The real estate market in Nova Scotia has slowed so much that some realtors are turning to very non-traditional methods to sell homes.
The Jill Hann Real Estate Experts team, a family trio of realtors at Royal LePage Atlantic, is using the Movember campaign as a tactic to draw attention to homes for sale in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
“It’s challenging for sellers to get offers on their properties right now because there’s so many offers for buyers,” said realtor Jill Hann. “I came up with this idea to do something for a good cause and give extra exposure to some of the properties we’re selling.”
The Halifax native is asking the bearded and unshaven alike to take a selfie in front of marked for sale signs and upload the photo to her Facebook page.
For each photo submission, Hann promises to donate two dollars to Prostate Cancer Canada. As a bonus, everyone that participates in the contest will be entered into a draw for a $100 cash prize at the end of the month.
Bill McMullin, the founder and CEO of ViewPoint Realty, says the current condition of the housing market in Nova Scotia makes it difficult to sell houses.
“Market conditions drive housing demand,” said McMullin. “And our conditions are certainly not indicative of a strong marketplace.”
He says oversupply, slow population growth, an aging population and the move to urbanization are some of the many factors contributing to the tepid housing market seen across the province.
Some real estate agents point to high levels of inventory as the main culprit of the slowdown in the HRM.
“It’s very simple economics – it’s supply and demand,” said McMullin. “There’s just too much supply and not enough demand. That’s why we have the situation we have.”
According to the latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association, there are 4,867 total listings in the HRM – a 43 per cent increase from the 3,392 listings in 2012. The average time on the market in the city is 103 days.
More than exposure
The women behind the tactic are after more than exposure. The team hopes to see the contest take off after losing their grandfather to prostate cancer four years ago.
“My biggest fear is that it’s going to be a small donation and not going to get big enough,” said Hann.
So far only seven photos are posted to the Facebook page – all from friends and family members.
Hann says the low number is most likely attributed to the location of her real estate signs. Out of the roughly 20 signs, only two are located in the city of Halifax – one on Henry Street and one on Connaught Avenue. The other signs can be found along highways 349 and 306.
Regardless of the turnout, the team plans to run the contest every year in recognition of their grandfather.
“We were really, really close with him,” said sister and partner Sara Hann. “I think he would get a good chuckle out of this.”