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Real Estate People, May 4 – Sarasota Herald-Tribune



Re/Max Alliance Group, of Sarasota, has announced its top Florida producers, based on combined residential and commercial sales in 2019.

Among individual agents, Stan Rutstein, of the Bradenton office, ranked No. 14; Ryan Carson, Siesta Key, No. 19; Ann Marie Vaughan, Riverview, No. 37; Carey Beychok, Sarasota, No. 46; and Cindy Quinn, Holmes Beach, No. 49.

Among teams, the Brewer Team, in the Sarasota office, ranked No. 11; Jason McIntosh Team, South Tampa, No. 25; Travis Group, Bradenton, No. 28; Stiver Firth International Team, Englewood, No. 37; Glenn Brown Team, Sarasota, No. 43; Team Richard Capps, Bradenton, No. 44; and Kathy Damewood Team, Englewood, No. 45.

Elizabeth Van Riper, a real estate agent at Michael Saunders & Company, has been awarded the Certified Residential Specialist designation by the Residential Real Estate Council, an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors.

Only 3% of agents have earned this credential nationwide. Real estate professionals who receive the CRS designation have completed advanced professional training and demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in residential real estate.

Homebuyers and sellers can be assured that CRS designees subscribe to the strict Realtor code of ethics, have been trained to use the latest tactics and technologies, and are specialists in helping clients maximize profits and minimize costs when buying or selling a home.

In addition to the CRS designation, she holds the Graduate, Realtor Institute, Real Estate Negotiating Specialist and the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist.

She is based in Michael Saunders’ downtown Sarasota office.

Tori Beckham has joined the Main Street-Sarasota office of Michael Saunders & Company.

Born and raised in Sarasota, Beckham entered the real estate field in Nashville in 2017. She was a listing specialist with a top team at Keller Williams and went on to work independently with eXp Realty.

Beckham has a bachelor’s degree in real estate from Florida State University.

Chelsea Oelker has joined the Anna Maria office of Michael Saunders & Company.

She has lived and worked in Manatee County for 15 years and has a strong background in marketing and business.

Previously, Oelker and her husband owned a business where she was chief operating officer over the marketing division, helping companies develop and expand their brands.

Stan Rutstein, of Re/Max Alliance Group, has once again been named the No. 1 Re/Max commercial agent in Florida, based on 2019 performance. An agent in the Bradenton office, he ranked No. 10 in the United States and No. 27 worldwide among individual commercial agents.

Among teams, The Closers Club, led by Ivan Gould, ranked No. 4 in Florida, No. 25 in the United States and No. 51 worldwide.

Erick Shumway & Associates ranked No. 6 in Florida, No. 31 in the United States and No. 58 worldwide.

Both teams are based in the Re/Max Alliance Group Sarasota office.

Michelle Burke-Phillips has joined the Epoch Sarasota Sales Team at Michael Saunders & Company.

A veteran in the real estate industry, Burke-Phillips has established herself at the forefront of luxury sales in Sarasota. She has spent more than three decades working with buyers and sellers at brokerages including Premier Sotheby’s, Coldwell Banker Previews and Lee Wetherington Homes.

She has worked on behalf of the Michael Saunders & Company New Homes and Condominiums Division since 2019, and recently joined the sales team for Epoch, one of downtown Sarasota’s newest luxury condominiums.

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Birds that come by looking for real-estate (8 photos) – BradfordToday



As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a story here, I am fortunate to live on a farm property a little north of Alliston, where there is a mix of open land, a stand of mature conifers, smaller trees and bushes. It is a wonderful bird habitat. 

In the past couple of months some of those birds have been searching for suitable living quarters. I was fortunate to be able to purchase an Eastern Bluebird Nesting Box from friends of mine who made boxes and donated the proceeds from sales to a local food bank. 

I was pleased to have this personal connection to the builders of the potential home, and pleased at the prospect of having a nesting pair of these birds of happiness as neighbours. I have had them in the ‘hood other years and thus was hopeful they may chose to move into a home built with them in mind. 

I was very excited one day in April when I spied a pair in nearby trees. And, as you may well imagine, even more so when I saw them checking out the house. The male sat on it and went in, no virtual tour was available online. He seemed to like what he saw and called his mate to check it out. They came back a couple of days in a row. To me, it seemed like an easy sale. Alas, I was mistaken. 

The bluebirds moved out of the picture and a pair of Tree Swallows followed pretty much the same procedure. By this time, I was hoping to double my chances with a second nesting box. The Tree Swallow couple went from box to box for about a week. It seemed to me they were testing out flight patterns from the two locations. They were very tolerant of my presence and stayed in place even when I was near. I thought – hey, they like me. 

They are splendid aerialist and fun to watch. They also eat such things as mosquitoes on the fly – an impressive and appreciated skill. 

After the week, however, they moved down the fence-line to a more established neighbourhood and took up residence there. There is more open field thus more comfortable room for free flying. 

I was feeling a little dejected. As is the norm in my way of thinking, it was all because I did something wrong. 

After wallowing in self-pity for a couple of days, I was amazed to see a male bluebird back at the box. I was cautious of being hopeful. When he was back the next day with his mate and they checked out both boxes, the stirring of excitement was hard to suppress. 

I can now announce with great satisfaction and happiness, the pair chose one of these homes, moved furniture in, and have been very joyful neighbours for nearly two weeks. 

It’s so great to look out my office window to see the male sitting on the nearby fence, or in the tree. He is more visible than the more muted coloured female. He is also very protective of the nest. 

They are such charming little neighbours. I am delighted by their presence, and it is a privilege to have them so close. 

As the weeks go by, I will share some of my experiences of bird visitors with readers. In the meantime, keep your eye to the sky and look for birds that may come by. 

A note: Ed and Bryan Osborne sold 120 nesting boxes, and raised $4110.00 for the Tottenham Foodbank. They have another 20 or so to sell.


Rosaleen Egan is a freelance journalist, a storyteller, and a playwright. She blogs on her website

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The Current State of Vancouver Real Estate



The pandemic of the coronavirus has shifted the world and its economy. Businesses are closed and homes are being affected by this crisis everyday. The same can be said in one of Canada’s largest cities, Vancouver– and more specifically, Vancouver’s real estate.


How Vancouver is Affected

The coronavirus has significantly slowed real estate sales in Vancouver. What was once a hustling and bustling city, is now a quiet solitude with unattended houses. The housing market has seen nearly a 40% decrease as compared to Vancouver real estate in April 2019. Regardless, housing prices have not faltered. In fact, that average price of a Vancouver home has actually gone up by 2.5% since the pandemic. Any major change in the prices of these homes could really affect homeowners, as Vancounver has always been known for having overpriced housing. Homeowners expect the prices of their homes to rise. Those who were hoping to get a discounted home in Vancouver will be disappointed– prices seem to be on the rise all across Canada.


The Average Cost of Vancouver Housing

The pandemic can stand to deter the average cost of houses in Vancouver. While the average cost of a home in Canada sits at $400,000 Canadian dollars, the average home in Vancouver is about 1.3 million– even condos average around $800,000. As it stands, Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to live in North America, coming only second to San Francisco. The median income in Vancouvers is around $70,000. Vancouver’s citizens are struggling to pay their high mortgages during this troubling time. Because so few can work and housing/renting costs are so high, people are not able to make payments on time.


What Vancouver is Doing

Luckily, Vancouver is not leaving its citizens to fend for themselves. They are offering potential benefits and rental reliefs of up to $500 CAD/month. Some landlords will also see a mortgage relief, too. The government has also been working with banks to possibly defer mortgage payments.


The Major Concern

The major concern within Vancouver real estate is that if the coronavirus lasts longer than three months, prices will start to drop. Vancouver is able to maintain its strong prices and low interest rates for now, but if they continue to lose revenue due to a lack of tourists and immigrants, they will have to make up for it elsewhere. Housing tax prices will increase for “satellite families” (families who do business outside of the country from home). The Vancouver real estate market is doing well for now, but it may not last if the pandemic doesn’t soon end.

Overall, the coronavirus has made a tremendous impact on real estate all over the world. Vancouver is particularly susceptible to the issues regarding real estate because it costs so much to live there. The prices are still on the rise in Vancouver, but that will likely not be the case if the pandemic lasts past June.

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CHL Leaders: QMJHL grad Vermette enters exciting new career in real estate – Canadian Hockey League



Gabriel Vermette spent four years in the QMJHL lacing up the skates while also learning many life skills he continues to use today.

“Balancing school, life, playing hockey at the same time, it’s a lot, and it teaches you a lot in life,” recollected Vermette in speaking with Junior Hockey Magazine as part of its CHL Leaders segment. “The big thing is to manage the stress with all of the things that you have (to do). You just have to go with one thing at a time.”

Following four full seasons in the QMJHL from 2009-13 that spanned 246 career contests with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and Drummondville Voltigeurs – highlighted by a playoff elimination of the Memorial Cup host Shawinigan Cataractes in 2012 – Vermette elected to pursue an education, majoring in psychology at the University of Ottawa where he also suited up for another two seasons with the varsity Gee-Gees.

In all, it was an opportunity that became a reality given Vermette’s ability to access the CHL’s invaluable post-secondary scholarship program.

“At the end of my junior I shifted my plan and began thinking about what I would do in real life if it’s not hockey, so (the scholarship) is vital,” Vermette said. “It took away a lot of stress of having to pay a lot.”

Today, Vermette puts his skills to use in enjoying a new career as a real estate broker with RE/MAX Vision Gatineau in his home province of Quebec.

“It has been one year,” Vermette concluded. “I am really happy with what I am doing. I think I have had quite a lot of success so I am really proud.”

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