Adapt or Die: My article for Ontario Home Builder’s magazine

In an article I wrote for the latest issue of Ontario Home Builder magazine, I took a look at the changing landscape of technology in real estate marketing. The article explores basic marketing principles like knowing your audience, but discusses how technology can vastly improve marketing homes to certain demographics and coming up with new and innovative ways to solve the hurdles of traditional marketing. The new marketing 101.

Read the entire article:

 

John's OHB Magazine article Winter 2014 - scan of published copy

Real Estate Pessimists Proven Wrong

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The success of communities like TEN 88 is hardly a surprise when you look at how quickly consumers are buying this summer.

Much has been written in the press lately about the real estate market’s poor performance.

But according to recent Market Watch report released by the Toronto Real Estate Board, July’s sales represent the best July since 2009.

In fact, it’s the third best July on record.

This despite tighter mortgage insurance rules that were implemented last year, such as the one cutting the maximum length of an insured mortgage to 25 years from 30.

Of course, it’s also quite possible that many potential buyers who put their decision on hold then are now back in the market.

And although semis in the 416 area saw the biggest year-over-year boost in sales, increasing by 28.8 per cent, semi-detached homes in the 905 followed closely behind with a 26.4 per cent jump in transactions.

That’s good news for our clients, many of who sell in the 905 area. After all, though these are resale stats, the findings should spill over into the new homes market when resale prices go up and/or supply decreases.

Read the report here (PDF). 

How Two of Our Upcoming Projects Benefit From The Rise Of The Single-Person Household

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Single women account for one-third of all new sales at popular condo builder Tridel.

When I began working in the industry, most homebuyers were married and with kids. Over the last few years, however, an increasing amount of singles have been snatching up homes across Canada.

Indeed, only one year ago Stats Canada reported more one-person households than couple households with children for the first time ever, according to a recent Ontario Home Builder magazine article.

The reasons for this are threefold: first, as baby boomers age, many find themselves living alone; second, young people are marrying later; and third, many divorcees are in no hurry to tie the knot again.

Obviously, these new homebuyers are attracted to a different type of home. For one thing, space isn’t as important to them. Instead, they focus on amenities and features and finishes. Practicality matters too — as the OHBA article states, single homebuyers can view a condo, townhouse or small detached home as a stepping stone to something larger, with or without a partner.

This phenomenon, of course, presents a marketing opportunity — one that we’re only too eager to benefit from. Take two communities we’re hard at work on, Ten88 and Villagio.

The former is a condo project in Scarborough featuring a payment program designed to enable renters to purchase their first home. The latter is a smaller, somewhat more traditional community in Maple, Vaughan. In both cases, homebuyers can get one-bedroom units. They also get attractive pricing and finishes that are as sleek as the ones they’d find in a condo. And since our client, Empire Communities, also builds high-rise, it will be that much easier to blur the lines between a typical low-rise community and a high-rise condo one.

Now I turn it over to you: how are you making the most of the rise in single-person households?

BAM Wins CHBA Marketing Excellence Award

Last Friday, I was honoured to watch BAM’s efforts receive a highly regarded recognition, when our long-time client Brookfield Homes (Ontario) won the CHBA Marketing Excellence Award for its project Pathways in Caledon East.

As most readers of this blog know, this important award goes to the CHBA builder member whose single project combines the best overall achievements in marketing. The award is based on the cumulative results attained in at least four Marketing Award categories.

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To differentiate Pathways as an exceptional new community that would appeal to families, we divided the community into six unique neighbourhoods and designed a map showing several pathways winding their way through the community. We produced gorgeous renderings of the two parks that the community will feature, as well as a stunning streetscape rendering. We also developed additional benefits for the community to offer, such as Brookfield’s Save Green program.

What’s better than winning the CHBA Marketing Excellence Award? Skiing at Lake Louise with the boys from Curb Signs and winning the CHBA.

What’s better than winning the CHBA Marketing Excellence Award? Skiing at Lake Louise with the boys from Curb Signs and winning the CHBA.

The results? A best-selling, award-winning community that homebuyers quickly identified as ideal for strolling, walking, enjoying nature and interacting with neighbours.

Congratulation to Brookfield Homes and our team at BAM!

P.S.: Pathways campaign elements can be found in our portfolio section, including video, eblast, social media campaign, logo, print ad, and more.

Is the Toronto Real Estate Market Really About to Crash?

real estate bubble / burbuja inmobiliaria

If you watch the news or read the papers, you know the Toronto real market is about to crash.

But is it?

Not according to my friend Andy Brethour. The president of PMA Brethour Realty Group and an expert on all things real estate, Andy wrote an excellent post last week outlining all the reasons why he’s certain there will be no such crash.

In fact, to quote Andy, “the Toronto market, despite the alarm, is back to normal!”

Reasons for this include:

  • Recovering employment rates and modest but positive income growth
  • An immigration flow that will still see demand for over 30,000 households every year (despite more immigrants settling in other regions rather than Ontario)
  • Affordability, which is helped by some of the lowest interest rates in history

While it’s true that the real estate market has changed, for example with the first-time buyer engine running somewhat slower, Andy predicts the Toronto Market will remain very stable and steady — and I concur.

Click here to read his article and let me know what your thoughts are!

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