Heritage homes, Margaret Avenue bridge and spam. This is the Marshall Report

Heritage, is like nostalgia. It’s not like it used to be

Twelve property owners in Kitchener dodged the bullet and kept their properties off the heritage list last week. That’s a good thing. We don’t want some committee to control our individual property rights.

Although I live in an old neighbourhood, I am not a fan of “heritage homes”. I admit it is a shame when a century home is pulled down to make way for a cheap and boring looking condo, but it is a real pain in the ass dealing with committees and lefty pinkos who want to preserve something just because it is old.

New does not equal better, but neither does old.


A bridge too short

I didn’t realize how important the Margaret Avenue Bridge is until it was closed. Isn’t that always the way it is – you don’t miss something until it’s gone. And especially now. Weber and Victoria is closed for widening and Arhens is permanently closed due to the GoTrain. Getting north from this part of K-town has become a tricky manoeuvre.

First closed due to structural concerns (it was going to fall down), the bridge is now delayed because we want/need a bigger bridge, big enough for our future high speed rail trains to get under. Makes sense to me. Quit your complaining. This is a great chance, fortuitous some would say.



Spam a little less. It was a great week for my mailbox. All those people I don’t know, who had over the years added my email address to their online advertising list had to after the fact ask if it was ok. The new anti-spam law went into effect on July 1st and after a flood of “we need your consent to stay in touch” at the end of June emails and a few more in early July, the dam was built and he daily deluge of news I don’t need to know dried up.

I have a zero inbox policy. It’s tough.

It is nice now not having to hit delete quite so many times.

I used to sell advertising, so I get it. It’s a numbers game. Build out your list and some will become buyers eventually. It’s old school sales. Interruption marketing.

I read somewhere that email marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing. People actually check their email inbox several times a day. No so much with twitter, facebook, linked in and google+.


The scrapbook

A couple of years ago I started a Realtor scrapbook. It started as an outlet for my frustrations. I would write humorous (I think) things about other Realtors in it. Things like “she thinks she’s a man”, “born on third base and thinks he hit a home run”, “dumb and dumber”. But I also wrote about the different Realtor approaches to negotiations and any subtle and not so subtle things that I notice in my dealings with them. Things like, “does not respond to emails or phone calls”, “will do anything to double end”,“director type”, “enormous ego”, “paper tiger”, “sloppy paperwork” or “great attention to detail”.

Anyway, I had a deal recently that fell apart and because I keep a “Realtor scrapbook” I have to add this: “Acts like a four year old”.

The problem with real estate is other realtors.

Some agents never return your calls

Some agents do not respond to showing requests.

Some agents disappear as soon as the agreement is signed.

Some agents default to “no”.

And some agents are wonderful to work with. They truly do cooperate with an open dialogue.

Realtors have an interesting relationship with each other. On one hand, we all want the same thing – to help our clients achieve their goals. Real estate is set up in the spirit of cooperation with buyers and sellers and their agents all working towards getting deals done.

One the other hand agents are working protecting and advising their clients, trying to maximize their results of the transaction. This puts them in conflict with the other side.

It is the yin and the yang of the industry, harmony in conflict. And that’s why I’m keeping track.



I like CBC radio. I listen to it in the car when I’m driving around the region. I spend a lot of time in my car, between showing houses, visiting clients and running paperwork around.

I’ve been a fan of the CBC since the days of Peter Gwowski and Vickie Gabereau and today’s CBC has some great great shows. I actually think that the CBC has never had better broadcasting than it has today.

Of course having a local CBC radio station is a matter of pride and convenience too. No longer do we have to listen to the Toronto morning traffic reports. I don’t particularly care what’s happening in the Big T.O while I’m sipping my morning coffee.

I was sorry to hear that CBC Kitchener Waterloo morning show shut down it’s daily online live chat. When the station launched, I thought that was pretty cool and even participated.

If you listen to podcasts, there is a good one called Canadaland. Recently the host and his guest discussed the CBC and argued that it should close all of its stations and just become a content creator. It is not a bad idea.

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165 Duke Street East, Kitchener
165 Duke Street East, Kitchener 165 Duke Street East, Kitchener
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