A father-son Red Deer real estate team were chosen National A.E. LePage brokerage of the year out of more than 600 firms across Canada.
“It was an absolute shock,” said Norm Jensen, who with son Chad, owns Royal LePage Network Realty Corp.
The Jensens’ brokerage had been nominated for top brokerage for the Prairies, which they won at the Royal LePage Leadership Conference in Phoenix last month.
But to walk away with the national award never crossed the mind of the realtor with 31 years of experience.
“It’s unheard of,” he said on Wednesday, sounding like he was still processing what had happened. “Out of 600 offices, we’re number one, even over Ontario brokerages.
“We were pretty excited when we got that.”
The award is not about sales numbers but, in the company’s words, recognizes “brokerages that have demonstrated exceptional leadership, engagement, growth and performance.”
Norm, 69, bought the Red Deer Royal LePage office in 2000 with partner Les Anderson, and started with five agents. There are now 95 agents working out of four offices in Central Alberta.
In 2006, Anderson sold his share of the company to Chad and a two-generation partnership was born.
Son Chad brought a technical savvy to the company, which is a leader in providing the kind of information support agents can use to succeed.
Besides its success in weathering Alberta’s economic downturn, the brokerage’s community contributions were a big factor when it came to picking a top brokerage, he said.
In the past four years, the Jensens have raised more than $250,000 for the Central Alberta Women’s Shelter.
Another cause that they have embraced is providing support for seniors who have been abused, usually by their own families.
Norm said too often seniors are supported by their families until the senior’s money runs out. Then the elderly person is kicked out of the family home and left to fend for themselves.
Royal LePage stepped in by renovating to lease out a former caretaker suite at Barrett Kiwanis Place at 4809 34th St. It is being turned into a two-bedroom unit to house seniors who have no place to stay.