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iMuskoka Realty

Experienced realtors taking charge of how listings are shared online

In the age of social media when anything can go viral, it’s important to remain mindful of privacy.

This is especially true in the real estate industry, where the iMuskoka team have been taking steps to ensure their clients’ private lives are respected.

“Making sure our sellers and buyers feel confident their personal information is being protected is vital to them and us,” explains Ben Imrie, who with brother Dan and Robyn Goodwin make up iMuskoka. “We’re taking charge of the privacy of our clients; we’re not allowing their privacy to be hijacked.”

To do this, the iMuskoka team has taken control of the way social media posts are shared and spread: as their motto says, it’s about clients “experiencing the difference of real estate sales with genuine authenticity.”

Other agents are now only able to share original posts of the listings on their social media. This allows Ben, Dan or Robyn to make edits or delete listings at the owners’ request, which then has a butterfly effect on all the shares.

Once an original post has been edited or removed, it is edited on the shares, or deleted (often a message such as, ‘this post has been deleted,’ will appear in the original’s stead).

“I can do that at a touch of a button. I don’t have to chase down and find agents that have been posting our properties without permission,” explains Ben. “We’re the drivers of our listings. We’re the ones who are marketing and controlling the media side of things with input from our clients.”

The other issue that the Imries are addressing is ensuring the most up-to-date and accurate information is being shared about their property listings. The iMuskoka team works with their clients to put together the right messaging; when that message is skewed it can be detrimental to the sellers.

“We’re only allowing the original iMuskoka listing and posts to be shared to ensure all the information is correct,” explains Dan.

They’re not saying buyers’ agents shouldn’t take any photos or videos. However, those images or videos should be reserved for private messages to the client.

“It’s also about ensuring the property is being appropriately displayed with the best exposure to the world,” explains Dan. “Our clients put their trust in us to ensure that their property is shown in the best light, which also reflects well on them.”

The dedication to privacy is very important to many longtime cottagers now ready to sell and move on.

“After holding onto those cottages through the years at the behest of their children and grandchildren, they are deciding to sell the cottage and start the next chapter of their lives,” says Ben. “They need to feel like all the memories and emotional attachments to their properties are respected.”

As lifetime Muskoka cottagers themselves, the iMuskoka team knows how important the nostalgic aspects of life on the lakes can be. 

“We’ve been managing it very well and treating the properties and clients with the respect they deserve through this tough process,” says Ben. “We’re very considerate regarding the timing and how it’s marketed.”

Top end market still boomingPart of the reason there is such interest in sharing social posts is because there is enormous interest in properties at the upper end of the Muskoka market. In May and June, multiple properties sold in the $10 – $20 million price range. While interest rates and economic fluctuations have affected other sectors of the market, they don’t have as much impact for those shopping in the upper reaches.

“The ultra-high-end market still has a lot of buyers looking in the market,” says Ben. “These are move-in-ready cottages that require no changes. Many buyers will take them turn key with all the furniture if that’s a possibility.”

On the flip side, the mid-range market is slower than it has been in a while. Cottages listed in the $2 million to $4 million market often need some renovations and work, meaning a price correction could be needed to see more movement in this market segment. Many Buyers are not prepared to buy and take on a project. 

“We’re also in a very demographically motivated market right now,” says Ben. “Baby boomers are retiring or getting close to retire. You may have sold your house or a business, and want to own a cottage in Ontario, if you don’t already.”

It’s about spending time with family and friends, particularly the grandkids, and planning to winter south while summering in Muskoka. If you do own a property already, you’re holding on tight and not considering selling.

“It’s part of your lifestyle,” says Ben. “We’re going to see a shortage of inventory until the Boomers decide it’s time to sell their cottages.”

www.iMuskoka.com

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