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Apr
30
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How many times do you receive a prompt while viewing Facebook that your "friend" wants you to help them find online treasures or jewels for some online game? I have come to realize that helping my Facebook friends answer quirky questionnaires about the meaning of my name, or looking at photos of what someone had for dinner last night just isn't my cup of tea. Social media is a double-edged sword. It can serve as a vast resource in real estate – for immediate access to new listings, concise and condensed information about real estate trends, and yet it can also create an online "persona" for real estate professionals. I caution many new agents to be cautious of what they post online for this very reason, as photos of them appearing intoxicated or barely dressed does not create a positive first impression for potential clients. It would seem that Twitter, Facebook and other social media is here to stay, and will continue to evolve. Who would have thought only a few short years ago that the IPhone would replace your pager, cell phone, measuring tape, laptop and iPod as well as allow you access to literally millions of apps? Social media has become part of our culture, and yet when it comes to real estate, despite what online bloggers would have you believe, almost EVERY SINGLE home purchase I represent is based upon a client actually viewing a house. It is much like the gorgeous chiffon dress you see on EBay that you think is going to fit you perfectly, only to order it and realize that the waist isn't quite where your own midsection lies. Our team uses the services of a professional photographer for most of our listing photos so that we can showcase a property as well as the special features it offers. As well, we offer narrated virtual tours that are able to be translated into several different languages, and drone tours so that buyers can gain a perspective of the property and its proximity to amenities such as the ocean, etc. However, when a home buyer walks into a home, there is an ambiance about it that the camera can never capture. I describe this feeling as being immediate and an emotional reaction. Have you ever walked into a home and felt that "this was the one" even though it might not have fit all of your criteria or been a different style that you were originally wanting? This is where social media's limits are met.
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Apr
22
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One of my female colleagues shared her funniest real estate stories and it was too good not to share. She had gone to a client's home to meet with him and have him sign some documents relating to the sale of his home. The man was nervous and quite anxious for the sale to complete. He took over his glasses and rubbed his eyes as he prepared to sign his life away. Seconds later, his EYEBALL dropped out of his socket, hit the kitchen counter and BOUNCED along the floor! With one quick movement, the man grabbed his "ball" and ran towards the bathroom and slammed the door. A few minutes passed, and out he calmly walked, signed the documents and remarked that now his real estate agent knew everything about him – including the fact that he had a glass eye!
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Apr
16
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It seems as though people are truly fascinated by real estate. I believe that TV channels such as HGTV and others have created an "image" or stereotype of a successful realtor, and showcase creative marketing techniques guaranteed to sell your palatial home – whether it renting a Rolls-Royce to park outside a home, to outlandishly themed parties that might include a tiger. In fact, earlier this week, Toronto's "The Star" newspaper reported that several high-end homes (that are not foreclosures) are being auctioned off, rather than simply being advertised on MLS. Interestingly, it was not until the end of the article that it briefly mentioned that one property was soon to have its second auction as the original deal fell through and failed to complete. Another auction that took place for 2 properties owned by the same seller, also failed to close either sale after successful auction bids as the seller was unhappy with the terms. Another high-end Toronto property sold at auction and then the buyer had second thoughts and refused to complete. Later, this home did sell on MLS, but for LESS than the cost to build it. The Star reported that the biggest success for these auction sales in Toronto so far has been for a 9,000 sf home in Mississauga which sold successfully (and actually completed) for $4 million - $1.25 million LESS than the buyer had paid for it in 2010. It would seem that the jury is still out on the viability of an auction-style marketing plan, if the collapse rate is so much higher than a sale negotiated between 2 professional and high-trained real estate agents. After selling many $1 million+ properties in the Nanaimo area over the past few years, I cannot recall any subject-free deals that I put together that failed to complete.
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