Getting to Know New CREA Chair: Jill Oudil

On April 5, 2022, Jill Oudil of Vancouver, British Columbia, officially became the 77th Chair of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), and the ninth woman to hold the position. In a recent conversation, Oudil told us a about herself, her introduction to real estate, and her goals for her time as Chair. We also chatted about some of her driving philosophies, and how she has been able to apply them not only in her professional career, but also in her personal life.

Oudil opened-up about some her formative years telling us how real estate played an important role in her life and how she developed and maintained her love for the industry.

“At nine years old I started going to work with my dad, who was a REALTOR®. We’d go to open houses, and I’d hand out the feature sheets – the industry was a bit more casual, and it allowed me to really fall in love with the field. That love is what’s kept me involved and engaged for so long! Thirty years in one industry is a long time and feels longer if you’re doing something you’re not passionate about; I couldn’t imagine doing anything but real estate – it fed my craving for learning! I didn’t have to leave the career I love to do something new or fresh because it has always given me opportunities to grow, give back and adapt to changes. I like to look at the opportunity to change as a gift, it’s all about how you frame those new challenges. As REALTORS®, we continue to evolve as the industry changes drastically, especially in the past couple of years, but if we can keep learning at the heart of our practices, we’ll all be better off for it. My Husband, Terry, has been a REALTOR® for 35 years – he also really understands the dedication needed. He’s been such a supportive partner this year, and every year I have been so busy in organized real estate.”

The theme of collaboration and respect developed as we chatted, and Oudil emphasized her dedication to relationships within the REALTOR® community. She spoke passionately about her commitment to connecting each facet of the community under a common purpose, and how she believes: “we all have a certain role to play to make sure disruptors to the industry are met with a cohesive message truly representative of our values. ”

“As the industry continues to evolve, we are going to face new challenges, but if we focus on keeping our connections strong, we’ll absolutely benefit from a diversity of perspectives”

“The goal overall is to work with our boards and associations, to collaborate as much as possible ensuring we create a better understanding of each other and unite our partnerships. As the industry continues to evolve, we are going to face new challenges, but if we focus on keeping our connections strong, we’ll absolutely benefit from a diversity of perspectives – whether those are geographical, or reflective of the diversity of the REALTOR® community as a whole.”

During her career, Oudil said she has had the opportunity to do many things she’s proud of putting her name behind. While she was reluctant to name any one thing, or spend much time speaking on her own accomplishments, we spoke about a few career highlights.

“I was President of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, which means a lot to me, as it’s the board I worked within and essentially grew up around. On the other hand, I’m honestly happiest to have the chance to work with clients every day – it really matters to me, to do everything I can to help them get the home they love, and to know how much it impacts their lives. I’m also proud to work in an industry where there are so many caring people who want to make a difference. As REALTORS®, we all see the benefit the right home can have on people, and we are so fortunate to have that added perspective. I think because of it, many REALTORS® go out of their way to be involved in local community building initiatives – it’s one of the best things about the REALTOR® community.”

When asked how she felt about being elected the ninth female Chair of CREA, Oudil brought up her son, saying, “he was the one to really bring my attention to the added impact of it.” Looking back on her career thus far, Oudil told us, she’s very grateful for everything she’s achieved, but would be remiss not to mention the hard work, difficult situations, and biased perceptions she’s faced as a woman in a highly competitive industry. Oudil went on to say, “as long as we as REALTORS®, continue to support each other, pay-it-forward, and work together to make sure our industry is represented as fairly and positively as it deserves to be, I believe we’ll keep making progress.”

A few more fast facts about Jill Oudil:

What’s your favourite Meal?
“Hard to say, I love food and cooking, but maybe a good pizza – I enjoy making them in our pizza oven.”

Do you have a favourite way to relax or decompress?
“I have to go back to cooking; maybe with a glass of wine in-hand, music on, and surrounded by friends and family.”

If you weren’t in real estate, what do you think you would have done for a living?
“Real estate is definitely my No. 1 but I love learning about the way the mind works, so probably a psychologist, councilor, or even lawyer!”

Who or what is something/someone you can always count on to make you smile or laugh?
“My family – especially my husband and three kids. I also definitely laugh at myself from time to time.”

What is something you like to do outside of work?
“We got a Peloton a little while ago, so I’ve been pretty into that, but I always go back to cooking and entertaining.”

Do you have a good TV show recommendation for us?
“One of my favourites, that’s old now, is Homeland. I also really like The Good Wife, and Billions – I also just finished Ozark, which was great!”