TCS Marketing Systems managing partner Mark Cohen has a goal: to be influential in adding humanity to the process of pre-construction sales. He also wants to ensure real estate professionals remain the backbone of the industry and he wants to continue to welcome new agents to the fold.

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Changes brought about by the pandemic (clients being able to buy from the comfort of their own homes) has brought a sense of normalcy, decency and fair play into selling new homes and condos, says Toronto-based Cohen.

With the advancement in digital marketing, buyers can Google pre-construction projects and see prices, renderings and know what they’re signing up for instead of “getting hit over the head in the sales office,” he says. “They can do the deal on their own terms.”

The TCS Marketing Systems team, from left: Glen Buttigieg (vice president of sales), Onkar Dhillion (vice president of operations), Mark Cohen (managing partner) and Serena Quaglia (vice president of strategy).
The TCS Marketing Systems team, from left: Glen Buttigieg (vice president of sales), Onkar Dhillion (vice president of operations), Mark Cohen (managing partner) and Serena Quaglia (vice president of strategy).

A big part of that is being able to have their trusted real estate agent at their side. Agents aren’t required to turn over their clients to a development’s sales team at TCS, he says, but are encouraged to stay with the clients throughout the process.

There was a time when developers didn’t co-operate with brokers, instead contacting them to sell their leftover units. Cohen wondered, “Why wait and bring brokers in at the tail end? Why not bring them in at the beginning?”

Now, platinum brokers (those who focus on new construction) are the first call for developers on any project, followed by brokers at large, then the public. He says agents are impartial and are trusted by their buyer clients. They are a mobile sales force that promote on behalf of developers.

For its part, TCS works with agents and developers to ensure that the units the agents’ clients want to buy are available to them. It also encourages training and offers seminars to agents.

Rather than sticking with only resale, adding preconstruction to their list of offerings opens up new opportunities for agents, Cohen says. “New preconstruction specialists are born everyday.”

All new agents need to do is speak up and be heard, he says, suggesting anyone interested in getting into preconstruction sales contact him directly for more information.

“We’re not alienating agents because they haven’t done this before….There’s money to be made.”

He says resale supply is limited and agents might want to consider new home and condo sales as a way to earn more. Commission is typically the 3.5 to four per cent range and most projects co-operate with agents.

TCS is a team of experienced, diverse, young, technologically savvy professionals offering service in 10 languages. It has marketed low and high-rise projects for 15 years. TCS Marketing Systems, formerly The Condo Store Marketing Systems, is a boutique advisory group.

“We pride ourselves in being leading edge.” Cohen says the company was the first to create a pretaped presentation for agents – a Letterman-style top-10 reasons to buy a condo in Barrie. Now others are following TCS’s lead.

Customers are being treated as people, he says. There are no events, no long line ups and no high-pressure sales.

With the advancement in digital marketing, potential buyers have done their homework long before they’re ready to buy and have time to think.

Cohen says it’s all about humanity, making agents a priority, looking after new agents and making the process better for consumers.

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