Sunday, January 25, 2009

Real Estate Matters Toronto

Real estate matters. We're not selling donuts here, folks. We're talking about shelter. Lives. Families.

We can do better. But can has seldom been enough. Perhaps now, in a time of must, and it will happen. It’s time for agents to get among the customers. Times are tough. People are hurting. They’re angry and unsure. Consumers are flooded with confusing, conflicting and negative news. People are concerned about layoffs and job loss. Are we promoting Job loss insurance?

Embrace the technology available to us to promote available properties for sale. Remember according to CMHC in the Toronto Market 50 % of the listings expire. Lets be creative in our marketing and communication. Digitize all documents related to their purchase into a mini cd, Pictures of apppliances and fixtures, Create Flash Presentations as Handouts at Open houses. Provide financial Calculation worksheets that show costs per month and Income requirements to buy, Show the Land Transfer Taxes. Lets make a pledge to take listings at accurate market values.

How often do you, personally greet clients in your office? How often do you call buyers to congratulate them upon closing? Attend the closing with them? Or send them a handwritten notes? Will you show up on closing day with their keyes and their lunch? Will you offer a Buyer Satisfaction Guaranteed? or Easy Listing Cancellation for dissatisfaction?

Do you speak candidly and sympathetically to your customers about the challenges facing home buyers and sellers? Or do you remain ensconced in the office and let your newspaper adverts do the talking? Have you lent humour to your interactions with sellers? Or are you still hoping to still the anxious minds in your market with postcards and door stuffers?

All this buzz about blogs? It’s not about technology: it’s about reaching out to people by topic, addressing their concerns, identify their needs and then fill that need with a solution, my voice, and a conversation or video, I need to be having with you, my customers.

I know. There are reasons to stay put. You don’t want to edge in on relationships. You don’t want exposure to criticism. Let me tell you something: When you speak to your customers with a human voice you are forgiven for your mistakes. Let's get out there and look at how we can ease their concerns.

I'm getting out there. Holding small town hall meetings. Shortly we will be scheduling First Time Buyer Seminars, Investors seminars on how to buy Rental Properties. Stay tuned... We will have experienced Legal Advisors, Seasoned Veteran Banking and Mortgaging Specialists and Home Inspectors to help my customers navigate a challenging economy. Have you developed Excell worksheets to calculate ROI and future values and mortgage balances for investors? Explained Cap rates? Give them the data they need, however ugly it may be. Do you have a topic idea you would like to see covered? Tell me.

Speak frankly. Be open. Be Honest! Push yourself to communicate in new ways. I'll tell you what to expect and inject my own brand of humour with a dose of humanity.

If you have a product or service you would like to promote, Let's make a video together and I'll put it out for you. Let's reach a broader audience.

I know a lot of smart brokers. People who’ve never been through rough times before and have a genuine passion for helping people. Trouble is, they don’t have – or don’t think they have – the moves in them to stay during an economic downturn and pull something like this off. We have already had legal input in constructing short sale letters for lenders. We have made serious and forthright inquiries about assuming mortgages to Save buyers and sellers money. Tough times stain relationships, a divorce insight corner is under construction. A Tenant's Corner for where to find rental properties is not far behind. Discuss Tenant Issues. Contacting LTB for your rights.

People will continue to buy and sell houses as there is a human need for shelter and a back yard. It may not be in the numbers we have seen before but these will also increase as people realise that the sky is not falling. There is already a pent up demand that is seeking guidance. I am a lone voice that says in proportion to population, we are a very small market that has turned skidish, SIMPLY More should be buying and selling relative to the occupancy and economic draw that is the Toronto GTA. Toronto emplyed number 93% of the working population!

The election of President Obama has inspired a nation and a whole generation. We need to move forward in a new reality of self responsibility. Those who take advantage will be far better off.

Your comments are invited.

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