Burnaby Condo Presale Lineup – More Shameless RE Promotion Presented As ‘News’ By Global TV

Last week the helicopters, this week the paid-for line-up. The crazy swirling circus music is reaching fever pitch. -vreaa

In brief:
A condo development is going on sale in Burnaby this coming weekend (19 Feb 2011). A line-up commenced Wednesday 16 Feb. Online ads had appeared in the days before, offering to pay individuals to stand/sit/sleep in this line-up. Global TV covered this line-up as news. ‘Alex’ published an open letter to Global TV accusing them of knowingly airing commercial promotional material as ‘news’.

In more depth:
The “Sovereign” by Bosa Properties, corner of Kingsway & Willingdon, in Burnaby.
45 stories, 202 units, starting at $260K.
Construction scheduled to be complete by 2014.

A craigslist ad appeared on 13 Feb 2011 [hat-tip greaterfool.ca] –
Date: 2011-02-13, 4:06PM PST
Just as the title says, we need people to hold spots and line up for a new condo project located in Burnaby (Kingsway/Willingdon Ave). Line up may start as early as weds/thurs night. Grand opening is Saturday February 19, 2011.
Warm beverages and washrooms will be provided by the developer.
Shifts are determined on how long you would like to stay. (preferably 8hours+)
Get paid cash quickly for sitting in a line up!
E-mail me your phone number + e-mail for more details. job-syk6p-2212992997@craigslist.org”

’29’ at VREAA told us of other online ads offering to pay people to line up:
“need help to line up, tonight, urgent, contact
Shirley 7788633870”
“urgently required, night shift persons, 7, 8pm – 6am
contact 6047159389”
“Builders Assoc CNY Meetup, Feb 19, Bonsor Community Centre, 6550 Bonsor Ave, 27:30-22:00 hours, 6048888888” [link]
[It remains unclear to us whether the parties advertising for people to line-up were prospective buyers, realtors, or parties directly or indirectly interested in creating a media buzz. -ed.]

29, offered further info, in a series of comments at VREAA 16 Feb 2011“One can earn $100 lining up during the day and $120 night. 1 guy said he made $1000 to line up 3 days for a friend. Naturally hiring ad for this role is in Chinese. A few genuine buyers. Most are flippers.
Latest. Prospective buyers must produce IDs and register in person; they will then get a number like in a doctor’s waiting room. Further more they cannot transfer their option to purchase to a 3rd party. If that is true, kudos to the sales organizer to bring in some sanity to this fracas.”

[Photos sourced here.]

Global TV covered the line-up as news, 16 Feb 2011

“Remember when people were actually lining up to buy apartments in buildings that hadn’t even been built yet? Well, it’s happening again today despite what is supposed to be a slower condo market in the lower mainland. People camping out for a shot at a pre-sale in Burnaby for a new tower that won’t be completed for years.”

[Note project name prominence for the Global piece. -ed.]

“This building, you know, very good at 450, houses they go for 1 million, one point four, you know, that’s very good (laughs).” – Person in line-up:

“Metrotown is a very strong area in terms of transportation routes, it’s got a lot of infrastructure in place, as well as it’s at a critical mass in retail as well as housing, so I can see that as being attractive for buyers.” – Cameron Muir, BCREA [Introduced just as an ‘economist’ by the voice over. -ed.]

Announcer: “…and as an investment.”
Interviewer: “Are you going to live in this building?”
Guy in line-up: “Uhm…I have no idea right now..because that depends how the economy goes.. because it’s completed three years later… who knows, hey?”

Jen, somebody who works nearby, as quoted by Garth Turner, at greaterfool.ca 16 Feb 2011“When I went to work Tuesday morning I noticed a bunch of people at the empty lot and wondered what was up.  Through the morning, the crowd/lineup grew.  At noon, I noticed the porta-potty in a parking lot behind an adjacent building.  An hour later it was gone (I kinda wonder if we should call the employment standards people – after all, I think it was in the job offer).  The line grew by 50% from what was there at 9:30, so at 2:45 when I left, the lineup stretched beyond the length of the adjacent building.  By 4, they were erecting tents (like very nice party tents –  fully enclosed) for the people in the lineup exposed to the rain. When I went back to work at 8 there were flood lights for the people now in the tents.  And alas, when I left at 10, the floodlights were extinguished, but several police cruisers were in attendance.” “A co-worker went out and spoke to the people in the lineup at lunch.  When asked what they were in the lineup for, the first two people in line didn’t know.  A little further down the line, someone said they were waiting to buy a condo.  When asked if one of them were going to buy a condo, the guy said no, but his friend beside him was going to buy one.  Asked if they were getting paid to stand in line….answer…no!  Upon leaving the project with a loud comment from my co-worker  “hope you guys are getting paid well for this”,  the answer from one “not bad, not bad”.

Alex, at greaterfool.ca 16 Feb 2011 11:22pm, posted a letter that he has sent to Global BC TV –
“Regarding your item on the evening news tonite where you gushed over the line-up for that condo development in Burnaby: Are you aware there was an advertisement on craigslist this week offering to PAY people to stand in that line? That’s right – either the developer or the marketing company created a FAKE lineup. And here you are covering it as “news.” How reprehensible is that? Only as reprehensible as your coverage last week of that trumped-up helicopter tour over White Rock, where you wrongly intimated that mainland Chinese were flocking to the area when in fact it was simply a desperate marketing measure of a failing condo tower.
Now, I am aware that the local real estate mob (and I use that word knowingly) pays what must be a handsome fee to advertise on your station. In fact, most of your segments tonite were “sponsored” either by Re/Max or a mortgage broker. Coincidence? Hardly.
So tell me: In this climate, where Canadian families have maxed their credit, where real estate prices are some of the highest in the world, where the income to household debt-servicing ratio is in excess of TEN (an all-time record, by a long shot), where even the governor of the Bank of Canada has begged Canadians to STOP SPENDING, and where mortgage restrictions are continuously being initiated to stop the obvious insanity created in part by mainstream media lies, are you knowingly committing fraud? Because this spot tonight, along with the White Rock piece last week, most definitely weren’t “news.”
If you have even an ounce of shame, you’ll at least admit to me in a reply that you were either: A) Duped beyond all reason, or B) Lying and committing fraud. So, Global, which is it?”

Brian at greaterfool.ca 17 Feb 2011 3:48am“I heard from someone that knows someone that works for the developer that they have no knowledge of anyone being paid to stand in the lineup….I find that very hard to believe.”

Peter Pan at greaterfool.ca 17 Feb 2011 3:56am “A journalist from the Vancouver Sun asked me to provide him with the Craigslist ad… I told him it was pulled soon after appearing on this website…”

Burnaby Boy at greaterfool.ca 17 Feb 2011 4:31am– “As of midnight the line ups of people at the Burnaby condo development have all gone as have the tents and security guards. I guess getting on the six o’clock news did the trick.”

Supersogs, at vancouvercondo.info 16 Feb 2011 11:47 am, reprinted a note from Bosa regarding the line-up.. they have changed to a system of “a sequential list of interested parties”: “While we knew that the interest in Sovereign was very healthy, we were surprised to find last night that over 125 clients had elected to begin lining up for our sales event this Saturday. While we anticipated that there would likely be a line-up, we could not have anticipated that it would begin forming so soon, and as a result have elected to modify our plans for the coming days.” [Where did the tents come from? -ed.]


1. Bosa announces, on the day of the sales, 19 Feb 2011, that the project is “100% Sold out”:
“We’re thrilled to announce that
Sovereign by Bosa Properties is 100% sold out!
On behalf of Bosa Properties, we would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all of our new homeowners and everyone who came out to see us at the Sales Centre throughout the past weeks.”

2. Flip attempts appear within hours on craigslist:
Date: 2011-02-19, 8:06PM PST
Reply to: hous-ue4zb-2224133573_at_craigslist.org
Any body
[sic -ed.] who is interested in an assignment please contact me.
I have 3 units ready for signing
2 one bedrooms
1 studio
Adding $25k assignment to original pre open day price. (first 80 units)
If you are interested – you need to be quick cause these will be signed over on monday or tuesday (no assignment fees if done in the next few days)
SOLD OUT BUILDING ( in one day)
Basa http://www.bosaproperties.com/sovereign/
Email with phone number and cash needs to be ready.
PostingID: 2224133573

3. Follow up breathless infomercial from Global. Archived by Greenhorn at youtube: Condo Boom in Vancouver
Including great quotes:
“We are still remembering the two years ago, the economic crisis.. you know.. people don’t have a lot of confidence.. those monetary products… but, as a real estate, you’re buying something” – Sunny Lee, Royal Pacific Realty
“And a quick footnote to the story, if you were interested in buying a condo at The Sovereign… it is now Sold Out.” – Announcer (with, arguably, ‘told-you-so’ delivery)

26 responses to “Burnaby Condo Presale Lineup – More Shameless RE Promotion Presented As ‘News’ By Global TV

  1. The cbc news item was actually about the relaunch of the olympic village, NOT the bby development.

    “A promise of lower prices at the Olympic Village seems to be enticing customers…” was the first line of the story.

  2. Lying has become the norm for the RE industry. And it will remain the norm for some time to come. I don’t believe anything I read or hear on TV unless I can see evidence of it “out there.” In other words, you have to look at who is telling you the info. and anyone associated with making money from the RE industry, including realtors, banks, mortgage brokers, appraisers, home inspectors, the Federal government, the CREA, the Home Builders Association and home stagers, are all capable of lying to you. And you have to look at why they NEED to lie to you. Basically people are being told what they want to hear “NOW is a good time to buy. BUY NOW or you will get shut out forever.” What a load of crap.

    If prices are going to go up like they say, what the hell do they need to hire people to stand in line for? Wouldn’t people just naturally be forming a huge line if NOW is the best time to be buying?

  3. This is the email that was sent out yesterday.

    Bosa Properties would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to you and your fellow realtors for your dedicated interest and attention as we approach our insider sales launch this Saturday.

    While we knew that the interest in Sovereign was very healthy, we were surprised to find last night that over 125 clients had elected to begin lining up for our sales event this Saturday. While we anticipated that there would likely be a line-up, we could not have anticipated that it would begin forming so soon, and as a result have elected to modify our plans for the coming days.

    While we assembled tents to provide cover for the evening, we at Bosa Properties do not wish to have potential homeowners living outside in the elements (especially during winter conditions). As a result, we will begin this morning assembling a sequential list of interested parties by recording names and their respective place in line, and will open our sales office doors on Saturday at 10am in accordance with this list.

    Further, we wish to provide you also with the opportunity to avoid an exhaustive line-up, by reserving for you a space in line for Saturday’s opening. Our sales office will be open today (Wednesday), Thursday and Friday from 12 – 3pm to assist you in reserving your place. At that time we will record a copy of your identification, and provide you with your specific number.

    While interest is extremely high, we encourage you to remember that there are 202 homes in Sovereign and we have a wide variety of home designs, prices and views to choose from. We hope that you’re not discouraged by the large number of people interested in owning here, and we will work to try and find a home for you.

    We would also ask that you remain aware of the following details:

    We will have a large covered staging area at the rear of the Sales Office in an effort to make any waits as comfortable as possible. Inside the staging area we will have well defined and specific seating for each client who has been recorded on our list.
    Once your name has been recorded on our list, we will not be in a position to allow substitutions/stand-ins within the staging area.
    Clients will be asked to present identification to gain access to the staging area
    Please accept our thanks in advance for your cooperation and understanding as we work to accommodate ownership at Sovereign for all of our interested clients.

    We look forward to meeting with you soon.


    Jean Openshaw
    Sales Manager

    Alice Wang
    Sales Manager

  4. “Last week the helicopters, this week the paid-for line-up. ”
    Lu Wei, the helicopter heroine, was at the ‘Soveriegn’ pitching Onni’s tent (literally) in her own words; she also witnessed the unruly crowd came to blows at one point.

    Realtors are offering a cut of their commissions to entice buyers;
    one advertised a rebate of $5000 and upwards depending on the units purchased; another, $3k – $$5.

    General feedback:
    – The rich buyers will not be interested in OV and Sovereign as principal homes. They will buy only SFHs.
    – “S” is not a good investment choice, given that it is at a busy junction and above a 20-storey hotel and retail shops controlled by the developer.

  5. Holy! The current generation of Real Estate Agents are making car salesmen look like boy scouts!
    I think it is safe to say the public is catching on to the unethical methods of REA and their ‘glass is half full’ stats. As for Global TV for not conducting due diligence, I suspect quite a few people are sending emails to the crtc as I post this.
    Global, where one reporter is under suspicion for sexual assaults and another who was acting as a PR person for
    Mr. Cash Heed. What an outfit for misfits.
    Great article!

  6. Leigh Morrow was fired from Global in 2007 for impersonating someone in order to get an interview. I think they fired her to avoid a lawsuit. Did you notice she just suddenly disappeared from Global in about June 2007?

  7. WOW, this is just crazy! With all the crazy antics that the developers are pulling off, I would not be surprised if they were cutting corners big time in the construction and design of these buildings. They look shiny today but will they look shiny in 20 years?

    • I watched the Condo next to me being built. I can tell you they are cutting corners as far as the law allows them to do it.

      I would not have bought anything in that building, the Penthouse there went for apparently 1.5 Million (well, it does have two bedrooms and a view of English Bay), just proves to me how cheap my rent is in comparision (only 2/3 the size, but higher floor and completely unobstructed view, unlike the PH in the Condo).

  8. 1st para, last sentence explains that there was “an explosion of foul language” and “pushing” (no mention of physical fight) that escalated to RCMP’s presence at site.

    Today’s report

    7th para, 1st sentence – one realtor hired 30 persons to line up; 2nd sentence – those at the front of the line were offering their spots for a fee of $1k.

  9. I think it’s interesting how they moved the tents to the back. Why? Two possible reasons, the RCMP requested it. OR they don’t want people to see how few people are actually lining up (empty tents). I suspect both are true.

    Now that they’ve drawn attention to themselves, people are going to watch for ads for line standers AND people are going to be on the alert for fake line ups. Not the kind of publicity you want. Not ALL publicity is good publicity, contrary to popular belief.

  10. Gotta love Google Translation (from Ming Pao)… It hilarious. What the Heck is Detroit Metal City?
    Liang bit Detroit Metal pushed thousands rush to sell
    Railway Town “pre-dragon” heavily armed as the march
    Ming Pao railway town of Burnaby (Metrotown) buy a flat line appears rare flowers (this newspaper first reported yesterday) the site yesterday morning, about 200 people queued to take wind and rain, and even willing to front line shouted 1000 dollars “selling bit.” Line was once two groups of people during the scramble for “Detroit Metal City” and the shoving, witnesses said the last with the police to the scene to understand the situation.

    Developer Bosa Properties registered yesterday to adopt a new strategy for temporary, according to line up in order of registration, subject to proof of identity issued by a copy of the queue before it was dispersed.

    A line people say that the night before last night, about 200 people line up at the scene, although the public were “fully armed”, the body bag to the left eye, also prepared for heating equipment, kettles, food and coffee against the cold. However, when the wind and rain, can not be tossed and turned off, many people feeling anxious.

    Near the middle of the night about 12 o’clock, the crowd noise suddenly big drum, the original two groups of people line up for the scramble to Chinese revealing the foul language problems, and jostling occurs.

    Security guards to see the situation out of control, emergency police assistance, Burnaby RCMP arrived at the scene also understand the situation, but no further action.

    Witnesses said a group of people believe is one of the team and out too often, been questioned took the opportunity to jump the queue, queue up another batch of Yi Ling’s “position” was squeezed back, so there are people disgruntled and started war of words, and finally to each other push the touch, once close to the conflict.

    Some of them also complained that there seems to be hiring 30 people scramble for seats brokers, other brokers caused dissatisfaction; also row in front of people who rush to “a 1,000 yuan,” the price to sell your position, as speculation “scalped tickets,” the whole flying over the court evening news, whispers constantly to buy the first building on the flower people, was very impressed.

    Li Changhao real estate agents said, he was commissioned to buy a flat of 17 customers to spend, because it is only joined the queue in the day before yesterday evening, the Queen Mother was worried about the failure to register row, lucky near misses.

    He said that the builder provides one queue for two buyers, but a buyer can buy two, equal to only 50 people that may be Purchased 200 units, which are very detrimental to the latter. He added that the extent to This building has long been expected to flower in demand.

    This newspaper went to Burnaby RCMP power of inquiries, the spokesman said Brenda Gresiuk, may be just a small incident, the police did not leave a file record, so she did not know then.

    • Goggle Translate – 1) Break down a paragraph in to sentences. 2) break down a sentence in to phrases or words. 1st para 2nd sentence will read as follows:

      Line during the
      Two groups of people
      “Detroit Metal City”
      And pushing,
      Witnesses said
      Police arrived at the scene to understand the situation.

      Further breakdown “Detroit Metal City”
      Google Translate gives you the closest match:
      >> 爆粗 <>Burst Crude <>爆粗口<>Explosive foul language<<

      Hope this helps.

      • Still scratching my head as to how Google came up with “Detroit Metal City”. I can see something like “Burst Crude” or “Explode Thick”, but Detroit? WTF?

  11. the whole flying over the court
    evening news
    whispers constantly to buy
    the first building on the flower people
    was very impressed

    It’s poetry of the times man. POETRY.

    • It’s really interesting to see the lengths people will go to create reality. It’s kind of like Wikileaks. Some people criticize Assange for publishing the cables, but when you look at the reactionary behaviour that came from the US and others, you start to see who the dark sinister force really is. You’ve got to see very clearly what the US is capable of when under threat. And it all played out in the media spotlight. To me, the most important thing wasn’t the leak at all, it was the reaction of the US, and what it revealed about them.

      In this case, it reveals what RE Industry people are capable of. And it begs the question: What else are they up to? If I was a RE industry person right now, I wouldn’t admit it to anyone. There is another important question: What next? What will they stoop to next?

  12. In the Global TV video at 00:18, look at the announcer’s face just after he says “years”. Do you know what that look on his face is? Shame. The shame he feels after realizing that he is just a brainless mouthpiece for Bosa.

    • This is shaping up to be a really interesting year. I don’t watch the news any more because it’s either bad news, like a murder, car crash, plane crash OR it’s a “sunshine up your skirt” report. In other words, a lie about how great the economy is doing. OR a lie about how the line ups for condo developments have returned, and bidding wars have returned, and multiple offers have returned, and how “happy days are here again.”

      I don’t know anyone who is doing well right now, especially RE agents.

      I can get my news off the internet instead. I can choose to not read something, but it’s awful to be told an outright lie to my face when watching the news on TV.

      • This is not the time to stop watching MSM news. RE bloodsuckers have a few more days to regale us with their flimflam wizardry. You don’t want to miss them cuz after March 18, we’ll see who eats crow.

  13. Calling Cameron Muir an economist is a stretch. In my opinion, if you don’t have a graduate degree in economics, you are not well equipped to be the chief economist of anything.

    The press release from BCREA when Muir was hired says he has “diplomas from Kwantlen University College and the University of British Columbia, a degree from Simon Fraser University and graduate work in economics and property theory”. The way it’s worded strongly suggests he does not have a graduate degree in economics.

    Calling him one of “BC’s leading economists” (as was done here: http://www.bcbusinessonline.ca/bcb/top-stories/2010/01/06/economists) is simply laughable.

  14. Detroit Metal City. That’s gold.

  15. so, the building was sold out in a day! come one people, send out more complaints.

  16. Since Onni changed its rule allowing each buyer to book only one unit i/o 2 units, there must be 3 flippers here offering 3 condos to assign at a profit of $25k x3, before the contracts kick in.

    First choice was unit “2808”, followed by all units with the number “8” taken very quickly mostly by investors. Who needs floor plans !!!
    Lining up were a couple with their daughter with roll call numbers 1,2 & 3 respectively. They were disappointed that they could only invest one unit each, and not 2 units each as originally stated by the developer.

    Last sentence (Mingpao’s article today) –
    Onni have not released all units for sale last Saturday, but they hold back some units including 3 penthouse units on the top floor.

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