Macdonald Realty Vancouver (including the Main Street, Downtown, and Vancouver West offices) and Macdonald Commercial held their annual Christmas party on Friday December 2nd. The annual Auction had some unique and unexpected donations this year, not the least of which was a simple loaf of FRENCH BREAD THAT SOLD FOR OVER $3,000! Veteran Westside REALTOR® and company Auctioneer Will McKitka managed to successful obtain a whopping $3,000 from one of his colleagues, which will benefit this year’s charity recipients. Vancouver publication 24hrs included the Macdonald Realty Christmas party in a story on creative charitable giving.
“We wanted to add something simple to make the point, it was time to give to our community with little or no expectations of gain or reward. One singular item that could catch the imagination of our Realtors and staff ” McKitka said. After getting the green light to quietly slip in the unusual auction item from Company CEO and President Lynn Hsu the fundraisers knew they were on to a good thing. “We knew it would be unusual enough to titillate and catch the attention of our audience…We knew it would be a winner!”
This year’s beneficiaries were the ARTHRITIS RESEARCH CENTRE OF CANADA and the VANCOUVER HOSPICE SOCIETY, who are midway through the drive to raise $4.5 million dollars for a soon-to-be built West Side hospice at 4615 Granville Street.
Success: Why and How
In 1985, while raising a young family, Lynn Hsu began her real estate career despite being a new immigrant with limited English and no social network.
From 1987 through 1989, Hsu was the number one salesperson for Western Canada at a large, national real estate firm. In 1990, Hsu bought Macdonald Realty; at the time a single office in Vancouver’s Westside. Fast forward 25 years and Hsu is heading Western Canada’s largest real estate brokerage firm, with over 1,000 realtors working in 20 offices across British Columbia. Macdonald Realty’s reported figure for gross sales in 2010 was $4.7 billion.
Hsu has been honored many times for her achievements, including:
“Self-made” is the phrase that comes to mind when I think of Lynn Hsu. Most of my small business consulting clients certainly aspire to achieve a success story like hers. On a more personal level, Hsu’s accomplishments as a female business owner absolutely dazzle me. Seeking insight into her success, I reached out to Hsu in hopes that she would share some of her personal and business tips:
Don’t accept the glass ceiling
One of the rare female top business executives in Canada, Hsu has never believed that a glass ceiling exists for women. “To succeed in business, one must put in time. Women traditionally have had less time to devote to career development, and this pattern holds true today,” said Hsu, who was never willing to accept that she would hit a glass ceiling. “If you begin to believe that it is impossible to move forward, you will stop looking for solutions to the hardships you face.”
Adversity builds character
Hsu named her mother as her inspiration because of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles, hardships, and poverty she faced while raising seven children. “Instead of caving in and accepting it as her reality, [my mother] took on three or four jobs at a time and worked until midnight to provide for our family,” Hsu recalled. “She taught me, not so much by words but by example, that any obstacle, no matter how big or difficult, can be overcome if one has the strong desire and works hard enough.”
Successful people are the product of their mistakes
When asked which of her attributes helped her succeed as an entrepreneur, Hsu pointed to her ability to quickly recover from mistakes. “I’m a risk taker and I’m not really afraid of failure, but I do make a conscious effort to learn from my mistakes.” Fear can be a paralyzing agent in business and in life. In order to grow, it’s important to be willing to risk making the occasional mistake and then be ready to use your ingenuity to rectify the situation.
Perseverance and hard work save the day
Hsu’s colleagues would identify her boundless energy as her most valuable attribute. Her capacity to put in long hours and her tremendous appetite for problem solving have been indispensable both to the stakeholders of Macdonald Realty and to Hsu herself during the development of her entrepreneurial career.
“By a combination of hard work, a supportive family and a bit of luck, I was able to overcome my challenges. I believe one can always find a solution to a problem.”
Written by Sandy Huang, Posted: Oct 20th, 2011, Source – The Vancouver Observer
To view this article click here.
For the second consecutive year, the readers of the Vancouver Magazine the Georgia Straight have voted Macdonald Realty number one in the Best Neighbourhood Real Estate Office category. You can see the rankings here. Covering Vancouver business and culture, the Georgia Straight is a weekly publication with over 690,000 readers; for the 2011 (16th annual) Best of Vancouver rankings, the magazine received over 10,000 ballots from Vancouverites.
Real estate listing inventories in Greater Victoria have been relatively high in the past few months, so it comes as no great surprise to us that we are seeing more “Low Ball” offers in the market of late.
That being said, sales activity remains steady, albeit at a lower level than the frenetic pace set last year in the wake of low interest rates and an unwinding of demand left over from the financial crisis of late 2008 & early 2009.
When faced with more homes to choose from than usual in the current market, some buyers are starting to write very low offers in the hopes of “getting a deal”. I used quotes there because in real estate, a “deal” means different things to different people; no two houses or lots are alike.
Resist the urge to walk away
Most people realize that real estate transactions usually involve a mix of logic, emotion and pride, on both sides of the transaction. Those realizations usually fly right out the window for both the buyer (when writing the offer) and for the seller (when receiving the offer), even when the purchase price is not in “low ball” territory.
Your REALTOR® is there to help you not only with the legal, logistical and negotiating aspects of selling your home, but to also be a sounding board, an ally and your advisor for those times when emotions are running high!
If you receive a low offer on your home, do your best to limit your emotions & pride and do your best to focus on the facts.
It may help to keep in mind that even a low purchase price offer means that the buyer wants to buy your home. Many buyers may prepare a really low offer because they are afraid they will pay too much, because they are trying to get an indication of where your expectations are, or simply because they think a low ball offer is normal business practice.
Unless the offer is ludicrously low, prepare to counter the offer to keep the buyer engaged and interested in your home, because, as mentioned, they have more than a passing interest in your house.
In the absence of multiple offers for your listing, consider countering a low ball offer with the price, conditions, closing dates and other details that you’re willing to accept. If you choose to just ignore a low ball, you won’t ever know if there was a possibility of a low offer turning into a negotiated sale that leaves both parties happy!
Consider the comparable sales
Some buyers will provide a list of recent sales with their offer to attempt to justify a low offer price. Your REALTOR® will be able to help you decide if those comparables are similar to your home, or not. If the sales in that list do represent similar homes to yours and are at lower prices, you may need to lower your price if you truly want to sell your home.
In the absence of a list of comparables from the buyer, your REALTOR® can also help you prepare a list of comparable sales to send back along with your counter offer that support your asking price.
Blog post provided by Sean Farrell, a REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty in Victoria. Visit his website farrellgroup.ca for more information.
Let’s face it…there’s a lot of excitement when buying a home. The idea of more space, summer BBQs in the backyard, new paint colours and new decorating thoughts fill one’s mind. You want a happy home for yourself…but if you have dogs, you also want a happy place for them too! We’re proud dog owners…our beloved Amber is more than a pet…she’s part of our family. She’s practically a big sister to our little girl, who is almost two years old. We’re very happy where we live, and we made sure we considered our dog in our buying process. Therefore, with so much going through your mind when buying a place, it would be wise to put yourself into Rover’s shoes, or should we say, paws to consider their feelings about a new home.
Does the home have hardwood floors. In our opinion, a hard-floored surface seems to be great with pet owners. We all know how dogs shed hair, and cleaning up a carpet can be a big hassle. Hardwood or laminate is easy to clean, but it’s important to know that a lot of hardwood surfaces are actually quite soft so susceptible to scratches, including dogs nails. Those nails can dig into the floor and leave some pretty big gashes in the floor, especially if you have an exciteable dog that runs around inside. If you have a dog that has long and/or sharp nails, a laminate floor might be a more suitable option. We’ve found laminate to be more resistant to scratches. If you prefer carpeting, consider the length of the carpet. If it’s a long and shaggy carpet, remember that it will be more difficult to get dog’s hair out, as opposed to a groomed carpet, or something easier to vacuum. If your dog is anything like ours…she loves lying on the soft carpet in front of our fireplace…oh how snuggly!
You should never assume that a house is fully fenced. It’s a good idea to walk around the property and check to make sure all panels of the fence are in place and not about to fall off. We can’t imagine a worse feeling that seeing Rover running down the street due to a missing fence panel. This also includes fencing behind shrubs. While shrubs add privacy to a yard, sometimes there is not fencing behind the trees, making an easy escape for dogs.
Around the neighbourhood:
Obviously, it would be important to know whether dog parks, or parks in general, are within walking distance. Places within walking distance usually mean you (and Rover) get out more. If it involves a car (even a short drive), it’s more easy to put off that trip to the park…poor Rover won’t get to see his friends as often. Also, what kinds of pet services are nearby… Where is the closest animal hospital? How far away is a reputable kennel for those times you travel? Where are you going to get their pet food? Since these may be aspects in our everyday lives, you probably should at least think of this when buying a place.
While it is true that many strata properties (condos or townhomes) have pet restrictions (often limiting the type and/or number of pets), some complexes are “pet-friendlier” than others. Be sure to look around when you’re looking at properties. Do you see large dogs? Are there “no pet” signs? Do you see a lot of people walking with the dogs on a leash? All these are pretty good indicators as to “how pet-friendly” a complex is.
Overall, there are a lot of factors that go into buying a home. While Rover probably doesn’t get the final say, it’s important to consider how your dog will adapt to their new home. As you know, they only want you to be happy, so why not make sure that they’ll be happy too.
Blog post provided by Greg & Liz Holmes, a REALTOR® Team with Macdonald Realty in South Surrey / White Rock. Visit The Holmes Team blog at holmesteam.ca