The new president of the BC Northern Real Estate Board for 2017-18 will bring some extensive knowledge of business in the North Coast to the table.
John Evans, managing broker with RE/MAX Coast Mountains, was installed as the board’s (BCNREB) president in late March and he’ll represent the Skeena-Queen Charlotte and Kitimat-Stikine regions moving forward this year.
After becoming involved on the board more than 10 years ago, Evans has occupied a couple different roles with the BCNREB as a member of the professional standards committee, then serving as a director and vice-president. Assuming the role meant more being added to his plate this year, but Evans is excited at the prospect of leading the board in some very pivotal negotiations in 2017.
“The timing is never good to accept more responsibility in our industry because there’s always enough of that, however I love my profession. I’m very passionate about it and whether it’s good timing or not, it’s something that we all need to step up and do every now and then,” Evans said in early April.
Beginning his career in downtown Vancouver in 1986, and working in Terrace since then, Evans knows the housing market very well in the northwest. He has been involved in the Prince Rupert marketplace for the past 7.5 years.
Priority No. 1 for Evans and the board this year will be to meet with the new superintendent of real estate who has been appointed by the Province of B.C. to regulate the real estate industry, after the province felt the Real Estate Council of B.C, which has had control over decisions like licences, fines, regulations and more since 2005, failed in regulating the real estate industry. The B.C. government is putting an end to the practice of “dual agency”, where a real estate agent works for buyer and seller in the same transaction, something that Evans said is a big mistake.
“I don’t think that this is a good end result for the consumer. I think that the public looks to situations that transpired in past years — they were all in the news — and those were some corrupt agents that were doing those very bad things, but you don’t see that in a small town. If you were to conduct your business that way in a small town, it would basically be career suicide,” said the president.
“We have some real concerns in a small marketplace like Prince Rupert, where there are very few agents. The loss of dual agency to the consumer will mean that the consumer will lose their choice of who they prefer to work with when they’re shopping for a home … Because of some fraudulent realtors that were abusing the system and lining their own pockets in the Lower Mainland, the government is saying that we’re going to take this away from all realtors. It’s going to limit the choices of the consumer on who they actually want to work with.”
As for Rupert, a diversified economy in the northwest has led to a settled boom and bust resource-based industry, the president noted for the past few years, and a trend of younger workers coming back to work in the northwest after moving away for schooling, encourages him as a realtor.
“Our boom and bust cycle, since I’ve been in the business, over 30 years now, certainly seems to be a lot more subtle than it has been in the past. I think that in the past number of years, because we were so reliant upon whether it’s the forest industry or the fishing industry, there is real indicators where we would boom and then we would bust depending on where the market levels were for say, forestry, at that particular time,” said Evans.
“However, the whole northwest over the years has diversified with tourism and Terrace is more of a service centre. I think our boom-bust cycles, while they probably still exist, are minimal by comparison to what they were 25 years ago.”
Evans will lead a board of nine directors to help grow the quality of life for everyone from the Cariboo region to the Fraser-Fort George, to the Peace River to the Bulkley Nechako area, to the northwest. The BCNREB’s mission is to support growth that encourages economic vitality, provide housing opportunities and build communities with safe and fun neighbourhoods. He is encouraged by what he’s seen in Prince Rupert with both large-scale and small-scale business taking up residence on the North Coast.
“Because of our affordability, where people are moving back to our area to be with their grandchildren, to be with their family, it’s not a huge amount of transactions that would transpire that way, but they do exist. With jobs that the port provides here in Prince Rupert and the possibility for LNG, there would just be much more of that … A good workforce means that we have younger families moving back which makes for a better community too.”