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  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.”