3 Tips for Making an Open Office More Productive

More and more firms are choosing to use the open office format in order to create productivity and improve collaboration among workers.  For workers unfamiliar with this format, it can be a big change from the traditional offices and cubicles of the past. A study by design firm Gensler found that only one in four workers are in the optimal workplace environment.

Here are some great ideas on how to make your open office space more productive and efficient for all your team members.

Top Commercial Real Estate Marketing Trends in 2016

In 2016, the commercial real estate market is expected to grow while demand strengthens. For that reason, it is extremely important that you stay ahead of the curve, especially in this digital age. The best way to accomplish this is by learning some of the more effective marketing ideas specific to the real estate market.

Well-Designed Website

Of all your digital marketing efforts, your website is the hub. According to the latest statistics, 80 percent of investors and tenants conduct searches for commercial real estate using the Internet. Therefore, your website is critical when it comes to brand visibility. With a well-designed website, the volume of traffic will increase and a greater number of visitors will convert to actual customers.

  • Responsiveness—Most importantly, make sure your website is designed for mobile users. Today, a greater number of people use mobile devices instead of computers for online searches. Therefore, be sure to optimize the site for all mobile platforms. That way, your brand and services are communicated effectively.

If you retire and move abroad, should you sell your home in Canada?


Guadalajara Urban Scene (uros ravbar/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

For Barbara and Alex Sgroi, the decision to sell their home in Canada and retire abroad wasn’t so much about leaving Canada as it was about finding their place in the sun.

“We were itching for a change, looking for an escape from winter,” Mrs. Sgroi says.

Friends of theirs had talked fondly of their experiences in Ajijic, a town of 11,000 in Mexico on the shores of Lake Chapala, near Guadalajara. After searching real estate websites, they stumbled upon an idyllic villa, complete with pool and palm trees. Two weeks later they’d bought the place.

“We chose Mexico because it was affordable and driveable,” Mrs. Sgroi says. “We could drive down with our dog and all our stuff packed in the car.”

Developer aims to expand retail in Guelph’s West End

Ten years after it did its last comprehensive review of Guelph’s commercial scene, city hall is gearing up to do another as it also considers a proposed expansion of the commercial floor-space limit for the west end’s main shopping area.

“I think it’s fair to say the retail landscape has changed in Guelph since 2006,” when the city’s last comprehensive commercial review was done, Coun. Cathy Downer said at Monday’s council meeting.

Senior development planned Lindsay Sulatycki responded that the city’s planning department is preparing to do another review soon.

Waterloo looking at new zoning rules to control density

Waterloo City Hall

Mathew McCarthy,Record file photo

WATERLOO — Proposed new zoning rules in Waterloo would more strictly control development in low density residential neighbourhoods.

Trevor Hawkins, manager of applications and implementation at the city, said the proposed rules give existing residents more certainty about the types of development they might see in their neighbourhoods.

“This way council will have a bit more control over where they could focus the more intense low density uses … and put them in specific areas,” he said.

Conflict between existing traditional residential neighbourhoods and new development has been a recurring issue in Waterloo as some residents and politicians push back against dense projects that seem out of place.

The little city that could: How Guelph got the lowest unemployment rate in Canada

linamarWhile much of the country is facing ever-increasing unemployment, there’s a little bright spot in southern Ontario. The small city of Guelph currently has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada, at 3.9 per cent, much less than the national rate of 7.3 per cent.

This isn’t new either – Guelph, with a regional population of roughly 140,000, has consistently enjoyed one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada over the past year.


Image Source: THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Stephen C. Host


Work may finally get underway on Guelph’s $2.1 million train station renovation

trainstationCity hall is hoping to finally start renovation work on the Guelph Central Train Station this spring, four years after opening the central bus and train station on Carden Street in May of 2012.

The city announced Friday that it was releasing a tender for a general contractor to start renovation work at the historic train station, which used to be owned by VIA Rail and is now owned by the city.

“The renovation to Guelph Central Station will improve our city’s intermodal transportation hub by creating a shared space for Guelph Transit, Greyhound Canada, GO Transit and VIA Rail services that’s accessible and convenient for all riders,” Mario Petricevic, the city’s general manager of facilities management, said in a news release.

Transit hub planned for downtown Kitchener, Ontario

transit-hubThe Region of Waterloo, which includes the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo in Southwestern Ontario, plans to build a $43 million dollar transit center to connect with the city’s new ION LRT line, currently under construction.

Council recently voted to proceed with a design-bid-build process, and to contact the provincial agency Infrastructure Ontario to assist with procurement. The cost includes the cost of transit infrastructure, procurement and parking. The Region is seeking funding from the provincial and/or federal governments before the project receives the green light.

The center will be located on the southeast quadrant of King Street (Kitchener-Waterloo’s main north-south street) and the former CN Toronto-London Guelph Subdivision. This line is currently used by VIA trains and two weekday GO Transit rush hour runs, which will soon be increased to four. Apart from the LRT, GO and VIA trains, Grand River transit buses, the local operator of city routes, will use the center.

NAI Global Ranked Fourth Among Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Brands

NAI Global - Lipsey Ranking

Guelph, ON: NAI Global, the world’s largest, most powerful network of owner-operated commercial real estate firms, earned the fourth spot in the 2016 Lipsey Survey of Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Brands. The survey was conducted among 100,000 commercial real estate professionals using a combination of ballot voting, phone interviews and focus groups to evaluate innovation, responsiveness and quality of service. NAI Global is the only commercial real estate network of independently owned and operated firms represented among the top five. NAI Commercial based in Canada is a Member of NAI Global, serving across Canada.

The survey is conducted by The Lipsey Company, a leading training and consulting firm specializing in the commercial real estate industry. The 2016 survey results can be found here: VIEW RESULTS


About NAI Global

NAI Global is the single largest, most powerful global network of owner-operated commercial real estate brokerage firms. NAI Global provides a full range of corporate real estate services, including brokerage and leasing, property and facilities management, real estate investment and capital market services, due diligence, global supply chain and logistics consulting and related advisory services. NAI Global Member firms, leaders in their local markets, are actively managed to work in unison and provide clients with exceptional solutions to their commercial real estate needs. Founded in 1978, today NAI Global has more than 375 offices strategically located throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific, with over 6,700 local market professionals, managing over 380 million square feet of property. Supported by the central resources of the NAI Global network, Member firms deliver market-leading services locally and combine their in-market strengths to form a powerful bond of insights and execution for clients with multi-market challenges