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Bryan Ezralow On The Power Of Art In Real Estate – Forbes

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When we walk into an office tower, rarely do we think about how the paintings in the lobby got there.

But behind the scenes, real estate firms put significant work into finding artists and curating their own spaces to add a splash of creativity to an otherwise drab corporate arena.

“A lot of thought goes into it,” said Bryan Ezralow, the CEO of the Ezralow Company in Los Angeles. “We’re always thinking about how art can help our spaces.”

The same thought goes for living spaces, like sculptures in apartment foyers or paintings on the walls of market-ready apartments.

With the pandemic keeping artists busy in their studios, there could be no better time for artists to rent, lend out, or sell their artwork directly to real estate firms.

“We hire local artists. It’s something we do all the time,” said Ezralow. “We always try to create cool spaces and try to bring in cutting-edge contemporary art into our buildings.”

Ezralow’s building LA 1446, a boutique apartment community in Hollywood, features swirly wall sculptures and paintings in its apartment living rooms. His nearby residential property, Qwil, showcases framed watercolors. And, at the Madison Bellevue apartments in Bellevue, Washington, colorful paintings adorn bedroom walls.

Ezralow works with local artists from the ground up, forming organic partnerships. “We want to start with the community, so we start there to find artists,” said Ezralow. “I’m a big believer in art.”

He sometimes uses art consultants or referrals from friends and other artists to bring something unexpected and dazzling to each of his buildings, whether commercial or residential. “We try to do things with a twist,” said Ezralow. “For urban markets, we want people to walk into one of our spaces and say: ‘Wow, I didn’t expect that.’”

“Art and architecture are always intertwined,” said Ezralow. “Some of the greatest architecture comes from the minds of artists.”

He also asks the architects for their advice on ushering in artworks into properties. “We try to go for more modern art in our buildings,” he said. “We bring in top architects to talk about the art we’re going to show in the buildings because art is going to stay there for a long time. We go for public art sculptures too, as it gives an artistic touch to our properties.”

The draw for a building could be the art on it’s walls. “When people move to a neighborhood, it’s because they like the community and want to be part of it,” he said. “Why not bring a local artist’s vision into the walls of where someone lives?”

“There’s a lot about soaking up the history and the culture in a place that you’re in,” said Ezralow. “Why not do something for locals in the area?”

When placed right and curated well, artwork can potentially inspire the sale or rental of an apartment or building, bringing a splash of warmth and character to otherwise stale white walls.

“We’re in buildings every single day, day in, day out,” said Ezralow. “But what spaces make you feel good? When we show people our spaces, and if something grabs their eye, then they feel good.”

The best kind of contemporary art for real estate is abstract art. “It definitely works better in modern spaces,” he said. “Abstract art with lots of bright colors is ideal, and so is the size—the larger, the better. We always try to incorporate art into everything we do.”

He adds: “Sometimes text-based art is perfect because all it takes is one word on a wall to inspire people.”

“When you see a nice design space, a lot of planning goes into that,” said Ezralow, who is also an art collector himself, owning works by Ed Rusha, Richard Prince, and Wolfgang Tillmans. “It’s the developers who are creative, they’re the ones creating spaces for people, they’re always seeing where art can fit.”

“Nothing else is like it,” he said. “We try to do things that nobody else has seen or done before.”

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Vancouver real estate: home across Trout Lake listed $1.7 million, sells $870000 over asking for $2.6 million – The Georgia Straight

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The Straight has previously reported about homes selling over $500,000 on top of their listed price.

If some thought nothing is ever going to beat that, here’s a surprise.

A home in East Vancouver recently sold $872,134 over its original asking price.

The top-up alone is enough to buy a townhouse or perhaps two condos.

The two-storey home at 3285 Victoria Drive sold on February 24 after eight days on the market.

Oakwyn Realty Ltd. listed the five-bedroom, four-bath residence on February 16.

The listing price was $1,728,000.

A buyer picked up the property for $2,600,134 million.

The transaction was tracked by Zealty.ca, a real-estate information site owned and operated by Holywell Properties.

Holywell’s managing broker Adam Major informed the Straight about the sale of Victoria Drive.

According to Major, the deal for the home located across from Trout Lake is a “candidate for craziest individual deal”.

B.C. Assessment placed the 2021 value of the property at $1,741,000 as of July 1, 2020.

There may be buyers out there who have a fear of missing out as the market continues to sizzle.

They may be tempted to enter into bidding wars.

Major’s advice: don’t.

“For buyers, I would recommend caution,” he said.

The market may have become too hot that the government could decide to do something about it.

“There is a risk that the federal government steps in to cool the housing market,” Major said.

Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem has observed “excess exuberance” in the country’s housing market.

“What we get worried about is when we start to see extrapolated expectations, when we start to see people expecting the kind of unsustainable price increases we’ve seen recently go on indefinitely,” Macklem said on February 24 at a meeting with chambers of commerce in Edmonton and Calgary.

The central bank dropped its interest-setting rate to 0.25 percent on March 27, 2020 to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic.

The bank has maintained the rate, which is the lowest, and indicated that it will stay at that level until 2023.

“We are starting to see some early signs of excess exuberance, but we’re a long way from where we were in 2016-2017 when things were really hot,” bank governor Macklem said on February 24.

Holywell’s Major noted that the central may be “only six months late” in issuing a “warning about the housing market overheating”.

“But better late than never.  At some point, the rules could change and it could happen overnight,” Major said.

Major cited the case of New Zealand.

In April 2020, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand lifted lending restrictions to prop up the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure eased credit flow, and led to strong sales in the country’s housing market, with price increases setting new records.

Moving to cool the market, New Zealand’s central bank decided to reimpose so-called loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions.

Starting in March 2021, banks can allocate only 20 percent of their residential mortgage lending to owner-occupiers with a down payment of 20 percent.

Moreover, banks can lend not more than five percent to investors with a down payment of less than 30 percent. Starting on May 1, the deposit requirement for investors will increase to 40 percent.

Back of 3285 Victoria Drive.

Here at home, Holywell’s Major said that the last week in February 2021 was the “busiest for weekly sales since 2019” in markets served by the Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Chilliwack real estate boards.

According to Major, 1,998 sales were reported in the combined areas of the three real estate boards.

“In the last week of February 2020, there were 1,109 sales, so we are up 82 percent over the same week last year,” he said.

Zealty.ca tracking also indicates that the last week of February 2021 was the highest since January 15, 2021.

Major also noted that the Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation has been “awfully quiet”.

He recalled that CMHC predicted at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 that housing prices would fall 18 percent.

“The exact opposite happened,” Major said.

He speculated that an increase to down payment requirements by CMHC could be come “any day”.

So again for buyers out there, caution is the word.

“Are you sure you want to win a bidding war on a teardown in the sticks to wake up to the next morning to discover the feds changed the rules so nobody else makes the same mistake?” Major said. 

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Vancouver real estate: home across Trout Lake listed $1.7 million, sells $870000 over asking for $2.6 million – The Georgia Straight

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The Straight has previously reported about homes selling over $500,000 on top of their listed price.

If some thought nothing is ever going to beat that, here’s a surprise.

A home in East Vancouver recently sold $872,134 over its original asking price.

The top-up alone is enough to buy a townhouse or perhaps two condos.

The two-storey home at 3285 Victoria Drive sold on February 24 after eight days on the market.

Oakwyn Realty Ltd. listed the five-bedroom, four-bath residence on February 16.

The listing price was $1,728,000.

A buyer picked up the property for $2,600,134 million.

The transaction was tracked by Zealty.ca, a real-estate information site owned and operated by Holywell Properties.

Holywell’s managing broker Adam Major informed the Straight about the sale of Victoria Drive.

According to Major, the deal for the home located across from Trout Lake is a “candidate for craziest individual deal”.

B.C. Assessment placed the 2021 value of the property at $1,741,000 as of July 1, 2020.

There may be buyers out there who have a fear of missing out as the market continues to sizzle.

They may be tempted to enter into bidding wars.

Major’s advice: don’t.

“For buyers, I would recommend caution,” he said.

The market may have become too hot that the government could decide to do something about it.

“There is a risk that the federal government steps in to cool the housing market,” Major said.

Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem has observed “excess exuberance” in the country’s housing market.

“What we get worried about is when we start to see extrapolated expectations, when we start to see people expecting the kind of unsustainable price increases we’ve seen recently go on indefinitely,” Macklem said on February 24 at a meeting with chambers of commerce in Edmonton and Calgary.

The central bank dropped its interest-setting rate to 0.25 percent on March 27, 2020 to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic.

The bank has maintained the rate, which is the lowest, and indicated that it will stay at that level until 2023.

“We are starting to see some early signs of excess exuberance, but we’re a long way from where we were in 2016-2017 when things were really hot,” bank governor Macklem said on February 24.

Holywell’s Major noted that the central may be “only six months late” in issuing a “warning about the housing market overheating”.

“But better late than never.  At some point, the rules could change and it could happen overnight,” Major said.

Major cited the case of New Zealand.

In April 2020, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand lifted lending restrictions to prop up the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure eased credit flow, and led to strong sales in the country’s housing market, with price increases setting new records.

Moving to cool the market, New Zealand’s central bank decided to reimpose so-called loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions.

Starting in March 2021, banks can allocate only 20 percent of their residential mortgage lending to owner-occupiers with a down payment of 20 percent.

Moreover, banks can lend not more than five percent to investors with a down payment of less than 30 percent. Starting on May 1, the deposit requirement for investors will increase to 40 percent.

Back of 3285 Victoria Drive.

Here at home, Holywell’s Major said that the last week in February 2021 was the “busiest for weekly sales since 2019” in markets served by the Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Chilliwack real estate boards.

According to Major, 1,998 sales were reported in the combined areas of the three real estate boards.

“In the last week of February 2020, there were 1,109 sales, so we are up 82 percent over the same week last year,” he said.

Zealty.ca tracking also indicates that the last week of February 2021 was the highest since January 15, 2021.

Major also noted that the Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation has been “awfully quiet”.

He recalled that CMHC predicted at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 that housing prices would fall 18 percent.

“The exact opposite happened,” Major said.

He speculated that an increase to down payment requirements by CMHC could be come “any day”.

So again for buyers out there, caution is the word.

“Are you sure you want to win a bidding war on a teardown in the sticks to wake up to the next morning to discover the feds changed the rules so nobody else makes the same mistake?” Major said. 

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Toronto woman says she was sexually harassed by real estate agent while looking for an apartment – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
A Toronto woman is sharing her story after she says she was sexually harassed by a real estate agent while looking for a rental apartment in the city.

Originally from Belleville, Ont., Alyssa Graham made the move to downtown Toronto in 2014 and has been living there ever since.

Graham said she started searching for a new place in mid-January, with plans to move in on Feb. 1.

“This certain property that I wanted was listed on Zolo.ca. So I just reached out to them and asked them if it was still available,” Graham told CTV News Toronto.

From there, Graham said she was paired up with a real estate agent who was “very confident” he could find her a place by her desired move-in date.

And while her first pick for a rental property fell through, Graham said she agreed to work with the agent on a go-forward basis.

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That’s when things started to get weird, she said.

Graham said she noticed that some of the texts and phone conversations with the agent were “rather flirty.”

“I answered the phone and I said ‘hello’ and he said ‘you sound so sexy when you answer the phone.’”

Nonetheless, Graham said she agreed to meet the agent for a showing at another unit as she was desperate for housing, chalking up his unorthodox approach to being part of his “spiel.”

“This was our first time meeting. He kept calling it a date, he kept asking when we were going to make out, he offered to pay $500 a month in rent for me.”

“When we were leaving the unit, he shut all the lights off and the door was locked. We’re in a pitch-black apartment, I can’t even see my hand in front of me. I’m trying to find a door to get out, but I can’t see anything.”

When the real estate agent eventually did turn the lights back on, Graham said she was eager to remove herself from the situation, but that he continued his advances.

Graham explained that following the showing, the agent was insistent on driving her home and that he would “not take no for an answer.”

She said she apprehensively accepted the offer and was dropped off at a nearby hotel, where she had been staying while in between apartments.

“He dropped me off and was like ‘so can I get a kiss?’” she said. Graham quickly refused and then made her way into the hotel.

The agent then called her asking if he should come up to her room and offered to “get a place for the night” if she was interested, Graham alleges.

After a number of unanswered texts and phone calls from the agent later — where Graham says he claimed that he couldn’t help being attracted to his client — Graham said she decided to report the incident to his employer, Zolo.

Realtor

“I told them everything that happened, that I don’t think he submitted any offers for me, that he wasted a month of time, cost me money, scared me, made me incredibly uncomfortable, etc.” Graham said.

Graham admits that she was originally nervous to submit the complaint as it would likely result in his termination and that the agent was aware of where she was living.

She said she was assured by the company that she “should be fine” because Zolo has “screenings for things like that.”

“We would have caught that,” she said she was told.

In a statement issued to CTV News Toronto on Thursday , Zolo president Mustafa Abbasi said the company acted quickly to address the issue.

“In January 2021, Zolo received a complaint from a customer regarding their interaction with an agent. We acted swiftly and in accordance with our zero-tolerance policy, terminating the agent effective immediately, within 24 hours of receiving the complaint,” the statement reads.

But Graham said that weeks later, the agent reached back out to her asking for her to retract her complaint so that he could be reinstated.

Realtor

She refused, but agreed to speak with his boss in exchange for compensation for the money paid to cover her hotel expenses.

“We signed a contract for this, which was also sent to his boss, and I spoke with his boss, and they reinstated him.”

Graham said the agent agreed to pay her $1,500 to cover those expenses, of which he has paid $150.

“I’ve contacted him about the payments countless times, which I don’t like doing as this man made me feel very uncomfortable in the past, he’s now claiming he’s not paying me and has blocked my emails and texts,” she said.

However, in a follow up statement to CTV News Toronto, Abbasi claimed that the agent was not reinstated following his termination adding that he is “no longer affiliated with Zolo in any way.”

With relief, Graham said she was finally able to find an apartment with a female real estate agent and is set to move out of the hotel on March 1. But she says that the “nightmare” experience has left its mark.

“With COVID-19, it’s been hard for everyone, but I’ve had some pretty rough days and he [the real estate agent] knows about those too and he was still giving me the runaround and I guess, just saw me as a piece of ass.”

“I thought I was talking to someone who was genuinely trying to help me, and it turned out not to be the case whatsoever.” 

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