Customer Service or Customer Experience?

Last week I escorted my young niece to Montreal to support and encourage her on a big interview in Montreal.  I decided to make the trip worthwhile and take a day or two in Montreal to enjoy the pulse and energy in the most cosmopolitan city we have east of Ottawa;)

I think the whole reason I love travel, hotels, window shopping and dining out is to experience service.  Or to have an experience as a customer.....Having been work raised in high end, exceptional, service oriented retail businesses, I am always curious about who is doing what and who is the best.  So when I am away, I delve in and look for those service moments.

Truthfully, I have fallen in love with Montreal and it was the experience after experience over 48 hours with everyone we met.  I was wowed!

But really, I fell in love with Pierre Beauchamp at the Hotel Omni, Mont Royal.  Pierre has been their ambassador from the beginning when it opened as a Four Seasons to its present ownership as the Hotel Omni.  Thirty nine years of making guests fall in love with him, the experience and the hotel.  He had me at the front door with his first hello and his first giggle.  And I thought I had a laugh!

Pierre is the epitome of everything we all strive for in customer service.  He knows its the experience, the little things, the genuine love of what he does, the genuine pride of who he represents.  He knows he is the one who can make the guest feel like a million, like the only one.  He makes a difference.  He didn't just do it with us, he did it with James Brolin and Barbara Streisand, with Super Tramp, with Stevie Wonder.....Really?  He is even more special because it doesn't matter who you are, every guest is equally important. 

I came back to work today with a renewed sense of purpose.  A quest to always look for more ways to make the selling and buying experience better than the expectation.  To make it an experience, not a transaction.  I know we genuinely care and our clients truly get that sense, but I believe we can always do better, always strive for more.  Sometimes, you have to step away, get that personal experience, in order to remind yourself, of why you do what you do.  And to keep looking for new moments we can create for our clientele, who we care so much about.

Kudos to Montreal, kudos to Hotel Omni and super kudos to Pierre...it is because of you, that I will return!  You are a one of a kind, an exceptional gentleman, a superlative role model for everyone who works at the Omni...and may I say, your service is an art.  And there are not enough artists out there!  We all need to strive for this level of execution.   

I love you Pierre!

March was hot in Ottawa - and we are not talking about the weather!

March sales volume was up 12%.  The average price of all homes was up 8%.  Whether you lived west, south, east or Downtown, your home saw a substantial increase.  It all sounds positive - and it is - we feel there are opportunities for everyone, whether you are selling, buying or investing!

If you have questions on your home, your neighbourhood or the neighbour's home, we are just a call or text away!

A Season of Happy Sellers

As predicted, the supply and demand situation in many parts of Ottawa (not everywhere), is creating a sellers market.  Great for the sellers and a wonderful way for us when we list homes, to strategize and achieve the top price possible for our clients.

We have had $30,000 over list, a townhome which last year would not sell over $270,000, get $40,000 more than 2017....can you imagine?  And the latest one, well let's just say, almost 6 figures over asking......almost like winning second prize in the lottery!  Needless to say, it is a situation which needs managing and strategizing.  Now more than ever, experience and a great realtor will help you net more than you thought possible!  

And then as a buyer, you have to be ready for this - and we have been uber successful with our buyers, because we have prepared them!  It is not a time to be traditional in one's approach and laissez faire, otherwise that home purchase will remain a dream and not a reality!

Either way, we know how important it is to align yourself with a realtor who can help you achieve your goals and dreams.  We humbly think that we can help, and would love to sit with you and discuss how.  I find the market exciting, because I love the dynamics and energy, but I know you may find it a bit intimidating.  We are used to that, and can walk you through it all, at your pace.  

And if you don't want to move, but want to take advantage of your home's value increasing - we have some thoughts on that too!  Call or text us anytime.  Michael and I are at your service.

 

Lorie Ann, You are a truly wonderful agent! Thank you for all that you have done for us. We appreciated your honesty, integrity, your time and knowledge. And Thank you for seeing our vision, I would have never though (4).png

Latest News about the Ottawa Market!

I have neglected you dear Blog!

The big news is the INVENTORY!  Or lack thereof!  The supply and demand is creating multiple offers and price increases at least for the short term!

What does that mean to you Mr. Seller?  Its a great time to call us about listing!  We have many buyers we are currently working with, and may be able to get you top dollar with low effort and no inconvenience!

For our Buyers, what it means to you, is you need to be working with a strong and proactive realtor team who has strategies and doesn't wait for the listings!  WE definitely have that covered if you are a serious, motivated 2018 buyer!  Call us and set up a time to talk about what we do differently for OUR buyers.

 

We are sending out a video with some tips and tricks and opportunities for the current state of the market!  If you would like to be on our list, please send us an email @ admin@homewithlorie.com

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Michael and I want to extend a very heartfelt and warm Holiday greeting to you and your families and friends. Whether its Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or simply Happy Holidays, it is a time to reflect, be grateful, love and share the feelings of the season with each other. 

It has been a busy, fun, rewarding year filled with helping our clients fulfil their real estate dreams & financial goals. It has been a year of more ups than downs in the market, lots of work & play, lots of laughter & successes (lots of great stories of success this year) and failures (which turned out just fine) and through it all, we always knew that our family, friends, business partners & with each other, we had support, loyalty & friendship at our backs. 

We are immensely grateful for you, your referrals, your trust, your business & your relationship. We know there are always choices, and we strive to always be your choice, and do not take you for granted. We are actually very honoured daily to be a part of your life.

Thank you from both of us. May your holidays be bright and filled with love, laughter & the feelings of the season.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Lorie & Michael
 

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Ottawa 2018 Market Outlook by RE/MAX

The average home is expected to increase in value by 3.5% in 2018.  First time home buyers and the Move Up buyer are expected to drive the demand in Ottawa for 2018.  The Ottawa real estate market is expected to be balanced.

I wouldn't hold my breath on the market being balanced.  If inventory levels continue to be light, and demand high, I suspect we will see a similar type of market in the spring of 2018 - a lean towards a sellers market.  

If you are giving ANY thought at all to making a move in 2018, please contact me via text or email, I believe there are opportunities to maximize your real estate investments and we can discuss why and strategies.  text or call 613-270-9559

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January 1st, 2018 is bringing further changes to the mortgage rules.  The current stress test for those getting insured mortgages (less than 20% down payment), is being rolled out to the other segment of home buyers - those with more than 20% down payment.  This WILL impact the amount of mortgage these buyers will be approved for and hence affect their affordability levels.

Being aware is the first step, the second step is speaking with an experienced mortgage specialist.  We have wonderful relationships with some excellent financial experts - call us for a recommendation and become aware of what 2018 will mean for you!

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A Plethora of Reviews this Month! Thank you!

Helping people is what we do!  Its what we love to do.  We don't need accolades, we just love knowing we did make a difference and we did get the job done and fulfil our clients goals!  Thank you to Rhonda and Phil, and Janique and Ben and Carly, for your 5 star reviews!  We appreciate your relationships, support and taking the time to send us a review to share!

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Holiday Contest - Best Dressed Christmas Tree

It's holiday CONTEST time and we would like to challenge all of our clients, friends, and families to a Best Dressed Christmas Tree competition. THE PRIZE - two box seats for the Senators vs. Tampa Bay game on January 9, 2018 at 7 pm in a BOX
SUITE @ Canadian Tire Centre. Go SENS Go!!!

We also have a $75.00 gift card to HomeSense up for grabs - read below on how to be entered for that draw too.

To Enter:
1. Like our facebook page & share this post.
2. Send the picture of your Christmas tree to either admin@homewithlorie.com or via Facebook messenger to our page by December 11.
3. Once we post our album on December 12 you have a week to get your photo as many votes as you can by tagging friends and sharing the contest. We will contact the winner on December 18th to give them their tickets.

How to get the HomeSense gift card:
1. Like our facebook page & share this post.
2. Tag 3 friends on this post who you know have beautiful trees and may want to enter the contest.

 

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Remembrance Day

Michael and I travelled to NYC for a real estate seminar this past week.  With one day to explore the city, my #1 place to visit was the 9/11 Memorial.  We both remarked how quiet, sombre and respectful all the visitors were in such a large, busy, loud city.

We could not help but feel the loss and the spirit of the heroes.  One of the most touching details of this whole Memorial, is the rose placed on the name of the lost person, on their birthday.  No matter which country, we all face the same feelings of respect and gratitude for those whom serve our country.  We all feel the loss and the poignant moment of the heroes who live and die for their country, without thoughts for themselves.

And in this day and at this time, we do need to remember.  And never forget.  Our freedoms rely on it.

Lest we forget.

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We LOVE happy clients...it's what makes us roll!


duo investment properties

We are delighted and impressed with the level of service provided by Lorie Ann Warren of ReMax Hallmark in managing the sale of our two residential properties (a triplex and a four-plex) in Ottawa.

With the marketing resources of ReMax, and the selling skills of Lorie Ann, we were able to list, market, and close the sale on both properties within two weeks of the date of listing.  And also, most impressively, we were able to sell one property at 100% of the listing price, and sell the second property at a negotiated price above the listing price.  In short, we were wowed by their selling skills and personal touch service.

We would highly recommend the services of Lorie Ann to anyone who is considering selling or purchasing a property.

BelleHolly Investments Ottawa

September Market Update 2017

September rocked!  Ottawa is having a stellar year and the fall market is expected to be steady until year end.  A couple of key points if you are in the market to buy, or EVEN thinking of selling...inventory levels in some neighbourhoods are actually quite low - so you may be in a sellers market in certain areas.  

Overall, the total inventory in residential listings are down 10% to last year and in condos 20%.  There are many micro markets in both type of inventory and also by neighborhoods.  So if you would like to discuss your specifics, its best to give us a call.  

But overall, 2017 is a very strong year!  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

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And that is a wrap!

Well my juice reboot is over....

I did the 5 day Joe Cross plan and said if it went well I would do an extra day...by day 5 PM if I had to put any more juice in me, I was going to gag. I think it was a whole day of the pre-made juice bar juices (I prefer my own homemade ones)!

The whole week was fairly easy, except I didn't drink enough water and I do dislike coconut water, so that wasn't adhered to properly! Worst day was Day 5 PM. Wow. I retired early so I didn't cave! (Thanks for talking me down Diane Tuplin)

Here is what I learned about myself and the experience.

1. It is all about the preparation and the mindset. I was prepared up front but not prepared for the reentry.

2. It's all about the environment you are in and the support around you. Others can try and sabotage you whether they realize it or not. I wasn't prepared for the sabotage. So your environment is super important. (P.s. Microwave popcorn smells way too good when you are juicing)

3. I love food which is fine. I am a foodie. But I am also an emotional eater and love comfort food.

4. When I had two babies completely natural with no drugs, I had a steely mindset that allowed no pain and no needles. I need that kind of mindset for juicing and losing weight success.

I would do it again for 5 days maximum. What I need to be more prepared for is re entry to eating. Yesterday I ate a hot dog, a Haagen Dazs and a toasted tomato sandwich and I gained back. I felt the bad food going in like it was poison after all the healthy vegetables(especially the hot dog nitrates). It was not enjoyable.

In that small insight lies the secret, if you are usually doing good things, it's harder to eat the bad stuff. You feel like a hypocrite, a cheater. But I can tell I lost inches and I do feel healthier.

And I learned it is way harder to take it off than it is to put it on!
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You won't believe what we are up to....

Our whole team has committed to a 7-day Juice Fast!

Michael has been reading and research the topic for quite sometime, and when he said he was going to do it, it just snowballed from there! So thank you Michael, I think lol...

We are on Day 1.

So far we haven't killed anyone. On the contrary, we had several good laughs in the office today. It really is wonderful to have our whole team pulling together in business AND in health. 

As Gerald said, when we are younger we can afford to have a lot of 'do overs' with diet, weight, and health. But as we get older, we don't get near as many! There is a saying "The first 50 years are a gift. The second 50 years, you have to earn.".

Today's Tip: Buy apples (and other produce for that matter) at the Parkdale Market. What a deal! In the picture below, we got a whole bushel (that is a lot of apples!) straight from the Grower for $30, versus $10 in apples from a fancy local grocery store.

Thank you for the messages of support that we have already received! It means a lot to us that you are cheering us on!

Click on the pictures below to enjoy the pics of our Day 1.

 

#PerfectPatioOttawa Episode 9 - The Finale - The Canal Ritz

Who would have thought we would be writing a #PefectPatioOttawa blog in the middle of September? The weather this week was Full On SUMMER!

We could not resist one more patio lunch, and we were very fortunate to have Diane Tuplin from the Pike Group of Halifax AND Jason Cleland of Ottawa Mortgage Pulse join us for a very delightful lunch indeed.

Canal Ritz is located at 375 Queen Elizabeth Drive, overlooking the Rideau Canal.

They describe their menu as Modern Italian. And for the most part, I would agree. Everything was pretty good with the exception of the salad. It was not a standout dish, and as Diane described it, 'it was just lettuce-y" :) 

We started with a charcuterie board that was to die for! The pizza was delicious as where the pasta dishes. The dessert, while looking amazing, tasted a bit 'day old', but very forgivable as it looked so awesome! 

But the view. We all came for the sun, the view and the company!. And that my friends is what life is all about. Enjoying the moments! And enjoy we did.

It has been AMAZING doing the #PerfectPatioOttawa and thank you so much for all the feedback. That so many of you followed our antics and destinations, well, that means the world to us! 

And if you would like 'in' on a secret.... This coming Monday our entire team is doing a Reboot Juice Fast! More on that to follow, but the next blogs will be on where to buy amazing juice in Ottawa!

With much love.

Cynthia, Lorie, Michael & Gerald xo

Click on the photo below to scroll through our Patio fun!

 

 

 

 

#PerfectPatioOttawa Episode #8 Tavern On The Hill

With summer winding up,  we would have been amiss in our search for a Perfect Patio Experience if we had not hit up Tavern on the Hill. This unique 100% patio establishment is perched overlooking Parliment Hill. 

The Sun Gods were smiling on us as we had the PERFECT day for our visit! Sunshine, cocktails and good company. What more could you want? Hot dogs! Of course!

If you live in Ottawa, you have no doubt heard of this place. And I really do have to recommend you go, if not this summer/fall, then absolutely next year when they open for the season.

Deviating from our usual ranking of Service, Food, and Ambience, this place deserves a summary more than a ranking.

They only serve hotdogs. Gourmet Hot Dogs. They include the Mexican, The Korean (Pulled Pork and Kimchi), and The Montrealer to name a few. All we tried were top notch!

Our company had margartias, sangria and sea breeze, and all thought they were spot on. Large, cool and refreshing. 

We did find ice cream there for dessert as well! 

And the view! This place is an Instagrammers heaven. All set to the soothing sounds of soft Jazz. You just have to go, chill and enjoy this amazing City we live in! Click through the pictures for more images!