There are more realtors today in Calgary and across Canada than have ever been.
The Calgary Real Estate Board reported 7,057 members at the end of February, with substantial growth each year since 2018, when it was 5,540.
Alan Tennant, CEO of the CREB, said membership numbers are a lagging indicator on the market.
“Where you have extremes, we have tracked a kind of resulting either increase or decrease in membership,” he said. “A tougher market isn’t as appealing, and a really good market, maybe not too fast a market, is very appealing to some people,” he said.
“For Calgary, what we’re seeing is strong migration numbers, and let’s face it, that’s a bit of a driver for professionals wanting to take on this career. For a lot of people, being a realtor is a bucket list career.”
According to CREB, the licensing process for becoming a realtor through the Real Estate Council of Alberta used to take about three months, but in the new third-party licensing education model, which is all online, it would depend on the individual’s eagerness.
The Canadian Real Estate Association’s membership has also reached record highs in 2022.
CREA’s membership, which includes provincially-licensed real estate agents who have joined a local real estate board, ballooned to 160,064 at the end of 2022, representing a 5.6 per cent increase year-over-year.
According to the Alberta Real Estate Association, the number of its members has steadily increased in recent years. At the end of its fiscal year on Oct. 31, 2022, there were 12,746 members. At the end of March of this year, it was 12,935. It’s the highest membership AREA has ever had.
Here are the stories of some of the newest realtors who are members of CREB and part of the RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) team in Calgary:
Malhan, who is 19 years old, received his real estate licence in October 2022 when he was 18 years old.
“I had a dream and I decided I have to go after it,” he said, adding he joined the Central team right after.
“As soon as I got it, I knew I was going to be joining RE/MAX. There was no doubt in my mind. I wanted to go for that big brand. I want to have an impact. I want to make some things happen here.”
Malhan said his family has always been around real estate and had always been exposed to it at a young age.
“I always had an entrepreneurship mindset . . I want to provide value.”
Malhan said he’s never been attracted to a 9 to 5 job and liked the fact that every day is different in the world of real estate.
“I want to be out there. One big thing for me is that the world is outside – not in my office. I want to be out there. I want to be meeting people. Building those relationships is a big key for me.”
Christianson received her real estate licence just over two years ago when she was 21 years old after working at Starbucks.
“I went into real estate knowing that I like people. I’m good with people. I didn’t really know much going into it. It was completely different from my previous job. It was always recommended by my friends that it would be a good fit for me.
“It’s the best job. I can’t imagine doing anything else now. The work flow, dealing with so many different kinds of people, different chapters in lives, learning how transactions work. There’s not one thing that I don’t like about it.”
Gallo received his real estate licence in May 2022 when he was 51 years old.
Before that, he owned the Italian restaurant Prego for more than 20 years and he built new homes in Calgary in the inner city.
“I’ve been dabbling in real estate from a young age. I purchased my first house at 25. I was aiming to be an architect in my younger years. So I always dreamt of building a home one day. And I became a landlord over the years, purchasing inner city properties knowing that one day I was going to kind of fulfill that dream,” he said.
“I loved it ever since. I love being creative. I think I understand it very well and I did very well with the inner city properties that I did build.”
The move to become a realtor was natural for him as he had experience in the industry. He knew the market really well. As he traded in real estate, he was a little frustrated in giving away the commissions and felt that he could instead keep them.
“The numbers (of realtors) are big right now. Everybody wants to be a realtor,” said Gallo. “It’s really challenging and very competitive and if you don’t have a lot of knowledge and some sort of history in real estate I think it would be very challenging and difficult to make a very successful career out of it. There’s only so much of the pie.”
Armstrong, who recently turned 65 years old, received his real estate licence in January 2022
Most of his previous career was in engineering related to oil and gas.
“I made a pivot when I got caught in a cycle I couldn’t get out of,” he said. “I’ve always had a passion for design and architecture.”
At the end of 2019, just before COVID, he was laid off from the oilpatch and he made the decision to pursue his number one passion in life which was related to real estate.
“I like being in a leadership role. I like putting plans together but I also just like helping people. That’s not something you ever put on an engineering resume. It just didn’t seem to fit,” he said.
“The fact is I like to help people. The fact is that I have an innate interest in real estate. You’re working with people and it’s a relationship building business for me. That appealed to me a lot. The fact that I’m actually my own boss did really appeal to me after having too many not good bosses. And basically being in control of your own destiny.
“I also like the fact that this business builds on itself. You very clearly recognize that if you put in the time and the effort it will build and if you treat your clients right you’re going to end up with a very solid business.”
(Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran of the media industry for more than 40 years and named in 2021 a Top Ten Business Journalist in the world and only Canadian)