Wishing you all the best this wonderful holiday has to offer. May this incredible time of giving and spending time with family and friends brings you joy that lasts throughout the year.
Celebrate the coming year with a New York-inspired New Year’s Dinner experience at TIME Winery & Kitchen.
Tue • December 31, 2019 • 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
$59 + taxes & gratuity per person (food only)
Enjoy a celebratory bubbles toast with us at 9 pm, as we countdown to 2020 on New York TIME.
Visit our website for full menu details (6 pm and 9 pm seating available)
- Seating is limited. For reservations, please call 236-422-2556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
British Columbia Real Estate Association’s (BCREA) Government Relations team attended the annual 2019 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention in Vancouver from September 23 to 27. On the first day of the convention, VP of Government Relations and Stakeholder Engagement Trevor Hargreaves participated in a panel presentation on anti-money laundering, along with Attorney General David Eby and Minister of Finance Carole James.
We also staffed a trade show booth and attended many sessions where we spoke with cabinet ministers, MLAs, mayors and local government councillors. We received interest across the province from delegates who shared BCREA’s commitment to building better neighbourhoods.
One of the issues we promoted is the need for the BC Government to develop a consistent process to remediate homes used to produce drugs. Whether legal or illegal, using homes to produce drugs can have serious negative impacts on the health and safety of future occupants. To promote the issue, we offered delegates hand sanitizer with the tagline, “If only there was a sanitizer for homes used to produce drugs.”
The second issue we showcased is the need for provincial leadership for floodplain mapping. Many homes are in high-risk flood areas, often unknown to the families living in them. Working with local governments, the BC Government should create a province-wide plan to map flood hazards for all BC communities and ensure the maps remain up to date.
The concerns of REALTORS® and BCREA on these issues and others were echoed in several convention sessions and resolutions. Some of the provincial government initiatives we learned about include:
- a complete overhaul of the legislation used by government for emergency planning; the new approach will include more focus on minimizing the damage of disasters like flooding, so this works well with our recommendation for floodplain maps,
- plans to develop a home plate policy for homes in the Agricultural Land Reserve; this would create requirements for where a home could be placed on a lot, in addition to how big it can be, and
- the formation of a provincial-UBCM working group to consider ways to strengthen the regulation of short-term rental properties.
Posted by: Marianne Brimmell
Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility. Every resident should plan to be fire safe. Since most “high-rise” buildings are constructed of fire resistant materials and contain closed stairwells, fires are generally confined to individual rooms or apartments, furnishings, or possibly one floor.
Two or three storey wood frame buildings have either enclosed stairwells, or if an older building, external fire escapes. Enclosed stairwells have fire doors which must be kept closed at all times!
An apartment or high-rise fire is no cause for panic. If you plan ahead and practice fire drills, your chances of survival are greatly increased. Check with your landlord or building manager to ensure Fire Safety Plans including floor plans and evacuation procedures are posted and visible. Please take time to review and learn them.
What Causes Most Apartment Fires?
- Cooking / kitchen fires
- Heating equipment such as heaters, stoves, or space heaters.
- Smoking is a major cause of fatal apartment fires.
How Important is Prevention?
VITAL – it is the best insurance against fire! Take these simple tips to prevent fires from starting:
- Be careful with smoking materials. Use large, deep, non-tipping ashtrays and dispose the contents into an airtight metal container or soak the butts before discarding. Check furniture and cushions for dropped matches & cigarettes. Never smoke in bed, especially when under the influence of alcohol or medications.
- Keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children.
- Never leave cooking unattended. If a pan catches on fire, use a potholder or oven mitts and slide a lid or a cookie sheet over the flames and turn off the burner.
- Keep space heaters at least 1 meter (3 ft) from combustibles.
- Replace worn or damaged electrical cords. Do not overload electrical outlets. Use an approved power bar / electrical receptacle for additional electrical cords.
- Do not store flammable liquids or compressed gases (ie gas & propane) in your home, car storage, or locker.
- Do not use balconies for storage. This can block a means of escape, as well as become a target for arsonists.
How Will You Know if there is a Fire?
- Your building should be equipped with smoke detectors and other fire alarm components.
- Learn to recognize the sound of the fire alarm and leave the building immediately. Leave the building every time you hear the alarm, as fire may be present in any part of the building. Do not ignore the alarm.
- It is recommended that every dwelling has a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For maximum protection, consider installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom.
- Maintain your alarms, test them once a month, vacuum twice a year, and change the battery annually or when a “chirping” noise occurs. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
What is the Plan for my Building?
- Floor plans and evacuation procedures should be posted on every floor. Take time to learn them.
- Develop and practice your fire safety plan. Know the two quickest and safest ways out of your building.
- Training and implementing a fire warden on each level of the building is recommended to ensure safe evacuation and ongoing safety programs. Have a fire drill at least once a year but practice your escape plans regularly. Coordinate practice drills with neighbours, fellow workers, the floor warden, and the building manager. /li>
- Assign someone to assist people with disabilities who may need assistance to evacuate safely.
- Ensure everyone knows what to do when the alarm sounds.
- After exiting the building, go to a prearranged meeting place. Do not go back into the building for any reason.
How do I Escape from the Fire?
- Check doors before opening them. Be sure to check a door by kneeling or crouching behind the door. Reach up high and touch the door, knob, and frame. If the door feels cool, open it with caution. Put your shoulder against the door and open it slowly. Slam the door shut if you see flames or smoke on the other side and use another escape route or stay in your apartment.
- If unable to leave your apartment, protect yourself by placing towels, sheets, or clothes around the door and vents to keep smoke out. Call the Fire Department using 911 to notify them of your location. If there is no smoke outside a window, open it and signal for help by waving a bright towel, sheet, or flashlight. Never use elevators in a fire! Always use the exit stairways and close all doors behind you to slow the spread of fire.
- If an announcement can be heard over your building’s public address system, listen carefully and follow the directions.
- If your escape route becomes smokey, crawl low under the smoke. Smoke rises, so the cleanest air is near the floor.
- If your route becomes impassable due to smoke, heat, or fire, return to your suite or use an alternate escape route. Never go to the roof as you may become trapped with no means of escape or protection.
- Get out and stay out. Go directly to your planned meeting place and stay there.
- Call 911 once you have safely escaped the fire.
Vancouver, BC – October 15, 2019. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,938 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS® ) in September, an increase of 24 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $697,943, an increase of 2.1 per cent from September 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $4.84 billion, a 26.5 per cent increase from the same month last year. “Markets across BC built on momentum from the summer,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “While the year-over-year increase in provincial sales was quite strong, home sales in most areas are simply returning to historically average levels.”
MLS® residential active listings in the province were up 4 per cent from September 2018 to 39,117 units and were essentially flat compared to August on a seasonally adjusted basis. Overall market conditions remained in a balanced range with a sales-to-active listings ratio of about 18 per cent. Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 12.4 per cent to $39.7 billion, compared with the same period in 2018. Residential unit sales were 8.9 per cent lower at 57,773 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 3.9 per cent year-todate at $687,530. -30- For more information, please contact: Brendon Ogmundson Chief Economist Direct: 604.742.2796 Mobile: 604.505.6793 Email: email@example.com
Market Momentum Continues into the Fall
Market Momentum Continues into the Fall
BCREA is the professional association for about 23,000 REALTORS® in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the province’s 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy, economic research and standard forms to help REALTORS® provide value for their clients. To demonstrate the profession’s commitment to improving Quality of Life in BC communities, BCREA supports policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods. For detailed statistical information, contact your local real estate board. MLS® is a cooperative marketing system used only by Canada’s real estate boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.
Canadian employment increased in September by 54,000 jobs, driven by Ontario (41,000). This brought the unemployment rate down from 5.7% in the previous month to 5.5% in September. Leading the increase in September was full-time employment, while part-time fell. Most of the increase was reported in healthcare, and accommodation and food services.
Employment in BC fell by 8,400 jobs in September. This marks the fourth consecutive monthly decline, driven by a decline in part-time employment (-17,200), while full-time employment rose (+8,800). By Industry, the most significant employment losses were in information/culture/recreation. The provincial unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.8%. Compared to one year ago, employment in BC is up by 1% (33,400 jobs).
For more information, please contact:
We’re now officially in the last quarter of the year! Here’s our monthly market update for areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV)!
In their latest media release, the REBGV is reporting that increased demand has helped the housing market reach balanced territory in September. In fact, home buyer demand has returned to more historically typical levels in Metro Vancouver over the last three months.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,333 in September 2019, a 46.3% increase from the 1,595 sales recorded in September 2018, and a 4.6% increase from the 2,231 homes sold in August 2019.
According to Ashley Smith, REBGV president,
“We’re seeing more balanced housing market conditions over the last three months compared to what we saw at this time last year. Home buyers are more willing to make offers today, particularly in the townhome and apartment markets. This is a more comfortable market for people on both sides of a real estate transaction. Home sale and listing activity were both at typical levels for our region in September.”
There were 4,866 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in September 2019. This represents a 7.8% decrease compared to the 5,279 homes listed in September 2018 and a 29.9% increase compared to August 2019 when 3,747 homes were listed.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 13,439, a 2.7% increase compared to September 2018 (13,084) and a 0.3% increase compared to August 2019 (13,396).
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2019 is 17.4%. By property type, the ratio is 12.7% for detached homes, 18.9% for townhomes, and 21.9% for apartments.
The following data is a comparison between September 2018 and September 2019 numbers, and is current as of October 2019. For last month’s update, you can check out our previous post for August 2019 data.
These infographics cover current trends in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Vancouver East, and Vancouver West.
Millennials are now in the heyday of their first home-buying years. And Generation Z is right on their heels.
What do all these numbers boil down to?
A lot of first-time buyers you could be working with.
Helping first-timers make their first purchase is a much different game than working with a second-, third- or eighth-time buyer. It requires a different approach.
Here are the six best strategies for successfully working with first-time buyers.
1. Adjust Your Marketing Efforts
If you want to attract first-time buyers, you’ll need to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
First, switch up your voice and tone. You want to sound approachable, down-to-earth and relatable. That means leaving out the real estate jargon, relaxing your style and letting your personality shine through. It does not mean trying to use slang you’d never otherwise use; that’s transparent and awkward.
Then, go where your target market is. Millennials (and soon, Gen Z-ers) probably aren’t going to look at your real estate postcard before they chuck it in the trash. They’re not hanging out on Facebook anymore and they’ll probably only sign up for your newsletter if there’s a contest to be won.
- Put more effort into Instagram marketing for your real estate business.
- Create blog and social media content uniquely tailored to them.
- Make sure your personal real estate website is modern, easy to navigate and up to date.
2. Know What’s Important To Them
First-time buyers have much different needs than an experienced client. Having a deep understanding of what they value and what they need, and how that sets them apart, is key to a successful working relationship.
Budget. For most (but not all) first-time buyers, meeting a budget is the biggest priority in their search for a home. There’s a high probability that their maximum price isn’t very high and that there is almost no wiggle room within their budget. Real estate agents need to understand and respect this, without making their client feel any sort of discomfort.
Turn-key. A limited budget means that first-time buyers probably don’t have any cash to fund renovation projects. The properties you show them will need to be immediately livable — no fixer uppers.
Location. Location is, of course, top of mind for every buyer. But for first-timers, location may be a factor they won’t compromise on. Maybe they want to be able to continue their lifestyle in the area they currently live in. Maybe they have a burgeoning career and can’t risk a long commute.
3. Understand Their Unique Pain Points
Just like their needs, real estate newbies have unique pain points, too. The biggest, of which, is affordability.
First-time buyers are typically young — hence our aforementioned points about millennials and Gen Z — and young people typically don’t have much in the bank. They might also be carrying education debt.
There’s also the issue of mortgage rules. In Canada, the stress test that’s been in effect since January 2018 has impacted the ability of many would-be buyers to actually purchase a home. This mostly affects buyers with lower household incomes.
Another common pain point for first-timers: size. These buyers may be thinking about starting families and would love a home that can accommodate the addition of one or more little ones. In many markets, and at a limited budget, this can be difficult to achieve.
Being understanding of and compassionate towards these unique pain points can go a long way in providing first-time buyers with a positive, referral-worthy experience.
4. Respectfully Manage Expectations
Despite their typically smaller budget, many first-time buyers will have unrealistic ideas about what they can afford. Who can blame them? They’re excited about their first home.
That being said, it’s your job to manage out-of-touch ideas about what they can afford. Like when your client insists it’s stainless steel appliances or nothing, or when they turn their noses up at house number 10 because it doesn’t have the modern farmhouse vibe they’re looking for.
If you don’t manage their expectations from the get-go, you risk a long and drawn-out home search that leaves both you and your client frustrated. On the other hand, if you extinguish their Pinterest home dreams too forcefully, you risk losing your client completely.
Work with your client from the very beginning to establish a list of wants and needs. Give them your opinion on what’s possible (using real data and existing listings as evidence) and promise them that you’ll do everything in your power to strike the best balance between those wants and needs.
As you go through the viewing process together, always have this list in mind. When you’re walking through homes, be honest about how they fulfill or don’t fulfill your client’s lists, and offer suggestions on tweaks they could make upon moving in.
You don’t have to work miracles. The goal is to be respectful, understanding and helpful, and make your client feel as though you “get” them and are doing everything to help them.
5. Communicate The Right Way
If you want to gain the confidence of your first-time buyers, get on their level.
Generally speaking, millennials don’t like to chat on the phone. Don’t rely on phone calls as your main form of communication. Text them instead. Or, send them a message on Instagram, or an email.
Know that they’ll likely be opening emails and links on their smartphones, rather than their laptops or desktops; make sure you’re sending mobile-friendly content.
Millennials are also the kings of self-education. For instance, they’re more likely to read an online tutorial than to immediately call someone for help. In that spirit, send them third-party content to read when you want them to understand something about the real estate process.
6. Position Yourself As A Friend And Mentor
Millennials get a bad rap from older generations. The last thing they want from their first real estate experience is someone older preaching to them, accusing them of spending too much and saving too little and telling them that this is just how things are.
Don’t be that person.
Instead, strive to take on the role of friend and trusted advisor. Advise, don’t command. Sympathize, don’t judge. Listen, don’t assume.
Building a healthy, happy relationship with first-timer buyers may take a little more patience and effort on your part, but it’s worth it to know how to successfully work with this niche.