Alberta Real Estate Association’s Service Excellence Program

Aimed at enhancing the professionalism of Alberta REALTORS®, the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA)’s Service Excellence Program is a comprehensive professional development opportunity helping to align the services Alberta REALTORS® provide with what today’s consumers expect. Using extensive consumer research, the program provides REALTORS® the knowledge of how those expectations have changed, and then provides the tools to help ensure the REALTOR®’s service meets or exceeds clients’ expectations.

The advent of the Internet has resulted in more online resources becoming available to consumers. This, in turn, has lessened the REALTOR®’s role in finding neighbourhoods and properties that pique a client’s interest. However, the relatively high cost of property and a more complex and litigious contract environment are two reasons why clients value the REALTOR® as guide and advisor more than ever before. The Service Excellence Program is all about this reality and how REALTORS® can effectively adapt their services in order to better serve today’s consumers. 

The program comprises three parts:  first is The Art of Service Excellence, a high-quality, interactive online course packed with tips, tools, downloadable resources and customizable templates. Following completion of the course, REALTOR® can gain access to the second part of the program: The Measure of Service Excellence, an independent third-party client satisfaction survey that correlates with the course material and that REALTORS® can use with their clients. The third part of the program:  The Proof of Service Excellence, still under development, is a provincial certification process that will allow Alberta REALTORS® to become Service Excellence certified.

Click here to watch a video about the program and read testimonials from REALTORS® who’ve completed the online Service Excellence course. Contact AREA with any questions at pd@areahub.ca or by phone at 1.800.661.0231. AREA wishes to thank the Alberta Real Estate Foundation for their generous sponsorship of this initiative.

CRSC releases new issue of Curb Magazine – “Suburban Land Use: Strip Malls and Parking Lots”

By: Brittany Stares, Managing Editor, Curb Magazine

 
Suburban land use poses unique challenges for planners, developers and residents; particularly in those communities that are well-established and have limited space upon which to draw. The sprawl, segregation and dependence on the private automobile that often characterizes the suburbs undermine broader pushes for community-building and sustainability.

The winter issue of Curb Magazine, entitled “Suburban Land Use: Strip Malls and Parking Lots,” explores this topic, with a particular focus on better utilizing space in the suburbs through the re-imagining, retrofitting or redevelopment of existing, outdated sites. Using under-performing strip malls and their associated parking lots as the basis for innovative planning, featured articles highlight the potential – and pathways – for these unloved spaces to reduce sprawl, encourage alternative means of transportation, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate economic, cultural and recreational activity. Contributors include winning and shortlisted entrants from the international ideas competition, “Strip Appeal: Reinventing the Strip Mall” and renowned architect/author, Ellen Dunham-Jones.

Curb Magazine is published by the City-Region Studies Centre (CRSC) at the University of Alberta, and focuses on policy practice and community experience in cities, regions and rural areas. Curb is distributed to municipal offices and planning departments across Canada and the northwestern United States. The CRSC aims to inform public policy by increasing understanding of cultural, political and economic interactions and inter-dependencies within social spaces. It is one of the only centres in North America focusing on regional as well as municipal research.

Curb 3.2, “Suburban Land Use: Strip Malls and Parking Lots,” is available now through the CRSC website (http://www.crsc.ualberta.ca/). This issue has been generously sponsored by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, along with our following issue on stewardship and sustainability in planning.

Foundation Announces Spring 2013 Community Investment

The Board of Governors of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation recently approved $295,000 in community investment projects at their recent meeting on March 8, 2013.

We are happy to announce the following 8 community investment projects include:

$20,000 to the Calgary Horticultural Society to enhance capacity of the Community Gardens Resource Network.

$60,000 to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce for policy research as part of their Great Cities Series.

$20,000 to the Friends of Fish Creek to further develop their Community Watershed Stewardship Project.

$75,000    to the Haskayne School of Business to develop a Real Estate and Entrepreneurship Studies Program.
    
$50,000    to the Faculty of Geography of the University of Calgary for the Heat Score initiative to develop a Home Energy Efficiency Dashboard (HEED) in order to Support Green Real Estate.
    
$30,000 to Operation Grasslands Community Program in order to Engage Stakeholders in Alberta’s Grassland Region in Sustainable Land-use Solutions.
    
$25,000 for Sustainable Cities International to Launch their Inaugural Session of the Sustainable Cities International Energy Lab (SCIEL)
    
$15,000 to the Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association for Building Constituency for Conservation and Sustainability in Waterton Biosphere Reserve Area.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation supports initiatives that enhance the Real Estate Industry and benefit the communities of Alberta. The Foundation was set up in 1991 under the Alberta Real Estate Act. Since then, it has awarded over 14.2 million dollars in community and industry grants to over 455 projects across Alberta.

Co-Gen Melcor YMCA Village

Thanks to funding from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, the newly constructed Melcor YMCA Village will include Co-gen, a vital energy efficiency component.  Situated in the core of Edmonton’s Boyle Street Community, the Melcor YMCA Village – Affordable Housing Facility will be home to more than 150 low-income families, couples, and individuals, including people with limited mobility.

The Co-gen project will help ease the financial burden that many Melcor tenants face by reducing heating costs through the energy converting technology.  For many low-income individuals, times arise when they need to choose between paying their rent and paying for groceries. These individuals are at times one pay check away from losing their homes.  Co-gen not only has environmental benefits but will help the residents stay housed by keeping their housing affordable. 

On behalf of the YMCA of Edmonton, we would like to thank you for all of your support. 

  

Let’s Talk Condos!

Earlier today we got note that Service Alberta has begun a consultation process to review the Condominium Property Act (CPA). It seems the Government of Alberta is taking steps to strengthen condominium legislation to address the current needs of condominium corporations, unit owners, and developers; and raise standards in Alberta’s condominium industry.

Alberta’s inner city Real Estate is still on an upward rise and so condo issues are becoming important to a vast growing number of Albertans. Read the paper on this topic here. As part of their consultation with Albertans’, Service Alberta has also setup a survey; available online here: http://www.servicealberta.ca/cfml/survey/.

Do take this opportunity to give your feedback and input into the future of Condominium Legislation in Alberta. The deadline for input is April 2nd, 2013.

The Foundation Supports Energy Efficiency in Real Estate

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation is currently supporting an energy efficiency pilot project for commercial buildings and industrial facilities. The project, EE Check, provides assistance to facilities to undertake an energy efficiency audit, develop a business case for upgrades and implement selected upgrades.

The first building to complete an audit was the Petex building in downtown Calgary. The owners, Western Securities, worked with the EE Check team and an independent energy auditor – Mission Green Buildings – to quantify their energy saving opportunities.

The energy audit compared the building’s energy use to both average and high-performing buildings in Alberta (on a m2 basis) and identified 15 opportunities for reducing energy use.

Not all of the opportunities identified meet the client’s needs from an operational or economic perspective, but a number of the opportunities were selected for implementation. One of the most cost effective upgrades involves higher efficiency stairwell lights that are estimated to pay for themselves in less than one year through the energy they save. The energy savings also translate into reduced environmental impacts for the building’s operation.

As Western Securities works to implement the energy saving measures recommended in the audit, the EE Check team will be working to document the energy, cost and emissions savings achieved.

This project is another demonstration of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation’s commitment to increasing the sustainability of Alberta’s real estate industry – both from an economic and environmental perspective.

For more information on the EE Check pilot project, please contact Jesse Row at jesser@pembina.org.

The Foundation Remembers Governor Sherry Belcourt-Darby

On December 18th, 2012 Sherry Belcourt-Darby passed away in Edmonton.

Sherry and the Governors of Alberta Real Estate Foundation at our 20th AnniversarySherry spent over 35 years in the Real Estate industry and was well respected  as an industry leader,  and for her dedication and professionalism.  She believed in further education and she was an instructor for  the Canadian Real Estate Association, the Alberta Real Estate Association  and the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. Sherry served as RAE President in 1997,  was President of Edmonton Realtor Charitable Foundation in 2000, and AREA President in 2006.

Sherry was a life member in both AREA and RAE and was RAE REALTOR® of the Year in 2002. Sherry was a tireless volunteer and served as a Governor on the Alberta Real Estate Foundation until earlier this year when her health failed her. Sherry was Broker and co-owner of Coldwell Banker Panda Realty with her husband Tom.

Sherry had her degree in Music and Education and taught in the public school system before her career in real estate.   Her memory will be held dear by her husband, Tom Darby, daughters Gigi Belcourt, Sandra Veer (Jeff) Sheri Darby (Jason Rastovski)  sister Judy Chapman (Ken) Nephew Jake Chapman. Baba will be lovingly remembered by her grandchildren Kristen and Alex Veer and Paige Rastovski and by her many friends, industry colleagues and especially her staff at Panda Realty.  

Donations in memory of Sherry may be made to the REALTORS® Community Foundation 14220 – 112 Avenue, Edmonton, T5M 2T8 780-452-1135 The REALTORS® Community Foundation supports projects involving, shelter, homelessness, hunger, crime prevention and special projects.

Century Homes Calgary receives the Governor General’s History Award

Centure Homes CalgaryDecember 4th Calgary – Century Homes Calgary receives the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming

The Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming was created by Canada’s History Society (http://www.canadashistory.ca/) to recognize programming developed by volunteer-led heritage, community and cultural organisations at the
grassroots level, the award judges considered a variety of criteria when evaluating the submissions, including audience reach, historical research and innovation. According to Joanna Dawson, community engagement coordinator of Canada’s History Society, Century Homes Calgary stood out because of its significant impact on the community, both in terms of the number of participants in the project, and the number of those benefitting from the legacy of the research in future years.

As you may be aware, 508 historic homes in 30 communities participated in Century Homes Calgary. The project focused on homes constructed during Calgary’s first building boom, which peaked in 1912, with people celebrating their home’s 100th birthday in a citywide event.

The projects intention was to increase awareness and appreciation of Calgary’s heritage homes by engaging the people who live in them. The number of people who signed up to do research and display their passion for their Century Homes with signs and banners was overwhelming.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation is proud to have supported this project in its first year.

Executive Director Cheryl De Paoli commends the award by saying “Century Homes Calgary is an innovative project that got communities and the public engaged with the history of homes and neighbourhoods in Calgary. A well deserved recognition indeed.

Plans are underway for a 2013 round of Century Homes in Calgary.

The Foundation Welcomes Charlie Ponde to our Board of Governors

In October of this year the Foundation welcomed its newest member to the board, Charlie Ponde. Charlie comes to us from the Alberta Real Estate Association and will stay on as a Governor for 3 years. 

Charlie Ponde was born in India and completed his university education in the city of Mumbai.
Charlie immigrated to Canada 43 years ago. After working in the dental field, Charlie entered the
real estate profession in 1992, to fulfill a passion for buying and selling real estate and for
working with people. Charlie has been an active and full-time member of the REALTORS®
Association of Edmonton ever since. Charlie was first elected as a Director in 2003 and again in
2006.

Charlie was elected and served as the President of The Realtors® Association Of Edmonton in
2009 and now is a Life Member of the association. He served on numerous committees relating
to real estate including AREX Claims Committee, the Edmonton Realtors’ Charitable Foundation
(Governor and President), the Arbitration and Professional Standards Committee, the
Technology Committee and the Government and Political Action Committee.

An active member of the community, Charlie was involved with the: Affordable Housing
Committee, Sign of Hope Campaign – Catholic Social Services, The Christmas Bureau, Realty
Watch and the Neighborhood Watch Programs, St. Albert Lottery Board, St. Albert’s City Plan
2000 Advisory Committee (Municipal Development Plan) and the Edmonton Immigrant Services
Association.

Charlie is married to his wife Brenda for 30 years, has two married daughters and is very proud
of his grandchildren. Charlie loves travelling, golf, fitness, Yoga, and spending quality time with
his family and friends.

Did you miss the AREF event with Todd Hirsch? Opportunity to view the presentation.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation featured Todd Hirsch, Senior Economist at ATB Financial and co-author of The Boiling Frog Dilemma, as part of their Thought Leader Series. Over two hundred Real Estate professionals and representatives attended this event in Calgary and Edmonton. So far, the feedback from attendees has been excellent – mostly due to the unique nature of information presented.

At the crux of his presentation Hirsch argues that Canada’s economy has done reasonably well, yet things are not all they seem. Like a frog in a pot of warm water, Canadians have not yet realized the changes an increasingly global economy can bring. That takes creative thinking. Hirsch says, “In Real Estate, it’s all about asking yourself, “How can I become more creative in what I’m doing, how can I offer more innovative services to my clients?” He encouraged REALTORS® to break free of old frameworks and present themselves in a different way from what others are doing through invention and reinvention.

Here’s what attendees had to say about the presentation:
 

 “Always good to get economic news from a practicing economist. Good speaker
and very knowledgeable on the local, provincial, Canadian and global markets.
Easy to listen to as well. Good job!”   
“Todd was very convincing in outlining the inter connectivity between Canada and
the world and how vulnerable we are in spite of all our resources: I liked his idea
that we have to move beyond “value added” , instead create and innovate and
sell that to the world.”  
 “Appreciated the overall global outlook in relationship to Alberta’s economy.
Great presentation! Thanks!”  

If you want to watch this presentation for yourself, view our Tedx-style talk below. As always, we would appreciate your feedback. Did you like the presentation? Was is helpful to you as a REALTOR®? Please leave your comments.