2017 PROFILES OF
R E A L E S TAT E
AWARD -WIN N I N G
DE VELO PER S
RE ALTO R S
B R O K E R AG E S
CO N T R AC TO R S
I N D U S T RY O R G A N IZ AT I O N S
Macdonald Realty: A Giant Tree from a Tiny Acorn Vision and hard work. That can just about sum up how Lynn Hsu, owner and CEO of Macdonald Realty – a real estate company she bought in 1990 with one ofﬁce – grew the company to 20 ofﬁces across the province and 1,000-plus employees
RIGINALLY FROM TAIWAN, Hsu immigrated to Canada in the late 1970s – alone, with no family or friends, no job prospects and speaking little English. Today, she has turned Macdonald Realty into Western Canada’s largest full-service brokerage firm. From the moment Hsu purchased that single boutique residential firm, she had a vision.
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MACDONALD REALTY “The real estate industry has two distinct businesses—one creation, the other servicing. On the servicing side, almost all the companies in BC were a single-purpose company, i.e. residential or commercial brokerage, property management or project marketing firms,” says Hsu. “I wanted to create a company that could provide our clients all-encompassing real estate solutions under one roof—from guiding a home
buyer through the biggest investment of their lives, helping an investor manage and add value to their properties, to assembling ground intelligence to assist developers to create the right products for the marketplace.” Today, the company’s interests encompass residential sales, commercial sales and leasing, property management, strata management, development and project management, project
marketing and mortgage brokering and lending. It now includes the Macdonald Commercial and Macdonald Realty Platinum Project Marketing divisions. Dan Scarrow, vice-president, says it’s Hsu’s ability to hire the right people that also helped propel her to the top of the industry. “Lynn has always understood how important it is to empower employees. She is a leader who inspires people through a shared vision and she has created an MACDONALD COMMERCIAL & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT environment where people feel valued and fulfilled,” says Scarrow. mergers, acquisitions, and strategic affiliations. “Her strongest point is that she has never wavered In 2015, Macdonald Realty opened a Shanghai from her commitment to serve and protect our office at the junction of the bustling Jing’an customers.” and Xu’hui districts and launched the first Hsu believes that a business model based on a Canada-focused real estate website behind the fundamental principle of upholding the highest Great Firewall. standard of excellence, coupled with a strong Over the decades, Macdonald Realty has evolved conviction that every problem has a creative into a diversified brokerage, management and solution, would allow Macdonald Realty to grow consultancy organization. The company is also committed to the community. Recently, Macdonald Realty announced a three-year charitable sponsorship with InspireHealth, a BC non-profit organization which provides supplemental care for people living with cancer. “We are so grateful to Macdonald Realty for their generous support of the ‘Inspired Cooking’ project. Their financial contribution has enabled us to create a cookbook that is filled with inspiring stories, wonderful recipes and MACDONALD REALTY important nutritional information to help Canadians consider the importance of healthy food in their daily lives,” says Richard organically. “When you have the belief and Somerset, COO InspireHealth. “We are fortunate knowledge that you are doing your best to adhere to partner with a local organization that cares so to your core values, problems, rather than deflating deeply about our patients’ well-being and wants you, energize you to action,” adds Hsu. to ensure that there is supportive care for cancer Hsu went on to explain: “Professionalism and patients in British Columbia.” integrity mean a great deal to me and my entire team. They are our company’s core values.” Although the trend in the industry is to expand by hiring as many realtors as possible, Hsu was steadfast that the company’s mandate should be focused on continued education and training rather than growing the realtor pool. “We are very selective in our hiring practices. I constantly remind my managers that we compete on quality not quantity,” she adds. During the nineties, Macdonald Realty began to expand throughout PLATINUM PROJECT MARKETING British Columbia by way of a series of
Owner and CEO
Macdonald Realty was established in 1944 Lynn Hsu, owner and CEO purchased the real estate company in 1990 7RGD\ WKHUH DUH RI´FHV DFURVV the province covering the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Whistler and Squamish, the Sunshine Coast and the Okanagan There are more than 1,000 employees and independent contractors The company, as well as Hsu herself, have won several awards including: – Most Powerful in Residential Real Estate – 2017: #104 (Swanepoel Power 200) – Top 20 Women Leaders in Residential Real Estate – 2016 (Swanepoel Power 200), and ¨ %& %XVLQHVV 0RVW ,QµXHQWLDO Women in BC – 2015 (BC Business) In 2015, the company recorded $7 billion in sales
2105 West 38th Avenue Vancouver, BC | V6M 1R8 1.877.278.3888 firstname.lastname@example.org macrealty.com
Profiles of Excellence
Your Guide to
Industry Excellence Welcome to the 2017 Profiles of Excellence magazine – and here’s why you need to read it
e know what you’re thinking – why should I read a publication dedicated to the achievements of the real estate and development industry? What’s in it for me? In fact, there’s plenty that’s in it for you. You see, industry awards and other celebrated achievements by developers and real estate brokers are not merely an exercise in selfcongratulation, not just a mutual back-slapping session. Sure, there’s some of that going on, as in every other industry. But it should matter to you, as a potential home buyer or seller, as well. Here’s why.
If you’re buying or selling a home, you will have to work with the real estate and/or development industry – whether that’s a REALTOR®, or a home builder, or a developer. Let’s face it, this is likely the biggest investment you will ever make, so you need to get it right. And in a world where there is a wide range of – let’s say – opinions about this industry, ranging from fervent support to healthy skepticism to downright mistrust, we all need a guide to show us which companies, and individuals, we can put our faith in.
This is where the Profi les of Excellence come in. This magazine showcases some of the industry’s best companies and most celebrated individuals. It explains what the industry associations are for, what membership of those organizations identifies, what awards they give out and what those achievements mean for you. We also take a deeper look what to look for when you are buying a new home from a developer – and not just that they have won awards. Our presale home-buying tips will help you make the right choice, even when your home isn’t built yet. And our guide to working with a REALTOR® is an essential piece for those who are buying presale, or selling their home. How do you fi nd the best agent for you? What should you look for? We have all the answers. Finally, our 2017 market forecast will offer a guide to buying a home this year. From high-level economic outlooks on market activity, to groundlevel practical advice (including the new BC government down payment loans), you don’t want to miss this essential article.
Joannah Connolly is the editor-in-chief of West Coast Condominium and Western Investor newspaper, and is the editor and content manager of Real Estate Weekly and REW.ca. She appears regularly on radio, TV and conference panels discussing the Vancouver real estate market.
Profiles of Excellence
Inside 2 Macdonald Realty
Quest for the Best 10 The How understanding real estate and development industry associations and awards can benefit you
6 Concert Properties 9 Mario S. David - Royal Pacific Realty
the Right REALTOR® 18 Find If you’re planning to buy or sell a home, you’ll need a
14 Dexter Associates Realty
greatagent you can trust. Here’s how to spot one
16 David Richardson - RE/MAX Crest Realty Changing Face of New Home Development 26 The How today’s developers are meeting the increasingly
17 Sandy Clark - Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty
sophisticated needs of local new home buyers
22 Doug Lucier - Sutton Group Seafair Realty the Right Contractor 33 Choosing Working with the right contractor is the key to a
23 Graison Foster-Stemper - Sutton Group Seafair Realty
successful project, from new-home builds to minor renos
24 RE/MAX - Westcoast Realty / Select Properties Metro Vancouver Real Estate Market Forecast 40 2017 The market seems to be cooling, but by how much?
30 Adera Development Corp.
Here’s our round-up of industry leaders’ predictions for the year
37 Marino General Contracting 38 TQ Construction
les of Excellence Directory 44 Proﬁ All the details and contact information you’ll need
46 MLA Canada Publisher:
Tracey Aussem Lynn Fry Sue Prasad Jackie Mollenhauer David Witherspoon
to connect with amazing agents, companies and organizations
Annette Spreeuw Arslan Sultan
Vancouver Head Ofﬁce:
Copyright: Excellence in Real Estate is published by Real Estate Weekly Partnership. Copyright 2017. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of articles and advertising that appear in each edition of Excellence in Real Estate, the publisher may not be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may from time to time occur. No part of this publication may be quoted or reprinted in any medium without the express written permission of Real Estate Weekly Partnership. TM
303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1J6
Profiles of Excellence
Concert A Symphony of Development Success Since 1989, a carefully orchestrated business strategy has led to Concert becoming one of BC’s top development companies
The Creek, a master-planned community on one of the last remaining waterfront sites in Vancouver, is now selling its latest project Navío
N UNSUCCESSFUL REDEVELOPMENT bid was the catalyst for one of the province’s top development and real estate companies. Concert was founded in 1989 by David Podmore, Chairman and CEO, and the late Jack Poole. The two met as Expo 1986 was wrapping up, and one of their first business ventures was to bid on the redevelopment rights for the Expo lands
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at False Creek. The bid failed, but not all was lost. “There were three planned bids at the time, one of which we unfortunately were unaware of,” says Podmore. “We became aware after the fact that the Telecommunications Workers Union Pension Plan and the City of Vancouver had considered bidding but ultimately did not submit.” However, that spawned the idea for Concert. The concept of pension plans funding large scale development projects led Podmore and Poole to
create a company funded by pension plans and private investors including Poole and Podmore. Success soon followed. “Between 1989 and 1992, we grew exponentially,” he says. “By 1992, we converted Concert to a company 100 per cent wholly owned by Canadian management and union pension plans. Today, we are a pension fund real estate corporation that builds and acquires real estate across Canada.” Over the years, the company has evolved from
Collingwood Village is a 28-acre mixeduse community with 16 residential buildings
Concert Chairman and CEO David Podmore (left) and City of Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson celebrate the opening of the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund Centre
a residential developer to a diversified real estate owner and operator, creating thousands of rental and condominium homes and retirement communities across the country – many of which have become landmarks. Today, Concert specializes in developing rental, condominium and seniors housing, acquiring and developing commercial, industrial and infrastructure properties, and in property management. As of 2016, the company has built close to 11,000 homes and has a portfolio of income properties that includes 12 million square feet of rental and seniors housing, as well as industrial and office properties. One of its most memorable achievements, and there are many, is Collingwood Village – a multifamily residential community in East Vancouver. It was the first large scale, transit-oriented development in the city – a project he is especially proud of. Commencing in 1994, today this multiphase project consists of 16 residential buildings with 12-highrise and eight-low rise developments. Podmore went on to say that Collingwood Village is regarded as “an industry leading master planned community with 3,400 homes that has been touted by the community, its residents, and the City of Vancouver.” The development of this former industrial site was made possible by Concert undertaking three years of extensive planning and community consultation. “It is an exceptional example of what could be achieved along a transit station for other highdensity communities along rapid transit corridors,” he says. Today, Concert has several major projects in the planning stage or underway, including roughly 1,800 units of rental residential development and another 5,500 condominium units across the country.
Concert is also heavily investing in the health of the communities it serves. Corporate philanthropy has been at the cornerstone of its mission since its inception. Many non-profit organizations in B.C. rely heavily on the generosity of businesses. Instead of signing cheques, Concert typically offers its time and expertise. “We are unique in that we can’t give a lot of money because we are dealing with pension assets,” explains Podmore. “Having said that, we do provide monetary support for trades training and skills development related to the construction industry through our annual golf tournament.” Through its partnerships with BCIT and George Brown College, the company has provided over $2.7 million over 27 years to the BCIT Trades Discovery Program and other training initiatives. Over the years, Concert has also donated countless hours in project management services on important projects like the Djavad Mowafaghian Child Care Centre at BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver’s Cottage Hospice, a 10-bed hospice for the terminally ill, as well as donating more than $750,000 in time and expertise for the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund Centre project, which opened in March 2016. “Our staff were excited to volunteer their time and expertise to the Burn Fund Centre and the project was a perfect fit for Concert,” adds Podmore. Last year, Concert provided low-rent housing in one of its Coquitlam apartment buildings for 17 Syrian refugee families. “Giving back to the community and caring about people is part of the fabric of Concert,” he adds. “We are always trying to align with new projects that can make society better.”
Concert has raised over $2.7 million in support of trades training programs across Canada
Company established: 1989 Company owners: Canadian union and management pension plans 1XPEHU RI RI´FHV DQG GLYLVLRQV Vancouver and Toronto; lines of business (residential condominium and rental, office and industrial, seniors housing, infrastructure) Number of employees: 200+ Most notable awards: Several Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) Georgie Awards over the years, including: 2014 and 2011 Customer Choice and 2013 Platinum Georgie Award. BC Business Magazine’s 2009 Best Companies to Work for in B.C. and 2006 Top 25 Best Companies to Work for in B.C. Assets: $2.6 billion
9th Floor, 1190 Hornby Street | Vancouver, BC | V6Z 2K5 | 604.688.9460 email@example.com | www.concertproperties.com Profiles of Excellence
PRESENTATION CENTRE OPEN 88 PACIFIC BOULEVARD, VANCOUVER 604.899.8800
AVENUE ONE is poised to become the most sought after address in Southeast False Creek. With Juliet Balconies or Balconettes in every one bedroom homes, you can immerse in the rejuvenating outdoor breeze from your airy indoor living space. This is the essence of seaside living.
1 BEDROOM HOMES FROM MID $500,000
All illustrations reflect the artist's interpretation of the project and do not take into account the neighboring buildings, physical structures, streets and landscape. The developer reserves the right to make modifications, substitutions, change brands, sizes, colours, layouts, materials, ceiling heights, features & finishes and other specifications without prior notification. This is not an offering for sale. Any such offer may only be made with the applicable disclosure statement and agreement of purchase and sale. Concord Avenue One Limited Partnership. E & O.E.
CANADAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S LARGEST COMMUNITY BUILDER
SUPER MARIO: From Movies and Music to Multimillion-Dollar Mansions This globe-trotting former DJ and friend to the stars brings his “I Do More” philosophy to his real estate business
NATIVE OF the Philippines, Mario S. David was a selfdescribed introvert until his father sent him on a 13-stop trip around the world by himself at age 15. “It was a turning point in my life. It taught me independence and truly shaped my personality.” At 18, he left his home in Metro Manila to immigrate to Canada bringing his love of music and movies with him. For years, Mario found success as a dance remix producer and DJ in several downtown clubs in Calgary and Vancouver. “I loved being a DJ because it put me in a position to make a lot of people happy with what I enjoy doing”. His love for movies influenced the unique concept for three Lower Mainland spas where groups can get pampered while watching a movie on a 14-foot projection screen. Mario’s “The Movie Spa” concept gained attention
How many on your team? One Most proud of: My clients testimonials – found at www.idomore.ca/Testimonial.ubr Average number of homes sold each year: 30 residential and commercial transactions combined
within the spa industry and attracted local and international celebrities alike. “Even though owning spas is totally different from being a club DJ, literally like night and day, the end goal was still the same, to make people happy,” he adds. Now that Mario is in real estate, he always applies his “I Do More” philosophy when helping people buy or sell properties. “I am a firm believer that success in any business is centered on developing trusting relationships by providing a superior quality of service, to do more than what is expected,” he says. “When you choose me to be your REALTOR®, I’m the only one you deal with. That means I’m with you every step of the way, from the minute we meet until the closing and beyond.” Mario is also certified as a SRES®, a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, spending extra time understanding each person’s situation as they transition into the next chapter of their lives. “I call it ‘right-sizing’, not ‘down-sizing’.”
Top awards: - Chairman’s Round Table Award by Royal Pacific Realty Group 2015 and 2016; - Sutton Group West Coast Realty President’s Award 2013; - Medallion Club of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (ranking Top 6% in 2015 and ranking Top 3.5% in 2016)
650 West 41st Avenue | Vancouver, BC | V5Z 2M9 | 604.207.9966 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.idomore.ca Profiles of Excellence
The Quest for the
Here’s why it’s worth researching the industry accolades and memberships of the real estate and development companies you’re considering buying a home from
Adera Development Corporation’s Sail project has won multiple accolades, including Georgie and Ovation Awards
ARIOUS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS, a whole host of achievement awards, elite club memberships – it all probably sounds like a lot of internal industry back-slapping that has no relevance to you as an outsider. Right? But the truth is, nobody is an outsider who is planning on ever buying or selling a home in BC. In fact, you will need to work with these people
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and companies to find the best home, or best listing agent, for you. So you will want to work with the best. That’s where industry associations and the awards they give out are essential. Think of them like an endorsement, or a bunch of great online reviews. You might not know these companies, or these agents, from personal experience – but you can be pretty confident that if they have won
enough accolades, you’re most likely in safe hands. And don’t forget, oftentimes the award entry processes take into account client testimonials – so the eventual prize is often a reflection of what regular people think of these companies and their homes or services. Here are the Lower Mainland of BC’s key industry associations, their awards, and what they mean.
Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association The Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) is a local organization with a membership of home builders and renovation companies, ranging from major regional developers to small independent businesses. The GVHBA represents its members to local government and housing groups, and is affi liated with the nationwide Canadian Home Builders’
Association (see below) at both the provincial and national levels. Established in 1974, it is the largest of the 10 local home-builder associations in British Columbia, with more than 850 members, and is governed by a board of directors, elected annually by the general membership. The GVHBA offers its members education and training, essential industry knowledge and the opportunity to work together and fi nd best practices. So whether you’re looking to buy a new home in a development, looking for a builder to create your dream house or looking for a renovator for your home improvements, make sure that the company you go with is a GVHBA member.
Ovation Awards The annual accolades issued by the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association are the prestigious Ovation Awards – this year to be given out at a gala dinner to be held on April 29, 2017.
Now in their seventh year, the Ovations celebrate everything from modest kitchen renovations to stunning whole-home transformations, and from newly built family townhouse complexes to luxurious custom mansions to large condo developments and more. In this extremely competitive local residential construction industry, builders, developers, renovators and designers need to distinguish their brand, people, products and services. The Ovation Awards have been carefully designed to provide members of all sizes with an equal opportunity to compete and showcase their services and homes. There are plenty of awards to go around, so if the company you are looking at buying a home from doesn’t have an Ovation Award on their front desk, ask them: why not?
Naikoon Contracting has been a big winner at the GVHBA’s Ovation Awards, including with this project, Winton House
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Canadian Home Builders’ Association The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is the national body for home builders and residential development companies. Since 1943, the CHBA has been the voice of the residential construction industry and its membership is made up of more than 8,500 companies – including home builders, renovators, developers, trade contractors, product and material manufacturers, building product suppliers, lending institutions, insurance providers, and service professionals. Those companies who are members of the Greater Vancouver Home Builder’s Association (see above) are automatically affi liated with the CHBA, so you don’t need to look for separate membership when assessing a local builder or developer. If the company you’re looking at is outside of the Greater Vancouver area, check to see whether it belongs to a local CHBA-affi liated association, or is a member of CHBA BC, the provincial branch of the CHBA.
Concert Properties’ Salt tower downtown was named “Best Highrise Development” at the 2015 Georgies
Profiles of Excellence
Tavan Development Group won at the 2015 Georgies for best home makeover under $100K for this Port Moody townhome renovation
Urban Development Institute
Every year, the BC branch of the CHBA issues the Georgie Awards, which celebrates the achievements of its members across the province. Although many of those members are based in the Lower Mainland, unlike the GVHBA’s Ovation Awards (see above), these awards are handed out to projects across the whole of BC. Now in their 25th anniversary year, the nominations for the March 11 gala event are out, and the most-nominated company for the 2017 awards is My House Design & Build Team Ltd., with a chance to win in 10 categories. “The high-calibre and inspiring projects submitted each year by CHBA BC members is a large part of why the Georgie Awards® program has thrived for 25 years,” says Neil Moody, CEO of the CHBA BC. “We receive hundreds of entries from across British Columbia and it is an accomplishment in itself to stand out as a finalist.” If you’re looking for a new home or a home builder, especially outside of Greater Vancouver, knowing that they have received a Georgie Award is a great barometer of quality and reliability.
The Urban Development Institute is the national association (with international affi liations) of the development industry. Its local chapter, UDI Pacific Region, has more than 650 member companies, and represents thousands of individuals – not just developers, but also property managers, lenders, lawyers, engineers, planners, architects, appraisers, real estate professionals, local governments and government agencies. Launched in 1972, the UDI Pacific Region works to foster communication between the industry, government and the public and to improve both housing and job opportunities for all British Columbians. UDI Pacific also serves as the voice of the real estate development industry, communicating wwith local governments, the media and community groups on a number of issues. If you’re looking for a new home in a development such as a condo community, ensuring that the developer behind the building is a UDI member offers you the assurance of accountability.
UDI Awards The UDI Awards are held every two years and focus on the development industry and its members’ achievements, with less attention on the construction and renovation of individual homes that the GVHBA and CHBA awards schemes also offer. These awards therefore celebrate mostly larger buildings in a wide range of categories such as high-, midand low-rise developments, project innovation, non-market and rental projects, both in the Lower Mainland and across BC. So if a condo or townhome in a new community is what you’re after, take a look at the developer and see if they have previously won any of these prestigious UDI Awards. And if they
have collected one as well as a Georgie Award and an Ovation Award, then you’re definitely onto a winner!
real estate board, if you’re not in Greater Vancouver – but there are so many of them. So beyond that, there are three initiatives identifying top agents to help you out here, too.
Medallion Club and President’s Club Awards
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver If you’re buying or selling a home resale, your interest will likely lie less in developers and more in REALTORS® and their brokerages. And with all the negative press that the real estate industry has suffered over the past year, many would-be home buyers and sellers feel nervous when picking an agent. Naturally, you’ll choose a licensed REALTOR® who is a member of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) – or your local
Concord Paci c’s One Paci c project won Best Urban Highrise Development at the 2016 Urban Development Institute Awards
Each year the REBGV celebrates the achievements of its top members on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) with the Medallion and President’s Club Awards. For more than 50 years, the board has handed out the Medallion Club Award to its top-producing real estate agents – which is to say, the top 10 per cent, in terms of sales volume, out of the more than 13,400 REALTORS® participating on the MLS® in the region. The President’s Club qualifiers are selected from the top one per cent each year.
Professional Excellence Award Through this award, the REBGV recognizes REALTORS® who’ve demonstrated ethics, integrity, knowledge and service throughout their time in the real estate profession. Just one winner is chosen each year, making the past recipients of this award arguably the ultimate choice for your home purchase or sale. Again, if you’re not in Greater Vancouver, check out your local real estate board’s website to learn more about local award-winning agents. However, when it comes to choosing an agent, it’s not all about accolades or sales volumes – there are many thousands of fantastic agents who are not in the Medallion Club or a past winner of the Professional Excellence Award. So how do you fi nd one? Check out the article on page 18 for advice on what makes a great real estate agent and how to choose one.
Sandra Wyant was handed the 2015 Professional Excellence Award by then-president of the REBGV, Darcy McLeod
Profiles of Excellence
Dexter Associates Local Knowledge and Commitment to Community â&#x20AC;&#x153;Traditionalâ&#x20AC;? brokerage has been creating generational relationships and referrals-based business across Metro Vancouver since 1983
OR DAVID PEERLESS, president of Dexter Associates Realty, referrals represent business well earned. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The vast majority of our business comes by way of referral,â&#x20AC;? says Peerless. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Referral business is business that you earn. Our goal is to become the trusted advisor of our clients and create a generational relationship.â&#x20AC;? Operating since 1983 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and now with 170 agents operating out of offices in Kerrisdale, Yaletown and on Main Street â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Dexterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success is built on relationships. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We deal with generations of families in Vancouver,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have long-term relationships with people who have lived here and owned real estate for a long time, as well as people who are new to the city.â&#x20AC;? Often described as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;boutiqueâ&#x20AC;? real estate firm, Peerless prefers the simple term â&#x20AC;&#x153;traditional.â&#x20AC;?
Profiles of Excellence
Dexter Associates has been in business since 1983, and now has 170 agents operating out of RIÂ´FHV LQ .HUULVGDOH <DOHWRZQ DQG 0DLQ 6WUHHW
â&#x20AC;&#x153;That means caring about long-term business relationships with our customers,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It means a locally owned and operated real estate brokerage. We know the city, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve grown up here and we live here.â&#x20AC;? While Dexter is one of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest brokerages, agents pride themselves on personal relationships and local knowledge. Peerless has been a REALTORÂŽ for 36 years, with a combined management team experience well in excess of 100 years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long-term, local experience in real estate,â&#x20AC;? he emphasizes. It is also about devotion to the business. At a time when more than half of Vancouver realtors are part-timers, Dexter Associates is committed to nurturing the careers of full-time professionals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We focus on people building a career in real estate as their primary calling,â&#x20AC;? Peerless says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That has always been our culture here. We
'H[WHU $VVRFLDWHV SUHVLGHQW 'DYLG 3HHUOHVV KDV been a REALTORÂŽ for 36 years
The Dexter team has participated in every Ride to Conquer Cancer and has raised over $400,000
commit a very high level of training resources to our REALTORS® because we are hiring people selectively on the basis that this is going to be their career.” Strong support and ongoing training and education are core characteristics of the brokerage, which was founded by Christine Dexter. Kevin Skipworth, Tony Ioannou and Kerrie Everitt (who, along with Peerless, Sharon Wayman and Philip Rodgers form the management team) are also Applied Practice Course instructors, guiding and mentoring new agents as they launch careers in the field. Dexter Associates focuses primarily on residential property. While they have agents specializing in all Metro Vancouver communities, about 80 per cent of the brokerage’s transactions are in Vancouver West and Vancouver East – that is, in the city proper. Last year, the firm launched Dexter Property Management, offering full-service management throughout Metro Vancouver, including free rental rate assessments, scheduled showings, tenant screening, rent collection, move-in and move-out
condition reports, lease renewals, 24-hour emergency service and everything landlords require for superb tenant servicing and rental operations. While Dexter Associates is committed to excellence in real estate, a broader dedication to the community they serve is also core to their vision. The brokerage has been recognized repeatedly for its philanthropic initiatives and the funds raised by agents are making positive change in the lives of the people of Vancouver. Support for cancer research – and for families dealing with cancer – is a cause particularly near to the hearts of Dexter agents (see sidebar). “Over the years, we’ve lost some of our Dexter family to cancer,” says Peerless. “Every person I run into has a cancer experience within their family or among their close friends.” An avid cyclist himself, Peerless says the Ride to Conquer Cancer allows him and other agents to make a positive contribution to improving and prolonging lives. “It allows you the feeling of satisfaction that you’re doing something on this issue,” he says.
Company philanthropy: Dexter Associates is deeply engaged in philanthropic work. The team has participated in every Ride to Conquer Cancer – having now raised over $400,000 with teams of up to 30 riders. Dexter agent Jimi Brockett, who lost his five-year-old son to cancer in 2009, has the largest team in the Ride to Conquer Cancer (Riders for Ryders – www.ridersforryders.com), who have raised $2.7 million. With the support of Dexter Associates, agents Tom and Kerrie Everitt went on a journey through 80 countries with their 11-year-old daughter, Capri, who sang the anthem for each country in the national language while their 9 year old son Bowen blogged at each stop, raising money for SOS Children’s Villages to create awareness for orphaned children around the world. Dexter is also helping fund a documentary on Around the World in 80 Anthems (www.aroundtheworldin80anthems.com). Awards won: REALTORS® Care Award – 2012 (brokerage) and 2015 (agent Jimi Brockett).
Yaletown: 1399 Homer Street | Vancouver, BC | V6B 5M9 Kerrisdale: 2094 West 43 Avenue | Vancouver, BC | V6M 2C9 Mount Pleasant: 3731 Main Street | Vancouver, BC | V5V 3N8 1.877.263.1144 | email@example.com | www.dexterrealty.com Profiles of Excellence
Three Decades Later, I Still Love What I Do DAVID RICHARDSON specializes in listing and selling family homes on Vancouver’s Westside including the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano, Point Grey, Dunbar, Arbutus, Mackenzie Heights, Cambie and Kerrisdale.
RIGINALLY FROM OTTAWA, David came to Vancouver in 1979 with nothing but the clothes on his back. David’s parents had fostered a strong sense of community and an even stronger work ethic. Needing to provide for his growing family, David set his sights on a career in real estate. “At the time, I had no car and I didn’t know the city well,” laughs Richardson, “but I knew matching families to the right home in the right neighbourhood would be very rewarding.” Now, after 30-plus years of experience David has a commanding take on Vancouver real estate – a perspective that has been rewarded again and again by businesses and real estate organizations.
Consistently ranked as one of the Top 100 RE/MAX REALTORS® in Canada and a Lifetime Member of the Medallion Club, David is known for his professional expertise, resourcefulness, dedicated customer service, and relaxed style. “Join me for a cup of coffee,” David invites prospective clients in his marketing campaigns. Brutally honest, and a skilled valuator of properties, his opinions are highly regarded and sought-after by appraisers, tax assessors and fellow agents. He has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career. In 2014, RE/MAX International presented David with the RE/MAX Circle of Legends award acknowledging his outstanding professional achievements. Like his parents before him, David Richardson believes that it is important to give back to the community he calls home. From the beginning of his career, his commitment of time and fi nancial support to many Vancouver Westside associations, clubs, organizations and events has helped shape the neighbourhoods in which he works and lives. His support is extensive and ongoing.
Years in the industry: 34 Top awards: - Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce “Business Person of the Year” - RE/MAX Worldwide Top 100, 2011-2012 - RE/MAX Canada Top 100, 2011-2014 - RE/MAX Western Canada Top 100, 2011-2016
RE/MAX CREST REALTY WESTSIDE
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“After more than 30 years, I can still honestly say I love my job,” he says. “In the end, always be honest, don’t give your clients a line … if you do your job to the best of your ability, the rewards are immense – great clients, great friends, great relationships!”
“On behalf of the staff, students and parents of Carnarvon Elementary School, I would like to thank David Richardson for his generous donation to help with the replacement of our playground. Carnarvon is a wonderful school in the heart of a vibrant community. David’s donation has brought us one step closer to creating a play space for all of our children.”
Sue Stevenson, Principal, Carnarvon Elementary School
Most proud of: Most of my clients are repeat and referrals. When clients hire me, they are not delegated to some team member, they work directly with me and my assistant of nearly 30 years, Sarah Starling. Average number of homes sold each year: 40 to 50
3215 Macdonald Street | Vancouver, BC | V6L 2N2 | 604.649.2305 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.thecolourofrealestate.com
Sandy Clark: Welcoming Newcomers to the Island
HOUGH SHE’S TRAVELLED the world and lived abroad, Central Vancouver Island has always been home to Sandy Clark. Now that the world is discovering the climate, lifestyle and affordability of Nanaimo and surrounding communities, Clark finds herself welcoming plenty of newcomers to her corner of the world. In the busy 2016 market, Clark completed 60 transactions including a 38-unit, well-planned, quality strata apartment building that sold out in less than six weeks – a Nanaimo record that speaks both to her expertise and the region’s demand. “Nanaimo and central Vancouver Island have so much to offer with similar attributes of big-city living on a smaller scale,” she says. “We have been discovered. People are investing and relocating from Vancouver, Victoria and out of province to take advantage of all that the island has to offer.” “Our cost of housing here is a quarter of what it is in Vancouver,” says Clark. But, while financial considerations are paramount, other factors also figure in. “Traffic is not an issue; year round outdoor recreation is unlimited; a highly regarded University catering to Canadians and International students is expanding; economic growth and infrastructure is ongoing; and it is an easy commute for island residents to work in Vancouver and Alberta.” In addition to affordability and amenities, that perennial real estate mantra – location, location, location – draws people to Nanaimo and area. “Nanaimo is the gateway to central Vancouver
Residential and commercial REALTOR® Sandy Clark* is gaining hearts and breaking real estate records in the Nanaimo area
Island,” says Clark. “Vancouver and Richmond are within 20 minutes by seaplane, heli-jet and air; vehicle and foot passenger ferry service runs daily from Tsawwassen and Horsheshoe Bay; the Island highway to Victoria, the West Coast, Courtenay and beyond is outstanding; and we have a very active local port. “Between Courtenay to the north and Chemainus to the south, a vast range of communities offer a diversity of lifestyles,” adds Clark, “and it is important for off-island buyers to explore the different options available when considering a move to Vancouver Island. Clark takes pride in her knowledge and expertise in helping buyers find their “right fit” on central Vancouver Island. With the newcomers, she describes it as “like welcoming them home” and looks forward to continued success as a central Vancouver Island real estate specialist. *Sandy Clark Personal Real Estate Corporation
How long have you worked in real estate? I’ve been licensed since 2010. Specialist areas: I work in residential as well as commercial real estate. Top investing tip: Seek out undervalued or underutilized properties that offer great potential for improvements in the right location.
ROYAL LEPAGE NANAIMO REALTY
4200 Island Highway N. | Nanaimo, BC | V9T 1W6 | 250.668.9878 email@example.com | www.sandyclarkrealestate.com Profiles of Excellence
Find Your Ideal
Looking to buy or sell a home? There are many reasons you need a great REALTOR® to help you – but what exactly makes them great, and where do you ﬁnd them? Read on…
HETHER YOU’RE LOOKING for a home to buy or selling up, there’s no law that says that you have to hire a licensed REALTOR® to help you in the process. With all the negative press the real estate industry has seen over the past few years, many people might even be thinking of bypassing the agent entirely and going it alone, rather than risk putting their home or savings in the hands of someone they don’t know. And sure, you could go straight to the listing agent in
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the hope of saving money on your home purchase, or list your home by placing an advertisement and carrying out showings yourself. But you’d be unlikely to actually save any money doing this, and you’d be putting yourself at much greater risk. The key is to find a really great agent who is totally reliable, trustworthy and fantastic at their job. But what does it take to be a great agent, and how do buyers and sellers root them out in a city of more than 13,000 licensed REALTORS®? Here’s our advice.
leads. If they’re not pulling their weight, whether before or after you hire them, you need to find someone else to represent you.
Professionalism, inside and out:
Attributes of a great real estate agent The way you will find your agent will differ slightly depending on whether you’re a buyer or seller – see the sidebars for details on this. However, the attributes of a great agent are the same in either case. The following is what you’re looking for.
Local knowledge: It is essential that the agent thoroughly knows the neighbourhood you are buying or selling in. If buying, they need to know details of similar home purchases, and problem condo buildings – and if selling, you’ll want them to have recent sales experience and success at selling homes in the area. David Richardson of Re/Max Crest Realty (see page 16) told us, “I won’t sell the homes of friends or family, but when they come to me, I always tell them the same thing: Pick an agent with real experience in your neighbourhood, with knowledge of prices, with a history of actually selling homes in your area. It’s the number one thing.”
behalf, too. Make a note of which agents respond quickly and professionally to your inquiry and explain the process effectively, and who also listen to your needs and is on the same page as you.
Proactive approach and tenacity: You want someone who is really going to bat for you, so it’s got to be an agent who doesn’t give up, whether that’s arranging showings, marketing your home extensively or following any and all
Not only does your agent need to have a professional approach and attitude in order to get you a home or sell it, they also need to look the part. Unless they are a total rock-star agent who everybody knows, no agent can get away with scruffy clothes and a lax attitude and expect to get the best deal or attract customers.
Honesty and a strong work ethic: When you’re placing your home, or your life savings, in someone’s hands, it is essential that they are trustworthy and hard-working. Make sure that you know exactly who they are and that they have awesome testimonials across the board (not just from selected clients). >
Great communication and listening skills: If the agent is easy to communicate with, both face-to-face and via email and phone, they will not only be fun to work with, they’ll also likely be good at negotiating on your behalf, too. Make a note of which agents respond quickly and professionally to your inquiry and explain the process effectively, and who also listen to your needs and is on the same page as you.
Wide connections and industry relationships: If the agent is easy to communicate with, both face-to-face and via email and phone, they will not only be fun to work with, they’ll likely be good at negotiating on your Profiles of Excellence
BUYERS: ,S[ XS ÁRH ]SYV FY]MRK EKIRX You might not think you necessarily need a buyer’s agent, but you’d be a fool to do without one. A buyer’s agent won’t cost you any extra money, as their fee is covered by the commission paid by the seller, which is split between the buying and listing agents. Some would argue that the buyer’s agent’s service is not exactly “free” as the seller will weave the commission cost into the listing price. But that listing price won’t be any lower if you forego having a buyer’s agent, and you may even end up with a worse deal as you didn’t have an experienced professional negotiating your purchase price for you.
Get recommendations and interview two or three potential agents, ensuring that they meet the “attributes of a great agent” listed in this article.
Ask how they would help you find your home, whether your expectations are realistic for your budget, how many showings a week you can expect and how long they think it should take.
Your buying agent should tell you when you’re being unrealistic, but if you find that they are unable to get on the same page as you, they might not be the right fit.
Follow up with testimonials and references to ensure the agent you are choosing is trustworthy and hard-working.
Don’t go with an agent just because they are a friend or family member
Do get recommendations from friends or family members who have had a great experience with an agent
Don’t feel that you have to use an agent just because you used them before
Do interview the most promising-looking agents – even if you’re buying a home
Don’t get too hung up on awards and accolades – they are a good indication of an agent’s trustworthiness and honesty, but they don’t mean the agent will be a good fit for you.
Do get testimonials, and not just from clients that the agent has selected
Do follow the advice on these pages!
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All agents charge a commission to sellers upon the sale of the property, and you need to find out what they are charging – usually around five per cent of the sale price. Do not dismiss an agent solely based on the fact that they charge a higher commission, because that commission is split with the buyer’s agent, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing, and could even get you more money in the end. If you intend to negotiate the fee, discuss this with them at interview stage. For example, they may agree to a three per cent basic fee, but five per cent if the house is sold within a certain timeframe or for a certain amount above asking price.
You should ask any agents you interview how they intend to market your property, and whether they include services such as professional photography, video or advertising as part of their commission or for an additional fee. Will they be using social media, targeted advertising, or other innovative methods?
Find out how well connected the agent is, how long they have been in the business, and how well they know the neighbourhood by asking pointed questions.
Ask them for testimonials from their last 10 clients – the 10 most recent, not 10 that the agent cherry-picks for you.
How to choose a listing agent If you’re selling your home, you will have to work even harder to find a great listing agent, as your home listing will be coveted by many agents. You will need to interview a few potential candidates thoroughly to find out who is most likely to get you the best price for your home in a timely manner. Q
Again, only interview those who have been recommended to you. When interviewing, ensure that they meet the key attributes of a great agent set out in this article.
Ask for a comparative market analysis at this stage, so that you can start thinking about a listing price that is in step with neighbouring properties. Ask the agent what price they would list your home at, and be prepared for negotiation. Your home might not be worth as much as you think it is, or it might be worth more than the agent is telling you, so make sure the agent is being up front with you and has the market information to back up their price. Don’t just go with the agent giving you the promise of the highest price – it has to be achievable. “Go with a realist,” says David Richardson. “Otherwise you’ll spend the next few months with your agent hammering you for price reductions.”
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A Unique Insight from All-Round Expertise Doug Lucier’s breadth of experience in both resale properties and new home sales gives him an edge over other agents
T’S A RARE REALTOR® who understands as much about selling new home developments as about resale properties, and who also knows the geographical market all the way from White Rock to Whistler. But Doug Lucier is one such agent. Though much of his business is centred south of the Fraser, the Sutton Seafair agent has a breadth of experience across the Lower Mainland region. Moreover, he notes, his experience across the real estate spectrum enhances the strengths he brings to residential clients. “I’ve been on both sides, working for a developer as a marketing director and as the head of a real estate marketing company,” says Lucier. He now heads up Doug Lucier
SUTTON SEAFAIR REALTY OFFICE
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Real Estate Marketing, which markets condo and townhouse developments including some of Tsawwassen and South Delta’s landmark properties, such as Brio, Cityhomes, Olivia, Canu, Oliver and more. “My background working for developers has given me insights a lot of REALTORS® don’t have. “When you’re a REALTOR®, you look at things from that perspective: Is it priced right?” he adds. “When you’re a developer, you look at a lot more. Who’s your demographic? Who’s your geographic buyer? What is needed here? What will work here? How do we maximize profit? How do we design and create the best floorplans possible?” He brings this wide experience to residential real estate. “Whether it is an entry-level home or a multimillion-dollar development,” Lucier says, “I will approach the marketing with the same attention to detail and creativity. Always do what is best for the client or development.” This hardworking agent also knows that selling a home is not just about placing a listing ad – it’s about truly understanding the market. Lucier is a self-confessed trends addict who is constantly keeping up with the latest real estate news and research to inform his business. He also makes it a priority to understand Built Green and LEED® construction standards. Lucier works across the Lower Mainland
Years in real estate business: 36 years of award-winning service Upcoming projects: Stay tuned, there are more developments on the way!
One of Doug Lucier’s ﬂagship projects, Brio in Tsawwassen by Extol Developments is a four-storey building containing 58 gorgeous homes, designed by the award-winning Portico Design Group
but has lived in South Delta for 25 years and has seen it grow and develop in that time. The housing market has had ripple effects throughout Metro Vancouver, but there are some very tangible reasons, he says, why folks are choosing South Delta to call home. “I’ve done the research,” Lucier laughs. “White Rock and South Surrey were close, but South Delta receives more sunshine than any other part of Metro Vancouver. It is a microclimate that makes life a little different out here. Folks here are open and friendly. It’s like a village.”
Most proud of: Selling more multifamily developments in South Delta in the past 12 years than any other REALTOR®.
1625 56th Street | Delta, BC | V4L 2B2 | 604.644.2099 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.douglucier.com
Star in the Local Real Estate Spotlight
Following a glittering US TV career, Graison Foster-Stemper has brought her skills (and glamorous client list) back to Canada and into the industry she’s passionate about
RAISON FOSTERSTEMPER may seem like she’s been a REALTOR® for years, but in fact she started her career in television. She worked for more than a dozen years as a TV anchor, producer and reporter – mostly in Palm Springs, after moving there from Canada in 2001. Working in the fastpaced world of news and lifestyle magazine programming, these diverse experiences and stress levels taught her how to work effectively under pressure, how to manage time and, most importantly, how to deal with people from all walks of life – all valuable skills needed to become a successful REALTOR®. While co-hosting the highly popular Desert Homebuilders TV show, Graison fused her love of home design with real estate, successfully buying, renovating and selling a number of homes herself. After the 2008 American economic downturn, the dual-citizenship holder returned to Canada. “When I moved back in 2009, I was hired as a producer for several divisions of Global News,” she adds. When the television giant laid off 350 employees, including Graison, she took it as her opportunity to reinvent herself in an industry she was passionate about. A graduate of the real estate program at the Sauder School of Business at the University of BC, Graison received her real estate licence in 2016. Today, her clients are as multifaceted as her career. They include everyone from first-time home buyers to American and other overseas
buyers looking to find a second home in Vancouver or Whistler – and even Hollywood actors and producers hoping to find an appropriate rental or purchase a property. As a rising star in the industry, Graison understands that some people mistrust real estate brokers; she is on a mission to dispel those misconceptions. “Hiring someone who knows the intricate legalities of real estate, has knowledge of neighbourhood trends and is an excellent negotiator has been proven to help people sell their homes faster and for more money,” Graison says. Beyond building her business, Graison also believes in giving back to the community, which has been a cornerstone of her life for years. While living in the United States, she was a board member with SafeHouse of the Desert, working with runaway teens and abused children. In addition, she was involved with Shelter from the Storm, Desert Aids Project, Bob Hope Classic, to name a few. Currently, shee iis on the lookout for a great charity fo to get behind.
Years in real estate business: I’m new How many on your team? Two Works for: Sutton Group Seafair Realty
SUTTON SEAFAIR REALTY OFFICE
Did you know? To help answer clients’ questions or concerns, Graison has created her own YouTube channel of advice videos. Just go to YouTube.com and search for Graison’s channel “Buying and Selling Vancouver Real Estate”.
1625 – 56th Street | Tsawwassen, BC | V4L 2B2 | 604.773.5702 email@example.com | www.realestatebygraison.com Profiles of Excellence
RE/MAX: Global Roots and Community Focus One of our best-known brokerages offers the unbeatable combination of international expertise and local knowledge
OMMUNITY MATTERS. Being a part of a community helps a REALTOR® serve their clients – whether buyers or sellers. And for one group of Vancouver-area agents, that also means playing a leadership role in stepping up for causes that make neighbourhoods and families better. Richard Laurendeau is the managing broker of RE/MAX Westcoast, headquartered in Richmond. Allison Cimoszko is the managing broker of RE/MAX Select Properties, focusing on Vancouver West. Cory Raven is the managing broker of RE/MAX Select Realty, dedicated to Vancouver East. All three have lifelong connections to Vancouver and are raising their
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RE/MAX is committed to giving back to the community, such as through its involvement with the Children’s Miracle Network, which supports B.C. Children’s Hospital
families here. Together, they are also partners in the three businesses. With their team of 280 agents, they’ve got the region covered. Thinking globally and acting locally is a RE/MAX advantage, says Laurendeau. “We live in the community, we work in the community and we are part of an international organization,” explains Laurendeau, who has been in the industry for more than three decades. “RE/MAX is in about 100 countries. It’s global. But we are a locally owned operation. We certainly have the local knowledge. But when clients come from Montréal or New York or California or China, the RE/MAX name is not new to them. As a result, they gravitate to what they know to be a credible, reliable, professional source of
information and expertise.” RE/MAX has a 40-year record – and the combined experience between the three principals is far higher. RE/MAX REALTORS® typically have more years in the profession and help more buyers and sellers per agent than other brokerage. The locally minded, globally connected ethos of RE/MAX extends to the systems that support agents so they can deliver outstanding service to clients. RE/MAX tells its agents “you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself” and the Westcoast and Select offices are the embodiment of independent entrepreneurship undergirded by comprehensive back office excellence. To the client, the agent is the face of the agency, but the staff in the offices have repeatedly been
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Richard Laurendeau, managing broker of RE/MAX Westcoast: â&#x20AC;&#x153;RE/MAX is global, but we are a locally owned operationâ&#x20AC;?
recognized with awards for administration and management. The ownership team has also been repeatedly cited as leaders in their field. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what allows our agents to achieve,â&#x20AC;? says Cimoszko, who has been a RealtorÂŽ for 16 years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your agent is working with you one-on-one, but there is a team of top professionals backing them up so that, whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re buying or selling, we deliver service that gives you an extraordinary advantage.â&#x20AC;? The three partners share a passion for the business, for serving clients and bringing results. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are committed to providing world-class service from outstanding agents who are skilled, driven and focused on achieving great outcomes,â&#x20AC;? says Raven, a two-decade real estate professional. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We know the importance of experience, of learning from those who are more experienced and sharing our knowledge with those we work with. We understand the value of preparation and education.â&#x20AC;? The three partners agree that the criteria for selecting the right RealtorÂŽ is to look at their skills, their integrity and the strength of their marketing plan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Again and again, we can demonstrate more experience and higher productivity, resulting in better performance,â&#x20AC;? says Laurendeau. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That translates to successful purchases for the buyer or sales for the seller. We bear that out year after year in terms of statistics. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s backed by numbers.â&#x20AC;? While tangible outcomes like sales numbers matter, also essential to the RE/MAX teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work is a devotion to the communities they serve. The RE/MAX Westcoast and RE/MAX Select offices and staff are uniquely devoted to supporting great causes. RE/MAX of Western Canada offers the Quest for Excellence bursary program, which presents 16
$1,000 bursaries to Grade 12 students who demonstrate leadership and community contribution initiatives. This is one of many causes the brokerage and its agents support. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our RealtorsÂŽ do what they can for lots of superb groups doing good works,â&#x20AC;? says Laurendeau. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A particular focus is Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Miracle Network, which supports B.C. Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital. Any parent who has been through those doors knows how it feels â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and has also experienced the profound reassurance that comes from seeing the professionalism and humanity of the staff there.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is one way of supporting the people we serve,â&#x20AC;? adds Cimoszko. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Finding and creating homes for families is what we do as RealtorsÂŽ. But every parent knows that, when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a sick kid, nothing else matters.â&#x20AC;?
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RE/MAX Select Properties 8FTU #PVMFWBSE 7BODPVWFS #$ | 7 . 8 0GGJDF 604.737.8865 &NBJM firstname.lastname@example.org w w w. r s pva n . c o m RE/MAX Select Realty .BJO 4USFFU 7BODPVWFS #$ | 7 7 3 0GGJDF 604.678.3333 &NBJM email@example.com w w w. s e l e c t o n m a i n . c o m R E /M A X We stcoa st 3VTT #BLFS 8BZ 3JDINPOE #$ | 7 # # 604.273.2828 &NBJM Sold@richmondbcrealty.com
Allison Cimoszko is the managing broker of RE/MAX Select Properties, which focuses on Vancouver West
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The Changing Face of
Development in Metro Vancouver Today’s new home buyers – even ﬁ rst-timers – are sophisticated, demanding and forward-thinking. Here’s how the development industry is keeping pace
T’S A FACT of life. Metro Vancouver real estate is expensive. Th is is, after all, one of the world’s most popular places to call home – a fact that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Nor is the concept of restricted land supply going to vanish – we’re geographically constrained by water, mountains and the US border. What is changing, though, is how the development industry is responding to the
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Due to a shortage of available land, at Mill House in North Vancouver, Marcon worked with Lynn Valley United Church on both the construction of the 75 condos and a new church
area’s seemingly endless appetite for new homes. Buyers today, even fi rst-time buyers, are sophisticated and know what they want in a new home. Meeting those needs and wants is challenging, rewarding, and ultimately an exciting opportunity to reevaluate the way we live.
Finding Land “Buy land son, they ain’t making any more of it.” While the old adage is still true, in today’s
marketplace developers are discovering ever more creative ways to maximize use of some previously untapped land supply. Past conversations about converting space above single-level warehousing doesn’t seem to be materializing, but divine inspiration is showing up in a few religious partnerships. “Some churches are now recognizing the untapped value in their land,” says Michael Ferreira, principle of development research
Concord Gardens by Concord Paciﬁc takes luxury to the next level with this spectacular banqueting hall for residents’ private use
company Urban Analytics. In it’s simplest form, the church partners with or sells to a developer who can then build condo or other multi-family units, add amenities, and in many cases rebuild the church itself. In North Vancouver, when Marcon used this model for Mill House, it was met with enthusiasm.
Rethinking Wood In 2009, when BC revised the building code to allow six-storey wood frame buildings, the construction industry applauded. Now there’s a new movement toward CLT (cross laminated timber) as a viable alternative to the more expensive concrete and steel that’s dominated mid-rise condominium construction to date. One of the fi rst developers to embrace this new technology was Adera whose sixth UBC condo project, Virtuoso, showcased CLT in a market development. “Yes, a lot of people were suspicious at fi rst,” acknowledges Eric Andreasen, vicepresident of marketing and sales. “But the reality is that CLT – or mass timber as it’s also known – meets or exceeds concrete in many areas. You can’t light it on fi re because it self-chars meaning oxygen can’t get at it. It’s seismically superior because it doesn’t crack or shatter like concrete. It’s more sustainably produced, requires less energy to recycle, and since the panels are preassembled by computer, there’s virtually no waste. And it looks much warmer and more beautiful than concrete.” Also at UBC, the 18-storey Brock Common Student Residence, a hybrid CLT project, garnered headlines with its erection time of one to two storeys per week. Currently the tallest CLT in the world, it’s clearly changing the way consumers think of wood.
A Matter of Size Smaller, more affordable homes or larger homes designed to woo a sophisticated downsizer? It’s a question that’s plagued developers over recent years. Most choose one strategy or the other. Some, like Onni did at Charlson in downtown Vancouver, now even allow early buyers to combine already-large homes into massive spaces that rival many single-family homes in sheer square footage. In Langley, Infi nity Properties identified an unmet demand for larger units and chose to combine select one-bedrooms in the
Belmont at Heritage into spacious two-bedroom plans that resonated with local downsizers. At the other end of the scale, Charan Sethi, president of Tien Sher Group of Companies, sees the growth of micro-suites as an already wellestablished and growing trend, pointing specifically to the Hastings Corridor as one example. “Young people, especially when they live in an urban environment, don’t mind living in a small space as long as it’s their own space – they just want to get onto the homeownership ladder,” he says. Top of the must-have features in even the smallest space, Sethi notes, is in-suite laundry.
Concert Properties’ Navio at False Creek takes buyers’ wildly varying square-footage needs into account, while not compromising on luxury ﬁnishes
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The Panorama Club at Aragon’s Peninsula development is intended to foster a sense of exclusive community, being designed like a private club
“And even though a lot of these homeowners won’t cook as frequently as older buyers, they still want a highly functional kitchen with full-sized appliances.
the group in between. “We’re forgetting about
situation – that should drive design going
the hundreds of millions of Boomers who can’t
forward. “What if there was a condo tower for
afford luxury and don’t want to be in a building
people (like me) who are passionate about arts
full of part-time DJs and hard-partying young-
and culture, where everyone in the building
Sense of Belonging
sters. We need all kinds and sizes of homes for
shared that common interest, regardless of age
But David Allison, founder of DAVID ALLISON INC and author of The Stackable Boomer, notes we also need to pay attention to
all kinds and sizes of families.”
or income, or anything else for that matter?”
He stresses that it’s people’s desire to belong – not age, ethnic background or fi nancial
Allison suggests common areas could incorporate performance and exhibition areas,
Blazing a Trail for New Wheels Like other industry experts, Grant Murray, Vice President of Sales at Concord Pacific, sees major shift s in way people move around. And it goes far beyond building around transit hubs – a strategy that’s been gaining traction for years. Bike rooms, onsite car co-ops, and electric vehicle (EV) outlets are taking over large sections of the traditional parkade. “We’re now building bike rooms with solid panels so people can’t see the $5,000 or $6,000 bikes that more and more people are riding as commuter vehicles – security is a big issue that we’re addressing,” Murray says. Five years ago, he adds, most developers
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“couldn’t give away EV parking. Now we’re building towers with 100 per cent EV stalls. People are taking the view that even though they might not use them now, it’s a necessary future option.” David Podmore, President and CEO of Concert Properties, says incorporating ride-share options in addition to proximity to transit is becoming a must have feature for many urbanites. “At Salt in downtown Vancouver, those vehicles are intensively used – everything from SUV to Mini Coopers. Plus being on the bike path and near a Mobi Bike Share station
gives so many alternatives, that many people simply don’t own a vehicle. At Drake, one of our earlier projects, the parkade is never full.”
Virtuoso by Adera Corporation, the developer’s sixth UBC condo project, broke new ground by using cross-laminated timber construction
practice rooms or rooms to fl ing paint around. “You could talk to anyone in the elevator because you all love the same thing, not because you’re a Boomer or a Millennial or a downsizer. I’ve talked to construction experts and the increase in overall building costs would be tiny.” In fact, a version of this trend is already partially underway. As masterplanned communities mature into an art form, amenities are gaining a diversity that’s little short of breathtaking. Music rooms, virtual golf, indoor hockey rinks, even bowling lanes are showing up as part of the perks of living in a community that came about by meticulous planning and design.
Savvy manufacturers are experimenting with increasingly diverse products that give the luxury look at a more affordable price point – porcelain tile that looks like marble,
durable vinyl flooring with all the texture and beauty of hardwood, and built-in closet/drawer organizers. After all, your home is your castle.
Luxury Outlook Despite fi nancial constraints and a keenness for sustainability, the shift toward luxury – or the appearance of luxury – in new homes continues. High-end appliances like Fisher & Paykel or Miele, granite countertops, open-concept layouts and nine-foot ceilings are now considered de facto standards even in many entry-level units. And air-conditioning is showing up in more towers – which could be a response to climate change.
South Ridge Club by Adera offers sought-after resort-style living, with games room, entertainment kitchen, movie theatre, pool and hot tub among the amenities
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A Pioneer in Development Innovation
This family-owned developer grew from a small operation in 1969 to the leading industry trailblazer it is today
AMILY-OWNED ADERA is one of the province’s most respected multi-disciplinary real estate companies, with nearly five decades of experience. Growing from a small operation in 1969, it has firmly established itself as a leader in innovation; a company that prides itself on its commitment to superior quality, the environ-
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Adera’s high-acoustic-performance homes at The Shore in North Vancouver
ment, the communities it serves, its employees, clientele and embracing the West Coast lifestyle. Adera’s culture is one that continuously pushes the boundaries of innovation while exceeding building code standards. Over the years, Adera has amassed a world-class portfolio that includes the development of more than 10,000 homes, and more than 3.5 million square
feet of commercial space. Adera introduced its trademark Quiet Home™ construction technology in 2013, which has been certified as equal to or better than concrete built to code. “When touring the display homes, people can’t hear construction occuring only a few floors above,” says Eric Andreasen, VP of sales and marketing. “Sound transference
The residences at Virtuoso, in UBCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coveted Wesbrook Village, embrace a central zen garden
between floor and party walls â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both airborne and impact â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are significantly decreased so home owners can enjoy the comfort of their new home in peace and quiet.â&#x20AC;? With its North Shore condos â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Shore â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Adera debuted the acoustically high performing wood-frame building technology in Western Canada. The award-winning developerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s six-storey, low-rise building showcased a superior acoustic specification, which significantly reduced sound transmission between private residences. In another first, says Andreasen, Adera is now using Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) at its UBC project, Virtuoso. CLT is a mass timber product created from engineered wood panels with wood from sustainability harvested forests. Each CLT panel is typically 3 to 7 boards think, laminated at high pressure to create a strong luxury building material.
The now sold-out townhomes at South Ridge Club, Willsbrook
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Imagine a slab of wood replacing a slab of concrete for the floor. Mass timber performs as well as, if not better, than concrete in most circumstances. It is lighter, easier to work with and more sustainable. We feel itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the way of the future,â&#x20AC;? he adds. Another example of Aderaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to the environment is its multiple-award-winning Seven35 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a collection of 60 urban stacked townhomes in North Vancouver. Seven35 was the first Multi-family LEED for Homes Platinum project in the country, and was Built Green Gold for several sustainable features, such as its Waste Water Heat Recovery system and low VOC emission carpets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sustainability is baked into our DNA,â&#x20AC;? says Andreasen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important from a triple bottom line; lower monthly costs for our customers, personal satisfaction for us and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the socially responsible thing to do for the planet.â&#x20AC;?
When was Adera established? In 1969 Company owners: Adera Group of Companies (privately held)
1XPEHU RI RIÂ´FHV DQG GLYLVLRQV One office in downtown Vancouver Number of employees: 70 direct Most notable awards: Numerous awards from local, national and international bodies including: Âť 1MBUJOVN (FPSHJF "XBSE (second-ever awarded) Âť (SBOE 4".T Âť (PME /VHHFU "XBSET Ă&#x2020; .VMUJ 'BNJMZ )PVTJOH 1SPKFDU first Canadian recipient) Â&#x2021; Ovation Award â&#x20AC;&#x201C; .VMUJ 'BNJMZ -PX SJTF Development of the Year
Â&#x2021; G eorgie Award - .VMUJ 'BNJMZ )PNF #VJMEFS PG the Year (2016, 2013, 2008, 2007, 2006)
Suite 2200 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1055 Dunsmuir Street Four Bentall Centre Vancouver, BC | V7X 1K8 604.684.8277 firstname.lastname@example.org www.adera.com Adera management team at the international Gold Nuggets Awards
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Time for a change of scenery? Call 604-683-7535 today. 32
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1075 W Georgia St, Suite 1300, Vancouver, BC V6E 3C9 +1 604 683 7535 | naicommercial.ca
Right Contractor Choosing the right contractor is the foundation of every successful project, from entire new-home builds to bathroom renovations
OU’VE TAKEN THE plunge, bought some land and are ready to build your dream home. Or maybe you’re just going to finally finish that moldy basement. Whatever your project, you’re probably bursting with anticipation, enthusiasm and inspiration. But where to start?
If you’re looking to build a laneway home, you could use a specialist builder such LaneFab Design Build, which won an Ovation for Custom Home under $750,000 with this project in 2016 | IMAGE COURTESY GVHBA
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The breathtaking restoration of The Gables by Marino General Contracting is nominated for several of the upcoming Georgie Awards: Best Renovation $800,000 and Over, Best Outdoor Living Space, and Renovator of the Year
Fortunately, there are many talented people who make it their life’s work to build people’s dreams into reality. One thing all the experts agree on is choosing a builder who is a good fit will reward you with a much less stressful experience and a finished product that is completed on time and budget, that will add value to your home, and will give you satisfaction for years to come. So what are the first steps to finding the right builder or contractor for your project? First, it pays to have a look at your local professional organization, such as the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association (GVHBA). These types of organizations hold their members to certain professional standards and a code of ethics, and the GVHBA requires members to be a member of a third-party warranty program and be registered with the Homeowner Protection Office. The membership directory is a great place to start looking at company websites and narrowing down your search to companies that operate in your area and do the type of work you need.
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Once you’ve determined these possibilities, explains GVHBA’s CEO Bob de Wit, “Take a look at their Better Business Bureau rating, the awards they have won, their references, and how long they have been in business. This will give you a good idea of the quality of their customer service.”
Getting Quotes Once you have the top four or five companies according to these criteria, now you can start contacting them for quotes. “Obtain multiple quotes from the professionals who you interview,” says Roz Screeton of TQ Construction, “and be sure that you provide them all with the same information when they visit your home, so that you are comparing apples to apples when you receive their prices.” Knowing the difference between a “fixed price” estimate and a “cost plus” estimate is also crucial. A cost plus contract indicates the price of construction is the “fixed costs” plus an
additional percentage, which is the profit for the builder. The fixed costs include the cost of the materials and labor along with indirect (overhead) costs. A fixed price contract is an agreement to construct a building at a set price. That price includes all costs and profit. Meredith Yuen, from Marino General Contracting, explains, “Sometimes a low estimate might seem like the best option, but you should take into consideration that the general contractor hasn’t included appliances, high grade materials, finishes or required labour. So, a higher estimate might be the most comprehensive and indicative of your overall cost.” During the first meeting, ask about specific construction details of your project, says Screeton, “Some builders specialize in particular aspects of construction or specific project types. If you have a unique problem that you need resolved by renovation, or a special request in new construction, it would be great to know if the builder who you are > considering has experience with that.”
Ensure your builder understands the subtleties of the style you’re going for – just like this nominee for the 2016 Ovation Awards’ Custom Home Build $750,000$1.5m, by Kemp Construction | IMAGE COURTESY GVHBA
All About the Fit In the end though, much of your choice should come down to personality. “‘Who do you gel with?’ is the question,” says de Wit. Ralph Belisle, TQ Construction’s president, adds, “A good contractor should be able to perfectly execute any type of design, so getting to know who you communicate best with is the most important thing. Contractors live and die on having good information.” Keep in mind this is not Love It or List It, where your knob and tube wiring or attic squirrel hotel can be blamed on the contractor. When issues and contingencies arise you have to feel comfortable talking and working out issues with your builder.
Check References and Testimonials Before you make your final decision and sign a contract, make sure that you contact previous clients and see, in person, work they have done; This stunning renovation of a Burnaby Home by TQ Construction shows how choosing an experienced contractor can turn out
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preferably a job similar in scope to what you need. “A quality company pays attention to the smallest level of detail,” says Yuen, “all the screws are turned the same way, the tiles are laser straight”. It’s a truism, but the saying “The best work happens behind the piano,” means that the work is done by a professional company that takes pride in providing the same level of precision and craftsmanship to every
area of the home, not just the showcase areas. Also, ask the previous clients if the work was done on schedule, on budget, and if the follow-up care was satisfactory. Was the documentation, permit process and inspection schedule transparent and efficient? Is the company easy to get a hold of? Knowing this ahead of time can ease any concerns you may have about getting started.
You’re going to invest the money, so it makes sense to invest the time to find the right company that will work with your vision to make your building dream a reality. You never know, your project might end up not only being beautiful, but also on the receiving end of an industry award one day. Visit ovationawards.ca and georgieawards.ca to see past winners and get inspired!
Dos and Don’ts of Choosing a Builder or Renovator Q
DO: Choose a builder with a wide range of projects and a large palette of building styles. A good builder should be able to execute any aesthetic style, but should have expertise in the type of work you need them to do.
DO: Get to know your builder personally, have conversations with them, and make sure you are compatible. A builder with a creative, laid-back personality may not be a good fit for a Type A client, and vice-versa, regardless of the quality of the finished project.
DO: Read reviews, talk to previous clients and see finished projects
DO: Ask about the materials: are they using the highest grade shingle, for instance? Is every material used at the same fit and finish?
DO: Be wary of any company that asks for a large deposit. A successful contractor should be able to carry the cost until the first bill.
DO: Be specific. Is the client responsible for permits and inspections, engineers, designers? Some contractors provide these things and make it an easier process for the homeowner.
DON’T: Ask how much they charge per square foot. This vague number doesn’t tell you anything meaningful. Instead, make sure they have a track record of coming in on budget.
DON’T: Make assumptions. Get everything in writing on the contract so there is no confusion.
A high-end kitchen renovation, like this one by Teragon Developments, takes a contractor with expertise and vision | IMAGE COURTESY GVHBA
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Classic Craftsmanship Meets New-Generation Energy Just like the perfect blending of old-meets-new in its heritage restorations, Marino General Contracting combines the best of both worlds in its business practices
Up for three Georgie Awards is The Gables, Vancouver’s largest private estate, listed at $38m, a home that expertly combines contemporary and heritage living
HEN IT COMES to choosing a general contractor or construction company , it can often be a coin-toss between an established, trusted name and a vibrant new company with innovation and vision. But wouldn’t it be great if you could have both? The Marino name has been in the construction industry for five generations, and Marino General Contracting has been serving Vancouver for 28 years. Evidence of the company’s history is visible both in the keepsakes in the office – founder Joe Marino has his father’s tool belt and grandfather’s hammer on display – and in the quality old-meetsnew work that is gaining the firm plenty of awards attention. For 28 years, Marino GC has been focused on local, referral-based business, with word of mouth and great testimonials keeping the team busy. But in a dynamic Vancouver real estate market, and in transitioning from old methods to new, Marino GC has expanded from the tight knit West Side neighbourhood they live in, into servicing the entire region, from West Vancouver to White Rock.
A dilapidated triplex in Kitsilano has been transformed into an award nominated single family home with ocean and mountain views
And now, taking the business to the next level is Joe’s son Steve Marino, a UC Berkeley graduate with a background in Political Economy, Project Management, and Mandarin, who has grown through the ranks of the company. Steve explains, “Coming from an atypical construction background, I’ve used my work experience and education to help streamline our business, improve communication between all parties, and continue a company culture that prides itself on being top notch.” With all these changes comes a new outwardfacing approach, with the company entering the awards circuit for the first time. Up for four provincial wide Georgie Awards is The Gables, an amazing restoration of a heritage mansion, and Kitsilano Dreaming, a renovated single-family home that has become an entertainer’s dream. But it’s not about accolades – deep within Marino’s company philosophy is a belief that excellence starts with the smallest of details. There is a culture of mindfulness and pride in working for a company that has an uncompromising mandate of
1537 West 75th Avenue | Vancouver, BC | V6P 6Z7 | 604.266.1921 email@example.com | www.marinogc.com | instagram.com/marinoltd
providing the highest level of customer service and building standards. As Steve adds, “Valuing client needs and objectives necessitates a respect for the everyday actions that define project success”– a fact that his company has never forgotten.
Steve Marino, son of founder Joe Marino, is leading Marino GC in new methods of construction innovation
Years in the business: 27 and counting Number of employees: 15 employees and 15-20 subtrades Most proud of: Carrying on the tradition of building excellence, and serving our community for decades Top awards: WON: Houzz Best of Customer Service 2017 NOMINATED: Georgie Awards 2017 – Renovator of the Year, Best Outdoor Living Space, two nominations in Best Renovation $800k and Over
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TQ Construction A Household Name for More Than 30 Years Full-service design-build company ﬁnds key to success – and repeat business – is keeping clients in the driver’s seat
HEN RALPH BELISLE and his wife Hélène returned to Burnaby in the mid-80s after three years abroad – travelling and working as a carpenter – jobs in his field were few and far between. During the time away, he had honed his residential carpentry skills in countries like England, New Zealand and Australia; eager to put them to the test at home, he dropped flyers door-to-door that advertised his services. Belisle eventually landed a two-week gig. Thinking
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he was onto something, he took an ad in the Vancouver Courier. “I put my phone number and name and the word ‘carpentry,’ he recalls. “There was still some white space, so I said, ‘Let’s go with Top Quality.’” And so Burnaby-based TQ Construction was born in 1985. “We never looked back,” Belisle says with a smile. TQ Construction has rejuvenated hundreds of homes in the Greater Vancouver area through custom renovation and new custom home builds. The company is nationally acclaimed and a winner and finalist of
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over 65 industry awards. Today, the coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son, Henri, leads the company as general manager, while Ralph continues to oversee daily operations. The Belisles and their team of experts have developed well-organized systems for cost-plus and fixed-price methods of construction budgeting, giving clients different options for their specific needs, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for a kitchen renovation or a whole home face lift. Belisle noted when deciding whether to renovate or build new, each project has a â&#x20AC;&#x153;tipping point.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;You make that decision by analyzing the numbers of cost of construction and return on investment. Our company does that for you, making sure youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on the right track,â&#x20AC;? he says. TQ Construction prides itself on its full service design build model, according Belisle. He says the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;integrated and sequencedâ&#x20AC;? planning process â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from initial concept to final completion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; gives home owners peace of mind. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The key is to keep the client in the driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seat, where they have a great deal of input,â&#x20AC;? he says of the process. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the real value of working with us. The decisions to be made â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on cost, on schedule, on beauty or on quality â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are continuously communicated amongst the key players and decision makers in their project. There are fewer surprises along the way. This level of commitment
to service is what keeps happy clients coming back for our top quality design and construction.â&#x20AC;?
How many employees? A core team of 15 design-and-build experts with additional staff during busier construction months. How long in business? Since July 1985. Owned by: Ralph Belisle, president of TQ, who founded the company with his wife Helene Belisle. Today ownership is transferring to their son Henri Belisle, general manager of TQ. Major accolades: TQ Construction is a nationally acclaimed winner and finalist of more than 65 industry awards, including: - 11 Gold Georgies â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CHBA-BC - 7 Ovation Awards â&#x20AC;&#x201C; GVHBA - 3 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence - 2015 Guildmaster Award for exceptional customer service
At TQâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Shaughnessy renovation project, the kitchen and segregated mud-room were combined into an open-concept social hub with eclipse doors to patio.
Most proud of? TQ Construction has developed streamlined, well-organized systems for cost-plus and fixed-price methods of construction budgeting. One of few builders who can effectively offer both budgeting methods to best serve our clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; preferences.
Unit 106 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8988 Fraserton Court | Burnaby, BC | V5J 5H8 | firstname.lastname@example.org | tqconstruction.ca
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Metro Vancouver Real Estate Market Forecast A previously scorching market that seems to be cooling – but how far will it fall? Here’s our round-up of industry leaders’ forecasts for this year
ITH A SEEMINGLY softening housing market – due to various government interventions, or to self-correction – we’re heading into an interesting year for Greater Vancouver real estate. But the question of whether that’s simply a gentle slowdown in the rapid growth we’ve seen, or a more significant downturn, seems to be a matter of divided opinion. Here’s a summary and analysis of some of the industry’s outlooks for Vancouver and BC real estate over the next year.
Home Sales Despite 2016’s second-half slowdown in home sales in the region and across the province, the real-estate-buying frenzy in the spring market meant that 2016 as a whole was a record year for resale transactions. This is expected to continue to slow in 2017, dropping more than 15 per cent to a total of 96,300 home sales across the province in 2017, according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).
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The association’s most recent forecast report (issued before the BC Premier’s announcement about the new first-time buyer down payment loan) said, “Policy headwinds will be a negative influence on the BC housing market in 2017, especially in Metro Vancouver where a 15 per cent tax on foreign nationals curbs that market segment. This combined with the third tier of the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) applying an incremental 3 per cent tax on the purchase of homes priced over $2 million will likely moderate demand at the high end of the market. First-time and other low-equity home buyers will also be constrained by higher mortgage qualification requirements that could pull as much as 20 per cent of the purchasing power from this vital buyer group.” Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist, added, “While home sales are not expected to repeat this year’s record performance, consumer demand is expected to remain well above the 10-year average [of 85,000 sales a year].” The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation had a similar forecast for British Columbia. Its Fall 2016 Housing Market
level of new listings could constrain existing home sales in 2017, and sales are expected to come off a lower starting point as the Vancouver resale market adjusts to the policy shock of the foreign buyer tax.” 2017’s new home sales are predicted to follow the resale trend, dipping lower than 2016 and even 2015, but still predicted to be one of the strongest years in the past, according to Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing – and could surpass expectations if interest rates remain low. In a recent interview, president Scott Brown said, “Given the concerns about interest rate increases and additional policy changes such as the BC Government’s recently announced first-time buyer down payment assistance initiative, we expect a quick start to 2017.”
Home Prices The consensus on the direction of home sales may be consistent, but the likely effect of all the above on
home prices in the region and province has experts divided. Back in October 2016, the National Bank was one of the first to predict a double-digit drop in Greater Vancouver home prices over the following 12 months. The report went on to say, “We think Vancouver home prices will soon start correcting. We expect a decline over 12 months of 10 per cent overall and 20 per cent for detached homes.” However the bank pointed out that the steeper decline at the higher-priced detached-home end of the market meant that prices would drop less steeply for other properties – “nine per cent for attached homes [such as townhouses and duplexes] and five per cent for condos.” A slightly more moderate prediction came out of Royal LePage, which issued a forecast January 12 that said home prices in Greater Vancouver are likely to fall by an average of 8.5 per cent in 2017. However,
even this decline would online bring values back to the levels seen in the super-hot spring market of 2016. Another nationwide brokerage had an even more bullish view, however, with RE/MAX issuing a report that predicted Vancouver home prices would slow in their rate of growth, but still continue to rise in 2017, increasing on average another two per cent across all property types over the year. One leading economist agrees with this trajectory. Speaking at a Urban Development Institute lunch back in September, shortly after the introduction of the foreign buyer tax, Helmut Pastrick, chief economist at Central 1 Credit Union, said, “After the [Vancouver real estate] market has absorbed this new tax regime, we will begin to see other market fundamentals come into effect. Prices will then continue to rise, and they will be higher this time next year.” > Profiles of Excellence
Townhouse properties are still in very high demand and extremely limited supply, especially in the City of Vancouver
However, a forecast report by Pastrick’s credit union Central 1 issued in December 2016, following the introduction of stricter mortgage rules, was a little less bullish. The credit union predicted that home prices across the Lower Mainland and Southwest of BC would fall by four per cent in 2017 before rising again in 2018. The report added, “[While mainstream] media reports will invariably focus on average price levels, which are impacted in large part by product composition, and show deep price declines, the underlying price declines will be less exciting.” The BCREA’s forecast for the whole of BC also falls somewhere in the middle of the price-drop range. Its outlook report said that an easing in demand combined with evidence of increasing housing supply will mean there is less competition for homes, and that there will be a moderate reduction in the average home sale price. “Market conditions are expected to trend toward greater balance in the face of moderating demand and rising new home completions. While the [provincial] average MLS® residential price is forecast to decline 6.4 per cent in 2017, most of that change will be due to relatively fewer higher priced homes selling in highly populated regions, particularly Metro Vancouver.”
2017 Average House Price Forecasts* National Bank
12% Royal LePage
Central 1 Credit Union
*All property types combined
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The consensus is that single-family detached homes are likely to see the biggest price declines this year, partially due to the foreign buyer tax
Interest Rates and Financing According to the BCREA, the election of Donald Trump as US president and strict new mortgage qualification rules will likely boost interest rates next year and put much greater pressure on fi rst-time and low-income buyers. The association echoed widespread predictions that the average five-year mortgage rate will rise in 2017, suggesting it will increase from 3.7 per cent to 3.95 per cent over the year. “We anticipate that as bond yields move higher in the next year and new mortgage regulations squeeze margins, banks will raise their current offered rates on five-year mortgages by roughly 20 basis points to just under four per cent on average,” said the association’s December 2016 mortgage forecast report. The five-year qualifying rate – the rate at which “stress-tested” homebuyers must qualify – is predicted to rise 20 basis points from 4.64 per cent to 4.84 per cent by the end of next year. However, the BCREA’s report was issued just before BC Premier Christy Clark announced the new program to offer down-payment-matching loans of up to five per cent to fi rst-time buyers in British Columbia. Th is program directly targets the “stress-tested” buyers who are putting less than 20 per cent down, and seems to be a deliberate measure to offset the reduction in buying power created by the new federal mortgage rules. The BCREA said in a previous report that although high home prices combined with low interest rates have meant BC households taking on high mortgage debts, “BC households are not showing signs of fi nancial stress.” It said, “Mortgage arrears have trended lower while consumer bankruptcies are at their lowest level in a decade. Low interest rates have kept debt-servicing costs low and stable while a growing economy and unemployment at an eight-year low have further buttressed household fi nancial stability.”
Conclusion The widespread consensus of predictions is of slightly softening prices but increasing interest rates, which may cancel each other out in terms of housing affordability, and of market interventions by federal (stricter mortgage qualification rules) and provincial (first-time buyer assistance) governments also offsetting the effects of each other, at least partially. Due to this, we believe it is likely that after a period of slowing, Vancouver and BC real estate will steady and remain stable at a still-elevated level across 2017.
Experts say condo prices will not suffer much in 2017, and some say they will keep rising, meaning entry-level homes won’t get any more affordable
The Provincial Election Effect One as-yet-unknown factor is the effect that the BC provincial election this spring may have on the local housing market. Keith Roy, an East Vancouver agent for RE/MAX, told the Real Estate Therapist radio show that his studies of the housing market during election periods reveal that the market tends to slow in those times. Roy, who is politically active and has a degree in political science, predicted that the election could be the most significant cause of a market slowdown – or a failure to heat up, as it usually does in spring. “Elections breed uncertainty and fear, which prevents people from making major decisions,” he said. “I’ve been looking at patterns, and housing activity always declines in the run-up to an election. “Let’s say for example, if I think the NDP is going to get in, and if I believe they have been historically bad for the BC economy, I’ll assume that they will be bad again and that real estate prices might go down, therefore I’ll wait before I buy a house.”
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INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS AND BOARDS
Canadian Home Buildersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association of BC (CHBA-BC) BCIT Campus, Building NW5, 3700 Willingdon Avenue Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2 1.800.933.6777 email@example.com Y www.chbabc.org (pages 10-13)
Greater Vancouver Home Buildersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association (GVHBA) Suite #1003, 7495 - 132 Street Surrey, BC V3W 1J8 778.565.4288 firstname.lastname@example.org Y www.gvhba.org (pages 10-13)
Urban Development Institute â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Pacific Region (UDI) Suite 200 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 602 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC V6B 1P2 604.669.9585 email@example.com Y www.udi.org (pages 10-13)
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) 2433 Spruce Street Vancouver, BC V6H 4C8 1.800.304.0565 Y www.rebgv.org (pages 10-13)
Fraser Valley Real Estate Board 15463 104 Ave, Surrey, BC V3R 1N9 604-930-7600 Y www.fvreb.bc.ca
Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors BC 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3304 Appaloosa Rd Kelowna BC, V1V 2W5 1.800.610.5665 Y www.hiabc.ca
British Columbia Land Surveyors 301, 2400 Bevan Ave, Sidney BC V8L 1W1 250-655-7222 Y www.abcls.ca
Appraisal Institute of Canada
Find an appraiser 613.234.6533 Y www.abcls.ca
Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation Bentall Centre, 543 Granville St #1600, Vancouver, BC V6C 1X8 604.606-8000 Y www.ibabc.org
Insurance Broker Association of BC Suite 1600, 543 Granville Street Vancouver, BC V6C 1X6 604.606.8000 Ywww.ibabc.org
Law Society of BC 845 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 4Z9 604.669.2533 Y www.lawsociety.bc.ca
9th Floor, 1190 Hornby Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K5 604.688.9460 firstname.lastname@example.org Y www.concertproperties.com (pages 6-7)
Sandy Clark Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty 4200 Island Highway N. Nanaimo, BC V9T 1W6 250.668.9878 email@example.com Y www.sandyclarkrealestate.com (page 17)
Concord Pacific 88 Pacific Blvd. Vancouver, BC V6Z 2R6 604.899.8800 Y www.concordpacific.com (page 8)
Mario S. David Royal Pacific Realty 650 West 41st Avenue Vancouver, BC V5Z 2M9 604.207.9966 firstname.lastname@example.org Y www.idomore.ca (page 9)
MLA Canada 100 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 856 Homer Street Vancouver, BC V6B 2W5 604.629.1515 email@example.com Y www.mlacanada.com (pages 46-47)
625 Howe St #700, Vancouver, BC V6C 2T6 604-681-4516 Y www.notaries.bc.ca
Sutton Group Seafair Realty 1625 56th Street, Tsawwassen, BC V4L 2B2 604.773.5702 firstname.lastname@example.org Y graison.glorydesign.ru/meet-graison/ (pages 23)
Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals 2235 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 1401 Toronto, ON M2J 5B5 1-888-442-4625 Y www.mortgageconsumer.org
Mortgage Broker Association of BC Suite 101-1765 West 8th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6J 5C6 1-888-442-4625 Y www.mbabc.ca
Condominium Home Owners Association Suite 200, 65 Richmond Street, New Westminster, BC V3L 5P5 604-584-2462 Y www.choa.bc.ca
DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING COMPANIES
REAL ESTATE BROKERAGES Dexter Realty Yaletown: 1399 Homer Street Vancouver, BC V6B 5M9
Mount Pleasant: 3731 Main Street Vancouver, BC V5V 3N8 1.877.263.1144 email@example.com Y web.dexterrealty.com (pages 14-15)
Sutton Group Seafair Realty 1625 56th Street, Tsawwassen, BC V4L 2B2 604.644.2099 firstname.lastname@example.org Y www.douglucier.com (page 22)
2105 West 38th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6M 1R8 1.877.278.3888 email@example.com Y macrealty.com (pages 2-3)
RE/MAX Crest Realty 3215 Macdonald Street Vancouver, BC V6L 2N2 604.649.2305 firstname.lastname@example.org Y www.thecolourofrealestate.com (page 16)
Suite 2200 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1055 Dunsmuir Street, Four Bentall Centre, Vancouver, BC V7X 1K8 604.684.8277 email@example.com Y www.adera.com (pages 30-31)
SEAFAIR REALTY OFFICE
SEAFAIR REALTY OFFICE
CREST REALTY WESTSIDE
NAI Commercial 1075 W Georgia St, Suite 1300, Vancouver, BC V6E 3C9 604.683.7535 Y www.naicommercial.ca (page 32)
RE/MAX Select Properties 4255 Arbutus St Vancouver, BC V6J 4R1 604.737.8865 Y www.remax-selectvanbc.com (pages 24-25)
RE/MAX Westcoast Realty Adera Development Corp
110 6086 Russ Baker Way Richmond, BC V7B 1B4 604.273.2828 Y www.richmondbcrealty.com (pages 24-25)
Marino General Contracting 1537 West 75th Ave. Vancouver, BC V6P 6Z7 604-266-1921 firstname.lastname@example.org Y www.marinogc.com # instagram.com/marinogc (pages 37)
TQ Construction Unit 106 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8988 Fraserton Court Burnaby, BC V5J 5H8 604.430.9900 email@example.com Y www.tqconstruction.ca ((pages 38-39)
Profiles of Excellence
A New Era for
Two Powerhouse Marketing Firms Merger of MAC Marketing Solutions and BLVD Marketing Group has created MLA Canada – an unstoppable force in new-home sales and marketing
WO POWERHOUSES IN the real-estate-marketing world, MAC Marketing Solutions and BLVD Marketing Group, have combined their strengths to create an even more robust national presence – making the new firm Western Canada’s largest real estate services organization. Together, Cameron McNeill, former president of MAC Marketing Solutions and Ryan Lalonde, former president of BLVD Marketing Group, say the merger to MLA Canada (an acronym for McNeill Lalonde and Associates), better
Profiles of Excellence
Ryan Lalonde (left) and Cameron McNeill have joined their companies’ considerable forces to create MLA Canada, Western Canada’s largest real estate services ﬁrm
serves their clients. “Together, we have harnessed some of the best talent in the industry and have become a full-service organization able to assist both small scale boutique-style projects as well as large scale masterplan communities,” says McNeill, who is co-president along with Ryan Lalonde. “We both recognize that we would be stronger together by offering unique skill-sets that reflect an approach to service, and a culture of diversity and excellence, that is extremely well-aligned.” It is truly a union of two distinct companies
that together are changing the industry landscape. “We are now a group of six owners who are raising the bar for the whole industry,” says McNeill. “We offer our clients the most value possible, which in turn translates to exceptional results.” Lalonde agreed by adding: “We believe that with our deepened group of experienced professionals, progressive new systems, structure, scale, stability and intellectual property, we can far exceed the value of an individual owner-operator company, and provide both better services to our clients and greater opportunities for our employees.”
Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, The Smithe by Boffo Developments is now previewing
Bellevue is an exclusive Dundarave development of just 35 homes by Cressey Developments
McNeill went on to explain that with its creation of four divisions nothing is outsourced: “We’ve created four specialized and talented divisions - Advisory, Communications, as well as two targeted marketing teams, MAC and BLVD, to help ensure every project receives superior service from acquisition to completion.” MLA Canada is the most comprehensive real estate service provider in the country. Partnering with residential developers, MLA Canada offers unparalleled expertise in Advisory services, market intelligence, project marketing, sales, customer care, and administration. From boutique projects to large masterplan communities, its diverse and highly skilled service teams deliver exceptional results, while placing their clients’ objectives and brand identity first. MLA Canada’s key differentiation is the exhaustive range of services it offers. Together, this driving force is redefining industry analytics, marketing, sales, and advisory solutions throughout major metropolitan centres across Canada. BLVD Marketing Group was founded in 2012 by Ryan Lalonde, and quickly established itself as a market leader by rethinking the sales and marketing platforms for boutique-style, high-end multifamily developments. Established in 2001 by McNeill, MAC Marketing Solutions became a leader in its field by overseeing the marketing and sales of larger skyscraper and mixed-use developments, with more than 15,000 homes valuing more than $5 billion in sales over the course of 15 years. Together, MLA Canada’s combined strengths include a talented pool of 140 highly skilled marketing, administration, sales and leasing professionals executing nearly 100 projects in various stages of development throughout Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Victoria, Edmonton and Calgary. “We have a dedicated in-house team that leads our analytics and advisory department which is
unique for a real estate sale and marketing firm,” adds McNeill. In addition to bringing together two highly regarded venerable firms with a broad depth of experience, the union brings together the best elements of both for the benefit of all existing and prospective clients. Key advantages include innovative service offerings, improved efficiencies through advanced technology and systems and access to some of the best talent. 2017 is already proving to be a great year for the newly minted company. MLA Canada is working with award-winning developers on some of the most exciting new luxury projects in several of the Lower Mainland’s most coveted postal codes. They include The Smithe by Boffo, Bellevue by Cressey, Hawthorne by Pennyfarthing Homes and Sussex by Townline Homes. “We believe that as MLA Canada we have raised the bar for excellence in our industry,” McNeill went on to say. “I am very proud of the culture we have been able to foster at MLA Canada – one that is built on our core values, commitment to our people, being the best place to work in real estate, collaborative attitude, and deep desire to do a great job for our clients.
Sussex by Townline is a sophisticated new high-rise residence coming to Metrotown
When was MLA Canada established? March 2016 (Previously MAC Marketing Solutions and BLVD Marketing Group) Owners: Cameron McNeill, Ryan Lalonde, Suzana Goncalves, Janis Gall, Clarke Nakamoto, Shayna Macquisten Number of ofﬁces and divisions: Two offices and four divisions – MLA Advisory, MAC Marketing, BLVD Marketing, MLA Communications Number of employees: 140 Most notable awards: - Platinum Georgie Award 2012 by Canadian Home Builders’ Association of BC (awarded to firms who receive more than 25 Georgie Awards)
Hawthorne by Pennyfarthing Homes is a boutique project on the Cambie Corridor
100 — 856 Homer Street Real Estate Intelligent
- Marketer of the Year 2007 by BC Homes Magazine
Vancouver, BC | V6B 2W5 | 604.629.1515 | firstname.lastname@example.org | mlacanada.com Profiles of Excellence
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