Industry Watch: The Realty World

Canada’s most well-known broker, Tatiana Londono, shares her insights on the state of Canadian real estate

Canada’s real estate industry may be softening, but according to Canadian broker Tatiana Londono, founder of Londono Realty Group Inc. and star of HGTV’s The Property Shop, that’s a good thing. “It’s about time prices drop,” she says. With properties selling at a more reasonable rate, Londono predicts the market will continue at a solid pace. “We are a country in expansion,” she adds, noting that the drop in prices and the low interest rates indicate that it is a good time to turn over property. “Fortunately supply has not exceeded demand to the point that we’re in a crisis.”

Tatiana’s Picks
The president and founder
swears by these five necessities to get her through each day

Smartphone
“I can access any document in my company’s system from my phone. I know agents who have smartphones but don’t know how to use them. Get a smartphone and learn how to use it.”

Multiple Listing Service
“This is my resource for accessing any listing in Québec. This is just one of our advantages over the ‘for sale by owners.’”

The newspaper
“Know what’s going on where you sell.”

Local industry publications
“Learn from others. Read up
on real estate news.”

Contact with other brokers
“Utilize your network. Help each other.”

With the transition in the market, Londono’s advice to real estate agents is to be ready to work. According to her, now is the time for real estate professionals to adopt technology to stay in the game. Londono’s own Montréal office is completely paperless. “It was not too long ago that I carbon-copied everything and had to get signatures from clients in person,” she says. “The times of going out at 9 p.m. to get a signature are over. Technology in our industry has been a good thing because it gives us time to better serve our clients.”

Londono has grown her firm from three agents to more than 100 in less than five years. She recommends to both new and seasoned agents that they commit to continual learning in the field to grow their businesses. “A lot of my ideas come from new advancements at innovative companies,” she says. “Pay attention to what other successful people are doing. Talk to young people. Listen to their ideas.”

Given the current market, challenges that real estate professionals are facing include convincing clients to adjust prices. “We’re still doing well, but our prices were out of whack,” Londono says. “Now, finally buyers are becoming savvy and educated about the market.”

According to Londono, now is an excellent time to consider purchasing property. “Two years ago, you bought high,” she says. “Today, interest rates are lower, and you’re probably paying less for the same piece of real estate because supply is meeting demand. You’re getting a fair price for the property.” Canada’s low interest rates provide a great opportunity for first-time home buyers to lock in a great rate. “It practically costs you nothing to borrow money in Canada,” Londono says. “Therefore, you’re using the bank’s money to get in on the property ladder. You can make some money.”