Part One: Where It All Started… For Me…
Author: Jeff Agyemang
Dated: Wednesday, January 2, 2019
I have an Associate Degree in Culinary Management, and I sell real estate. Yes, you read that right. Your first thought might be, “Who’s this guy and why the hell should I even keep reading?” And you wouldn’t be wrong in that first reaction. What would someone that spent a few years of his life preparing chicken stock and refining his knife skills know about the real estate market? More than you expect actually…
I bought my first piece of real estate at age 22 (currently 29 as of publication) before I ever thought about selling homes. A one bedroom, preconstruction unit off Lakeshore’s waterfront. The broker that sold me on the unit convinced me that I’d likely triple or even quadruple my down payment if I invested in preconstruction. I had no reason not to believe her. She was the professional, and I was a kid trying to figure out the most “adult way” to use the money I had saved up. “I’d be first out of my friends, and one of the first in my age group to own property”, I thought to myself. I bought the unit and didn’t look back. From there I became so interested in real estate that I researched what I needed to do to sell homes. I started taking OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association) courses late in 2013, and by summer 2014 I was out selling!
It’s January 2019 now and I’m still in the business of selling homes. During the last 6+ years much of my time has been spent studying real estate economics and historical trends, and new technologies moving the industry forward. I do this, so I can help clients making BIG life changing decisions. I look back at my experience buying the preconstruction unit at 22 years old and realize two things: 1) I could make A LOT investing in the right real estate during the right market, and 2) An uneducated buyer is a buyer without power, and a powerless buyer can be sold any load of s*** so long as it’s pitched the right way. I was an uneducated buyer that was sold what some might call “hyperbole”. Had I truly known what I was doing, I may have put my money into a resale townhome in 2012 instead of a preconstruction condo. The average price of a townhome in Toronto went up over 96% since that time. My preconstruction unit has appreciated just over 55% since then, and, because it STILL is not complete, I can’t sell it and take profit.
Don’t get me wrong, an appreciation of 55% is great, but it’s taken 7 years to compound (as I said which I still cannot access). An agent looking out for my best interests may have guided me towards a higher return investment, or helped me piece together that in an environment where interest rates are near zero buyers are more likely bypass starter homes (like condos) and demand freehold options (detached, semis, towns). Whether she was looking out for her own pockets first or was genuinely unsure of the direction our market was heading I’ll never know. What I do know is that many opportunities were missed because I was an uneducated buyer. The lesson was learned, and education on real estate economics became my focus and that change happened when I finally got access to the right information.
In this series I will discuss what I like to call the Mobile Age of Real Estate. As new technologies and access to information become more convenient, it will dramatically change the real estate process. Consumers will become more educated, and transparency will lead to more confidence in their buying decisions and the useful industry professionals that help to guide them through the process. Things that took days to complete, mortgage applications and title transfers for example, will be streamlined with great efficiency. In fact, they already are! And that’s the exciting part. We don’t have to wait long for the mobile age to reach us… It’s already here!