Monday, 24 February 2014

Mobile Apps for Real Estate Sales Professionals and How They Complement Each Other

Fortunately, for real estate sales professionals the companies who serve you are listening. An increasing number of companies that provide services to real estate sales professionals in Ontario are pursuing mobile solutions to provide you with more capabilities when you are on the go and the Real Estate Information Solutions team at Teranet is no exception.

In the spirit of enabling real estate sales professionals to be able to offer better service to their clients, thus making the value of using a real estate sales professional glaringly clear, we have elected to focus on technology that is geared to the real estate sales professional as opposed to the consumer.

In 2014, the Real Estate Information Solutions team at Teranet will be releasing a new mobile app, ViMO (Virtual Mobile Office), which will provide real estate sales professionals in Ontario with the tools to do much more. Not only will you be able to access vital information about properties and sales, you will also be able to retrieve key demographic information about the people, schools, and other vital information about an area that makes all the difference when someone is trying to determine if a particular area is right for them.

The government’s initiative to allow for electronic signing of real estate documents will mean that, by using ViMO, you will be able to go paperless and sign and finalize your deals with your clients right on the spot using your tablet.  You will be able to connect and collaborate with other real estate sales professionals and more. This app has been developed solely with the real estate sales professional in mind, not the consumer. The point is to give you the ability to shine when dealing with your customers as opposed to your customers thinking that they can manage on their own.

What is very promising though is that more real estate apps mean more business for everyone as the easier it is for consumers to buy real estate and for real estate sales professionals to service them, the more opportunities are created for all. Mobile apps are the way of the future, so having one that has been developed with your needs in mind is key.

For more information about ViMO, or any of the services offered by the Real Estate Information Solutions team at Teranet, please contact us at 1-866-237-5937 or visit us online at

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Choosing the Right Real Estate Technology

With different real estate technology options available to real estate sales professionals in Ontario, it may leave some wondering: what should I be looking for in a real estate technology and real estate technology provider? 

When choosing a real estate technology and provider there are many different things that you should consider: 

·        Where is the data coming from? You want to ensure that the data is coming from the most accurate and trustworthy source. If the source is providing data that is out of date, inaccurate or incomplete it can cause you to make costly decisions on behalf of your client. 
·        Who is the company providing the service? It will be important to choose a company that has a proven and established track record providing real estate technology and a long standing relationship with the supplier(s) of the data.
·        Does the technology offer maximum benefit? Does the technology do all that it needs to? Does the technology provide you with:
o   Information about a property’s owner, such as their name, mortgage information, etc.?
o   Information about a property, such as a legal description, PIN, sales history information?
o   Information about a particular neighbourhood, such as property owner and sales history information about other properties in a neighbourhood or a neighbourhood itself?
o   Demographic information, such as who lives in the area, schools and more?
o   Aerial imagery of an area to quickly identify positive attributes and also areas of concern?
o   Does the technology enable you to purchase things online like property surveys, condo certificates, etc.?
o   Is there a mobile version of the application? 
·        Is the real estate technology provider moving in a progressive direction?
Recent changes to the law mean that real estate sales professionals in Ontario will soon be able to sign some legal documents electronically. Your real estate technology provider should be looking at mobile solutions for you to be able to take advantage of this new capability.
Choosing a real estate sales technology and provider is an important decision because ultimately it will directly impact how agile, efficient and competitive you are. The more that you leverage technology, the faster you will be able to do your job and the more work you will be able to do on the go.  

For more information about how to choose the best real estate technology or for information about GeoWarehouse please visit or call 1-866-237-5937.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Is The Ability to Validate Homeownership Information Critical for Real Estate Sales Professionals?

When representing a buyer or seller in a real estate sales transaction, there are many things that should be considered. One of the most important is who the owner(s) of the property is. The question is, is the ability for a real estate sales professional to validate homeownership critical? We think so! 
Why? Independently verifying the homeownership information enables you to ensure that you are dealing with the homeowner at the time the identification is reviewed because you can match the identification to your own information.  

It is very common for a client to omit information knowingly or unknowingly under a range of common circumstances:
·        Marital separation
·        The property being in a parent’s name
·        Other people being on title
If the client’s identification doesn’t match the homeownership information or there are other people on title you cannot sell the property. If other people are on title, they will also have to agree to list and sell the property.  

FINTRAC forms are required on any real estate transaction. At the time that FINTRAC forms are generated, the real estate sales professional has to verify the client’s identity. Accessing real estate technology that enables you to match your client’s identification against homeownership information enables you to thoroughly validate your client’s identity. 

Verifying homeownership information allows for:

·        Smoother closings - Once the lawyer has been instructed, issues with the name of the homeowner shouldn’t come up because you will have verified the homeowner’s identification against the homeownership information.
·        More closed deals because you will be able to focus on deals that don’t have issues.
·        Significant time savings - because you will identify problem deals early on.
When representing a client who is looking to buy a property, it is also very helpful be able to validate the homeownership information of the home they are interested in purchasing.   

Doing your due diligence offers so many benefits to both you and your clients.  

So, how can you validate homeownership information? Real estate technology such as GeoWarehouse offers the ability to validate homeownership information. If you want to go a step further you can even request a Parcel Register in the GeoWarehouse Store that will tell you the most up-to-date information: the homeowner’s names, type of ownership, percentage of ownership, any mortgages registered against the home, registration dates and amounts, liens on the property and more… 

For more information about verifying homeownership information please visit or call 1-866-237-5937.

Monday, 3 February 2014

RE/MAX Broker/Owner Event

The ViMO team will be at the RE/MAX Broker/Owner event this coming Wednesday, February 5th and Thursday February 6th. The event is at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel & Conference Centre, 6750 Mississauga Rd Mississauga, ON L5N 2L3. The event will be in the Graydon Ballroom. We look forward to seeing you there!

Toronto Condo Real Estate – A Sticky Situation?

There has been a great deal of speculation in the news over the last few months regarding condo flipping and the condo market in Toronto.  With last year’s stricter CMHC lending guidelines, this summer’s mortgage interest rate increase, as well as the CRA audit targeting aimed at those investing through condo flipping, this hot-button topic has people talking – and for good reason.  

According to Canadian Business, new condo sales are dropping to record lows, at a rate of over 30% from January to August of this year. Add to this the fact that there are tens of thousands of condo properties currently being built in the Toronto area, and although a vast majority of them are already spoken for, most owners have yet to make the substantial final payment due upon completion (a daunting concept considering the stricter lending behaviours of banks and the rising mortgage interest rates).This has made some market analysts less than enthusiastic about the future.  

Some are quick to voice support for the popular theory that this surge is not an issue because the Baby Boom generation will soon be downsizing, and therefore buying these condos. However, this speculation ignores the fact that the construction of new households may outweigh the growth of the population. This could potentially lead to a collapse in home sales and a subsequent loss of jobs.  
What about condo flipping specifically? What impact is this having, or expected to have, on the real estate market? A recent Huffington Post article had this to say: "If the upcoming supply of units is not absorbed by demand as they are completed over the next 12 to 30 months, the supply-demand discrepancy would become more apparent, increasing the risk of an abrupt correction in prices and residential construction activity." 

There is a chance for a decrease in sales in the future; this news is coupled with the recent crackdown on condo flippers (or suspected flippers) by the Canada Revenue Agency. According to The Toronto Star, CRA auditors are focusing primarily on individuals who have purchased condos before they were built, with the intention of selling the condos once building is completed. The article continues stating that any profits made through such a transaction must be reported as income, and if not a principal residence, HST and GST rebates must be recalled. And this is becoming problematic not only for those flippers unaware of tax legislation, but also those forced to sell before or at completion due to extenuating circumstances.  

So, real estate sales professionals, what course of action should be taken to deal with this deluge of attention that buying and selling of condos is receiving? Should you be counselling clients to buy or stay away? Are newly built or resale condos the way to go? Do you think a pre-construction condo is still a good investment? Should you even be voicing these opinions at all? With all the buzz in the news it is prudent to be prepared to answer questions posed by clients regarding condo sales, condo flipping, and the tax legislation regarding these transactions. Clients are far more likely than in the past to have some knowledge, so being unable to answer any inquiries may not bode well for business. 

For more about the current condo market and how to protect clients please contact GeoWarehouse by calling 1-866-237-5937.