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7 critical characteristics of an (almost) perfect real estate professional | REM





What is the perfect real estate professional?

There is no such thing, because there is no such thing as perfection. The concept of perfection is a human construct, something to be aspired to, but unattainable, nevertheless. So, there is no such thing as the perfect Realtor.

However, there is the “‘almost” perfect Realtor. What constitutes the makeup of the almost perfect Realtor? Technology has nothing to do with it. Anyone can learn the ins-and-outs of technology. One need not be honest, trustworthy, altruistic or of good general character to master such people-manipulating knowledge. There must be more to the equation than simply being a master of technology.

Can a person become an almost perfect Realtor without the benefit of immediately having technological wizardry at his/her fingertips?


Can a person become an almost perfect Realtor without the benefit of initially possessing good character traits consisting of trustworthiness, altruism and an inherent sense of personal achievement based upon good deeds vs good commissions?


Can a person become an almost perfect Realtor if the rationale for one’s entry into the business is based upon the money factor, or, as I like to call it, the greed factor?


Can a person become an almost perfect Realtor if the rationale for one’s entry into the business is based upon one’s desire to serve one’s fellow humans and thereby earn a respectable living?


Enough with the questions and answers. There are seven critical factors/characteristics that you must have to become a successful, “almost” perfect real estate professional. They are:

1) Above average I.Q. (I can already imagine the push back on this one.)

It takes superior brain power to display – the first-time-around – the ability to deal with complicated scenarios that are sure to confront real estate professionals on an almost daily basis. It is one thing to be able to memorize answers to almost pre-determined questions on licensing exams, but it is quite another thing to be able to quickly pull out said knowledge from your brain and use it correctly in a timely and honest manner in your client’s interest.

We are talking fiduciary responsibility here, and that is something that technology has nothing to say in this regard. It takes a smarter-than-average brain to be able to quickly act correctly and efficiently in your client’s financial interest. Sift out the chaff right off the bat.

2) Above-average desire to be the best that you can be at what you do for a living.

How much money you can make ought to have less to do with your choice than being fulfilled by what you do for a living. You should be more cognizant of what you think of yourself than what others will think of you.

3) The ability to believe that giving advice that is averse to making a quick commission will ultimately result in future business.
4) The ability to be able to calmly walk away from the business – prior to going bankrupt – and admit that you were not cut out to be an “almost” perfect Realtor.

Egoism ought not be a factor here. Egoism is what all too often gets otherwise qualified folks into trouble in this business. A healthy ego is a good thing. An unhealthy, out-of-control ego is a bad thing. Egotistical personalities ought to be weeded out prior to entry into real estate university.

5) A broad background of real estate-related education and hands-on experience.
6) No need for an income for at least 12 months.

You shouldn’t need to panic about paying your bills for that time period. If you do not develop into a potential “almost” perfect Realtor by then, leave and use the experience going forward. This business is definitely not for everyone, as the powers-that-be would lead most gamblers to believe it is.

7) Post secondary education.

Either a B.A./B.Sc. or, a three or four-year community college certificate…preferably related to the business at hand.

Here is what I would do were I in control of who gets to become an “almost” perfect Realtor.

Before I was even allowed to apply to become a candidate for admission to the Investors Group advisory/sales force (after the successful completion of the government education/exam licensing process) I had to undergo a rigorous, timed general knowledge exam, about everything under the sun, it seemed. There was a minimum standard required prior to being allowed to move forward with the process. No second chances, either. One either measured up, or one did not.

I would see to it that candidates have to complete a general knowledge exam within a short time frame…no second chances. Then, and only then (provided they could display that they could meet the requirements of the characteristics listed above) would an “almost” perfect Realtor candidate be created.

The above noted requirements would close the flood-gates to gamblers looking for big bucks just because they are great with people and technology.

Professionalism does not come easily, nor should it.


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Real Estate

7 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers In Calgary





Buying a house for the first time can be overwhelming to say the least. If you’re wondering what neighbourhood to go with, what you can afford, or even how to just get started on the process, let us take some stress off your hands! We’ve teamed up with Hopewell Residential to give you 7 tips to ensure the home you end up with is everything you dreamed of.

Hopewell Residential is a five-time Developer of the Year award winner, so their expertise is second-to-none in Calgary and beyond. Who better to learn home-buying tips from than the homebuilders themselves?

Create a checklist of needs & wants

This is a biggie. When you’re buying your very first home, you’ll want to weigh your needs vs. your wants. Ensuring you have what you love in your first home is a big, big deal.

What should you do? Easy. Set up a list of needs and a list of wants, but be pretty strict with yourself, and make sure you take your lifestyle into consideration. With the increase in remote work over the past year, it’s important to keep in mind that a home office or flex room might just be the key to maximizing at home happiness. Especially if you’re thinking you might be expanding your family later on, spare rooms and extra space is key (but more on that later!).

Or for instance, you might need a home in an area with a high walkability score, but you want to be close to certain amenities. Set yourself up with the right level of compromise and the number of homes that actually fit your ‘perfect’ idea will skyrocket.

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Real Estate

‘Don’t give up’: Ottawa Valley realtors share statistics, tips for homebuyers in ‘extreme’ sellers market





The real estate market in the Ottawa Valley can be summed up this way: people from far and wide are in a buying frenzy, but there’s hardly anything to buy at the “store,” and the limited inventory is overpriced.

This “stampede” — as one realtor described it — will affect rural towns as residents grapple with finding affordable housing and agonize over their inability to purchase homes in their price range.

“We are seeing a lack of inventory in all price ranges,” said Laura Keller, a real estate agent from Carleton Place.

Helen Vincent, a Renfrew realtor, said she’s never seen a market like this in her 36 years of practice. “We postpone offers for four to five days in order to get all the buyers,” she said.

Multiple offers — between seven and 10 — became the norm, with cash offers and no conditions, as buyers faced bidding wars. “In Ottawa, they have up to 50 (offers),” she added.

“It’s very stressful. You’re going to get nine (people) ticked off, and one happy. So many people are disappointed,” Vincent said.

Terry Stavenow, an Arnprior realtor for 40 years, said that “the pent-up need took over with inventory going low. It made a stampede on everything that was available.“

“Brand new housing — it’s very much gone. Several building developers are rushing to get inventory. They usually don’t do construction in the winter months,” said Stavenow.

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Real Estate

10 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers





Buying a home for the first time is exciting and a commitment to the future. It’s often challenging, too, and the process requires a lot of steps, many of which can be tricky to navigate as a first-time home buyer.

What are some things you should keep in mind as a first-time home buyer?

First-Time Home Buyer Tips

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind as you begin your journey toward homeownership.

1. Have Your Finances in Order

It’s wise to begin saving as early as possible once you’ve made the decision to purchase a house. You’ll need to consider the down payment, closing costs (which often range from 2% to 5% of the down payment), as well as move-in expenses.

You also need to understand the other costs of homeownership, such as mortgage insurance. property taxes, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, and more.

2. How Much Can You Afford?

Knowing how much you can realistically afford in a home is another important financial consideration. Look for the home of your dreams that fits your budget.

One way to avoid future financial stress is to set a price range for your home that fits your budget, and then staying within that range. Going through the preapproval process will help you understand what price range is realistic for your budget.

3. Make Sure Your Credit is Good

Another thing to keep in mind as a first-time home buyer is your credit score because it determines whether you qualify for a mortgage and affects the interest rate that lenders offer. 

You can check your credit score from the three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

This is another good reason for getting preapproved before you start your search. Learn more about the preapproval process and your credit score.

4. Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent guides you through the process every step of the way. He or she will help you find a home that fits your needs, help you through the financial processes, and help ease any first-time buyer anxiety you may have.

Interview several agents and request references.

5. Research Mortgage Options

A variety of mortgages are available, including conventional mortgages – which are guaranteed by the government – FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans (for veterans).

You’ll also have options regarding the mortgage term. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is popular among many homebuyers and has an interest rate that doesn’t change over the course of the loan. A 15-year loan usually has a lower interest rate but monthly payments are larger.

6. Talk to Multiple Lenders

It’s worth your time to talk to several lenders and banks before you accept a mortgage offer. The more you shop around, the better deal you’re liable to get – and it may save you thousands of dollars.

7. Get Preapproved First

Getting a mortgage preapproval (in the form of a letter) before you begin hunting for homes is something else to put on your checklist. A lender’s preapproval letter states exactly how much loan money you can get.

Learn more about the preapproval process and how preapproval provides you with a significant competitive advantage in our article How Preapproval Gives You Home Buying Power.

8. Pick the Right House and Neighborhood

Make sure to weigh the pros and cons of the different types of homes based on your budget, lifestyle, etc. Would a condominium or townhome fit your needs better than a house? What type of neighborhood appeals to you?

9. List Your Needs and Must-Haves

The home you purchase should have as many of the features you prefer as possible. List your needs in order of priority; some things may be non-negotiable to you personally.

10. Hire an Inspector

Hiring an inspector is another crucial step in the home buying process. An inspector will tell you about existing or potential problems with the home, and also what’s in good order. You can learn more about home inspections and how to find a home inspector through the American Society of Home Inspectors website.

Buying a home for the first time is a challenge, but it’s one you can handle with the right planning and preparation.

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