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'Who Moved My Cheese?': Six Lessons For The Real Estate Industry – Forbes




Who Moved My Cheese?, the popular change management book by Spencer Johnson, is a well-known story that leads the characters and the reader to one important key conclusion: “If you do not change, you can become extinct.” I can’t help but see the parallel of this story and the real estate industry.

In many ways, the real estate industry is the character Hem in Who Moved My Cheese? Dead-set and historically refusing to change by ignoring the advancements of both the consumer and technology, the real estate industry is currently on its heels, reeling to figure out how this pandemic is going to change the landscape of things.

I can’t help but wonder what it would look like if Johnson wrote a real estate version of the book. Calling on six lessons from Who Moved My Cheese?, this is the advice I would give the real estate industry right now:

Lesson 1: Know that change happens.

When the internet was commercialized in 1995, everything changed. Virtually every industry became more economical, efficient and streamlined — except the real estate industry. Post-pandemic, technology will have radically catapulted and evolved the business of real estate. Consumers will have new needs and wants, and how they want to be serviced will change. In 2020 and beyond, it’s all about the consumer. Meet them at their individual points of need, not yours.

Lesson 2: Anticipate change.

If we know change is inevitable, why do we fight and resist it? For every generation, there are historical events that have altered the fabric of our country. By now, you’d think that being agile, cooperative, flexible and innovative would describe the largest asset class in the world. But it doesn’t.

Nothing stays the same forever. Always take inventory of yourself and your business to figure out how to disrupt and improve your culture, habits and processes in order to remain relevant.

Lesson 3: Monitor change.

The real estate industry is notorious for ignoring the writing on the wall and making bad decisions. I’m now convinced that it’s one of two things: Either the real estate industry doesn’t care to evolve with people and technology, or there’s nothing the industry can do about it.

How valuable is your value? In other words, how dated is your offering to clients? When was the last time you took inventory or did a client survey to really understand what your clients want? Maybe right now, while business is slow, might be a good time to understand what your database is thinking, what they need and what they will potentially want in the future.

Lesson 4: Adapt to change quickly.

It is no secret that the real estate industry is the most antiquated, expensive and fragmented industry on the planet. The DNA of the real estate industry was built with the agent at the center of the transaction. And since the birth of the internet, the industry has clawed and fought to maintain that position — forget adapting quickly! My question is: How do you keep something the same when the entire world around it is changing? It’s simple: You evolve or get left behind.

Lesson 5: Change.

The real estate industry is becoming a more transactional business. Relationships today are artificial. People now cry for, follow and love people they’ve never met. The word “friend” has a different meaning than it did before Facebook. Consumers are now conditioned by other verticals and are starting to expect and want the same experience and service when it comes to a real estate transaction. Everything is pointing toward an economical, efficient and streamlined process via an end-to-end platform.

This means that it’s not about you anymore. Automate your business, and make the consumer the center of the real estate transaction — in other words, become a transaction facilitator.

Lesson 6: Enjoy change.

The reality is that when you mentally digest change, you come to realize that it’s not that bad. For the real estate industry, the average agent could automate a lot of their business. However, in the pursuit of selling a perceived value to justify their efforts and rate of pay, agents are doing tasks that are not the highest and best use of their skill set. Tear down your business processes; evaluate each step, and ask why. Reinvent your method so you have work-life balance and make more money.

As has been pointed out by professor and entrepreneur Scott Galloway, we are witnessing how nothing can happen for decades, and then decades can all of a sudden happen in a matter of weeks. “Yes, a pandemic pulls the future forward, and there’s a lot to learn” about this chain of events. The real estate industry does have the potential to be better, faster and smarter. Understanding these six truths about change can help it get there.

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Amazon's boom keeps its Canadian real estate partner humming – BNN



For one of Quebec’s biggest real estate developers, the road to COVID-19 recovery is paved with delivery trucks.

The pandemic disrupted retail and housing projects at Broccolini Construction Inc., but industrial property is already coming back to pre-crisis levels. The Montreal-based firm is one of Inc.’s partners in Canada, announcing a deal with the e-commerce giant in June to build its 14th fulfillment center in the country, a 450,000-square foot facility in Ottawa.

Confident that the boom in online retailing will continue to spur demand for distribution centers and warehouses, Broccolini is preparing to build another new facility outside Montreal, even though it hasn’t yet secured a single tenant.

“Our interest in buying industrial space is back to, if not higher than, pre-pandemic levels,” Roger Plamondon, Broccolini’s head of real estate development, said in an interview. “Industrial is going very, very, very well — that’s not only in Quebec, it seems to be the general rule.” Broccolini and Amazon have officially worked together on four projects.

With non-essential stores closed to contain the virus, Canadian online sales surged 120 per cent in April, supporting demand for industrial buildings, including warehouses and other structures used for logistics. Supply remained tight last quarter, with Toronto’s availability ratio at two per cent despite new buildings coming onto the market and Montreal’s at 2.6 per cent, well below Canada’s 3.5 per cent average, according to data from CBRE Group Inc.

Moving Production

A wave of bankruptcies across the country is set to free up some space and temper increases in selling prices for a couple of quarters, according to Avi Krispine, CBRE’s managing director of operations in Quebec. But companies looking to rent space won’t see much difference.

“Net rental rates will not decrease because we have a very low vacancy rate,” he said. “They’re still good leeway before landlords feel uncomfortable and feel like they need to lower the rental rates.”

That’s because the Canadian industrial sector was already booming before the crisis, in no small part because of Amazon, which employs 13,500 people full time in Canada.

Real estate investment trusts with an industrial bent have been among the best-performing shares in the sector since touching crisis lows. Summit Industrial Income REIT is up 62 per cent since March 23, while U.S.-focused WPT Industrial REIT has gained 59 per cent compared with a 36 per cent gain for S&P/TSX Real Estate Index.

Privately-held Broccolini recorded revenue of $572 million last year, making it Canada’s 15th largest contractor, according to On-Site, a trade magazine. The 389,500-square foot facility it’s planning in Montreal will add to the company’s own industrial portfolio of 7.9-million square feet, though it regularly gets hired to build for others, too.

The pandemic has also revealed the extent of Canada’s dependence on overseas suppliers, prompting some manufacturers to look into bringing some production back home. Already, Broccolini has heard from medical and pharmaceutical companies seeking to bring some production back, Plamondon said.

That shift is happening in other sectors, too. Transformer Table Inc., a four-year-old furniture maker based near Montreal, is phasing out its Vietnam production in favor of manufacturing expandable wood tables in its home province, largely through automation, co-founder Richard Mabley said in an interview.

With average sales now three times pre-crisis levels, Mabley says the team will once again seek a bigger space at the end of its one-year lease.

“Even before the pandemic it was hard to find not only a good deal, but just a warehouse that would fit our needs,” he said. “With the pandemic and e-commerce booming in many different industries I’m sure we’re going to have some difficulties finding what we need at the right price.”

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addy Launches To Unlock Real Estate Investing For Canadians and Announces Corporate Appointments – Canada NewsWire




Proptech startup brings together a world-class team to enable investing in real estate for as little as $1

VANCOUVER, BC, July 15, 2020 /CNW/ – addy Technology Corporation (“addy” or the “Company”), a Vancouver-based proptech start-up on a mission to allow every human to become a homeowner, launched today enabling Canadians to invest in real estate for as little as $1. The Company also announced the appointment of five leading real estate, technology, and legal experts to its Board of Directors and Advisory Board. Steve Evans, Co-founder and CEO of Sunstone Realty Advisors, Pure Multi-Family REIT LP, and Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust; Pascal Spothelfer, CEO of Genome BC and past President & CEO of the BC Tech Association; and Keith Spencer, technology lawyer and retired partner at a leading Canadian law firm, join as Directors. Co-founder and former CEO of BuildDirect, Jeff Booth, has been appointed Chairperson of the Board. Thuan Pham, former Chief Technology Officer of Uber, joins the Advisory Board.

“Quality real estate opportunities are usually out of reach for everyday people and it is getting worse. As governments continue to print money in response to the global pandemic, they are pushing asset prices higher, which ironically makes it harder for anyone without vast sums of cash to participate in real estate,” said Michael Stephenson, Co-founder and CEO of addy.  “We believe everyone should have the opportunity to own property with access to real estate investing at any amount, regardless of income, age, or other conflicts.”

Property purchase decisions are made collectively by addy’s executive team, investment committee, and Board of Directors. Once identified, the property is broken out into investment increments valued at $1. For example, a $1M property is divided up into 1M shares; and shares in the property will be available to qualified members on addy’s platform.  Investors can decide how much they want to invest.

“The team has been quietly building the technology platform for the past two years in order to streamline the entire investment process and to minimize transaction costs,” said Thuan Pham, former Chief Technology Officer at Uber and addy Advisory Board member. “I’ve seen countless proptech startups in Silicon Valley and addy is the first one I’ve seen with a real chance at completely reinventing the industry.”

The Company’s proof of concept property located on Vancouver, BC’s Trout Lake sold out to 305 investors in addy’s network. Investments ranged from $1 to $95,000, and the average investment was $4,551. Investors were spread across the country. It was the first of its kind in Canada.

New Appointments
addy has made the following appointments to its leadership team:

  • Jeff Booth, Co-Founder & Chairperson – Entrepreneur, technology leader, author, and co-founder of BuildDirect. Jeff was named BC Technology Industry Association’s (BCTIA) ‘Person of the Year’ in 2015 and in 2016 was listed as one of Goldman Sachs ‘100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs’.
  • Steve Evans, Board Member – President of Sunstone Realty Advisors and Co-Founder and former CEO of Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust (formerly Canada’s dominant “pure-play” industrial property REIT, founded in 2007 and traded on the TSX; sold to Blackstone in 2018 for $3.8B) and Pure Multi-Family REIT LP (a Canadian based vehicle offering exposure to institutional quality US multi-family real estate assets, founded in 2012 and traded on the TSX; sold to Cortland in 2019 for US$1.2B).
  • Pascal Spothelfer, Board Member – Pascal has held senior executive roles, in both Europe and Canada, across industry sectors ranging from technology, not for profit organizations and academia, President & CEO of Genome BC since 2016.
  • Keith Spencer, Board Member – Technology lawyer at a leading Canadian law firm, retired Co-Leader of the firm’s Start-Up & Emerging Company Services Group, recipient of The BC Tech Association’s “Bill Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award”, Board member of numerous emerging Canadian technology companies.
  • Thuan Pham, Advisor – Former Chief Technology Officer at Uber. Prior to that, he was VP of Engineering at VMware, Westbridge, and DoubleClick. He holds a BS in computer science and engineering and an MS in EE/CS from MIT.

To learn more about addy, become a member of addy’s network, and invest in real estate, visit

About addy
addy Technology Corporation (“addy”) is a proptech company on a mission to allow every human to become a homeowner. The Company enables Canadians to invest in real estate for as little as $1. addy was founded in 2018 by a team of real estate and technology entrepreneurs and is headquartered in Vancouver, BC. To learn more, visit: and join the @addyinvest community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Tune in to the addy podcast on iTunes and Spotify.

The information provided herein is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute or form any part of any offer or invitation or other solicitation or recommendation to purchase any securities. It should not be considered financial or professional advice. You should consult with a professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs.

Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities legislation (collectively “forward-looking statements”). The use of the words “intention”, “will”, “may”, “can”, and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although addy believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements and/or information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements since addy can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Furthermore, the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as at the date of this news release and addy does not undertake any obligations to publicly update and/or revise any of the included forward-looking statements, whether as a result of additional information, future events and/or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE addy Technology Corporation

For further information: Media Contact: Katie Kernahan, [email protected], 1 (833) 462-9888 ext 710

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Real estate sales down in Bulkley-Nechako and northwest region – BCLocalNews



Real estate sales in B.C.’s Bulkley-Nechako and northwest regions have weakened in the first half of 2020 compared to the same time frame last year according to a report released by the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) on July 7.

“The first half of 2020 saw a significant decline in housing demand in the region, with sales in April reaching a low not seen since January 1988,” said BCNREB President Shawna Kinsley.

Burns Lake area has seen sale of 17 properties worth $2.7 million through Multiple Listing Services (MLS), compared to 37 properties worth $5.6 million in the same period last year. By June end, a total of 81 properties were available through MLS in the area.

Houston area had 14 properties worth $2.5 million changing hands so far this year, compared to 28 properties worth $5.2 million in 2019. There were a total of 34 properties of different types available by the end of June in the area.

Smithers area reported 90 sales with a value of $28.1 million in the first six months of 2020; a drop from 113 sales worth $35.3 million at this time last year. Half of the 39 single-family homes sold so far this year, went for less than $311,000 and took, on average, 66 days to sell. 10 parcels of vacant land and 17 homes on acreage also changed hands since January. As of June, there were 112 properties of all types available for sale in Smithers.

Vanderhoof area realtors reported 56 sales worth $13 million in the first six months of the year, compared to 61 sales worth $19 million last year. As of June 30, there were 103 properties for sale in the Vanderhoof area.

Fort St. James hasn’t seen a significant fall in sales with 27 properties worth $5.3 million sold this year, compared to the 26 properties worth $4.6 million sold last year in the same time frame. By June end, there were 50 properties available for purchase in the Fort St. James area.

In the northwest region, Prince Rupert has sold the same number of properties this year so far, at 89 sales compared to the same time frame last year. The properties sold at $29.9 million, a higher price point compared to last year’s $23.5 million. Terrace area realtors have sold 105 properties in the first half of 2020, worth $34.1 million compared to 134 properties worth $45.6 million in the same period last year. By June end, there were 253 properties available for sale in the Terrace area.

Kinsley also indicated that despite the region’s struggling forestry, and mining and oil sectors, “the decline in the second quarter was primarily due to the state of emergency declared by the province that implemented physical-distancing measures. This halted real estate activity across the province, which is highly reliant on in-person interactions.”

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) are predicting that the downward trend for sales throughout B.C. would continue and sales would fall by almost 18 per cent in 2020.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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