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Posts from the ‘Personal’ Category

Sooke Spirit Festival was a Success – Sailpast Video

This past Saturday saw the 2nd annual Sooke Spirit Festival which was a resounding success. What started as a small event in a snowstorm last year, grew into a well organized and well attended family affair this year.

I was driving the lead boat (the Coast Guard Auxiliary boat) in the sailpast, and managed to shoot a little bit of video to give you an idea what it looked like out there if you missed it. What a perfect night to be on the water. A little chilly, but the wind held off until after the sailpast, which was a big plus. There were lots of people on the boardwalk watching the dozen-plus decorated boats sparkle on the crystal-clear and calm evening on Sooke Harbour.

Check out the video I shot below. It’s mostly of the boats getting ready and of the beautiful harbour before sundown, as I was driving the boat during the actual sailpast. If anyone has any better video, shoot me an email and let me know and I’ll post it!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Social Media, Web Marketing, and SEO Training In Victoria BC [Video]

I’m pleased to announce that I will be teaching web marketing and social media training in Victoria, BC starting next month. Reachd.com has approached me to be their Victoria instructor. The 3-hour classes are taught in the afternoon, and are ideal for anyone in any small business who wants to learn how to capitalize on this growing trend. How can you effectively use social media and web marketing to grow your business? I can’t wait to show you how. The three courses that are happening next month are: Social Media Guided Tour ($149), Explode Your Growth With A Blog ($149), and Broadcast Your Message With Online Video ($249 – includes a video camera!). You can take all three courses for $399 – a savings of $149. Come out and learn something in December and be ahead of your competition in the new year!

The courses will also be offered in January, along with courses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google AdWords.

More information and registration at http://TimAyres.ca/reachd

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Midweek Humour – Hockey Fail [Video]

We all do what we do because we enjoy it and we’re good at it. Sometimes there are days when even when it seems you can do no wrong – you’ve nailed every phone call, email, sales opportunity or customer service goal; and then, out of nowhere, an instance of FAIL takes over.

To illustrate, here is a video of an amazing goal… And an equally amazing fail afterwards:

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Tim Ayres at NAR 2009 Conference San Diego Day 3 [Video]

I had a busy day at the convention today. I caught the last part of a session on social media, but I’m glad I missed most of it. It wasn’t a really good session – the presenters were unprepared, and didn’t really seem to understand social media. For example, when talking about blogging, they didn’t even mention platforms like WordPress or Blogger. There were much better social media sessions at the conference than this one. I also spent some more time on the trade show  floor and attended Tara Hunt’s presentation on Whuffie for Real Estate. Tara has some interesting ideas about social capital and how you can use it to grow your business. David Knox’s session on overcoming pricing objections was very entertaining and informative. I also met with the people from Obeo, a virtual tour and listing marketing company. They have an innovative and interesting product and you should check it out.

Check out the video below:

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Tim Ayres at NAR Conference 2009 San Diego – Day 1 – Social Media and Gender Differences [Video]

Day 1 of the NAR Convention in San Diego was very productive – I saw two sessions today and unfortunately was shut out of a third due to it being full. The Introduction to Social Media session was great. As a REALTOR® who puts himself out there online using social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, I was very pleased with the session. It was facilitated by three practicing agents, just like me, and they nailed it. Ginger Wilcox, Kelley Koehler, and Mariana Wagner were excellent – it was refreshing seeing a social media presentation by three working real estate professionals who actually, as they put it, do this to feed their kids.

Check out my video update from Day 1:

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Fall Photo Walk Along The Sooke Harbour Boardwalk

As I watched the sun rising over the back fence and into my home office, I was reminded why I love this season so much.  The crisp, cool air, a bright blue sky, and the golden hue of the morning sun on the colourful autumn leaves prompted me to bundle up and shoot a few photos on a walk along the spectacular Sooke Harbour boardwalk.

Parking the car at the lot on Murray Road, I walked up Murray towards Sooke Road to capture some of the leaves in the trees. I had noticed this the last sunny day we had and had meant to get back there to capture it. Unfortunately the wind over the past few days has pretty much stripped the trees, but they still look pretty on the ground.

Walking down the hill towards the Rotary Pier/boardwalk access, I snapped a few photos of the sun shining through the leaves, and reflecting off the harbour.

I love looking at this house whenever I head out on the boardwalk.

The pier and boardwalk are framed perfectly by the trees

Just because it isn’t summer doesn’t mean you can’t toss a trap in the water for crab. It was deserted on the often-busy pier, save for this couple.

There were lots of leaves left on the trees along the water. The harbour was so still, it was like a mirror, reflecting the trees. Gorgeous!

The harbour boardwalk is a real gem, we’re lucky to have it. It goes from the bottom of Murray Road all the way to Ed Macgregor Park, where it switch-backs gently across the slope offering easy access to and from the water.

I hope you enjoyed the photos! If you’d like to see the whole set, you can view it on Flickr.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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The 25 Random Things Meme

25

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve seen this one floating around the intertubes for a couple of weeks. I was actually beginning to think (worry?) it’d pass over me without getting tagged, but now I’ve been tagged thrice at least 5 times.

1. I was born in Vancouver General Hospital, and lived a pretty sheltered existence growing up in Tsawwassen – my Mom still lives in the house I grew up in.

2. I am a certified PADI scuba diving instructor; I’ve certified some 150-200 people how to take the plunge, mostly in the chilly (but beautiful) waters of British Columbia.

3. For three years, I worked on board cruise ships, teaching tourists how to snorkel and dive, and trying to teach them how to relax and enjoy their vacation instead of bitching and moaning about something.

4. Cruise ships made me hate people.

5. I’ve learned to like people again. Well, most people.

6. I used to swear one of my legs was significantly longer than the other, but never bothered to measure them to be sure.

7. I love running, which if you asked me about 5 years ago I’d have probably passed out just thinking about it

8. I plan to run my first 1/2 and full marathons this year.

9. I don’t get along well with bosses, never have, which is one of many reasons I know I’m in the right career.

10. I love dogs. I’d have a dozen if I could, but for now this one will do:

Kaia

Kaia

11. I am a trivia nerd, and my dream is to be on Jeopardy! some day.

12. I love to write (hence this blog), and would love to write a book just as soon as I figure out how to write one and what to write it about.

13. I have a small but very close group of friends from high school that I still hang around with. They’re like brothers to me.

14. I thought I knew what real love was until I fell in love with my fiancee Marg. I’ve never felt so completely fulfilled and apparently, I’m completely unashamed to share it with the world.

15. I’ve always been an emotional person and I don’t know how I’m going to hold it together on my wedding day.

16. I’m fascinated by technology and social media.

17. I love to travel, and would love to see even more of the world than I did while working on cruise ships. Marg hasn’t been anywhere, and I love showing her new places!

18. I love beer! Fresh, tasty, craft-brewed beer. I have all the equipment to brew my own, too, which I really should do more of. The Great Canadian Beer Festival here in Victoria is one of my favourite events of the year.

19. I drink a lot of coffee in the morning.

20. I love to be near the ocean, which is one of the reasons I moved to the Island.

21. If I had a boat, I’d be fishing on it at least once a week.

22. I consider myself a social person, but I also value peace and quiet, which is another reason I love where I live.

23. At one time or another growing up, I wanted to be: a fireman (what kid didn’t?), police officer, astronaut, hockey player, chef, scientist (no specific -ologist, just a scientist), lawyer, artist.

24. I love movies with great dialogue. Examples: High Fidelity (or most John Cusack films for that matter); Clerks; Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Glengarry, Glen Ross.

25. I took way longer than I should have to write this.

Consider yourself tagged, if you’ve not already done this.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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BC and Vancouver Island Recessions, Potholes, Flooding, Gas Prices, And Other Things Amiss

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What the hell? I leave the Island for 10 days and it falls apart on me?

I got back on late Sunday night from a week in Mexico to attend my cousin’s wedding and generally unplug from the world for awhile. On that note, an all-inclusive resort with 40 friends and family and really expensive internet connections is a great stress reliever. Before that I spent a couple days on the mainland with (different) friends and (same) family to ring in the new year (kinda lame) and go skating at Richmond’s fabulous new Olympic Speedskating Oval (totally sweet).

flood

So, being unplugged for a week (well, that and not being geographically co-located with the weather system) caused me to miss most of the weather chaos. It would suck to live in Port Renfrew about now, what with the main highway being washed out and all. Sooke Road (aka Provincial Highway 14), for those not in the know, is a complete disaster all the way along. Sooke Potholes no longer refers to the swimming hole on the Sooke River, but I bet there are some on the road big enough to swim in. I managed to ruin a perfectly good rim and tire on my car by hitting a huge one on Tuesday evening. Mainroad Contracting is going to get a nice letter.

pothole1

Tonight, the kind folks from the Provincial Emergency Program were at the Sooke Council Chambers to offer information and applications to residents who suffered uninsured damage to their homes during 6-8 January, 2009.

gas_prices

Can somebody please explain to me why gas prices have increased by $0.15 while oil prices have decreased to below $40/bbl again? Somebody is gouging, I don’t care what they say.

Last night I attended, with the other directors of the Victoria Real Estate Board, the Canadian Home Builders Association Crystal Ball event, which featured several economists and our Board President, Chris Markham, giving their outlook on the economy and the housing markets for 2009. It was a good event, but obviously a heavy topic. I can’t imagine too many home builders that are thrilled about the recent slowdown in real estate sales.

Über-pessimist economist David Hobden of Central 1 Credit Union gave a grim forecast for 2009 (and 2010 somewhat), stating that the Island and Coast region are already in recession, and will remain so. He forecasts housing value to drop by 10 per cent in 2009. Hobden appeared to want to be anywhere but in that room last night, and his body language screamed doom, gloom, and defeat – it was painful to watch.

Jock Finlayson, BC Business Council executive vice president of policy was slightly more optimistic, and a much better speaker. He delivered his not-exactly-rosy forecast with levity and looked as if he enjoyed informing the room, which he had laughing on many occasions – and his visuals were way easier to read and understand. Finlayson explained that 2009 will be a difficult year, but by mid-year, credit conditions that are slowing the business cycle should improve, along with the U.S. economy, and 2010 should be a much better year. He forecasts housing starts (new construction) to be down by 40 or 50 per cent. Finlayson did a great job of explaining where all this mess came from and how Canada is better positioned to spend its way out of this recession via deficit budgets. Another positive point came in the fact that job losses will not likely be as sharp as in previous recessions because the demographics of recent years (families having fewer children and later in life, and people nearing retirement) will keep heavy losses in check – I’m sure you realize how tight labour markets have been up until a few months ago.

Victoria Real Estate Board 2009 President Chris Markham explained that while sales are slowing, it’s hard to compare 2008 to 2007 because it was an exceptionally strong year. This was emphasized by CMHC market analyst Travis Archibald showing that 2008 sales were actually very close to the 15-year average. The same goes for housing starts. They fell by a large percentage in 2008 over 2007, but are in-line with the historical averages. CMHC will be releasing its full outlook next month.

I think that Vancouver Island, and in particular, Victoria will fare better than the rest of the province, as we have a diversified economy, and stable major employers such as government and military. As for housing, it’s opportunity time out there. Buyers have their choice of many properties, and many would-be first-time buyers from the last few years, priced out by the rapidly increasing prices, will be looking at re-entering the hunt.

So, all in all, maybe the Island isn’t falling apart exactly, and I’m glad to be back. I’m optimistic about 2009, and we’re all in this together, so you might as well be optimistic too.

It’s all you can do.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Coast Guard Auxiliary Training Facility Burglarized

ccga_plogo

TWICE.

As I was trying to sort out a ride to the Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 37 – Sooke Christmas party on Saturday night, I found out that our building on MacMillan Road down Whiffen Spit had been broken into some time between Wednesday, December 17th and Saturday the 20th. I drove down to help our Fearless Leader, George Holmes board the place up and secure what was left to secure.

It turns out that the place was actually broken into sometime last weekend, but no one from the Sooke RCMP told us! The thieves returned this week and broke in again, kicking in the door to our equipment room and cutting a heavy lock on a storage cabinet to steal our laptop and LCD projector.

First, if we’d known our building had been targeted, we would have been able to go and secure it, instead of leaving it for the lowlifes to take advantage of again. RCMP Fail.

Second, we are a VOLUNTEER MARINE RESCUE organization. We help boaters in distress and occasionally SAVE LIVES. What kind of lowlife, loser scum breaks into a lifesaving organization and steals from them? Our unit receives very little funding from any form of government; the bulk of our expenses are paid for through donations, and that equipment you are now enjoying was used to train new members to keep them and the boating public safe at sea. You’re probably the same type of a-hole who knocks over the Salvation Army kettles or steals from the food bank.

So far as we can tell, the only things missing right now are our LCD projector, our laptop computer, and about $100 cash, but the place is a mess and we haven’t had a chance to clean it up yet.

By the way, the laptop in question is a Toshiba Satellite A100 Model #:  PSAANC – VA305C Serial # 27198710Q – if you see it out there on UsedVictoria or Craigslist, I’d love to have a story to tell about how the Internet busted these lowlifes. If anyone knows how to recover a laptop via its MAC address, I have that too, contact me please.

If you’re interested in volunteering with us, let me know; we’re always on the lookout for new members.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Just Saying Hi On My Way To Westshore MLS Tour [VIDEO]

It’s been a while since I was on video! I went to the West Shore MLS tour in Colwood and Langford today and just thought I’d say hi to you through the video. I had one of my listings on the tour this week and got to see 10 other really nice places in Langford and Colwood. I hope you’ll enjoy the video!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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