Silver Burtnick & Associates is excited to welcome our newest team member: Jay Banks. Originally from Toronto, Jay has a wealth of experience working as a realtor in Vancouver for the past 30 years before moving back to Toronto in August 2019. Jay values excellence, open-mindedness, and serving others. Below are some highlights from our interview with Jay.
Tell us about your real estate career. What are some major highlights?
Having grown up with many relatives in real estate, it was a natural career path for me. Early on, I had experience in sales, and that taught me the communication skills that made it easy for me to talk with potential clients. My first real estate listing came from knocking on a client’s door and asking him if he wanted to sell his house. In fact, he did!
I’ve been selling real estate in Metro Vancouver for almost 30 years. I’ve been through good market conditions, bad conditions, changing demographics, and rising prices. I’ve loved every minute of it.
A highlight for me is being awarded the 20-year Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Lifetime Medallion Club Achievement Award. Another highlight is being nominated for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Professional Excellence Award. The former is restricted to the top 10% of realtors in Metro Vancouver, and the latter recognizes those who give back via mentoring and community involvement.
Why did you decide to move back to Toronto and join Silver Burtnick & Associates? What are you looking forward to?
I attended the recent Sotheby’s International Realty Global Networking Event in Vancouver, and after participating with talented, experienced, and inclusive attendees among over 2000 real estate agents from all over the world, I was drawn to the prospect of working with SB&A.
I have a burning desire to be involved in a new big challenge: to excel within a successful team with a strong work ethic where idea sharing, collegiality, loyalty, and excellent service are valued. This is what the Silver Burtnick & Associates Team is all about, and I’m looking forward to the fun and excitement of working with the team, as well as helping a diverse clientele to achieve their real estate goals.
I’m also happy to be closer to my family. Loving, respectful relationships are another important value of mine. I can spend more time with my elderly mother, my children, and grandchildren; we just had a second grandson last week!
What do you like about Vancouver and what do you love about Toronto?
Vancouver and Toronto are both great cities. I appreciate the different experiences that each city offers.
I love Vancouver. Vancouver has spectacular beauty, great weather all-year-round, a phenomenal outdoor lifestyle, plus exceptional local seafood from the surrounding ocean. I also enjoyed wonderful personal relationships there.
What I love about Toronto, and what I find unique to the city, is that there’s an incredibly high level of energy comparable to very few cities in North America. I believe the Toronto Raptors won this year’s NBA Championship partly because of the incredible connection and energy that the city shared with the team. Torontonians are also friendly and socially connected with each other. I was at the sixth game of the 1993 World Series when the Blue Jays won it all; after the game was over, there were one million people from diverse backgrounds on the streets of downtown, rejoicing together in harmony.
On a summer afternoon, I love walking through the different downtown neighbourhoods with their swarms of humanity and interaction. My goal is to be adventurous. I do that by visiting local venues to get a feeling for the different cultures, architecture, street scenes. I also enjoy the wide range of international cuisines available throughout Toronto. When I landed back in town earlier this month, it only took a blink to fall back in love with this city.
What are your guiding principles as a realtor?
Act with honesty, integrity, and the joy of service to clients. Provide them with leadership in guiding them to fulfilling their real estate and life goals. Do the absolute best job on their behalf, always. Treat them as I would want to be treated. Listen, listen, listen to their needs; ask questions.
I make sure to stay in touch and follow up with them afterwards. When I hear that after the transaction, their life has more satisfaction, contentment, or fulfilment, that brings me so much joy. The joy lies in the service of giving, not the receiving.
You ran a very popular Vancouver blog jaybanks.ca, can you tell us about it?
As I mentioned before, I’m very open-minded, and I got to know many people in my community by striking up conversations with them. I wanted to paint a picture of Vancouver life for others to see and connect that everyday life to my work in real estate. To me, the impact of my work on people’s lives is what makes it so interesting and important.
So, I started jaybanks.ca, where I give my perspectives on current events, how those events impact the real estate market, and then how they impact the daily lives of my fellow community members in Vancouver. Since it’s my own website, I also talk about my family often and our lives in the community.
My website is different from other websites that just publish information on real estate. I think people appreciate my interpretations on events and their effects at the community level. Many also enjoy reading about the family as it is probably relatable to them. I try to paint vivid pictures so that readers feel like they are there, participating in the city life and enjoying the venues and scenery.
If you could put anything on a hypothetical billboard that would reach millions of people, what would it say?
Lean in, love big.
This is motto that I live by. I live it by being positive, going for walks, and enjoying the beauty of my surroundings. I also love talking to new people and listening to their stories, gaining perspective on what makes them enjoy life, and applying those lessons to my own life.
What is your spirit animal?
My spirit animal is a German Shepherd. My family had three of them over a span of 20 years. Loved them all. They were different, but the core characteristics that I relate to are loyalty, empathy, love, intelligence, playfulness, and an inherent core commitment to protect the things important to you.