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New Ventures BC Competition top 10 includes innovations in real estate and health – BCBusiness

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New Ventures BC Competition

Ania Wysocka is founder of Rootd, one of the New Ventures BC Competitions top 10 finalists

The 21st edition has one more round left

As always, the New Ventures BC Competition (put on by Crown agency Innovate BC) features some of the province’s top up-and-coming tech names.

After three rounds, these 10 companies are still in contention for the $250,000 in cash and prizes on offer. You can register for the October 4 event here.

LetHub

LetHub is a Victoria-based AI platform that automates communication between renters and property managers. After finishing in the top 25 last year, LetHub CEO (and chief happiness officer, as he refers to himself) Faizan Ali Khan is back in the ring.

Matidor 

Vancouver’s Matidor has already done a couple of laps on the awards circuit, including winning Best Innovation at the 2021 Small Business BC Awards. The geospatial software firm hit more than $1 million in revenue in the past year.

Moment Energy

The Surrey energy storage biz uses retired electric vehicle batteries to offer the performance of lithium batteries without the steep price. Despite being founded less than two years ago, Moment has won more than a dozen awards for its ingenuity in repurposing EV batteries, some 95 percent of which are disposed of improperly.

Pocketed

Pocketed bills itself as a free, all-in-one grant platform for businesses seeking funding. Founded by former BCBusiness 30 Under 30 winner Brianna Blaney and Aria Hahn, the Vancouver-headquartered outfit is looking to raise $750,000 for Canadian expansion.

RightMetric

The North Vancouver data analytics firm has succeeded in gaining B2C marketers like Lululemon Athletica, Red Bull and Interac after just over three years in business. Now co-founder and CEO Charlie Grinnell plans to focus on growth.

Rootd

A top-10 finalist last year, Rootd is a Victoria-based anxiety and panic attack relief app. Its freemium model offers core services for free as well as monthly, annual and group subscriptions. Rootd and its founder, Ania Wysocka, have seen some 800,000 users in more than 150 countries.

Streamline Athletes

The Vancouver company is a data-driven collegiate sports platform that makes it easier for athletes and institutions alike to find each other. Streamline, which has about 25 employees, has been considered for national awards.

Total Flow Cannula

Vancouver’s Total Flow is developing a solution to help patients requiring a heart-lung machine. “Cannula” refers to a novel, specialized tubing that ensures blood flow to a patient’s leg during procedures.

TrafficDriven

Founded about a year and a half ago, TrafficDriven operates under the slogan “Everything is about to change.” That seems vague, but when it comes to buying, selling and trading cars, perhaps the Vancouver-based team is right. The company is building a dealer-fuelled marketplace that uses an AI-powered auction platform to move automobiles.

Train Fitness

The Vancouver-based team behind Train Fitness has created what it calls the first wearable tracker capable of automatically detecting sets and reps during a workout. The app, which monitors the motion of smart watches to track movement, provides real-time coaching to help users improve.

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What About $8 Million Buys In Real Estate Around The World – Forbes

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When it comes to luxury real estate, location is key. From properties with French alpine to Pacific Ocean views, these luxury listings take advantage of their picturesque settings. 

French alpine chalet 

Location: Courchevel Le Praz, France 

Price: $7.542 million (EUR 6.36 million)

This wood-filled chalet overlooks the ski slopes from an expansive living room with a fireplace and an adjacent south-facing terrace.

The six en-suite bedrooms all have terraces. A closed-in area features a pool and spa, along with sauna and massage room.

It is listed with Aurore Lucido of FGP Swiss & Alps.


Creek views in Colorado

Location: Aspen, Colorado

Price: $8.3 million

This ranchette home, remodeled in 2017, sits on a hillside overlooking Brush Creek Valley, the Snowmass ski area and Hunter Creek. The main home, which features antique 19th-century French Provincial/Mediterranean doors, has three bedrooms and 2.5-bathrooms. Features include a pantry with a custom wine cellar. A large outdoor entertaining area comes with a wraparound stone deck. 

A two-story accessory dwelling unit, built in 2005, houses an art studio and kitchen on the first floor and one bedroom, one bathroom, and a kitchen on the second. A three-car garage comes with a full bath.

It is listed with Stephanie Redmond of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate.


Spanish island villa

Location: Son Termes, Bunyola, Mallorca, Spain 

Price: $8.241 million (EUR 6.95 million)

This villa sits surrounded by nature on the island of Mallorca. The 12-bedroom, nine-bathroom stone residence has classic Spanish architecture, shaded outdoor sitting areas and a modern swimming pool. 

It is listed with Antonio Ribes Bas of Inmobiliaria Rimontgo.


Historic oceanfront in Santa Monica

Location: Santa Monica, California

Price: $7.75 million

Designed and built in 1910 by architect Robert D. Farquhar, this three-bedroom home sits just off the Santa Monica Bluffs, with views to the Pacific Ocean. The home has been reimagined with luxurious finishes, including white oak flooring and custom automated shades. The kitchen features custom two-tone Italian cabinetry and stone countertops and Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Miele appliances. The bathrooms include luxe fixtures by Brizo, Rohl, Newport Brass and Toto. 

This home features a patio and the ground level and a deck on the second floor comprising more than 1,000 square feet of private outdoor space. 

It is listed with Bjorn Farrugia of Hilton & Hyland.


FGP Swiss & Alps, Hilton & Hyland, Inmobiliaria Rimontgo and Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate are exclusive members of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.

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B.C. real estate agent suspended, fined nearly $100K over 'predatory' rent-to-own scheme – CBC.ca

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A Lower Mainland real estate agent has been ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in fines after being found guilty of professional misconduct in relation to a rent-to-own scheme allegedly aimed at financially vulnerable homeowners.

More than three years after B.C.’s real estate council first suspended Kevindeep Singh Bratch’s licence under “urgent circumstances,” Bratch has also been told he’ll have to wait another year before he can apply to get his licence back.

A disciplinary committee found that Bratch committed conduct unbecoming of a real estate agent after a hearing that saw testimony from a man who claimed Bratch acted like a “saviour,” while negotiating a deal to purchase a $2.1 million house for less than a quarter of its worth.

“Bratch’s conduct … constitutes conduct unbecoming because it targets members of the public who are in stressful positions, have limited options and feel pressured into agreeing to any terms to keep their family homes,” the council said in submissions that resulted in the penalties.

“In these circumstances, Mr. Bratch was looking to make an investment and was driven by profit. The homeowners were driven by the desire to keep their homes.”

Deals ‘disadvantageous’ to owners

The case was one of the last handled by the real estate council before the introduction of a new regulatory authority in B.C. The B.C. Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) now oversees real estate agents, mortgage brokers, credit unions, trust and insurance companies and pension plans.

The penalties — which include a $45,000 fine and $50,000 to pay for the cost of the investigation — were announced on the new regulator’s website this week.

The BCFSA will handle the file going forward.

B.C. Realtor Kevin Bratch has been fined and suspended in relation to a rent-to-own scheme that was called ‘predatory’ by the B.C. Real Estate Council. (Bratch Realty)

Bratch could not be reached for comment, but a spokesperson for the regulator said he has appealed the decision to the Financial Services Tribunal.

The rulings make clear that Bratch’s activities were not illegal.

The real estate council claimed they were “disadvantageous” to owners who “did not receive independent legal advice or separate agency representation, and either believed that Mr. Bratch was acting on their behalf, or were at least confused as to his role in the transaction.”

‘This is the best case scenario’

The witness who claimed Bratch came across as a “saviour” told the council that he approached Bratch after receiving unsolicited mail claiming the real estate agent was a foreclosure specialist.

At the time, the witness — whose name is redacted in the decision — was experiencing financial difficulties; his mother had passed away two years earlier and his bank had started foreclosure proceedings on his $2.1 million childhood home.

According to the decision, the two reached a deal that saw Bratch and his wife purchase the home for $500,000 and then agree to rent it back to the former owner for $4,000 a month with an option to buy back the property for $600,000 four months later.

“The language was like this is the best case scenario, this is what you have to do in order to make sure that the bank doesn’t take your home,” the witness told the disciplinary committee.

“I’m walking into this, like Kevin [Bratch], is in my corner, he is not somebody who, who is on the other side of the table in an agreement.”

The deal ultimately ended up in court after Bratch and his wife sued the homeowner, who responded by claiming the deal was “unconscionable.”

All three parties agreed to dismiss the legal action in December 2017.

‘I do wear the different hats’

The real estate council’s disciplinary committee considered evidence related to three rent-to-own deals involving Bratch.

In one case, Bratch evicted an elderly Maple Ridge couple on Thanksgiving 2017 after taking them to the Residential Tenancy Branch, over unpaid rent on a home they agreed to sell for $233,000 less than its assessed value to a company Bratch and his wife controlled .

The council faulted Bratch for failing to disclose the nature of his relationship with the company, and for failing to recommend that the couple get independent legal advice.

That situation led to the interest of local media. It also resulted in a lawsuit that was settled in an agreement that saw the couple buy their home back from Bratch for roughly the same price he originally paid them.

In the third case, the council says Bratch paid $154,000 less than the value of a property assessed at $869,000. He rented it back to the original owners for $4,300 a month.

“When we first signed this deal I expressed concern as to whether or not… [we] would be able to execute the re-purchase option after just one year, to which you assured me, and I quote, ‘I’m not a monster, I’m here to make a return on my investment, if you can’t buy it back after one year I would extent it [sic] another year,'” the original homeowner said in an email to Bratch, shared with the council.

The original owners could not buy the home back in a year and ended up renting on a month-by-month basis before moving out in December 2018.

According to the decision, Bratch now resides in the property. It was assessed at $915,000 in 2019.

Bratch represented himself at the hearing, disputing the allegations against him. He claimed he had advised the elderly couple to get a lawyer and was clear with his clients about the transactions.

According to the decision, he described himself as wearing “different hats.”

“So I provide homeowners with the different options and again I do wear the different hats,” Bratch is quoted as saying. 

“So I would be wearing a mortgage broker’s hat, a real estate agent’s hat and during that time you’re allowed to be … licensed as a mortgage broker and a real estate agent at the same time.”

In addition to the penalties and suspension, Bratch has been ordered to take an “Ethics in Business Practice” course offered by the Real Estate Institute.

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Vancouver real estate market: Inventory dips to lows not seen since 2016 – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER –

A just-published report suggests the inventory in the Vancouver real estate market has reached a low not seen since 2016.

The Q3 report posted Thursday morning by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver noted the number of active listings was low over the summer months, a trend that isn’t exactly new in the region.

“Since the last half of 2019, the total inventory of homes for sale in the market has been operating at near-historic lows despite higher-than-typical sales and new listing activity,” the REBGV wrote.

Still, record highs for sales and listings were noted in March of this year.

“The increasing correlation between sales and new listings over the pandemic is consistent with more buyers selling their current homes and purchasing other, typically larger, homes,” the board said.

It described the trend board members are seeing since early 2021 as the market “settling down,” and said a monthly survey pointed to first-time and move-up buyers becoming a larger portion of total home sales.

While inventory is down, prices are generally not.

The August 2021 benchmark price – a measure that is not an average or median but is calculated based on the typical type, size and age of home available in a region – was a record-breaking $1,176,600.

Looking at detached homes alone, the benchmark was $1,807,000. Benchmarks for attached homes and condos were at $952,600 and $735,100 in the market.

While growth in prices hasn’t been to the extent seen at other times in the local market, things are expected to pick up again in the fall.

The board forecast an upward pressure due to above-average sales volumes, coupled with the low inventory noted previously.

It says buyers and sellers should expect new listings and sales in Q4 to remain near to long-term averages, and expects the number of listings to increase, but at a level still well below the norm.

The report also summarized what its seen with housing completions, as well as trends in mortgage rates and employment

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