Our History

History of Martello

Founded nearly three decades ago out of the ashes of a failed development firm and with just two people, Martello Group of Companies has since grown to be one of the largest private real estate services groups in Western Canada; but let us start at the beginning.

Wayne Smithies, Founder and President, graduated from Queens University with a marketing degree and assumed this would be his career path. However, his passion for real estate prevailed and he went back to school to receive his Urban Land Economics diploma from The University of British Columbia. After graduating Wayne was headhunted by a well-known commercial management firm to create a property management division for their business and just three years later he was given a unique opportunity. The company was about to fold and Wayne could either take a severance cheque, like the rest of the staff, or take ownership of what remained from their property management division.

As a true entrepreneur Wayne took this opportunity and in 1988 Martello Property Services – Guarding your Investment was conceived. It was just himself and one building operator who managed the growing number of facilities. Wayne began to make a name for himself in the industry and forged lasting relationships with key industry stakeholders. It was because of this that much of Martello's business came from referrals, and still do to this day!

During this time REIT’s started to gain popularity and they completely changed the commercial management industry. Instead of landlords outsourcing their property management services, they brought all services in house.

The industry was changing and Wayne understood this, so he used his affiliations to partner with commercial real estate heavy weight Richard Ellis (now known as CBRE) in 1990 and headed the CBRE Property Management division until 2003. They parted ways and Wayne was given another opportunity to go into a strategic partnership with JJ Barnicke. He worked alongside JJ managing their properties and 250,000 square feet of space through Martello. They parted ways in 2005 and Martello become a stand alone company again as Martello Property Services – Trusted Real Estate Advisors. 

In 2011 Wayne’s son joined the Martello team and after years of dedication, long hours, education and an understanding of the commercial management landscape Warren was promoted to Vice President of Business Development. His goal is focused on re-branding the business and expanding service offerings to better serve clients.

Martello is proud to be a family owned and operated real estate management and advisory company that drives economy of scale and innovation to give better value to our clients. Our core divisions include commercial property management, residential rental management, commercial insurance, strata management, and building operations.