Tag Archives: Fraser Wilson

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It’s time to better prepare for the future of Toronto

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It’s time to better prepare for the future of Toronto

Toronto is quickly becoming a city of the future and it is time to start planning for that future.

The world around us is changing at a feverish pace and I am willing to argue that the last time human’s lifestyles were altered so significantly was with the introduction of the automobile and the years that followed the industrial revolution.

In the last 35 years, we have transitioned from a largely analogue way of life to being digital dependent. The integration of personal computers, smartphones, Internet, GPS and texting has “assisted” the way we interact in commerce and in our private lives. However, we are still working and living a in similar fashion to the way we were before the new technology.

More recently, we have frequently been hearing reports of “disrupters” — the term used to define technological advancements that aren’t complimenting the way we are doing things, but rather changing what we do completely.

Google, Apple, Airbnb, Uber, Amazon and Wework are examples of corporations moving us in that direction and the advancements they are making in artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles, block chain and crypto currencies are the at the core of a cultural shift.

At this point (if you are still with me) you may be asking, what does any of this have to do with home buying in the GTA? A lot, actually.

Toronto and its surrounding communities are among the fasting growing technology hubs in North America. Microsoft and Sidewalk labs are two examples of many of the major corporations investing in Toronto — and that is good news for anyone in real estate. Job growth will continue to increase and with that comes the demand for homes. But antiquated approval processes and a shortage of labour will continue to constrain supply, resulting in prices continuing to rise the long run.

When this thought is applied to technology, how will disrupters influence how and where we live? It is difficult to say with certainty, but one thing is for sure — look for a home or income property close to employment and/or transit because chances are you enjoy spending time with your friends and family and not on your commute.

Despite the many positives that come with job creation, there are inevitably some negatives, mostly in the form of congestion. The people who can afford to have it all will be able to buy close to their employment — or anywhere they want to live, for that matter. However, for the majority of us it will become increasingly important to live in communities with close proximity to transit nodes. The ability to move freely and quickly will continue to become increasingly difficult as the GTA continues its growth.

Toronto is quickly becoming a city of the future and it is time to start planning for that future.

Fraser Wilson is vice president at International Home Marketing Group. IHMG.ca

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h_jun18_perspectives_2

Perspectives: It’s Time To Demand Change

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Perspectives: It’s Time To Demand Change

Government intervention has spooked the market and made housing unaffordable for most

There is no denying that the climate of home sales has changed from just over a year ago. Nearly every media outlet jumps at the opportunity to sensationalize the year-over-year comparison statistics. To their credit, those statistics do depict a drastic change in the numbers. Unfortunately, the year-over-year comparison seems to be all that they are focused on. In what has become a vicious news cycle, this narrow scope unjustly pushes the market further down the road from reaching its equilibrium and for that reason I will attempt to speed up the process.

What we know is that the first quarter of 2017 was without doubt the hottest the market Southern Ontario has recorded, which was not healthy or normal but it was a natural result (more on that later). This all came to an abrupt halt with the introduction of the province’s 16-point Fair Housing Plan, also know as government intervention. The plan has successfully spooked the market, but has done little in accomplishing the “fairness” it set out to do. Couple this with the increased mortgage regulations stress test, and what we witness in the year-over-year data is easily explained.

Furthermore, the severity of this data has been exacerbated because it happened at a time when many baby boomers were putting their next step into motion. First-time buyers who were poised to benefit from this rare moment in time cannot capitalize because the net affect of the stress test results in the equivalent of having no price adjustments at all.

Those who made future plans under fair market conditions are now faced with the fallout of the unfair consequences, which stem from a sudden market intervention. Ironically, one that was devised to compensate for the issue that drove prices up in the first place — lack of supply.

The simplest and very first lesson in economics is that of supply and demand. If there is an imbalance in either, price adjustments will occur until equilibrium is naturally met.

An appropriate approach to creating fair housing should have started years ago. Once population growth targets were set and being realized, an adjustment to the policy and the approval process allowing for housing to come to market quicker should have been made. As it currently stands it takes a developer south of the border mere months from purchasing land to selling and building homes, meanwhile in Ontario this same process will take several years at minimum. Our population has been growing according to plan while our housing supply has been shrinking.

So what does this all mean? It means that despite a challenging moment for understanding the home market, in the long term demand will still outpace our lack of supply.

Leave the year-over-year statistics behind and focus on the future. In the immediate term there is a slight edge to buyers in certain places who are ready and able to qualify — but don’t hesitate as prices will soon resume their rise. If the entire market wants to avoid future turbulence we all need to voice our desire for a change of Wynn’d.

Fraser Wilson is the vice president of International Home Marketing Group (IHMG), a fully integrated sales management and marketing company. IHMG.ca

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Perspectives : The Best is Yet to Come

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Perspectives : The Best is Yet to Come

International Home Marketing Group celebrates a singular vision resulting in 25 years of success

BY GALE BEEBY

Fraser Wilson, vice president at International Home Marketing Group (IHMG), has a passion for the business. Co-founded in 1992 by his late father, Michael, Fraser joined the company after several years building a company abroad after studying for a business degree from Dalhousie University.

By the time Fraser joined the company, the senior Wilson had already assembled a strong and skilled executive team, which now includes president Elliott Taube, Vanessa Bellemare, vice president of sales and marketing, and Lisa Chester, vice president of sales.

Fraser has brought a wealth of experience, perspective and insight to IHMG, which has helped it adapt to an ever-changing marketplace. The company’s approach to sales and marketing goes beyond the conventional and it is able to bring greater success to their clients as a result.

The IHMG team looks for white space “outside the box.” For example, when Pier 27 was launched at the foot of Yonge Street, IHMG had sailboats cruise around the harbour with the Pier 27 logo on them. IHMG was also instrumental in bringing Chef Nobu Matsuhisa — and Robert De Niro — to Toronto, which in turn created an unprecedented excitement and demand for the Nobu Residences by the Madison Group. It might be noted that the launch broke the Internet that day. The company was also behind the global architectural design competition that lead to the creation of the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, often referred to the Marilyn Monroe buildings.

“Combine this with all that IHMG has to offer,” Wilson says, “and at the end of every development, homebuyers and developers will say to our team, ‘It was a pleasure working with you and we look forward to the next one.’ ”

In each issue of Condo Life’s sister publication, HOMES Magazine, Fraser and other members of the executive team will share their knowledge of the industry in a new column, “Perspectives.”

 

FRASER WILSON – is vice president of International Home Marketing Group. IHMG.ca

 

 

BY FRASER WILSON

International Home Marketing Group was founded in 1992 to service a void in the market, but IHMG didn’t “start” there. Prior to this, cofounder Michael Wilson — my father — was considered a pioneer in the industry. It’s hard to believe that condos didn’t exist in Toronto, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that they came to be. It was then that Michael helped bring the very first condo to market (with Campeau Corp. and Bramelea) and the way the industry markets condos and lowrise homes was created.

Unfortunately, the late 1980s brought a significantly more challenging market and many of the city’s largest developers were unable to weather the storm. However, with the bad comes the good and, like many success stories, IHMG began as an opportunity carved out in a downturn. The crash resulted in several small development offshoots and they either did not have the experience nor the size or interest to carry an internal sales and marketing department. IHMG was born.

Since then, IHMG has grown and continues to work with the best developers in the country. An integral component to any development team — from the point of land inquiry and acquisition through to closing — IHMG has helped its clients improve their bottom lines. We do this by adhering to the principals that the late Michael Wilson’s reputation was founded on — a superior experience for our builder clients and homebuyers and knowledge combined with energy and enthusiasm for every facet of service.

From left, Fraser Wilson, Vanessa Bellemare, Lisa Chester and Elliott Taube.

By 2009, Michael recognized that planning the next chapter of the IHMG story had to beg in, though retirement was far from his mind. Thankfully, he began the process of succession early because he would be diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and battle it long and hard for three years, until his death on April 8, 2014.

It was in 2009 when he began mentoring Elliott Taube, now president of IHMG. Meanwhile, I was living abroad, putting my skills to test in Central America working to transform a small exporting business into a fully-integrated manufacturing, export, retail and service operation. Upon learning of my father’s health, I made the decision to return to Toronto and join the team at IHMG.

Most fortunately, and not surprisingly, Michael had assembled an incredible team and reputation. The business was built on this solid foundation, but much uncertainty was still looming in a business that relies on the personal expertise of the person at the helm. I recall standing at his memorial in front of my family and hundreds of friends, colleagues and clients thinking to myself: “It’s on us now. He carried, protected and established this and now it’s up to us to make him proud.”

And that is what everyone has done. We have all banded together and kept his legacy and our company going. Our longstanding clients stayed with us and recommended us to several new ones. Our head office team, sales team and executive team all leaned in, and four years later, we can proudly say we are still doing it with some of our best years to date.

It hasn’t been all roses. Our first two project launches were soft — the market was very small, competitive in pricing and locations. We had to do nothing more than look inward and ask ourselves: “What would Michael do?” The answer to that question is always to roll up your sleeves, burn the midnight oil and push forward with no excuses. Grinding out those first few projects certainly wasn’t easy, and we learned to respect his accomplishments and resolve more than ever.

Fortunately the market has been robust recently, but that, too, comes with new challenges. How to provide added value? How to improve customer experience, both for the buyer and builder? Being proactive and anticipating needs helps us to evolve and keeps us on our toes, and our ability to do just that is why our incredible team deserves all of the credit.

We have continuously found that the earlier we can be involved in a project, the better the results. Our longest-standing clients have learned this too. From there we work together on the best product type, design, size, price point, timing, as well as marketing and sales programs.

From Great Gulf at Hullmark, home: Power & Adelaide.

Ultimately, it is listening — to the experts, to the clients, to the market, our team and our own sites — that is our greatest asset. Our sites represent a microanalysis of the general marketplace every day. Whether townhouse sites in Stoney Creek, or multi-tower developments in downtown Toronto, or stacked towns in Pickering, or a detached housing development in Markham, we get to see exactly how products, prices and the market are trending and use that information to adapt.

“Adapt to survive” is a common phrase in this industry and our twist on this is to get ahead of it by being proactive. Adapting is reactive and we like to be one step ahead. With a constant focus on research and a willingness to try new things, we are raising the bar on the experience for developers, agents and homebuyers.

Other initiatives we are happy to announce are the formation of our own in-house brokerage to better define our business and simplify systems, modernize our branding and build the quickest worksheet and APS producing software in the business. This is going to be a great year.

The success of our business is no easy task. In fact, it is a process that continues to evolve. We are proud to say that we’ve come this far and have never been more excited to see what the future holds.

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IHMG.ca

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