Curb Appeal

January 20, 2017


Check out this educational video, part of RE/MAX Fit to Sell campaign





  [kom-pi-tuh ns] 



the quality of being competent; adequacy; possession of required skill, knowledge, qualification, or capacity: He hired her because of her competence as a REALTOR®.


sufficiency; a sufficient quantity: He had the financial competence to complete the deal.


an income sufficient to furnish the necessities and modest comforts of life.


Law. (of a witness, a party to a contract, etc.) legal capacity or qualification based on the meetingof certain minimum requirements of age, soundness of mind, or the like. 

While watching the Cirque Du Soleil performance of LOVE in Vegas recently, the thought occurred to me that the simple ease in which the performers glided along the free hanging ropes hid the pain, struggle, and dedication it took to reach such a level of competence. All of the years of effort and dedication had paid off in providing the wonderful audience experience of seeing these masters of their craft defy gravity and float to the music of the Beatles. These performers made it all look so easy…but anyone who has tried to climb a single strand of rope hanging from a school gym ceiling understands how difficult it truly is.

Such is the case in any area of the arts, sports, and business it seems. The incredible musician flows freely with his instrument, seemingly able to pull beautiful music out of it on a whim. Yet the hours of work, tedious and demanding work required, are not seen in the final result. As well, the world class athlete performs superhuman feats like it is second nature. A hockey player skates forward and backward perfectly balanced and can stop on a dime to execute a perfect tip of the stick to deflect a tiny rubber puck into that small unprotected area of the net. Looks so easy…

I have had the privilege of working with some of the best REALTORS® in North America. These individuals also imbue that core competency that makes it look like business falls from the sky and into their laps each day. However, the years of struggle, risk, investment, education, practice, and training are not seen in their steady handshake or easy manner. Make no mistake…to be truly competent is to make it look like you are not even breaking a sweat while leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

Brian Tracy once said, “The future belongs to the competent. It belongs to those who are very, very good at what they do. It does not belong to the well meaning.”

So then, what is competence, core competence, and how do we achieve that pinnacle in our own business?

Competence is not something one can imitate. It can only be developed through time and effort. While it is true that some will have natural gifts that give an edge in certain disciplines, (a good musical ear, or natural athleticism, for example), to develop a true core competency takes work. In real estate some have a natural ability to instill trust in others through superior listening or emotive skills, but that will not remove the need to build good marketing programs, or follow statistical trends in their local marketplace.

The business authors, C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel have researched and explored the notion of core competency within organizations on a larger scale. They state that core competency includes communication, involvement, and a deep commitment to working across organizational boundaries to overcome them. It is a fundamental provision for creating added value within the organization as well as for the consumer.

Developing a core competency can be part of a specific office culture and can be developed over time as long as the intent of subject matter know-how, reliable processes, dedication, and commitment  are set as the guide posts. It must contribute to the end consumers experience and benefits as well as the value of the products and service to the client.

Every study of high achieving professionals proves that success in life is only possible when you become fully competent at your chosen field. So, one of the best uses of your time is to identify your key result areas and work on competence in them. For example, if understanding trends in market values in your area will result in a higher listing percentage, concentration on statistics and appraisal reports will help you develop competency as a whole. You may find yourself having difficulty making connections with customers at open houses, focusing on your social skills will help you build your core competency.

 Remember that concentration on the little things makes a big difference when you are working toward reaching the level of core competence. It’s the small incremental steps that you commit to doing that will set you apart and build true competence. Block out time on your calendar every week to commit to your personal training and education. That one small step will make a big difference in your career.


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January 20, 2017

First-time buyers interest-free down payment program

The new BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program helps eligible BC residents purchase a home.

The program offers first-time home buyers who have saved a down payment:

  • A down payment loan of up to 5% of a home’s purchase price to a maximum of $37,500, on a home with a maximum price of $750,000.
  • This loan matches the buyer’s down payment and is interest-free and payment-free for five years.
  • After five years, buyers can either repay their loan or enter into monthly payments at interest rates that are current five years from the date of the loan.
  • Loans through the program are due after 25 years – the same length as most mortgages.

To qualify for the program, home buyers with a registered interest on title must reside in the home and be a:

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years;
  • resident of BC for at least one year immediately preceding the date of application; and
  Click here for larger version of infographic
  • first-time buyer who has not owned an interest in a residence anywhere in the world at any time.

The home buyer must:

  • use the property as their principal residence for the first five years;
  • obtain a high-ratio insured first mortgage on the property for at least 80% of the purchase price; and
  • have a combined, gross household income of all individuals on title not exceeding $150,000.

Buyers can begin gathering the documents they’ll need to submit an online application. Buyers will need:

  • Proof of status in Canada and residency in British Columbia.
  • Secondary identification (must include your photo).
  • Proof of income and tax filings.
  • Insured first mortgage pre-approval.


• Information and application details
• Questions and answers 


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