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Real estate could be a viable career alternative for women hit by pandemic job losses – Financial Post



Real estate sector offers flexibility, stability and potential for growth

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Rapidly escalating housing prices have grabbed much attention during the pandemic, but the real estate industry could be notable for another, less-publicized reason: it’s provided stable employment for tens of thousands of Canadians during the past year.

Deemed an essential service, the real estate sector was a source of stability in an otherwise faltering employment market. Over the years, women have made tremendous progress in the sector, where their numbers as agents, brokers and even franchise owners have steadily grown.

That success is in marked contrast to some of the other sectors such as tourism and retail where women are more often employed than men. Almost half-a-million women remain unemployed, according to Statistics Canada’s latest data. Another 100,000 working-age women have left the labour force entirely as they are no longer searching for a job.

As thousands of women wait for employment opportunities, they could be wondering whether they should try to rejoin the same economic sector that offered inadequate compensation, limited growth opportunities and no tenure security, or switch careers into other industries that have fared better, at least during the pandemic.


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Some professions such as engineering, health care and law require specialized training that might take years of full-time schooling. Others like real estate are not that prescribed, so individuals can pursue licensing even while working elsewhere. Indeed, real estate leaders believe women have a competitive advantage in the industry, making it a viable and exciting career path.

Julie Gaucher, owner and co-founder of Sutton Quebec, where 40 per cent of the 1,500 agents working under her umbrella group are women, has tracked agent productivity over the years and found women to be stable performers year after year, whereas males exhibit highs and lows.

She believes real estate is an ideal career for women because it offers the flexibility that few other professions offer. “You decide your schedule, and if you are a structured person, you will succeed,” she said.

The use of technology has undoubtedly helped, since it allows agents to email listings to clients, respond to messages, make calls, search for comps and prepare contract documents from pretty much anywhere, even from a car parked outside an arena or field, where their children could be playing hockey or soccer.

Gaucher believes women are better at multitasking, and, hence, they can simultaneously be with their families and do their work as a real estate professional.

Another veteran industry leader is Vivian Risi, broker-owner and chief executive of Royal LePage Your Community Realty, with more than 1,300 realtors operating under her banner in the Greater Toronto Area.


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Risi has seen women realtors succeed even when they work part time, at times outperforming male colleagues working full time. This, she believes, is due to their inherent traits of being multitaskers and nurturers, and their ability to build trust with clients.

Real estate also offers other opportunities than just helping clients buy, sell or rent properties. Realtors gain first-hand knowledge of investment-worthy properties that may not have yet hit the market, allowing them the opportunity to move first.

“What other profession offers you a job and the opportunity to become an investor?” Risi said.

What other profession offers you a job and the opportunity to become an investor?

Vivian Risi, broker-owner and chief executive of Royal LePage Your Community Realty

There’s no doubt women have come a long way in the industry. Today, more women than ever are in leadership positions in real estate companies, local MLS boards, and provincial and national industry associations.

But the road to success for women has not been easy. In the past, systemic roadblocks prevented women from joining the industry or assuming leadership roles. Before the 1970s, one needed a broker’s patronage to even apply for a licence to practice, which prevented women, who were not connected to the broker network, from entering.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) only elected its first female president in 1981. Back then, it took three attempts before Sadie Moranis (Stephen Moranis’s late mother) was finally voted in as the first woman president.

Sadie Moranis was a trailblazer who challenged the status quo, not just by breaking gender barriers, but by being an innovative professional who steered the industry through some tough times. Her innovations included helping Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. list its foreclosed properties on the MLS system directly, enabling these transactions to be widely marketed to the public and ensuring higher prices for the federal government.


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  1. Home price gains don't make sense when the labour market is so damaged from the COVID-19 pandemic, David Rosenberg says.

    David Rosenberg says Canada’s housing market in a ‘huge bubble’

  2. Toronto is the second Canadian city to join the million-dollar club after Vancouver.

    Toronto home prices breach $1 million for first time as bidding wars heat up

  3. A person looks out the window of a quarantine hotel in Toronto.

    Why the pandemic’s lingering effects will continue to hurt the hospitality industry

  4. Cottage country realtors have not been this busy in years and there are no signs of a sharp slowdown on the horizon.

    Cottage country is the new battleground for housing bidding wars

Today, TRREB is led by Lisa Patel, long recognized for promoting community leadership, entrepreneurship and diversity. On March 10, Stacey Evoy, a Royal LePage broker in London, Ont., was appointed president-elect of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). Since 1988, eight women have been successful in securing the leadership of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The pandemic provides an opportunity for women to take stock of the employment markets and reorient their careers in sectors that offer flexibility, stability and potential for growth. Real estate is one such alternative.

Murtaza Haider is a professor at Ryerson University. Stephen Moranis is a real estate industry veteran. They can be reached at the Haider-Moranis Bulletin website

In-depth reporting on the innovation economy from The Logic, brought to you in partnership with the Financial Post.


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Real eState

Hot real estate market sparks warnings to potential buyers as complaints to regulator double



As home sales in the province continue on a dizzying trajectory, the province’s real estate watchdog and regulator are warning buyers to be wary of what they may be getting into.

The Real Estate Council of B.C. (RECBC) and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate said that in the first three months of 2021, they have seen an increase in inquiries and complaints.

Calls to the regulator were up 42 per cent over the previous year, while complaints, such as how offers were made and accepted, were double the number received in the same period in 2020.

“Buying a home is one of life’s biggest financial decisions. There are potential risks at the best of times, but with the added pressure and stress of the current market conditions, those risks are amplified,” Micheal Noseworthy, superintendent of real estate, said in a statement.



The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says sales in the region have continued at a record-setting pace.

Residential home sales covered by the board totalled 5,708 in March 2021, up 126.1 per cent from March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and up 53.2 per cent from February of this year.

Rural and suburban areas have experienced the biggest spikes.

For the past two weeks, Jay Park has been in the middle of the buying frenzy.

He and his partner are trying to upgrade from their one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom condo or townhouse in Vancouver.

“I wish we had done this a month or two ago,” he said.


A condo tower under construction is pictured in downtown Vancouver in February 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)


Park put an offer on a $1-million condo, $4,000 above asking price.

“To entice the [seller], we put in a subject-free offer, but it wasn’t successful,” he said. “They accepted $110,000 over asking price that was also subject-free.”

The hot market has led to bidding wars. Some would-be buyers have even lined up outside for days to try to get a jump on a property.

Erin Seeley, the CEO of the council, is warning buyers to do their research and be aware of risks before making an offer.

“It’s really important that buyers have engaged with their lender before they’re making offers so they know how to stay within a reasonable budget,” she said.

Seeley said some of the complaints the council has heard from buyers is that they weren’t aware the seller has a right to take an early offer.

“And the seller was really in the driver’s seat about setting the pricing,” she said.


Demand continues to outstrip supply for housing in cities like Vancouver. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)


Aaron Jasper, a Vancouver realtor, advises clients to avoid cash offers and to include finance clauses even if it may mean they lose a deal.

“There’s a lot of frustration among buyers, feeling pressure to take some risk,” he said.

“You’re better to be delayed perhaps a year getting into the market as opposed to being completely financially ruined.”

Jasper also says realtors are limited in the advice they can give to clients on legal matters, home inspections, potential deficiencies with homes, and financing.

‘Caught up in the craziness’

Other tips from the council include seeking professional advice before making a subject-free offer or proceeding without a home inspection, and speaking to a professional to determine how market conditions may be affecting prices.

Meantime, people like Jay Park say they are still keen to buy. Park has more viewings scheduled and is optimistic.

“It’s a very exciting time for us, but I also don’t want to get caught up in the craziness and make a purchase that’s above our means.”

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Real eState

Black Press Media introduces one of Western Canada's best real estate platforms helping home buyers Find. Love. Live. that new home – Aldergrove Star



Need an agent who knows the community?

Or, is it time to look for a new place to live, but you don’t know what’s on the market?

Whatever the real estate need is for residents in the communities of British Columbia, Yukon & Alberta, there’s a new way to do that one-stop shopping – by visiting Today’s Home.

The slogan for the site is “Find. Love. Live.”

“We want people to find their dream home, love it, and live in it,” said group publisher Lisa Farquharson.

Building on the success of Black Press Media’s niche digital platforms – Today’s Home brings the same wealth of knowledge and local expertise to the search for a home, be it buying, selling, or even just daydreaming about what changes you can make in the future.

Search hundreds of listings that local real estate agents have available.

The listings cover properties around the region, from a one-bedroom, one-bath condo for $339,900 to million-dollar acreages throughout the province of BC, Yukon, Central Alberta and beyond.

Click on a listing, and see not only the realtor handling the property sale, but links to his or her other listings and social media feeds. With the click of a mouse, take a virtual tour of the property, find the property’s walking score, and learn about nearby amenities.

There are links available to schedule a showing, or send the agent a comment or question.

Want to share a listing? When you click on the share button, you’ll actually send an attractive digital flyer of the prospective property, not just a link.

There’s even a button to help determine how much you have to spend, courtesy of the convenient mortgage calculator.

Plus, scroll down the page on Today’s Home and find a list of expert local real estate professionals who can answer questions or help with that home sale, Farquharson explained.

Today’s Home offers the advantage of the massive reach that Black Press Media has built throughout Western Canada with its network of community newspapers and online products. That allows the public to tailor real estate searches based on location, price, and other key factors while allowing real estate professionals to gain unprecedented audience reach with their listings.

Today’s Home will dovetail into the media company’s existing print real estate publications.

“Black Press Media has real estate solutions in print and now we can add in the digital component,” Farquharson said.

Watch for expansion of the Today’s Home platform in the near future, she added. That will come as Black Press Media adds a new component – the development community. Developers will be able to reach a huge audience when their projects are ready for presentation.

For information on Today’s Home, contact group publisher Lisa Farquharson at 604-994-1020 or via email.

Happy house hunting!

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Real eState

PGIM Real Estate, Revera Affiliate Target UK Market in Newly Formed JV



Real Estate Sales In September

PGIM Real Estate has been active in recent months providing capital to facilitate blockbuster senior housing acquisitions. Now the firm is looking to capitalize on demand for senior housing in the United Kingdom.

The Madison, New Jersey-based real estate investor and lender announced this week it is entering into a joint venture with Signature Senior Lifestyle, an affiliate of Revera, to develop and operate senior housing communities around greater London

Mississauga, Ontario-based Revera serves 20,000 older adults in long-term care homes and retirement residences in Canada. It is also the majority shareholder of Sunrise Senior Living, one of the largest senior housing providers in the U.S. The company operates a portfolio of 12 communities in the U.K. under the Signature Senior Lifestyle brand, with one community in development that is slated to open in autumn 2021.


The JV has one development underway — a senior housing community, or “prime care” home, in southwest London. PGIM worked with Elevation Partners, a London-based investor and asset manager in U.K. health care real estate, in sourcing, structuring and executing the venture. Additionally, PGIM will retain the firm to leverage its expertise.

PGIM and Revera did not respond to requests for comment from Senior Housing News regarding details about its development pipeline.

London is emerging as a future hotbed of senior housing development, spurred by favorable demographic growth trends and a lack of available supply, and the PGIM-Revera venture will find competition.


Maplewood Senior Living CEO Gregory Smith told SHN last month that demand for U.K. senior housing is comparable to major U.S. markets such as New York and San Francisco, where supply has historically been constrained.

Maplewood and its investment partner, Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) are looking to expand its luxury Inspir brand to the U.K., and identified five suburban markets around London with high barriers to entry that are favorable for the brand’s growth.

Revera CEO Tom Wellner sees similar untapped upside potential for senior housing in the U.K.

Source: – Senior Housing News

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