Engel & Völkers Advisor Sam Juergens moved to Vancouver’s Point Grey neighbourhood in 1989, got involved with his community and quickly called it home. Since becoming a licensed Realtor, Sam has been able to mediate some record high offer amounts for his sellers, and always goes over and above for his buyers to make sure they get what they desire. For Sam, there is nothing better than helping someone achieve their desired change with a sprinkle of fun on the side! Below, Sam shares what makes Vancouver’s West Side such a great place to live, and his market predictions for the new season.
How did you first get into Real Estate?
My love of real estate began with my dad. We immigrated here from Germany and moved to the West Side of Vancouver. Back then, the business looked very different. At that time, the pre-internet era, looking for homes involved walking door-to-door, looking for signs and calling the number! Things have definitely changed since then.
I’ve always had a love for Real Estate. I actually completed Pre-Med and LSATs initially, thinking I would go into medicine or Law, but never pursued them further as my passion lacked. Ironically, I applied to BCIT for Real Estate Management straight out of high school and eventually found my way back to the industry 20 years later, seemingly where I wanted to be all along! I started my career by doing renovation flips of my own homes.
I would do a flip, make a positive return and do it again. I thought, heck, I have a knack for this, so I kept doing it. Eventually, I was supporting myself more through these flips than my regular job. Since I had enough connections, I decided to go into Real Estate full time. Engel and Völkers is one of the best brands to be a part of. There’s a sleekness and premium quality to it that I really love.
That, and of my German background, so it seemed a natural fit! I came into the office after doing some research on brokerages, spoke to some peeps, and they all had such wonderful things to say. The energy of E&V just felt right. The company transcends borders and that’s something that was very important to me.
What do you enjoy most about working in Real Estate?
There are so many things I love about this industry. Firstly, it’s incredibly dynamic. You’re dealing with all sorts of people on a daily basis, from market experts, clients, other advisors and home stagers and designers. You’re also learning something constantly, whether it’s about changes in the market, neighbourhood trends and more.
I also love the flexibility. I technically work all day everyday, from the moment I wake up, but I have the option to pick up my son in the afternoon or go to the gym. You have pockets in the day where you can really do what you enjoy, and even though business and work is an ongoing, daily thing, the flexibility makes it a constantly changing daily experience.
There are definitely challenges, but what keeps you coming back is seeing the joy and satisfaction on a client’s face when you’ve helped them finally landing a home they’ve been eyeing, or helping a client sell a home so they can start the new chapter of their life. It really gives you goosebumps to know you’re doing work of value.
Tell us about the West Side!
The first great thing about the West Side is its proximity to the water. Studies show that when you’re close to the water, you’re happier, and the West Side has plenty of water nearby. It’s also incredibly safe, amenity-driven and central to everything, including downtown! It’s also urban driven; You can hop on the bridge to downtown or to the mountains.
It’s definitely a more affluent neighbourhood, but it’s a beautiful gem in our city. What market trends or changes are you noticing for the West Side? A trend we’re seeing at the moment is a change from free-standing homes to multi-family homes, like townhouses and condos. This may or may not change the overall feel of the area, but I’m sure the West Side’s classic charm isn’t going anywhere!
What are your three go-to places in the West Side for food, sightsee or walk your dog?
East is East: It’s on Broadway, where the old Calhoun’s used to be. Interesting story, when I was in university, my friends and I used to study there. Back then, it was a 24-hour-cafe. The owners decided we were taking up too many of the seats and weren’t really purchasing anything being a broke student, so they used to blast the music after 11pm so we would leave! East is East serves a middle eastern high quality cuisine, it’s great but for some of the dishes you’ve got to be able to tolerate spicy foods. Another fantastic spot, arguably a landmark of the westside culture, is The Naam. The Naam is probably the oldest Vegetarian and Vegan restaurant in the Westside, and it’s super popular.
Sightseeing: Definitely spanish banks for a serene walk, 4th Ave for shops, and Granville Island for that market & artisan feel. Should you like to get away from it all, take a walk through Pacific Spirit Park near UBC.
Walking Your Dog: Pacific Spirit Park actually has some off-leash trails. And for beach & sand adventures, Spanish Banks Dog Beach is great & slightly more low-key than Kits Dog Beach. But Kits Dog Beach is cool too. However, keep your eye on your dog, or more specifically other dogs. I’ve been witness to many non compliant pups and owners.