By Todd Lewys
For the second time in four years, the Manitoba Government has singled out REALTORS® for their contribution to Manitoba’s communities — and its economy.
Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen was effusive in his praise of Manitoba’s 2,200-plus Realtors in announcing Manitoba REALTOR® Week, which ran from November 19 to 23.
“Realtors are hands-on community leaders that contribute to the multi-billion-dollar real estate industry,” he said. “Home sales support over 6,500 jobs in Manitoba with economic spin-offs that contribute over one per cent to Manitoba’s GDP and help build stronger communities across the province.”
Harry De Leeuw, chair of Manitoba REALTOR® Week, said the recognition is much-appreciated.
“As Realtors, we deeply value the strong and collaborative relationship we have with our provincial government on many files that help home buyers and property owners and build stronger Manitoba communities. The government’s proclamation of our professional week is a testament to the importance of our profession to the Manitoba economy.”
Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) president Shirley Przybyl echoed De Leeuw’s sentiments.
“It’s quite significant when the provincial government acknowledges your profession, and an entire week is dedicated to celebrating the good work you do,” she said. “We’ve planned a number of initiatives to recognize this important week for the members. I encourage everyone to get involved by participating in the various events or sharing Facebook posts.”
While Realtors go quietly about the business of helping Manitobans navigate the most financially significant investments of their lives, the work they do has a significant impact on the communities they serve — and the province.
In all, approximately 13,000 transactions occur in an average year.
Over that span, the economic spin-offs created by Realtors translate into $750 million that’s injected into the province’s economy.
As a result of Realtors’ activity, work is generated in other fields: construction, home renovation, the legal profession, cleaning — and the list goes on.
Just as importantly, Realtors also give back to the communities they serve by getting involved in charitable work, says Jeff Stern, chair of the MREA’s Shelter Foundation.
“As a group, Realtors are very invested in giving back to the communities they serve,” he says. “They’re involved in a variety of charities, from our Shelter Foundation, Tipi Mitawa housing program, to our second annual Care-a-Van charity drive. Individual Realtors are also involved with their own charities, as well.”
Stern added that Realtors don’t advertise all the behind-the-scenes work they do.
“I think Realtors tend to fly under the radar on the philanthropic side of things, and I think that’s intentional. Realtors don’t typically boast about all the organizations they support. They just want to do what they can to give back to their communities, and to the province.”
By the same token, it’s still nice to have those efforts recognized, said Stern.
“It’s very heartwarming. In 2015, the Manitoba REALTORS® Week proclamation kind of came out of left field. This time around, it’s nice to be recognized by a different government for doing what we love to do.”
And make no mistake about it, Manitoba Realtors are very invested in what they do. An example of that is their mission to ensure everyone has access to safe, affordable housing.
“As a group, Realtors believe housing is a human right, and want to ensure that everyone has access to it,” said Stern. “It’s a cause that’s near and dear to their hearts.”
Essentially, Manitoba REALTORS® Week calls attention to the fact that Manitoba’s 2,200-plus Realtors do more than just help the public successfully navigate complex real estate transactions.
“I think everyone is excited and gratified. As I said, it’s very heartwarming to be recognized for giving back. Manitoba REALTORS® Week shows we don’t just help people with the largest financial transaction of their lives — we also make a significant contribution to the province’s economy and help build communities.”