All posts by karimkanji

Seriously…Buy or Rent?

Okay folks, the eternal question still burns in my mind. Should I buy now or should I continue to rent? Or, why should somebody buy or rent their place of residence? Think about it. There are actually valid arguments to be made on both sides of this debate.

Ownership. Why pay someone else’s mortgage when you could pay your own mortgage and also create equity. Renters would argue that bad credit, high housing prices, etc., make it nearly impossible to realize the dream of home ownership. My whole philosophy was that if I rent I never have to worry about maintenance of the home. Landlord takes care of that. I could never understand why people would “live for the weekend” only to spend their time and money on repaving the driveway?! I bet you renters have better weekends than that.

Anyways, there are a million reasons on both sides of this debate. What are some of yours?

Final thoughts: My cousin was recently telling me that over the past 7 years he only paid $3000 in mortgage interest on his house in Ottawa. Well, I just found out that after 25 years at a bargain rate he will pay $250,000 more for a home he purchased for…..$250,000. A half a million dollar home? I don’t think so……


Boom or Bust? And For Who?

Some experts and pundits of all things real estate have suggested 2 very different views of the near future. Many (and they always seem to be employed by banks or real estate companies) say that there will not be a housing bust but rather a softening of the market. They should be in politics, no? And everyone else who has an opinion says there will be a major bust and we can see housing prices tumble significantly (remember the early 1990’s?) while interest rates continue to rise.

Who the heck are we suppossed to believe? If you are looking to me for answers, you are barking up the wrong tree. I’m just here to give you information. You gotta think for yourselves.

In any case, here are some interesting articles for you to mull over….

TD Suggests Bust Has Been Missed?

Still Growing But Veeeeeeeeeeery Slow.

Highest Mortgage Debt Ever…$800 Billion!!

Your Real Estate News for November 8th 2006

Here is a very interesting article on virtual tours:

Please click on the link to read the full article.iseemedia and RealBiz360 introduce the world’s first shoot and stitch “in-camera” panorama and Virtual Tour solution with new Kodak EasyShare V-Series Digital CamerasSource: Canada NewsWire (November 8, 2006 – 9:00 AM EST)

Multiple Starts Edge Higher!

Extendicare Inc. to go ahead with real estate trust conversion despite new tax treatment:

Halifax real estate firm eyes trust conversion

Realtors, Tim Hortons and Canadian Troops:

Real Estate News compiled by RealCash

The Fourth Quarter 2006 edition of CMHC’s Housing Market Outlook Canada is now available and can be accessed by clicking on the link below. (You will be prompted to enter a user id and password so make sure you register!)

One of my favourite sources of information for Canadian Real Estate News is REM Magazine. To view their online version click HERE.

And not to be biased, but THIS site is pretty good as well! 🙂

Garth Turner, Independent MP for Halton has a NEWSday service whcih usually has an article or two related to real estate and all things bricks and motar. You can visit him at:

If you know of any other websites that you feel are relevant to your business, let me know. You can reach me at

Karim Kanji
Manager – Client Relations
RealCash Bancorp Inc.

Some Real Estate News you might be interested in…

Hey folks!

Our new and improved interactive website is almost ready to go! I plan to include this blog within our new website. And 2007 is gonna bring to RealCash and all of you an exciting new delivery tool and business model. I’m pumped! In the meantime, I though I’d share with you some real estate news from around Canada…..

This house isn’t green

GREEN Building…

U.S. Housing woes…is Canada next?

VRM’s – relax!

Central Bank clashes with CMHC!

And That’s The Bottom Line!

So, the kids are back to school, the sky is getting darker earlier, and local stores are packed with Thanksgiving and Halloween memorabilia. Where did the summer go? Trade show season marks the unofficial start to the Realtor’s “New Year”. It’s time to make those listing presentations and help your clients sell and buy their homes.

As with you, it’s time to get my butt back into gear as well. Here at RealCash, we are working to ensure that we continue to provide outstanding service and product to all of you. At present, we are looking to take advantage of new technologies to get cash into your hands even faster and more convenient! I’ll keep you updated on this new and exciting development!

In the meantime, if you are not already a satisfied client of RealCash then I haven’t done my job. Therefore, let me take this e-zine (email magazine) to tell you our story and how you can benefit.

Why commission advances and Why RealCash?

Why wait weeks – even months – to get paid? No other profession does! If all waivers have been signed you are able to get your commission the next day – or even sooner! Why does this benefit you? CASHFLOW! Pay for your bills, mortgage, kids school, and even your business marketing campaign. And guess what? You did not have to get into debt! And the amazing thing is the cost of obtaining an advance is tax deductible! Furthermore, I guarantee that our service will be the best in the industry. And I haven’t even mentioned our simple, low and affordable rates.

Now I know I’m tooting my own horn, so I’m going to end here. And some of our clients are going to talk to you instead. But before I leave you – Thank you. Thank you for reading this e-zine and for allowing RealCash to serve you and your financial needs. To reach me call toll-free at 1.800.265.2694 or 416.444.7790.

My name is Julie Cleaveley and I am a sales representative with Prudential Lifestyles Real Estate in Orillia. I have had a recent opportunity to deal with RealCash and have nothing but good things to say. The people on the phone were very friendly and helpful and my money was in my account by early the next business day and at less than half the cost of Agents Equity. If the need arises again and I need a cash advance I will most certainly deal with RealCash again. I recommended them to my partner who also used them and found them to be very helpful.

Thank You

Julie Cleaveley

I have used RealCash for more than ten years to smooth the cash flow of my real estate business. Not having to wait several months for commissions paid on closing is extremely convenient. I have always had excellent, “hassle-free” dealings with Tony Fragiskos here in Ottawa and have found the Toronto office to be very helpful and efficient when Tony is away. I can thoroughly recommend their program and, having compared it to others, I know that they are more than competitive in their pricing.

Helene Amyotte

“I have known Karim Kanji and his company – RealCash Bancorp Inc. – for the past couple of years. He deals with me in a very professional manner. I have no problem referring him to my agents. Furthermore, I would not hesitate referring RealCash to any of my associates with other Brokers and companies.”

Hamid Azizi

Hats off to Tony Fragiskos and his RealCash team! Ever since I have moved my team to Keller Williams they have provided a quick and seamless service – with a smile. The quality and speed of his communication with agents and with our administrative staff makes for a good experience all around any time we call on him.

Eric Cosgrove

Hi Karim:You are welcome.Just so you know, I did check out other sources 6 years ago and chose Real Cash. I intend to stay with your firm until I go to that horizontal box in the sky. It’s called loyalty.Sometimes when our cable service shuts down I call Rogers and the first thing I hear is “thank you for choosing Rogers.” The truth is I have no choice. When it comes to cash flow, I did and do have a choice and I don’t have to even think about when my deals close in order to balance things.Have a good weekend.

John Heys

“Advance received this am. You have provided an excellent level of service. I will have no hesitation in continuing to do business with RealCash or to recommend you to my colleagues.”

David Cormier
Sales Associate

“Good evening Karim…As always it is great to hear from you. When I was in Halifax, I built up quite a working relationship with your Company. I always appreciated the speedy, professional service that I received from you and your staff when I was in need of your help with commission advances. Rest assured that if I was in need of commission advances that I would certainly be calling on RealCash to take care of those needs.

Have a great day.”

Marlene Wright

“I appreciate doing business with you. Thanks to Joe for the hard work he does to accommodate us. I am fully satisfied with the services provided by your establishment. Thanks.”

Mubashar Dar


Dear Realtors!

Wow! Can you imagine? Summer is almost over! For many of you, summer is already over. The kids are back from summer camp and spending your money on new pencils and Tommy Hilfiger jeans. Even this morning it seemed a little bit cooler outside. In any event, I trust that all of you had a safe and fun summer. I hope you had a chance to spend some time with your friends and loved ones. That’s the beauty of this business: The free time we get as a result of working hard and making great commissions! It sure beats a desk job! 🙂

Well, today I’m also revving up to get back to work. The months of September and October will see RealCash taking to the road! For your information, here is where and when you can find me:

Wednesday September 13th at the HomeLife Agents Education & Marketing Symposium in Toronto, Ontario.

Thursday September 14th at the Halton Symposium and Trade Show (Hosted by the Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board) in Oakville, Ontario.

Thursday October 5th at the Realtors without Borders Conference and Trade Show (Hosted by the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington) in Hamilton, Ontario.

Wednesday October 25th at the Real Estate Technology and Trades Show for Ontario Real Estate Agents (Hosted by the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board) in Collingwood, Ontario.

I hope to meet many of you at these informative trade shows. And do remember, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at the number below or simply reply to this email. Or better yet, come and shake my hand at our booth sometime soon!

Have a wonderful Fall Season!


Karim Kanji
Client Services


RealCash Bancorp Inc.Canada’s largest, favourite and most affordable source of Commission Advances for the Real Estate Professional

No Gimmicks…Just Cash!

National Toll-Free: 1.800.265.2694

Plan to Succeed; don’t fail to plan.

Are you hot enough yet? I just had to ask that question. I trust you have been enjoying your summer so far. One more month to go and the kids will be back to school; traffic will be more congested; salespeople will be back to work….Wait a sec! Real Estate Salespeople? You bet! Most salespeople take the “summer off”. And rightly so. You all work very very hard during “the year”. And so you deserve some time off to enjoy the fruits of your labour. That’s one of the intrinsic benefits of the real estate business. Time and Money.

However, with the coming of the Fall Season we should not see the same old thing as before. What am I talking about? Someone once told me that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Sounds familiar? We hope that next year will be our year. We pray that interest rates will remain low. We bet that this will be our year. And what do we do about it? Nothing. At least 90% of us do nothing different than before. Except hope. However, one of the most powerful things we can do (according to Napoleon Hill’s bestseller, Think and Grow Rich) is to make a definite plan of action based on our goals.

Do you have a plan? Do you want a plan? How do you make a plan? I hope that the following article (reprinted by permission of the author) will help all of us to have a better tomorrow than we had today. And remember, if things get a little tight, as they sometimes do when you’re stretching for your next goal, give me a call at 1.800.265.2694 or 416.444.7790. I’m here to help.


Karim Kanji
Client Relations
RealCash Bancorp Inc.

Agents should measure success by completion of daily tasks

By: Bernice Ross

Are you ready to learn the five words that can forever alter your success in the real estate business? The phrase, “Let’s make a list now” may be the most important strategy for both listing success as well as the key to helping you be more effective in every aspect of your real estate career.

Since the early 1990s, I’ve trained thousands of agents to open their listing presentations with the following phrase. “I would like to make a list now of all the things that you have enjoyed about living in this property.” As you listen, take notes on the sellers’ responses. When the seller pauses, ask, “What else can I add to my list now of all the things that you have enjoyed about living in your property?” If the sellers have trouble coming up with more than a few items, ask them about upgrades that they may have made, especially if some of those upgrades are not apparent when walking through the property. You can also ask about the neighbourhood or other items that may assist you with marketing and advertising. Writing down what the seller says sends a nonverbal message that what they have to say is extremely important. This forms a solid foundation for a lasting relationship. When sellers and buyers feel you have truly heard what matters to them, you build connection. This is the basis for a successful, sustainable business.

While these five words — “Let’s make a list now” — are important on listing presentations, they are even more important when it comes to how you judge the success or failure of your real estate career. If you judge your real estate success by the number of closed transactions or by how much money you make, you have set yourself up to lose on a regular basis. For example, if you closed 100 transactions in the last 12 months and worked 250 days, you “failed” on 150 days. Shifting how you evaluate your success can help you reap huge rewards for years to come.
When someone is confronting burnout or is coping with grief, psychologists recommend making a list of activities that you can check off. Burnout often results from being overwhelmed with a tremendous amount of work. Quite frankly, most of us could fill a 24-hour day with real estate activities with little or no effort. The challenge in this case is that there is always something else to do. As a result, we often suffer from fatigue. We complain that we don’t have enough time and constantly fight stress. More importantly, we never feel a sense of completion. The trap here is that we are measuring success not by our daily activities, but by how often we cash a check. This is akin to taking a driving vacation across the country and only being concerned about getting to your destination. The real value of the trip is in what you encounter along the way. Shifting to focusing on what you need to do each day to complete the next leg of your journey can create profound differences in your level of success.

Many trainers suggest making a list of key activities or focusing on your “big rocks.” This approach requires you to outline the key activities that you must complete each day. Check off or draw a line through each activity as you complete it. This gives you a sense of how much you have accomplished. It also helps you to avoid becoming overwhelmed since you have identified what you need to do each day. Once you have completed the key activities for the day, you can go home or do something fun rather than continuing to grind at other less important activities on your to-do list. The one thing you should do before you head home, however, is to make your activity list for the following day. Once you finish writing out the items, prioritize them by what is most important. Brian Tracy in his book “Eat That Frog!” suggests that you take the biggest, ugliest “frog” from your activity list and put it at the top of what you will accomplish tomorrow. Always “eat that frog” (complete that activity) first. Again, when you complete all the activities on the list, you are done for the day. If something comes up that keeps you from completing those activities, move them to the top of the list for tomorrow.

Consequently, the most profound shift that you need to make in your business is “to make a list now” of the core activities that you must complete each day to keep your real estate career on course. Rather than focusing on the by-products of your business (i.e. transactions closed or commissions earned), focusing on activities completed on a daily basis lets you win every day. Transactions closed or commissions earned are only a partial snapshot of your success. Instead, it’s the daily activities that you complete that determine whether your real estate career will be a long-term success or failure.

Bernice Ross, co-owner of, has written a new book, “Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters,” available online. She can be reached at

“By Bernice L. Ross, CEO, copyright 2006″


RealCash Bancorp Inc.Canada’s largest, favourite and most affordable source of Commission Advances for the Real Estate Professional

No Gimmicks…Just Cash!

National Toll-Free: 1.800.265.2694

Mr. Housing Bubble? Hmmmm….

Summer has officially begun!

I hope you are enjoying my monthly emails. I trust they are informative and interesting.

Following this introduction is an article by Garth Turner who is the MP for Halton, just outside Toronto. You can read the original at

Luxury homes in Victoria are selling at a faster clip this year than last as local and out-of-town buyers seek out high-end properties. A climb in real estate prices (37 per cent in the last two years) is pushing more homes past that deluxe marker.

“Million-dollar home sales are climbing at a rate never before seen in major centres across the country,” says Michael Polzler, executive vice-president and regional director RE/MAX in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. “The Canadian love affair with real estate is far from over. If the market continues at this pace, existing sales records for all types of real estate, including upscale properties, will be shattered by year end.”

The most expensive home sold locally so far this year went for $8.4 million. The highest-priced home listed on the MLS is on Oak Bay waterfront with a $25-million price tag. Prices across the country continue to rise for everything from starter homes to posh mansions.

The Canadian Real Estate Association noted in mid-June the average price of a home in major cities topped $300,000 for the first time.

And the B.C. real estate market surpassed the $4 billion in sales for the first time.

A total of 11,338 homes, worth more than $4.52 billion, sold through the multiple listing service in May, said the B.C. Real Estate Association.

In Greater Victoria, the average price of a single-family house in May was $515,755 in May, while the median was $447,450. As prices rise, it is likely that RE/MAX will move its survey level to $1.5 million and more, said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president for RE/MAX in Western Canada.

Well, there ya go. Everybody’s doing it. Have you got your luxury house yet?

Re/Max is out there priming the housing pump, and doing damn well at it, considering the amount of ink the latest news release generated. In fact, we have now entered a new and terminal phase in a real estate market that is just about guaranteed to end it badly. Think Nortel. Now think house. Oh, maybe not to the same degree, of course – with a loss of 90% of market value – but just as much emotional carnage. You see, far less than 10% of Canadian investor net worth was in Nortel stock, while more than 80% of all family assets are now in real estate.

The above news story, of course, is ridiculous. It gives the impression that most houses are selling for vast sums, and being snapped up by voracious people inherently smarter than you. The reality is the average family income today is $54,000, and that family can afford mortgage payments of no more than $2,000 a month, or enough to support a $300,000 mortgage at 5.5% with a 25-year amortization. So, with a hefty 25% down payment, this family can live in a $400,000 house, but only after managing to save $100,000. By the way, this family would also be eating a lot of KD – maybe even going to the food bank – because their debt service ratio would be off the chart.

But, hey, everybody’s doing it. The average house price in Toronto (counting in zillions of cheapo suburban condos) is $366,000; in Victoria it is $515,000; and in Vancouver approaching $700,000. In fact, a news item widely heard a few weeks ago forecast average Van prices of $1.2 million by the time the 2010 Olympic games arrive.

My point is that when the biggest headlines are reserved for the price of houses, like they were for Nortel at $120 a share, you should take notice. The end game has begun.

What does this have to do with politics? Everything, of course. People with houses rising in value feel wealthier and are likely to vote for politicians and governments they perceive will leave the market alone to make them rich. People with houses falling in value are in a funk, especially when they may have bought at the top, mortgaged too much or have just gone and spent a chunk of their disappearing equity. They vote another way.

My theory is that within a year, the brew of rising interest rates, erosion of manufacturing jobs, a natural economic slowdown, the brake of rising energy costs and a wheels-coming-off US recession could seriously pierce the housing bubble enveloping us today. This will come despite all the hype of real estate gurus, and the criticism heaped upon me for saying so by those with a vested interest in house prices going up forever – which today is almost everyone. Best case scenario – I’m wrong. Real estate becomes completely unaffordable to the average family. Worst case – I’m right. The market corrects just as it did in the 1990-1994 period. Listings swamp demand and prices slump. The last buyers in, take a long, cold bath.

This kind of thing has happened before, but never with the stakes this high. Mortgage debt and house prices have spiked together, fed by the cheapest money in a generation. T here is now an entire population of buyers who know of prices doing only one thing. This is a market without history. Never good.

And while I am not an interventionist kind of guy, I fear the housing meltdown could be nationally paralyzing and politically disruptive. Strikes me a prudent government might want to consider trying to slow this baby down, so the inevitable train wreck is at least foreseen. How about:

(1) Slowly increasing the minimum down payment of 5%?

(2) Disallowing, or discouraging, interest-only mortgages?

(3) Immediately reviewing the new practice of extending 35-year amortizations, which some say are on the way to 50?

(4) Suspending for a period of a few years the ability of first-timers to dip into their RRSPs for down payments?

(5) Closely monitoring new players in the high-ratio mortgage insurance biz to make sure buyers are qualified?

(6) Duct-taping the mouths of Re/Max spokespeople?

Let’s talk a year from now, seeing if these ideas seem too radical then.

Food for thought, I’d say! Well, that’s all for now folks! Remember, if you are in need of cashflow, call me at 1.800.265.2694. RealCash continues to be the leader in commission advances for real estate professionals in Canada. Thanks to you.


Karim Kanji – Marketing & Sales




It’s here. There is no doubt about it. East Coast humidity, Stanley Cup finals (Go Oilers Go!), and Real Estate golf tournaments!

Golf. Real Estate. Summertime. They all go together like hand and glove. Over the years we have been fortunate to be invited to many golf tournaments across Southern Ontario. It seems that real estate professionals, mortgage brokers and commission advance guys love to golf. It’s a sport that demands the best and sometimes exposes the worst in all of us. Golf takes patience, accuracy, strength, goal setting and future thinking. However, golf also brings out the beast in many players. Colourful language and red faces sometimes can be seen in many golf courses around the country. Why? I think it’s because of the Tiger factor.

No. I’m not talking about Tiger Woods’ economic impact on society. I’m talking about the fact that many of us – because of Tiger – now watch golf. And it seems so easy! Putting!? How can that be so hard?! We all beleive that we can play as well as those professionals on TV. No wonder we lose patience at the first sand trap or pond. Admit it. We’re not as good.

Same thing goes for real estate. Buying and Selling a house? Why go to a real estate professional? How hard can it be walking through a home? Well, you and I know the benefits you bring to the whole transaction and process. I, for one, would never go through the process without a licensed real estate professional. Hey, it’s what you do for a living. The rest of us just know how to live in one.

Kinda like commission advances. Sure, there are other companies around. RealCash Bancorp Inc. is the only company that was started from scratch. RealCash wasn’t a greedy broker’s idea. RealCash was not even started by a mortgage company looking to further cash in on the hot housing market. RealCash was not even a banker’s idea! RealCash was created by a University of Windsor economics graduate named Joe who saw a need in the market – And Filled It. That was over 13 years ago. We are still in business and Joe still runs the ship. I beleive we are the most reliable, cost-effective and knowledgeable company in the country when it comes to commission advances for real estate professionals.

However, don’t take my word for it. Visit our website at See what our clients have to say about us. A wise man once said, “I can tell a lot about a person based on the company they keep.” I hope you’ll visit us and see how we can help you.

Now, if only I could persuade Tiger to help me with my long game….