Canadian Economic Forecast 2018: IMF and OECD Gives Canadian Economy Two Thumbs Up!

The Canadian Economic Forecast

The International Monetary Fund says Canada is the leading G7 Country

How odd is it in 2018, that a country on the verge of trade wars, real estate collapse in its major cities, flat wage growth, mediocre job growth, merciless consumer debt, and a sagging national housing market would be cited as the G7’s darling child?

In a new report just released, the IMF likes Canada’s economic situation and they’ve forecasted some lofty economic growth rates. Quite a rosy prediction for 2018 and beyond

Their confidence could impact the Toronto real estate forecast, | Calgary Housing Market Forecast and the Vancouver real estate forecast for 2018. And it could end the talk of a real estate market crash and begin to attract foreign investment into Canada once again.

Growth of 3.6% to 3.7% Predicted

For entrepreneurs, mortgage agents, realtors, manufacturers, retailers, builders, renovators, homebuyers and banks, this is a positive signal about growth ahead. Trump is looking to renegotiate NAFTA which doesn’t mean shutting out Canada.  The negative media hype is ridiculous. Even with renegotiation, Canadian small business has a good opportunity. If Trump has an issue, it’s likely with the multinationals who continue to rule everything including politics.

Despite sluggish growth for its major trading partner, the IMF believes Canada is poised for growth of 3.6% this year and 3.7% in 2018. That has to sound good for job hunters, real estate agents, mortgage agents, house buyers, and business development managers alike.




Underpinning all the optimism is the IMF’s belief in a broad-based global economic upswing. Does this mean the world has adjusted to US trade protectionism, or is Trump actaully unable to do anything about the US situation? The IMF points to Trump’s inability to get new tax laws passed and to the level of optimism globally. With Trump’s new tax bill passed, the US stock market could boom for at least one more year, and that’s good news for the Canadian economy.

This might come as quite a surprise to most of us who haven’t heard such a rosy forecast for the world as a whole. However, much of the uncertainty of housing and stock markets was of a global nature and it may be subsiding.

An earlier report from the OECD set Canada’s growth rate at 3.2% for 2018. Strangely, although Canada is believed to be the leader, overall global growth is set for 3.7%, a half percent above Canada’s forecast rate of growth.

The OECD is also calling on Canada to ease foreign investment restrictions and ease the Toronto/Vancouver housing crisis. Given that Canada is mired in the lowest levels of foreign investment ever, it would be healthy for the Vancouver and Toronto housing and condo markets along with the TSX stock market if such investment was allowed to flow.




The OECD also cites Canada’s lack of productivity as a big concern, however it appears the country has been able to make use of its assets to generate growth.

A BNN poll found that most viewers believe tax rates and the NAFTA deal are the key worries about the Canadian economy.

Canada’s Economic Facts

  • growth in 2nd quarter of 2017 was 5%
  • household spending was up 4.6% in June (YoY)
  • job growth was 186,000 over the first half of 2017
  • exports expanded 9.6%
  • central bank only expected to raise interest rate slightly
  • national trade deficit increased to $3.4 billion in August

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Toronto Condo Market Report – Update and Forecast 2017 2018

Toronto Condo Market Forecast 2018

While the Toronto housing market in 2018  is overshadowed by severe house supply shortages and ultra-high prices the condo market in Toronto and Mississauga is an attractive alternative for young buyers.

Sales of condos particularly in the under $500k market are rising and prices have risen as well. The latest Toronto condo market sales report from TREB has ben released. While TREB doesn’t publish stats on the condo market specifically much anymore, you can see the averages for each district below.

Toronto Central, Milton, Oakville, and Peel region continue to enjoy strong market demand while other areas have seen a decline in price since last fall.

The new mortgage rules now enforced means many buyers will only qualify for a much lower mortgage.




You likely have your own opinions about government meddling in the markets, however such interference can be a housing crash factor in itself.

Should you invest in a new or resale Toronto condominium? The Canadian economic Forecast and Toronto economy in particular look very good. That means condos new and old will be in demand next spring from fully employed buyers who have had time to save the big downpayments and meet more stringent lending stress tests.

As mentioned in the Toronto housing report for October, prices for Toronto condos are up 24.5% in the city of Toronto year over year.  Some of this rise is due to the coming mortgage chages. If you need a monster mortgage, you need to get hopping and call a real estate agent.

The issue of whether to buy is one of affordability for Millennial-aged buyers and as many are saving, there will be plenty of demand next spring, putting upward pressure on prices.

Millennials Are Driving The Toronto Condo Market

They’ll need more creative mortgage financing and improved condo searches to find something they can afford. Although the mortgage changes in 2018 will put an extra burden on them, and force them to stay in the rental market, they will likely have more money in the spring to buy a condo.

There’s big investor demand for condos too. Student housing is in a severe crunch in Toronto and Vancouver. Investors are well aware of the rental potential of condos and many may be investing in the Vancouver condo market and here in Toronto because of so much rental demand.

If you can’t earn a profit on capital appreciation, you can still make it on rental income.




Toronto Rents Are About to Rise

A report from BNN shows how rental income properties, including condos in Toronto. See where the big rents are.

Why are Toronto Condos such a Draw?

Toronto Condos offer higher cap rates and a larger growing pool of potential renters and buyers. And at this point with severe shortages of detached houses and townhouses, buyers are buying condos. Barry Fenton, President & CEO of Lanterra Developments, a major condo developer suggested Toronto Condo prices could could have risen 40%. They have reached 20% over this time last year.  The detached housing shortage is still alive.

When foreign investors look to escape their own country’s currency nightmares and leverage our weak loonie, they like the Toronto market. Note: If you’re a foreign real estate investor, people often refer to Toronto as being the greater Toronto area encompassing Oakville, Mississauga, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, East York, Pickering and even out to Oshawa. The Newmarket, Bradford, and Aurora regions are included in TREB’s housing sales reports.




Toronto Condo Prices 2017

TREB District Toronto Condo Prices March 2018 Toronto Condo Prices October 2017 Toronto Condo Prices Sept 2017 Toronto Condo Prices August 2017 Sept 2016 March 2012 Price Change over Last 17 months
City of Toronto $651,100 $555,004 $554,069 $550,299 $561,376 $361,800 13.78%
Toronto West $494,400 $446,794 $450,485 $434,218 $487,061 $286,366 1.48%
Toronto Central $656,000 $620,322 $615,654 $615,680 $682,427 $422,396 -4.03%
Toronto East $411,000 $407,775 $395,859 $403,028 $467,689 $237,909 -13.79%
Halton Region $465,300 $478,611 $519,348 $528,579 $485,128 $442,625 -4.26%
Burlington $520,300 $553,029 $514,755 $476,222 $497,800 $370,667 4.32%
Halton Hills $486,300 $516,450 $294,500 $446,971 $381,017 21.65%
Milton $432,000 $413,808 $418,219 $427,594 $406,300 5.95%
Oakville $442,100 $419,438 $606,131 $523,507 $513,682 $485,800 -16.19%
Peel Region $423,600 $389,587 $385,588 $395,188 $461,830 $433,780 -9.03%
Brampton $360,000 $354,618 $336,091 $350,401 $374,596 $351,500 -4.05%
Mississauga $435,000 $395,683 $393,441 $402,344 $485,240 $453,250 -11.55%
York Region $507,000 $495,973 $481,138 $500,456 $544,528 $537,903 -7.40%
Aurora $477,000 $608,750 $562,500 $685,874 $532,785 $525,000 -11.69%
Markham $509,000 $503,796 $486,369 $503,455 $554,643 $527,518 -8.97%
Newmarket $536,000 $416,260 $444,250 $400,340 $496,125 7.44%
Richmond Hill $475,400 $452,319 $446,505 $470,076 $542,470 $596,667 -14.11%
Vaughan $531,000 $532,144 $513,618 $521,400 $593,725 $554,211 -11.81%
Durham Region $407,800 $399,687 $365,297 $376,250 $317,855 $274,350 22.06%
Ajax $396,000 $337,317 $397,125 $379,431 $378,180 $281,688 4.50%
Oshawa $358,000 $302,333 $226,347 $315,075 $243,000 $210,667 32.12%
Pickering $501,000 $448,036 $384,300 $402,316 $396,301 $340,667 20.90%
Whitby $410,000 $448,036 $395,633 $457,143 $344,461 $294,350 15.99%

The Toronto Real Estate Board covers a huge area and below we’ll zero in on communities that may represent the best ones for you to research.

Barry Fenton, President & CEO at Lanterra Developments joins BNN to discuss the Toronto Condo market. He suggests the market is aggressively priced and complains a little about how competitive it is. He says prices will rise 40% but he has a few misgivings about the Toronto Condo market.




Big Demand for Condos as Entry Level Homes

Most home buyers in the Toronto area can only hope to own a condo. Homes are averaging over $1.5 million in some areas in the GTA. And condo developments are offering more for tenants. And perhaps the key feature of Toronto condos is their proximity to work, leisure, restaurants and shopping and freedom from the grinding commute that many Torontonians face each day. So there are good reasons to buy a condo in Toronto.

But the condo investment landscape has recently been darkened by Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne. Her government’s new foreign buyer tax might hit the condo market the hardest, but most credible experts expect demand to return. It’s a short term blip (and as of Dec 2017, the demand for condos did indeed return).

Oddly, the condo market in Toronto is much less volatile than the single housing and townhouse market in Toronto. Her foreign buyer tax and rental price controls look like they’ll miss the mark.

Lets’ take a look at the most recent Toronto condo market prices and then look onward to 2018, 2018, 2019 and 2020. This blurb from the latest TREB condo market report says it all about what’s happening right now in April of 2017:

 

What else is supporting condo sales is proximity to work. Commute times are awful, gas prices are very high, and young millennials are having trouble handling rent/mortgage/ and car payments. Something has to give, so workers are choosing to move into the city near their jobs.

Where are Toronto’s Best Investment Condos?

As the graphic above shows, the top location is Toronto Central (where home prices are highest too), Toronto West and Mississauga. The bulk of these listings are in huge mega-sized condo towers and there are more of them being built. Toronto Central is also close to the U of T, Ryerson, and other colleges where off campus housing is in hot demand. It’s the same situation for Vancouver condo rental and investors should take note.

Toronto’s C02 district is your million dollar listing area. With an average price of $1,050,000 these are your Toronto luxury condos. This area is located just north of Downtown/Bloor st, near the University of Toronto. This suggests that proximity to U of T and downtown offices may be the primer driver of Toronto condo prices and may drive sales of Toronto homes as well.

Screen cap courtesy of the Toronto Real Estate Board. See more at trebhome.com

How Much Have Prices Risen in the Last 5 Years?

Should I Buy a Condo in Toronto?

Should you buy a condo in Toronto, Mississauga, Scarborough, or Brampton?  Demand for condo purchases is rising, the Toronto economy is strong and positive, and rents are rising fast.  At some point, you have to jump in, or you’ll never build homeowner equity.

What to Consider Before you Buy a Condo

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11 Better Ways to Generate Real Estate Leads

11 Better Ways to Generate Real Estate Leads

I know, you get all your leads from word of mouth and all the rest “don’t do nothin” for me. What you may not be recognizing is that all channels power up your personal referral network and build word of mouth referrals from anywhere.

Staying old school agent and procrastinating on using all methods to grow your word of mouth referral network is unwise. 90% of agents avoid digital marketing. I hope you’re not one of them, because the top realtors I know all talk about how online is their growth area.

What is random and slow can be accelerated and improved.  You can build your audience and continuously engage them and avoid leaving your local neighborhood markets to your competition. Weave these 11 tactics below into a powerful overall strategy that is self-supporting.

Header graphic above is a Business vector created by Freepik

How Impressed Will Clients Be if They See You Have it All Together?

It’s not this or that tactic or, it’s using all of them to win.  Smart professionals who take the future seriously know they need to combine tactics like these and stick with them. Persistence is paramount.

And social media? Well, that has a special place in the engagement of your inner circle  and their connections. Each of these 11 tactics below will feed the others. Look at them as an army that will bring it all together for you. Have faith that this inexpensive effort will pay big dividends.

Most Realtors lack an overall strategy and they resort to hacking tactics to scrape out leads. Wouldn’t it be better to put together a multichannel strategy that helps you dominate local presence? These tactics below should help you step it up in lead gen.

Feed the Team!

If you’re a Realtor team leader, it’s not just about you.  Teams are where the success is, yet your team members need leads and to feel they have reach into the market. and supporting them generates big returns for you and a healthier sustainable agency. If you’re not doing it, your agents know it and begin jumping ship.

Let’s revisit the whole lead gen thing quickly with the 11 Best lead generation tactics.

The essence of excellent lead generation is wide scope visibility to the buyer and seller market and creating a clear emotion to choose you. Sounds so simple and maybe it is?

  1. Create topics, events and beliefs that bring you and prospects together. If they fish, play golf and tennis, travel, like fixing old cars, build furniture, grow flowers, watch HGTV, or eat health foods, then shouldn’t you be into these things too? This is more than blog and FB posting. It’s a way of getting invited into their lives.
  2. Create a visually welcoming website: a new website is fresh, easy to read and navigate, and has pics, videos, text and interesting headlines to draw them in. They’ll come back again and again because it’s fun, helpful and interesting. You may need to hire a good creative content person to get this accomplished. No, it isn’t easy but if you have the goal of a great website in mind, you will get your wish.
  3. Promote through social media, print flyer and local radio ads: A multichannel approach helps to focus the impact of your promotion. One channel by itself may not be engaging enough for your audience. Your offline promotions should bring them to your website and FB page, and get them on your email list. How well are you doing that now?
  4. Create a highly visual brand image and use it on your website, lawn signs and vehicle wrap: bright and ugly is what one very successful agent did, it really worked and made him stand out from the rest. Differentiation is the key. Don’t be boring.
  5. Leverage the new RETS industry standard MLS IDX system: RETS IDX gives you more flexibility and success in using your local MLS listings. These are the assets that your prospects crave.
  6. Use a new CRM system: with advanced lead scoring and engagement/conversion analytics, and the ability to send to a friend thus getting your circle to promote for you. Are your Google leads looking for bungalows, condos, or 4 bdrm houses near schools? Let your analytics tell you what they want and then give it to them.
  7. Hire an SEO / Content Strategist: 90% of buyers and sellers go online as part of their sales process.  To create high Google rankings along with epic, lead converting content that gets shared social you need someone who loves doing this stuff.  Plenty of strategically generated, amazing content optimized for Google really can generate huge traffic and leads. Don’t stick your head in the sand about online traffic — it’s the future of real estate and it’s your future.
  8. Build social media connections, interact with them, make them feel good:  because people buy when all their miseries fade away and they’re left with one clear state of feeling good. You make people feel good when you rid them of their troubles.  One agent I know of relies totally on Facebook and uses it as a central lead conversion center (he revealed some of his secrets to me). You can only have 5000 connections but that’s a big farm to grow sales.  The points is that homeowners are avid FB users and you can go from stranger to friend.
  9. Travel, meet people, study industry news and be more interesting: dull and uninteresting kills so build interesting material for your blog and FB page. That’s engagement. All that activity inspires others. Show your travels, celebrations, achievements, learning, and other people’s good stuff too. Celebrate everything and show them life is a fun blast and they need to buy or sell and start living themselves. Who wants a dull life?  Yes, travel is expensive. I wish I could travel because it can take your business to a whole new level and revitalize your personally. You need an “experience strategy.”
  10. Start a charity that helps homeless people, unemployed people, physically challenged and other forgotten people: show genuine caring by doing something them to suffer less and feel more hopeful: generosity does work so give away things for free and don’t favor any recipient. Be fair and helpful. You’ll get respect and admiration with your own local charity.
  11. Advertise on Google and Facebook: Can’t ignore his quick direct connection to prospects. It isn’t because you can’t afford it, it’s because you can’t convert the leads with just a phone number. This comes back to your CRM and lead conversion system, and the quality of the value offer prospects are seeing in your web content. Some agents win solely with PPC ads because with local targeting on FB, Google and remarketing. These give you an economical, continuous presence. Don’t use the lead gen companies. You can do it yourself.

There’s plenty more lead generating ideas, but these 11 give you the best bang for your buck.  Check out these top skills for luxury real estate agents.

Search Engine Marketing Services

I provide packaged services for successful agents, yet I am fully open to helping agents at a lower price point.  Take another good look at your website and ask yourself what’s missing.  Does your website and digital promotion really hit to the heart of what buyers and sellers like? Are you making them feel really good?

Call me anytime at 416 998 6246. I’m looking forward to working with a progressive and success minded realtor.

 

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Best Home Renovations to Help Sell Your House Now or in 2018

What are the Best Home Renovations for Maximum ROI?

Home prices may be plateauing but we’re far from a housing crash or stock market crash in 2018.  If you think selling your home is the prudent decision, then it’s time to create a plan that includes dressing it up for market.

You can sell your house for more with a blitz marketing strategy and by doing some renovation. You don’t have to advertise it of course.  Let buyers be amazed with your upgraded home.

Below are the Top 10 House Renos and links to other helpful resources to assist in your reno decision and sell it for the highest price.  You’ll find it does make a difference in your sales results.




Which are the renovations that will bring the biggest return in 2018? You might be intrigued by the numbers from Metrostudy’s renovation index and report for the last quarter.  Homeowners and sellers are spending 5% more on renos and they’re likely spending it in bathroom and kitchen upgrades or overhauls.

If you’re strategic, you might be able to get more professional results over several rooms, instead of use one room.

We’ve got the help of Houzz and the HGTV home renovation empire to help us stay on top of trends with a list of your best bets below.

With the real estate markets in some cities cooling (except Vancouver) and with a slight chance of a housing crash in cities such as the SF Bay Area, Toronto, Dallas, Denver and so on, homeowners are having to dress up their property to get a great price. If you can get the financing, and you choose the right renos that buyers like today, and it should be money well spent.

If your house is up for sale, you’ll need to do more in 2018.  And why wouldn’t you go for the best return on your investment if you can? If you need some more motivation take a look at what they did to this cottage in Atlanta.

What is the Average Cost of a Home Reno?

Homeadvisor.com conducted a survey of almost 4,000 members of house renovation costs:




And How About that Beach House Reno?

Are you selling your oceanside or country cottage? With the prices Airbnb are charging for vacation rentals, make sure your prospective cottage buyers understand the full possibilities. Build the features that draw buyers and renters into a frenzy.

What Chip and Joanna, and Drew and Jonathan Know

Final Season for Fixer Upper. We’ll miss Chip and Joanna.

The returns house flippers are getting on some houses (40%) suggests it is well worth it. And if the house is earning rental income returns, then it’s a no brainer if you can get the funding to proceed.  Apart from tear downs, HGTV has shown that renos can elevate the price of normal homes considerably and help get the house sold fast.

The added beauty of your renovated house will help your Realtor to build a multiple offer, over asking buying frenzy. And that’s still happening now in the fall of 2017.

HGTV’s recent post on the best renovations to help sell a house sell includes these 10 possibilities:

  1. Light Bathroom Reno:  98% ROI: Why only 98? Because a light reno may not remove the stagnancy of a bygone era nor the odor or wood rot!  But it does get rid of the worst flooring and fixture issues.

2. Landscaping: 100% ROI: Why? Because value is about perception, especially public perception so anything to do with the exterior and curb appeal is evaluated strongly.

3. Light Kitchen Remodel: 98% ROI. Why? If the layout’s okay and it’s done right, it’s a great way to make the house look new, clean, functional, and inviting. Replace the flooring and fixtures and refinish the cabinets and it might do the trick. Buyers may overrate the importance of the kitchen these days. Something to consider.

4. Exterior Improvement: 95% ROI. Why? New siding adds energy efficiency and gives the house amazing curb appeal. Stone facades are very attractive but expensive. Siding still gets good reviews.  Take a good look at the exteriors of new homes and adopt some ideas from them.

5. Attic Bedroom Conversion: 93.5% ROI. Why? An additional bedroom puts your house into a whole class of price, so any addition to code can help. The attic is popular with kids and offers great outside views.

Photo by Bright Common Architecture & Design – Discover bedroom design ideas

 




6. Major Bathroom Reno: 93% ROI. Why? Prestige. The new bathrooms usually have the latest in glass walls, high tech fixtures, soaking tubs, ceramic floors, recessed lighting, and big picture windows to make buyers believe they have their own soothing spa. Stress is a big negative in people’s lives.

Photo by Bubbles BathroomsLook for bathroom design inspiration

7. Major kitchen remodel: 91% ROI. Why? When Chip and Joanna, or the Property Brothers show the completed new kitchen reno, it’s modern, open concept, and gives buyers exactly what they want. Not just a kitchen, it’s more like a lifestyle command center with the best appliances and Chi possible.

Photo by Bloomsbury Kitchens and Fine CabinetryLook for kitchen design inspiration

8. Deck, Patio or Porch Addition:  90% ROI. Why? Well, you’ve watched enough Disaster Deck shows to know they create a whole new living space which makes the buyer think they’re getting a big bonus with a great view.

9. Basement Remodel: 90% ROI. Why? This one’s a little dicey. Basements are typically not well used even when they’re halfway above ground. If a house has limited room upstairs then the basement reno makes a lot of sense and that’s where the return will be high.

10. Replacement Windows. 89% ROI. Why? If the old windows are shoddy and leaky, then you have no choice. Big picture windows, and casement windows that swing open for air movement are very functional.  Can’t compare to a kitchen or bathroom reno, but with lower value houses, it could be the upgrade to go with.

Should you reno one room at a time?

How will costs factor into your reno decision?

5 Best design software tools to visualize your renovation.

Home design Trends from Architectural Digest.

Property Brothers discuss top 10 home renovation errors.




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SEO for Real Estate Agents – Special Offer

Affordable SEO Services for Smart Realtors

Word of mouth always heads online.

When you meet prospects or contact them, they will Google your name. They want to know more about your credibility and build a case for hiring you. They will find you on Google, and what will they find?

Is Your Website Killing your Business?

If your website looks awful, has poor content, and you have no social media presence, this poor picture ruins the hard work you’ve done to build your reputation and presence.  They’re not seeing the real you, but for them, your Website is you.

So come on, let me help you get the basics covered and launch a convincing real estate website. This is an exceptional offer to get you looking respectable and as a credible Local Realtor they can trust. We all have to start somewhere.

Here is what You’ll Receive:

⦁ a current website audit to discover issues and opportunities and fix any technical problems

⦁ conduct keyword study, and content strategy plan for a new site (or current one)

⦁ setup a simple, attractive WordPress website (if you don’t already have your own website)

⦁ 10 optimized blog posts posted over one month period with visuals relevant to your local market

⦁ 3 articles for posting on other websites (outreach)

⦁ optimize your website for SEO and visitor engagement

⦁ social media posts and optimization for  1 month

⦁  free copy of the new 2017 SEO / Content Strategy Guide 1.0

⦁ discuss what you need to do to take your site high when you’re ready and able to do it

 

Getting Unstuck and Online the Right Way

Why would I go through all this effort to work with you? I want to do something generous yet I want to make it easier for you to get started and keep going. You’re not going to start at the higher price levels. That makes sense, so let’s do this cheapie so you can get your lead generation and conversion process up and running. It’s all about stopping procrastination and moving forward.

Let’s Get Rolling!

The web and social channels are too important now. Forget about a bad housing market being the biggest threat to your career. It’s your own invisibility and lack of branding that will kill your real estate sales career.

Introductory Real Estate Marketing package:  is $US 495.00 or $CAD 595.00

Call me now at 416 998 6246. It’s that easy.

Houses for Sale – Find Homes for Sale in Your City

Houses for Sale – Your Ultimate Source for Finding Homes for Sale

If you’ve read the housing forecast report, you know the availability of homes for sale is squeezed. A lot of properties aren’t even listed which will make it significantly difficult for you to find the property you’re dreaming of.

Real estate investors know fast about great homes for sale that offer the best investment value and there’s several ways they get first dibs on properties for sale.




Realtor Pocket Listings is one way they get connected to exclusive, quality houses. This is where the Realtor works both sides of a transaction and they keep the home listing to themselves hoping to broker it to their own pool of buyers. This works well in a market like we have now where houses for sale are rare.

Realtors will keep these listings quiet, so you need to be in contact with as many Realtors as possible, such as one from each major brokerage. The bottom line in finding your dream home or good investment property and houses for sale in your city is with a well rounded home search strategy.




Houses for Sale on the MLS

Remember that you may not see the best houses for sale on the MLS. You need to expand your search online using a variety of housing sources. Some services also do complex predictive analytics where they monitor social activity and other sources to find homebuyers and sellers who are exhibiting pre-sale behavior. This can be very good.

Realtor.com, Zillow, Remax, Trulia, Redfin, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Sothebys, and Craigslist might be the way to go, to find houses for sale, but you’re kind of getting the leftovers. It’s like searching for a job using the classifieds. These are the awful jobs companies can’t fill so they advertise and go through the painful process of employee selection. That’s a grind.




Finding the Best Houses for Sale

With real estate, you’re looking for the best properties, the good stuff, that no one knows about. It’s better to find the best rather than toiling with a Realtor sorting through a limited supply. However, it’s wise to use a Realtor as part of your quest to find the best homes, houses, condos, townhouses, apartments or income investment properties from Los Angeles to San Diego to Florida. Use the Zillow Home Search Tool to get started!

Investors, while you’re at it, get educated about the national housing forecast, and find housing markets where there is a good upside potential for ROI. Don’t stick to your local market just because you live there. There’s more potential in the best cities.




Our quest in this page is detached houses for sale in your city. Let’s get started!

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The Secret to Building New Clients in Remote Locations – New Business Development Series

Your Best Clients may not be in your Home City

They might be anywhere out there, and you’ll need a plan/strategy to reach them and work with them. Have you avoided doing this because you couldn’t visualize how to do it? Well, let’s fix that shall we.

Creating new clients in remote locations seems daunting and impossible for small business owners, yet many entrepreneurs and SMB owners have done very well at this. I’ve done it myself successfully  in San Diego, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver and London UK, and I want to be even better this time.

In fact, for some manufacturers and service providers, perhaps you, it’s an imperative to be able to find our target customers dispersed over the vast North American landscape.  Local just got a whole new meaning.

“they turned out to be great clients who generated the best times of my life”

I’ d like to help you accelerate your journey into new business development so you can acquire the best customers of your life. They’re out there, but it takes some smarts to find them. Forget the usual inhumane, high pressure sales tactics you’ve been bred on.

There’s a different approach here that’s better. And that approach is used by many of the people whom you see online and which you found to be fascinating people. You didn’t actually find them. They found you, and I’m about to explain how some of these super effective people manage to get crazy good clientele, one’s they could never get via advertising and cold calls.

You’re Their Dream Provider and They’re Waiting for You

For the sake of brevity, let’s cut to what really matters to clients from Boston or Charlotte to San Diego or Los Angeles. They all want to be served by providers who are relevant and who make them believe in their own mission and purpose. They’re looking for more than just technical competence – which is what everyone is trying to sell.

Through experience they may know that slick, scaled up providers can deliver a very disappointing business partnership.

If you focus on relevance, sincerity, credibility, and building engaging connections, clients will clamor to work with you. Even if you lack the expertise/capability they demand, they may still decide you’re worth working with, even if you’re thousands of miles away. And if you’re a master at what you do or have an outstanding product, then even better.

Don’t believe that they already have what they want or that it’s available. They probably don’t. They could be waiting for you to show up.

Reach, Relevance and Connection

But how do you get the message out about your company and its philosophy and then build relevance to target prospects in small communities such as Bradenton Florida, Oceanside California or Kelowna, Canada?

You do it through the 3 simple tasks of reach, relevance, and connection. And you do it according to an expert level strategy (we’ll get to that whole topic later).

1. Reaching Your Target Prospects in Cucamonga among other Places

Your target audience is besieged with phone calls, advertising, emails, and direct sales approaches. They tend to see all marketers as noise. Unfortunately, you’re included in that noisy ocean of blah. The medium is the message they say, so using aggressive ppc, email, and cold calling means you start right off the bat as someone they should avoid. First impressions are tough to overcome.

The best reach tool is a high subscription rate, web and content marketing campaign which may include your website, local media websites in your target cities, and local newspapers. The content is strategically written and designed to rank high Google searches, and to create engagement for specific industries in specific geolocations. That’s followed by a boots on the ground friendship and relevancy campaign by a business development/client success strategist who likes those kinds of clients.

2. Establish Relevance

With their noise filters on high, prospects have very defined ideas of what or who they should pay attention to. Your content, branding, and initial exposure needs to be well thought out — in other words very strategic. Your research will ferret out the attitudes, needs, gaps, failings, and decision processes of your target prospects. Then you can position your material and UVP to hit home emotionally.

And that content is so critical. Your choice of issues, news, technology, market events and perspectives tells them whether you’re tuned in to what they feel matters.  Topics, keywords, people, perspectives, and timing collectively send a message that you’re sympatico with them.

Think about how a provider would reach you best. They’d likely discover your business online, usually in an unguarded moment where they they’re surfing or they stumble upon it. It could be a mention on someone’s blog, an article on the local tv station’s website, or when they found you in a Google search. Something in that content hit a nerve. You need to know what that nerve is.

“When you advertise, their guard is up and it’s impossible to make the necessary emotional connection regardless of the carefully crafted success story you’ve prepared”

In the moment they found you, read your story, and identified the issues you discussed, they quickly realize your business is relevant to them. This is when they visit your Website, check you out on Linkedin, and Google you and your product/service to dig deeper. A simple process everyone follows today.

And when they find your web content, it’s relevant to them and they begin to open up emotionally to the idea they’ve found the right provider. It’s that “ah ha” moment and you’ve put your relationship on rock solid ground.

3. Build a Strong Personal Connection

I walked into a retail store in San Diego, created and developed a connection with the co-owner. Within 4 days, I was his new digital marketer. He had a sales issue along with concerns about the long term future of his business, which I didn’t know about.

In our conversation, I created a real, human connection, which gave me time to present my services in a casual, unthreatening way. Meetings became more progressive and targeted and I established my relevance personally (I had other San Diego clients, liked the same sports, and was enthused about being in his store and his beautiful city).

I understood his personal mission, beliefs and values, from his nieces to his business ambitions to where he originated from — the New England area. And I was a source of strength for him to work with his business partner.

I rediscovered that making friends with your clients is the essence of good business. These friendships bring a lastingness and positive expectations about ongoing growth and success and become the fuel that drives growth and willingness to take risk. These are human, personal things, not something a big, slick digital agency can help with.

Boots on the ground, means you’re there, personally and emotionally wired in.

Dig Deep and Travel to these Locations

If you want to do really well in a particular remote location whether it’s London UK, San Diego, Costa Rica, or the Bay Area and San Fran, ensure you know something about these regions, and that you like them. If you have a passion for these locations, it comes through in your online content, your tone of voice, and your personal disposition.

Typically, I target California, Toronto, and Vancouver because these are my favorite places. Your favorites might be Boston, New York, Charlotte, Miami, Houston or Seattle or even Cucamonga! They’re all good.

High Value – High Commitment

For B2B companies, this is vital because you’re selling a high value, high-involvement solution that can affect their business greatly. You must display a willingness to be there whenever they need, maintain good communications, and make them believe the time you’re back home is when they can flex their independence and growth muscles on their own.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”

Making your absence an advantage is important. Quite a few companies don’t want someone local who is around to pester them. So your distance is a selling point.

With the right targeting, reach, impact, relevance, and establishing an emotional connection with the prospect, you’ve got a good chance of them becoming your next client.

Yes, they’re kind of your dream client, but in a sense, you’re their dream provider. It works both ways, and in generating a friendship with the owner or marketing manager, you’re creating a much higher level of trust and credibility that other local providers may not possess.

People like their friends and the commitment to success is higher among friends.

So with this in mind, you’re ready to begin doing more in-depth research on targeted prospects to create the kind of focused, high quality content that will act as your first introduction to your future high quality client.

I think after you’ve mulled this over a while, you’re going to recognize the vast potential of these other markets and that a new more organic approach is how you win today.

How to Capture Your Market with Strategy

Basics of Strategy: Learning to Win Faster, Easier

We never question why the Amazons, Facebooks, and Googles of the digital world soar like they do. We might assume it’s money, and there’s no doubt that funding carries big advantages. However importants funds are, it is strategy that creates the win, not battle tactics, systems, or armies of staff.

These iconic brands have wasted money and learned from it. And they’ve also learned not to compete. Their strategy was to target a promising market, usually on the cusp of some technology trend, then dominate it with minimal worry about competitors. See this interesting post on CNBC about Google  and the type of culture they have (including the freedom to fail fast).




This post will be of interest to any marketing person or business owner who want to simplify strategy and use it to win a new job, win their market, or improve their own profitability. Mastery of overall digital strategy is a difficult matter – from plan to strategy design to execution and adopting systems to help you, there’s a lot to know. I’ve discovered that learning and staying on top of it requires a lot of energy and stamina.

“Everybody wants to talk about strategy and competitive advantage, but nobody wants to admit they don’t know what it is,” — Tim Lewko, Vancouver Strategy Consultant.

So why study strategy now?  That’s easy — there’s new software called Artificial Intelligence Marketing Software – a brilliant solution that goes way beyond marketing automation to give creative marketers tremendous power to be strategic. And to stay employed, we’ll need to be savvy with the new AI software and its power.

The onus to retrain, reposition, and upskill to stay current with AI will be ours. Businesses and government may not want responsibility for helping us discover how we’ll fit into the workforce in this new era of AI assisted business. This is the big struggle for us all.

This isn’t an article on AI adoption, yet it is difficult to talk about digital marketing or strategy now without AI coming into the conversation. When you have a moment, read this Marketingweek post on the implications of AI for marketing professionals.

Amazon Prime Air drones – more of a symbol than a serious solution. They may never be allowed to fly all over the place! Pic Courtesy of Amazon.com

With artificial intelligence software making headway in marketing departments, it’s the higher level skills of strategy and planning that will be in demand. Ancient Chinese War Lord Sun Tzu would agree entirely, that higher level strategy formulation is more important than battle tactics – that “tactics are the noise before defeat.”

You’ll find a 8 point plan of basic strategy below.




Western Business Philosophy: Attack Your Competitors Mercilessly

Western thought on business strategy is that you should attack your competitor’s strengths head on and crush them. Sun Tzu advised us to focus on and exploit their weaknesses. A new school of strategic thought is that you should avoid battle entirely – that competition for losers. This means all of your time and resources might go into understanding, engaging and winning the market.

In marketing, you have the ability to create a unique brand that battles for positioning in the customer’s mind. The only actual competition you might face is in buying Adwords and Facebook ads in competition with other businesses. That can be destructive to your budget.

Every once in a while, we may have to listen to some of Sun Tzu’s battle tips, yet avoiding direct warfare is better. And you do that through smart positioning (as Jack Trout wisely advises). As part of your digital marketing strategy, you can position your brand to ruin the value proposition of a noisy, troublesome competitor. In this way, you take control of the market without direct battle, just like Sun Tzu actually did advise.

From Rank Amateur to Beating a Pro

You can master strategy. Years ago, I enjoyed the challenge of chess which you may know is a game of thoughtful strategy. My friend Albert O was a chess champion from the Philippines. That was interesting that I became friends with an expert level chess player. He beat me quickly everytime without much effort (the first time in 3 moves). Embarrassed, I sought and found good chess strategy book from the library and I delved into the different master techniques.

Long story, short, months later, after 30 to 40 games I finally beat him.  Time spent on learning strategy is well spent and Albert was pleased that he had to try now to beat me!  I don’t believe I ever met someone with a better attitude.

Test to Discover Which Strategy Will Work for You

Interestingly, I found some particular strategies that worked best for me, after trying and testing a variety. I was looking for something basic where I could at least delay Albert from beating me. The Queen’s Gambit or the King’s Gambit seemed to work best against him and others. I don’t know why it worked for me. It could be that players don’t understand how to defend against particular strategies, not what I did.

Your strategy might be one unique to your skills, resources and capabilities, and not a particular thematic approach.  For instance, your AI marketing or marketing automation software may encourage you to do things a certain way, when it doesn’t work for your company in your market.

And the matter of resources vs skills is important too. Your strategy might change depending on how much money you have to hire a coach, your coworker’s skills, software and service subscriptions, advertising channels, whether you can improve your product, and with respect to the opportunity in your specific market.

Learn more about using AI marketing solutions in real estate.  The real estate market and Realtor professional is being tranformed by AI.

Today, because of how Google and Facebook have monopolized online marketing, business owners just pay to play, and they do it without much strategy. If you search on Linkedin or Indeed.com, you’ll discover little demand for the title: marketing strategist. Because the boss assumes he or she knows enough and can steer the ship. But we know a lot of CMOs are quitting their jobs because being the chief strategist is a tough job and they’re failing.




If you manage a business, you’ll have to learn strategy yourself, and improve, or hire a strategist to help you. If you’re a control freak, that’s fine. Hire them as an assistant. You’ll likely get more business and profit value out of this person rather than hiring another button pusher in your marketing department. With artificial intelligence software making headway in marketing departments, it’s the higher level skills of strategy and planning that will be in demand.

What’s nice about practicing strategy without big money, is how you’ll need to think and work harder. And you’ll certainly have less waste as you learn the ropes.




As handy as AI marketing software is, it won’t be able to plan your digital marketing strategy, social media strategy, SEO strategy, outreach strategy, or dream client acquisition strategy. This is your domain.

The 8 Basics of A Strategic Plan

  1. study market demand and the gaps in service
  2. build expertise in the market gaps you can win
  3. study your competitor’s strengths and learn how to avoid them or defeat them
  4. discover how to acquire and retain maximum value from customers/clients
  5. create a business model of success to give you market dominance
  6. shape your value proposition in a way that casts light on your opponent’s weakness
  7. identify the tools and resources you’ll use to build your UVP and unbeatable positioning
  8. carry out your plan with an integrated approach which also allows you to leverage your key strengths

Although you’re trying to avoid direct battle with the competition, your prospects are aware of them.  We all like to have options. For that reason, you would be wise to use the above 8 building blocks to get your audience focused on your strengths only – to build an undying preference for you.

You destroy your competition by how you present your strengths in relation to customer’s needs and your competitor’s weaknesses.

For instance, Google never bad talks the competition. Google is positioned as an internet service company that gives people what they want. Its competitors didn’t and still don’t. The competition’s weakness is that they needed revenue, but Google didn’t initially need immediate return. Google positioned itself on the word free, fast, and on fulfilling the web searcher’s quest without asking anything in return. It created sustained brand value.

Similarly, Amazon positioned itself as the fastest, most complete online shopping portal. Lots of products and fast cheap shipping has allowed Amazon to take marketshare from brick and mortar stores across the world. The talk of driverless cars and drone delivery bots just drives home the point that competitors can’t do what they can.
What can you do that your competitors can’t?

With artificial intelligence driven marketing software rising, companies are looking to jettison agencies and bring AI marketing in-house. A CEO looking at value and power might not believe an agency can build the necessary top-level skill and expertise in their industry. Nor can they bring the whole agency in-house.




Instead, the smart CEO will look to hire one or two skilled strategists with industry expertise to manage marketing campaigns with the new AI software. It’s both efficient and very powerful. Now more of the marketing budget and time can go directly into their campaign. We could be talking about anywhere from $50,000 to $300,000 more dollars to put directly into marketing campaigns and use AI marketing robots.

That points to a demand for the new type of marketing professional. When the AI tsunami hits, there will be a frenzy to achieve the above situation. Any company that has an extra $300k to put into their marketing will grow marketshare fast. Too much of the budget is going to wages.

Creativity and Innovation Will Make the Difference

Everyone will have marketing automation in place soon. What they don’t have is enough talented, creative senior people who do their work strategically. Let’s face it, if you have a staff of 5 marketers who are talented, your AI marketing solution can really power them up.

AI marketing solutions do the dirty work of testing, timing, and reporting. Your strategists guided by you, can find out if something like the Queen’s gambit or King’s gambit is the best strategy. Or perhaps, they’ll discover they have the power now to use an even higher level strategy, going up against IBM’s Watson system.

On that note, who will win the Marketing AI war? IBM’s Watson or a smaller solution such as Boomtrain or Albert? Whoever is the best strategist.

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