Buying and Selling During a Pandemic

“Should I buy this home considering the virus and stock market issues”?

It’s March 13, 2020 and negotiating deals recently saw this question come across my desk more than once.

Speak to your Lawyer, Accountant and Realtor® about personal advice based on your situation. Consider the following thoughts.

  1. Real Estate is truly local. The overriding local economic, social, taxation, migration and demographic factors are more important than other forces. Your local market might currently offer some killer deals?
  2. Money placed into “real property” is a longer-term investment.
  3. Rents will not change due to a pandemic and stock market crash per se. Base rents, to real investors, set the lowest price model for valuations. If you can rent a property cheaper than owning it (plus a savings plan) real estate in your area probably is overpriced. Ask your Realtor® about CAP rates and Net Operating Incomes in your area.
  4. Economic activity after the pandemic usually increases dramatically. Hurricanes destroy roads and infrastructure whereas pandemics panic and scare in modern times. For example, SARS hit in 2002 to 2004. In my area, real estate prices doubled from 2003 to 2005 and tripled by 2007. To be clear, SARS itself had no correlation to real estate prices increases in my area. Connecting the two is not statistically valid. What was valid were items mentioned in point 1; local factors.
  5. People with cash will be much richer in 6 months than you. As financial turmoil spreads, people with solid cash positions are wringing their hands. So, looking at your purchases without emotion makes a lot of sense right now.
  6. Real Estate prices and selection are based on supply and demand; Supply of property and money (financing). In my area, for example, supply has been limited for many months. Prices have fluctuated up and down. Rents are high (due to a shortage in supply). Government taxation has nearly halted building new units. And, last week my partner and I were involved in two “multiple offer” negotiations. The demand is high. Supply is limited in my area. What’s going on in yours?
  7. Financing. Recently, in Canada, the feds dropped mortgage rates. This helps all buyers access more money. In a market where supply is limited, this will raise prices over time.
  8. Prices and Values. Prices and values are relative. Mortgage rates and terms compared to rents are the real key. Think “cashflow”. People who wait to purchase are simply paying other people mortgages. I find over time, a massive drop in housing prices is not likely and those who wait may get priced out. Unless your parents own a mansion, you need someplace to live.
  9. FEAR. Many people will retract and defer based on fear. This will allow those who are analyzing the numbers and trends to have more open and free rein to deal in their best interest. But, it won’t last.
  10. You can’t time the bounce back. The stock market will bounce back. Buyers and Sellers will bounce back and Governments respond much faster with economic stimulus. Waiting to time your entry probably won’t work. In the past, bounce bask could take months and years. Today, I suspect this could happen within weeks and months instead. And, when people realize the bounce back has happened, it’s too late.
  11. Old Fashioned Advice. Everyone can be an expert in hindsight. A real expert crunches the numbers and takes action without emotion based on the data available at the time. If the numbers work and you are in it for the long term (+ 5 years) then it’s a great time to purchase real estate.

Real estate purchases are big. If you are a first time home buyer or investor, you will have to learn different thought processes in order to move forward. A low price on a bad property is far worse than a high price on a good one. What makes a good purchase? Running the numbers, looking at local factors and thinking long term are strategies of the winners. Remember, everyone needs shelter.

(Dean Desrosiers 2020. The thoughts and opinion expressed are those of Dean Desrosiers and not Century21 or any other entity he may be affiliated with)

I Am Your Coach

If you help clients buy and sell real estate, you are a coach.

The problem. Likely you have never formally learned “how” to coach. Many aspects of real estate are “learning by doing”. And, those who can “do”, survive. “Doing” and “surviving” is not coaching. And, real estate is changing faster than ever. Trial by fire will not keep you at the top anymore.

Coaching is not training. I have taught hundreds of seminars. My first career was in biotech. My job was to teach nurses, doctors, dentists and surgeons how to use our products. It was technical. It was training. We had teams all over the world trained to conduct the surgery and place the implants. The only problem was there were no patients. Everyone had technical expertise, but none of these fine professionals could motivate patients to say “yes” to the procedure. Over time, the best surgical teams were those lead by doctors who could convince patients to say “yes” to treatment. Many of these teams never received “formal” training. Like the top producing agent, they had so many clients(patients), they figured out how to use the product because they had the need. Sound familiar?

Great players are not automatically great coaches. I am a good real estate agent. I have sold hundreds of homes and negotiated millions of dollars on behalf of clients. None of this qualifies me to be an “effective” real estate coach. I am certified my NORE and have completed coaches training. The NORE model (Nature Of Real Estate) is derived from CTI (Coaches Training Institute) and customized for the unique demands of real estate by Suze Cumming. I have experienced great success using this model as a student and coach. If you have tried coaching and didn’t feel the magic, perhaps it’s worth trying a new method and new coach?

Avoid paint by numbers. A friend started real estate in 2008 at the same time as me. He started at one of the best training brokerages in town. I chose a brokerage filled with old farts (and knowledge). I heard his managing broker speaking one day at a seminar. He had hundreds of “training” ideas. I still use some of his ideas to this day. My friend bombed out after 28 months, faithfully paid his office bill and struggled to do a few deals. My path was the opposite. I was able to selectively hone my tools to fit my values and skills. My coach helped me do this.

The Difference? There are thousands of great trainers out there who think they are coaches. Thousands of agent have training. Few become top producers. Find a good coach and you will understand the difference quickly.

What’s next?

Are you reaching your financial goals?

Are you waking each day focused and energized?

Do you feel like you are just a few steps away from a break thru?

Do you feel stalled or less focused?

Are you ready to kick some ass and hammer this profession?

Is the best of you yet to be harnessed?

I am here to help realtors. It’s my profession. We make peoples lives better. I coach realtors. 😀

A day in the life of a real estate agent…

A lot of people ask me about becoming a real estate agent. I could write a book with the answers. A day in the life of an agent is an interesting thing.

This is a typical Wednesday for me.

5:15 am – Awake. Double check schedule for the day, get cleaned up, smell nice, leave the house at 6:25 am.

6:45 am – Arrive at referral breakfast group to meet 35 of the nicest and most committed entrepreneurs in Kelowna. Heckle a little bit, give my one-minute elevator speech, enjoy the 20-minute vendor presentation, finish up breakfast, drink 3 cups of coffee and by 8:30 am I am ready to move on.

9:00 am – Team meeting with Robyn and Luke. We discuss closings, confirm lawyers and details and any keys, lock boxes and client gifts. We also discuss up and coming listings and buyers we need to provide support to. We go through each listing and look at the data, showings, feedback and create an action plan to discuss with the client.

10:30 am – Time to look at emails and make a few outbound calls to clients, lawyers, bankers, home inspectors and to mop up any urgent concerns.

Noon – I usually skip lunch Wednesday because the results of the team meeting will often have me focused on a project. Robyn will often grab me laksa on her mid-day walk. Luke will have adjusted my chair in an attempt to make me fall out of it and lunch will be eaten at the office and sadly, rushed.

2:00 pm – Client showings. This time of year, March, the inventory is often growing so mid-week showings are usually onezy twosy. Often I squeeze in another set of showings at 5:00 pm for clients who work during the week.

3:30 pm – Check listing inventory, confirm emails are going to active clients, finalize any CMA’s (comparative market assessments) that are due for clients. We complete about 4 to 8 CMA’s a week depending on the time of year and often not always for buying and selling, Some clients are curious to know the current value of their property and we are always happy to help.

5:00 pm – Showing of home

6:30 pm – Arrive at my own home. Dinner with Wendy and often rushed.

7:00 pm – Office work at home. Send feedback to agents from showings. Receive feedback from agents who have shown my listings. Confirm interest levels, send emails to agents to see how much buyer or seller interest exists. Today, no offer will be presented or written so I can be done by 8 pm.

8:00 pm – quickly confirm the schedule for Thursday. Toastmasters starts at 6:45 am so I will need to arrive at 6:35 am.

Common Interruptions:

No two days are ever the same but often, significant interruptions will occur.

Dropping off and picking up family, Booking showings for my listings, Writing Offers – requires brain time, receiving offers, sitting down with sellers and buyers on short notice to work through the details.

If it’s a good day, I will have helped at least 3 to 5 clients move their interests forward.

A great day is helping clients and also getting time with Wendy and my kids.

It’s your story to tell.

Real Estate agency relationships are private and confidential. The things you say and do with your agent are… between you and your agent.

By knowing your private thoughts and motivations, your real estate agent is in a careful place to offer advice. A good place. A place to trust.

An ethical agent will hold back from the disclosing anything about your relationship, even it’s existence. Yet, top agents survive by referral. A referral is a recommendation from a past client, friend or associate. So, your referral is needed and vital.

If you liked working with your agent and he or she offered good advice and service please share.

3 Reasons to stay loyal to your listing agent…

Not every house sells in 90 days. And, if you ask top producers, the main reason is the price. Yet, real estate markets are not so simple. Many agents invest thousands of dollars in your listing. If it doesn’t sell, the risk and loss to the agent are high. Whether your house sells or not, is not a reason to let your agent go and try a new one. Here are my thoughts as to why you should stick with your agent.

One: Professional Marketing. Did the agent use professional HD photos? Was the listing posted on the top real estate sites? Were the listing details compelling and accurate? Did the property look good? Many agents cut corners to save money and these short cuts and omissions can reduce exposure and cost you money. Selling property requires good marketing. Your listing does not need to appear in every magazine in town (in fact, print is the last place I would post) but the marketing plan needs to look good and cover the bases.

Two: Regular Reports and Contact. Do you get the “stats” on your listing? How is it doing in regards to page views, internet hits and likes? How has the data changed since the listing start date? How is it tracking now? The best thing about internet marketing is 100% of it is traceable. All clicks lead back to the listing and the “data” does not lie. You NEED this information. It will help you understand if you are priced correctly and if there is buyer action in your area and so much more. You should also get feedback from showings. Some say feedback is not really helpful. The best feedback is an offer of course!

Three: Your agent is full time and active in the area. I live in a unique area. So do you. My neighbour listed their house with an agent from a different town about 30 miles away. Not a long distance but far enough that the agent does not show or sell in our area much, if ever. The house was listed slightly overpriced in a heat of the market last year. A minor adjustment in price and the house could have sold. Instead, more than a year later, it’s sitting there. While I don’t know the seller’s motivation, I see this often. Hiring the local expert and one who works at the profession full-time is always prudent.

Staying loyalty to your full-time agent is the best gift you can give. Working by contingency (getting paid if something happens) is a hard road and many people just can’t handle the ups and downs. Giving your agent an extension, price change or relist is a solid strategy. It shows them that you respect their advice and appreciate their work. At the same time, make sure you are getting the real service you deserve.

D.Desrosiers 2019

Make it a great day!

My life changed when I finally realized that each day when I awake…

1. It’s a miracle to wake up. Not everyone gets to. I have my wits and my hands, feet and legs all seem to be working just fine. Exercising a grateful attitude rather than angst for the day ahead has helped to shape my mood. Not every day is fluffy and bright but I am truly excited for the day ahead.

2. My day will be filled with challenges. I have replaced, “why is this happening to me?”, with “alright, these are my cards, what’s the best hand I can play?”. I am also getting better with leaving past events in the past. It’s not easy to forget the mistakes, fumbles and times when things don’t go my way but waking up with a fresh slate each day is refreshing.

3. The type, quality and value of my challenges will define my life. Speaking with people who seem to be “stuck” in their lives, it’s often easy to see what they are stuck on is low-value issues. What problems am I helping with today? Am I at 30,000 feet or am I stuck in the weeds of anger, frustration with small issues. Is the work I am doing benefiting me and those people around me? When I am at ground level, am I approaching the work with gratitude?

My only task, therefore, becomes, choosing my challenges wisely.

 

Limited Dual Agency is truly limited.

June 15, 2018 saw the Real Estate Council of British Columbia overhaul the agency rules affecting more than 20,000 real estate agents in the province. 

At the core is the banning of “limited dual agency” or LDA. LDA is when the real estate agent, with the permission of both the buyer and seller (or sometimes both buyers) in a transaction, agree to let one agent(or team) act as “moderator”.

During the transaction, the LDA agreement allowed the agent to bend his or her fiduciary duty to facilitate the sale. Acting alone and technically working impartially, the agent was able to control the transaction for the benefit of the seller and the buyer. This was the theory.

BC has taken the bold step to ban LDA and it’s exciting.

I am not here to debate the good and bad of LDA. It’s gone and this is fact. It is also fact that sellers and buyers will not fully understand what this ban will mean. Many people will need to rethink the way they approach buying and selling real estate in BC. Some will be happy, some sad and some confused… at first. In time, it is expected that consumers will come to realize the benefits of the new approach.

If you would like to learn more in a hurry, call your agent up for a coffee. There is a four page form they need to share with you. 😉

Keeping busy by standing still

People that perform at a high level share the ability to solve “good” problems. Of course, problem solving is essential for getting things done. Few jobs or projects roll out without a hiccup or two. But ask yourself, what type of problems are you solving; self inflicted ones or those presented to you by others? You may feel that you are an excellent problem solver but if you are solving self-inflicted problems too often, your keeping busy by standing still.