Property Tax/Valuation Consultant
Turner Drake & Partners Ltd.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
For over four decades we have provided real estate consulting services to the business community in Canada. We started with a simple vision: (1) be the benchmark by which others are measured, (2) offer clients a unique product whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. To do so, we have assembled a multi-disciplinary team, with diverse but complementary skills, created a common training program (built around the University of British Columbia’s real estate degree and 27 in-house training modules), nurtured a collegiate culture of working together, developed an industry leading IT system, and implemented an ISO 9001:2015 registered quality control system company-wide. We invest in people; they truly are our greatest asset. From our headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia we now undertake consulting assignments from British Columbia to Newfoundland and all provinces and territories in-between. But in truth, we are still a work in progress… there are still mountains to climb and plains to conquer. We are seeking experienced personnel to join us on that journey.
Our Consulting Staff are firmly focused on assisting clients meet their strategic goals, not just their immediate needs. As a team they provide a smorgasbord of complementary skills, whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. They provide clients with unique, seamless solutions to their real estate problems: Valuation & Appraisal, Property Tax, Urban and Rural Planning, Economic Intelligence (Geographic Information Systems), Counselling (Infrastructure Acquisition, First Nations’ Land Claims, Hydro Electric Projects…), Lasercad® Space Measurement and Brokerage (Sales & Leasing).
Although we usually train our own Consulting Staff (they join us direct from university and then embark on our seven year training program), we need experienced colleagues to assist us cope with our burgeoning work load. This is a position in our Property Tax division and will focus on assisting clients with their property tax needs (filing appeals, negotiating with assessors, responding to assessment information requests, etc.).
We promote a corporate culture that is collegiate, invests in our employees’ careers, rewards success but believes in a good work-life balance.
- Marketing: we are the exception that proves the rule in an industry that largely survives on the principle of “eat what you kill”. Of course, every profession requires some extra-curricular promotional activity and we are not able to eliminate that effort entirely. However, we do provide an unusual level of marketing and technical support to better enable our Consulting Staff to focus on their level of expertise. Our Support Staff is trained in creating marketing materials and maintaining our databases, web sites, social media platforms, as well as secretarial duties. We have established distribution channels through our web sites and Information Technology (IT) system to broadcast time sensitive, or brand awareness, marketing materials targeted at clients, and potential clients, with minimum intervention from our Consulting Staff. In addition to our Corporate web site www.turnerdrake.com (which is in the process of being updated), we have specialist Valuation (www.turnerdrake.org), Property Tax (www.turnerdrake.net) and Brokerage (www.turnerdrake.ca) sites.
- IT System: this emphasis on supporting our Consulting Staff is reflected too in our multi-million dollar investment in an IT system. In 1978 we became one of the first real estate companies in Canada to utilise information technology: CompuVal® (our IT platform) was developed by us to meet the challenges posed by working in the most data deprived region of the country. Its family of intelligent databases talk to each other, analyse data on the fly, and give our Consulting Staff a unique perspective on the real estate markets in Atlantic Canada. As new technologies, such as satellite and three-dimensional imagery, became available, we incorporated them into CompuVal® and our programmers are constantly incorporating enhancements suggested by our Consulting Staff into the system (don’t worry, we will train you on the use of this IT system).
- Quality Control: when it comes to quality we “walk the walk”: all of our work is governed by a quality system which, since 2002, has been registered to the ISO 9001 international quality standard. Every six months we poll every client (for whom we have done work during the prior six months) and publish the unexpurgated results on our Corporate web site (www.turnerdrake.com/newsresearch/Rating.asp). Whilst quality control is of benefit to our clients, it also provides clarity and assistance to our Consulting and Support Staff; the comprehensive set of procedures and reports we have developed, dovetail together to facilitate friction free work flow and minimize downtime.
- Trainee Assistance: we provide mentored training for a dozen post-graduate students, paying for their University of British Columbia, Bachelor of Business in Real Estate degree and encouraging them with salary increases as they progress through it, our Training Modules, and our training program. This is a two-way street, our senior Consulting Staff provide the mentored training and benefit from assisting keen young people as they embark on a career… while our Trainees help our senior staff on their journey too by providing assistance on their assignments and infusing university fresh knowledge, particularly in IT.
- Diverse Skills: we flatter ourselves that we occupy a unique place in the real estate service environment: the diverse skills we have assembled (Valuation, Property Tax, Planning, Space Measurement, Land Agency, Geographic Information Systems, Economic Intelligence, Counselling, Brokerage) embrace a common objective - that of maximizing our clients’ long-term goals. We operate as a team, not in silos of different disciplines, and increase the value of each service we provide to clients, so that both of us benefit.
- Provincial Offices: our St. John’s, Charlottetown, Saint John, and Toronto offices are presently staffed from Halifax but are fully equipped with desks, work stations (tied into our Virtual Private Network) and printers to serve as a base whilst working in those cities. We recently expanded our New Brunswick presence by opening an office in Moncton.
As a consultant in our Property Tax division your duties will include:
- Inspecting properties of all types (large and small). Everything from factories to farmland, shelters to shipyards, dairies to dealerships.
- Collecting and analysing financial statements, rent rolls, budgets, projections, etc. to assess the competitiveness of properties and to analyse the reasonableness of their assessments.
- Identifying potential clients and opportunities.
- Filing assessment appeals, Requests for Information, etc.
- Undertaking negotiations with assessment staff.
- If necessary, preparing and proceeding to assessment appeal tribunals at various levels.
Skills and Qualifications
You will be a newly qualified MRICS with a recognised business and/or real estate degree. You will have a strong desire to work in a professional environment with colleagues of like mind and will enjoy the responsibility and challenges that flow from it. You will value the security of a salary but will gain satisfaction from seeing the results of your efforts reflected in bonuses. Our success is built on a long-term relationship with clients rather than a transactional approach so you must have a genuine interest in people, be a good listener and communicator, an excellent networker, and be comfortable conversing with your peers and those senior or junior in age to yourself. You will be a strong negotiator, preferably with a university level course in the subject. You will be at ease conversing with CEO's, mechanics, construction workers, budding entrepreneurs… or the guy that cleans our offices (he does a great job by the way, a real professional). You will enjoy building relationships through problem solving. You will be interested in a career rather than just a job, something that will get you up on the morning with a spring in your step. You will prefer to work in a team environment, with colleagues who share your enthusiasm. You will enjoy variety and merit the respect of your peers. You will have an eye for detail, be thorough, trustworthy, energetic, reliable and will benefit from the opinions of your colleagues. You will have an enquiring and open mind coupled with a sense of humour.
While the exigencies of some assignments may sometimes require work outside normal office hours, it is our view that this should be the exception rather than the rule: we believe strongly in a civilised work-life balance and conduct the firm’s operations accordingly. Most of the work will be in Atlantic Canada and does entail some travel. The properties are diverse and range from airports to papermills, fish plants to vineyards, bottling plants to brothels, fortresses to… well you get the idea.
We have been operating electronically for decades: we installed our first computer terminal in 1978, started working remotely in the early 1980s, and our files have been electronic since 1990. When the pandemic burst onto the scene we pivoted seamlessly to working from home. However, we recognise that work of a creative or collaborative nature benefits from personal interaction, ideas are frequently the result of chance meetings, impromptu remarks and the accidental clash of opinion. The ability to readily bounce ideas off colleagues often opens up the pathway to a more optimum solution and relieves “writer’s block”. Social interaction with peers reduces stress, and the opportunity to leave the workday behind after leaving the office is important to a civilised work-life balance. We pass this way once and family time lost to work can never be recovered. Work should be enjoyable, satisfying, social, enable self-esteem and contribute to society, as well as providing financial support for oneself and family. Our operating model is therefore firmly “office based” with the flexibility to work remotely when the situation demands it.
This is a salaried position with a benefits and pension package (after a vesting period).
Submit your CV (with proof of your professional qualifications) together with a letter (≥ 500 words) explaining why you believe you are suited for this position to:
M.B. Turner, B. Comm., BBRE, MRICS, MAI, AACI
Turner Drake & Partners Ltd.
Real Estate Counsellors
6182 North Street
Halifax NS B3K 1P5
Please feel free to direct any enquiries to Mark Turner (902) 429-1811 Ext. 325 or toll free (800) 567-3033 Ext. 325 or by fax (902) 429-1891.
All enquiries and applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Applicants will be evaluated and interviewed as they apply. The posting will be closed when the position is filled.