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The part-time debate
s home sales activity and average house prices across Canada continue to escalate, a mirror effect has been seen in the number of real estate agents entering the industry to cater to those clients who are making the most of this active market. According to the most recently available statistics, the number of people helping clients buy and sell real estate has topped 108,000, with a big part of that increase coming from a rise in part-timers. Hot market or not, part-time agents have long been a controversial topic in the industry. Many full-time agents criticize their part-time colleagues, saying they can’t offer the same services or expertise as those who devote their full-time careers to real estate.
“The existence of part-time agents has ‘offered very little to elevate the public perception on the professional competencies and ethics’ of agents” One passionate REP reader says the existence of part-time agents has “offered very little to elevate the public perception on the professional competencies and ethics” of agents. Another says it comes down to a lack of education. But another REP reader, who has been a real estate agent for more than 60 years, knows many part-timers who are “formidable, competent, knowledgeable and very professional, and they know their limitations.” Whether you like it or not the bottom line is, competition in the industry is increasingly fierce and there are no signs of any slowdown, particularly with the projected growth in key markets, such as the Greater Toronto Area and British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. Since the issue of part-time real estate agents has been an ongoing saga for some time, it’s not likely to be resolved anytime soon. But if the industry keeps the dialogue open for swapping all opinions on the topic, then their voices will be heard. And, in the meantime, it goes without saying that each and every fulltime agent will be on his or her best game. The Editorial Team at Real Estate Professional
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UPFRONT 01 Editorial
As home sales rise, the part-time agent issue rears its head again
Selling a luxury home in southwest Calgary took some expert staging and marketing to overcome “level lot” challenges
BC’S BEST-KEPT SECRET
08 News analysis
Why the housing market swell isn’t necessarily boosting agents’ incomes
10 Technology update
PEOPLE 48 Other life
Reality TV took one real estate agent from bachelorette to philanthropist
Until now, agents have largely overlooked the empty-nester market in Kelowna
GOING FOR BROKERS
How one alternative mortgage provider is using technology to help you close more deals
A primer on your next big client base – real estate investors
A huge opportunity to boost your productivity with technology is there for the taking
These dynamos across the country are hurtling to the top fast, and shaking up the industry
The CREA’s Gregory Klump found his calling as number cruncher of the real estate industry
12 Commercial update
Should regulations curbing phantom bids be national?
How the Piinpoint platform may change the face of real estate sales
04 Head to head
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HEAD TO HEAD
Should regulations curbing phantom bids be national? Industry professionals weigh in on whether Ontario regulations to stem phantom offers should be in place Canada-wide
Tim Mangat Real estate agent CIR Realtor
Associate broker Setter and Associates
“In recent history, the REBGV has only received one complaint about a phantom bid, which proved to be groundless. Also, our rules of cooperation require our members to disclose any written competing offers, and require the listing brokerage to disclose when competing offers have been withdrawn. If they don’t, they could be subject to disciplinary action. We do have lots of multiple offers in our market right now because it is a busy seller’s market, but the reality is there are a lot of real competing offers in our market.”
“Rules to eliminate fake bidding should be Canada-wide. Any realtor in Calgary who tries to entice an actual offer with the use of a phantom bid will be in violation of Rule 13 in the [Calgary Real Estate Board] rulebook. The CREB rules are excellent in eliminating ghost bids. Calgary realtors maintain a high degree of integrity and engage in real estate best practices. I haven’t suspected any realtors of submitting a phony bid. But realtors are the second least-trusted profession by consumers. Any rules or regulations that enhance consumer confidence should be endorsed by every realtor.”
“Why am I not surprised to hear, once again, the minority spoils it for the majority? We shouldn’t have to debate such an unprofessional practice. These people need to ask themselves why they are even in this business, and why can’t their marketing create honest offers? How can we expect the public to respect and trust us if we can’t respect and trust each other? Transparency and protecting the public from unscrupulous realtors is what our governing bodies are for. So, sadly, I would have to say yes – it should be enforced nationally.”
President Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
LAYING DOWN THE LAW IN ONTARIO Drawn up by the Ontario government and the Ontario Real Estate Board, Bill 55 – aimed at curbing phanton offers – came into effect July 1. Under the regulations, agents aren’t allowed to tell a potential buyer about a competing offer unless it’s finalized. Anyone who doubts the validity of an offer can contact the Real Estate Council of Ontario and the listing agent will have to show proof. If the offer has been fabricated, the agent may face a substantial fine or jail time. The regulations have generated interest in other provinces, especially in hot markets where multiple offers are abundant.
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All about investors
RENTAL PROWESS Vacancy rates are a great indicator of a region’s rental market, and investors rely on these figures when considering a property. While the national vacancy rate rose in October 2015 from the year-ago period, city-specific figures were a lot more promising.
If they aren’t already, real estate investors are set to be your next biggest client base –this is what you need to know about them CANADIANS HAVE gone real estate crazy – but can you blame them? With vacancy rates bottoming out in major cities and interest rates at all-time lows, it seems everyone is looking to make a buck or two by investing in real estate. The vast majority of these investors are Canadian nationals who plan to hold the property for a while, likely renting it out and using that income to cover the expenses, including paying down the mortgage.
These investors – particularly the firsttimers – will be looking for an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent to guide them through the process and help them find the next hot property market. Hard data on the number of real estate investors is sparse. However, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Statistics Canada are aiming to fill those gaps with new surveys and reports.
from Oct 2014
from Oct 2014
The percentage of condo investors anticipating the value of their last purchases will increase over the next year
The number of years condo investors expect to keep their rental units
The percentage of condo investors who don’t anticipate purchasing more units over the next year
The percentage of condo investors who purchased their last secondary condo units for rental income Source: CMHC, May 2015
Source: CMHC, May 2015
0.7% 0.1% 0.1% Ott aw a Mo ntr ea l
0.2% 0.1% Vic tor ia Van co uv er
Don’t know/didn’t answer 7.5%
Tor on to
A combination of fixed and variable rates 9.4%
Wi nn ipe g
Almost half of real estate investors surveyed by CMHC prefer a fixed-rate mortgage, though another third said they enjoy variable rates for their non-primary condo units. Regardless, it’s important to consider your client’s personal investment strategy when recommending a particular mortgage.
Canadians were surprised late last year when the CMHC reported foreign condo owners represented less than 3% of owners in the country’s major cities. The organization said it’s now looking deeper into the issue of foreign ownership. In the meantime, here are the CMHC’s findings for foreign owners in Canada’s urban markets.
Re gin a
FOREIGN CONDO OWNERSHIP
Ca lga ry Edm on ton Sa ska too n
THE MORTGAGE INVESTORS PREFER
Source: CMHC, December 2014
Newfoundland & Labrador
from Oct 2014
from Oct 2014
Prince Edward Island
from Oct 2014
from Oct 2014
from Oct 2014
from Oct 2014
from Oct 2014
from Oct 2014
from Oct 2014
Source: CMHC, November 2015
BEST BETS FOR INVESTORS
TIME TO STRATEGIZE
Investors are always looking for the next hotspot, and REP sister publication Canadian Real Estate Wealth magazine publishes a list of them annually. According to CREW‘s latest Top 100 Neighbourhoods issue, these cities on the list have the highest cap rates in each Canadian province – and could soon welcome an influx of new clients.
Every investor will have a different strategy when it comes to purchasing a property. Some prefer a fix-and-flip, while others want to hold the property and wait for it to appreciate. Either way, more than half of the country’s condo investors plan on keeping their property for more than five years.
ON AB QC BC
9.7% White Rock
NB SK NS MB
Less than two years
Two to five years
More than five years
Don’t know/didn’t answer
Source: Canadian Real Estate Wealth, December 2015
20.2% Source: CMHC, May 2015
HOT MARKETS, HOT COMMISSIONS Canada is wrapping up one of its most buoyant years in real estate, but the housing market swell isn’t necessarily boosting agents’ incomes – rather, they’re earning what they deserve THERE’S NO question that whether you’re measuring residential sales, average house prices or days listed, many of Canada’s housing markets have experienced one of their most active years ever. Rather, the question is what if any impact today’s hot market is having on agent commissions and their income? “It’s a very competitive marketplace today,” says Michael La Prairie, president of Century 21 In Town Realty, which serves Vancouver, the undisputed hottest market in the country. “Realtors have to go out and shop the market more aggressively. But I don’t think there is any driving force affecting commission structures or discounting commissions.
Market action certainly has done more than just separate strong agents from weak ones. It has been a tide that lifted all boats in 2015 – and sent many more ships out sailing. According to Freedom Malhotra, a sales representative and founder of CondoPlant. ca, the hot housing markets have influenced more people to become real estate agents, creating further competition and saturating the market. “Consequently, there is no reason to believe that Realtors are experiencing a significant rise in their income when the market heats up,” he adds. Whether the impact is felt directly or not, there is no question that agents today
“You earn what you deserve. If you’re a good, smart, knowledgeable, serviceoriented real estate professional, then your commissions are strong and always protected” Michael La Prairie, president, Century 21 In Town Realty “You earn what you deserve. If you’re a good, smart, knowledgeable, service-oriented real estate professional, then your commissions are strong and always protected.”
are going above and beyond in Canada’s increasingly competitive markets, where multiple offers and homes that sell over asking price are commonplace.
In Metro Vancouver, sales activity has grown to 3,345 in September 2015 from 2,922 in September 2014, and prices are up nearly $100,000 year-over-year. In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), sales are up as well. The average home price was $627,395 in September 2015, compared to $574,424 at the same time last year. In most markets across the country, there are no set commission structures, and if there are, these structures are not typically made public – regardless of what’s happening in the market. “For selling commissions, it’s not published,” says Erwin Szeto, a sales representative at Rock Star Real Estate in Hamilton, Ont., one of the country’s hottest markets in 2015. “The market has been under pressure for quite a while with these no-frills, for-saleby-owner companies, like ComFree and
HOT MARKETS GET HOTTER
METRO VANCOUVER Sales Average sales price
GTA Sales Average sales price
PropertyGuys. I don’t think that’s really changed very much – there has always been pressure. As always, you get what you pay for.” However, it’s a different story for agents who work primarily with sellers. “The effort involved in selling a property in a heavy seller’s
says Malhotra. “There is a misconception among some people that selling real estate is easy and that realtors are paid too much,” he adds. “But anyone who actually understands this industry will know that it has one of the highest turnovers. If there was easy money to
“If anyone goes out there and works their butt off and creates value for their clients, then their income will never be doubted” Erwin Szeto, sales representative, Rock Star Real Estate market – like most markets in the GTA and surrounding area – can only take a few days so some agents may charge less commission,” adds Szeto. Indeed, commissions are a touchy subject,
be made, why is it that most of the people who get their real estate licence leave the business within the first two years?” While those in the field haven’t seen agents charging more in the increasingly
competitive market – or less, for that matter – there will always be negotiations taking place. “The buying agents are the ones putting up most of the effort and having to be resilient because of the heavy seller’s market,” says Szeto. “From my perspective, we’re really earning our commissions.” Whether or not agents are feeling the impact of the hot housing markets when it comes to their incomes, Szeto does believe that those who deliver value should be rewarded accordingly. “We charge a one-time commission, which is paid for by the sellers, and then they have numerous clients who make hundreds of thousands of dollars on the investment properties they purchase through us,” he explains. “Is that worth paying $5,000 or $10,000 for someone who is going to guide you on the process? When you do a great job, get multiple offers for your client, sell for over-asking, I don’t think [any criticism of commissions] is merited at all. If anyone goes out there and works their butt off and creates value for their clients, then their income will never be doubted.” REP
Data-driven location, location, location Developments in ‘location intelligence’ could change the way real estate is bought and sold
have used PiinPoint. Its data sets include the target demographic of an area; how many cars drive by a specific location and whether there is traffic congestion; transit options such as bus or subway stops; whether there are other new offices, residential developments or subdivisions; and the available real estate listings. PiinPoint can even be used to predict what a retailer will do in sales within the first year of operation in the area.
“Comparing multiple locations ... a process that could take days to complete, can be done in a matter of minutes” In commercial real estate, a building’s location is just as important as it is in residential real estate. Just imagine a company moving offices to a new location without first considering whether, for example, the site is close to transit; or a retailer setting up a new store without learning whether the neighbourhood caters to its target demographic. Many online platforms, in the form of websites or apps, have been launched to help businesses determine whether their locations are right for their needs – and there’s an opportunity here for real estate professionals as well. “It helps validate a location, whether it’s
for a client or for a team,” said Jim Robeson, co-founder and president of PiinPoint, an online platform that aims to help businesses find the best locations for growth, a concept Robeson refers to as ‘location intelligence.’ “Not only can it start to paint a picture about why this area is such a great opportunity, it can also start to point out what risks would exist,” he continues. “If you want to compare multiple locations against one another, a process that could take days to complete can be done in a matter of minutes.” Retailers such as Tim Horton’s, brokerages such as Colliers and developers such as RioCan,
E-commerce coming to real estate
Canadian real estate search website BuzzBuzzHome is to launch a “buy now” button, which would allow online homebuyers to purchase new construction condos or homes using a credit card. Matthew Slutsky, president and co-founder of BuzzBuzzHome, said he plans to post the button in January for new condos, and then add pre-built homes some months later. After selecting a property, buyers would secure the deposit with a credit card. Slutsky expects the move will be revolutionary in the market, adding, “I think it’s going to change the game a lot.” 10 www.repmag.ca
“We can break down anything from where the developments are taking place around the city, then we can look at things like demographics and points of interest, things like how many grocery stores are within a 10-minute walk time to what fitness centres exist,” added Robeson. “We have tens of millions of points of interest that are pulled in to look at the landscape of an area.” There are implications here for the future of real estate; for agents, homebuyers and investors alike. After all, if you could have easier access to information about the fundamental factors of a location, it would be much easier to help your clients buy or sell their next home or investment property.
Keller Williams acquires online lead generator
Keller Williams has acquired Team Leads, an Ontario-based business solution provider, which is now available to its agent teams. The brokerage is also collaborating with two real estate technology providers, HomeKeepr and Placester, to increase the power of its individual agents’ branding and marketing. “Keller Williams has taken our vision to the next level – the future of the product is in great hands and will change the market landscape for real estate technology for years to come,” said Tyler Johnstone, CEO of Team Leads, now rebranded KW Team Leads.
Training through technology
Director of training, North America RE/MAX INTEGRA
Years in the industry 16 Career highlight “Every time someone tells me that I inspired them to try something new” Fun fact More than 3,300 Twitter followers
Why is a corporate training program so important in a real estate agent’s education? Often, I think that we seek to learn the things we want to learn, but we often avoid the topics we need to learn. I think this is true of people, in general. One of the benefits of a corporate training program is that we can provide a balance of the topics our agents and brokers want to learn, but also the topics they need to learn. We also have the opportunity to design training in various ways, to accommodate the ways people learn. Not everyone learns the same way. I love that we can provide different options so that everyone feels that their needs are met.
How should a corporate training program incorporate technology? Technology can be really scary for some people. Rather than focus on the technology, we try to focus on it simply being a new way to do something that is already comfortable. Prospecting is a great example. If you start with a topic that’s comfortable, and then interject ways you can use technology to enhance the habits they currently have, it seems less intimidating. Also, it’s important to use real-life examples. Adults learn best by relating lessons to their own experiences, so using actual examples of ways that others are successfully using technology is crucial.
Social media apps offer new marketing avenues
Tech-savvy real estate agents are no doubt engaging with clients on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Now a new application programming interface (API) on Instagram allows advertisers to design and run their own campaigns – an opportunity that could prove irresistible to agents aiming to connect with millennials. The mobile photo-sharing app’s new ad platform is currently being used by US-based brokerage Redfin, which has more than 1,000 agents in more than 30 states. It may not make the most economic sense for individual agents yet, but time will tell.
What are some of the latest technology developments the industry should be taking advantage of today? There are definitely some pretty awesome tech developments these days. Things like Periscope and mobile apps get a lot of buzz, and there is always someone finding creative ways to use them. I do think there is still a significant opportunity in this industry for us to use some of the tech that has been around for a while as well. I would love to see a majority of our realtors become mobile, paperless and use cloud storage. These simple technologies can drastically change the entire client experience.
With such an active presence on Twitter yourself, what is your advice for real estate agents looking to harness the power of this social media site? To be honest, most people don’t really understand Twitter. They think of it as another place to push information. The amazing thing about Twitter is the ability to listen to conversations with people you might never get the opportunity to meet otherwise. It’s really easy to search organized topics if you use hashtags, and you have the ability to jump in and join any conversation about anything. Agents should definitely be using it to listen in on what the neighbours are saying about their communities. It’s a great way to gain intel on the areas we live and work in.
Put up a video on YouTube
If you haven’t done this yet, what exactly are you waiting for? Most consumers are visual learners, so video is the obvious way to attract potential clients, say experts. Matt Michener, marketing and product manager at Vow Financial, suggests real estate professionals create short and punchy videos that hand out information in bite-size chunks. Meanwhile, Charbel Azar, managing director at Coloursock Products, suggests real estate agents create engaging, topical content such as weekly market updates or product news. Are you ready for your 15 minutes of fame?
Sony and Yahoo to launch online real estate site
Sony and Yahoo have teamed up to launch a new real estate website that will play matchmaker between property buyers and sellers, effectively cutting out agents. Sony corporate planner Kazuo Nishiyama came up with the idea after observing that in Japan, agents often serve both buyers and sellers while disclosing limited market information. He thought Sony could do it better. The site will first launch in Japan, but is expected to expand rapidly in global markets. The new website is expected to appear by the end of 2015. www.repmag.ca
COMMERCIAL UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS Montreal a tenant’s market
Oversupply of downtown office space and reduced positive absorption of industrial space mark a slow third quarter in Montreal’s commercial real estate market, according to a recent report by Colliers International. “The oversupply of office space in the downtown market means it is currently a tenants’ market,” said managing director Andrew Maravita. “With the third-quarter inauguration of the Deloitte Tower bringing 495,000 square feet to the downtown market, tenants remain in a good position to improve the terms of their leases, or rent high-quality office space at preferential rates.”
Commercial activity down in the GTA
Commercial realtors in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) leased more than 4.8 million square feet of combined industrial, retail and office space in the third quarter of 2015 – an 18.9% year-over-year increase. The Toronto Real Estate Board said there were 230 total commercial property sales in Q3 2015 – down about 32% compared to last year. The average industrial selling price was down about 5.5%, while the average office selling price was also down substantially. However, the average retail price increased to $211.59 per square foot from $179.83 in Q3 2014.
Vancouver market reaches five-year high
Greater Vancouver’s commercial real estate market saw its busiest period for five years in the second quarter of 2015. A report published by Re/Max in September showed there were 591 sales in the quarter, adding up to a total of 1,111 in the first half of 2015, compared
with 974 in the first half of 2014. Many commercial markets in Canada have witnessed a slowdown. But the report says confidence is strong in the Vancouver area and land continues to be in high demand.
Calgary commercial real estate takes a plunge
Calgary’s commercial market slumped in the second quarter of 2015, according to a report by RealNet Canada. The report found there were only 82 transactions, valued at more than $1 million, during that period. Investments totalled $344 million, down 60% from the first quarter and representing a decline of 42% compared to the same period last year. RealNet said there was a significant slump in the office, industrial and residential land sectors. The company’s research director said the impact of external market conditions are influencing activity in the Calgary area.
Optimism across Canada for commercial markets
Commercial real estate brokers are optimistic, according to a survey published by Colliers International Canada. Respondents believe the industrial market will remain strong for landlords, especially in the manufacturing and warehouse/ distribution sectors. In these areas demand and rents are both expected to increase. Even in oil-producing markets such as Calgary and Edmonton, the overall sentiment is that rents will increase; demand will decrease or stay the same. In the office market, respondents expect net effective rates will drop across all classes and demand will remain steady, if not decrease.
Technology challenging commercial market It’s reshaping real estate development – whether it’s used effectively depends on who you ask The rise of technology is creating a range of challenges – and opportunities – for those in the commercial real estate industry, from its impact on retail and office space to its use in managing the back-office processes. According to PwC and the Urban Land Institute’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 report, e-commerce, cloud computing, mobile, and data analytics are just a few of the technologies reshaping the way that people live and work each day. A subsequent impact is the changing demand for space, especially in the retail and office sectors. “We hear a lot about technology and how it is a disruptor in the economy, but it’s also a disruptor in the real estate market, and no more so than in the office and retail sectors,” says Frank Magliocco, national real estate practice leader at PwC Canada. However, the report also outlines how players in the commercial real estate industry are harnessing the power of data to make better business and marketing decisions, and improve their investing and financing decisions. “They’re also using technology to improve how they design and build new developments and share knowledge across their enterprises,” adds the report. Another report, recently published by Altus Group, takes an alternative view, finding that the global real estate industry is lacking technology innovation, and that companies need to accelerate their
investment to ensure efficiency and manage increasing levels of capital allocation. The Altus Group CRE Innovation Report, which took the opinions of 300 international commercial real estate executives, found nearly a third of the industry is still using spreadsheets as its primary tool for asset and portfolio management functions. This translates to a potential $11 trillion of assets currently managed in manual spreadsheets, with all the inherent risks of inaccuracies and human error.
“Early movers in adopting best-in-class data management ... have a real opportunity” “It’s clear that commercial real estate has a huge opportunity to boost productivity, unleash added innovation and increase profitability by investing in new IT and data-infrastructure solutions,” says Bob Courteau, CEO of Altus Group. “Early movers in adopting best-in-class data management and reporting practices have a real opportunity to differentiate themselves from the technology ‘have-nots’.” There certainly will be more challenges to come, but savvy agents in the commercial real estate market have to weigh these out with the multitude of opportunities that come along with these developments. Those who can balance the challenges and the opportunities will come out on top in an increasing competitive marketplace.
Is crowdfunding the new norm? Aris Economopoulos Vice president, operations NEXUSCROWD
Years in the industry 2
Why has crowdfunding become such a trend in the commercial real estate industry? Prior to crowdfunding, it was extremely difficult for individuals to directly invest in large commercial real estate opportunities due to geography, knowledge, expertise and capital requirements. Today, individual investors can invest alongside established commercial real estate developers and investors with investments starting as low as $10,000 and have peace of mind knowing their investment is being managed by professionals. The other attraction is that it can be done online, so it doesn’t matter where the investor is located.
What do real estate agents need to know about this trend to help their clients?
Hitesh Rathod CEO NEXUSCROWD
Years in the industry 3 Fast fact In October, NexusCrowd closed Canada’s first online investment offering for commercial real estate – a $100-million retail mall in the Greater Toronto Area
From our discussions with real estate agents, many of their clients are starting to look for alternative real estate investment opportunities. For a long time, one of the easiest ways to participate in private real estate investing has been to purchase and rent a house or condo. While this option may still be very appealing, many individuals are looking for ways to diversify their private real estate exposure. Crowdfunding has provided a simple and effective way for them to do so without being required to physically manage this portion of their real estate portfolio.
What are some of the opportunities available? There are many opportunities available in the commercial real estate market. From the developers’ standpoints, many of the small to mid-tier commercial developers and investors are continuously looking for alternative funding sources, even if they have reliable funding sources. They typically don’t target individual investors directly, however, because of securities regulations and the difficulty of managing multiple individual investors. Using crowdfunding, these developers and investors can access additional capital in an efficient and cost-effective manner while continuing their business as usual. This benefits developers by giving them access to new capital. And it helps individual investors by opening up a market that they previously did not have access to.
What will be some of the trends in crowdfunding and real estate moving forward? According to Massolutions, global real estate crowdfunding was expected to reach US$2.5 billion in 2015 with expectations of high growth rates for the foreseeable future. As interest in real estate crowdfunding grows, it’s inevitable that more platforms will enter the space and access to formerly unattainable investment opportunities will also grow. The platforms that can consistently provide investors with quality investment opportunities will thrive while those that don’t will quickly be brought down by the “crowd.” It’s also important to note regulators are still figuring out the regulatory environment for crowdfunding in many jurisdictions. So the platforms that have appropriate regulatory licences should provide investors with more comfort on due diligence processes and disclosure.
SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
CENTURY 21 KELOWNA
Kelowna: BC’s bestkept secret Empty-nesters and young professionals are fuelling a housing frenzy in a community that has been largely overlooked by agents
REAL Estate Professional magazine went looking for a hidden gem in the housing market, two agents stepped forward to share their success stories of working in the Kelowna market. “The baby-boomer demographic is looking to settle in a climate where they can
retire or semi-retire and the Okanagan Valley checks all the boxes,” says Brent Pay, a top producer in the Century 21 Kelowna office. “I am fortunate to have one of the largest numbers of visits to my website in the industry and I’ve never downloaded my own listings – I just go out and list them.”
Pay got his start in the business about eight years ago, and he did it being new to the industry and to the community. “The primary reason I joined Century 21 was the technology and support that was provided to us – and it has only improved since I joined in late 2007,” he says. “Our internal team provides us with in-house professional photography and a quality listing arrangement that is second to none in our industry.” Brody Mader, who joined the Kelowna office earlier this year, came from the Vancouver market where he had worked for three years. He is a big fan of the training program and atmosphere of the Kelowna office. “Century 21 has been awesome in starting my business anew,” he says. “It has weekly training for both new and experienced agents, but most importantly, everyone has been open and supportive. I have never worked in an office before with people who were so willing to help, and who genuinely cared. “This is the happiest my family has been in years,” he adds. “We just don’t have the stress and grind we used to have in a larger city. And even though starting new is hard, I wish I had made this move years ago.” For Myrna Park of Century 21 Assurance, the lure of Kelowna is a mix of lifestyle and business opportunities. “Kelowna has a robust arts community, and visual and performing arts thrive here,” she says. “We have amazing wineries, great restaurants and an active population with a number of recreational facilities at their disposal, from golf to skiing to hiking and boating.” These empty-nesters and young professionals are drawn to the Kelowna market not just for the lifestyle, but also because it still provides high-end homes at a reasonable price, says Park. And for those who do relocate, they do so without regret. “People who choose to live here are generally happier with their lives and lifestyle choices,” she says. “And although our office is small, it is mighty – being 20th in production among almost 500 Century 21 offices.” REP
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CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd. 251 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6C2
Office: 250-869-0101 Fax: 250-869-0105
Toll Free: 888-301-2121 email@example.com
NUMBER CRUNCHER OF CANADA’S HOUSING MARKET If real estate is all about unlocking the numbers, then CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump holds the key
GREGORY KLUMP found his calling in the real estate industry after figuratively peeling back the layers of Canada’s economy like an onion. A year out of graduate school and wondering what direction to take, he had asked himself which part of the country’s economy was the biggest – the answer was consumer spending. He then asked himself which was the largest portion of that, which led him to housing – and that’s the sector he decided to target for job prospects. It was 1991 when Klump started a one-year contract at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as a real estate market analyst. Before the contract was through, he’d contacted the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) because he’d heard they were looking for someone with his skills and talent. “I sent in my resume after a cold call … and the rest is history,” he says. “It was a new position created so that CREA had the capability to analyze the housing market. I was brought in to do just that.” The CREA of 1992 was a far cry from the large trade association that caters to
the real estate industry today. This year, its membership includes more than 100,000 real estate agents, brokers and salespeople, working through 100 real estate boards and associations across Canada. Nationally, the organization provides a range of services for real estate professionals, as well as homebuyers and property owners.
Data analyzer “When I came to CREA, there was a set of diskettes on a shelf that, if installed by someone who knew how to use them, would enable the whole database and analysis functions,” says Klump. “I said, ‘Has this been installed?’ They said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Well, let’s do that now.’” Indeed, Klump was brought in as the
“I sent in my resume after a cold call … and the rest is history. It was a new position created so that CREA had the capability to analyze the housing market. I was brought in to do just that” It is also widely recognized for providing accurate, up-to-date information and analysis on economic issues. When Klump arrived at the CREA nearly 25 years ago, however, the association offered virtually nothing in the way of database capabilities.
architect of the new database, to administer a set of transactional data. “CREA was collecting aggregate data, but wasn’t able to do much with it, by way of analysis,” he adds. “I was the guy that did both. “In addition to the collection of aggregate
PROFILE Name: Gregory Klump Title: Chief economist Company: Canadian Real Estate Association Years in the industry: 25 Fun fact: Klump’s biggest passion is Big Mountain Skiing, whether the runs are tight trees or bowls. “If it’s steep and it’s deep, I’m there,” he adds. “I save up my vacation time and usually blow it on skiing.” His favourite spot to ski is Valdez, Alaska. “I’ve skied with people from around the world,” he adds. “There is nothing more epic.”
data, we were also collecting transactional data, a subset of the information on sales and listings on MLS systems of Canadian real estate boards. Over the years, that is something that we’ve been able to drill down, looking into it in more detail; for example, condo apartments versus single detached homes for some of Canada’s most expensive and active markets.” When it comes to analyzing data across Canada’s housing market, the CREA is recognized today as the go-to source. It is inter-
timely measure of what’s going on by prices,” says Klump. “That’s something that is of prime importance to realtors and, indeed, their clients, because you can have average price going up and the MSL Home Price Index going down, as is the case, for example, in Regina and has been happening for quite some time. That just goes to show that the MLS Home Price Index is not affected by changes in the sales mix the way that averages and medians are.”
“CREA was collecting aggregate data, but wasn’t able to do much with it, by way of analysis. I was the guy that did both” viewed annually by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and more regularly by the International Monetary Fund as well as the Department of Finance Canada. “We have an ongoing relationship with CMHC as well, with regards to data analysis,” adds Klump.
Source for the real estate industry In his role at the CREA, Klump puts together a number of local market reports integral to a real estate agent’s job. “They can see how trends are evolving for segments of the market, by price range and by housing category,” he says. “You can have diverging trends in the single detached and condo markets, and so we are able to turn out information that differentiates the trends in each market.” In January 2012, the organization launched the MLS Home Price Index, which provides an improved gage for price levels and other trends across Canada’s residential markets. There are around 11 boards across the country participating; more are set to join early next year. “My hope is that, before I retire, all of Canada is part of the MLS Home Price Index, because it provides such a pure, accurate and
The year ahead One of the most important aspects of Klump’s job is forecasting home sales activity – the most recent of which was published in September. The CREA said it expects sales in 2015 will be the second-best on record – just 5% below 2007’s peak market, but still an increase over 2014. “In 2016, on a national basis, we expect sales to edge lower by two-tenths of a percent,” adds Klump. “As far as price increases, we expect those to moderate in 2016. It really depends on the province; all real estate is local, but that said, we expect the price change will moderate, in and around inflation for most provinces. Even with the continuation of low interest rates, because of affordability concerns, these things are self-limiting.” When he isn’t analyzing the ups and downs of Canada’s housing market, Klump is trying to keep up with his wife – an economist as well, whom he met during his graduate program at Carleton University in Ottawa. “A lot of my leisure time is spent trying to keep up with my wife, who is very active in physical fitness and general health,” he adds. “And we love to travel, on those rare occasions when we’re not working.” REP
GREGORY KLUMP’S CAREER PATH
1990 Policy analyst, House of Commons
1991 Real estate market analyst, CMHC
1992 Real estate market analyst, CREA
1997 Senior economist
2006 Chief economist, CREA
SANJIT SINGH, B.COMM, AACI Professional Real Estate Appraiser Sanjit Singh has been an Accredited Real Estate Appraiser (AACI) with the Appraisal Institute of Canada for 10 years. He owns two appraisal companies, including Wernick Omura Consulting and Alliance Appraisal Group. He has completed appraisals in all facets of Real Estate, with individual valuation assignments yielding values over $200 million dollars. Sanjit’s scope include all income producing assets; commercial retail, going concern assets, hotels, motels, industrial properties, offices, gas stations, car washes and development lands. Sanjit’s consulting scope includes all facets of Real Estate Advisory, and is an expert witness in a court of law. Sanjit is the President of the Appraisal Institute of Canada – Alberta Chapter, and is one of the youngest presidents in history. The Alberta Association is the second largest in Canada and has over 700 members.
Sanjit is responsible for the
facilitation of the ongoing Strategic Plan to maintain their status as the premier Real Estate valuation experts in Canada. As President, Sanjit oversees the Provincial Board of Directors (10), and is active in advocacy and promotion of the profession, amongst being actively engaged in his practice. Sanjit was identified as a one of the Young Gun Real Estate Professionals in Canada, making a difference in the Appraisal Profession through a nomination at the National level of the Appraisal
accom plishm ents
Alberta Association of the AIC and m aking headway with the Governm ent of Alberta to becom e a stakeholder group in the legislative process. M ost recently, Sanjit was invited to the closed door, em bargoed budget release by the Alberta-NDP Governm ent, which is a short-list (under 100 people) representing various stakeholders in the Province. Sanjit has an energetic personality, and pushes the envelope in all his interactions. He is passionate about the real estate valuation industry, and constantly challenging him self with new business opportunities that are vertically integrated in real estate. Sanjit has facilitated
Hum anity, and the M ustard Seed. Sanjit and his fam ily also sponsor children in Indonesia and developing countr ies. In his personal tim e Sanjit enjoys real estate investing and has properties across Canada, including Halifax, Kelowna, Calgary and Airdrie. Sanjit is a fam ily m an and enjoys spending tim e with his wife Jim m i, and 3 sons: Nayan 7, Liam 4 and Keethan 2. Sanjit’s business
relationship experience, and stay relevant.
101 Centre Street NW, Suite 101, Calgary Alberta, CANADA Tel 403-999-9508 website: www.wernickomura.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS
YOUNG GUNS 20
YOUNG GUNS 2015
Meet the young up-and-comers causing a stir in the real estate industry WELCOME TO REP’s inaugural Young Guns report. We asked you to nominate the real estate industry’s young movers and shakers – professionals 35 and younger who are standing out across the country – and your suggestions came flooding in. With so many brilliant entries, we had a difficult task. But we’ve managed to whittle the list down to the 100 young people featured across the
following pages – Young Guns we think merit a mention in 2015. They run the gamut from young entrepreneurs who run theirown agencies; to agents whose success has already made them mentors to their peers; to community-oriented individuals who regularly engage with their local markets. All the young men and women on this list have proven themselves exceptional. Despite their youth, many of them are among the top agents in their groups, racking up millions of dollars in sales. At a time when rapid change demands fresh ideas and new perspectives, these are the hot young professionals who hold the future of the industry in their hands.
INDEX BY NAME COMPANY
EXIT Realty Associates
EXIT Real Estate Professionals
Re/Max Crest Realty Westside
Re/Max River City
Royal LePage Global
Royal LePage Atlantic
Re/Max Crown Real Estate
Royal LePage Heritage/Summit Property Management
Re/Max Results Ready
Matthew Regan Team, Royal LePage Real Estate Services
Sutton Group Quantum Realty
Century 21 Heritage Group
Century 21 Prudential Real Estate
First Ottawa Realty, Coldwell Banker
Re/Max Little Oak Realty
Sutton Group WestCoast Realty
Re/Max Landan Real Estate
Sutton Group Muskoka Realty
Royal LePage Team Realty
Royal LePage Landco Realty
EXIT Realty Metro
Re/Max Professionals Saint John
Sutton Group WestCoast Realty
Royal LePage Team Realty
Chestnut Park Real Estate
Sutton Group Professional Realty
Main Street Realty
Kormendy Trott, Century 21
Re/Max Meadowtowne Realty
Royal LePage Triland Realty
Nick J. Kyte
First Ottawa Realty, Coldwell Banker
Royal LePage Triland Realty
Re/Max Crossroads Realty
Bannard Rushton Group, Century 21 amber Realty
Century 21 Heritage Group
TMG The Mortgage Group
Sutton Group WestCoast Realty
Century 21 Heritage Group
Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre – Macdonald Real Estate Group
The Chamberlain Group Real Estate Experts
Re/Max P.A. Realty
The Chamberlain Group Real Estate Experts
Chestnut Park Real Estate
Century 21 westman.com
Cushman & Wakefield
Chestnut Park Real Estate
Century 21 Heritage Group
Zwick Chimes Real Estate Group
Century 21 Capital Realty
Forest Hill Real Estate
Minden Gross LLP
St Jean Realty
Johnston & Daniels Division, Royal LePage Real Estate Services
Michael St Jean
Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association
Re/Max Preferred Realty
EXIT Realty First North
Royal LePage Sussex
Re/Max Complete Realty
Royal LePage Team Realty Adam Mills
Re/Max Metro-City Realty
Invis Mortgage Intelligence
EXIT Realty Lake Superior
Johnson & Daniels Division, Royal LePage Real Estate Services
Re/MAax Lakeshore Realty
Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Force
Royal LePage Frank Real Estate
Drew Charles Donaldson
Verico Safebridge Financial Group
Royal LePage Real Estate Services
The Faris Team, Royal LePage
Bosley Real Estate
Century 21 westman.com
EXIT Realty On The Rock
Royal LePage Heritage
Century 21 Gold Key Realty
Re/Max Real Estate
Main Street Realty
Foat and Associates, Century 21 Summit Realty
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty
Century 21 Dome Realty
Keller Williams Edge Realty
The Mike and Will Team, Royal LePage Sussex
Royal LePage Binder Real Estate
Royal LePage Kelowna
Royal LePage Peifer Realty
The Home Team, Century 21 Heritage Group
Search Realty/Search Mortgage
Sean Gillis Realty, Re/Max Grand Prairie
TMG The Mortgage Group
Re/Max Real Estate Centre
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS PAUL ALBRIGHTON Age: 30 Realtor RE/MAX CREST REALTY WESTSIDE Vancouver, BC Known in the Vancouver real estate industry as an innovator in online marketing and for making a statement with his business focus, Albrighton has also been recognized for seven straight years by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. He earned a place in the board’s Medallion Club for his impressive annual sales transactions. Albrighton has also been involved in Make-A-Wish BC since 2007 and is a member of the organization’s Young Professional Advisor Committee.
YASEN ALI Age: 27 Realtor ROYAL LEPAGE GLOBAL Montreal, Que. A previous winner of Royal LePage’s Sales Achievement Award and Master Sales Award, Ali is on track to reach the President’s Gold Award in 2015. Despite his busy real estate career, he has found the time to complete a university degree and co-found a non-profit organization called Reviving Human Vales. It aims to give back to the community by reaching out to youth. “Our eventual goal is to build a community centre on the West Island of Montreal,” Ali says.
Age: 31 Sales representative EXIT REALTY ASSOCIATES Moncton, NB Born and raised in Moncton, Albert has six years of real estate experience under her belt. She is currently serving as director of Greater Moncton Realtors du Grand Moncton. Bilingual in French and English, she holds a Bachelor of Social Science and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Moncton. Albert has translated her love for design and people into a natural career choice.
MICHAEL BLACKALL Age: 26 Assistant general manager and managing broker CENTURY 21 PRUDENTIAL ESTATES Richmond, BC Following in his father’s footsteps, Blackall joined Century 21 Prudential Estates in 2009 in an office support and operations role while completing a Sauder School of Business real estate program at the University of British Columbia. He has transitioned into a management role at Century 21 Prudential Estates, known in Greater Vancouver for its residential property management service. “My goal is to pass along my knowledge of property management and real estate to other young professionals looking to start a career in the industry so we can continue to raise the standards and quality of service,” says Blackall.
RYAN BENDER Age: 28 Realtor RE/MAX CROWN REAL ESTATE Regina, Sask. After five years in the Western Hockey League, Bender entered the industry as an investor, managing a property in Regina while pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration. Unsure of what the future held, he entered a local business competition called The Interview, beating out 100 other entrants to win a series of prizes, including the costs towards becoming a realtor. He soon had a lucrative career with the Craig Adam Real Estate Team. “I am passionate about my career choice and the relationships I build each day with my colleagues, clients and members of my community,” says Bender.
SCOTT BENSON Age: 35 Sales representative SUTTON GROUP QUANTUM REALTY Oakville, Ont. Benson has had a busy 2015, with 95 closed transactions and a further 20 pending. No wonder he has been recognized as the top producer for Sutton Group Quantum, as well as the number-one team in Canada alongside his team. Benson is also involved in several charities and fundraising endeavours through the Erin Oak Kids Foundation, The United Way, The Hospital for Sick Children and World Vision.
YOUNG GUNS 2015
JARED AND REBECCA CHAMBERLAIN
Age: 31 Vice president COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL Vancouver, BC In his latest role as vice president of Colliers International Canada, Carlson provides commercial real estate advisory and transaction services to companies in Vancouver and across North America. He has also been on the board of directors of the Vancouver Enterprise Forum for the past three years. A member of REP’s inaugural Hot List – published earlier this year, Carlson has completed more than 30 transactions so far in 2015.
Ages: 35 Jared: CEO, listing expert advisor Rebecca: Lead buyer’s expert advisor THE CHAMBERLAIN GROUP REAL ESTATE EXPERTS The core mission of The Chamberlain Group Real Estate Experts is to help families in Calgary transition from one phase of life to the next. Jared and Rebecca have gotten involved in their community by partnering with the Unlocking Potential Foundation, working in schools, and joining forces with the University of Calgary and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology to help athletes mentor younger students. The couple has also become Amazon top-selling authors with a book called The New Rise in Real Estate.
IAN CHARLEBOIS Age: 29 Broker and owner RE/MAX CITYWIDE Rockland, Ont. Named to REP’s inaugural Hot List earlier this year, Charlebois successfully merged two Re/Max offices to create Re/Max Citywide, of which is owner and broker. In just three years, he has helped grow that brokerage to 550 from 85 transactions annually. Charlebois is a founding member of the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s Young Professionals Network. He has donated $10,000 to the University of Ottawa to help students with learning disabilities, something he overcame himself.
ANDREW BRACEWELL Age: 34 Sales associate RE/MAX LITTLE OAK REALTY Abbotsford, BC With less than 12 years in the real estate industry, Bracewell has been repeatedly recognized as the top agent in his office and has also earned Re/Max’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a high-producing agent who is involved in his community. While many agents see marketing as the most important aspect of their jobs, Bracewell believes sharp negotiation skills bring the most value to his clients.
PETER CHAN Age: 33 Vice president, valuation and advisory group CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD Toronto, Ont. Chan joined Cushman & Wakefield in 2008, growing his skills in valuation, consulting, research, analysis and financial modelling of various asset types. These include multi-family apartments, office, storefront retail, industrial and land. He earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Guelph, specializing in Housing and Real Estate Management. He followed that up with a post-graduate certificate in Real Property Valuations from the University of British Columbia. Chan received his accreditation from the Appraisal Institute of Canada, and has since been actively involved in advancing the profession by volunteering with the organization.
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS CHLOE BRUNO Age: 28 Sales representative MAIN STREET REALTY Newmarket, Ont. With just five short months in the industry, Bruno has grown immensely as an agent, using skills honed previously flipping homes, to help her clients list investment properties. “Having personally bought properties, renovated homes, and sold them for a profit, I have knowledge and contacts, which can prove to be invaluable to my clients,” she says.
ANTHONY BROWN Age: 31 Salesperson EXIT REALTY METRO Halifax, NS After a car accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury and total paralysis on the left side of his body in 2009, Brown started his real estate career without the ability to drive a car, carrying his open-house signs with one arm on the city bus. An award-winning agent at EXIT, he also shares his story with thousands of agents across North America, including at the company’s international convention and sales rallies.
NEIL CHAHAL Age: 30 Realtor SUTTON WESTCOAST REALTY Vancouver, BC A licensed realtor for just four years, Chahal has seen his practice skyrocket, earning himself a spot in the top 5.5% of agents in Greater Vancouver for 2015 based on sales volume alone. Outside of work, Chahal serves as the president of his neighbourhood association, the Coal Harbour Residents’ Association. He speaks on topics such as rezoning and redevelopment applications, special events and community safety.
MELISSA BRADBURY Age: 23 Broker SUTTON GROUP MUSKOKA REALTY Huntsville, Ont. Currently serving all of Muskoka, Bradbury has developed quickly in her career. She joined Sutton as a sales representative in 2013 and received her broker designation this year. Bradbury has incorporated seven years of experience in business and marketing into her real estate career, staying current with cutting-edge marketing. She also makes time to assist a few local music studios, giving piano lessons to students of all levels and ages. Bradbury also volunteers her professional piano playing in the community.
RICHARD AND JENNA CANE Ages: 34 Sales representatives ROYAL LEPAGE TRILAND REALTY London, Ont. The Canes have achieved Royal LePage’s Director’s Platinum Award consistently in their eight years as a team, building their business by creating a strong network, and gaining the majority of their business through referrals and past client relationships. “In the last few years we have focused on new home sales and have developed great relationships with builders in our community,” says Jenna. “Last year, we took over a phase of new homes that had been sitting stagnant with another team for almost a year and we sold it out in four months.”
HANNA BROWNE Age: 24 Broker ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY Ottawa, Ont. Born and raised in a real estate family, Browne started her career as a toddler, assisting her father at many of his open houses. At 18, she became a registered sales representative, and a licensed broker at 20. Now 24, Browne is completing her second full year of sales and has already received the President’s Gold Award from Royal LePage. She is also active in charity and fundraising events, whether on stage presenting auction items, or behind the scenes marketing events and booking venues.
YOUNG GUNS 2015
ALUN EVANS Age: 33 Broker ROYAL LEPAGE REAL ESTATE SERVICES Oakville, Ont. With 10 years as a licensed broker, Evans has been very involved in local and regional real estate associations. He has served seven consecutive years as a director of the Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board while chairing various event, arbitration, professional standards and education committees. Distinguished by a range of awards from Royal LePage, Evans also volunteers with the Oakville Hospital Foundation and Habitat for Humanity Halton. As well, he coaches youth sports, thanks to his children, Lexie and Liam.
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS BEN CHIMES Age: 33 Partner ZWICK CHIMES REAL ESTATE GROUP Vancouver, BC A partner at the Zwick Chimes Real Estate Group, Chimes manages a team of six agents and two assistants. The team is very active online, paying specific attention to a few niche neighbourhood websites and supporting social media platforms. However, around 70% of its business comes through referrals. While the team had 180 transactions yearto-date in September, Chimes has personally completed 42 of them. He is a Re/Max Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and is a member of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver President’s Club, which recognizes the top 1% of agents.
JOSHUA CHISVIN Age: 27 Team manager, sales representative CHISVIN & GORDON REAL ESTATE, FOREST HILL REAL ESTATE Vaughan, Ont. With a background in residential home construction, Chisvin is a driven agent, on track to hit $200,000 in commissions by the end of the year. Chisvin also sees himself as a leader and a mentor to those he works with. “I’d like to think I am a great resource for others close by,” he says. “In the community it is the same, being involved in several organizations, mentorships, community events and more.” He has received the Top Producer Award from Forest Hill Real Estate for 2012, 2013, 2014, and is set to receive one again, as well as the Top Producing Team Award, in 2015.
KEVIN CRIGGER Age: 33 Broker JOHNSTON & DANIEL DIVISION, ROYAL LEPAGE Toronto, Ont. In his first year at Johnston & Daniel, Crigger was the recipient of the Rookie of the Year Award. Every year since, he has won the Award of Excellence, President’s Award and Diamond Award from Royal LePage. Crigger is also involved in helping to shape the real estate industry, serving on the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Government Relations Committee as well as its Residential Arbitration Roster. Crigger also serves on the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s Legislation and Regulations Committee.
DREW CHARLES DONALDSON Age: 33 Executive vice president VERICO SAFEBRIDGE FINANCIAL GROUP Toronto, Ont. Donaldson has been a top-producing mortgage professional since 2006, helping to fund more than $1 billion in mortgage funding. He specializes in working with Generation X, a direct result of his own experience buying and selling real estate. Donaldson also recently launched DealDocket. com, a tech startup for the real estate industry. It aims to drive greater transparency around multiple offers. Before he joined SafeBridge Financial Group, Donaldson earned a business degree from Central Michigan University, where he played football. He credits that experience for his work ethic and mindset.
MARK FARIS Age: 32 Broker THE FARIS TEAM, ROYAL LEPAGE Barrie, Ont. Before getting into the real estate industry, Faris played professional hockey in the US and in Sweden. Today, alongside his wife Joanna, he has built The Faris Team to 31 hardworking individuals. The team sold 565 homes in 2014 and was named the number-one team in Simcoe County for sales productivity. As an individual broker, Faris was named to REP’s Hot List, published earlier this year. “We strive to make our clients raving fans,” he says.
NICOLE DAVIS Age: 35 Sales representative ROYAL LEPAGE FRANK REAL ESTATE Brokerage Whitby, Ont. Leaving behind a six-figure income to follow her dreams, Davis started her real estate career in 2009. After building up and sustaining her business through cold calling, she won the Walter Frank Rookie of the Year Award in her first year, and has since won the President’s Gold Award. Davis is involved in the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation Garage Sales, an annual pumpkin drive that she launched; sponsors local teams; and donates to the World Wildlife Fund and World Vision.
YOUNG GUNS 2015
Age: 30 Real estate broker ROYAL LEPAGE HERITAGE Montreal, Que. A bilingual real estate broker in Montreal’s Westmount neighbourhood for the past five years, Fridman has already qualified for Royal LePage’s Platinum Award. She is well on her way to its Diamond Award for 2015. Fridman is also passionately involved with Montreal’s historical Tour des Canadiens project, which is centered on a new downtown core development called “Le Quad Windsor.” Growing up in a family with commercial real estate development and management ties, Fridman intends to turn her focus more fully to the commercial and investment side of the business in the coming years.
Age: 30 Sales representative CENTURY 21 WESTMAN.COM Brandon, Man. Currently in her sixth year selling real estate, Fowler started her career just before she started a family. The combination certainly has its challenges. “Having a young family to juggle has made me focus on relationships and networking,” she says. While growing her business, Fowler has strengthened her marketing tools by using professional photography, social media and video. She is also involved in her local community, volunteering for various committees, charity organizations and the local curling club.
Age: 34 Sales representative ROYAL LEPAGE BINDER REAL ESTATE Tecumseh, Ont. Since his career began in 2007, Germanese has grown to become one of the top individual sales representatives at Royal LePage Binder Real Estate, with 65 ends just nine months through 2015. “He is very passionate about our industry and is a model to other young people who have joined our office because of him,” says Frank Binder, broker of record. Germanese gets involved in his community by hosting annual golf tournaments to raise money for local charities. In the past year he has raised almost $14,000.
Age: 32 Broker/owner EXIT REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS Lower Sackville, NS Paving the way for other young people in the real estate industry, Grace has spoken internationally for EXIT Real Estate, and shares his knowledge and success through Facebook. “An exceptional broker, he is always there for his agents, leading by example and providing top-notch training and guidance so they can succeed,” says colleague Kelly Cool. Grace was voted onto the Board of Directorsof the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors. As a regional director, he played an integral role in the design and implementation of the Paragon MLS system for the association. Grace gives back to his community, organizing an annual charity golf tournament to raise money and food donations for FEED NOVA SCOTIA.
DAVID FLEMING Age: 35 Sales representative BOSLEY REAL ESTATE Toronto, Ont.
KELSEY GEER Age: 25 Sales representative MAIN STREET REALTY Uxbridge, Ont. Since joining Main Street Realty in 2014, Geer has already made a name for herself in Durham Region. She volunteers in the local Uxbridge community – her home town, and has used her initiative, enthusiasm and a genuine attitude to create a career that keeps her truly energized. “By making initiative the foundation of my business I have to know clearly and definitely what my goals are and exactly the action and marketing plan of achieving those goals,” Geer says.
Known across the city for his real estate blog, which receives 100,000-plus page views each month, Fleming calls himself a consumer advocate. “I want to continue to be known as the honest real estate agent,” he adds. “In an industry like [ours], there will be people who don’t care about their clients.” After closing some 65 transactions in 2014, Fleming is on target to reach between 85 and 90 transactions before the end of the year.
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS NOEL GEREMIA Age: 32 Associate broker CENTURY 21 DOME REALTY Regina, Sask. Expecting $3.6 million in sales transactions in 2015, Geremia is a repeat winner in Century 21’s sales awards program. He is the chair of the Association of Saskatchewan Realtors Young Professionals Committee, and also writes a blog, sharing his views on the latest industry news. “Sharing knowledge is an important part of the way I do business,” Geremia says. “I want to establish good working relationships with my clients, and I aim to keep my clients for life.”
RICHARD GIBB Age: 35 Sales representative THE HOME TEAM, CENTURY 21 HERITAGE GROUP Newmarket, Ont. As a founder of The Home Team, located in the heart of Newmarket, Gibb runs one of the most successful teams in the Century 21 Heritage Group. The group focuses on a lead-generation system Gibb implemented. In the past two years, he has also earned production awards for the highest achievement in the Century 21 Heritage Group. Gibb’s involvement in the community ranges from handing out free hot chocolate at the Newmarket Santa Claus Parade, to sponsoring men’s league hockey and his membership in the local curling club.
SARA HOWARD Age: 33 Senior underwriter and partner PROPERTYGUYS. COM MORTGAGE Halifax, NS Along with her partner at PropertyGuys. com Mortgage, Howard is at the forefront of innovation in integrating mortgage professionals into the private-sale process. Her involvement in building that integration within the company and with lenders is changing the way the industry looks at mortgage agents. Howard is no slouch on the sales side either, racking up $15 million in volume in 2014.
TAYLOR HACK Age: 34 Realtor RE/MAX RIVER CITY Edmonton, Alta. An agent since January 2013, Hack dedicated his first year in the industry to being a top producer and aimed to sell 24 houses – he reached that goal in his first six months. He was named Rookie of the Year for Re/Max River City, and went on to be recognized with Re/Max’s Hall of Fame Award and the Chairman’s Club Award for Western Canada. Hack has also given back to his community by donating to Children’s Miracle Network; serving food to nurses at an inner-city hospital; and posting on social media for Underdogs Rescue.
Age: 29 Realtor Certified home stager ROYAL LEPAGE ATLANTIC Halifax, NS With more than $200,000 in closed and pending commissions year-to-date for 2015, Hann has won a number of accolades in her short real estate career that began in 2011. They include Nova Scotia Rookie of the Year, the Captain’s Club Award in 2012, President’s Gold Award and Bronze Sales Awards in 2013, and Director’s Platinum Award in 2014 from Royal LePage. Hann is also engaged in her community, sponsoring local school fairs and fundraisers. As well, she instituted a Jill Hann Real Estate High School Scholarship, and donates a portion of her commissions to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.
SEAN GILLIS Age: 34 Realtor, builder, developer SEAN GILLIS REALTY LTD., RE/MAX GRANDE PRAIRIE Grande Prairie, Alta. Gillis is one of Re/Max’s Top 100 agents in Canada, and one of the Top 50 agents in Western Canada. He has also received the Re/Max Chairman’s Club Award for three consecutive years, and is on track to earn it again in 2015. Gillis gets involved in his local community, sponsoring events such as golf tournaments and youth sports teams. “I try to be an ambassador for the industry, working to improve the way we do business daily,” he says.
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DIMITRIOS KALOGEROPOULOS Age: 35 Sales representative ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY Ottawa, Ont. Since leaving Toronto to establish a career in his hometown of Ottawa, Agent DK – as he’s affectionately known – has received a range of honours from Royal LePage. They include the Director’s Platinum Award and the Diamond Award. He is on track to receive the Chairman’s Award for 2015, which places Kalogeropoulos in the top 1% of agents across Canada. Kalogeropoulos has volunteered as the Master of Ceremonies at the Ottawa Greek Festival for 18 years. Proceeds from the festival go to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Heart Institute.
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS DAVID IBRAHIM Age: 35 Sales representative CENTURY 21 HERITAGE GROUP Newmarket, Ont. With a background in buying properties to design, renovate and resell, Ibraham has a great deal of experience in the real estate market. As a sales representative, he takes pride in working with his clients and offering services that are “outside the box.” He uses innovattive marketing tools give his listings maximum exposure. Ibrahim contributes to his community by volunteering at Youth Ministries Summer Camps. He also opened a Community Drop-In Centre for youth, aimed at getting them off the streets and connecting them with affordable-housing search resources.
JEFF KITCHEN Age: 30 Realtor and founder/president JEFF KITCHEN REAL ESTATE, VANTAGE BUILD Saint John, NB In 2007 – his first year of selling real estate – Kitchen won Re/Max’s Rookie of the Year Award for all of Atlantic Canada. Every year since, he has received Gold and Platinum Sales Awards within his brokerage. Leading the team at Jeff Kitchen Real Estate and founding Vantage Build, Kitchen combines his real estate and building skills to provide a full experience for his clients. A portion of all of Kitchen’s sales goes to the IWK Children’s Hospital in Saint John.
RYAN JONES Age: 29 Sales representative COLDWELL BANKER FIRST OTTAWA REALTY Ottawa, Ont. A sales representative at Coldwell Banker since 2012, Jones was the only Canadian honouree in the organization’s global 30 Under 30 list in 2015. He was chosen for his commitment to advanced education, his charitable contributions to his community, and his focus on technology innovations. Since January 2014, he has been involved in the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s Community and Government Relations Committee, lobbying the government for changes that will affect homeowners positively.
MANI KAHLON Age: 29 Real estate advisor SUTTON GROUP WESTCOAST REALTY Vancouver, BC Although social media plays an important role in his marketing, Kahlon prefers using “old school methods” such as networking and word-of-mouth to win clients. His construction background has helped Kahlon greatly in transitioning to real estate. Kahlon uses his knowledge as a successful redeveloper of residential properties to help his clients do the same.
ARIEL KORMENDY Age: 35 Sales representative KORMENDY TROTT, CENTURY 21 Milton, Ont. With just four years in the real estate industry, Kormendy is making real estate and the buying/selling process relevant to a tech-savvy crowd. He’s adding print-to-life technology to his marketing techniques and co-starring in a popular quick-tip video series. Passionate about living and working in Milton, Kormendy supports the Milton District Hospital Foundation and Easter Seals.
NICK J. KYTE Age: 34 Sales representative FIRST OTTAWA REALTY, COLDWELL BANKER Ottawa, Ont. Honoured as a Coldwell Banker Rookie of the Year in 2013, Kyte has gone on to rank eighth in the company for gross commission income. He was also on a panel to share his experience about how technology and social media impacts the real estate industry. “My YouTube channel has custom neighbourhood videos that showcase the area and promote stores and amenities, and then highlight key aspects of each listing to drive buyers to my website and social media,” adds Kyte. He is involved in a number of charities, including Crohn’s & Colitis Canada’s annual Martini Madness event and the Leukemia & Lymphona Society of Canada’s Night Walk.
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MERETE LEWIS Age: 31 Salesperson CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE LIMITED With a keen interest in the technology side of marketing, Lewis has increased traffic to her website by 427%, and her sales for 2015 reflect that – in September, the year-to-date total neared $10 million. Her community involvement demonstrates her love for the arts. Lewis is a Next Committee Member at the Art Gallery of Ontario; a Brass Level Donor to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; and the co-founder of TheArtMarket.ca, a free online guide aimed at the Canadian art world.
JACKI LAM Age: 31 Broker RE/MAX CROSSROADS REALTY Markham, Ont. Lam has come a long way in just for years – from Air Canada flight attendant to Re/ Max International Hall of Fame Award winner. Working with clients in the Markham community (and as a self-admitted “fitness fanatic”), she has given back by completing the Half Ironman Triathlon to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada; volunteering at the Markham YMCA as a spin instructor; raising money for YMCA kids and local families; and mobilizing her office to participate in the CIBC Run for the Cure.
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS VINCE LAMBERTI Age: 33 Sales representative CENTURY 21 HERITAGE GROUP Bradford, Ont. The second half of The Realtor Twins, Lamberti is also an active member in his community. Like his brother Guy, he rides in The Big Bike event for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. He also participates in Bradford’s annual Carrot Fest and hands out free hot chocolate at the local Santa Claus Parade. Lamberti’s partnership with his brother allows the duo to provide a greater level of service to new, existing and past clients.
GUY LAMBERTI Age: 33 Sales representative CENTURY 21 HERITAGE GROUP Bradford, Ont. According to one of his colleagues, Lamberti has a special talent for working with first-time buyers and sellers – he brings attention to detail, care and consideration to all aspects of the real estate transaction. He is also an active member of his community. Lamberti annually sponsors the Bradford Children’s Charity Fund Golf Tournament, and participates in The Big Bike event for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. He and his twin brother Vince are known as The Realtor Twins. They use clever and memorable marketing to support their business.
CARL LANGSCHMIDT Age: 34 President CONDOS.CA AND PROPERTY.CA REALTY Toronto, Ont.
ANNIE MIRZA Age: 35 Mortgage broker INVIS MORTGAGE INTELLIGENCE Toronto, Ont. With more than 14 years in the industry, Mirza started mortgage underwriting while completing a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto, becoming a broker when she graduated. Today, she has her own team. Mirza has been recognized as a top producer both provincially and nationally by Mortgage Intelligence for the past two years. Earning a reputation as an industry expert, she was also featured this year on a broker panel at Toronto’s CAAMP Symposium. Mirza shared tips for new brokers.
Named to REP’s inaugural Hot List earlier this year, Langschmidt is the founder and president of MrLoft.ca (started in 2006), Condos.ca (launched in 2013) and his latest tech venture, Property.ca. The new agency aims to push agents to embrace the online aspects of buying and selling real estate. It helps them generate leads from the web; and aids in content creation, website development and social media campaigns. By the end of 2015, Langschmidt expects his team will have exceeded 500 transactions.
DANNY MISTRY Age: 23 Sales representative JOHNSTON & DANIEL DIVISION, ROYAL LEPAGE Oakville, Ont. With just one year in the industry under his belt, Mistry prides himself on the ability to build long-lasting relationships with his clients, going far beyond a single transaction. Reflecting his age, he uses the power of social media, appealing to his target demographic through Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. Mistry’s passion for golf gets him involved in his local community. It has given him the opportunity to play in, and to sponsor, numerous charity tournaments.
ADIL MAWJI Age: 30 President ALBERTA MORTGAGE BROKERS ASSOCIATION Calgary, Alta. As president of the Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association, Mawji leads the charge to advocate for mortgage brokers’ interests in the province. He’s also a top producer in hais own right, placing among REP’s sister publication CMP’s Top 75 Brokers for the past four years. In 2014, Mawji racked up a volume of $56 million. Mawji is involved in the Ismaili community, organizing events; giving free financial counselling to those in need; and driving seniors to the mosque several times a week.
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JOSH KLEIN Age: 31 Sales representative CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE Toronto, Ont. A winner of several awards including the Chairman’s, Director’s and President’s Awards at Chestnut Park Real Estate, Klein has been in the real estate industry for nearly four years. He was born and raised in Toronto, and contributes to his community in a number of meaningful ways. These include donating to Churches on the Hill Food Bank every year; running his office’s annual holiday fundraiser; and volunteering with Motionball, which raises funds for and awareness of the Special Olympics Foundation of Canada.
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS MAGGIE LIND Age: 34 Real estate agent CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE Toronto, Ont. The youngest person to ever win the Chairman’s Award from Chestnut Park, Lind has been the recipient for the last five out of six years. She is on track to win it again this year. She headed up a Habitat For Humanity Chestnut Park Women Build team in 2015, raising just shy of $10,000 to help provide affordable housing for those in need in the Greater Toronto Area. A high achiever since high school, Lind was the first female battalion commander in the Cadet Corps at Ridley College in St Catharines, Ont.
Age: 32 Salesperson CENTURY 21 HERITAGE GROUP Bradford, Ont.
KATE MILLER Age: 31 Real estate sales representative ROYAL LEPAGE SUSSEX North Vancouver, BC After a decade in the hospitality industry, Miller entered real estate sales with a passion for working with people and helping them through one of the most important transitions in their lives. Inspired by a desire to improve her sphere of influence, she formed a networking group in 2012 to bring young professionals and trusted trade businesses together in her community. “This networking group has not only served as an ongoing referral source for my business, it has helped me better serve my clients’ needs during the home selling, buying and renovation process,” says Miller.
Age: 28 Sales representative SUTTON-PREMIER REALTY Surrey, BC
A trained and certified physical fitness coach, Lovegrove moved into the real estate industry eight years ago. The shift was a direct result of the experience Lovegrove and her husband had buying their first home as newlyweds. Though she didn’t know it at the time, she’d found her true passion – real estate. “What I enjoyed most about the fitness industry was that I was able to make a difference, touch so many lives and put smiles on so many faces,” she says. “In real estate, I strive to do the same – make a difference and touch lives.”
He’s ranked in the top 1% of agents in the Fraser Valley and is a recipient of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Medallion Award for 2013, 2014 and 2015. So it’s hard to believe Marfori has only been in the industry for four years. He gives back to his community by donating to St. Matthew’s Parish as well as his high school, Holy Cross – where he has implemented a $1,000 annual scholarship to recognize excellence in business. As of September, Marfori had an impressive 122 transactions for 2015.
MATT MAURER Age: 34 Real estate lawyer MINDEN GROSS LLP Toronto, Ont. With both residential and commercial cases under his belt, Maurer has eight years of experience as a real estate lawyer. This experience makes him sought out by developers, owners, brokers, agents, investors, landlords, tenants and contractors. Outside of the courtroom, Maurer sits on the board of the Toronto Lawyers Association and the Ontario Bar Association’s Provincial Council; co-chairs the Working Group on Lawyers & Real Estate; and mentors candidates in Ontario’s Law Practice Program.
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DAN PULTR Age: 25 Vice president TMG THE MORTGAGE GROUP Vancouver, BC A testament to Pultr’s leadership, TMG The Mortgage Group has built a strong presence in British Columbia. The BC operation has experienced 40% volume growth over the past two years and regained the province’s spot as the number-one region for TMG Canada. Pultr is active in the company’s corporate marketing and national training initiatives. He started the firm’s Industry Expert Forum, an online broadcast initiative that lets brokers share expertise and best practices. A director for CAAMP’s BC region and a chair of the BC Regional Broker Chapter, Pultr is also a leader in TMG’s charitable initiatives.
ROB MOORE Age: 32 Sales representative EXIT REALTY ON THE ROCK St. John’s, NL Moore, just four years into a promising real estate career, is nipping at the heels of a seven-figure income in a province where the average home price is less than $300,000. A former Rookie of the Year for Canada for EXIT Realty Corp International, he is also a multiple award winner and one of the best agents for EXIT Realty in the country. “Rob is undoubtedly an incredible individual and a consummate professional,” says one of his colleagues. “He has inspired many with his rocket ship rise in production and approachable personal style.”
TIM OLYNIK Age: 34 Realtor FOAT AND ASSOCIATES, CENTURY 21 SUMMIT REALTY Calgary, AB Leaving behind a not-for-profit sector career, Olynik transferred his skills into the real estate industry, bringing a unique and fresh approach since his first day. “I leaned on my background in the not-for-profit sector to create smooth (and fun) transactions during the intense ups and downs of the home buying or selling process,” he says. Olynik’s marketing and lead generation is 100% online-focused, including a widely read blog and a team Facebook page that reached 30,000 views in a single weekend.
RYAN PETERSON Age: 34 Realtor ROYAL LEPAGE KELOWNA Kelowna, BC Ranked sixth at Royal LePage for the Central Okanagan, Peterson has been an Award of Excellence recipient for the past four years. He is designated as a Certified Negotiation Expert and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist. In all, 60% of Peterson’s business is repeat and referral business, a testament to the connections he makes with his clients. “He is constantly trying to give back to the community,” says his managing broker, Wade Webb. “His financial responsibility, discipline and work ethic are impressive.”
TENLEIGH PEARCY Age: 29 Sales representative KELLER WILLIAMS EDGE REALTY Burlington, Ont. Pearcy is the executive director of a female entrepreneurs’ network called Pinkpreneurs. She has been a registered agent for only eight years “but has the wisdom and forethought of a seasoned agent,” according to one colleague. Pearcy has also recently been recognized within Keller Williams as one of the top 10% of agents under 40 worldwide.
ADAM MILLS Age: 32 Broker of record ROYAL LEPAGE TEAM REALTY ADAM MILLS Ottawa, Ont. Using five years of previous experience in marketing, Mills focuses his team on creating and delivering targeted marketing campaigns for all listings. He also makes sure they actively track online metrics and stay current about all the changes in the local marketplace. Mills supports the West Barrhaven Community Association, helping fund quarterly events and donating time to help run them. He is also a board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern Ontario. “This year, the event has grown and raised $44,000, which was enough to grant four children with life-threatening illnesses their wish,” says Mills.
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS TRISTAN PUNGARTNIK Age: 26 Broker and director of operations ROYAL LEPAGE HERITAGE & SUMMIT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Montreal, Que. Pungartnik has been a broker since he was 18. Managing more than 1,000 residential units in Montreal, he has built a reputation as the go-to person for residential leasing in the city. In 2011, Pungartnik was the team leader for the top-producing team at the Leader’s Choice Real Estate Program. In 2012 he founded Navut, an online property search site, and made a made a deal last year for the startup with Michael Wekerle on CBC’s Dragon’s Den.
DIANA PETRAMALA Age: 32 Economist TD BANK Toronto, Ont. An economist with TD Bank since 2008, Petramala previously worked at BMO as a research analyst. She contributes to a wide variety of publications, writing on topics such as international trade, household balance sheets, inflation, monetary policy and real estate. Petramala holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Financial Management, and a Master of Arts degree in Business Economics from Wilfred Laurier University.
ADAM NEUSTAEDTER Age: 30 Broker and operations manager CENTURY 21 GOLD KEY REALTY Steinbach, Man. Neustaedter keeps busy as secretary-treasurer of Century 21’s Broker Council in Manitoba and as a member of the Manitoba Realtor Network. He also is operations manager at his brokerage, where Neustaedter runs day-today operations; troubleshoots any problems; and is involved in training other agents. “I’m very hands-on with our agents, especially agents who are new to our industry, helping them set up a best-practice business for themselves,” he says.
GREG RAYMOND Age: 30 President INSURANCEHERO.CA, MORTGAGECAPTAIN.CA Sudbury, Ont. Raymond is a fifth-generation insurance broker and budding financial services entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of InsuranceHero.ca and MortgageCaptain. ca. The two companies leverage cuttingedge technologies to offer simplified and modernized insurance- and mortgagepurchasing experiences. Raymond is continuously driven to satisfy his appetite for learning: He graduated from Laurentian University in 2007; obtained a range of designations from the MaRS Future Leaders Program; and completed the Business Executive Program at York University’s Schulick School of Business.
MATTHEW REGAN Age: 31 Team leader Matthew Regan Team ROYAL LEPAGE REAL ESTATE SERVICES Mississauga, Ont. At 29, Regan is ranked eighth in Canada and second in Mississauga by Royal LePage. His career in real estate has had nowhere to go but up. “I was once told by a mentor that you should never do this job for the money,” he says. “Instead, if you show up for work every day, focused on providing excellence to your clients, success will come.” Regan is involved in a number of local and international charities. His involvement includes hosting an annual garage sale supporting the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation; sponsoring home-building in Guatemala and Haiti; and supporting orphaned elephants in Kenya through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
LAURISSA RASMUS Age: 34 Realtor RE/MAX RESULTS READY Pitt Meadows, BC For the past five years, Rasmus has been in the top 5% of realtors in Greater Vancouver while also operating a staging company called Stage to Sell. On top of all this, she is a single mother of three who finds time to volunteer weekly at the local food bank; and donate a portion of every transaction to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “I have also thrown an annual easter egg hunt in my community for the past nine years, with all proceeds going to the local food bank,” adds Rasmus.
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CHRIS MESSECAR Age: 33 Sales representative EXIT REALTY FIRST NORTH Barrie, Ont. In just four years, Messecar has developed one of the strongest real estate teams in Barrie by focusing on an extensive marketing plan developed in-house. He moved to the city from Windsor, Ont., and built his clientele up from scratch. A featured break-out speaker at this year’s EXIT international convention in Nashville, TN, he generously shares his wisdom to help other EXIT associates to fast track their success. “He has become a beacon for up-andcoming agents, and always takes the time to listen and give them invaluable direction in developing their career,” says a colleague.
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS LINDSAY REID Age: 30 Broker ROYAL LEPAGE LANDCO REALTY London, Ont. Besides her role as a full-time broker, Reid is the 2015/2016 director of the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors; a member of the Ontario Real Estate Association’s Young Professionals Network; and the co-founder of a volunteer group called London Ontario Volunteer Experts (LOVE). She has been recognized for both her real estate prowess – with 2012 and 2013 President’s Gold Awards from Royal LePage – and her philanthropic endeavours. In 2012, Reid received the top 10% Donor Award from the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.
Age: 31 Realtor SUTTON GROUP WESTCOAST REALTY Vancouver, BC Rostamkhani has been in the real estate industry just over a year. With his transaction volumes and impressive number of deals, he has been ranked the number-one broker in Canada at Sutton Group. His transaction volume in 2014 was almost $5.7 million. In September 2015, he had already reached $4.3 million. Working predominantly with international clients, Rostamkhani provides them with a range of unique concierge services. These include helicopter rides around Vancouver; a chauffeur service from the airport; preferential rates at different luxury hotels; and access to yacht and exotic car rentals.
Age: 27 Broker KELLER WILLIAMS Montreal, Que. With just four years in the industry, Rabin currently sits on Keller Williams’s Leadership Committee; leads monthly training for new brokers; and takes time out of her busy schedule to meet with people interested in starting real estate careers. “Both as a mentor to her peers and as a valuable broker to her clients, she is an unparalleled broker at her age,” says a colleague.
JACQUI ROSTEK Age: 31 Sales representative SUTTON GROUP PROFESSIONAL REALTY Halifax, NS Rostek is a Certified Career Development Mentor through the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors and a “social ambassador” for the association’s annual general meeting and symposium. She is also deeply involved in all things real estate within her community. Rostek co-founded 100 Entrepreneurs NS, a group that encourages, and awards, entrepreneurs and business leaders to launch their ideas. She is also a member of 100 Women Who Care Halifax. The group meets quarterly and is heavily involved in charity work.
STEVE RYAN Age: 31 Owner and mortgage associate TMG THE MORTGAGE GROUP REGINA Regina, Sask. Beginning his career as a broker in 2012, Ryan was recognized as the TMG Mortgage Group Regina Rookie of the Year for The Prairies. The following year, he won the company’s Rising Star Award for the largest annual increase in volume. Now running a group with partner Ryan Mitchell, he participates in a number of fundraisers for the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan, as well as serving on the board of the Jon Ryan Golf Classic supporting the Bob Ryan Foundation. Ryan has raised $125,000 for the foundation.
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DAN SCARROW Age: 32 CANADIAN REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT CENTRE Shanghai, China After holding a variety of roles at the MacDonald Real Estate Group since 2006, Scarrow took on a brand new role in 2014 – as the first managing director of the organization’s Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai. He uses his experience as a successful residential and commercial real estate agent to help Chinese buyers invest in the Canadian market. Scarrow was also on REP’s inaugural Hot List, published earlier this year.
ALEX RUNDLE Age: 31 Sales representative ROYAL LEPAGE MEADOWTOWNE REALTY Milton, Ont. Rundle is a Re/Max Hall of Fame Award, Platinum Club Award and 100% Club Award recipient. She is also an environmental enthusiast focused on reducing the paper in her real estate business footprint. In giving back to the community, Rundle has volunteered at Halton Women’s Place for the past eight years. As well, a portion of all her commissions go to supporting the Children’s Miracle Network. At the time of publication, Rundle was making the move from Re/Max back to Royal LePage, where she started her career 10 years ago. “It feels like coming home,” she says.
RYAN SHIELDS Age: 33 Realtor, owner, broker CENTURY 21 WESTMAN.COM Brandon, Man. Using an innovative video series – including 30 Favourite Places in Brandon in 30 days and a Neighbourhood Guide – has helped Shields build his community connection as well as trust with clients and potential ones. Further community involvement includes coaching youth hockey and the men’s hockey team at the local high school; and heading marketing for the Safeway Select Curling Bonspiel. Shields is also a founding member of the Century 21 Canada Future Leaders Network, and a Centurion Award winner three of the last four years.
Age: 34 Fee appraiser ALTUS GROUP St John’s, NL
Age: 34 Realtor and partner BANNARD RUSHTON GROUP, CENTURY 21 BAMBER REALTY Calgary, AB
Slaney has worked with Altus Group since graduating from Memorial University with a joint Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts in 2004. She has completed large consulting assignments in BC and Alberta, as well as throughout Newfoundland and central Labrador. In her current role, Slaney has gained experience valuing a wide range of commercial properties such as multi-residential; residential condominium; remote fishing lodges; airport facilities; golf-course communities; and ski-hill developments.
Rushton is a founding member of the Century 21 Canada Future Leaders Network, and a mentor at Century 21 Bamber Realty. He has also received the Century 21 Master’s Award every year since 2008. Rushton has a simple philosophy: Everyone is supposed to do what they are good at. “I am very good at selling entry mid-level condos and I truly believe the “jack of all trades” era in real estate is over,” he says. “It is impossible to know everything about everything in our ever-changing market and economic climate.”
JEREMY SPILKIN Age: 30 Broker CENTURY21 MAISON3D AND CENTURY21 CAPITAL REALTY Ottawa, Ont. In his seventh year in real estate, Spilkin has been dual-licensed in Quebec and Ontario since February 2014. He is also the president and founder of the National Military Relocation Network, designed to help military families relocate all across the country. “All the agents within the network have an affiliation with the military, so they know what the family is going through,” says a colleague. Spilkin also donates to different charities, including the Military Family Resource Centre in Ottawa.
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS MICHAEL ST JEAN Age: 31 Vice president and team leader ST JEAN REALTY Hamilton, Ont. With 172 ends for the year as of September, St. Jean has worked diligently to transform his family business into a thriving real estate mega-team. He runs the boutique brokerage with his father Robin; his mother Teresa is broker of record. “He is committed to personal leadership and development,” says Kathleen Black, CEO and owner of DPTS Real Estate. “This has resulted in phenomenal growth based on client service.”
SANJIT SINGH Age: 35 Principal owner WERNICK OMURA REAL ESTATE ADVISORY AND APPRAISAL Calgary, Alta.
BRADY THRASHER Age: 29 Associate RE/MAX PREFERRED REALTY Windsor, Ont On track to achieve the Re/Max Hall of Fame Award and the Chairman’s Award for his sales achievements, Thrasher has had a fantastic 2015: 91 units sold as of September. He has built his business on relationships, work ethic, loyalty, unique marketing techniques and an online presence via social media. “I work with many business owners in my market, which has allowed me to cross-market with credible, long-established businesses,” he says. “It’s hard to prove yourself as a young business person, but when people see my face on billboards, hear my voice on the radio and see my sold signs up, it gives people confidence.”
An Accredited Appraiser for the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC) for eight years, Singh has completed appraisals in every facet of real estate for all the major lending institutions. He is the former president of the AIC – Calgary Association and the current president of the AIC – Alberta Association. Outside of his work life, Singh helps raise donations to Habitat for Humanity through the local Calgary and provincial networks. He also facilitates donations to Mustard Seed Calgary.
ADAM SCHMALZ Age: 30 Associate RE/MAX P.A. REALTY Prince Albert, Sask. After pursuing a real estate career in Calgary, Schmalz returned to his hometown of Prince Albert, Sask., a community he considers ideal to be a real estate agent. He differentiates himself from his peers with a range of tactics, including using a cameramounted drone for aerial photos and video. Schmalz donates a percentage of his commissions to the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Hope’s Home Children’s Centre and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
REBECCA TOMASIR Age: 33 Real estate agent RE/MAX COMPLETE REALTY Chestermere, Alta. Known for her unique, branded marketing strategy – “I Love Sold Signs,” Tomasir has established a local Facebook community that has more than 8,000 online members. “The group acts as a medium for advertising listings and services for both myself and other local agents, and is an irreplaceable marketing tool when it comes to getting the word out about new listings,” she says. Tomasir also launched a real estate newsletter that’s distributed monthly in print and online. She is involved in a range of charitable efforts, including donating a percentage of her transactions to the Children’s Miracle Network.
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CALEB REICH Age: 24 Realtor RE/MAX LANDAN REAL ESTATE Calgary, Alta. Reich entered the world of real estate straight out of high school â€“ he has been a licensed realtor since he was 18. Over the past six years, he has been named a Re/Max Landan top producer; earned a Certified Condominium Specialist designation; and become a valuable member of the companyâ€™s Advertising Committee. He is so passionate about the real estate industry that his mother, inspired by his success, quit nursing to get into the business herself.
SAIRA WATERS Age: 30 Realtor ROYAL LEPAGE COAST CAPITAL REALTY Victoria, BC Since co-founding a women’s group called Dollar Divas in 2012, Waters has hosted more than 100 workshops, seminars and discussion groups to help empower women with financial knowledge. “Running the group has given me the opportunity to connect with like-minded women, build my business network, position me as an expert and leader in my industry, and help to grow my business exponentially,” she says. Waters is also heavily involved in her community through the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and the Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore (SIVW) group. The SIVW supports women’s projects locally and abroad.
STACY VERMEIRE Age: 31 Sales representative RE/MAX LAKESHORE REALTY Cobourg, Ont. Celebrating her eighth year in real estate, Vermeire continuously strives to reach new heights, putting her clients’ needs at the forefront of her business. Among her many achievements, she received Re/ Max’s Platinum Award in 2013 and 2014, as well as the Hall of Fame Award in 2015. Vermeire uses a combination of old and new marketing techniques including face-to-face interaction, social media and video. She has completed her first formal buyer/seller guide, a magazine-format guide packed with information for clients and potential ones.
Age: 31 Managing director COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL Ottawa, Ont. With nearly 10 years in the business as a real estate appraiser, Tighe is managing director of the Advisory Services division at Colliers International. He is heavily involved with the Appraisal Institute of Canada, serving on its Investigating Sub-Committee and its Advocacy Sub-Committee. Tighe volunteers with a number of local community groups including Habitat for Humanity, The Shepherds of Good Hope and the Ottawa Food Bank.
KRISTEN TREMBINSKI Age: 32 Broker of record EXIT REALTY LAKE SUPERIOR Sault Ste Marie, Ont. Alongside her broker Rob, Trembinski has taken her real estate brokerage to number-one market share in a few short years. The duo went on to purchase the regional rights of EXIT Realty for Northern Ontario, with a mandate to sell out franchises across the area in record time. Trembinski is deeply involved in her local community, volunteering and participating every way she can. “It’s easy to understand why she is so well-respected and liked by the real estate professionals who call EXIT their home,” says a colleague.
KIM TRAN Age: 31 Sales representative RE/MAX METRO-CITY REALTY Ottawa, Ont. Tran’s real estate industry accolades and achievements include winning the Re/Max Diamond and Hall of Fame Awards; a first-place finish at Re/Max Metro-City Realty; and finishing fifth overall in the company. “Real estate has been more than a job for me for over a decade,” she says. “It’s an industry that I’m passionate about and taking care of my clients is something that I don’t take for granted.”
YOUNG GUNS 2015
MICHAEL WADDELL Age: 29 Real estate agent RE/MAX REAL ESTATE Edmonton, Alta. Licensed as an agent for just over a year, Waddell left a $100,000-job behind to pursue his dream in real estate. In three of the first eight months of 2015, he was on the Top 10 list in his office, the largest one in Edmonton with more than 150 agents. “I have basically been a sponge gathering information and education, and will continue to be for the rest of my career to ensure that I can remain on top of my game,” he says.
ELLIOT WILTON Age: 31 Sales representative ROYAL LEPAGE PEIFER REALTY Chatham-Kent, Ont. Wilton, while he takes advantage of modern marketing strategies and tactics, always employs down-to-earth style and technique when meeting with clients. In fact, he drives a pick-up around his community, and can be found in jeans and a plaid shirt most days. He also stays connected to the local community by sponsoring, organizing and participating in numerous events. From May to September, he drives a stock car – with the Royal Lepage colours and Royal LePage Peifer decals – at the local dirt track on Saturday nights. “It’s something that people find interesting and are curious about, and has lead to a lot of business,” he says.
MIKE WILCOX Age: 34 Team leader THE MIKE AND WILL TEAM, ROYAL LEPAGE SUSSEX Vancouver, BC
SUNNY VIG Age: 25 Broker/owner DOMINION LENDING CENTRES MORTGAGE FORCE Edmonton, Alta. A broker since he was 19, Vig always knew a career in the mortgage industry was in his future. He started working for one of the big banks as a mortgage specialist, though he felt restricted by narrow financing guidelines. In 2015, he took the leap and opened his own Dominion Lending Centre brokerage. Vig uses a range of marketing tactics, including YouTube videos and social media. “I am set on educating my clients about the advantages of exploring their options when it comes to home financing,” he says.
Voted “Best in the City” by Vancouver’s The Westender newspaper for the past five years, Wilcox has also been recognized with Royal LePage’s Diamond Award for sales volumes for five consecutive years. He has also been a Royal LePage Medallion Member for the past seven years. With a background in design, as well as property renovations and flips, Wilcox helps his clients see properties for what they can be. “My job is to remove my clients’ stress and concern, but in doing so I take it on and don’t stop until every angle has been considered and everything is the best it can be,” he says.
STERLING WONG Age: 33 Owner and broker of record SEARCH REALTY Mississauga, Ont. With more than 15 years of experience in sales and a strong focus on online marketing, Wong has helped build Search Realty into 100 websites with more than 25,000 unique visitors each month. Wong’s next project is eSolds, where he plans to transform the real estate buying experience across Canada.
MUSTAFA ZIA Age: 27 Sales representative RE/MAX REAL ESTATE CENTRE Mississauga, Ont. With his 2015 commissions already totalling more than $1 million as of September, Zia has used his comprehensive marketing strategies and online presence to differentiate himself from his peers. He also uses print media to reach his clients – through door-to-door marketing, monthly newsletters and an extensive advertising campaign. “He has established himself in the community as a trusted professional who is able to deliver outstanding results, great negotiation skills, and absolute attention to the needs of both buyers and sellers,” says a colleague.
A challenge in Cowtown Expert luxury-home staging and marketing in southwest Calgary trumped the challenges of declining oil prices and a “level lot”
Location and layout
IMAGINE A property with vaulted ceilings, a gourmet kitchen, a customdesigned wine room and a professionally landscaped outdoor space – it should sell itself, shouldn’t it? Not quite. In a market impacted by declining oil prices, this single-family home in southwest Calgary also required the staging and marketing touches of two experienced agents to clinch the sale. As is often the case in real estate, there were both pros and cons associated with the property. On the plus side, inventory in the market was low, the home’s finishing and landscaping was excellent, and the
layout of the home was very unique, lending itself well to a “blended family” situation. But the home was also located on a “level lot,” meaning the lower level was below grade and wasn’t a walk-out. “A walk-out location, and south or west backing yard, are generally perceived as adding more value and are more marketable,” says Lisa TomalinReeves, senior vice president, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. She was the listing agent on the property along with senior vice president, Barb Richardson. “If the location had been better we would have been able to push the pricing a bit more.”
Located on a quiet cul-de-sac outside Calgary’s city centre, the five-bedroom, three-bath detached single-family home is steps away from a park and playground, close to community pathways and to a lake. The property features vaulted ceilings as well as an open-concept main floor with a living room, gourmet kitchen and casual dining space. It has a formal dining room, main floor master and en-suite, and a spacious mud/laundry room. The upper and lower levels are just as unique. There are two children’s bedrooms, a full bath and a spacious bonus room with homework area. The lower level offers a wine room with custom wood racking and temperature-controlled storage, and a tasting area and bar – which also features a dishwasher and two wine fridges. Downstairs are two more bedrooms, a gym and an inviting family room with screen and projector. Outside, the yard had been professionally landscaped with a pergola, hot tub area and stone patio. Though To m a l i n - R e e v e s and Richardson would typically recommend professional staging of the majority of properties they sell, the homeowner was extremely diligent in getting the house ready for viewing and had a good eye for staging. “The house showed beautifully,” says Tomalin-Reeves. “We did extensive professional photography, virtual tours and had great exposure.”
ADDRESS 208 Winding River Point, Calgary
LISTING DATE March 19, 2015
LISTING PRICE $1,495,000
SOLD DATE MAY 23, 2015
SOLD PRICE The agents also advertised open houses in a local paper and, through the Sotheby’s brand, they were able to expose the listing over a broad range of real estate search engines.
The price is right The home was listed in March for $1,495,000. It sold for $100,000 less around two months later. Since inventory in the market was low, the fact that the offer didn’t sell over listing was unexpected, adds Tomalin-Reeves. She points to a price point over $1 million, location outside the city centre, and market conditions as possible reasons for this.
“The market has been softening all year in the ‘upper end’ due to declining oil prices,” she says. “It is an award-winning, master-planned community located about a 20-minute drive to downtown, but by Calgary’s standards it’s a bit far for some buyers. Sales in this community have been slower than in the previous years. The community has unique custom homes and sometimes it takes a while to find the right fit. I think the quality of the home and what it offered enabled us to get a favourable price for the current market conditions.” The home received just one offer, but it was the right one. The sellers were able to accommodate the buyer’s specified request
CALGARY MARKET BY THE NUMBERS MARCH 2015
STYLE 1.5-storey detached singlefamily home
for possession, particularly because they were moving to another province and into a new home at the end of the school year. They wanted to ensure a sale prior to the slower summer months. “Generally, that’s the ‘prime’ selling season but confidence was shaky and layoffs in the core were beginning to happen,” says Tomalin-Reeves. “Sentiment was negative and forecasted to get worse as the year progressed. The seller wanted to ensure they got a deal and was pragmatic on the pricing given the overall market conditions.” REP
SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
CENTURY 21 YOUNG GUNS
Young Guns are blazing out east A new generation of real estate professionals is making waves – but how can an office attract and support them? TODAY’S “YOUNG GUNS” of real estate possess a skillset non-existent a decade ago, creating a new dynamic and energizing the industry – just as long as previous generations know how to harness their power. “We have people coming through the door with some great talent,” says Steve Callahan, associate broker at Century 21 Seller’s Choice in St John’s, NL. “They are coming with some enhanced skills. When I first started off in the business, there was this perception that you had to be 45 year’s old to be successful in this business. Today, we have people as young as 22
who are really taking off.” For Callahan, it’s the drive of these “young guns” to succeed that impresses him the most. “They are full of energy and professionalism,” he adds. “But they also have youthful communication skills, and are more adaptive to technology; more open to it, more welcoming. That allows them to enhance the relationships that they already have.”
Keep traditions alive While eager to embrace new technology – such as cell phones, cloud technology and tablets –
Callahan does point out these developments shouldn’t replace the traditional way of doing business. “It is still a kitchen table business, a belly-to-belly contact sport,” he says. “Real estate is built on the foundations of business, which are obviously personally-built relationships. Technology does enhance those relationships with better communication options, allowing them to grow more quickly. And the ‘young guns’ come with those added skills now.” And another traditional element of the business – seasoned agents mentoring younger ones – is now becoming a two-way street of information. “They are keeping us sharp,” says Callahan. “I hate to think of myself as an old dog at 44, but after a few years in the business you can find yourself set in your ways. We have to be open to change.” One benefit of bringing “young guns” into
The team at Century 21 Seller’s Choice in St. John’s, NL
Focus on people If there is a common mantra at this St John’s office, it’s a strong belief in systems, such as the ones in place to create a learning environment for agents. “Selling houses is the job of an agent and we are continually working on systems to make everything run smoothly,” says Bradbury. “We believe in creating a culture where a real estate agent gets to be a real estate professional. Our office employs five people who are seen as an extension of the agent, not just staff. It’s important to have a warm welcoming atmosphere that is full of knowledgeable people, agents and staff alike.” The motto of the company is, be in business for yourself but not by yourself, which broker/ owner Gord Hiscock reinforces by treating the agents the same way clients are treated. “Agents are able to hand in paperwork and it is taken care of for them from day one,” says Bradbury. “Our agents have time to take care of their clients because we take care of them.”
Provide the latest technology
the office is they have the potential to open up a new generation of homebuyers and sellers. “One thing we always ask a new young realtor getting into the business is how many people
One beneficiary of this approach, young Century 21 Seller’s Choice agent Mark Fagan, points to the technology elements of the system as being crucial to his success so far. “I rely on it heavily for my day-to-day activities,” he says. “The smallest things, like a CRM system, were a huge component of my business. Now, with the click of a button I can touch base with all my contacts.” Fagan is on track to be one of the company’s top producers this year and is a member of the Century 21 Future Leaders Network, a nationwide group bringing top young agents
“The motto of the company is to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself” they know,” says Kristie Bradbury, business development and marketing at Century 21 Seller’s Choice. “A strong sense of community is important. A ‘young gun’ is a person who is driven, sociable; a person who is well-connected through sports, friends, volunteering and their social network.”
together to share ideas. He also uses the online marketing centre from Century 21 Canada. In fact, he estimates it has saved him “years of work” because it’s all readily available on any device at the click of a button. “I used to spend days on end trying to design marketing material and mail-outs, and now I can have hundreds of flyers printed in the blink of an eye,” he adds.
HOW TO CREATE, ATTRACT AND SUPPORT YOUNG GUNS 1. Build a culture of community: Encourage young people to teach seasoned agents about new technology, while seasoned agents provide their knowledge and tactics. Provide leadership: break your team into groups, led by an experienced agent, which meets once a week to mentor newer agents. Educate your entire team at weekly meetings and bring in special guest trainers. Appeal to young people with modern, open-concept office space. 2. Support their businesses: Provide full-service administration and marketing support for their listings. Supply systems that save agents time so they can focus on learning, building relationships and getting leads. 3. Be tech savvy: Offer new mobile websites, such as century21.ca, and customizable marketing templates, for print and online. Use social media and do social good. For instance, Seller’s Choice held a hashtag fundraiser in which one dollar went to East Seals for every selfie photo posted using #C21Selfie and featuring a Century 21 logo. This campaign contributed to a total office donation of $21,000. Continually develop new marketing systems, implementing the latest tools as they hit the industry. Before joining the company, Fagan says he was wasting a lot of time on the small stuff, such as paperwork and sending contracts to banks, lawyers, appraisers and so forth. “With the support system offered by my broker I don’t need to do these things and can just focus on selling houses,” he says. “Our support staff uploads listings, files all paperwork and sends it to the lawyers, bankers and anyone else who I need it to go to. This is, without a doubt, one of the biggest reasons that I joined the company.” REP
SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
CENTUM FINANCIAL GROUP
Stress-free mortgage searches More homebuyers are bypassing the banks for mortgages. This provider uses technology to help you close more deals THERE’S PERHAPS nothing more frustrating than having a client’s home purchase fall through because the buyer couldn’t obtain a mortgage from his or her financial institution. Not qualifying for a mortgage can dash a buyer’s home-ownership dreams; it can put a major dent in an agent’s income and sales objectives. Tighter bank regulations mean more Canadians are turning to alternative mortgage providers. In an analysis released earlier this year, CIBC said these lenders still have only a very small percentage of the whole market – about 2.2%. However, that share has grown overall by about 25% annually since the great recession of 2008/2009, when it was a miniscule 0.8%. All of this is music to the ears of Paul Therien, vice president of operations at Centum Financial Group.
“Purchasing a home can be a stressful enough time for both real estate professionals and their clients,” says Therien. “Agents want their clients to be successful in their home purchases. So when agents partner with CENTUM, they’re setting themselves and their clients up for that success. “ Therien says CENTUM services available throughout the process are designed to make mortgage transactions smooth. “We’ve been delivering the best rates and services for tens of thousands of satisfied clients for more than 13 years,” he says. Formed in 2002, CENTUM Financial Group is a network of independently owned and operated mortgage broker firms across the country. There are more than 260 franchised mortgage centres and more than 2,700 mortgage professionals in the CENTUM network (www.centum.ca).
THE HIGHLIGHTS OF PARTNERING WITH CENTUM
Online mortgage tools The 15 Minute Mortgage qualifies clients quickly, and generates leads for agents
Options and negotiating power CENTUM works with many lenders and offers the best rates
Mitigating risk CENTUM brokers stay on top of industry changes so clients don’t make bad decisions
“We’re the only mortgage brand in the industry that’s a member of the Canadian Franchise Association,” notes Therien.
Mortgage qualifying in minutes, more quality leads CENTUM’s gold-key service is its 15 Minute Mortgage. It’s the mortgage industry’s most advanced pre-qualification technology and was developed exclusively for CENTUM. The technology is designed to be quick and simple to use. Homebuyers looking for a mortgage complete an easy, eight-step process online and know within minutes whether they qualify for a mortgage. “Agents receive a notification telling them whether their clients have qualified for a mortgage, and their exact contact information,” explains Therien. “This enables agents to have an informed conversation and be better able to provide options for their clients as they start searching for a new home.” Therien adds, “These are high-quality
BEST RATES Three-year fixed:
2.15% vs. 4.35% CENTUM banks Five-year fixed:
2.49% vs. 5.14% CENTUM banks Five-year variable:
2% vs. 3.85% banks
“Our brokers help agents’ clients make the best decisions for smart home ownership” Paul Therien, Vice President of Operations, Centum Financial Group leads. And they’re proven to have a high close ratio when agents manage them effectively. The 15 Minute Mortgage Solution technology is an easy, stress-free solution to help real estate professionals build their businesses, and provide clients with a satisfying, full-service home buying experience.” Agents aren’t charged a fee for the leads, Therien notes. In addition to its 15 Minute Mortgage tool, CENTUM offers other online tools to help homebuyers determine whether they can make home-buying dreams a reality. There’s the Maximum Mortgage calculator, the Mortgage Compare tool and the Prepayment
Analyzer. As well, CENTUM’s Rent or Buy Analyzer helps mortgage-seekers determine which option’s best for them.
Lenders vying for business CENTUM mortgage centres have access to a large network of lenders with the best selection of rates and products, says Therien. This means CENTUM brokers can offer varied solutions for real estate agents’ clients. In very unusual circumstances, where consumers or properties don’t meet conventional lender expectations, lender or broker fees may apply. “We have many lenders offering competitive rates that are eager for our brokers’ business,”
says Therien. “We’re in daily contact with lenders, and follow economic factors that can affect rates and lender interest on certain loans and products.” CENTUM brokers also review clients’ mortgages several times a year. “This ensures it’s still the right product for an agent’s client, and that it’s competitive,” says Therien. There’s an affinity between CENTUM franchise brokers and real estate agents, he says. “Our brokers are also independent trusted advisors working for agents’ clients,” says Therien. “They make objective, impartial recommendations on financing solutions, and provide unbiased advice on their financial options.” In fact, CENTUM’s double-entendre registered trademark slogan is, “looking out for your best interest.” Therien says partnering with a mortgage expert makes the entire homeownership process easy for agents and their clients alike. “Agents shouldn’t have to sort through complex choices and become experts in the mortgage industry,” he says. He adds, “Our brokers help agents’ clients make the best decisions for smart homeownership. They’re always expanding their knowledge and stay current with lender criteria, industry updates and changes. And they provide the most efficient way of accessing the best-priced and -structured mortgage.” REP
Hourly rate identity crisis If you’re a sole operator or business owner who is working every hour available to you but still have your back up against the wall, this excerpt from the book From Deadwood to Diamonds by Stefan Kazakis is for you HAVE YOU thought about the investment you are putting into your business? Are you working for nothing? Or are you satisfied with the return on your personal exertion investment? I find that about 75% of small business owners have a disconnect here. The issue of maximizing the return on each hour you work can be a tricky one, and it can be another thing that is holding you back. I call this the Hourly Rate Identity Crisis. To see whether you’ve hit this crisis, answer the questions below: Q: How much do you charge for your time per hour? Q: How many hours on average do you work a week? Q: How much did you pay yourself last month? Q: Is there a disconnect? Chances are you have worked out what an hour of your time is worth, based on your skills and experience and the industry you are in. This isn’t where the problem usually lies. The issue is, how many hours a week do you actually earn that rate? Time is a finite resource, so it’s crucial that you put it to good use. If you have an identity crisis here, it can spell trouble. What activities should you be doing to give your business the best outcomes for each hour you work? Be clear about who you are, what you do and why. Think about your number-one Big Outcome. The best opportunity for your business is to build a reputation for doing one thing, then add to
it. Ask yourself, what’s my one thing? What am I actually worth an hour? Why? What are the activities that I do daily, weekly and monthly that help me ensure I achieve that rate? The next question is, how many hours a week do you work on average? Now you can calculate the following equation: What you are worth per hour × how many hours you
work on average per week.
Consider the answer carefully Now, here’s the kicker: when was the last time you took home a weekly paycheque close to that amount? Sadly, for some business owners, the answer is never. If this is you, this is a huge wasted opportunity for your business.
If you’re not taking home close to that amount each week, or even some weeks, or even occasionally, what’s the problem? If you’re not skiving off and going to the beach, then clearly you’re spending time at the office doing tasks you shouldn’t be doing. Yes, that’s right, you shouldn’t be doing! I’m not saying those tasks don’t need to be done, just that they don’t need to be done by you. What about if you are achieving this every week? Does that mean everything is peachy? Not at all. If you are reaching this target every week, your hourly rate is too low! Nobody can work at their maximum achievable hourly rate every single hour for a whole week, let alone week after week, so if you think you are doing this, you need to increase your hourly rate. There is clearly room for you to do so, and you are currently missing out on this opportunity.
be done right. Some small business owners see this as a cost they can’t afford, but your maximum hourly rate will be more than the hourly rate you pay for outsourcing, so you come out in front and you can be spending your time more productively.
Focusing on your strengths
five times a week that really only needs your attention twice a week.
Once you start asking some brutal questions and facing up to reality, you will realize that a lot of time you spend in your business is wasted opportunity. Too many small business owners spend time on things that earn a low hourly rate for their skill set. It’s a very common problem. Many entrepreneurs start out alone with little cash, so they get into the habit of doing everything themselves and trying to cut costs while they do so. This can be OK – and is often necessary – in the very early days of getting the business off the ground, but once you are past that stage, having a Lone Ranger complex will be a massive hindrance to the growth of your business.
Delegation is a wonderful thing Have a look at what you are doing each day. For each activity you do that is not at your maximum hourly rate, you have four options.
Terminating: Sometimes you’ ll find that a task can simply be done away with altogether. Plenty of businesses have old habits and systems that they could get rid of, but nobody has stopped to look at them closely. Or maybe there’s something you do
You need a great team around you. Not good, great. And what’s the point of a great team if you don’t delegate to them?
Systematizing/automating: Can you set up processes that reduce or eliminate time spent on a task? For example, can you set up your website so that orders go directly to your suppliers and you don’t have to send products out? Delegating and outsourcing are essential to the growth of your business, but these are two areas people often struggle with. Let’s have a look at some common challenges to outsourcing and delegating.
I don’t know what I don’t know
I don’t trust anyone else to get things done
Sometimes we just become so caught up in the day-to-day craziness that we don’t even stop to consider other options. Make the time to stop, look and listen; find out what the issues are in your business and how you can address them. You can’t solve a problem you don’t know about.
Delegating: You need a great team around you. Not good, great. And what’s the point of a great team if you don’t delegate to them?
Outsourcing: You can outsource just about anything these days without too much expense, and you can trust that the job will
ility to others. If you want something done properly, you have to do it yourself, right? Wrong! The tasks for which you earn your highest hourly rate are best done by you, but let me tell you something: For most other tasks in your business, there are people out there who are better at it than you – and that’s fantastic! Chances are you are not an expert bookkeeper or warehouse manager or marketing manager or customer liaison, but too many small business owners try to wear too many hats and don’t perform any of
This is a common problem for entrepreneurs. They are so used to being experts in their field and doing everything themselves that they are reluctant to hand responsib-
these tasks as well as they could be done. You need to trust your staff and service providers. You don’t need to be afraid of outsourcing to Bangladesh or maybe even Russia.
I’m too busy
We can’t afford it
As a business coach, this response drives me nuts! The reason you think you are too busy today is that you didn’t stop and make changes yesterday. You must make the time to improve things today; that’s the only way you’ll be less busy tomorrow. Got it? Put things in a format people can follow: Because small business owners get used to doing everything themselves, they often develop their own unique methods, and this becomes an impediment to delegation. But this is an easy problem to overcome – you just need to spend some time developing processes that you can easily pass on. It may take a bit of extra effort now, but I guarantee it will save you time in the long run.
Let me dismiss this one for you here and now – if you want to grow your business, you can’t afford not to delegate and outsource. Even if you are outstanding at what you do, if you don’t let go of managing the day-to-day issues in your business, you
are putting a ceiling on how much you can grow, and that ceiling is how many hours you can work in a week. If you think you can’t afford it, can you afford not to? If you are this close to the edge, something has to change. If any of these are holding you back, you have to address them – now. You need clarity
getting bogged down again. Most of my clients have about five activities that they are really good at within their skill set and are their highest hourly rate activities. For most small business owners, these activities will be related to the skills that got them into the business in the first
Your goal is to spend 80% of your time on your highest-rate activities. You won’t get to 100%. As the key decision-maker, you will always spend some time on mundane decisions about where your best work is done and what is getting in the way of growth. It might be you. The sooner you do this, the faster you will build a business that gives you the outcomes you deserve.
How to best spend your time? To work out what you should be doing with your time, just figure out the three to five activities that are your strengths. It can’t be more than this, or you’ll just start
place. If you’re a graphic designer, you didn’t go into business to spend time doing the accounts, chasing new clients or firefighting problems as they arise. There are other people who will be better at these things than you, so let them do it; then you can spend your time doing what you do best. Even if you are on your own, you can still find somebody to help keep you accountable. I’ve been getting coached for 22 years. I still get coached today. I still write a cheque for
somebody to help me improve my business. Once you’ve identified these activities, answer this question: How much of your time each week as a percentage is invested in these specific tasks? The difference between how much time you could be spending on these tasks and how much you are spending on these tasks is your gap to creating a business that at some point will give you freedom of time and freedom of money. Your long-term goal is to spend 80% of your time on your highest-rate activities. No matter how well you do, you won’t get to 100%. As the leader and key decision-maker in your business, you will always be required to spend some time on more mundane decisions and tasks. The most successful business people I know are at 80%, and that’s great. Even if you’re on your own, this is achievable. There are all sorts of excellent outsourcing services that cater to small businesses. Trust yourself to find the right people and guide them well, and then trust them to do the job for you. Give them good systems, wind them up and let them go. The world has become a smaller village, and the days of dodgy overseas outsourcing are gone. Once you start to address these harsh truths about how you’re spending your time and you start walking the walk, you will quickly learn that you shouldn’t be making the coffee, going to the post office and chasing unpaid bills. It’s about having a strategic mindset. How will your next hour best be used to grow your business? You have to hold yourself accountable, and this can be tough because it can mean facing the fact that you haven’t been working as well as you could have been. I see it all the time: People think the solution to a struggling business is to work harder, but it’s not. It’s to work better. REP Stefan Kazakis is a business strategist, soughtafter presenter and speaker and author of the book From Deadwood to Diamonds. He is a futurist and an inspiring communicator with the voice of experience. For more information, visit www.stefankazakis.com or email info@ stefankazakis.com.
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The key to creating shareable social media videos Your social media video doesn’t have to include babies, celebrities or dancing in order to become immensely popular, according to Marcus Seeger. Read on to find out how to lift your social media presence to greater heights
IT IS CLEAR that social media has grown rapidly over the last decade, and more recently, there has been a significant growth in social media video. YouTube is the leading social media video platform, but 2014 saw Facebook step up and compete, along with others such as Vine and Instagram. Social media videos are typically shared across a single platform, but recent statistics from YouTube, revealing that 700 YouTube video links are shared on Twitter every minute, and that 500 years of YouTube videos are watched on Facebook every day, demonstrate the increasingly highly shareable nature of social media video across different platforms. There are many reasons why someone will elect to hit ‘share,’ rather than simply like or comment on the video. They might want to be the first to share and be seen as having their ‘finger on the pulse,’ or perhaps gain kudos by association, or maybe sharing is coming from an altruistic perspective. Almost half of video shares occur in the first three days after the video is posted, so it’s critical to promote newly published videos as much as possible in those allimportant early days. As Seth Godin says, you need to get early adopters actively
campaigning on your behalf to get the ball rolling. When planning your content, it is extremely useful to look at audience profiling and determine what elements are most likely to result in the video being shared. What are your audience’s preferences – do they like funny, cute, funky or inspiring? Much also depends on whom your audience is sharing the video with. Who are their friends, and who is in their network? What interests and passions do they share? Can you somehow tap into the zeitgeist? One element popular videos have in common is that they hit emotions very hard. It’s not enough for a funny video to make you smile – you need to be laughing loudly before you even think about sharing it. Think about the videos you personally share on social media, and ask yourself why you shared them. This will help you gain insight into your own experiences, and that knowledge can help you identify triggers in others. Here are five key strategies for creating popular shareable social media videos.
Educate your audience
The ‘how-to’ genre is often overlooked, but it offers significant opportunities to create popular shareable content. Typical how-to videos are not particularly complex to create and can offer a solid ROI, particularly if you focus on a topic that is in high demand. The popular ‘life hack’ sub-genre is a good example of a successful how-to niche. A proven approach is to share significant insight and provide truly valuable content, as this is more likely to be shared. If you’re concerned about protecting what you know, you must move on from this mindset and share some of your most valuable content if you are looking to create the type of video that will be popular. By sharing your insider knowledge or ‘secret sauce,’ you have a good chance of standing out from the crowd.
Go for entertainment value
Video that entertains will, in most markets, have a higher chance of being
shared. Can you think of a funny angle on your industry, or perhaps a clever parody or spoof that can be turned into a video? While these types of videos will have more of a
Typical how-to videos are not particularly complex to create and can offer a solid ROI, particularly if you focus on a topic that is in high demand hit-or-miss success rate, if they work, then they typically do very well. But be prepared for an epic fail if it all turns pear-shaped – can your business (and your ego) handle this?
Engage with a story
Storytelling is so incredibly powerful because it’s built into our DNA. If you go back hundreds of thousands of years to early mankind, we used to communicate knowledge through storytelling. Today’s digital campfire hasn’t really changed all that much, and videos that have strong narratives are predisposed to being shared with friends, peers and beyond. Is there an element of your business or product that has a strong story behind it that would engage your audience enough to make them ‘tell the world?’ Keep in mind that the key to a good story is to be authentic. Certainly don’t pretend that the story is something that it’s not, because online audiences are very media-savvy and will notice right away if your story is a fake. And remember to make your story entertaining. It is a wonderful opportunity to put some thought into your script. Make it the best that it can be. Your audience will appreciate it, and you will benefit from the results.
Become crystal clear on outcomes
Don’t be daunted when you see videos with millions of views or thousands of shares; instead, be inspired. You must have courage, because until you publish your video, you will not know how it will be received. It’s important to set goals and determine how to measure ROI. You will need to set your own standards to measure the success of your video. For a small business startup, just 100 shares might well offer unmeasurable business opportunities if the right people watch the video. What does success look like for your video?
A video that stands out by going against the grain of audience expectations is often a recipe for success. The 2014 #likeagirl campaign from Always is a good example of developing a theme in a direction that is not immediately predictable. It also picks up on strategies 2, 3 and 4 outlined above. (Watch it at http://youtu.be/XjJQBjWYDTs.) If you want people to share your video, it needs to be unique in some way. The ‘same old, same old’ content quickly gets stale and simply will not be shared. Creating shareable social videos is perhaps more challenging today, as there is simply an avalanche of content, and audiences don’t have the time to consume even a fraction of it. We are experiencing ‘content shock,’ which is why Facebook filters out the majority of possible content and serves only what is most likely to be of interest to us. Your challenge is to create original, authentic, entertaining videos that inspire your audience to hit that magical ‘share’ button. It’s a challenge worth aspiring to, as the benefits of a popular social media video that is highly shareable can be extremely profitable. REP
Marcus Seeger is the number-one Amazon bestselling author of Video Marketing for Profit: 14 Proven Strategies for Accelerated Business Growth. He is also the managing director of video marketing and production agency Video Experts. For more information, visit www.videomarketingforprofit.com.au.
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From left to right, April Brockman, Christine White and Kaylynn Taylor, part of the volunteering team with the 100 Smiles Project in El Salvador
Countries visited while filming
Children sponsored at Remar Orphanage in El Salvador through the 100 Smiles Charity Project
Years old when she purchased her first house and decided on a real estate career
FROM BACHELORETTE TO PHILANTHROPIST Reality TV propelled one real estate agent into a love affair with charity work APRIL BROCKMAN applied to be a contestant on the second season of The Bachelor Canada for the same reasons she got into the real estate industry: to travel and gather new experiences. “My co-workers repeatedly encouraged the idea of applying and, after some time I figured, why not see what happens?,” says the sales representative at Stomp Realty in Toronto. She didn’t just make it onto the show as an eligible bachelorette. April walked away with the
main prize, bachelor Tim Warmels – although the couple has since called off their engagement. “I had no expectations walking into it and I have no regrets,” she says. “I met some very wonderful people who will remain life-long friends and we’ve gone on to charity involvement together. The entire experience was, and continues to be, incredible. Life is a wild ride and you never know where it may take you.”
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