C21 Canada combines ugly sweaters & hot cocoa to raise funds for Easter Seals

CENTURY 21 Canada head office hosted its first C21 Hot Cocoa 4 Kids staff event to support Easter Seals. In a fun and uplifting afternoon, C21 staff dressed up in ugly sweaters, made hot cocoa, and competed in holiday trivia. All proceeds were donated to help Easter Seals kids.

“Thank you to our head office team and to everyone who made C21 Hot Cocoa 4 Kids Day a success. This fundraiser was a great way to embrace the holiday spirit and help Easter Seals kids,” said Brian Rushton, executive vice president, CENTURY 21 Canada. 

With prizes given out for best-looking hot cocoa, C21 staff unleashed their inner-baristas at the hot cocoa DIY station. Their signature hot chocolate drinks included chocolate truffle, mocha, and chocolate peppermint mixes, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggnog, then topped off with whipped cream, marshmallows, and sprinkles.

A holiday event isn’t complete without a little friendly competition as C21 Canada staff battled it out in holiday trivia. They brought the season’s spirit, proudly showing off their ugly sweaters. Prizes were awarded to winners with the ugliest sweater, most creative sweater, and most “Christmas-y” sweater.

Check out some of the festive hot cocoa creations and ugly sweaters from the contests.

           

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Century21ca/~3/LtpyoyxCCJo/C21_Canada_combines_ugly_sweaters_hot_cocoa_to_raise_funds_for_Easter_Seals

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Considering a Career in Real Estate?

Because we’re all stewards of everything we do at Realosophy, you will do some not so glamorous tasks like filing, copying, scanning, emptying the dishwasher and taking out the garbage. If you’re into real estate, you’ll survive this and even do it well because you’ll love being a part of everything around you, but if you don’t like real estate, this will be agony. Have you ever noticed how garbage bags have a way of getting away from you when you’re wearing a suit? And if you’re thinking “I like real estate, but I didn’t go to university to take out the garbage,” that’s fair, it’s important to know who you are and what will get you motivated and what will get you down, and a work environment where everyone does everything may not be the best fit for you.

What you’ll get

You’re going to learn a lot about real estate in a very short period of time. You’ll learn what it takes to build a successful career in real estate – but you’ll be learning how to be today’s real estate professional for today’s consumers which is harder than doing it the old school way because you’ll actually have to know what you are talking about and advise effectively (hint: it’s not always a great time to buy). You’ll get to work with one of the most dynamic real estate companies in Toronto and see firsthand how we are leveraging technology and big data principles on display at realosophy.com to analyze neighbourhoods and homes in ways that help our clients make smarter decisions. And you’ll get an in depth look at all things today’s real estate sales professionals must do well including negotiations, client consultations, legal issues, neighbourhood and investment research and due diligence.

Think of this as your intensive, fully paid internship in residential real estate.

Who you are

This role is for you if you would like to pursue a full-time career in residential real estate sales, but would like to develop your knowledge and experience while earning a salary – before you make the leap into living off of sales commissions alone.

You must have a strong interest in real estate and by this I don’t mean you love watching Property Virgins or some other HGTV show – you’re enrolled in or have completed of one or more of the Ontario Salesperson Registration Education Program (Level 1, 2 or 3) or something comparable.

But your interest needs to go beyond the province’s rather scant accreditation requirements. You want to analyze real estate as a financial investment. You want to understand how neighbourhoods change over time and impact people’s lifestyles. You’re curious to know why one dumpy neighbourhood is going to be the next hot-up-and-coming area and why another dumpy neighbourhood doesn’t have the same potential. Notice I said you’re curious to know why a neighbourhood performs well, not you’re hoping to find out why your current neighbourhood’s a sure thing – otherwise most of Toronto would do well at this job. You want to understand why when showing our clients two seemingly identical and well-renovated homes, both with great home inspections, our research can determine that one is a potential money pit while the other is a good bet.

In short, you have to be a bit of a real estate nerd.

If your primary motivation for pursuing a career in real estate is that you “heard it’s easy and you can make a lot of money,” you’re going to be very disappointed. There’s no easy money in real estate and you’ll be doing a lot of hard things you’ll hate.

You’re probably already an analytically-minded person at your current place of work or study and do very well at pulling together information from multiple angles, making good decisions and communicating extremely well, even under pressure.

You must be detail oriented. I get it – everyone says they’re detail oriented to get the job, just like everyone’s biggest weakness is that they’re a perfectionist. There’s no prize here in fooling me or yourself about how detail-oriented you are – only a bunch of systematic tasks you are going to have to do really well, all the time. If you’re thinking to yourself “I’m more of an ideas person, I don’t like getting too caught up in the details” then you are a) probably not going to like this job and b) going to have a hard time succeeding in real estate. Real estate is a business of details – missing one can cost our clients thousands of dollars.

You’re a self-starter, you work with minimal direction and are comfortable working alone. If this isn’t you, you will get lonely and demotivated and start watching You Tube videos about cats.

You’re good with numbers. People think I’m a bit crazy about this one. I remember a fellow broker asking me “why the heck do you care if your agents can do math, they’re just selling houses”? A fair question from someone whose agents are only in the business of pushing people to buy or sell houses a.k.a the agent that sold your parents their house. The fact is that a lot of our clients find us because they actually want some honest, independent advice. They want someone to help them work through the numbers in their rent vs. buy analysis and objectively tell them if it’s the right time for them to buy. If you’re not great with numbers, and if you get anxious when someone pulls out a calculator or an excel spreadsheet, you probably don’t have the basic math skills needed to advise our clients on their real estate decisions.

Think of this as your intensive, fully paid internship in residential real estate.

It’s not Gladiator

So you’re hyped up only to worry that too many people will apply or you don’t have what it takes – don’t psyche yourself out (of course, if I have to tell you this, I’m not sure a sales career … yada yada). But I get it, employers are demanding and it’s scary out there. If you can honestly say that you meet most of the above – don’t hesitate, get in touch. In addition to the full-time role, we’re also looking for two part-time team players who can manage us over the weekends – again, a great chance to get some hands-on experience in real estate before you make it your full-time career.

Nerdy? Send resumes and amazing flash-designed CV websites that will take out all our computers to careers@realosophy.com with subject “Re Blog Post – EA/Office Manager Position.” Deadline is Jan 16 2015. And just joking about the taking out our computers – we’re not Sony Entertainment so do be gentle with your missives.

John Pasalis is the President and Broker of Realosophy Realty Inc. Brokerage in Toronto. A leader in real estate analytics and pro-consumer advice, Realosophy helps clients buy or sell a home the right way. Email John 

Article source: http://www.movesmartly.com/2014/12/considering-a-career-in-real-estate.html

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Potentially scary charts to keep in mind for Mayor Tory’s first budget

The City of Toronto is gearing up for the 2015 budget process, the first of Mayor John Tory’s term. This is exciting — trust me. It’s where the future of Toronto will be figured out.

Metro’s Jessica Smith Cross has some details from yesterday’s budget committee meeting. The big news was that Toronto chief financial officer Rob Rossini mused about introducing new municipal taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, parking and some forms of entertainment as a means of balancing the budget.

It made for good headlines, but the idea strikes me as a bit of a red herring. Even if Tory and council were inclined to support these kinds of taxes — they aren’t — narrowly targeted taxes are not very useful budgetary tools to begin with. The city would need to put in place all sorts of infrastructure to collect them and most projections indicate they wouldn’t bring in much revenue anyway.

So, taxes on booze and smokes? Definitely a no-go.

Still, it’s fair to assume Rossini didn’t raise the idea of new taxes just for fun. At the very least, we should take this as an indication that city hall beancounters are concerned about revenues and whether the city’s financial situation is really sustainable, especially with elected officials continuing talk of keeping property tax increases at or below the rate of inflation.

To put this in context, there are two charts from an orientation given to the budget committee this week that are worth keeping in mind when the budget process formally kicks off next month.

Let’s start with this one, showing city net operating budget growth between 2005 and 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 10.51.54 AM

There’s a pervasive myth that city spending has been growing in all departments since amalgamation, but reality is different. Only two departments have really put significant upward pressure on the city budget: emergency services — primarily the Toronto Police Service — and the TTC.

This is a nearly impossible trend to stop.

With the TTC, stopping or reversing spending growth would be disastrous. The transit budget grows because transit ridership grows. It’s hard to add bus service without adding new buses and new bus drivers. And besides, even the most ardent budget-slashers tend to recognize transit as a public good. Without cutting service, the only way to really mitigate the budgetary impacts of the TTC is to get the provincial government to buy in to a cost-sharing formula.

The police budget is a slightly different story. Politicians often talk about wanting to rein it in, but they stop short of endorsing a reduction in the number of officers on the street. In the past, I’ve written about how the size of the police budget is hard to justify given falling crime rates. But I’m not optimistic that any elected official will ever truly advocate for a significantly smaller police force.

In both cases, the city has upward budget pressure that, for various reasons, it can’t do anything about in the short-term.

That brings us to chart number two.

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 10.52.18 AM

This chart illustrates how the city has balanced its budgets over the last number of years. Aside from property tax increases, the city has four main options to deal with a budget gap. They can get the provincial or federal governments to upload costs or services, they can reduce departmental budgets, they can find one-time money through surpluses or reserve funds, or they can increase their projections for the municipal land transfer tax.

The Ford administration made a point of crowing about how they ended the city’s reliance on one-time revenues like prior year surpluses to balance the budget. They didn’t actually eliminate that reliance entirely, but they did reduce it, so let’s give them partial credit.

The interesting thing to note, though, is how they did it. It wasn’t primarily through budget restraint — which has always been a part of the budget process — but rather through an increased reliance on the land transfer tax.

That tax on city real estate has brought in skyrocketing revenue, providing the city with tons of opportunity over the last couple of years to limit property tax increases while maintaining services. But it’s not, by definition, a completely stable source of revenue. Any drop in Toronto’s real estate market could cause revenues to plunge, leaving Toronto in a really tough budget position.

This would be less of a problem if council was raising property taxes to keep pace with the city’s inflationary and growth pressures, but they haven’t done that. And every indication is that they still don’t seem to want to do that.

But add the city’s increasing reliance on a real estate tax with uncontrollable spending pressures and the city’s long-term budget picture starts to look a little, um, scary, doesn’t it?

The budget process will officially begin on January 20, 2015.

Article source: http://metronews.ca/voices/torys-toronto/1244340/potentially-scary-charts-to-keep-in-mind-for-mayor-torys-first-budget/

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Sparkle and Shine – How to Decorate for the Holidays, While Selling Your Home

Holiday decorations are beautiful and they add warmth to your home. Don’t miss out on the holiday spirit just because you are trying to sell your house!


Here are a few suggestions on decorating your house while it is listed for sale:

  1. Be careful not to overdo it. Remember, when buyers are looking at your home. They are visualizing their furniture and decorations.

  2. Keep in mind that sometimes less is more. Make sure that there are clear paths for potential homebuyers walking through your home.

  3. You don’t want to make the mistake of making the rooms look too small. So if you have boxes and boxes of decorations, you may want to cut back a little this year.

Do decorate! There is nothing more visually pleasing. This time of year is great for showing your home with decorations up. Normally during the holidays people looking at your home are serious buyers. So don’t give them any reason not to make an offer.

Decorate your home and have a wonderful holiday season!

By Julie Stanley, REALTOR® at CENTURY 21 Westman.com Ltd.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Century21ca/~3/1Vnh3XX-JSc/Sparkle_and_Shine_How_to_Decorate_for_the_Holidays_While_Selling_Your_Home

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