What Will Be The Opportunities to Invest in Commercial Real Estate in The GTA in 2016?

The minor decline in Canadian economy and consequently the commercial real estate sector has prompted people to become concerned about 2016 for commercial real estate investment. The presence of decline cannot be denied; however, it should not give way to pessimism as the silver lining still exists in the year 2016 who wish to make something out of commercial real estate investment in GTA.

The price of Canadian dollar is going down, the decrease in oil prices has effected the economy, the condo boom continues unabated and the stability in US dollar is attracting attention of people. All these make conditions look favourable for investment, yet there are opportunities in the market that can get you through this economic recession.

The best and most conventional commercial real estate investment opportunity available is the investment in Warehouses/Industrial properties and neighbourhood shopping centres. These types of commercial real estate investments have been historically proven to work in economic downturns. The retailers have more to store than to sell and instead of shopping malls people start going to neighbourhood shopping stores, therefore, these are the opportunities that await you in 2016 and can help you generate sufficient return to pass the downturn and invest in lucrative opportunities. 

The other opportunity that can be favourable to commercial real estate investment in 2016 are medical offices and health care facilities. Baby boomers are coming of age now and as prominent and numerous they are getting, their demand for increased and better health care is increasing. The investors will see this as an opportunity and provide for the increasing need of baby boomers, thus, this area is also a good opportunity if you are looking to invest in GTA commercial real estate.

Another commercial real estate sector that can turn to be fruitful for investment in 2016 is the investment in rental units. The condo boom had its effects and the effects are the sky high housing prices which are forecasted to go even higher in the days to come. The increasing house prices has caused a change in behaviour of people and now people are preferring rental units compared to buying a house. The trend has risen to a height that old retirees have started to sell their houses and are shifting to rental units. Therefore, developers and investors are considering investing in rental units to meet the increasing long-lease rental unit demand of GTA people.

The Canadian market has been known to twist and change when the conditions don’t seem favourable. Although the aforementioned are good enough opportunities to invest in GTA commercial real estate in 2016, however, if you are still skeptic of these opportunities, then the low Canadian dollar still stands as a hope which will attract foreign investment and set things on the right course. So, no matter how saddening it seems, there is hope and you can still get fair return on your investment if you invest wisely.

Which Commercial Real Estate Sector Will Standout in GTA in 2016?


The fact is obvious that the boom which the Canadian real estate sector had been experiencing for the past few years has slowed down gradually and the predictions are that in the coming year the situation will remain the same: the market will remain fairly stable in its current situation and not experience any substantial growth or boom.

Although the market appears to be on a very slow trending decline and will continue to exhibit the same behavior. Accordingly, there is no point for pessimism. The market should remain the same throughout 2016. There are sectors within in the GTA that can still be acquired affording the opportunity to make a profit in the years to come. Before these lucrative sectors are discussed, it is important that you get a glimpse of the existing situation of the Canadian commercial real estate market.

The growth of online shopping, high currency exchange rates and even higher consumer debt levels are making life increasingly more difficult for the retail sector. The office sector is also facing somewhat the same situation where the record new construction has prepared an abundance of office space bringing down the rate of per square foot acquired. The industrial market appears to have held its own with a stable vacancy rate. Older properties are beginning to experience vacancy due to built in obsolescence. The condo boom has slowed somewhat but is still moving forward. 2016 appears to be the first year where may see new purpose built residential rental buildings outstrip condos in construction, with the burgeoning growth in this sector. All in all, the market is at a relativelow this year and the prediction is that it will continue on being the same for the rest of the year in these sectors.

The decreasing energy prices and the plunging Canadian dollar has made the market suitable for manufacturing, transportation and warehousing commercial real estate sector, especially in the Eastern part of Canada with prime activity to take place in GTA and Montreal. In 2016, developers and real estate investors will turn their attention towards the GTA and invest in manufacturing, warehousing and the transport sector.

With energy prices decreasing, resources and workforce will come cheaper to the manufacturing sector, thus, more and more investors will turn towards industrial sector and the rates of real estate in this sector will increase. The same goes for transportation as well, where the low oil prices along with the increasing need of transport for the suburban population will drive the transport sector, thus the associated transport facilities and depots will require real estate sector to accommodate and fulfill the increase in transport needs. Ergo, industrial and transportation are two commercial real estate sectors in GTA that will give you profit even in the steady market of 2016.

The third sector that can also bring you profit despite the saddening situation of the market is warehousing commercial sector. With cost of manufacturing going down and the production increase forecasted in the years to come the need of warehouses as storage units is going to increases. Moreover, warehouses and transport facilities is a trend that is going to rise in the coming year, therefore, the warehousing sector will also grab its fair share in the days to come in the GTA.

In spite of the fact that market is not expected to change much in 2016, yet not only one rather three sectors are expected to give substantial profits in the GTA commercial real estate market. Industrial, transportation and warehouse real estate is what you should be eyeing on in 2016 to make even the market decline look profitable.

How Can I Create Better Lead Generation for Commercial Real Estate Through Internet?

The fact cannot be denied that the use of internet has become an integral part of life and without it we may as well live in the Stone Age. Like other areas of business, the use of internet has changed the commercial real estate industry and now in addition to being a sharp person, a commercial real estate agent has to be an internet savvy person as well.

Online marketing has become an absolute part of a business’s marketing strategy. It can generate loads of leads for your commercial real estate business and help you find suitable leads for your commercial real estate clients. In the following lines, I will share with some tips on how you can generate better and greater leads for your commercial real estate clients through internet.

Internet2Website is ‘The Office’:

The most common way of being found on the internet is through search engine result. The search engine results show your website and upon landing on your website the prospects might consider contacting you for further services.

Pertinent to website firstly, you have to make sure that your website is search engine friendly. You should consider all the SEO factors like keywords, metadata, backlinks and so on to ensure that when people search for some real estate property in your area, your website comes at the top and most prospects visit your site.

Secondly, make sure that when the prospects land on your website, they drop you a query and become a lead. This can be done by designing the website in a user friendly way and making things of interest available to your prospects easily. Make sure that all your commercial properties are listed in a position where they get maximum exposure.

social-media-419944_1920Use The Power of Social Media:

Another platform that is perhaps as strong as search engine is social media. In the world of internet, social media has the same benefit as does word of mouth marketing, and people interested in commercial real estate always stay active and vigilant on social media platforms. All the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Redit, Google+ can all help you spread the word and find prospects that might be interested in commercial real estate. Just make sure that you offer real value to your fans and followers on social media, if you do this, you will notice a hike in your leads.

9365641519_ab84697e21_beBooksAre Influential:

With regards to generating commercial real estate needs through the internet, there will be people who would be telling you to resort to email marketing. Although email marketing has its benefits for general prospects, but if you are looking for commercial real estate leads, you need to show your understanding of market and its behavior. An eBook with your or your agency’s name on it will definitely be a boost in the confidence of investors and thus help you find more investors and greater leads for your commercial real estate clients.

4514786253_5e52bec725Grab Them With Google AdWords:

With organic Search Engine Marketing generating leads might become hard on the internet. If you are facing such competition doing things ordinarily, then you need to utilize Google AdWords and make a Pay-per-Click campaign. With its comprehensive network and sharp algorithm, Google will serve your commercial real estate ads to the investors and consequently you will experience an increase in leads.

Blog_(1)Have A Blog With Industry Information:

The commercial real estate prospects are quite keen about knowing who they are going to do business with, therefore, earning their confidence is important. If you can’t write an eBook as I mentioned above, then the other way you can ensure that the visitors landing on your website become your lead is by establishing a blog that shares industry information. Instead of sharing content of others, you must share your own genuine posts on the blog with industry information. Your knowledge of industry will add to your reputation and will provide the prospects with necessary information regarding investment.

I’ve shared my holistic view of generating commercial real estate leads through the internet. What are your thoughts on it? I look forward to your insights and recommendations.



What Tech Tools will a Commercial Real Estate Agent Need in His Tool Kit to be Successful in 2016?

Although you might never use some of them, but it never hurts to have a kit that contains tools for solving all kinds of problems. On contrary, the presence of a diverse range of tools makes you feel confident about yourself and this confidence leads to better performance. Same is the case with commercial real estate agents and the presence of tech tools in their tool kit.

The fact cannot be denied that human reliance on technology is increasing with every day; therefore, there is nothing strange in 2016 being more technology oriented compared to 2015. Ergo, in order to make greater sales, earn better profits and experience growth, it is imperative that real estate dealers in general and commercial real estate agents in particular resort to using best tech tools for success in 2016. The lines below discuss some effective tools that can help Commercial real estate agents in this regard.

Drone Wars Begin:Coptercam8_aerial_camera_system

Drones with a camera attached to their end are becoming an increasingly common thing. Commercial real estate agents who utilize drones as a means of capturing an aerial view of their property will have a distinct advantage over those who use models as a means of explaining the 3dimensional view of the property to their clients. If you haven’t bought a drone yet, make sure you have one by the end of this year so that you have a holistic view of the property in the literal sense.

Mobile Scanner:


The work of real estate agent involves handling documentation and record keeping. In this regard, Xerox’s Mobile Scanner is a device that can come in handy for a commercial real estate agent as it eliminates the need of taking the documents back to office and scanning them, rather, the device allows you to scan the document instantly and keep it stored in it for later printing purposes. Save the redundant trips to office just for scanning a document by carrying Xerox’s Mobile scanner with you in 2016.


Google SketchUp:Google_sketchup_logo

Another great tool which commercial real estate agents should get their hands on is Google SketchUp. This tool allows you to create and remodel 3D view of your property, so that the property can be viewed in a more lifelike manner instead of simple images. You can create 3D models of the properties you have enlisted with you and give your entire clients and customers a better virtual view to the property.

Use Sitegeist:GainInsightsKattner_Small

The success of commercial real estate agents is highly dependent upon the insights they have to the area or region. The better the insights the better are transactions. In this regard, one app that I recommend to every commercial real estate agent is Sitegeist. This app can tell you all that you need to know about an area, such as;political contributions, the way people use commute, temperature of the area, the age of residents and so on. With such insights an agent can make a better decision about any commercial property.

Use Cloud Servers:2000px-Cloud_computing.svg

In addition to the risk of theft and data loss in case of system failure, the other drawback of storing client’s information on your laptop or personal system is that you can’t access it all the times. For a commercial real estate agent, the use of technology should mean ease of access to information, therefore, to make sure that you are connected with your information database all the time is to use cloud servers for information. With cloud servers, you can save information and share it with others as well at the time of need without the worry of making your own personal device available to you. In 2016, you should make switching to cloud your top priority if you wish to protect and easily access your information.

In short, to me, the aforementioned tools are a must for every real estate agent’s toolkit in 2016. If you agree or think otherwise about any of them, please share your opinion.



Q1 of Industrial & Commercial Real Estate 2015 of Toronto Compared With Q1 2014

“5,776,322 square feet was leased in office space, industrial space and commercial/retail space during first quarter of 2015 in Toronto.”TREB

This figure is a sum of reports submitted by TREB Commercial Network Members who are spread all across Toronto. The 5,776,322 square feet of leased space is a 28.2 percent increase compared to the entire previous year.This is representative of the fact that industrial as well as commercial real estate market is experiencing a surge compared to the entire 2014.

In addition to the general square feet of lease, the reports contain other information related to commercial real estate of Toronto. The constituents of the reports shed light on several other components and variables of real estate of Toronto when making a quarter-quarter comparison.

The average per square foot lease rate for industrial property in Q1of 2015 was $5.39 which is 4.8 percent greater compared to the same quarter in 2014. On the other hand, the average rate for commercial/retail lease was down by 4.9 percent, making it $19.46 per square foot in Q1 2015. The average rate for office space was $12.64 per square foot, which showed a 2.8 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2014.

“The economic situation in Canada remained uncertain through the first quarter of 2015 … the industrial leasing news for the Greater Toronto Area was certainly a positive.”Eherington – President, TREB.

At the start of 2015 and throughout its first quarter the economic situation of Canada was not clear and the investors remained uncertain about the direction the economy was going to take. However, the news that the industrial firms in Canada were taking more space retained the confidence of the investors in industrial and commercial real estate of Ontario in general and GTA in particular. Industries leasing more space in an uncertain economic situation meant that the firms had experienced or they hoped to experience some increase in their sales, which for GTA meant that it could actually benefit from the receding Canadian dollar value. All assumptions proved good for GTA and it actually did become the key beneficiary by experiencing a boom in first quarter leases.

Besides all the increase in per square foot price and the general lease space figure, the one area in which the first quarter of 2015 was down compared to Q1 of 2014 was the number of transactions or total sales. The figure in sales for the first quarter of 2015 was 187 which was 28.9 percent less compared to the figure of 263 in Q1 2014. This decrease in transactions was experienced equally by all the major three market segments. It is the increase in per square foot price that covers up for the decrease in the number of transactions and still makes Q1 of 2015 more profitable compared to the first quarter of 2014.

“GTA economy and commercial real estate market is comparatively well-positioned within Canada for 2015.”  saidEtherington.

With the arrival of spring, the economic condition of Canada will become clearer.Only then can the exact impact of it on the commercial real estate could be judged. There is also a possibility that in the remaining quarters of 2015 the GTA industrial and commercial/retail estate market might show volatility in the leasing and sales figure, yet the commercial and industrial real estate of Canada in general, GTA in particular is on a path of boom, and it will continue on prospering throughout the year.

The doomsayers predicting the new bubble are coming at our market from all angles. HilliardMacBeth’s  new book; When The Bubble Bursts, Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash, which I just finished reading, provides a very interesting perspective of the market. This book clearly focusses on the residential market, but typically residential fluctuations, whether positive or negative tend to have an impact on the commercial sectors which usually follows. The book looks into  and provides a very insightful look at the level of debt and types of debt compared to the U.S. debt landscape and why we could just as easily be in a bubble which is ready to burst!

Neil Warshafsky and Fraser MacDonald featured in The Hot List 2015

NeilandFraserNeil Warshafsky and Fraser MacDonald have been in commercial real estate business together for 10 years, and with the kind of comforting confidence that clients demand the every-changing commercial market. For the reason, it’s not surprising that the duo had one of their best years in 2014, helping Planned Canada expand to the second floor and brokering the the sale of Toronto’s iconic EL Mocambo music venue.


Decrease In Office Space Requirement And Its Impact On Commercial Real Estate Of Toronto

“In the Greater Toronto Area the government wants to decrease the real estate footprint by reducing the space requirement from 250 square feet to 200square feet per employee.” TD Economics

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) does not require any introduction. It is one of the most populous metropolitan areas of the country and attracts a great number of immigrants from foreign lands on daily basis. Moreover, the big corporates also establish their head offices in this region, as it helps them in controlling and monitoring rest of the province and country with ease.

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Retirement Homes: A Lucrative Commercial Real Estate Investment In Toronto

As strange as it might seem, Retirement Homes are increasingly becoming a lucrative component of the real estate market in Toronto. The obvious reason behind this surge in demand is the increase in aging population. Real estate investors know that aging is inevitable; therefore, for them the lucrativeness of retirement homes will increase with the passage of time.

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Office Space Expectations – A Crucial Player in Commercial Real Estate Market of Toronto

The key to success in any market lies in meeting the expectations of the customers or consumers. The more proactive and responsive a business is in meeting the expectations of its target audience, the greater share it captures from the market ensuring dominance. Same is the relationship between the office space expectations of businesses and the commercial real estate owners in Toronto.

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With Companies Trending Towards A ‘No-Desk’ Concept: Will This Affect The Office Market?

Organizations are quite rational to assume this much space for every employee working under their roof. The allocation of this much space is what an employee requires to make his/her personal working space according to their likings; and organizations support it for productivity. However, the trend is changing and now large corporations in general and startup or small businesses in particular are moving towards a ‘no-desk’ concept within their working environment.

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Will The Internet Affect Retail Leasing In Toronto?

There is no denying the fact that internet has transformed our lives and has caused a great shift in the way things were done. Consumers as well as businesses have gone online and they have established an online market where the competition is the same, if not more severe as is in the conventional market.

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Downtown Toronto Is the Place to Invest In Commercial Real Estate

The need of the people pertaining to the kind of living they prefer is what drives the real estate market. If people are more inclined towards convenience where every facility of life is easily accessible then they prefer living in downtown, while if they want a more elegant living that keeps the hustle and bustle of the city at bay, then their preference is the life of suburbs. In Toronto, the former preference is prevalent at present.

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Dragons’ Den Star Reveals He’s the El Mocambo Buyer

Dragons’ Den star and entrepreneur Michael Wekerle revealed last week that he’s the purchaser of the legendary El Mocambo club on Spadina Avenue. He bought the property for $3.78M and says he plans to keep it going as a live-music venue. “It’s afirm deal,” says Royal LePage Commercial’s Neil Warshafsky, who brokered the transaction between Michael and club owners Sam Grosso and Marco Petrucci. The deal is expected to close in December, Neil tells us.

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How many cranes are too many in Toronto?

“We have more cranes in the sky than any major city in North America right now. It’s fantastic.” – Rob Ford

This was the statement of Robert Ford in April 2012 when he was asked about his future action plan pertaining to the betterment and prosperity of Toronto. This statement goes on to show the economic development in general and the construction boom that Toronto was experiencing particularly in 2012.

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Commentary on Where Interest Rates Are Going in Canada

The interest rates have peaked at lower levels for as long as anyone could have imagined, and Canada is no exception.

The Bank of Canada the interest rates are likely to remain “new neutral” – the level that would sustain the economy at full capacity. The rate benchmark has been at 1% for more than four years. Senior Deputy Governor of Bank of Canada, Carolyn Wilkins, stated in the last month that the nominal neutral rate has dropped to a range of 3 percent to 4 percent even further than they have in the past.

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Real Estate Trends 2015– Canadian Commercial Market Value Under Observation!

Even with the tepid job growth, the Canadian office market is in the midst of new development cycle as 14.1 Million sq. ft. of new office space is under construction in downtown markets.

The Chairman of one of the large national brokers states, “The Canadian economy may not be firing on all cylinders, but the Toronto and Calgary office markets turned out quite a performance last quarter.”

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Real Estate Market Trends 2013 – Canadian Market Value Continues To Escalate!

During the recent months, the investors have been receiving mixed signals from Canadian real estate market, as the sales volumes remain uncertain. Some experts are not so encouraging. These pundits have predicted a dangerous trajectory in the National real estate market and an over-heated purchasing scenario. Whereas the consumers and investors look more positive as the market value continues to escalate.

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GTA Commercial Real Estate Investments Scales High, Despite the Dip.

The great metropolitan area, Great Toronto Area, has become an endless war chest of capital with too little commercial inventory for the downpour of the property purchasers. The demand of everything from apartment buildings to retail storefronts and industrial buildings in Toronto is soaring high among the investors, but the sales in all those sectors remains depressed.

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10 TIPS – Commercial & Residential Investing in Today’s Market

The Ontario commercial real estate market has enjoyed a protracted period of positive sustained growth. This has been fueled primarily through a combination of low interest rates, higher rents, greater occupancies, low unemployment and a host of other positive factors. Demand has spurred as a result of many influences such as: higher immigration, the consolidation of real estate ownership into fewer hands through syndication, securitization and other forms of corporate ownership, and concerns over alternative investments such as bonds and equities. Accordingly, with fewer properties trading coupled with greater demand, property values should continue to escalate. We are still on the up-slope of the current commercial real estate cycle. A generous supply of fresh capital into the market mixed with a growing economy has served to foster an ideal time for investors to step into the commercial real estate market.

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10 Tips – Renting to Tenants

Bank, Previous Landlord & Other References: Obtain banking information and consent for a bank reference check from the prospective tenant and follow through with all reference checks. Check with previous landlords, and creditors that the prospective tenant may do business with.

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