Less chocolate?. More exercise!. More reading!. More efficient!. WELCOME TO 2018!! We all make our commitments to change of some type.

As technology moves forward, our team also changes our approach. This year we are trying out a new advertising medium for our homes for sale as well as our services. When we discovered a forum of captive observers and a suitable tool to use to promote with… we jumped at it. In physiotherapy clinics and some med clinics across the city our listings and services are being promoted to bored people sitting staring at walls!

We worked to develop a message that would be eye catching and hold a viewer’s attention. More importantly, it should prompt them to want to know more. We are finding that captions are key. People tend to zero in on catchy captions and they hold them with a longer attention-span. We mix some of our amazing video clips with our drone shots and photography. It is brilliant!

The great thing is that we can have different video ads playing in different parts of the city. For example, we feel that our 4 Brookbend Crescent property is most attractive to a family currently living in the core of the city that wants a larger home with privacy yet with a central location. Therefore…it is being played in those parts of town. We love being able to customize.

So….less chocolate…more exercise…more reading..more efficient AND with a new and improved promotion method…2018 is going to be a great year!!

Happy New Year!

 What Makes Us Different: Real Estate Technology

I think that this is THE absolute most fun part of the business (other than meeting so many great and interesting people from so many walks of life). My family, who are all techies and love toys, love introducing me to new and interesting tools. Plus our clients, many…okay…the majority of whom are techies….love sharing new finds with us. Please continue to do so!

It is not only the toys such as hardware, cameras, phones and accessories that better enable us to help our clients in this business. It is also the software/apps. We need to assess new tools when they appear on the scene as to their effectiveness…their accessibility.

We were one of the first in the city to:

  • Use drones for real estate
  • Use professional photographers (18 years ago!!)
  • Use videos for every listing promotion
  • Do walk-thru videos, describing each house
  • Have mobile-friendly websites
  • Have added-captions on house videos to up the SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Add design tools on listing promotion pages allowing viewer to redesign a kitchen
  • Use a stager for our homes (started 17 years ago)
  • Use a CRM system/software/suite that allows us to share each of our listing marketing activities with our vendors
  • Use signage throughout a listing highlighting the house’s features
  • Write feature sheets with information versus verbose descriptive adjectives
  • Start emailing feature sheets to agents prior to a showing
  • Implement a multiple-offer email process
  • Include all the above services in our commission

And then there were a few that went by the wayside:

  • QR Codes
  • Prezi on our website
  • Printed invitations to agents inviting them to and Agent Open House
  • Open houses on every house
  • Long descriptive paragraphs on feature sheets that NO ONE except the vendor would read.

I know that there are more AND some from the top will definitely move to the bottom list. That is again, part of the fun, assessing and being willing to change.

2018 Evans Team Desk Calendars

Our 2018 desk calendars are in stock and yours if you would like one. We decided this year, with the importance of taking care of the environment and focusing on going paperless, that we would not mail them out unless one was requested. We decided to “GO GREEN” this year not only this way but by limiting all paperwork and always using e-signature when possible.

Please let us know if you would like one of our 2018 desk calendars and we will absolutely send you one right away…it will be in the mail that day!

2018 Upcoming Events

As always, we have discussed at length our upcoming client events for 2018. This is a part of our business that we love and enjoy so much…we love to reconnect with clients and friends from past transactions as well as those that we will work with in the upcoming years. We have a variety of events for all interests plus those to give you tips on how to care for your home, renovations and more.

This year we are looking at the following:

  • Tasting Ottawa Events – where we attend great restaurants throughout the city and Carole negotiates a tasting menu, a free appetizer or amuse bouche plus more!
  • Home Concerts – a favourite of our clients and supporters, Carole will be hosting home concerts again this year including The Fugitives in February and Sarah Burton in May.
  • Pot Planting – our annual pot planting evening where you can create the most beautiful spring planters while enjoying wine and snacks!
  • Grace in the Kitchen – another VERY popular event is our annual Private Shopping Event with Grace in the Kitchen. Discounts, free samples, delicious wine and a private shopping experience in November to get all of your Christmas shopping done.
  • Wreath Night – our annual wreath night with Carp Garden Centre where you will create the most beautiful Christmas wreaths while enjoying wine and snacks! We promise not to book it on a Sens hockey night!

We will hopefully have a few surprise events up our sleeves this year so stay tuned to the blog, the event pages for Tasting Ottawa and Discovering Ottawa and Ottawa Music Scene as well as Facebook for all the information and be sure to sign up quickly as most events fill up quite fast.

Recipe of the Month: Scallion Pancakes with Beef & Garlicky Bok Choy

with Soy Dipping Sauce

This is a fantastic recipe for a dinner party! I found it in the holiday issue of LCBO’s Food & Drink but just got around to preparing it in the New Year. It’s an affordable, easy way to make a meal that looks like it is over the top fancy and creative. Don’t get me wrong…there are quite a few steps and since I prepared it all at once it took some time and made a bit of a mess. BUT you are able to do most of the steps a day or two before making it a great dinner to pull together for guests on the day of your event. This serves 6 to 8.


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp vegetable oil for cooking


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  • 1 bunch baby bok choy (you could also use Chinese broccoli or broccolini)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 head garlic, chopped


  • 2 to 3 sirloin steaks (I used rib eye because that is a cut I prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Whirl flour with salt in a food processor and with the motor running slowly pour in the water. Mix until water is added and you can tell the mixture is coming together into a dough. Add onions and whirl until just mixed and turn onto a generously floured surface. Roll into two even balls and shape each into a disc and wrap tightly in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour before proceeding OR refrigerate up to 1 day and make ahead.

Preparing the sauce is easy. Simply mix all ingredient together with a fork or whisk and refrigerate. This sauce will keep well, covered, for up to a week.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and then add the bok choy/greens to the pot for a minute or two just to blanch. Remove and put them in a bowl of ice water and drain. Dry the greens. If making ahead, the greens will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to a day.

Grilled Black Angus Steak Ribeye and fork and knife on meat cutting board on dark wooden background

An hour before serving ensure the steaks are out of the fridge and coming to room temperature. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper.

To prepare the pancakes after your dough has rested for at least one hour cut each disc into three and shape into thin panckaes on a floured surface. Stack the pancakes between layers of parchment paper and heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Cook one pancake at a time until golden, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining pancakes, adding more oil as needed. Keep warm in the oven and cut each into 6 wedges to serve.

For steak, heat oil in a large grill or frying pan (I used a cast iron pan) over medium high heat. When oil is shimmering add steak and cook until seared and medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Steak may need to be cooked in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Let rest for 15 minutes and then thinly slice to serve.

The final step while your steak is resting is to saute the greens. Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat. Add garlic and then greens and saute until warm and coated, about 3 minutes.

Serve sliced steak, pancakes and greens with sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

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