November 27, 2017
Climbing in the Bugaboos and Using Big Data
“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...
November 20, 2017
My ethics don’t fluctuate around lying
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,...
May 1, 2017
Look out for your interests, how to protect your profit.
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....
April 24, 2017
Watch Out, Industry Lies. How to Protect Yourself
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...
April 18, 2017
Predictions Revisited and a March Housing Update
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...
April 10, 2017
Did you know? Some insider info on "Neighbourhood Specialist" claims
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...
March 6, 2017
Here's some insight on the main 'marketing plan' for many realtors. It's the skinny on how many realtors actually see you.
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...
February 27, 2017
Insider Secrets About Bait and Switch Techniques in Real Estate
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...
February 13, 2017
The Importance of Finding a Selling Realtor You Trust.
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...
February 6, 2017
Climbing, Real Estate and Emotions
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...
February 3, 2017
Why Won't My Home Sell?... How to Sell a Home
Categories: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....
October 21, 2016
Another Warning About Working With a Realtor Trying to Double End a Sale
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...
September 12, 2016
Realtor With Integrity Has Sex in Listing...
I hope that everyone had a good month. The last little bit I have been working on creating a real estate investment strategy based around the proposed LRT Green line, Chinese investment in Calgary and short term vacation property for free scenarios in Canmore.
What's new in the news for real estate
In the last month I have come across a couple things in the real estate world that have surprised me; It takes a lot these days to do this to me but this one did.
Talk about closing the deal! Realtor is busted for having sex with a man in a house she'd just sold after cops catch them in a 'passionate rendezvous'
From the outside this seems funny to me, seriously who does that? But long-term...
May 27, 2016
Unethical Calgary Realtor Again..Why You Should Work With a Buying Realtor
Another example of how working with a buyers agent protects your interests
When Matt was first introduced to me I was immediately told that he did not want to work with a buying agent and that he was looking to work with selling agents only. He felt that he could get a better deal working with listing agents exclusively. Having experienced this sentiment before I sent him my pre-crafted email that tells three stories of why having a buyers agent representing you is in your best interest. I get it. I understand why people want to save money on a purchase but the reality is most agents won't drop their commission and when you work with selling agent to buy a home you forfeit the opportunity to have someone watching...
May 16, 2016
The Importance of a Home Inspection
I'm an idiot for thinking people should get an inspection...Why wouldn't you get an inspection?
I recently got into an argument with someone about the importance of a property inspection when buying a home. I am a firm believer in having one completed when purchasing a home and the other person did not agree at all. Their point was that if an inspector is not held liable for their inspection then what is their worth? The disagreement finished in a Donald-Trump-esq name calling display where I was called an idiot, a fool and numerous other four letter words for recommending that buyers get a property inspection. To me, getting an inspection is important and I don't believe in 'telling' , so let me show you the importance...
May 6, 2016
Is There a Real Estate Mafia In Calgary? | Honesty of Buying Agents
Agents not showing homes over reduced commissions
Bringing light to another issue that I have seen in the real estate industry, the reluctance of realtors to show a property due to commissions offered by the sellers. I have witnessed, seen and know of realtors who will simply not show a listing because of the commissions being offered by the sellers. The practice is starting to increase in regularity as we see more discount brokerages enter the market that offer less commission to the agent representing the buyers.
The Los Angeles Times talks discounted commissions
I recently came across an LA Times article about the practice of not showing homes over reduced commissions and thought about a few recent examples that...
May 2, 2016
Trango Almost Died and a Couple Things Worth Supporting.
Trango almost died...
If you are a dog owner or lover then this post will likely resonate with you in some way.
For those that don't know Trango is our Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. One of my favourite areas to go trail running with Trango is Paskapoo Slopes. If you live on the Westside of Calgary and enjoy the outdoors you have probably visited the trails there at least once.
If you haven't been, image a network of forested, single track trails interlacing the hillside to the east of Canada Olympic Park (COP) still within city limits. COP uses the trails in the summer for many of their mountain biking camps and routinely the trails are full of hikers, trail runners and people trying to quickly...
April 18, 2016
Advisory Panel Recommends an End to 'Double Ending' and I Agree
How can you represent both people and double end a deal?
A partial report was issued recently by an advisory group tasked with reviewing Vancouver's real estate market. The report is recent, having only been issued in last week (mid April 2016). The report points towards the need for bigger fines for unethical realtors and placing an end to 'double ending' where a realtor represents both sides of one transaction.
The reasons behind putting an end to 'double ending' have to do with the conflicts that can arise when a realtor is representing both a buyer and a seller. The report has to do with recent complaints based around misleading and predatory sales tactics by realtors in Vancouver. The head of the...
March 14, 2016
How Would You Know? - How working with the wrong realtor might cost you thousands.
Shady things can happen in real estate if you are not working with the right realtor. Listen to this story and tell me what you think.
The Back Story
I am currently working with a couple that is new to Calgary; they have been living here for around a year and have decide to relocate from Vancouver to Calgary for employment; not the typical situation these days. They are a young couple with two young children and are fortunate to be selling their home in the exploding Vancouver real estate market. Meanwhile here in Calgary we have been looking at homes in some of the nicer areas in the city. Altadore and Hillhurst seem to be the best suited neighbourhoods for them so far.
Some would consider...
March 10, 2016
Why Are You Typing in All Caps? What to Look Out For in a Realtor
Next to poor listing photos on MLS, an agent typing in all capital letters has to be one of the next biggest indicators that the agent is not paying attention to detail. Do they know that all CAPS is similar to yelling at someone? Can they not hit shift and the letter that starts the sentence like 95% of the population when using a keyboard?
The one listing that recently renewed my attention to this was a stunning remodel in Glenbrook. The home fit the search requirements for a buyer I am working with perfectly. Everything in the home had been updated, the kitchen had been remodelled, the flooring is updated, all the base and case throughout the home has been changed and the bathroom looks stunning. Not only...
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