Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Maybe you already have an agent account and already know how awesome having one is? Here are the top 3 reasons why Agent Accounts rock!
#3 We do most of the work for you! Claiming your listings from our database of published local listings is incredibly simple.
#2 Top contributing agents generate 200% more profile views, build trust and get more leads.
and the #1 reason to Love Zoocasa Agent Accounts?
...... it's FREE !
Imagine logging in to your account and accessing our great features. If I were an agent, I'd be thrilled to create my profile (upload a dazzling pic of me-self) and post my contact info, Facebook & Twitter and then add "my areas" ie: downtown Toronto, Yorkville and The Annex so that my profile appears in those neighbourhoods. Imagine potential clients searching for new listings by neighbourhood and then finding my info in the Agent Directory. Easy Peesy!
I can also create searches ie: $800,000- $1,200,000 in The Annex, Toronto and get alerts for those listings to keep myself abreast of my markets.
Most of all, I can upload my own listings fast & easy, which get viewed by millions of potential buyers a year!
Perhaps you're nodding in agreement with me right now because you are way ahead of the game. But if you're wondering about what all this amazing stuff is, maybe you should watch these tutorials.
How to Sign Up for an Agent Account
Get Listed in the Agent Directory
Friday, November 26, 2010
|Picture of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn from http://joshandjosh.typepad.com|
Didn't have a chance to sit down all week with your coffee and newspaper? Not to worry, in Zoocasa's new weekly feature, we dig through national publications, local news, blogs and more for the dish in Real Estate news. Here's a summary look at some of this week's most interesting topics:
Looks like Vancouver condo prices are dropping according a report in this Globe & Mail article. Apparently the new HST rules are causing some confusion and people are taking a wait and see approach to see if prices continue to drop.
In Toronto, a mixed living construction has been recognized as an exemplary success story. In this Toronto Star article, it's stated that the Canada Mortgage Housing and Corporation (CMHC) has lauded the Greenwin Property Management apartment complex.
Not a lot of serious news things week so we turn to the fun and funky ...
The bed bug epidemic has been reported with growing frequency but who new that home buyers and homeowners had to worry too? Seems like that was a huge issue for the neighbours of a pop star who were in an uproar over a serious infestation. Read on in the Curbed article: Cobble Hill neighbor Say Norah Jones Gave Her Bedbugs. See, it is a good thing Canada doesn't really have a star system.
And for your celebrity listing fix, looks like Leela's got her eye on upgrading. Read the Shelterpop article on Katey Sagal's house.
Got some interesting, informative, provocative or just plain amusing Real Estate News to share? Comment and send us your links below!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Q: Why are agents paid so much in commissions? They don't do much, and make a killing.
A: Much of what we do as Real Estate Salespeople is "behind the scenes". We place ads in newspapers that are expensive. We place Ads in colour magazines. We hold "Errors and Omissions" Insurance so in the unlikely event a mistake occurs - you are protected. In Ontario we have the best Real Estate training in Canada - even companies from Europe acknowledge our professional training as the best.
Also - it's important to remember that we don't get paid if your house doesn't sell. So there can be a large amount of risk in our business.
Remember the old saying - "you get what you pay for" - I would always recommend that you use a Real Estate professional, because as a member of the public - "you don't know what you don't know". Why would you take a risk with your (probably) most valuable asset....?
Would you try to hire the cheapest brain surgeon or dentist, or even try to "do it yourself"? I don't think so ...
See more Answers to this question.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Editor: Watch out for more great & insightful articles from, Teri Conrad, our new featured columnist and regular monthly contributor to the Zoocasa Real Estate blog!
I’ve worked with so many 1st time buyers. You’re a ton of fun to work with because you’re so excited to finally get into the market and be an owner! But you often have a ton of questions from hidden costs, to procedure to where do I even begin??
Today I want to discuss some of the key costs that you should be aware of. Here they are. (This is written for BC, Canada Real Estate transactions but most states/provinces will have similar costs.)
1. In BC, every purchase will have a Property Transfer Tax and it’s always 1% of the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance. So for a $300,000 condo you can expect to pay $4000.00. This would be money up front that cannot be rolled into your mortgage.
2. If you’re purchasing a brand new property you will be paying HST as of July 1st , 2010. (Up until now you would always have paid GST.) If your purchase is for the same $300,000 condo, then you will be eligible for a partial rebate. (The Government increased the threshold from $400,000 – $500,000. There is an excellent Real Estate law article written here. Talk to your lender about rolling these costs into your mortgage.
3. There is another new change this year for home purchasers. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a federally driven mortgage insurance program. (Most people are confused and believe that they are personally insured with CMHC but in fact it’s purpose is to ensure the lending institution should you fail to pay your mortgage. )
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced in February, 2010 that the government planned to tighten lending regulations and so all new buyers will have to qualify at the higher 5 year fixed rate. Keep in mind if you have 20% or more down payment you will not be required to purchase CMHC insurance.
4. Every time you write an offer, you will be expected to have a cash deposit. Cash upfront (by way of bank draft usually) that will be held in trust by the Real Estate Brokerage as a measure of good faith that you intend to complete the sale. These funds will be applied to your purchase. However it is an additional cost upfront that is usually 5 – 10% of the total purchase price.
5. First Time Homebuyers are eligible for a Tax Credit and the Federal Government has made it easier for 1st Time buyers to get into the market by allowing you to withdraw funds from your RRSP’s tax free up to $25,000! Canada’s Government introduces financial help for first-time home buyers. The Tax Credit is not huge – only $750, but hey – every little bit counts!
So there you go. Your other major cost will be your legal fees. Plan to spend around $1000 that include the cost of transferring Title. The silver lining is that right now, you as the Buyer do not have to pay the commission of your Realtor. The Listing Realtor pays the Buyer Realtor out of their own commission although that may one day change…
… but that we’ll discuss in another post!
About the Author
Teri founded the Fraser Valley Social Media Meetups to share her knowledge and facilitate learning and networking in her community of Langley, BC, as well as sits on the Communications and membership committees of the Langley Chamber of Commerce. Teri also consults with clients who need guidance with their social media strategy and content management. Most recently, Teri was asked to speak at Inman's Agent Reboot Conference in Seattle and Portland. Known as @TLCHOME on Twitter… Teri is happily married and has 2 great sons and a step daughter.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Using Zoocasa to search for listings is really fun. If you're already familiar with using Zoocasa to search for listings in your preferred neighbourhood then you know how awesome it is to see those listing details, find out where on Google maps exactly the property is at and how it looks on Streetview! Now you can save those listings, save those searches and sign up for alerts on new listings. Isn't that great?
How do you get to do this you ask? Take a minute out of your day to sign up for an account. It gets created right away so you can log in and access these great tools and features:
Plus, sign up for email alerts for new listings that match your search results and of course you can unsubscribe at any time.
Don't forget, only registered users can post questions in the Ask the Pros section. And answers can be directly sent to your email.
My Questions: Questions that you've asked in Ask the Pros are saved here for easy reference.
Zoocasa has also launched a New Homes section so you'll be able to find those listings too.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
As home buyers are searching neighbourhood listings on Zoocasa, they'll also now be able to find local agents. It's a great opportunity to have your agent profile information easily accessible right as people are searching in the exact areas that you specialize in.
How do you get featured in the agent directory? It's simple -- just fill out some additional info once you log in to your account (see below):
Under the "Account Details" tab, you now have more settings available.
1. Zoocasa Information - This tab is for information required to maintain your account. This is for your use and will not be shared with anyone.
2. Profile Information - This is where you can edit the information that appears on your agent directory. Information here will be available for public viewing through your agent profile.
My Areas tab in your Profile allows you to add up to three neighbourhoods where you will appear in the directory. Begin typing the neighbourhood of interest and select from the drop-down menu that appears.
You will appear as an available agent to any visitor that looks in these specific areas.
To take advantage of this opportunity to reach potential clients in your area, visit your Zoocasa Account today!
Watch the tutorial video below:
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Linkedin.com the networking website for business professionals recently launched the beta version of their new feature: company pages. Expanding from personal professional profiles, company pages can showcase services and products that that can be endorsed by Linkedin members, increasing brand credibility and viral marketing.
We are excited to be sharing this news with our Zoocasa community about our being charter partners for this launch with Linkedin. The company pages launch also featured over 40 businesses such as: Microsoft, AT&T, Volkswagen. Be sure to stay tuned for more exciting plans that will increase interactions between Zoocasa and Linkedin.Check out Zoocasa's company page at http://www.linkedin.com/company/zoocasa.com.
"Company Pages will enable companies to build their brand through network-aware recommendations, giving members rich, credible insights into how any given product (or service) is perceived by their fellow professionals. We’re starting today with over 40 companies who now have their “Products and Services” tab enabled on their Company page. We’ll be rolling out this feature for all companies and small businesses over the course of this week."
- LinkedIn Blog entry, Nov. 1