After ten plus years in the real estate biz, Morgan & Michael have learned so much from both their own careers and from mentoring countless other new agents. Here are some of the top Rookie FAQs they’ve gathered over the years!
by Oakwyn Realty
At Oakwyn, living and working in Vancouver and surrounding areas is something we cherish and celebrate every day. Which is why we wanted to put together our North Shore recommendations, so you can live life to the full, the Oakwyn way.
Five North Shore local Oakwynites, who have a deep understanding of North Shore culture and lifestyle, have put together their top North Shore recommendations, and you can explore them for yourself this weekend.
If you’re new to the area, a long-standing local looking to branch out, or a happy visitor – don’t miss our top spots.
There is lots to do on the North Shore with Oakwyn.
Dining out might look a little different this year, but it is no less of a necessity for all the foodies out there. With the majority of restaurants offering takeout and dine in, there are plenty of options for diners in and around the North Shore.
The North Shore has a host of delectable offerings, and luckily our team of experts is happy to share their favourite North Shore recommendations with you!
“Scratch Kitchen is a little hidden gem that most residents closer to the Cove know. They only use fresh, locally sourced ingredients and are known for their unique artisan pizzas & more. They also cater to plant lovers and have lots of flavourful options available. Furthermore, they support local craft breweries and BC wines that pair perfectly with their seasonal menu.”
“Our new go to spot for THE BEST fried chicken dinner is Douce Diner at 1490 Pemberton Ave. My family loves their chicken and biscuits and whenever my wife and I suggest it for dinner it always gets a resounding “yes” from the kids. You can order it online and they do curbside pickup. The chicken and waffle breakfast is also a must have.”
“I strongly recommend Lift Breakfast Bakery – Great coffee and pastries as well as a very nice dinner menu. The baking is what makes this place special. Whether I grab a milk loaf to take home or pop in for a nice dinner, it has always been exceptional. Lately my lunch favourite has been the ‘Cut Chicken club’ and for dinner the ‘Fungi’.”
“Farina a Legna is incredible. Chef Alex (Alessandro Vianello) is the exec chef and created an amazing casual and intimate Italian menu experience all catered around a wood-fired oven. Go enjoy the house-made bread, pastas, and pizzas. My favourite drink is the bicicletta or the spritz. Having dinner here is always a great evening out.”
“I love Seaside Provisions at the new Seaside Hotel in the Shipyards. It’s a little secret hideaway, small, beautiful room in a boutique hotel with the most amazing food and the delicious cocktails. Chris, who runs the bar, has some beautiful and inventive creations. Currently, I’m obsessed with his Bourbon sours. They are so delicate and perfect. Everything on their food menu has been outstanding as well. We usually start with Kushi oysters, and some of my obsessions there are the grilled calamari, tuna poke cigar, wagyu appetizer and halibut if they have it on the menu.”
Whether it’s a local coffee shop, florist, deli, or general store, supporting local is paramount to creating community, one of our core values, and is even more important this year. When in doubt, support local!
For inspiration on North Shore recommendations and favourites, here are our agents’ top spots.
“United Strangers are a new locally-owned coffee shop located off of the Seymour Parkway. They have wonderful caffeinated beverages, artisanal pastries & delicious vegan ice cream squares (I am not a vegan, but they are delicious!). They are a wonderful addition to the Blueridge community and they also support many local & Canadian businesses by featuring their various products in their shop. In a rush – not a problem, because they now have online ordering!”
“The Corner Stone Bistro in Pemberton Heights located at 1096 W22nd is a true hidden gem of the North Shore. If you’re looking for a delicious latte in the morning, or you want a gourmet meal on the patio at night with a cold beverage, the Corner Stone has it all. The Corner Stone also serves as a neighborhood hub and meeting place and if you ask anybody who’s been there they will tell you just how special this place is. Try their great selection of gourmet frozen foods when you’re too tired to make dinner.”
“Blitz Auto Spa has been a regular visit for me over the past few years. I love cars and so do they. I like their attention to detail and they are consistent in their service and punctuality.”
“Megan who owns the shop is a long-time Deep Cove local and advocate in the community. She worked to limit the number of tour bus companies that can drive to the Cove as well as eliminating single-use plastic bags for all local shops in the Cove. Room 6 is often where I can find great house warming gifts for my amazing clients. They have an excellent selection of children’s books, handmade ceramic planting pots as well as mugs. Megan is also working to turn the store into a non-profit. Next time you go hike Quarry Rock, grab a donut from Honey’s and walk down to Room 6 and you won’t be disappointed.”
“Still on the topic of food, I love Buddha-ful, which is vegan organic food. Smoothies and their bowls are exactly what I crave after working out.”
Few skylines can compete with the North Shores’ six peaks – Black, Strachan, Hollyburn, Grouse, Fromme, and Seymour Mountains, make it one of the most beautiful spots in all of Vancouver. Due to its rugged terrain, the North Shore has no lack of outdoor activities.
Hear from our agents on their North Shore recommendations below (and pray for a sunny weekend because it’s going to make you crave an adventure!).
“I like to cruise slow and admire all the beautiful boat access homes before beelining it to Granit Falls. It’s truly an experience to see the raging waterfall up close. No boat? No problem, Deep Cove Marina rents pontoon boats, so you too can experience beautiful BC from the water.”
“Located just off the highway in North Vancouver, Murdo Frazer Park has 6 newly surfaced tennis courts and pickle ball courts now too. These hidden courts are mostly known by locals and are tucked away in a beautiful park like setting. My wife and I have been playing there for years and are always love playing in the summer as some of the courts are hidden from the sun. We’ve even managed to drag our teenage son with us a couple of times.”
“When we first moved over to Lower Lonsdale from downtown we were pleasantly surprised by the night market. We looked forward to it every week during the spring and summer. The food trucks all parked right down on the water, some tacos, a lemonade and maybe a pocket pie to finish, perfect! It was routine for us.”
“A very scenic 11km hike from the top of Cypress Mountain parking lot. Dog friendly and if you have friends in from out of town they won’t believe the view! Overlooking Bowen, Gambier, and Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. I could also go on and on about the mountain biking, gravel riding, and road riding we love to do all over the North Shore… we currently have 14 bikes hanging in the garage!”
“You can walk into the Capilano Fish Hatchery to see Salmon rush up the fish ladders and it’s especially cool during the salmon runs. It’s quite amazing to see. We took our kids there all the time when they were younger and they loved it.”
There you have it, our tips on how to maximize living or visiting the North Shore and making the most of all the wonderful things it has to offer. You’re never far away from an adventure, with Oakwyn.
For more information on the North Shore, or to talk to one of our agents, contact us!
THANK YOU to Julia Beeger, Gavin Hughes, Paul Fraser, Brian Young, and Bernadette Dunnigan for their thoughtful suggestions!
In our 33rd episode, Morgan & Michael delve into one of the most important, but sometimes hardest parts of being an entrepreneur, staying motivated! Our hosts break down the elements to set you up to consistently stay driven to succeed!
At Oakwyn we’re always wanting to present the facts in an engaging way. Every month, one of our agents will unpick current market statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver to help you understand what’s going on in the real estate market and what you should be looking out for.
For September’s statistics report, we have Oakwyn agent, Jeff Appelbe here to add a little bit of clarity to the real estate market. Read on to have Jeff enlighten you on the September market.
September 2020 sales were 45% above the 10 year average for the month. This has been the busiest September on record. Due to COVID slowing the market earlier in the year, we’re seeing a spring market happening late. Usually, March, April, and May are the busiest months of the year and those would have, in a typical year, more sales than we just had this September yet it was still a “super hot September”, according to Jeff.
Firstly, buyer demand and needs have changed substantially. Many people that lived downtown or who previously sacrificed space to live close to all the action, are suddenly now working at home, and are craving more space. People are looking for more space so they’re moving into East Vancouver, the Tri-cities, or elsewhere in BC where they can buy a home.
Secondly, the other main factor is interest rates. They are extremely low right now. Interest rates haven’t been as low really ever before. In a reaction to the sputtering economy post COVID, the Bank of Canada lowered interest rates in an attempt to boost the economy. Buyers can currently get a 5-year variable mortgage for 1.75%, which last year was around 3.3%. The affordability difference in just this 12 month period is substantial.
Finally, we’re seeing condo sales in Kitsilano and Mount Pleasant as two of the busier areas which are selling really well. We’re seeing a move out of condos in 30 story towers into lower density condo areas, maybe with a little bit more space, and a little older as well. Additionally, Yaletown, downtown, the financial district, and Gastown, are going against the trend in most other areas and we’re actually seeing softening prices there.
As always, we’d love to get your take on this. Comment and let us know if these trends and observations are something you’re seeing with your buyers and sellers as well.
Get in touch if you want to know specifically about any areas, property types, or trends that you can take advantage of.
To keep up with the latest market statistics and join the conversation, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and visit our website.
In our 32nd episode, Morgan & Michael dive deep into the incredible method of compounding leads through Referrals. Our hosts discuss all the tips and tricks they’ve learned to help incentify referrals & generate business.
In this episode, we start with a life update on Michael’s wedding! The episode then goes on to something very important to our hosts, Goal Setting! They discuss their own experiences with goal setting and break down the elements to set someone up for successfully setting goals.
For Literacy Day this year, we celebrated with five of our Managing Brokers and learned about how education champions one of Oakwyn’s core values – “Pursue Growth and Learning”. To further our reflections on growth and learning at Oakwyn, we want to spotlight an initiative built from that value; Oakwyn University. To celebrate how education is truly setting Oakwynites up for success, we wish to look at the initiative, why it is important, and how it exemplifies Oakwyn to its very core.
Oakwyn University offers our agents structured foundational learning from the moment they join the brokerage. The 12 segment real estate 101 program is taught by Oakwyn partners and Managing Brokers and was founded the moment Oakwyn opened its doors.
“We combine in-depth contract and compliance requirements with practical hands-on role play scenarios, as well as homework,” explained Oakwyn Managing Broker, Shelly Smee, who is referred to as “the Dean” of Oakwyn University.
The course runs twice a week and is compulsory for our new agents, offering the chance to immediately break away from the pack with functional, practical knowledge of how to truly excel in real estate. The curriculum has been curated to provide new agents with 3 key deliverables; The Business Plan, The Listing Presentation, and The Buyers Presentation.
“It is very satisfying to witness the "Lightbulb" moment, when you know that someone has grasped a concept, or when a student makes a great contribution to the class that everyone, including me, learns from” Shelly Smee, Managing Broker
Oakwyn was founded from a desire to elevate the standards of real estate, and one of the ways we were determined to do that was by building a brokerage that supported its realtors. Oakwyn University is that message incarnate.
When realtors first enter the industry they do not have the practical skills to know how to succeed right away, and that paired with the competitiveness of the traditional real estate industry can make starting off in real estate an overwhelming process. “It is a steep learning curve, there are no shortcuts,” Shelly explained, commenting on how Oakwyn University is designed to create a more streamlined entry for Oakwyn agents.
It’s important we’re supporting our agents as soon as they join the brokerage, which is why Oakwyn University is an invaluable resource for, not just our new agents who are learning the ropes, but for our more experienced agents wanting to brush up on skills, and the wider company in general. It ensures the quality of our work is not just up to par, but far exceeds it.
Oakwyn University, and our commitment to educating our agents, is one of the reasons that 1 in 5 of our agents is Medallion, a statistic far above the industry average.
“Having a cohort of agents at the same stage of their career would have been awesome” Shelly commented, noting the ways in which Oakwyn University, if available to her, would have elevated her early career.
Oakwyn sets new standards by championing a collaborative approach to learning. Oakwyn University classes are held (pre-COVID) in our main boardroom and (post-COVID) over zoom, where now there is no limit to the number of students we can have in each class. We wanted to create an environment that was collaborative rather than competitive and offered our agents the chance to grow, learn, and support each other, whilst paving out careers in real estate.
The collaborative environment encourages our agents to leave their ego behind, and truly engage in professional growth, learning with their peers, and leveling up in the industry one class at a time. This collaboration doesn’t stop at our agents, the leadership team also makes sure to collaborate in order to make Oakwyn University better. Every semester our students are asked how we can improve the syllabus, course structure, and deliverables. Each new semester is bigger and better than the one before, marking a year on year growth of support for our agents.
By providing agents with this expectation of support and community right from the beginning, we hope to see an end to an industry mentality that lends itself to competition, rather than community, and individualism instead of collaboration. Each day at Oakwyn, we take a step closer towards that becoming a reality.
“The change in confidence level is the most noticeable improvement, and that comes with doing the work” Shelly Smee, Managing Broker
“When we look at our 7 core values, Oakwyn University embodies all of them,” Shelly explained, noting that Oakwyn University truly exemplifies the qualities that make Oakwyn so unique.
The pursuit of growth and learning is something that is exceptionally important at Oakwyn, because it is what ensures Oakwyn is staying on the pulse, adapting to change, and bettering ourselves and the wider industry.
This starts with Oakwyn University. The course and subsequent culture sets a precedent for true and honest improvement in the workplace, setting our agents up to have all the skills they need to succeed, so that one day, they will be able to relay those skills to the next generation, and so on. Through education, Oakwyn is helping set a path to a better and brighter industry.
Oakwyn University currently operates 3 times a year. For more information on Oakwyn University, how to get your hands on Oakwyn University swag, and to learn about any of the other learning opportunities we offer, visit our website.
Work hard, stay humble, and keep learning with Oakwyn.
In our 29th episode, our hosts sit down with our in-house Financial Planner, Alison Setton!
Financial awareness has been at the forefront of many of our minds during COVID, so Alison discusses how to accomplish your financial goals, protect your income, and create monetary security.
At Oakwyn we’re presenting statistics in a whole new way. We’ll do the work, so you don’t have to. Every month, one of our agents will unpick current market statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver to help you understand what’s going on in the real estate market and what you should be looking out for.
This week, Adam Chahl from PLACE Real Estate Team and Oakwyn Realty Downtown will be covering the August 2020 statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
For the month of August 2020, we had 3,047 sales, which is 20% higher than the 10 year average for August, which clocks in at 19.9%. Sales activity is therefore way up from what we are used to in August and is about 36.6% higher than August 2019. We’re seeing a lot more transactions across the board take place, which is unusual as August is typically when we see things begin to taper off towards the end of the year.
5,813 new listings came online for the month of August 2020, 55% higher than in 2019. A lot of people who were thinking about selling in the Spring didn’t put their home on the market because of COVID-19, and now we’re starting to see a delayed spring market in Vancouver.
We’re seeing very tight inventory across most product types, and that’s resulting in a lot of multiple offers, and a lot of buyers competing for the same homes. So if you’re a seller, and you have a good saleable product, now is your time to shine.
Firstly, everyone is a little more comfortable operating with the perimeters that we’re looking at right now; sellers are more comfortable allowing people into their homes, agents are more comfortable with protective equipment as they go out and show homes, and buyers are more confident that they can transact as well.
Secondly, we’re also seeing incredibly low-interest rates. So, if you’re a buyer and you’re going into a multiple offer, you definitely have some room to play with because the cost of borrowing money is so low.
The third factor contributing to the market conditions currently is limited supply. There are many things that are in demand, for example, lower-priced product in the valley, single-family homes out in the valley, and lower-priced single-family detached in Vancouver.
Lastly, the trend we are currently hearing is that there is a little bit of an exodus after COVID-19 where families are looking for more space. Families are realizing now that they don’t have to commute, meaning maybe they can move out of town and get something more affordable and get more value.
With these market updates, it’s very specific to the market you’re looking in and also the property type as well. So work with your agent, and trusted Realtor® to understand exactly what’s going on in each market segment.
Morgan & Michael are back at it, this week discussing Mentorship! They discuss their own experiences with mentorship along with their thoughts on how to find a mentor and the aspects that make up a great mentorship relationship.
Oakwyn knows the importance of collective learning and collaboration, which is why we provide so many opportunities for gaining knowledge and insight for our agents. This is what sets us apart. We are constantly learning, bettering, and elevating our people and our service. We do this through education.
Our Medallion photoshoot earlier this year was a celebration of Oakwyn’s eager application of learning and knowledge to the real estate landscape. For the photoshoot, we asked our agents to come prepared with their favourite book, and you can relive the moment here. This photoshoot, and our work with Decoda Literacy Solutions, epitomizes our commitment to literacy, learning, and the ways in which both can bolster Oakwyn culture, and our wider community.
In the spirit of International Literacy Day, we would like to reflect on how literacy champions our core value “Pursue Growth and Learning”. We sat down with five of our Managing Brokers to discuss how Oakwyn supports growth and learning in everything we do. They explain how education, growth, and learning are ensuring Oakwyn stays where it belongs, at the top.
Hello Michelle, why is the pursuit of growth and learning so valued at Oakwyn?
Growth and learning are so important to Oakwyn because it keeps our brains working, it keeps us ahead of the curve, and it inspires new ideas on how we can better serve our clients.
How does Oakwyn make sure those values are upheld?
We ensure we create as many touchpoints as possible with our agents. Our Oakwyn University helps to set our agents up for success from the beginning. We also have many other meetings, newsletters, events, and webinars to help our agents get the information they need and to give them ample opportunities to learn from each other, ask questions, and network.
How is this continued pursuit of growth and learning helping Oakwyn agents become better realtors?
Real estate is always changing. There is so much to learn, and by the time you think you’re done learning everything, there is always something new to learn! There are also so many facets to becoming a well rounded real estate professional. You need to be able to flex your people skills, negotiation skills, and overall knowledge of law, financing, economics, property, and more to even keep up with the industry. If we don’t continue to pursue growth and learning, it is easy to fall behind on what’s new, and can hinder our ability to serve our clients.
In the spirit of International Literacy Day, what have you read recently that you have learned from?
Becoming, Michelle Obama
It taught me the importance of having a voice and using it.
"If we don’t continue to pursue growth and learning, it is easy to fall behind on what’s new, and can hinder our ability to serve our clients."
"As much as you are growing in your professional life, you have to be growing in your personal life to be able to excel in both."
Hi Arlene, how is the continued pursuit of growth and learning synonymous with real estate?
If anyone in real estate thinks they know everything then they probably don’t know anything. Real estate is a profession where there is so much to know and so much to learn. That’s the fun thing about getting into real estate for people who have a curious mind, you can always be better and there are so many elements of life that you can learn.
How important is a commitment to personal growth to further your professional development?
As much as you are growing in your professional life, you have to be growing in your personal life to be able to excel in both. It’s a constant balance of trying to be a better person in all aspects of your life. I try to create habits for myself to grow and learn from, and I read a ton at the weekend because it gives you so many different perspectives on life.
How does reading help you bolster growth and learning professionally?
You learn so much from reading. You can learn so much just through comprehension. Reading and understanding a story translates to you being able to read and understand a legal document, even though they’re not connected. Reading gives you the opportunity to improve your skillset without knowing it. It gets your mind to expand in a creative and different way. There are a lot of different ways to learn, but reading is something you can take with you wherever you go.
What is a book you have recently learned from?
Start with Why, Simon Sinek
It really hones in on the reason why people do what they do. When we first started Oakwyn, it wasn’t about the dollars, it was about the “why?”. Why were we starting this brokerage and how were we going to create a positive change in people’s lives? We opened Oakwyn because we wanted to create a positive change in the industry and elevate the level of service to agents so that they could elevate the service to their clients. This book reminded me of that.
Hello Eric, why is the pursuit of growth and learning so valued at Oakwyn?
On a basic human level, one of the most important things is to grow, learn, and try to make ourselves better. On a corporate level, we’re looking at pushing the standards of real estate. We want successful agents and we want them to do well and create the life that they want and that happens through transactions, knowledge, and growth.
How is this continued pursuit of growth and learning synonymous with being a better realtor?
It’s the difference between being good or being great. The more you know the better you are, and the better prepared you are. This can be a lonely industry and this was one of the reasons Oakwyn was founded, to be able to share, collaborate, and grow together so that everyone gets better.
Is your commitment to learning setting Oakwyn agents apart from other realtors?
100%. 1 in 5 of our agents is Medallion, and the industry standard is around 1 in 11. We’re literally twice as good as other agents. If you want to play better tennis you hang out with better tennis players, well if you want to be a better realtor you hang out with better realtors. That what Oakwyn is about.
What book helps you in your ongoing pursuit of growth and learning?
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
I try to read it every year and every time I read it it’s a different story. It all depends on where you’re at in your life and I find it changes every time I read it. It’s taught me to always keep an open mind.
"If you want to play better tennis you hang out with better tennis players, well if you want to be a better realtor you hang out with better realtors."
"You have to be able to adapt in order to change, and if you don’t learn or grow you can’t adapt to change."
Hi Joe, why are growth and learning so valued for Oakwyn company culture?
Growth and learning are important because Oakwyn is a representation of realtors, and the more qualified realtor we have, the better reflection it is to clients and the peers that we work with. We’re very invested in our people. The managing brokers at Oakwyn are very receptive to ideas, and not closed-minded. We’re always looking for input, not just from other managing brokers, but from agents too.
Being a relatively new Managing Broker with Oakwyn, did Oakwyn’s educational programs impress you?
You have to be able to adapt in order to change, and if you don’t learn or grow you can’t adapt to change. It’s critical just for survival! The learning programs at Oakwyn really appealed to me for this reason, as one of the things that is sadly missing in this industry is good training programs.
How does adapting and learning ensure a higher quality realtor?
I’ve been in this industry for over 40 years and if you do not change with the way things are done you will not survive. Rules have changed, marketing has changed, there are so many things you have to adapt and change otherwise you will not survive.
What is a book that you would like to recommend?
Mentor & Me, Alan Stewart
First-time realtors should get this book, it’s full of little nuggets that realtors can benefit from. Alan Stewart recognized the importance of mentors in this industry and he writes about it in this book. Mentorship is something that is missed in our industry. Many agents when they start this business don’t want to give up any commissions, but it’s well worth it to learn from somebody else.
Hi Shelly, how are growth and learning upheld and supported within the Oakwyn team?
One of the key learning platforms we have at Oakwyn is something I championed called Oakwyn University. It’s currently a 12 segment real estate 101. We have a very strong support system in place through our programming for both new and experienced realtors.
How do you champion growth and learning in both your professional and personal life?
I’ve always been a nerd when it comes to reading lots of books. I’ve always been asking “why?”. Still to this day, if I don’t know the answer to something I’m going to find it. I think in any profession that’s the key indicator for success, how willing are you to actually do the deeper dive and find the “why?”. I don’t think it really matters if it’s in your personal life or your professional life, inquiring minds always want to know, we’re always searching for the answer to something.
How is the “inquiring mind” helpful to elevating yourself in real estate?
It’s such an interesting profession and it’s evolving all the time. It can be overwhelming at times, but for someone who likes to be challenged, it’s a great place to be.
What’s a book that you have learned from?
The Power of Intention, Wayne Dyer
It’s a book that changed my life and came to me at a time when I really needed it. It showed me that not being attached to the outcome of something makes it so much easier to accept whatever happens.
"I don’t think it really matters if it’s in your personal life or your professional life, inquiring minds always want to know, we’re always searching for the answer to something."
We’re grateful to be able to celebrate Literacy Day within a community that values the role of reading in self-growth and learning. Thank you to our Managing Brokers for speaking about how their shared values of growth and learning impact Oakwyn on a daily basis. For more information on Oakwyn University, webinars, and other educational resources, visit our website or find us on Instagram.
This episode is all about Reflecting. Our hosts discuss the importance of making time for reflection and how to apply the lessons you learn in these moments towards manifesting the life & career that you want!