Monthly Archives :

    March 2019

    Power your show day staging with an Agent Companion

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    Does staging a house really improve the chances of it selling?

    Agent Companion

    According to many realtors, yes it does. It is like the frosting on a cake. A neat and tidy house filled with great looking furniture and well thought out accessories can make a huge difference to the appearance of a house, especially to the average untrained buyers’ eye.

    It is however important to remember that staging a house is not designed to hide any flaws that there may be. Staging a house will rather enhance and accentuate what is already there.

    It can help show the house in its best light and can help potential buyers imagine themselves living there.

    Staging does not have to cost an arm and a leg

    Agent Companion Canada

    Staging is not always necessary and in many cases spending money on staging is a waste of time and money. In hot areas  houses will sell regardless as to whether they are furnished beautifully or not, and those with a trained eye will look past the frostings and see a house for what it is.

    There are always ways where you can improve the appearance of a house without having to spend loads of money:

    1. Get rid of the clutter and ensure the house is spotless
    2. Use the lighting to accentuate the house
    3. Strike a balance between tidy and lived in
    4. Stage where it counts, focus on the rooms that need it
    5. Always choose neutral colors

    First impressions count

    Agent Companion Canada
    Agent Companion Canada

    Agents remember first impressions do count.

    Did you know that according to a Harvard study of communication that it only takes around 7 seconds to make a first impression? So make the most of those few seconds and make them remarkable.

    The first thing a buyer is going to notice is the front entrance and how you are presenting.

    How we can help you make a great first impression

    This is your opportunity to shine. Why not bring the Agent Companion along on your show day and ensure that you and your own unique brand stands out?

    Not only will it keep you company but it will give you the confidence to shine and stand out from the rest. After all your business deserves to be remarkable.

    How can the Agent Companion help you?

    Agent Companion Canada
    • Profile agent experience and knowledge
    • Showcase agent services
    • Empower your personal and corporate brand
    • Be unique and stand out on show days
    • Easily transportable in a car
    • Customized messaging in the LED panels
    • Holder for brochures
    • Includes branded stand, power, LED panels and 2 prints

    VitrineMedia backlit LED Displays are so much more than just signage

    VitrineMedia has a wide choice of LED illuminated displays, including the Agent Companion that will breathe new life into your window displays, and put you ahead of the pack.

    Where to for the Vancouver housing market?

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    We spoke with Holly Wood from Sotheby’s International Realty. As a leading Vancouver Realtor, Holly Wood has been successfully selling real estate for over a decade.

    Holly is a Certified Luxury Homes Marketing Realtor who specializes in Residential Luxury View and Waterfront properties. Proudly servicing Downtown along the most coveted spectacular waterfront locations, Vancouver, West and North Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam.

    A Certified Property Manager, 20 year plus local resident and proud to call British Columbia her home. Whether it’s detached homes, brand new construction, condos, penthouse condos, town homes, pre-sale construction or land, no one will work harder or smarter for you, than Holly Wood.

    Tell us about yourself?

    I chose to be a realtor as the lifestyle and self employed hours were perfect for me having two small children back in 2005.

    I had always been in some sort of sales job before. I have always enjoyed being with the public and helping working with people. I was with Remax for almost 10 years and have been with Sotheby’s International Realty for the last 4 years. I finally feel at home working for the top luxury international homes marketing company in the world with offices globally.

    Our marketing program is second to none and we represent properties from over 400,000 to 25 million. Regardless the price of a home we offer the same consistent top notch service when marketing your most prized possession, your home.

    We at Sotheby’s have a team and office on the North Shore, Vancouver’s West Side, Downtown, Kelowna Victoria and Whistler.

    I also have a great team and network that I work closely with in Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, Melbourne and other fantastic international locations around the world.

    From Notaries, to Inspectors, Mortgage Brokers to skilled trade’s people, this impressive Rolodex of contacts comes only with experience.

    What is happening in the Vancouver housing market?

    We knew that at some point the smoking-hot real estate market in Vancouver would slow, even decline. The latest data and stats suggest the Metro Vancouver housing market will be mired in difficulties this year and perhaps even next year.

    The current market reminds me very much of our 2008 market. However back then the market bounced back very quickly in the Spring of 2009.

    Why the slow down in Vancouver?

    What is different now to the 2008 housing crisis, is that we are now facing a number of taxes affecting foreign buyers including the speculation tax, empty homes tax and foreign buyers’ tax of 20%. These taxes have put a tremendous damper on the housing market.

    There has also been an increase in the property transfer tax with any properties over 2 million paying 3%. Mortgage rates are higher. School Taxes have gone up targeting homes over 3 million, with 0.2 percent on homes between 3-4 million and an extra 0.4 percent on properties over 4 million.

    With stricter mortgage qualifications, stress tests and rising interest rates buyers are struggling to qualify and to achieve ownership in this difficult time.

    What makes the Vancouver housing market unique?

    Vancouver certainly is unique. We have the warmest winters in all of Canada, plus Vancouver is beautiful and breathtakingly scenic.

    Where else can you live downtown and not need a car, and can walk and or bus to all amenities and conveniences?

    We have our own Central park downtown, our Stanley park, where we can walk, bike or roller blade.

    We are only 30 minutes away from downtown to 3 top ski hills and an hour and a half away from Whistler which offers world class skiing. We have top schools, clean air and breath-taking scenery. Generally, we are a safe place to live and have a sound banking system.

    All this makes Vancouver a very popular and sought after place to live.

    Do you think its a good time to buy?

    I predict sales to be slow and sluggish. However it is important to remember that Downtown Vancouver is its own unique micro market compared to the rest of Canada.

    What goes up must come down. Now is a good time to buy if you are a cash buyer. There are lots of deals to be found. The market will go up again, but it will take some time to rebound.

    There are however certain locations, buildings, floor plans and or areas which will always sell fast, especially if priced well.

    Life happens and people have to move either to upsize or downsize. People have to move to relocate with a company from city to city, divorce, marry, pass on, and or have children, go bankrupt etc.

    Buyers are for now in a wait and see holding pattern, but if they do find their dream home they should jump in, because everyone needs a home to live in anyway.

    The real estate market wheels were constantly moving in the past, but now are stuck. SO, for example if a seller cannot sell their home in Coquitlam or West Vancouver to downsize to downtown, then they can’t buy downtown.

    That’s a very common scenario that we are seeing at present. There are many sellers that cannot sell to buy different properties. This is the case for those wanting to upsize and for empty nesters wanting to downsize.

    Any advice for those trying to sell a house in Vancouver?

    Sellers, my advice is if you get an offer, and it is a no subjects clean offer you should take it!!! Especially if you need that money to buy another property. Because you should be able to get a deal on your new purchase and they will both offset each other.

    It is important for sellers to adjust their price points mindsets and expectations to the new market trends in 2019. They shouldn’t feel bad, yes its humbling to say the least, but if you can sell now you are very lucky in this challenging market.

    It doesn’t matter what sold last year this year is a different market.

    Remember as well that there are many buyers coming from Canada back east Toronto and Ottawa for example. People moving here for work or retiring somewhere warmer.

    What is the average listing time for houses in Vancouver at present? And what sells fast?

    Average time days on market can be up to 2-3 months for higher priced properties. However it can be a few days for certain locations, views, addresses and or floor plans.

    The hot markets price points are downtown west side, where condos with 2 beds are under 900 000, and 2 bed condos under 1,3 million on the waterfront for example in Coal Harbour. Certain buildings and plans sell fast.

    Downtown is still a very good market and Squamish is very busy as well.

    For the foreign buyers many of them have gone. However in China you cannot own anything because it is lease hold, so the rich will still buy here as they own freehold clear title. This is something no money can buy for them in China.

    Again, average days on market depends on the price point and the area in question.

    How have the foreign taxes imposed affected locals in Vancouver?

    Most of the governments newly imposed taxes I feel have actually hurt local home owners more as opposed to the foreign buyers.

    Why penalize local people for having second homes? In my opinion it just doesn’t make any sense.

    What are buyers doing to try to get around these taxes?

    Potential buyers are looking at ways around paying these taxes. There are those that are now trying to buy in areas where all of these taxes do not apply. They are expanding their search and buying properties in these areas, such as the Sunshine Coast.

    They will also try to find properties that are exempt from the vacant home tax. Condos that do not allow rentals are exempt from these taxes as a vacation home These condos are more popular at present because they are exempt from tax.

    However it is not all doom and gloom, and things should pick up somewhat as we head into our spring market.

    Let there be light – LED Displays and their role in the real estate industry

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    Sotheby's Canada

    Grabbing the attention of the passer-by

    The point of a window display is all about grabbing the attention of the passer-by. Being seen is key to the success of any company competing and succeeding in any industry. This is especially the case in the competitive real estate industry.

    A display window needs to be eye catching, it only takes a few seconds to walk past a store window. If you don’t grab the attention of the passer-by in those few seconds, you have lost the sale.

    Illuminated signage is an advertising and branding tool that can generate a significant amount of attention. It has the potential to increase your customer base and referrals by in excess of 75 percent according to studies.

    How LED Displays can help your real estate business

    Sotheby's Canada

    The use of LED Displays in the real estate industry has exploded in recent years. Companies now  realise the affordability of the products as well as the advantages that they hold over traditional forms of signage. They have also come to realise that the use of LED displays does substantially increase the chances of sales.

    A business’s exposure will be dramatically improved with a product that will stand out at all times, day and night, and will be visible in all weather conditions. This is especially important when running a business in the northern hemisphere. Limited hours of good visibility play a factor during the long winter months.

    LED lighting is especially useful as it uses less energy than traditional neon signage. It is also longer lasting and more environmentally friendly. It creates the opportunity to catch the eye, and attention of the consumer. It also holds it long enough for the passer-by to consume its message.

    Let there be light

    Sutherby's Canada
    Sotheby's Canada
    Sotheby's Canada

    Lighting has a direct effect on our mood. Much like sunshine affects our mood and can make us feel a lot more cheerful and optimistic about life, so have studies shown that bright artificial light can make us feel emotions more strongly, and even affect our decision making.

    LED lighting engineers are producing lighting systems that directly improve an individual’s mood and feeling of wellbeing. All of these things game changers in the work environment, and when trying to draw attention to a product.

    So, what better way than to use the power of light through LED display signs in order to sell a product? Not only will it put a smile on your customers face and lift their mood, but it may be instrumental in putting money in your pocket.

    VitrineMedia can help you grow your brands visibility through your window display and increase foot traffic into your store. VitrineMedia has a wide choice of LED illuminated displays that will breathe new life into your window displays and put you ahead of the pack.

    Don’t let that “window” of opportunity pass you by.

    Which window display is more likely to catch your attention?

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    Never underestimate the power of visuals

    We are living in the age of visual communication and visual content plays a crucial role in how we absorb information and remember it. The world we are living in is becoming increasingly visual, which is why visuals play such a major role in telling a brands story.

    Studies show that as many as 65 percent of the population are visual learners. This means that adding visuals to courses are key to engaging learners and for them to retain and recall information. Our brains are capable of processing visuals around 60,000 times faster than they do text.

    And so does this theory also applies in the business world. Visuals are so important as they stick in a person’s brain so much more easily than words. The better the visual, the more likely to attract customers and in turn generate profits.

    Illuminated signage and brand awareness

    Flight Centre Vancouver

    Signage is a great opportunity to make a first impression. First impressions do count so its important to get it right the first time round. Illuminated signage builds brand awareness and is an extremely effective method for driving local traffic.

    There are reports that illuminated signage can increase brand awareness by nearly 50% and boost average purchase amount by nearly 30%. It also improves the customer experience, and a happy client, is a loyal client. This in turn is more likely to result in increased sales and customer satisfaction.

    The unique real estate market in Canada

    Gloria Jean Coffee Display
    Gloria Jean Coffee Display
    Gloria Jean Coffee Display

    The real estate market is a tough industry to be working in at present in Canada, with the mood being one of uncertainty. After a challenging year in 2018 buyers, sellers, homeowner, realtors and investors are apprehensive as to what is to come. This is not good for realtors who are trying to put money in their pocket. Making that sale in a highly competitive market is not easy.

    In order to sell, you need customers. In order to get customers, you need to be able to attract and keep their attention.

    This can be especially difficult given that potential buyers are lukewarm and wary of buying. Not surprising given the uncertainty the real estate industry is facing as a whole in Canada.

    The long dark gloomy winter months don’t help either, as the visibility of window displays becomes a problem.

    It is imperative that realtors make the most of their window displays. They need to stand out from the rest, be seen, and be remarkable.

    How VitrineMedia can help you

    Regardless the size of your business, your window display is one of your most powerful tools to get your product seen and to set you aside from your competitors. For this reason it is imperative to create a window display that will turn heads and drive foot traffic.

    VitrineMedia can help you grow your brands visibility through your window display and increase foot traffic into your store. VitrineMedia has a wide choice of LED illuminated displays that will breathe new life into your window displays, and put you ahead of the pack.

    Regardless the size of your business, your window display is one of your most powerful tools to get your product seen and to set you aside from your competitors. For this reason it is imperative to create a window display that will turn heads and drive foot traffic.

    VitrineMedia can help you grow your brands visibility through your window display and increase foot traffic into your store. VitrineMedia has a wide choice of LED illuminated displays that will breathe new life into your window displays, and put you ahead of the pack.

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