I saw a post on Twitter today from Bill Gates, that’s right – Bill Gates of that lil company Microsoft. He was talking about 5 books that he read this year that he really enjoyed, and I thought you might like to take a look. I’ve included the links to Amazon.ca so, if you feel so inclined, you can take a read too!
1. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century – Yuval Noah Harari
21 Lessons For the 21st Century provides a kind of instruction manual for the present day to help readers find their way around the 21st century, to understand it, and to focus on the really important questions of life.
2. The Headspace Guide To Meditation and Mindfulness – Andy Puddicombe
Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk, the Voice of Headspace, and the UKs foremost mindfulness expert, is on a mission: to get people to take 10 minutes out of their day to sit in the here and now.
4. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup – John Carreyrou
In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier.
Tara Westover was seventeen when she first set foot in a classroom. Instead of traditional lessons, she grew up learning how to stew herbs into medicine, scavenging in the family scrap yard and helping her family prepare for the apocalypse.
Since switching back from my Samsung Note 3 to an Apple iPhone 6, I thought I would compile a list of the apps that I use most for my Real Estate Business. Check them out, and they might help you be more efficient with your business. Feel free to comment below and let me know if you agree.
DocuSign for REALTORS
DocuSign is the best App for Real Estate and Realtors. It allows you to have your clients sign documents on their phone, tablet or even their desktop computer.
Using the DocuSign iOS app, you can send documents to your clients to sign, these documents can come from your phone, DropBox, Google Drive… The list goes on.
If you haven’t tried DocuSign, click the link below to get 30 days free then 10% off your yearly price. You’ll be glad you did.
If you aren’t using a cloud-based storage system for your files, DropBox would be a great place to start.
Allowing you to host all your documents in one secure place, you don’t have to worry if you lose or break your phone. You can also collaborate on folders with your assistants or clients, allowing them to add or edit documents.
If you sign up using the link below, you’ll get 500MB of extra space for FREE!
We’re all on the road so much, sometimes we don’t have time to drive back to the office to get that contract scanned, and why should we! Use Genius Scan for iOS to generate a PDF of any document. Once done, you can email, upload to DropBox or DocuSign. Save the time and gas!
This is a new app I’ve started using this year, and it ties in with QuickBooks Online.
As Realtor’s, let’s face it, we’re usually scrambling around at tax time trying to get all our books in order. It’s much easier if you do it as you go along, and much MUCH easier if you use QuickBooks Online (QBO).
QBO links up with your banking institution and credit card providers to sync your transactions. You can then add notes, and categorize expenses as appropriate. You can even invite your accountant to collaborate and see your information.
We are extremely excited to announce a new partnership with a local Vancouver, BC company that is bring excellent quality, money saving LED lightbulbs to Canada. We have negotiated with greenLEDbulbs.com to bring 10% off your orders.
greenLEDbulbs.com is bringing the best quality LED bulbs from around the world and retailing them from their base here in Vancouver. They are targeting customers looking to save large amounts on their energy bills. In a call this week with greenLEDbulbs.com their representative Mr. Andrew Blake indicated that small commercial users, or even home owners can save large amount on their electricity bills.
We’ve seen customers who’ve replaced as few as 100 bulbs saving upwards of $2,000 per year on their electricity bills. Our bulbs consume much less power than regular incandescent bulbs, and often give off a much brighter light. Said Mr Blake.
For commercial customers the power savings are not just from the bulbs themselves. Mr. Andrew Blake explains:
In commercial applications the use of incandescent bulbs generates a huge amount of heat. The knock on effects of changing to LED bulbs is that cooling costs for commercial spaces is vastly reduced, as lighting is one of, if not the main heat source in these spaces.
There are several clear advantages with the bulbs that greenLEDbulbs.com are offering in addition to the energy savings:
5 year minimum warranty – if the bulbs fail within 5 years, or a specific time use timeframe, greenLEDbulbs.com will replace the bulb free of charge (check out the warranty info on their website)
Better quality bulbs – their bulbs use Phillips, SMD and CREE chips, meaning you have a much better quality of LED bulb
Pricing – their prices are extremely competitive
The Place Real Estate Team saw an opportunity here for our clients who have existing homes to save money be replacing their current light bulbs with LED’s, and also for some of our contractors who are building new properties and renovating others. LED bulbs add value to the end customer, and can potentially add value to your exiting home, new construction or renovation.
In order to take advantage of your 10% discount on your entire order, you just need to use the coupon code ‘PLACE10’ at the checkout. In order to take advantage of these great prices, head on over to greenLEDbulbs.com and start saving, courtesy of the Place Real Estate Team!
Many people look to purchase Condos and Apartments in Vancouver as a way to get into the real estate market, and some purchase because they like the lifestyle of condo living, and this enables them to live closer to Vancouver or the surrounding metro areas. Others choose to purchase when they are downsizing from a house, maybe their kids have left the family home, and they have too much space! A couple of things you should be aware of when you are looking to purchase Vancouver Apartments and Condos for Sale:
By law in BC, buildings that contain more than four units must have a Strata Corporation A Strata Corporation subdivides the property in question into individual units that can be purchased and sold by different individuals. They also share the common property – depending on the particular Strata, this could include common walkways and areas such as the entrance lobby, laundry areas and amenity areas. In BC there are around 30,000 strata corporations. As a generalisation, a Strata Corp can make decisions on behalf of the owners with regards to the building, such as approving maintenance items, levying the owners for funds to undertake projects, or change the rules and regulations pertaining to the building.
Leasehold Land in Vancouver
A leasehold property is one where the owners do not own rights to the land on which the property is built on. That means the owners are currently leasing the land from someone else. This could be the crown, a university, native band or even a school board. The land would have been leased to the person who initially developed the building, and in Vancouver this could have been recently – in the case of the new developments up at SFU in Burnaby, or some time ago, with buildings in the West End of Downtown Vancouver that have been leased by the City.
In terms of financing, typically leasehold properties are harder to finance, usually those that do not have much time remaining on the lease, if we examine a case of a leasehold property in the West End, let’s assume that the lease is up in the year 2023. With 10 years remaining on the lease, lenders will not be keen to give you a mortgage with a 30 year amortization, as the future of the lease maybe uncertain. Hit up an expert, such as one of our fantastic team members for more details!
Co-Op Properties in Vancouver
While finding Co-Op properties in Vancouver will be less common on your search for your next Apartment or Condo, you might still come across some advertised, and you need to know about them, and what this ownership structure means to you as a purchaser.
When you purchase in a Co-Op, you are purchasing shares in a company which has ownership of the entire property. The company gives you the right to occupy a specific suite in the building.
Financing is very hard in these situations, as the bank has little to no security for the loan. Finance options are possible, but require specialist advice. Give us a call or leave us a message to discuss.
If you are looking to purchase Real Estate here in Vancouver, BC then you will no doubt encounter our Vancouver MLS® or Multiple Listing System as you browse for your next home or condo.
We realised several shortcomings with the current systems of Realtor.ca and Realtylink.org and we wanted to make a much more efficient search engine for everyone browsing the Vancouver MLS®. Our websites feature the latest properties, just like the above websites, however we have a much faster and intuitive search engine allowing potential home purchasers to find the properties they are looking for quicker, with less fuss. Check it out by visiting the home page and starting the search for your next Vancouver home!
In the mean time, you can check out these 5 common real estate myths in the first of our three part series that talks about 15 of the most common misconceptions about the Vancouver Real Estate Market.
Vancouver Real Estate Myths and Realities:
1. B.C.’s recreational properties are being bought up by Albertans
If we look back to 2007 we see that 94% of the property sales in BC were completed by BC residents, however if we examine the recreational market segment, which looks at Ski Chalets, Lakefront Homes, Cabins, Resort Condos (such as those in Osoyoos, BC), Albertans were actually the largest purchaser of these types of properties when we compare where the property tax mailings were sent to.
During that same year, non residents of BC purchased a total of 9,375 vacation homes here in BC, valued at roughly $3.8bn! 60% of those were purchased by folks from Alberta, which accounts for $2.2bn and around 6,319 of those sales.
According to research Calgary residents were responsible for almost half of those Alberta purchases.
2. My Vancouver MLS Listing property assessment tells me what my home is worth
Many purchasers assume that the BC assessment of a MLS Listing is what the true value is, or what it should be purchased for, this is simply just not true.
When your assessment notice is mailed out to you on July 1st, it has the highest chance of being correct, but at this time of writing, that was nearly 12 months ago. If you were looking to sell, you could probably negotiate a higher price than that of your assessment.
Fact is, if you live in an older property your assessed value is likely to be further off than your real value that you could sell your property for, as the government calculates it using a computer formula, so if you have done a ton of updates to your home, these will not reflect on that value.
3. Spring is the best time to list your home on the Vancouver MLS®
If we look back on all land title records since 1993, then we see that the busiest months for sales are March through June. According to experts, the months that are the busiest for Home and Condos for sale differ slightly, condos are more likely to see action in March, April & June, however homes have the most activity from April through June.
If we see more sales, typically that means more buyers are out and about viewing homes, so there maybe some or more competing bids for your home!
To make sense of this, or with any questions, get in touch with us today by leaving a reply below.
The annual REALTOR’s Care Blanket Drive is entering it’s 18th year, and we need your help.
Since its inception we have helped over 185,000 people warm up over the cold winter months in Vancouver.
As part of our goal to give back to the community in which we operate the Adam Chahl Group will once again be participating, and if you have any of the following items, you can give me a call and we will come and collect them from you. +1 778 385 6141
Since switching from my Apple iPhone to Samsung Galaxy’s S3, many people have been asking which apps I have been using for my main business – Real Estate. I am a self confessed Geek, and love using the latest technology to give my clients better, and faster service.
Here is a rundown of the top 10 apps and how I use them to increase my productivity, and hopefully you can too!
1. LogMeIn – Price: $29.99
This is the most expensive App I have on my Android phone. At $29.99 it’s certainly at the higher price range, but this app allows me full access to MLXchange running on my desktop at the office. While there are other solutions to accessing MLS data on the road, nothing beats the full fat version, which is available only to the Internet Explorer browser. Link to LogMeIn Ignition
2. Droid Scan Pro – Price: $2.25
An extremely valuable app that comes in hand when you are on the road, scan floor plans, info sheets and other documents and create PDF’s with them. Especially useful for contracts that you have signed on paper, and don’t want to, or don’t have time to, make it back to the office, or a scanner… No problem, fire up this app and click away, make a PDF and email it over to your assistant, or directly over to the other Realtor! Get it here
3. Dropbox – Price: Free
While I use Google for most of my cloud based applications, I use dropbox for my files and photo storage. With the purchase of my Samsung and from recommending Dropbox to friends, my current storage capacity is 55GB. Dropbox is free for those using up to 2GB of storage, and you can achieve more quickly by completing a few, quick exercise (following them on Twitter, Facebook and so on). One of the best features of Dropbox is the ability to synchronize across all your devices and platforms.
I can also email clients documents and photos directly from Dropbox, and I have my phone set up to automatically upload my new photos and videos to Dropbox for access by my team. Link to Dropbox
4. Light Flow – Price: $1.99
Allows for the complete customization of your notifications, this is a must for power users such as ourselves who have many notifications, some of which are more important than others. The S3’s external LED is a function that I’ve missed since my Blackberry days, and now you can choose which colours are displayed depending on the pending notifications on the device. New email is set to a certain colour, you can choose different colours for different accounts. Social media notifications can be a different colour, the possibilities are endless.
There is a free, ‘lite’ edition available for you to try out some of the features. Get the full version.
5. Google+ – Price: Free
With the latest Google algorithm changes, Google+ is going to be a more important factor for your social media rankings and overall SEO strategy. Install this now to stay up to date. Link here.
6. Gas Buddy – Price: Free
Amazing app that uses crowdsourcing to tell you the lowest price of gas close to you, whilst I don’t use this app as often as I should, when you are filling up as much as we are, every little helps! Get it here.
7. Park By Phone – Price: Free
Park by phone is a fantastic app that rids the need for an ashtray full of change! Pay automatically for parking in Vancouver directly to your credit card with a few taps. You can also extend your time without having to revisit the meter. Useful mapping feature to help you remember where you left your car, if you have a problem with that.
The best feature about this app is the ability to create an account and print out or download a list of all your parking expenses. Great for tax time! Check if it’s available in your city and get it now
9. Llama – Price: Free
Location based profiles for your Android. I have been looking for an application like this for a while now, and this one is fantastic. You can teach it your common locations, and set various paramaters. Example – when you leave your home in the morning, you can shut WiFi off, turn BlueTooth on, and turn your notification volume up to maximum. When you get to the office you can have the notifications set to another level, the possibilities are endless! Install it and play around. Get it here.
10. Pulse – Price: Free
Pulse is a news aggregator that allows you to pull popular news sources together and also add your own RSS feeds for your own content. Your one stop shop for your daily news digest. You can do away with all other news apps, and populate pulse with the content that you read. Get Pulse!
Bonus: Speed up your Samsung Galaxy S3!
A quick tip that I learned this week to speed up your Samsung Galaxy S3… While this doen’t actually speed the phone up, it reduces the time the phone spends transitioning between screens, so it makes the phone appear faster, and definitely makes it much more usable! Do this:
Goto Settings-> Developer Options->
Change both the Window animation scale and Transition Animation scale to 0.5x
Your phone will now be running like a beast! Let me know below if this helped you, and which apps you use, or if I have missed any out!