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The Ruth and David Group is a Driving Force in Real Estate

The Ruth & David Group is building relationships throughout East Vancouver, one property at a time

In 1991, Ruth Chuang met David Jones at an Oakridge RE/MAX office, where they were both working. In 11 days, they were married. Soon after, they moved to Commercial Drive and began building the real estate business that they now describe as a “seamless” operation. “We don’t know where one starts and the other ends,” says Chuang. Their success as a top-selling team in the Commercial Drive area stems from their long-standing commitment to customer service.

Against the conventional wisdom of the early 90s, they began focusing their efforts on their East Vancouver neighbourhood. As a team, they each used their strengths, bringing together a wide variety of skills. Jones worked on new marketing initiatives and Chuang supported the clients. “We’ve always felt that we didn’t want to change who we are,” she says. “I’m more of an introvert so I’m better person-to-person. It’s always been about how can we be totally ourselves in servicing our clients. Living and working in Commercial Drive where people know us is a big part of that.”

About 15 years ago, they started hearing from clients who felt they were held hostage by the competitive nature of the market. As soon as they saw a property they were interested in, they felt so much pressure to make an immediate offer that they couldn’t ever go away for a weekend. “We took a couple of those calls to heart and thought, ‘Is there anything we can do to make this process easier for people?’” says Jones.

He came up with a new idea, which was to show the property on a Thursday evening before the weekend open house. Those interested could then schedule a property inspection on Friday, see the home again on the weekend and then present their offer. He called this model the “Sneak Peak,” and it worked for several reasons besides allowing people to go away for the weekend. Potential buyers could see the home at different times of the day and in different weather conditions. It also resulted in higher offers. The idea was so effective that many other realtors took it up as well.

Jones’s nephew Corey Martin joined the team several years ago, and works as a buyer’s agent. Willo Jackson also works for the team as a buyer’s agent, and Joy Yiu is the office coordinator.

Chuang says their business is growing “organically,” with a consistent focus on East Vancouver and on the values they first embraced. Now, they enjoy relationships spanning decades with many clients. One of those, Chuang says, has recently been trying to figure out whether to rebuild her home, or sell it and move. “I’m looking at it from a step back and saying, ‘I will tell you what these different choices are, the pluses and minuses and risks and rewards. Until we have that sorted out, I wouldn’t recommend we do anything too fast,’” she says. “A lot of our job is not just the buying and selling part, it’s being a sounding board. That’s how we build relationships.”