REIBC - The Real Estate Institute of British Columbia E-Newsletter
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September 2018

Meet A Member

Blake Newton, Nominee Member

BlakeNewton.JPGIn 2016 I graduated from the real estate and marketing program at BCIT and started my career working in a sales centre for pre-sale residential real estate. This allowed me to get a glimpse into city demographics all the way from Abbotsford to Squamish. It helped me understand the residential needs of people in the market. Even if the customers were not purchasing our product it gave insight into who was buying homes in the city and for what reasons. I was also part of a team who began to use a completely paperless contract system that required no emailing, it exposed me to the technology that is entering our industry and how to use it efficiently.

I am currently at CBRE exploring opportunities in suburban office leasing. Suburban office leasing provides such an excellent opportunity because there are fewer institution ownership allowing brokers to provide landlord representation and experience exposure to both sides of the deal process. The suburban office market has also had some high-end developments in Burnaby which has been attractive to many companies that don’t require being downtown.

Being an office broker exposes me to the changing professional landscape in Vancouver. This position allows us to see which companies are entering the market, growing or vacating. Working for a large brokerage exposes so much more of the industry that I would not otherwise experience. Understanding which companies are entering the market provides insight into what jobs will be opening up, and attracting certain demographics to live in Vancouver. 

As Vancouver continues to grow in diversity I find even more reason to travel the world to further my understanding of people and their culture. This helps me understand each and every person I have the pleasure of crossing paths with in a social and/or professional context. Travelling also reminds me how lucky I am to be able to call Vancouver home.

Rodney Sytsma, Nominee Member

RodneySytsma_1169-upto5x7.jpgI started my career at CBRE in 2015 as an Industrial Research Analyst. Joining the real estate industry from a background in trucking and logistics, I was immediately drawn to industrial properties and the clients that own and operate in them.

Since my promotion to the brokerage floor at CBRE, I have immersed myself in landlord/seller and tenant/buyer representation. Building on an in-depth understanding of current market intelligence, I'm focusing on facilitating industrial growth in the Fraser Valley. I’m looking to bring my passion for service, a strong work-ethic, and core integrity to every business engagement. My goal is to create long-term clients and generate relationships based on trust and valuable guidance.

Prior to joining the CBRE Industrial Properties Group, I completed the esteemed Professional Real Estate Program at BCIT. During this time, I earned the position of Vice President of Finance for the student-led BCIT Real Estate Association (BCIT REA). It was in this role that I first discovered the immense value the REIBC brings to this industry. The support this organization provides to the extra-curricular REA is fundamental to it’s success. REIBC, both it’s leadership and its members, were a valuable source of knowledge and wisdom to our organization. This type of industry support and the caliber of REIBC members made my decision to pursue an RI designation an easy one to make

Member news

Robert Guenther, RI

RRobert_Guenther.JPGobert Guenther has moved back to Victoria from Edmonton.  Robert is taking on the role of Manager, Capital Planning and Leasing for the southern and northern parts of Vancouver Island for the Vancouver Island Health Authority.  Victoria is where his career began and he is happy to be home and he is looking forward to meeting new and long lost friends.

Robert is very excited about his new and challenging position and looks forward to meeting and working again with his RI colleagues on the Island.

Congratulations, Robert! 


REIBC Events

Surrey: Now and Into the Future

Umesh_Chand_Micheal_Heeney.jpgOn Thursday, September 13 the REIBC hosted an event at the newly built Civic Hotel in downtown Surrey.  This sold out event, Surrey: Now and Into the Future, focused on the city of Surrey’s growth and plans for the future. 

Guest presenter Michael Heeney, RI, CEO of the Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC) reviewed Surrey’s growth and evolution over the past several years. In fact, an interesting point that Michael brought up during his presentation was that on the week of our event, Surrey was celebrating its 25th anniversary of its incorporation. What a milestone!

The City of Surrey is growing at a rate of 11% and the profile of the city is changing because at this point it is 35% more affordable than Vancouver. 

Surrey will continue to grow exponentially and is projected to surpass Vancouver’s population in the next 25 years.  Michael Heeney suggested that to continue a trend towards greater growth Surrey would need to focus on building commercial tax space within the City Centre. SCDC's mission is to focus on this area. A plan is already in place to build a commercial centre in the place of the current recreation facility beside the Library. In addition, Michael discussed the need for better transportation in the region.  In land mass, Surrey is 2 1/2 times the size of Vancouver and with that Surrey needs to focus on better transportation options stating that, "if we are going to build the City, we have to build the transportation".

Sponsored by:

Downtown Surrey    SCDC    Century Group    Gateway property Management


Surrey Board of Trade

LNG and Its effect on Real Estate in the Northwest 

On September 20, 2018 the REIBC held a Luncheon Event in Terrace entitled LNG & Its Effect on Real Estate in the Northwest. Our guest speakers were Graham Pitzel, Realtor for Re/Max Kitimat and Ilyas Begaliyev, Real Estate Manager, LNG Canada. The very informative session was regarding the current and long-term effects of Liquid Natural Gas in the region.

Kitimat is a community of about 8,000 people located on the north coast of British Columbia. The community sits at the head of Douglas Channel next to Kitimat River. The community was developed in the 1950s to serve the aluminum industry. Over the years, forestry and methanol industries were also located here - unfortunately, the have since closed these major operations in the community in the past 10 years. In better news Rio Tinto Alcan underwent a significant reconstruction that was completed in 2016. Recently the LNG industry has been making significant investments in the area towards potential large export projects. As a result, heavy industry is the main employer in Kitimat.

In May 2012, Shell Canada formally announced the development of a proposed LNG export facility in Kitimat BC. LNG Canada is a joint venture led by Shell (40% interest) along with Petronas (25%), PetroChina (15%), Mitsubishi (15%) and KOGAS (5%). The project consists of the construction and operation of natural gas treatment facilities, liquefaction and storage facilities, marine terminal facilities, an interconnecting cryogenic transfer pipeline, and supporting infrastructure. Approximately 5,500 - 7,500 jobs will be created during construction and 400 – 800 for operations. The project received provincial and federal Environmental Assessment Certificates in June 2015. In January 2016, a 40-year export licence was granted by the NEB. The project awaits a final investment decision before moving into development.

Ilyas_Begaliyev.jpgIlyas Begaliyev spoke of the effects that such a large influx of contractors and temporary construction workers on the community. This was apparently during the aforementioned re-build of the Rio Tinto smelter when it was apparent that contractors with “living out“ expenses had caused a terrible increase in rental costs in Kitimat.

“Reno-evictions” became common – this is where long-term tenants were evicted due to modest renovations – then allowing the landlord to skyrocket the rent to short term tenants. He also discussed the “Halo Effect” in Fort McMurray where oil and gas companies offered upfront “mortgage helper” funds to potential buyers of $10,000-$50,000 to help them buy in a sky rocketing market. The bonus effect backfired when potential sellers simply added this to their asking prices. The goal in Kitimat is to create mini-communities within Kitimat to alleviate pressure on the standard market. They already have sites set up for this “work camp”. They have also already purchased many homes in the community as staff housing for those doing current preliminary work.

  • Average Apartment/Townhouse Rent in 2008 @ $475 w/ 23.5% Vacancy Rate
  • Average Apartment/Townhouse Rent in 2015 @ $1,177 w/ 4.5% Vacancy Rate

 Graham_Pitzel.jpgGraham Pitzel spoke of the tumultuous real estate valuation history in recent years being affected by the closure of Major Industries (Methanex methanol plant and West Fraser’s Eurocan Pulp and Paper Mill) and the re-build of Rio Tinto’s aluminum smelter. The BC Northern Real Estate Board graphs presented showed the dramatic boom and bust issues with supply and demand of listings and their values over the last 10 years. Prices have started to climb again after falling post Rio Tinto completion with very positive potential news coming out of the LNG potential. Many potential buyers are waiting to “pull the trigger” on investment once the final investment decision while the people of Kitimat await “What’s next?”.

Submitted by Joe Barbosa, RI – with files and info from and the District of Kitimat

October REIBC events

BCIT Meet the Pros - Residential

Webinar: Where do we Stand after 5 years of SPA Required Depreciation Reports?

Welcome to Fraser Mills

Career Opportunities

Business Development Manager, Western Canada - Cameron Stephens Mortgage Capital

Rental Property Manager position - Advance Realty Ltd

Property Management Agent - Translink

GM, Real Estate and Facilities Management - City of Vancouver

REIBC Charity Golf Tournament

Over the past 25 years, the REIBC has donated more than a half a million dollars to charity thanks to the generous support of many sponsors, some of whom have participated in the tournament from the very beginning.  

We receive updates from the the Make-A-Wish Foundation shedding light on the difference that donations are making for kids and their families. Check out Natalie's wish. Natalie is 4 years old and suffers with spinal muscular atrophy type 2. A progressive disease that weakens muscle. Her wish was to go on a Disney Cruise with her family and her big hope was to meet her favourite Disney® princess, Elsa, from frozen!. 

We thank those who participated in and supported the most recent 25th annual tournament. We look forward to being able to announce how much we raised soon!

Stay tuned! 


Did you know that if you are unable to catch a webinar we record them? They are on our website under Events and Webinar Recordings. Cost is $34.99 for members and a little more for non-members. You don’t have to worry about not being able to stay on top of the latest issues as you can listen at any time.

Click here to check out our most recent webinars

Our next webinar will take place on October 25. Click here for more information and to register.

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