Warrington, SDM merge into British Columbia’s largest property manager

March 2, 2021

In an announcement Tuesday, the firms say their combined portfolio comprises over 15 million square feet of space. Prior to the merger, which closed this week, both firms were already among B.C.’s top 10 property managers by floor space.

“We are thrilled that SDM Realty Advisors will be joining Warrington PCI Management,” said Adam Spear, president of WPM, in the announcement. “This is a merger of highly complementary cultures dedicated to a people-based approach to property management. Together, we will enhance our already market-leading services for all of our current and future clients.”

SDM will continue to operate independently over the short term, then transition into a combined company under the WPM brand with more than 180 B.C.-based employees.

Its owners listed SDM in the fall of 2020, fielding multiple offers from international real estate brokerages and property managers to private equity firms to independent regional property managers.

“Strong interest” to acquire SDM

“We were pleased with the strong interest in our company despite the impacts of COVID-19,” SDM co-owner Stephen Duyvewaardt said in the announcement. “We chose to sell to WPM because we share many similarities – family-owned and -operated, strong core values and a made-in-B.C. success story.”

“We’ve had a long-standing relationship with WPM and respect their achievements, solid reputation, and local focus,” said Dale Mumford, also co-owner of SDM, in the release. “We are excited about our continued growth as members of the WPM team.”

Financial details were not disclosed.

WPM is a Vancouver-based company with over 30 years of experience in property management, leasing, strata management and asset management.

Its portfolio is almost entirely in Metro Vancouver, managing over eight million square feet of office, retail, industrial, residential and marine properties. WPM’s partner, PCI Developments, is a major Metro Vancouver real estate developer and investor.

Founded in 1994, SDM has been a boutique commercial property management and leasing firm active across Metro Vancouver with extensive experience in retail, office and industrial building classes.

SDM manages a diversified portfolio totalling 7.5 million square feet. The company also manages assets in Victoria, Nanaimo, Prince George and Calgary.

Property management and the pandemic

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, property management companies have recorded their busiest year on record, with no signs of slowing in 2021. Response to the virus created new, immediate and evolving demands beyond enhanced health and safety efforts.

WPM said property managers pivoted to help with rent relief negotiations, government subsidy applications for tenants and accelerating new technologies.

“We use a tenant service-request software that provides immediate access to our managers and enables us to react quickly to problems, including confirmed cases of COVID-19,” said Spear in the release.

“A positive case triggers an urgent set of protocols and procedures to ensure thorough sanitization and a safe return to the space.”

WPM was part of a national working group organized via BOMA, formed in March 2020, to help develop and implement COVID-19 safety protocols for office buildings, retail centres and apartment buildings across Canada.

The group also helped create guidelines for working through processes around positive COVID-19 cases, tenant legislation and government subsidy programs.

It’s also expected property managers will play a pivotal role in the return to the office and future leasing activity.

“We will work collaboratively with ownership groups and tenants to reposition the value of a commercial space, with emphasis on safety, operational efficiency, and tenant experience,” said Spear.

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