Why Do We Only Do Real Estate?


Verv Projects is a collective of individuals who have specialized in real estate marketing for many years. While our roots and backgrounds are diverse, the common thread that ties together our kick-ass team is the branding, marketing and selling of property. Our greatest feats have been in the areas of residential, rental, industrial, commercial and recreational real estate over the past 11 years.

Residing in a city with one of the hottest housing markets in the world, it’s no surprise that we wanted to join the “cool” kids and showcase our talents in the industry. In doing so, we’ve had the opportunity to create some unique and, in our opinion, downright sexy campaigns for some of the biggest local real estate influencers and largest players across Western Canada and the United States.

Let’s just say we don’t plan to start promoting the newest gluten-free cereal or the hottest local restaurant on the block. (Unless, of course, either of these could help our clients sell more units!) We eat, breathe and sleep real estate. It is what we are great at, and why we create exceptional value for those we work with. If you want to market your cereal, we’re probably not your go-to. But real estate? Go with the specialists. We got this.

We have worked in several different real estate markets over the years… the searing hot markets in which product is gone faster than you can list it, and the cooler markets in which sales occur at a much slower pace. No matter the circumstances, each has excited and challenged us. Each has provided yet another case study and increased our knowledge base working within the industry.

Real estate might be our focus, but part of what we love about this business is that it’s not just buildings we are marketing: these are people’s homes. Everybody needs a place to call home, and we are privileged to participate in helping home-seekers find the perfect place to hang their hats.

What’s the future of Verv? We will continue to make our mark on the world of real estate by creating exciting, engaging content and strategy that compels our clients and their customers alike. We’ll nimbly navigate the evolving digital landscape and ever-changing consumer behaviours. And of course, we will continue to feed our passion for real estate in varied, always fascinating markets. Alas, no gluten-free cereal!

Buildings That are Aware of People and Weather

“Intelligent” buildings are more efficient; they cut costs and use less energy in the long run as all systems begin to share data and adapt to factors and conditions. Sustainable infrastructure, meet the “Internet of Things”!

An intelligent building becomes a self-optimizing system. Tenants do not adapt to their new building, rather, it adapts to them. Understanding how residents use the interior space and measuring the weather outside helps the building system learn not only to react, but eventually, to anticipate. For instance, camera and motion sensor data can be connected and integrated so that heating/cooling systems can regulate temperatures when rooms are typically in use or even particularly crowded. Later, when new tenants with new habits move in, there is no need for reprogramming systems because they will automatically adapt.

The automatic regulation is based on predictions from data analysis, and benefits include reduced costs, comfortable residents, and a smaller carbon footprint.

For the details, visit GreenBiz.

The Marketing it Takes to Put a City on the Map

Ever been to Serena del Mar? Probably not, because it’s a Colombian city that hasn’t been built yet. Developers and masterplanners have come together with a vision to build a city neighbouring the old city of Cartegena, taking inspiration from the culture and heritage and integrating it playfully with modern architecture that honours nature and urban amenities (Much like Currie, just, you know, more tropical). The principles of social inclusion, environmental friendliness, and an enriched quality of life are woven through the plan. Chicago-based VSA Partners and Colombian consultancy Novus Civitas were challenged with defining a place that won’t be completed for at least 20 years.

The big idea? Dreams meet reality, shape the world around the land, and evolve alongside the earth.

The visual identity, inspired by the early vision of the project  is derived from “los morros”, a geographical feature of the land that includes the mountains and the ocean.

In Colombia, watercolour is a treasured art form so the logo often appears on a watercolour treated backdrop in application. The brand colour palette is both modern and indigenous to the region.

Check out the project video: https://youtu.be/PZmGOYfbdM4

Three Theories for Cooling the Housing Markets in Canada’s Hottest Cities

Toronto and Vancouver have markets perceived to be totally out of control, to the point of policy-makers calling “emergency” meetings to discuss the causes and strategies. How can the rules be adapted to cool things off? At Vancouver’s meeting, three ideas were proposed.

  1. Refine mortgage qualification – the mortgage payment:income ratio can be scaled up or down. Right now, maximum 40% of a buyer’s income can go to a mortgage payment. Decreasing this would result in fewer qualified mortgages.
  2. Increase the banks’ capital requirements – if banks are required to keep higher reserves, naturally, they will increase interest rates and/or tense up their underwriting guidelines to protect themselves against buyers defaulting on their loans. If it is more expensive to loan, banks will have less incentive to do so.
  3. Tax foreign buyers specifically – other countries including Hong Kong, Australia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Mexico apply specialized tax for non-permanent residents who buy local real estate. Economists think foreign investors trying to avoid taxation or parking cash in residential real estate drive up the prices in the hotter markets while homes remain vacant. Applying the tax could help alleviate the issue; how much this would actually help is hotly debated.

Source: Buzz Buzz Home

Seeking Construction Financing in the US? These 4 Trends Could Have an Effect

In 2015 in the USA, it was still easier to obtain a construction loan than back in 2011. Here are four trends that outline how lenders are beginning to be more cautious this year.

  1. Bank underwriting is tightening. Debt lenders run debt-coverage-ratio tests or  debt-yield tests to restrict proceeds for apartments. The for-sale market hasn’t seen quite the same stringency for condos, subdivisions, and townhomes; lenders are simply being more cautious in these markets.
  2. Banks have exhausted their construction allocations. Some lenders have a certain allocation for construction and have recently exhausted or nearly exhausted it. They need time to recover the funds from previous construction loans in order to move forward with new ones. Of course, no lender wants to advertise that they don’t have the money, because borrowers will simply go to the competition.
  3. There are new regulations. One such regulation is the High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) requiring lenders to prove that a borrower has 15% equity in a project at stabilization. Even when a project is a success, it is a difficult proposition because the as-stabilized value may exceed 15% cash equity in the deal. This means the bank will be out of compliance, which in turn means they will need to reserve more against the loan. The inability to put that money out costs the bank, a cost which they will eventually find a way to pass on to the borrower.
  4. Banks are increasingly concerned about submarkets. Open secret: some banks won’t lend in certain submarkets until the products are in the process of stabilizing at their pro-forma rents. The same lenders have no issue funding deals in the overall markets.

Knowing these issues and understanding the deal going in is critical for approval success. Read the case at GlobeSt.com