Local Realtor elected as provincial director of Ontario Real Estate Association 0
Lisa Scott, Bancroft District Real Estate Board president, Dana Yonemitsu, BDREB executive officer and Val Miles the new provincial director, Northeastern Ontario for the Ontario Real Estate Association joke around in the BDREB office after their interview on Mar. 15. BARBARA SHAW BANCROFT THIS WEEK
Known as an outstanding local realtor, Val Miles has taken another step towards her on-going personal and professional growth with her election to the Ontario Real Estate Association as the provincial director for the Northeastern Ontario area.
Miles has been in the real estate business for 11 years and even though she is kept busy looking after her clients at ReMax Country Classics Ltd. Miles says she has been embracing opportunities as they present themselves. Miles was president of the Bancroft District Real Estate Board and with the completion of that term she started thinking of taking on another dynamic volunteer position.
With the elections coming up at OREA Miles says she was ready to offer herself up for the position.
"I thought, here comes an opportunity," Miles says in the BDREB office. She's still excited about the election win and even more excited than Miles are BDREB president, broker Lisa Scott and BDREB executive officer, Dana Yonemitsu.
Both Scott and Yonemitsu were instrumental in encouraging and supporting Miles as she prepared for the election. They sent out letters, made calls and when they all arrived in Toronto at the OREA conference at the end of February they even had a special hand gesture worked out that meant - vote for Val. They still make this gesture and it looks like it's going to stick.
Miles is not a tall woman. At 4'11 she is shorter than many. When Yonemitsu and Scott wanted to send the sign to vote for Val they would straighten their fingers as if they were about to make a chopping action and then they would hit their hand under their collar bone. This gesture showed support and solidarity for Miles as they worked the conference and built support.
OREA represents 53,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 42 real estate boards in the province. Members of the association use the realtor trademark and association with OREA represents a high level of service and ethics. The Northeastern Ontario area includes Bancroft, Barrie, Georgian Triangle, Kawartha Lakes, Muskoka and Haliburton, Northumberland Hills, Orilla, Parry Sound, Peterborough and the Kawarthas, Quinte and Southern Georgian Bay Real Estate Boards.
Asking for the support for the boards in the Northeastern Ontario region could have been a big ask for Miles who was coming from the smallest board but she took it in stride. Miles is incredibly committed to her work and she saw this as just another way to be of service to her community and to other realtors.
"I love this job, Miles said. "We help people's dreams come true when we help them to find the perfect home or cottage or to buy land with hunting buddies. We provide so much emotional support and we can be sitting with a client who has lost a spouse and doesn't know what to do and we're there to help. We work lots of weird hours and every day is truly different and it's just a great opportunity."
In Toronto at the OREA conference with the speeches for the election quickly approaching, Miles checked out the room that she would be speaking in. The podium was huge and Miles had planned on bringing a stool with her that she uses in her kitchen to help her reach things. But, unfortunately for Miles, she had forgotten her lucky stool.
She wanted people to see more than her eyes when she approached the microphone so she asked for some help and the event crew found a metal case for her to stand on.
When her big moment came and Miles was ready to make her speech she slid the case over to the podium and stepped up to the mic. There was quite a bit of good natured laughter.
"I wanted to change my stature and I wanted to be at a regular stature for my speech and the giggles were good natured," Miles says. "We always think that if you're tall you'll be a good leader and most of the people who run Fortune 500 companies are six feet or taller."
In her speech Miles touched on this interesting fact and asked the voting members to help change that stereotype.
And they did.
Miles took an easy win and now she starts in on a two-year volunteer term looking after the needs of the 4,500 members of the Northeastern Ontario region. She's looking forward to the learning and the professional development but she's also looking forward to what she brings back to Bancroft, the local board and her clients.
Some of the big items that Miles and OREA will be working on include technology, legislation, ethics, economics and politics.
According to Yonemitsu, having Miles at OREA will help everyone keep up to date with what's coming down the pipe.
"Bancroft is the smallest board," Yonemitsu says. "Even though we only have votes based on our membership numbers our voice is still heard and when we're at the provincial or national level our voice is heard. This board has a lot of respect and we're considered to be forward thinking."
Yonemitsu says the Bancroft board was the first to go live with an online MLS system.
"We were online before Toronto," Yonemitsu says proudly.
"All of our training and our professional development helps us do more for our clients and helps us to bring together a package of services that we offer our clients," Scott adds.
"I was at a workshop and I was asked to write down what kind of things I do for my clients and I filled four pages," Scott says. "It's about buyer's representation agreements but it's also about helping recommend contractors or figure out unique local concerns like heating and septics."
"As realtors we take pride in the work we do and in our contracts being air tight," Scott says. "We're helping with the legal part of the biggest investment in your life."
Being in real estate requires on-going training and learning but at the local level and now at the provincial level Miles says she's up for the challenge because it will only help her do a better job locally.
"Learning is the key to staying young," Miles says. "And if you want to stay connected you need to volunteer and while I've been so lucky to be the president of my choir and to have worked with the Arts Council, this is another step I can take to stay connected. Volunteering is the backbone of society and leadership opportunities make me a better person."
Miles, Yonemitsu and Scott all agree that they love the professional development but even more so they love acting as an ambassadors for Bancroft.
And now with Miles as a provincial director at OREA there will be another way to represent Bancroft and ensure it stays on the map with the other big players in the real estate world.
Miles will have her local team including Scott and Yonemitsu giving her support, and making the vote for Val sign, every step of the way.