By Sage Birchwater - Williams Lake Tribune Published: February 03, 2012 6:00 AM “Never judge a book by its cover,” says RE/MAX realtor George Meilleur (pronounced Meyer).
He is a case in point. Whoever would suspect that this realtor decked out in his dark cowboy hat, with his “country persona” splashed on property signs across the Cariboo Chilcotin and Central Coast from Horsefly to Bella Coola, is on the leading edge of the most advanced social media technology available today?
Take another look. Check out Meilleur’s realtor signs and see. Scan the QR (quick response) code found on his signs or in newspaper ads (see Page A13) with your iPhone or Smartphone and be amazed at the world that opens up to you. Using free apps available on the Internet, he creates a specific code for each property. If you scan the QR code with your Smartphone it takes you directly to Meilleur’s site and right to the property in question. His marketing of urban properties using the new, exciting smart technology of social media makes sense.
Meilleur got his start in real estate selling recreational and rural properties in the Cariboo/Chilcotin where he lived for eight years. “There’s a strong perception that all I do is ranches,” Meilleur says. “That all I sell is land and rural properties. Nothing could be further from the truth. Last year 75 per cent of my sales were residential properties in the Williams Lake area.”
While most of Meilleur’s current focus is on residential properties around Williams Lake, he says he still has a finger on the pulse of rural and recreation properties “because they are so unique and close to my heart.”
Though Meilleur is breaking new ground with the sophisticated new technology, he predicts it will be the wave of the future in the real-estate industry. “Real estate has moved to the new technology,” he explains. “Eighty per cent of the people search for homes online prior to meeting with an agent.”
He says agents who aren’t using the social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are going to be left behind.
However, the new technology alone isn’t enough to ensure success. “There’s a balance between using technology and person-to-person relationships. They have to work together, hand-in-hand.”
Meilleur offers weekly updates to every client who signs up on his georgemeilleur.com website, letting them know about what’s new in real estate around Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin Central Coast. “I include what’s happening with market conditions and other community activities taking place. I try and make it personal and informative.”
To welcome in the new year, Meilleur is giving away a new Tablet once a month for the next three months, to people who fill out an entry form on his website. “Once a month, a winner will be drawn,” he says.
He says the future of Williams Lake looks bright. “We have enough diversity of industries in this community to sustain us. Williams Lake is not a one-horse town.”
One trend Meilleur has observed is an increasing retirement market with people downsizing from larger to smaller homes and also re-locating from large urban centres to more affordable communities like Williams Lake. The real-estate market during January 2012 has been brisk, he notes.
“With very limited inventory available, we’re seeing multiple offers on some properties.”
Meilleur has based his reputation on core values of honesty and hard work. “My tag line is: ‘It’s a matter of trust.’ I work hard to meet the unique needs of every client, whether they are buyers or sellers, and I always do what I say I am going to do.”
Getting in touch with Meilleur for your real estate needs is easy. Just scan one of his QR codes with your smartphone or go directly to his website georgemeilleur.com. Oh yeah, and you can phone him too: 250-305-7034 in Williams Lake or toll free: 1-855-305-7034.