Whistler and Squamish NRS Sea to Sky Real Estate offices have a new name, but everything else will stay the same.
All independent NRS offices switched over to Windermere about three months ago said Sea to Sky Real Estate owner Ann Chiasson. With this merger, there are now 73 Windermere offices in Canada, 42 in B.C.
Established in 1952 in Seattle, Windermere sells 33 per cent of the real estate in Seattle. Windermere is associated with 147 offices throughout Washington, Idaho and Oregon.
"In essence," said Francis Chiasson, "our office doesn't change. It's the same people doing the same things, but the colour of the signs will change."
Ann Chiasson described Windermere as an umbrella organization. "The Whistler office is an independent franchise. It is locally owned and operated. The only reason to be associated with Windermere is that it allows us to network with other people, so that we have good people to refer to."
Vancouver-based corporate NRS offices are facing bankruptcy action in B.C. Supreme Court. After running into financial troubles in 1994, investor Ron Dixon took control of NRS. Under his leadership, NRS abandoned the residential market and sold off its franchises and corporate offices. Dozens of landlords, former employees and suppliers have filed lawsuits against NRS for a total of more than $800,000.
Ann Chiasson said that as an independent office, Sea to Sky Real Estate is in no way associated with the NRS corporate office and has been under the wing of Windermere for three months already.