Nova Scotia real estate might just be the perfect retirement option you’ve never thought of! Colin Crowell, a leading Annapolis Valley broker, makes a strong case for the Bay of Fundy real estate market, and the trends which are turning the area into a favorite spot for Baby Boomers.
Tell us a few words about RE/MAX Banner Real Estate and the role you play in leading it.
I am the President and Managing Associate Broker of RE/MAX Banner Real Estate. We are one of the leading brokerages in the Annapolis Valley real estate market, with 4 offices and 24 active agents.
In addition to assisting buyers and sellers on a daily basis, I take an active role in managing the brokerage and assisting our agents. I want to ensure they have access to the latest tools and tech, as I believe technology is a fundamental driving force in our industry.
Leverage the power of online marketing with an all-in-one suite of real estate marketing tools designed to attract more leads.
What is the single most difficult part of a real estate professional’s job?
Probably time management. You are in the business of juggling many different clients, and the associated tasks and responsibilities. If you don’t have a good handle on where your time is going, you can get overwhelmed. Religious adherence to a schedule is critical.
Have you spotted any interesting market trends recently?
Baby boomers are moving to the Maritimes. We have become a destination for retirement. These buyers come with experience, the financial capability to purchase, and a clear picture of what they’re after.
Have you noticed a growing interest for any particular area?
Oceanfront has always been a staple of our market, but demand appears to be growing in this segment. This has been driven strongly by the desires of out-of-province buyers (particularly retirees) who idealize their dream home overlooking the beautiful Bay of Fundy.
Have you spotted any trends in the Millennials’ attitudes towards home ownership?
I am a Millennial myself, and I have noticed some degree of frustration from some of my peers. In the Annapolis Valley the average sale price is roughly $150,000. Homes are still affordable, and my generation typically doesn’t have a problem affording a down payment.
However, in hotter markets across the country, many feel “priced out” of home ownership, and see it as something that isn’t readily achievable. My opinion is that certain markets have spun out of control. Most notably, I would say the Vancouver real estate market and the Toronto real estate market are in this position.
What’s the most important piece of advice for first-time home buyers?
Do your homework and ask lots of questions. Your Realtor® and other professionals are here to help, so don’t be afraid to get the answers you need.
How should first-time home buyers choose their realtor? What criteria should they consider?
Experience counts. A seasoned agent knows how to negotiate and this will save you money. Don’t be afraid to interview a few agents, and pick the one who you feel best understands your situation and will represent you best.
What would you recommend to beginners in the industry?
I believe the reason many agents give up is that they can’t get a grasp of the “big picture.” The seeds we sow today can take months, sometimes years to develop into a sale. The agents who stick with it wind up winning in the long-run. Stay on top of technology and relentlessly go after new business, especially when you’re busy. Always think 90 days ahead.