Toronto Housing Market Report November 2016

Toronto Home Prices Soar Again

The Toronto Real Estate Board has released their November 2016 MLS sales report which includes home prices in the Greater Toronto market. Sales are up 16.5% from last November, and home prices rose by 22.7% YoY. It’s a scary time for investors, and perhaps a tougher time for millennial aged couples trying to buy their first home.

This may be the right time to sell your home. Who will market your home?  From SEO, to Content marketing and paid advertising, and aerial drone video, digital marketing can start bidding wars.

Buyers, are you still thinking the stock market is better than real estate? See this post for more perspective on the Toronto Real Estate market and 2017 forecast.




Is 2017 the best year to buy rental income property?  Find out more about the best real estate investments in 2017 including investments in real estate.

The TREB November market update shows Home prices in Mississauga were also up 20.8% overall. While most eyes are glued to the price of detached homes in Toronto, the sales of apartment condos continue an even more torrid pace, up 27.9% in sales volume, perhaps revealing a continuing strong condo apartment rental investment market similar to the one burning up San Franscisco and the Bay Area of California. Not surprisingly, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, and Aurora leads the GTA price rise parade. These 3 top performers had detached home price rises near or above 30% YoY. Richmond Hill home prices hit an astonishing $1.3 Million. Brampton lead the way with a 25% price growth for townhouses.




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Mississauga Real Estate Brokers

Ready to Sell? My client Damir Strk is a licensed Realtor and Mortgage Broker with extensive experience across the GTA including downtown Toronto condos. He specializes in Mississauga, and can also represent you very well whether you’re in York Region, Toronto, and Oakville and Milton. He’s a great choice for the biggest financial decision of your life. Damir has 16 years experience in all housing types, including Mississauga’s many condo developments, very familiar with properties in Mississauga’s many communities, and can help advise you on mortgage financing. Contact Damir now at: (905) 828-3434.

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Real Estate Investors

Investors from Germany, China and Persia may find the market perfect for rental income investment. Buyers within Canada are finding the market too far out of reach. The extreme prices could make it more likely local and the provincial government may attempt to intervene without addressing the issues of lack of available land. The places to grow legislation and the OMB will be put under more intense scrutiny.

“Home buying activity remained strong across all market segments in November. However, many would-be home buyers continued to be frustrated by the lack of listings, as annual sales growth once again outstripped growth in new listings. Seller’s market conditions translated into robust rates of price growth,” said Mr. Cerqua Toronto Real Estate Board President.




See more on Mississauga homes prices and on the Toronto real estate market predictions.

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Drone Aerial Video Industry – The Sky Guys on Shark Tank

Startup Success: The Sky Guys Aerial Drones

I wrote a post several years back about aerial drones and their potential in real estate sales and marketing and of course how prevalent they are in Youtube Xtreme Sports videos. It was easy to see the potential for aerial photography and just plain exciting to see a whole new sector start up.




Yet startups such as The Sky Guys and Real Estate Drones of San Diego are coming up with an impressive value proposition for the entertainment, real estate, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries. The drones they use are filling commercial and industrial purposes that are extremely helpfu including oil pipe inspection, hydro powerline inspection, and bridge structure inspection. These are applications with positive implications for insurance, public safety, and disaster prevention.

There’s already talk as you’ll see in the first video below about how this opportunity/industry is already already.  That’s the thing about digital and Internet business opportunities — they come and go quickly. Better read “The Quick and the Dead” again.  Fortunately, unmanned drone devices (UAV) seem to have infinite business applications. The well known Amazon drones are creating a lot of publicity for this new business opportunity, however the use of retail delivery drones might be impractical, particularly in cities such as San Diego which have military bases. Instead, if you’re looking to invest in this sector, the commercial application of drones might be more profitable, paricularly those with military or law enforcement, and large scale industrial clients.

Drones are inspecting bridges, power turbines, power lines, and more tough to get places saving on repair, insurance and safety incidents.
Drones are inspecting bridges, power turbines, power lines, and more tough to get places saving on repair, insurance and safety incidents.
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Freefly Alta 6 Drone Helicopter – Price: $16,000



I’ll introduce you to some cool drone entrepreneurs and their companies below. They’re on the path of innovation, and although they have yet to disocover the full potential of drone technology in business, they’re in the learning path. That’s the key to sustainable, huge success. They’ve identified growth areas in custom built drones and data collection software, and their appearance on the TV show Shark Tank connected them with 2 key investors who have substantial experience in their industry. Talk about hitting a home run in finding investors!




This graphic shows the potential global market for the aerial done industry is about $2 billion US. They might also want to calculate the potential insurance and legal services market growth as the skies are filled with drones.

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Screen Capture courtesy of BI Intelligence and businessinsider.com/uav-or-commercial-drone-market-forecast-2015-2

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Sky Guys are looking ahead to build their own drone technology for new aerial drones and for data collection systems.  They entered this industry and by working with their clients, they’ve botten themselves in front of all sorts of new opportunities and insights. The market future for Sky Guys looks very good.

Here’s the industries they’re focusing on:

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And another startup in my favorite town of San Diego California, may be following a similar path. They’re Real Estate Drones of San Diego. There’s so much opportunity, they will undoutedly move to new sectors such as travel and manufacturing. Enjoy some of REDSD’s entertaining drone videos. If you’re in the SoCal area, contact Adam about their services.

This video shows the beauty of San Diego’s most popular beach, Mission Beach.

And this spectacular home and neighbourhood in La Jolla, near San Diego is nicely explored by aerial drone. The creative potential of the cinematography is only being scratched at, but as this one reveals good music and good scenery is hypnotic.

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Smart Marketing – Reverse Engineering for Marketers in Insurance Real Estate Statups

Smart Content Strategy for Insurance and Real Estate Startups

Do you know why your insurance or real estate website sucks compared to the top sites in your industry? Why do so few people visit or return, talk about you and your amazing products and services or share your stuff on social media?

Great websites are engaging, helpful, visually compelling, fast, and convincing. But building that kind of site in the insurance or real estate sector isn’t easy. Perhaps there are others you can model yours after?

spyfuHow interesting is it that you can spy on your top competitors, strip apart their website and presence on the social sphere, and find out why they’ve succeeded, and then apply that wisdom to your digital marketing? Most marketers go about building a sustainable marketing powerhouse wrongly.




The new rule is simple: start with a successful model, study it, and duplicate its assets and process rather than learning quick from mistakes using a testing-based incremental model.

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We’re going to do all that, learn the process, set goals, use the spy tools, and apply what we learn to a content marketing brand and a major auto insurance company examples below. In my upcoming post, I’ll introduce you to a full swath of incredible competitive intelligence tools and other tools to help you plan and build better content.



This is a big topic and you’ll need to bookmark this post and return many times before it all sinks in.  Make this first read a general exploration and then dig into specific areas one at a time to master them.

Let’s Do What No One Else Will

reverse-semrushWe all wish success was easy. But it’s not. Somebody smart is always making better things and creating more value and is more likable. It’s up to us to take the initiative to be smarter, figure out how things work, and produce something way better. To be successful in 2017, you’re going to have step it up, or suffer yet one more year of mediocre results.

Along with a process of reverse engineering theory and analytical techniques, I’m going to introduce you to some spying tools so you can discover great content and then assemble it so it creates a powerful traffic building and visitor conversion effect. During this process you may have to build rankings and traffic first before you can switch over to content that has converting power. With this insight, you’ll be enjoying the content creation and strategy process much more.

similarwebAre you ready to learn how to spy, infiltrate, and analyze your competition’s best competitive secrets? Then let’s get immersed in this journey where you’ll create the very best content and publish it on your website, other websites and social pages.

Competitive Intelligence Tools Have Improved Immensely

Spying on competitors is big business and very valuable information. Software such as Similar web can help you find your real top competitors and tell you what they’re doing and what success they’re having.




Today, Your Company, your Brand, Product, Offer: Is Your Content. It’s that simple.

Great content will make the biggest impact to your marketing results. You can have the best content, the kind that’s powering up your competitor’s success. Why not visit their site right now and marvel at their great stuff and really get into why customers love them? Then you’ll find out how to tear it all apart and know why it works so well.

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Car Disassembled courtesy of carford.ru

What your customers and incoming visitors see and believe is what your content tells them to believe, such as whether you’re relevant, expert, creative, trustworthy, and capable of providing the fulfillment they want. You’re as valuable, deep, fascinating, generous, authoritative, attractive, fun, and impactful as your content suggests. You have to believe that content is everything today. Top competitors know all about content and so should you.

So right now, take a deep breath and relax, because you’ll comprehend this material better if you’re calm and balanced. Treat this as a journey into a dream where you’ll have plenty of “ah ha” moments and you’ll realize success is there for whoever wants it. The only question a marketer, entrepreneur, startup financier, or other professional has to answer is “Do I want to Succeed?”




Delete Your Old Content because it’s Killing your Business

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Your Old Content is Awful — Get Rid of It!

The problem with traditional content approaches is that the market doesn’t care about our stuff. Customers care about what they want, hope for and expect. They don’t care what you believe. They care whether you believe what they believe. These visitors may actually believe you’re worth it, but your content hasn’t validated or confirmed your relevance to them. The top sites do deliver that confirmation. They’ve got the right content delivered the right way to resonate with web users. So why not do what they’re doing?

In order to create content that drives leads, you need to understand your clients’ and prospects’ problems and aspirations first, then write about those things. But at a deeper level, you need to know what they are searching for at the various stages of the buying cycle, and have content written using the same core language that they useKevin Whelan, B2B Digital Strategist of KVNW Digital Marketing Toronto.

We’re not going to copy the leader’s content (as copycatters do).  We’re going to study what their top content is and deduce, using tools, why it is so effective, then create our version of the best content. We capture the what and hows and it may lead us to all of the why’s. Sometimes the why’s are tricky because we assume people like certain things and styles of content and experience when in fact, we just don’t get what’s really going on. You’re going to find out what’s going on.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to start your great content strategy by discovering who has the best content and how you can create the same highly effective content for your site. Don’t be intimated by the phrase “content reverse-engineering.” You’ll soon learn how it’s only a tag applied to a simple process of  dissecting things.

Here’s the reverse engineering you’ll be doing:

  1. engaging in a process that will help you learn about and create the best content in your niche and organize it on your site to get exceptional results
  2. envisioning content ideas that will have impact and draw a lot of traffic and discovering how to create them
  3. discovering how to link a network of pages so they support each other’s rankings, optimizing the customer journey, and ramping up your conversion power
  4. leveraging software tools to analyze the most successful websites in your niche
  5. learning to see content in the bigger picture, not in aimlessly churning out irrelevant content
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Focus on the site’s top 1 or 2 content pieces which could be a pdf how to guide, video, blog post, industry report, podcast, infographic, or a product data sheet.  Examine how it’s positioned within their site linking architecture. Then find out what out what links to it out on the web.

It’s often said by today’s management experts that a key to success in business is to fail quick and learn fast. Yet it might also be said that you should bypass failure altogether by producing the ultimate solution right away. Find perfection first, then you won’t even have to fuss with that unpleasant failure stuff. Which way would you prefer?

Successful websites usually have that excellent, high impact valuable content that leaves an impression on you. If we find out the what and how, we might discover why they’re successful. They’re a great starter model.




Our Goal: What Are We Trying to Do?

  • find the top companies/websites are in our niche and spy on them
  • discover their value proposition and how it is delivered via content
  • determine what their top performing content pieces/pages are
  • determine which keyword phrases are driving our top competitor’s rankings and traffic
  • determine how competitors use social media and get their stuff shared there
  • determine how to assemble the best content topics and media on our site
  • determine how to optimize it so it will rock in one or two years time (you won’t get immediate success)
  • how to market our content like them so that supporters/visitors/influencers link to our site and talk about us
  • how to optimize the customer journey to maximize visitor conversion and sales

Delete your First thoughts about What Your Site is Missing

Don’t start with preconceptions about what you’re missing. Filling in blanks and gaps isn’t going to work. At this point, you don’t know what you need, how to create it, or how to lay it out to your customers over time — you’ll have to discover what works and do that.

And It might not be the absence of epic blog posts written with wit and panache, slick 4K youtube video or whitepaper, or podcasts and infographics that makes your site weak. It could be that your content isn’t linked or promoted properly. But if you watch what your competitors produce and how they lay out their content and present it to their visitors, you begin to get a feel for this excellent presentation process.

What is Content Reverse Engineering?

Here’s a good definition of Content Reverse Engineering for our purposes:

Content reverse engineering is the study of top performing content websites/businesses to develop an ideal website content strategy (so that it can be reproduced on your web site) which will allow your website to rank high on Google, impact visitors, build their intent, persuade them to become loyal customers, and encourage them to share your marketing materials via social media.

Why is Search Engine Optimization still in this definition? SEO is powerful and influential. If you can’t rank on Google, you’re neglecting a huge, influential, sustainable and free source of traffic and influence. It’s not everything now, but it’s still the most important element.

Reverse engineering of content can work for more than just Google rankings and traffic. We can reverse engineer for social viral success, content persuasion, conversion rates, intent and engagement, and help to build a site that will power up visitor’s desire and commitment to do business with us. You’ll inevitably be looking at all things to reverse engineer for. This is just the beginning. You’re not an expert now, but in 2 years you may be the ultimate authority on content reverse engineering. Let’s start thinking like experts!

This post is about a plan to build a powerful website from the ground up. This isn’t UX design or web design. It’s about a site that can dominate Google rankings and power visitors through your conversion funnel. While we might spend time studying the most successful sites, in the end, we need to design content that resonates with our selected keywords and our brand image. And determining which are the actual great sites isn’t easy either. It may take you a while to discover which of your competitor’s really does have it going on and whether they’re worth studying.

Like any good builder, we’ll be drawing up blueprints, ordering building products, gathering tools, and perhaps subcontracting stuff to experts. Experts really help. Envision the powerful digital marketing content, and forget about design. Image and design will distract you. Go to your browser setting and turn off the images. This will let you see content only. You need to focus on your content.

Start with the End

If you’re a goal minded business person, you probably agree that having goals, a vision of success to aim for is important. One of the best ways to map out a path to your goals is to begin with the end in mind, build your vision (perhaps like the top companies in your niche) draw up blueprints for a new website and then backtrack with all the steps between then and now.

Having a vision like this helps to illuminate all of the details and in an order that you currently aren’t aware of. It can raise your confidence too.
The competitive intelligence tools such as Similarweb, Spyfu, Alexa, Opensite Explorer, SemRUSH and others are very helpful for helping us cut through the clutter to find worth websites to emulate. And it’s not just websites we’re after. Ultimately, we want to view their complete digital marketing program and extract the best techniques, processes, resources, and conversion strategy from them.



Confidence, Faith, and Optimism – Something Incredible is Coming

We’re going to start with the end – the powerful, top ranking and high converting website, the one that has it is all. This vision is a powerful, magnetic and persuasive force for you and for your future customers. And like Field of Dreams, they will come.

We need to study, observe and learn. Why did a competitor’s content (FB post, blog post, infographic) get shared so much, why did people link to their content, and why are the topics they chose to cover so relevant? We can use software such as Spyfu, Semrush, Moz, Google alerts, Similarweb, to see what others have done and are doing currently. Tools don’t give you everything you need however they can be insightful.

What Content is Best?

Take a good look at the top sites in your niche and note the type of content, messaging, style, content navigation, and social media distribution they use. Check out where they advertise, what those ads say, and what they’re dishing out with their content marketing. Content marketing is likely the key to most businesses success. Find out what they’re doing.

And if you’re stumped about which content types are best and how you should develop them, there are helpers. For instance, a company called Market Muse  offers a software-based solution that assists with the discovery of the best content ideas and helps you map out a content strategy that fills all the semantic and keyword needs of Google, so that your site is the Big Kahuna of your keyword sector. That’s reverse engineering.

By mapping out all the content needed to rank for your top keyword phrases, all the content you create between now and your goal, will support your rankings very well. This is how I get an octopus stranglehold on keyword sectors. It takes time, but each piece of content you create will make your ranking position even stronger. And this collection of content will be more useful to your customers and they’re share it happily on social media.

Your 6 Content Strategy Model Key Questions

  1. Who is your target prospect and what are their needs? What does your unique value proposition and branding statement have to be to fulfill their needs?
  2. Which topics are these prospects interested in?
  3. What do your prospects believe?
  4. What don’t your prospects know?
  5. What are all the keywords/related words of these topics and your solution/product?
  6. What is the core idea or brand message that has to be in there and reinforced like a laser?

Strategizing Content for SEO

A website’s content and how it’s linked internally is hard to visualize. The site’s navigation for users is not the same view Google gets when it spiders the pages, or processes its collection of your pages. Google’s view is different. In fact, Google will disregard a lot of the links and material on your pages without you knowing why. It barely recognizes the menu nav bars that some SEOs still optimize. Don’t fret, you’ll have a user-based naviation system too. In fact some systems will deliver content based on the visitor’s gps location. That actually has to be reverse engineered too and entered into the strategy.

The sophisticated analysis of keywords, linking, text semantics, trust factor, pagerank, and linkjuice flow is probably better left for me to figure out. It’s complicated. If you don’t know the phrase “keyword reputation” or “semantic indexing” then it’ll be hard to know to write and link your content.

SEO Copywriting tip: write your current content so that includes keyword phrases (and semantic cues) that you’ll have content to point to. This sort of prearranges additional rankings in future without rewriting and rewiring all your content.  That’s a pain. Know that you can do that now, and then return later to the page to insert hyperlinks where needed.

Topic Discovery

Here’s what to do:

1. name the top 10 topics you need to cover and assign one page to each topic
2. collect the top 5 keywords your site needs to resonate to
3. collect 5 keyword phrases for each of your topic pages
4. collect all the synonyms, related words, and stemmed variations of your keyword phrases

 

Example 1 – The Content Marketing Institute

If you’re into content marketing, (using content as a medium for getting your message out to whereever you want to put it) this website is number one, but why? What is their best content, where do visitors go on their site, and how do they acquire customers from the hundreds of thousands of visitors they get?CMI started out like any other site, but with money and more content, and a good content strategy they grew on the wave of people just learning about content marketing. Just so you know, marketing today is the same thing and content marketing (If you ask CMI).

Well, anyway, CMI has a lot of traffic which they receive mostly through Google. If you do a search of the base keyword phrase “content marketing” you’ll find them at number one and as well for “content strategy.” And they get traffic from millions of additional phrases that include the words content marketing (e.g. what is content marketing).

We can use tools such as spyfu.com and semrush to help us learn about how they rank and where visitors land on their site. This tells us which content is bringing them in. Then we can find out what content links to their top pages so we know why it ranks at the top. Then we can analyze the content of the big pages themselves to see what’s so compelling about them.

In CMI’s case, they provide beginner’s guides to content marketing and content strategy. People want to know and they want a guide to tell them how to do it. So, everyone links to this page and they share the url with everyone on social media. CMI creates impressive visual content that offers quite a bit of insight and they’re rewarded with boatloads of traffic.

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If you use Google keyword suggestion tool, you can see what searcher’s are looking for specifically. The tool will show you the top phrases in terms of volume and in terms of what advertisers are paying per click for Adwords ads. Both are important to determining where they real value is. If ppc prices are $16 to $25 per click, you’re onto something vital to customers. In this case, it looks like they want a way to understand content marketing and how to use it.

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The previous pic above of their website homepage shows they offer classes, webinars, guides, and just about anything to do with learning content marketing. The left most button is to their articles section because that’s probably where everyone wants to go. Why? Because they want to read the latest expert discussions, tips and tricks about CM. The blog is always popular and expert blog posts are what underpin high Google rankings. Regular web pages aren’t interesting and Google almost disregards them. Blogs are usually rich in info, visual stuff such as infographics and video, and helpful info and that’s what people want.

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This cool tool from Similarweb lets you see so much about your competition it’s awesome. We can see CMI’s traffic sources and where they send visitors too. And our favorite, the one where they tell us which pages are most popular! Isn’t this fun?

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CMI is generous which indicates a market leader. They give away some great stuff including their yearly state of content marketing reports in pdf format. The visitors are looking for all that excellent information which is laser-like efficient and extremely well presented. I like CMI a lot. Of course, the material leaves you wanting more, perhaps deeper data rich content.

Strangely, the only time they mention content reverse engineering is in this on epost from Simon Penson from 4 years ago! http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2012/11/reverse-engineer-content-strategy/ Oh well, it’s probably because it’s not a beginner topic.

Example 2 : Auto Insurance Company in Los Angeles

Insurance companies try hard to differentiate their insurance products because consumers view automobile insurance as a commodity. In fact they’re often searching for the lowest price auto insurance quote  they can get. An insurance company such as Geico, Progressive, Allstate, Farmer’s, AAA, etc will spend immensely on differentiation.

Smaller insurance companies and brokers can’t compete with the big brands and their video advertising, brand mascots, and thousands of agent sites linking to their corporate website. Smaller companies can instead pay attention to how their content helps drivers, homeowners, etc stay confident that they’re getting the best value for their insurance expense. The big companies also create a lot of content too to appear sincere and helpful, as well as to rank on Google for endless insurance related keyword searches.

As an example for an auto insurance company in Los Angeles, we would have topics such as:

  1. auto and truck makes
  2. auto and truck models sizes, engine power, repair costs
  3. los angeles neighbourhoods
  4. zip codes and how they affect rates
  5. cheap, low cost savings tips for drivers of various vehicle makes
  6. driving instruction and tips
  7. accidents and claims
  8. teens and high risk drivers
  9. how to save on insurance guide
  10. liability, coverage, and gaps
  11. why don’t millennials get lower insurance quotes?
  12. where do car accidents happen in LA?

The top keywords and keyword phrases your site needs to resonate to: auto insurance, car insurance, car insurance quote, insurance company, lowest price, online insurance, comparison, reviews, etc.

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If we study the content of the top ranking sites in this search for a Los Angeles Car Insurance quote: we’ll find Progressive Insurance at the top e.g.,

The key branding message is that “warm, friendly, cheery, supportive, and caring Flo is just a quick phone call away.” She’s so clean and heavenly looking, you feel you’re meeting religious requirements by getting insurance from Progressive. So, Progressive avoids all those numbers, probably because Progressive (and Gieco) is actually one of the more expensive auto insurance companies, and instead the content directs you to more brand intensive communications or right to the insurance quote form. Progressive advertises a lot on TV thus the website is more or less a landing page for TV ads.

Other insurance companies online will lead directly to material about rate comparisons and demonstrations of the actual, cheapest insurance available. Hard core, bottom line cheap quotes, which we should remember, is something that might get shared online. With progressive, what gets shared are Youtube videos.

Make sure you check out the top site’s Youtube channel and see which videos are popular and which get shared. Here’s a look at Progressive insurances top Youtube videos:

Why Does Progressive Insurance Company Rank at the Top?

Progressive.com ranks highly because it has high trustrank (a lot of trusted sites link to it), lots of inbound links, 56,000 pages indexed, and a whopping Moz domain authority rating of 83 ) which many of the major brands possess because so many local agents link to the major brands. That’s why major brands dominate Google. If Google changes it’s policy on that sort of “employee vote) ranking power, the rankings would become a free for all for everyone! Wouldn’t that be something!

Progressive also has many hard to find old style SEO’d pages which laughably (they’re horribly written, for SEO purposes) still work, and they provide extra help for rankings without being too visible. This is one of the key tricks of SEO is utilize content subtlely for SEO but not let actual customers find it because it’s rarely a good customer experience. The key is that your pages won’t rank on their own. They need lots of support from other unique pages to give them a top ranking.

Progressive.com enjoys 3.1 million visitors per month and they get traffic from 131,ooo unique keyword phrases such as car insurance.

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Progressive.com’s traffic has grown consistently over the past 6 years, a sign of well executed strategy

If you check this page using Open Site Explorer, you’ll see this page has lots of links pointing to it. And the content on these linking pages/sites is important to the progressive page’s rankings.

Getting people to write the right things and link to your site is one of the tougher aspects of search engine optimization. Yet, what other pages suggest about your site is critical to your rankings and which keywords you can rank on. We’re not going to get into SEO and advanced linking here, but just to mention that even the links from other websites has to be reverse engineered too. This means creating content bloggers, journalists, and insurance agents will want to link to. Your content’s messaging will influence what these people write about and where they link to on your site. 255 links point to progressive.com’s /auto/ page from 66 different domains.  That kind of link support can work wonders.

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On this screenshot of progressive.com’s homepage, notice the drop down navigation menu links. About us, media and investors, and sign in have little to help us rank for insurance phrases. In this sense, we need to know which content wastes ranking resources because you won’t have as much ranking power to waste as Progressive.com possesses.

They have plenty of links pointing to their how to save page which has 6 key posts on how to save on auto insurance. Visitors want to save on their auto insurance so tying the brand thematically is good for branding. Does that work for SEO too? It may factor in a little on the lowest price quote thing, because Google is smart enough to know that most consumers are shopping for cheap insurance. That theme kind of taints the whole business of insurance, and makes brand differentiation difficult.

How does their Los Angeles location page rank? It’s mostly due to something called domain authority and the fact that quite a few others websites are linking to that page.

Another big boost is from their Google local business/maps listing where they are able to list all of their physical locations throughout the US and Los Angeles. The Google local business listing is a verified location on a map. It is a powerful asset, and SEO works well in concert with local maps exposure. Integrating your Google local listing into your content strategy is wise.

Now that you’re finished your primer in content reverse engineering, you may want to share it with your coworkers and boss so you can get the ball rolling on growing your digital marketing results.

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More Helpful Stuff:

Hubspot offers its advice on content reverse engineering: http://academy.hubspot.com/projects/customer-projects-how-to-reverse-engineer-content-creation

Curata offers a helpful guide on content strategy where they identify the best types of content to use to move visitors through your conversion funnel. They use an easy to comprehend content pyramid model. You can download the guide http://www.curata.com/assets/marketing/Ebooks/Curata_Content_Marketing_Pyramid_CurataBlogAd.pdf on their site.

Check out auto insurance quotes in your city:

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Gord Collins —  I provide digital marketing services for companies 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, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita,  Henderson, Mesa, Temecula, Kirkland, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, Miami Beach, and Honolulu. Get an innovative and efficient digital marketing specialist to work for you.

America. Sell That Home!! Moving on to a Better Life

Housing Market 2017 – It’s Time to Sell

The housing market is ripe and 2017 is the year of the home seller across the US and some cities in Canada. It’s an amazing thing that so many home owners who have sacrificed the best years of their lives, toiling at their jobs for decades, buying a property so modestly, are now going to be rewarded royally from the housing market in 2017.

Okay, maybe not that rich, but you’re doing okay:) pic courtesy of diceybrown.com

The housing market lottery: Some of you will receive 100% to 300+% of what you paid for your property if you sell this year. That’s like winning a lottery. And the fun won’t stop anytime soon. You’ve got lots of options, beginning with how you’ll sell your home to what you’ll do with the rest of your life such as travel, move to a warm climate, and complete your bucket list.

The real estate market 2017 is very bright in many cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, New York and Vancouver. For sellers that is. With a historically unprecedented lack of housing supply and strong employment and income growth, buyers will be willing to pay very high homes prices at zip codes all over.




If you’re hoping to sell your home in 2017, you should read my post on selling over asking price  and why selling your home now is wise. There’s plenty of other reasons to sell your home and sell it at the highest price possible.

Good Things Happen When You Sell and Move onto Your Ideal Life

I like the story of homeless Louise Gourley who went from rags to riches, got tired of the grind, sold her house and went and helped the poor. A richer life is waiting anyone who wants it. And you’ll likely be able to live your dream comfortably. Read Louise’s story on the Sunday Post. I like happy stories.

Your Buyer’s Want the Best Growth in Equity

Don’t forget that property investors will also be bidding on your home or condo this year. The outlook for rental property is extremely positive. First time buyers face challenges in gathering a downpayment and qualifying for a mortgage when home prices are rocketing. If the Trump administration should infuse further life into the economy and housing market, it should ease home prices. Rather than hoping for the best home sales price, why not plan for your sale?

You have other options for selling a home if you want the maximum price. And that premium on the price might be well worth it. Realtors aren’t your only option. You can hire a digital marketer and a real estate lawyer to market your home. It might take a little more effort, but you’ll likely save quite a bit of money and get a higher sales price.

Keep your mind open about getting the best price or staying even with the Realtor’s market assessment of your property. That’s all out the window these days. Your home is worth what you can make others believe it’s worth. It’s all marketing and the selling price is yours to choose (when you carry out a powerful marketing and sales strategy). While it may be wise to use Realtors, they often boast about BIG marketing campaigns, but as a digital marketer in real estate, I can tell you most spend very little. Dig deep to discover exactly what they’re going to do for you.

Your house and property are an investment, your most important financial investment, so don’t burden the buyer with demands. It’s their money. Sell it for maximum value, let it go and move on.

Which City has the Best Home Prices?

Before you sell, you need somewhere to go – to choose a city or country where you can buy cheap once again (deja vu?). You could retire in Costa Rica or some other heavenly tax free country. Wouldn’t that be nice! Or you could check out cities in Arizona, Utah, Florida, Texas, or Oregon, or perhaps the Okanagan in Canada. These places are popular too.

Ideas: With your own home solar power system, you would likely be creating your electric power for free. Living off the grid is something many babyboomers are becoming interested in. Solar power technology  is just one exciting entrepreneurial opportunity you can pursue if you’re business minded and want to keep busy too.




Top 25 Cities to Retire in the US.

Take a good look at this list of 25 great cities to retire to. If you’re an Internet or social media entrepreneur, you might find them ideal to work from too!

This list is compiled from Forbes Annual List of best places to retire. I’ve added in estimated average income and zip codes so you can accelerate your own home search.

US City State Average Home Price Estimated per capita income in 2013: Zip Code
1 Abilene TX $142,000 $21,032 79563
2 Ashville NC $206,000 $29,195 28704
3 Athens GA $139,000 $17,534 30605
4 Blacksburg VA $235,000 $18,618 24060
5 Boise ID $175,000 $28,479 83616
6 Bowling Green KY $138,000 $20,116 42101
7 Cape Coral FL $190,000 $47,767 33903
8 Casper WY $245,000 $31,475 82609
9 Colorado Springs CO $225,000 $29,030 80829
10 Columbia MO $159,000 $26,994 65202
11 Fargo ND $176,000 $27,622 58047
12 Great Falls MT $172,000 $25,015 59401
13 Huntsville AL $174,000 $29,399 35649
14 Lexington KY 143000 $28,924 40361
15 Lincoln NE $155,000 $25,745 68430
16 Logan UT 153000 $16,572 84321
17 Mesa AZ $200,000 $23,771 85021
18 Oak Grove OR $279,000 $29,019 97267
19 Pittsburgh PA $133,000 $28,176 15201
20 Port Charlotte FL $147,000 $21,950 33948
21 Raleigh NC $213,000 $31,145 27587
22 Rochester MN $168,000 $33,894 59901
23 San Angelo TX $189,000 $24,293 76903
24 San Marcos TX $198,000 $16,087 78658
25 Tucson AZ $174,000 $19,669 85701

Get Creative Minded and Build Your Vision

Let’s hope you’re not making the decision now after divorce, serious health issues, or big debt.  That’s what happens when you wait too long. When the time has come, you must act and sell your home. Don’t hang on for a few more years to get a few thousand more dollars. Take the gift you’ve been given by the economy now.

If you don’t know how to research and plan for such a future, find a professional with enthusiasm and talent for that sort of thing and hire them. Giving you focus to your future, inspiring you, and helping you smooth over the rough spots is well worth the fee. It’s an investment in you and your spouse and family. Don’t be traditional — get a solution that works today. The roles for advisors, marketers, and enablers have changed. You’re the master. Go with your intuition — it’s likely right on the mark.

The millennials who want to buy your home are looking for certain things besides the lowest price. Don’t forget to improve your home before putting it up for sale.  Staging isn’t enough when your goal is to sell it in a bidding war from hungry buyers who are all in to your marketing presentation.  You’ll discover the power of real estate marketing.  Good luck with your sale and if you seriously want to get the best price – I’m the guy who can introduce your home to the world and make it look like a mansion.

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Aurora Newmarket Real Estate Forecast – 2018 to 2020 | New Homes for Sale | New Construction Houses Condos Resale Properties

Real Estate Market in Aurora and Newmarket

Winter 2017/2018 was a quiet one. However with spring 2018 here, we’re seeing the Newmarket real estate market, Aurora real estate market and the East Gwillimbury market offering the best availability of old stock and new homes for sale in the Toronto region.

The new stress test rules have cooled the Toronto Real estate market, and prices have cooled in York region in particular. Last spring, Aurora, Newmarket, Vaughan, and East Gwillimbury were scortching hot markets with soaring prices for detached homes.

Aurora/Newmarket Home Sales Statistics

Screen Capture courtesy of Trebhome.com

As you can see in this chart below, home prices are very similar to 2 years ago before the bubble peaked. Active listings in Aurora has from 83 in May 2016 to 226 currently. And in Newmarket there is a much healthier 280 active listings compared to 102 in May 2016.  Not great, but better for buyers.



The issue in York region is similar to cities across the US and Canada — a lack of availability. Without anywhere to go, people are hanging onto their houses even as prices slide. Their buoyed by the realization that with government development restrictions suppressing housing developments in York Region, their home price will not fall much.

If there is a Toronto housing crash, the price drops in Aurora, Newmarket, and East Gwillimbury would be extreme as we saw through the latter part of 2017.  With the coming of the provincial election, we could see a new approach to housing in Ontario (although the PCs haven’t said they would ease the problem). The hope of a Toronto housing boom is fading with the NAFTA negotiations failing.

City Sales in January Home Price Index Change YoY Average Price
Detached House January 2018 Dec 2017 Nov 2017 Oct 2017 Sept 2017 May 2016
Aurora 28 -2.54 1,079,493 $1,033,353 $1,249,613 $1,280,888 $1,458,481 $1,160,286
Newmarket 33 -5.09 $871,412 $879,151 $763,071 $916,350 $895,191 $871,904
East Gwillimbury 15 0.26 $851,687 $769,624 $946,465 $1,013,350 $895,119 $766,528
Condo Townhouses
Aurora 3 $393,333 $455,000 $457,429 $926,643 $515,333 $622,570
Newmarket 0 $592,417 $577,500 $727,500 $584,543 $530,492
East Gwillimbury 0

Living in York Region

This spring in 2018, buyers might find that perfect house in York Region whether new homes for sale or old housing stock.  Traveling up the 404 or 400 to check out houses for sale in  Aurora and Newmarket  as well as Bradford and fast growing East Gwillimbury, buyers do like what they see.  To buy a home in Aurora, you may be looking at $1 million.

New Condominium on Jonway, Aurora
Brookfield Developments – Just off of Leslie, north of Wellington Rd Aurora
Multimillion Dollar home in West Aurora
This new development on the old Glenway Golf Course grounds is completed, although there hundreds of new homes being built toward Yonge St, south of Davis Drive. Check them out on the Newmarket new homes page.

Northern York Region continues to grow particularly as word gets out about new housing developments in Aurora and new homes for sale in Newmarket. and those in East Gwillimbury.

Newcomers are impressed with the quality of living in York Region with the open spaces, clean air, Cooks Bay to the north, the Durham forest to the east, and the small town living.

Aurora and Newmarket are perfect for growing families with the number excellent schools, libraries, recreation facilities, shopping, and a vibrant commercial/business area. These are communities with a definite character and high standard of living.




If you’re investigating the Aurora and Newmarket  or anywhere in Northern York region to buy a detached home or condo, you won’t be disappointed at the lifestyle in these quaint cities. Andas this most recent updated market report for 2017 suggests below, prices are appreciating and availability is being squeezed.

There are new housing developments here, some quite large, however most have already been sold out. It’s a seller’s market here like no other in York Region.

Check Homes for Sale in Newmarket or Aurora Right Now.

If you’re interested in buying or selling, send me a quick note in the form below and I’ll have an experienced and friendly realtor contact you. She’s very nice and you’ll enjoy her easy going approach. No Pressure!

gord2
Real Estate is about to be disrupted. Having a good digital marketer working for you is vital for best selling results

If you’re hoping to sell your home (at over asking?), consider having me help you build strong demand for your home online and with a private MLS listing. I may be a good alternative to a local Aurora or Newmarket realtor. I offer a very powerful selection of Digital Marketing Services. Rather than the realtor hiring me to do all the work, why not go direct and save tens of thousands in commission?

[bctt tweet=”York Region is forecast to grow to a population of 1.79 million and employment of 900,000 by 2041″ username=”@gord_collins”]

Population Growth to Boost Demand for Detached Homes

The Aurora/Newmarket area is a special urban zone just north of Toronto, Canada, surrounded by development-blocked scrubland called green space. This scarcity of usable, development land for housing is the number one driver of skyrocketing prices in these two towns and a current housing crisis for many residents. For investors and speculators alike, this region is worth a good look.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t believe the housing market in the Aurora, Newmarket and Bradford area won’t boom for some time. Huge new housing developments being built currently on the west and east sides of these much desired towns are providing hundreds of new homes for sale. Those new properties are hot commodities.

It’s a testament to the popularity of the region and the growth in migration from Toronto and Mississauga, and from south YR to north YR. But without land, homes can’t be built.

Here’s some eye opening stats on how single detached home prices and listings have changed in the last 12 months in the Aurora, Newmarket, Markham, Richmond Hill area to give you some perspective before we continue.

 Sales Chart 2016 York Region Detached Home Sales Comparison September 2015 to 2016
City Average Selling Price September 2015 Avg Selling Price March 2017 YOY Price Growth Avg DOM 09/2015 Avg DOM 09/2016 New Listings Active Listings Avg Selling Price / Listing Price
Aurora $908,640 $1,381,668 33% 22 10 130 64 105%
Bradford E Gwillimbury $650,324 $1,166,594 33% 30 26 58 60 101%
King $1,183,743 $1,854,652 31% 59 28 159 125 100%
Markham $1,114,035 $1,680,833 35% 15 13 70 118 100%
Newmarket $734,830 $1,143,251 36% 18 11 194 104 105%
Richmond Hill $1,169,054 $1,835,719 30% 15 14 371 243 105%
Whitchurch-Stouffville $876,188 $1,369,276 33% 29 15 107 87 104%




Ontario Government – Places to Grow and Urban Intensification Act

Will mounting pressure on the Ontario government force the increase of more land for development? Will the lack of housing stock for resale jump prices another 28% in 2017, and throttle the market here in York Region? My guess is the slowdown forecast by expert housing analysts won’t happen until late summer next year. The Ontario government’s urban intensification plan and places to grow program will provide strong upward pressure on prices in Aurora, Markham, Richmond Hill, Stouffville and Newmarket. This is by design.

People want to live in Newmarket and Aurora and improving roads in the region will at least offer the illusion of a nice to commute to work yet the truth is, roadways have also been constrained along with housing development.  Buyers are hoping and waiting for new listings in Aurora/Newmarket but the wait may be long.  Just this summer the Ontario minister of Finance announced new rules that intend to restrict development even more.

Bryan Tuckey, president of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). “The net effect will be higher housing prices across the board.”

Home Prices in Aurora ON

This comparison of prices and DOM of the neighbourhoods in Aurora below should highlight how things have changed just in the last 15 months. The average home price in Aurora Estates has risen $250,000 and in the Hills of St Andrews, up a whopping $450,000!  Since active listings are down this year, it suggests home prices will rise further in 2017. Will they rise through to 2020? As long as the Toronto market remains hot and overpriced, demand will keep spilling into Markham, King, Vaughan, Stouffville, and Aurora.




While new construction developments on the east side are available, there is no room to grow. Price pressure will be enormous through 2020 and beyond. If prices have risen 22% in the last, we can safely project that demand will continue through 2020 if the Toronto economy and the US economy should hold during that time.yorkregionhomeprices-top

yorkregionhomeprices

aurora-home-prices

aurora-neighbourhood-home-prices-2016-2ndquarter

Luxury Home for Sale in Aurora WestPrices are rising fast and many homeowners who previously wouldn’t sell are finally coming to the conclusion that now is the time to sell. But the market isn’t about about to die. Even with the governments acting to add taxes and raise mortgage qualification requirements, the demand for homes in Aurora and Newmarket is high. Lately, Aurora home prices have risen faster than any other municipality in the Toronto area.

New Home Construction Developments in Aurora ON

St John’s Forest – Mattamy Homes sales office not open yet

Treasure Hill – Time Village on 25 Mavrinac Blvd. Aurora, ON

Aurora Trails – Arista Homes Sales Center at  corner of Wellington St. and Mavrinac Blvd Aurora, ON

Newmarket Home Prices 2015 to 2016

A look at Newmarket home prices in the last 15 months might help us determine what kind of price increases and availability will mark the 2017 selling season. Newmarket homes sell for about $400,000 less than in Aurora, however, as more homes are sold in Copper Hills in east Newmarket near the 404, and new developments north of St Johns Sideroad, and in Glenway estates (former Glenway golf course), the average home price should rise.

newmarket-home-prices-treb-1st-quarter2015

newmarket-home-prices-treb-2nd-quarter2016

Newmarket New Home Construction Developments – New Homes for Sale

Are you on the hunt for new homes for sale in Newmarket?

Copper Hills Phase 4 – Sales office at 1035 Poppy Lane, Newmarket

ESPRIT Newmarket – Presentation centre at 219 Davis Drive West, Newmarket

Glenway Phase II – Andrin Homes and Lakeview Homes presentation centre at 26 Lesmill Rd #3, North York.




The housing stock is predominantly new and categorized as luxury real estate as you can see in the Aurora homes galleries, the prices put Aurora and Newmarket homes in that category. Take a look at this gallery of Aurora luxury homes  and you’ll see what’s typically available for $1.5 million to $8 million here. You’ll find some beauties in what are spectacular neighbourhoods providing an unparalleled quality of life.

Please do read the Toronto Real Estate Forecast to get up to date on the factors that are pushing Southern Ontario real estate prices up. The major reason is a huge demand for housing in general and for single detached homes in general. Millennial buyers in particular are eager to leave their parent’s homes and buy, yet prices are staggering. Previously, availability in Newmarket and Aurora were severely constrained yet price hadn’t quite jumped yet. Now prices are shooting up fast because buyers and investors are learning more about these towns. Given how desirable living north of the Green belt is, buyer demand will continue.

Is this the right year to buy rental income property?  Find out more about the best investments in 2017 including investing in real estate.

Demand for homes in Aurora and Newmarket will likely not abate for some time. Speculation may increase considerably in the next few years since it’s believed the Ontario government will not alleviate the places to grow legislation. There is talk about how something has to give as discussed in this article in York Region News, yet prices will likely not fall anymore than they’d fall in other popular locations.  The GTA is growing and York Region is slated for growth as part of the provincial government’s plans.




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Sell Your Home Now – This is the Best Time!

Selling Your Home at the Top of the Market is Wise

So many babyboomers and Gen Xers are sitting on a fortune right now. Some own houses that have average value of over $1 million and they don’t need to buy lotto tickets.

If you’re stuck and feeling as though there’s no way you can cash out of the real estate lottery, you should be talking to a realtor who has ideas about selling your house for a fortune and helping you relocate.

In this post, I reiterate why you need to sell, and offer some ideas on how you can manage this very fortunate transition in your life.

The housing market doesn’t offer opportunities like this very often. Almost never. So good advice is to look into selling right now. Don’t hesitate because if your local market crashes, your  once in a lifetime opportunity – you lose. Get out before the tidal wave of listings begin. Markets that rise this fast are vulnerable to a crash.

In Toronto in particular, we could be looking at a burst bubble. Last summer the banks were sounding the Toronto housing crash alarm and with the quickening pace of prices in the GTA this year, home sellers should be ready to pull the trigger.

I have friends and relatives sitting on these fortunes and some are preparing to sell. They’re on the hunt for rental properties or moving onto new builds in other cities. In the grand scheme, this is such a smart personal move. The $200k to $600k profit they will make on their home sale, it would take them 10 years to earn that money in their jobs. 10 years of hard labor.

Buy low and sell high.

That’s traditional wisdom in real estate investment, and it still works today whether you live in Miami, Boston, San Diego, San Francisco or Los Angeles. The cycles of the housing market undulate like a roller coaster ride at Disneyland, and are we nearing the plunge (crash forecast) in a few markets?




costacoupleThe housing markets in Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco are seriously overheated and a plunge in 2017 might not be so exhilarating or good for your personal wealth. Selling now in these markets might be the wisest financial decision you’ll ever make.  You’ve got a short term where you can market your home online and build demand, perhaps even to get over asking price.

Some babyboomers bought their houses in the 70’s and 80’s and are now cashing in for 1000% profit. No one could foresee that kind of return, nor would any of them know they would be so incredibly wealthy from selling that property when they bought it in the 70s or 80s.

Do you need a professional, reliable realtor to help you prepare and sell your home? Contact me so I can connect with a good one with experience and a passion for selling.

Sharing is good for your social health. Pass this post onto your friends and neighbors. Buying and selling is serious business and they need the facts!




Mike Wall has the right idea and has a guide to help you do the right thing
Mike Wall has the right idea and has a guide to help you do the right thing – convert your equity on paper to real cash

How Could You Engineer Such a Feat?

It’s easy, and here’s 7 alternatives that can help you cash on what was a great ride in the realty market and now your maximum payoff in 2017.

  1. Move Somewhere else Cheap for a Year or Two. Just rent in those towns, (12 to 24 months is $18000 to $40,000) and get ready to buy or custom buid your next home when the market falls.
  2. Sell and use some of the funds to renovate your parent’s old place to create an income suite. Live in the income suite for a couple of years. You’ll break even and you’ll be ready to do a custom build somewhere cheaper.
  3. Check Your Weight, Blood Pressure and Stress Levels: look at how stressful and stagnant yours and your family’s life has become — it is worth it to keep on paying down a mortgage when you’re passing by an opportunity to profit in the hundreds of thousands – get a quote from a realtor about intelligent renovations and staging – let’s fatten this one for market and save your health (later on, you’ll recognize the toll your life as put on your health).
  4. Tax Free Costa Rica real estate
    Can you believe some places have Tax Free living?

    Move to Costa Rica or Belize – these countries require you to have an income of more than $3000/month (or a big bank account which you’ll have). Consider how much fun you and your kids are going to have – unaparalelled experiences, once in a lifetime thrills and fulfillment.

  5. Sell and move to a rural area – locations inland from LA, San Diego are amazing, as is central British Columbia, Muskoka and Haliburton, Northern California, Oregon, and Washington State and Colorado, upstate NY or in the Adirondacks, or how about near Phoenix? I wouldn’t mind some sunshine and warming heat to bask in. There’s a life of excitement, zest, passion and fulfilling experience that could be yours. You just need to make the decision.
  6. Build a custom home way out past the burbs and build in a rental income suite and get your next mortgage paid!  The renter could pay a good portion of your home loan and you’ll have plenty for a better education and travel experiences for your kids, not to mention a bigger yard for them to make every day fun.
  7. Sell your home, leave your job and start a new business. How about starting a new online business now that you’ll have the cash resources to make it go? You could use my digital marketing services to help market your home persuasively and for over asking price, then use my services to build your business and make it soar.  You could even live on Google Adsense revenue like I do! Let’s have crazy fun making videos and starting businesses in fun markets anywhere in the world!

Even More Reasons to Sell Your Home Now

Yes, there’s more reasons to sell your home now.  Perhaps you’re getting older and the commute to work is taking its toll on your health. This is no small matter. There’s lots of talk about telecommuting as traffic worsens everywhere, but guess what?  Despite rising costs like car insurance and gasoline, no one’s telecommuting.

staging
Barb Schwarz book on staging during a down market will be handy if you’re deciding to wait a while:)

Perhaps you need to begin thinking about fulfilling your dreams while you’re still young enough? Maybe markets outside Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle or Boston have excellent low priced homes at rock bottom prices that are about to start going upward on the price curve?

Accelerate your Family wealth. If you sell, you can give a portion of the proceeds to your kids, perhaps tax free, and let them invest in income generating property and pay off their mortgages.

Dark Thoughts – consider whether the economic fundamentals in both Canada and the US can sustain price growth and whether the next administration will tank the US economy.  In my Los Angeles housing forecast and US home price forecast, I pointed out how strong economic factors will likely prevail. In fact, things are good which means buyers are optimistic and willing to buy.  You need a buyer that’s motivated to pay you top price. If you wait too long, you may be stuck. New housing construction is on the rise.

Buyers are Hoping, Waiting and Voting for a Market Crash – A huge and growing market of Millennials want to buy a home but prices and mortgage rules are making that impossible.  They are waiting for the market to semi-crash so they can afford to buy.

Poor Market Awareness – The problem with the way most people buy and sell is that they don’t anticipate trends or respond to them fast enough We’re not economists, and even they haven’t been that accurate in the past.  It’s unlikely you’ll ever get a better price for your home in markets such as Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, the Bay Area, Boston, Seattle, or Toronto. Although you’re probably getting sentimental about leaving your neighborhood, the rewards and benefits of moving on with your life are many. A new life in a location far from the aggravation, congestion, noise and smog of the city can revitalize your life.

If you’re a babyboomer wondering about the quality of your years ahead, that curiosity or doubt should be sufficient warning.

The fact is, tens of millions of babyboomers and Gen Xers right now are weighing the value and opportunity of selling and putting a new emphasis on quality of life. You’re not alone.

Is 2017 the right year to purchase rental income property?  Find out more about the best investments in 2017 including investing in real estate.




This Golden Opportunity Will Pass

Consider how the plunge of oil prices affected those in Calgary, Edmonton, Dallas, Houston, and North Dakota and how they saw their big investment plummet in value becoming a terminal debt sentence rather than a return on investment.

When the market is high, be smart, cash in and enjoy the results.  Move onto a new exciting home and business life where you follow your passions and enter a new phase of learning and growth. Your family will thank you for it.

Related posts: Toronto Housing CrashHousing Prices | Best Real Estate VideosBest Cities to Rent | New York Housing Outlook 2017 |  Mortgages | Car Insurance QuoteLos Angeles Housing Market | First Time Homebuyer TipsToronto Housing Market | San Diego Housing Market | Real Estate Agents | Future of Real Estate | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Housing ForecastDigital Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding | Toronto MLS |  Calgary Housing Forecast | How to Choose a Real Estate Agent | Zillow Leads | Real Estate Investing

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Online Home Valuation for Homeowners

Market Value Appraisal for Homeowners

Well, if you’re reading this blog, then you may be considering selling your home, and the market appraisal is one of the first tasks to get done. You’re wondering “what will we get for our old place anyway?” And then that will beg your next question: how do we increase the selling price of the home?

mjs-house
A Beautiful Home with incredible character, but was once a condemned property. The best house in the neighborhood by far, but will it be appraised as such?

Welcome, and I hope you’ll surf around and learn all about choosing a great real estate agent and getting the best results, in terms of price, professionalism, and moving onto the next phase of your life.

The essence of real estate is feeling good and finding the very best lifestyle for you.  Having a home appraised well is key to establishing the right selling price. And it’s the funds you’ll be starting with on this next exciting phase of your life.

Were you aware that you can actually get a free home market evaluation online? See the one below from Zillow. Or, you can do a Google search for [Realtor + market evaluation] and find a realtor who is interested in providing that service for you.

What’s so nice about about using Google to explore real estate topics, such as finding reputable realtors who are motivated and fun to work with, is that this is part of your journey. Google is making it easier, giving you endless education and insight into the real estate world.

If a Realtor ranks at the top of the results, it’s a good sign they want to work with you. It’s not easy to appear at the top of Google search results so you know they’re confident, put the hard work into it, and want to be successful. That desire for success is a good sign, not a sign of greed.




I Want to Get the Best Price Possible for my Home

And you should get the best price. That home and property represent a lot of daily toil on your part for year on end. Never forget that. Don’t give away value you created. You worked hard for years to make your mortgage payments and it is your investment. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you want to sell it for maximum price, you’ll want to use a realtor who has a habit of selling homes for over asking price. In today’s market, you’ll probably get it.

Thinking about Selling your California home and hiring a California Real estate agent in 2017? Check out the real estate  predictions for the US, and forecasts for apartment rentals and home construction in San Francisco, San Diego housing outlook and predictions for home sales in Los Angeles.

Preparing for the Maximum Selling Price

You’ll need a realtor and perhaps a renovation/designer to determine what could be fixed up to create an even better price and be sure to get it sold fast. The speed of the sale might save you some misery.

Once you get a ball park figure or Zestimate®, you’ve got a good number to work with. Realtors criticize Zillow mostly because they’re such an aggressive competitor online. Their Zestimate® tool is a little off the mark, sometimes low by $20,000 or more.  Yet as Zillow collects more information on homes across the US and Canada, they’ll become more accurate. But this number is just a number to rally on. You can raise the value of your home with your realtor’s advice and help. Appraisals are often based on comparables which could be the wrong comps, so you may want to go out and carefully find your own comparables to show the buyers the real value.

zillow-estimate-los-angeles

 

How do I Raise the Value of my Property?

Now you’ve got your base price often based on comparables in your neighborhood. What can you upgrade that’s worth doing? Homeowners tend to be way too passive about fixing the place up, as doing so could raise the selling price considerably, especially if your realtor manages to bring in a boatload of buyers who might compete for it.  It’s the simple pleasure/pain response. It may be very effective to get rid of everything that could offend or turn off the buyer, such as dirty toilets, broken light switches, dirty stained carpet, or some of your old nostalgic art items.

A Los Angeles Real Estate agent gives some insight into appraisers and how appraisals will affect what buyers might be willing or able to offer for your home.

Here’s 10 of the Best Ways to Raise and Get your Asking Price

Fix/Renovate the Bathroom – Home buyers want all memories and evidence that you lived there gone. The bathroom is a sensitive topic and they likely want the fixtures like the toilet, basin, shower replaced. Freshening it up with new fixtures tells them it is clean and ready to be used.

Fix the Roof – If there’s any signs the roof has had it, they will not even give you a bid. Here’s an opportunity to get rid of the old shingles and put in new solar shingles to create added value for them. Free hydro could be very excited for them.

Open Concept Kitchen – Just knocking down the walls could open up the buyer’s mind to the warmth of your kitchen. Most buyers insist on a kitchen/living room connection so try to make that happen.  Don’t buy new appliances, just look for some cheap used ones that still look good. Replace the obvious stuff that hints of poor hygiene such as grimy looking countertops, worn kitchen sinks and faucets.

Get Rid of the Old and Broken – Old just means old style, and items that have no relevance to the life they’re going to live.  Although you love your statue, antique furniture, or old small deck, they might really turn your buyer off. Broken things could get your appraisal reduced by $500.  Just one broken faucet or wall socket that doesn’t work could cost you $5k in appraised price because appraisers work in $500 increments.

Improve Exterior Features – Put in some exterior lighting, LED, for security reasons and for aesthetics.  The lights warm things up and create an evening presence that would otherwise be cloaked in dreary, scary blackness.

Try some New Window Shades – These are an inexpensive upgrade that can pick the windows up and help block bright sunlight and give privacy. These buyers don’t know the neighbors yet.

Remove Dirty Carpets – replace them with the new cheap linoleum based engineered flooring.  It looks like wood, feels like wood and it’s easy to keep clean. Make cleanliness a theme if it suits your ideal selling strategy.

Improve whatever the Realtor tells is wrong with most of the houses in your Neighborhood – If your house is the only one that doesn’t have the common problem, it will give them an emotional lift.

Make sure your top home Feature really Stands Out – there’s no point in going half way with the best thing about your home. If it’s got a rooftop deck for instance, make sure it looks like something they will be compelled to use. A rooftop deck or pool or large ensuite bathroom that they won’t use much is actually a waste. Everything being sold has a top benefit, so ensure this is 100% fantastic.

Have the Home Staged – having the right style, furnishings, and dressings for the intended buyer is important. Sorry, your style of furnishings only reduces the value.  Appearance is so important, from the condition of the lawn to the art on the walls. Let the realtor’s home stager make the place look immaculate.

Then comes the issue of how to choose the right realtor. There are almost 2 million real estate sales people to select from.

Choosing the best realtor is important. Some are motivated and some are not. Some are optimistic, some are not. You need to take some time doing a search of the best on Google. Take the top ten you find in the search results and assess their skills, strengths and weaknesses

A good realtor will be very optimistic, encouraging, and imaginative about how to help you get the best home selling price. That’s perhaps the most important criteria you should consider. Please don’t treat this like it’s just another transaction, and that you’ll take whatever you can. Your realtor will be making a good commission on the sale. You can expect them to come up with a brilliant online marketing strategy to capture more and better prospective buyers for your home sale.

How does their online marketing presence look to you? Would you buy from them if you were about to buy? What about their website and the image they project? Does it seem to speak to you and put them in an exclusive class of quality realtors?  Do they really look like they care?  Is there much content on their website? Can you see anything about their character or personality?  Of course, you can call a brokerage and take whoever is next on call, or you could interview whoever is willing to come to your home to be interviewed.  Save some time and do a pre-screening of their website. Their website is a tell tale representation of their professionalism, skills, and commitment.

If you get a Good Real Estate Agent – Stay with Them

It’s an interesting statistic that most sellers don’t use the same realtor to help them buy the next property, even though they’re buying in the same city. Your selling realtor will be helping other buyers on other deals so why not you? Either you believe in your realtor or you don’t. Choose a great realtor and use them for everything.

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Residential Solar Power Systems – What you Should Know

Are Solar Roofing Installations a Powerful Selling Feature?

We know how expensive hydro is becoming for the average homeowner. Power generating companies are in big debt and will have to keep raising prices to their diminishing user base chasing more homeowners offgrid.

And power companies are highly polluting which does not jive well with the mandates of the carbon credit regulators. It looks like solar will be prominent.

dowpowerhouseshingles
Dow Powerhouse Shingles are said to be a wise replacement system on a new roof installation, but many homeowners are really liking them for their aesthetics. — from pv-magazine.com. Pic courtesy of pv-magazine.com.

Yet we wonder if buying a $7000 to $30000 solar power generating system for a home is really worth it. Apparently, the savings range from $400 to $700 a month, or around $6k a year.  Right away you’d say no, however the prices of solar systems are falling and there might be other benefits to consider including higher selling prices.




I was speaking with Seattle entrepreneur Andrew Schumake who installs these solar systems.  He comments that the incentives created by the Obama administration in the US were very generous and how manufacturers and installation providers are clamoring to supply this burgeoning market in the US, and also in Canada.

It makes you wonder what the actual impact of all these new products is on the US housing market? Andrew warns though that some companies make shoddy products so homeowners should be careful and wise.

 

If you’re a builder or commercial real estate developer, you may want to check out the incentives offered by the Madison Energy Group of Phoenix, who Andrew works with.

As a realtor or property investor, or a homeowner with a big mortgage loan to pay, you may be wondering how much these systems raise the value of a property if at all.  The issue isn’t just a matter of electrical power savings, it’s also a matter of aesthetics and whether solar is a feature sought in particular neighborhoods.

Solar Shingles in Hot Demand

And new systems that use solar shingles are in hot demand. Most systems that we see on homes are solar panels which are mounted on top of the the roof. That can complicate roofing issues and fixes if a problem in the roof occurs. With solar shingles, you have a solution that is part of the roof so the old ceramic or tar paper asphalt shingles aren’t needed. And as you can see in this video below, the new solar shingles actually look pretty good.

The systems produced today are cheaper, better designed and should last longer. So the results from this Berkeley study from 2013 should be more positive today in 2016 and into 2017.

This woman in Florida is ecstatic about her new solar power installation.

Dow is a big maker of the new solar power shingles for residential roofs.  If your prospects are going to reroof their house, should they go with solar shingles and save on the costs of the conventional roofing?  There are a government incentives could make this a sensible purchase. Here’s a video that discusses that issue:

certainteed-solar-brochureBut could a new solar shingle roof help to get a home sold faster at a higher price? Studies seem to show that this is so. You might be familiar with Certainteed, the roofing products manufacturer. They provide a solar product brochure that might give more insight into the advisability of recommending a solar roof as a home value raising strategy.

The number of homeowners “going solar” has increased by an average of every year for the last 10 years. About half a million homeowners in the U.S. have determined that solar makes sense.” from the brochure.




What is your experience with solar energy installations in the homes you’ve been buying and selling? Are buyers enamored with the systems or are they mentioning wishes and disappointments? I’d like to know. Please leave your comments below.

 

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TREB Market Watch Report for August 2016 – The Vancouver Tax

Toronto Real Estate Community Set for Big Welcome of Vancouver Real Estate Investors

TREB’s monthly market report showed 9989 homes were sold in Toronto (GTA) in July, which was one of the best July’s on record. Data is is suggesting 2016 will be a record year (It was!).  TREB has just released its August sales report (Sept 7) and sales were strong and housing stock is slim which isn’t much of a surprise. 9814 homes were sold in the TREB MLS zone.

Here’s a snippet from their Sept 7, news release:

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark for August 2016 was up by 17.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis.  Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 17.7 per cent on an annual basis to $710,410.  Both the MLS® HPI benchmarks and average prices for low-rise home types were up by double digits percentage-wise.

Toronto Real Estate: [bctt tweet=”Latest Update: Toronto Real Estate market is up substantially, whether foreign investors are involved or not. #hotrealestate” username=”@gord_collins”]




August sales was a new record, up 17.2% from August 2015.  Is this due to the exit of investment from the overheated Vancouver BC market to Toronto. Or is this just due to the constrained availability in Toronto and surrounding area such as York Region?  What’s obvious about the Vancouver and Toronto markets is the degree of available land and developments are causing price pressures. Will BC and Ontario governments change their directions or will this severe pressure continue right through 2017?

Word is, that Ontario is considering an extra transfer tax (they already have enough taxes).  We’ll be able to pay our carbon credit tax and extra transfer tax together?

Here’s a chart courtesy of TREB, showing price growth in the last year. Very big numbers which might make a number of Toronto homeowners get off the shelf about selling their home.  Houses and condos sold for record prices and yet we’re not hearing as much lately about bidding wars?  York region lead the way with the biggest gains (22%) in price. Are you a York region realtor? Why not check out my digital marketing  and Real Estate Lead Generation services?  I’d be happy to help you.

trebstatsaugust

The Big Shift to Toronto

Toronto real estate agents, developers, builders, and financial companies must be in very good spirits knowing the number of sales will boom.  Many foreign buyers search Google or Juwai for information on homes, and from the jump in visits to my pages, it seems interest is growing. Those realtors who are present on Google search are sure to see their inquiries and leads grow.

This chart courtesy of TREB covers the details of each MLS zone: (click to enlarge). Mississauga, Vaughan and Toronto Central remain the top districts in terms of value. Toronto’s C12 MLS district (Lawrence Park, Don Valley, St Andrew/Windfields) has the highest prices with an average composite price of $1,690,900 and a detached home average price of $2,054,800. Other Toronto districts had higher price growth, some over 32% year over year.  Toronto MLS average prices have levelled off with volume down 30 to 40,000 dollars since the spring high season.

treb-august-2016
TREB Summary of Sales of Existing Homes in Toronto MLS region — Screencapture courtesy of TREB

BC’s Foreign Buyers Tax is the Big News in August

The BC government voted to levy a 15% tax on real estate investment by foreign buyers and many believe this has caused Asian buyers to shift their focus eastward for homes and other properties and take their money with them. The forecast for the 2017 Toronto housing market was good before, but with this new influx from Vancouver, it may be a profitable fall season for realtors and builders.




foreignsalesincanada
This chart courtesy of the Toronto Globe and Mail shows foreign purchases make a small portion of the total Vancouver mls region and are centered mostly in Richmond and Burnaby.

The stats don’t support that Asian investment money is responsible for Vancouver’s housing boom, anymore than it was Toronto or Montreal’s improvement. Politicians are likely hoping the public will believe a symptom of Vancouver’s amazing success is the cause. Prices have slid in Vancouver, but it may do little to make housing affordable in BC. In fact, we have to wonder if the exodus of that money will depress Vancouver’s economy and optimism.  When you try to suppress the spirit of a city, you could be in for a tough go.  Many of the foreign buyers are buying because their children are attending schools in Vancouver. It will certainly make a lot of over-leveraged buyers nervous as well as many schools in BC (including UBC) who will lose these foreign students and tuition.

The Big Shift to Toronto

Toronto real estate agents, developers, builders, and financial companies must be in very good spirits knowing the number of sales will boom.  Many foreign buyers search Google or Juwai for information on homes, and from the jump in visits to my pages, it seems interest is growing.

In a news story from inews880, Jordan Teperman, executive vice-president of Haven Developments in Toronto, said Toronto is seeing the effects of the tax.

“We really don’t know what the effect of it is yet, but I could tell you from the seven projects that we have on the go…we are getting a lot of calls from brokers out west saying they have customers that would traditionally invest in Vancouver and are coming to Toronto now because they feel it’s a safe heaven, and two, they are so taxed out in their foreign countries.”

Teperman also said a major developer his company works with said the figures could be as high as 60 to 70% of the volume of investors that could go to Toronto instead of Vancouver. That would certainly make the Toronto Real Estate market jump in August and September.

trebhistoricprices

TREB doesn’t report mid-month sales any longer, so we’ll have to wait another 7 to 10 days to see what the Vancouver impact is.  What needs to be looked at further is how many sales will move to the US markets such as Los Angeles.

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Gord Collins — Real Estate SEO Expert for realtors in Toronto, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Oshawa, Markham, Newmarket, Aurora, Bradford, Vaughan, Burlington, and Hamilton.

How to Sell Homes at Over Asking Price

Sold at $1 Million Over Asking Price

2 recent news stories in Toronto and Vancouver MLS regions really bring home the current state of real estate and real estate marketing now. The news stories both report sales of properties at $1 million above asking price. It’s mostly driven by a lack of new housing development.  In Vancouver it’s a lack of land but in Toronto, it’s government policy.

That means bidding wars will grow in number and home values in 2020 may be much higher than they are today. The Toronto housing outlook is still very good.

“You know you have to go above asking in this market right now. I absolutely feel bad for buyers. Nowadays, all I can say, is it’s whatever people are willing to pay.” from a CBC news story.

onemillIn the UBER era, what is your realtor unique value proposition? The whole issue of getting your clients the best price may revolve around great internet marketing along with terminology and tone of voice. I’m sure if you included “over asking” in your slogan or at the top of your website homepage, you’d be in for criticism. Yet if “over asking” is normal shouldn’t your marketing strategy adjust to it?

If there’s one sure way, the one way if you had to choose to create a bidding war and enable an over asking price result, it would be a powerful online marketing strategy – via Google, Facebook, Twitter, and your emails to your vast sized prospect list. There are many times more buyers online right now than on your own list. And some of those buyers are from the Middle East, China, Hong Kong, USA, and even Russia.




Anyone selling a home in Toronto,  Vancouver, San Diego, San Francisco, Boston or Los Angeles, who doesn’t consider an above asking price strategy is basically giving away money. As an investment, a seller’s goal is to get the best ROI as this money could get them out of debt, be their retirement fund, kids education fund, old age health fund, or bucket list fund.  That extra money could help sellers revive their lives and get their health back. No more commuting!?

I feel sorry for sellers who sell their house in 3 days when a little 2 to 3 week strategy could build interest and focus buyer intention on one special 3 day period where buyers must make their offer. You’re a salesperson and should have extensive expertise in sales strategy.  Below, you can see Hans Ohrstrom of Newmarket, ON is building a reputation as a guy who gets the right results. This is what you should be doing.

hans            kupeng

The Changing Mores of a Business Culture

There doesn’t seem to be any ethical absolutes in pursuing the best over asking price benefit for clients. If your broker/mls/realtor association has said anything to you on the matter, I’d like to hear about it. The old paradigm that the client’s best interest is a “normal price” that’s affordable for buyers has disappeared.  More investors/buyers

Almost every real estate organization stipulates acting on the client’s best best interests. I’m not sure how you can reason that one out by getting involved in a client sale and come away looking squeaky clean.  And then there’s the “over asking price” value proposition. Is this the next Gambit for aggressive marketing realtors?  Given the number of rich buyers now, it’s pretty safe to offer it as a time limited selling proposition. And if you have big money yourself, it’s a limited risk that you’ll get hurt even if you lose on one or two deals.

Realtor.com on Over Asking Prices

Realtor.com‘s advice is nothing new to you:

“The most fruitful strategy.. is to aggressively price the property roughly 5% to 10% below the going market rate. This will always generate more traffic to the property and give buyers a chance to fall in love with the home, when a higher purchase price might have kept them away initially.”

Here’s a few more Over-Asking Price Tips:

  1. hold back and tell buyers there are other offers, even though their offers aren’t huge
  2. approach investors to look hard at the property
  3. get the seller to update the house to eliminate negatives and play up the main selling value proposition (in Vancouver it might be the views, or just the location (tear downs or flips). You may even decide to change the style of the home (brick facades, or Asian, or Arabic styling could really pay off). See what the most attractive styles in Kelowna BC  are right now.
  4. be proactive, and like you’re in charge: do the landscaping or roof repair yourself and deduct that from your commission which preempts any attempt by the seller to cut your commission.
  5. do blitz real estate marketing with Google Adwords, remarketing, select outdoor ads, and play up the property to all your Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter connections. If your site is ranking well on Google and you’re getting big traffic as well, you can actually create the bidding war climate. Timing is everything so think about how you can market strategically.

Isn’t it about time you got about your real estate career? Could you be one of the very smart ones and begin launching your own brokerage? We’re well into the Uber real estate era. The next real estate mogul will be a real estate digital marketer, just like Uber has no taxis and Airbnb owns no rooms themselves. This is a whole new ball game. Be smart about your future.

See Realtor.com’s post on which upgrades produce the best results, and which home styles sell well.

 

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