CultureOur News May 31, 2023

Coldwell Banker Canada’s Canadian Ambassador Award Winner Honoured for Long-Lasting Service to Community 

For decades, Coldwell Banker Canada broker-owner William Nelson has used his second chance at life to help build a stronger community. For his service, Nelson has received the company’s prestigious Canadian Ambassador Award.  



“To be chosen over people who are equally qualified, and, I would suggest to you, more qualified to receive this award, is humbling,” said Nelson, 68, broker-owner of Coldwell Banker Canada WIN Realty in Mount Forest, Ont.  


“You look back for three or four decades, and you say to yourself, did I do what I did for the right motives? If it’s self-serving, then that’s the wrong motive. But if you always put other people ahead of yourself, the road to success might not be quick, but it’s steady, and it’s sure, and it’s sustainable.”  



“They thought I was dead” 


On February 9, 1972, on a section of Highway 6 outside of Mount Forest, it looked like Bill Nelson’s story was over and done before his teenaged years were. The 17-year-old was hit and run over by two vehicles, leaving him with a fractured neck, a broken knee, busted ribs and an arm almost nearly torn off. 


“They thought I was dead,” Nelson said.  


Nelson was rushed unconscious to the local Louise Marshall Hospital before being transferred to the Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital where he spent four months slowly recovering.  


He helped others recover, too. 


“I remember being asked by a young woman, a fellow patient across the hall who had been involved in an unrelated motor vehicle accident, why I thought I was still alive. I said that’s a good question, I don’t know. But I was given a second chance.” 


Volunteer resume  

Bill Nelson has used that second chance to try to answer that question. A commitment to serving others is the thread that runs through his volunteer resume, some of the highlights of which are:  


  • Lions Club (44 years and counting) 
  • Masonic Lodge (44 years and counting) 
  • Mount Forest Chamber of Commerce (39 years and counting) 
  • CFO for a political organization (35 years and counting) 
  • Business Improvement Area (20 years and still going) 
  • Louise Marshall Hospital Foundation (20 years) 
  • Big Brothers (6 years) 


Throw in years of service in all the executive positions at the community church, and, in William Irwin Nelson, the community of Mount Forest has not only a trusted realtor, but someone who shows up and puts his own skin in the game, literally.  


“Many times you’re at these meetings and it’s, maybe, the fourth meeting of the week, and the meeting was supposed to be only an hour and a half but when you look at your watch it’s already 10:30 pm, and, it’s, like, wow, do I really need this?” he said.  


His answer to that question is the same as that of other Coldwell Banker Canada owners, brokers, staff and agents who give their volunteer time to causes in their neighbourhoods and communities.  


“At the end of the day, you keep going because you feel you are making a positive contribution,” he said. “If we cannot make our world just a little bit better than it was when we entered it, maybe we didn’t do something right.”  


Making Coldwell Banker home 

Bill Nelson met Brian Padfield, the founder of the Coldwell Banker real estate brokerage, in 1976 when Nelson and his father purchased the rental building. Padfield offered him a job. Nelson turned him down, saying he wasn’t going to work for anyone else. They sat down and kept talking.  


“He did agree to sell me half of his insurance brokerage on the concession that I would work for him on the real estate side,” Nelson said. “Fair enough.”  


In 1978, Nelson graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics degree. He then finished his public accounting articling and went back home. 


Nelson got his real estate licence in 1979, bought Padfield out of the insurance brokerage in 1996 and then purchased the real estate brokerage in 2010.  


Looking for people who want to do what’s right 


Nelson has put his own service-first stamp on the office. When he hires for sales or administration positions, he’s looking for proficiency, yes, but not for the person who is “so goal-driven that they’re going to be just the best whatever.” Instead, he’s looking for the person who wants to do what’s right and who wants to help others. When he coaches, it’s the same vibe, especially when a problem is on the table. 


“If we’re talking about a problem, if a deal went south, say, if your client didn’t get the sale or purchase they wanted, you have to ask yourself did I do the best I could for that client?” he said.  


If the answer is yes, if the challenge was in the circumstances, then Nelson’s advice is to not beat yourself up. If the answer is no, then it’s okay to beat yourself up just a bit, and resolve to not make the same mistake twice, he said. 


That couple from Toronto 


A valuable lesson Nelson himself has learned is to not mistake what clients actually say for what clients might be trying to say. That learning came early in his career courtesy of a couple from Toronto who said they wanted to find a nice plot of land with “a babbling brook through the trees, that kind of place,” Nelson remembered.  


What happened next was borderline comedy. 


Eager to please, Nelson spent a day and a half driving criss-crossing the area, getting out to inspect properties on foot, donating his own blood to grow the local mosquito population. Tired, empty and itchy, he drove back to town, eyeing by complete chance a For Sale sign nailed to the front of an old church.  


“The confessional booths were still in it,” Nelson recalled. “Thirty-seven feet to the peak, sheets of paint, not wallpaper hanging from the ceiling, a little apartment at one end. It was right at the crest of a hill where truckers used their compression brakes coming down and grinded their gears going up. The steps encroached on municipal property. It had no land around it.” 


In passing, he mentioned the abandoned church to the couple.  


“They loved it,” he said. “They bought it that afternoon.”  


Sooooo, what happened to the babbling brook? 


It turned out what the couple from Toronto really wanted was something unique to enjoy on the weekends.  


“Now, that’s what I hadn’t identified, and, frankly, I don’t know if I ever could have identified it. Had I not made the comment about the church, they would have driven back to Toronto and who knows what they would have bought from whom?” said Nelson.  


From that episode he learned to never ignore what someone tells you but to be open to explore the boundaries a bit. Don’t head off in a direction to solve a problem before you know what the precise challenge is. 


“So, if you want a three-bedroom brick bungalow, why does it have to be brick? Is it a bungalow? Is it a need or a want? Let’s dissect things. Let’s take a little bit of time, let’s sit down, do some fact finding, listen and let people tell a story and listen to what they’re saying and what they’re not saying.”  



Coldwell Banker Canada WIN Realty won the Mount Forest Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizen of the Year, 2022. Nelson himself was recognized as the Chamber’s Citizen of the Year in 2015. 


Still a top producer, barely 


Bill Nelson is a teacher but is still very much a doer.  


On the strength of his own book of business in 2022, he qualified for the Canadian President’s Elite and International President’s Circle designations. He is still the top producer in the brokerage, but his youngest son works with him and is gaining ground. 


“He’s getting close. He was really close last year. He may get me this year. I’m still the top producer, barely.”  


Coldwell Banker WIN Realty is home to key support staff, seven agents and one cube van. Nelson said that the group is highly motivated and doesn’t need to be “siss-boom-baahed” into shape. The brokerage sustains itself by what Nelson called collective knowledge.  


“Everyone here has bought into collective knowledge,” he said. “We’re all competing with each other, we don’t share commissions, we don’t share clients. But we all respect each other, we listen to each other, we’re candid, we listen to what’s going on with all the transactions, we all collectively work together so we all grow. We’re not a brokerage of lone wolves.”  



Bill Nelson, far right, with his brokerage staff and spouses at their 2021 Christmas party in Las Vegas. 


What a leader is 


Sharon Wenger joined Coldwell Banker WIN Realty in 2014 after working as an agent at another brokerage. She called it “the best decision of her life, made with no hesitation.” Wenger called Nelson the perfect example of what a leader is and does. 


“He is dedicated to his clients, he is devoted to his community and as a broker he supports and trusts the agents,” said Wenger, who is also a broker. “He pushes everyone to do better and be a better version of themselves.” 


Wenger said nowhere is it explicitly mentioned that working at Coldwell Banker WIN Realty means you devote time to community organizations. But everyone does. Because of Nelson’s example.  


“He talks the talks, and he walks the walk, and we’re with him,” said Wenger.  


Nelson also drives the cube van. Or, at least, keeps it running.  Since his early days with the brand, Nelson has made available, for clients—for free—a cube van that he leaves parked in public. He asks only that it be returned to the same location, with a full tank of gas and no dents.  


Bill Nelson: a man with a plan and a van. 


A life of service  


The Coldwell Banker Canada Canadian Ambassador Award is presented annually to an affiliated broker, owner, manager or sales representative who has best represented the Coldwell Banker brand values in Canada and who strives to make the world a better place.  


When Bill Nelson saw his name on this year’s plaque, he saw other names, figuratively, on the award, too.  He saw Jackie Ferrier’s name. Ferrier has been his “right-hand person” for 33 years. He saw Lee Nelson’s name, too. Lee has been his wife for 43 years and countless adventures. 


“Without the support of those two, I could not have fulfilled whatever level of service people credit me with,” said Nelson. “Their names are on the plaque, too.”  


Not his only recognition 


The Canadian Ambassador Award is the second major award for service Nelson has received in the last 12 months. The other one came with less fanfare. Nelson was at a social event in Mount Forest when a woman came up to him, told him he didn’t know who she was—and then thanked him for saving her mother’s life.  


“I don’t recall doing any heroic act,” Nelson responded.  


The woman explained that her mother was the teenaged woman across the hospital hall from young Bill Nelson all those years ago in the spring of 1972. When Nelson had recovered sufficiently from his own injuries, hospital staff asked if he would go and talk to the woman, who was a couple of years older than him and struggling psychologically after surviving her own vehicle crash in which a friend had died.  


Nelson recalled that “all she could picture in her mind’s eye was her friend who had died.” 


Whenever the nurses got him out of bed and wheeled him over, he would talk with her. “Just two kids talking about different things, just talking, two teenagers talking,” he recalled. 


In time, the woman who lost her friend would go on to tell her own daughter about the kindness of the banged-up kid across the hall who came to talk and listen.  


“She told me her mother had told her all her life that whatever I said to her somehow saved her life,” Nelson said, confessing that he does not remember what he actually said, drawing a lesson from that very fact.  


“Sometimes we have no idea about the consequences of our actions,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t know the profound effect we can all have on others when we try to serve.” 


Editor’s note: the picture at the top of the blog post shows William Irwin Nelson, centre, receiving the Coldwell Banker Canada Canadian Ambassador Award from Paul Abbott, VP, Franchise Development, Ontario, right, with Jackie Ferrier, left. The awards keep coming. On May 31, 2023, at Coldwell Banker Canada’s Gen Blue conference in Vancouver, Bill Nelson received a 30-year service award.  

Our News May 26, 2023

Calgary Among Real Estate Markets in Canada to Buck Trend in Sale Price Dip, Latest Crea Numbers Reveal

The national average sale price of a home in Canada posted a 3.9% year-over-year decline in April, according to recent statistics from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  


Every major Canadian city—except one—was part of this decline.  


“It doesn’t surprise me at all that it’s Calgary,” said Rob Vanovermeire, Owner/Broker of Coldwell Banker Mountain Central in Calgary. 


Yes, it’s Calgary that bucked the trend among Canada’s most populated centres.  


According to CREA statistics, the MLS® Home Price Index benchmark price was $538,200 in April 2023 in Calgary, up 1.3% from $531,100 in April 2022. Other major Canadian cities, including Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Edmonton, all posted declines over the same period.  


The report also found that national home sales increased 11.3% month-over-month in April. The number of newly listed moved up 1.6% month-over-month but remain at a low not seen for two decades.  



“An interesting situation here” 


Vanovermeire said the Calgary market is hot for apartments, condos and townhouses in the $250,000 – $450,000 price range. 


“That hasn’t really brought up the benchmark price, but if you look at the product itself, it’s up considerably,” he said.  


This is thanks to a strong economy and immigration from within Canada, eastern Europe, and Africa.  


“There are a lot of people coming from Ontario, still, to this day,” Vanovermeire said. “We’re seeing a tremendous influx of Ukrainians and a large population of people coming from
Africa, especially Nigeria. Immigration that we have rarely seen in history is happening in Calgary right now.”  


The newcomers aren’t buying houses right away. Many are renting to start, putting downward pressure on the rental vacancy rate. According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Calgary’s rental vacancy rate dropped to 2.7% last year—the lowest since 2014.  



Rental rates and home ownership 


Rental rates have spiked. According to, the average rent of a two-bedroom home in Calgary in April of 2023 was $2,011. That’s a 21% jump compared to the same time in 2022. In some cases, prospective renters aren’t even waiting for a rent increase notice at renewal. They’re making the first move.  


“I have a property coming up for rent in June, I’ve already got people willing to give me $800 more for it,” said Vanovermeire, adding that that isn’t happening everywhere in Calgary, but it is happening.  


The dynamic rental market is making the math of home ownership more logical,  Vanovermeire added.  “It’s the moment that you take a look at your monthly payments, and, even with the higher interest rates, owning starts to make more sense than renting. In many cases it’s the same amount or even a little cheaper to own than to rent.”  



National picture 


While Calgary was the only major Canadian city by population to post a year-over-year increase in average sale price, April to April, in the CREA study, it shared the distinction with other provincial and territorial centres across the country, including in: 


  • Alberta (Alberta West, South Central Alberta),  
  • Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Southeast Saskatchewan, Swift Current, Yorkton),  
  • Manitoba (Brandon), 
  • Ontario (Cornwall and District),  
  • Québec (Central Québec, Estrie, Mauricie, Saguenay, Trois-Rivières), 
  • Nova Scotia (Cape Breton, Highland),  
  • Prince Edward Island, 
  • Newfoundland & Labrador (St. John’s), and  
  • Northwest Territories 


To be continued… 


Vanovermeire said, like other provinces, Alberta has its own cycle.  


“I’ve been in Alberta for most of my life and in the real estate business for 23 years,” he said. “One thing I’ve learned is we don’t necessarily follow the pattern of Canada. But Alberta is in the early cycle right now, and these cycles in Alberta typically go four to seven years.”  


Editor’s notes: find more from Coldwell Banker Mountain Central’s Rob Vanovermeire on YouTube. Find more CREA analysis here 

CultureOur News May 25, 2023

Real Estate Awards Season Recap

The 2023 awards and recognition season has now come to an end, and we are so incredibly proud of our network and their accomplishments. We are thrilled to be surrounded by a group of ambitious professionals who go above and beyond to serve their clients.  


Coldwell Banker Canada represents a brand that is home to some of the most talented real estate professionals across the globe. These talented experts strive for excellence, and we believe that excellence deserves to be celebrated. The International Awards and Recognition program is our method of recognizing our exceptional real estate professionals who have demonstrated the meaning of the Coldwell Banker brand-awesomeness, excellence and ingenuity. Whether it be production excellence or outstanding customer service, we want to celebrate it! 

Awards and recognition help to provide agents with a sense of accomplishment and create motivation to set goals and standards as individuals, teams or offices! Part of the Coldwell Banker Canada culture and one of our core values is celebrating excellence. Our awards act as a way to celebrate the key wins, celebrate hard work and effort and highlight niche achievements. We love to see so many of our agents and offices achieving great things on a national as well as international level. 








The Coldwell Banker awards have a variety of categories from Individual Agent Awards to International Nomination Awards.  


Awards & Recognition Categories:

Individual Agent Awards 

Canadian Team Awards 

Canadian Office Awards 

Canadian Ranked Awards 

Canadian Ultimate Service Awards 

Canadian Nomination Awards 

International Nomination Awards


We also love celebrating those who have rewarded our business with years of service and support. ‘Bleeding Blue’ is a representation of those who live and breathe the Coldwell Banker brand and our Milestone Awards are our way of showing love and appreciation to our loyal network.  


Stay tuned for more on our Milestone Awards! 





May 19, 2023

Views On Real Estate Values More Positive Across Country, Nanos Research Finds; Coldwell Banker Canada Experts Share Perspectives

May 19, 2023

Consumer confidence among Canadians continues its upward trend thanks in large part to the improving sentiment around the value of the real estate where they live.

That’s one key takeaway from the latest Bloomberg-Nanos Canadian Confidence Index.

“With a score above 50 points on the 100-point diffusion index, Canadian consumer confidence is in positive territory,” said Nik Nanos, Chief Data Scientist, in a released statement on May 15.

“Of note, this trend has primarily been driven by more positive views on the future value of real estate which is up 12 points in four weeks.”

The independent numbers from Nanos sparked comments across the Coldwell Banker Canada brokerage network, starting in:



Mark Rice of Coldwell Banker Oceanside Real Estate said consumer sentiment in the Victoria market is running “quite a way further up the confidence track.”

Rice said the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to hit the pause button on interest rate hikes has meant a green light for the Victoria market.

Mark Rice, Coldwell Banker Oceanside Real Estate


“Don’t lock in, get yourself a variable mortgage and you’re buying at the low and then the value of the house is going up and the cost of borrowing for the house is going down,” said Rice. “I feel very much that’s what’s driving the market here now. As soon as the rates stopped moving, the second the Bank of Canada did not raise the rates, as soon as they stopped raising rates, the market took off.”

Rice said lower rates would see more sidelined buyers able to qualify and re-enter the market, but a stable rate, he said, even a stable rate at the relatively high level in place now, is key to maintaining momentum.

“No, it doesn’t have to go down, it just has to stay the same now,” he said, “because people can feel confident that it isn’t going up. When rates are changing, people are leery of the change.”


Rice said the prevailing sentiment in some parts of the Victoria market is that “if we’ve reached the top of the index regarding interest, then that argument could be taken to the next step to say we’re at the bottom of the price index. And as rates shift back down, purchase prices are going to go back up with it.”



Jay Gajjar of Coldwell Banker Canada Elite Realty said he is seeing “more serious buyers coming out right now compared to the last six months.”

Gajjar, whose brokerage opened in February of 2023, said the keenest attitude toward the improving market is centered on available homes closer to the average price range of approximately $300,000 to $550,000.

Jay Gajjar, Coldwell Banker Elite Realty

Gajjar said an interest rate that does anything but rise will translate into more confidence in the Winnipeg market.

The expectation is that once there are more news reports about interest rates dropping, or stabilizing, there will be a big improvement in the market, he said.

Gajjar said the average house price in Winnipeg will increase. Faced by growing numbers of potential buyers not bound by interest rate jitters, sellers will “eventually start listing their homes at higher prices.”

On April 12, the Bank of Canada announced that it would hold steady at 4.50% its key interest rate. The central bank is scheduled to make its next policy interest rate decision on June 7.




Nick J. Kyte of Coldwell Banker First Ottawa Realty said growing confidence in buyers is tied to the perceived stabilization in interest rates, even in an environment of enduring low housing supply.

Nick J. Kyte, Coldwell Banker First Ottawa Realty

“The average residential sale price is expected to continue to rise,” said Kyte. “We are seeing low inventory, fewer properties being placed on the market, and buyers seeing an easing with interest rates, which are hovering around 4.49% for a five-year fixed mortgage.”

This is sparking the confidence that will help turn spectators into buyers of their next home or investment property, said Kyte.

“Ottawa remains a safe and stable economy for real estate investment,” he said.





Bloomberg-Nanos Expectations Index

The weekly Bloomberg-Nanos Expectations Index is based on surveys for the economy and real estate prices. The real estate question is: In the next six months, do you believe that the value of real estate in your neighbourhood will increase, stay the same or decrease?

In the current report, opinion about that question broke down like this:

Increase: 42.3%

Stay the same: 38.2%

Decrease: 15.8%

Unsure: 3.7%

One month ago, the Increase finding was at 30.4%, Stay the same was at 42.2%, Decrease was at 23% and Unsure was at 4.4%

The latest findings were based on a random telephone survey of 1,158 Canadians, 18 years of age and older in which the margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


Coldwell Banker Canada

Coldwell Banker Canada market experts are part of a national brokerage system itself part of an international Coldwell Banker network with 100,000 agents, 3,000 offices and 40 locations. Dig into more of what Coldwell Banker Canada offers you.


Global LuxuryReal Estate News May 11, 2023

Low Inventory a Challenge for Canada’s Luxury Real Estate Market

This article was reposted from The Calgary Herald, May 5, 2023, by Joel Schlesinger, Article Here

Calgary’s luxury sales are declining, yet the segment’s relative affordability in Calgary is generating steady interest. 

Luxury remains relatively hot in Calgary’s resale real estate market compared with other major markets in Canada, a new report suggests.

Although activity in the $1 million-plus price range is not as high as it was last spring, the Top-Tier Real Estate: Spring 2023 State of Luxury report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada points to Calgary’s luxury market being the healthiest among Canada’s largest cities


“Demand is certainly there,” Don Kottick, president and chief executive office of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “What’s holding it back really is the low number of properties coming on.”

Low inventory is a challenge in every major city from Vancouver to Montreal, particularly in the luxury markets, the report notes.

In fact, supply is even lower than last year when all resale markets were faced with unprecedented demand.

In part, the low inventory is a result of fewer sellers listing homes, Kottick adds.

While sales are down 64 per cent in the first three months of 2023 in Toronto, year over year, and 53 per cent in Vancouver in their luxury segments, Calgary’s high-end market has fared slightly better, down 36 per cent.

When compared with activity in the years before the pandemic, however, luxury market activity in Calgary so far this year is 223 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2020.


What’s more, activity remains far above the 10-year average sales activity for Calgary’s $1 million-plus market, the report adds.

“We may not be seeing more sales, but we are seeing the velocity (of sales) change with buyers’ time to make a decision shortening,” says Rachelle Starnes, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Complete Real Estate.

Driving the pace is low inventory among resales and even new homes.

In particular, prices in the new homes market for luxury are higher than they were before the pandemic as both material and labour costs have increased over the last year. At the same time, builders are also hampered by higher financing costs, Starnes adds.

The end result is less choice among both new builds and resales for luxury buyers.

While sales are down, demand in the Calgary market is still being driven by out-of-town buyers, mostly from Ontario, Kottick adds.

These are often buyers from the Greater Toronto Area where the average price of a home still exceeds $1 million. There, the luxury segment starts at $4 million, the Sotheby’s report notes.

In turn, buyers from Toronto who would have been looking in the mid-price ranges there may find themselves luxury buyers here, as the Sotheby’s report points out that Calgary’s luxury market starts at $1 million.


Yet Starnes cautions that threshold, after the last two years of strong activity, is now more like $1.5 million.

She adds that demand for acreage homes in the Rocky View and Foothills regions have fuelled price growth.

“Many of the luxury homes selling are in Springbank, Elbow Valley, Stonepine,” she says. “These communities are about eight minutes out of the city, so they are essentially like the suburbs.”

Sales for luxury homes — like other price ranges — is likely to see consistent growth in the coming months and years, Kottick forecasts.

This will largely be the result of ongoing low supply and anticipated demand growth in the face of federal government policy that aims to bring about 500,000 newcomers to Canada annually through to 2025.

“That means more people coming to Alberta, which means more buyers and more pressure on the inventory,” he says.

“But that’s not just a problem in Alberta; it’s a problem universal to Canada.”

AdviceLifestyleTips & Tricks May 10, 2023

Unleash Your Personality: 5 Tips to Infuse Authenticity into Your Home Design

Does your home feel like you, or does it feel like someone else designed your space? 

It’s easy to get caught up in TikTok trends and new design ideas, but it is important to remember that our homes should be a reflection of ourselves.  

If you’re struggling to find balance between following trends and being authentic, here are some tips! 


Showcase Your Favourite Art 

Art is one of the easiest home décor pieces that adds a personal touch to a space. Maybe you’re a world traveler and you collect a new piece of art every time you go somewhere. Or maybe you collect thrifted knickknacks. Whatever it is, showcase it throughout your home to add your personality and flair!


Highlight What You’re Passionate About 

Are you a photographer? Do you have a plant obsession or do pottery as a hobby? Highlight these passions in your home! Create a gallery wall of some of your favourite photos. Add plants to every corner of your house. Display your pottery creations! 



Adding a fresh coat of paint, a feature wall or painting the ceiling can instantly add your personality to a space. Whether you opt for a bold accent wall or a subtle pop of colour, your unique style will make your space feel authentically you.  


Only Buy Items That You Absolutely Love! 

Sometimes we get tempted by sales and deals and end up buying items that we aren’t in love with, they’re just convenient. In the long run, it’s better to spend a bit of extra money on a piece that you actually love.  


Be Creative and Confident! 

Search for design inspiration outside of the internet. When you see a design style that you like or an item that you are drawn to- buy it! Trust your instincts and use items that you like to build your own unique style and design.  



Information referenced from: