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Helping Parents Make Difficult Moves

Sun, 26 Mar by Bryon Howard

It is never easy to watch loved ones grow old – especially when it is your own parents. The aging process invariably calls for one or more lifestyle changes and moves along the way. These moves are often fraught with a tremendous amount of emotion and anxiety. Not everyone is fortunate enough to age in place. When the time comes to make some tough decisions and real estate moves, it helps to have a trusted Realtor who understands the range of options available and can guide you and your parents toward the best possible living arrangement to accommodate your parent’s needs.

We often work with clients whose primary goal is to relocate their aging parents closer to their loved ones. In addition to selling the parental home, we try to focus on educating the entire family on the choices available to today’s seniors in the Calgary area. These choices involve everything from downtown apartments to secondary suites, to 55+ communities, assisted living and long-term care facilities.

Since Canadians can boast of one of the world’s longest life expectancies, the challenge of meeting the needs of a growing elder population is a major hot topic in today’s housing industry. It is difficult to navigate the multitude of choices available, but as professional Realtors, we are here to help. Many of us have already or will soon face the same difficult choices to be made with our own parents. When your parents start to slow down and need more help with everyday tasks, it may be time to sit down and talk as a family before the situation worsens. A professional Realtor can bring objectivity and clarity to a confusing and deeply emotional situation.

Although we all face common problems and tough choices, we start with the premise that every family is unique. While many elderly people remain fully-independent and simply want to downsize and simplify their lifestyle, others will require a higher level of monitoring and hands-on care. Transitioning to a new living arrangement requires respect and sensitivity as well as knowledge of the housing options and resources available. When your family decides that it may be time for Mom and Dad to make a move, take some of the stress out of a difficult situation. Resolve to work with a Realtor who you can trust to take care of the details involved in a major move while you take care of Mom and Dad.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Why Experience Matters

Sun, 12 Mar by Bryon Howard

Why Experience Matters

Do not make the mistake of placing your real estate affairs in the hands of an inexperienced agent. In red hot real estate markets, it seems that everyone wants to be a Realtor. After one rainy day of binge watching HGTV, people start to believe that anyone can flip a house and make a fortune. It all looks so easy on TV, but in reality, it is not. A successful career in real estate requires knowledge, hard work, formidable people skills and EXPERIENCE! Sure – we have all gone to school and earned our credentials, but the real training in this business comes on-the-job. It is the oldest way to learn and still the best.

As experienced Realtors and business people, we bring to the table everything we have learned through hundreds of unique transactions. Our clients today are the direct beneficiaries of our years developing a “feel” for real estate and fine-tuning our negotiating skills. We also bring along our network of proven professionals – appraisers, lending officers, contractors and home inspectors. We know who is good at their job and who is not, as well as who can be counted upon to move quickly when time is of the essence.

The HGTV fans can easily get the impression that real estate is just a fun exercise in matchmaking – nothing more than bringing buyers and sellers together and hoping for a match. In reality, there is so much more to a Realtor’s job. We know from experience how to make sure our sellers reap the highest and best price for their property – even when that involves looking them in the eye and advising that their property is not worth what they thought it was. We know from experience that we should introduce out buyers to a neighbourhood not on their wish list but worth investigating. And we know from experience how to whittle down a long list of home inspection deficiencies that leaves our client satisfied while getting the deal done.

Experienced Realtors tend to have more resources – including advertising funds, state-of-the art digital photography equipment and administrative support. Perhaps most importantly, experience breeds confidence – an essential tool of successful Realtors and all business professionals. If you do choose to work with an inexperienced agent, make sure he or she has the full backing of an experienced broker and team of professionals.

Experience is not the only factor when it comes to selecting a Realtor, but it certainly belongs at the top of the list. Many real estate transactions start out simple before taking some tricky turns. Make sure your Realtor has the experience needed to help keep your goals and dreams on track.

 

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Avoid Landlord Nightmares by Prescreening Tenants

Sun, 26 Feb by Bryon Howard

Avoid Landlord Nightmares by Pre-Screening Tenants

Even the best real estate investment strategy is doomed to failure without the presence of the most critical ingredient – qualified, reliable tenants.  Ask any landlord who has learned this lesson the hard way.  Problem tenants can wreak havoc at your property and stall your income stream.  The good news is that with proper prescreening to find the right tenants, you can avoid potential nightmares and the proverbial tenants from hell.

Follow these tips to minimize your chances of leasing to problem tenants:

Screen all Prospective Tenants – No Exceptions!

Screen EVERYONE interested in renting from you and make no exceptions!   I don’t care if your cousin’s best friend comes highly-recommended.  Take the time to conduct thorough and reliable background and credit checks on all tenant applicants.  Ask for references from current and past landlords.  Interview the prospects and find out why they are moving. A clever person may be able to fool you in one or more of these tests, but it is unlikely that they will pass all the tests if they are not a quality tenant.

Be Patient

Do not panic and lease to the first person who comes knocking on your door because you are anxious over the thought of a vacancy.  Remember that in the long-run, the expenses associated with problem tenants will far outweigh the cost of a short-term vacancy.  When preparing your property budget, set aside reserves to cover the potential cost of loss of rent while you search for the right tenant.

Learn How to Spot Red Flags with Prospective Tenants

In addition to the obvious red flags such as a low credit score, non-existent bank account and lack of references, beware of prospective tenants who wish to delay payment of their security deposit, move too frequently or are unwilling to cooperate with the tenant screening process.  Also, look out for tenants who appear to be breaking their current lease mid-term.  If they do that to other landlords, they will probably not hesitate to do the same thing to you.

Hire a Professional Property Manager

Think about retaining the services of a professional property manager – an individual or firm specializing in the management of residential rental property.  Leasing and managing real property is a time-consuming business that is best left in the hands of professionals who are already set up to handle tenant turnover and coordinate routine repair and maintenance issues.  These managers usually have their own websites to attract quality tenants and they maintain accounts with reliable vendors providing credit and background reports.  Many landlords are surprised to discover that the added cost of paying a property manager is balanced by increased income in the form of higher rents and lower repair and replacement costs owing to preventative maintenance that is performed on a regular basis.

In real estate, turnover costs money. The best tenants are the ones who stay in one place for a while and have reliable sources of income and a proven record of timely bill paying.  They respect the property of others as if it were their own.  A satisfied tenant who renews their lease will save you the expense of procuring a new tenant and preparing the property for a new tenancy.  Whether it is your first property or your fiftieth, do yourself a favour and take the time to prescreen and recruit the best possible tenants.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Does Your Realtor Have What It Takes?

Tue, 14 Feb by Bryon Howard

Does Your Realtor Have What It Takes

Successful Realtors are skilled at wearing multiple hats.  The “best of the best” are not only knowledgeable and experienced in the nuances of their market, but they also have good business sense, fine-tuned instincts and the ability to lead a team of professionals working on behalf of the buyer or seller.   They have the ability to utilize their knowledge and experience to solve problems.  When there is a hiccup in your pending transaction or a delay in financing, you need to know that the Realtor quarterbacking the deal will have the right set of skills and know-how to get everything back on track.

A good business person utilizes a proven system based on “best practices” and ensures that all professionals and staff under their wing do the same.  At the same time, they need to stay flexible and adapt to changes when needed. The real estate industry is always evolving, especially in a fast-paced market such as Calgary.  The digital age has revolutionized the way we do business. In order to best serve our clients, all Realtors need to stay on top of the latest tools and trends.

Successful business people invariably understand the value of teamwork and they surround themselves with talented, hard-working team players.    When choosing a Realtor to represent your interests, look for someone who can lead a team and is confident enough to surround themselves with proven winners.  Look for signs of a cooperative work environment where individual strengths and skills are nurtured and utilized – where everyone is working together toward a common goal.

Finally, in deciding if a Realtor has the leadership qualities and good business sense to get the job done, do not forget the importance of good instincts and the ability to read and handle all kinds of people.  No matter how many deals a Realtor has closed, there are always new twists, turns and unforeseen circumstances.  The ability to anticipate the unknown and adjust accordingly is another mark of a good leader.

When choosing a Realtor, look for the “best of the best” – proven winners with in-depth knowledge of the local market and digital marketing, as well as the ability to motivate people, lead a team of professionals and anticipate problems before they arise.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Moving Made Easy

Sun, 29 Jan by Bryon Howard

Woman with box moving, looking up

For many homebuyers and sellers, the prospect of packing up to move is the least enjoyable part of the process. While it certainly does involve a good deal of hard work, moving does not have to be so painful. Follow these simple tips to ensure a smooth, stress-free moving experience.

Get an early start. – It is never too early to start planning for the big move. Whether you are a seller preparing to list your property or a buyer looking to upsize, downsize or relocate, the time to start packing is when you first decide to make a move. Seize the opportunity and begin by decluttering and disposing of items you have not used in years. Consider yard sales and charitable donations as ways to lighten your load as you move forward to the next exciting chapter in your life. Next, focus on packing non-essential items that you do not need every day such as books, photo albums, seasonal decorations, fine china and collectibles. Aim to have the bulk of your belongings wrapped, boxed and ready to go well in advance of moving day.

Keep moving supplies handy. – There are websites that can help you estimate the number of boxes you will need along with rolls of masking tape, bubble wrap and markers for labeling contents. Order your supplies in bulk and remember to label boxes by room and contents. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you will remember what is in each box. You will not!

Stay away from oversized boxes. – Unless you a professional weight lifter, steer away from oversized boxes that are cumbersome to lift and often end up breaking under the weight of their contents. Stick to small and medium sized boxes and reserve a few large ones for lightweight pillows and comforters. Your back will thank you for this wise decision.

Invite friends and family to help. – Who says moving can’t be fun? Chances are you have helped someone move over the years. Give your friends and family an opportunity to return the favour. Crank up some music, supply food and drinks and enjoy the company of your favourite people as you pack your belongings.

Buying and selling property and uprooting your life to a new home can be a complicated affair. There will be countless dates and tasks to monitor and coordinate. On the business front, let a trusted Realtor guide you through the process and keep the stress meter as low as possible. On the home front, stay organized and follow these tips to stay on track for a smooth move.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Five Reasons to Hire a Realtor

Sun, 15 Jan by Bryon Howard

Forget what you think you may have learned from watching HGTV.  There is nothing simple or routine about most real estate transactions.  Almost every home sale or purchase is accompanied by some complication that requires the knowledge, guidance and oversight of a trained, experienced professional.  So, before you consider going the FSBO route, consider these five top reasons for hiring a Realtor.

Realtors have access to all sectors of the local MLS data. – The general public can only access a small portion of the MLS information that is available to licensed Realtors who subscribe to the local MLS service.  Realtors, on the other hand, can view current and historical sales information and comparable sales data to measure market trends. This information is critical when it comes to pricing your home to sell for top dollar and finding the best home for you in the right neighbourhood.

It takes time to sell a house – lots of time. – Be honest.  Do you really have the time it takes to conduct open houses and arrange for showings on short notice?  Interested buyers will be put off if they cannot visit a home when it is convenient for them.  Today’s homes are marketed across multiple media platforms.  In order to compete with other buyers and sellers, you will need to utilize all available forums.  A professional Realtor is familiar with the process and prepared to market your home in the most efficient and effective manner.

Selling real property requires the services of a trained real estate professional. – Calgary is a volatile, fast-moving market.   Sometimes it seems that the rules and regulations governing our industry change as quickly as the market sometimes swings.  The paperwork alone is enough to drown a layman without proper training.  Think twice before treating the sale and purchase of your home – your most valuable asset – as a DIY project.  You would not try to take apart the engine on your new sports car without any mechanical training, would you?  Treat your home as the valuable asset it is and hire a professional to run the show.

It is very difficult to represent yourself. – The best negotiators are able to maintain complete objectivity at the bargaining table.  It is almost impossible to remain objective when emotion is involved and buying and selling homes triggers all kinds of emotions in buyers and sellers.  That is why you need a Realtor to represent you and defend your interests.

Successful Realtors work with a dependable network of professionals. – When you buy or sell a home, you will also be working with a small army of other real estate professionals – lawyers, mortgage loan representatives, home inspectors, appraisers and contractors – to name a few.  An experienced Realtor will have relationships with a network of proven professionals you can rely upon.  Even more importantly, your Realtor will serve as the team leader – pushing, prodding and cajoling when necessary to make sure your transaction receives the full attention it deserves from everyone involved.

In the final analysis, you are unlikely to save any money by foregoing the services of a Realtor.  Savvy buyers who do stumble upon your listing often feel entitled to deduct the cost of a commission from their offer.  Even worse, properties that languish on the market for too long become stale and subject to speculation about hidden defects.  In the end, sellers are forced to drop their price and accept less than the home is really worth.  Save yourself time, stress, and money and work with an experienced Realtor to achieve your real estate goals.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Celebrating Calgary’s Diverse Population

Wed, 04 Jan by Bryon Howard

Celebrating Calgary’s Diverse Population

As an increasingly influential centre in world social and economic markets, Calgary can boast of a strong and growing multicultural base.  Thousands of immigrants continue to relocate to Calgary each year and by 2020, the immigrant population is expected to exceed half a million people, or roughly 30% of the city’s population.

Calgary looks and sounds different than it did years ago.  In 1959, the ratio of Caucasians to visible minorities in the city was 350:1.  Today that ratio is 5:1.  Strolling through the city centre, you can hear conversations in English, Punjabi, Chinese and Spanish – just a few of the dozens of languages and hundreds of dialects found here.  According to census figures, a full 30% of the city’s residents report that English is not the primary language spoken in their homes.  The language, culture and rich ethnic foods that the immigrant population brings to Calgary all contribute to the city’s emergence as a vital and vibrant global city in every sense of the word.

While the oil and energy industries were booming in the early part of this century, highly-educated and highly-skilled young people poured into Calgary in search of economic opportunity.  They came, they worked hard and they stayed in a city that understands how to welcome immigrants and weave a multicultural thread through the city’s own unique fabric.

Life in a city as diverse and vibrant as Calgary infuses its resident with a sophisticated worldview, cultural appreciation and sense of tolerance that is second to none.   Calgary is a youthful city that embraces and celebrates its diversity.  In addition to the annual Stampede and arts & music festivals, anyone looking to sample a bit of ethnic food and culture on the weekend can do so at the city’s Serbian, Greek and Turkish Festivals, Fiestaval Latino, Carifest, Brazilfest, or any of the dozens of other events celebrating rich cultural heritages throughout the year.  For this and other reasons, many residents believe that Calgary is a perfect city for raising a family.

Canadians have a long history of appreciating multiculturalism and promoting inclusion – both in government policy and legislation and, in the legendary hospitality extended to newcomers in our day to day lives.  Appreciation for multiculturalism is just one of the many components that work together to make Calgary a great place to live and work.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Do-It-Yourself Home Staging

Fri, 16 Dec by Bryon Howard

Home staging is a powerful tool in pulling in buyers and selling a home for the highest possible price.  It is all about creating a memorable first impression that will stay with homebuyers when they sit down to think about the homes they have visited. Professional home stagers do an excellent job in preparing properties to show, the added expense often brings a stronger offer.

Professional stagers may replace your furniture with updated trendy pieces that catch the eye of buyers. That being said… Here are a few do-it-yourself tips for effective staging – guaranteed to make your house stand out!

Let Your Light Shine

Buyers love homes that permit generous flow of natural light.  Pull back all curtains and window coverings and update light fixtures and lamps with newer, brighter, more energy-efficient bulbs.  Turn on all the lights for open houses and showings.  You don’t want buyers to think you are trying to hide anything.

Clean and De-Clutter

After a thorough cleaning of the house (inside and out) including closets, garages and storage spaces, conduct an exhaustive de-cluttering of the entire home.  This does not only mean putting away personal items, memorabilia and photos. All extraneous furnishings should be removed also.   The furniture that remains should be arranged in groupings to permit easy flow of traffic through the home.  Remember that the goal is to create a blank palate so would-be buyers can envision the home as their own.  Arrange for off-site storage of the extra belongings with a friend or at a storage facility.  Although it is a lot of work, the good news is that you will already be half packed when your house sells and it is time to move.

Send Your Pets on a Much-Needed Vacation

We know that you love your pets and think of them as members of the family, but the cold, hard truth is that everyone does not love them the same way you do.  If possible, make arrangements for pets to be out of the home during open houses and showings.  Many potential buyers are allergic or uncomfortable around animals and there is no bigger turn-off to buyers than unpleasant pet odors.

Focus on Curb Appeal

Make sure the lawn is cut and the bushes are trimmed.  Remove all dead flowers and then focus on the front entryway.  A fresh coat of paint on the front door framed with potted plants and flowers will impress buyers right away.   Do everything you can to make the home seem warm and welcoming.

Accentuate the Positive

Choose a room or focal point in your home that ranks among its best features and spend a little extra time and energy in staging that area.  It may be a fireplace or a state-of-the-art kitchen or an enchanting outdoor living space.  Remember what it was that made you fall in love with your home and then do everything you can to make sure buyers notice.

Home staging is all about taking control of that all-important first impression that buyers have upon walking into your home.  Follow these tips, take control and stage your home to sell!

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Experience the Magic of a Calgary Christmas

Mon, 05 Dec by Bryon Howard

Spend some time in Calgary this holiday season and you may find yourself wishing you lived here year-round.  Christmas time in Calgary is an experience to cherish – a magical feast to delight the senses.  When it comes to holiday decorating and Christmas light extravaganzas, Calgary knows how to put on a show.

Here is a guide to a few of our favourite Calgary Christmas light shows – sure to dazzle your eyes and warm your heart.

Kick it Off Downtown – Start with a walking tour of Calgary’s vibrant downtown.  Sign up for a chaperoned walk or map your own route.  In either case, you won’t want to miss the skating rink at Olympic Plaza, pedestrian-only Stephen Ave., and Devonian Gardens.  The CORE Shopping Centre will feature over 100 decorated Christmas trees this year.

Zoolights – Unless you are ready to count the lights, you will have to trust the creative minds behind the annual Zoolights show at the Calgary Zoo.  They claim that there are more than 1.5 million twinkling lights and 200 exhibits winding through the zoo’s paths, but we suspect that there may actually be more.   This event, now in its 19th year, is the largest seasonal light show in western Canada and a beloved annual tradition enjoyed by Calgary residents and visitors.  Dress warm, grab a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy the spectacular imagery with friends and family.

Lions Festival of Lights– This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Festival of Lights, organized and produced by Lions Club members and volunteers.  The brilliant drive-by display along 14th Street NW boasts of more than 300,000 LED lights for the roughly 56,000 visitors who visit the display each day.  Best of all – it is absolutely FREE.  Come out with your family and enjoy the drive.

Airdrie Festival of Lights – Situated only about 20 minutes outside of Calgary, this annual light show organized by a not-for-profit foundation, has worked hard this year to update its light display to comply with new electrical code requirements.  Why not come out and show appreciation for so much hard work?  The light show incorporates train rides, fire pits, skating and hot beverages in a beautiful winter setting.

We hope that Calgary’s dazzling Christmas light shows brighten your and provide you with some Christmas memories to treasure forever.  Get your glow on this holiday season and don’t forget to pay it forward.  Wishing you a very merry Christmas – from our family to yours!

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Ironman Arizona, November 20, 2016 (When CDN Pro Lionel Sanders won and broke the Ironman Speed Record in a time of 7 hours  44 minutes and 29 seconds!)  

Wed, 23 Nov by Bryon Howard
Ironman Arizona - "Pro" Panel - My friend, Mom & wife

My Pro Panel … friend, Mom & Wife two days prior to Ironman Arizona.

I’ve been active all my life.  As a kid my brother and I built go-karts, and used them to salvage junk lumber to build our next tree house.  Those were my earliest memories of ‘sufferfests’ pulling loads of lumber through the neighbourhood to build the ‘best tree house’. Then there was our interval sessions … tobogganing up and down the neighbourhood hills in the freezing cold in Wabush, Labrador and later Charlottetown, PEI.  In grade 10, at Charlottetown Rural High School Rugby practice, I beat the entire team by doing 266 “Down-Ups”. Forrest K was 2nd with about 255 … and my brother Tommy was 3rd with about 220.  A significant increase over the previous record of 60 or 70 ‘Down-Ups’!

A few years ago, I committed to an Ironman race every 5 years.  This was my 6th Ironman since 2001. This is a 5 year ‘check-up / cycle’….this is how I roll.  

  • In the year or two after an Ironman, I enjoy the health and wellness benefits of what I’ve been through;
  • A two or three hour run or bike ride doesn’t seem like a big deal or a long event.
  • I have fun doing more local community races from paddling to ski mountaineering and can do reasonably well with little training or practice of the sport.
  • About 2 years prior to the ‘next’ ironman, I begin thinking about and getting specific about training.
  • I begin to think more about what I’m eating and how much alcohol I’m drinking. (I love to drink … and eat potato chips)
  • I get current on trends in the endurance world. This year I dove into the Ketogenic Diet … with ‘limited success’.

My goal was to Podium at Ironman Arizona on 10-12 hours of training per week.

Why did I think I could?

  • In 2008 I had an age group podium at Ironman Canada on similar training hours;
  • In 2015 (as I began training for this year’s Goal Race) I finished 2nd at Calgary 70.3;
  • This past summer I was 1st at Calgary 70.3 half Ironman – beating 2nd by 10 min;
  • At the end of August, I was 2nd at Canadian Nationals Long Course Triathlon in Penticton;
  • I trained this past year, not to finish, but to win. I sought out coaching and training partners who were faster than me … who would push me through sets of intervals.

What Happened at Ironman Arizona on Sunday?

  • I finished 7th in my age group, 167 overall – in a time of 10:08
  • I feel satisfied and happy with the result.

Why didn’t I Podium?

To begin with, it does not matter that I did not podium. Nobody cares – except me. A podium finish does nothing for me … other than make my ego bigger (which is hardly a necessity).

Since my last race at Canadian National Long Course Championships in Penticton, I’ve been pretty run down and frequently sick. While I was wondering why … the endurance coaches in my life said it was classic over training.

I finally had my blood tested in late September, and my hemoglobin was low. Again, the endurance coaches in my world, advised this is common for endurance athletes … and to rest for two weeks … listen to your body.

While I do not feel I was over trained, as I only train 10-12 hours per week, all the other stressors of life have an impact as well … as well as ‘too much racing’.  As a Realtor in this Calgary market, this past year I have put in record hours, for much less production than previous years. We are amid a tough market. Unbeknownst to me, my body knows this – and as explained to me by Natural Path Jason Ahlan and Endurance for Life Coach Mike Pascoe, it’s your body saying … enough already!   Your body is sending you a message – “Stop it”.

So, I would ‘mostly’ rest two weeks … begin to feel good … do a hard interval session … then get sick again. I had 3 or 4 cycles of this since the end of August.

I turned 50 today, 2 days after IM Arizona and I  feel very grateful to have completed the race in beautiful Arizona and to have done reasonably well.

A big thanks to Mike Pascoe

About a month prior to race day, as I was considering not going to Arizona & while making real estate calls, I happened to call Mike Pascoe, a Chinese Medicine practitioner and triathlon coach – Endurance For Life.   We spoke almost daily leading upto race day. We had fun discussions – me often sharing pictures of my tongue.  His analysis would dictate how I would proceed in my training ; push it, rest or fix!  (Based on my tongue … and a few other metrics!) I found this to be entertaining, interesting, kind, supportive and fun.  

I look forward to trying to podium again in 2021. I’m not even a tiny bit interested in doing another Ironman prior to then!

The Race – 10:08:49 – 7th in Age Group – 164th Overall

Swim – 2.4 miles – 1:04:54 – 1:40/100m  16th in Age Group / 245th overall

It’s interesting … I prefer the swim the most. I love the open water … the start in the morning twilight. However, comparatively to the Bike and Run – this is my worst discipline.

Bike – 112 miles – 5:12:16 – 8th in Age Group / 192th overall

I should love the bike…’butt’ I was in discomfort! This was a classic sign that I did not have enough time  in the saddle! .  There was a strong headwind  and I spent a good amount of the day ‘sitting up’ on the bike, instead of being in race aero position.

Run – 26.2 miles –  3:43:44 – 7th in Age Group / 164 overall

My goal was to run 5min per km to give me a 3:30 Marathon. Based on my run performance this past year … or two years … and especially the past 2 months – this was ambitious. I needed to ‘get some magic’.  I did the first 4 km on pace … then began slowing dramatically.  My goal soon became – “don’t stop … just keep on moving”. At kilometer 26 I was passed by an energetic beautiful 30ish gal … who suddenly gave me some mojo.   I picked up my pace and began to enjoy the run … until she dropped me 3 km from the finish line.

Lionel Sanders - Fastest EVER Ironman Time

I was thrilled to have my picture with Canadian Professional Lionel Sanders two days prior to him winning Ironman Arizona and breaking the Speed Record for an IRONMAN.

My Take Aways:

Ironman Arizona was very fun for a few reasons.  It was truly special to have my 80-year-old Mom travel from PEI to Calgary then onto Arizona for the big event .  I had the undivided attention of my wife as our older children are away in university!  Moreover, a family friend joined us and entertained us with endless triathlon ‘speak’!  We all got an education about our  Canadian Pro Triathletes, it was seriously so much fun to do nothing but talk about triathlon for 5 straight days!  Above all, I love being healthy and injury free. Health is a gift to be cherished!

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard is a RE/MAX Realtor in Calgary, dad, husband & lover of self propelled sport. He and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

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