Big Change Is a Comin!!

Well things in the Real Estate industry were never boring before...BUT NOW - Good drama brewing!

We've got CMHC making changes to your qualifications for mortgage insurance coming as of April 19, 2010 where you used to be loaned to up to 95% of the purchase, you'll now have to qualify on 90%.  (Means less purchase power) Add to that the sudden rate increases.  If you can lock in today - DO IT!

Add to that the HST coming as of July 1st of this year.  Now true you'll only pay HST on new development BUT you're also paying on services now - and guess what?  As a Realtor I'm providing a service and so yes on top of my commission you will be paying HST.  No one is really quite sure how exactly it's all going to play out, but if you write a deal that completes before July 1st, you're in the clear.  You may even be in the clear if the bulk of the deal is done before then but completes after the dead line and there may be a division of how much provincial tax vs federal tax you'll pay.  It's all very complicated. Everyone in the industry have been left with very vague guidelines.  

The really exciting news is the Competition Bureau has taken the Canadian Real Estate Association to Tribunal on charges that we as an industry are a monopoly because of our trademarked MLS system. The new Commissioner seems hell bent on making a name for herself at our industry's expense and making quite ignorant accusations which suggests to me, she doesn't even understand what a Realtor does.

Let me lay it out for you:  You as a consumer has every right to sell your own home.  (Right there I think the case is lost) However, if you want your listing to show up on the MLS (which is Realtor owned/ operated /paid for and controlled through Board data sharing) then you must work with a Realtor as is only right and fair. What's being suggested is that we open up MLS for everyone to freely use.  As it stands, you as the consumer have access to most of our MLS data through our realtor.ca website.  And the Canadian MLS system is the system most envied because all of the Boards across Canada share their information whereas in the American model they each operate independently.  There are something like 900 different boards - imagine trying to sort through it all!  (listen to interesting podcast with Bill Good from CKNW on the subject here: http://www.reincanada.com/Video/TabId/74/VideoId/115/Competition-Bureau-Chall...

Point is  - you've had the luxury of shopping for your properties online with the most accurate data at our expense.  We wanted you to have that because that's the most effective marketing tool we have to bring buyers to our listings.  So essentially we're being scrutinized because our system is so effective.

Here's where I think we're going:  Imagine customizing the different services you would like from a Realtor from a simple upload a listing to the MLS, to marketing properties in different ways (Ie professional photography, floor plans, staging) to negotiating offers and different levels in between. What's really interesting is I think you'll finally understand all the work that Realtors do in earning their commissions.

My partner Ken Hunter and I will be looking closely at possible new business models as we move forward.  Any questions or feedback you have about all the big changes coming up, please leave your comments.  We're very interested in what you have to say!


Posted via email from tlchome's posterous


Laptop sticker space goes for $2,500 a pop

If you think online ads are the only way to make money on your computer, Cameron Herold has a deal for you.

A $2,500 deal to be exact, which is the price he charges companies for sticker space on the lid of his Mac-Book Pro.

The former chief operating officer of Vancouver-based 1-800-GOT-JUNK, who helped that company grow from $2 million to $120 million in six years, got the idea after realizing he and his MacBook were being projected onto giant screens in huge conference rooms during speaking engagements three to five times a month.

He put the idea out and five companies snapped up the opportunity to put their logo stickers on his laptop. Another spot Herold reserved for Kiva, the online micro-lending non-profit organization that he supports.

"I approached their CEO and asked if they would like a spot and he loved it," Herold said.

When his laptop sold out, Herold sold a single space on his iPhone to another company.

"I sit in front of all these business people doing speaking events all over the world," he said. "The companies want to be in front of those audiences," he said. "They like the uniqueness of this opportunity."

Most recently, Herold spoke at a Young Presidents' Organization global leadership conference in Barcelona, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Entrepreneurial Masters Program in Boston and at a TEDx (Technology, Entertainment Design) conference in Edmonton.

At each stop, Herold's MacBook sported stickers carrying the logos of Kiva and the five companies that are paying $2,500 a year for their little piece of laptop real estate.

With his laptop and iPhone space sold out, Herold is adding another mobile device: He'll soon be carrying a new Apple iPad, courtesy of a company that is giving it to him in exchange for having its logo on the device.

"They were all sold out within a week," he said. "I will only sell five spots on my laptop; I guaranteed there would only be five spots.

"I wanted it to be a little bit more of an exclusive club."

The companies all paid in cash for the service, except for the iPhone advertiser, Cutco, which gave Herold, who loves to cook, $2,500 worth of high-end knives for his kitchen.

Putting the brand in front of audiences prompts questions, Herold said. And both Herold and the advertising companies have been building a buzz about laptop ads on social media sites such as Twitter and in their blogs.

"I was sitting the other day in the Air Canada business lounge and a guy asked me about one of the brands. I told him all about it," he said.

Along with Kiva and Cutco, the brands you'll see on Herold's laptop include Grasshopper, a virtual phone system for entrepreneurs; Media Temple Web hosting; Outsourcing Things Done; Hire Better Solutions and Maverick Business Adventures.


Read Gillian Shaw's blog at www.vancouversun.com/digitallife

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Love it!

Posted via web from tlchome's posterous


Inaugural Social Media Meetup!

Last night was our very first Frawer Valley Social Media Meetup! We had a blast and Kemp Edmonds was our very first guest presenter! Kemp is a Social Media Evangelist who believes strongly in how social media can enhance your life and business.  He also teaches Social Media at BCIT!  We had fabulous feedback and everyone walked away with some great knowledge! 

 Kemp is offering a Social Media course at BCIT this spring and if you're interested in learning more please check out it out: http://j.mp/MDIA1045

The goal of our meetups are two fold!

1: Social Media is such a hot topic and although there are tons of opportunities in Vancouver, there is very little learning in the Fraser Valley, so we wanted to make sure that you have the opportunity to access some of the Social Media gurus!

2: Always looking to build my network, these meetups will serve as another way to cement our business relationships in the Valley, in a very fun, social and valuable way!

We'll be hosting our meetups once a month - likely on the second Thursday of every month.  We'll also be open to suggestions and we'll likely try out a few venues before we settle somewhere that works for everyone. If you can think of somewhere that you think would be good, please let me know!

Something to consider - we'd prefer to have wireless internet for computer powered presentations. I'd also like to evolve into streaming live video and/or perhaps live blog; better photography (no offense to my adorable husband who took last nights pics - thanks honey!) If you'd like to volunteer, please let me know!

Thanks again to everyone who came out last night!  Make sure to check the meetup site (link above) for pictures and feedback and to anyone who wants to join us next time, be sure to sign up so you can receive updates about future events!


Want To Get Your Hands On Some Cold Hard Cash????

Well it sucks that we're going to lose an hour of sleep with daylight savings around the corner so who wouldn't love a little extra cash??? Check out our new spring promotion!!

 Please help support the growth of our business and we'll happily pay cash!



You have GOT to see this Gorgeous Acreage South Langley!

This is my partner Ken Hunter's fabulous listing in South Langley, Otter/Cambell Valley area.  (BC)

Fabulous Stunning South Langley Acreage!!

Private rural living in peaceful setting with sweeping views! Vast 7 bedroom, 6 bathrooms and oversized rec plus family room. Flowing layout and separate wings. Absolutely gorgeous hard wood floors; a chef's kitchen with gas range and stainless steel appliances and granite counters of course. Master has its own gas fireplace, spa like ensuite and own private deck with french doors. You must see to fully appreciate all the details. Girls room is like own suite - teenager's dream! Room for the equestrian!

(24230 26th Ave, Langley.)

View website for details! www.kenwhunter.com or www.tlchome.ca Call Ken Hunter/ Teri Conrad 604.530.0231 Royal LePage Wolstencroft

Equestrian friendly too!