In celebration of REIX’s 30th anniversary, we’re profiling some of the people behind the scenes so we can put faces to names and learn a little bit more about them (for instance, what they doing in 1991 and do they have a motto?)
Why did you decide to join the REIX Board this year?
I feel obligated to give back to the industry that has provided a good living for me and my family. Sitting on regional or provincial boards challenges you to look at issues from a broader perspective than just your own.
What is one thing you think makes a successful agent?
Life experience. I have both a rural and urban background, which makes it easier to understand client needs when serving a 6,000 square mile region.
What is your motto?
My grandfather was a journeyman carpenter trained in Edinburgh, Scotland. As a young boy I would watch him sit down on a break while working on a project, light a pipe, then take a file to his hand saw. When I would question him why he was doing that, he would say “Take time to sharpen your saw, laddie, it makes life much easier!” As an adult, I’ve come to believe he meant we should always be looking for opportunities to improve our skills.
If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing in the industry what would it be?
I would like to see less focus on the transaction and more on consulting. Competent real estate agents have a lot to offer, unfortunately the general public sees us as salespeople and don’t turn to us often enough for advice before jumping into a deal.
What were you doing in 1991?
I was the chief executive officer of an interprovincial health services organization. Early in 1991, I was seconded to work for both the Minister and Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Health in assisting them in planning reforms to the provincial health system. The experience gained while there was incredibly useful to my next career as a management consultant.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in real estate and/or insurance in the past 30 years?
How technology has been implemented into the day-to-day practice of both industries and embraced by the general public.
What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
My wife just about died giving birth to our first child, if not for the skill of three doctors and two nurses in the delivery room. We have now been married 47 years with two sons and four granddaughters. I give thanks daily for His blessing.
What is something you enjoy doing that you think no one would expect from you?
I like to write and teach. The local newspaper has published my weekly column for over 15 years. It started off focusing on stories about real estate but over the years the editors have encouraged me to broaden the scope of the content to anything of local interest. It is also serves as a great way to stay in touch with our team’s clients in six countries as it is sent to them electronically.
How do you spend your time when you’re not working with REIX?
I am active partner in our family’s livestock operation so I take on projects which can be completed within a flexible time frame. For example, this summer I am disking up some hay land to make it available to grow corn or cereal crops for silage. For pure relaxation, I love to ice fish or repurpose scrap wood into something useful in my workshop.
The Real Estate Insurance Exchange (REIX) provides mandatory errors and omissions insurance to approximately 13,500 Alberta and Saskatchewan real estate industry members and protects them from financial loss due to negligent acts while performing their real estate duties. Follow us on Facebook!