Changing real estate markets have been a reality in Estevan for my entire 25 year career. I never let myself get too comfortable because the market doesn't stay the same for more than 2 or 3 months at a time. Having said that, even in downturns, Estevan has a solid real estate market. Yes, we have a surplus of inventory, particularly in the condo market, but our sales have been steady throughout the year. We are selling more houses than apartment style condos this year, which tells me more families are making Estevan their home. And we've still sold condos - there is just more choice for the buyer, and over time, if nothing more is constructed for a year or so, it will all be absorbed.
When I drive around Estevan, I see construction, both residential and commercial everywhere. Another hotel, an addition on a fairly new hotel, a huge industrial/office space that is TS&M's new home, and another commercial strip mall on King Street. The decisions made by these companies are based on the long view, and I believe their long view is positive for Estevan, or they wouldn't be spending millions of dollars to grow their businesses here.
There are changes within the real estate industry in Estevan that will prove interesting in 2015. We saw 3 agents leave one office to set up their own office, and then another office close its doors and join the first office. As a broker, my first priority is providing my agent with the tools they need to do their work well - our administrative staff has to ensure listings are entered and updated daily, that our presence in the community is obvious, and I have to provide mentorship for new and "seasoned" agents alike (they don't like when I refer to those of use who have been around for awhile as old". ) Fortunately, our office is a wonderful mix of experience and youth. All of our agents contribute back to the community in their own way; through service clubs, cultural organizations, day cares and athletic groups. We don't do a lot of photo ops or wave that banner repeatedly, but we are out there, each and every week, helping make Estevan a better place to live. The backbone of any company, big or small, is always the front line people who generate business and meet and greet the public daily. Isn't your impression of any place you choose to spend money or time based on the front line people who say hello and then assist you? A brand is great, and I'm proud to wave the Century 21 banner, but our brand is made even better by the REALTORS who go out to do the work of listing and selling property each and every day. We had a good year and I thank everyone in our office for their hard work, dedication to customer service excellence and integrity. It makes going to work every day a pleasure.