Many moons ago while attending Dalhousie University, I was in a fraternity, Phi Kappa Pi. Well technically I am still am but the days of partying 6 days a week and resting on Tuesday nights are long gone.
Back then, we used to have this annual event where we’d go down to a local beach just outside of Halifax and have more than a ‘few’ beers throughout the day.
I can’t remember what year it was, maybe my second year at Dal or possibly my third. I’m not sure honestly, but I do remember the event. We had finished gallivanting for the day and had returned to one of the ‘older’ brother’s houses at Queensland Beach.
It's an excellent sand beach located on the South Shore that is 300m long and about 40...
Every so often, maybe once every month or two I receive an email or a call from someone who’s decided to start in real estate as a Realtor. I recently had someone reach out starting out in the industry from Mississauga, Ontario.
Usually, the person sending the email follows me online because of my photography, they are a climber or outdoorsy person too, and they also know that I’m a Realtor.
They reach out looking for advice on how to start out in the industry, and they bring up the point that whatever I am doing doesn't feel very salesy, so they want to know what I do to attract business or clients.
They see that I get to travel lots and have time to do more than real estate which is not common in the industry. Talk to most Realtors,...
Yesterday while Andrea and I were making supper the doorbell rang, as per usual Trango lost his mind barking uncontrollably and pretending he was the guard dog of the house.
After corralling him into the bathroom near the front door, Andrea answered it to find someone going door-to-door to rally support for the local UCP candidate in our area.
For those that don’t know Alberta is having a provincial election at the end of the month and UCP stands for United Conservative Party. Think Moderate Republicans if you are reading from the States.
The short and quick interaction we had with the UCP promoter made me think back to the Rick Pitino book I’m currently reading, Success is a Choice where he discusses the art of communication.
Several years ago, while in Ottawa Andrea and I were visiting our friend Wendy and were walking back to her home after grabbing some food at a restaurant on Bank St (it’s a busy street in Ottawa, 4 lanes, inner city with lots of traffic). While we were walking up the street, I could see that a man was very close to being hit by a car.
I said to Andrea something along the lines of “that guy is about to be hit by that car”, and sure enough within a few seconds, he was. The traffic pattern was odd at the time. There are four lanes of traffic on the street, and three of the lanes had stopped moving. The man was still chatting with his friends on one side of the road while simultaneously walking through the stopped traffic without...
In the past couple of years or so I’ve been waking up early to get a head start on the day.
I find that by mid-day I’m often distracted or wanting to go to the gym without having accomplished much so I decided to start waking up a couple of hours earlier to work on projects or assets that will help me more with my long term goals.
I noticed that in the past 6 months or so I been really wasting those first few hours of the morning though... I’ve been waking up early but not actually completing anything of value.
It seems like I was waking up, grabbing a coffee (or several…), checking my email or Facebook or whatever (insert some form of distraction here) but not actually accomplishing anything.
Numerous days in a row I...
Often watching a ‘How to video’ things appear to be easy. Typically, when I watch a ‘How to’ video, in the end, I don’t remember how to do whatever was being shown when I actually need to do it.
But, when I end up in a situation where I have to complete something first hand, I usually don’t forget how to do it again in the future.
Last fall while shooting a video of ice climbing, I ran into one problem after another.
I had bought a new Rode Mic to record audio for the shoot, and I didn’t know how to operate it.
It was cold and made operating the camera gear more challenging.
I had a fancy monopod with a video tripod head, but it was really windy, and I couldn’t hold the monopod still.
The wind was...
It seems like I am always getting asked how to get more Instagram (IG) followers. People reach out and say that they have a goal, they want to have 5000 or 10,000 or 20,000 followers.
They think that people with followers ‘look cool’ or they read somewhere on a travel blog about how people with an audience get free trips or swag, and they want that too.
They reach out to me having seen my various feeds on IG and think that getting to around 80,000 combined followers must have happened overnight...
I always help everyone who asks because people did that for me. I usually spend the next 5 minutes giving them some advice that will help them with growing their audience.
I tell them to find a niche.
I tell them to post consistently.
The Real Data
Often, there is a bigger story behind data that is presented to us as factual numbers. Sometimes it is intentionally misleading, but usually, it's just that the provider cannot show the data in a fashion that makes more sense. Sometimes the data is displayed incorrectly, or the data point is so old that it can’t be used.
I recently have looked into data posted by both the Calgary Real Estate Board and Switzerland’s Institute of Snow Research. The data from both interested me for different reasons but brought me to the same conclusion.
Calgary Real Estate Listings
I’ve seen several posts recently by journalists about recycled listings in both Vancouver and Toronto. A recycled listing is when a Realtor lists a property,...
“Falling”, I yelled to Jas as we were approaching the base of the climb. I was taking cautious steps on the thinly snow-covered glacier ice, then, my next step I was sliding towards the open bergschrund about 30ft below me. I quickly reacted, instinctively falling on my ice axe to stop my fall before the rope drew tight and pulled Jas into the crevasse along with me. We were approaching the North Face of Pigeon Spire in the Bugaboos, and at the time we were traversing along the base of the granite wall with one piece of protection between the two of us. Admittedly my trail runners and aluminium crampons were probably out of their league.
Jas traversing the base of the North Face of Pigeon Spire shortly before...
Turn on the TV these days, and you are likely to see something about Donald Trump, it’s hard to avoid. Whether or not you are for him or against him, no matter what station you’re watching, chances are you’ll see him or someone talking about him.
It’s interesting to me to see how Trump has been able to manipulate the American people into voting for him and how he has made us accustom to lying. There isn’t a day that goes by that Trump doesn’t lie, in fact, since he has been in office he has lied on average 2.9 times a day. I highly suspect that’s a number that is reflective of the population too; I wouldn’t be surprised if most people told a white lie or exaggeration three times a day either,...
Let's take a look at a tactic in the industry known as "buying a listing". If you're like me and you are passionate about real estate then you probably spend some time watching Home and Garden TV (HGTV). The popularity of the channel is growing and there is a lot of quality content to consume on their channel. Typically, I watch the shows that have to do with buying or selling a house. Ask anyone, DIY is not my strong suit at all, that's Andrea's responsibility in our home. I spend my time watching the shows that are realtor related, ones where someone is trying to list their home and decide if they want to buy another one. You know the shows, Property Brothers, Love It or List It, Million Dollar Listing (although that's on Bravo), etc....
Recently Erica Johnson, a CBC Investigative Reporter for their Marketplace segment has been investigating and looking into the claims of the Big 5 Banks in Canada. She has written three articles in the last month that all clearly indicate that the banks only look out for themselves.
7 March she published a piece on banks pressuring their employees to meet sales targets and the employees doing anything to meet these goals.
29 March she put out an article describing the terms Advisor vs Adviser and how the banks are misleading us with deceptive job titles.
17 April she interviews two bank employees that no longer work at the banks because of the situation the bank placed them in and the way that the bank wanted...
A Look at my Predictions from 2016 and a March/April Market Update
The month of March saw the Calgary and surrounding area begin to move back into balanced territory but only in specific product types. For the most part the news is good and the trend is up unless you are trying to sell an apartment style condo.
The number of sales in March city wide was down 10% over long term trends but is up compared to the last couple of years at this time. I think two things are coming together to support this.
1) A decrease in listings. Over the last couple of years fear and loss of jobs have been the strongest drivers in the listings I have been seeing. Either someone was let go from their work and they were selling their...
Last week I saw a report on CBC about a common trick used by the big banks which misleads customers by using the term "Financial Advisor", spelled with an "o" vs the industry regulated term "Financial Adviser". There's a difference between a financial adviser and a financial advisor. "Advisers" are regulated and have a legal responsibility to act in YOUR best interest. "Advisors" are not the same, they are employees of the bank who are paid to look out for the bank but lure you in with a similar name.
Not only are the titles misleading with "Advisers" looking out for your interests and "Advisors" looking out for the banks, there is also a large gap in the knowledge and education between the two titles too. "Advisers" are trained...
One thing I want to always recommend to you if you own a website, pay the extra $15 for privacy protection at GoDaddy or your domain provider to protect your registration details. The privacy protection will hide your name, phone number and address from individuals and more importantly companies trying to figure out who owns a website.
To put this into context I currently own 27 Domain names with 17 at Go Daddy. When I started out in real estate I didn't realize what the privacy protection actually did until I started to receive call after call after call from people in Toronto who wanted to handle my internet marketing, or calls from real estate lead generating websites and then there were companies that wanted to be...
Here's an Insider Secret About Bait-and-Switch Techniques in Real Estate
Getting caught up in a bait-and-switch scam can happen to anyone. It doesn't take much and it happens often, many times you do not even know it is taking place. We get baited in to a retailer because of their advertised low prices on a TV and then we find out when we arrive at the location that either the price is higher or the product as advertised is "no longer in stock". It is frustrating and unfortunately happens to us frequently. Whether or not you are buying electronics at a box store, booking an airline ticket, renting a car or checking into a hotel room. How many times have you been tricked to visit an airline's website because...
Realtors Who Give Up Sensitive Information
The Movie Snowden
In the movie Snowden, a disillusioned National Security Analyst uncovers sensitive information about the United States electronic monitoring program during the course of his work. He was a trusted member of the National Security Agency and was given the highest top secret clearances. During his time at the Agency, he becomes jaded and disenchanted with the government and he decides to leak sensitive information to the press about the United States government spying on its citizens.
Whether you feel he did the right thing or not, let's look at this from the side of the National Security Agency; they trusted him with some of the most sensitive data...
Climbing, real estate and emotions
Ice climbing and mountaineering are not for the faint of heart. It takes hard work and mental fortitude to enjoy. Everytime we go into the mountains success is not guaranteed, if it was then it might not be as interesting. Often, we invest a ton of energy, effort, money and emotion to get to the top of a climb.
When I work with clients in real estate it can sometimes be the same thing. Typically, buyers invest a ton of energy, effort, money and emotion into finding their perfect home. One thing I think that buyers should be careful about is emotions, sometimes unchecked emotions in climbing can lead to injury or death; just like unchecked emotions in real estate can lead...
calgary, yyc, home, sale, sell, photos, listing, yychomesales, advice, honest, best, competent
Over the last couple of weeks I have ran into a two situations where people have had their property listed for sale and it has been sitting on the market for quite a while. They have been referred to me from friends, so that they can get an outside opinion on why their home is not selling. Yes, we are in one of the slowest markets Calgary has seen but it is still not always "the market's fault" a home has not sold.
I always give people the background on what is currently happening in the real estate market but that isn't always the reason a home has not sold. One of the people asking me for help had 60+ showings on his property and it still hadn't sold. Often, it is not only the market that is causing a home to not sell....
One thing that I think the Real Estate Council of BC is doing well is putting an end to double ending real estate transactions. As with most industries there are things that could be improved but in order to look out and protect the consumer I feel they are at the pointy end of the sword, leading the way on this topic.
I don't feel this is necessarily a long term solution though, as a good realtor has a good network and could possibly miss out on legitimate transactions. I do feel something must be done to deter realtors from acting disingenuously, maybe higher fines or higher penalties? Action needs to be taken so that we can avoid situations similar to the one I just experienced.
Recently, I went to take a first...
calgary, yyc, home, sale, sell, photos, listing, yychomesales, advice, honest, best, competent
home, value, sell, sale, when, worth, calgary, sellers
How is the Cougar Ridge Real Estate Market?
How is the Market?
real, estate, misleading, marketing, advisor, adviser
Strathcona, Calgary, Market