Vancouver real estate: Edward Zhang, “star agent”, costar of Layla Yang in reality show, not a licensed realtor

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      In the deadly world of secret agents, Edward Zhang might be the equivalent of a spy who is not licensed to kill.

      In the staid world of real estate agents where Zhang operates in real life, he’s someone who is not licensed to sell.

      As of this post Friday (February 19), Zhang is identified as one of the “star agents” of Dracco Pacific Realty.

      A button below Zhang’s image on Dracco’s website leads visitors to a personal website called the Edward Zhang Group.

      However, he is not currently licensed by the Real Estate Council of B.C.

      The RECBC is the body created by the provincial government to regulate real estate practitioners in accordance to the Real Estate Services Act.

      Zhang also costars with Dracco founder and well-known realtor Layla Yang in a new reality series titled Agent Unbreakable.

      The RECBC’s website provides consumers the ability to search for licensed realtors.

      Zhang’s name cannot be found.

      The RECBC did not make a spokesperson available for an interview when the Straight asked about Zhang.

      Instead, the council issued a statement Thursday (February 18) stating that its records “confirm that Edward Zhang is not currently licensed”.

      According to RECBC, Zhang’s licence expired in 2020.

      “Our compliance team is aware of this fact, as well as recent reports related to Agent Unbreakable, and is reviewing the matter,” the council stated.

      The Straight sought Zhang for comment.

      “Why does it matter?” Zhang said in a phone interview Thursday (February 18).

      He was asked about why he is still being identified on the Dracco website as a realtor and the same in a media release for Agent Unbreakable.

      “It’s for entertainment purposes,” he said.

      The Real Estate Act provides that a person “must not provide real estate services…for or in expectation of remuneration, unless the person is…licensed”.

      “I just decided to take a break,” Zhang said.

      The legislation also states that a brokerage must have a managing broker.

      The said managing broker is responsible for the “conduct of the brokerage's real estate business, including supervision of the associate brokers and representatives who are licensed in relation to the brokerage”.

      Dracco’s managing partner is Tim Xu.

      Xu, Yang, and Zhang are the top three “star agents” on the Dracco website.

      The three also go back a number of years ago as colleagues with Maxcel WestCoast Realty.

      Yang cofounded Maxcel with two other realtors, and the partners eventually parted bitterly.

      Legal action followed the breakup.

      Maxcel accused Yang, Xu, Zhang, and Yang’s sister of allegedly sabotaging its business.

      Video: Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith comments on some of reporter Carlito Pablo's real estate stories.

      Going back to Zhang, the “star agent” told the Straight by phone that he was “still a realtor” when shooting started for Agent Unbreakable.

      “Now I’m moving on to doing bigger business, but also in the real estate,” Zhang said.

      “It’s going to be announced in the season of the show,” he continued. “So just wait for it. Something good is really coming.”

      According to Zhang, he decided not to renew his licence.

      “I have a managing broker licence, so that means I have five years,” he said. “Anytime I want to reactivate it, I can reactivate it.”

      Zhang expressed surprise that his Edward Zhang Group site remains online.

      “Once the show comes out,” he said, referring to Agent Unbreakable, “everything’s going to be in the clear.”

      According to Zhang, there’s “something new” that he is currently on.

      “Real estate is a pretty tough business,” he said.

      Told that reports indicate record highs for business in 2020, Zhang disagrees.

      “No, not really. The market was spare last year. This year, the market is really good,” he said.

      And so until Zhang reactivates his licence, he might as well be considered as a sleeper agent.

      (February 21 update: Dracco Pacific Realty has changed Edward Zhang's title to "Media Coordinator". Also, it no longer refers to its realtors as "star agents". They are now called "elites".)