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Sydney Blackmore is in ur shop, buyin ur stuff.

In your Facebook
Brad Jefford is an unhappy tenant. After receiving a botched faucet job by Island Property Management (IPM), and waiting over eight months for standard plumbing and door repairs to his rental home, Brad created the ‘Island Property Management’ Facebook group. The group is a space where folks can meet and post feedback, says Brad.

“I want to open the lines of communications between the tenants, the company and the landlord. We’re all not on the same page about what’s happening.”

The group has over 180 members, and some are sharing their experiences, and others are posting information about landlord and tenant rights, and standard damage deposit practices. Here’s a sample of some of the group’s posts:

“IPM is responsible for the upkeep of said homes and all the money aspects that go with it…Do any of the actual homeowners know what’s going on with their homes?”

“I have called the maintenance line at least 3 times in the past week. There is never any answer and no one has called me back.”
“If things get tough, give this number a call. They have real power, and they’re super helpful. www.tinyurl.com/residentialtenancies”
Steve Osmond is the owner of Island Property Management, and oversees about 800 properties and 2,000 tenants. Steve knows Brad’s story and has taken full responsibility for the botched repairs.

“We fired the employee and we’re making arrangements to fix the job and make it right at our own expense,” says Osmond. He has his own take on the Facebook group. “I agree with certain aspects of it, but what I don’t agree with is that it’s a one-sided thing. Any information I’ve sent has usually been broadcasted one-sidedly.”

Steve also wants people to know Facebook is not a place where IPM will recognize formal requests for repairs to rental homes. “We have e-mail, an online automated telephone service, an emergency number, personal cell phones, and clients can just drop by. We don’t check these websites—communication with a social networking site is certainly not communication with this company.”

A little birdy told me so
The Shanghai restaurant on 210 Water Street is closed for renovations until April, but those missing it are in luck. The Shanghai’s owner, Yuan Xu, has just opened up a second Chinese spot called The Bird’s Nest on 16 Stavanger Drive. This is a buffet-style eatery with a dessert and salad bar. Mr. Xu says the food served here is very similar to Shanghai’s menu.

You can check out The Bird’s Nest seven days a week, from noon to 2:30pm and 4:30pm-9pm. Be prepared for a full house, as the place has been drawing a crowd since its opening, says Xu.

Kung-Pow Chicken withdrawal must pack a mean punch!

It’s business time
For business owners, there’s a slew of documentation and licensing that needs to be maintained to keep a business up and running. On February 27, the NL Government launched its newest business buddy called BizPal. It’s a one-stop online service, where entrepreneurs log-on and access their business permit and licensing information. BizPal is supposed to make the necessary paperwork easier to get through and free-up more time for business owners. For more info, visit www.bizpal.ca.

Pizza fair
Las Vegas is notorious for many a thing: gambling, Elvis impersonators, that wedding chapel where Britney Spears married George Costanza… but what about pizza? It might not rank up there with magicians and Siberian tigers, but pizza is making a special appearance in Vegas this March at the 25th Annual Pizza Expo.

Locals Meghan O’Dea and Dave Hopley, owners of Pi Gourmet Eatery, are making the trip to Sin City to attend.

“Basically, it’s a food trade show but it’s for pizzerias,” explains Meghan. She’s been looking forward to this event since Giovanni’s days, the pizza shop she co-owned in St. John’s a few years ago. “I wanted to go then but I couldn’t, so Dave and I decided that this was the year to do it. I’d say that we’re the first ones in Newfoundland to go. It’s huge.”

There are over 60 pizza seminars and exhibits offered throughout the two-day tradeshow, and events like Pizza Crust Boot Camp and The World Pizza Games.

“You can compete in competitions like ‘the world’s fastest stretching dough’, or win $30,000 for being the fastest to fold a pizza box,” says Meghan. Although she’s bringing someone from the Pi kitchen team with her, she’s not sure if she’ll compete in any of the events.
While Meghan and Dave are getting down to business in Vegas, Pi will remain open during its regular hours.
For more information on the Pizza Expo, check out www.pizzaexpo.com.

Send your fresh business news to storefront@thescope.ca

3 comments

RPM teaser

Here’s a little selection of the local music produced for the RPM Challenge. Come hear more RPM music at the official NL listening party on Saturday, March 29th from 8pm (sharp!) to 10pm. The Ship. [MYPLAYLIST=1]

24 March 2008

  1. anonymous · March 24, 2008

    I don’t think the point of the facebook group was to be unbiased, nor was it for the filing of complaints anyone expected to be fixed. The point was to draw attention to how nobody answers the phone, no cell phones, or returns emails or fixes any damages.

    I was also unfair to let him say he’s making arrangements to have everything fixed at their expense. They should have had everything fixed at their expense BEFORE anyone moved in there. AS PROMISED.

  2. anonymous · March 24, 2008

    I have been renting from IPM for over a year now. I would like to add that I am one of the 180 facebook group members and I have a few things to say in response to this article and to Steve Osmond.

    First being that I dont think this is good enough. Steve Osmond is saying that this facebook group is “one-sided” I would like to point out that it clearly states “just so everyone is aware, good news is also welcomed in this group. I’d be interested to see if anyone had any good things to say as well”. For him to brush it off and say its one sided makes me a little angry. I would like to think that there wouldn’t be 180 members in this group if there were no problems. Not one of the posts has anything positive to say about their experience with IPM. Again, I would like to think that with 180 members and so many negative comments, somebody would have spoken up and defended this company if they were doing something right.

    Second, Mr. Osmond says “we (IPM) have email, an online automated telephone service, an emergency number, personal cell phones, and clients can just drop by…” it all sounds so easy, too bad that I don’t have a personal cell phone number, too bad that no one actually returns your calls or emails. Also, it is too bad that when you drop by you get terrible service. If you took the time to check the facebook site or listen to your customers you might understand the problem. There is NO communication within the company. It is especially unfair to say “… We don’t check these websites-communication with a social networking site is certainly not communication with this company” I looked through the facebook site over and over and not once did I see a formal complaint, or request for maintenance or anything along the lines of trying to formally get in contact with IPM, for Steve Osmond to get away with turning it around on the clients and brushing this off is simply not good enough.

    Finally I would like to give a huge thank you to The Scope and to Sydney Blackmore for paying attention to this issue.

  3. new homeowner · March 24, 2008

    IPM has been bought out by Krown Property Management. If only there was a grave to piss on.