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Archive for March, 2011

Improving “Bounce Rates”

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

If you’ve visited my site and have found it lacking, I’d love to hear how I might improve it, just leave a comment below.

So you get a website, you start tracking its peformance and you find that some people are coming to your site and leaving or “bouncing”.

Abviously your website didn’t have what they were originally looking for and this could be caused by a number of things some of which you have direct control over and some you don’t.

So, let’s review some of the things you can do to decrease the “bounce rate” and increase the satisfaction level of the people visiting your site.

1.Content is king. As the search engines get more and more sophisticated with their algorithms the content of your site plays a bigger role. The search engine optimization companies or SEOs who would in essence force sites up the search rankings artificially using various tricks to out-smart the search engines are having to focus more on content. A site might get a lot of traffic but the bounce rates are higher because it is attracting attention from outside the site owner’s target audience. So the focus is now rightly being put on content and “copyrighting” is becoming the rage. This entails hiring someone to write copy for your website that will attract once more the search engines and increase a site’s rankings on the search results. 

2. If you are using Adwords or some form of paid advertising make sure it is specific and appeals to your target audience in your geographical zone. Using quotation marks around specific key word phrases as well as ensuring your locations selected are only those you serve.

3. The best traffic is from past & current clients or referrals from them, the bounce rate is much lower from these types of visitors, providing your site has what these people are looking for. If not ask them what it is miising and put that in.

4. This leaves the bulk of paid for advertising visitors with the highest bounce rate and the lowest conversion rates as the biggest reason your bounce rates are higher than what you’d like to see. These visitors are not likely to give you feedback as to what your site was missing and what you need to do to make it more satisfying to them but giving them a way to easily leave this information with you might be of some value.

Disclaimer – I am not a website traffic guru, I’m a REALTOR® in the greater Edmonton area and have jotted down some thoughts I have based on my own experience. That said, I’d love to hear what you have to say and learn from your comments and perhaps help others too.

If you’ve visited my site and have found it lacking, I’d love to hear how I might improve it, just leave a comment below.



Kevin Grenier


PS My current bounce rate is 35%

RBC’s Forecasts are Bright for Alberta

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

For more information contact me via

Waiting to Sell Your House Until the Market Goes Up? Rental Costing You Money? Looking at Selling at a Loss? Here are Some Options…

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

If your house is not worth what you owe, or the rent you are getting for it is not covering the expenses here are some options you might want to consider.


1. Stay put, continue living in the place until, if you’re an optimist, the market turns around.

2. Take on a roommate or two, lowering your cost of living. Did you kow that the landlord and tenant act doesn’t apply to home owners renting out a portion of their primary residence? This extra income can offset a shortfall and put you back into the black. Roommates come in all shapes and sizes so know what you’re ideal profile is and don’t settle. Establish the rules on the onset  including what are the common/shared areas. I don’t recommend doing this if you have to share your bathroom with a roommate, but that is my preference.

3. Rent out the place entirely. You can then use a portion of your rental income to help you qualify for your next home. Or, you can move into a more affordable rental and rent out your larger space to someone that needs all that room. This too can cut down your monthly net expenses.

4. Rent to Own – not for the faint of heart and may be better left to the professionals but worth mentioning. This tool is good providing it is directed at the correct tenant/future owner. Contact me if you’d like more information on how this works or professionals that specialize in this.

5. “We Buy Houses”, you’ve seen the signs, but did you know that these people buy homes at below market value sometimes as little as 60 cents on the dollar? Why would anyone want to sell their house for less than market value? This is an option for those that have left it too long and the bailiff is arriving the next morning to kick them out of their house. The “We Buy Houses” guy will buy the house and settle the debt if there is equity in the house letting the home owner walk away with his credit somewhat in tact and potentially more in equity than would have been the case if the house was foreclosed on. Some of these investor types will also help the home owner arrange a rent to own in a more affordable home. But, again, this tool should only be applied in those 11th hour scenarios.

6. Increase your amortization – if your amortization was orginally say 25 yrs and you’ve managed to pay it down due to the low interest rates of late to say 18 yrs. You may be able to go to your lender and ask them to increase your amortization to the maximum number of years without having to qualify. Say that number is 22 yrs, the monthly payments go down and your rental home may now cash flow or lower your cost of living. I’ve done this myself on my rental properties and it worked very well.

I hope that helps. If you have any questions on the details on the above or have other suggestions or simply want to leave a comment I encourage you to do so. Perhaps someone can use this information and turn their situation around from red to black.

Best Regards,


Kevin Grenier

Realty Executives Polaris


Top Alberta Schools – Find Out If Your Kids Are Going to the Best School in Your Area…

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

My better half stumbled upon this great school ranking site. We’re looking at moving from St. Albert to Edmonton and one of the biggest concerns is knowing where the best schools are.

I liked this site so much I decided to incorporate it into my website along with a list of all the educational institutions available to the greater Edmonton area.Use the link below and click on “School Report Cards’.

I hope you like it and please comment below, I’d love to hear what you have to say:


Best Regards,

Kevin Grenier

Realty Executives Polaris


PS Unfortunately the “School Report Cards” site doesn’t rank Junior HIgh Schools, if anyone knows of a good ranking site for them in the Edmonton area, let me know and I’ll incorporate it into my site too.

“The Informed Home Buyer/Seller” More on the Buying Process & Getting Pre-Approved

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Housing Affordability from RBC

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011



Housing Affordability


Over the past two years Canada has experienced a number of economic factors that have affected our housing market and caused a fair amount of volatility.  During that time we’ve experienced the global financial crisis, a major recession that eliminated 430,000 jobs across Canada, the introduction of HST in Ontario and B.C., the tightening of mortgage rules by the Federal government not once but twice, and the positive impact of significant cuts in interest rates.


Today in contrast, the Canadian economy is on a more solid footing and is expected to gather strength in 2011 which will boost both employment and family incomes.  While this good news would normally propel housing market activity higher, RBC anticipates that stimulus will be offset by the Bank of Canada raising interest rates by 1 percentage point this year and 1.5 percentage points next year. In addition, this past January 17th Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced a third round of rule changes to government-insured mortgages – including a decrease in the maximum amortization period from 35 to 30 years, effective in March – which is expected to dampen home buying activity slightly later this year.


Based on these factors, RBC expects the Canadian housing resale market to remain mostly flat this year and next with only minor increases in housing prices of 0.5% in 2011 and 1.3% in 2012 (see RBC Economics Research’s report Canadian home resale market outlook: moderation, moderation, moderation). While the upcoming changes to mortgage rules may boost activity somewhat prior to their introduction date, this would most likely bring forward home sales that otherwise would have happened later in the year.


What does this mean to you?


With interest rates soon to rise again and house prices relatively stable, now may be a good time if you are considering a home purchase to enter the market.  By taking advantage of still  exceptionally low interest rates you may be in a position to lock in lower mortgage payments than you will be able to a year or more from now. By meeting with an RBC Mortgage Specialist you can review the down payment and mortgage options available to help you get into a home sooner.






®Registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada

 Courtesy of:

Sheri Mitchell

Mobile Mortgage Specialist
RBC Royal Bank


Market Update from the Realtor’s Assocation of Edmonton – March 2nd, 2011

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The following is the monthly press release from the Realtor’s Association of Edmonton in its entirety. If you have any questions on this or would like further detailed statistics, information or analysis, contact me at

February Housing Prices mirror 2009 after increasing from January

Edmonton, March 2, 2011: It was 2009 all over again if the housing figures released by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton are any indication. Prices for all categories of residential property sold in February mirrored prices in the same month in 2009 after showing pricing gains from January this year.

Single family detached properties sold for $359,934 on average* in February; up 1% from January. The February price was down 3.1% from a year ago but close to the $349,810 price in February 2009. Condo prices followed the same pattern. At $230,911 on average, condos were up 4.5% from a month ago but down 0.65% year over year. In February 2009, condos sold for $229,685. The average price for a duplex/rowhouse in February was $303,440; up 2% from January but down 5.6% from a year ago. In 2009, the February price for this category was $288,379.

“Sales and prices in early 2010 were pushed up by the impending mortgage rate increases and qualification changes,” explained REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Chris Mooney. “Now that the market is stable, price levels have returned to the 2009 levels. However, the price increases for all housing types from January indicate the slow upward movement that local REALTORS® anticipated.”

The all-residential average price (including single family, condo, duplex, townhouse, mobile home and other residential housing types) was up three quarters of a percent from January but down 1.8% from a year ago. However, at $312,840 it matched the February 2009 price at $310,488.

REALTORS® listed 2,631 residential properties in February and sold a total of 1,044 properties. Current residential inventory is 6,389 up 13.4% from last month. The sales-to-listing ratio in February was 39% with days on market down from 67 to 58 days. “With the recent announcement by the Bank of Canada that interest rates are not being raised, consumers can have confidence in the strength of the local real estate market,” said Mooney. “Call a REALTOR® to begin your house search.”

– 30 –

Highlights of MLS® System activity

¹. Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses.
². Single Family Dwelling
³. The middle figure in a list of all sales prices

* Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual changes for a particular property, which may vary from house to house and area to area. Prior period figures have been adjusted to include late reported sales and cancellations and therefore reflect a more accurate view of the period than previously reported at month end.

March Preferred Client Update

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.