A number of blogs appearing on this list already are part of the Sotheby’s family. The well-known international luxury realty network’s page features a great design decked out in its traditional colours of blue, grey and white. Along with the usual real estate news, financial advice and decorating tips, this highly responsive site includes interviews with high-end homeowners who discuss their decorating choices. These articles create an intimate portrait of some of Canada’s most highly coveted properties and are accompanied by great photos. The site comes in an English, French and Chinese versions and is connected socially through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and Google+.
Julie Kinnear and her team hope to "guide you home". Video is pervasive on Julie’s website. They host their own YouTube channel and have video guides for both buyers and sellers, while the delightful "Real Estate Lessons in Movies" section uses popular films to delve into the practical knowledge for anyone involved in the real estate world. This year, the site saw a lot of local content aimed at Toronto neighbourhoods, family life in the Six, and photo essays of vintage furniture stores and farmer markets. They also offer monthly contests with prizes and regularly post video testimonials. Unfortunately, the home page contains too much information and the whole user experience feels a bit overwhelming.
Point 2 Homes’ blog looks great and reads great, although we are not huge fans of the design it happens to work and the article layout feels right. It offers insight, analysis and stunning photos while covering markets all across the country. Unfortunately, the blog isn’t linked from the company’s main page. That’s a shame because the content here is top notch and deserves to be featured more prominently. This is something we stressed last year and have the need to do again as nothing has changed!
PSR Blog did a good job jumping from the end of our list to the top 15! Improved navigation and better social media connectivity are big pluses, but most importantly the content is updated more regularly and its quality stayed the same.
#15New in Homes
The Toronto Star-affiliated blog debuted in our list last year and we had one, just one, reservation - the main site. Although it is still the same unresponsive jumble, once you get down to the blog’s subdomain the design becomes much sleeker and easier to navigate. It’s hooked up to all the major social networks. Plus the content is very attractive. It mostly focuses on interior and design.
Jeff O'Leary, a novice in our annual list, cover all bases. From content rich blog to social media updates The Village Guru also vlogs! How does a buy realtor find the time? He does it from a car. Short tip-driven videos are a great way to keep up with ever changing on-line world. The web site has outdated design, but it performs well and the information is well-arranged.
Jay brings plenty of experience to the table with his blog, so all of your basic real estate needs are well met and expanded upon. Jay has also been delving into his passion for photography and history with regularly published neighbourhood photo essays. These serve as a guide to some of the most popular borroughs of Vancouver and Richmond. The easy to navigate site is well-connected to the big social media platforms, which are regularly updates.
The Greater Fool offers a comparable experience to anyone familiar with the average blog or WordPress layout. But the streamlined appearance helps to highlight Garth Turner’s writing. Garth is the best-selling author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics, and you can see why when you read his blog posts. This blog also played a pivotal role in his political career, after the Conservative Party accused the then-Tory MP of publishing confidential information, which led to his ouster from the party. He then crossed the floor to become a member of the Liberal caucus before eventually losing his seat in the 2008 federal election. Garth’s impressive resume is reflected in his writing, while his personal flair, sense of humour and casual tone make it easy for anyone to understand the complex issues he tackles in his articles.
The site has a nice flow to it plus frequently updated content. A weekly market update is a great tool for anyone looking at the Edmonton area. The site is run by realtors Sheldon Johnston and Sara MacLennan, who regularly update the blog and publish content to social media like Facebook and Twitter. What is missing is a dedicated 'Blog' button, but a stream of the most popular and most recent blogs is a good alternative.
And the list concludes just like it begins - with a new addition! The Justin Havre website is everything you want a website to be: responsive, mobile friendly, well designed, user experience friendly. Content is sorted in several categories and offers both insights and tips and tricks.