Finding people a new home is all in a day’s work for those in the real estate industry. But this week it was the Oak Bay offices for Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty that moved to a new location.
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty opened its doors on the second floor of Athlone Court Tuesday, moving from its previous location on Oak Bay Avenue just across the Victoria border.
“The changing demographics of realtors over the last 10 years is a lot of realtors are more remote, they go home office more often,” said Bill Ethier, president of Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty. “We had a very large space, over 6,000 square feet, that we didn’t need anymore.”
He said the 2,900 square-foot location in Athlone Court better fits the current needs of the company.
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty also has locations in Saanich, West Shore and Sooke, but Ethier said “our Oak Bay location was always just over the border in Victoria. By us actually being down here in Athlone Court, it really adds that Oak Bay flavour to us and helps us be connected to the community.”
He said about 50 realtors would “hang their licence” at the Oak Bay offices, with about half of those working from home and using the office as a drop-in location.
“A lot of people in real estate in this day and age, they don’t go to the office anymore the way they used to. You don’t need that retail space because everybody finds it online,” said Ethier, adding the other 80 realtors working at other Coast Capital offices could also use the Oak Bay location to meet with clients.
He said the Oak Bay location will allow them to better connect with the community, which will be a huge bonus for the company.
“And we’re bringing 50 potential realtors and the other 80 who belong to the company potentially into Oak Bay so I think the businesses are going to benefit from it too.”
Ethier is expecting a busy summer ahead on the real estate market.
“I think it’s going to stay strong through the summer. There’s no indication why it should slow down.”
He said the Victoria market is up 20 to 25 per cent in volume over the past years, with numerous homes attracting multiple offers.
“From a seller’s perspective it’s wonderful because some places are fetching thousands of dollars above asking price. Buyers are finding it a little frustrating because they might have to take a few swings in order to get the house that they want because they’re in competition.”
Ethier said today’s market is a little more segmented than the red hot market of 2005/06 when condos, houses and townhomes were being snapped up.
“If you’ve got a house it sells, if you have a condo it’s not fetching the same kind of demand,” he said, pointing to significant growth witnessed in Greater Victoria’s western communities.