Archive for the ‘North Vancouver’ Category

Hiccup, the new slang for correction

August 21, 2008

One of my favourite movies is Owning Mahowny. It’s a Canadian movie starring the fantastic Philip Seymour Hoffman as a banker with a gambling problem. The best line is when he tells his girlfriend, “I don’t have a gambling problem.” His denial is as outrageous as it is sad.

I’m sure an equally good movie could be made about a realtor with a sales problem. If you’re a screenwriter, I encourage you to run with it. I even recommend taking quotes from this North Shore News article where a 20 per cent correction is referred to as a “hiccup.”

There’s roughly a half-dozen classic quotes littered across the story. My fave is from “Special Agent Skinner” (an X-Files joke, not the realtor’s actual name). This is what the real guy has to say:

“We’re not into a tragic situation where people shouldn’t have bought last year. The North Shore is kind of a microcosm in Greater Vancouver that is extremely special… We’re really bulletproof for our lifetimes and beyond.”

Considering where we are in the market cycle, this quote is almost impossible to believe. I’m left to wonder whether the speaker had a mishap with a time machine and thinks the year is 2006. Seriously though, how is this comment supposed to be interpreted by a rational person? We’re not talking about an everyday optimistic opinion. Look at the words. Bulletproof for our lifetimes and beyond.

So much for the hype being dead. The spin is alive and foaming at the mouth.

Photo credit: ThinkPanama

Learning at Vista Place

January 11, 2008

Vista Place

Now here’s a funky concept in Vancouver condo marketing: The condo ad as economics lesson. Forget lifestyle marketing, what consumers need is a tutorial in supply and demand.

Take a read of this ad copy for the Vista Place condos in North Vancouver:

Now that Vista Place is nearly sold, buying here has become even more of a rare opportunity. Exceptional homes in a great North Shore neighbourhood with fabulous features. And while most things of value get more expensive as supply decreases, you can still get pre-construction pricing if you act now.

I don’t know how any sane person can read this and not think we’re at the peak of an over-inflated market.

The web copy at doesn’t follow up on the ad’s attempt at ECON 101 but it does offer a writing error worthy of ENGL 103:

Vista Place on West 13th and Chesterfield….Here’s a vibrant neighbourhood waiting to welcome you. So many fabulous places to go. Markets to shop. Boutiques to browse. Restaurant’s [sic] to meet with friends. All the urban advantages on your doorstep. Unlimited outdoor adventures in the North Shore Mountains just a short drive away.

Scratch that, that mistake is worthy of English 9. At best.

Message to the condo marketers: You wanna know what rare is? Rare is condo marketing that actually uses proper English. (Honestly, I don’t get it. How does this keep happening?)

Name your next condo “Apostrophe” and maybe we’ll forgive you.

As opposed to the Marpole disadvantage?

March 29, 2007


Nothing spells advantage better than a commute over a reversible lane bridge. At least that’s the pitch from Adera, the firm behind the NOMA urban townhome development in North Vancouver. With its central location at West 14th and Marine, NOMA offers residents the advantage of choosing between the Lions Gate or the Second Narrows to make it to work. Either way, you’ve got a big schlep ahead. Go NOMA!

Obviously, appealing to lifestyle concerns is the foundation of condo marketing. No surprises here. I guess where the fun comes in with this one is that it goes a step further than the usual “own the lifestyle” fluff. This ad implies there’s a lack of advantage in living in other regions in Greater Vancouver. To live the north shore advantage as opposed to what? The Marpole disadvantage? The Surrey contempt? The Burnaby compromise? Please Adera stop, you’re being mean!

In yet another demonstration of creativity bankruptcy in the condo biz, Adera has picked a four-letter name for the project by using the first letters of other short words to create their own acronym. You guessed it, this baby stands for north Marine. NOMA proudly joins the ranks of SOMA, OMA and all those other wonderful all-caps properties you can throw your money at. Why do something new when you can do the same thing?

No word on pricing but I suspect this beast will put you at an income disavantage for 25+ years plus interest, property tax and maintenance fees. Be sure to register so you don’t miss your chance.