Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Just how big is Walmart?

 Read the yellow highlights at the end...OMG.. this should really boggle   
 your mind..                                                               
 the joke about the sign on the moon saying 'Walmart's coming soon" could  
 well be true!!!                                                            
 1.  At Wal-Mart,  Americans spend $36,000,000 every  hour of every day.   
 2. This works out to  $20,928 profit every minute!                         
 3. Wal-Mart  will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March    
 17th) than Target sells all  year.                                        
 4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home  Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco 
 +  K-Mart combined.                                                       
 5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6  million people and is the largest private        
 employer, and most can't speak  English.                                  
 6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.           
 7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger &  Safeway combined, keep in  
 mind they did this in only 15 years.                                      
 8. During this same period, 31 Supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.      
 9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the  world.       
 10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900  stores in the USA  of which 1,906 are Super
 Centers ; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 years ago.                     
 11. This  year, 7.2 billion different purchasing  experiences will occur  
 At a Wal-Mart store. (Earth's population is approximately  6.5 billion.)  
 12. 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart.              
 13.  The value of product for Wal-Mart passing through the port of San    
 Diego each year is a larger sum than 93% of ALL countries Gross National   
 Product  (GNP)  ... and that is only ONE port way that¹s how       
 Wal-Mart gets it's stuff.                                                 
 14.  Of the 1.6 million employees, only 1.2% make a living above the      
 poverty  level.                                                           
 15. Wal-Mart's head office is  located and centralized in Bentonville. Due to this fact, there are more millionaires per  square mile there than any 
 place on  Earth.                                                          
 16. The official U.S. Government position is that Wal-Mart's prices are no
 lower than anyone else's when compared to a typical  families weekly      
 purchases. That's the view of the statisticians at the Bureau Of Labor    
 Statistics (BLS) responsible for calculating the Consumer Price Index     
 17.  92% of everything Wal-Mart sells, comes from China .  Another 4%     
 comes from Chineseowned companies in the U.S. Or in  3rd world Countries. 
 18. Wal-Mart and  MOST large companies, take out life insurance on it's   
 employees, without their knowing.  If  an employee dies,  ALL the         
 insurance moneys go to the companies. I.e. An employee making $18,000 per year, dies, and the company might  make as much as $1 million. Most  often
 these moneys, coming from what is commonly  referred to as "Dead Peasant  
 Life Insurance Policies", is paid out to executives as bonuses.  (A common
 practice, unknown by the average consumer).                                
 19.  Wal-Mart now averages a "profit" (not sales) of  $36 billion per     
 20.  Let  Wal-Mart bail out Wall Street.  If not, consider shopping       
 someplace else.                                                           
 If we closed all the Wal-mart stores would China go bankrupt?????????     

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Looking to Sell

Make a Great First Impression on Buyers
Fall is always a busy time for buyers and sellers.  If you’re looking to sell your home this fall, here are some inexpensive things you can do to make a great first impression on buyers:    
  • Get rid of the clutter! Cleaning and de-cluttering always rank near the top of suggested home improvements for sellers. Start sorting your belongings and get rid of what you don’t need—or box it up and put it in storage. If it looks like your home can’t accommodate your belongings, buyers will believe it can’t accommodate theirs, either!
  • Rearrange your furniture to create easy walkways. Remove excess furniture to make rooms seems larger and more user friendly.
  • Remove photos. They personalize your space, but they may also make it more difficult for potential buyers to visualize themselves living in your home.
  • Make the space smell nice! Open windows, use air fresheners or bake cookies before showings.
  • Make sure everything is clean—floors, bathrooms, kitchen. Nothing turns off a buyer faster than grime.
  • Consider paint. Paint is an inexpensive way to freshen up both the interior and exterior of a home. Try to keep colors neutral.
  • Don’t forget curb appeal. Lawns should be cut, hedges should be trimmed and beds should be free of weeds. Plant some flowers to brighten the exterior and give it a warm feeling.
  • Start packing up clothes and linens to make closets look larger.
  • Open blinds and curtains to allow lots of natural light in, and turn on lights when buyers are expected.
  • Don’t forget the garage, it’s part of your home! Get rid of clutter and organize your tools, bikes, etc.

Constantine Isslamow | Broker of Record

CENTURY 21 United Realty Inc. Brokerage
387 George Street South, P.O. Box 178
Peterborough Ontario. K9J 6Y8
Direct Line: 705.743.4444 | Fax: 705-743.3702

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Peterborough Ranked 55th Best Places to LIve in Canada. 2012

Money Sense Magazine has release their report on Canada’s Best Places to live in 2012.  The report ranks 190 towns and cities in Canada using categories to compare the pros and cons of urban communities in Canada.
Peterborough ranked as the 55th for 2012 as the best place to live in Canada. Comparing our rankings in 2011 where Peterborough was ranked 38th and in 2010, Peterborough was ranked #17. 
I will discuss the criteria for 2012 below and the report does changed some if its 22 separate categories all having different weights given for the answer.  This does make it interesting and at the same time, it becomes a conversation piece as to why communities move up and down on the scale.

Categories and Points
WALK/BIKE TO WORK: Peterborough scored 10.15% ranked 35
7 points – This represents the percentage of people who walked or took their bike to work. Source: 2006 Statistics Canada reports.

WEATHER: Peterborough scored with 110 days of precipitation with 840.3 Mm/year and ranked 15th
 18 points – (6 for each : amount of precipitation, number of wet days, days below 0°C). Ideal volume of precipitation is considered to be 700 mm per year. Source: Environment Canada

AIR QUALITY: Ozone scored in at 27th, ranked 6th
2 points – One point for parts per million of ozone and one point for levels of suspended fine particulate matter, both of which are major components of smog. Source: Monitoring stations in or nearest to each city as reported by the National Air Pollution Surveillance Network.

POPULATION GROWTH: Peterborough +2.1%, ranked 110
 10 points – Results are based on the average Canadian population growth rate from 2006-2011 of 5.9% plus 2%. Higher growth rates create problems as cities struggle to provide services to growing populations. Lower growth rates means less opportunities. Cities with negative growth received 0 points. Source: 2011 Statistics Canada figures

UNEMPLOYMENT: Peterborough scored 7.3%, ranked 100th
10 points – 2011 data from Statistics Canada when provided and 2012 estimates derived from Canadian Demographics.

HOUSING:Time to buy in Peterborough was 3.40 years, ranked 122
 15 points – (7.5 for average house prices and 7.5 for time to buy a house) House price averages from reports and listings by MLS, Canadian Real Estate Association, and the Real Estate Boards of Toronto, Fraser Valley, Vancouver, Edmonton and Quebec. Time to buy was derived from average price divided by average 2012 estimated household income sourced from Canadian Demographics.

HOUSEHOLD INCOME:Peterborough Average House Price was $257,400, ranked 97th.
 4 points – Based on 2012 estimates. Source: Canadian Demographics.

DISCRETIONARY INCOME: Peterborough scored 27.75%, ranked 64
4 points – Discretionary household income as a percentage of total household income derived from 2012 estimates. Using a percentage figure adjusts for higher cost of living and tax factors. Source: Canadian Demographics.

NEW CARS: Peterborough scored 13.47, ranked 97
 4 points – 2009-2011 model year vehicles as a percent of total vehicles as per Canadian Demographics.

INCOME TAXES: Peterborough ranked 4th,
2 points – Cities ranked (lower is better) according to the rate of combined federal and provincial (or territorial) income tax paid on a single person income of $50,000. Source:

SALES TAXES: Peterborough ranked 4th
1 point – Cities ranked (lower is better) according to the rate of provincial or territorial sales tax.

CRIME: Severity Crime, Peterborough scored 84.0, ranked 100, Violent Crime rate, Peterborough scored 1,040, ranked 66.  Totoal Crime rank, 6.396, ranked 73.
5 points – Violent crime rates (2 points), total crime rates per 100,000 people (2 points) and crime severity rates (1 point) for 2010. (Lower is better in all three cases.) Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

DOCTORS: Doctors per 1,000, Peterborough scored 2.21, ranked 91st.
6 points – Number of general practice and specialist physicians per community and converted to doctors per 1,000 people. Source: Canadian Medical Association

HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: Peterborough scored 3.49%, ranked 54
4 points – Percentage of people in each city who are employed in health occupations. Source: 2006 Census

TRANSIT: Peterborough came in at 2.46%, ranked 86th
5 points – Based on the percentage of the workforce utilizing public transit. Source: 2006 Census

AMENITIES: Peterborough has 1 Hospital, 1 College and 1 University
 3 points – One point each for a hospital, university and college. Cities in a CMA area received credit if a particular institution was located anywhere in the CMA.

CULTURE: Peterborough scored 1.36% and was ranked 69th
Bonus points – A city could receive up to 5 points based on the percentage of people employed in arts, culture, recreation and sports. Source: 2006 Census
Best Places to Live 2012 displays cities’ rankings in each category and total rankings out of 190 cities, not points.

All data and calculations are on this downloadable spreadsheet.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Caution Raised in Rush to Lock In Mortgages

Lately, it’s hard to keep up with news reports of mortgage interest hikes. Canada’s major banks have raised longer-term mortgage rates twice in the past two weeks in anticipation of a rise in the Bank of Canada rate.

Should potential homebuyers be worried? In an April 14 article by the Canadian Press , CIBC economist Benjamin Tal questions how much the Bank of Canada rate can really rise over the next year, given the influence of the US Federal Reserve on Canadian interest rates. By most accounts, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke doesn’t appear to be keen on raising rates in the US, given their slow housing recovery.

Mortgage professionals are concerned that consumers might feel pressured by news of rising rates to lock in to mortgages with restrictive contracts. For example, a recent story in the Financial Post points out drawbacks of a mortgage offer by BMO that significantly undercuts current rates posted by other major banks.

CENTUM Canada warns panicked mortgage shoppers to take a deep breath – and take time to read the fine print on mortgage contracts. If you are an inexperienced negotiator, an independent mortgage broker can assist you in securing competitive rates. BMO does not work with outside mortgage professionals; however, most major lending institutions work with mortgage brokers at no cost to homebuyers.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Marketing Your Shopping Centre to Attract New Tenants and Sales

When it comes to retail shopping centre property performance, it is critical to optimise the tenancy mix and reduce the threat of vacancy. This means that you must market your shopping centre to new and potential tenants in the local area.

The landlord wants a stable cash flow and a lower vacancy profile. The marketing process for the property works well when you systemise the process of property marketing and set some performance indicators that you believe you should or can target.

Marketing to new and potential tenants can incorporate the following strategies:

    Selectively approach other tenants in competing properties and around the local area. Give them details of your shopping centre together with contact information should they wish to discuss leasing in the future. If you have any vacancies at the moment or coming up soon, then this information upcoming vacancy information can be provided to them by direct mail or e-mail each a few months.

    Keep in contact with the franchise groups and organisations that may be seeking alternative premises or premises in which they can expand the network. They will typically have a tenancy profile that suits their business needs. When contacting these groups for the first time, get a briefing on the ideal tenancy profile that they require.

    Within your tenancy mix you will have a number of tenants that are regarded as critical to the future of the property. These quality tenants should be encouraged to remain in occupancy by giving them the special offers of lease prior to the expiry of their existing lease documentation.

    If your property has anchor tenants around which the specialty tenants trade, ensure that the anchor tenants are suitably stable for the long term. Typically the lease for an anchor tenant will be for a longer lease period of 10 or 20 years. They may also have options for ongoing occupancy. Importantly all these dates must be checked and attractive so that the suitable early negotiation can occur if and when the time arises.

    Every retail shopping centre should encourage involvement with the local, community, charities, clubs and organisations. The mall or common area in the shopping centre can be adapted to community displays and stalls to encourage better customer visitation and sales

    The existing tenants within the shopping centre should be supported in their occupancy during the term of the lease. If they feel that the property is being poorly managed or neglected, it is likely that they will spread the word to the greater retail community surrounding; they are also likely to deter new tenants from occupation.

These simple facts are simple marketing ways to keep the property in line with the expectations of the tenants, customers, and landlord. A successful property will be achieved when this balance is maintained and optimised within a business plan of property performance.

If you want some more tips and ideas to help your commercial real estate agency and convert more opportunity into listings and commissions, you can get a free ebook of tips and tools at

John Highman is an experienced Commercial Real Estate Agent, International Speaker, and Sales Coach.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Inflation falls as gas and food prices drop.

OTTAWA—Inflation in Canada fell sharply last month to 2.3 per cent, as prices for most major items — from gasoline and food, to cars and clothing — plunged in December.

The 0.6 per cent decline both in the annual rate, and the actual decrease in consumer prices from the previous month, was among the steepest one-month decline reported by Statistics Canada since the summer of 2009, when the country was in recession.

Analysts had expected prices to cool in December due to Christmas season sales, but not by this much. The consensus was for a 0.4 per cent falloff.

But it was only the scale of the decrease that was surprising, not the trend. The Bank of Canada this week predicted annual inflation would fall to about 1.5 per cent by the second quarter of this year.

As expected, pump prices saw the steepest decline, with the year-over-year growth falling to 7.6 per cent from 13.5 per cent in November as the cost of filling up fell three per cent in one month.

“Gas prices have declined steadily on a monthly basis since June,” the federal statistical agency noted.

Other major items that go into the inflation index also fell in December. Food inflation dipped from 4.8 per cent in November to 4.4 per cent in December, although common staples such as meat, bread and fresh vegetables saw bigger increases.

Purchasing a car was also less expensive in December, by 2.3 per cent, as manufacturers continued to offer discounts, including on new 2012 modes, the agency said.

And clothing cost 5.1 per cent less last month, likely as a result of Christmas season sales, than it had in November.

Overall, the agency said prices declined in five of the eight major components it tracks, bringing the inflation rate for 2011 as a whole to 2.9 per cent, just within the Bank of Canada’s broad one-to-three per cent range. Still it was the highest average rate in several years.

The central bank’s core index, which excludes volatile items such as gas and some foods, dipped below the two-per-cent target to 1.9 per cent.

Items that saw a price increase from November included electricity, fresh vegetables and fruit, homeowner replacement costs and financial services, although the gains on average tended to be modest.

Regionally, prices rose at a slower rate in every province except Prince Edward Island last month. New Brunswick posted the highest annual rate of price inflation at 3.3 per cent, while British Columbia was the lowest, at 1.7 per cent.

Inflation picture in cities

Canada's national annual inflation rate was 2.3 per cent in December, Statistics Canada says. The agency also released rates for major cities, but cautioned that figures may fluctuate widely because they are based on small statistical samples (Previous month in brackets):

St. John's, N.L., 3.2 (3.9)

Charlottetown-Summerside, 2.7 (2.7)

Halifax, 2.5 (3.3)

Saint John, N.B., 3.2 (3.8)

Quebec, 2.5 (3.3)

Montreal, 2.2 (2.9)

Ottawa, 1.9 (2.5)

Toronto, 2.2 (2.6)

Thunder Bay, Ont., 2.0 (2.6)

Winnipeg, 2.6 (3.0)

Regina, 2.8 (3.1)

Saskatoon, 2.2 (2.6)

Edmonton, 2.9 (3.2)

Calgary, 2.8 (2.9)

Vancouver, 1.9 (2.3)

Victoria, 1.5 (2.1)

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