“Messy” could be the perfect word to describe a successful real estate broker in the 1980s. And one would take pride in being messy, for brokers worked with listings cut directly out of the newspaper and had all the available listings printed out and displayed on a wall. It was a sort of art. The printed listings would be filled with Post-its and would (mostly) be removed once the apartments were gone. The landline phone (extension included) was an agent’s best friend, and walk-in clients were widespread. For the most part, real estate agents (and their clients) have since evolved.
From ‘Early Bird Gets The Worm’ To ‘Work Smart And Hard’
Being the first agent at the office is not enough. Today, agents are expected to be good at marketing, networking, real estate and technology. Not having any one of these skills means falling behind.
Having all agents work from the office is now becoming a thing of the past, as customers often prefer calling agents directly on their cellphones, and many agents prefer to work from home. To add to this, brokerages nowadays tend to operate on slim margins and have significant bills to pay, so agents are sometimes encouraged to work from home and use the tools at their disposal.
But the flexibility of working from home comes at a price. Agents now have to take care of most of their marketing expenditure to get new clients and must step up their game when it comes to technology. Advertising platforms now include social media as well, making it harder for agents to figure out a strategy that makes financial sense for them.
To be a successful agent today, you need referrals, which means that it is more important than ever to end up with a happy customer who will be willing to tell their neighbors and family all about you. So as an agent, you want to get your clients an excellent apartment and create a pleasant, more holistic experience in their search for a place in the city.
Real Estate Is A Vocation, Not A Vacation
Learning that real estate has to be done full-time for an agent to succeed can be a harsh lesson. Have you ever asked yourself why brokerages don’t invest more in their agents’ education? The harsh truth has two words: agent turnover.
As the cofounder and CEO of a listings platform in which agents advertise rental apartments in New York, I can share with you that the most frequent reason for an agent deleting their account with us is because they’re no longer doing real estate. This fact is astounding to me. Agents who leave their companies or brokerages most often do so because they’ve simply moved on from real estate. Managers may not be willing to spend much on their agents’ education because, from a statistical standpoint, their probabilities of retaining an agent long enough for the training to pay off are very slim. Even worse, there’s always the possibility of investing in an agent’s education only to see them go work for a competitor a few days later.
Moving In The Right Direction
It was not so long ago that people didn’t require a license to be compensated for acting as a real estate agent. Today, there are tens of thousands of real estate salespersons in New York City alone. Yes, we moved one step forward by requiring special education to become an agent, but there’s still more to be done.
In the future, it would be interesting to see more requirements and commitment needed to become a real estate agent, so that customers can interact with fewer, more knowledgeable agents who are committed to finding them a place to call home. We’re moving slowly, but in the right direction.
Real estate agents will continue existing for a long time; their roles, however, are rapidly evolving into ones in which they’re expected to know their market, be tech-savvy and take risks. Missing any of these skills will pose a threat to their survival. The silver lining for those active agents who can acquire a healthy dose of each skill is that the industry will naturally filter out those who don’t add consumer value, leaving fewer but more capable real estate agents.
Know your commitment about paying a real estate brokerage commission before you sign a listing agreement – Toronto Star
Should home sellers have to pay commission on a sale if the transaction doesn’t close?
The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), an industry group representing realtors, thinks so. It publishes the listing agreement which is used in virtually every real estate transaction in Ontario.
Recently I reviewed an OREA listing agreement that a client was about to sign. My comments surprised him and led to a number of negotiated changes.
The agreement says that the seller will pay the full commission “for any valid offer to purchase the property from any source whatsoever obtained during the listing period and on the terms and conditions set out in this agreement.”
There is no explanation of what is meant by a “valid” offer.
The agreement also says that the commission is payable on the scheduled closing date even if the transaction is not completed, “if such non-completion is owing or attributable to the seller’s default or neglect.”
The agreement obliges the seller to pay full commission whether or not a transaction closes. Even if, for example, the title is defective, if the buyer is unable or unwilling to close or if the house is damaged by fire or flood.
This obligation to pay commission has been upheld in the Ontario courts. In 2008, Richard Fody listed a parcel of vacant land with T. L. Willaert Realty Ltd. for sale at $199,900. Some months later, after a number of rejected offers, Willaert’s buyer submitted an unconditional offer at the full asking price.
Fody never accepted the offer and the deal did not close. Willaert sued Fody for its commission in Small Claims Court and won. Fody appealed to Superior Court and lost again.
“Acceptance of the offer is not required,” the court ruled. “The listing agreement clearly contemplated payment of the commission upon presentation of an offer at the full asking price.”
A similar case arose in 2018 with a different result. In April, 2017, Marlene Nemeth listed her home with Homelife Eagle Realty, a brokerage owned by Hams Ohrstrom. A month later, she received a $900,000 offer but the buyer couldn’t close on the purchase.
Even though the deal fell through, Ohrstrom demanded payment of commission and eventually sued Nemeth in Small Claims Court.
Based on the listing agreement, Ohrstrom was clearly entitled to the commission but after the story was publicized on Global News, the brokerage dropped the case.
Last week I emailed Tim Hudak, CEO of OREA, and members of its forms committee responsible for the listing agreement. I asked how the organization defines a “valid” offer, if it was the intention of the form that commission is payable whether or not the deal closes, and for whatever reason it may not close.
A spokesperson declined to answer any of my questions (and accused me of seeking legal advice). The form, however, is explained on the OREA website behind a members-only wall.
Sellers should always think twice before refusing to pay their real estate agents. But I also advise sellers to seek legal advice when listing their properties for sale with an OREA listing agreement.
Delta Media upgrades its Builders and Communities Platform for Real Estate Brokerages – GlobeNewswire
CANTON, Ohio, Sept. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Delta Media Group Inc., one of America’s most established and largest broker technology solutions providers, is launching a newly updated website service that allows real estate brokers to showcase affiliated home builders and communities.
The latest improvement to Delta Media’s robust DeltaNET 6 platform, makes it easier than ever for brokerages to feature each home builder they represent, putting a spotlight on new home listings, sales models, videos, virtual tours, floor plans, documents for downloading, maps and more.
Available from directly inside the brokerage website, affiliated builders receive “a website within a website.” Each updated section features a builder Home page and a navigation menu to give consumers more in-depth insight into the builder, new home offerings, links to new communities, and a contact feature to learn more about the builder.
New home communities have also been upgraded, giving real estate brokerages the ability to quickly create a builder community, extending the builder’s marketing to reach more consumers. The new communities’ landing page features an interactive Google map, which offers the ability to search for new communities by a specific county or school district. Once a community is selected, the website displays photos of the area, features of the community that can include additional videos and photography, homes listed for sale, its location on a map, hours of the builder sales office and contact numbers, and other videos, such as a walkthrough of the community.
Consumers can also search specifically for new home models by county, school district, price range, and the number of beds, sorting specifically by single-family detached homes or condo/townhomes, or both. Each model home also has a feature listing page on the broker’s website.
“By improving the brokerages’ ability to showcase builders and their communities, it strengthens the business bond between the broker, their agents, and the builder,” says Michael Minard, CEO and owner of Delta Media. “Builders know that real estate agents sell 85% of all homes, and they want innovative new ways to connect with agents and their clients. Delta is working to create a stronger bridge between builders, agents and their clients.”
Minard notes that Coldwell Banker Prime, a leading brokerage in Upstate New York, is among the first to debut the new Delta Media web service here. Coldwell Banker Prime, among the top 10 Coldwell Banker offices in the U.S., features 12 builders it has relationships with and dozens of their communities, all accessible from its main brokerage website.
A sample of a Coldwell Banker Prime affiliated builder community is available here.
More information about Delta Media and its new DeltaNET 6 platform are online at deltamediagroup.com.
About Delta Media Group
Delta Media Group, located in Canton, Ohio, is a leading and trusted technology partner for many of real estate’s top brands. Creator of the DeltaNET 6, real estate’s most advanced all-in-one digital marketing, back office, and website platform, Delta Media Group is the largest family-owned and operated technology innovator with no outside investors or VC funding. Delta Media Group is renowned for saving clients money while reducing the frustration of managing multiple online technologies. Established in 1994, Delta Media Group remains a top real estate technology innovator. Discover more at deltamediagroup.com.
Victor Lund (805) 709-6696
Kevin Hawkins (206) 866-1220
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/fc5f291e-b5c3-453d-ac2d-b3b7d57ab275
How the pandemic has changed Montreal real estate – Montreal Gazette
Selling your home in the middle of a pandemic may seem stressful, but the thought of going through a long winter lockdown in a home you’re unhappy in can feel unbearable. When you can go from long lunches on pop-up terrasses to living in lockdown in the space of a few days, it’s clear: there’s no time like now to do the things you dream of.
This sharpened sense of urgency is spurring many Montrealers to make big life changes. More and more, urbanites are trading chic city condos for country homes and springing for cozy chalets in cottage country, realtors say.
Others are taking advantage of low interest rates to finance upgrades to their homes, or buying bigger and more luxurious properties with more space to live, work and play.
Yet the number of homes on the market remains at a record low. The result is a dynamic market — almost manic, Engel & Völkers broker Patrice Groleau said.
“The market is just insane. We’re breaking records. We’re not sitting on any properties, we’re selling everything. If it is well-priced, we are selling it,” Groleau said. “People want to live now. People dream about having a chalet or to buy a new house. They say, ‘We don’t know what will be tomorrow’.”
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