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Dave Procter’s Vancouver Island success story | REM





Dave Procter says his 40-year-long real estate career started as somewhat of a fluke.

The managing broker of Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty in Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley was home sick recovering from a fairly serious operation, getting bored while watching TV and reading books. His Realtor father asked, “Why don’t you take the real estate course instead of sitting around and doing nothing?”

The course “really piqued my interest” and Procter left his job in a paper mill to work briefly at Nanaimo Realty, where his dad worked, before working as an agent at Block Brothers, which later became National Real Estate Services.

Flash forward to 2018 and Procter’s Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty has won the Re/Max top transaction award for Canada and Western Canada for two years. He has sold more than 3,000 properties since acquiring the brokerage in 1986.

It has a 55.1 per cent market share in Comox Valley and a 40 per cent share in Campbell River, Procter says.

“I have a number of high-achieving agents in my office,” says Procter. There are 73 sales reps in the Comox and Courtenay offices and 32 in a Campbell River office. These include Ronni Lister, who has won the Western Canada top transaction award for two straight years as an agent. Per capita “we probably have some of the highest-producing people in the system,” Procter says.

He was part of a team of four people who bought the franchise 32 years ago, but over the years the others sold their shares and left, leaving him recently as sole owner and operator. He’s been slowly transitioning away from selling – handling only long-term clients – and into the managing broker role.

“It’s been a learning curve because I’ve always been a selling agent,” says Procter, who has lived in the Comox Valley his entire life.

One of the new challenges, he admits, is dealing with new real estate legislation in B.C. since June 15 that, among other things, bans double-enders – working with both the buyer and seller of a property.

Dave Procter (Photo by Lisa Graham)
Dave Procter (Photo by Lisa Graham)

The rules were “brought in almost by way of a shotgun. We didn’t have time to train or get ready for it or really know what we were getting ourselves into,” he says. The changes have been “so time consuming” that he’s had to hire another full-time employee to help out with the paperwork. “It’s overwhelming.”

The legislation has “put Realtors at the level of what a qualified lawyer has to know,” he says.  Realtors are dealmakers and “were never put into position to be a lawyer.”

Procter says fines attached to the new rules are too high and, as a result, he’s lost several experienced agents who find the risk-reward ratio too high. Four agents in Campbell River and three in Courtenay left his agency, largely as a result of the legislation, leaving him eight to 10 agents short.

Procter says many younger people are interested in becoming agents, but for those working full-time elsewhere, the transition from salaried jobs to commissions can be difficult. Since there are no real apprentice programs to let the agents get full training, Procter has set up his own training and mentoring program.

The housing market covered by Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty is “pretty strong,” with average sale prices of $525,000 in the Comox Valley and about $475,000 in Campbell River. Homes selling for $550,000 and under are seeing a lot of action while activity for those priced at more than $750,000 has slowed, he says.

With house prices a fraction of those in Vancouver, the area is attracting young retirees from Vancouver who can buy mortgage-free, Procter says.

On the negative side, a proposed speculation tax on seasonal properties could hurt sales from out-of-province buyers.

He notes the area does not have many high-tech, high-paying jobs. Major employers include the Canadian Forces Base in Comox and Mount Washington ski resort. A pulp and paper mill in Campbell River shut down about 10 years ago.

In his spare time, Procter fixes old cars. He rebuilt a 1973 Triumph TR6, turning three cars into one, and a 1991 911 Porsche Cabriolet, both of which he drives during the summer. “I like working on older cars because they’re very simple,” with no computers.

He’s also an avid downhill skier and cyclist. In 2010, as part of his 50th birthday celebration, Procter cycled across Canada in 65 days – from Victoria to Halifax – and raised $40,000 for breast cancer research in B.C. His former partner and his kids accompanied him in a motor home. (Procter has three children:  Chase, 21, Miles, 29, and Bryanne, 31.)

His agency is heavily involved in charitable work, including for You are Not Alone (YANA), a Comox Valley organization that provides support to families with sick children who need to travel for medical services.

When Procter became engaged to his partner Janine Martin in February, he announced Sept. 22 as his wedding date. When he told his 86-year-old mother, she reminded him that the day marked the second anniversary of his father’s passing. But she urged him to keep the wedding date and gave him his dad’s wedding ring that she’d been wearing since he died.

Procter credits his father as being instrumental in his success. “My dad was hard-working, goals orientated and quite dedicated and a lot of the qualities my dad instilled in me really pushed me further.”

Four decades into his career, “I’m really enjoying it. I like that every day there’s something new.”


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Real Estate

The cost of renovating your bathroom in Toronto in 2021





Home renovations can be a big task, especially bathroom renovations where you have to work with either an awkwardly shaped space, or one with lots of pipework and very little natural light.

Nonetheless, getting a bathroom renovation by Easy Renovation to change your existing bathroom layout, improve the ambience or add more natural skylights can be worth all the trouble. But determining how much a bathroom renovation would cost is important while setting a budget.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things with social distancing rules, working from home, and for some, being made redundant. Therefore, having a complete grasp of the financial implication of a bathroom innovation is very important.

Owning your dream bathroom can be made a reality and the good thing is, regardless of your financial situation, there are always available options. If you also decide to put up your property for sale in the future, a bathroom upgrade would be a great investment—as it would add significant value to the property. Your bathroom renovation project, like every home renovation, can either be very affordable or extravagant, but one thing is certain, you’re bound to have a more refreshed, stylish and modernistic space.  

Looking through detailed sketches of luxurious and expensive bathrooms can be quite tempting, especially when you’re on a budget. However, your bathroom can be equally transformed into something that looks just as modern, stylish and refreshing but without the heavy price tag.

Conducting a partial bathroom renovation means you only have to change a little part of your existing bathroom rather than tearing it down and starting from scratch. If you intend to carry out this type of bathroom renovation in Toronto, depending on the size of your bathroom, you can spend between $1,000 – $5,000. With a partial bathroom renovation, you can save money by tackling smaller problems that exist in your present bathroom—or you can just upgrade a few of its features.

Partial bathroom renovations are quite affordable and would leave your bathroom feeling new and stylish without being time-consuming or a financial burden—which is important considering the economic impact of the pandemic. Repainting the bathroom walls, replacing the tiles on the floor and in the shower area are examples of partial bathroom renovations which is the cheapest to accomplish.

A more expensive and popular bathroom renovation is the standard 3- or 4-piece renovation. This renovation type involves a lot more services that are not covered by a partial renovation budget. To execute a standard bathroom renovation in Toronto you need a budget of about $10,000 – $15,000.

Unlike with a partial renovation, you would have to make a lot more changes to various elements of your bathroom without the hassle of changing the overall design. You can easily restore your current bathroom into a modernistic and classy space that fits your existing style. Making changes to more aspects of your bathroom is quite easy since there is more room in your budget to accommodate it.

A standard 3- or 4-piece renovation includes everything in a partial renovation plus extras such as revamped baseboards, installing a new bathroom mirror, buying new lights, installing a new vanity, changing the toilet, and buying new shower fixtures.

If you’re one of those looking to make a complete overhaul of your existing bathroom, then the option of a complete bathroom remodel is for you.

Unlike a bathroom renovation, remodelling means a complete change of your current bathroom design and layout for one that is newer and completely unrecognizable. The possibilities when remodelling a bathroom are endless especially when you have a large budget of over $15,000. That way, you can get the opportunity to create the perfect bathroom for yourself.

In addition to all that’s available with a standard bathroom renovation, bathroom remodelling allows you to make bathtub to shower conversion, relocation of plumbing, relocation of the toilet, reframing the bathroom and even relocating the shower.

In conclusion, a bathroom renovation can be a very important upgrade to your home and depending on the features that you decide to include, in addition to the size of your bathroom, this would influence the total cost of the project.

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Real Estate

7 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers In Calgary





Buying a house for the first time can be overwhelming to say the least. If you’re wondering what neighbourhood to go with, what you can afford, or even how to just get started on the process, let us take some stress off your hands! We’ve teamed up with Hopewell Residential to give you 7 tips to ensure the home you end up with is everything you dreamed of.

Hopewell Residential is a five-time Developer of the Year award winner, so their expertise is second-to-none in Calgary and beyond. Who better to learn home-buying tips from than the homebuilders themselves?

Create a checklist of needs & wants

This is a biggie. When you’re buying your very first home, you’ll want to weigh your needs vs. your wants. Ensuring you have what you love in your first home is a big, big deal.

What should you do? Easy. Set up a list of needs and a list of wants, but be pretty strict with yourself, and make sure you take your lifestyle into consideration. With the increase in remote work over the past year, it’s important to keep in mind that a home office or flex room might just be the key to maximizing at home happiness. Especially if you’re thinking you might be expanding your family later on, spare rooms and extra space is key (but more on that later!).

Or for instance, you might need a home in an area with a high walkability score, but you want to be close to certain amenities. Set yourself up with the right level of compromise and the number of homes that actually fit your ‘perfect’ idea will skyrocket.

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Real Estate

‘Don’t give up’: Ottawa Valley realtors share statistics, tips for homebuyers in ‘extreme’ sellers market





The real estate market in the Ottawa Valley can be summed up this way: people from far and wide are in a buying frenzy, but there’s hardly anything to buy at the “store,” and the limited inventory is overpriced.

This “stampede” — as one realtor described it — will affect rural towns as residents grapple with finding affordable housing and agonize over their inability to purchase homes in their price range.

“We are seeing a lack of inventory in all price ranges,” said Laura Keller, a real estate agent from Carleton Place.

Helen Vincent, a Renfrew realtor, said she’s never seen a market like this in her 36 years of practice. “We postpone offers for four to five days in order to get all the buyers,” she said.

Multiple offers — between seven and 10 — became the norm, with cash offers and no conditions, as buyers faced bidding wars. “In Ottawa, they have up to 50 (offers),” she added.

“It’s very stressful. You’re going to get nine (people) ticked off, and one happy. So many people are disappointed,” Vincent said.

Terry Stavenow, an Arnprior realtor for 40 years, said that “the pent-up need took over with inventory going low. It made a stampede on everything that was available.“

“Brand new housing — it’s very much gone. Several building developers are rushing to get inventory. They usually don’t do construction in the winter months,” said Stavenow.

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