In a city that loves to talk about real estate – especially how much it costs – real estate marketer Cam Good felt there was a gap in the conversation and that the perspective was focused inward rather than considering Vancouver in the broader context of a global real estate market. To fill that gap, Good, president of the Key Group of Companies, launched RED Talks (for Real Estate and Development Talks), a speaker series designed to bring an international perspective to the Vancouver real estate conversation.
On February 12, more than 650 real estate insiders and enthusiasts – including real estate agents, architects, developers and investors – gathered at the Vancouver Playhouse to hear from four high-profile speakers about the state of the Vancouver real estate market and where it fits in the global real estate picture.
RED Talks featured commentary from: reality TV host Josh Flagg, of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles; Stephen Hurford, a founder of Hurford Salvi Carr, the leading development consulting and marketing firm in London, England; Alan Child, a chartered surveyor and the Hong Kong chairman of leading independent global real estate consultancy Knight Frank; and Brendan DeSimone, author of Next Generation Real Estate: New Rules for Smarter Home Buying & Faster Selling.
Rather than offering straight lectures from behind a podium, the experts shared their insights talk-show style, a unique format that Good said attendees appreciated.
The key takeaway message was that Vancouver is not overpriced compared to other world markets. “Some of the speakers thought this was comical,” Good said. Compared with markets like London and Hong Kong, the speakers felt Vancouver offers good value, especially in locations a short commute from downtown. In particular, looking at the Brewery District development in New Westminster, the experts determined that an equivalent home in London with a similar commute by high-speed transit would cost three times more.
For real estate agents, there was another key insight: Even celebrity real estate agents are in the business of market knowledge and hard work. “Attendees found it really interesting that Josh Flagg and Brendan DeSimone aren’t in the business of being celebrities,” Good said. “They built their businesses by doorknocking and dialing for dollars, just like everyone else.”
Good says the response to the event has been overwhelmingly positive, and he’s starting to plan future RED Talks in other cities. The first RED Talks was sponsored by Wesgroup, and the company has expressed interest in sponsoring another RED Talks in Vancouver next year. In the long term, Good plans to transition RED Talks into a non-profit speaker series.