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Premier makes summit trip touting Alberta's corporate environment

The premier of Wild Rose Country wants to let foreign entrepreneurs know the province is open for business. Premier Jason Kenney recently attended the Trilateral Commission's North America Summit in Mexico City to tell the corporate world Alberta is a place in which they should consider investing. There are incentives the province has put into place, the premier says, that create an affable business environment such as job creation tax cuts.

Alberta also has plans to slice the corporate tax rate from 12 to 8% by 2022-23. creating a more business-friendly climate. Mexico is Alberta's third largest trading partner. Kenney pointed out how Alberta can contribute to energy security and global prosperity. He also targeted Alberta companies who have jumped ship and are doing business out of province to try to entice them back home.

Province looking for new real estate regulator amid audit report

The province is looking for a new real estate regulator. In fact, the Alberta government is primed to fire all board members who regulate the real estate industry provincially, citing dysfunction and infighting. The province is disbanding the board and appointing an interim administrator until a new board is formed. The minister responsible for Service Alberta said the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is rife with problems that have gone on for too long without possible solutions.

RECA was on the receiving end of an independent audit commissioned by the provincial government earlier in the year. Findings showed that the board had too great a focus on internal and administrative matters. The audit also concluded that the board hasn't been holding regular meetings and that little thought has been given to spending.

Company offers tools to help Calgarians to buy, sell real estate

Homebuyers and sellers in the Calgary area will now have the opportunity of getting the best price on their purchases. A Calgary-based company has come out with a product to help those searching for their next real estate deal to easily access data that may help them to get a fair price for their next homes. Information includes the last sale price of all Calgary residential properties. 

The company's founder says its mission is to help Calgarians to make the best decisions when it comes to keeping, selling or buying a home. Its aim, he adds, is to give those in the market free and instant real estate transparency by offering real estate analytics and market predictions to assist them in buying and selling property. Some of the information buyers and sellers are able to access includes estimates of daily prices, data regarding permits and transactions, growth rates in neighbourhoods and assessed price history.

Estate planning to prevent elder abuse situations

There are various tools which can be used to thwart potential elder abuse. During estate planning, Alberta residents can make decisions regarding their futures as they age while they still have the mental capacity to do so. Some wise things to do while a person is still mentally capable could include setting up joint bank accounts, trusts, paving the way for supported decision-making and co-decision-making. Doing these things could prevent potentially abusive situations for seniors.

Supported decision-making may be the right thing for those who have trouble hearing, communicating in English or French, or who otherwise just need a bit of help for a while. Co-decision-making is more geared for adults who have trouble making decisions on their own, but are likely to be able to do so with the help of another person. These people usually don't have a guardian or a personal directive.

Keys to negotiating in the corporate world

Wheeling and dealing in business goes on at every second. The corporate world is replete with billions of dollars changing hands every day. Negotiating these deals in Alberta and elsewhere takes some hefty business acumen and likely composure coupled with tact. 

When negotiating there are some prudent tips to keep in mind, one of which is to be mindful of what is said first and who is saying it. Experts say it is also important to ask questions and to appear curious about the business at hand. Finding out what the others want to get out of negotiations is half the battle. Pointing out what's in it for the other party may help negotiations to run more smoothly.

Avoiding mistakes in estate planning in Alberta

One of the biggest planning mistakes is not planning at all. All Alberta residents should give thought to estate planning and sooner is better. Life has a way of throwing curve balls and not having necessary documents in place should something unforeseen happen could make life even more grievous for family members. Another big mistake is believing a will is the only document that is needed in an estate plan.

There is more to an estate plan than a simple will. Other documents like a power of attorney and a health care directive should also be included. It's also a faux pas to believe that all estate plans follow a cookie-cutter recipe. The reality is an estate plan is as unique as the person writing it and so getting legal counsel to do so may be a wise idea. 

Are you thinking about renewing or refinancing your mortgage?

For some people, coming to Canada to start a franchise is a dream come true. And it’s a dream that comes with many benefits. Owning a franchise allows you to become a business owner with all the existing vendor relationships and resources of the brand, versus managing in a start-up environment.

What does it take to be a franchise owner? Can anybody do it? According to an article posted on the Canadian Franchise Association website, there are a couple of items you may want to check off before you become a franchise owner.

Fewer listings on the real estate market evening out conditions

The glut of homes for sale in Cow Town is easing, experts say. That's good news on the horizon for prospective real estate deals in general in Calgary. The market is starting to move again with sales up by about 7% in July as compared to the same time last year. According to the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), the uptick was more than likely due to a rosier employment picture, lower home prices and stable interest rates.

Fewer new listings on the market -- nearly 8% fewer than the same time last year -- also plays a role in more balanced market conditions, AREA says. It still continues to be a buyer's market even with depleted inventory. The areas -- along with Calgary -- which are most affected by fewer listings are Edmonton and central Alberta.

Safety app offered to Alberta real estate agents after assault

Buying or selling a home can be exciting. But for Alberta real estate salespeople and those elsewhere in the country, it can also be dangerous. Salespeople often work alone, most don't work set hours, and it can be particularly dangerous for women. After the recent sexual assault of a female Calgary real estate agent who was overseeing an open house, the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) is making a special safety app available to its members.

The emergency response app was created particularly for salespeople who are working alone while showing homes or attending open houses. Using the app won't increase AREA membership dues, and it allows the user to alert people they are in danger or to call emergency personnel to their location via GPS. Users will also be able use the app to view areas that may be sketchy or under threat of some sort.

Things looking up on the Calgary real estate front

Things are looking promising when it comes to the home front in Calgary. Although residential real estate sales aren't as brisk at they used to be, business is picking up in Cow Town, and it is expected to do so in the rest of the province as well. Showing particular promise are homes with a value of $500,000 or less.

The chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) says increased activity in Calgary is a sign that the market is starting to become more stable. Sales for homes with a value of $399,000 or less really started to take off, but pricier homes are still feeling the doldrums. There are fewer homes sitting on the market, and that adds to the positive news.


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