Cliff Stevenson took his seat as Chair on the Board of Directors this April. In the time since, Stevenson has continued to emphasize his commitment to communication, and member engagement, enjoying and appreciating every opportunity he gets to do so. We sat down (at our own desks across provinces) to learn more about what makes him tick, and how he sees his year as Chair taking shape.
Stevenson describes his introduction to a career in real estate as an unconventional one, but says he “has never looked back” and is so happy for the series of events that led him to get started.
“Actually, it’s an interesting story. I joined a group of seven other people who were interested in real estate investment, and since I already had nine years of school under my belt it seemed only natural that I volunteer to be the one to complete the real estate courses for better perspective. I hadn’t even planned to take the exams at the end but once I got to know more about it, and had the chance to meet and talk to others in the industry, it became so obvious that I had to pursue it further. I don’t want to be cliché but I really do identify with our 2020 ad campaign’s theme – ‘born to be a REALTOR®’ it turns out, I was born to do this, I just didn’t know it for the first part of my life.”
During his career in real estate, Stevenson says he considers himself fortunate to have encountered such amazing people, both on a personal and professional level, and truly values their trust and confidence in him.
“I’ve gotten to know a number people who started out as clients and colleagues, and have since become friends, so I’m extremely thankful for that. On the organized real estate side of things, the thing I’m most grateful for is the opportunity to volunteer in this kind of capacity. I’m extremely thankful to have gained the trust of enough people to have been elected into positions like the one I’m in now.”
Stevenson places a strong emphasis on connecting with people, and says he’s always looking forward to the times when he can gather their feedback, positive or not, and use it to help make a difference.
“Every opportunity to engage with people that gives us information to benefit the membership, is a privilege. We should consider ourselves lucky that members care enough to ask a question, or give us that feedback. Even if someone is really ‘hot under the collar’ it’s still a great chance to get information from those we’re supporting. So for me there’ll be a continual focus on member engagement this year.”
We asked if there’s something specific that he’s hopeful for in the near future, and is working toward in his time as Chair, especially now that we’re slowly moving past the unpredictable, disruptive year we just had.
“100% first of all I think this is the year to re-engage in person, and embrace a hybrid model more than ever. I don’t want to lose the momentum we’ve gained from the far-reaching impact of the virtual side, so I think marrying the two will be beneficial. It’ll take effort, but will really expand our reach and give opportunity to those that may not have been able to take advantage of the in-person only engagements. I found this quote on Twitter between two people in the scientific community, it said: “the greatest benefits to attending conferences rarely accrue from talks heard or given, it’s the catalytic power of likeminded individuals being put together to interact and talk.” I’ve heard similar sentiments before but just the way he phrased it really jumped out at me, and that’s why I also think there’s such huge value in connection, and how we allow others to enter or join that conversation that we may be having – we have to explore that.”
A few quick facts about Stevenson, just for fun:
What’s your favourite meal?
An Alberta ribeye, with pretty much any side dish
Name anyone in the world you’d share a meal with if you could.
My dad. He’s a hilarious, good, English dude with a crazy good sense of humor, so I’d definitely say my dad.
What’s your favourite way to decompress or relax?
It’s usually a movie, and a glass of red wine, specifically a Napa Cab.
Do you have a favourite sport or pastime?
I played university volleyball, so I’d say that, but also golf. I’m basically just comic relief when I go out there, but it’s really fun.
If not real estate, what else do you think you’d do?
I’d be a Lawyer. I’m a professional arguer, and I solve problems for a profit. It just fits the way my mind works, and works very well for me in my role as a broker.
What’s something you’re looking forward to in post-pandemic life?
Travel – getting out of the house, and out of the city again! I’ve heard so many great things about Hawaii, so probably there first.
Since we’re all still spending so much time at home, do you have a show that you recommend we watch?
‘Startup’ on Amazon Prime! It’s really good, that show surprised me!