For my end-of-year message this year, I want to take us back to a time when we were making New Year’s resolutions in preparation for a new decade.
The year 2020 was supposed to be special: for many, myself included, we were ready to make it the Roaring 20s all over again.
Looking back to New Year’s Eve 2019 seems like both forever ago and the blink of an eye… I guess that’s what a worldwide pandemic will do. Heading into my year as Chair, I didn’t know what to expect; I can tell you for certain, this wasn’t it.
First and foremost, these have been some of the most challenging times of our lives, for a variety of reasons. I empathize with our members who have been directly affected by COVID-19. Whether you or someone you love has contracted the virus, or whether you’ve taken a financial hit this year, the effects of a global pandemic are far-reaching and have been detrimental. I’ve seen how it’s affected, in one way or another, the lives of 240 of my colleagues at StreetCity Realty throughout our offices in Ontario. The stories are similar across Canada—we all feel a sort of disconnection from ourselves, society and in some aspects, reality.
But just like it wasn’t in my plans, dealing with a pandemic wasn’t in your plans, either. That’s why I made it my mission that together, with the team behind me at CREA and our Board of Directors, we’d make sure REALTORS® could survive these tumultuous times.
We’ve communicated like never before, ramping up how we deliver important messages to members and the frequency of those emails, social media posts, webinars and blog posts. We’ve advocated for our members, as proven by the adaptations the Canadian government has made for REALTORS® thanks to our Government Relations team’s efforts. And we’ve helped members shift focus to a virtual-first mindset—something we are now prepared to inevitably face in the future.
As REALTORS®, we pride ourselves in how we relate and communicate with people. We want to be there for our clients as they navigate the complicated home buying process. We are an important step in helping Canadians achieve their dreams; don’t forget that. Just because in-person café meetings are now replaced with messy home office Zoom calls, doesn’t diminish the work we’re doing to help keep Canada’s economy rolling.
With every Zoom call you make, with every virtual showing you conduct and with every email you send your MP, you’re helping raise the bar of professionalism for REALTORS®–and you’re doing it during unprecedented times.
This year has been trying, but I do believe we’ve pushed the needle in the right direction when it comes to REALTOR® advancement. I saw firsthand in November how REALTORS® from across Canada can come together and do some good, as part of the second-annual REALTORS Care® Week. It reinforced my belief in putting kindness above everything (which just so happens to be the name of my wife Mary’s non-profit charity). I think as we enter the holidays and another new year with who knows what in store, it’s important to remember the sentiment of that phrase.
To every REALTOR® in Canada reading this, thank you for everything you do.
From my family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday season.
Year-End Messages from CREA’s Board of Directors