Properly will also cover any mortgage payments due on the old home once the seller assumes a mortgage on their new home
A real estate technology firm working with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is making a pandemic-driven pitch: sell your home without having to let prospective buyers roam your corridors by getting a guaranteed price that lets you shop for and move into a new house.
“The pandemic has made an already stressful home buying and selling process even more volatile,” said Anshul Ruparell, chief executive and co-founder of Properly, which is launching the product in Toronto and will also be rolling it out in Ottawa.
The tech firm compares itself to a traditional real estate agent, with the usual five per cent commission fee, but machine learning is used to determine the price a home is likely to fetch on the open market and the firm guarantees that backup offer if it doesn’t sell within 90 days.
Instead of going the traditional route of buying a new home and then selling the old one — hoping to get the expected amount, and having prospective buyers sometimes making multiple visits — the seller can use the guaranteed floor price to buy and move into a new home, and the old home can be listed once they’ve moved out.
This allows them to “substantially reduce risk” when managing what is often the biggest transaction of their lives, Ruparell said.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, residential real estate sales plummeted and prices fell, but both have begun to rebound. Toronto registered an increase in residential transactions of nearly 30 per cent in July compared to a year ago, due to pent-up demand, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. The average selling price, meanwhile, rose by almost 17 per cent.
Tracy Best, a senior vice-president at CIBC, said Canada’s fifth-largest bank is dipping a toe into a partnership with Properly by providing advice to the tech firm’s clients through referrals, similar to arrangements the bank has with agents and brokers in the real estate sector.
The startup is “another partner in that ecosystem,” she said, adding the bank is also keen to gain insights into new and innovative technology.
Best said she could not comment on the state of the mortgage market and how that might influence the relationship because the bank is in a “quiet period” before the release of third-quarter earnings on Aug. 27, but noted that “COVID might make (Properly’s pitch) more interesting for people.”
Ruparell, who worked in private equity at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and was involved in a number of startups before co-founding Properly in 2018, said the company’s pitch has attracted some clients specifically due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. He said a couple that moved from a condominium in Toronto to a bigger home in Niagara, for example, didn’t want to let anyone into the condo because the wife was pregnant.
But he said the business model, which has drawn more than $15 million in venture capital and a dedicated pool of capital “many times larger” to fund home purchases, isn’t dependent on the pandemic.
Another enticement Properly offers sellers is the firm will cover any mortgage payments due on the old home once the seller assumes a mortgage on their new home. Ruparell says this money would come out of Properly’s five per cent commission, rather than the portion of the ultimate sale price of the home that goes to the seller.
“We are comfortable covering this cost, which … wouldn’t be done in a traditional transaction,” he said, noting the average Toronto home is selling within 17 days of listing.
His partners in the Calgary-based startup include Research In Motion veteran Craig Dunk and Sheldon McCormick, who helped Uber expand in Canada.
Royal LePage launches Canada's most powerful AI-driven real estate platform – Canada NewsWire
rlpSPHERE maximizes brokerage, team and agent productivity and profitability
TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2020 /CNW/ – Royal LePage, Canada’s largest real estate company, has launched its widely anticipated new digital brokerage ecosystem, rlpSPHERE. The technology drives brokerage, team and agent businesses struggling with unwieldy traditional tools through powerful websites, superior lead generation, compelling client insight, and an automated client nurturing system, which has natural and intuitive features that delight consumers and experienced professionals alike. With an AI-powered Smart CRM and analytics to track both overall business status and specific opportunities, brokers and agents are freed to be more strategic and increasingly efficient, optimizing their time with active clients while converting prospects in their sphere of influence into satisfied customers.
“We recognized that the quantity of technology being purchased by agents and brokerages was vast and ungovernable. These tools were islands, adding some value in a narrow, functional way but unable to communicate across the enterprise or to positively impact the professional life of a real estate professional,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “We saw the unique opportunity to create a fully integrated solution built with AI programming that rapidly adapts to our professionals’ needs so that they can succeed in the fast-changing, unpredictable world of real estate brokerage. To be fair to our large national team, we knew it had to work on any platform, mobile or desktop. And, it had to be cloud-based so that our people could be productive anywhere, anytime. rlpSPHERE fulfills this audacious vision.”
At its heart, the rlpSPHERE system boasts extensive Canadianization and brand customization of the highly sought after kvCORE platform, creating a powerful all-in-one solution uniquely tailored to the needs of Canadian brokerages, REALTORS®1 and teams. rlpSPHERE is deeply imbued with Royal LePage’s marketing expertise and integrated into Royal LePage’s internal systems providing a seamless experience for agents, teams and brokers to run every aspect of their business.
“As the leader in real estate technology in Canada, we are providing our network with a competitive advantage, leveraging best-in-class consumer and agent technology, optimized to achieve meaningful business outcomes. In early results, energized sales teams are sharing that they’ve established a dominant online presence, engaged with new customers and re-engaged with existing ones. They foresee that they will increase their overall business and consumer service levels whether they are new or experienced agents,” said Carolyn Cheng, COO, Royal LePage.
rlpSPHERE includes cutting-edge productivity tools in a mobile-ready environment. Standout features include:
- Fully customizable brokerage, team and agent websites with the latest consumer search options including polygon map search, search by school catchment area, filtering by lifestyle data, search by travel time as well as recommended listings based on your search criteria.
- A robust Lead Engine featuring unlimited custom landing pages and IDX squeeze pages as well as built-in paid Google and Facebook advertising options via an integrated Marketplace.
- Intelligent, customizable lead routing and accountability options at the brokerage and team levels to optimize lead conversion.
- A Smart CRM and native mobile app with dynamic lead follow up and automated nurturing campaigns to engage more leads and sphere of influence contacts.
- Integrated and branded digital, print and social media marketing templates and options.
The rlpSPHERE platform also provides powerful options for team leaders, empowering Royal LePage teams to manage their business complete with their own branding, full database ownership and privacy as well as lead routing that is independent yet still leverages their brokerage’s services and Royal LePage national systems.
“We’re honoured to be the long-term technology partner, powering Canada’s leading real estate brand,” said Joe Skousen, president of Inside Real Estate. “Working with the talented and forward-thinking leadership team at Royal LePage to successfully customize our kvCORE platform, has been incredibly rewarding. One of our goals as a technology partner is to empower greater success and profitability for the agent, team and brokerage, with a brand-customized experience. It’s provided us another great opportunity to demonstrate not only the robust capabilities but also the flexibility of our platform. We’re thrilled to see the launch of rlpSPHERE to Royal LePage brokers, teams and agents to help drive bottom-line results – especially at a time when real estate professionals are relying on their technology more than ever.”
The rollout of rlpSPHERE began in spring 2020 and will continue through the coming months. Available in both English and French, the core solution will be provided at no cost to the company’s agents and brokerages. Early response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s a career changing system! It gives me the data, organization and structure to stay engaged and focused on what needs to be done on a day-to-day basis,” said Carlo De Castris, sales representative, Royal LePage Royal City Realty, Brokerage. “The automated nurturing and behavioural automation is surprisingly natural, human and personalized. I’ve closed 3 sales, secured an additional listing and have a steady flow of leads that I might not have otherwise had this summer.”
To learn more about rlpSPHERE, please visit rlp.ca/rlpsphere_video.
About Royal LePage
Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of approximately 18,000 real estate professionals in over 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbolTSX:BRE. For more information, please visit royallepage.ca.
About Inside Real Estate: Inside Real Estate is a fast growing, independently-owned real estate software firm that serves as a trusted technology partner to over 200,000 top brokerages, agents and teams. Their flagship product, kvCORE Platform, is the most modern and comprehensive solution in the industry known for delivering profitable growth at every level of a brokerage organization. Built on a modern, scalable and flexible architecture, kvCORE enables every brokerage to create their own unique technology ecosystem through custom branding, robust integrations and high-quality add-on solutions. With an accomplished leadership team and over 175 employees, Inside Real Estate brings the resources, scale and vision to deliver ongoing innovation and success to their growing customer base.
1 The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
SOURCE Royal LePage Real Estate Services
For further information: Media Contacts: Royal LePage, Sarah Louise Gardiner, Director, Communications and Investor Relations, (647) 961-2260, [email protected]; Inside Real Estate, Media Contact: 801-407-9833
What is Happening in the Fredericton Real Estate Market? – RE/MAX News
Across the country, the real estate market boasted record-breaking numbers all summer long. From the Vancouver housing sector to the Fredericton real estate market, sales activity and prices popped, despite the COVID-19 pandemic lingering in the background. The industry has found the developments remarkable. Canada slipped into a recession and many companies were decimated, but the Canadian real estate market has remained solid during this chaotic time. It is a testament to the superb work of real estate agents, as well as the strength of the nation’s overall housing market.
Before the virus outbreak, New Brunswick was becoming one of many noteworthy real estate hot spots in the country. Although it faced a slump at the height of the pandemic, it has witnessed a remarkable recovery. Sharon Watts, executive officer for the Real Estate Board of the Fredericton Area (REFBA), recently described the state of the market as “like no other” the industry has seen before, since the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted by the province.
Whether it is pent-up demand or limited stocks, there are many factors contributing to the boom of the Fredericton real estate sector. Could these bullish factors sustain the market over the next few months?
What is Happening in the Fredericton Real Estate Market?
According to the REBFA, residential sales rose one per cent in July, the second-best July on record. The average price of homes sold surged 16.8 per cent to $218,760. In addition to growing demand in Fredericton, overall supply has trended downward for the last five years. Today, inventory sits at a 20-year low, and this could continue to decline, as recent real estate trends favour smaller cities and suburban or rural markets.
Fredericton has turned into a seller’s market as bidding wars have become commonplace within this city of about 60,000 people. Homebuyers are placing bids as high as $60,000 over the asking price.
“Activity in Atlantic Canada was back to pre-COVID-19 levels by May 2020, and like many sellers’ markets in Canada, multiple offer scenarios continue to happen in these regions,” the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report stated.
Could this impressive feat be sustained for the remainder of 2020 – and beyond?
With low borrowing rates expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future, money has never been cheaper. The Bank of Canada (BoC) has reduced its five-year mortgage rate to below five per cent, and there is no reason to dismiss the idea that the central bank would lower it again.
During the pandemic, realtors have been relying on technology and digital tools to conduct transactions and work with their clients. Online documents, virtual tours and detailed web-based advertisements – real estate agents have used digital mechanisms to their advantage. This has allowed people from all over Canada to confidently purchase houses or condominiums in other places, even without seeing these properties in person.
Immigration is another factor that the industry is paying attention to. This year, immigration levels have cratered due to border restrictions and changes in travel. In June, more than 19,000 new permanent residents entered Canada, down from the more than 34,000 immigrants who were welcomed the same time a year ago.
This trend might have an impact on the Canadian real estate market, including Fredericton. The New Brunswick capital is also considered a college town that typically attracts a large number of international students. But while this may not affect the buying and selling of homes, it is disrupting the rental market.
Should this trend continue, developers might think twice about constructing rental units. But Fredericton locals are confident that this renewed demand for houses could be enough to encourage investors to bring new supply to the market.
Is Atlantic Canada the Next Major Housing Market?
Could Fredericton join the broader Atlantic Canada real estate boom? Whether it is the sizzling market of Halifax or St. John’s, cities across the Maritimes are witnessing better-than-expected sales activity and residential prices. Many of these cities are becoming appealing destinations for homeowners due to a renewed focus upon urban development initiatives and more affordable housing options. Plus, with rates as low as they are and remote work policies prevalent throughout the labour market, many are taking advantage of the opportunity and considering other cities and towns across the Great White North.
Once the coronavirus pandemic is safely behind us and society attempts to return to normal, the permanent shift could turn out to favour Fredericton and its neighbours on the east coast. Atlantic Canada may not just be a vacation hotspot for families from Toronto or Montreal. Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia could soon become top destinations for Canadian (and international) homebuyers.
Firm Capital Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust TSX Venture Exchange:FCA.U
Firm Capital Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust Announces Closing of Previously Announced 50% Interest in a 235 Unit, Multi-Family Residential Building for $37.5 Million in the Washington D.C. Metro Area
All amounts are in US Dollars unless otherwise stated.
TORONTO, Sept. 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Firm Capital Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust (the “Trust”), (TSXV: FCA.U), (TSXV: FCA) is pleased to announce it has closed the previously announced joint venture with an unrelated third party to acquire a $37.5 million multi-family residential property located in the Washington D.C. Metro Area.
The Trust has closed the North Pointe Apartments (“North Pointe” or the “Property”), a 235-unit, multi-family residential property located in Hyattsville, Maryland. The joint venture purchased the property for $37.5 million or approximately $159,575 per unit ($217 per square foot), representing a 5.7% capitalization rate. The Property was financed with a new first mortgage for approximately $29.7 million with an approximate 3.0% interest rate. The terms of the financing include a four-year interest-only or I/O period, 30 year amortization and a twelve year term. The remaining capital requirement, including closing and working capital, is approximately $10.8 million and was funded through $6.8 million of common equity held 50% by the Trust and 50% by the unrelated third party, with the remaining $4.0 million funded as preferred equity at an 8% rate of return, held 100% by the Trust.
ABOUT FIRM CAPITAL APARTMENT REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST
Firm Capital Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust is a U.S. focused real estate investment trust that pursues multi-residential income producing real estate and related debt investments on both a wholly owned and joint venture basis. The Trust has ownership interests in a total of 2,308 apartment units diversely located in Florida, Connecticut, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Georgia and Maryland.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain information in this news release constitutes forward-looking statements under applicable securities law. Any statements that are contained in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “intend” and similar expressions.
Forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks, including, without limitation, risks associated with general economic conditions; adverse factors affecting the U.S. real estate market generally or those specific markets in which the Trust holds properties; volatility of real estate prices; inability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources, and/or inability to access sufficient capital on favourable terms; industry and government regulation; changes in legislation, income tax and regulatory matters; the ability of the Trust to implement its business strategies; competition; currency and interest rate fluctuations and other risks. Additional risk factors that may impact the Trust or cause actual results and performance to differ from the forward looking statements contained herein are set forth in the Trust’s Annual Information Form under the heading Risk Factors (a copy of which can be obtained under the Trust’s profile on www.sedar.com).
Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list is not exhaustive. Readers are further cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are placed will occur. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. Except as required by applicable law, the Trust undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither the Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
|For further information, please contact:|
|Eli Dadouch||Sandy Poklar|
|President & Chief Executive Officer||Chief Financial Officer|
|(416) 635-0221||(416) 635-0221|
|For Investor Relations information, please contact:|
|Director, Investor Relations|
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