When I told people that I was embarking on a new career in real estate, two questions popped up frequently:
1. Aren’t there enough real estate agents out there already?
2. With the way the real estate market is right now, isn’t it a bad time to get into this business?
I’m glad you asked! Here are my responses.
Aren’t there enough real estate agents out there already?
I must admit this was a question I had too when I first considered becoming one. There sure seem to be a LOT of real estate agents in the Kitchener-Waterloo area! But in order to answer that question, let me ask you one first: How many real estate agents do you personally know? In other words, if you wanted to buy a house or put your current one on the market next week, do you know a real estate agent that you could approach to help you do that? Surprisingly few people do. It’s like a plumber, an electrician, or a lawyer. We all know they’re there, out in our communities somewhere, but when a pipe bursts, when a breaker keeps tripping, or when you need some legal advice or legal paperwork done, do you actually know someone you trust and can turn to immediately? Or do you have to ask friends and family for a recommendation, or spend time surfing the Internet looking for what you hope is a reputable professional?
When my wife and I were ready to purchase our own home a couple of years ago, we didn’t know any real estate agents personally and didn’t know where to begin choosing from one of the many available. So we asked some friends who’d recently bought a house which agent they had used and if they would recommend him or her.
Now it’s true that we were fairly new to the area and didn’t know a lot of people. Maybe you’ve lived in your area for a longer time and do know a real estate professional personally. However, it’s interesting that not everyone is inclined to engage a professional who is also an acquaintance or their friend! Do I really want this friend to know details of my financial information? And what if they don’t do what we consider to be a good job, or worse, we have a serious disagreement about something? Is it worth risking the friendship for? Food for thought, to be sure.
I believe that despite the number of real estate agents already out there, there are still a large number of people who don’t yet personally know one in their network of relationships. My goal is to meet and get to know some of these people so that when they are ready to buy and/or sell a home, I will come to mind as someone competent and trustworthy to help them do it as quickly as possible and at the best possible price.
With the way the real estate market is right now, isn’t it a bad time to get into this business?
While the real estate market is undoubtedly slow, level, or declining in some areas of the province and the country, this appears to be far from the case in Waterloo Region! Several prominent newspapers and financial/investment websites have recently put a spotlight on what’s happening here.
For example, here’s an excerpt from Zero Hedge, a popular financial blog that aggregates news and presents editorial opinions from original and outside sources:
“In Waterloo, Ontario, the property market is red hot. Dubbed “Canada’s Silicon Valley,” the city of just 140,000 people is drawing interest from real estate investors far and wide. Waterloo is around 70 miles west of Toronto and is home to a Google office as well as two universities and “dozens” of startups. One-bedroom apartments in a new development being pitched to investors are going for CAD$270,000 while a two-bedroom will run you CAD$340,000. Rents in the building are as high as $2,000/month. Vacancy rates are running at just 1.5%.” (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-16/calgarys-housing-market-collapses-while-three-alarm-blaze-burns-next-door-vancouver)
The Financial Post recently ran an article about a well-known real estate mogul in Toronto giving a pitch for investing in a condo development in Waterloo. Within three hours of finishing his speech, the 250-unit, $85 million District Condos project was sold out and 170 people were added to a waiting list! (http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/its-the-new-waterloo-how-the-rise-of-silicon-valley-north-is-fuelling-another-canadian-condo-boom)
So it looks like this area is booming, not only with real estate investments, but also with people moving into the area as they get jobs with local tech and support companies and enterprises. And all these people are looking for a place to live! Can you think of a better time to get into the real estate business?!!