REALTORS® south of the border were treated to some good, old-fashioned Canadian friendliness at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) annual conference and expo, held this year in San Francisco.
On the expo floor, CREA’s booth was a hub of activity for delegates and organizations from around the world who came to learn about Canada, our real estate industry and to network for potential referrals. In between serving up Canadian staples such as Caesars and maple candies, the CREA Global representatives spoke about how Canada continues to grow with investment opportunities. The CREA Member Survey-2019 report shows 36% of Canadian REALTORS® have worked with an international client over the past year. Coupled with the fact Canadians spent $8 billion USD on residential real estate last year*, it remains imperative we show strong support for fostering international business opportunities.
Highlights from San Francisco:
- CREA Global secured Rana Sarkar, Canadian Counsel General in San Francisco, to provide the opening remarks for the forum about Creating Partnerships with Outside Entities.
- Past-President Barb Sukkau represented Canada on NAR’s Bilateral Trade Partners Panel.
- CREA Global representatives met with the REALTORS® Association of Jamaica and the Mexican Real Estate Association to discuss collaborations and education opportunities.
- We celebrated the 63 new Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designees. Canada now has more than 254 CIPS designees.
- More than 500 people attended the Canadian Delegates and Global Affiliates Welcome Reception at the Fairmont San Francisco.
* According to the 2019 NAR report Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate
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One of our hometown REALTORS®, Bruce Johnson, was recognized for his philanthropic work in front of 6,000 of his peers.
Johnson, of Wasaga Beach, Ontario, was named the first-ever Canadian to receive the Good Neighbor Award for raising more than $600,000 for Children’s Miracle Network in honour of his late daughter, Alyssa Rae. He did this by setting off on three long-haul Motorcycle for Miracles fundraising road trips over the past few years with his daughter, Holly. Their most recent trip in 2018 saw them on the road for more than three months, travelling from the northernmost point of Canada to the southernmost tip of Argentina, collecting donations along the way.
“I’m so grateful NAR was able to shine a spotlight north of the border because there are so many REALTORS® doing great work in their communities,” Johnson said. “The recognition is not why any of us do this; I think we all want to deflect the spotlight that they give us onto the cause that we work for. I always say Motorcycle for Miracles won the award, my family has won an award, every Champion agent has won the award… it’s all of us, I hope they all feel like they’ve won.”
Along with the award, Johnson was gifted $20,000 from NAR to go towards his cause.