Aug 7th, 2013
By Real Estate Marketing Magazine

You may or may not be aware of this fact, but more people are choosing to use a real estate agent than ever before. In correlation to the increased demand for real estate agents is the so-called democratization of information – the opening of the web, a.k.a. the Google factor, and the general trend of consumers choosing how and when they purchase products. When you analyze the statistics surrounding Internet adoption and demand for real estate agents, an untold story unfolds.

Let’s start with the number of home buyers working with a Realtor, as published in a recent U.S. report issued on In 2001 about 69 per cent of all home buyers worked with a real estate agent. Dramatically, by 2012 that number increased to 89 per cent, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That’s a whopping 20 per cent increase.

That’s a good news story for Canadian real estate. After an onslaught of news about an uncertain economy over the last four years, along with a general opening up of information online, you would be forgiven for assuming that Realtors’ future in the marketplace might be at risk. The numbers are not reflecting that, and the story doesn’t stop there.

The increased demand for real estate agents may be related to a surprising factor. A growing demographic of home buyers is adopting the Internet and technology in their home-buying process. An analysis of the 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers released by NAR found that home buyers using the Internet were more likely to work with a real estate agent. Twenty per cent more likely, to be exact. This is counter to a common assumption that the more access a home buyer has to information online, the less they will need to work with a real estate agent.

In reality, “91 per cent of home buyers who used the Internet to search for a home purchased through a real estate agent, as did 71 per cent of non-Internet users,” says the study. These latest statistics divulge an interesting outcome. With the ability to search for homes online Canadians have spoken through their actions. They like using the Internet to search for information about property and real estate agents when purchasing.

Perhaps the greatest value a real estate agent provides for the home buyer is a sense of security that they are making the right decision and that the deal is put together correctly. With the increase in accessible information online, it is likely home buyers are realizing just how much information is available and are recognizing the need for an expert in the purchasing process.

According to NAR, 87 per cent of buyers surveyed viewed real estate agents as a source of valuable information. Another study by Mustel Group Market Research found home buyers believe that the greatest value a real estate agent provides is dealing with the details and negotiating the best price.

One can conclude from all this that with the rise of technology, Canadian home buyers are embracing real estate agents. That’s not to say there isn’t uncertainty. But the numbers expose strong demand for real estate agents from the most promising of all consumers groups, the emerging home-buying demographic. Canada’s youngest home buyers using the Internet are also the most likely to work with a real estate agent. The future of Canada’s real estate agents is remarkably good.

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Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows were once again ranked at No. 2 in a list of top B.C. investment towns


July 30, 2013  Sylver McLaren, Maple Ridge Times


Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows landed in second place for the third time on the Real Estate Investment Network's (REIN) top British Columbia investment towns list.


It's an exciting announcement, said Sandy Blue, the manager of Strategic Economic Initatives at the District of Maple Ridge.


"I think it shows the ability to attract the investment we need. We are seeing significant interest from around the world now," Blue said. "It's a positive, optimistic time. It's great for us," she added. The 110-page report analyzes the current and future prospects for real estate investment opportunities in the province for the next decade.


"Both communities have been hampered by poor transportation infrastructure for decades, detracting people from moving to the area and keeping real estate prices low," said Don R. Campbell, one of the report authors and senior analyst


at REIN. "The completion of the Golden Ears Bridge between Langley and Maple Ridge in 2009 and the opening of the new Port Mann Bridge in 2012 has brought the one-time sleepy Fraser Valley farming communities closer to Vancouver. Real estate prices remain relatively low, for now. As more people begin to realize what these two growing communities have to offer, demand will increase and prices will rise."


With about 65 per cent of Maple Ridge residents currently commuting to other regions for work, REIN believes no area in British Columbia will be impacted more significantly by the completion of the Gateway Program.


In 2009, the new Golden Ears Bridge officially opened to traffic. The six-lane bridge is the first direct route from the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to Langley and Surrey.


The transportation improvement has finally provided Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows with a direct link to Highway 1 and has reduced the time it takes to travel to Vancouver and the surrounding region, the report said. Between 2006 and 2011, the District of Maple Ridge recorded a population growth of 10.3 per cent while Pitt Meadows witnessed a population increase of 13.5 per cent, both significantly above the provincial average of seven per cent during the same time period.


The region's affordability and the transportation changes will drive more residents to the areas, driving up property values and rents, according to the report.


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