Canada 150

“Canada 150”

Celebrating 150 years of Canadian Pride

Canada 150 marks a celebration like no other.   Over 100 free live performances are scheduled for 11 days leading up to the culmination of events this Saturday, where nearly 50,000 proud Canadian’s will gather in Victoria’s Inner Harbour to celebrate what it means to be truly Canadian.  For those needing a brief history refresher, Canada Day, formerly known as Dominion Day, marks the historical event in which Canada gained their independence from Great Britain in 1867.

Canada Day celebrations kick off at 12pm on July 1st.  The day will be filled with multicultural artistry, diverse food & beverage offerings, and live music, and of course a grand finale fireworks display to commemorate our nation.

Grab your flags and be sure to check out this eventful Canada 150 Day schedule in downtown Victoria:

 

Main Stage, BC Legislature Lawn:

12pm: Coast Capital Savings living flag tee shirt pickup

2pm: Coast Capital Savings living flag photo

3:00pm: Elder Blessing

3:15pm: Esquimalt Singer & Dancers

3:30pm: Lekwungen Traditional Dancers

3:50pm: “O Canada” – Valdy & The Childrens Choir

4:10pm: Stella Swanson & The Rosie Joyfuls

4:55pm: CIBC Reaffirmation Ceremony

5:30pm: Dirty Mountain

6:15pm: De Temps Antan

7:10pm: En Karma

8:05pm: The Funk Hunters

9:15pm: Arkells

10:15pm: Fireworks

Harbour Stage, Ship Point Inner Harbour:

12:30pm: Mexican Folklore Dancers

1:15pm: Lilia’s Polynesian Dance Co

2:00pm: To be announced

2:50pm: Sooke Community Choir

3:30pm: Shan-e Punjab

4:15pm: Fortune Killers

5:15pm: Violet

6:00pm: Stinging Belle

7:00pm: Deep Sea Gypsies

8:00pm: Band of Rascals

 

Canada 150

 

Top 6 Reasons To Use A Realtor

By / 2nd May, 2017 / Property / Off

Top 6 Reasons To Use a Realtor

Shaking hands with a Realtor

There is a time and a place for DIY, but buying or selling your home is certainly not one of those!  For most, buying a home will be the biggest purchase of your lifetime.  Your realtor will save you time and money, all the while supporting you during a highly sensitive time.  The following is Premiere Suite’s top 6 reasons to use a Realor:

1) Negotiating

Negotiating skills are essential if you want the best deal.  Realtors are skilled negotiators because they are able to bring an objective voice to a very subjective situation.  They are able to remove themselves emotional aspects of the transaction, which enables them to negotiate professionally on your behalf.

 

2) Sourcing

Your realtor will have the inside track on properties before they even hit the market.  On top of MLS listings, they have access to every home on all market sources, including ones that may not be listed publicly.

 

3) Access to information

Agents have heaps of information that will come in handy when deciding on a property.  They can provide neighbourhood details such noise levels and quality of schools, home features and precautions, as well as market conditions such as how long the house has been on the market, square foot cost of similar homes, and other important criteria that will help guide you on your decision.

 

4) Understanding the fine print

Shopping for a home is the fun part, but navigating your way through complex contracts and legal arrangements can leave your head spinning. Today’s contracts are often 50 pages or more, with added riders and addendums on top of that.  Because real estate agents know the buying & selling process, they can navigate you through lengthy and confusing paperwork that goes with the transaction.

 

5) Emotional support

For most, property represents the biggest purchase you will ever make.  With that comes a rollercoaster of emotions that accompany the excitement and stress of the buying/selling process.  Having a concerned, yet objective 3rd party will keep you focused on the most important issues.  And when you reach that moment of buyer’s remorse, your realtor will offer professional, objective advice when you need it most!

 

6) Connections in the industry  

Your realtor has spent years, if not decades, building connections with industry professionals.  Utilize your realtor’s networking – they can recommend the best lawyers, mortgage brokers, bankers, inspectors, and even tradesmen for renovations.

 

 

 

 

Compassionate Resource Warehouse Brings Hope into our Hearts

By / 7th March, 2017 / Uncategorized / Off

Together we are stronger:  Simple donations bring a community together to make a difference

Premiere Suites Victoria makes a donation to Compassionate Resource Warehouse

Dell Wergeland from CRW accepts a donation from Premiere Suites Victoria

To uphold our 4 star quality standard in our suites, we are continually upgrading and improving our products and services.  With nearly 50 suites in our portfolio undergoing updates, we do end up with a lot of perfectly good, usable items that are certainly not destined to fulfill their days in the landfill.  Hence, our philosophy is that what we don’t use or need, we donate.  Today was a day not unlike others, but what started out to be an ordinary donation drop off, turned into a heart-warming glimpse into the human spirit of our dear Victorian neighbours.

Today we made a trip to the Compassionate Resource Warehouse, or the CRW as they are known locally. The CRW is a registered charity that helps those in need by collecting, processing, packaging, and shipping a variety of donated goods and equipment to responsible charities around the globe.  Walking into the Compassionate Resources Warehouse was like entering into a working beehive.  Dozens of volunteers buzzed about between towering shelves stacked high to the ceiling.  Rows upon rows of boxes stretched back into the shadowy depths of the huge warehouse.  It was almost too much to take in at first; the vast quantity of supplies was dizzying.  We were quickly greeted and welcomed a tour of the space and operations.  What initially appeared to be complete chaos, soon took the form of a tightly organized, well-oiled machine of an operation.

Every body makes a difference.

I couldn’t believe how many people came together to make a difference.  Everyone had a job to do, and everyone did it happily.  Someone was assembling educational kits for a country in need, another  was fixing sewing machines and replacing the electric components with a hand crank – so that anyone in any country could make use of the machine whether they had access to electricity or not.  Dozens of wheelchairs were collected, disassembled, reassembled, fixed, and stored.  Everything had a place in the warehouse, from sporting goods to educational materials, tools, toys, medical supplies, clothing, and housewares.  Last year alone, the Compassionate Resource Warehouse shipped over 500 walkers overseas, 2956 sewing kits, 689 bikes, 4145 medical supply boxes, and 1267 hospital beds.

It stretched my mind and warmed my heart to think that this kind of compassion is coming from our fellow friends and neighbours, who freely give their time, skills, and resources to make a difference.   The CRW is an all-volunteer organization and reflects the generosity and community spirit of Victorians, and we couldn’t be happier to donate our gently used goods to this charity.  For drop off information, visit the CRW website here.

Premiere Suites Victoria tours Compassionate Resource Warehouse

Rachelle Keeley of Premiere Suites Victoria gives a heartfelt thank you after a tour of the CRW

 

Images of people helped around the globe by Compassionate Resource Warehouse

Seeing these faces make it all worthwhile

 

Row of sewing machines ready for shipment by Compassionate Resource Warehouse

Sewing machines refurbished, labeled, and ready for shipping

 

Map of container shipments made in 2016 by Compassionate Resource Warehouse

Victoria’s CRW ships a full container every other week to responsible charities worldwide

Join Premiere Suites and the Women’s Real Estate Network to find out if Corporate Rentals are right for you!

By / 20th February, 2017 / Featured Events, Uncategorized / Off

Women's Real Estate Network

Women’s Real Estate Network, along with Premiere Suites Victoria, are hosting a meetup!
“Short Term Rentals & Understanding Your City Bylaws” will be featured, so if you have ever considered entering the world of Corporate Rentals, you won’t want to miss this!

        When: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 to

        Where: Premiere Suites, 834 Johnson Street, Victoria, BC (map)

        Price: CAD25.00 /per person (Refund policy)

 

Hi Ladies,

Please come join us and be inspired by an amazing panel of Women real estate investors, business owners and educators.  We have an incredible line up of speakers that will be sharing their knowledge, expertise and stories with all of us.

Does the thought of making extra money with a vacation or corporate rental locally or globally get you revved up? Are you confused about the regulations and the amount of work involved? Is a turnkey property that someone else manages for you they ticket for you?

Join Rachelle and Beverly as they give an overview of what to expect and how to prepare to enter this now global billion dollar economy.

Rachelle Keeley
Premiere Suites
President & Managing Partner

Rachelle Keeley, Premiere Suites President & Managing Partner, speaks about Corporate Rentals at the WREN meetup

Rachelle was teaching French at the University of Victoria when she first heard about Premiere Executive Suites. She was intrigued by a hotel model that utilized fully furnished condos for accommodation, and after some investigating with her business partner they purchased the franchise for Victoria BC. 10 years ago they started with one apartment and $3000, which has now grown to nearly 50 apartments and a staff of 10. In her years of running the Victoria location, Rachelle has enjoyed meeting new guests and clients from all over the world. She enjoys traveling, particularly cycling trips through Europe, and is very fond of French white wines.

 

Beverly Booth
Premiere Suites
Marketing Manager

Beverly Booth, Premiere Suites Marketing Manager, speaks on Corporate Rentals at the WREN meetup

 Owner and founder of the Magical Marketing Booth, Beverly combines twenty years of diverse experience with her passion and expertise in the tourism and hospitality industry.  Bev has held senior sales and marketing roles in the hotel industry and has used her strategic alliances ability to garner exclusive, long-term business agreements with prestigious clients.  Bev delights in using her creativity to offer clients unique insights, perspectives and relationships gained through consistent and proven successes.
Her “magical” ability is in her enthusiasm for matching a large network of suppliers and buyers in the leisure, luxury, corporate, incentive, and educational markets.  Her strong community involvement spans tourism and chamber boards, chairing organizations such as Vancouver Island Meeting Planners & Suppliers, the Liaison Committee of CFB Esquimalt, Friends of Protecteur, VI South Film Commission, and the Victoria Hospital Foundation.  Bev plays golf, is dedicated to her family and friends, and loves to travel and experience new adventures.  Premiere Suites Victoria is thrilled to have Beverly join our team!  Her warm, outgoing demeanor and drive for professional growth are an inspiration to us all.

 

Mia Frankl
Experienced Bylaw Officer

Mia Frankl, Experienced Bylaw Officer

Eleven years in municipal government with five years focused on bylaw enforcement in two of Vancouver Island’s largest municipalities. In this general overview, Mia will highlight common enforcement matters to consider before buying a property and how to manage your way through the compliance process should a violation occur.  The key is understanding the regulations and doing your due diligence.

 

 

AGENDA: 

6:15pm –  Registration
6:30pm – Laurie & Liza welcome and real estate up-dates
7:00pm – Mia Frankl
7:30pm – Rachelle Keeley & Beverly Booth
8:00pm – Discussions, questions, roundtable

Your $25 Pre-Paid admission will include an evening of real estate knowledge, networking with like-minded women, a glass of wine and light snacks.

REGISTER NOW!

Short Term Rentals & Understanding Your City Bylaws!

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017, 6:15 PM

Premiere Suites
834 Johnson Street Victoria, BC

6 Women Real Estate Investors Attending

Ladies,Please come join us and be inspired by an amazing panel of Women real estate investors, business owners and educators.  We have an incredible line up of speakers that will be sharing their knowledge, expertise and stories with all of us.Does the thought of making extra money with a vacation or executive rental locally or globally get you r…

Check out this Meetup →

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

10 Professional New Year’s Resolutions

By / 27th December, 2016 / Holidays, Thought of the Day / Off

Lighting a sparkler to signify the start of a new year of resolutions

 

Full article from  Hubspot here:

 

If you’re anything like I am, you have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions.

It seems like a natural time to make important changes. It’s like a universal pressing of the “reset” button. Maybe that’s why 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions in the first place. But here’s the thing — only 8% of us are successful in achieving them.

We suspect it has something to do with the nature of the resolutions themselves. According to a study by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, the top 10 resolutions of 2015 included things like losing weight and falling in love. And sure, those goals are great — we’re all about being happy and healthy — but will they make you better at what you do every day? 

Next year, we challenge you to come up with and stick to professional New Year’s resolutions — things that will make you more creative, productive, and generally more content at work. Short on ideas? Here are 12 of ours to help you get started, along with resources to help you actually accomplish them.

1) Resolve to be electronics-free.

Why?

Our bodies are smarter than you might think. They’re trained to respond to light and dark, which according to the National Sleep Foundation send us important signals, like the time of day. Those signals also aid our bodies in adjusting our circadian rhythms — that’s the handy 24-hour physiological cycle that helps us fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.

All of that is pretty cool … until screens are added to the equation. Our brains recognize the brightness from phones, computer monitors, and even TVs as external light, which sends the signal that we should be awake. That’s why it’s harder for so many of us to fall asleep when we’re exposed to too much screen time at night. The verdict? Put the devices down before bed.

How?

At INBOUND 2013, Arianna Huffington — who later went on to pen The Sleep Revolution — gave some great advice regarding the sleep/screen conundrum: Ban electronics from your bedroom for good.

“I never take devices to bed,” she said. “iPads, iPhones, Blackberries — I don’t charge them near my bed, because I feel it’s imperative to be able to have uninterrupted renewal time.”

This habit is a tough one to break, and it’s one that I’ve personally been working on for years. So if you like to watch movies or shows on your computer before bed, for example, I can relate — these are the mindless things that help us unwind at the end of the day. Luckily, there are solutions to help you resolve the problem for good, some of which might still allow you to indulge in your evening TV viewing.

Helpful Resources

We’d encourage you to ditch the electronics completely before bed. Instead, try reading, journaling, or maybe even a few minutes of yoga. And if you absolutely cannot part with your electronics:

  • Try downloading a desktop app that reduces your screen’s blue light as the day progresses — that’s the kind emitted from most electronics and is often cited as the culprit for sleep loss. We recommend f.lux, which adjusts your screen’s blue light depending on the time of day, or the similar filter from PC Sun Screen.
  • Plus, the latest iPhone OS now comes with a “night shift” mode, which accomplishes the same thing after sunset.

2) Resolve to write something every day.

Why?

Sadly, the decreasing quality of writing in the U.S. has been making headlines for a while now. And people want to become better writers — they just have trouble investing the necessary time.

But it’s an important skill. And if you’re going to be blogging regularly — which we recommend you do — the writing needs to be good.

If you want to become a better writer, then you need to write a lot. The way to improve that skill is the same way you’d approach any other — with practice.

It’s the same advice we give to people who want to blog more consistently (another worthy New Year’s resolution) which is to treat it like working out. You’ve got to do it consistently to see great results. After all, you can’t just publish a blog once every few months and expect to rack up views, leads, and customers. The same goes for your overall writing skills.

How?

To start, get into the habit of writing on a daily basis. Neil Patel suggests writing for at least 30 minutes every workday, skipping the weekends. Remember the advice we just gave to journal before bed, instead of looking at a screen? Here’s a great way to put that time to use.

And even if you don’t identify as a writer, pick a question — something from a customer, a friend, or a topic that’s always piqued your curiosity — and write something about it. Or, just write nonsense. It’s the habit of writing regularly that’s important, especially in the beginning.

Helpful Resources

When we encourage people to write more, one of the most common objections is, “I have nothing to say.” We profoundly disagree, and thought that these tools might help to generate some ideas:

  • Daily Page: Emails you a writing prompt every morning, and you have the rest of the day to write your response. Once you’ve written your response to the prompt, you can either share it or keep it private.
  • 750 Words: Encourages you to write 750 words per day about anything you want. It gamifies writing by giving you points for writing at all, for writing 750 words or more, and for writing on a consistent basis.
  • Twords: Calls itself “the app that nudges you to write.” It notifies you when you haven’t written in a while so you can keep yourself accountable — and even gives you the option to connect with others who will help you stay on track.

3) Resolve to improve your design skills.

Why?

In case you haven’t heard, visual content is a pretty big deal in marketing. For one thing, it’s 40x more likely to be shared on social media. Plus, when a relevant image is paired with information, people retain 55% more of that information after three days.

But quality visual content goes beyond a Google image search or stock photography. At the same time, however, not everyone has an ample design budget. For that reason, we believe that 2017 is the year for you to master some design skills. That will allow you to create the content yourself — or, if you do have a bigger budget, learn to better communicate with contractors and agencies that create it for you.

How?

These days, learning a new skill has become its own industry. Never before have there been so many online resources — many of which are either free or relatively inexpensive — to self-educate. And many of them are available outside of the classroom, like on YouTube how-to videos, Coursera, or Khan Academy.

If your company has something like a tuition reimbursement program, here’s a great opportunity to take advantage of that benefit. Many community colleges offer design courses, some of which are taught in the evenings. Do a local search for these classes in your area, and find out what’s available — it might not be too late to enroll for the next semester.

Helpful Resources

4) Resolve to take breaks.

Why?

Despite 90% of employers encouraging breaks, it seems that only 45% of us are okay with taking them.

So what’s with the other 55%? It turns out that we’re too guilty to leave our desks for prolonged breaks — we’re afraid that it’ll make us look less productive, or take away time that could be used to get work done.

But it turns out that the opposite is true. In fact, the top 10% most productive employees take 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes of work they put in. There’s tremendous value in breaks, and we could all stand to benefit from them.

How?

When we’re “in the zone,” so to speak, it’s easy to forget to come up for air. That’s why I take the advice of that top 10%, and actually put reminders in my calendar to take a 17-minute break every 52 minutes.

During those 17 minutes, I completely step away from work — no email, no work-related calls, and whenever possible, no sneak peeks at my phone. And during those 52 minutes of work? That’s your time for hyper focus. Close those tabs that you have open to check social media — unless you’re using it for work, that is — and remind yourself that there’s a break coming.

Helpful Resources

5) Resolve to listen to one podcast per week.

Why?

Podcasting is a thriving mini-industry. It’s no wonder — listening to podcasts is a great way to learn something new without it being a direct skill you are mastering.

That’s true from an early age, which is why many teachers are also incorporating podcasts into their lesson plans. In fact, one English teacher found that assigning the Serial podcast to his students helped them pay more attention to the written word. While listening to any given episode, he reported that their eyes became affixed to its written transcript. In other words, it seemed the auditory version of a story aided their ability to process accompanying written content.

And maybe that’s why the popularity of podcast-based lesson plans increased by a whopping 650% in 2015 — the year after Serial first launched. It’s not just that podcasts themselves are tremendously informative (which they are). As it turns out, they might even enhance your skills in other areas, too.

How?

A simple app download can go a long way when you’re aiming to discover more valuable podcasts. We particularly like Stitcher, which catalogues over 65,000 podcasts and allows you to curate your own listening collection, depending on your subject interests. Whether you’re looking to become a better marketer or a better cook, chances are, there’s a podcast out there that can help.

Helpful Resources

6) Resolve to ask for help.

Why?

In 2014, Care.com took a survey of working mothers that was quite eye-opening. Among the more surprising findings was one about the concept of asking for help — something that 29% of respondents felt guilty about doing, especially when it came to things at home.

At the same time, however, 79% also felt like they were falling behind at work, and 75% saw an overall reduction in stress when they did enlist help.

These numbers go beyond working mothers, however. It seems that there’s an epidemic of fear when it comes to asking for help at work. Many of us sense that asking questions about an assignment, for example, will make us look like we weren’t paying attention, or aren’t as smart as our peers thought. But when we don’t ask questions, we’re actually setting ourselves up for failure, by forcing completion of a task without all of the necessary information.

How?

This resolution is one that actually begins with management. On my very first day at HubSpot, my boss said something to me that I will never forget: “I’ll help you with whatever you ask me for help with. The most successful people ask for help when they need it!”

If you’re a manager, think about how often your team is asking for your help. If you’re not receiving a lot of questions, you might want to send a similar message. By setting that tone, your team is aware that it’s okay if they don’t know everything.

And on the flip side, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s more likely than not that the person you need it from is happy to answer your questions.

Helpful Resources

7) Resolve to develop a mobile strategy.

Why?

If you don’t have a mobile strategy yet, it’s time.

2016 was a pivotal year for mobile, and it’s only going to get more important in 2017. In August, Google announced that it would be cracking down on invasive mobile pop-ups. On top of that, the use of voice search via mobile and personal assistant devices is on the rise, with Google Voice Search queries seeing a 3400% increase since 2008. Plus, we’ve witnessed the launch of Google’s AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, in which certain pages are optimized for mobile in a way that allows them to load instantly.

If you haven’t truly invested the resources to learn about mobile and adapted your marketing strategy accordingly, it’s time to sit down and develop a strong mobile strategy, which means overhauling your website, emails, social accounts, blog, and any other online content to be mobile-friendly.

How?

You might have to go back to the very basics on this one. When it comes to mobile optimization, a lot of it has to do with SEO these days. That is, if your content isn’t optimized for mobile platforms and searches, your ranking could take a massive hit.

Start by brushing up on the history of SEO, or learning more about Google’s algorithm. From there, you can start getting into the nitty-gritty of mobile strategy.

Helpful Resources

8) Resolve to use your vacation time.

Why?

Believe it or not, there’s a phenomenon out there known as “vacation shaming” — the act of being made to feel guilty about going on vacation by managers, colleagues, or ourselves. No wonder 47% of us feel shame or guilt at work for taking time off — it’s mostly because we’re afraid it’ll make us look less dedicated.

That’s actually not how it works at all. It turns out that taking time off actually makes us more productive. In fact, in regions where people tend to take more vacation — like Brazil and Sweden, where paid time off is mandatory — employees tend to bring greater urgency to their work. That’s probably because, according to the Harvard Business Review, “spending less time at your desk forces you to waste less time.” Makes sense, doesn’t it?

How?

Vacation aiding productivity echoes the research done about how breaks help us as work. The biggest requirement is planning. Have a look at your calendar, and figure out when you’ll be the busiest. Are there certain weeks when you’ll have a little more time to get ahead? Those are good pre-vacation weeks, since they’ll allow you to increase your output before you head out.

Here’s where that resolution to ask for help can be put to use, too. In addition to planning your own workload, ask the same of your colleagues. If there are certain weeks when they’re able to fill in on your behalf, that might be a good time for you to plan a vacation. But that goes both ways — make sure they’re aware of when you’re available to pitch in, too.

Helpful Resources

9) Resolve to read more.

Why?

The most successful people never stop learning. There’s a reason why 70% of adults in professional or managerial roles continue their education — it’s one of the best ways to keep up with industry trends, learn from experts, and get the creative juices flowing.

One of the best ways to do that outside of a classroom is to read what others are writing about. Reading more might even help you become a better writer, and exploring external content helps you to gain different perspectives of vital issues, whether they’re of personal or professional interest.

How?

The tough thing is, since there’s so much content out there, you have to be discerning to find the really good stuff. To start, three places where content quality stays high are Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, and Slate. (Don’t be afraid to pay for top-tier content, by the way. There’s a reason it costs money, and it’s often well worth it.)

You’ll want to spend time reading more niche or industry-specific content, too. To make it easier to read them all, look for applications that let you read all your favorites all in one place, like Feedly.

Helpful Resources

10) Resolve to move to the next level of your career.

Why?

“Next” can mean different things for different people — changing your title, getting more responsibilities, gaining more authority in your industry, or starting your own business. Whatever it is, start now — it could take longer than the next year to fully accomplish it.

Don’t let that scare you out of it, though. If you don’t start moving forward now, it’s easy to keep putting it off. Even if you’re happy in your current professional situation, we’ve outlined many reasons in this post to continue learning, or at least add to your success with new goals and accomplishments.

How?

When it comes to big, life-changing moves, planning is fundamental. If your goal is really monstrous, try breaking it into a year-over-year plan, and using the first year’s plan as the basis for your resolutions.

But if you’re simply looking to grow and accomplish more, there are smaller steps that you can take this year. Jumping on opportunities to share your skills with others, for example, can enhance your career, especially if you do so through public speaking engagements. These aren’t just beneficial for your audience — they provide a great way to present yourself as an expert, increase your visibility both online and offline, and build your personal brand. Plus, getting your name out there in the context of your job is beneficial for your company, too.

Talk with your manager about opportunities your company can introduce, like local meet-ups or conferences. You could also get in touch with a university and offer a guest lecture — after all, there’s something very rewarding about inspiring future talent.

Helpful Resources

Show Your Resolve

There you have it. New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be quite so flighty, or involve gyms and special diets. They can help you become a better employee, and to continue learning and improving, no matter where you are in your career.

That said, do what works for you. We wouldn’t expect anyone to try to tackle all 12 of these resolutions. Depending on where you are in life, some might be more feasible and practical than others. Think about your priorities, and choose from there.

From our team to yours, Happy New Year.

Tips for Safe Driving in the Snow

By / 9th December, 2016 / Tips and tricks / Off

Nothing creates a buzz in Victoria like a good snowfall.  Even a light dusting creates excited chatter among Victorians, mixed with a healthy dose of trepidation.  For many locals, venturing out in their vehicles is a daunting task in winter conditions, as driving in snow and ice can be dangerous and unpredictable.  Below are 10 tips to stay safe on the roads this winter in Victoria.

 

driving snowy road

 

Be prepared and stay safe with these 10 winter driving tips:

 

1) Check road conditions.  Before starting your trip, check the current road conditions and weather forecast for the areas you will be travelling. Listen to the radio or visit www.drivebc.ca

2) Prepare your vehicle.  Make the time to clear the entire car, not just the windshield wipers.  After starting your vehicle, wait for the window to defrost completely, and clear snow from all windows, lights, mirrors, hood and roof of the car.  Don’t forget to top up your windshield washer fluid.

3) Get winter tires.  In British Colombia, winter tires are required on most highways from October to March.  Make sure your tires display the mountain/snowflake symbol, or the M/S (mud and snow) icon.  Be advised that all-season tires must also display the M/S symbol to be considered a winter tire.

4) See and be seen.  Turn your headlights on during the day to help you see ahead and be seen by other drivers in poor visibility.

5) Watch for black ice.  Just because you can’t see ice on the road, it doesn’t mean it is not there.  Reduce speed and watch for black ice on roads with shaded areas, bridges, overpasses and intersections where car exhaust and packed snow freeze quickly.

6) Prevent a skid.  If you drive over black ice and start to skid, ease off the accelerator, and look and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go. Don’t brake—this will make the situation worse. You may need to repeat this manoeuvre several times until you regain control.

7) Keep your distance. The normal following distance of 3 to 4 seconds should be increased to 8 to 10 seconds to account for the additional time it takes to slow down and stop in snow.  Be extra cautious when approaching snow plows and salt and sand trucks, as they throw up snow and spray, making it difficult to see.

8) Drive SLOW.   The posted speed is the maximum speed under ideal conditions. In winter, it is safer to drive below the posted speed.   Be aware that everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement.  Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly, and plan for extra time to get to your destination.

9) Avoid sudden movements.  Maintaining a slow, steady speed is the best way to avoid skidding.  Avoid unexpected quick movements that could put you in a spin by accelerating gently, turning slowly, and braking carefully and early. Anticipate turns, stops, and lane changes well before they occur.

10) Stay home.  If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

 

10 Things You MUST do During the Holiday Season in Victoria BC

By / 28th November, 2016 / Featured Events, Holidays / Off

The 10 Things You MUST do During the Holiday Season in Victoria BC

christmas

 

Victoria is a magical place, and it truly comes alive during the holiday season.  The city is adorned with twinkling lights, carolers and buskers liven up the streets, and festivals & events take place in every neighbourhood.  Premiere Suites Victoria has narrowed down the top 10 events you do not want to miss this holiday season!

 

1) Vote for your favourite Christmas tree while supporting the Victoria Hospitals Foundation at the 25th Annual Festival of the Trees.   Hosted by both the Fairmont Empress Hotel and the Bay Centre this year, you will look up in wonder at 85 beautifully & creatively decorated trees

2) Magic of Christmas at the Butchart Gardens is a holiday tradition that you do not want miss.  This family friendly, pet friendly event runs the month of December into early January, and features the “12 Days of Christmas” light display throughout the gardens, along with festive brass bands and Christmas carollers, as well as outdoor ice skating.

3) Beat the crowds at the malls and visit Father Christmas in Old Town.  You can get your picture taken and share your holiday wishes with this jolly spirit at the Royal BC Museum.  Santa will be waiting for you on Fridays-Sundays from 11am-3pm on the first 3 weekends in December.

4) Feast your senses on the creative inspirations constructed entirely by holiday gingerbread!  The Inn at Laurel Point is host to Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase, where professional and amateur bakers alike display their masterpieces for all to enjoy. 

5) The boats in Victoria’s Inner Harbour are lit up in a vibrant display of Christmas lights during the Marina Light Up.  Take in the delightful display as you wander the downtown causeway with a loved one, hot chocolate in hand.

6) On Saturday December 3rd, come be a part of the Ogden Point Christmas Light Up in support of the Mustard Seed.  Stay and see the IEOA Lighted Truck Parade, which begins at Ogden Point at 6:30pm and arrives at the Western Speedway by 8:30pm with many viewing locations in between!

7) Marvel at the lights of Centennial Square and downtown Victoria from atop the 20 meter Ferris Wheel Ride.  Santa will be there, along with food vendors and holiday entertainers – sure to make this a memorable Christmas event.

8) There is no better place to do your Christmas shopping than at one of the many Christmas Markets offered in Victoria.  Find that perfect something for that special someone in your life made by a local vendor with love.

9) Bundle up and bring the family down to the Delta Victoria Ocean Point Resort to enjoy one of Victoria’s great Christmas traditions – Christmas Starlight Cinema in the Inner Harbour.  Don’t forget your lawn chair, blanket, and warm drinks – heaters provided by the hotel.

10) Unleash your Christmas spirit as you sign and dance along with the Victoria Soul Gospel Choir.  You will have a hard time staying seated through the high-energy sounds of Motown, R&B, Gospel, and Raggae!

Tips for Buying a Condo in Victoria

By / 28th October, 2016 / Property, Real Estate / Off

Premiere Suites offers their top tips for buying a condo in Victoria

So you have decided to take the plunge and dive into the property pool.  Congratulations!  Victoria’s real estate market is smoking hot and there is no better time to get on board and start making your investment pay off.  With units selling faster than you can view them, it’s important to do your research so you can make a quick, educated decision to get the suite of your dreams.

key in door

 

Here are our insider tips on buying a condo unit in Victoria:

 

*Set your sights high

Literally and figuratively speaking, higher floor units are more desirable.  They come with a better view, are perceived to be safer, and are the brightest and quietest from street noise.  Of course with every floor you jump, your budget does as well.  Be prepared to spend at least $10,000 additional per floor for a comparable unit.

 

*Size does matter – But layout is just as important 

Consider a unit that is 1000 square feet that is a one bedroom suite plus a den.  In the same building, another unit that is also 1000 square feet has a 2 bedroom configuration.  Which floor plan gives you the most flexibility?  Which layout offers an inviting, open floor plan?  Bright, open concept spaces generally most desirable and have the best resale value.

 

*Location location location

This has been drilled into us, but what does it mean to the home buyer?  First, determine what is going on in your neighbourhood.  Is a development craze happening? This could be a smart time to invest, as property values tend to rise with infrastructure developments.  Do a little homework to source new developments in the area – will you lose your view if a new building goes up next door?  Buying street facing (or better yet, a park facing) unit will, at a minimum, protect your privacy and partial view.  Remember that lifestyle and convenience are paramount to condo living.  A little research into businesses, amenities, and entertainment/recreation venues in the area will go a long way into marketing your unit for rent.  Knowing what businesses are coming into the area will affect the future value of your property.

 

*Get to know the property management

When run properly, strata’s can save you a lot of time, worry, and money, while protecting your investment from depreciation. Do not hesitate to request a copy of meeting minutes or other relevant documents to the management of the building.  Consider past special assessments made and outstanding issues that could add costs in the future.  When was the reserve fund last used?  About strata fees: do not be afraid of the additional price tag associated with strata’s – they are there for a reason.  Too low can mean that the building is not being maintained and can affect the depreciate rate.  Strata fees that are considered to be high are normally associated with the amenities and common areas within the building.  Consider how important spaces like fitness centres, pools, meeting rooms, party rooms, and communal terraces are to you.

 

*Plan to live there, even if you plan not to

When purchasing our first property, my father-in-law gave us a piece of advice that has always stuck with me.  In our search for an investment property, he advised that whichever condo we decided on, we must be willing to live in it, even if we planned not too. Sounds simple enough, but when shopping for an investment property, many only think of the rental potential or resale value, and ignore a scenario where they may have to occupy the unit at a period in time.  His advice proved rather useful, for rather than flipping the unit upon completion, we decided to live there for the first year to take advantage of the First Time Home Buyer Program.  Had we not chosen the 2 bedroom unit on the sunny side of the building, it is unlikely that our time there would have stretched to 6 wonderful years of downtown condo living.  At the end of the day, it’s about keeping your options open.

 

*Secure a parking space

Even if you do not have a car or plan not to use a parking stall, buying a parking stall alongside your condo unit should be on the top of your “Must Have” list.  With parking spaces are becoming increasingly scarce in the city, your unit will be far more valuable with the added benefit of a secure parking stall.  There will always be someone willing to rent the space from you if you find it sitting empty.

 

*Hire a professional realtor

With the lightning-speed rate of sale in Victoria, it can be frustrating at best to get your name in the game, when cash offers are being accepted on the spot.  Your realtors will be your best friend during the buying process.  Thy have ins on units before they even hit the market, will be your negotiating hero, and will keep you focused on what’s important while making one of the largest purchases in your life.  Best of all, it costs you nothing, as the seller pays the commission.

 

 

Farewell!

By / 23rd September, 2016 / Employees, Thought of the Day, Uncategorized / Off

I’ve never been very good at good-byes.

In fact I think we all started to miss you the day you told us you were moving on.  So it is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to our lovely Dani.  She has been a shinning star in our office for the better part of a year and we will all miss you greatly!  What is Dani moving onto that is better than Premiere Suites you might ask?  Well certainly not better (we’re a tough act to follow!), but in a very different direction… Dani is moving to Vancouver to follow her passion in the Film industry.  With many industries and successes under her belt, we are sure she will flourish amid the creativity and craziness of the acting world!   We wish you all the best in your new endeavours Dani!  (sniff-sniff)

 

Dani bye byeDani Goodbye

The Law of Attraction

By / 21st September, 2016 / Activites in Victoria BC, Featured Events / Off

Law of attraction

The message is clear, concise, and simple.  “I attract to my life whatever I give my attention, energy, and focus to, whether positive or negative.”  This is the Law of Attraction in a nutshell.  I have to admit the first time I was introduced to the Law of Attraction I was a little skeptical.  I hadn’t yet heard about the theory, and it was my old boss who gave me a CD to watch at home.  Did you see I just dated myself there?  Ah well.  Disk in hand, my 20 year old brain immediately sent off warning bells because a) it was work related (or so I thought), b) I thought self help was cheesy (20 year olds have it all figured out, right?), and c) in no way was I going to volunteer 2 hours of my evening without getting paid (I had a lot to learn).  Except that I did volunteer those hours and I did take something from it.  I may not have been acutely aware of it, but my life did seem to take a turn for the better.  My career was taking off, I got married, achieved awards, won a free cruise, and several months later yet another free trip.  I felt lucky.  Really lucky.  I did get a little carried away with the luck factor and started buying lottery tickets for the first time in my life.  Of course I wasn’t THAT lucky, but it did make me really think about it all.  Maybe it wasn’t luck bringing me all these successes, but my own positive energy enabling me to create these things I wanted in my life.

What prompted this thought is the arrival of an anticipated event in Victoria.  Michael Losier is a motivational speaker, radio host, and bestselling author the Law of Attraction.   He is hosting a full day event to teach you how to apply the Law of Attraction to your advantage so you can use Law of Attraction deliberately to attract more ideal customers, clients, opportunities, and resources for a successful business.  Register for the full day event on October 1st here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/michael-losier-law-of-attraction-tickets-27317255647