Often people assume that I practice and sell all types of real estate, everything from a quaint Cape Cod home to a sprawling 100 acre family-owned farm.
The thing is technically, they’re right. I can ‘sell’ any type of real estate across Ontario. My licence allows me to sell from Windsor to Elliot Lake and everything in between. In my opinion, having an agent who believes they can practice any type of real estate and anywhere their licence allows is not serving the public’s interest.
Firstly, I’d like to point out that I ‘practice’ real estate and not ‘sell’ real estate. I feel the difference is in how the real estate professional chooses to hone their skills:
‘Selling’ Real Estate: This approach, comes from the belief that houses are a commodity (which they are!) and like any commodity they are ‘sold’ to the public/party who wishes to acquire them. I see this as an adversarial approach, and one that is constantly fighting upstream. I have no issue with it, just see it as always looking for the ‘next one’ without focusing on the client.
‘Practice’ Real Estate: I chose this style of real estate for one main reason. I don’t sell. Nothing fancy, I just don’t believe in ‘selling’ to my clients, peers or the public. I believe if I offer value and support to my industry, clients and others that I will attract clients and have a successful career, not a job. I believe my role is as a facilitator, negotiator and to provide solutions and options.
I point out the above to bring attention to how real estate business is done, and the reason goes back to the title of this Blog: Isn’t all real estate the same?
I’ve listed below the different types of Real Estate, what they mean and their differences: (*note: descriptions courtesy of the Ottawa Real Estate Board website: www.ottawarealestate.org)
Residential: The residential property class includes detached, semi-detached, multi-unit (townhouse/stacked/apartment) and duplex/doubles (two separate living units in the same building, on the same title) properties that are NOT registered as condominiums. The property owner holds freehold title to the dwelling unit and accompanying block of land.
Condominium: The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, stacked etc.) which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares.
Lot: A piece of property which is typically without buildings or structures. (A structure may exist on the property but the property is being sold for the land value only.) The property does not have a commercial zoning designation.
Commercial: Commercial property class refers to buildings or land intended to be used either for the operation of a business enterprise or to generate a profit either from capital gains or rental income. Businesses intended to generate a profit are also included in the commercial property class.
Multi-Family (Residential): Multi-Family (Residential) is a property which is a double (side by side), duplex (up and down), triplex or a fourplex. In the case of doubles and duplexes, they may also be listed in the Residential property class and cross referenced. Properties which have 5+ units must be listed under the Commercial Property Class.
Farm: A farm, ranch or agribusiness.
Rental: Any Residential property that is available for rent.
In reviewing the list, it’s clear there is a lot of information to be aware of which would lead to needing to constantly be updated on the latest in federal, provincial and municipal laws that can and do affect real estate transactions and real estate law.
I chose to focus my business model on the following four areas, as that’s how I view organized real estate and I only practice real estate within the Ottawa Real Estate Board and surrounding Boards:
Residential: First-time home buyers, re-locations, down-sizing and life-status changes.
Condominium: Same as residential, but additional training to understand the Condominium Act and what that entails for my buyers & sellers.
Investment: This is a broad scope, meant to cover those clients that are purchasing either residential, condominium, lot, commercial, rentals or multi-family for investment purposes. This can be everything from renovating an old home to re-sell later to a strip mall for long-term returns.
Commercial: This and Investment are closely tied and often the same depending on the client’s needs and business plan. This also includes commercial leasing for Landlords and representing commercial tenants in securing a space for their business.
Note: I specifically chose not to trade in Farm/Agribusiness as I know that is as detailed if not more that the above. I have a great network of fellow agents who I work with in that field that I refer that business to. This allows the client to have the best representation available to them and I know that they will be taken care of.
By choosing early on to focus my business into 4 areas of service that I felt I could be of value, has allowed me to tailor my training and education to specialized courses, seminars and continuing education both within organized real estate and outside sources.
I’ve also been able to create a circle of trusted peers, co-workers and industry experts that I can reach out to and bring into the process should the client’s requirements call for it or refer to another Realtor® in another city who has the same standard of client care and commitment as I do.
I firmly believe that to be in a business where referral’s and client trust is paramount that a Realtor® needs to anticipate where the industry is going by always engaging in education, training and expanding their sphere of knowledge. I see the world of real estate demanding more of the average real estate agent, and I’m looking forward to increased expectations and standards!
Should you have any questions/comments about the above or just want to chat about the world of real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out.