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How Grammy-Nominated Artist JoiStaRR Scaled Her Brand With Luxury Real Estate – Forbes



There’s been a lot of buzz around the real estate industry ever since the prices of houses started skyrocketing during the pandemic. However, that’s not the only thing to note about the industry. Between the pandemic and the projected recession occurring in the near future, the influx of real estate agents has also increased. With real estate offering flexible schedules and hefty royalties, the industry has attracted many individuals, from burned-out health care workers to parents looking to earn an extra income. Even artists started looking into the benefits of becoming an agent, especially with tours canceled and Hollywood pausing filming. According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 156,000 people joined their ranks in 2021 and 2020 combined—nearly 60% more than in the previous two years.

Joi Campbell, widely known through the music and entertainment industry as JoiStaRR for her songwriting, is an example of how up-and-coming artists can create different verticals to grow their brands. After a projected two-month tour opening for Kanye West turned into a multi-year hiatus, she realized she had to expand her reach and focused her attention on real estate. Although she is recognized for her work behind the scenes as a songwriter for the likes of everyone from Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown, over the past couple of years, especially during the pandemic, she’s made a name for herself at Nest Seekers as one of their top luxury real estate concierges. In addition, her resume includes acting, and her first single, Love Story, was released in February.

“I tiptoed into it [real estate] because I had only been talking about music,” Campbell expresses. “I thought no one would understand; no one cares. It was a fear of mine to really crossover or to reveal who I really am. Because I was in fear of that, I didn’t know how to talk about it on social media, which is very important. To have a business, you have to connect with people so they know what you want to do. And it was very hard for me to do that. So I would do it just behind the scenes and through word of mouth because of that fear. Just here recently, as I’ve grown and with this new company, Nest Seekers, it’s connected to what I do as an entertainer. It made me feel more comfortable to talk about it.”

Campbell’s singing career began in the church choir. As her talent developed, she started writing songs. Witnessing her brother, Warryn Campbell’s, success as an artist and record producer, she wanted to follow in his footsteps. However, she was studying to become a doctor. She realized during the orientation of her medical program that she wanted to pursue a career in music.

She had the opportunity to perform as a background singer for West. At one point, she asked him if she could be a permanent fixture as a background vocalist. West told Campbell that if he agreed, he would be holding her back because he acknowledged her talent. So, he did invite her to join him on the Fame Kills tour co-headlining with Lady Gaga. However, it was canceled after public controversy regarding West’s interruption of Taylor Swift’s Best Female Video speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Campbell quickly found herself at a crossroads.

“Bouncing back when that didn’t happen was interesting because it was like, ‘Ok, what exactly is happening?’” she states. “For me, it was business. Typically, most artists look at being an artist as ‘I want to be a star. I want the world to love me.’ I wanted the business. I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, my business as JoiStaRR is at a screeching halt. What do I do?’ I had to find my passion. I didn’t want to do anything that made me feel like I was losing it all. I prayed for a situation or something that was a passion for me that I could jump into. I wanted to feel the same exact way I felt about music. And that was real estate.”

Campbell lived in fear at the beginning of her real estate journey. Questioning whether or not it was suitable for her, she knew that she couldn’t stay in that state for long, or else she’d become business paralyzed. But, taking it one step at a time, she realized how being in this space would help her as an entrepreneur.

Gradually, as she became more comfortable sharing that her brand expanded into real estate, she also had the motivation to release her first single and continue working on her album. Additionally, she added to her acting credits by starring in Strive, playing a role opposite Danny Glover.

As Campbell continues to pivot in her career, she focuses on the following essential steps:

  • Let your passion and vision drive your actions. Your career should be something that you wake up excited about every morning.
  • Limit outside discussions about your plans; don’t let others’ opinions persuade you in one direction or another.
  • Tune into your spiritual guidance to help you make difficult and risky decisions.

“I’ve learned to stand up for myself at the moment I need to, and to stand for what I believe in and to not go with the flow,” Campbell concludes. “In business, especially, I am in two huge worlds that are very much boys’ games. So as a woman, it’s taught me to hone in on that, and be that leader and not care if it looks like I’m being something other than the beautiful queen.”

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Former B.C. Realtor has licence cancelled, $130K in penalties for role in mortgage fraud



The provincial regulator responsible for policing B.C.’s real estate industry has ordered a former Realtor to pay $130,000 and cancelled her licence after determining that she committed a variety of professional misconduct.

Rashin Rohani surrendered her licence in December 2023, but the BC Financial Services Authority’s chief hearing officer Andrew Pendray determined that it should nevertheless be cancelled as a signal to other licensees that “repetitive participation in deceptive schemes” will result in “significant” punishment.

He also ordered her to pay a $40,000 administrative penalty and $90,000 in enforcement expenses. Pendray explained his rationale for the penalties in a sanctions decision issued on May 17. The decision was published on the BCFSA website Wednesday.

Rohani’s misconduct occurred over a period of several years, and came in two distinct flavours, according to the decision.

Pendray found she had submitted mortgage applications for five different properties that she either owned or was purchasing, providing falsified income information on each one.

Each of these applications was submitted using a person referred to in the decision as “Individual 1” as a mortgage broker. Individual 1 was not a registered mortgage broker and – by the later applications – Rohani either knew or ought to have known this was the case, according to the decision.

All of that constituted “conduct unbecoming” under B.C.’s Real Estate Services Act, Pendray concluded.

Separately, Rohani also referred six clients to Individual 1 when she knew or ought to have known he wasn’t a registered mortgage broker, and she received or anticipated receiving a referral fee from Individual 1 for doing so, according to the decision. Rohani did not disclose this financial interest in the referrals to her clients.

Pendray found all of that to constitute professional misconduct under the act.

‘Deceptive’ scheme

The penalties the chief hearing officer chose to impose for this behaviour were less severe than those sought by the BCFSA in the case, but more significant than those Rohani argued she should face.

Rohani submitted that the appropriate penalty for her conduct would be a six-month licence suspension or a $15,000 discipline penalty, plus $20,000 in enforcement expenses.

For its part, the BCFSA asked Pendray to cancel Rohani’s licence and impose a $100,000 discipline penalty plus more than $116,000 in enforcement expenses.

Pendray’s ultimate decision to cancel the licence and impose penalties and expenses totalling $130,000 reflected his assessment of the severity of Rohani’s misconduct.

Unlike other cases referenced by the parties in their submissions, Rohani’s misconduct was not limited to a single transaction involving falsified documents or a series of such transactions during a brief period of time, according to the decision.

“Rather, in this case Ms. Rohani repetitively, over the course of a number of years, elected to personally participate in a deceptive mortgage application scheme for her own benefit, and subsequently, arranged for her clients to participate in the same deceptive mortgage application scheme,” the decision reads.

Pendray further noted that, although Rohani had been licensed for “a significant period of time,” she had only completed a small handful of transactions, according to records from her brokerage.

There were just six transactions on which her brokerage recorded earnings for her between December 2015 and February 2020, according to the decision. Of those six, four were transactions that were found to have involved misconduct or conduct unbecoming.

“In sum, Ms. Rohani’s minimal participation in the real estate industry as a licensee has, for the majority of that minimal participation, involved her engaging in conduct unbecoming involving deceptive practices and professional misconduct,” the decision reads.

According to the decision, Rohani must pay the $40,000 discipline penalty within 90 days of the date it was issued.



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Should you wait to buy or sell your home?



The Bank of Canada is expected to announce its key interest rate decision in less than two weeks. Last month, the bank lowered its key interest rate to 4.7 per cent, marking its first rate cut since March 2020.

CTV Morning Live asked Jason Pilon, broker of Record Pilon Group, whether now is the right time to buy or sell your home.

When it comes to the next interest rate announcement, Pilon says the bank might either lower it further, or just keep it as is.

“The best case scenario we’re seeing is obviously a quarter point. I think more just because of the job numbers that just came out, I think more people are just leading on the fact that they probably just gonna do it in September,” he said. “Either way, what we saw in June, didn’t make a big difference.”

Here are the pros of buying/ selling now:

Pilon suggests locking in the rate right now, if you don’t want to take a risk with interest rates going up in the future.

He says the environment is more predictable right now, noting that the home values are transparent, which is one of the benefits for home sellers.

“Do you want to risk looking at what that looks like down the road? Or do you want to have the comfort in knowing what your house is worth right now?” Pilon said.

And when it comes to buyers, he notes, the competition is not so fierce right now, noting that there are options to choose from.

“You’re in the driver seat right now,” he said while noting the benefits for buyers.

Here are the cons of buying/ selling now:

He says one of the cons would be locking in the rate right now, then seeing a rate cut in the future.

The competition could potentially become fierce, if the bank decides to cut the rate further more, he explained.

He notes that if that happens, the housing crisis will become even worse, as Canada is still dealing with low housing inventory.

An increase in competition would increase the prices of houses, he adds.

Selling or buying too quickly isn’t the best practice, he notes, suggesting that you should take your time and put some thought into it.

Despite all the pros and cons, Pilon says, real estate remains a good investment.

According to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey for the second quarter of this year, the average home price in Canada is $824,300. That’s up 1.9 per cent from the same time last year, and up 1.5 per cent from the first quarter of 2024.

In the Ottawa Housing Market Report for June 2024, the average price of a home was up 2.4 per cent from this time last year to $686,535, but down 0.6 per cent from May 2024.

Experts believe many potential buyers are still hesitant of jumping into the housing market and waiting for another interest rate cut of 50 to 100 basis points.

“I don’t think it’s going to be the rush that we see in the past, because people are used to more of a conservative approach right now,” said Curtis Fillier, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “I think there’s still a bit of a hold back, but I definitely do think with another rate cut, we’ll probably see a very positive fall market.”

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Kimberly Fowler



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Real estate stocks soar to best day of year on rate cut bets



(Bloomberg) — The stock market’s worst group notched its best day of the year as a cooler-than-expected inflation report stoked bets that the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates in September.

Shares of real estate companies jumped 2.7% Thursday for their biggest gain of 2024, climbing to their highest level since March as investors snapped up homebuilder, digital and commercial real estate stocks alike. Real estate also was the best-performing group in the S&P 500 Index Thursday, with volume that was around 30% higher than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Arguably the most significant news to come from the latest consumer price index reading was a pullback in housing-related inflation. Shelter costs rose just 0.2% for the slowest monthly increase in three years. Homebuilders, which have risen 7.1% this year, were up 7.3% for the session, the most since 2022. Shares of D.R. Horton Inc., which is scheduled to report earnings next Thursday, gained 7.3%.

“Housing has really been the last shoe to drop in terms of winning the battle against high inflation,” Preston Caldwell, chief U.S. economist at Morningstar wrote in a note to clients Thursday. “Leading-edge data has strongly indicated for some time now that a fall in housing inflation was in the works.”

A rally in real estate stocks is bad news for short sellers who have been piling into the group, which is the worst performer in the S&P 500 this year. To start the week, short interest as a percentage of float hovered near 49% in the SPDR Homebuilders ETF, the highest level since February for the exchange-traded fund, according to data from S3 Partners.

Property owners are rallying as well. Real estate investment trusts, which were brutally penalized during the two-year run up in borrowing costs, advanced by as much as 3%. And the outlook for the group appears to have turned a corner, according Rich Hill, senior vice president and head of real estate strategy and research at Cohen & Steers Capital Management.

“We think this is a compelling backdrop for listed REITs especially as fundamental growth remains on solid footing,” he said, referencing the latest inflation data and rate outlook. “The rally that started in October of 2023 pushing returns more than 20% above their trough looks set to continue if inflation cools and interest rates continue to decline.”

Shares of industrial REIT Prologis Inc., which reports second-quarter results on Wednesday, rose 3.3% to hit their highest level since April. U.S. Treasury yields tumbled, with the 10-year bond falling to 4.2% and the policy-sensitive two-year note slipping to 4.5%.

(Updates indexes and stock prices for market close.)



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