Member type: AACI Member
Employment type: Permanent Full Time
Salary range: $100,000+
Closing Date: 2021/06/30
Contact Name: Mark B Turner
Contact Address: 6182 North Street
Contact City: Halifax
Contact Province: Nova Scotia
Contact Postal Code: B3K 1P5
For over four decades we have provided real estate consulting services to the business community in Canada. We started with a simple vision: (1) be the benchmark by which others are measured, (2) offer clients a unique product whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. To do so, we have assembled a multi-disciplinary team, with diverse but complementary skills, created a common training program (built around the University of British Columbia’s real estate degree and 27 in-house training modules), nurtured a collegiate culture of working together, developed an industry-leading IT system and implemented an ISO 9001:2015 registered quality control system company-wide. We invest in people; they truly are our greatest asset. From our headquarters in Halifax, we now undertake consulting assignments from British Columbia to Newfoundland and all provinces and territories in-between. But in truth, we are still a work in progress… there are still mountains to climb and plains to conquer. We are now seeking senior personnel to join us on that journey.
Our Consulting Staff are firmly focused on assisting clients to meet their strategic goals, not just their immediate needs. As a team they provide a smorgasbord of complementary skills, whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. They provide clients with unique, seamless solutions to their real estate problems: Valuation & Appraisal, Property Tax, Urban and Rural Planning, Economic Intelligence (Geographic Information Systems), Counselling (Infrastructure Acquisition, First Nations’ Land Claims, Hydro Electric Projects…), Lasercad® Space Measurement and Brokerage (Sales & Leasing).
Although we usually train our own Consulting Staff (they join us direct from university and then embark on our seven year training program), we need more senior colleagues to assist us cope with our burgeoning work load and replace a valued colleague who (sadly for us) is now retiring after 40 years. We promote a corporate culture that is collegiate, invests in our employees’ careers, rewards success but believes in a good work-life balance. Marketing: we are the exception that proves the rule in an industry that largely survives on the principle of “eat what you kill”. Of course, every profession requires some extra-curricular promotional activity and we are not able to eliminate that effort entirely. However, we do provide an unusual level of marketing and technical support to better enable our Consulting Staff focus on their level of expertise. Our Support Staff is trained in creating marketing materials and maintaining our databases, web sites, social media platforms, as well as secretarial duties. We have established distribution channels through our web sites and Information Technology (IT) system to broadcast time sensitive, or brand awareness, marketing materials targeted at clients, and potential clients, with minimum intervention from our Consulting Staff. In addition to our Corporate web site www.turnerdrake.com (scheduled to be updated this year), we have specialist Valuation (www.turnerdrake.org), Property Tax (www.turnerdrake.net) and Brokerage (www.turnerdrake.ca) sites. IT System: this emphasis on supporting our Consulting Staff is reflected too in our multi-million dollar investment in an IT system. In 1978 we became one of the first real estate companies in Canada to utilise information technology: CompuVal® our IT platform was developed by us to meet the challenges posed by working in the most data deprived region of the country. Its family of intelligent databases talk to each other, analyse data on the fly, and give our Consulting Staff a unique perspective on the real estate markets in Atlantic Canada. As new technologies, such as satellite and three dimensional imagery, became available, we incorporated them into CompuVal® and our programmers are constantly incorporating enhancements suggested by our Consulting Staff into the system (don’t worry, we will train you on the use of this IT system). Quality Control: when it comes to quality we “walk the walk”: all of our work is governed by a quality system which, since 2002, has been registered to the ISO 9001 international quality standard. Every six months we poll every client (for whom we have done work during the prior six months) and publish the unexpurgated results on our Corporate web site (www.turnerdrake.com/newsresearch/Rating.asp). Whilst quality control is of benefit to our clients, it also provides clarity and assistance to our Consulting and Support Staff; the comprehensive set of procedures and reports we have developed, dovetail together to facilitate friction free work flow and minimize downtime. Trained Assistants: as well as providing work experience for students in university, we provide mentored training for about ten post-graduate students, paying for their University of British Columbia, Bachelor of Business in Real Estate degree and encouraging them with salary increases as they progress through it, our Training Modules and training program. This is a two-way street, our senior Consulting Staff provide the mentored training and benefit from assisting keen young people as they embark on a career… while our Trainees help our senior staff on their journey too by providing assistance on their assignments and infusing university fresh knowledge, particularly in IT. Diverse Skills: we flatter ourselves that we occupy a unique place in the real estate service environment: the diverse skills we have assembled (Valuation, Property Tax, Planning, Space Measurement, Land Agency, Geographic Information Systems, Economic Intelligence, Counselling, Brokerage) embrace a common objective, that of maximizing our clients’ long-term goals. We operate as a team, not in silos of different disciplines, and increase the value of each service we provide to clients, so that both of us benefit. Provincial Offices: our St. John’s, Charlottetown, Saint John and Toronto offices are presently staffed from Halifax but are fully equipped with desks, work stations (tied into our Virtual Private Network) and printers to serve as a base whilst working in those cities.
Skills and Qualifications
You will be an Accredited Appraiser (AACI), Chartered Surveyor (F/MRICS) or Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with several years’ experience under your belt currently living in, or interested in moving to, Halifax, Nova Scotia. 75% of your work will be valuation, the remainder counselling and property tax. This isn’t a typical appraisal or property tax position grinding out cookie cutter assignments. We need somebody with vision who can see the forest, not just the trees. A professional focused on assisting clients meet their strategic goals, not just their immediate needs.
Fluency in French as well as English is an advantage but not essential. You will have a strong desire to work in a professional environment with colleagues of like mind and will enjoy the responsibility and challenges that flow from it. You will value the security of a salary but will gain satisfaction from seeing the results of your efforts reflected in bonuses. Our success is built on a long-term relationship with clients rather than a transactional approach so you must have a genuine interest in people, be a good listener and communicator, an excellent networker, and be comfortable conversing with your peers and those senior or junior in age to yourself. You will be a strong negotiator, preferably with a university level course in the subject. You will be at ease conversing with CEO's, mechanics, construction workers, budding entrepreneurs… or the guy that cleans our offices (he does a great job by the way, a real professional). You will enjoy building relationships through problem solving. You will be interested in a career rather than just a job, something that will get you up on the morning with a spring in your step. You will prefer to work in a team environment, with colleagues who share your enthusiasm. You will have a keen interest in the welfare of colleagues who report to you and will take “ownership” of their training and career advancement. You will enjoy variety and merit the respect of your peers and those colleagues who report to you. You will have an eye for detail, be thorough, trustworthy, energetic, reliable and will benefit from the opinions of your colleagues. You will have an enquiring and open mind coupled with a sense of humour. You have big boots to fill.
While the exigencies of some assignments may sometimes require work outside normal office hours it is our view that this should be the exception rather than the rule: we believe strongly in a civilised work-life balance and conduct the firm’s operations accordingly. Most of the work will be in Atlantic Canada and does entail some travel. The properties are diverse and range from airports to papermills, fish plants to vineyards, bottling plants to brothels, fortresses to… well you get the idea. The assignments are varied and often challenging: Expropriations, First Nations Land Claims, Fire Insurance claims (often of fish plants in far flung lands), Balance Sheet, Acquisition, Disposal, Finance, Estate Settlement, Portfolio and Rental valuations; HST, Capital Gains Tax and IFRS appraisals; Infrastructure valuation and acquisition negotiations (we successfully negotiated the acquisition of the Muskrat Falls Hydro Electric Project right of way through Nova Scotia and up the west coast of Newfoundland)… and of course, the negotiation of property tax assessments for all types of property. We have included a small sample of our assignments on our Valuation (www.turnerdrake.org) and Property Tax (www.turnerdrake.net) web sites. The Region too is diverse, geographically, linguistically and culturally. It is also rather beautiful; the gentle sweep of rolling farmland in Prince Edward Island, vineyard clad slopes in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley or forest clad inlets on that province’s South Shore, the “flower pots” on New Brunswick’s Fundy Shore, or the majesty of the Atlantic hurling itself against Newfoundland’s coastal cliffs. During our forty-five years we have witnessed, and participated in, the transformation of many of the region’s central business districts from bland, decaying, eyesores to interesting, vibrant centres with a character that, for some reason, is only found in coastal cities. Charlottetown, for example, was a depressing place in the early 1970s, bland, low rise office buildings, decaying Georgian and Victorian warehouses, rotting wharves and a Texaco tank farm… and only one restaurant where you could get wine with your meal, and only then if the window shutters were closed. Today, where there was decline, there is revival. In summer the waterfront sparkles, vibrating with life, marinas have replaced decaying wharves, coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, inns and interesting little shops occupy the restored warehouses, outdoor terraces blossom with flowers and buzz with conversation. The centre is a gem, the city population is growing robustly, and it is pretty neat to think we were witness to and part of the process. We could go on… suffice it to say Atlantic Canada is an interesting place to live, work and bring up a family… but you have to embrace change, enjoy challenge, welcome variety and accept with good grace that nobody in Newfoundland will understand you (unless you are from there of course).
We have been operating electronically for decades: we installed our first computer terminal in 1978, started working remotely in the early 1980s, and our files have been electronic since 1990. When the pandemic burst onto the scene we pivoted seamlessly to working from home. However, we recognise that work of a creative or collaborative nature benefits from personal interaction, ideas are frequently the result of chance meetings, impromptu remarks and the accidental clash of opinion. The ability to readily bounce ideas off colleagues often opens up the pathway to a more optimum solution and relieves “writer’s block”. Social interaction with peers reduces stress, and the opportunity to leave the workday behind after leaving the office is important to a civilised work-life balance. We pass this way once and family time lost to work can never be recovered. Work should be enjoyable, satisfying, social, enable self-esteem and contribute to society, as well as providing financial support for oneself and family. Our operating model is therefore firmly “office based” with the flexibility to work remotely when the situation demands it.
The Sexy Stuff
To give you a flavor of our firm we asked the members of our professional staff who had recently joined us after university what they enjoyed most about their careers with us. This is what they said:
“What I like most about the job is that I’ve only been working full-time for just over a month and I have already been given the chance to do work on my own, which gave me a sense of pride and felt rewarding. It’s something that I never thought that I would be doing (a career in real estate) but have found it very interesting and I am always learning new things”.
“Dealing directly with business owners … ability to be autonomous in my work … having the breadth of knowledge in the different Divisions means that I’ve got access to colleagues who provide advice on so many facets of real estate: it would probably take three to four companies to amass the same type of exposure to these types of people if I hadn’t come to Turner Drake. At my former employer (a bank) we also spanned several Divisions but generally the physical separation of employees prevented a lot of exposure to different business lines”.
“The workload is always changing and evolving. The knowledge base which we are surrounded by is incredible and always available to us. We can walk across the hall and get advice from some of the industry’s leading consultants while also having in-house training modules and post-secondary studies provided by the company … The training schedule provides structure and motivation looking forward to the future”.
“One of the benefits that I saw in working here when I was first starting out was the opportunity to be mentored by some of the most highly-educated and well-respected individuals in the industry (all of whom ultimately proved most generous in sharing their time and expertise). I also saw real estate consultancy to be a unique application of the skills I’d acquired at Dal – it combined them in a way that other disciplines I’d considered did not.”
“I think a main benefit of working here is that you are able to learn a new field through on the job experience and the knowledge of senior staff and through education, the UBC courses. It is an opportunity to continue your education with a company that is willing to invest in you while gaining experience in a competitive field.”
“The ability to work independently and take a project from start to finish. I really enjoy the fact that I may be analyzing the cash flows from an office building one day and inspecting a shipyard the next.”
Base Salary $90,000 to $150,000 (depending on experience) plus potential for quarterly Performance Bonus. Benefits and pension package (after a vesting period).
Enjoy a central urban office location and an office culture that promotes a professional work style and a civilised work-life balance.
Our focus is on finding the right candidates. Whilst we have a current need, we hire for life and will take the time and provide the flexibility if the talent is worth it.
Submit your CV (with proof of your professional qualifications) together with a letter (≥ 500 words) explaining why you believe you are suited for this position to:
M.B. Turner, B. Comm., BBRE, MRICS, MAI, AACI
Turner Drake & Partners Ltd.
Real Estate Counsellors
6182 North Street
Halifax NS B3K 1P5
Please feel free to direct any enquiries to Mark Turner (902) 429-1811 Ext. 325 or toll free (800) 567-3033 Ext. 325.
All enquiries and applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Applicants will be evaluated and interviewed as they apply. The posting will be closed when the positions are filled.