIG Kahuna

In Vancouver, Merrily Hackett is the BIG Kahuna in a market with plenty of top earning real estate agents. Every community has its top dog. The huge opportunity for you is that you could be the BIG Kahuna of your market. All you have to do now is dominate the digital marketing space!!

And a lot of what is digital marketing today is barely understandable as marketing anymore. It’s social word of mouth, being found, being helpful, and building personal connections, and supporting important causes. In the realm of high priced real estate, Adwords, Facebook, and Linkedin Ads are used more to dry up opportunities for competitors.

As an agent you need to be thinking about how you can leverage digital marketing to extend your personal reach and strengthen your personal connections. It’s the perfect high definition medium to marry your beliefs to your prospects and clients. It’s all about shaping belief.

The first order of priority is to have me assess your site and give you ideas on how to position your business online and use digital marketing tools to begin your ascent to the top.  I’ve helped clients worldwide from San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Boston, London UK, to Montreal and Toronto. Use the lead generation companies or build your own empire.

Digital Marketing Audit Special Offer!

Start 2016 Right! A Digital Marketing Review at an Unbeatable Price

Are you struggling like most realtors at digital marketing?  Are you confused about which content works, which channels produce, and how to convince prospects to work with you?  An in-depth review of the crucial things you’re not doing and how to do them strategically is just part of the solution you need for 2016.

I’m an 18 year veteran of digital marketing and during that time, it has become very complex. Customers are cautious, suspicious, and bewildered because they’re not sure of what they want. They’re also not sure of you. They saw you once and you didn’t create that emotional justification to contact you.  I know how frustrating that is.

From Linkedin to Facebook to Google search and remarketing, you need many channels working in harmony. And a clear, quickly comprehensible value proposition backed solidly by persuasive content they’ll love is just one area your current approach may not possess.

This audit is a custom (not computerized) review providing insight into excellent digital marketing strategy so you can do better.  Get your business turned around or taken to the next level of profitability.

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Planning is the key to a winning strategy and your plan comes from your Digital Marketing Audit

As part of your audit, I’ll give you ideas on how to correct problems in your site navigation, content visibility and strategy, visitor engagement, content quality, value proposition, messaging, social communication, conversion funnel, website performance and more.  I don’t waste my time or yours on any channel that will never really produce results.

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What does your Audit Cover?

  • the effectiveness of your website/social content and overall content strategy
  • your site’s search engine optimization and Google visibility
  • technical site problems and web design issues
  • your use of mls listings and special content
  • your unique value proposition
  • your use of FB, Linkedin and Twitter
  • your blog content, it’s relevance and engagement
  • your graphics, visuals and sharable content
  • your website traffic and conversion funnel
  • customer engagement
  • your advertising effectiveness
  • your PPC ads and conversion rates

Any solid marketing strategy begins with a solid look at your market and how you’re using your online assets to reach, engage, and convert to sales.

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Don’t hold your breath for your old strategy to start working. I can help you plan a better one.

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Yes, You Can Become a Millionaire Real Estate Agent

If Someone Else Did it, You Can Do it – Become a Millionaire in Real Estate

oldlife
Like Tony Robbins says, “you will make a decision right now whether to improve or stay stuck.”

If you’re a 21 to 36 year old realtor, you’re very smart. Most agents are approaching retirement and they’re going to leave the whole housing market to you. That’s brilliant positioning. But how’s your business development going? Are you ready to take charge and become a millionaire real estate agent?

Is there an easy way?

Everyone reaches a point in their career when they need to let go of their “shtick” and adopt a new approach — changes that will position you to go to the top. And yes, even 25 year olds have a Shtick.




Remove the Small Mindedness

Open your mind because here’s how you’re going improve your career outcome.  If you view yourself as an entrepreneur, investor, thought leader, and mover and shaker, you’ll get things moving. The real value is what spins off this train you’ll get rolling.  Your original idea may not work, but once in motion, the very best opportunities appear.

  • vastly improve your leads by leveraging digital media
  • improve your lead quality by attracting the best qualified prospects
  • explode your reach to tens of thousands of people
  • be present everywhere so you’re easy to find
  • increase variety of investors and buyers
  • open your presence in home services, mortgage, travel and other industries to access new types of business that you can refer to others
  • better capacity to capture and close any deal that comes along
  • exposure to multi-millionaire investors
  • more visibility as a credible expert
  • more time to focus on critical areas of your business
  • hiring agents to start your own office
  • help your new agents expand their networks
  • leverage their networks for results at scale

Sometimes We Have to Reinvent Ourselves

Merrily Hackett, a Vancouver real estate agent, was in danger of bankruptcy and seemingly going nowhere. But necessity made her more creative. She improved what she was weak in. Her company is now the biggest real estate agency in Canada with 25 offices and earning billions in sales.

Sales brought that (competitive spirit) out in me. I strive for excellence. I’m driven. When people say that I can’t do it, that tends to motivate me even more. — Merrily Hackett, Sutton Realty.

topbrokersinCanada
Merrily Hackett, Managing Partner and General Manager of Sutton Group – West Coast Realty, created Canada’s top real estate agency in Burnaby BC . From humble beginnings to $8.6 Billion in annual sales.

Millionaire agents build their success through prospecting, constant prospecting. They sleep, but they never stop. Their marketing machine works round the clock. This marketing persistence is only one of the keys. You’re about to go to more parties, if you leverage digital to get invited in on all the sweet deals.

Feed Your Drive

If you become content with a sale every few months, you lose that driven spirit to build your presence and huge volumes of leads for yourself. Competition is intense now.

With thousands of realtors now, you may fail, if you don’t outcompete them with a smarter digital marketing strategy. Real estate marketing is reasonably challenging, but top realtors such as Merrily Hackett master it by leveraging technology, experts, and other real estate agents.

Now, it’s all about 2016. It takes time to gear up. Time for you examine the top realtors and study what they do.

 

Some of what today’s top digital realtors do:

  • try something new even if they don’t know how to do it
  • build a lot of high quality, useful content
  • create new content that is optimized for Google rankings
  • have an attractive website with full MLS listings
  • have an effective, friendly brand image
  • promote and advertise extensively – including in person events
  • be customer focused – showing you are truly working for them
  • be likable – project an image of helpfulness and positive spirit
  • be authentic and honest – build transparency
  • be trustworthy – show you believe what they believe
  • use determination – a calm, confident, no quit attitude
  • create a positive, engaged presence on Facebook and Twitter
  • use an omnichannel strategy that focuses all effort and resources
  • communicate a clear, significant, personalized, unique value proposition
  • use a drip email campaign that adds value
  • follow up on leads in a helpful, information seeking and engaging style

With these in mind, here’s a winning Realtor’s plan of Action:

  1. Target Persona: Build the best view of your target persona — you must know your target audience well. If you’re a North or West Vancouver, West Bay, Sandy Cove, Kerrisdale, or Shaunessy area realtor for instance, your ripest target is upscale, perhaps Asian, an investor, between 30 and 50. Your time should be spent studying your prospect’s lifestyle, beliefs, values, attitudes, personal expectations and what they don’t know.
  2. The Real Goal: How will you attach yourself to their dreams? How will you establish yourself as an important, helpful person in their lives? How will you get them to let go of their “preferences” and hire you?
  3. Relevant, Personalized and Persuasive Content: Before you can go big with advertising, you need highly relevant content – your content confirms to them that you believe what they believe. It also shows your expertise and commitment to hard work. Keep in mind that to them, you are your content.
  4. MLS Property Listings – your MLS listings fed through your MLS associations listing feed is published into pages that your SEO guy can optimize. One top realtor has 8 million pages indexed in Google from his site. That creates a lot of visitors and they like looking at homes.
  5. Big Promotion. Don’t spend your money until you have your content in place and you’re ready to engage them strategically via social media. And when everything’s ready, don’t get cheap with your ad budget – do Facebook, AdWords advertising, and local print news flyer sheets too. Top realtors have ad budgets well above $100k per year. Advertising works.

Powerful CRM and Lead Management Software

If you can’t afford a real estate webmasters account, there are other CRM tools you can use to help you engage your contacts and build your database of customer prospects. And, of course, you’ll have more time to personally engage with your prospects and customers, rather than struggling with digital marketing tasks.

Real Estate SEO Company | LA Real Estate SEO | San Diego SEO | Boston SEO | Real Estate Leads |  Housing Expert Forecast | Vancouver SEO | Real Estate Blogging | Social Media for Realtors | Real Estate SEO Specialist | Prospecting Strategy | San Francisco SEO | Predictive Analytics & Realtors | MLS | SEO Expert in Real Estate | Lead Generation Companies | Aurora Newmarket Real Estate | US Weather Forecast 

Real Estate Market Forecast Housing Outlook Vancouver 2016

There’s Cause for Optimism in Vancouver and the Rest of BC

bcforestgraphThe irony of it all. BC is now Canada’s economic darling and yet some are complaining (justifiably, those who can’t pay the high rents). The question is whether politicians will try do something negative to spoil this growth.

The BC economy is expected to expand nicely at 2.9% to 3.1% next year. BC exports are growing as new liberal international trade deals are increased and as our loonie keeps falling to .75US.

CMHC believes there will be 30,000 more households in BC next year, and that will support sales of rising new homes being built. Mortgage and borrowing rates will stay low, energy prices will stay low so it’s a superb business situation for BC companies who need the investment money.

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Exports to China strong. Growing trade will make Vancouver the key city in Canada in the next 5 years.

BC’s latest jobs report is pretty good too. BC is leading the country with 12,400 jobs added, while the rest of Canada lost jobs. And 2016 has a nice look to it — supporting a healthy real estate sector.

The big controversy is the influx of Chinese investment money into the BC commercial and residential real estate sector. If the Asian markets continue sliding, more rich Chinese will be seeking to park their money in Vancouver and Toronto property. This is a short term financial anomaly that won’t continue so why bother trying to kill it?

September report from RBC paints a rosy picture of BC's growing economic power
September report from RBC paints a rosy picture of BC’s growing economic power

A Better way to Manage the Influx of Billions

Chinese investing in Vancouver
Chinese buyers surfing the Net to find Canadian Properties

There are those who want to end the infusion of investment from Chinese property buyers.

Rather than making these investors use devious ways to buy property here, we could make it easier for them to buy in the Okanagan, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Toronto tax-free, since this investment money could go elsewhere instead. We could lose it all.

If Asian buyers can’t buy here, they will choose the US to park their cash. San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami and New York are very attractive too. But Vancouver’s better.

A report in the Globe and Mail states:

Dan Scarrow, vice-president of corporate strategy at Macdonald Realty Ltd., estimates that 16 per cent of his firm’s 1,500 sales of detached houses, condos and townhouses within the city of Vancouver last year went to buyers from China. Of his firm’s 544 sales of detached homes in Vancouver proper last year, 150 of the purchasers were from China, or 27.5 per cent.

Another Globe and mail report suggests Chinese sales are aided by a tax loophole that allows them to avoid tax by listing the purchase in the name of a relative.  33% of all these purchases are bought under these circumstances. If this loophole is closed, it could send a shockwave through the real estate market.

Big Sales but fewer Homeowners are Selling

The G&M report also revealed that number of listings in Vancouver has dropped 27% from last year.

In Vancouver, housing starts are expected to grow from 9500 in 2015 to 9600 next year. Resale home sales will rise from $820,000 in 2015 to $835,000 in 2016. According the BC real estate association, the average price of a single detached home will rise from $885,000 currently to $920,000 next year. That’s up more than $100k from 2014.

The GVREB HPI index price for a detached property rose to nearly $1.41 million in Sept 201, up 11.5% from last September.

If the Liberals win the October 19th election, which is very likely, we could see a boost in the economy with them increasing spending.  The latest jobs report is a rise of 73k part time jobs and a drop of 62k in full time jobs.

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Free Lead Generation for Real Estate Brokers

What’s Wrong with My Real Estate Site?

Why doesn’t my site produce traffic or leads?

3 Reasons:

  1. it doesn’t have reach via Google, Ads, Facebook, or Linkedin
  2. it doesn’t create value or appears you offer no satisfaction
  3. it doesn’t engage and generate emotion
  4. it doesn’t persuade or convince

Let’s Take the First Issue: Google

A good chunk of a realtors traffic and leads should be coming from Google. If your pages aren’t accessible to Google or strategically optimized, visibility in Google’s search listings will be low. Creating Google traffic is the most critical problem to solve.

Here’s a common example:

Re/Max Tropical Sands is the typical broker site. The coding in it makes it inaccessible to Google’s Googlebot, thus this site has no mls listings in Google’s indexed pages. Only 27 information pages are indexed. There are a number of technical reasons for an SEO unfriendly site. Javascript is usually the culprit, however these types of websites often have other issues too, that extend from their programming architecture.

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The bottom line is that this type of site will never produce for them. They need a whole new IDX site provider. There are plenty of them such as Real Estate Webmasters, who have excellent realtor websites. You would never rely on REW for your digital marketing, but their websites are very search engine friendly. They provide the basics and it’s up to you to be competitive.

A good portion of real estate agents have what Amy Strand of Century21 has. It’s an agent subdirectory on the broker’s site.  But on these sites, Google won’t index mls listings on it, and the agent’s section is cookie-cut pages that make all the agents look the same. It doesn’t appeal to visitors nor Google.

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Calgary Home Boys uses an REW website. These search results shown in the graphic below reveal the site has 8200 pages indexed in Google. The listings are segmented by neighbourhood, condo name, and price. This is good for visitors and Google rankings. There’s plenty of creativity possible in a REW site for SEO. A site like this, with good content writing and link outreach, can dominate a city market.

A closer look at the listings though show the title tags and meta descriptions aren’t optimized. The listing really doesn’t tell the homebuyer viewing it, much about the home. And there’s no info or attention building other than the street address. It also doesn’t contain much that would help Google understand what the page is about.

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If you click through to one of the listings, you’ll see there is some text and property data. In order for this page to rank well and draw visitors, it needs search engine optimization. It’s not enough to get pages indexed. That’s just the start. And all the pages work as a team to boost each other’s rankings. What’s amazing about premium REW sites is that they enable optimization if you have someone like me to do it for you.

There are other excellent IDX site providers available who cover your MLS district. Just takes a little research and you can set up a site as good as calgaryhomeboys.com.

Remember that you’re competing with other agents, brokers and entrepreneurs who want all that Google traffic.  You’ll see REW.ca in the listings a lot. They’re new to the scene but are grabbing up a good chunk of traffic.  Alexa’s data shows keywords they’re ranking for and how long visitors are staying on their site.

rew

Here are the basics of a SEO friendly realtor website:

  • all pages are easily accessible to Googlebot (not just through a sitemap; sitemaps are a very poor way to get your pages indexed)
  • all title tags and meta description tags are editable
  • all pages are interlinkable
  • all pages have editable text sections above and below the property data
  • site has a blog which links to specific property listings and to your Twitter and Pinterest pages.
  • pictures use correct text in alt tags
  • copy in pages uses keywords, synonyms, related words and stemmed variations
  • use links in your text since this is what Google pays attention to
  • create high value content since Google is watching how people use your site
  • don’t use your brokers content; you need unique content throughout your site

Read more SEO tips and the context regarding search engine optimization. SEO is an art. Please ignore the thousands of brand new SEO peddlers trying to sell you a story about SEO friendly and technical SEO. As the algo increases in complexity, so does the optimization techniques.

When you create your main pages, you should choose a special page, well SEO’d, as your main goto keyword optimized page (e.g., homes for sale San Diego, or Vancouver Condos for sale). This is because homepages aren’t particularly good for being the center of your SEO efforts.

SEO has changed and key pages aren’t as important anymore. Google began considering them as “honey pots” and they discounted them. Now the focus is on individual pages, which makes it more challenging for SEOs to make internal SEO work. On a trusted website, it still does work.  Believe me, over 18 years you see techniques come and go. It’s a matter of constantly adapting to Google’s algorithm.

Integrate your Social Presence

Ensure you have your social feeds place directly into your listing pages and your regular web pages whatever topic they’re about. It’s more important for visitors to meet your personally, rather than them view a listing and just disappear.

View your digital marketing assets as a team. Your FB, Twitter and even Linkedin pages are vitally important to capturing prospect’s attention, interest and respect.

Choosing digital marketing is a big decision and investment. Yet without it, you’re not present in the dominant medium of real estate marketing. A strong presence on Google is just one more way to add value to your personal prospecting efforts, and to keep you top of mind with home sellers and buyers.

Good luck with your marketing campaign in 2016. If you have any questions, get in touch with me at gord@gordcollins.com or call me at 416 998 6246. I’m looking forward to speaking with you.

Related Posts: Real Estate SEO Company | LA Real Estate SEO | San Diego SEO | Boston SEO | Real Estate Leads |  Housing Forecast | Vancouver SEO | Real Estate Blogging | Social Media for Realtors | Real Estate SEO Specialist | Prospecting Strategy | San Francisco SEO | Predictive Analytics & Realtors | MLS | SEO Expert in Real Estate | Lead Generation Companies

Drones are Disrupting Real Estate Marketing

Real Estate is Going to the Birds

You’ve likely seen an unmanned drone helicopter somewhere in your city. I had one hovering above me, following me as I rode my mountain bike one day. These small helicopters are giving realtors a new more exciting way to showcase properties.

Realtors might not recognize that drones represent hypergrowth or a disruptive evolution in real estate marketing.  Using video to provide more captivating perspectives. Realtors could buy a 4K TV and invite visitors to their homes to show properties in splendid detail. A great excuse to create an event with you as the host.

Right at the time realtors are courting European, Chinese, and Middle East buyers, they have a presentation format that gives these distant buyers the meaningful perspective they need. Photos just don’t have the same impact.

dronetorontoBird’s Eye Views

Today’s drones are very stable in flight, and controllable. An onboard HD camera  allows the operator to fly the drone far from where they’re standing and take video and still shots from angles that are impossible to get any other way.

This might be a point where you need to reflect on your career and how you’re doing marketing.  If you haven’t yet adopted a high powered IDX, responsive website, with great content and social media engagement with video, then you’re not staying competitive.

Drones and video technology will disrupt traditional real estate marketing ushering in a new era of high definition home shopping.

Sky High Media serves the Toronto region with aerial photography. Explore their site to learn more about how it can help you sell more properties.
Aerial photography for a residential property can start as low as $249 per property.  This typically includes 5-15 high resolution aerial photos.  The number of photos depends on how many unique angles the property presents.  A 1-2 minute HD aerial video tour with music and 5-15 aerial photos can start as low as $399.

What are Drones?

They’re small electric powered helicopters weighing only a few pounds. They use 4 to 8 rotors that give them powerful speed and maneuverability.  The stability of their flight is surprising to anyone seeing them for the first time.

droneaerialFor surveyors, farmers, property owners, civic engineers, and others,  the drones give them valuable perspectives and information they need to monitor conditions and make decisions.  For realtors, the drone technology lets them capture stunning aerial fly-over videos of the properties they have for sale.

Perspective is Everything

Real estate buyers and developers can view the property, condo building, house, or neighborhood in amazing high definition on a big screen TV or their computer or smartphone. A realtor can deliver a bird’s-eye view of hillsides, swimming pools, landscapes, streets, and the whole neighborhood.    It’s easier for a realtor to find ways to ehance their presentation and increase interest in and leads for their properties.

The Advantages for  Realtors

  • allows a realtor to give homebuyers a better shopping experience
  • increases salability of home for home sellers
  • gives home and condo buyers a different visual perspective of their property
  • views destroy buyers preconceptions and that reduces sales objections
  • high def views of property and neighbourhood on their HD tv at home
  • no helicopter/photographer cost required
  • reaches buyers in China, Middle East, and across the US and Canada who can’t travel to the location and whom would never trust some photographs to make a decision to visit

If you’re a San Diego realtor, check out Real Estate Drones of San Diego and in Vancouver, visit Lift Marketing for some great info.

If you’re looking to seriously upgrade your digital marketing and need a pro with experience in real estate, including San Diego, Vancouver, and Toronto real estate, please contact Gord at gordcoll5@rogers.com. Looking forward to speaking with you.

Housing Predictions: Housing Prediction | Los Angeles Housing Prediction 2017 | Toronto Housing Prediction | San Diego Housing Market | Real Estate Agents | Real Estate Prediction | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Housing Predictions | Affordable Leads | Digital Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding | Real Estate Bidding Wars | Realtor Growth Hacks | Home Search | Buying Income Properties | Lead Generation Companies

What is Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Digital Marketing’s “Big Three”

The pillars of digital marketing are: SEO Strategy, Content Development/Strategy, and Social Media Strategy.  They’re interdependent and very powerful when they work together. This post is about how to develop a social media strategy — easy to digest, giving you the overview you need before you go about Tweeting, posting and liking.

Without a good strategy, it’s almost certain you’re wasting your time. No need for that. I’ve got a series of blog posts to help you build your value proposition, understand your prospects, create great content, use persuasive copywriting,  build your brand, and optimize your sales conversion funnel. Let’s begin with social media!

This graphic shows realtors are using social media, but are they using them together with content and SEO as a strategic force?

This graphic courtesy of Adrian Bishop of  Overseas Property Professional
This graphic courtesy of Adrian Bishop of Overseas Property Professional. Read his excellent account of how realtors are using social media today.

Social Media is the fastest growing marketing channel because it’s free (unless you’re using advertising), allows you to be very creative, is fun, and has tremendous reach into customer’s lives.social-media-bandwagon

Without a strategy, you’re very likely to get confused and frustrated with social media. This complicated medium needs a strategic path.  It’s simple really if you’re  a good marketer who can research, write, develop pictures and stories, network widely, and keep the conversation going.  If not, hire someone who is into it, create a strategy, and get this going.

Social media success doesn’t mean you have to go viral. A success is when you create prospects and engage with them, helping them understand your unique value proposition.

A good example is the realtor targeting the young millennial buyer who rents right now, then establishing themselves as “the realtor for millennials” is the right strategy. The content and dialogue should be focused on the millennial’s beliefs, pursuits and values, and their current situation — student debt, need for low down payment, renting, mobile, with parents who may have money to invest. Of course, you already know this.

Before we embark on this journey into social marketing strategy, let’s get our definition set first:

social media marketing strategy is a plan of action to focus and magnify the reach and persuasiveness of all the diverse content and conversations a company generates for social media, and to create the greatest impact for sales revenue.”

There has to be a bottom line goal. When marketers talk about brand impressions, they’re basically admitting that they can’t create a customer via social media. As Google chokes out its customer base via its algorithm, only social media will be available for SMB marketing campaigns. Social media is already producing customers, so we might as well jump on the bandwagon and start making real money with it.

Photo courtesy of Buffini & Company — Real Estate Coaching for Agents and Brokers – Carlsbad, CA

A Strategy isn’t so Difficult — Just one thing to the Next

SimplicityldTo use social media effectively, you’ll need a simple strategy to help you select the best channels and use them to gain real results. You don’t do social, you must be social. That’s the key mindset as you head into social channel use. The process isn’t all that difficult, however you may want to hire a social media expert who you can bounce ideas off of. It is a partnership.

Research shows that most businesses use an ad hoc social media strategy (shotgun or hit and miss approach) while a small portion use a defined strategy (rifle or narrow path approach). Either way, it should be driven by strategy not tactics.

Some businesses get too narrowly defined to the point where their content and conversation is stiff and unattractive. It’s better to be human, personable, generous, expressive, and engaging since social media is really not for business — it was meant for everything that isn’t business.

Create something Compelling about You through your Content and Conversation

If you’re a realtor, mortgage agent, landscaper, insurance company, mortgage broker, construction services provider, dentist, plumber, medical services provider or other professional services provider, you can post material about almost anything that your prospects and customers find interesting (opinions, reviews, statistics, photos, video, infographics, news commentary, personal stories, sports and cultural events, neighbourhood events, etc). If it’s relevant and gets your messages across, you connect in a deeper more relevant way with your prospects.

78% of consumers say that the posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases — Forbes

And by messages, I mean your significant, compelling, unique value proposition. If you don’t know what that is, you can hire someone like myself to research and develop it. I can help you create a picture of more value and a brand that exudes trust, generosity and sharing; Excellent traits that customers like.

5 Step Strategy for Social Media Marketing

  1. Set your goals and objectives: how many followers do you want for each channel, and ideally what action do you want visitors to take? (e.g., sharing an infographic or video, visits to your website, comments, and actual leads). Do you only want to make branding impressions or get them to download something or get them to ask a question? Which metrics will you use to evaluate performance of your social strategy?
  2. Choose the most relevant channels: B2B marketers will likely choose Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. B2C may choose these plus Pinterest and Instagram.
  3. Who is your customer target? You’ll need to create a customer persona — a description of your ideal prospect, what they believe, what they do, and about their online habits. Are they older and sophisticated buyers who are all business, or young millennials who have broader interests?
  4. What content will you need to curate or develop that your prospects will feel passionate about? Your products may be boring and your value proposition might not be the most exciting. This is where imagination comes in handy.
  5. How will you interact with them? What will be the tone of your interaction? Will it be friendly, humorous, very helpful, participative, or a more detached, corporate voice?

A thorough strategy would drill down into the details of value proposition, content, interaction, and execution.

Good luck with your social strategy. When you’re ready to launch your presence with digital marketing, then it’s time to give me a call at 416-605-7026.

Here’s some further helpful info on social media for real estate agents:

http://blog.wishpond.com/post/58926524787/social-media-for-real-estate-agents-21-tips

http://www.inman.com/2015/02/12/canva-evangelist-guy-kawasaki-on-how-real-estate-agents-can-dominate-social-media/

http://maximizesocialbusiness.com/how-realtors-are-using-social-media-8788/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/06/25/100-killer-ideas-for-your-social-media-content/

How to Be the King or Queen of Real Estate Agents

Maximum Exposure, Maximum Engagement

Home prices in Vancouver continue their upward spiral. An interesting insight from an REW survey discussed in the Vancouver Courier suggests that wealth transfer from baby boomers to their Gen X and Gen Y kids is partly responsible for the demand and prices in the Vancouver real restate market.

costacouple
“kids, we’re having a great time in Costa Rica. Thank you for coming up with such a wonderful idea.”

Add that to the scarcity of supply and increasing demand from desperate Chinese investors along with the low loonie, and you have an overheated market. Amidst all that, is high potential for real estate transactions. Are you getting your share of exposure and engagement with buyers and sellers?

As a realtor, wouldn’t it be nice for you to enjoy top exposure to all these new buyers? Who cares who has the money or how they got it? The fact is, there are plenty of buyers. Sellers however are a different story. I’ve got a solution that matches up perfectly with retiring baby boomers – a key market.

Sellers Don’t Sell unless they have a Better Life to Move Onto

Why would anyone leave their beloved home and neighbourhood without something better to go to? If they sell their house in Vancouver, they could move out to Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, or to the Okanagan, but maybe that’s not a dream life for them. You only live once. Are they just bored people waiting for a really great idea?

You Can’t Create a Customer, if you can’t Create a Dream.

Tax Free Costa Rica real estate 1I think the answer is even more extreme, and it’s a pleasant one for anyone retired or near retirement. The solution is to sell them on moving to Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Costa Rica, or Belize. It is possible for them to sell their million dollar home and then live in these locations like royalty.

The point is, to get people to leave their lives in Vancouver, you have to paint an exciting new life for them elsewhere (even if it’s Kelowna or Port Hardy). If they believe it, you’ve got yourself a new client. And perhaps their kids will need some new homes and mortgages too!

That’s why I’ve combined travel and real estate as a compelling duo. The two professions can work magic together. I intend to add in investing to complete a very compelling value proposition. You can do the same thing.

Real Estate + Travel + Health + Lifestyle + Happy Family = Success

A Healthier, Happier Lifestyle – Good for the Whole Family

costa ricaA new life elsewhere would be a life tonic for many people in Vancouver. These other locations offer warm weather, blue skies, and plenty of outdoor activities. And you know as well that restaurants and health care are a strong suit for these places. Costa Rica for instance has a phenomenal health care system that is affordable. That’s fueling the burgeoning medical tourism industries in these countries. It’s driven by the expensive US healthcare system, however our medical services are becoming more expensive everyday.

couplesellinghouseThere’s lots of potential in this marketing strategy. Perhaps you can align with a travel agency and an investment advisor to deliver a more persuasive communications strategy. You could also work with me to build a powerful content strategy that gives you presence in Google rankings, and on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin.

Content strategy is the hottest thing going in digital marketing. Because online, content is what people see and consume. Design your content to greet these sellers, get them engaged in your marketing material,and to convince them, and you actually can begin to create home sellers.

So if you’re waiting around for a call from a seller, you might be wasting your time. The best approach is a proactive one guided by strategy. Read a few other posts on my blog and you’ll gain some innovative ideas that break the tired old paradigms that still guide many real estate agents.

Think about how you will create a fascinating, persuasive, and compelling unique value proposition, and reach millions of homeowners/investors via social media and Google search. You’re as persuasive as you want to be.

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What Plagues Unsuccessful Realtors?

Practice a Successful Realtor System

To serve my realtor clients as best I can, I needed to know what successful agents do and what unsuccessful agents don’t do. What I’ve learned about agents, I can apply to my own real estate marketing service.  You can never be too good.

frustrated realtorAs the realtor in the video below talks about, you need leads. Other realtors say it’s a numbers game. Make more connections and you reach more people. But who are the best 20% of prospects who will create your commissions and how do you capture them as clients?

Connect via Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter and offer up great content that makes them feel good. Everyone selling a house will go online and visit realty websites. It’s so quick and easy, why wouldn’t they go online?

Word of Mouth + Social = Powerful Brand

Your neighborhood word of mouth network might die out too often, meaning your time consuming, physical ground work is wasted.  With a great Google and social media and advertising presence you can keep those fledgling leads alive. Power up your brand in their minds, and use all channels strategically — show up on their smartphones too.

Take a look. Here’s why many realtors don’t become successful:

  • don’t build enough leads
  • don’t have a system of identifying the top 20% of great prospects
  • lack the funds and marketing campaign to take it to a profitable level
  • expects broker brand/website will build enough leads
  • don’t prospect enough therefore don’t get wind of people who might sell
  • it’s a numbers game and they don’t get enough leads
  • procrastination — never taking chances and leaps of faith
  • don’t follow up
  • don’t take care of their clients – poor relationship and customer service skills
  • don’t treat the customer like a good friend
  • poor communication skills — don’t get their value proposition across
  • don’t maintain a friendly, courteous relationship with all contacts
  • lose confidence after some frustration such as losing a sure sale – better to be overconfident, optimistic and resilient
  • believe the job is too tough when they really haven’t made the decision to be great at it
  • react slow to seeing opportunities and acting on them
  • don’t use their imagination to generate a wider approach to collecting leads and making contact

Contact me today gordcoll5@rogers.com for a review of your online presence and about a new content strategy.  Now’s the time to ramp up and accelerate your digital marketing and lead creation.

PS, remember that digital marketing including Adwords is a bargain (this graphic shows how you can create a lead for less than $2!)

vancouveradwords

How are Homebuyers Searching Online for a Home?

Important Search Trends in Real Estate

So nice to see the real estate markets recover after the longest stretch of poor performance ever. It’s wonderful to see sales volumes rising and the growth of buyers and sellers increasing. So it’s time to shed the negativity and start getting into what it takes to be successful online.

BrinPageZuckerThe growth of the economy is spawning new interest in home shopping via Google search. Buyers and future buyers are also searching on big real estate portals too.  In each case, a search algorithm determines whose website, social page, or  listings are seen. How you write your web and social content will determine how much search traffic you’ll receive.

In this post, we take an initial look at the importance of keywords. Organic search is still the number 1 source of digital leads for realtors. In my digital marketing audits, I include a keyword report to help guide topical development and SEO strategy. You should take time to consider SEO issues and how you can get your site going.

A few years back, my keyword optimization gave my real estate client about 600 visitors per day. Today, it’s a tougher challenge with Google’s tough algo updates and increased competition.  The goal is still perhaps the most important — conquer Google’s rankings. How? By researching and creating fresh, valuable and relevant content.

The Frenzied Search for their Dream Home

Web search has changed considerably in the last 7 years yet searchers are still loyal to Google and conduct billions of searches every year.

Local search has changed yet still requires keyword optimizationWhen consumers shop for a home, they’re amidst big life changes and buying other products and services. Those expenditures drove the economy in the past. That context means there are multiple ways to intercept them to deliver your message.

Searches on smartphones are growing considerably. Searches for real estate are a just a smidgen of what they were a decade ago, but it indicates the market ahead could be 3X what it is right now.  And young millennial buyers still have yet to enter the home buying market. They’ll require a slightly different approach in content and style.

All this has to be considered as you develop your market positioning strategy for the next 5 years.

And on the topic of search, Google’s homes report reminds us that prospective homebuyers begin their search 6 to 12 months in advance of purchasing. A long buy cycle which gives you a good amount of time to intercept them in mid-search. And they’re searching via smartphone. Is your content positioned to put you in the drivers seat?

House hunters used their mobile device most to search for listings and find directions while out looking for a home (Google Consumer Survey, April 2014).

What do the Keywords Tell Us?

These volume estimates below show generic searches for real estate are declining, yet more specific searches such as “homes for sale” have doubled in the last 10 years. It appears you’ll want to focus your keyword strategy around these more unique keyword phrases.

Although California typically dominates real estate, you can see interest rising in the southeastern states.

Houses for rent is the fastest growing phrase and probably one that realtors might want to target. Engaging with these future buyers is smart positioning.

Suffice to say, homebuyers are searching on Google (and Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia and a number of real estate portals) and the growth of searches will rise. An investment in search engine optimization and content development will pay off in time, and typically it is fruitful within a few months. Combine your Google rankings with excellent content strategy and engaging social interaction and you’re building the most solid marketing machine possible.

Real Estate SEO Company | LA Real Estate SEO | San Diego SEO | Boston SEO | Real Estate Leads |  Housing Expert Forecast | Vancouver SEO | Real Estate Blogging | Social Media for Realtors | Real Estate SEO Specialist | Prospecting Strategy | San Francisco SEO | Predictive Analytics & Realtors | MLS | SEO Expert in Real Estate

How Realtors Can Lead in Social Media

Realtor’s Personalities and Ability to Engage Make them Perfect for Social Media Mastery

I was just doing a search on Google for San Diego real estate.  I clicked one agent’s link, but didn’t find much of interest. I clicked their Twitter link to see what they’re doing right now. Nothing. Dullsville. They didn’t much do much to create a connection with their visitors.

relationshipIt’s well known that visitors will leave quickly. All the techy SEOs and web devs talk about page loading time when the real issue is how quickly you make an emotional connection with your visitor.

Home sellers and buyers want to experience something exciting, inspiring, informative, fun and interesting. I go to Twitter because Twitter is current, right now in the moment. It tells me where that  realtor is at right now.

For most realtors, it isn’t a lack of leads, it’s often a lack of a connectivity in social channels and on their website that create an emotional connection. Getting to make them like you is vital, otherwise they’re off to visit other realtor sites.  They’ll visit many unless a smart realtor finds a way to engage them immediately on their site.

And engagement comes from excellent content.

Social Networking will only Grow — Get on it now and do it Right

I have a couple of friends in LA and Vancouver whom I tweet with. They’re both fun and very sociable. They understand the social aspect of Twitter. Both have an engaging manner.

Twitter is fun and hard work, so the active Twitter Realtor is showing you how hard they will work for you and what kind of relationship building they do. It’s the same for Linkedin.

It has nothing to do with things or events — what we normally refer to as  content. They’re all about the social interaction — the engaging conversation they have and enjoy. And I know of a successful mortgage agent in Oakville who is the same way.

And while I’m a content strategist/SEO guy, they’ve reminded me that the real content is the conversation. The content and platform is just the medium of your conversation or relationship with your new visitor.

This is central to how you build out content on your website and social pages. It isn’t about “my stuff” but rather how do I make the other person feel good. How does your conversation build the relationship your prospect is looking for?

Twitter: Fast content that accelerates your prospect engagement

Your whole digital marketing presence’ goal is to create a customer and you do that today by creating excellent sharable and sociable content. Being social is very important now. Tweet, link up and like your way to success.

 

 

Engaging Content is Your Voice

You know that as a realtor, you’re a dreamweaver and content is all about creating a wonderful vision for home sellers and buyers.

There’s hundreds of thousands of realtors and mortgage agents who dabble in content. They write some blogs, they post on Facebook or Twitter, but what’s missing is depth, color and a strategy. All that content needs to attract and move prospects along to conversion as well.  Copywriting has to achieve a lot of objectives.

As they arrive on your Twitter page, Facebook page, or Website and IDX listing pages, your content should accelerate their motives and feelings about buying and selling. And that’s the challenge. What type of content should you create to captivate and inspire them?

What does your content need to do?

    1. entertain
    2. build trust
    3. create likability
    4. establish expertise
    5. establish personal fit
    6. inform and engage
    7. build emotional intensity
    8. get shared on social and the web
    9. create high rankings on Google
    10. convince the prospect

Map Your Content to the Customer Experience

When your content is mapped to the customer journey, and that includes your social content, you’re going to see your leads climb significantly. There will be great visuals such as videos and infographics, fun copywriting, and good conversation when they arrive. To engage them and move them along, there will be your mls IDX listings, blog posts on lifestyles and communities, and interesting stuff on your Facebook and Twitter pages. To convince them, there will be whitepapers, success stories, case studies, investment tips, and material that eases their post purchase anxiety.

It’s not enough to have the latest IDX real estate website with great navigation and pics from every angle. Where realtors can excel is to build the visitors emotions about buying and selling — about the excitement of change in their lives. Your digital marketing job is to accelerate that emotion and desire to experience a new life.

Your social media efforts really can go a long way to build a great personal brand that makes you the most relevant compelling agent to work with. Start thinking great content and how it gets spread through social networks.

So now you’re ready to Tweet, get Liked and create content that pulls new prospects in, inspires them, and helps them surmount any emotional barriers that keep them from buying and selling.

Real Estate SEO Company | LA Real Estate SEO | San Diego SEO | Boston SEO | Real Estate Leads |  Housing Expert Forecast | Vancouver SEO | Real Estate Blogging | Social Media for Realtors | Real Estate SEO Specialist | Prospecting Strategy | San Francisco SEO | Predictive Analytics & Realtors | MLS | SEO for Real Estate

Power Networking with Linkedin

Start Your Linkedin Strategy the Right Way

Meeting the right people is critical to success in any endeavour and in our era, connecting is done online via Linkedin.  Linkedin has a vast group of link minded professionals, who you may do business with at some point.

connectonlinkedin
Gord Collins – Traffic Builder — on Linkedin

The quality of connections via Linkedin is very good. They’re generally well educated, have careers in relevant fields, and have the money to spend. I’m connected with at least 7200 business people including thousands of realtors, many of whom would excel if they hired me. By connecting with me, they’re getting  a better chance to power up their real estate careers using a dedicated real estate marketer.

While you’re surfing around looking for great people to connect to, you should begin improving your value offer.  The purpose of connecting via Linkedin is to establish your value to them, and also to expand each other’s network and exchange ideas and services.

Create a Good Value Proposition First

If you want to know more about unique value propositions, you can do that. Consider your product/service, it’s benefits and features, and how your offering is different from your competitors. Not that you have obsess with the competition, just to know how you can deliver better value to customers or clients.

Relevance is the key to everything and content strategy is how you make yourself relevant online — where you match your UVP to their need.  And when you’re perfectly relevant to a new client or investor, your career could take off.

3 Part Launch Sequence

There are 2 keys to really doing well on Linkedin. The first is researching, via Google or Linkedin, and finding your ideal targeted prospect.  The second is making contact and presenting your significant, personalized, unique value proposition. Then you follow up with introductions to what you do and how they will enjoy investigating you.

Nothing aggressive at this point. You need to establish yourself as credible, relevant and likable. That means starting a conversation. Find out as much as you can about them, what your shared experiences are, and what their needs might be. That’s a good starting point.  Know where you want to take the new relationship.

gordlinkedinstats

Welcome to my Content

When you make contact, you’ll want to present a body of valuable, persuasive, and emotionally moving content (content strategy) and let them explore.  Your Linkedin profile may whet their appetite, yet your real success generator is what they see when they Google you, visit your blog, see your published works, and read your ideas. Style, passion, intelligence, determination, experience, sense of humour, and other great personality traits will tell them whether you’re right for them.

Most CEOs, marketing managers, and investors are busy.  You have 3 seconds to get the ball rolling or they may ignore you forever. That’s what makes new business development and sales so tough. You must have everything created and ready to go almost as though it’s a movie choreographed to entertain and inform them.  A strategic approach actually is the best approach.

For this to work, you must have your personal and business goals aligned and in focus.  This is important.  Your preferred contact will be annoyed by vagueness, conflicts, or empty promises.  If you achieve crystal clarity first, you’re bound to be more effective. I’m assuming you have your business idea or offer crystalized and your content strategy ready to convey that with laser-like consistency.

Who does Linkedin really well?  I think Jeff Hayden with his helpful posts and 570k followers does well, Dave Kerpin does okay, and Richard Branson with his feel good philanthropy (gets him 5.7 million followers) understand Linkedin.

Smart realtors will have a nicely written profile that sets out specifically the value they produce.  Pulse blog posts, comment on others posts, listed projects, and an active Twitter account tells you they are right into networking effectively.

Your Profile

Since most experts prefer to talk about your Linkedin profile, let’s get that out of the way.

1.  Get a good headshot photo — have it taken at a big event where you’re having fun or with an interesting background.

2.  Job Title: Your Ideal Work Title or the key service/value you provide.

3.  Profile Summary:  A 4 line paragraph that succinctly states the value you deliver to employers/clients

4.  Current Position: 4 line sentence summarizing the key things you have accomplished in that position with bullet points that make it easy for viewers to scan.  A Call to action — give them a url to click through to. Letting them read your old jobs that you left, isn’t good for you or them.

5.  Endorsement:  Get endorsements and recommendations from your past employers and clients.

After they read your profile, they’ll go back to your skills and the industries you worked in.

What’s Your Mission? You’ve got 5 seconds to Tell Me

It’s wise to have a mission statement, and a unique value proposition statement in your profile summary, but if not, you should still have it stuck in your mind as you write your profile.  Having it written out makes it more real and clear. So do that.

You don’t have tell everybody what your UVP and mission statement are. That’s personal, but really you should strive to have authentic relationships where the people in your life want to know you and appreciate you. Eliminate your self-imposed limitations and get on with creating useful connections.

Example Mission Statement:

My Mission Statement: To increase my opportunity, income, and personal freedom by creating a compelling, convincing digital content strategy for my continually growing set of quality clients.

Example UVP:

My Unique Value Proposition: I generate amazing digital content/SEO/Social media results that accelerate my client’s lead generation, conversions and revenue.

What is the Specific Value you are Going to Share!

After clarifying and establishing your business goals, branding or UVP, and finishing up your  business development strategy, you’re ready to begin networking.

Networking is connecting with a purpose such as creating and sharing value with others. 

Using Linkedin search functions, you should look for compatible people who can help you move your career or business forward. That would include partners, experts, thought-leaders, advisors, service suppliers, and venture capitalists.

Online networking is important.  Combine Linkedin with Twitter, for an amazing biz connection force that establishes you as relevant, knowledgeable, and valuable to other professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs. More people will want to talk to you.

While the expensive premium account lets you contact prospects directly, you still have to find them.  Linkedin has advanced search features that can help you drill down to a group of key people. Relax, it takes time. And then you need to determine how to approach them, how to make contact and what to say. The battle’s not over yet.

27 Tips for Using Linkedin

6 Ways to Grow your Linkedin Connections

60 Social Media Tools for Entrepreneurs

Publishing with Linkedin

You can publish on your Linkedin account now, which may generate substantial professional credibility and wide visibility. Put out A+ material such as blog posts, whitepapers, news updates, videos and news.  Include links to your blog and twitter page.

linkedbreitbarth
I didn’t find Breitbarth’s book very helpful. It might be oriented more toward job seekers and explanations of the linkedin tools. But not much in-depth strategy for power users.

Epic material: If your published posts take you less than 6 hours to write and edit, don’t publish them. They’re not ready. Let your posts simmer for a couple days, and go back and edit. You should spend at least 30% of your time re-editing. And your material is never finished. Continually revisit your posts and improve them.

You can join groups, however there’s a lot of time wasting “groupies” in there that taint the experience. And moderators who may keep you out.

Launching discussions: Rather than divulging your startup idea, write topics that subtly hint at the market demand.  Ask others about market trends locally.  Good material includes research, influencer opinions, and vital insights into your target industry. Once they take your bait, you can begin your engagement process.

In my own positioning online, I target those between 25 and 40. They’ll like my travel, sports and music interests. They’re optimistic, enthusiastic, and ambitious. They want a better life.  These are intelligent, dynamic, progressive and confident people who get the whole self-improvement, entrepreneurial, marketing thing. They’re looking for partners, or business opportunities with legs, or maybe to be involved in something really cool.

That doesn’t mean my real contacts won’t be those between 45 and 75 because they are the ones with the cash. Rich people like to make money, build successes and feel good about contributing.  Find out how they spend their time and that will tell you what they want out of life and business.

linkedinbookThere’s only so much you can do on Linkedin. It’s best to take them over to your personal blog where your unique branding and messaging can entertain them and keep them engaged long enough to build desire. At this point, build desire. You don’t want them to contact you too soon. Build the excitement and get their imagination lit up. Your goal is to get them psychologically invested in you and motivated for a long term relationship. First impressions are powerful, so make it good — make an impact.

Yes, they’re buying into your business idea, but your idea is YOU —  Jeb Blount says: People Buy You.

Send them to Your Custom Designed Blog

Keeping a blog is very important. Start yours up and then hire a professonal blog designer when you’ve got the cash to do it.  Your professional brand image has to be good.  It’s vital in presenting yourself as unique, fascinatingmemorable, separate from the crowd, and capable.  I can tell you it is hard work and time consuming, but if you believe in your mission then it’s worth the sacrifice. You’re getting some more for something less, so in a sense, you’re not sacrificing.

The real work of persuasion and interest-building is done on your blog.  As you get better at it, you’ll be saying less and demonstrating more.  Intimidating at first, but you’ll improve.

Who Should you Target?

Create a clear picture of the professionals you want to connect with.  Read the profiles of those that seem to fit. Understand why you think they’re relevant. Then you can design your linkedin profile to match what they find intersting and what they’re likely seeking.  Influential people have needs and they are constantly on the lookout for professionals to connect with.

After you’ve built an emotional/professional connection, then you can take them deeper into your unique value proposition. Don’t present it too early because they may not understand.

When You’re Ready for Serious Networking on Linkedin:

  • Have a profile of the people you want to meet personally and professionally
  • Have a specific purpose for connecting
  • Create value to share with others before connecting
  • Only share your “A” material
  • Don’t waste others time
  • Segment your connections into meaningful groups
  • Target your material for these different groups
  • Have a blog or relevant business website to send them to
  • Don’t ask to connect until you’ve discussed something relevant with them first
  • Ask for referals to others who might help you

The most important tip: Be Fascinating and Memorable — someone they can’t wait to meet.

This article on the Salesforce site is an excellent read on how to prospect:

How to Increase Productivity

Via Salesforce

linkedin-networking
Infographic by Hubspot

 

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Pinned by Empire Avenue

 

 

Key to Profits: Content Strategy

Is there one marketing practice that can generate astonishing results in web traffic, leads, brand awareness, new revenue and customer loyalty? Oh yes. It’s called Content Strategy.

Content strategy is the hottest topic in marketing because effectivness is something everyone is struggling with. Excellent content that hits the mark generates everything from high Google rankings to increased lead conversion to customer retention.

Improving your content strategy means going deep.  Most web marketing is shallow, without a cohesive plan.  Content strategy is front and center now for new business development, customer service, investor relations, ecommerce sales, and of course traffic building.

What is Content Strategy and How Should You Do It?

Digital marketing will grow more than 50% in the next 4 years. Rather than spending more on PPC or by missing the mark on random content development, you might invest in content strategy. By focusing your content choices and optimizing how CS is done, you avoid wasting time on content and channels that don’t work.

Engineering the Emotional Experience

Did the experience online that you had with various brands and companies affect whether you became their customer? Were you pleased with the experience you had with that company? I’ll bet you got your questions answered and you felt confidence and even joy from their branded messages. They made you feel emotion and convinced you to commit to the purchase.

contentstrategydefinitionsThat engineered experience begins out on the web and continues on the company’s website/blog. This is known as inbound content strategy. Their content strategist laid out a paved path that made your experience pleasant and fulfilling.

People buy with emotions and rationalize their purchase with information. This is what guides strategists when designing content experiences that produce emotion and convince visitors to become your customers.

Content Strategy is the guiding, high level vision that creates the high quality experience for customers which translates to a stronger brand and great sales revenue. Content strategy is the selection of material but is not content administration or even the production of content.

You Create the Promise of Satisfaction in your Content

It’s not that your customers are naïve.  They believe they can interpret your communications to determine whether you’re the right provider for them.  However, you need to shape the impression they get.

A content strategist begins with your unique value proposition and builds a bridge to your ideal customer. The strategy continues with fascination, engagement, and encouraging the completed sale. From beginning to end of your customer lifecycle.

The best definition of the content strategy is the guiding vision of how to use content to attract, engage and convince your target market. It’s one of the most exciting aspects of digital marketing and the one most likely to produce big profit.

orchestra
Woven within all of your copywriting, web design, video, photography, graphic imagery and social media interaction is your value proposition to your customer.  Content strategy is how all of that is orchestrated into one continuous stream of customer joy and fulfillment.

What Does a Content Strategist do for You?

A content strategist builds plans to attract your ideal customer and make them feel very good. Your CS will build content that builds solid preference for your company. In short, we create content that makes them happy to choose you and remain your loyal customer.

In general, a content strategist:

  1. establishes content goals
  2. establishes how the brand and UVP will be conveyed through content
  3. discovers content gaps, opportunities, and improvement needs
  4. determines content channels to use
  5. determines how to use social media within the overall content strategy
  6. establishes guidelines for new content development
  7. determines or assists with planning SEO goals/strategy
  8. determines or assists with social media goals/strategy
  9. performs audits of competitors positioning and content strategy
  10. collaborate with and coach content creators such as writers and videographers
  11. contribute original content if appropriate
  12. ensures content management system meets clients requirements
  13. uses analytics and conducts testing to improve content performance

How do you discover the ROI on content strategy? Companies are expressing concern about this and are hoping to improve measurement in 2015.

Your strategist might need to be a motivator, coach and personal trainer in getting his team to reach the right results.

If you don’t have a content strategist, it’s time to make room for one. Dollar for dollar this professional will create more value than anyone you’ve hired. If you’re not into getting rich, then I’m sure you’re into improving your business performance.

Does your business need a new content strategy? It may be wise to consult with me before you hire a designer, SEO, or paid search agency. Reach me at gordcoll5@rogers.com.

 

 

How you can Power up Your Lead/Sales Funnel

Tip to Help you Convert Visitors to Customers

Improving the sales funnel is most digital marketers top priority today. And for two good reasons:  1) their traffic is much lower than previous years, and 2) doubling their conversion rate could triple profits.

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Picture courtesy of Wjunction

Years ago I had client websites rolling in traffic from Google and other search engines, yet they couldn’t convert enough of them to actual paying customers (real estate, loans, hotels, apparel).  It was too much for me as an SEO guy at the time, to solve. The problem was not keyword targeting or traffic volume.

The problems were typically a weak value proposition and selling proposition, poor conversion process, limitations on the kind and quality of content, insufficient investment in content development, insufficient personal involvement in the content by the client, no social presence, and poor web design.

A Compelling Clear Unique Value Proposition they Love — A Powerful Brand

It’s well known now that by the time someone visits your website, they’ve pretty well made up their mind about a purchase. They’ve entered your sales funnel at a later phase, yet they still don’t call you or purchase. What are they looking for anyway?

The Leaky Sales Funnel:  Since the typical conversion rate is up to 2%, we know about 98 out of 100 of your visitors will be leaving. The science of lead funnels then is to sytematically discover target audience’s emotional drives and ensure they get what they really want.

What customers want is a complex matter, but those 98 visitors are your birds in hand.

Building Emotional Impulse

What your visitors want most is emotional justification to talk to you or become your customer and commit to an action.  People buy on emotion and justify with information.

As I mentioned in posts on growth acceleration, after you present that powerful UVP, you need a content strategy that builds emotion. And at key points while they’re on your site(s), you have ramp up that emotion fast. It’s in that frenzied moment of emotion that they pull the buying trigger.

It takes excellent content strategy to overcome buyers sales resistance.

If this is all too deep, think for a minute about the last time your tried to talk someone into something. You likely tried to appeal to their wants and desires, showed the benefits of doing what you wanted them to do, and offered them an incentive. Maybe you were persistent but that didn’t work. Then you offered something special and still no response.

It’s not until you really get to know your customer, empathize with them, and present your offer in terms of their deepest wants and desires that you’ll get anywhere. It’s personal and you need to get involved.

What’s Wrong with Your Lead Funnel?

Increasingly, web marketing companies are focusing on the content pathway, and timely messages as visitors are onsite. They’ve learned to pave the path to purchase. The visitor is guided and attempts are made to strike an emotion with them. So what’s wrong here?

  • your product/service doesn’t beat a competitor’s on a key point
  • your competitor has bad mouthed and spread lies
  • customer has been brainwashed against your type of product
  • your products/brand doesn’t offer the best value
  • your product/service doesn’t solve the customer’s pain
  • your site content and branding has confused them
  • your site’s content isn’t good enough
  • your content strategy doesn’t disrupt their sales resistance
  • your content strategy doesn’t create the right context for them to justify a purchase
  • landing pages are messy and pushy
  • your brand doesn’t look customer-focused
  • your keywords and copy appear to be misleading
  • your content hasn’t addressed their post-purchase anxieties
  • your site lacks credibility
  • your content paths aren’t specific enough
  • your calls to action aren’t good enough
  • your graphics and visuals are irrelevant
  • your visitor is currently bored/distracted
  • you don’t have an incentive to help give that extra push to make the sale

A worthy content strategy that accelerates them through the sales funnel is one that presents your unique value proposition clearly and convincingly, keeps them on a clear pathway, controls or alters their mental/emotional context and reduce their sales resistance.

A great, credible and persuasive unique value proposition is very powerful, but the missing ingredient is knowing the visitor’s emotional blocks. When you discover that, you’ll have a tsunami of success.

Real Estate SEO Company | LA Real Estate SEO | San Diego SEO | Boston SEO | Real Estate Leads |  Housing Expert Forecast | Vancouver SEO | Real Estate Blogging | Social Media for Realtors | Real Estate SEO Specialist | Prospecting Strategy | San Francisco SEO | Predictive Analytics & Realtors | MLS | SEO Expert in Real Estate

Key to High Rankings: Effective Outreach

Outreach and Link Building are Seriously Underrated

In life as in marketing, some things don’t get their due recognition and respect.  In the realm of digital marketing and SEO, outreach is the weak stepchild.  That’s because it’s not understood well and doing it well is a challenge.

Admittedly, link building and outreach require confidence and tolerance for frustration.  Don’t worry, if you begin studying the art, you’ll become good at it.

We’re all aware of how vital good rankings on Google are, and Google’s ranking algorithm is heavily weighted on the quality of inbound links to a website. Acquiring links from other websites is the singular most important aspect of high rankings and thus free traffic from Google. There’s nothing like receiving free prospects who are looking for your product or service. They may even be desperate to buy right now!

Pay Google. They Love the Cash!

Google Stock PriceGoogle’s purpose was to make search rankings difficult to obtain.  By increasing businesses frustration in getting free organic rankings and traffic, marketers like yourself are forced to buy more Adwords advertising to get customers. Google’s revenues and stock value have shot through the roof.

Despite their disappearing ad budgets, many marketing managers refuse to take link acquisition or outreach seriously. In fact, many have given up on it. The reason for that is not just a lack of respect. It’s because they have no confidence in their own business value proposition and their ability to create value for those who might link to their website.

Outreach is a process of emailing, social posting, and content placement done with the purpose of getting people to link to your web site. How persuasive  and effective it is depends on your strategy. It is a process of creating value, and personal networking and persuasion.

Link outreach is a demanding process requiring creativity, persuasion, and networking skill. Those who don’t know how to do it well can learn. And those without the time, resources and creativity will want to outsource to link building experts or outreach specialists. Because the end value is tremendous.

By doing it yourself, you avoid having to buy links and risk being penalized by Google.

Here’s my Top Ten Tips for supercharging your link building outreach efforts:

  1. Create unique, compelling content of value to share with bloggers, journalists, top influencers etc.  That might include data, infographics, photos, white papers, videos, or articles that generate good value. Your content has to be valuable to their customers or make them look good. Think of the targeted website owner as a friend whom you need to help.
  2. Have a plan to spread the word about your company and its unique value proposition.
  3. Use email to contact prospective targets and followup with additional emails (persistence)
  4. Use blogger outreach tools and services to make bloggers aware and convince them to talk about your company/article
  5. Find top influencers on social sites using followerwonk
  6. Use Twitter ads and Facebook ads to gain more exposure to target people
  7. Use Moz’s Opensite Explorer to discover who links to your competitor’s (or highest ranking) websites in your keyword category. Visit these sites and study the reasons why the site owner’s linked to your top competitor’s website.
  8. Develop your social media channels so you can reach potential targets directly
  9. Write content for various online news sites, magazines,
  10. Leave sincere, intelligent comments on other’s blogs and blog posts
whiteboard-friday-moz
Check out Moz’s Whiteboard Friday for Link Building tips

If you’re spending $10k per month on Google Adwords, it might make sense to hire and train someone in-house to do link building and outreach. That is, if you have someone creating quality sharable content. Otherwise you will have to find a link building expert.  There aren’t many of them, so be prepared to pay a great deal for the services of the best ones. This is definitely a good entrepreneurial business opportunity for those with the talent and resources.


Even if your value proposition is weak, you can still do a good job of creating sharable content and communicating value.

This process of respecting link building and outreach should encourage you to work on your UVP and your digital marketing strategy and shore up those weak spots.  Give link building and outreach their due respect and focus resources on the process. Even if you do it for 6 months, you’re going to learn a great deal about your product marketing and your target customer.

Link Builders Can’t Get No Respect

Check out the salary ranges for digital marketing pros and compare: Click to Enlarge.

SEO-Salary-Jobs-Guide|
This is an excellent example of how SEO companies/link builders get valuable links — an infographic. Find out more about pay and salaries for other digital marketing jobs.

 

How to Create a Riveting Awe-Inspiring UVP

Building Your UVP

In my last post, we found out why a unique value proposition is so important. You want to be the best you can be, and communicate your value expertly.

uvp-kid-simple

While your UVP also expresses your passion, remember that the bottom line is that it’s more about your customer (target market and what they want).  Visualize one ideal customer and what they need.

Before I confuse you, let’s keep it simple by using a formula to help guide you. After you understand the basic formula, you will move onto personalizing it and really zero in on what makes you better than your hundreds of competitors.  This is where you become an expert.

Simple UVP Formula: Result via Method for Whom

I or my business produces [relevant, desired, unique value you’ll deliver] by [how I create the specific desired value] for [your specific target market]

Let’s start with a personal career-oriented UVP statement, such as mine.

Im a content strategist who develops engaging informative content for progressive businesses. I want to produce the highest value possible for up and coming, rising stars, who are focused on fast growth because they have an urgency about profit, growth, and market leadership.

My readers are mid to senior level execs who want to know I am really “into it”, and that I possess the right attitude, dedication, along with unique skills in content development/content strategy and other digital marketing skills that are a cut above the rest. You don’t say you’re the best, you allude to it with your UVP, then back it up with your content strategy.

You’ll soon discover that your content is the voice of your unique value proposition. For the prospect, seeing and reading is believing.

Think about what you do well and who you want to do it for. Here’s my UVP:

Current  UVP: I power up digital marketing results by developing original, personalized, compelling, relevant, and traffic-generating content for progressive, ambitious businesses.

Note about personality and likability: definitely project fun, contentment, sociability, harmony, and charisma into your content. Might be wiser to carry that via your Twitter or Instagram page (business or personal). Employers, partners, customers may not be looking for that first off, but it’s very important to your ability to convince.

Synthesize Your Features and Benefits into one Sentence

Clarity is everything. Its tough to pare it down to an elevator sales pitch, but you must. This difficult process forces you get laser-focused and it’s that laser engraved image that moves your target’s mind.

Sometimes you can’t express all you can offer in your UVP. So, you want communicate your value proposition and method through your content. Its all about getting them immersed in you, your product, your brand, or your company. Get your targeted visitor to your blog, Twitter page, Youtube page, website or published articles so they can see you in action. That’s much more powerful than a statement or marketing communication.

sirrichard

Richard Branson’s UVP

Let’s look at Sir Richard Branson’s UVP. He created the Virgin brand and spread it into airlines, cellular services, and much more. He’s most known for being an inspiration and no limits optimist. Being true to your ideas and being the best at something are worthy goals according to him. His UVP is different depending on who is interested. Here’s my interpretation:

UVP: I bring positive, progressive ideas, optimism, and determination to a difficult world which others might share to help create a better life for us all.

He doesn’t push his UVP. It’s so good, his followers do. The essence of success is to create so much value, that others promote you. He’s an excellent role model for that, even if you don’t like seeing him with naked girls on his back. And remember the power of visuals.

Real Estate Agent UVP

Let’s look at the value proposition of a real estate agent.  These professionals help people buy and sell real estate. Thats not much of a UVP.  Think closely about what home buyers really want such as trust, likability, experience, local marketing knowledge, professionalism, helpfulness, good communication, and an ability to find some great homes where they want to live.

The Agents UVP: North Vancouver homeowner’s dreams of selling high and moving on happily to a new life, come true with my ability to attract, entertain, inform, and engage home buyers who love North Vancouver.

realtyagent2So now, the agent’s digital content will revolve around how vital North Vancouver lifestyles are and real stories of how he or she made buyers happy. Some agent’s drill down to specific demographics, lifestyles and neighbourhoods. You drill down as far as required to where you’re the big kahuna of your market.

That version of the UVP covers both his targets: buyers and sellers of homes.

Your content has to be consistent with your UVP statement. Otherwise your audience will not get the clearest message about how valuable you are. If your content is deep, persuasive, and your UVP is clear, you’ll get your desired action whatever that is.

If you have multiple markets, multiple products, and brands, you can build separate sub-UVPs for them too. More topics for us to keep exploring!

Have fun creating your UVP and there’s plenty of ways of writing it creatively. As long as the message is clear, we can write anyway we want.  If you’re having trouble creating yours, direct message me on Twitter. Id be happy to help.

 

Shortage of Good Content Writers is Hurting Businesses

Copywriting Heavily Influences Sales

According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, good content creators are in short supply. 1/3 of companies can’t find anyone talented enough to write for their brands and websites.

Some may have tried to push their top print copywriters into the web sphere only to find their prose unappealing to web readers. The result is a crisis in their ability to speak to their target audience.

Content strategy, creative development, and copywriting go hand in hand, but strategy won’t do much for you if you don’t have the talent to carry it out. Without content writers of sufficient skill, imagination, experience, and productivity, they’ll need to find talent with potential and train them.

deliciouscopy
My recent trip to California highlighted the meaning of good content. In this case, a delicious surf and turf dinner at the best seaside restaurant. The restaurant delivered an unparalleled taste experience with an amazing oceanview backdrop. There’s no restaurant better than the Chart House in Cardiff. Good copywriters  similarly create compelling experiences with only a sequence of well chosen words.

So What is it that Makes a Good Copywriter?

Well, I might be a tad biased in this regard, but take a look at what Sonia Simone of copyblogger says.  Why don’t we explore what a productive, effective copywriter is required to do.

The end goal of copywriting is to capture attention, inform, persuade, and convince. Before that can happen, the writer needs to establish the goals of the writing projects, the company’s brand positioning and unique value proposition, and what the marketing/brand manager’s expectations and demands are.  There’s plenty of room for misinterpretation and conflict and only good communication will bridge the gaps.

The content writer is often left to determine the company’s brand, marketing strategy, and tactics to make the content generate leads and sales. Good copywriters like this challenge and get right to doing the best they can for their boss/client. Copywriters who lack knowledge of marketing concepts, markets, media, branding will be pressed to the limit to produce copy that fulfills all obligations.

Web copy is even tougher since it must capture attention fast, achieve high search rankings, and convince visitors to act right away.  Print writing is tough too, especially advertising copy where the demand for creativity and imagination is very high. Writers skilled in all media such as web, print, packaging, video, and social media is extremely unlikely. The mental dexerity and gymnastics required is enough to humble any so called star.

Let’s focus on Web Copywriting  

In no particular order, your copy must:

  • capture attention and look good visually (It does this using headings, quotes, lists/bullets, and images)
  • be scannable and easy to follow visually (it does this through blocks of text that are easy to see)
  • possess the right voice and tone (subtle or direct style discovered through research of audience culture and preferences)
  • be strategic and tactical (a good overall plan for the role of pages, the unique value proposition, and how information and links fill in details for readers so they can act)
  • be persuasive and convincing (it needs a compelling hook and angle to catch readers minds and hearts)
  • differentiate points of difference to introduce the brand and strengthen it (features, benefits, and viewpoints all make your product more desirable and valuable than competitor’s)
  • use a call to action to get results (link text, copy, headings, and buttons let the visitor make the right decision)
  • make the brand/product likable and desirable (words, symbolism, and stories that fits with customers beliefs, hopes and values)
  • be credible and trustworthy (using wording that creates transparency and proof of value)
  • be well-edited as this is where excellent writing is created (sequence, purpose and points all must be clarified, made coherent and more persuasive)
  • be search engine optimized to create visits from Google users (see post on SEO)
  • be reviewed with analytics reports (see what worked and use A/B testing and reasoning to create further improvement)

I hope you got the picture that copywriters can make a significant contribution to any web-based business. Work with a good copywriter who is strong on research, aware of the market, and able to help you discover your unique value proposition.

As a copywriter, I need to add value continuously.  That might be to create new ways to express the company’s brand image, sharply focus the brand message, and use words and phrases that make products/services appear much better than they really are.

We’ve all been seduced by the copy in advertising. It is effective and when done well, can generate millions in sales. And it can also leave millions on the table. As a CEO, entrepreneur, or marketing manager, your decisions about acquiring a top notch content strategist, content developer, or copywriter could determine your company’s profitability.

Your copywriter reaches the audience, captures their heart and mind, and convinces them to buy your product.  Get your target audience as close to good copy and content as you can.

Whether it’s validation, information, support, or simply enablement, the messages on your website or social media pages are what customers are hungry for.  Give them as much as they can eat. They’ll give you their money and loyalty.

 

 

The Top 12 Factors for SEO Mastery

SEO Will Never Disappear

google-pandasmall
Panda Penguin images courtesy of Web Yours.

It’s been 19 years now since I began search engine optimization and it continues to deliver the highest ROI of any marketing channel. The traffic potential is greater than ever.

Although people believe everything has changed in SEO, in reality, it’s pretty much the same even with its new RankBrain master algorithm controller.  I explain this in the Guide to SEO and Content Strategy.

Google Likes Lots of Money

Google made the changes not for better results, but to force spammers and small businesses to pay for Google advertising. That worked surprisingly well since their profits are up billion$

If you’ve given up on SEO because you heard it was irrelevant and that social media is everything now, you’ve misunderstood the truth. The fact is, Google is still the major source of quality referrals and revenue for most businesses.

What is Modern Search Engine Optimization?

Modern SEO revolves around sophisticated keyword phrase choices, epic engaging content and powerful outreach strategies. It’s about really good visual content that engages readers so they stay and then share it online.

With respect to keyword choices however, Resonation is where the sophistication comes in. Using keywords in your links and headings won’t give Google the quality signals it’s looking for.  Google assesses your page, your site, the trustworthiness and authority as well as the keyword themes of the pages that link to your page to gauge its keyword relevance. You still get much of your ranking from other websites.

Google’s new ranking emphasis also revolves around content engagement. They can see if your content is engaging to visitors or if they’re bouncing off of your website.

What are the Top SEO Ranking Factors?

Google reports that they use over 200 factors in ranking web pages (and they are more focused on single pages now than ever before).  I cover the key ranking factors in my SEO Book, but here’s a quick list of what your SEO expert will have to take into consideration.

Here’s the 14 Most Important Ranking Factors:

  1. Keywords in copy
  2. Keywords in headings
  3. Keywords in page url
  4. Quality of websites/pages linking to your site (authority, keyword themes)
  5. Visitor engagement
  6. Synonyms, related words and stemmed variations in the copy and near text links in the copy or clickable buttons
  7. Good paragraph structure
  8. Keywords near links
  9. Links from other websites that have a reputation for that keyword topic
  10. Links from very trustworthy sites (Google’s trust factor)
  11. Social cues: links amongst and to your social media pages (as long as you link them to your website)
  12. Fresh, frequent content
  13. Traffic to your site and time spent (yes Google does track it)
  14. Expert internal linking of your content

Each of these ranking factors are important so use them all well. Google looks to the core unique content on your pages and filters out anything that is repeated such as your footer links and navigation menus. There’s not much your webmaster or designer can do for you now to raise your rankings. What they need to do is stay out of the way and not screw up robot access or key content navigation routes for users and Googlebot.

Creative, Passionate, and Focused Experts are Worth Every Penny

For all intent and purpose, your content strategist and copywriter are your SEO team. Look for SEOs that are compelling writers who create fascinating, unique, original material woven into your content fabric. Sophistication means moderation and focus in orchestrating your symphony of Google cues.  You’re creating the ultimate experience for Googlebot, Google searchers, and most importantly your customers and clients.

By all means, check out my new Content Strategy Book available for purchase.

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Web Sites – Are Your Web Pages Serving a Purpose?

Your Web Pages Look Pretty but Do They Have A Purpose?

Are your web pages working like one happy team to get your message across powerfully and move your visitors to the right action?  That would translate into a lot of revenue.

You spent a lot of money on design and coding of your website.  But in all that frenzied planning for mobile device compatibility, SEO friendliness, user-friendliness, and ecommerce readiness, is it all dressed up with nowhere to go?  If you’re suspicious about an underperforming web site, maybe it’s time to get back to basics and get your pages to create customers.

The fact is, your pages represent your business. They’re your online employees. You have to understand their role, if you expect to measure whether your site is successful or where it is failing.

samsungcanada
Samsung’s products are captivating but can you tell what that object is above? Do you understand how it relates to Samsung’s UVP? The image links to their Samsung Gear product page where you’ll discover it’s a new type of watch. They make the visitor think hard to figure out how it works and why it is relevant. After seeing these 2 pages, do you understand Samsung’s unique value proposition? What do you want to do next? Do the other pages accessible via this page help you commit to a purchase action, or are you lost in a sea of slick imagery and copy, ready to leave the site? Does this impel you to buy it online or go to a retail store? Or is it simply a self-admiring statement about the Samsung brand?

And this is where so many websites are sorely lacking. A good part of that deficiency comes from a lack of strategy – content strategy and business strategy.  The growing interest in customer experience strategy suggests marketers have neglected it and we’re all thinking more about how visitors navigate and experience the brand on the site.

Your Unique Value Proposition is Your Starting Point

Strategy evolves from your unique value proposition. If you don’t know what your UVP is, you’re in trouble — because you don’t know what issue you’re solving for your customer, better than all your competitors.  Why should visitors trust you and do business with you? What is your compelling proposition?

hubspot
Hubspot is well known for it’s applications and capabilities in inbound marketing. Their about us page is very sophisticated, but does it work to build credibility to potential subscribers? Is this page for users, developers, or potential investors?  After reading this page, are you feeling impelled and being directed to product page that is relevant to you? After reading this page, are you certain of their authority and credibility as a provider of the best inbound marketing software?

What is Your Sales Team Telling Them?

Your pages get your proposition across in a compelling fashion and move the visitor to do business with you. Your web pages are your CSR, sales, management and administrative team. They speak as one to get your UVP across.

Each page plays its role in capturing attention, informing, building attention and desire, and then generating an action. It takes more than pretty design and the latest HTML5 coding to do that today. It’s competitive online.

As any branding guru will insist, each page must support the brand image, which in essence is your unique value proposition. And each page should support other pages. This way, the visitor is moved into the other page with purpose and in a way that continuously builds the brand image in their mind.

What is the Objective of Each Page?

Let’s take a closer look at the true purpose of each page:

The Home Page is often considered the face of your business.  People will arrive and stay for 5 seconds. This page must get your value proposition across brilliantly right away. If you’re too impressed with yourself or product, your visitor will fail to understand what it is you will do for them.

About Us Page supports the unique value proposition set forth on the homepage. It greets the visitor as a friend, and with authenticity allows the visitor to see your management, staff and products/services as they really are. Transparency and authenticity rule, but you get to reveal your brand image in an entertaining way that elicits trust.

Product Pages demonstrate product features and benefits and when these flow beautifully from the brand’s unique value proposition, the products become irresistible.  If these aren’t believable, then you’d better load up on guarantees and trust signals to get the customer to buy.

Service Pages bring assurance that active benefits will absolutely be delivered. If your pages work together as a team to project trustworthiness, transparency, clarity, and authenticity, customers will gain tremendous confidence in your service quality.

Contact Us Page – if your other pages have built desire and intent, the contact is often the page they see before they contact you. What do they see? Your address and phone number?  This page needs to be a friendly but professional and personal invitation to let the visitor tell you their problems and needs. It shows you sincerely want to help them.

Testimonial Page  – customer endorsements and comments can help significantly if they corroborate with the unique value proposition you’ve fused into all your pages.  Their testimonial needs to complement what has been done in the other pages.  A testimonial that doesn’t look perfectly authentic can damage everything you’ve done.

Special Purpose Page – These pages are created specially for showcasing your unique value proposition. It could be a new product announcement or a promotional event. The page breaks the visitor away from the dull and routine into a special magical place where you can reach them emotionally or drill a very specific point into their mind. For specific audiences, these can be excellent landing pages that perform much better than your common pages. A blog post can be a special purpose page.

The role of each page and the nature of its content can be much more sophisticated. These are the basics you need to put some thought  into.  As you’re creating your pages, keep your UVP in mind.

In a recent blog post, I highlighted how the personalized unique value proposition is becoming haute couture for professionals.  Real estate agents, artists, comedians, and performers must leverage the power of their own personality to deliver a brand that is inimitable. When others can’t copy you, and steal your brand value, you can win big.

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Twitter Tips – Taking it to the Next Level

There’s Lots of Ways to Make Twitter more Effective

Twitter has had its 8th birthday this year and it’s still going strong. It’s the top microblogging platform and millions of businesses use it. Whether they use it well is another matter. It can be a great way to connect with your businesses biggest fans and get them to spread the word. Spreading the word is what social media is all about.

But to use Twitter well to get the message, you might need to step back a bit and get your overall game plan set up. Twitter works best when there is an identifiable person doing the tweeting as opposed to a business voice. Social media is about people and people have emotional reasons for tweeting and responding to tweets, as well as spread the word about you, your business and its products.

Here’s some tips to help you get properly oriented before you begin tweeting:

1. Identify Your Passions/Goal

Twitterers are passionate people. Discover what they’re interests are and what your own interests are. The crossroads of the two should give you your best topics.  Twitterer’s are active, animated, energetic, enthusiastic, bold forerunners and are probably leaders in their niche. Sincerity, authenticity, transparency. Find out what you love and be it.  You can’t fake it. Your content/tweets communicates the quality of your belief — that’s why quality people will follow you and direct message you. Followers need a good leader.

forrest

Follow Forrest Gump | Taylor JonesGIGGLES

2. Build Your Tribe and Get Lots of Followers

You need to tweet a lot to get the reach you need. 10 tweets a day might be good. You’ll need relevant content on your blog, Linkedin and FB pages.  At first, it’ll be a little tough but once you get going and your followers increase, you’ll connect with higher quality people over time (These highly targeted and relevant people are your real Tribe). Don’t be afraid to go through the beginner’s pains. Be yourself and encourage yourself to discover new things to talk about and share with them. The content is your real medium between you and them so make it good.

3. Research and Direct Message

Find those you want to connect with and make meaningful contact. Don’t waste their time. They won’t like that.  Constantly communicate your value by giving them value. Do something for them, complement them, give an interesting point of view, and make them feel good.  Some people are busy and tough to connect with. At first, they may be very hesitant but don’t worry, just leave the door open and they’ll eventually come around.

4. Send Them to Your Best Stuff

If you’re a job hunter, send them to your Linkedin page, sales people might send them to your website or FB page, friends might go to your blog or FB page.  Create A+ material and keep it accessible, especially at key times. This is the essence of letting them know how fascinating and compelling you are. They won’t forget you. Surprise them, shock them and make them laugh.

5. Make Your Conversation Appropriate

The voice or tone of your content should reflect you and your goals. Align everything so it points to where you want to go. Be subtle and don’t push. If they’re not following, then you haven’t expressed yourself in a way they can relate to. Consider what might not be effective enough and reinforce that area. It could be your bio, graphic background, or the relevance of your Tweets

If you’re just beginner at Twitter, see the Beginner Twitter tips post.  You can do it. I’ve increased my followers 800 in the last two months and I’ve already spoken with some amazing people. It does work. Keep the faith!

— Gord

 twittercodes

 The complete guide to Twitter lingoMashableSocial Good



The Go Giver — Success Through Giving – Personal and Business Improvement

I discovered an excellent book that you’d be wise to read too. It’s called the Go-Giver, A little story about a powerful business idea.

giverIt’s about turning an old idea on its head; that being a go-getter, is really not the way to a better life. The book’s premise is that giving is the ultimate principle that should guide your life. The Go-Giver focuses on other people and creating value for them.

The authors create an interesting story about an ambitious young man, a typical hard fighting go-getter who is frustrated about his inability to get ahead. He meets some older people who have been through these life events, and of course, impart their wisdom to him via daily exercises.

Here are the Laws of Stratospheric success discussed:

1.    The law of value Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment

2.   The law of compensation Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them

3.   The law of influence Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first

4.   The law of authenticity The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself

5.   The law of receptivity The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving — if you listen and empathize with them, they’ll want to give to you

Gift





The idea of giving is an old one, but few take it to heart. The authors don’t really touch on the key point, that if you have no one to give to, your good will means nothing.  A business person/entrepreneur needs a prospect to give to and create value for. Marketers call it “creating a customer.”

The Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them. While the law of value discusses the value you provide, #2 shows you that to be well compensated for the value you provide, you do so by touching the lives of a lot of people.

It IS all about relationships and the key task is to find the right people (relationships) to give to.  It’s a discovery process to find the right people (your tribe) and then convince them to accept your great value.

So, the key to success isn’t just generating value, because your competitors/rivals could create that value. The key is to reach them (Twitter, Blog, Linkedin), have the value ready to deliver and convince them that your value is the best available, and a bargain at that.  Access the masses, and build your tribe.

Since relationships are reciprocal, you also have to ask yourself, whether you’re open to accept the value others want to give you? If you don’t accept others input, listen, and even block other’s generosity to you, you’re killing your own opportunities. Let others do good for you by showing you respect them, and by listening to them.

Go-Givers is very inspirational and a nice read. Get a copy, you’ll like it.

Hang Gliding – An Awesome Experience

Normally, I’m very afraid of heights, but I certainly got over that today. It shows how if you keep persisting at anything you’ll succeed.

And I had the greatest adventure experience of my life  — going hang gliding.

Rocketing upward to a thousand feet on a metal framed kite with nylon material stretched in between, and me hanging from some straps. Zipping and turning through the rushing air, chasing a hawk, and peering face first at partitioned land far below.

It is a surreal scene, not an everyday sight I can tell you with the horizon, highways, and patterned farmland below. Your brain really has a hard time adjusting to it.

I could have put a video camera on the wing but decided not too because I didn’t think it was worth the dough they charge. Well, turned out to be an experience to have an HD video camera for, but we wouldn’t have gotten the hawk cause it was little camera shy.

Flight Training

I had only 3 practice flights with the big Condor training kites and I thought that was a bit of a ripoff, however there were 4 other people training too this morning. I had one good flight and another where I crashed pretty hard. Fortunately, I was okay and the kite didn’t get damaged. The aircraft aluminum they use is very strong.  Here’s a pic of the big kites below:

condor-hangglider

condor-hangglider2

The Tandem Flight

As I waited for my flight in the clubhouse, I read a newspaper article about an experienced hang glider who died there in 2006. That didn’t help ease my butterflies about going up. You’re only attached to the kite by a couple of straps and if you’ve flown a kite when you were a kid, you know they suddenly plunge, and you have no idea why. I was uncharacteristically calm through the whole thing. The instructor/flier Mike Robertson is very experienced and knowledgeable and I have a lot of confidence in his skills.


The Tandem kite was very sturdy and easily capable of carrying the two of us. We took off so fast, and soon there was only 1000 feet of the 2000 foot cable left and we were directly over the winch. I thought the cable would snap, and then I worried about the kite flipping upside down and we’d be hurtling to our death.

Mike saw a Red tailed hawk circling about 70 feet away and that meant there was a  thermal updraft, so we chased after the hawk.  We did a pirouette with it and it didn’t fly away. It just stayed on the other side circling opposite us.

Mike handed the steering bar to me and I got to follow a line of trees way down below.  I was awkward but did okay. I was glad when he took control back. And then down we went, swooping down on the farmland grass. What a blast that was.

This is what it looks like from the ground.

US Housing Market Predictions – Real Estate Market Forecast 2018 | Trends Outlook NAR Zillow Reports

Real Estate and Housing Forecast 2018 to 2020

April 18, 2018.  Your Epic report and forecast of the 2018/2019 US housing market offers facts, data, perspective, predictions, price factors, expert opinion and forecasted trends.

Please feel free to use this material within your own blogs and share this post on Linkedin and Facebook. It’s an important topic for buyers and sellers who face a big decision about buying a home or condo in 2018.




A Spring Market Under Pressure

It’s an unusual spring market given the growing purchasing power of home buyers in low to mid market prices. It’s the lack of housing (few want to sell) combined with tough mortgage rules that are frustrating buyers. First time buyers are looking for a savior and wondering it’s a good time to buy anyway.

Despite prices, homes are selling. And more are being built. How much prices will rise, depends on where you live.  Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Denver, Las Vegas, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, New York, and Houston all have their own unique factors, and all driven by a wildly successful economy.

The National Association of Realtors reported existing home sales rose 3% in February. Nationally, 5.54 million units sold ending 2 months of declining sales. Housing inventory rose last month but is still down 8.1% from 12 months ago.  NAR won’t release its March sales report until April 23rd.

Trulia reports housing inventory has grown 3.3% yet starter homes have dropped to their lowest levels since 2012. What is available is expensive.

Housing inventory then remains the most influential and persistent factor affecting home prices. Despite this, the media and some politicians blame speculation, building costs, interest rates, cost of living, and mortgage rules. When the economy is good people want homes. Construction is strong but can’t keep up. Simple rule of supply vs demand is driving home prices.

Millennials still hopeful to buy a home in 2018

Looking for housing market predictions? Take a good look at prices, GDP, wages, jobs, and other key data below on the US Economy for the next 6 years and you may see a surprisingly positive picture, far from the dread of the recent stock market corrections.

This completely updated EPIC United States Housing Report has market updates and predictions for 2018 to 2020, and other data to 2026.

NAR’s VP of research Paul Bishop, believes sales will be flat for 2018.

One of the biggest challenges is going to be in certain high-cost parts of the country where they have high home prices, relatively high property taxes or high state income taxes, then that’s ultimately going to make the cost of owning a home more expensive.

In addition, renters may lose the incentive to buy a home in high-cost areas if they can’t use the mortgage interest deduction or the ability to deduct some of those other housing-related costs from their taxes. It’s focused mostly on the higher cost areas. It’s certainly something that everyone will be monitoring and how the housing market reacts in 2018 and 2019  — from a news release on DSnews.com.




In this post, you’ll discover the hottest city markets, zip codes, get economic, employment, finance, and housing projections to understand the key fundamentals driving home buying, rental investment, home construction, and the real estate markets in 2018/2019 to 2026. Read thoroughly if you’re considering buying a house this year.

Still Struggling with the  Idea of Buying vs Renting?

This post on buying vs renting is a good read, and review the US rental market report for more insight.

What’s the story for summer of 2018? It has to be Texas and Michigan, however the overall picture is of a very good spring for the housing market nationwide and going forward to 2026. Population growth in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, Houston, Sacramento, Las Vegas and Phoenix continues strong.

The Complete Picture for 2018

Ready to choose your realtor and buy a house or condo this year? The outlook is really rosy! And how about investing in a rental income property for sustained passive income? This current lull might make the next 3 months the best time to buy. The outlook is as positive as could be for buyers. Lock in your mortgage rate.

Overall, predictions and outlook for the US housing market are positive. That’s because the US economy is on its strongest roll ever, bolstered by lower taxes, improved trading agreements, growing American confidence, happiness, comfort, freedom and the American dream has been kindled again.

Take a look at more detailed reports of major US city markets: Latest Posts: Sacramento Housing MarketSan Francisco Housing Market | | Boston Real Estate Market 2018 | Florida Housing Forecast 2018 | Miami Housing Market |  Los Angeles Real Estate Forecast | New York Real Estate Predictions | Houston Market Forecast  | Houston Real Estate Forecast | Seattle Housing Forecast

Apartment Rental Housing Market 2018

Are you considering buying homes for sale as an income investment?  With Apartment rent prices holding strong in 2018, it’s a solid investment strategy. Take another look at the US rental housing market, apartment rental prices, and the buy vs rent question and buying to let others pay your rent is just plain smart.

This graphic below courtesy of Trading Economics shows how the real estate market will be healthy for some time, and that buying a home is a wise investment (Tradingeconomics is a very informative site, have a visit afterward).

Increased government spending, low but slowly rising interest rates, and the repatriation of business and corporate funds back to the US means it’s a healthy, safe market for everyone.

Foreign investment has been strong because the world knows, the US is the place to be. American’s have always had a great attitude toward risk and business growth. Now the economy and business markets are allowing that spirit an opportunity to pay off.

NAR/Realtor Outlook on the Housing Market

Housing Indicator Realtor.com® 2018 Forecast
Home price appreciation 3.2% increase
Mortgage rate Average 4.6% mortage rates in 2018 to 5.0% (30 year fixed) by year end
Existing home sales 2.5% growth, low inventory problem easing
Housing starts 3% growth in home building 7% growth in houses
New home sales Growth of 7%
Home ownership rate Stabilizing at 63.9% nationally

Despite the market correction, experts feel this bull market could continue as long as business keeps coming back to the US. That’s a long process of repatriation. In the meantime, the jobs picture, wage growth, investment, and profit growth are giving real estate participants a lot of optimism.

The resistance to housing development is slowing. Conservatives are giving up amidst intense pressure by those facing outrageous housing shortages and skyrocketing rental prices.



Housing Shortages Won’t Ease

Although January’s sales were disappointing, it’s due to the severe shortage of housing. Demand is there and you’ll be competing against a hoard of buyers in 2018.  Corelogic expects 2018’s home prices will grow 4.3% by next December.  NAR and Realtors® expect only a 3% growth in prices this year. Nevada, Texas, Washington, and Florida are the states with the best outlook, and perhaps the best places to buy homes or rental properties.

The Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle areas saw the highest growth in prices last year while LA’s tumbled. Listings fell dramatically in cental California, Oregon, Washington, and New York.

Consumer mood was not so good in July of last year, mostly due to government problems. Yet the market came flying back. These challenges overcome mean more Americans will have more confidence in their personal situation.

The US Economy 2018/2019

These stats from Trading Economics show positive fundamentals that will drive growth in the housing market, and in turn will bolster the economy, since new household consumer spending and housing investment is a key driver of the economy.

The tax cuts should help although the Fed is counteracting that growth with a questionable raising of interest rates which seems to have sparked the sudden stock market volatility.  Although some disincentives are present for home buying in certain price ranges, that will help keep the market balanced for 2018.

Home prices should begin rising again this late spring in FloridaNew York , Boston, San DiegoHouston, MiamiSeattle, Bay Area and the rest of  overheated California.

Buyers and sellers will enjoy the market trends, stats, threats, and the key factors including housing construction starts described below. Enjoy the big picture!

Scroll down to see the stats, video, and charts on the strongest cities where you might buy or invest. And when is the best time to buy a house?

Sharing is Good! Share the Insight with others on FB and Linkedin

A brief overview of January 2018 from NAR.

Housing Demand 2018: More Buyers Joining the Party

Housing market demand predictions: Demand 2018 will see stronger demand as young buyers have more savings to invest in a home and are getting closeer to being able to purchase a home.



Housing demand is also being supplemented by bankruptcy survivors who waited out their 7 year exile joining first time buyer millennials, babyboomers, immigrants, foreign investors (Canadian and Chinese), and even gen Xers,  all of whom are looking for houses for sale.

New Home Construction Starts: Still Strong in 2018

New home building shows continued strengths, and should pick up by late spring when builders see a return of demand. Last February’s demand was also subdued.

The cost of living is rising and it means workers and businesses in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, Miami, San Diego, and Boston may migrate to cheaper cities such as Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. This is where job growth is best and housing is cheapest.

The price of apartment rental in cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and San Jose Rents are extreme examples of the migration out of high priced areas. With limited housing and a strong economy, prices in San Francisco and the Bay Area cannot fall.

Inflation, Labor Shortages, and Building Supplies

Labor shortages, rising mortgage rates, and higher lumber costs are looming which could mean house prices will rise.  With nowhere to go, homeowners are resisting selling. The hope that the resale market will come to the rescue might be unrealistic and and perhaps even fewer resale houses will be for sale. This fall, new home sales have been brisk as reported by the Commerce Department.

Mortgage Rates on the Rise

15 year fixed rate mortgages are still a bargain compared to historical averages. A home at these interest rates has to be considered a big savings, compared to the added price.

Houses For Sale – Should You Buy or Sell in 2018?

The forecasts and predictions for housing markets in Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area, New York, Miami, Houston, Seattle, and San Diego etc. all suggest better times ahead.

Is a housing market crash or a stock market crash possible? It’s a worry of investors. See the post on the best cities to invest in real estate. Where can you find houses for sale with the best upside potential as a high return property investment?

Housing Experts Predictions and a Lot More

Let’s start off with the newly released 2018 Forecast from Freddie Mac.  The predict a good year ahead with a solid 5% growth in price. They note that the aging population could keep demand subdued although limited housing for sale should create upward price pressure.

Should buy or sell? See the specific market updates and predictions here: Los Angeles Real Estate forecast, San Francisco Bay Area forecast, New York Real Estate forecast, Boston Real Estate forecast, San Diego Real Estate forecast, Houston Texas Housing forecast, Seattle Real Estate forecast and the Miami Real Estate forecast. Bookmark this page for future monthly updates.




The need to refinance is low, homeowners aren’t too stressed out, and they’re using home equity to buy things which is good for the economy.  Overall, Freddie Mac’s report is positive for 2018.

Home Sales Expect to Rise Nationally

Freddie Mac Predicts strong sales driven by moderating prices nationally.

And as this graphic from Freddie Mac’s report shows, price appreciation is much less than before the last recession.

Hottest Real Estate Markets This Past Summer

According to NAR’s latest report, San Francisco is again the hottest city, taking back the number one spot from San Jose. The hottest small city is Vallejo California, enjoying a spillover from the Bay Area market.  Investors and buyers will be hard pressed to find buying opportunities are.

Silicon Valley prices will pressure businesses to look to cheaper cities such as San Antonio, Las Vegas, Houston, Austin, etc in 2018/2019.

Hottest Cities for Investment Value

This chart from NAR shows where employment growth is strongest and the ratio of recent employment growth to homes being built. That’s a great stat for rental property investors looking for investment income. Compare that to wage growth and actual price appreciation. Again the Bay Area shows the best outlook for employment which has to be your top signal. Salt Lake City, Denver, Tampa, Dallas, Cape Coral/Naples, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Houston, San Diego, and Grand Rapids have great employment outlooks.





20 Hottest Housing Markets, January 2018 (Realtor.com) Rank (December) Rank Change Current Home Prices
San Francisco, CA 2 1 $1,249,000
San Jose, CA 1 -1 $875,000
Vallejo, CA 3 0 $390,000
Colorado Springs, CO 4 0 $270,000
Midland, TX 18 13 $265,000
San Diego, CA 6 0 $590,000
Santa Rosa, CA 7 1 $310,000
Sacramento, CA 8 2 $310,000
Denver, CO 11 2 $400,000
Stockton, CA 5 -5 $289,000
Modesto, CA 10 -1 $295,000
Dallas, TX 14 2 $360,000
Fresno, CA 12 -1 $205,000
Los Angeles, CA 16 2 $759,000
Columbus, OH 9 -6 $140,000
Chico, CA 29 13 $349,000
Oxnard, CA 21 4 $505,000
Santa Cruz, CA 27 9 $909,000
Detroit, MI 19 0 $349,000
Boise City, ID 26 6




Best cities for finding houses for sale and get a great return. For property investors or buyers with minimal cash, the cities of Kennewick, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Modesto, Fresno, and Waco look to offer the lowest prices on houses for sale. As usual, California and Texas lead the way, however Michigan is looking good with the President’s intention to bring the auto industry and related jobs back to the US.

In some markets such as Californiahome prices have leveled off a little from their relentless climb. There is a slight risk of a burst housing bubble. Outside of major city markets, the price growth potential in the next 5 years is highest. Some cities are hurting so invest carefully. Take a look at the best cities to invest in real estate and share your stories of which cities we should know about.

Here Panelists from the Urban Land Institution discusses 2017 and the next two year outlook:




Here’s 8 Reasons Why People Are Still Eager to Buy Real Estate:

  1. home prices are appreciating and it’s a safe investment over the long term
  2. millennials need a home to raise their families
  3. rents are high giving property owners excellent ROI on rental properties
  4. flips of older properties continue to create amazing returns
  5. real property is less risky (unless you get over leveraged)
  6. the economy is steady or improving (although Trump’s letting his enemies cause too much friction)
  7. foreigners including Canadians are eager to own US property
  8. bankrupt buyers are over their 7 year prohibition from the last recession and they can buy again.

Latest real estate market reports:

There are more renters now than in the last 30 years.

US homes are at their highest value ever

Foreign buyers buying record number of properties

Housing starts more than expected but not enough to fill demand

New Houses for sale dropped 3.4% in August

Resale houses for sale drops in August

How high can prices for houses for sale go in Southern California?

Read on to learn more about the economic fundamentals that suppport your purchase of real estate:

Buying and Selling — Is This the Right Time?

Are you selling your home? Speculation of a housing crash in Miami, State of FloridaLos Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Charlotte, San Diego, San Jose, Denver, Seattle, and many other overheated markets has more people listing their house or condo. Yet, the market is healthy, so there’s no emergency. Prices are stable so you won’t get much more by waiting.

Check out these other posts for homebuyers, investors, and realtors:

How to Sell Over Asking Price | 14 Ways to Improve Your Selling Price | When Should I Sell My Home? | Student Housing Investment | 10 Tips for Home Sellers Who Must Have the Best Price | Home Sellers Pricing Strategy | Better House Market Evaluation

Housing experts are predicting existing home sales of 6 to 6.5 million units in 2018 and then above 1.3 million new homes being built per month to 2024. The building is resuming now that the hurricanes and forest fires are over.

Will it be enough to support the economy? When American builders are feeling optimistic, it’s a good omen, however 1.5 million units per month is needed to fill forecasted demand for housing.

What’s also a good omen is what you’re going to read in this post. It may help you do many things in 2018, from finding employment (see the US Jobs forecast), to understanding politics, discovering high performing best investments 2017 to researching the best cities to live or buy houses or property in.

From Los Angeles to New York to Miami – Rental Property Equity/Income is King

Will Los Angeles Lead the Nation in 2017 in Real Estate?

Interest in rental income investment and apartments is particularly strong now in places like Miamic, Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco.  The Los Angeles housing, San Diego housing, San Francisco Bay Area housing markets are just a few to look at.  Seattle, Denver, Dallas, South Florida, Palm Beach, and New York  have a promising outlook too.

Short list of positive factors to bolster US Housing Market :

  1. moderately rising mortgage rates
  2. president Trump’s new tax plan
  3. low risk of a housing bubble / crash for most cities
  4. millennials buyers coming into the main home buying years
  5. a trend to government deregulation
  6. labor shortages pushing up costs of production and incomes
  7. the economy will keep going – longest positive business cycle in history

Check out the report on investments in rental property if you’re planning to buy in markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Silicon Valley, New York, Miami, Oakland, Phoenix, Seattle, Denver etc.  Buyers are still dreaming in California a good look at the San Diego Real estate market, and the Los Angeles real estate market as economic indicators, and a fresh look at mortgage rates. To be on the safe side, see this post on the likelihood of a US housing market crash in the years ahead. Looking to put your house up for sale in 2018? Find a Realtor now.

Housing Stats from NAR, Forisk, Trading Economics

These stats below are collected from top research and reporting companies including NAR, Forisk, Trading Economics, and other real estate market researchers.

 

Sharing is Good for your Social Health! 

Pass this blog post onto your friends and neighbors because they should know as much about the forecast factors as possible before they buy or sell.  It’s good to be helpful. Mistakes are painful!

Expert Predictions – US Housing 

1.  Expert Prediction from Eric Fox, vice president of statistical and economic modeling (VeroForecast) — The top forecast markets shows price appreciation in the 10% to 11% range. The top forecast market is Seattle, Washington at 11.2%, followed by Portland, Oregon at 11.1% and Denver, Colorado at 9.9%.

These economies have robust economies, growing populations and no more than two month’s supply of homes. In fact, the forecast of the Boston market increase sharply to 7.4% is due to reductions in inventory and unemployment. On the other hand, the worst performing market is Kington, New York with 2.5% depreciation, followed by Ocean City, New Jersey at -2.1%, Kingsport, Tennessee at -1.9% and Atlantic City, New Jersey and San Angelo, Texas tied at -1.4%.  — BusinessWire

2. Pantheon Macro Chief Economist Ian Shepherdson explains that “Homebuilders behavior likely is a continuing echo of their experience during the crash. No one wants to be caught with excess inventory during a sudden downshift in demand. In this cycle, the pursuit of market share and volumes is less important than profitability and balance sheet resilience.” — Marketwatch.

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Housing Construction Starts Will Slowly Rise

It’s predicted that new home construction won’t keep up with demand, however it is recovering and we’ll see more renters becoming homeowners over the next decade.




Car Insurance Quotes: Are you looking to save money for a down payment, save money with the lowest car insurance, find the lowest mortgage rate, or get a free market evaluation? Are you a realtor looking for US real estate leads?

 

If construction rates do moderate, prices in the hot markets of Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Boston, and Phoenix should rocket to all time highs but what is the risk of a housing market crashHouse Renovation too is at an all time high in expenditure and this might have an impact on new housing starts.

FRED – Home Prices

US Mortgage Rate Trends

US Mortgage rates are forecast to stay low. Yet recently, mortgage rates have risen above the 4% mark and homeowners are locking in their home loans at the 30 year period. Some are calling this the Trump Effect. With Trump in power, lending requirements are expected to be eased, land opened up for development, and this should stimulate home purchases. With employment growing and wages moderating upward, the market is set for growth. Yet, some housing forecasters still cling to the idea that housing starts will moderate after strong growth to 2020.

mortgage-rates-trend

US Employment Outlook 2018 to 2024

According to BLS the job outlook is positive. Construction added 36,000 jobs in January, with 226,000 more than last year, with most of the increase occurring among specialty trade contractors (+26,000). Residential building construction trended up by 5,000 jobs. Total employment should grow by another 4,000,000 to 2024.

National Employment Growth Employment Growth Predictions, 2014–24 Median annual wage, 2014
2014 2024 Number Percent
Total, all occupations 150,539,000 160,328,000 9,788,900 6.5 $35,540

Job Growth by Occupation to 2026

2016 National Employment Matrix title and code (Chart data courtesy of BLS
Employment Change, 2016–26
Median annual wage 2016
2016 2026 Number Percent
Total, all occupations 156,063.80 167,582.30 11,518.60 7.4 $37,040
Personal care aides 2,016.10 2,793.80 777.6 38.6 $21,920
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food 3,452.20 4,032.10 579.9 16.8 $19,440
Registered nurses 2,955.20 3,393.20 438.1 14.8 $68,450
Home health aides 911.5 1,342.70 431.2 47.3 $22,600
Software developers, applications 831.3 1,086.60 255.4 30.7 $100,080
Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners 2,384.60 2,621.20 236.5 9.9 $24,190
General and operations managers 2,263.10 2,468.30 205.2 9.1 $99,310
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 2,628.40 2,828.10 199.7 7.6 $25,980
Medical assistants 634.4 818.4 183.9 29 $31,540
Waiters and waitresses 2,600.50 2,783.00 182.5 7 $19,990
Nursing assistants 1,510.30 1,683.70 173.4 11.5 $26,590
Construction laborers 1,216.70 1,367.10 150.4 12.4 $33,430
Cooks, restaurant 1,231.90 1,377.20 145.3 11.8 $24,140
Accountants and auditors 1,397.70 1,537.60 139.9 10 $68,150
Market research analysts and marketing specialists 595.4 733.7 138.3 23.2 $62,560
Customer service representatives 2,784.50 2,920.80 136.3 4.9 $32,300
Landscaping and groundskeeping workers 1,197.90 1,333.10 135.2 11.3 $26,320
Medical secretaries 574.2 703.2 129 22.5 $33,730
Management analysts 806.4 921.6 115.2 14.3 $81,330
Maintenance and repair workers, general 1,432.60 1,545.10 112.5 7.9 $36,940
Teacher assistants 1,308.10 1,417.60 109.5 8.4 $25,410
Financial managers 580.4 689 108.6 18.7 $121,750
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers 1,871.70 1,980.10 108.4 5.8 $41,340
Elementary school teachers, except special education 1,410.90 1,514.90 104.1 7.4 $55,800
Stock clerks and order fillers 2,008.60 2,109.60 100.9 5 $23,840
Teachers and instructors, all other 993.9 1,091.80 98 9.9 $30,110
Receptionists and information clerks 1,053.70 1,149.20 95.5 9.1 $27,920
Sales representatives, services, all other 983 1,077.90 94.9 9.7 $52,490
Business operations specialists, all other 1,023.90 1,114.30 90.3 8.8 $69,040
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses 724.5 813.4 88.9 12.3 $44,090

US Housing Starts to 2024

New Housing starts and predictions to year 2024

This enlightening stat in the graphic below shows the US economy hasn’t recovered from the great recession and housing crash of 2007. Single family spending is rising rapidly, yet no one believes conditions for high inflation exist. It points to years of solid, healthy growth ahead with an unfulfilled demand for single detached homes.

 Graphic courtesy of paper-money.blogspot.ca

 

30 year and 15 Year Mortgage rates Graphic courtesy of paper-money.blogspot.ca

Housing and Interest Rate Forecast to 2019
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Housing Activity (000)
Total Housing Starts 928 1,001 1,107 1,177 1,204 1,246 1,299
Single Family 620 647 712 784 842 900 962
Multifamily 308 355 395 393 362 346 337
New Single Family Sales 430 440 503 561 610 647 693
Existing Single-Family Home Sales 4,475 4,338 4,627 4,828 4,978 5,029 5,119
Interest Rates
Federal Funds Rate 0.13% 0.13% 0.38% 0.63% 1.13% 1.88% 2.38%
90 day T Bill Rate 0.06% 0.03% 0.05% 0.32% 0.96% 1.71% 2.22%
Treasury Yields:
One Year Maturity 0.13% 0.12% 0.32% 0.61% 1.20% 2.41% 2.70%
Ten Year Maturity 2.35% 2.54% 2.14% 1.84% 2.38% 2.82% 3.22%
Freddie Mac Commitment Rates:
Fixed Rate Mortgages 3.98% 4.17% 3.85% 3.65% 4.10% 4.54% 4.96%
ARMs 2.88% 3.17% 2.94% 2.87% 3.18% 3.62% 4.04%
Prime Rate 3.25% 3.25% 3.26% 3.51% 4.15% 4.98% 5.48%
Data are averages of seasonally adjusted quarterly data and may not match annual

Chart stats courtesy of Nahb.com

Multifamily Home Starts - Millennial Buying Forecast

Save Money on Your Car Insurance

Saving on car might even cut your home insurance and give you more money for your home downpayment. Check now for the lowest quotes for car insurance Los Angeles, car insurance Boston, auto insurance San Francisco, auto insurance Denver, car insurance Toronto, and car insurance Chicago.

New Home Construction Prediction - Home Resales

Employment Outlook: Let’s not forget jobs. Total employed persons in the US will grow 800,000 over the next 2 years.

f4 Graphic courtesy of tradingeconomics.com/united-states/forecast

Existing homes or resale home sales, may slow slightly but US construction spending will increase. Prices will rise to 2020 and construction spending will grow through 2020.

Existing Home Sales to 2020 - Prediction to 2020 Graphic courtesy of tradingeconomics.com/united-states/forecast

Apartment Rental Forecast

Demand for apartment rentals is on the rise and construction starts of multi-unit dwellings is rising to match demand. That creates more opportunity for rental property investors to grow their portfolios in 2018. Yardi says YOY rent growth was 3.0% and they expect rent growth to remain in the 2.5% range.

Chart courtesy of RealPage

Cities with the most apartment construction include Dallas, Houston and Austin, reflecting Texas strong recovery. For more information, see this post on the best cities to buy real estate and best cities to live in and with the best job outlook.

Rental City Markets with Top Growth

Yardi released its winter national outlook report and forecasts a 2.5% increase.

There you have a quick graphical synopsis of factors that will support a strong US housing market for 4 more years.

What’s Your Personal Real Estate Sales Forecast?

Are you a full time realtor looking to grow your prospects and leads?  Full service digital marketing is a bargain when it’s done well.   What’s the forecast and trends for the real estate sales in your region? If you’re in Vancouver, Toronto, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, and many other US centers, you’re probably grinning from ear to ear. But will you get your slice of that pie? Relying on real estate lead generation companies is another way you can go, however you have to pay forever and it’s questionable whether their leads are high quality.

My realtor marketing programs let you leverage the full mls listings with a powerful rets idx website, and capture more leads.  I’ve enjoyed serving clients in many housing markets including Toronto, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Montreal, New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, Florida, and San Francisco California.

Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin. It’s good to share!!

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Housing Market Predictions 2018: Ideal climate for best real estate investing.

Bookmark this page and return for further housing market forecasts, predictions, expert opinions and market data for most major US cities including New YorkLos Angeles, Palm Beach, Miami, For Lauderdale, Orlando, Boca Raton, Wellington, Delray Beach, Boyton Beach, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa,  Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Hamilton, Newmarket/Aurora, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, and other cities in the states of Florida, Texas, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, New Mexico, Lousiana, Alabama, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Toronto Real Estate Forecast 2018 – 2019

Toronto Real Estate Market Forecast/Predictions 2018

April 5, 2018.  The February TREB report isn’t hugely informative, however it does reiterate the downward housing market in Toronto.  The Toronto housing market shrank 39% in March 2018 compared to March of 2017.

Strangely, home prices rose 2.2% vs February, so are we seeing the beginning of the turnaround?  Hope isn’t enough in a repressive market.  Change is needed and it looks like the factors will align this summer.

Although news reports suggest the market is stabilizing, there doesn’t seem to be a bottom in sight yet for luxury homes. They took a precipitous fall this winter. Those who didn’t sell last spring and fall may have been feeling sick all winter long.

Time to Prepare to Sell Your Home or Condo?

The monthly stats below and trends seem to be predicting this may be the best time to sell your home. I’ve predicted a boom after the election, and if we improve our trade agreement with the US, GTA home prices and the Canadian dollar should jump.




Recent reports have it that the City of Toronto could face a $1.4 billion deficit, due to the loss of the lucrative land transfer taxes. Toronto’s starry eyed spending may have to be reeled in thus adding to a cascading recession threat.

A lot of Toronto home buyers are likely cheering the price falls and this spring might be the lowest price point as we head into provincial elections in 2 months and the settling of the NAFTA trade disagreement. Homeowners may decide to hold onto their homes and wait for prices to return after the upcoming provincial election.

For the march report, TREB focused solely on the YoY losses and it is ramping up its election time rhetoric regarding the responsibility of government to foster a healthy housing market. They also believe sales will pick up this summer (post election) but didn’t offer a spring forecast.

Other than stats which you’ll see below, what are the real issues for the GTA market? TREB suggest interest rates and mortgage rules are disouraging home sales. Yet, condo and apartment sales are still strong.

When will prices bottom out? May, June, or next October?

A Change is Coming for Ontario

The real matter for Toronto prices and sales is psychological because the economy is uncertain. Home prices are trending downward strongly, NAFTA is troubled, world leaders are threatening trade tariffs, and the provincial election is coming.

Ontario’s provincial taxes have become crushing and the Liberals have shown no mercy. You have to be genius if you want to be a successful business person here. Yes we’re aging here in Ontario but there’s incredible intellectual capital that’s being wasted. We’ll see more people leave the province even with a new government.

The death throes of the Wynne government show that the people and the business sector can’t tolerate this behaviour and that a new, fresh attitude toward open markets and small business success must happen. If small business is represented in the NAFTA agreement, it could give Ontario a boost it has never seen before.

As Kathllen Wynne’s MPs give up, the wave for the PCs and Doug Ford grows. Screen cap courtesy of Vice.com and CBC

No one can predict what incoming Premier Doug Ford is going to do. Will he toss the market a parachute, open up development and then delete the repressive taxes? We sure hope so. The results for the economy will make news across the and we’ll go from laughing stock to free market leaders.

After the Storm

During uncertain times, buyers will not stick their neck out to purchase a  high priced home in a market rated as the most likely to crash. And theTSX? It’s been the worst performing stock market in the world for some time now. But that could change.

Home prices in Toronto actually rose, yet prices in Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill, and Bradford declined strongly again.

TREB Outlook

TREB reiterated its belief in the role of housing and real estate sales in its yearly report . TREB suggests the GTA market is a key to economic health in Ontario.

On average, each residential transaction reported through TREB’s MLS® System in the GTA generates $68,275 in spin-off expenditures, … The real estate industry is a key contributor to our economy, with total annual spin-off expenditures close to $7 billion.

They went further to hint that without real estate sales and the taxes it generates, the government will have to get their tax money elsewhere! Voters may not want to hear that and it’s probably something Doug Ford will jump on to put the finishing nails in Kathleen Wynne’s guilded coffin. I’m sure HGTV will want to support the pro-development initiatives??

Wynne has killed the Toronto housing market, tax base, young people’s dreams, and as an election promise, is offering free day care, which the government will have to borrow to pay for. Wynne’s passing will generate a wave of relief which Doug Ford will surf on for many years.  With a few legislative changes, he could relaunch Ontario’s economy and the Toronto real estate sector.

The March 2018 TREB update reveals the damage to what should have been a strong and vital Toronto real estate market.

Screen capture courtesy of TREBhome.com

Toronto Forecast for 2018

What as the Toronto Real Estate forecast for 2018?  A gloomy winter/spring followed by lots of sunshine in June. All we need is the June sunshine and we got it 100% right.

Why so optimistic against all the negative reports coming out? None of them are accounting for the upcoming election in Ontario.  It’s to soon to celebrate but only 2 short months away, and we may see the boom I sort of suggested might happen:)

This chart from TREB shows the market 2 months ago in January. Numbers of house sales rose last month yet cond sales fell.  Notice condo prices are up $43,000 in March vs January. Keep an eye on the Toronto condo market.




The market seems very quiet right now, and as Benjamin Tal, CIBC’s chief economist said, “This is the most significant test the market has seen in recent years.”




Is this the best time to buy a house in Toronto? The answer to that may be yes. Prices may plummet further in February and March only to begin a strong rise in April. Why? The election in 4 months and the NAFTA fears will have abated.

Selling your home in 2018?  Should you sell your home and upgrade to a roomier one? Or perhaps you’ll be downsizing to a condo?  Condo sales boomed in 2017 and you’ll be competing hard for anything under $600k. Your Realtor will likely have to work a sophisticated marketing strategy to help you get your house sold and get you moved into a better one.

Are you a 25 to 35 year old first time buyer and hoping to buy a condo?  Is this the best time to buy a home? See the Toronto condo market forecast for prices and opportunities.




Is it a good time to buy a condo apartment in Toronto? Which are the best neighborhoods to buy one? Check the Toronto condo market page for insight.

If you’re looking solely for home prices, then see the detailed running home price stats for each town and district. This post has a collection of videos, opinion, stats, charts, of historic sales/prices and current stats to help you with the decision of whether to buy or sell.

The most meaningful Toronto housing market prediction: After a short depressed period this spring, there will be a fast growing increase lead by optimism with the new incoming Ontario government in July. The prediction is that the optimism of the new government will keep buyers and sellers optimistic until July.

With immigration high (300k new Canadians each year), migrants from other parts of Canada increasing, birth rates up, and Ontarian’s expectations optimistic, 2018, 2019 and 2020 will see strong demand for most properties. As you can see in the Toronto market stats below, some towns and districts in the GTA have seen very strong price growth.

Share the Toronto Real Estate Market forecast on FB or Linkedin.

Anyone buying or selling should have the best overview of factors.

 

Teranet Home Prices

Teranet released its market report on home prices in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and other Canadian cities and predictably we saw the final burst of buying before the stress test rules came into play.




Toronto Real Estate December Report

What happened in December 2017: listings up 50% but sales down despite the last minute stress test frenzy.  New housing starts dropped by 33,000 overall in Ontario in December, after a record amount built in November.  Condo apartments and townhouses are all the rage, due to the almost affordable prices.

This recent chart from TREB shown below, reveals prices are still up year over year.

 

 

Check the running Toronto home prices chart down below. Leave a comment below.

In December, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 7.2% over last year, and the overall average selling price was up by 0.7% year over year. — from TREB report.




Check out the Vancouver and Calgary forecasts too as it reflects on Toronto (And Share on Facebook!).




You Can’t be Serious! a Housing Boom in Toronto in 2018/2019? Royal Lepage predicts prices will rise 6.8% or $57,000. Only Las Vegas Nevada is forecast to be higher. With new homes sold and new development halted, supply won’t be sufficient in late 2018 or 2019. Speculators will love that scenario.

Royal Lepage predicts continued price rises even as domestic investors shift to apartments and condos.

Condo Prices Rose 23%

And the danger in the condo market might be the depressing effect of rental controls on new condo builds. As supply dwindles, prices and rents will rise which is positive for condo investors. The average rental price for a 3 bedroom condo in Toronto is now $3461 per month.

Condo prices were up 21% year over year in December.

Detached Home Prices in many Treb districts has plummeted from 18 months. In some cases, prices are down almost 50% as you can see in the charts below.



If the Toronto Real Estate market nosedives in January 2018, it will be interesting to see what impact it has on the Ontario economy as well as the Canadian economic forecast.

While the talk was about rocketing house prices in Toronto, the Toronto condo market is doing okay and the demand for new construction condos is still brisk.

1 Million New Immigrants Will Affect Toronto’s Housing Market Demand

Demand is never ending, in fact PM Justin Trudeau just announced a program to being in 1 million new immigrants over the next 3 years  along with a new national housing program to help with the housing availability crisis which will heat up demand and prices for Toronto apartment rentals.

So while the Ontario and Federal governments play a dangerous game of economic Russian roulette and await their political fate, homebuyers may be finding their homownership dream more distant than ever. It’s certainly not a good time for the homeless in Toront and area with the wicked cold snap coming through.

Will it be crash and burn in Toronto this year? Even the slightest economic slide in Canada could send nasty shockwaves through the housing market. Crashes normally happen after the euphoria period. Despite the government’s negativity toward home development and supply, the market should be good for 2018.

You can view the prices for each city and MLS district below.




TD Bank senior economist Michael Dolega is quoted last month as saying  the market looks good “after some near-term weakness, likely to last into mid-2018, activity should begin to rebound thereafter given the fundamentally supported demand related to strong job growth and strengthening wage dynamics.”

The upcoming mortgage changes in January means buyers are putting rush orders in now. Condos below $500k are selling well and will continue to do in 2018.  The key for Realtors is helping buyers find an affordable condo, or a house with rental income potential.



Rental Income Investment Property

Some smart buyers are looking at financing solutions that give them a shot at rental income. Real estate investors in Toronto, Vancouver and  even Calgary are focused on rental income investment properties. You should be too.

What is the most notable change? It would have to be Toronto condos. Sales dropped by 15% yet condo prices rose by 23% across the GTA.  When the selection of lower priced condos are gone, we’ll see a renewed surge in prices as buyers hunt the luxury market to see what they can get.

Rental prices are skyrocketing as rental apartments dry up because of the rental price controls.  Rents were up 12% more in the 3rd quarter. How much further will Toronto condos climb in price and how long will voters, many of whom are home buyering milennials with nowhere to go, tolerate Wynne and Trudeau?



Are you considering using a HELOC to do a house renovation?  With listings up, you’ll have to have to add some value to get your house sold. An educated Realtor might be a wise hire too.

Bookmark this page as it is updated very frequently.

Normally Toronto house prices slide back during the winter.  That could help solve the afforable housing issue.  Yet the market is 2 tiered – young buyers with limited financing and a rising group of detached houses that are well out of their reach. 2018 should be the year of the condo.  Contrast the Toronto market with the Calgary Housing Forecast for greater investment insight.

November 2017 TREB Market Update with Jason Mercer






Considering buying or selling? Take a look at some of home buying tips and home pricing tips posts and this new post on the best renovations to grow the price of your house for saleFirst Time buyers should remember that house prices always climb even through recessions as you’ll see in the graphics and housing data below.

Some recent reports from Toronto realtors have it that buyers are back in the market this fall, yet there aren’t enough listings. They feel Toronto House prices will rise again. However, buyers are probably gleeful at the drop in house prices over the last 5 months. If it continues, they might be able to find a great buy. The Toronto economy could boom for sometime if NAFTA is unaffected, yet CMHC beleives there are dangers lurking for this market.

New sales data from TREB’s Marketwatch report paints a telling story of what happened in Toronto Real Estate in the summer of 2017 and how 2018/2019 might look.  Buyers and sellers are wondering if the Toronto housing picture will mirror the Vancouver real estate forecast where Vancouver condos are king.  Vancouver seems to have held its own which means the Toronto market might be safe too.  Let’s not kid ourselves. A crash or a housing slide in Toronto remains a possibility (government).

Consider this your most up to date report on the Toronto Real Estate Market – lots of food for thought below. Enjoy the monthly price charts below which may help you decide whether it’s time to sell your house.  Also see the Mississauga real estate forecast if you’re out in Mississauga, Milton, Oakville or Brampton.

Do you know anyone who may be buying or selling?

Share this Post with them!




New Fed mortgage rules and a higher mortgage rate means buyers will need more money down and be forced to pay higher mortgage payments. The OECD and the World Bank are constantly nattering about Canada’s housing issues. What are they seeing that we don’t?

Most experts are calling for flat prices right through 2018, however there is still a lot of unsold new home inventory and governments are clear in their intent to suppress the housing market. Those considering putting up their houses for sale might be acting much sooner.

When Will You Put up your House for Sale?

Before it was all about finding a house for sale, and now there’s lots of houses for sale. It’s almost certain you’re going to get a much lower price for your GTA house in the next 4 months. As mentioned, the PCs will reconsider how the Liberal’s botched the housing crisis and how they might fix it.

That will change the market psychology. As soon as you and other buyers have somehwere to go, you’ll be putting your home up for sale. If you get prepared this winter and spring, you might hit it right before your neighbors sell theirs.

You’ll want to start reading my how to sell your home tips posts and a little on over asking bidding wars because even right now, multiple offers are still common.

The Toronto situation seems to mirror the US housing forecast only with troublesome government meddling in TO. Experts suggest it is government action that causes the markets to suddenly slide out of control.

Toronto Housing Market Predictions from the Experts

Let’s start off with the Swiss Banks review.

Is BNN’s “end of the housing boom” story valid? Does real estate drive employment in Canada?

CMHC keeps the red flag hoisted on real estate

Trump and squashed Canadian exports represent a big worry.




 

New MLS stats from TREB show sales in August dropped 34.8% year over year and the number of new listings on TREB’s MLS® System, at 11,523 which is  6.7 % lower than last year at his time. This is the fewest listings since 2010.  Prices did decline yet are still higher than August of 2016, and did not decrease evenly in all TREB districts.   




While some areas such as the 905 have seen big drops, (houses are sitting and have to be rented now) areas in Toronto have maintained prices.  These neighbourhoods offer a more reliable bet for sustainable property investment value. Many property investors have discovered the hard way, what the word sustainable means in bottom line dollar terms. Because of demand, two hot areas right now are rental property investment and student housing investment.

Adding to the story this month is a higher loonie, higher mortgage rates, foreign buyer withdrawal, new tax on vacant homes, and homebuyers losing interest. And in response, homeowners make a desperate attempt to sell at lower home prices. 

Condos were the Hot Story in Summer 2017

  • condo average price up over half a million dollars
  • condo prices have risen 28% from second quarter of 2016
  • average condo price in Toronto rose to $566,000
  • condo sales volume dropped 8%
  • number of new listings grew only 1%
  • condos in C09 district rose to an average selling price of $1.345 million
  • Condos in C08 and C01 have the highest volume of unit sales and an average price of $603,000 and $627,000 respectively — high volume translates to more availability and lower prices

The Best Toronto Neighbouhoods are Sound for Investment

TREB stats show specific districts or neighbourhoods in Toronto have not seen a price decline and these ones below have seen price increases:

w10 – Rexdale Kipling, West Humber Claireville, Kingsview Village, Vaughan Grove
w09 – Willowridge Martingrove Richview, Humber Heights
w02 – High Park North, Junction Area, Kingsway South
c02 – Annex, University, Yonge St Clair
c04 – Bedford Park, Nortown, Lawrence Park North, Forest Hill North, Lawrence Park South
c12 – Lawrence Park North, St. Andrew Windfields
c13 – Banbury Don Mills, Parkwoods Donalda, Victoria Village
c15 – Bayview Village, Hillcrest Village, Bayview Woods Steeles, Pleasant View
e01 – South Riverdale, North Riverdale, Danforth, Woodbine Corridor
e06 – Oakride, Clarilea Birchmount, Birchcliffe, Cliffside

Many of these Toronto neighbourhoods are in such strategic locations for employment, that given the housing shortage, urban intensification, poor transit and roadways, that the condos and homes in them will never see a significant price drop. The events of the last 3 months with the Liberal’s fair housing act was an acid test. These Toronto neighbourhoods look to be the best neighbourhoods for safe real estate investment.




US investors should continue to follow the Toronto real estate market as the low Canadian dollar continues to create better real estate investment value.

The Toronto Condo market in July on the other hand is active likely due to affordability. Condos are selling well at 2% to 6% over asking price and comprised 91% of all sales. New apartment and stacked townhouse sales grew 89% year over year, compared to a 72% drop in house sales. 

I suspect 2018 will bring moderation given the rhetoric around the NAFTA deal, tighter lending rules, higher loonie, and very high home prices. 

 

Share the December 2017 Stats and Toronto Forecast with your family and friends on Facebook

Almost everyone is interested in the direction of the housing market. It affects the GTA economy, jobs and business oulook.  This page is updated frequently.

 

A Look Back at 6 Months ago: TREB June 2017 Real Estate Report

Highlights from the June TREB market report at the end of the bubble:

  • Sales dropped 37% year over year, on top of May’s whopping 50% dive
  • residential listings were up 16%
  • Prices rose 6.3%
  • The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price up by 25.3% on a year-over-year basis in June
  • Home prices are down 1.1% month to month
  • apartment prices rose 1% month to month (higher rents)

What’s Compelling about the Toronto Housing Market?

Toronto is a high value housing market similar to New York City or the Bay Area of California, and TO is a city destined to be a super city.  It’s unlikely that a property purchase in Toronto will be a disappointment over the long run. If you see the Toronto home price charts, you’ll notice that prices have climbed in the last 18 months. So buyers have not lost their equity.

And detached house prices will rise much further due to a severe housing shortage, improving economy, and rising population. 

Despite the Ontario government’s new foreign buyers tax threat, demand for housing won’t fall. As the loonie falls in value, Toronto home prices turn out to be reasonable internationally, and may be a worthy investment for rising wealthy Americans. Canadian real estate is still a good alternative to US Real Estate in 2018.

While many buyers would like to live in Central Toronto, Oakville and Milton the prices in these cities is prohibitive. Instead, buyers are looking north to Vaughan, Newmarket, Aurora, Bradford, Barrie, Innisfil, and East Gwillimbury.




Share this detailed monthly home prices report with your friends.



Toronto MLS Real Estate Board Sales Stats for March 2018

Average Toronto Home Price – Detached Homes TREB – March 2018
City March 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 April 2016 Price Change Last 23 months Price Change Last 8 Months
Burlington $993,500 $959,071 $871,879 $895,457 $974,446 $944,564 $961,502 3.3% 5.2%
Halton Hills $852,500 $820,904 $790,683 $787,517 $706,500 $984,812 $828,719 2.9% -13.4%
Milton $868,300 $843,688 $841,998 $884,144 $853,790 $866,650 $765,973 13.4% 0.2%
Oakville $1,298,000 $1,356,888 $1,438,656 $1,482,620 $1,393,860 $1,314,363 $1,191,503 8.9% -1.2%
Brampton $796,600 $763,814 $776,280 $775,170 $766,132 $766,831 $660,015 20.7% 3.9%
Caledon $1,002,000 $1,185,182 $1,001,753 $952,466 $918,712 $1,028,591 $755,494 32.6% -2.6%
Mississauga $1,760,000 $1,140,965 $1,060,211 $1,034,338 $1,023,207 $1,066,015 $966,467 82.1% 65.1%
Toronto West $1,099,000 $1,039,022 $1,016,076 $1,102,379 $1,015,711 $919,916 $944,422 16.4% 19.5%
Toronto Central $2,100,000 $2,070,131 $2,109,070 $2,051,481 $2,302,146 $2,113,130 $1,983,187 5.9% -0.6%
Toronto East $969,000 $894,290 $889,002 $931,239 $961,805 $887,620 $860,814 12.6% 9.2%
Aurora $1,118,500 $1,033,353 $1,249,613 $1,280,888 $1,458,481 $1,144,094 $1,155,487 -3.2% -2.2%
E Gwillimbury $865,000 $769,624 $763,071 $1,013,350 $895,119 $966,047 $764,055 13.2% -10.5%
Georgina $526,700 $619,105 $542,792 $524,735 $600,791 $604,838 $548,886 -4.0% -12.9%
King $1,727,600 $2,129,286 $1,889,738 $1,887,696 $2,252,933 $1,768,333 $1,283,432 34.6% -2.3%
Markham $1,272,600 $1,497,330 $1,342,508 $1,468,221 $1,358,328 $1,319,860 $1,363,887 -6.7% -3.6%
Newmarket $854,600 $879,151 $946,465 $916,350 $895,191 $901,055 $841,593 1.5% -5.2%
Richmond Hill $1,400,000 $1,365,373 $1,526,836 $1,345,898 $1,401,922 $1,466,884 $1,412,443 -0.9% -4.6%
Vaughan $1,238,800 $1,245,480 $1,236,250 $1,280,906 $1,392,781 $1,348,649 $1,191,632 4.0% -8.1%
Whitchurch Stouffville $1,289,000 $970,236 $1,058,486 $928,551 $1,159,545 $1,024,941 $1,048,658 22.9% 25.8%
Ajax $700,000 $690,333 $710,440 $684,011 $696,604 $708,185 $646,370 8.3% -1.2%
Brock $570,800 $408,757 $445,829 $432,318 $513,579 $508,615 $419,758 36.0% 12.2%
Oshawa $559,900 $532,813 $524,422 $516,459 $516,904 $550,677 $467,981 19.6% 1.7%
Pickering $846,000 $812,035 $840,592 $790,733 $869,546 $812,643 $772,399 9.5% 4.1%
Scugog $697,000 $689,250 $726,898 $614,678 $594,062 $719,375 $545,804 27.7% -3.1%
Uxbridge $858,500 $720,557 $771,521 $1,031,295 $957,221 $792,233 $798,749 7.5% 8.4%
Whitby $718,300 $698,110 $669,922 $695,352 $745,222 $733,811 $618,032 16.2% -2.1%
Orangeville $585,500 $562,020 $575,349 $538,518 $594,636 $612,974 $490,825 19.3% -4.5%
Innisfil $644,600 $561,716 $599,443 $525,685 $541,274 $549,492 $476,756 35.2% 17.3%

Stats above courtesy of TREB Market Watch Report

A Look at Detached House Prices in Toronto’s MLS Districts

Toronto House Prices — MLS City Districts Home Price Comparison
TREB District City of Toronto Avg Price December 2017 Avg Price November 2017 Avg Price October 2017 Avg Price Sept Avg Price August Average Price April 2016 Avg Price April 2017 Avg Price Mar 2017 Price Change Since March 2017
Toronto W01 $1,639,475 $1,269,500 $1,709,593 $1,652,600 $1,146,500 $1,405,442 $1,506,333 $1,543,961 6.2%
Toronto W02 $1,403,750 $1,256,500 $1,273,391 $1,280,867 $1,172,250 $1,331,780 $1,538,546 $1,381,945 1.6%
Toronto W03 $701,000 $774,021 $741,391 $771,142 $692,125 $666,904 $854,316 $829,396 -15.5%
Toronto W04 $799,973 $819,469 $840,110 $850,621 $846,775 $786,951 $1,024,908 $1,073,531 -25.5%
Toronto W05 $826,750 $800,063 $874,660 $805,031 $823,767 $749,333 $930,876 $1,073,531 -23.0%
Toronto W06 $1,010,600 $914,017 $922,286 $992,023 $797,392 $795,840 $974,420 $1,128,584 -10.5%
Toronto W07 $1,200,571 $1,086,386 $1,474,725 $1,277,336 $973,250 $1,112,233 $1,484,406 $1,352,042 -11.2%
Toronto W08 $1,317,240 $1,378,995 $1,356,671 $1,247,374 $1,161,882 $1,204,013 $1,544,869 $1,610,163 -18.2%
Toronto W09 $1,005,500 $886,872 $975,778 $922,000 $1,139,211 $839,479 $1,197,627 $1,115,970 -9.9%
Toronto W10 $717,539 $691,261 $688,011 $661,357 $665,268 $613,488 $831,579 $802,909 -10.6%
Toronto C01 $1,412,000 $1,597,750 $1,393,875 $1,430,667 $1,005,000 $1,528,085 $1,646,240 $1,694,333 -16.7%
Toronto C02 $3,730,000 $2,109,010 $2,313,611 $2,242,400 $2,242,750 $1,580,181 $2,710,038 $2,170,853 71.8%
Toronto C03 $1,374,437 $2,327,333 $1,880,584 $1,742,200 $1,317,111 $1,761,787 $2,246,734 $2,473,608 -44.4%
Toronto C04 $2,237,414 $2,204,173 $2,220,546 $2,212,838 $2,200,398 $2,033,140 $2,583,667 $2,245,813 -0.4%
Toronto C06 $1,147,545 $1,293,688 $1,243,727 $1,327,467 $1,445,556 $1,318,750 $1,625,779 $1,811,183 -36.6%
Toronto C07 $1,693,958 $1,609,066 $1,741,987 $1,903,632 $1,776,771 $1,657,822 $2,004,585 $2,155,365 -21.4%
Toronto C09 $2,410,000 $3,538,371 $3,414,450 $2,916,750 $3,500,000 $2,998,401 $3,246,445 $4,481,000 -46.2%
Toronto C10 $2,375,000 $1,856,406 $1,807,154 $1,747,079 $1,473,125 $1,864,333 $1,945,104 $1,786,091 33.0%
Toronto C11 $1,807,500 $2,344,375 $1,895,636 $2,137,000 $1,547,000 $1,542,867 $2,275,117 $2,201,462 -17.9%
Toronto C12 $4,213,580 $3,729,125 $3,775,636 $5,160,518 $3,910,000 $3,141,244 $3,969,281 $4,420,370 -4.7%
Toronto C13 $2,002,400 $1,342,464 $1,520,151 $2,110,709 $1,788,465 $1,926,266 $2,606,111 $2,108,137 -5.0%
Toronto C14 $1,802,222 $2,235,856 $2,001,750 $2,249,879 $3,055,823 $1,996,137 $2,554,047 $2,673,112 -32.6%
Toronto C15 $1,915,292 $1,587,250 $1,944,667 $1,832,921 $1,602,033 $1,766,219 $2,144,120 $2,108,137 -9.1%
Toronto E01 $1,319,250 $1,102,667 $1,135,156 $1,196,542 $1,224,440 $1,164,343 $1,747,894 $1,206,359 9.4%
Toronto E02 $1,188,324 $1,457,515 $1,494,639 $1,625,074 $1,414,357 $1,333,475 $1,458,167 $1,507,090 -21.2%
Toronto E03 $1,008,987 $913,430 $1,023,487 $1,038,377 $956,448 $947,611 $1,099,537 $1,121,847 -10.1%
Toronto E04 $765,124 $777,377 $768,002 $794,523 $772,883 $717,890 $897,304 $889,018 -13.9%
Toronto E05 $929,943 $899,419 $1,019,362 $979,800 $995,190 $991,136 $1,249,824 $1,303,892 -28.7%
Toronto E06 $855,347 $822,917 $766,159 $926,615 $841,995 $766,782 $1,051,918 $1,102,286 -22.4%
Toronto E07 $888,969 $911,018 $897,653 $1,025,444 $922,600 $874,280 $1,164,819 $1,142,611 -22.2%
Toronto E08 $969,634 $930,974 $1,014,526 $852,070 $872,641 $810,560 $1,066,868 $1,092,667 -11.3%
Toronto E09 $752,919 $714,451 $739,871 $690,382 $699,646 $664,378 $855,363 $895,417 -15.9%
Toronto E10 $882,733 $821,381 $897,856 $944,666 $883,852 $821,126 $1,067,925 $1,069,906 -17.5%
Toronto E11 $666,136 794,238 $758,288 $778,100 $780,618 $720,672 $842,414 $851,750 -21.8%

 

Huge new housing developments in Bradford, Newmarket, Aurora, and Vaughan are still selling well, but the market in the 905 area code has cooled. That means bargains are waiting.

Will 2017 Sales in Toronto be a New Record?

2016 was a record year for home sales in Toronto, Mississauga, Vaughan, Newmarket, Bradford and Aurora areas in 2017 could well be even more intense.  

One district in Toronto saw its prices rise $1 million since Sept! See TREB charts below.

TREB forecasted another strong year for home sales via the MLS®.  Their outlook for the Toronto region was 100,000+ home sales for the third consecutive year. Between 104,500 and 115,500 home sales are expected in 2017, with a point forecast of 110,000. TREB’s districts include Mississauga, Oakville, Vaughan, Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill, Markham Bradford, Scarborough, Brampton, Oshawa and Milton.

But what drives the Toronto housing market? Will it succumb to the same fate as Vancouver or worse?   If you’re a buyer, you’re wondering which neighbourhoods and towns to focus on and whether this market will tank. If you’re a seller, you’re wondering if you’re going to miss the biggest payday of your life by not selling. If you’re close to retirement, you may want to carefully review your choice not to sell. 2017 is a grand time for you to sell and move onto a better life.

The 16 Key Factors Driving The 2017 Toronto Housing Market:

  1. severe shortage of housing stock in the GTA region
  2. rising demand from buyers who have been renting
  3. restrictions on development land for housing
  4. Trump and NAFTA free trade deal and implications for Toronto’s automakers
  5. will the low dollar continue?
  6. will oil prices stay at current levels?
  7. rising numbers of millennials hunting for a home or condo
  8. bank of mom and dad continues funding kids home dream
  9. rising interest/mortgage rates
  10. Toronto and Ontario land transfer taxes
  11. rates of employment and income
  12. asian and persian home buyers and investors rush over?
  13. will China curtail its outflow of investment money?
  14. business investment in Ontario continues falling
  15. consumer debt loads and credit ratings
  16. further federal restrictions on first time buyers/downpayments
  17. commuting distances and new construction in York region and Vaughan

 

A look Bak at Toronto Home Prices for June 2017

This graphic courtesy of TREBhome.com illustrates how hot Toronto homes prices had been for each type of housing. (See the Toronto Condo market outlook too).

Sharing is Good for Your Social Health!

The Toronto real estate market is in a precarious state.  Help your friends and contacts who may be wondering if now is the right time to sell, before the housing crash. You can get your price in 2018.




How about the US? Different story for them. The US real estate market is ripe with opportunity with a minimal chance of a housing bubble or crash.

And from this telling graphic above, the shocking rise and fall of detached home prices tells us something is wrong with the Toronto real estate market. Could a Toronto housing crash occur? The renegotiation of the NAFTA deal may be the factor that starts the slide.  President Trump’s goal is US jobs and economic health and he’s already stated he wants a better deal with Canada. It makes sense that he would want auto makers and parts manufacturing to be done in the US. The Canadian dairy and lumber industries are just a distraction.

If there was ever a time to sell your home, this is it. Some have sold $1 Million over Asking.




Investment Rentals are Big Money — How About Rental Income Property?

Are you going to buy rental income property as an investment in 2018?  Check out cities in the US where there is a much better upside in profit. The US economy and housing market will be the top performer in 2017/18.

torontoforsale
Image courtesy of CBC — Hot Toronto Market Means Spending More

What do your realtor and local politicians say is happening in your local market in Toronto, Mississauga, Vaughan, Oakville, and York Region?  What’s their forecast? I’d like to know.

As we progress to 2018, emotions are going to run high as the critical factors you can read about below become intense. Could the Toronto economy collapse if home prices fall 20% (loss of taxes for governments among other fallout).

Below is an updated look at the March real estate market in the GTA. Recent trends show home prices are rising faster than any experts predicted. Will this be the excuse the government is looking for to upend the market? Or is demand for single detached homes simply too strong?

Government Values at Odds with the People and their Pocketbooks

Are the all too predictable actions of governments in Vancouver and Toronto foretelling what may happen in US markets such as Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and San Francisco? Is the battle over and treatment of land in all major urban areas simply an artificial means of inflating real estate prices or is there actually a land crisis?

If the Ontario government decreases available land for development, drives prices way up causing public furor thereby requiring draconian measures, will it end in a crash in late 2017? Will someone create a crisis to force a crash? We should be asking these questions if we’re investing or buying.

Scarcity of land is the primary driver of high prices in the Toronto real estate market. The biggest threat is unwise government manipulation.

BMO’s senior economist Benjamin Tal said in a Toronto Star report on October 14th, the Ontario Government’s Places to Grow program was primarily responsible for the fast rising prices in the GTA market. He also suggests other red tape factors worsened the situation. Prices in Newmarket, Markham, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Bradford East Gwillimbury and Aurora have definitly crashed.

If land scarcity is driving prices up, then even a 15% foreign buyers tax and new mortgage rules for millennial buyers may not be enough to cool demand for housing or condos. The real factor may be the next recession, fueled by housing market mismanagement.

 

Please send this blog post onto your friends and neighbours because they should know as much about the Toronto area forecast factors as possible before they buy or sell.  It’s good to be helpful. Mistakes are painful.

March 2017 Price Index from Teranet – Index climbed right into August. October reports coming soon. Screenshot courtesy of housepriceindex.com.

What are the Causes of High Home Prices in Toronto?

The major factors that drive housing demand growth to Toronto: immigrant investors, better economy, low interest rates, increasing numbers of buyers in their home home buying years (millennials), and optimism all look on the upswing.  As mentioned in the Los Angeles Real Estate forecast post, here are the key factors that affect home prices:

Housing Demand – High overall demand – “all cash bidding wars” in some cases

Housing Supply – Throttled, supply is far from what’s needed

Developable Land – Throttled by government which is the single biggest factor

Builder Red Tape – Builders can’t build even if they have funding – high exposure to financial loss

Mortgage Rates – Continuing Low, especially in light of global economic slackening and with recent tightened lending rules

Down Payment and mortgage rules – these are being tightened this taking some pressure off of the purchase market and re-routing it to the rental market (people have to live somewhere)

Toronto Region Employment – moderate and remaining moderate despite Federal infrastructure

Taxes – rising quickly due to Ontario government and federal government spending

Buyer Income – moderate and not rising much

Home or Condo Prices – High and rising fast – out of reach for most buyers

Demographics – Millennials coming into family and home buying years and must begin to acquire their own living space

Number of Renters – increasing fast because of tight mortgage lending rules

New Home Construction: limited because of Green Spaces Act, but is a source of supply

Economic-Foreign Trade – Canada struggling and Free Trade agreements now being scrutinized because they don’t see to be working like they used to

Taxes on Sale of Home – huge tax burden for those selling in the city of Toronto

Some point to the Ontario government’s Places to Grow intensification plan as the major culprit in skyrocketing single detached home prices. Toronto condo prices haven’t risen like house prices have, yet condo demand is usually not spoken much about. It does look like a growing population want house to live in. A growing millennial family would certainly find it tough to live in highrise condos designed for adult living.

Share this post with your friends and clients. Everyone should know about the housing crisis factors and the economic spinoff from the Toronto Real Estate Market. It’s good and bad, but they should know the factors and help in the solution.

News posts in the Financial Post, Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, CTV, CBC etc, is often based on varied expert opinions and a few isolated market factors.  Why don’t we look at all the factors that comprise a realistic Toronto housing market outlook for 2017.

What are the Trends in Toronto Real Estate and New Housing?

Toronto Home Prices Historical
The only drop in Toronto home prices took place in 2008, in lieu of the great recession. Graphic courtesy of the Financial Post

ontarioeconomicforecast

ontarioconsumption

mortgage-rates-2006to2016

I’ve heard a number of convincing arguments for both a bubble and an extended period of growth in new housing development and resale housing price growth in Toronto. And I’ve heard before that money from China has no effect on the market, and from others, that today’s real estate market is driven by Chinese money. The banks and CREA just can’t get their stories straight and the media doesn’t report on how badly their forecasts were off the mark in previous years.

Was it All Driven by Chinese Buyers?

Fully 10% of new condominiums being built in central Toronto were going to foreign buyers, according to a survey released in April by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); veterans of the city’s rough-and-tumble real estate market believe the vast majority are mainland Chinese investors  10% doesn’t seem like a big number and we’re told that Chinese buyers are only interested in luxury priced properties.

TREB’s own survey found that foreign buyers actually had little effect on the market, and it was the chilling effect of the fair housing act that destroyed what was a health Toronto real estate market.

foreignownership-toronto-cma
Graphic and data courtesy of CMHC

Strangely, CREA is forecasting a marked slowdown in housing start for 2017 to a flat market for Toronto, Mississauga and Vancouver. But they admit the market is still very intense. In fact, in my town, sold over-asking price stickers are on almost every sold sign. There’s not just a few bids on these homes, sometimes there are a lot. It would take a serious economic recession or government action to get rid of all those buyers. Given how troubled our economy still is, in Ontario, it’s unlikely any government would push it into recession.

If you can sell a new house for $600,000 or a Condo for $300,000, why wouldn’t developers be building as many as they can? With economic factors supporting growth, the problem must be political. A quick look at Ontario’s urban intensification plan might show us where the real core of the housing availability crisis and fueling high rent and housing prices.

A quick look at the US housing forecast and a small market forecast for San Diego tells you that the Americans are enjoying moderate growth now and all the way to 2020. That will help carry us.

In a low oil price world, the Toronto and Vancouver economies have benefited and that has to be the key factor.  And we haven’t benefited much because manufacturing jobs didn’t come back. In fact, even with the low loonie, jobs still moved to Mexico and China.

Expert Asks; Can You Believe Anything from Anyone Anymore?

We were told by the experts that the boom is only being experienced in Vancouver and Toronto, but the graph below tells a different story. If the US economy picks up, we could see all Canadian cities heating up.

Housing Demand Toronto Vancouver Montreal Calgary

The Usual Suspects?  Government

The upcoming jump in downpayment for mortgages will only hurt first time buyers who will still have to rent a condo or home somewhere, if they can afford it. There’s word the BC government may levy taxes against unoccupied homes and they’ve talked about harassing investors (background checks).  Of course, BC just levied the 15% foreign buyer tax and caught many unwary buyers offguard, resulting in extra costs of over $100,000 for some. That’s what happens when government starts meddling in markets – they don’t work anymore.

Ontario’s Urban Intensification Act appears to be colliding head on with the Greenbelt expansion plans by intensifying growth near the greenbelt areas and at the same time shrinking available land. Is this a wise move at a time of fragile yet positive economic growth?

Houses for Sale in the Sizzling Hot GTA Market

Housing markets such as Vaughan, York Region, and Central Toronto heated up considerably in 2017 and more people moving to these municipalities. No one looked at Aurora real estate in past years, but new housing developments, great lifestyle, along with a very limited supply of land within the town means speculators will be jumping on the bandwagon. Days on market for Aurora homes was down to 10 last spring — only Oshawa homes sold that fast, and for over asking price.

Homebuyers are willing to look beyond the green spaces belt, but they’ll look at Aurora, Bradford, Stouffville, and Newmarket first before heading north. The pressure from Toronto, Chinese, and Mississauga buyers should put much upward pressure on these regions.

 

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Generating leads for Toronto realtors and realtors in Los Angeles, Toronto, San Diego, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Hamilton, Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill,  Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Francisco, San Jose, and many more cities acorss North America. I welcome enquiries from the UK too.

Switch Auto Insurance Companies – Cost Savings from Switching Insurers

Shop for Cheaper Car Insurance

Every year, tens of millions of drivers get their insurance renewal papers mailed to them and they simply ignore them and let their policy rollover. That’s money lost!

By taking a moment to consider the high rate they’re paying for the type of coverage they’re receiving, they might decline theie insurance company’s offer. If you knew the savings they might be getting, you’d be switching.

If you want to save thousands on car insurance, you have to start thinking bigger savings numbers than the 15% someone like Geico offers. Very few auto insurance companies talk about savings. Their advertisements are low key because they want to make a brand impression without stirring up their customers thoughts about value and price.



You’re a Smart Consumer – Shopping Gives you Power!

It’s a fact that shopping is power. Your choice of where your money goes, shapes the economy and is helps you share and promote your values. You decide who gets rich.




And right now, you’re here because you demand a lower quote for auto insurance and by searching, you’re going to get your wish. If you’re persistent and keep at finding the insurers who want your business, you’ll be switching car insurance providers. In the past, car insurance companies would give you misery if you tried to change insurers. Even today, you have to be careful of it because even the smallest gap in coverage could cost you. Yes, insurance is a racket and there’s nothing you can do about it other than keep shopping for the cheapest rates and lowest quote.

The 10 Major Auto Insurance Companies

Here’s more than 30 insurance companies below to help whet your appetite for a lower auto insurance quote.

Here’s the major brand insurance companies in the US, beginning with Geico who spend a inordinate amount of money on TV advertising. Many of these companies advertise online and you’ll see them in your searches on Google. Don’t be hypnotized by the brand names and sign on eagerly because you liked their TV mascot. Remember you’re here on this site because you intend to save money on your car insurance. That’s you quest and you should stick to it. It could be mean saving $10,000 or more over 5 years. What could you do with $10k?




Geico Auto Insurance Company – the popular insurer we recognize from their television Gecko mascot is the 2nd largest auto insurer in the United States, after State Farm. Geico is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway insurance (Billionaire Warren Buffett).  Geico provides auto insurance coverage on 22 million+ cars, trucks, motorcycles, motorhomes etc for 14 million insurance policy holders.

State Farm Insurance Company – is headquarted in Bloomington Illinois and has a whopping and expensive payroll of 18,000 insurance agents. It’s total net income in 2013 was 5.2 Billion dollars and it has 44 million auto insurance policies in effect.

Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Company – BHI is is owned by Billionaire Warren Buffett, which boasts a yearly income of $24 Billion and they own Geico Insurance.

Allstate Car Insurance Company –  Allstate  is the 2nd largest personal insurance insurer in the US and in Canada, (behind State Farm). It is the largest publicly held insurance company (net income of $2.7 Billion) and it owns esurance.com a top online insurance website. Allstate has its headquarters in Northbrook Illinois and has a yearly net income of $2.7 Billion.

USAA Auto Insurance Company – The United Services Automobile Association is a financial services company that earns more than $24.6 Billion annually. It is located in San Antonio TX and offers a huge range of personal property and casualty (P&C) insurance, life insurance, automobile insurance, homeowner insurance, renters’ insurance, as well as umbrella and personal property insurance.

AAA Auto Insurance Company – The American Automobile Association (AAA ) is a large group of motor clubs throughout the US and Canada (CAA) having more than 55 millions members.  AAA is a non-profit member service organization. AAA is located near Orlando Florida with office located in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Toronto and many more major cities.




Nationwide Car Insurance Company – Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company & Affiliated Companies is a group of large insurance and financial services companies based in Columbus, OH. It’s yearly revenue is $40 billion.

Liberty Mutual Car Insurance Company – Liberty Mutual Group is a huge, global insurance company with its head office located in Boston, Massachusetts. The company’s $29 billion, and 45,000 employee workforce means it is one of the biggest insurance companies in the world. The company provides home, auto, business and property insurance.

Progressive Auto Insurance Company – Progressive Insurance writes insurance policies for automobiles trucks, motorcycles, boats, and recreational vehicles through their independent agency channel and a direct channel known as progressive.com. Progressive Insurance has its headquarters in Ohio. The company reports yearly  earnings of $21 Billion.

Farmers Auto Insurance Company – Farmers Insurance Group is located in Los Angeles CA. It earns $12.6 billion in revenue yearly and provides car insurance and truck insurance coverage for automobiles, homes and small businesses via it’s 50,000 independent insurance agents.




There are plenty more auto insurance companies you will want to research and switch your auto policy to:

  • American Family Auto Insurance (Madison)
  • Mercury Auto Insurance Company (Detroit)
  • Farm Bureau Auto Insurance Company
  • The Hartford Auto Insurance Company (Hartford)
  • The General Car Insurance
  • MetLife Auto Insurance (New York City)
  • Fred Loya Car Insurance
  • Travelers Auto Insurance
  • American Insurance Group (New York City)
  • Amica Auto Insurance Company
  • Freeway Auto Insurance Experts
  • AARP Motor Club
  • Kemper Automobile Insurance (Chicago)
  • Erie Auto Insurance Company
  • Dairyland Auto Motorcycle Insurance
  • Netquote Automobile Insurance
  • Wawanesa Auto Insurnace
  • Safeco Auto Insurance (Seattle)
  • Allied Auto Insurance Company
  • NJM Automobile Insurance
  • Shelter Insurance Company
  • Plymouth Rock Auto Insurance
  • Grange Insurance for Auto
  • Hagerty Auto Insurance Company (Detroit)

 

Car Insurance Infographic – Major Insurers in the US

car-insurance-brand-infographicsmall
Car Insurance Infographic courtesy of Graphs.net

Cheaper Car and Truck insurance Quotes

Search for hours for the best auto insurance rates in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando,  Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Simi Valley, Raleigh, Albuquerque, Glendale,  Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Indianapolis, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, Miami Beach, and Honolulu.

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Auto Insurance Companies – Car Insurance Quotes

Compare Auto Insurance Rates

Stats revealed auto insurance premiums rose by 7% last, far above the usual 3 to 4%.  With driverless vehicle technology ready to roll, and auto claims rocketing, drivers are likely to see even higher rates soon.

If your rates rose despite having no claims last year, well, isn’t it time you started shopping for cheaper auto insurance?

Shopping around online is the only way you will reduce your auto insurance costs




Compare Car Insurance Rates

If you’re not comparing auto insurance rates, you’re giving away money. In fact, car insurance shopping is the only way to can substantially lower your premiums and get better converage.  This post will convince you and give you some new options.

You get lower auto insurance by comparing quotes from different vehicle insurance companies. There are a lot of them out there.  There’s big and small insurance companies and independent brokers looking for your business.




Will you save on insurance for electric vehicles?

Rising auto insurance isn’t a local issue. Car insurance rates are rising everywhere but it appears consumers are apathetic about it. If you look at the price charts below you’ll see how much people expend for auto insurance.

Self-driving cars could raise auto insurance rates for you and I, since those autonomous car companies would negotiate their own low rate coverage. They’ll save plenty, but you will have to negotiate your own insurance rate.

 




The insurance companies are awash in cash now however they’re facing tough times as their own pool of revenue is eroded and claim payouts rise. Switching insurance companies might be a wise move. Consider this stat:

The average auto insurance premium in Ontario, Canada is $1,458, which is almost 55% higher than the average of all other Canadian jurisdictions — from a Globe & Mail report.

It’s 2017 and time to take massive action to save money. Have you investigated UBI or usage based auto insurance? Check out the auto insurance rates for your city or state below.

Get the best auto insurance quotes in Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Phoenix, Denver, Boston, New York and other cities where consumers are fed up.  We’re all paying too much to insure our cars, SUVs and trucks. It’s hard earned dollars ($10,000) that you’re giving away but now that can change.  Has your loyalty to one insurance company done much for you?

Look back at the last 20 years of auto insurance coverage you purchased (e.g., 20 x 12 x $150 = $36,150).  Could you use that money right now?

It’s a Great Time to Switch Auto Insurance Companies

Bentley EV  – Luxury Car Insurance

Yes, switching insurance companies is a wise financial choice.  There are videos, charts, infographics and quote comparisons below that will open your eyes. When it comes to finding the lowest insurance rates, and a better policy, this might be a good starting point.  It’s best to do lots of searching and get a wide variety of quotes from insurers.  Just through persistence alone, you’ll get the best rates.  You could save $10,000 over 6 years or as much as $1800 in one year.

Do you Need Collector or Luxury Car Insurance?

Here’s an auto insurance niche where you can get more price and appropriate quotes for your Porsche, Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, Lamborhghini, Bentley, Rolls Royce, or Maserati.




I’m sure you’ll find the auto insurance quote comparisons below an eye opener.
According to one source, the average price of auto insurance across the US is $1100 to $1200 per year — that leaves lots of room for you to start saving!

Virginia has become the 19th state to ban consumer price gouging – Consumeraffairs.com – fair warning that you are probably getting taken.

Searching for Insurance via Google

Google is certainly fast and you’ll get better rates than from an insurance agency in Los Angeles, Boston, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, New York, Indianapolis, Detroit, Philadelphia, or Chicago. Within seconds you can be on an insurance company website and buy an auto insurance policy. I’d advise looking first to the auto insurance comparison sites before you decide on an insurance company and take their coverage.  That’s particularly true if you’re buying luxury auto insurance.




Not all of the big name companies such as Allstate, Progressive, Geico, Nationwide, State Farm, Mercury, StateFarm, and others offer great rates or the coverage you actually need. I know from my own searches that I tend not to be thorough enough. I get restless and frustrated and settle for a higher auto insurance quote than I should. I want to help you optimize your quest for the lowest auto policy.




Sharing Really is Caring
Share this post on Facebook with younger drivers who need some relief from $4000 to $8000 policies.
 

My Car Insurance Quote

I conducted a search directly on the insurer’s websites of Geico, Progressive, Statefarm, Liberty Mutual, Mercury, Allstate, AAA and Farmers. In the chart below, you can see the quote for a 40 year old male living in Santa Ana, California, driving a 2010 Hyudai Santa Fe 4 dr sedan to work 30 miles away daily, and having one non bodily injury accident (hit a car). We need an example to analyze an auto insurance quote, so let’s take a quick look at this one.

Statefarm’s auto quote was about $1300 less per year than Liberty Mutual’s. Over 6 years, that translates to $7800 in savings if I chose Statefarm.  Further below, I sought quotes via insurance hotline and the variation was bigger.  With your own search, you may find one local insurance company who may be willing to insure you at much less.

Is a  40 year old driver with one accident statistically that risky? Obviously Liberty Mutual, Statefarm, and AAA believe there is huge risk. Each company processes the statistics differently, and they’re entitled to. However, are they being reasonable about it. Is the auto quote abnormally high?

Geico Auto Insurance Quote Form Screen Capture courtesy of Geico

Get a Quote in Your City

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Auto Insurance Provider Price per Year
Geico Auto Insurance Company $1772
Progressive Auto Insurance Company $1884
Statefarm Auto Insurance Company $1654
Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance Company $2909
Mercury Auto Insurance Company $1760
Allstate Auto Insurance Company $1655
Nationwide Auto Insurance Company $2071
AAA Auto Insurance Company$ $2673
Farmers Auto Insurance Company $2796

Some of these companies make you fill out endless questions, some of which you have to wonder are even legal. I liked Progressive’s online auto insurance quote process the best.  It was quick and the least painful. They seem to respect your time the most. Their quote was a little higher than Allstate and Statefarm, but I suspect Progressive has a better corporate culture — a signal of how they’ll treat you after becoming their customer.

Auto Insurance Tips from Everquote.com

Auto Insurance Tips on how to Get Cheaper Car and Truck Insurance

Canadian Auto Insurance Buyers are Getting Ripped Off

Car Insurance Quote In Canada

Here’s another example auto insurance quote for a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 4 door, for a 48 year old male with one ticket. See the huge difference in quotes from individual brokerages?  That’s right, in this case there are two Aviva brokerages competing. The lowest quote was  from Travelers insurance. It equates to $1700 savings per year and more than $10,000 over 6 years. That’s a significant amount.

car insurance quote
Car Insurance Quote for 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe

Auto Insurance Rates by US State

Just in case you’re curious, here is Insure.com’s rankings of States for car insurance policies for one year.

Cheapest Cars, Truck and SUVs to Insure

Are you looking for the cheapest auto insurance?  Check out usage based insurance and consider buying an old car. Here’s Yahoo’s list of the cheapest cars and SUV’s to insure:

1. Honda Odyssey LX – annual insurance premium: $1113 per year.

2. Honda CR-V LX – annual insurance premium:  $1,170.

3. Dodge Grand Caravan – annual car insurance premium $1,174.

4. Jeep Wrangler Sport – annual car insurance premium $1,181.

5. Jeep Compass Sport 2WD – annual car insurance premium $1,190

6. Ford Escape S 2WD – annual car insurance premium $1,194.

7. Buick Encore Sport Tour 2WD – annual car insurance premium $1,200.

8. Jeep Cherokee Base 2WD – annual car insurance premium $1,203.

9. Nissan Frontier S King Cab – annual car insurance premium $1,204

Here’s something to think about to motivate you: a savings of almost $1000. How long does it take you to earn $1000 x the next 4 years = $4000. Because, insurance buyers tend to be loyal (or just lazy) and stick with the insurance company that’s sticking it to them. If that’s you, then, spend a whole afternoon or evening searching for a lower auto insurance quote. Save your money.

Sharing is Good for Your Social Health, and good for others bank accounts. Help them save by sharing this post! Who couldn’t use all that money?

A survey by carinsurance.com (they do these studies for PR and for wider exposure in social media and Google) so take it with a grain of salt.  Carinsurance.com stated that in California, the average annual premium across the six top carriers was $1,428 (significantly higher than national average of $1,277). The cheapest car insurance averaged an amazing 33% less, at $960.

The Type of Car you Drive is a Key Factor

You may not realize that the insurance companies offer cheaper insurance for a certain type or brand of vehicle. Jeeps for instance have very cheap rates. Why? Who knows?  They’re not divulging anything that will cause them to lose profit. Obviously, your age, sex, and recent driving record will determine if you can get those best rates. Are new electric cars like the Tesla Model 3, Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf the way to go?

Find the lowest insurance rates in your city: Los Angeles car insurance, Boston auto insurance, Phoenix car insurance, San Francisco car insurance, San Diego car insurance, Seattle car insurance, New York car insurance, Indianapolis car insurance, Detroit car insurance, Philadelphia auto insurance, Toronto car insurance, or Chicago car insurance.




Inforgraphic courtesy of Enhance Insurance – Automobile Insurance facts in all 50 states

Auto Insurance Resources

Car Insurance requirements in California:

Car Insurance requirements in New York:

Auto Insurance Coverage Requirements in Texas

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Sacramento Housing Predictions | Current Market Update and Forecast for 2018 2019

Sacramento Housing Market in 2018

Is 2018/2019 looking strong for the Sacramento housing market? Consensus is yes. It may be hurtling at top-speed toward peak San Franciscification as one report has it.

The US and California economies look good and with President Trump pushing for fair trade agreements, it can only produce more GDP growth, upward wage pressures and further reawakening of the American dream, long since abandoned in the last 11 years.

And even with NASDAQ and corporate tech threatened, Silicon Valley is still the lightning rod of the American revival.



Yet, there are other ways to view the Bay area outlook.  Are peristent regulations, interest rates, or the natural tail end of the housing cycle harbingers of doom? Could Sacramento’s market collapse in a larger national or California housing crash?

Experts are torn in their predictions because there are so many conflicting factors affecting all US housing markets from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Boston and Florida. The rising prices are the result of higher demand and low housing availability almost everywhere.

Sacramento Riverboat Cruises

Not in My Backyard Sentiment is Strong

And California is where the housing crisis is worst. Residents don’t want the inflation, immigration, higher taxes, congestion, pollution, water shortages, and crime that new developments might bring.

In fact a report in the San Jose Mercury News suggests California politicians are failing to approve housing development initiatives. That translates to higher home prices and apartment rental prices for 2018/2019 and beyond.

Relentless Growth in Housing

Some suggest these nationwide trends will drive all markets from 2018 to 2020 — the demand in Sacramento County was just delayed. Is Sacramento worth it? It seems the lower prices is all that matters to most, however this area has a warm charm and excellent climate that many residents could never think of letting go of.




Yuba City and Sutter County Real Estate

The desperation of Sacramento residents is pushing them north to Yuba City and Sutter County to find bargain houses for sale.

See the Yuba City/Sutter County real estate update provided by Michele Swift. You’ll see all the local market details and comparisons with Sacramento.

Lifestyle factors, lack of availability, and affordability issues will drive home sales in Yuba City, Sutter County and other towns outside of Sacramento, and it’s worth a look up north.

Buyers from San Francisco and the Bay Area are still eagerly checking out Sacramento for bargains themselves. Realtor.com reports only 2770 homes are for sale on the MLS in Sacramento, a county of 2.4 million people.

Sac was the fastest growing city in the nation last year with a growth rate of 1.4% which accounts to a whopping 33,000 new residents.

Zillow reports that 89% of homes in Sacramento increased in value whereas only 7.4% of homes decreased in value. The monthly rent index grew 8.2% in the last year showing rental income property investment and speculation may be adding to the price pressure. For renters, who seek relief from $4,000+ rents in San Francisco, the $1500 price tag in Sacramento is alluring.

Sacramento’s Affordable Homes Draw

The current average home price in the city is $323,000 while Elk Grove and Roseville are priced at averages of $421,000 and $438,000 respectively.

To someone cashing out of the market in San Francisco, even these rising prices are very attractive.


pic: sacramentohousingstats pic courtesy of Zillow.com

This excellent chart agove from Zillow reveals exceptional price growth in Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Florin, Orangevale, and Sacramento. El Dorado Hills and Rocklin recorded the lowest rates of price growth.

Realtor.com rated Sacramento as the 5th hottest housing market in the nation in February 2018, up from 8th spot in January. 14 of the top 20 were California cities. And the forecast for the state of California remains hot, including San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles.

A report in the Mercury news shows demand for homes in Sacramento is coming from the Bay Area. One estimate is that 120,000 Sacramento residents work in the Bay Area. This makes this new mega region very attractive for all sorts of innovative living and working solutions.

“Each year, nearly 20,000 Bay Area residents are resettling in cities stretching from Davis to Sacramento and further east to the Sierra foothills, according to census data analyzed by the Greater Sacramento Economic Council.” – San Jose Mercury News




Home Prices 2017 in Sacramento County

This chart of home prices in Sacramento neighbourhoods, courtesy of Trulia, indicates those with the most intense demand from buyers. Take not of those in bold font below that have experienced the strongest price growth. Ask your realtor what are the keys to this jump in prices.

Sacramento Neighborhood Sales Price Year over Year Change
Poverty Ridge $377,400.00 -35.4%
East Sacramento $660,500.00 17.2%
Land Park $664,500.00 15.2%
Curtis Park $535,800.00 4.9%
Midtown $539,900.00 3.9%
Southside Park $419,000.00 -16.7%
Upper Land Park $483,100.00 6.8%
CSUS $550,800.00 8.9%
Newton Booth $369,000.00 -19.8%
Mansion Flats $376,800.00 -18.8%
Pocket $440,900.00 1.5%
Richmond Grove $725,000.00 42.2%
Westlake $456,700.00 16.9%
New Era Park $482,500.00 26.3%
Natomas Park $448,300.00 16.3%
Elmhurst $432,600.00 5.8%
South Land Park $428,300.00 13.6%
Little Pocket $421,300.00 -29.6%
Village 7 $423,900.00 -1.3%
Carleton Tract $346,300.00 21.5%
Sierra Oaks $477,000.00 -2.3%
Natomas Crossing $366,900.00 54.5%
Village 12 $370,800.00 13.6%
Downtown $402,900.00 7.9%
Willow Creek $377,600.00 10.5%
Z’berg Park $401,000.00 6.7%
Campus Commons $375,700.00 -2.0%
Tahoe Park East $325,000.00 3.5%
Med Center $384,600.00 11.2%
Natomas Creek $373,500.00 8.9%
Gateway West $370,500.00 13.3%
Tahoe South Park $320,200.00 7.7%
Regency Park $344,400.00 9.8%
South East $259,100.00 13.4%
North Oak Park $336,000.00 9.2%
Woodlake $419,300.00 14.5%
Sundance Lake $390,000.00 4.0%
Metro Center $350,200.00 20.7%
Hollywood Park $369,100.00 5.0%
Creekside $344,300.00 15.3%
Tahoe Park $376,400.00 14.8%
College / Glen $344,300.00 6.8%
Brentwood $379,200.00 55.5%
Tallac Village $257,600.00 1.9%
North City Farms $263,300.00 17.7%
Colonial Heights $277,600.00 -7.6%
Northpointe $280,800.00 4.6%
Colonial Village North $262,200.00 7.7%
South Natomas $281,000.00 15.8%
Valley Hi / North Laguna $300,700.00 20.1%
Strawberry Manor $188,600.00 4.4%
Gardenland $281,800.00 12.2%
Parkway Estates $248,300.00 0.3%
Northgate $253,900.00 12.0%
Avondale $206,700.00 4.4%
Mangan Park $283,400.00 12.5%
Parkway North $223,000.00 8.8%
Colonial Village $238,600.00 25.2%
Robla $272,800.00 14.4%
Meadowview $260,900.00 19.8%
Swanston Estates $283,400.00 37.5%
Tokay Park $203,800.00 -14.9%
Lindale $220,000.00 0.9%
Lawrence Park $213,800.00 7.1%
Hagginswood $208,400.00 4.0%
Oak Knoll $320,400.00 34.4%
Ralley Industrial Park $274,500.00 34.6%
Glen Elder $204,400.00 2.4%
South Hagginwood $182,900.00 38.1%
River Gardens $296,000.00 58.3%
Woodbine $223,500.00 0.2%
Parkway $236,300.00 29.9%
Central Oak Park $246,000.00 17.5%
Fruitridge Manor $102,500.00 -26.3%
South Oak Park $207,500.00 38.1%
Noralto $205,300.00 24.9%
East Del Paso Heights $190,900.00 11.8%
Richardson Village $221,300.00 51.6%
Golf Course Terrace $260,200.00 3.5%
Del Paso Heights $222,600.00 23.1%
Ben Ali $196,000.00 24.7%
Freeport Manor $303,800.00 38.1%
RP Sports Compex $150,000.00 20.1%
South City Farms $177,500.00 16.0%
Glenwood Meadows $252,100.00 10.4%
Willis Acres $187,200.00 7.5%
Airport $255,000.00 1.9%




Sacramento County is one of the hottest housing markets in 2018. If you’re an investor, you have to take this market seriously. With home prices at one third of neighboring cities in the Bay Area and 300,000 new residents in 2017, within a strong economy, there’s opportunity.

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Auto Insurance News – Car and Truck Insurance Coverage Comparison Savings

Auto Insurance Quotes

Auto Insurance News Report

Welcome to the latest edition of the Auto Insurance News Report. Aside from finding the insurance company offering the lowest auto insurance quote, we’ve got insight into auto insurance trends in the US and Canada.

Please bookmark the page in your browser and return often.

ICBC Desperate for Cash to Stave off Bankruptcy, new ideas include caps on claim payouts, street cameras, and almost impossible requirements to gain a driver’s policy discount. New NDP government has its ands full with throttling Alberta oil and is clamouring to deal with ICBC $1.3 Billion deficit for 2018.

The government’s ICBC executives are trying to resolve their business crisis with ineffectural fixes.  They believe raising car insurance premiums, capping accident claims, considering driving experience in driver ratings, raising premiums for drivers with minors and serious convictions, giving discounts for low-risk drivers and by revamping ICBCs antiquated driver rating system, they can avoid privatizing the auto insurance industry.

BC drivers and tax payers might still be wondering how this will resolve a $1.35 billion dollar problem each and every year ahead.

Vancouver’s experimentation with government run auto insurance is revealing what it should have known before. ICBC has run into severe financial difficulties and is now looking at any revenue sources to keep it alive.

Vancouver BC Canada to Have the Most Expensive Car Insurance

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is charging that the ICBC is using its monoply to drive Vancouver auto insurance rates higher. That would give Vancouver auto rates the distinction of being the highest in Canada, above the car insurance rates Toronto drivers pay.

The ICBC is a provincial government department which controls all auto insurance in BC. It was asking for a 6.4% increase in premiums. The CTF says this will push average car insurance rates in Vancouver to a whopping $1680.

That would underscore the importance of shopping for a better auto insurance quote and comparing value.

ICBC’s own poll of BC drivers suggested they want more competition in the auto insurance marketplace. 89% of respondents believe shopping around for insurance would save significantly on their auto insurance costs. Last year, ICBC stopped providing insurance coverage for luxury cars.




Auto Insurance in Toronto Continues to Rise

A recent report called Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered: A Review of the Auto Insurance System in Ontario, revealed that Ontario drivers paid an average annual insurance premium in 2015 of $1,458 per vehicle, nearly 57%higher than the national average of $930.  A report in the Toronto Star suggest that high premiums are going to experts and lawyers and not to those injured in auto accidents.  That was not the intent of the no fault insurance program, but it looks like the rich are benefiting from it, rather than ordinary Ontario drivers.

High Tech Cars Being Blamed for High Auto Insurance

A new report from suggests that new advanced technology used in today’s cars is actually driving up insurance rates. In fact they’re blaming the 8% increase in auto insurance rates on the new tech in vehicles, increase in cars on the road, and higher medical bills.

Consumers not using Latest Technology to File Claims

Although many insurance copnaies have sunk a lot of money into apps and online connectivity, car owners are not ready to use them it seems. JD Power and Associates just reported that only 9% of claimants will file online. Overall satisfaction with their digital first notice of loss (FNOL) online service dropped 16%.

It seems insured parties prefer a quick phone call to report an accident.  JD Power found that claims service was the most important benefit.  Customer satisfaction with digital appraisal apps improved by 26 points among Gen Y consumers, but declined by 16 points among Pre-Boomers.

Will Tesla Electric Vehicles Cost More to Insure?

If you’re one of the 300,000 people who put down $70,000 each for a Tesla Model 3 this year, you may want to plan ahead to pay your auto insurance too.  If the price of the car plus finding a recharging station aren’t concerning you, the cost of your insurance may.

A report in the Huffington Post suggest insurance rates for electric cars is about 6 to 8% more expensive than a comparable gas powered car. This is despite the good crash testing ratings of the Tesla models. If you’re looking to know more about car insurance for Tesla vehicles, visit ratelab’s excellent coverage.

From the Denver Post:

Tesla’s U.S. sales of its Model S sedan jumped 59% over the same quarter last year, increasing its already sizable lead among large luxury cars, according to internal third-quarter sales numbers — which Tesla usually keeps confidential — and competitor data compiled by the company. Tesla says it’s now responsible for almost a third of all sales in the segment. Its nearest competitors are the newly updated BMW 7-Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.




UK Drivers Paying More for Electric Vehicle Insurance

A new report from the Actuary says UK drivers are paying 45% more for ecar insurance.  Despite government mandated controls of gas powered vehilce and a push to clean air, it looks like the cost of repairing electric vehicles may be weighing on cheaper auto rates.

Growth of Electric Vehicle Sales Faster Than Anyone Expected

According to EV Volumes, sales of electric vehicles are rising quickly. They found that total plug-in vehicle sales in June increased a 46 % over last June.  The growth is reported to be 10 times that of traditional gas powered vehicles. The EV growth seems to be attributable to a preference for them in China and the fact new batteries are cheaper and more powerful. The trend continues.

Around 312,000 plug-in electric cars were sold during the first half of 2016

Graphic courtesy of EV Sales.com

Tesla Motors is preparing to revolutionize the automobile and fuel industries. Learn more about Tesla.

Higher Insurance Rates in Some Toronto Neighbourhoods

Canadian insurance website Kanetix, recently published a report that shows that drivers in certain Toronto neighbourhoods are paying more for insurance. The graphic below shows the neighbourhoods Kanetix determined to have higher auto insurance rates. The report suggests that the presence of hazardous intersections may be the source of risk that results in the higher premiums. They also reported that insurance rates in Toronto may be 30% or $449 higher than the provincial average.  The difference in premiums from the least expensive to the most expensive was $945 per year.

For certain types of drivers and certain types of vehicles, we’d have to think the differences could be much wider. The risk factors would magnify each other and results in a higher insurance quote for certain types of drivers in some neighbourhoods, yet generate very low insurance quotes for others.

Kanetix
Graphic courtesy of Kanetix.ca – Insurance Website

A report in the Toronto Star, citing the Kanetix study says claims are more frequent in these areas of Toronto and the payouts are higher.  They cited poorer neighbourhoods as having the biggest increases.  In one case, a driver said his premiums rose by $1000 when he moved from Ajax to Toronto to eliminate his commute. In the report, Pete Karageorgos, director of consumer and industry relations of Ontario with the Insurance Bureau of Canada says that shopping for insurance is the key to keeping rates under control.

The takeaway from this recent news is that insurance companies may be making major alterations to how they underwrite insurance in order to grow their profit margin. Good too stay aware or get caught in their trap!

Searching for the lowest auto insurance in Torontotruck insurance in Denver, car insurance in Seattle, motorcycle insurance in Las Vegas, car insurance in San Jose Ca or cheap car insurance in Chicago is easy.  Search on Google continuously and get at least 10 quotes.

California Drivers are the Worst

If you’re a driver in California, you might be feeling badly about this ABC news report that you’re the worst car and truck drivers in the country!  They quoted a study by QuoteWizard which looked at traffic citations, incidents of people driving under the influence, along with the number of car crashes into consideration. It seems California has more of all that and are probably paying for it when they buy a new auto insurance policy.

“California is number seven for accidents, number nine for speeding, and number five for citations. Even worse, its number two for DUIs,” the study reads.

Rising Speeds Have Results in 33,000 Additional Fatalities

This fascinating new report on CBSnews.com shows how accidents, fatalities and general road safety vary right across the US. We all know certain highways areas are fraught with risk, but the report shows how tolerance for bad behavior could be behind the rates of driving mayhem in certain states and cities. While Montana and Arkansas had most fatalities, with Georgia the fastest growing, New York and California actually had the fewest fatalities per 100,000 population.




Toyota and Honda top Safest Cars List for 2017

38 models were awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s designation of Top Safety Pick. Toyota and Honda lead the list of manufacturers safest vehicles. The reported that one major design flaw in vehicles was headlights.  These are the to 6 cars/SUVs that IIHS believed are the best of the bunch in 2017:

  1. Acura MDX
  2. Acura RDX
  3. Audi A4
  4. Audi Q5
  5. Buick Envision
  6. Chevrolet Volt

Only 82 vehicles qualified for the 2017 honors list. Your can read more at the IIHS Website.





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Calgary Real Estate Market Forecast 2018 ⌂ BC Pipeline Oil Price Update Home Prices Calgary Airdrie Downtown Condos Apartments

Calgary Housing Market and Update

What’s the forecast for Calgary’s housing market for 2018 and beyond? Right now, it’s cautiously optimistic for buyers who are in a good position to benefit from a growing pool of housing stock Calgary in summer 2018.

The real estate market in Calgary has been in the dumps for several years, however with the price of oil hitting $66 today (May delivery), it’s getting interesting for buying and rental property investment.

Calgary’s challenge is similar to other North American cities with a lack of supply. Listings of homes dropped almost 50% in some areas of thecity from last summer. These might be gobbled up fast if energy prices rise quickly this summer.

Unemployment however has dropped in the last 2 years and many believe the recovery is well underway — powered up by rising oil prices in US dollars x rising production numbers.




OPEC Willing to Throttle Output

Yes, Calgary is more than oil, but oil money is hard to ignore. Alberta needs the investment funds that flow in when Oil prices rise.

With OPEC cutting oil production output, and oil prices jumping past $66 a barrel (WTI) it’s awakening the oil patch. Alberta’s oil production rose to record levels in the last two months. Multiply that by rising prices and the economic outcome should be obvious.

Twice now, during the early winter, prices rebounded. The price is showing peristence. If it does this for 3 more months, investors will being loading money back into the Alberta economy.

The political situation in the US is calming down, US economic health is improving rapidly, and by shutting out China, the US will be keeping billions and attracting more investment money.  Big picture looks really good. Prospect of a US housing collapse are low, even though Americans are very wary. That’s just smart.




If you’re considering moving to Calgary to work this year, be forewarned that Calgary is rated worst for affordability for lower income earners.

As of February 2018, average rent for an apartment in Calgary is $1129 which is a 12% decrease from last year when the average rent was $1264 , and a 3.72% increase from last month when the average rent was $1087.  — from RentJungle Report

Calgary Housing Market Stats

As you’ll note sales are down from 18 months ago, and those were recession numbers. Most of the buying and selling were in the first half of the year, and there was a burst of buying due to the Fed mortgage rule changes.

It’s worse than it looks. However with the economy on the upswing and oil prices pushing through $55, there is some optimism.




In February, listings and sales fell yet home prices kept level. CREB suggests a steady path to recover and a market very similar to 2017. They suggest rising interest rates, tougher mortgage rules, and stagnating wages should calm the market this year. Financial people are always citing microeconomic factors and mortgage rates as housing market factors, however people buy when the economy is good and is promising.

The Stampede chuck wagon advertising auction created $3.2 million in bids. The oil patch seems to be optimistic!

Calgary Housing Report for February 2018

Calgary Monthly Housing Stats February 2018 January 2018 October 2017 October 2016 September 2017
Total Homes Sales 657 583 910 1031 919
New Listings 1,293 1,288 1,483 1,326 1,873
Active Listings 2,456 2,199 3,250 2,574 3,479
Median Price 495,000 474,000 474,250 464,000 482,000
Average Price 575,407 575,407 544,984 529,378 556,372
Pending Sales 58 102
Days on Market 45 55 44 42 42

Above stats courtesy of CREB

South Calgary is the hot spot with 249 homes sold in February. The south has 799 homes listed for sale. 275 apartments were sold in downtown Calgary in February and there are 730 units available.  CREB expects sales of apartments to fall slightly in 2018, so buyers might have the upper hand this spring.

The Globe and Mail reports that 30% of Alberta’s new inventory remains unsold. This has to be one of the best buyers markets ever for investors, as long as you don’t mind waiting for the payoff.

And with housing prices predominantly in the $300k to $500k range, Calgary is still considered affordable, especially compared to Toronto and Vancouver where life is painful for renters, mortgage holders, and buyers in waiting.



Chart courtesy of CREB. Timeline of Calgary home prices

Even the experts are voicing caution, probably because they’re not sure themselves who has control of oil prices, and whether the BC pipeline issue will be solved. And BC doesn’t seem to be batting an eye, as gas prices there rose above $1.50 a litre.

Rachel Notley pointed out the BC premier’s ironic and hypcritical stance on Alberta oil with his new subsidies for LNG projects in BC. BC gas prices look like they’ll go sky high by May and June and the resistance might begin to wane at that point.

Gas Price shock – Photo Courtesy of CTV.ca

And besides the BC carbon tax, and the investment killing removal of the corporate tax rate cut, there’s also the matter of how much Vancouver’s housing market can take as interest rates rise too.

This is a text book test of the merit and wisdom of government regulation. BC’s government run auto insurance sector is already in deep trouble, rumoured to be on the verge of bankruptcy.

Not only does Alberta ease the prices BC drivers pay for gasoline, the Federal taxes on oil production are steep and distributed to the other provinces. Everyone benefits when Alberta’s energy sector thrives. It’s vital for Canada.

The WTI WCS price differential is a painful loss for Alberta Oil producers and of late it’s gotten worse due to pipeline bottlenecks. Will it get worse this year?

Alberta’s production capacity is impressive and has recovered by 7,000 m3 from 2 years ago. The issue is getting it to world markets.




With the US and global economies looking good (the recent tariff issue with China should be resolved), demand for energy and oil is forecast to be strong. BP forecasts a strong demand from developing countries.

International investors with a long term investment strategy should compare what you can buy in Calgary for $400,000 vs what you’ll get in the Vancouver market or Toronto market areas and you can see the long term investment advantages.  Calgary is a much easier place to do buiness and buy real estate.

Calgary’s spectacular Peace Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists spans the Bow River

Which are The Best Neighbourhoods to Buy a Home in Calgary?

As a long time resident, I can tell you there are many excellent neighbourhoods, with great schools, shopping, and recreation. All of it is accessible.

If you enjoy exercise, you may find the communities along with the Bow River best. There is a cycling/walking trail on both sides and the mountain biking park at Canada Olympic Park is on it too.

If you like beautiful views, Calgary has plenty. The northwest area of Calgary including those communities near Spy Hill, Coach Hill, and Nose Hill Park offer amazing views, and lofty prices too. The neighbourhoods on the northwest outskirts of the city offer unbelievable panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains to the west. Expect million dollar prices here. Homes on Spy Hill and Coach Hill offer incredible views of almost all of Calgary and the spectacular downtown skyline.

If water sports like sailing and windsurfing are important to you, Calgary has a number of man made lakes in the south end. The South has the largest selection of homes, with the Northwest next in number.

If you like cosmopolitan, the neighborhoods near downtown Calgary will appeal to you with the shops and walkability. And downtown’s plus 15 walkway system is close by too.  Downtown city centre is where the condos are and virtually everything you need is here on 7th, 8th and 9th Avenue . The Bow River pathway is adjacent and Calgary’s convenient light rail transit can wisk you away to shopping in the south end of the city.

With the recession now largely in the rear view mirror, and with the price of oil rising steadily, homebuyers and property investors will be looking at Calgary homes differently.

With house prices so low, the expectation for buying residential properties in 2018 will improve. For speculators, the Calgary market is tantalizing, given that home prices in Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Bay Area, New York, and Miami have peaked.

Calgary’s low price entry point offers a great long term potential. And the selection of luxury homes in Calgary is as spectacular as the landscapes and views from many of the properties.

Inmigration to Calgary is rising and mortgage rates remain low. Although made in Canada housing policies will constrain the market, the outlook for Calgary real estate is for growth. The extent of that growth of course depends on the price of oil and the value of the Canadian dollar vs the US dollar.




The Price of Oil – Already Above Expectations

Oil Prices were never expected to rise near $50 yet are above $55 now. The Saudis have proven they control the price of oil, not markets. Tough to predict what they’ll do however their recent actions show some resolve and purpose. The fact prices have reached $55, well above the limits predicted by all the experts has to indicate something.

OIL Prices Screen Capture courtesy of Marketwatch.com

The World Bank may have posted the best forecast for oil prices through to 2020.

Screen capture courtesy of the IMF

You can check all the oil price predictions for yourself.

 

 




Price to list ratio revels that those putting up their houses for sale are receving 95.7% of their list price.
Total sales volume of apartment dropped slightly, however total sales in dollars dropped by $5 million compared to September.

Screenshot courtesy of CREB.com

Economic Predictions for Calgary

If oil continues to rise steadily in price, Alberta stands to recover economically. Businesses have pared down their costs and are better able to profit from growth. Although not officially a big component of the rosy Canadian economic forecast, Alberta and Calgary are keys to the future.

Alberta’s economy is much more diversified than it used to be however it is impossible to replace the revenue generation of the Canadian oil sands, the world’s largest pool of untapped oil reserves.

The price of WTI oil just reached $56, well above $30 a barrel last year, and there are indications the Saudis intend to cut production. The wise course of action is for governments to support the oil sands and other more costly production methods to grow oil supply. This would prevent OPEC from harming the growing US economy and the global economic upswing.

CREB’s 2017 Economic Outlook and Regional Housing Market Update

In the Calgary Real Estate Board’s most recent 2017 Calgary Economic Outlook and Regional Housing Market update, CREB believes the pace of economic recovery will be slow but stable. Stagnant employment, wages, slow immigration, tighter mortgage lending restrictions, and made for Vancouver/Toronto economic policies will weigh on the Calgary housing market.

The latest report does forecast for 2018. However, Alberta’s economic performance is expected to be well up at 4.3% for all of 2017. New construction housing starts will be well down this year at around 3500 units. Multifamily housing starts are down just slightly from 2016 levels.



Screen capture courtesy of CREB.com. Stats courtesy of CMHC.

Total house sales were precisely forecasted to be 600 higher in 2017 than 2016 with a price similar. Dead on accurate. New listings will total 32,731, 400 for the full year. Sales of apartment will rise slightly over last years numbers at about 2800 units.

The loonie remains around 78 cents CAD vs USD, maintaining an excellent premium on exports from Calgary, and exports of Alberta oil. Forex experts believe the US dollar forecast is upward, while the Canadian dollar forecast is downward.

If new construction starts are constrained, then the resale market may grow in the neighbourhood of 1% in 2018, 2% in 2019 and perhaps 3% in 2019.  Of course, all predictions rest on the price of oil which as mentioned, the Saudis and OPEC control.  And US shale production and drilling rig counts seem to moderate upward increases in oil prices.

The last word on the Calgary Real Estate Forecast is positive. Oil price is rising, the US dollar is climbing with President Trump’s new tax cut to raise the US dollar value. With Alberta’s growth currently reported at 6%, a solid Canadian economic forecast at 3.7% growth in 2018, we’re running out of reasons why Calgary isn’t going to boom in 2018.

Note: the preceding post is not meant as specific investment advice, but rather as a comparison of real estate investment or home buying opportunities. Please ensure you discuss all investments with a licensed professional.

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Canadian Dollar Forecast – Predictions for CAD USD Conversion Rates Forex

Will the Loonie to Fall Much Further in 2018 / 2019?

Businesses, snowbirds, currency speculators, forex brokers, and importers in Canada are all trying to forecast where the CAD USD currency rate is headed.  Currency rates are complex however the data is suggesting this latest downward slide will continue.

Only 2 years ago, some red-faced currency rate forecasters expected the loonie to plunge to 60 cents USD. That forecast seemed outlandish and unlikely given Canada’s rising economic output.  Politics and persistent US strength have changed the USD/CAD outlook however.

The Loonie fell to 76. 43 USD on Friday marking it’s lowest conversion rate since last June. That might scare some and put a smile on the face of others. At 75 cents US, US buyers will get an extra 33% in Canadian money. Canadian Realtors should be looking to attract US property investors.

USD vs CAD Current Rate. Screenshot courtesy of TradingEconomics and Tradingview
USD vs CAD Current Rate. Screenshot courtesy of TradingEconomics and Tradingview

Weighted US Dollar Set to Rise Again?

This chart shows the USD weighed against other major currencies such as the Yen, Euro, CAD, AUS, BPD etc. If NAFTA conflict is resolved as expected, oil prices fall, and US interest rates rise, the USD will rise again.

USD weighted average index courtesy of FRED

It’s Not so Hard to Understand the Loonie’s Fall

The loonie is plummeting because there is nothing economically supporting it, and investors are seeing Canada’s vulnerability. Smoke and mirrors and government currency manipulation are propping the CAD rate right now. But the Bank of Canada can’t keep buying up Loonies.

Low US tax rates puts Canadian businsses at a serious disadvantage against larger US companies.

For those of us in this category, the forecast appears to be for a lower Canadian dollar. Will it hit 60 cents? Can the Canadian federal and provincial governments lower our taxes or top their spending? Will foreign businesses suddenly decide to invest in Canada again?

Will anyone invest in Canadian oil, mining, and agriculture when BC is bottling them up so it can’t get to market? Is the US becoming self-sufficient in oil and gas?

Will Oil Prices Fall?

Canada’s energy sector drives the loonie, particularly oil prices.  If OPEC is unable to continue their tactics and with US shale producing 7 million barrels a day, thus flooding with oversupply, oil could plunge to $30 a barrel. That might see the CAD/USD exchange rate fall below 70 cents this summer.

Most experts predict oil prices will stay where they are at $60 a barrel but this video below says historical data is suggesting a fall.

The US is set to overtake Russia as as the top oil producer. And in Canada, the oil sands would have to be shut down as they can’t produce oil at $40 a barrel. Calgary may be headed for a crisis.

“U.S. shale growth is very strong, the pace is very strong … The United States will become the No.1 oil producer sometime very soon,” from Reuters.

Please do Share this outlook on the Loonie on Linked in or Facebook

Is TPP Really a Good Deal for Canada?

When Trudeau recently signed the TPP and agreed to open trade with Pacific Rim countries, it leaves Canada further vulnerable to being taken advantage of by countries who don’t buy our stuff. Our global trade deficits will rise even if global economies are doing well right now.

And China doesn’t concern itself with pollution or carbon production limits.  Our trade deficit with the world can only worsen.

Canadian Trade Deficit Last 12 Months. Screenshot courtesy of TradingEconomics.

More statistics related to the CAD are available at Trading Economics.

The United States Phenomenal Growth

It isn’t aonly that our economic performance sucks, it’s that the US is booming. Despite all the talk of interconnected supply chains, the US could do fine without our input.

It’s stock markets, foreign investment and housing markets are strong. And the boom looks like it will continue, because as Donald Trump has stated, trade wars don’t hurt the US, they hurt the other countries who are addicted to trade surpluses with the US.

Trumps threatened trade tarriffs as part of his negotiating style, are making investors very aware of Canada’s precarious situation. For any investor, it is wiser to invest in the US which is why forex traders and investors are buying greenbacks. It’s safer with a market 1000% bigger with 350 million consumers with lots of US dollars to spend.

Most of us know that trade with the US will probably be the same as usual, however Trump has said he wants auto industry jobs back in the US, and the US shale oil and gas industry is booming. Exports of Canadian softwood, dairy and wheat are going to fall, NAFTA or not.

The US has a 20+ Trillion debt, and a massive yearly trade deficit that they have to deal with. Canada is just a casualty in this war against trade deficits.

Canadian Dollar Factors

As you can view on the Canadian Federal Government Website, here are the key factors that determine the USD/CAD conversion rate:

  1. comparable interest rates
  2. commondity prices
  3. inflation rates
  4. goods and services trade balances
  5. foreign investment and debt payments
  6. GDP

Most of these determinant factors of the Canadian dollar currency rate are weakening. And if Toronto and Vancouver’s housing market should slide, foreigners will be withdrawing their money fast. Verdict: Toronto housing crash = big loonie drop.

Leaders Driven by Ideology Never see These Events Coming

Justin Trudeau’s 1970’s ideology, inability to lead, and his pro-carbon-credit fanaticism further ensures Canada will struggle to compete. We have the worst record for foreign direct investment, and nothing is coming to the rescue.
If Canadian companies can’t get their products to market in the US, no one is buying CAD. And if the loonie is low, who would consider investing in Canadian businesses struggling to create to generate revenue?

Canadians are seriously indebted and as interest rates rise, consumer spending will fall, further dampening corporate earnings here. Investors will flee for big the big returns south of the border.

Check the USD/CAD forecast if you’re buying rental income property in the US.

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US Dollar Forecast | Foreign Exchange Rates | Forex FX Rates Currency Predictions USD EUR Yuan CAD

USD Forecast vs CAD EUR YEN Yuan – Exchange Rate Predictions

Whether you’re buying a vacation property in another country, travelling, or investing in foreign stock exchanges, you’re likely wanting to get the best foreign exchange rate and keep up on currency rate predictions.

Shopping around for foreign currency is just like shopping for auto insurance or mortgages. It’s wise and for importers and exporters who transact hundreds of millions in trade, getting the best foreign currency exchange rate can make or break them. Of course, getting a good foreign exchange forecast is key.



Foreign exchange is a $5.1 Trillion business and likely will be for many years, despite the rise of bitcoin and ethereum cryptocurrencies.

Where to Buy Foreign Currencies?

For travellers, the difference in cost is minimal. Vacationers might want to use their credit cards and ATM machines, or buy currency from their banks to get best USD conversion rates. Buying from currency exchange retailers, at the airport, or at a destination retailer might be the worst way, although it may be convenient.

For international businesses buying and selling across borders, particularly large corporations, the matter of currency exchange rates and exposure to foreign currency fluctuations is about managing large financial risk, and easing high forex commissions.

Needing to buy forex at a future date is common in international business, creating what’s called currency exposure and not managed carefully, it can erase profit on an international shipment of goods.

Foreign Exchange Management Services for Businesses

Forex as it’s called is an interesting market and a popular one for investors wanting a little profit from speculating on currency volatility. During turbulent times in business, currency exchange rates vary and that’s when current traders seek to play the forex market.

Businesses need to work with a good foreign currency exchange company (forex company) to help with good decisions and on forex forecasts and planning and perhaps find a better exchange rate for US dollars, CAD, Euros, Yuan, British pounds or Mexican Pesos. The effort is worth it.

Forex experts have foresight in foreign currency exchange rate forecasting. They know the trends and help you avoid losses. And if you’re buying real estate including rental income property in another country, there may be tax implications to review.

Companies that advise on international business trades use various brokers and advisors to manage the purchase and sale of property and goods overseas. A good forex advisor can help with currency rate predictions and make the transactions troublefree. There is a risk of not getting paid in the realm of cross border trade.

If you’re involved in buying a foreign real estate asset and need a sizable purchase of foreign currency, don’t rely on a foreign exchange app or currency calculator to guide you. Foreign exchange requires a little more strategy usally involving currency hedging.

Are you Buying rental income apartments in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Miami, Seattle, Boston or Houston?

Exchange Rate Advisors

Who has the authority, credibility, experience, data, skill and trustworthiness to advise you on your currency exchange rate decisions? That is the question. Would you trust your local bank branch representative or an online forex company you don’t know?

And if they are a reputable firm, they will ask for a percent commission on trades which will eat into your profit.

What is Forex?

The exchange of currencies and managing currency exchange rate risk is the realm of forex. Forex brokers typically serve commercial businesses such as real estate companies and stock market investment firms, helping customers exchange currencies safely.

There are currency risks and legal risks in exchanging money across borders. In many cases, companies use hedging strategies to avoid losses from sudden currency drops and fluctuations, which after all, could cost a business tens of thousands of dollars.

If you’re a traveller looking to exchange USD for Pesos, Euros, or Yuan, then it should be easy enough to check how much your money will exchange for with a currency calculator.


If you’re an investor, you may want to check currency rate forecasts to see what you’ll need to pay when you take possession of your home, land, or other asset.

Forex Brokers — Facilitating Business Currency Exchange

Forex brokers are non-bank companies who deliver currency exchange and delivery to bank accounts including international payments. Forex firms are distinct from companies who offer currency transfers to another country.

And they are distinct from a forex trading firm which are one involved in trading of currencies for speculative profit just like investing in the stock market. The term forex may be used to describe global payment providers or speculative traders.

If you’re in Canada, you’ll want to look for a Canadian forex company such as Cambridge Mercantile which is not only a forex company, they provide hedging strategies, and global payments service. They were a client of mine, in Toronto so I know a little about them.

In the US, you could use Tempus US, a global payments provider or Commonwealth FX who have offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington.

Online Currency Exchange

Should you use some of the many online forex or foreign currency exchange companies in operation today. It all would depend on your appetite for further risk. If you’re exchanging large amounts of currency, or have complicated transactions, it might be wise to choose a larger, reputable firm with sufficient insurance and experience to prevent losses.




Forex Trading

Enter currency exhange rate speculators and fx traders. It’s a risky business, but can be lucrative. There are few markets more complex than forex, with some companies using artificial intelligence algorithms to foresee currency exhange rate fluctuations.

Investors can make a lot of profit on currency fluctuations. When the Canadian Dollar drops for instance, investors typically sell quick to buy USD. You’ll want to be very familiar with exchange rate trends and the factors that cause fx rate changes. These investors buy short and sell long which is risky business.

If you have an appetite for risk, you can open an account for forex day trading with companies such as Questtrade, FXCM, or XE.com. This is more or less gambling.

Current Forex Rates

Currency Price % Change Day Q1/18 Q2/18 Q3/18 Q4/18
EUR/USD 1.2371 0.0039 0.32 % 1.21 1.19 1.17 1.15
GBP/USD 1.3963 0.0057 0.41 % 1.35 1.32 1.3 1.27
AUD/USD 0.7892 0.002 0.25 % 0.78 0.77 0.75 0.74
NZD/USD 0.73424 0.00484 0.66 % 0.71 0.7 0.68 0.67
USD/JPY 106.9 0.5 0.47 % 112.72 114.79 116.9 119.06
USD/CNY 6.3184 0.0017 -0.03 % 6.5 6.56 6.62 6.68
USD/CHF 0.94471 0.00289 -0.30 % 0.98 1 1.01 1.03
USD/CAD 1.28438 0.00028 0.02 % 1.27 1.29 1.31 1.34
USD/MXN 18.5292 0.0514 -0.28 % 19.34 19.9 20.47 21.06
USD/INR 64.895 0.095 -0.15% 64.09 64.69 65.3 65.91
USD/BRL 3.2448 0.0168 -0.52 % 3.31 3.43 3.55 3.67
USD/RUB 56.6437 0.2112 -0.37 % 57.95 59.5 61.09 62.72
DXY 89.76 0.14 -0.15 % 92.94 93.86 94.78 95.7
Data Courtesy of Trading Economics




Currencies to Exchange

Not only can you exchange or trade in USD, CAD, AUS, EUR, YEN, or Yuan, you can also buy and sell bitcoin. Find a good live currency exchange rate calculator or bitcoin calculator.

Currency Exchange Rate History

Three currencies dominate foreign exchange: Chinese Yuan, Euro Dollar and the US Dollar. The USD is considered the gold standard for most businesss in global trade. These three historical exchange rate charts show how each currency has fared against the USD during the last 20 years. Overall, the USD have risen against a basket of global currencies which have weakend in value.

US Dollar Forecast

Will the US dollar rise in value? Given the strength of the US economy, repatriation of investment money back to the US, Jobs and Tax Cuts Act, and the insistence of the US President to persist in fair trade in commerce means the forecast for the USD is to rise against world currencies.

You can check the latest forex rates on Yahoo Finance or Dailyfx.com where you’ll see charts such as this one, updated live. It coverss the new cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and ethereum.

Chart Courtesy of Dailyfx.com

Check the USD/CAD forecast if you’re buying rental income property in the US. Don’t forget to look at housing market predictions in your neck of the woods.

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Los Angeles Housing Market

Housing Forecast for Los Angeles 2018 to 2020

The real estate/housing market in Los Angeles enjoyed good growth during 2017. And predictions are for higher prices and good conditions for sellers.

However, the stats for January 2018 were a little sobering. According to curbed LA,  only 4,847 homes were sold in LA County. That’s an alarming drop from 6,613 in December and much less at 5,188 sales in January of 2017.

Prices grew $41k this spring of 2018. Predictions are for continuing high prices due to ongoing shortages.

The wild fires had an effect, in LA County and hitting regions such as Sonoma and Napa valley regions hardest. The insurance driven recovery should revive the housing market in LA.

The losses were estimated at nearly $10 billion with a $500 billion hit to the economy. The numbers are similar to the floods experienced in Houston TX or Miami FL .  Some homeowners are discovering they weren’t covered sufficiently with their home insurance.



The California Association of Realtors Outlook

CAR reported that:

  • single-family home sales fell 7.6% in January down to 388,800 and down 2.9% from January 2017.
  • January’s statewide median home price was $527,800, down 4.0% yet still 7.3% higher than January 2017.
  • entry level homes in California rose to $220,000 in California, up more than 10 percent from 2017 when entry-level home averaged $200,000.
  • the DOM for a single-family home remained low at 27 days in January, compared with 36 days in January 2017.

The California Department of Insurance said the fires cost $9.0 billion in insurance claims so far, which was 3 times the $3 billion claimed previously.  For the next few months however, California housing will be in extra short supply.



Fires might actually be an unfortunate distraction from the housing crisis that’s existed for many years now in Los Angeles and across the whole state of California. The state just can’t seem to get a handle on the need for more homes.

The OC Register reports that CEQA lawsuits against developments are a serious issue for housing, especially in the LA area. As Los Angeles residents suffer financially, and while housing crash rumors float around, prices are rising.  You’ll need an income of $120,000 to buy a home in LA in 2018.

Prices of condos in downtown LA are reportedly $90,000 higher than last year.

Insurance Companies Fielding Claims from Homeowners

Is it instinct or just common sense that California will continue as the most desired place to live on the planet? Does the climate in San Diego, Sacramento , Bay Area, and Los Angeles along with the high paying jobs, interesting geography, lifestyle and recreation, California is a magnet for people around the world.




Infographic Courtesy of CAR.org – LA Buyer Profile

In 2017, real estate sales in 2017 in California eased however house prices remain high in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and San Francisco / Bay Area housing markets which had previously approached prerecession highs. But will they rise further and is this the right time to invest in an income property?

The short answer is Yes. Houses for sale in Los Angeles County and Orange County are in short supply and new residential development is not keeping pace. It would take a market crash to stop the price rise and even then it would only be for a few years. For wealthy investors, a few years is well worth the wait. The question is where to get a realistic price? The hunt continues.



Santa Monica House Prices

Average House for Sale Still Sells

CAR reports the average house price in LA rose about 10% in late summer of 2017. San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange County had strong price growth of 8% to 10%.   Contrast that with the drop in the Bay Area of more of about 3% or $14k to $33k for detached homes and you realize LA is a more attractive housing market for property investors.

The effect of the fires will be to reduce availability and raise prices. So not much relief in site for the LA market. As in most housing markets across the US, millennials have been shut out of the markets. They’re in their child bearing years and have saved up small fortunes to ready them to finally purchase. They’ll be buying in LA or Orange County somewhere.

Sales volume actually increased 11.5% in the last month, so homeowners appear to be loosening up finally.  Realtors are wondering how they can get people to sell their homes. Inventory is the big story for the fall of 2017.

This graphic from CAR.org’s latest report shows inventory in California is sharply down from last year. Sales above $500k were up up. Active listings in the lower price ranges are down considerably ( -10% to -28%).

Screen capture courtesy of CAR.org

And buyers
real estate investors are hopeful they can find the right property in the right city or zip code. Zillow has forecast house prices in Los Angeles to rise throughout 2018 while CAR shows it moderating. A lot depends on the political climate and interest rates.

Screen Capture courtesy of Trulia

We should keep in mind that only 30% of Californians own a home so the door is wide open for opportunity and new sales, particularly with first time buyers.  The problem is that homeowners don’t want to sell and buyers can’t afford the prices.

Why are Buyers Buying in California?

CAR’s 2016 survey showed only a small portion of buyers buy property as an investment. Only 13% are real estate investors.

California Home Buyer Survey Buyer Survey – Screen Capture courtesy of CAR.org

The US economy will pick up steam and Californians will be buying a home again even if they have 1 hour+ commutes, higher interest rates, and out migration to remote towns.

Check out the top housing factors below affecting housing prices in discover a better homes for sale search process.




The Telling Stats about LA’s Forecast

If buyer’s are hoping for bargains in the next 4 years, they’re unlikely to find them. Despite a dip in September, prices for homes and condos are up $24k to $30k from one year ago. Are the Asian and Persian buyers pulling out of LA?  The Trump instability and trade issue might be a pause before even more money pours into the reviving American economy.  Make American Great Again, also creates excellent investment opportunities in California, paying out in $US.

  • jobs being repatriated back to the US from Mexico and China
  • employment already good and rising
  • the end of Obamacare?
  • the end of Dodd-Frank restrictions on lending
  • general Federal easing of real estate development expected
  • it will take some time for mortgage rates to rise
  • still isn’t enough housing to house LA’s growing population (recession)




It’s the Los Angeles housing forecast that is perhaps one of the most interesting forecasts for the US for the next few years. California’s housing developers are hard pressed to build homes to house the population. We can speculate that homes will rise in price for the next 4 years. It’s not easy to predict though when people are talking real estate bubbles, NAFTA cancellations, Brexit, skyrocketing prices, vacillating oil prices, reduced immigration, and presidential elections.  




malibusmall
Malibu Coastal. Photo courtesy of marisolmalibu.com

Overall, the Los Angeles forecast was very good for sellers with plenty of demand and with the average price of a home hitting $690,000 last summer. Affordability is dropping though and only 30% of LA county residents own a home. 

Given the nasty commutes Los Angeles workers are enduring, this housing crisis should be a top priority for the California state governor.

A few pundits are suggesting homeowners need to build granny flats in everyone’s back yard.  Political battles are forming over the effect of regulations on LA’s and California’s home construction. Who will win? Will they battle Trump head to head to stop new development?

The situation may become worse than what San Francisco, Vancouver, and Toronto have been through, and what Miami, New York, and Boston may be into now.


Save your Money on Auto Insurance Quotes in LA

Are you paying too much for car insurance in Los Angeles? Some zip codes and neighborhoods are subject to higher premiums. Are you okay with that? How about finding lower car insurance rates and making it a habit of shopping for auto insurance every year? 2017 is a good year to save:)

Here’s the Hottest Zip Codes in Los Angeles

LA Curbed’s list of hot zip codes: Los Angeles’s 90012 zip code is shaping up to be the 2nd fastest growing area in the nation at 8.8% growth, 2nd behind only Gilbert AZ. The 90012 zip code includes Chinatown, the Civic Center, Elysian Park, Victor Heights, parts of the Arts District and Bunker Hill, and most of Little Tokyo.

Here’s the LA Times hot zip code list:

Santa Monica 90402 – Average home price: $3,237,500

Hermosa Beach 9025 – Average home price: $1,693,500

Lincoln Heights/Montecito 90031 – Average home price $458,500 +14.6%

City Terrace  90063 – Average home price: $320,000 +18.5%

Marina Del Rey 90292 – Average home price: $2,157,500 +23%

Manhattan Beach 90266 – Average home price: $2,100,000 +10%

Compton – 90220 – Average home price: $285,000 +9.8%

Playa Del Rey 90293 – Average home price: $1,517,500 +26.5%

Toluca Lake Studio City  91602 – Average home price: $1,022,500

Read more on the best zip codes in the US for investors and homebuyers.

LA Home Prices Fully Recovered?

The Los Angeles home price graph below courtesy of Zillow shows how prices have almost returned to pre-recession values and are beginning to level off. To forecast prices and demand for the LA region, we’d have to examine the cause of the moderation and if it’s a fact. Here’s LA’s hottest zip codes.

 

Last year, home prices in LA rose 7.8%. That’s a fairly strong ascent to just snap out of, so we’re left wondering what really is the outlook is for the 2017 to 2020 period? With prices high and rising, it makes sense that the number of buyers will dwindle (preferring to rent) and a leveling off would occur. It seems however, this is more of a guess by forecasters not really backed up by a solid consideration of all the factors that will be in play during the next 4 years – defeated regulations, growing economy, and reduced immigration.

Homes for Sale in Los Angeles: Prices, Trends from Zillow

Try the Zillow Home Search Widget to learn more about LA Homes for Sale. Realtors, click here to hear more about the Zillow leads program:

 

Home Sales Volume Chart: Los Angeles

la-home-sales-firsttues

Is there a Housing Bubble Market?

harvardHere’s the thing. According to a Harvard real estate guru, bubbles don’t burst until demand dries up — an increase in unsold inventory.

Do you honestly think there will be no demand for coastal California property, especially Los Angeles county or Orange county?  As you’ll see from the data in this post below, there is huge demand for property. Supply is the problem.

Factors Affecting House prices and Availability in LA

  1. Housing Demand – High overall demand – “all cash bidding wars” in some cases
  2. Housing Supply – Throttled, supply is far from what’s needed
  3. Mortgage Rates – Continuing Low, especially in light of global economic slackening
  4. Down Payment and mortgage rules – Banks are withdrawing FHA loans however some are offering downpayments as low as 3%
  5. Regional Employment – Very low and remaining low
  6. Buyer Income – low and not rising much
  7. Home Prices – High and rising – out of reach for many buyers – many consider LA homes grossly over-priced
  8. Demographics – Millennials coming into family and home buying years and LA millennials have had the lowest rate of home buying (pent up demand)
  9. Number of Renters – increasing fast
  10. New Home Construction: slow (100k to 140k per year)
  11. Economic-Foreign Trade – Trump expected to reduce US deficit
  12. Election Year – Voters uncertain of what Trump will create
  13. Taxes on Sale of Home – Tax situation is great for sellers




Historical Data

This intriguing graphic courtesy of http://journal.firsttuesday.us/ reveals that home sales in Los Angeles is actually well down from historical levels. The likely reason for that is lower income buyers simply have even less income to buy and of course the high prices. Home ownership is lowest in California.

la-case-schiller-index

A complete recovery of around 110,000 annual home sales will likely occur in 2019-2020, as end user demand in Los Angeles County is buttressed by a Great Confluence of Baby Boomers (Boomers) and first-time buyers who are lured by further employment (needed to accommodate population growth of roughly 1% annually since the beginning of the Great Recession).

That’s a forecast growth of about 20,000 homes per year over current current 2016 levels.

Another interesting stat provided by firsttuesday is the very low rate of home ownership and how much it’s plummeted. It’s on the uprise now, and you’re left wondering whether Trump’s renewed emphasis of America First will encourage