“I am Realtor. Nothing Realtorian is Alien to Me.”

Okay, only kidding, the quote is fabricated, there aren’t any Vancouver realtors who routinely paraphrase Terence. But the recently released National Film Board of Canada film series ‘GDP’, ‘Measuring the human side of the Canadian economic crisis’, does feature a raw and strangely poignant portrait of a  27 year old Vancouver Realtor named Keith Roy.  Keith is a former restaurant manager who is recently married. In the three short films (released Sept-Nov 2009), Keith, who works the Marpole area of South Vancouver, shows remarkable confidence and even more remarkable candidness as he describes his dreams & strategies, and tells us what it takes to muscle in as a RE ‘professional’.  Dressing for ‘gravitas’, becoming a celebrity, poaching assistants, ‘taking it up a notch’, quick profits, bribing tenants. As the NFB site itself puts it: “Did somebody say bubble?” -vreaa

Extracts from  1. Dressing for success:

[to his tailor] “I’m a pretty skinny looking guy, and I look rather young, so when I walk into a room and I am going to say to someone, “You know what, I want you to pay me tens of thousands of dollars to sell a multimillion dollar asset”, I need to have some gravitas.”

“My goal is to achieve local celebrity status. I want to walk into a coffee shop and have people say, “Hey, you’re the guy from the real estate sign”.”

Extracts from 2. Competitive edge:

“I have got a new assistant starting. I headhunted her from another real estate team in the city.”

“I do a lot of work with lawyers, accountant, doctors, engineers, basically six figure income earners under the age of 35 with professional degrees. I like working with that clientele for a couple of reasons. One, I am just like them.”

“I am very good at an open house. I’m on, I’m professional, I’m I would say better than 95% of people out there doing open houses so I get clients at open houses. And the 20% of us who sell 80% of properties do things a little different. We take it up a notch. We do things on a higher level. We do things more professionally.”

Extracts from 3. Hot property.

“A lot of my clients are lawyers and it’s because a lot of my friends are lawyers. I did a degree in political science. All my friends went to law school and I went on to become a real estate agent. So I am fairly used to lawyers as a type. M_ is also my lawyer and I got in a car accident a couple of years ago. He is a personal injury lawyer and he got me a great settlement, substantially more than I had initially been offered by the insurance company so we have a pretty trusting relationship.”

M_: “He [Keith Roy] told me in March when I bought a townhouse and at that point I was contemplating selling this existing property. He told me at that time that it was not a good time to sell. That is very trustworthy advice. If a realtor who was going to make a profit and commission, tells me it is not a good time to sell, that’s a guy I can trust. Today, when he tells me I should sell, I take his word for it. Frankly, I have made a lot of money in equity on that place already. We bought it at the very downturn of the market in March [2009] and we bought it for less than what it would have cost at that point. I think myself at least $100,00 more than I paid for it.”

“…in [marketing] a condo that’s mostly open houses and it is a matter of access and we will negotiate that with the tenant in such a way that it appeals to them. Now I have Canucks tickets, I have Giant’s tickets, I have a pretty good selection of stuff that I bribe tenants with.”

[Full transcripts of each segment posted in the comments section].

[Update 1 Jan 2010 - Realtor Larry Yatkowsky has a post at his blog YatterMatters 8 Dec 2009, discussing Keith Roy and the NFB production. Roy has himself added a comment, which is archived below.]

Keith Roy at YatterMatters 12 Jan 2010 8:56 pm – “Happy to see that people are watching the videos and in some cases enjoying them – whether for real interest, comical value or just killing time. I will say, this is not a commercial – it is an actual documentary. We don’t do outtakes and there are errors that occur. A camera follows me around and offers the public insight into what I do as a realtor and a community member, day to day. I was approached by the NFB and offered myself up for their project. I would be happy to take a call from any of the anonymous bloggers to discuss the matter further. And – as for the suits… The suits I get at Samson’s tailors are usually $600 – $800. For a hard fit like me (tall and skinny) that is a great deal. Previously, I would buy a $500 suit at the Bay, spent $150 on alterations and still not have a well fitting suit. So, the really lesson here is for a great deal on a suit, visit Samson’s tailors.”

8 responses to ““I am Realtor. Nothing Realtorian is Alien to Me.”

  1. Dressing for Success
    There are three things that people like me talk about in Vancouver: politics, real estate and weather. You don’t get a pay check in real estate, you get a commission cheque so if I don’t produce, if I don’t sell houses, I don’t get paid. When the economic crisis really hit, it started to come in September of 2008 and it really hit by November of 2008. In the month of November, you couldn’t give a house or a condo away in Vancouver. The whole city, everybody stopped buying houses, everybody stopped looking at houses, you could have cut the prices in half and still not sold properties. Marpole is an old industrial neighborhood right on the Fraser River and it’s just across from the Vancouver airport. It’s the place that people drive through on their way to the airport but it’s got a good little community vibe to it and when I got into the business there was not a lot of realtors who were working down here because it’s kind of a forgotten neighborhood so the prices are a little cheaper down here than you’ll find elsewhere. You can get a one bedroom apartment, a little over 500 sq ft and you’ll pay in an older building as little at $199 or $200,000 and you can go up to a brand new house, it will cost you in the neighborhood of 1.3 to 1.5 million for a large brand new one bedroom house. So there is a good range of properties to sell and a good range of people that live here. And my goal here is just to become the long term go to real estate guy for Marpole.
    I’m a big fan of dressing for success so I use Keith Samson in Vancouver, a cute little tailor shop.
    Tailor: showing a half inch of sleeve here, that’s all, the sleeve is going to turn a little so it should rest on the wrist there.
    Keith: Oh, okay. I’m a pretty skinny looking guy and I look rather young so when I walk into a room and I am going to say to someone, “You know what, I want you to pay me tens of thousands of dollars to sell a multimillion dollar asset” I need to have some gravitas.
    My goal is to achieve local celebrity status. I want to walk into a coffee shop and have people say, “Hey, you’re the guy from the real estate sign”. I want people to say, ”Hey, I saw your flyer”. “Hey, I got your flier, this is great”. “Hey, I saw you sold that house. I live just down the street. What do you think my place is worth?” I want to achieve that local celebrity status and once I am able to do that, I will just have to keep working it and I’m never going to give up and you never stop prospecting in real estate. You never stop looking for new clients. So my goal will be to keep that going, and then every day I can just come into work, work my system, have a great group of clients and ultimately live the lifestyle I want to live.

  2. Competitive Edge
    Today is kind of the first day of fall, all the kids are back to school today and I have got a new assistant starting. I headhunted her from another real estate team in the city. She has got 4 years of experience working with a large real estate company. We got a couple of tasks to run and rather than leave Christine in the office, I am going to bring her with me. We are going to go and I got a new listing last week that has a sign, we have got an open house coming up so we are going to put a sign up on that. I will probably take Christine out for lunch; we will have a little bit of a casual conversation. This could really help her feel comfortable in her new job. I have started new jobs before too and they are quite nerve racking so we will bring her on board and get her involved in all of those things.
    So one of the things that you get at Macdonald’s Realty that you don’t get elsewhere is a full service operation. The public perception is that all realtors are the same and they all do the same and I would argue that probably 80% are the same and are doing the same thing but they are the 80% who are selling 20% of the properties. Here is the marketing book. I do a lot of work with lawyers, accountant, doctors, engineers, basically six figure income earners under the age of 35 with professional degrees. I like working with that clientele for a couple of reasons. One, I am just like them. Thirty-two percent of people who found the home they ultimately got on the Internet, 33% found it through an agent, 15% through a lawn sign or an open house. I am very good at an open house. I’m on, I’m professional, I’m I would say better than 95% of people out there doing open houses so I get clients at open houses. And the 20% of us who sell 80% of properties do things a little different. We take it up a notch. We do things on a higher level. We do things more professionally. So there are five reasons the home doesn’t sell:
    1. Marketing.
    2. Price.
    3. Access.
    4. Timing.
    5. Condition.
    I will probably give her a couple of basic tasks for the day. Just.. I don’t want to overwhelm her with information. We’ll set her up, I’ve got a stack of accounting that is probably about this big, it’s 8 months’ worth of receipts that have no semblance of order other than the fact that they went into the pile probably in the month that they were taken, because that is how big the pile is. So we’ll put her on to that task and see if she can handle that.
    I am going to give you your choice of what you want to do today. You want to play around on the websites, do you want to start on the accounting, yeah accounting, Internet.. Accounting. Good luck to you.
    That’s a big part of why I hired an assistant, is to help me manage those systems in a more professional way.

  3. Hot Property
    Hello, my name is Keith Roy. I am a realtor with MacDonald Realty. I am at Unit 602 at 1082 Seymour Street, in the Fraser Building, right here in downtown Vancouver.
    What you are going to see today is a one bedroom and den, 675 sq ft apartment.
    M_: He told me in March when I bought a townhouse and at that point I was contemplating selling this existing property. He told me at that time that it was not a good time to sell. That is very trustworthy advice. If a realtor who was going to make a profit and commission, tells me it is not a good time to sell, that’s a guy I can trust. Today, when he tells me I should sell, I take his word for it. Frankly, I have made a lot of money in equity on that place already. We bought it at the very down term of the market in March and we bought it for less than what it would have cost at that point. I think myself at least $100,000 more than I paid for it.
    Videotaping: Just back by the front entryway. Got your in suite laundry with a washer and a dryer.
    A lot of my clients are lawyers and it’s because a lot of my friends are lawyers. I did a degree in political science. All my friends went to law school and I went on to become a real estate agent. So I am fairly used to lawyers as a type. M_ is also my lawyer and I got in a car accident a couple of years ago. He is a personal injury lawyer and he got me a great settlement, substantially more than I had initially been offered by the insurance company so we have a pretty trusting relationship. He knows that when it comes to real estate, I am the guy and I know that when it comes to personal injury law, he is the guy and I don’t question his ability to negotiate with the insurance company and he doesn’t question my ability to negotiate with an eventual buyer or seller when we were buying his place.
    Videotaping: Over on the left you have the kitchen. You can see we have granite counters, a dishing washer…
    Look I am going to ask you to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 to hire me today, so you need to understand what we are going to do and subsequently you are going to want to hold me accountable for that. Okay. So how do we attract those three and ultimately the four biggest components: Internet and I will show you how we walk through that, agents: that’s my relationship with the realty community in general, sometimes in open houses, in a condo that’s mostly open houses and it is a matter of access and we will negotiate that with the tenant in such a way that it appeals to them. Now I have Canucks tickets, I have Giant’s tickets, I have a pretty good selection of stuff that I bribe tenants with. Okay.
    Videotaping: A really nice place to set yourself with if you want to do some work.
    So Internet:
    1. Virtual open house. This does two things, one it exposes the home better on the internet which attracts that large component of buyers and
    2. I want a video that I can send everybody too before they see the home so that when I am taking the time to show the home, I am only getting that after someone has already confirmed that they are interested in it. I am not taking… no one’s gong to walk in and say, “I don’t like this place”. They are going to walk in and say, “Hey it looks just like it did on video. I like it. Let’s write an offer”.
    Videotaping: So I thank you for coming by and looking at the apartment today. If you want to see the apartment in person, call me.

  4. This M person makes no sense.

    “He [Keith Roy] told me in March when I bought a townhouse and at that point I was contemplating selling this existing property… We bought it at the very downturn of the market in March [2009] and we bought it for less than what it would have cost at that point. I think myself at least $100,00 more than I paid for it.”

    I dont understand. He bought a townhouse in march, and wanted to sell it in march? Or he wanted to sell another property he had? And when he bought it in march he got it for less than it would have cost at the time? What the hell does that mean?

    I get the feeling he was trying to seem like a bigshot saying how much he made on real estate but mostly ended up looking like he has no idea what he was talking about.

  5. French Fry station

    Keith Roy should go back to his job at McDonalds on South Granville. Here are some tips for him;
    ICBC always offers claimants ridiculously low settlements, so the fact that “M” got him more proves nothing except Keith Roy is ignorant.
    Bragging about how big his pile of receipts is managed to clearly show his ineptitude.
    Bragging about poaching employees from competitors, and then describing in painful details how said employee, “Christine”, had to be spoon fed her job duties by him is just plain sad and pathetic.
    Nuff said

  6. Another dweeb. Thats classic “I do a lot of work with lawyers, accountant, doctors, engineers, basically six figure income earners under the age of 35 with professional degrees. I like working with that clientele for a couple of reasons. One, I am just like them.”
    Just like them? Professional? Sorry, I don’t consider RE professional. They did not go through the same rigor as a lawyer, account, doctor, engineer. The fact he has the gall to claim to be just like them just shows you how uneducated this guy is. Poli-sci. (Bachelor of BS) degree.

  7. restaurant employee

    yeah i’ve worked for this type before..

    breathing down his neck is a significant other that is always wanting MORE MORE MORE..

    i’m going to make some popcorn – this is going to be a hoot to watch when it comes apart.

    “the less a man makes declarative statements, the less apt he is to look foolish in the future.” -Quentin Tarantino

  8. Pingback: Keith Roy, Revisited – “I’m a REALTOR and I sold my own home 4 weeks ago. I think its time to cash out!” | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

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