Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Day in the Life of a REALTOR: Weathering the Storm

This is the twenty-eighth episode of A Day in the Life of a REALTOR® - a weekly article series published on RESAAS Blog and written by Kay Conageski

So sit back, relax, and enjoy. Kay has a story to tell...

*     *     * 
As millions braced for a record-breaking winter storm to hit the Northeast this week, I had to stop and wonder what it would be like to be an agent in different parts of the country – and world for that matter!

While each area has its pros and cons, I have to admit I have the utmost respect for agents who bundle up, put on coats and boots, and trek through snowdrifts to show properties. In fact, as the Weather Channel was making their predictions and telling everyone to “hunker down” and ride out the storm, I was communicating with an agent in Long Island, who was taking care of a referral for me. She had just come from showing the buyer homes on Monday prior to the storm intensifying. There were three in the same subdivision, and she told me they parked the 4-wheel drive and walked about a mile between the homes before the buyer made a decision on one. 

Taking shelter as advised and staying off the streets that night, she wrote up the contract and got it accepted the next morning amidst the snow falling and wind howling. When I checked in with her this morning to see how she weathered the storm, she was out with clients doing an inspection. 

I’m spoiled.   

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Around the World: Turkey

Surrounded by the Aegean, Black and Mediterranean Seas, as well as seven European and Asian countries, Turkey stands at the point where both East and West converge into one. It is a beautiful country that boasts incredible coastlines, tall mountains and dry deserts, attracting hordes of tourists from all over. 

In December 2013, Time Magazine named Turkey the 6th hottest real estate market in the world, having experienced a 12.5% increase in home prices over the course of that year. What's more, for the second time since 2012, Turkey has been awarded the title of "greatest improvement" on the Global Real Estate Transparency index among 97 markets.

However, up until 2003 foreigners were unable to purchase property in Turkey. But over the past decade a number of laws have been implemented to allow international citizens to purchase in various areas of the country.

According to TurkStat, 18,959 houses were sold to foreigners in 2014, with the beautiful Antalya being the destination of choice, followed closely by Istanbul. 
(Antalya, Turkey: Source)
As stated by, Turkish real estate sales by foreigners are set to top $5 billion this year.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tech Tuesday: Contactually

Contactually plays the role of your basic customer relationship management (CRM) system.

However, the emphasis on relationship is what stands at the heart of its design.

This is the special ingredient. It integrates with your email, and is able to recognize which contacts you should follow-up with next, so that you don’t let any connection go uncultivated. It will do this automatically, based on when you last talked with each person.

However, you can also set up “buckets”.  This will help you sort each contact into an appropriate category - such as Potential Clients, Current Clients and Past Clients. Then you can set up an email “template” for each specific bucket, as well as a “program” that specifies when you should follow-up.

Monday, January 26, 2015

But My iPhone Has a Camera!

This week's Know It Now Guest Contributor is John Burke, a professional REALTOR based in Toronto, Ontario with Royal LePage Connect Realty. Prior to his career in real estate, John was in the Printing and Graphics business, working as a professional photographer during those years. 

He continues to assist his fellow agents by cleaning up their photos. To get in contact with John, email him at!

*      *      *

But My iPhone Has a Camera!
14 Tips for Realtors

How many times have you searched the MLS for a client to find the 'Perfect Dream Home' for your clients and come across the absolute worst photos you have ever seen?

As a Realtor®, we are charged with the business of selling our clients most expensive possession. We meet with the client, get all the information and take the listing. Then we whip out our 'Smart Phone' and wander through the property taking shots of all the rooms. After about 15 minutes we have enough pictures to post a listing.

When asked, the reply is usually... 'I don't need a professional photographer because my iPhone has a 9 megapixel camera and that means it takes really good quality pictures!' said every professional camera-phone Realtor!

Sounds like a good argument considering that previous Smart Phones had a much smaller megapixel capture. But let's look at this from a strictly mechanical view.

You pay upwards of $600.00 for your Smart Phone. It does everything that your home computer can do. It is loaded with hundreds of Apps that you will never use. It has a great contact list and all the phone numbers that you need at your fingertips and ... it also has a camera.

The lens on my iPhone 5S is 1/16" wide. Quite small actually. Internally it has some hardware and software to capture light and save an image. It even has a flash for those dark areas.

Just because your phone has a camera does not mean it is meant to replace a professional photographer and their camera. I shoot with a Canon 60D and multiple Speedlite flashes to fill all the dark areas with abundant light. I also shoot High Dynamic Range (HDR) images where you don't need flash.

But guess what? I cannot make a phone call with my camera! I can take excellent pictures with my camera, but if I want to make a phone call, I must use my phone.

For those of you who want to continue to use your Smart Phone to take pictures, please remember to do the following things to make the picture look better:

1. Turn your phone sideways so it takes the picture wider than it is tall

Friday, January 23, 2015

RESAAS Meet The Team: Grace

Meet Grace.

She likes almond croissants and flat whites (...whatever those are).

She's a little goofy, kind of quiet, and smiles a lot.

But most importantly, she works at RESAAS.

This is Meet The Team - a series that'll get you up close and personal with those who work inside the walls of 55 Water Street. Even the dogs.

We asked Grace five questions, each one scientifically designed to give you most well-rounded view of this human code machine.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Summary: Real Estate in Brazil

Yesterday, we published an awesome Q&A session with Ernani Assis, the Regional Director for RE/MAX Brazil, learning all about what the future holds for the real estate industry in Brazil. 

But in case you missed it, we've summarized the whole thing for you. 


From the 2014 FIFA World Cup to the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil has experienced a tremendous year of economic growth and technological innovation in the RE market, fixing all eyes onto this beautiful and diverse country. 

The Bank for International Settlements reports that at the moment, no housing market is hotter than Brazil’s. With an increase in housing prices by 121.6% in just a short of 5 years, this exotic country is proving to be of high interest to many international investors. Yet these global events are not the only things making this country’s economy thrive. According to Ernani Assis, regional director for RE/MAX Brazil, “Brazil's housing deficit is estimated at between 6m and 8m homes and the initiative, which will cost 34bn reais (USD 13.3 bn), [will be aimed] at boosting the economy with the creation of up to 1.5m new jobs”.  

If growth isn’t the trend here, I don’t know what else to call it. 

A Day in the Life of a REALTOR: Being Financially In Balance

This is the twenty-seventh episode of A Day in the Life of a REALTOR® - a weekly article series published on RESAAS Blog and written by Kay Conageski

So sit back, relax, and enjoy. Kay has a story to tell...

*     *     * 

So now that you have your files cleaned out and your database sorted, it’s time to tackle the elephant in the room – putting your finances in order for the new year.

Like most new agents, when I got my first few checks I was jumping around spending them like I was a Kardashian sister.  A few months in, my savings dwindling and no money in the bank, I soon realized I had to actually take money out of each of those checks to pay for things like dues, educational seminars, broker fees, future marketing…and oh yes, taxes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Around the World: Brazil

From the sandy white 7,491 km (4,655 mile) coastline to the depths of the Amazonian jungle, Brazil is a land of beauty. Not only is Brazil unique from an environmental perspective, but they are also a country of explosive growth.

This week, we had the pleasure of chatting with Ernani Assis, Regional Director for RE/MAX Brazil, to hear his take on the real estate industry, how social is impacting agents in Brazil and where he sees the future of the industry headed.

*(This interview has been edited and condensed.)

All eyes have been on Brazil since the 2014 FIFA World Cup and will continue to be so with the 2016 Summer Olympics. How have these major global events impacted real estate in Brazil?
ERNANI: All eyes were on the last big event in Brazil and as a result, the country’s real estate market has been proving to be of interest to overseas buyers looking for a real estate investment. Commercial yields currently stand at 8.5% and residential yields are at 5.1%. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tech Tuesday: SmartShoot

SmartShoot is a full service photography and videography network that allows you to browse through over 15,000 creative professionals by location and/or category. Since their launch in 2012, SmartShoot has facilitated over 100,000 successful on-location shoots.

Their services focus primarily within the USA and Canada, but provide service outside North America as well.

SmartShoot clients range from an individual real estate agent to some of the world’s most premier brands, including BMW, Airbnb, Expedia, Google, Youtube and Yelp.

Real Time Web Analytics