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RE/MAX Recognized as the Most

Trusted Real Estate Brand in Canada
(Kelowna, BC, April 28, 2010)

– RE/MAX has been awarded Most Trusted Residential REALTOR® as

voted on by readers of Reader’s Digest magazine. The survey conducted for the annual awards revealedthat the majority of Canadians trust RE/MAX for all their residential real estate needs, ranking RE/MAX associates five-times more ‘trusted’ than the second most trusted brand.

“Our associates should be proud and honoured to receive the confidence of Canadian consumers as the Most Trusted Residential REALTOR®,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President for

RE/MAX of Western Canada. “It’s an inspiring merit that the best trained and most experienced agents

have received for providing valuable assistance to so many families.”

Ash believes that this distinction awarded to Canadian RE/MAX associates is due in part to two notable

attributes. The first being “Premier Community Citizenship” - a quality that RE/MAX associates share

by being ever-mindful of the impact they make locally as they are involved with their communities

through volunteering, fund-raising and more.

The second is that RE/MAX associates carry more professional designations than any other REALTOR® in Canada. RE/MAX agents are invested in additional education in specialized areas such as Senior’s representation, commercial brokerage and luxury homes.

RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 17,500 sales associates situated

throughout its more than 680 independently-owned and operated offices across the country. The

RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 37th year, is a global real estate system operating in more than 70

countries. Over 6,500 independently-owned offices engage over 115,000 member sales associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral, and asset management.

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Spring is the traditional busy season for real estate in Greater Vancouver, as in most of the Western World. This year is no exception. The signs are out in full force across the region. From Richmond to Coquitlam and through the West Side, the signs are popping up like the leaves are filling the trees.
There has been much speculation regarding what this "post-olympic" market will look like. For the most part it is turning into a typical Vancouver Spring Market. There are a few clouds in the horizon that need to be watched carefully...
The change in bank lending policies came into effect on April 19th. This may have an impact on Investors and first time home buyers, requiring them to have more "in-hand" cash before seeking financing. Although this may create some slowing of the market, it is not enough of a deterrent to impact heavily on demand.
The coming HST is of concern to many. It will impact on the amount of commission that a Seller will pay. Prior to the HST Sellers only had to pay the GST, as there was no provincial component in commissions earned. Now the sales tax becomes a blended entity with the service tax, it will create a 7 % increase in the amount due to the Brokerage on closing.The increase in listings thus far does not suggest that some are looking to beat the tax by selling prior to July. If the listings numbers continue to outpace seasonal norms into the late spring and early summer, then it could be argued that consumers are realizing the savings that will occur with a sale prior to July.
The rise of the Canadian dollar may help to slow down out-of-country speculative buyers, but it has been argued that these types of buyers are a small minority of the buying market.
Some concerns have been expressed regarding the potential increases in interest rates projected for the summer. The Bank of Canada may be looking to increase the rates, but with the relatively low inflation numbers being posted, the Bank may reconsider the increase. An increase in rates may do more harm than good for the Canadian economy, which seems to be moving along very well at this point.
The RE/MAX signs out in the yards across Greater Vancouver are a sign of the times. Inventory is outpacing Buying at this point...but demand doesn't seem to have wained at all.
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Home listings rise to start the spring season

A steady influx of new listings has helped create a balanced ‘typical spring’ housing market in the Greater Vancouver region.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 7,004 in March 2010. This represents a 60 per cent increase compared to March 2009 when 4,385 new units were listed, and a 52.1 per cent increase compared to February 2010 when 4,606 properties were listed on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®).

At 13,538, the total number of property listings on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) increased 19 per cent in March compared to last month, but remains 7.6 per cent below this time last year.

“The total number of homes listed for sale on our MLS® is at its highest level in 10 months, which translates into more options and variety for those looking to buy during the traditionally busy spring period,” Jake Moldowan, REBGV president said.

Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 3,137 in March 2010, a 38.5 per cent increase compared to March 2009, a 4.7 per cent increase over March 2008, and a 12.4 per cent decrease compared to March 2007. The current figure also represents a 26.8 per cent increase compared to the 2,473 sales recorded in February 2010.

“With a sales-to-listing ratio of 23 per cent, we see a healthy balance between buyer demand and seller supply in the marketplace,” Moldowan said.

Over the last 12 months, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver increased 20.3 per cent to $584,435 from $485,845 in March 2009. This price is 2.8 per cent above the previous high point in the market in May 2008 when the residential benchmark price sat at $568,411.

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Four Trends That Will Impact Marketing

  1. Touch: From the iPhone and Google Nexus One to the iPad, the coming plethora of touch-tablet computing validates that we are moving away from fixed computer work stations. Along with that, the constructs of using a keyboard and mouse will quickly go the way of the dodo bird. Some are saying that kids today will learn to type on glass, others think that kids will soon be learning to type on air, and that all manipulation and creation of media and information is going to be multi-touch in a simple and intuitive way…think of Tom Cruise in the film, Minority Report. Get ready for the humanization and personalization of hardware as we begin to touch way more than type.
  2. Analytics: Walmart’s success is driven by its data. As the Internet creates multiple touch points where any individual can report and publish to everyone else, like we are already doing with Facebook, Twitter, or blogging… imagine what real-time analytics are going to do for business. Think about how we're going to be pushing well beyond static data into understanding the social side of information as well. What are we talking about? It's not just about knowing who is doing what on our websites, but it will be about knowing who those people are, who they are connected to, how much of an influencer they are and what that could mean to our businesses - all in real time. If you thought we were already drowning in data, prepare to be swamped with valuable insights on top of that.
  3. One-line: You will no longer be "online" and then on your mobile device. It's just one-line. Many businesses still divide how they develop, strategize and execute on the Internet with what's happening in the mobile space. Yes, the iPad is one kind of link between a desktop or laptop and a mobile device, but the bridge is extended even further as all devices become untethered from wires and fixed locations. The "online experience" is just that - something you can experience in front of a big screen at your home or office, or in the palm of your hand. How we adjust our websites for this coming shift (and coupling it to trend #1) is where the rubber will meet the road.
  4. Location-aware: The recent hype and excitement over Twitter and Foursquare is really more about mobile and location-aware online social networks than whether or not Jesse James is actually following one of Tiger Woods' mistresses on Twitter. The ability to not only publish information, but to receive and engage with content based on where you physically are changes everything. From the value of the content while you're "on the ground" to how search, information and referrals are displayed to you based on where you're presently situated. Whether or not Twitter and Foursquare become as irrelevant as Friendster and Second Life is secondary to what these platforms really offer the real estate world - the ability to connect and publish to those who are physically close to us and interested in what we have to sell.
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There has been a noticeable increase in real estate inventory in the Vancouver west side market area.
The rise in inventory however is offset by the actual number of sales. This creates a more balanced housing market moving into the traditionally active spring market. Sellers have an incentive to list their homes now before the HST comes into effect in July; while at the same time  the small jump in interest rates is motivating Buyers to act before their pre-approved rates expire.

January thru March, 2010 has seen a rise in housing and condo inventory by 38% and actual sales increased by 52% with  the condo market up by 45%
The first quarter of 2010 compared to 2009, shows an increase in the average sale price for houses on the west side of Vancouver by 47% and by 30% in condos.  
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Albert Einstein died in 1955, having seen his concepts create a new world of understanding during his life. His passing was at a time when the cold war between the Soviets and the Americans was at a point of escalating. Much of the worry of that year, and the decades that followed were with the growing number of nuclear weapons that both super powers were amassing. The creation of the weapon that could effectively wipe out much of life on our planet was due in part to the theories that Einstein had developed.
Albert Einstein was not only a radical thinker, but he also was an amazingly creative communicator. Although his ideas are beyond the understanding of most of us, he was able to demonstrate his ideas using common speak. His description of the speed of light was done by referencing a moving train, while his explanation of gravity and time was done by the mental picture of an elevator.
The context of communication is so very critical. When looking at something as simple as market trend data in Vancouver, the numbers can be skewed to reflect the researcher's bias, or to amplify opposing opinions. Our age is quickly moving forward in the means that we communicate ideas and opinions. Today Twitter is evolving weekly to address the quick fix communication needs of social media. To some the world view has transformed into a series of games...spurred on by a generation that has grown up with video games and virtual reality. Looking for a home in Kerrisdale becomes an extention of gaming and social media in method and mindset.
The language of the landscape is changing, and as Einstein once said, "We can't solve problems by using the same thinking we used when we created them".  The notion of communicating value and service is becoming increasingly difficult in a culture and marketplace where information can be accessed quickly and effectively. The answer to meeting the communication demands in the real estate marketplace is not to continue to use the same thinking of even two years ago. REALTORS(r) must find new ways to communicate service and value to the new consumer.
The context of the information is important, and although information is freely and readily available, it must be interpreted properly and effectively in order to best serve the constituents. As Albert observed, "Sometimes one pays the most for the things one gets for nothing."
The hidden costs are often greater than the sticker price. This is why having effective communication is so critical. Understanding the information is more important than having access to the information,
Nothing reflects the need to communicate properly in the right context than Albert Einstein's last words. Before he passed away, he felt the need to share some final thoughts. The only person in the room was the attending nurse. She heard the final words of the greatest thinker in history. Unfortunately, he spoke them in German, a language the nurse did not understand.
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