Our Fees and Services

In this video, Nicholas Meyer outlines current fees and services at Downtown Suites Ltd.

Look for a LICENSED Professional

suite153-dsc_0004Never settle for less than professional when you are looking for a property manager for your suite! Nicholas Meyer went over the main reasons to hire professional property managers in this legacy article posted originally a few years ago.

Property Management is a specific professional designation, controlled under the Real Estate Services Act of BC, and monitored by the Real Estate Council of BC and the Real Estate Board of Vancouver.
Even if a person has a real estate license, in BC legislation doesn’t permit real estate salespeople to manage people’s property. Property Managers are designated as true professionals, under strict guidelines.

Aside from the many areas of expertise required of a true property manager, one key reason for the specific designation has to do with the management of the funds which are rightfully the landlord’s. It all comes down to handling other people’s funds.

It is against the rules, as laid out by the governing bodies, for someone who is not a licensed Property Manager to take money for the service of managing rentals. This gives greater integrity to the system, as people need to have confidence in the system. Property managers are audited and supervised, and the landlords know that their money is safe, accounted for and they will get it when the rent is collected.

As a Managing Broker at Downtown Suites, I have a license for both real estate sales and property management. All clients’ funds are held in trust accounts, and we differentiate between accounts for sales and property management. Each is operated separately, and independently audited, ensuring financial integrity.

Normally, realtors don’t want to begin to deal with this complexity, which is best left to Property Managers. Should a buyer acquire property for rental revenue, their realtor is not licensed to manage it, and the buyer should find a responsible Property Management company to handle this for them.

Some real estate agents do also have property management licenses. But some more unscrupulous realtors act unlicensed, as independent managers, and when they deduct commission they then put it in their own accounts. Landlords should be aware that this may not be handled through the account of the realtor’s affiliated real estate companies, and should watch to ensure that the transactions are all above board.

What to Look For in a Property Management Company

Nicholas Meyer of Downtown Suites Ltd. goes over the qualities and skills you should look for in a residential property management company.

Discount Management vs. Benefits of a Full Service Company

In this video, Nicholas Meyer talks about service, and what you can expect from a full service company as opposed to a discount management firm.

More and more competition is coming into our marketplace as people try and steal market share away from established professional companies like ourselves. The reality is that to maintain a quality staff, in a quality premise, in the right location, to provide all the goods and services and the experience, the licensing, banking and accounting requirements, it is very difficult for us to have our prices at any lower place than they are.

For the rate of service that we offer we are extremely competitive and very very reasonable in our rates. We’ve cut them, actually, to the bone.

Just to give you an example of the sort of service that we offer: this week there was a common area leak in one of our suites. I’ve had a property manager visiting that property, including weekends (because it’s currently vacant), to make sure that the work that the plumbers have done is holding, and that there isn’t any further damage. This is an hour to an hour and a half every day that we are putting into this property. When you think about it, what our team rents out for on an hourly basis, we are going to lose money on this particular client for at least six months probably, maybe more. But that’s part of our job and part of what we say we’re going to do.

We’re reliable, we’re honest and we do the right thing all the time. That’s what you’re getting with us: you’re getting a 24/7 insurance policy. You have somebody in Vancouver who’s going to be looking after your property with the same sort of interest that you would look after it yourself. We treat your property as if it was our own.

Beware of the discount people. A lot of their prices are misleading. They say they’re going to charge a minimum number and then there are all these upcharges and hidden charges that they add on to every single thing.

Our fees are very simple. We have a monthly fee. We have a leasing fee. And there is a small extra fee for taking the responsibility of the non-resident tax and dealing with all the accounting issues. And that’s it. We don’t charge for extra leases if the tenant stays on. We don’t charge for repairs. We don’t charge for anything whatsoever. If we can get you wholesale prices on appliances, wholesale prices from trades, we pass those savings on to you. We don’t upcharge on anything. I know some people will call a plumber and add on a $50 service charge. If they go and buy some appliances they’ll try and buy them wholesale and sell them to you at a retail price. And so it goes on.

We don’t do that. We’re very very fair. And, as I say, the accounting, and the costs of having the annual audit and to be complying completely with the rules takes at least half of whatever we take from any client in commission on a monthly basis. The rules are so stringent, if we’re actually following the proper rules that are set out by the Real Estate Act.

As I said, some people are circumnavigating that, not having proper trust accounts, and these are things that you have to be very careful of.

Do you really want to trust your million dollar investment to somebody who’s kind of fly-by-night? It just boggles the mind. We’re not going anywhere. We just paid a million dollars for this office: we’re sitting on Pender Street in downtown Coal Harbour, the best part of the city of Vancouver.

We’ve been in business for over 15 years and I’ve been personally in the business for over 30 years in Vancouver. We’re here to stay, and we’re here to look after your property to the best and highest professional level that we can.

Professional Management with Downtown Suites

Flat Fees for Luxury Suite Management
Nicholas Meyer and Lisa Taylor

Nicholas Meyer, and Lisa Taylor, Leasing Agent, discuss Downtown Suites’ fees for management of luxury suites.

Nic: At Downtown Suites we specialize in the downtown Vancouver suite market, and a large part of our portfolio are luxury suites, in Yaletown and specifically in Coal Harbour. Many of these suites are worth upwards of two to four million dollars. We are very adept at dealing with that caliber of tenant, and those owners. We are very understanding of their needs which are slightly different. We are very confident and comfortable dealing with higher quality tenants and owners, and especially with higher end properties. We are very good at that, and the bonus to our owners is that we charge $250 as a cap on our fees.

For any suite over $3000, it doesn’t matter how much more it is, our fee is $250. In a lot of cases this now works out to 2,3 or 4%, so we are very very competitive. I know that many of our competitors are still charging the flat 8%. It seems outrageous to me, actually, that somebody could be charging $500-$1000 a month when we are just charging the $250, which I think is reasonable.

Lisa: Especially when we are talking about $6000 rentals, $7500 rentals. We do an extremely good job and we think that $250 is a fair value. And of course our leasing fee is a half month’s rent. That is for all of our suites. That includes the tenant screening, tenant qualifying, the showing of the suite, and making sure that we get a happy and “right fit” tenant, especially in our luxury suites.

Nic: And incidentally, tenants don’t move very frequently in high end suites, they are generally in for several years, so the leasing fee shouldn’t be something to be overly concerned about. Anybody who moves into 2 or 3000 square feet is generally wanting to stay there for quite a long time. I recently had a tenant move out after 20 years in a suite. So it’s essentially $250 a month for our luxury suite management.

It’s a Good Idea to Have Management
Enjoy carefree property ownership

Our clients have found it to be very beneficial to use our services. The first thing is its not going to cost you anything out of your pocket because you are buying your property as a longterm investment, and an investment that you are going to make some money on. You want to make sure somebody’s taking care of that property for you and maintaining it so as you can maximize your dollar return.

We will give you a great feeling of confidence, you can be sure your property will be well-maintained, well looked after, and it’s going to be there for you to make a nice profit later on.

We have such a great leasing team here that almost everything we’ve got has been leased, so we are always looking for new inventory. If you have a property that you’d like to have professionally managed, and have quality tenants in it, and no headaches whatsoever you’ve come to the right place. We’d be very happy to help you with that.

Please give us a call at our office, 604-694-8801, or send us an email, to me personally: nic@downtownsuites.com. I’d be very happy to give you a market evaluation of the rental of your property and we’ll have you rented in a very short time.

Protecting Owners

The need for licensed property management and owner protection are the topics of this recent video talk from Nicholas Meyer of Downtown Suites in Vancouver.

Are Your Staircases to Code?

Just another Day in the Life of a Property Manager. This time: Code violations. Does your condo have renovations or additions? Are your staircases to code? Nicholas Meyer of Downtown Suites discusses a couple of staircase code situations in Vancouver condos.

Happy Halloween

Trick or Treat! Halloween begins at Downtown Suites office, with Nic Meyer as the swashbuckling pirate.