Bill MacDougall is chair of the political action committee with the Calgary Real Estate Board while Wendy Morrow chairs the economic recovery task force. Photo by Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.
Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.
The Calgary Real Estate Board is more than an association for the city and surrounding area’s real estate agents. It’s also an advocate for homeowners and first-time buyers.
“A key focus of our organization is, and always has been, home affordability,” says Bill MacDougall, chair of the political action committee at the Calgary Real Estate Board.
Representing more than 5,800 real estate agents from Carstairs to Canmore, CREB provides support and resources for agents helping residents buy and sell homes.
Yet, it has also long been active through its political action committee, working with government to ensure home ownership remains attainable. That includes the committee’s most recent initiative, an economic recovery task force, chaired by veteran Calgary realtor Wendy Morrow.
“When the downturn hit in 2015, we started looking at what this meant for buyers and sellers,” she says. It’s no small task, given real estate is such a critical piece of the economy.
“On a GDP basis, it’s the second-largest industry in Alberta behind oil and gas,” she adds.
“In 2020 alone, there were $7 billion in total sales, which shows even the pandemic didn’t slow the desire for Calgarians to buy and sell homes.”
Challenges remain, though, particularly in the face of new regulation that makes home ownership more costly just as Calgary’s market is recovering.
Morrow adds the task force’s mandate is “really to help everyone who needs a roof over their head.”
CREB’s efforts in this respect include giving back to the community through its CREB REALTOR Community Foundation, including recent grants of $300,000 to HomeSpace Society and more than $1 million to Habitat for Humanity.
Then again, CREB members provide more than monetary support.
“Many of our realtors put on their hardhats, too, and help build those houses,” says McDougall, adding most real estate agents are actively involved in the community.
While the CREB REALTOR Community Foundation has provided more than $7.4 million to local initiatives since 1987, CREB — through its political action committee and related efforts — works tirelessly with politicians and other stakeholders toward one overarching goal. Ensuring home ownership remains affordable.
“As realtors, we are really passionate about our city,” Morrow says. “We are very much Calgary boosters.”
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.