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Google+Local is Google's own business directory. They have built a page for your business for free – so come on Realtors claim it.

At our office we have helped 121 realtors do this to some degree!

If you have an established business of any type—that is, if you're in the phone book—you're probably already in the directory. However, in order to rank highly in searches, it's crucial that you claim your company's Google+Local page.

To do so, go to Google+Local and click "Get started now." Then enter your business phone number to see if your site already exists in the database. If it does, you can edit this data and then ask for a verification call or postcard from Google. If it doesn't exist, you can create the listing yourself. For step-by-step assistance, watch this video about how to add a Google business listing.

And when you're done with Google+Local, you should also claim your business's local page on Bing and Yahoo!

Use Your Local Area Code for Your Primary Phone Number

One important, but not always obvious, way to improve local search rankings is to ensure that the area code of your business phone number for each location matches the area code used for that location's business address. So don't use your out-of-town cellphone number or a toll-free number as your primary business phone on Google+Local or other local search directories. You can add those phone numbers as secondary contact numbers.

List a Consistent Address and Phone Number

Consistency on the Internet is important. Remember that Google and the other local search engines are just software programs that are easily confused and base rankings on trust. The more consistently Google sees your address and phone number information, the more it will tend to trust it and therefore give you a higher ranking.

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The Economist Intelligence Unit recently published its "Where To Be Born in 2013" list, a measure of which countries provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead.

WOND, an infographics and data visualization outfit based outside London, has put together a great repackaging of the data, which also included the list from 1988.

Needless to say, things have changed over the past 25 years.

With their permission, we're republishing it here. (Check them out at wond.co.uk).


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/wond-economist-where-to-be-born-index-2013-1#ixzz2LI8dqo87

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Realtors and even Mortgage Brokers are adopting the iPad/Tablets as a business tool faster than most industries, in both Comercial and residential services.

My personal favorite device for our industry is Windows 8 Tablet new Surface Pro. I’ve used both iPad and seen Windows in action side by side and the windows device works smoother with our programs such as MLXchange.

Here are 12 ideas to help advisors use their iPads/Tablets to improve their business and leverage technology to set them apart from competitors.

1. Develop Polished Prospect Presentations

Apple's Keynote app for the iPad allows advisors to create presentations and pitch decks that will impress prospects. In particular, Keynote lets you create professional looking transitions and animations.

For Window 8 devices you may use Microsoft Power Point or even Adobe.

It is easiest to work in Keynote on a Mac and then import the presentation to your iPad. You can also import existing PowerPoint presentations into your Keynote iPad app and then touch them up.

If Keynote's or Powerpoints existing presentation themes don't work for you, you can easily create your own or purchase them through a site that does.

2. Meet Virtually and Save Time

Many of your clients, particularly your younger clients, are extremely busy and don't necessarily want a face-to-face meeting. A good alternative then is meeting software that allows you to use your Tablet to both "show your face" and also share your screen to review important information.

This allows you to work from outside the office as long as you have a professional looking background such as a home office. Don't try this from the kitchen table.

A simple solution for meeting is Skype, but for a more professional presentation environment consider using Fuze Meeting, WebEx or GoToMeeting.

3. Access Client Information From Anywhere

Many advisors use services such as Dropbox to sync files across all of their computers and devices, including desktops, laptops, mobile phones and their tablet, iphone or laptops. Having this data in the cloud makes it easy to pull down important documents when you need them and then present them on your Tablet.

You can also access your mobile CRM programs (Realtor Juggler, Buffini, GoMax, etc.) to pull up client information prior to meetings or to consult during meetings.

To store files, consider using Dropbox(my favorite) or GoodReader. This iPad app also lets you annotate and mark up documents.

Note: Check with your compliance department to make sure that these apps meet their requirements. Some don’t…..

4. Give Your Clients Access to an Account of some type/ Differentiate Your Service With a Custom App – We have built Service By Referral for our agents – A client account: accessing data not otherwise available online…for free!

Since your clients are already using their Tablets to access all sorts of information, consider giving them access to some type of account information. You can get your own branded iPad app that allows clients to log in and review their account information. This way clients can stay up to date on their home investments, sold property info, foreclosure list and allows you to put your firm brand in front of them. As a realtor you can get this Branded App for free from us! …that’s right – we rock. J

Apps that can help you with this include “How To Make Your First iPhone App” or “How to make Your First Ipad App”.

5. Create Urgency in the Sales Process

Advisors lose more business to stalled sales than they do to their competition. Lately, as prospects are more ambivalent about making big financial decisions, creating urgency in the sales process is even more critical.

You can use apps like goalGetter or Amp to run an initial assessment while you are sitting with prospects so that they can see if they are on track to reach their goals.

This sort of quick projection can wake prospects up to the fact that they might not be on track and give you an opportunity to present how you can help them. These apps are designed to move prospects from a first meeting to an in-depth interview and proposal presentation.

6. Keep Up On Industry News

It’s been estimated that over half of some industry publications’ mobile views are accessed on tablets. Between industry specific apps from publishers such as Canadian Realty Newsletter and general news sources including Bloomberg or Globe and Mail & National Post, the tablet makes a great way to stay up on important trends and information.

You can even save pages in Safari/Explorer for viewing later on when you do not have an Internet connection.

7. Get Client Signatures More Conveniently

Need to gather client signatures but don't want to drive an hour to get them? Then consider using an app like DocuSign Ink or Gopaperless to capture signatures electronically. This is a major convenience for your clients and also a secure way to record their signature.

8. New Ways to Connect With Prospective Clients

Social media sites and social media upload sites including  Hootsuite (my favorite, from Vancouver!) LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great for getting out in front of both current clients and prospective clients. These channels enable advisors to connect with prospects more frequently and allow them to share useful content such as timely links to articles and market commentary.

9.  Build Better, Longer-Lasting Personal Relationships

The interactive and user-friendly nature of the iPad/Or Windows 8 Tablets provides for a seamless flow of information and can enhance an Realtors service offering, thus deepening client relationships.

Realtors  are able to easily accommodate clients – meetings can be held in the comfort of a client’s home, with the advisor having access to all relevant data; documents can be signed via the tablet, providing a quick, paperless, record; and older clients who have limited eyesight are able to zoom in comfortably and understand a presentation or important account information.

Additionally, the tablets offers an easy way for clients to enter information such as birthdates, hobbies, and family/professional connections – all of the data Realtors need to know to build a CRM and form personal relationships.

10. More Cost-Effective, Interactive Presentation Formats

As many advisors use pitch books, the tablet as a presentation tool not only increases mobility but can also reduce administrative costs such as printing and binding that can add up over time. Additionally, the use of tablets increases engagement from the audience. Don’t forget the importance to reducing your enmviromental footprint by using less toner, energy and plastic on your presentations!

The dynamic and interactive nature of these devices allows Realtors to display and highlight information in a way that cannot be done with traditional printed presentations.

11. A Personalized Approach to Client Service

The usable real estate of a tablet is very similar to a printed performance report or Listing Presentation. The dynamic nature of manipulating a presentation in real-time with the swipe of a client’s finger creates a very unique and personable approach to adjusting client needs ad-hoc.

Real-time feedback from manipulating information such as retirement goals, property dreams, real asset evaluation, or forecasting property valuations – we do this in our offices already.

 

12. Increased Mobility

Tablets are a powerful enabler for realtors to become more mobile and capture valuable face-to-face time with clients. Imagine relaxing on a beach and putting a deal together – a tablet can help.

Today Realtors have the ability to meet with clients almost anywhere while bringing the connectivity and feature rich environment of the home office.

 Abbotsford, Mission, Maple Ridge, Langley and Chilliwack - Best of luck this week.

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Great realtors don’t just do real estate, they livein real estate. Like them, we can learn how to practice and live in a way clients will be attracted to. Try thinking these principles both at work and at home.

As you start designing your life in 2013, here are five ways to begin:

1. Be optimistic, collaborative, and generative.
There’s something wonderfully gratifying about creating something new, whether it’s an award-winning transaction/development or a home-cooked meal.

2. Think of life as a prototype.
Conduct experiments, make discoveries, change as needed. Any process can be re-examined and tweaked. Look for opportunities to turn a process into a project with a tangible outcome.

3. Don’t ask “what?” ask “why?”
Instead of accepting a given constraint, ask whether this is the right problem to be solving.

4. Demand divergent options.
Don’t settle for the first good idea that comes to mind or seize on the first promising solution presented to you. Explore divergent options—and then set a deadline so you know when to move on.

5. Once a day, deeply observe the ordinary.
Make it a rule that at least once a day you will stop and take a second look at some ordinary situation that you would normally look at only once (or not at all). Get out in the world and be inspired by people.

Happy real estate!

 

Borrowed and tweeked from linkedin!

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This was shared from photographer Rob Whitworth 3 months ago – Though it has nothing to do directly with real estate, sometimes it’s cool to watch a City come to life by the hands of a Video Artist.

In our offices we have a Professional Green Screen room use for our Realtors to do Youtube Video’s and Websites Video’s…maybe this video can inspire you to do a video of your own…. Or just maybe inspire at the least to visit the beautiful country of Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: super-modern buildings juxtaposed with various cultural enclaves and with a little of Asia’s chaos thrown in. My time lapse explores how the city changes from day to night highlighting how spaces dramatically alter during the course of a few hours.

Link: Kuala Lumpur DAY-NIGHT on Vimeo

Or: http://vimeo.com/m/50922066

 

As summarized by Marc Lourdes on Yahoo! Malaysia:

“5 months. 400 hours of solid work. 4 cameras. 40 shoots. 640 gigabytes of data. 19,997 photographs.”

Cameras / lens used,
Nikon D800
Nikon D7000 x2
Nikon D3200 (Backup body)
Nikon 16-35 f/4G AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor
NIkon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VR II
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S
Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye

Special thanks to:

Special thanks to Maybank for collaborating with Eco Knights to inspire sustainable living in Malaysia.
The shots of KL city in the video were taken from Menara Maybank.

EcoKinghts – ecoknights.org.my

Music: Clams Casino – I’m God
facebook.com/clammyclams

Copyright © All Images Rob Whitworth 2012 – robwhitworth.co.uk

 

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Some people seem to have it all together, and there’s no reason it can’t be you. Experts from a variety of fields — from a master realtors to a Buddhist monk — reveal the life skills that can’t be taught in school.

How To Delegate
“Make certain the people around you have good values, good judgment, and are loyal. Allow them to impress you but be sure they’re comfortable coming to you for feedback. Most important, hire people smarter than you!”
– Ivanka Trump, executive VP, Trump Organization; principal of Ivanka Trump fashion and accessories lines

How To Comfort Someone
“We’re a block from a hospital, so in my 31 years here I’ve met many people who’ve just received bad news. If you see someone in distress, don’t hesitate to talk to them. Once you’ve heard their story, sometimes all you have to say is ‘I’ll be thinking of you.’ Your words are more powerful than you think.”
– Jimmy Vecere, bartender at 12th Street Irish Pub, Philadelphia

How To Spot A Good Opportunity
“A lot of people ask me how I knew ‘Mad Men’ or ‘Breaking Bad’ would make great TV. I knew because when I read those scripts, I felt something. I didn’t do any market testing or focus groups — I just asked myself, ‘Would I want to watch this?’ When you’re weighing an opportunity, make the question that simple: ‘Do I really want this, or am I doing it for the money or the prestige or because I think I should?’ It can’t just be about those things. It has to make you feel good, too. And by the way, if opportunities aren’t knocking, you can make your own. When I was looking for work several years ago, I took everyone I knew in New York, where I’d just moved, to dinner or drinks or tea. I explained that I was open to anything. Six months later, one of those dinner dates called about a possible job at AMC. If I hadn’t put myself out there, that never would have happened.”
– Christina Wayne former senior VP at AMC, current president of Cineflix Studios, and an executive producer of the new BBC America series “Copper

How To Make Conversation At Parties
“First, get a drink. If it’s a cocktail, it’ll loosen you up, but even if it’s just club soda, it’s good to have a prop to hold if you’re feeling nervous. Next, approach someone — a person, not a group — and ask how he or she knows the host. After that, be authentic and interested and ask questions, and others will float over and join in. A good host will have considered the mix of people, so when you arrive, ask, ‘Who should I meet?’ Most important: Even if you won’t know anyone and you’re feeling intimidated, you must go. Do not stay home. So many people are afraid that no one will talk to them and they’ll leave feeling awful — but has that ever happened to you? Me, neither. Usually I end up laughing and eating and drinking and making friends, and that’s what it’s all about.”
– Marjorie Gubelmann CEO of Vie Luxe and society hostess extraordinaire

How To End A Friendship
“Be clear that you need distance, but avoid getting into specifics. You might say, ‘I’ve realized I need to take a break from our friendship. I have so much going on in my life right now, and I need to take more time for myself.’ Now isn’t the time to try to change your friend or teach her a lesson. (If you believed you could see things the same way, you wouldn’t be breaking up in the first place.) Above all, be sure you want to break up. It’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to return to the same level of intimacy.”
– Irene S. Levine, PHD, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend

How To Stay In Touch
“I don’t often get to see or even talk to my closest friends from various stages of life (including the 16 who were my bridesmaids). But I stay connected with them — and the thousands of others in my BlackBerry. The key is managing your friending: The more organized and accessible your friends’ information, the easier it is to stay in touch. So you have to set calendar reminders for birthdays (I do it for anniversaries, too), and keep your address book up-to-date. And when someone pops into your mind, let them know, even if it’s just with a ‘Thinking of you’ text. Don’t let the moment pass; treat it as a reminder to reach out.”
– Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, cofounder of the five-million-member Gilt Groupe; keeper of 16,500 BlackBerry contacts

How To Not Sweat The Small Stuff
“The thing that’s grand about spending your time thinking about the universe is that it makes you feel insignificant. I don’t mean that in a bad way. If you understand that we’ve now discovered entire solar systems that contain planets similar to Earth — and that those are just the ones we know about, since most of the stars we’ve looked at are within about 300 light-years of Earth and the distance to the center of our galaxy is nearly 100 times that — then you realize that the laundry you’ve left undone and the dumb thing you said yesterday are about as significant as slime mold.”
– Alyssa Goodman, professor of astronomy, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

How To Make New Friends — At Any Age
“I tell my patients, ‘Food, alcohol, and drugs are no substitute for a relationship.’ If you’re lonely, do something about it. If you love the arts, take a course at your local community college. And if you can’t find a place to get involved, create one. Besides seeing patients several times a week, I’m thinking about starting a group where immigrants and refugees can talk about their feelings. It’s important to be part of a community!”
– Hedda Bolgar, 103-year-old practicing psychoanalyst and cofounder of the Hedda Bolgar Psychotherapy Clinic in Los Angeles

How To Forgive Yourself
“You have to find a way forward. You can say, ‘I’m going to work to improve myself so I never hurt another person that way.’ And then you need to atone, to make the lesson you learned mean something. Do this, and you will be able to look in the mirror again.”
– Jennifer Thompson, rape victim whose testimony sent the wrong man to prison for ten years

How To Tell A Secret

  • “Find someone who revealed something similar and survived, and talk to them about how they did it. No matter what your secret is, someone out there shares it.

 

  • Make sure the first person you tell will accept you and your secret — you don’t want to take a risk right away.

 

  • Be short and sweet. All I had to say to get my point across was ‘Dad, I’m gay.’”

– Randy Phillips, airman and formerly anonymous video blogger who came out to his dad after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Simple Ways To Look Polished
“Start with a great haircut, neat nails, and well-shaped eyebrows (if eyes are the windows to the soul, eyebrows are the frames). Invest in a tailor — and in a few no-fail items that will help you look pulled together: a crisp white shirt, a pencil skirt, a great-fitting shift dress (just add shoes and go!), a tissue-weight scarf, and the perfect jacket. Whether it’s a black blazer with a structured shoulder and nipped-in waist or a little leather jacket that looks great over anything, the right jacket projects confidence. And isn’t that what polished really means?”
Adam Glassman, O creative director

How To Let Go Of Anger
“Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath. Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. Then look at, or think of, the person triggering this emotion: With mindfulness, you can see that she is unhappy, that she is suffering. You can see her wrong perceptions. You can see that she is not beautiful when she says things that are unkind. You can also see that you don’t want to be like her. You’ll feel motivated by a desire to say or do something nice — to help the other person suffer less. This means compassionate energy has been born in your heart. And when compassion appears, anger is deleted.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk and author of Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames

How To Say Goodbye To A Loved One
“First and most important: Meet the dying person where she is. She may be in denial, and denial is a fabulous crutch. You don’t pull a crutch out from under somebody. Try to validate the feelings behind the denial. So imagine your aunt says, ‘Let’s reserve a house at the lake this summer. I loved the weeks we used to spend there.’ You don’t rush out to make a reservation; you reminisce with her about those good times. She’s living in memories much kinder than her reality.

“But let’s say she tells you, ‘You know, I’m not going to live much longer.’ The door’s open. Be honest, direct. Tell her you hate that this is happening. Tell her it mattered that she was here. Tell her how she enriched your life, that she won’t be forgotten. This is no time to pussyfoot. For God’s sake, don’t tell her she looks great, or that she’ll pull through. Pretending creates a chasm of loneliness for the dying. Can you imagine if you were in labor, and no one in the room would acknowledge that you were giving birth?

“Toward the end, dying people tend to withdraw. You know how when you drop a pebble in a pond, the rings ripple out? For a dying person, the rings go in. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in politics or sports or the next room. Eventually all that matters is ‘I’m hot. I’m cold. I love you. Do you love me?’ At that point, all that’s required is your presence. Be quiet. Put your hands on hers. That’s it.”
– Maggie Callanan, hospice nurse since 1981 and coauthor of the celebrated book Final Gifts

How To Know When To Quit
“After my first book was published in 2000, I spent two and a half years writing a novel. But it never felt right. I didn’t even name it — it was the poor, misshapen beast child I kept hidden under my bed. Then I showed it to my agent. ‘None of the things you do well are in evidence here,’ she said. I was devastated, then relieved: I had failed, and now I could stop. If you don’t feel a shiver of excitement or fear, if there’s no emotional risk involved, let it go. You can’t discount how hard it will be to leave your bad marriage or stop writing your bad book, but if you’re unhappy, nothing can get better as long as the status quo stays the status quo.”
– Elissa Schappell, author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls

How To Listen Better
“Start by doing everything you can to fire up the ‘mirror neurons’ in your brain, which mimic what others are experiencing. You can subtly imitate the other person’s posture, even match the pace and depth of their breathing. Your words can also mirror what the other person is telling you. For example, you might say, ‘What I’m hearing is that it distresses you when your husband wears his tiara in public’ or ‘Wow, I can tell just from your voice that you’re under serious pressure.’ Don’t add advice or commentary — just reflect. If you simply must add something, ask the speaker to disconfirm what you say. In other words, ask to be told where you’re mistaken — and mean it. ‘I’m thinking it’s not so much that you’re embarrassed as that you want a tiara of your own — am I wrong about that?’ Do not ask to be told that you’re right; it turns a listening ear into a bid for authority, and no one will want to talk to you then.”
– Martha Beck, O’s resident life coach and author of Finding Your Way in a Wild New World

How To Get Past Emotional Pain
“Everything we experience — no matter how unpleasant — comes into our lives to teach us something. To move on from something difficult, look for the lesson. Start by asking yourself: ‘If this is the way things are supposed to be, what can I learn from it?’ Think about how you may have contributed to the painful experience, or if there was anything you could have done to prevent it. Often we don’t realize the lesson because we’d rather avoid reliving the pain. But once you allow yourself to reflect on the sadness, anger, guilt, or shame you’ve been hiding, those feelings will begin to subside. Yes, someone hurt you. Once you’ve forgiven them and let go, you can move forward and begin creating the life you desire.”
– Iyanla Vanzant, host of OWN’s “Iyanla: Fix My Life”

How To Buy Great Wine

  • “See if an expensive wine’s producer also makes a value bottle — it’s likely to be crafted with the same care.

 

  • Serve wine with food from its region. For pasta, look to an Italian bottle. For paella, go Spanish.

 

  • If all else fails, try Malbec from Argentina, Merlot from France, Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy, and Chardonnay from Australia. Pinot Noir pairs with almost anything. And you can’t go wrong with bubbly.”

– Sheri Sauter Morano, Institute of Masters of Wine

How To Laugh At Life
“The tap water hits a spoon in the sink and sprays you. You pull a window shade and it just keeps going and going. You can’t roll up a garden hose in any dignified way. You have to become a connoisseur of these events — ‘Wow, look at that, that’s great.’ You have to hope that a higher power is saying, ‘That was a good one!’ And that you’re sharing the divine pleasure it’s taking in your misfortune.”
– Ian Frazier, author of The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days

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Sometimes, business relationships tend to be too straightforward and formal. Those things have their place, but we need to include a more human touch when it comes to marketing if all of us are gearing towards a more online approach now.

At the beginning of this year, one of our Realtors with 15 years experience selling began using the Buffini Coaching system which required him to drop off personal $5 dollar gifts with a personalized card once a quarter to his  top 100 clients. He has seen his business triple year over year. SO simple! Recently he dropped off Pizza Cutters bought form the dollar store with a card saying ”Any way you slice it I’m never too busy for your real estate referrals and business. Thanks for your continued support in the Fraser Valley.”…..cute and simple eh. And everyone loves pizza slicers(or is that just me?), they are so much fun to use with my Dr Oetker Low-Calorie Pizza’s!….I should never Blog this close to lunch…..grumble says my stomach

After all, it’s much easier for clients to ignore and forget you if they don’t see you face to face on a regular basis – you’re just another online contractor to them. Gifts even left at the front door says volumes about how much you care.

How do you stand out from the others? By applying your own personal touch to client interaction. Here’s how you can start…

Remember special occasions. I usually greet clients on their birthdays or during our ‘anniversaries’ – the date when we signed our first contract together. This may come off as a bit touchy-feely, but it’ll differentiate you from others. Especially if your greetings are handwritten notes rather than short emails.

 Be available, but not too available. Clients appreciate timely responses to their concerns, especially from agents who have cell phones, email addresses and websites. After all, they’re paying you without looking over your shoulder as you work. If you’re not available soon enough for them, even just to say that you’ll discuss their problem at a later date, red flags start to go up

Offer them discounts. Regular clients appreciate discounts, although they don’t demand for one. Giving a regular client a discount is like giving them a ‘loyalty prize’ for working with you over the years.

Over deliver. When you make promises to a client, you need to over deliver, sometimes this requires under promising. Ie) I will get you that information tomorrow morning, (knowing full well you can get it to them this afternoon!)

Clients will be expecting that you keep your promises, but they won’t be expecting something extra. Delivering more than you promised makes them feel that they got the best deal for their money.

Say “Thank you”. Thank your client for meeting with you, signing the contract with you, paying you on time – everything! The more important occasions should come in the form of a handwritten card or a small gift.

The cost of the “thank you” will likely vary depending on the cost vs. commission of the transaction, but even the simplest card makes a difference.

Doing these five things may not be a necessary part of your work, but it makes the interaction between agents and their clients more personal. Perhaps, by doing these things, your clients will realize that you’re not just some robotic contractor from the other side of the country and this will be important in the future years of our great industry!

What special things do you do for your clients? Do they have any advantages for you or your business?

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Information from Canadian 1st Realty blog directly borrowed from Matthew Boesler artcile| Oct. 31, 2012, 11:13 AM | 76,717 | 32

This news made the rounds in our family this weekend. Partially because we all are “linkedin” and got the same news story and partially because to some degree my whole family work in or around Real Estate in the Fraser Valley/Vancouver.

Warren Buffet enters the Real Estate market by investing and buying huge real estate firms in the USA. This made me feel very good, how about you? It sends me a clear message that clients will return to the market in the next year or two.

Perhaps the most bullish indicator for U.S. housing is Warren Buffett.

The legendary investor has been buying up real-estate brokerages around the country as he bets on a housing turnaround. Now, he is partnering with Brookfield Asset Management, a Canadian real-estate investor, to more than double the size of his brokerage business.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Noah Buhayar has the details:

Berkshire’s HomeServices of America Inc. unit will be the majority owner of the venture to manage a U.S. residential real-estate affiliate network, according to a statement on the new company’s website. The firms plan to offer a new franchise brand, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, starting next year. Brookfield’s network has operated under the Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate brands.

Berkshire’s managers have been positioning the firm to benefit as the U.S. home market recovers from its worst slump in seven decades. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company has bought a brickmaker, won the loan portfolio of bankrupt mortgage lender Residential Capital LLC at auction and built its HomeServices unit by agreeing to acquire real-estate brokerages in states including Oregon and Connecticut.

The press release says the brokerages that will make up the new company did a combined $72 billion in sales in 2011. That’s more than twice the $32 billion in sales that Berkshire did in 2011 without the new brokerages.

More from the release:

The combined networks of more than 53,000 Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate agents generated in excess of $72 billion in residential real estate sales volume in 2011, and operate across more than 1,700 U.S. locations.

“Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is a new franchise brand built upon the financial strength and leadership of Brookfield and HomeServices,” said Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. “I am confident that these partners will deliver value to the residential real estate industry, and I am pleased to have Berkshire Hathaway be a part of the new brand.”

“The strength of the Berkshire Hathaway name, coupled with the operational excellence of HomeServices and the franchising experience of Brookfield, positions Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices® as a leading real estate franchise in the U.S., building on our traditions of exceptional client service and innovation. Brookfield is excited to be a partner in creating a home for the best real estate brokers and agents in the country,” said Bruce Flatt, Brookfield Asset Management CEO.

Buffett has been public about his bullish housing call for a while as he’s built his residential real-estate brokerage business, but this is a big addition.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/warren-buffett-brookfield-asset-managment-housing-2012-10#ixzz2C84x7GlT

 

Dave Browne
Sales Manager
C 604 897 2741
O 604 466 5077
F 877 826 2621
www.Canadian1st.ca

DaveB@c1st.ca

We love providing the flexibility to exceed expectations. The Open Platform Real Estate Concept for Innovators and Adaptors.

 

200-11830 223rd St.

Maple Ridge BC V2X 5Y1

 

1 – 32540 Logan Ave
Mission BC V2V 6G3

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The doom and gloom that has been hanging over the Fraser Valley/Vancouver housing market is brightening a little according to my friends at First National Financial, a business partner of ours at Canadian 1st on our mortgage side of things.

 

Make no mistake, the market is slowing and prices are softening – which is exactly what the federal government wants – but the dark and foreboding headlines have received a little sunshine.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s latest quarterly report forecasts increasing housing starts, increasing re-sales and increasing prices over the next year. Certainly the pace of those increases is slowing, but it’s a long way from a bursting bubble.

Further, a couple of well known Canadian economists say there’s no need to fear a U.S.-style meltdown.

Among their key points: – While the debt-to-income ratio is at a record high (163%) the rate of increase is slowing; Canadians aren’t loading up on debt the way Americans did before the crash. As well, debt relative to assets is below peak levels in Canada. – Canadian mortgages are higher quality; borrowers have better credit scores and they have more equity in their homes. – Canadian home buyers are insulating themselves against inevitable interest rate hikes by taking out fixed rate mortgages, the opposite of what happened in the U.S.

 

If you are thinking about buying in Maple Ridge anytime soon our market report show it is a strong buyers market and the combo of low rates and soft prices will give you a nice return in 5 to 10 years compared to most times in real estate history.

Canadian 1st Realty – Canada’s Real Estate Company.

Dave Browne
Sales Manager
C 604 897 2741
O 604 466 5077
F 877 826 2621
www.MapleRidgeForSale.ca

DaveB@c1st.ca

We love providing the flexibility to exceed expectations. The Open Platform Real Estate Concept for Innovators and Adaptors.

 

200-11830 223rd St.

Maple Ridge BC V2X 5Y1

 

1 – 32540 Logan Ave
Mission BC V2V 6G3

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