Our Clients Empire Communities and Brookfield Residential are Finalists for 5 CHBA Awards!

I’m proud to announce that our clients Empire Communities and Brookfield Residential are finalists for 5 Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) National SAM awards this year.

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First, Orchard Ridge Homes and Brookfield Residental’s Treetops community is nominated for Best Project Signage and Logo, Best Website and the prestigious Marketing Excellence Award.

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Empire Communities is nominated for the highly coveted Green Home Award for their Manhattan model at Imagine, a new home community in Niagara Falls which we opened for Empire this year, and which is also up for Best Project Signage and Logo.

The Manhattan home showcases Empire Communities’ latest green initiative: geothermal technology! Geothermal energy can save homeowners up to 80 per cent in total heating and cooling costs over traditional home energy costs, and is offered as an option on all new homes at Empire’s Imagine community as part of a progressive new green initiative on their part.

Both clients are familiar with winning; Brookfield won the Marketing Excellence Award from CHBA last year for their Pathways in Caledon East community which we marketed, and Empire won the ENERGY STAR for New Homes Builder of the Year at the EnerQuality Awards in 2011 and was again nominated in 2012, demonstrating that they’re industry leaders when it comes to green home building.

I always enjoy these types of posts and seeing my clients and employees recognized for their success and hard work. Each time a client of ours is nominated, it’s a testament to the great things we do at BAM and to our clients’ hard work and dedication to building and providing Ontario families the best homes possible.

Congratulations again to Brookfield Residential and Empire Communities. (You can see all the finalists here.)

Go BAM go!

Beware! Resale buyers’ agreements


Now that the federal Competition Bureau has successfully opened up the MLS system to homesellers without having to pay huge commission rates to agents, the TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board) has come up with another scheme to protect their exorbitant commissions.

Under the guise of offering better service, brokers are trying to convince prospective buyers to sign exclusive contracts with them. These contracts basically ensure that any home the prospective buyer offers to buy will be subject to broker commissions.

For example, if a prospective buyer finds a home offered through one of the emerging low fixed-fee or low commission brokers, who now have unfettered access to listings on MLS, that prospective buyer may sign a buyer agreement. If the agreement is signed, he won’t be able to buy that home unless the vendor agrees to pay more commission than he originally planned. Since many vendors are unwilling to pay more than what they initially planned, a lot of folks can’t buy homes.

So I urge you, before you consider signing contracts with brokers, to be aware of what you’re really getting yourself into. It may look good on paper, but we must ALWAYS read the fine print.

Be careful,
John Amardeil

Will real estate buying become a social activity?

Facebook LogoAccording to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, real estate buying and
other major purchases could become a social activity like never before.
“Designing products around people will be universal… will not just be
Facebook,” says Zuckerberg. The founder of the world’s largest social
network believes we’re entering a new era of internet-based social
activity wherein the “default is social” and things like shopping for
big ticket items will be centered around people as opposed to the actual
things and objects they’re purchasing.

In other words, buying a home just might become more of a party, where
you invite friends and family to go with you to check out possible homes
to buy. It won’t be as much about the home as about the interaction of
multiple people and the “event” of home buying. I believe it’s always
been about more than just buying a home – it’s buying into a social
atmosphere, a community, a dream for a new life.

Zuckerberg believes that every industry will be affected by this social
effect, including the automotive industry, the fashion industry, and the
real estate industry. He explains that when speaking face-to-face we use
our knowledge about the person to assign value to what they’re saying.
Thus real estate advice from a friend or family member has more value
than advice from a stranger on the street, even if they’re giving you
the same advice.

Social NetworkingThis of course raises some interesting questions:

How large a role will social media play in real estate? Will everyone be buying a home online? Or it will it be more for the social butterflies?

Is social advice you get from friends more important than outside facts,
photos and information about the house you’re buying?

How will a merger of social media and real estate manifest itself?

We can imagine for example that people in the future might browse a
virtual representation of their future home (which has yet to be built)
and invite their Facebook and Twitter friends to browse the virtual copy
of the home as well, using virtual avatars. Using something similar to
Google Street View, they could also explore the neighbourhood and learn
more about the place they might be living.

Exciting ideas for BAM to consider as we develop marketing strategies
and advertising campaigns that will appeal to the next generation of
online users!

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