Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Real Estate Sales Professionals Credit Report

Mortgage agents and brokers in Ontario heavily rely on the Equifax Credit Report to assess the credit worthiness and serviceability of an applicant. Really, if you think about this, a real estate sales professional could put together, based on the tools that they have in front of them, a veritable credit report that considers the client and the property being purchased and sold.

Let’s look at your average real estate transaction and its components – this is after the client has been landed - you are going to want to know the same things across the board about your client and property – negative attributes may prevent you from working with the client, positive ones let you know that you have a good, clean deal.

The property:
  • What is the sales history on the property – both transfer amounts but also transferees?
  • What is the legal description of the property?
  • What are the comparable sales in the area?
  • What things in the area are potential benefits or concerns?
  • If it is a condo – is the financial standing of the condo corporation good?

The customer:
  • Is your client currently the legal owner of a property?
  •  Does your client have enough equity in a property being sold to finance the closing costs?
  • Does your client have enough equity in a property to finance the down payment of a subsequent purchase
  • Does your client have multiple mortgages or liens against the property – this could be a sign that your client has financial problems?

These questions and more can be answered by performing a property search in a tool like GeoWarehouse which will enable you to validate who owns a property, its history, value, financial standing and more.

Creating your own form of credit check for your clients helps you identify potential challenges early on in the process of engaging a new client. You are the first in a series of professionals who will be called upon to work on the transaction you have originated – mortgage agents and brokers, lenders, appraisers, property inspectors, stagers, real estate lawyers, title insurance companies, property insurance companies – even the municipality.

Doing your part to vet the client not only saves you time and expense but also saves all the other professionals that will become a part of the transaction time too! This is not to mention that the due diligence measures outlined above also go a long way to cut down fraud in the mortgage industry.

GeoWarehouse can help you conduct this credit check - visit today.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Previously Painful: Thinks You Need that Used to Be a PIB to Get

Over the course of your role representing a buyer or seller, due diligence is going to require some extra digging. There are certain things in real estate that when needed could be a real pain to get.

Some examples of this are:

·         Condo Status Certificates – which can take up to 10 days to get and involve a written request, issuance of payment and then pick-up
·         Surveys – would involve a surveyor to come out to the property
·         Instrument Images when things come up on title – liens or other registrations come up on title and the registrant’s contact information is needed in order to get it resolved

Some real estate sales professionals don’t even realize that by being a member of a real estate board your board may have set-up access to GeoWarehouse. A GeoWarehouse subscription provides access to property search and evaluation features – but also access to premium searches, images and reports that can be needed from time to time and are a pain in the butt to get. If available, through the GeoWarehouse Store you can purchase a Condo Status Certificate, survey, Instrument Image or even MPAC Property Assessment report online.

Just realizing that you are a GeoWarehouse member? Here are some vital guides that walk you through how to request various searches, images, documents and reports in the GeoWarehouse Store.

·         Introduction to the GeoWarehouse Store
·         How to request a survey, plan or MPAC Assessment
·         How to request a condo certificate

Not a GeoWarehouse customer? Visit for more information about how to access this work changing tool!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Pinterest Marketing – Real Estate Edition

Social media is ever evolving and new sites are popping up all over the place all the time. Sometimes the question comes up – is it worth wasting time developing presences on the newbie sites? Time = $$, right? It’s often a best rule of thumb when these new sites emerge to wait to see how they perform – how quickly they gain members, what types of members and that there members are where you targeting.

Pinterest has proven itself to be a formidable social media site that should not be ignored. With a membership base exceeding 72 million users and a large demographic, Pinterest is used by many to view images and infographic to get ideas.

Pinterest is a great place to share useful information with your clients about selling a property, staging, landscaping, etc… while also creating boards to promote listings.

Here is ViMO’s guide – Pinterest for Real Estate.

Don’t leave any opportunities behind - use them to your advantage.

For more, visit

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Real Estates Sales Professionals Must Know Neighbourhood Demographics

What do the words neighbourhood demographics mean to you? Pretty much everything you want to know about who lives in a particular neighbourhood and the composition of their families. How is this useful? A number of different way. For example, neighbourhood demographics can help you tell investors where there is high rental potential in a particular neighbourhood or perhaps highlight an area that a family starting out may not want to live.

So what demographics are really relevant and how can they be leveraged? When looking at neighbourhood demographics there are 4 key areas that you may want to hone in on.

1.    Population – this deals with family composition. Naturally people want to live in neighbourhoods where other families similar to theirs live. You can’t tell by looking at the outside of a home how many people in the neighbourhood are married, single, have children or don’t, age distribution, etc… Perhaps seniors that are downsizing would like to live in a quiet community that has a higher population of older residents. On the marketing side, looking at trends in the population can enable you to adjust your messaging to hone in on niche markets in the area you serve.

2.    Households – this deals with the types of properties in the area and how they are being used. You want to be able to know percentages of owned vs rented properties for both investors and families who may not want to live in neighbourhoods that have a high % of renters. Average sizes and ages of homes in the area are also very relevant demographics that you want to know and be able to discuss with your clients. You can also use this information to identify shifts in neighbourhoods and what it could potentially mean to you later if you cater to a particular market but the face of the community you are working in is changing.

3.    Socio Economic – Back on the theme that people want to live in communities that have other people like them – many buyers would probably like to know things like the education levels in a community. The type of worker – white collar vs blue collar, dominant professions etc… Socio economics also play a huge roll in marketing. The needs of a family can change depending on income levels, likes and education. Targeted marketing works better. Again, knowing the people in the community you are marketing in enables you to come up with marketing initiatives that connect with prospects.

4.    Cultural – Cultural demographics are important not just for your clients but also to you in terms of your marketing efforts. Cultural demographics highlight ethnicities, religions and dominant languages of people who live in a community. From the perspective of your marketing – identifying neighbourhoods that have common cultural demographics can enable you to look at marketing in ethnic magazines or even in other languages.

Knowing the demographics of the neighbourhoods you serve, for obvious reasons, makes you more knowledgeable and able to offer a higher level of service – and it also makes you more agile because you can diversify your marketing and even messaging according to the communities you are marketing in.

If you would like information about a tool that helps you access all of the above neighbourhood demographics information and more please visit

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

ViMO Introduces CRM Feature – Market Insights Report

Being that ViMO is our little brother we thought it prudent to dedicate this week’s blog content to a fantastic new feature that the ViMO team at Teranet rolled out this past month.

As you likely already know, ViMO is a mobile app for real estate that real estate sales professionals use to market listings, collaborate and manage relationships with prospects, clients and partners, administer documents, research properties – and oh, did we mention… market to customers??

Your marketing is your bread and butter and we know it, which is why the developers continually add and develop new ViMO features.

Introducing the Market Intelligence Report!!

Using the Market Intelligence Report you can create customized reports about industry news and neighbourhood sales activities that you can market to:

·         Prospects – generate leads
·         Clients – nurture leads
·         Partners/Colleagues/Referral Sources – generate new relationships!!

Only GeoWarehouse customers can register for ViMO – Visit to learn more about the Market Insights Report or about the full capabilities offered by the full ViMO mobile app for real estate.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Locked and Loaded: You A.K.A Real Estate Fraud Buster

Here at Teranet, we are constantly blogging about real estate and mortgage fraud because it is the biggest plague that exists in the real estate industry today. Fraud really does cost us all with more regulation, the burden to do more due diligence, and mortgage lenders being more stringent both when approving and funding mortgages for financing.

Mortgage fraud impacts every professional across the mortgage industry from real estate sales professionals, to mortgage professionals, to lenders, insurers and more. As an industry, we must collectively work together to combat real estate fraud.

You, the real estate sales professional, are the first line of defence against mortgage fraud! Often you are the deal originator because the entire sequence of transactions follows you engaging a client to buy or sell real estate.

Along the way, you’ve probably encountered real estate fraud either where you stopped it or suspected it but were not certain enough to take action.

Being a real estate fraud buster is easy and comes down to collecting and independently verifying some of your client’s information to ensure that there is nothing amiss.

After completing a preliminary interview with your client and gathering their basic information – there are 3 main things you will want to do to flag potential fraud:

·         What are the parties to the transaction and what is their relationship to one another?
·         Who is the legal homeowner of the property?
·         How is the client financing their purchase? Where is the money coming from?
·         What is the sales history of the property – previous owners and timing of transactions?

This is as simple as performing a property search using a tool that can validate all of the above in a single instance.

If something fishy comes up – it doesn’t necessarily mean your deal is dead in its tracks. It may just mean you need to ask more questions to either determine that a serious problem exists or that there is an innocent explanation for something that appears offside at an initial glance. For example – a property may have passed hands through related parties a couple of times in a short period of time, but upon further investigation the original owner was a grandparent so the property passed to an aunt and then the grandchild. On the other hand, a property changing hands a number of times in a short period of time between related parties, especially a lawyer, could signify a fraud scheme.

Your client will appreciate you for it because digging deeper shows them that you are a real estate sales professional who follows a high code of ethics and professional standards which is a big plus!

Use GeoWarehouse to conduct this due diligence and stop real estate fraud and all the resulting consequences. Visit today.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Canadian Homeowners in Record Debt and What this Means to You

Many Canadian economists have speculated that the Canadian economy is at risk of being in a recession. This would appear to be very scary news considering that it has been widely reported that Canadians are carrying record levels of debt.

The question many have had is will this end up having a negative impact on the real estate market?

Look at urban centres like Toronto where it was recently reported that the average sale price of a single detached home has exceeded 1 million dollars. Will these markets stay hot?

Some speculate that urban centres may cool off while the “burbs” will heat up. One thing is for sure, when the economy falters and Canadians are struggling to maintain their housing payments with their other bills like payments to debt, some will look at downsizing. This may include moving a little bit further away to be able to buy more for less.

When Canadian families are struggling financially there may be less lower income families coming into the housing market, but folks moving to put cash flow back into their households can more than offset this.

In a strained economic environment you have to be even more diligent when pre-qualifying new clients. Why?

1.    Pre market-crash of 2008 - mortgage financing rules were more lax so there are a high volume of people walking around who took out mortgages at 90-95% the value of their homes, amortized over 35 years and so have less equity.

2.    People in debt generally turn to debt consolidation as a first measure before making the difficult decision to sell their home. This can result in 1 very large mortgage refinance or perhaps 2 or 3 additional mortgages behind the first mortgage.

3.    When people have financial problems they can fall behind making monthly payments to things like property taxes, condo fees, income taxes and other bills leading to property liens – the homeowner may not even know is one has been registered.

What do the above 3 scenarios have in common? They can all result in there not being enough equity to pay you!

You can mitigate this occurrence by doing a basic preliminary background check on new listings:

1.       Validate that your client is the legal homeowner
2.       Look at the sales history of the property
3.       Estimate the value by reviewing comparable sales
4.       Review financial encumbrances like mortgages
5.       Check for liens

An unstable or underperforming economy doesn’t necessarily mean a negative impact to the real estate market but what it does mean is that you have to be agile to adapt in conditions that may emerge as a result.

If you would like to be able to access a tool that enables you to perform the due diligence discussed in this article and more please visit