Steinbach and Selkirk Trip
The first-of-its-kind Rural Broker visits by the Association took place the week of March 12-23. Over 57 members from both Steinbach, Selkirk and the surrounding areas, joined Crystal, Tracy, Vern and Ruth for an informative day meeting with our members who rarely have the time to visit the WRA office. Resources and information were shared with our members including training in Matrix, providing tricks and tips about the SentriLock lockboxes, a presentation of the marketing benefits when using our association publications and WRA forms and materials were available for purchase.
“It was a great opportunity for members who may not normally be able to come see us,” said Crystal. “We were able to provide great info, Vern and Ruth dispensed invaluable info about Matrix and SentriLock, Tracy was on hand to answer any questions about the Real Estate News and our publications, and most importantly, we were able to engage with our members."
New look for the REN
On March 9, the Publications department published its dynamic new redesign for the Winnipeg Real Estate News. “We wanted to give our readers more differentiation between each issue, something which was identified as a problem with our previous design.” said Tracy. “The new front page design has more impact and every issue can be dramatically identified as a new issue. Each issue is now designed to have some underlying theme, whether it’s Parade of Homes or Cottage Living. The front cover now reflects the type of content found inside each issue. We’ve also been optimizing our editorial, and providing more local content, more DIY articles and more promotion of the advantages of using a Realtor.” The new look of the Real Estate News has also been a primary focus of our social media strategy, with the front cover photo providing an impactful centre of attention.
Over 300 of our members turned out to celebrate a successful 2017 with a great evening of fine dining, great music and happy company. “As with any large gathering like this, we experienced a few hiccups here and there, but overall, it was a fun experience, people had a good time and we didn’t need to call in the riot police,” joked Lucy. The music of the Danny Kramer Band kept the evening lively, and party goers were content to stay until the wee hours. “I think something like the President’s Gala deserves a tried and true format; people just want to enjoy themselves, party with friends and collegues and eat, drink and be merry. With those, I really think we succeeded."
The IT department is gaining full steam ahead with the development of our two new websites. After deciding on the website company Visual Lizard to design and build both new sites, IT is implementing its detailed plans for creating world-class websites for both our members and for the public. “We’ve gone through several discussions about what we need to stand out from the other real estate websites out there,” said Dan. “WinnipegREALTORS® has the advantage of having the complete set of property listing information, we have the complete set of open house data. Information like this is what we can use to make our site very user friendly and very timely.” The websites are scheduled to be launched by the fall and includes new digital marketing opportunities for our agents. “We are working diligently on giving advertisers a new platform and provide more exposure for them and for their listings,” added Tracy.
WinnipegREALTORS® governance structure will be evaluated to ensure that the current constitution and by-laws reflect current practices and are in compliance with the law, taking into account the effective execution of the WinnipegREALTORS® mandate. “This is an incredibly significant undertaking by the Executive council and senior managment,” said Marina. “A Task Force has been created for the review, which is in keeping with the 2018 Strategic Plan. We have to ensure that our association is well prepared for any challenges that a changing real estate industry may bring.”
A “Commercial Listing Policy Project Charter” has been created in regards to policy regarding commercial listings. There will be a thorough review of commercial listings on Matrix being entered by non-Commercial Division members.
Two new Board Builder levels were approved for members who have donated an exceptional amount of time to the association by serving on various committees and volunteering. Next year’s President’s Gala will recognize Platinum and Diamond level builders, in addition to the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. “It’s a way to acknowledge the incredible amount of time that some of our members contribute to the growth and evolution of our association.” said Crystal.
“The first quarter at the Association was one of intense activity. From the Forecast Breakfast, to the President’s Gala, from the new look of the REN to the work being done on the new websites, I feel very proud of every single one of the staff for being able to sustain our high level of service for our members.” said Marina, in between her many meetings. “And through the often hectic pace we have, the staff still keep a cordial atmosphere throughout the day. It’s still a pleasure to come into work every morning, which I am very grateful for."