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BC REALTORS®: Making a Difference
Over the years, the province’s REALTORS® have worked to help their communities in many ways. Continuing that trend throughout 2011, both the Realty Watch and REALTORS Care® programs have been a valuable focus for several BC real estate boards and demonstrated the importance of Quality of Life for all BC REALTORS®.
Realty Watch, a community crime prevention program, has been in operation since 1995 across the Lower Mainland, from Whistler to Hope and in every community in between. Organized and run by REALTORS® volunteers from the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) and the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the program facilitates over 14,000 REALTORS® who assist police as extra “eyes and ears” in their communities.
The program operates through two components. Firstly, REALTORS® report relevant suspicious activity that they witness in their daily business. Secondly, in emergency situations, REALTORS® respond to police and RCMP fan-outs to search for missing or abducted people, suspicious vehicles, or people with medical conditions who may be in danger.
Since the program’s launch, it has helped to locate three missing people. On November 4, 2011, the twelfth annual Realty Watch Police Breakfast was hosted by CADREB, FVREB and REBGV to reinforce the importance of the program and strengthen relationships with police, RCMP and those in the crime prevention community who work together to help make out communities safer. The breakfast was followed by an invaluable information session to help facilitate the expansion of these programs across the province. Taking a step in that direction, the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board was thrilled to launch its own Realty Watch program on November 16.
In their day-to-day business, REALTORS® are in the unique position of being out and about in local neighborhoods during business hours. Since there are over 18,000 real estate professionals across BC, the power of this resource is clear. Keep your eyes peeled for the Realty Watch program in your in board area as several other BC real estate boards roll out their own programs.
Living and working in communities across the province, REALTORS® also witness many British Columbians overcome by hardship. As a result, a charitable program called REALTORS Care® was established to foster REALTORS® giving back to their communities. One of the fantastic elements of this program is the annual REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive.
In 2011, volunteers from CADREB, FVREB and REBGV collected approximately 3,650 bags (enough to fill 120 pick-up trucks) of warm clothing and blankets for dozens of local charities which helped warm roughly 19,000 working poor and homeless throughout the Lower Mainland. Since 1994, the real estate community has partnered with local charities to distribute items collected in the region, and in that time, has helped an estimated 185,000 people.
British Columbians have generously supported the Blanket Drive for seventeen years running. Individuals, corporations, retailers, community groups and schools all partnered with local REALTORS® to collect quality items to help warm those in need.
BCREA would like to congratulate its member boards, as well as their related stakeholders and volunteers for their hard work on these programs year after year, creating amazing results. Keep up the great work!
For more information about the Realty Watch program, visit www.realtywatch.netTo find out how you can get involved in a REALTORS Care® program or event, contact you local real estate board.
“Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.”
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