Technology conference at trade show

Five hundred REALTORS® took a break from a highly successful year of real estate sales — over $2 billion in MLS® sales for the second year in a row — to attend the annual WinnipegREALTORS® technology conference and trade show held on October 29 at the Victoria Inn.  

Before breakfast, REALTORS® were greeted by the Blue Bombers’ Blue Lightning cheerleaders (go Bombers go!). The early-morning greeting was followed by an excellent line-up of top-notch speakers as well as numerous activities throughout the day-long event.

REALTORS® are committed to professional development and keeping up with technology in order to help their clients achieve results.

The opening session began with WinnipegREALTORS® president Darlene Clare speaking on changing market conditions and how best to anticipate these changes to properly advise clients. She said Winnipeggers have plenty of reasons to be optimistic — there are exciting developments occurring in our city such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and an airport redevelopment.

The opening speaker was Richard Robbins (no relation to Tony Robbins),  who specializes in teaching strategies to become a top-performing real estate professional and/or broker/manager. 

Steve Dotto, the host and executive producer of Dotto Tech who also can be seen across the country on CHUM television, provided REALTORS® with an important update on technology. He demystified tech jargon in order to help people get the most out of new technologies. He said users should be able to control technology and not have it control them.

Gary Simonsen, associate executive officer of the Canadian Real Estate Association, covered the latest developments in CREA’s technology products and services available to REALTORS®. He dealt with the name change and modifications to what was formerly and is now The commercial website was also discussed. There have been significant upgrades to by CREA in order to meet the needs of its 97,000 REALTOR® members and the millions of Canadians who have come to rely on the site for nation-wide MLS® listings. 

Gord Gooding of MTS Allstream  talked about the need to be connected while away from the office. He said 87 per cent of companies have staff who work while away from their office or on the road. It is crucial that employees are able to connect with office applications and e-mail attachments to be more productive and save valuable time. They must be able to take advantage of high-speed wireless data networks through employing various devices and applications.

Steven Hills of Touchbase Real Estate talked to the REALTORS® about how they can use the latest in instant messaging Internet-based technology in order to effectively network with each other. This technology has the potential to be used for the public benefit by getting a message out quickly on a missing person through an extensive network of REALTORS®.   

Nelson Karpa, the director of assessment and taxation for the city of Winnipeg, made a presentation on the 2010 general assessment which will reflect property values as of April 1, 2008. It is important to understand that, while assessment values will be rising on average 78 per cent from the last assessment based on market values in 2003, this does not mean your taxes will automatically rise. As was the case with previous reassessments, city council has the ability to alter the city-wide mill rate to keep taxes at the pre-assessment level — no tax windfall will result due to a significant rise in property values.

Linda Edgecombe gave an inspiring and humourous presentation on Getting a Life. 

Klaus Lahr talked to the Commercial Division about the exciting plans for expanding the Convention Centre. 

Kim Marshall, a retired police officer, hosted a session on REALTOR® safety. 

Morva Bowman helped REALTORS® to organize themselves better so that clutter does not get the better of them. 

And, there was a fun session with role playing regarding proper etiquette when showing homes. 

A fashion show held over lunch featured 19 REALTORS® showing off the latest trends from Nygard International and Harry Rosen. 

Comedian Matt Falk entertained members, as did the Winnipeg Real Estate News’ own Justin Séguin, a talented vocalist with Oh So Popular. 

There were over 80 exhibitors showcasing their wares and services throughout the day. The healthy mix of companies are part of or relate to the real estate industry and helped define the concept of the WinnipegREALTORS® tagline: “The tools. The team. The trust.”

The luncheon presentation was made by Kim Jasper, the director of communications for Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Her powerful presentation made everyone feel they were actually touring the many splendid exhibits slated for the museum. The incredible journey through the first national museum to be built in 41 years and the only one to be located outside Ottawa, made the attendees realize something very special and unique is happening in Winnipeg. The interactive exhibits will engage people from around the world —technology can be applied extensively and imaginatively to evoke attention and move people to action. 

Her presentation was part of WinnipegREALTORS® campaign to support the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in reaching their private capital fund-raising goals. A special Web page dedicated to the REALTOR® museum fund-raising campaign is found at At the site, click on the R® logo for more information on the REALTOR® campaign. While at the website, Winnipeggers and Canadians are able to make a donation to the largest human rights museum in the world. 

The museum will help Winnipeg’s economic renewal through capital investment and job creation, while at the same time becoming a positive and enduring catalyst for change in Canada and around the world.