Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty had a lot to celebrate at our annual awards ceremony, and I have to say this year was special! First off, the evening was spectacular, starting with the champagne reception at our Water Street office, hosted by Brenda, Julie and Pam at Mortgage Alliance.
The presentation centre in the lobby was abuzz with the news of new lobby floor shift opportunities, and everyone was impressed not only with the opportunity to meet new clients, but also with the tremendous marketing tool for listings this space has become!
Next, we moved over to the Kelowna Art Gallery, where we enjoyed live harp music by Caroline MacKay, fabulous h’ors d’oeuvres from La Bussola and local wine from Mission Hill winery. Special guest Robert Fine, Economic Development Director for the RDCO gave us a very rosy outlook on our area and the expansion of Kelowna International Airport and the economic benefit our area realizes from the growth at UBC Okanagan, and Andy Puthon, President of Coldwell Banker Canada spoke to the accolades achieved by Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty and many of our Agents.
One award that has always spoken to me was Ultimate Service®. This is truly the measurement that matters, as for the 14th year in a row, Coldwell Banker Canada has realized 98% customer satisfaction, as a result of a survey that is received by every one of our clients and tabulated by an independent accounting firm. Wow, this news blew me away, but it didn’t stop there! Our office, Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty, also received the award for the #1 Ultimate Service Office in Canada, and Jane Hoffman received the award for the #1 Ultimate Service Agent in Canada! In all, there were 28 of our agents from Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty that realized this accolade, receiving Ultimate Service® awards. This speaks volumes about the level of professional here. We are proud to be a full service brokerage, and to receive these
awards from our own clients is really and truly fulfilling. It brings meaning to our profession, and shows us that the extra care, the long nights and weekends and the piece of our hearts that we throw into the mix is really appreciated.
For a long time, I was very conflicted about our industry celebrating gross commission income. This was contentious to me. Did the agent achieving a very successful home/work balance deserve less recognition than a driven professional completely immersed in work? What of the agent who received the one time floor call for the multi-million dollar property (the equivalent of the real estate lottery)? Having achieved different levels of income, however, in my own personal career did give me cause to reflect on these production awards in a different way. The sheer discipline, experience and drive to realize some of these milestones really must be commended. Hitting the next level of achievement means very long hours, dedication and unwavering commitment. There is a high level of personal sacrifice that has to happen in order to see these high level numbers! People look at a Jane Hoffman or Cecile Guilbault, and wish that they could achieve that level of award, but few if any would be willing to do the real work it takes to achieve this level of success. Viewing life from the management perspective, I am constantly in awe that these same high performing individuals are the ones that write the perfect contract. That being said, I am very proud to shout from the rooftops that the Jane Hoffman Team was #1 in Canada, Cecile Guilbault was #1 in British Columbia and #3 in all of Canada, Darcy Nyrose and Associates was #4 for total units in Canada, and that Shirley Mehus was #1 Commercial Professional in British Columbia.
Coldwell Banker is a global company. We are located in 52 countries in the world, and I am thrilled to say that our group production is in the top 2% globally with the announcement that once again, we are a Chairman’s Circle office! This is a result of all of our agents, our cooperative atmosphere, our incredible office support staff, the best Managing Broker and the foundation built by our ownership that is based on ethical integrity and hard work. This award is really for all of us, and the combined effort made this award a reality once again.
This year was also a year to reflect, as we lost one of our founding owners and our office patriarch Gary August. On reflecting on a way to honour Gary, we created four new awards, and named one the Gary August Ambassador Award.
It was wonderful taking a moment to celebrate Gary with this tribute, as it was fitting to name the award given to the person who contributes selflessly and positively to others in our office after a man who did just that. In order to avoid a teary presentation,
though, we had to make a funny little video where Greg acted in a little skit portraying this year’s recipient and our selfless office “tech volunteer” to Rudy Schoenfeld.
The newly created Horizon Heights award was our “rookie of the year” award, and went to Brian Wright, who has hit the ground running and is quickly establishing himself as one of the fixtures in our organization.
The Horizon Performance Award is for the agent who realized the most growth year over year. When working these numbers, we were thrilled to see that 6 agents realized over 50% growth year over year. Cathy Kennedy’s name went on the plaque as she had the highest growth, but Allyn Bentz, Bob Dirks, Tiffany Munsey, Ron Sutcliffe and Brian Wright all received a print from local artist Carrie Harper for their determination and accomplishment this year.
The last award I should mention is the Horizon Heroes Award, for the person who contributed positively to the community. There is an adage that says something like: “ask a busy person to do it if you want to get it done”. I am truly in awe that the recipient of the #1 team in Canada and the #1 Ultimate Service in Canada is also the recipient of the Horizon Heroes Award for the agent who most positively benefited our community. Last year, Jane Hoffman raised over $80,000 with her participation and fundraising for our local Hospice Association. This year, she jumped in as fundraiser for someone else, winning the prize once again for the most funds raised. Here is a little highlight video featuring Jane and a few of the other people in consideration for this award.
After our awards celebration, we headed over to La Bussola Restaurant to finished the evening with a spectacular dinner. Siting at a table with the Watson Brothers team (another one of the many recipients of the evening), looking to Susan Tough our managing Broker, and the caliber of all people in the room, I was profoundly, very proud of the company I keep. I don’t think there are many organizations without a weak link, and I can honestly say that I was surrounded by this business’ elite. What a reason to celebrate!