Adam Miller, 2023 president of the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors, chats about the benefits of engagement, riding the realty roller coaster and the importance of staying nimble
ADAM MILLIER IS the 2023 president of the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR). A broker/manager with Royal LePage Triland in St. Thomas, Miller grew up in London, attending Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School and Fanshawe College.
He is married to TVDSB teacher Marcy Miller; the couple has two sons, Benjamin, 17, and Mason, 14. They also have, “a large dog named Misha.” Miller, 48, began in real estate in 2004 as a sales rep with Royal LePage Triland. He was broker/owner with Prudential Family Realty for six years, returning to Triland in 2013.
He’s an avid skier and coaches minor football. He’s also a Knights season ticket holder and enjoys travelling and swimming. He has a passion for cooking and might have been a chef if he hadn’t pursued his real estate career.
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Congratulations on being LSTAR president in 2023. Why did you choose to commit the time to do it?
I am very passionate about the real estate industry and was always raised to believe that if you want to improve the industry you are in, you have to become actively engaged in the organization that helps run it. Can’t complain if you are not actively involved.
As you well know, the market in the last three years has been volatile, starting with the Covid boom and now with a substantial cooldown. How has that affected you and your fellow realtors?
The market over the last three years has certainly been a roller coaster, with the Covid-19 pandemic initially causing widespread uncertainty and a slowdown in activity, followed by a rebound as people sought to take advantage of low interest rates. For real estate professionals, these shifts in the market have presented both challenges and opportunities.
On one hand, the uncertain economic environment has made it more difficult to predict market trends and assess the value of properties. On the other hand, low interest rates encouraged more people to buy homes, leading to increased demand for real estate services. Realtors have had to adapt to these changing conditions by developing new strategies for marketing properties, leveraging technology to stay in touch with clients, and remaining up to date with the latest market data and trends.
Some realtors may have struggled, but many have found new ways to thrive and succeed in this challenging environment. Ultimately, the volatility in the market over the last three years has highlighted the importance of staying nimble, adaptable and knowledgeable for real estate professionals.
I’ve heard from a few realtors with clients who are underwater, having bought high when variable rate mortgage rates were low. What advice are you giving people in that situation?
It’s important for homeowners in this situation to understand that each case is unique. For most people in the London market, unless they were buying for a quick flip or turnaround, I have great confidence as the market returns more to a normalized market that we will continue to see a good growth in the market over the next couple of years.
Interest rate increases appear to have eased for now. Will that help restore some confidence among buyers? And is the federal stress test helpful or harmful for first-time buyers?
Absolutely. The slowing or stopping of Bank of Canada interest rate hikes will help restore consumer confidence. Many buyers have been cautiously waiting for this to happen. We also have a whole group of renters who sold at the peak of the market and got into short-term rentals waiting for the market to stabilize and interest rate to level out and get back into home ownership. Regarding the stress test, if you would have asked this question three years ago many agents would have thought this was one of the worst ideas, but funny enough it has become a blessing for many homebuyers as they had to be approved at higher interest rates similar to the rates that we are seeing now.
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What do you hope to have accomplished when your term as president ends a year from now?
I want to see LSTAR create stronger working relationships with our housing partners. We need to be table partners with our municipalities to work together on addressing the housing demand, industrial locations and business opportunities. Every president’s goal is to ensure that our LSTAR members receive the service that makes them one of the top associations in Ontario. Interview by Christopher Clark