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Jason Yule, manager of communications and community investment at the Calgary Real Estate Board, and Sharon Bercuson, CREB’s Charitable Foundation president. Supplied photo.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

The primary focus is on homes. That’s for sure.

But there’s much more to the organization representing more than 5,500 real estate agents in Calgary.

The Calgary Real Estate Board — CREB for short — is about building a better community for all.

And there’s no better examples than its Friends of the Foundation charitable endeavours and a multi-year partnership with Habitat for Humanity, says Jason Yule, manager of communications and community investment at CREB.

“That’s our largest community investment right now, and it really has the potential to have an exponential impact on the families it’s aimed at helping,” says Yule, also manager of CREB’s communications team.

“More than anything, it’s really amazing to be involved in giving people the opportunity of homeownership who otherwise wouldn’t be in that position.”

Of course helping Calgarians find a place to call home is CREB’s raison d’etre.

The fourth-largest real estate board in the nation, CREB does not just provide access to the MLS (Multiple Listings Service) for Calgary realtors working at the approximately 290 brokerage offices in the city.

“Our job at the board is also about providing the resources and support that allows our members to have success,” Yule adds.

Among those supports are a weekly publication covering the latest news and trends in the marketplace, professional development opportunities, and helping realtors with marketing their services.

Beyond these roles, however, CREB is also about supporting the broader community, often acting as a conduit for the collective goodwill of real estate agents in Calgary.

Members are often putting their money where their heart is through CREB’s Friends of the Foundation, providing financial support for many charitable causes.

“We’re so proud of how the realtor community steps up to help,” says CREB Charitable Foundation president Sharon Bercuson. “When people face adversity beyond their means to cope, they need to be able to lean on their community for support.”

The last few years in Calgary have been challenging for a lot of families. And CREB’s foundation has been helping to ease the burden of tough economic times “by investing in critical housing and shelter-based solutions for people who need it most,” she says.

Topping the list of its good works has been a donation of more than $1 million to Habitat for Humanity, leading to the construction of 32 new townhomes for low-income Calgarians.

Yule adds these sorts of initiatives are among the many reasons why CREB’s 70-plus staff consider it a great place to work.

“We definitely have an outstanding work environment, with a modern approach to work-life balance,” he says.

Additionally, CREB strives to be a high-performance organization, aiming to create efficiencies and more sustainable approaches to its operations whenever possible — be it human resources, financial management or the environment.

The overarching goal of the organization is not only to better support the city’s community of real estate agents. It’s about helping all Calgarians.

“It’s not just our capital investment through Habitat; there is an unbelievable amount of volunteer hours contributed by our members,” he says. “They’re making a massive difference in the community in Calgary.”

You may not hear about CREB members’ good works every day, Yule adds.

“But they are making a pretty substantial difference for the better in our community, especially at a time when Calgary really needs it.”

This feature was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.


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