David & Mark Goodman
April 7th, 2010
A few weeks ago in Chicago I spotted a billboard on one of the many freeways that crisscross the city. It read “great things happen when people get together.” This ad was for the Hyatt chain of hotels and probably cost their marketing people several million dollars to dream up. With apologies to the Hyatt, I decided to appropriate their message and share the power of its meaning here tonight.Why are we attending this impressive trade show put on by BCAOMA? Who are the 220 or so attendees? Answering the second question first, I see many familiar faces made up of owners, investors, and sponsors, suppliers of goods and services to the rental industry including property managers and government officials. So why are we here? Simply put – we are here to learn; to acquire the knowledge that collectively sharpens our competiveness and market savvy. We are also here to network with colleagues, and to form and strengthen friendships and business relationships. There are helpful seminars and a number of booths displaying established services including lenders, restoration companies, appliance sales, plumbing firms and yes….even real estate brokerages. And as we mill about there is always a chance of catching some good old fashioned gossip about a new listing, a recent sale, or hearing about a cost saving piping process or more efficient laundry machine. With this immense level of positive energy under one roof it’s to be regarded as a golden opportunity to both enhance and further solidify our commitment to the rental apartment industry.
In 1983, when I began handling apartment buildings, the industry was as it is today; easily the most scrutinized and politicized asset class out there. In succession, local and provincial governments, the media and tenant organizations were often seen, if not chastising our industry, then as frequently putting us under the microscope. Meanwhile, interest rates had just come off historic highs of 20%, rent controls had been implemented, expenses had soared, and profit margins were suffering. It was during this time that I decided that market intelligence, or as I like to call it, “unfiltered feedback from the street”, supplied by a realtor no less, should be shared with owners.
And so, I endeavored to usher in a new dawn; the age of the newsletter devoted to owners of rental apartment buildings in Greater Vancouver. As far as I knew, there was nothing like it anywhere in Canada. I was to become a pioneer of sorts. Admittedly, I was extremely nervous about sending out an unsolicited piece of mail. I quietly prayed that some of you might even read the damn thing before chucking it in the waste basket, or heaven forbid the paper shredder. On the table in front of you is our debut and admittedly primitive newsletter dated Fall 1983. We have come a long way—hopefully you’ll agree!
Over the past 27 years, The Goodman Report has commented on the following topics, to name a few:
- The need to control expenses and ways to optimize income
- Advantages of property management and various management tips
- Stressing the need for those all important first impressions ( i.e., lobby, garden, exteriors)
- Tax tips
- Six-month and twelve-month reviews which include sales, trends, and statistical charts (before our newsletters, owners had very little access to market trends)
- Explaining the growing trend “how the big are getting bigger”
- The need to compete with the growing numbers of newer rental condos
- Commenting on the City of Vancouver’s very restrictive moratorium on the demolition of rental buildings
- Articles from industry experts in the fields of accountings, appraisals, lawyers, developers, etc.
- Upgrading steps to be taken by owners to protect their investment
Feedback from owners has been instrumental in making our newsletter work. Many of you here have recommended certain topics – or even critiqued an article. That is something we greatly appreciate. With respect to taking firm positions on certain topics, The Goodman Report has never hesitated in questioning the various levels of government for their less than even handed actions against the rental industry. Some examples of our articles: owners having to endure rent control, and the inconsistent arbitration decisions out of Victoria, difficulties in removing tenants for upgrade purposes, the moratorium on demolition of apartment buildings in Vancouver, Richmond, and District of North Vancouver, both of which have negatively impacted the value of older buildings, a recently imposed “one for one” replacement policy in Vancouver and regressive tax laws at the federal level. I’m not aware of any other asset class in Canada is subject to such glaring bias.
For the past 8 years, the Goodman Report has further evolved and now includes an email version as well. And it is over this same period that Mark and I are very proud to state that we have successfully handled 600 million dollars worth of real estate for our clients, representing 145 apartment buildings and 15 multi-family sites throughout the Lower Mainland.
I believe that the Greater Vancouver’s apartment owners are probably the sharpest and most knowledgeable group of owners in Canada. I believed then, as I do today that knowledge empowers, and market transparency acquired by way of The Goodman Report, and perhaps through the more recent renditions from my esteemed competitors, helps owners better manage and operate their apartment assets in a profitable manner. The Goodmans are proud to have played their small part. Thank you for the privilege of addressing all of you here tonight.
To read the first issue of The Goodman Report published in 1983, please download the PDF below.