Dan Welyk is a full-time Realtor® with FindNewDigs.com who has been helping home sellers and buyers reach their real estate goals since 1999. We recently spoke with Dan about the trends he’s seeing in the housing market and how he keeps up with an ever-changing real estate industry.
Tell us a little about yourself. Why are you so passionate about being a realtor?
I am passionate about being a Realtor® because real estate has been a large part of my life, even when I was a young child. Growing up in the industry, I knew it was the right fit when I was looking for a career. I absolutely love every aspect of it – especially helping my clients fulfill their real estate dreams.
How has the real estate occupation changed since the time when you were younger and observing your parents’ work in the industry?
Technology has been the biggest change in the real estate industry. I remember when I was young and my father having to go to each office independently to pick up keys for homes he was looking at that day. Now, we have lock boxes that send us text messages as soon as they’re accessed, which gives us way more control and security for homeowners.
In our home, we would also have anywhere from 20 to 50 MLS® listing books showing all the homes for sale. These books were still being used when I became a licensed Realtor® but were slowly phased out when we got access to an online database. Now, instead of having one picture of a house, we’ve moved to upwards of 50 still pictures, floor plans, and virtual and 3D tours. This has made searching for homes way more efficient and easier for home buyers.
Managing showings for home buyers and sellers has become much simpler as well with programs that map our routes and control our bookings. Sellers receive text messages when a Realtor® wants to see their house, and they receive another text once the showing is complete so they know they can go home.
What types of home buying or selling challenges do you deal with in Calgary that might not be as prevalent in other Canadian cities?
The challenges I see as a Realtor® in the Calgary market revolve around the fact that it is heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry. Calgary is home to many head offices, and we see fast growth spurts as well as downturns depending on what the corporations are doing and the price of oil. This can be frustrating for home buyers when we see prices jump very quickly for homes that receive several offers within hours of them hitting the market. There’s also frustration for sellers when the real estate market comes to a grinding halt because oil prices drop significantly.
What are some of the biggest concerns that you hear from first-time buyers in your area?
The biggest concerns I am seeing with first time home buyers right now is affordability. We have had many changes to our lending practices that have made home buying a little more challenging – for example, higher CMHC rates as well as higher qualification levels. Though I agree with some of the changes, we will have some short-term pain for these buyers as they get used to the new rules.
Finish this sentence: “Given how harsh the Alberta winters can be, the most important component of a newly-built home should be…”
…the building envelope, i.e., keeping the cold air out and the warm air in. Calgary specifically has Chinooks, or sudden significant increases in temperature, and ensuring that your home does not have areas where ice can build up and cause water penetration during these “melt offs” is critical.
What aspect of being a Realtor® do you think that many of your peers aren’t as knowledgeable about as they should be?
Knowledge is key in the real estate industry. The market changes all the time, as do the rules and contracts. Keeping up to date with the industry rule and contract changes is more important than keeping up to date with the market – so you can protect your home buyers and sellers. Having to send a contract back to a Realtor® for basic things like using outdated forms is not only embarrassing for him/her, but it also tarnishes the reputation of the professionalism of our members.
Name something that you learned in your professional development courses that you use frequently today.
Part of our continuing education and professional development for being a licensed Realtor® is taking courses for rule changes. One of the more prominent and recent changes was a standardized measurement for all homes selling in Alberta. In years past, the Realtor® was typically the one who completed the measurements on homes and condos; and because there were many discrepancies, this led to a lack of consumer confidence. Now, we have to show proof of size and submit measurements to our local board. The easiest way for me to ensure my listings are accurate is by hiring a professional measurement company. This way, we know exactly what size the house is without any confusion.
What future trends do you expect to see in the real estate industry over the next decade or so?
Over the next decade or so, I will expect to see more home buyers and sellers looking for more mobile options for home searching and selling. The use of 3D and virtual tours is going to increase significantly, and people will want to be able to receive this information on their mobile devices quickly and easily.
Another trend I can see is more use of client reviews or testimonials when picking a Realtor®. Where home buyers and sellers may have relied on a friend or family member referral, I’m finding reliance on actual client reviews becoming more and more popular, especially among the younger generation.
PDHRealEstate.com can help you keep track of all the real estate rule changes in your area. Contact us for more information!