2015: A New Beginning
2015 has been an exciting year for Blair’s Real Estate Solutions. It was our first full operating year, we expanded every part of our business, and met some amazing people through unique experiences. Looking back is always fun, so we wanted to share what our past year has looked like. Like many others, we have some “New Year’s Resolutions” to share as well. Enjoy!
We started 2015 with 3 properties; one rent to own and two rentals. Our goal for 2015 was to focus on the rent to own market and develop a business around helping people get into home ownership faster than otherwise possible, and creating a support system around them so their chance of success was much greater. We are proud to announce that we accomplished that goal. We were happy to help 11 families get into homes and onto the fast track to home ownership in 2015. We are currently helping them with credit troubles, budgeting challenges, and savings, so that at the end of their terms, they will successfully graduate our program. There is nothing more satisfying than helping people move into a home today when they thought that their reality was going to hold them back for years.
In addition to our Rent to Own expansion, we also added two rental units to our portfolio. We aim to hold rental properties that are in safe neighbourhoods and have trendy finishes. We want tenants to feel proud of where they are living, even if it is for the short term. We feel like the additions we made in 2015 accomplished this. We have had a high success rate with tenant satisfaction and strive to continue this into the future. We like our tenants to stay as long as they wish and we know the best way to do that is to make our properties modern and homey.
2015 also gave us the opportunity to complete one renovation project and start on another. Our first was completed in February, selling in less than 48 hours! It was located on the west side of Saskatoon and included minor cosmetic upgrades as well as new mechanical. It is amazing to see what a fresh coat of paint, new flooring and new baseboards will accomplish. We were happy to price the home at a great price and watch a young, new family move in shortly before their first baby came along!
We are also excited to currently be working on our newest project, located at 1020 2nd Street in Saskatoon. This project is a total overhaul! Other than the original hardwood, the interior will be virtually brand new. We are opening up walls to make the floor plan extremely open and finishing the basement to make a cozy home for any young family to enjoy. After it’s complete, it will have modern finishes while still maintaining its original charm. We are excited to see the finished product and can’t wait to show you too!
One of the challenges we faced entering 2015 was that we were a new brand in a saturated real estate market. Fortunately, we knew we offered a unique service and just needed to get that information out to the public. Through a few vigorous social media campaigns and some added luck, we think we have laid a great foundation for future success. We recently launched our new website (www.blairsrealestate.com), which is meant to help tell our story and give some additional information on our rent to own program. We wanted our website to be more user friendly and allow for user input online as well. Hunch Marketing did a fantastic job and we are extremely proud of the end result. Users can now go online, learn about us, research how our program works, and apply right online!
We also had an incredible experience at Brett Wilson’s “Pitch Party” back in November. We had the opportunity to stand in front of Brett Wilson (Previous Dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den) and Rachel Mielke (Owner of Hillberg & Berk) and pitch our business in front of the entire audience. It was a real character building experience for us and from it came a whole new opportunity. CBC reached out to us to write an article on our Rent to Own program and also asked to interview us on their morning radio show. We had a tremendous reach from both experiences and it really opened our eyes to the power of the media. These two events were far and away our lucky break of 2015 and we are excited to build off of them in the new year.
Brad & Kaitlyn
Personally, Kaitlyn and I also had an exciting year. We were proud to move into our first single family home, giving our dog (Nixon) a yard of his own. We did some minor updates to the home to make it own (paint, baseboards, etc.) and are hoping to add to the back yard next summer. Nixon loves all his new space to run around and loves whining at the back door to be let outside!
2016 & Beyond
So as 2015 comes to an end, we now turn the page to 2016 and start thinking about what is coming around the corner. We plan to continue to expand our Rent to Own clientele and help others fast track themselves to home ownership just as we did in 2015. To do that we plan on continuing our current marketing efforts as well as adding some new mediums to increase our reach throughout our community. Like we mentioned above, we think we have laid a great foundation for success, but it is up to us to continue to build on that foundation.
We are also excited to begin a new venture in Home Staging! We will focus our offering on simplistic, clean lines with both modern and traditional pieces. With increased housing inventory, it is more important than ever to do everything in your power to sell your home. There are a lot of houses on the market and you need to make yours stick out among the rest. By having your home properly decorated, you will have a higher probability of not only selling faster than your competition, but also at a higher price. Watch for our new offering in the new year and contact us now if you are interested!
Lastly, we would like to thank you all for your support throughout 2015 and we wish you and your loved ones all the best in 2016. We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!!