A new home for those who sell them
Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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A new home for those who sell them

The Felt Lab, a community-based technology hub located in the Quarry building at 140 King St. in St. Jacobs, will host a series of collaborative art workshops through the spring and summer run by Isabella Stefanescu of the Inter Arts Matrix.

Real estate is an investment and one that Ken Cameron, broker and owner of the Re/Max Solid Gold in Elmira, firmly believes in. Cameron has relocated his Elmira real estate office to the corner of Arthur and Church streets, buying the property and setting up a larger shop to have a greater impact on the community.

“We were operating out of leased space and what we had was more of a storefront with a maximum capacity of two agents. There was no privacy for the agent and their clients to meet and discuss confidential matters and I was really sort of hamstrung with respect to growing Re/Max in Elmira because we did not have space for them,” said Cameron.

For the last four years Cameron has been watching for the perfect opportunity to increase the company’s exposure and give the agents that work in the office a real professional location to work from.

The company has moved into the building that was long-time locale of Reichard’s  Dry Goods  – and most recently home to Inspiring Accents – renovating and redesigning the space to become more client friendly.

“When this location came available I thought it could turn into something good for me,” said Cameron. “I have a lot more space here than I need for my current five agents, but I expect within the next four or five years we will have 10 or 12 agents working here.”

Cameron said this type of real-estate office is something that Elmira needed and believes that Elmira is going to be the place to be in the next 10 years.

“I would not have invested in this if I did not think there will be a big future for real estate and development in Elmira. I wanted to be on the leading edge of it and I think we have positioned ourselves to be right where we need to be.”
The new location has seen some heavy foot traffic, especially when the offices opened in early January.

“We do get good walk in traffic at this location, but that has always been the case here in Elmira,” said broker Bert Martin, who works in the office. “We are right at street level and have a good exposure for people and it allows them to see who we are and what we are doing.”

Cameron has been in the real estate business for 27 years and has owned Re/Max Solid Gold for 12 years. Over the years he has experienced many ups and downs in the housing market. Unlike the global market over the last few years the recent recession did not affect business for the realtor.

“The recession did not seem to affect the real estate market across the region,” he said. “We have come through it just fine. My theory on it is that our market has always increased steadily, year over year, at four or five per cent in home values.”

The reported end of housing bubble is not something Cameron believes to be true.

“There may be some larger centers in Canada that may experience some pain down the road but I went through a real estate recession in the early 2000s and, over the course of three or four years, properties might have lost 10 per cent of their value but once the market turned around they basically got it all back.”

The real game changer for Cameron and his employees has been the online real estate market as more people turn to listing on their computers instead of walking into real estate offices. Before people arrive at the offices they already know what is available and are capable of viewing a property through photos and videos on real estate websites.

“Five or 10 years ago we may have got five or 10 per cent of our leads through the internet where now it is probably close to 60 per cent come directly from the internet,” said Cameron.

The new office space is 2,200 sq. ft. and offers the current five sale representatives their own offices, meeting rooms. There are plans to develop a conference room in the lower level of the building.

“For the agents that work here it offers them maximum exposure in town on one of the main four corners of the downtown area,” said Cameron. “It also gives them a more professional appearance to the public and when people come through the front door I hope they like what they see. We have tried to make it consumer friendly.”

The office is holding an open house on May 17 to create more exposure in the community. The grand opening will be held from 2-8 p.m., with everyone invited to stop by.

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