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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

Couple from Toronto buys dream home in Mushaboom





MUSHABOOM – A couple who lived and raised a family in downtown Toronto developed a five-year plan in 2015 to purchase their dream home.

In September they moved into the home – located on Malagash Island in Mushaboom on Nova Scotia’s stunning Eastern Shore – that met and exceeded their best dreams for their retirement.

The Camerons, Bruce and Tanya, decided in 2019 they would explore the Maritimes to see what real estate was available to become their potential retirement home. In the spring of 2020, during a global pandemic, the real estate boom hit their city, and they were hearing the same for Nova Scotia. Our province was their first-choice for attaining their desire for an entirely different lifestyle – away from the busyness of the city.

“We had $300,000 to $350,000 as a home value in mind to buy. Our semi-detached located off Danforth in Toronto was priced at $850,000. We wanted to come out ahead, so we would be secure in retirement,” Tanya said.

Their century-old home had prime location near the subway and GO Transit Line for a great 13-minute commute downtown.

“We enjoyed our community,” explains Bruce “… we had great neighbours, young children around and street parties – lots of social activity.”

Bruce says, “Our agent suggested a starting quote of $899,000. We did not do any renovations and only some staging. Fifty couples went through and we received four significant offers. Six days later we sold – with zero conditions – and a price of over a million dollars. We just requested a closing of September 2020 to get the kids off to school – which we got.”

The couple got more than they had anticipated.

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Real Estate

Rabobank Announces Leadership Changes in U.S., Canadian Offices





NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Rabobank, the leading global food and agribusiness bank, has appointed two of its top executives, Tamira Treffers-Herrera and Robert Sinescu, to become Co-Heads of North American Client Coverage, positioning the Bank for future growth in the region.

Treffers-Herrera has also assumed the role of Vice Chairperson and Head of the Atlanta office, where she additionally oversees Rabobank Mexico, which is led by Eduardo Palacios. Sinescu is the Head of the Chicago office, and also oversees Rabobank Canada, led by Marc Drouin, who was recently appointed as Canada’s General Manager.

Treffers-Herrera and Sinescu report to David Bassett, Head of Wholesale Banking North America, the Bank’s corporate and investment banking business for the region based in New York.

“Both Tamira and Robert have a demonstrated history of strong leadership, operational excellence and passion for our clients,” Bassett said. “Their broad experience and deep sector expertise will be invaluable in delivering dynamic results for clients while accelerating our growth trajectory in North America.”

Each office will have an even greater focus on key Food & Agribusiness sectors and clients: The Chicago office will drive growth in sectors including Dairy, Farm Inputs and Grains & Oilseeds, which are also key areas of focus for the Canada office. The Atlanta office will focus heavily on sectors such as Animal Protein, Beverages, Sugar, and Supply Chains, which are important sectors in Mexico as well.

“Rabobank is fully committed to our clients throughout North America, and we believe our new sector-focused coverage will improve our ability to provide knowledge-based, value-added solutions that benefit our clients,” Bassett said.

Treffers-Herrera was most recently based in London as CEO of Rabobank’s European Region from 2016-2020, where she took the organization through Brexit. Prior to that, she worked in the Atlanta office from 2002-2016. During her tenure in Atlanta, Treffers-Herrera served as Global Sector Head – Consumer Food & Beverages, and prior to that she was a senior banker for a portfolio of large beverage and consumer foods clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Arts from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and has studied at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Harvard Business School.

Sinescu has been with Rabobank for over 21 years and was previously General Manager of Rabobank Canada, where he oversaw all operations, business development, commercial strategy and relationships with regulators. In addition, he continues to serve as CEO of Rabo Securities Canada Inc. Prior to Canada, he was a senior banker, Head of Corporate Banking, European Sector Head for Sugar, and a member of the Management Team for Rabobank France. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Bucharest School of Business, a Master of Business Administration & Management and a Master of Science in Banking and Corporate Finance from Sorbonne University in Paris, and has studied at Brown University.

Drouin has worked with Rabobank’s Canadian team for more than nine years and most recently served as a senior banker, Head of Rabobank Canada’s AgVendor Program and a member of Rabobank Canada’s Management Team. He brings extensive wholesale banking experience within the Dairy, G&O, CPG and Supply Chain sectors. Drouin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration in International Finance, Marketing and Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

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Greybrook Realty Partners & Marlin Spring Brand Jointly Owned Asset Manager – Greyspring Apartments





TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Greybrook Realty Partners and Marlin Spring are pleased to announce the new branding of their jointly owned investment and asset management firm, Greyspring Apartments. With a portfolio of more than 2,000 units and CAD$375 million in assets under management, Greyspring Apartments is focused on the acquisition and repositioning of multi-family assets throughout Canada.

The new name and branding is an important step in Greyspring’s evolution as an independent operating business. Formed in 2018 by long standing-partners Marlin Spring and Greybrook Realty Partners, Greyspring Apartments was established with the goal of building a leading asset management firm with a robust portfolio of residential rental real estate assets in primary and secondary markets across Canada.

Greyspring’s talented team of real estate, asset management and finance professionals is overseen and guided by the Management Board, whose members include Benjamin Bakst, CEO, Marlin Spring; Elliot Kazarnovksy, CFO, Marlin Spring; Sasha Cucuz, CEO, Greybrook Securities Inc.; Peter Politis, CEO, Greybrook Realty Partners; Chris Salapoutis, President & COO, Greybrook Realty Partners; Ashi Mathur, President, Marlin Spring; and Karl Brady. In addition to his role on the Management Board, Karl Brady leads Greyspring Apartments as its President. 

“We are pleased to announce the official name and branding of a business we formed with our partners at Marlin Spring a few years ago,” said Peter Politis, CEO, Greybrook Realty Partners. “Greyspring has been diligently focused on the execution of strategic value-add programs across its portfolio that are improving the quality of housing for tenants and overall asset values. For Greybrook investors, expanding from our core business in real estate development to the value-add space through Greyspring, has allowed us to provide our clients with investment opportunities that diversify their real estate investment portfolios.”

“Marlin Spring and Greybrook have partnered on many residential real estate projects in recent years,” said Benjamin Bakst, CEO and Cofounder, Marlin Spring. “To a great extent, Greyspring illustrates our approach to partnerships. We believe in, and strive for, responsible growth through deepening our relationships with our trusted partners. With Greyspring, we’ve formalized our focus on providing better and more affordable living experiences for Canadians. This vision aligns with our mission to deliver exceptional real estate value to all our stakeholders with an uncompromising adherence to our core values.”

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