Known and respected for his dedication to clients, resourcefulness, and keen insight into the real estate market for nearly four decades, those skills along with David Richardson’s relaxed professional style sets him apart in a highly competitive business.
Richardson has been the recipient of numerous RE/MAX and Real Estate Board awards and accolades over 39 years, and as appreciated as those are, it is his connection with people that has kept him inspired throughout his lengthy career.
“You are always meeting different people, it’s never dull,” he says, waving to at least a dozen folks within his community from his office window during the interview. “You develop relationships with people, you get invited into their homes for dinner, you watch their families grow. I’m doing a lot of multi-generational sales now. I’m now doing estate sales for my first clients that were in their 50s back when I started, finding homes for their adult children, and helping their grandkids buy condos from me. I’d hate to date myself,” he laughs. “I really love what I do.”
Richardson is a skilled valuator of properties, his opinions are highly regarded and sought after by appraisers, tax assessors and real estate agents. Vancouver Westside is his core business, and to say he’s seen it all in a highly volatile market is an understatement. Can the price of homes continue to climb?
“Yes. I know that sounds crazy, but we are allowing 400,000 new immigrants here this year, and even if only 5,000 come to Vancouver that has a huge impact on local prices, for instance,” he says.
“Nowadays, there are never more than 50 houses available for sale in Kits, where back in the 80s there would be over 200 houses available. Interest rates were at 18-19% back then and now they are less than 3%.”
The Westside is such a highly desired area to live in Vancouver, but is it completely out of reach for most?
“It is very tough, but a lot of people consider buying a duplex or triplex because of the revenue suites,” says Richardson. “People need those revenue suites to afford the mortgage payments.”
About 25 years ago, Richardson saw that his clients were struggling with getting organized for listing their homes. He had an idea to create a support team to assist his sellers, something that no other agent was really doing at the time.
“They didn’t have contacts for house cleaning, staging, junk removal, or landscapers for instance,” he says. “So, I decided to start paying people to do this for my clients. I have had the same landscaper prep my houses for 25 years. I just give him a date, an address, take a picture of the front yard and backyard and he just comes to it with everything. He knows I want potted plants on the front stairs and sidewalks powerwashed,” he laughs. "Same goes with my house cleaners and my home stager - they know exactly what I need done without asking."
“Everything sells from the outside in, not the inside out. These included services take a lot of pressure off my sellers.”
Using technology to his advantage, Richardson tells us how he “listed a really cool two-bedroom condo yesterday, which looks beautifully furnished online. But it is actually empty - we just virtually staged the property with photoshop.” When buyers look at an empty room, they often struggle with “Where would we put this? Where would we put that? This technology helps buyers see the possibilities.”
As a people person, Richardson truly values his team including his long-time assistant Ashley, and gives back at an annual fundraiser for West Side Family Place by personally matching every donation.
Presently he enjoys spending time with his daughter and grandchildren. “I’m not working 14-hour days anymore, and my only regret is that I worked too much back then and wasn’t there for my kids and wife at the time. Like any other business you have to make some sacrifices.”
Seems Richardson is at a place now where he can have the best of both worlds.