So the first day was wonderful, day 2 is when the courses began.
I had signed myself up for the commercial courses as I have an extreme interest in revenue properties, and do a lot of business to business social networking. I find that entrepreneurs and I get along very well and I always have my ear to the ground for potential businesses entering or trying to thrive in the Okanagan. One building just sold in Penticton and neither the listing agent nor buying agent had bothered to figure out the CAP rate (capitalization rate), it was surprising that this wouldn’t be known as it would be my first question prior to representing a buyer in a large investment purchase. Commercial freaks some people out and most Realtors® will stay far away or should. We in BC are dual licensed in both commercial and residential real estate, other provinces have different licensing and you are most likely one or the other. As I am licensed in BC to trade both commercially and residentially, and I would like to know the most there is to know.
My first session was a little more big scale than I had expected. Out of 600 conference attendees there were maybe 30 people in this room. To my surprise most were in attendance out of board obligations to report to their level of organized real estate. The Session was titled Canadian Commercial Council Update and Commercial Marketing Session.
I sat quietly in the middle of the room and learned all about the new ICX.ca website that will be launched in the near future. This is a commercial information exchange a platform to showcase all the commercial listings on one website vs the Realtor.ca website performing a commercial search. There are glitches with the current system that are to be rectified with the launch of the new website. This website’s goal is to convey comprehensive, reliable, accurate comparative data but many hours and expense will be endured to complete the project. It was so nice to see that these professionals in organized real estate are going to great lengths for research and feedback from all board levels. The site should provide great information to the public including the tax assessment, measurements, value and all pertinent listing information.
The presenter gave everyone in the room an opportunity to introduce themselves, boards, committees, and areas they represented. Another “aha moment.” I then realized I was in the company of all the board chairs from across the western provinces of Canada, professionals with CCIM designations, members of the western real estate board, executive officers and directors, the Canadian Real Estate Council and the Real Estate institute of BC members. As a small town Realtor® with 6 years experience selling residential homes, dabbled in commercial then introduced myself and smiled with intense enthusiasm. I found this exciting!!! We had a little networking session with the people in our immediate presence. I spoke with the 2 Realtors® beside me and mentioned the Okanagan. I talked about my interest in commercial and it seemed that the Realtors® I had spoken with all stayed away from commercial, thinking it was boring. But how I enjoyed following the value of land per acre in the Okanagan, the difference between the value of an acre of vineyard planted, or apple orchard, lakeview to no lakeview, Naramata to Okangan Falls. I have worked with a few developers, banks and vineyard purchases and felt that to the big players’ numbers, soil potential and location all factored into a commercial aspect of the Okanagan. We may not have 60 story buildings, or the need for office space, but we do have more and more of these business ventures out here, land based and I like both land and numbers. I follow the value of Okanagan properties intently and need to know out of obsession what is this land worth, what can it produce, what income level can be achieved. The lady beside me said that they had been following the foreclosure on vineyard land on Corbishly and that her brother owned a winery here in Penticton (Naramata actually, it was their plan to retire here in Penticton. That was good news. The person on the other side of me was a member of the Canadian Real Estate Associaton – CREA. Great people! We all took a break for lunch, at this time I took a quick bathroom break which turned into more or a sprint over to the social media side to make sure I caught my girlfriend Teri-Lyn on stage as she was one of the presenters I was missing to indulge in the commercial organized real estate aspect. I made in time to see they were talking to a crowd of 400 she looked so small in those big chairs up on stage. They were being asked what I consider to be very basic questions on when to blog, what to blog, which programs to use etc etc. I knew that I had this covered and that the big guru’s were coming up the next day so I darted through the amazing brick castle back to the sit down served lunch and listened to the second speaker MLS, Municipalities and Cooperatoion – Bill Covey. He spoke on Toronto commercial real estate and how the city acts as an agent on their land sales. I won’t get into it here….As I whipped out into the hallway I was approached by a member of the REIBC he asked if I would ever consider joining the real estate institute of BC. I said that I currently wasn’t sitting at board level but am considering it and that I have almost finished my Diploma and Urban Land Economics DULE from UBC. I started it forever ago but then was swamped with transactions the last few years but am committed to completing it by the end of the year. He asked for my card and told me to expect an email with application. I agreed that once I finished up with the correspondence courses that I would do so!