Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy Birthday TRB: Toronto Realty Blog Is 10-Years-Old!


I guess many of you can relate to the thought, "Oh My God, I can't believe it's been ten years," when it comes to your kids who seem to "grow up so fast."

Well, for the longest time, Toronto Realty Blog was my baby.

And for the life of me, I can't believe the blog is officially ten years old.

It seems like a lifetime ago that I decided to shake up the real estate industry and start posting (gasp!) opinions on real estate, rather than following the army of robotic salespeople who refused to do anything different.  I was a rough go at first, but after ten years, I think we're here to stay…


Go ahead and tell me if you're one of the very few long-time-readers, who can remember reading TRB in 2007, 2008, or 2009.

My very first post was July 1st, 2007, although to be completely honest, I put up the blog on July 14th, and back-dated a bunch of posts to make the site seem like it had already been up a while.

It was somewhat pointless, since nobody was reading anyways.

My, times have changed.

In 2017, my average blog post is 1,927 words.

Back in 2007, I was told that blog posts "should" be about 200-400 words.

And when friends of mine read my first handful of blogs, I remember them saying, "It's cool and all, but it's just too damn long."

I suppose I don't take constructive criticism easily, since I decided to set out to make them longer, not shorter.

A young agent in my office told me, no word of a lie, that when she started at Bosley last year, she started reading my blog, from the beginning.

That's well over 2,000 blog posts, and for the love of God, I don't know where she found the time.

It took her six months, but she literally read every single post I have ever written.

She made four observations, having read an average of over 300 posts per month:

1) Your posts have become MUCH longer.
2) You are far more cynical today.
3) You go on a lot less rants now.
4) You have an insane use of ellipses…

#3 is a bit odd to me, since my entire life is a complete rant, but I digress…

So not having read anything that I wrote ten years ago, in quite some time, I decided to go back and read the very first blog post from July 1st, 2007, and I'll share it with you guys now:


Condo BUST?  I Don't Think So!

July 1st, 2007

If ever there were an indication that the condo market isn't "about to implode" as many media sources and your roommate with absolutely no knowledge of real estate whatsoever, have speculated, it was last week with the launch of 83 Redpath.

The Benvenuto Group's new 21-storey condominium project east of Yonge/Eglinton sold out in only two days, with about 200 units turning over. Buyers were literally lined up outside, and several buyers even slept over the night before, I kid you not. This is how badly some people wanted to live in 83 Redpath starting in 2010, or, how good an investment some buyers think this condominium project will be.


A few weeks ago, Menkes Developments launched The Four Seasons Private Residences in Yorkville which even at $600 per square foot sold over 70 units the first weekend. Even more impressive, is that over 10 of those units were purchased by Registered Real Estate Salespersons. When the people who know the most about the real estate industry are investing in its future, that is an excellent sign that the condo market is healthy.

People often ask me "don't you think there are too many condos in Toronto?" The answer to that question is "yes and no." There are too many crummy condos in Toronto, and not enough good ones.

For example, next time you drive along the Gardiner Expressway near Skydome, and you see all those horrible condos they've built—those are the crummy ones. The buildings are all 50-storey monsters with no character, oddly layed-out units, and the worst part is that the view is of….another condo! There is no surrounding infrastructure, unless you count Subway and the drycleaners…just in case you get meatball sub on your new suitcoat.

I just purchased a unit at 230 King Street in a modest 16-storey building. The unit contains a 450 square foot outdoor patio. There are only six of these units in my building. Likewise, I sold my brother and his fiancée a unit at 168 King with a 330 square foot patio. There are only four of those units in his building.

I think buying a generic, cookie-cutter unit on the 38th floor of 12 Yonge Street is a bad investment, and yes, I think there are too many of those condos and perhaps they won't keep their value. But there aren't nearly enough good condos in happening areas with character, functionality, and that certain extra quality like a sweet patio.

Take my optimism with a grain of salt perhaps, as I sell real estate for a living. But keep in mind that I have purchased two condos so far this year, and there are still six months left…



I know what you're thinking – that's it?

How entirely unsatisfied would you be if your morning TRB read was only 449 words, like that piece of crap above.

But that's how things were ten years ago!

And I'm reading this now laughing at the idea that $600/sqft was a lot for a condo at Four Seasons, since the average price per square foot is now around $1,500, give or take.

But a lot changes in ten years, as each of us can attest to, personally and professionally.

And the best part about that blog?  A "plant" comment from one of my friends, who helped me start the site:


I don't know that it was meant to be serious, but knowing my friend's sense of humour, I still laugh when reading it.

I posted a long history of TRB when I hit my 1500th blog post over two years ago, so if you're interested in the blog's humble beginnings, have a look at that link, and I'll save the rest of you from reading the story a second time…

And yes, I suppose I do use a lot of ellipses.  But my writing style has always been conversational in nature, as I feel like I'm speaking to an audience.  And so often in life, we get bored of listening to each other, change topics, or don't finish thoughts, which results in a natural trailing off…

In any event, (a phrase I'm told I also over-use), I figured I'd have some fun with the TRB 10th anniversary, so here's what I'm proposing:

Starting this Monday, every weekday for ten straight days, I'll post a question relating to the blog's history on Facebook and Instagram.

The first person who can successfully answer the question gets a $100 Home Depot Gift Card.

Every weekday, for ten days, starting on Monday, July 17th.

I'll post the #TRB10 trivia question between 12pm and 1pm when hopefully many of you are sipping Booster Juice's on a picnic bench, and may the best man or woman win.

In the meantime, I welcome suggestions for new features as we move into Decade #2 here at TRB.

I'd love to revive my "What If The Whole World Worked The Same Way As The Toronto Real Estate Industry," since that was about the most fun I've had in my 13 years in the business.  But oh, the time it takes!  And this 8-month-old child is already killing my golf game, just imagine trying to revive that series???

Some people have asked me to include more active listings on my blog, and while I do feature the house/condo/loft of the week, which are hand-picked from the rubble of what MLS has to offer, others have suggested I install a "widget" for the whole monty – all the listings out there.  But I wonder, isn't that what MLS is for?  Or if that's too slow for your liking, then Zolo, Zoocasa, or whatever other better mouse-traps have popped up?

And here I thought the attraction to TRB was my honest, overly-cynical, mildly-right-wing thoughts and opinions on real estate and just about anything else that pops into my insane mind…

Folks, I'm open to suggestion.

But I promise to continue bestowing upon you a 2,000 word essay Mon/Wed/Fri, and 25-minute video every Thursday, until the day I die and/or make it to the Senior PGA Tour.

And what I'd love more than anything, if you guys could please do me one favour, is for the regular readers to post below: what year did you start reading TRB?

I know most of the regular commenters will partake, but what about the rest of you?

Sidebar here for a moment – I ran into somebody at the gym last week who said, "You're David, right?  I read your blog!"  I asked him what I ask everybody who tells me they read my blog: "Do you comment?"

His eyes widened with a slight tinker of fear and he waved both hands across his chest and said, "Oh no, no, no.  I can't get into that mix."

So to all you "regulars" on here – you scare the crap out of people.

But to the whole lot of you, thank you for your readership, comments and interractions with each-other, and continued support on TRB.

I'm looking forward to the #TRB10 trivia next week.

Have a fantastic weekend!


The post Happy Birthday TRB: Toronto Realty Blog Is 10-Years-Old! appeared first on Toronto Real Estate Property Sales & Investments | Toronto Realty Blog by David Fleming.

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