Monday, 27 January 2014

Spot the Common Denominator

We thought it would be fun to share a fun little game - kind of “four pics, one word.” Can you spot the common denominator? Here is a hint: the answer is two words – the first word is 10 characters and the second word is 9 characters. Post your answers and in 4 weeks we will post the correct answer. Good luck!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Real Estate Sales Professionals – Industry Brand vs. Individual Brand

There are thousands of real estate sales professionals in Ontario and it is no secret that the real estate industry is very competitive. Standing out and differentiating oneself is really important to compete. 

Although there are standards and practices that must be adhered to, and these do lend credibility to your name, are they enough to enhance your brand image? To ensure success, one of the most effective things that you can do is to develop and establish a brand that is you. 

Many organizations who serve the real estate community have projected the image that they believe the consumers should expect when conversing with real estate sales professionals.  

Many organizations are affected by stereotyping based on an individual’s misuse of the system or negative experience - the real estate sector is not exempt. Stereotyping can have a positive impact, but in most circumstances will have a negative impact on the organization. This is where differentiation becomes crucial, especially in respect to developing your own brand. While your procedure and objective is similar to the majority of other real estate sales professionals, it does not mean you are alike. 

The real estate sales professional brand – what does it need to look like? Again, this is a hard concept to grasp – but a few common things come to mind: professionalism, competency, level of knowledge, and sincerity.  

Your brand, needs to be developed according to your own standards, standards that you set for yourself and adhere to on a consistent basis. It should encompass all of your goals and markers for success, and needs to branch out from the typical way of doing things.  

Things to consider:

-        Where you sell and what you sell. This is an obvious one, but it is synonymous with brand image.  You can’t expect to reel in the major clients with a reputation that will not entice or attract.

-        Technology plays a major role in most industries nowadays, and real estate is no exception. Being behind the tech times can be extremely detrimental, especially since the younger generations are becoming the clients of today and will be the clients of tomorrow.

-        Another strong point of differential is ongoing and consistent training to maintain a solid grasp on emerging trends and popular advances in the real estate world. Perhaps more than just the annual conference or networking is required here.

-        Accessibility also plays a key factor. This goes hand-in-hand with embracing tech advances. Your clients need to be able to get in touch with you, and this doesn’t just mean over the phone.

What about an industry standard? Is it possible to set one? Is it feasible to create a set list of expectations and raise the bar in a way that is acceptable to all members? While it is simple to project that real estate sale professionals should be expected to perform at a certain level, everyone has a different perception of this level – and with very few measures in place to monitor this behaviour it is almost impossible to ensure that everyone is holding to those expectations. So does that mean it is a useless endeavour? We will put that to you. 

In the end, just remember: as a real estate sales professional, your success depends upon your ability to present your brand. Everything that you do, every action, and every communication, needs to be consistent and reflect well upon your brand. In an industry with standards and an almost innate general perception, the best thing that you can do for yourself is enhance your own reputation and image.  

For more about brand image and to find out about the tools to enhance it, please visit  

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Importance of Parcel Registers – A $7,000.00 Learning Experience

The Parcel Register search is relied upon for real estate transactions to learn important information about a property, such as ownership and encumbrances. The real estate lawyer will request a parcel register prior to closing because it currently validates:
  • Who owns the property
  • The type of ownership
  • When the property was purchased
  • Value of the transfer
  • Registered amount of the mortgage
  • Any undischarged mortgages registered against the property
  • Any liens against the property - property tax, condo liens, income tax, etc.  

The Parcel Register is one of the first property related searches that real estate sales professionals utilise when conversing with their clients.  This will reduce your expenditure in both time and money, and allow for these resources to be allocated elsewhere. For instance, the profit of the sale may be hindered when the necessary information is not disclosed by the client. With the Parcel Register search you will be able to obtain the important information. This will also allow you to avoid the potential risks, which can be detrimental to your profit when a deal has closed.   

A lien or undisclosed mortgage can result in a deal not closing, or the deal will close but there may not be enough equity to cover commission. All things considered, it is a nominal expense to use a Parcel Register to ensure that your deal closes safely.

In a LinkedIn Group that we sponsor, a participant highlighted a very common occurrence that we can learn from: 

A real estate sales professional had a client who had to perform renovations on a property before they could list it - the cost of the renovations was about $7,000. The real estate sales professional extended a loan to the client to pay for the renovations. When the property was sold, it came to light that there were 3 mortgages registered against the property. Once the final balances were sent to the lawyer, there was no equity left to pay back the loan to the real estate sales professional. Fortunately, there was enough equity to pay the commission, which was just slightly less than $7,000.  

This clearly illustrates the importance of obtaining a Parcel Register because if the information was available, the loss could have been avoided.  

Among several other tools provided by GeoWarehouse, we encourage you to utilise the Parcel Register search for your benefit.  

For more information about GeoWarehouse or a Parcel Register please visit or feel free to watch this video about how to request a Parcel Register. 

Monday, 6 January 2014

Mobile Apps for Real Estate - How Are You Leveraging Mobile Technology?

In today’s technological world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to walk down the street without noticing someone on a smartphone. It seems as though everyone has some form of mobile technology, and most do not hesitate to pull out that device to accomplish a variety of tasks – most of which have nothing to do with making a phone call. Some real estate sales professionals have a negative perception of the impact of mobile technology, arguing that things such as instant messaging and social media take away from face-to-face interaction and engagement. However, we think it is the opposite. One thing is certain, communication is critical – so can you just ignore tech advances? We argue no – with the majority of the population embracing mobile technology, ignoring its importance is out of the question.  

In Canada, professionals, no matter the industry, are relying more and more on the advances made (and thus the opportunities created) by mobile technology. According to a recent news report from CBC News, smartphone usage has soared over the past year. The report stated that 56% of Canadian adults use a smartphone – this is up from 33% at the beginning of 2012, and this is estimated to continue to rise over the new few months. This 56% represents over 13 million people. And according to digital marketing company Mediative, 73% of these individuals access the mobile web on a daily basis.  

How are professionals using mobile technology to do things more quickly? A number of different applications, not to mention email or text messaging, have made our professional lives a great deal easier.  Smartphone applications that make doing business more efficient are becoming progressively more popular. According to CTV News, the average smartphone user has 30 different apps installed on their phone.  And many of these are business related, everything from apps to digitally sign documents (DocuSign), to apps that help you track expenses (Expensify), to networking apps (LinkedIn). 

What about real estate sales professionals specifically? Many of the apps popular for business are great in the world of mobile real estate; and many can be used to make your work faster – giving you access to everything you need, on the go. We are now starting to see companies that serve the real estate industry developing real estate specific mobile apps. 

Mobile apps are remodeling the future. Doing business in this tech age essentially means being tapped into the world of mobile web, so those of you attempting to hold out may need to rethink that strategy. Embracing mobile technology for use in your everyday life will actually work to make things far easier in the long-run.  

For more about mobile web and how you can leverage mobile technology to close more deals, faster, please contact GeoWarehouse by calling 1-866-237-5937 or visit