When realtors actually fight strata management

I checked out a popular Vancouver realtor’s  (hereafter Vanrealtor) blog the other day. This particular blog  focused on some contention with a newbie strata manager and the manner with which the newbie dealt with this particular realtor.

Vanrealtor points out, and I should include here, that a higher up in the management office quickly became the go to person and as a result a crisis was averted. Fortunately for Vanrealtor, he markets himself well and I daresay his name afforded him a speedy resolution to his situation.

I would love to have been within earshot when newbie strata manager adjusted his “act as if” persona and took on a well-liked and experienced downtown realtor.

Imagine what it is like for knowledgeable strata owners to be condescended to by newbie strata managers and their managing brokers. I call it the “have a nice day” syndrome.

An owner can produce a mountainous amount of paper pointing out inconsistencies and inaccuracies by the manager and be ignored by both the manager and the council. It gets  tricky here of course because council members require the expertise and knowledge of property management to explain everything but the management insists nothing is done or not done without final say of the council even when Council is wrong. Such a symbiotic relationship…..

When, like Vanrealtor, an owner takes the next step in the process and connects with the boss it must be because something is not quite working. Unlike Vanrealtor who had his matter quickly resolved, owners are patronized and the benefit of the doubt given to the newbie. It is actually quite entertaining to watch the degree of parental protection that lurks behind managing brokers even when they must sense the new kid has made a mistake.

Everyone knows parents who will hear no negative criticism about their children. Enabling, that most basic requirement for co-dependency, allows incompetence and ineptitude to flourish in strata management. At this point I’m having difficulty trying to figure out which controlling interest – the government, RECBC, managing brokers or self-serving realtors- are to blame for the despicable business practices with which individual strata owners are forced to contend on behalf of incompetent strata managers.

When it becomes clear owners aren’t going to accept the blather of managing brokers as the gospel of strata they are effectively shut out of dialogue with a “have a nice day” sign off.  Or perhaps more succinctly, …sorry “Shelagh” my boy is doing his best and even though I might privately agree with your concerns, boys must stick together. Obviously Vanrealtor had the right “attributes” to warrant some respect.

So what does this mean for me exactly?

The real estate industry sticks together to make a buck. When the real estate industry essentially gets away with bully tactics to wrestle my fees out of me(on behalf of council)-no questions allowed- what does it say about its ability to safeguard the public like Vanrealtor was able to safeguard his interests?

Vanrealtor encourages buyers to be “strata management smart”. He forgets of course that buyers pay commissions to realtors to be strata management smart on their behalf as well.Vanrealtor is obviously one of the good guys! The more difficult issue I would propose toVanrealtor would be this: Once you have cashed your commission cheque and your buyer becomes an owner what is your responsibility to ensure that owner doesn’t get mistreated because you are no longer in the picture, fighting on their behalf?

I think my best advice for every realtor out there including Vanrealtor would be this: Take your eyes off your bank account for one minute and report poor strata management to the real estate council. Rather than romanticize the sale with champagne and fruit baskets purchase a copy of Mike Mangan’s Condominium  Manual and make sure buyers know the responsibilities involved with strata living. That kind of integrity and service could increase your volume substantially not to mention a niche market.

Staying silent and keeping bad management within a closed circle doesn’t absolve realtors, brokers,government, councils and managers of responsibility. It just gives the entire industry a very negative reputation.

I’m glad Vanrealtor was able to succeed against mistaken property management for his client’s sake but that’s kinda like appointing an ex Attorney General to figure out  why law enforcement failed under his watch. You really think there isn’t going to be any bias there?

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Posted in strata management
2 comments on “When realtors actually fight strata management
  1. advocate says:

    “The real estate industry sticks together to make a buck.” Does this include CHOA ? Some see CHOA as just the “condo arm” of the real estate industry, particularly those who noted that the CHOA Executive Director spoke out against a 2008 report by VI strata owners that recommended government undertake public consultations in order to make strata legislation more “owner friendly”. Who could be against such a recommendation except someone representing the real estate industry?


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