September 2017 Board of Directors report

As our trees shed the last of their gold and red leaves and prepare for a long hibernation, the WinnipegREALTORS® Board of Directors and its committees are wrapping up this year’s action items and laying the groundwork for next year’s committees and their tasks.

Here is your summary of the actions your Board of Directors and its committees are diligently focused on:

Strategic Plan 2018

On September 6 and 7, 2017, our board of directors, along with senior management, convened for the annual Strategic Planning Session to create a plan to address existing challenges and produce a robust framework. A foundation of four major strategies were created to assess the association’s resources and optimize strategies for strengthening our services and products. The resulting document serves as an encompassing summary of the challenges that our association faces and the resulting action items that will ensure these goals can be achieved. More details will follow at the November 22 Annual Election Meeting.

Executive CommitteeBlair Sonnichsen, chair. The 2017 Annual Election Meeting regarding next year’s board of directors is slated for November 22 at Canad Inns Polo Park. Due to the importance of these elections, it was determined that paper ballots will be the method for voting. Register with Val George at to join us and ensure your vote at this important meeting.

In the ongoing process of refining association standards and policies, an Executive Limitations Policy was drafted and approved by the board. This policy protects the association by imposing certain limitations on the CEO with regards to financial conditions, asset protection and capital expenditures.

Finance CommitteeKen Clark, chair. The committee continues its due diligence with its fiscal responsibilities as all WinnipegREALTOR® financial statements, accounts payable and accounts receivable are reviewed along with membership statistics and year-to-date market reports. The committee is also in the process of approving the WinnipegREALTORS® operating budget for 2018.

Starting with senior management input, and continuing through robust consultation with board directors, the 2018 budget passed through a chain of interaction and engagement to create a budget that underpins WinnipegREALTORS® so it can effectively accomplish its operating and strategic objectives.

Decisions were made taking into full account the effective use of available resources, applying financial modeling and sensitivity analysis. The 2018 budget ensures that WinnipegREALTORS® operates from a strong financial base and remains within the CRA guidelines to maintain its not-for-profit status.

MLS® CommitteeCatherine Schellenberg, chair. The committee continues to review the current city areas and strives to maintain their accuracy and relevance as Winnipeg continues to grow and evolve. In this instance, the neighbourhood, “Aurora at North Point,” has been added into the MLS® system for area 4E.

Investigative CommitteeKen Clark, chair.  The growth of membership with WinnipegREALTORS® is of primary importance to the association as we continue to represent organized real estate on an increasingly national scale. The committee has approved several members to our rapidly evolving association, including commercial candidates. Congratulations to all approved applicants and welcome!

A Professional Standards Task Force will be assembled to examine and review current WinnipegREALTORS® standards policies in 2018. One item that requires discussion is the relevancy of sponsor signatures and presented applications.

Commercial DivisionTrevor Clay, chair. During the September Commercial Division Executive Council meeting, enhancements to the Commercial Real Estate magazine were recommended, including increasing relevant editorial content. The CPIX client portal has successfully launched without any major delays. New property information continues to be entered by members as they establish a world-class information exchange for Winnipeg commercial members and their clients. The new site can be found at

Member Services CommitteeCatherine Schellenberg, chair. After months of painstaking detail and planning, the REALTOR® Reset Trade Show saw a successful premiere at the Victoria Inn.  With over 300 guests in attendance, members were treated to a day’s worth of reconnecting, learning and networking with other real estate professionals and services. The diverse range of speakers and topics enlightened participants with presentations about persevering in the face of difficult odds, maximizing the usage of social media marketing, enabling the power of story and discovering the potential of buyer agency. Watch for a future e-bulletin containing speaker presentations and resource material.

REN/PR CommitteeRena Prefontaine, chair.  The REN/PR committee reported on the significant changes instituted at the Real Estate News under the new leadership of Tracy Mainland, director of publications, including design changes, promotional opportunities and process optimization.

The radio promo campaign for 2018 will focus on the value of using a REALTOR®, along with tie-ins to the Real Estate News. The revival of the retro Real Estate News jingle was discussed in an effort to accentuate the longevity of the REN brand, along with emphasizing its role as a familiar name among loyal readership.

The mandatory “sold ad” fee for the Real Estate News was determined to be of significant value to the marketing strategies of members and that current policies did not require any revision. The “Sold on MLS®” banner provides proof to the end consumer of the importance of utilizing the co-operative MLS® system in a simple, yet effective, format that is also cost-effective for the members.

Sales Division Executive Council Jennifer Berthelette, chair. The council reviewed the current functionality of the Real Estate News website and discussed its recent enhancements to its search functions. The resulting discussions and review proved to be beneficial and reviews of association online capabilities will be performed going forward.

Government Relations CommitteeDana Downey, chair.  While the committee did not meet in September, several initiatives on their behalf were introduced. Several members attended the City of Winnipeg Infill Strategy stakeholder sessions. A report will be provided to Peter Squire at a future date. The OurWinnipeg initiative is under review. It will not only impact the membership, but it could also affect real estate.

This past week, over 300 REALTOR® Political Action Committee representatives gathered in Ottawa for the CREA 32nd annual PAC Days. Key among its many issues was regarding the federal government’s Home Buyers Plan and potential revisions that better impact the reality of homeownership.

Technology CommitteeChris Dudeck, chair.  The committee did not hold a meeting in September, but there are several projects being overseen by the committee as they wrap up the year and begin planning for 2018. The new association portal, Keystone version 2.0, is currently undergoing staff testing and content population. A business case is being developed regarding the current peer-to-peer messaging system (LYNX). The study will review improving its current incarnation, replacing to a different system or eliminating this service altogether and promote reliance on traditional SMS systems instead.

Questions about individual committee work may be directed to the committee chair.