Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
My Favorite Acitive Rain Articles This Week - 09/27/10 11:55 PM
My favorite Active Rain news articles of the week are as follows. You really have to give it out to these writers for sharing this information, and I am doing so here: (1) If Bill H.R. 5028 is passed in the US it will mean that those who foreclose on their property will be able to rent their properties from the bank at market value. This "Proposed Bill in Congress Could Crush Housing Industry" In my opinion, this constitutes another form of usury in my opinion. If i was a homeowner in that position I am not sure if I would accept. Think (3 comments)
HD vs Photo visual Tours? You be the Judge - 09/27/10 10:33 PM
Wht's the scoop with High Definition video and Visual Tours? I just found out about High Definition video for my listings at a reasonable cost, and my eyes and their appetite has gone 'wow! I want it!'. I mean, just look at this page and check out what they guys can do. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a newbie to visual tours and technologies like that. Not that there's anything wrong with that! Right? In fact, I've been using the VisualTour company for my listings' "visual tours" and it's worked out great. They keep great statistics of visitors, track where (0 comments)
15 Quick SEO Tips for Real Estate Bloggers - 09/26/10 03:49 PM
I'm reblogging one of the best SEO articles I've read in weeks. This is particularly catered to the Realtor and I think is a real gem. Give it a read and you'll know what I mean. Many thanks to Justin Smith, at this link. Via Justin Smith | SEO, SMO & Blogging Consultant (Searching Solutions): Block Duplicate Content - With the nifty All In One SEO pack for Wordpress, you can easily set your category and archive pages to be noindex/follow… meaning that Google will follow the links to the individual articles, but not index those pages which will help guard against the (3 comments)
Surplus Olympic Condos: Driving Overall Prices Up or Down? - 09/26/10 04:08 AM
Vancouver Olympic Condo Inventory Surplus of Olympic condos in Vancouver is definitely not moving as fast as was hoped by developers. The present statistics are as follows: there are 483 units in the former Olympic athletes' village remaining and their sales are indeed sluggish. That is nothing compared to what's coming. There is a new development scheduled to begin shortly across the street from the Olympic Village. This development, called the "Wall Financial Corp's" development slated to put out another 550 units of "semi-affordably priced" units within the next three years. What does this mean to the condominium inventory in Vancouver (0 comments)
The Elite Invest In Vancouver, And So Should You - 09/25/10 06:21 AM
You have all heard of the owner of Mr. Lube, and Boston Pizza, as well as a few other foundations and businesses: The Trelivings. I just read an article about their real estate holdings in the National Post, citing their holdings in Palms Springs, Dallas, West Vancouver and Vancouver Downtown as well as White Rock, as well as Toronto. They boasted having the entire Team Canada to their home, after the 2010 Olympics, to celebrate their success! Not bad.To the point: They are reputed as saying the buying real estate in Vancouver is one of the best decisions they've ever made. (2 comments)
To Buy or To Lease a Home Be advised that there are some caveats about leasehold properties you should understand which "may" apply to this property. I advise that you address these items as they "may" apply to this specific leasehold roperty. If you don't get the answers to this please let me know and I'll help. Not each caveat applies to each property so always seek the advice of a Professional REALTOR®. Leasehold Properties mean this to a potential "buyer" of such properties: - You are a "leasehold tenant" of the property you purchase, with fewer right to the property than (0 comments)
Weekend Update: Sep 25-26 Open Houses (V849382, V837638) - 09/23/10 11:48 PM
OPEN HOUSE IMAGE Saturday, Sep 25, 1:30-4:30. V849382, #909-1331 W. Georgia Ave.New flooring + fresh paint at The Pointe by Concord Pacific in Coal Harbour - Excellent floor plan with one bedroom and den. Den could be 2nd bedroom. Floor to ceiling windows with views to Burrard Inlet. Bright and spacious. Large insuite storage. Features exercise facilities, 24 hour concierge and business center, ideal for home office. Steps to Robson St, Stanley Park, Seawall, Coal Harbour and the heart of financial district. Well-managed and well-maintained building. Great for living or investment. Don't miss out on this one! All measurements are (4 comments)
One Example of a Stagnant Property - 09/22/10 04:36 PM
20100922 Coal Harbour Townhouse Photo I'm not a proponent of any doomsday or bubble talk, because not only does it not help anyone but because every dacate present dips and waves in the markets. I'm certainly seeing sales and there are a large number of motivated buyers in my portfolio. That said, there are certainly listings which are expiring and are getting re-listed again, and this is what I'm going to discuss briefly here. There are a few examples of listings which have expired and have been relisted over three times. One of my favorite sites out there is the VREAA (the (0 comments)
Economic Downturn or, Rather, Business Vacancies at All Time Low - 09/22/10 02:15 AM
There is a lot of negative news out there. I don't have to list it, it's everywhere you look. And then, in an otherwise conservative newspaper, the Financial Post, I seem to have found an "optimistic" gem. Apparently Vancouver is seeing an all time low vacancy rate in the business rental sector. More specifically, "if you're thinking about setting up shop in downtown Vancouver" good luck, as these have been almost "wiped out." According to the statistics in the article, the Vacancy rates are not only among the lowest in the country but the rental rates for the same commercial properties (0 comments)
Donating Blood? Altruistic... or Just a Realistic REALTOR!? - 09/21/10 12:28 AM
Blood: It's In You To Give I've been a blood donor for some time now. It doesn't seem to have much to do with real estate except for the analogous parallels between (1) finding clients their homes, (2) making them fortunes in smart real estate investments, or (3) just making sure they enjoy safe and mold-free environements in their homes. Real Estate and health actually DO have a lot in common, so this article rides that wave to another level. I can't tell you how and why I started giving blood except to say that "it was in me to give" and it just made (4 comments)
Have you ever had strange requests from clients you never anticipated? I've recently been asked by more and more of my clients to find properties by postal code. Now, asking about neighborhood names, schools, parks and so on is something not unusual - BUT postal codes searches, have definitely been something I've not had to do much.In solidarity with my fellow REALTORS(r) out there, then, here is a great resource for us Vancouverites that should make that job a little bit easier. Unfortunately I don't have "zipcodes" in this article. I apologize in advance, but I haven't looked up zipcode (3 comments)
Digesting All The Media Into One Coherent Whole - 09/18/10 05:14 AM
Digesting Real Estate News This article is an invitation to discuss the world news on real estate :) To hit it off, from my personal/professional standpoint, here is my 2 cents. For the first time in weeks have I read an article that manages (better than others) to consolidate the thought around the upcoming fall-market. It's a mix of reports among the continuum of (1) gloom/doom on the one hand and, on the other, themes of (2) assurances and positivism that we also know aren't entirely true. Both extremes are paving a road for Aristotle, it seems: the proponent of the (1 comments)
Got Any First-time Out-of-Town Buyers? Quick Tip! - 09/16/10 08:03 PM
Map Screen Shots for Out-Of-Town Clients Ever experienced this? I've been lucky to work with an increasing number of first-time buyes TO Vancouver who have never been IN Vancouver before or their visit was ever so brief they have no idea how the greater city layout even looks like. As you know our Real Estate climate is unique and uniquely priced given our land sparcity, economies, and proximity to water, mountains, and the US border -- all three reasons to almost want to bulldoze the mountains and fill in the ocean to lower those real estate prices, you might say, faceciously. There are (8 comments)
Scrapping the HST good/bad? It's hard enough to pinpoint, exactly, what the HST has actually done to the Real Estate business. Are the supposed negative effects just disinformation? It's spiked the spring markets before July 1st, of this year; it created a backlash and coupled conservatism in Real Estate buyers due to inadequate information about how the tax affects them; it has increased the cost of living by another 7 percent; among other factors. The question I'd like to ask is what it would mean to be rid of it? Today, an article on Canadian Real Estate Magazine said that "B.C. (4 comments)
Come to my Workshop! We Put All The Professionals Into One Room? - 09/14/10 08:01 PM
I'm sharing a wonerful resource with all of you, especially if you know any first-time buyers/sellers or returning investors coming to Vancouver who need a group of professionals pronto!We've put all the professionals in ONE room just for YOU!Time/Date: September 29 · 7:00pm - 9:00pmLocation: REMAX Crest Realty Westside (Free Parking)Address: 1428 W. 7th Ave., Vancouver, BCCreated by: Jark KrysinskiHere is a workshop about buying real estate you don't want to miss! Given the price "corrections" out there, this workshop comes at a great time.Buying or selling real estate is a big decision and the more informed you are, the more successful the (0 comments)
Is 20% Down NOT Enough: Will Higher Down-Payments Be Necessary Soon? At least two reports - such as the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives REPORT this August as well as the CHMC Housing Market Outlook, among others - posit unique long-term projections on Vancouvers (as well Canada's broad) real estate market future. Overall, "some 7.5 percent of Canadian households could be 'financially vulnerable' by mid-2012 if borrowing keeps up at the same pace"(Globe and Mail, Sep 13, "‘Future shocks’ forecast for housing market") suggesting that, by virtue of Vancouver's prices being among the highest in the Country, an even larger percentage of Vancouver's (0 comments)
Why Should I Care About Zoning Bylaws? As a Buyer/Seller and a REALTOR. - 09/12/10 12:14 AM
Vancouver Zoning Changes Whenever I read about the construction of more commercial centres I instantly think about who'll be living around them, how many, and oh-my, how many of clients will want to know this GOOD NEWS. The possibilities in an event like this are endless.As a consumer I really want to know if my home is zoned for a single family use, a multi-family use or, most importantly, a commercial use. But, aside from my self-interest at heat, what do multiple across-the-board zoning changes mean for a whole city?Every property sits on a plot of land that is legally identified (0 comments)
We've put all the professionals in ONE room just for YOU! Time/Date: September 29 · 7:00pm - 9:00pmLocation: REMAX Crest Realty Westside (Free Parking)Address: 1428 W. 7th Ave., Vancouver, BCCreated by: Jark KrysinskiHere is a workshop about buying real estate you don't want to miss!Given the price "corrections" out there, this workshop comes at agreat time.Buying or selling real estate is a big decision and the more informedyou are, the more successful the process. This interactive workshopgives you an opportunity to meet a great Team of Professionals tolearn the pivotal tips and tricks and ask the right questions (and getknowledgeable (0 comments)
I have read a great economics article at Seeking Alpha and the Unconventional Economist. It presents some great points on a number of recent reports and I'm going to present a personal summary of these arguments in my own words. According to this article, and commentary by the Author, Canada's real estate markets are definitely not at their peak bubble, and still have a ways to go because of this spread in disposable income versus critical income. This concept, however, is counteracted by the fact that we are not equipped for any "correction" or "levelling" of prices because, when push comes to shove, (2 comments)
What News Means I try to read something newsworthy every day in the media and today there was a gross disparity of Real Estate related thought. Long weekend? Perhaps! So what I learned today was that Homeowners belong to a majority of those who pay their credit card bills on time (65% of the time), compared to non-homeowners who apparent don't as much (45% percent of the time). Read it for yourself here.After I wet my appetite, I got reading something a bit more serious. And, on a quest for knowledge and "nerdyness," I picked up the CMHC third Quarter Housing (0 comments)
A great way of embedding .PDFs into your articles... - 09/06/10 06:32 AM
I found a great way of embedding .PDF's into your publications without requiring Acrobat. This is a useful way of previewing .PDF documents of all kinds right in your posts and introduction. Or, as I like to do, on an index html file of all the scanned .PDF's of all my transactions with my clients, all in one place or one page. For an example, here's a link to a page on my website that will illustrate.
To copy an embedded document that is already embedded do this: Just click on the << embed >> part on the top-right (6 comments)
I was contemplating what the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives means by the word “correction.” I’m no economist, I admit, so what I’m about to say could be fraught with logical leaps. That said, as my dear reader, let me know if I’ve got entirely out to lunch in this article – I thank you in advance if I have! This happened when I re-read the Financial Post’s article titled “Housing will be banks’ next sore spot.” The thoughts that came to me weren’t pretty but actually felt like the sub-text or meaning between the lines sneaking through. Could it be that (0 comments)
RE: VANCOUVER SUN'S "Vancouver's home buyers taking their time in August: Lofty house prices fall slightly" I invite debate about the views I've expressed in this article - perhaps they could stimulate some healthy discussion. One of the arguments in the Article is that "one-third of buyers were first timers compared with 40 per cent or more in previous months" and the effects from this are said to be "evidence of the impact that new, tighter, mortgage qualification rules introduced in April have had on the market." I find it problematic to posit the effect of these interest rates (1) considering (0 comments)
Buy or Sue: Would No Strata Fees for a few Years Entice You? - 09/04/10 01:08 AM
This is my analysis of a CBC Article on the Olympic Village condo sales in Vancouver (available for download here), my home-town and local community. I quote from the article three times below, with permission, and these quotations are italicized. I find that my views differ from the authors and find it necessary to include some quotations to indicate my point Let’s do the math here for a second. If the average strata fee is approximately 250 dollars, at 12 months that’s a total of $3,000. For a condo priced at 400,000 that’s less than a 1% discount from the listing (3 comments)
A great article I found at the Vancouver Condo Info site argues that it's a great time to buy real estate right now. The fact is, however, that it's been a great two years to buy in Vancouver in particular and, in the rest of the country, with prices still on the rice despite the attractive interest rate, numbers add up to favor the buyer, not the big brother. "In the lowest 5-year rate in history, I think moments like this should be documented AND should be indicators of what our economy at large is going through." (Vancouver Condo) I argue that (6 comments)
I have moved recently and, which is often the case, have learned a little bit more about the dread of moving life to a new home. I’ve done alot of reading about and, if you want to save time and money, here’s some great info for you. The following three short articles pretty much sum up the logic behind hiring professionals do it for you, and why you shouldn’t be breaking your back by doing-it-yourself. Professionals or DO-IT-Yourself. The second article talks about what renovators would call 3 times as long and twice as expensive. Give this a read and find (0 comments)
Have you made or lost money in mutual funds or registered saving’s plans? If you have any experience in this market and have you ever wondered who profits from this industry? Did you know that Canada’s financial markets account for approximately 6% of our GDP (“gross domestic product”). In fact, there are approximately 600-700 billion dollars of assets held in RSP money in the Canadian markets, which is a profoundly staggering number. This doesn’t take into account the unused contribution room that can be counted as well. This can essentially add up to closely to a Trillion dollars (0 comments)
Here are summary comments on what is known as the Whistler Report ("A Winning Bid, A Winning Buy), from January 25, 2010, by Landcor Data Corp (a report you can download by following the link below) This news report sums up what is otherwise dubbed as a "123 per cent increase in assessed values" over the very short period of 2000 to 2010, and presents some great details and price comparisons over the last 10 years of Real Estate values in the region. The highlights of the report are its look at Condominiums, Town-homes and, the finale, the detached properties or (0 comments)
Here is the summary and critique of a Vision Vancouver report on the very contested Property Tax issue from early this year. The reported property tax increase figure is officially 2.26% – but the figure, as we know it, does not reveal whether this change shall be a broad increase spanning both residential and commercial properties, if they should be lumped up into one rubric or not. In fact, commercial and residential properties tax shifts and responsibilities differ so much that they should rather no be lumped into the same category. For instance, as any property owner knows, Property taxes (0 comments)
There are reports from CREA and Metro that Canada’s economy is poised to receive more international investment than expected. The Feb 12 Metro article “Canada seen as a safe investment: CIBC” (linked below) argues that “the country has sound banks and a solid AAA credit rating [with] expectations that it will lead it speers in growth over the next few years.” I have scanned a few of these reports for you to read, if you're interested, namely: “China’s Latest Export: ‘Home Buyers’”“Canada Ranks Third for Chinese Tourism”“Real Estate is Silver Bullet During Recessions” We’re also expecting to have a decreased corporate (0 comments)
This report is posted, with permission, from a recent report by the BCREA about their concern about Safety for REALTORS(R) during their weekend "OPEN HOUSEs". The Langley RCMP issued the following notice concerning a recent spate of thefts at open houses in that community. We would like to remind all members to exercise caution when conducting open houses, ensure that prospective home buyers are not left unescorted and to always report suspicious behaviour to local police. Over the last month, Langley RCMP has taken note of a number of thefts from residences currently listed for sale. These crimes are committed by (4 comments)
Here’s a great video that will put the Variable % Rate VERSUS Locked-in % Rate debate into some perspective. Every client should listen to this and do the mathematics before they commit to any product their bank is offering them. REFERENCES:Real Estate Investment Network (REIN)Business News Network
“You thought “Foreclosures” were supposed to be a “Deal”!? Many a budding and thrifty first-time buyers, investors, or returning Real Estate “just lookers” assume they’ll find themselves a “great deal”on a “foreclosure” somewhere and, in so doing, “outsmart” everyone else. Alas, if it were only that easy! There are many different types of “foreclosure”. The most common “foreclosure” I will discuss here is the legal process called “foreclosure.” “Foreclosure” is where a Lender begins to cancel the borrower’s right to redeem their property – catch up with late payments and/or fines and/or taxes and/or penalties – or takes that privilege away. If the borrower doesn’t co-operate, (0 comments)
THE SCIENCE OF THE FIRST REAL ESTATE PURCHASE – SIMPLE AS 1, 2 and 3(by Jark Krysinski) 1. How Do I Know if I’m Ready to Buy, more Objectively? Don’t look to your heart for answers to real estate! It’s a science. I have a checklist of 50 reasons supporting a real estate purchase. These take your financial history/present, your long-term plans, your personality, your preferred degree/nature of freedom, and whether you’d rather make a sound investment before or after making travel plans. Ask me for my checklist! 2. OK, I’m Totally Excited About Buying Something, How Do I Start? (0 comments)
[Mortgage update according to Pauline Tonkin] Over the past few weeks we have seen a steady decline in fixed rates. Even the discount on variable rates is dropping. We have been notified that the rates below – for some lenders – will drop again tomorrow. This rate drop may not stick around for long though as the bond market may move again and result in a bounce back in rates. So, if you are considering your mortgage renewal, looking to refinance to renovate or buy another property – or you are buying a new home for your family – you (0 comments)
[The Recent LANDCOR report is as follows]“British Columbia real estate – riding out the storm” Vancouver, BC – August 18, 2010 In Q2 2010, home sales in BC rose 52% compared to Q1 2009, and the total dollar value of residential sales rose by 55%, showing a potential return by the real estate market to normal levels. The Q2 2010 Residential Sales Summary, released today by Landcor Data Corporation, looks at sales and price data for BC as a whole and regionally: Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Kootenays, the Okanagan, the Fraser Valley and BC North/Northwest. Landcor’s unique data includes all sales in (0 comments)
I’ve just stumbled upon this great summarg of Government and Private financial aid available to Property Buyers and Property Owners. It’s a great summary put out by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Aug 14th Issue, Volume 11, Number 16. Here is a scan of the TOP 21 Grants and Rebates for Property Buyers and Owners. REFERENCES:Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Aug 14th Issue, Volume 11, Number 16.
Home Buyers in the Driver’s Seat Vancouver, BC – August 12, 2010. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province declined 42 per cent to 5,784 units in July compared to the same month last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, MLS® residential unit sales in the provincedeclined 19 per cent in July from June 2010. The average MLS® residential priceclimbed 6 per cent to $491,832 in July compared to the same month last year. “A relatively large number of homes for sale have created the most favourable supply conditions for home buyers (0 comments)
This is a short summary of a Globe And Mail Article from July 28 that I thought you would appreciate. Canadian house prices rose 1.3 per cent in May from a month earlier, and now stand 4.2 per cent above their pre-recession peak, according to a Teranet-National Bank composite house price index. It marked the 13th straight month of increases and the second that prices rose in each of the six regions it covers. National Bank economist Marc Pinsonneault contrasted that to the real estate market in the United States, where prices are down almost 30 per cent from their peak. In (0 comments)
This is a new Article dated August 7, in the Vancouver Sun. My summary is as follows: Metro Vancouver stands to benefit form wealthy Philanthropists who see our community is a thriving breathing ground for socially conscious investment, often time “over the last 15 years…playing a role in making Vancouver a leader in green companies, sustainable initiatives, and socialist politics.” Vancouver is “the obvious choice to concentrate their activities and build momentum for their causes” due to it’s high potential in many respects in that it’s “prosperous”, “a meeting of cultures” “it’s geographically positioned on the innovative coast”, “it is educated”… and so (0 comments)
This is to announce that I’m adding another useful article to the “Items of Value” page, on the main page (and every page) called: “Real Estate Numbers are Transitory…” This article does a good job at showing the following things: 1. The principle of supply and demand is often misunderstood in the Real Estate context, in that the critical fact is that a certain number of homes will always be required to house people, whether they rent or buy, used or new.2. Demand for housing — all kinds of housing — is growing, and Greater Vancouver’s share of provincial population (0 comments)
Here is a quick analysis on a very interesting article I picked up. It is a Globe and Mail article I found enlightening, particularly it's subtle but enlightening standpoint on Asian-Pacific investments in Canada's West coast and beyond. This article talks about some 30 investors taking a tour of Toronto and Vancouver, scheduled for August and September of this summer, all 30 of whom are said to be "dropping" a half-million dollars each on real estate investments. "Half a world away, a handful of Chinese citizens are feverishly planning a Canadian real-estate shopping excursion." This article comes out in a timely way particularly (0 comments)
Hello, my name is Jark! I have been a real estate investor for the past 15 years, predominately in the Greater Vancouver area but also in the developing real-estate locales of Whistler as well as Revelstoke. I share my research and writing on a daily basis as an added service to my clients. It's important to realize that REALTORS are not only sales people but are also scholars of Real Estate in their own right. The hundreds of articles I've published serve to exemplify this point.
In Vancouver specifically, I’ve bought and sold more than four businesses of my own – prior to licensing as a real estate licensee – and have bought three passive real-estate holdings. If you’re looking for an agent who’s not only thought about real estate but has also bought and sold his own properties, and taken his own calculated risks, give me a holler and we’ll discuss the market and your participation therein. For more than theory, speak to someone who’s empirically on the same page as an experienced real estate investor.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.