Review of BILD’s Low-Rise Forum

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know already that I was a guest speaker yesterday at BILD’s Low Rise Forum, which saw us discuss diversity in the GTA.

I love these events. They give me a chance to chat with old acquaintances and industry people. I also get to learn from my fellow guest speakers.

Yesterday, for example, Andrew Brethour of the PMA Brethour Realty Group provided interesting insights into why so many people from all over the world move to Canada.

He also did a pretty good job of reminding us all of the many reasons why we’re so lucky to live in this country and specifically in Toronto. Andy is quite the inspiring speaker and it was a pleasure to listen to him.

John Amardeil speaks at the BILD Low-Rise Forum on March 28, 2012.

I had a blast with my presentation. I believe in keeping it short and sweet and fun. What’s your approach like?

Later, Susan Wong of Markham Centre Realty. Inc. provided us with a most detailed analysis of immigration from mainland China, and the reasons why so many Chinese buy real estate here.

Susan also said there’s still a lot of room for condo prices to rise in Toronto — she even produced a chart showing that despite our increased prices we’re not among the ten most expensive cities in the world. I found it interesting that Vancouver, London and Singapore join Toronto as the preferred overseas investment locations for Chinese millionaires.

Lastly, Jenny Park of The Epoch Times provided listeners with a great summary on how to market to Chinese buyers. Jenny said 74% of all Chinese Canadians consume media in Chinese.

As for my own presentation, I am attaching it as a PowerPoint file (click this link: BAM Ethnic Marketing). Or you can read the following summary of key points:

  • In 2004, Toronto was ranked second in the list of world cities with the largest percentage of foreign-born population
  • Most newcomers arrive from China, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
  • An increasing amount of immigrants are settling in the 905 area rather than Toronto. Indeed, the city with the highest proportion of foreign born among all Canadian municipalities is… Markham
  • We at BAM strongly believe that you can only sell if you know your markets and your target thoroughly. Sounds obvious, but time and again I’ve come across campaigns that neglect this. Check out my presentation for examples of communities we marketed to a very specific demographic after carrying out a great deal of research. They include:
  1. Castlegate, in East Brampton (targeted to Indians),
  2. Woodside Village, in Scarborough (targeted to Sri Lankans),
  3. Vellore Park, in Woodbridge (targeted to Italians), and
  4. Greenbrook Village in Shelburne, targeted to “white flight” (I explain in my presentation how I was wrong about the target market here!).

What’s your experience targeting diverse communities in the GTA?

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Roxanne Tsui
    May 10, 2012 @ 12:25:36

    Hi John,

    So excited to see more and more businesses acknowledge that diversity can really drive business growth and innovation! Happy to introduce Sensu Communications Inc. to you, a multicultural branding and communications agency with the cultural expertise to connect BAM and your clients to the niche Chinese homebuyer market in Canada and China.

    You can learn more about us at our website,

    Best Regards,

    Founder & Managing Partner of Sensu Communications Inc.


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