Developing buildings, neighbourhoods, and people.
If you are looking to do business with Low Tide, there is a good chance David Ferguson, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, is going to invite you to his favourite meeting room—the Grouse Grind. Perhaps it is an unusual meeting space, but then again, Low Tide is not your ordinary real estate firm. And that’s exactly what David intended when he started the company.
David always knew that he wanted to do it with people he genuinely liked being around because that was, to him, the secret to living a more enjoyable life. So, in 2010, when the time was finally right to venture out, he used that same mentality to lay the foundation for Low Tide—deciding to only work with people who shared a similar vision. It’s a decision that has since served the company, the tenants, the communities, and Low Tide employees well.
Since the beginning, Low Tide has been very intentional about where it invested its time, money, and efforts—choosing to focus on emerging communities where it could make the biggest impact and help them flourish. Low Tide wasn’t interested in simply building properties. It wanted to build neighbourhoods.
This started with acquiring, renovating, and developing several office, retail, and commercial properties in five neighbourhoods—Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, Strathcona, South Flatz, and Gastown. Then, carefully choosing tenants who were not only going to love the neighbourhood but also help shape it.
Being a different type of landlord isn’t the only way Low Tide is doing things its way. It also shows up in its culture. “Normally, there are a few people in every real estate company who are great at making deals. And they become leaders of these companies,” David explains. “It makes sense, they’re the ones driving the business forward financially. But, those deal-makers aren’t always the best leaders or know how to develop their people. It’s not a slight on them. I’m one of those people. But developing a company culture and its people is a different skill set. So, when Low Tide started to grow, we knew we needed someone who could help build out a team and create a culture that got people excited to come to work.”
And that’s where Andrew Chang, President of Low Tide, came in. Together, David and Andrew set the tone for a collaborative, hard working, and fun working environment. Walk into the office on any given day and you’ll likely find the team returning from a group workout, heading to do the Grouse Grind, or having a brainstorming session on the latest Community Committee initiative. It doesn’t just stop there. Low Tide also puts a strong focus on understanding its employees—helping its people reach their full potential both personally and professionally.
Since starting as a one-man-show (aka David), Low Tide has grown to have an employee headcount of over 40 people. And it is still growing. Despite all the changes, one thing that has always remained the same has been David’s founding belief that if you work with people you want to be around, your life will be better for it.