Archive for November 2010

Something to say, and nowhere to say it   1 comment

Let’s try a little interactive session today, gang.  By now, if you’ve visited this site more than once, you know what I do.  I sell land.. ergo, that fancy sub-title underneath the “Landing With Jason”.  Over the last couple of months, I’ve done my best to reach and educate as many people as I can.  I’ve met with potential investors, mailed out dozens of brochures, e-mailed various forms of information, and made countless calls.  I’ve attended a few networking functions, and just recently, submitted my application to BNI (Business Network International) for membership in one of their Calgary chapters.  I even took out a print ad in a local newsletter.

And yet…

And yet, I don’t think I’m conveying my message as thoroughly as I should.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve really tried to discover how to reach our market; they’re out there, but how do I/we connect with them?

Last week, I attended a free marketing seminar, along with about ten other people.  I was invited there by a fellow I met at an earlier networking event.  While some of it was illuminating, and some of it was not, here are some key points to consider.  It was several miles from my house.  It was 30 degrees below zero.  It lasted three hours, on a weeknight.  And I knew I was going to be asked for some money at the end.

Yet I went.  Does this say something about my sanity?

I don’t think so… though your opinion may vary, I didn’t see you there.  I went because, despite my initial trepidation, it had some value.  It did remind of some basic marketing principles I should be using.  So if that small business seminar (literally – it was aimed for entrepreneurs and small business owners) had value, wouldn’t a seminar aimed at educating regular folks about the merits of land investment have value as well?  If I invited x amount of people to something like that – or better yet, if I merely posted an invitation online – would the masses gather?

This is where you can all jump in, regardless of whether you’re interested in land investment or not.  Tell me what YOU think I should do to spread the word.

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Posted November 29, 2010 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley   Leave a comment

Maybe it was because the theatre was so far away when I was a child, or maybe it was the fact we didn’t own a VCR until I was in my teens, but I saw the Naked Gun movies before I watched Airplane!  My God, what a funny guy that Leslie Nielsen was.  The career he carved out for himself in the second act of his life is astounding, and testament to his skill as an actor.  Facebook and Youtube have been flooded with tributes over the last several hours – just figured I’d check in and pay my last respects to one of Canada’s greatest exports.

Ln

Posted November 29, 2010 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Red Deer coming around   Leave a comment

I found this article in the Red Deer Advocate yesterday, written by Harley Richards.  (If she or the newspaper have any problem with me copying it here, I will, of course, take it down.)  It pertains specifically to the Red Deer real estate market… I bolded some of the more positive points.  Enjoy.

CMHC expecting improved market

By Harley Richards – Red Deer Advocate

Published: November 24, 2010 7:10 PM

Regine Durand suggested reasons for optimism this week when she discussed Red Deer’s housing market with lenders, Realtors, builders, appraisers and others active in the residential real estate industry.

A market analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., Durand was among those who presented at CMHC’s Housing Outlook Conference in Calgary on Tuesday. She explained why the national housing agency is anticipating more construction, more resale activity and lower vacancy rates in Red Deer.

The conference followed last week’s release of CMHC’s fourth quarter Housing Market Outlook report, in which it projected that 2010 will end with 680 residential construction starts in Red Deer: 410 single-detached homes and 270 units in multi-family developments. For next year, CMHC is forecasting 415 single-detached starts and 265 multi-family projects in the city, for a total of 680.

These figures are improvements over 2009, when there were just 497 housing starts in Red Deer: 333 single-detached and 164 multi-family.

Speaking to the Advocate the day after the conference, Durand said lower inventories of completed and unsold homes, slower price growth and job gains are all expected to contribute to a rise in residential construction activity in Red Deer.

“Inventories of singles are now down 15 per cent (from last year), inventories of multis are now one-third of what they were last year at this time.”

As for prices, she pointed out that the cost of purchasing a single-detached home spiked 29 per cent in 2007, as compared with 13 per cent the following year and seven per cent in 2009. This year’s five per cent price growth should entice prospective buyers into the market.

In the case of job gains, Statistics Canada has calculated that there are 50,200 people working in Red Deer, said Durand, about 7,000 more than a year ago. This should also encourage more home purchases.

CMHC’s latest forecast projected that 2,900 Central Alberta homes would be sold through the Multiple Listing Service this year, and 2,950 in 2011. Both figures would be down from the 3,770 sales recorded in 2009.

The average selling price is expected to be $270,000 this year and $273,000 in 2011. Last year it was $264,417.

Durand noted that the resale market started out strong this year but then fizzled in the face of tighter mortgage rules and higher mortgage rates.

She expects that some people who were unable to qualify for a loan to purchase a home this year will be able to do so in 2011. And the Bank of Canada’s decision to hold firm on interest rates has already reduced mortgage borrowing costs.  In Central Alberta, said Durand, the monthly mortgage carrying cost has come down two per cent.

CMHC’s projection that resale prices will only rise one per cent next year reflects the fact that listings exceed demand, she said, citing a sales-to-new-listings ratio in Central Alberta of 34 per cent.  “Back in ‘07 when we had the double digit price growth, it was over 60 per cent.”

Finally, CMHC’s forecast of lower vacancies and slightly higher rents when it comes to rental accommodations is predicated on an increased migration of people into the province and local job gains, said Durand.

“It’s good news in the sense that demand for rental housing is getting stronger.”

Posted November 26, 2010 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Five things you might not know about me   1 comment

A short list for all of you tonight…

1.  I have over five thousand comic books.  The most valuable one is Incredible Hulk #181, featuring the full first appearance of Wolverine.  If it was in better shape, it’d be worth a LOT more than it is right now.  Dammit.

2.  My favorite pro wrestler is/was Bret “the Hitman” Hart.  And I even met him, at a pizza-judging contest.

3.  The first major league baseball game I attended was in Denver, back in 1996.  The Rockies played the Houston Astros.

4.  My favorite movie is The Usual SuspectsL.A. Confidential is a close second.

5.  I have one tattoo, representative of my Scottish heritage, located on my right shoulder.  Because of my blinding paleness this time of year, I won’t be posting a picture of it anytime soon.

PS – I finally figured out how to enable the comments on Posterous.  (If you’re interested, that is.  God forbid I let my vast readership down.)  Just go to the bottom of whatever post you feel like commenting on and click on “comments”.  Keep it clean and civil, people.  And don’t spam me.  I don’t come to YOUR blogs and tack up graphitti, do I? 

Hulk181

Posted November 25, 2010 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Motivation   Leave a comment

Continuing my recent trend of bitching about the weather here, so if you think you’ve read enough about that, well, thanks for briefly stopping by
and bumping my site view count up one more notch.

For those of you who stuck around – yes, it’s cold outside. As cold as a November day should possibly be without taking an autumn vacation on
Neptune. I’ve had friends inform me that their block heater cords became so brittle that they broke in two. Others have posted that Calgary is the
coldest inhabited city in the world, and by gum, I believe it. My dog hasn’t been outside for a while, and the last time he was out there, he was
walking on his hind legs like a pro.

It’s much too early to be dreading a five-month-long winter. Thus, I am attending a networking function on Thursday where the theme is “Survive
Business Winter Blues”. My preference, of course, would be attending this event when IT IS ACTUALLY WINTER. Chronologically speaking, we’re a lot
closer to 2010’s Halloween than its Christmas counterpart. Nonetheless, I hope that this function is motivational, educational, and beneficial to my
business. So far, the pre-registration looks promising, and I’m looking forward to the speakers’ presentations.

One last unrelated bit of business – if anyone wants to read the views and opinions of a thoughtful, insightful, and articulate woman, please check out
http://bondgirl1970.wordpress.com. Way back in the twentieth century, Heather and I attended Laurentian University, and I recently re-connected
with her via the magic of long-distance social media. You’ll enjoy it.

Posted November 23, 2010 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Motivation   Leave a comment

Continuing my recent trend of bitching about the weather here, so if you think you’ve read enough about that, well, thanks for briefly stopping by and bumping my site view count up one more notch.

For those of you who stuck around – yes, it’s cold outside. As cold as a November day should possibly be without taking an autumn vacation on Neptune. I’ve had friends inform me that their block heater cords became so brittle that they broke in two. Others have posted that Calgary is the coldest inhabited city in the world, and by gum, I believe it. My dog hasn’t been outside for a while, and the last time he was out there, he was walking on his hind legs like a pro.

It’s much too early to be dreading a five-month-long winter. Thus, I am attending a networking function on Thursday where the theme is “Survive Business Winter Blues”. My preference, of course, would be attending this event when IT IS ACTUALLY WINTER. Chronologically speaking, we’re a lot closer to 2010’s Halloween than its Christmas counterpart. Nonetheless, I hope that this function is motivational, educational, and beneficial to my business. So far, the pre-registration looks promising, and I’m looking forward to the speakers’ presentations.

One last unrelated bit of business – if anyone wants to read the views and opinions of a thoughtful, insightful, and articulate woman, please check out http://bondgirl1970.wordpress.com.  Way back in the twentieth century, Heather and I attended Laurentian University, and I recently re-connected with her via the magic of long-distance social media. You’ll enjoy reading about what she thinks… and how she thinks.

Posted November 23, 2010 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Thinking ahead   Leave a comment

To what, exactly?  Christmas?  It’s just over a month away.  I know for some folks out there it’s hard to tell, as you’re soaking up the sun, drinking pina coladas (whatever they are) on your deck.  Not out here in Calgary, though.  With wind chill, it’s expected to drop to about -33 by this afternoon.  And the snow really hasn’t stopped since it started last Monday.  One big dump of it, followed by flurries.  I swear – often, shaking my fist at the clouds… no, what I mean is that I really HAVE shovelled my driveway, but I feel like I’m rolling Sisyphus’s rock uphill.  Everyday.  In the snow.

Speaking of Christmas, the daughter finally got her picture taken with Santa Claus at the mall.  Every year, we’ve gotten in line and trudged toward the front, meeting the elves who eagerly await taking our order.  Unfortunately, and inevitably, the bravery displayed at the back of the line evaporates, and the boy goes up by himself while she vows to be braver next year.  It’s a beard thing.  She doesn’t like beards (which makes some grandparental visits a bit awkward, till she warms up to good old Granddad).  But this year, at the ripe old age of five and a half, she took the plunge.

But what comes after Christmas?  The taxman.  In an informal poll I’ve taken recently, all those surveyed would rather meet Santa than pay taxes.  It’s true.  And my wife wanted me to remind anyone out there interested in investing in land with me that it is RSP-eligible.  If you want to get an unit of land (or more!) as a means of diversifying your portfolio, you can use previously-invested RSP money to do so.  Just something to remember when you pack up the tree and start getting your documents and receipts in order later in the winter.

Posted November 22, 2010 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

You know who you are… and I don’t   1 comment

So who reads this thing, anyway?

Feel free to tell me.  But if you prefer your force field of anonymity, that’s OK too.  I was just curious as to who’s peeking in here from time to time.

Weekend’s almost here.  Gonna try to end strong, maybe snag a couple of meetings next week.  Gotta spread the word – about land, that is.  I’m not terribly inclined about removing snow from my driveway, and let me tell you, Angus is even less thrilled than I am about this cold stuff on the ground.

Early prediction for next week’s MVP awards.  Votto over Pujols, Hamilton over Cabrera – but they’re both pretty close.

 

Calvinsnow

Posted November 19, 2010 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

My kind of networking   Leave a comment

In a couple of hours I will be attending a networking event where informality is key.  The venue serves approximately eight zillion different kinds of chicken wings, and depending on the flavor, those wings should be washed down with an adult beverage.  Moderation is also key at this event, so should I see you at this function, I might also have a Diet Pepsi in my hand.  No sense going overboard.

This will be my second Calgary Business Professionals networking event.  Because of those factors listed above – the venue, the relaxed atmosphere, the food, and also the service – I thought it was great.  Most importantly, I met several people and talked shop, so here’s hoping it’s just as rewarding this time around.

Caterlg_chicken_wingsBeer

Posted November 17, 2010 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Why refer?   Leave a comment

My favorite season is not winter.  Nor is it that part of spring that still has snow.  It’s not even that part of autumn that gets its first snow of the season.

I hate shovelling snow.

Today’s topic is referrals.  I posted something about them a couple of weeks ago, but I’m coming back around to it in an honest attempt to gain some.  As my blog cleverly indicates, I help people decide if land is a wise investment.  I’ve contacted many people over the last month or so to tell them about it, but in some cases, the stars just aren’t aligning in such a way where that person can invest, or has decided not to.

I can live with that.  Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, and I don’t take it personally.  All I can do is present the facts.

However, I’m not only trying to build a network of clients, I’m simultaneously building a referral network.  Think you know somebody that might be interested in land?  Let me know.  Think you can help?  Let me know.  Whether it’s out of the goodness of your heart, or a cold-blooded mercenary attitide toward earning a referral fee – that’s your call.  But I can’t include you in such a network unless you know exactly what I do.  If you have 15 to 30 minutes, I can show you what I do.  The more you understand about my business, the easier it is for you to communicate that to other people, and the easier it becomes for you to identify a potential client.

Is it a favor to me?  I suppose so.  But think of a referral this way: if you go out for dinner, and have the perfect dining experience – the food’s great, service is excellent, your credit card doesn’t get rejected – aren’t you inclined to recommend that restaurant to a friend?  And when you do, do you think you’re doing the restaurant a favor?  Of course not.  You had such a good time, and your faith in the product is something you want to share for your friend’s benefit.  You want someone else to experience the same pleasures and benefits you experienced.  Those are great referrals.

So let’s chat.  Even if land investment isn’t something that works for you now, you can refer me to others that you think might be in the market.  That’s a start.  Again, I’ll simply present the facts about the project… and if at the end of the day I’ve earned your trust, let others know.

Posted November 16, 2010 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized