As the year winds down, WinnipegREALTORS® management and staff are busy wrapping up 2017 activities with finishing touches, while several 2018 projects are already underway. Here are a few files that various departments within WinnipegREALTORS® have focused on over the past few months:
National Association of Realtors (NAR) Convention in Chicago
- The Board President, President-elect, Treasurer and WinnipegREALTORS® CEO attended the NAR Convention in Chicago - a whirlwind of activity including a meeting on CREA’s Three-Way Agreement; educational and informational sessions; the grand opening of the NAR Expo; a Legal Update; receptions hosted by our Lockbox supplier, our MLS® System provider, and CREA; and a dinner meeting with representatives from the Minnesota REALTORS® Association, MREA, Brandon and Portage. The President-elect and CEO received their CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) designations and were formally recognized at a special breakfast during NAR.
- REALTOR® Reset took place on October 19th. Over 260 guests, including 227 members and over 30 exhibitors enjoyed a day of networking and learning, with speakers presenting on diverse topics such as brand management, buyer agency, the power of perseverance, mobile and digital marketing trends and more.
CPIX powered by Catylist
- The new Commercial Properties Information Exchange (CPIX) was launched for Commercial Division members, which includes a public-facing website (the second of its kind in Canada). Reporter Murray McNeil of the Winnipeg Free Press attended a demonstration of CPIX® (found at winnipegcommercialrealtors.ca). A full page article appeared in the Monday, November 20 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press.(https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/fresh-approach-for-commercial-listings-458738203.html)
The IT department wrapped up several large projects including:
- Matrix™ upgrade to version 7.0 released on November 6 with minimal “glitches” that have since been resolved.
- The Chief Technology Officer and Information Systems Manager hosted CREA’s Technical Peer Group in Winnipeg on October 24-25 for discussion on several topics including:
- Success stories and lessons learned from the Saskatchewan MLS® transition
- Presentations on usage of Google Maps for association products
- A presentation on Machine Learning and the future of Artificial Intelligence, which including a breakout session: How can REALTORS® leverage Artificial Intelligence?
- Updates on CREA activities such as WEBForm updates, data loads, social media strategies, REALTOR.ca and switching to Google Maps
- Completed the City of Winnipeg tax data update for missing levy and local improvement fees. Corrected data has been also released to SABRE, with a corresponding Matrix resolution in the near future.
- Keystone 2.0 upgrade was released to staff and members, replacing the obsolete Keystone version 1. This resource portal features a user friendly interface, searchable documents and staff and committee areas. Rollout and implementation occured with minimal disruption to members and initial reports are showing that usage levels are high, with positive engagement from membership.
The Publications and Design department have been busy as their production work begins refinement to brand uniformity with a defined colour palette and design elements. Among the completed activities:
- The design department created a fresh new look for our “SOLDS” product in the Winnipeg Real Estate News (the “SOLDS” are properties that are automatically posted in the publication when a property has sold within the specified period). The new banner has been implemented into the MLS sections of the Real Estate News, so check it out. A very positive outcome!
- New versions of the electronic editions of our publications have been introduced on a new platform with new user features. All current issues of each publication are now available on the Real Estate News website www.winnipegrealestatenews.com for anyone to view.
- The development of the Publication Departments’s first Advertister Information Kit. Feedback from members and advertisers on the attractive design and content has been positive. The 2018 rates have been included and sales staff along with the Director of Publications have been busy promoting the value of the Winnipeg Real Estate News, the Condo Living Magazine, the Commercial Magazine and the Winnipeg Real Estate News website.
The Public Relations department continue to advocate for organized real estate engaging with major stakeholders and promoting the value of a REALTOR®:
- WinnipegREALTORS® was a sponsor of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce's inaugeral Civic Leaders Dinner. Along with the Vice-President of External Relations, four members attended and represented organized real estate to business and civic leadership.
- Steps were initiated with the City of Winnipeg to ensure consultation on the effect of impact fees on new commercial development.
- Interviewed for Western Investors Magazine regarding the 2018 outlook on Winnipeg’s real estate market. Government, at all levels was singled out as beign a potential drag on sales activity, e.g. new stress test on uninsured mortgages.
- Organized additional columnists for the the Real Estate News Market Matters columm, including St. Boniface City Counciller Matt Allard on St. Boniface development and immigration lawyer, Paul Hesse on immigration policy changes.
WinnipegREALTORS® Social Media has been steadily growing:
- LinkedIn – 152 followers, up from 112. Posted article views range up to 600 views per post.
- Facebook – 8,184 likes, 7,819 followers, up from 8,152 likes and 7,785 followers.
- Twitter - 149, up from 140.
- Instagram - 133 followers, up from 96 followers
- A series of infographics were designed for use in our social media, including our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. These clear and concise images focused on a specific real estate to inform the public about the current state of the market such as average price and days on market in a clear and concise way The infographics are all shared on social media and help promote the value of using a REALTOR®.
Call Centre stats
- In May 2017, the Call Centre implemented the new MITEL MIContact system resulting in increased stability. Sound quality for both Call Centre operators and our client callers has been improved.
- Call volumes for 2017 are down 11,361 to October 31 (132,243 in 2017 compared to 143,594 in 2016). This reduction, which on average amounts to 35 less calls per day, can be attributed to the reduction of robo-calls and telemarketing calls they used to receive due to U.S. based phone numbers.
- The new service created more efficiency which led to an overall reduction of over $42,000 or 11.6% in Call Centre expenses.
- Service levels have been improved with calls on hold down to 2.95% (4.16% in 2016) and average wait times of 5.3 seconds.
- Overall, client service levels are at 98.1% and operator productivity for the Call Centre has increased with additional administrative duties and outbound calls used to fill in the off peak periods.