Larry Weltman, through his role as Customer Service Representative at AccessEasyFunds Limited, helps realtors not only start up, but also significantly expand their real estate businesses by using commission advance services as a key financing tool. We had the opportunity to speak with Larry to find out a little more about AccessEasyFunds, the latest industry news, and any advice that he has for real estate agents who are looking to break into the market.
Tell us about your entrepreneurial background. What role do you serve at AccessEasyFunds?
Larry Weltman: Sure. My background is in accounting. However, I have been with AccessEasyFunds since the company’s founding in 2007 and was an active participant in its development and advancement. AccessEasyFunds provides commission advances to real estate agents in Canada. The company was established to alleviate the often long wait times that agents have before they get commissions. We provide advances on all types of deals, including residential resales or leases, commercial sales or leases, industrial sales or leases and new home or new/pre-construction condo sales.
How have current market conditions impacted real estate brokerages?
Larry Weltman: Since the beginning of 2018 when mortgage regulations were first tightened, brokers and lenders argued that it adversely impacted the growth of mortgage lending in Canada. However, Toronto’s months of supply is surprisingly low and the city is simply experiencing rapid growth and, hence, increased demand for housing. Especially in the low end of the market. Current Toronto MLS stats indicate as of September, 2019, the median days on the market for a home is just 21 days.
With interest rates becoming more settled in the last year, how has this impacted agents working with buyers?
Larry Weltman: The Toronto real estate market has seen a return to moderate price growth as sales rebound and listing supply have tightened. But competition between buyers has begun to heat up. This tells me that agents have to be active in order to be successful. In a market like Toronto where there is more demand for housing than supply, expert guidance is practically mandatory to ensuring a buyer wins their bid. The threat of increasing rates a while back has now cooled and further fueled Buyers.
In your opinion, why is it important for realtors to prepare and manage a business plan?
Larry Weltman: A real estate business plan is like a GPS for success. Realtors run an independent business (like any entrepreneur) and being in a dynamic ever changing real estate market a business plan gives them a blueprint to push toward their goals with clear direction. One of the biggest – and most common – mistakes that I see realtors making when they get into the business is thinking it’s easy to make big commissions off the bat. Devising a business plan will determine a range of important factors such as: Who is your ideal client? What budget should you set aside for marketing? How many sales will you have to make to cover expenses?
What is the best business advice that you would give to a new or established agent?
Larry Weltman: For real estate agents, being able to market themselves as well as they can market houses is a key step to building a successful business. Promoting yourself successfully involves building lasting personal and professional relationships, marketing your best attributes and following some time-honored techniques for finding and retaining clients. Additionally, branch out and adapt to market changes. This is one of the easiest ways to increase cash flow. Instead of specializing in one neighbourhood or city, begin to research and study adjacent areas and jurisdictions, so you can begin to offer your services in those areas as well.