Industry Leader’s Panel
What’s new and what is likely to impact the real estate industry in the next 1-5 years? Back for another look into the crystal ball, the always popular Industry Leaders Panel will give you their thoughts on technology and tech implementation, broker profitability, professionalism and much more. Three leaders from major national franchises and two from independent brokerages are here to share their thoughts on what might be coming down the road and how REALTORS® can prosper in the new realty reality.
Elton Ash is a long-term affiliate of the RE/MAX organization serving at every level of the franchise system, starting in 1984 as a Sales Associate in Saskatoon, SK. Six years later he became the Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Penticton Realty, Penticton, BC and joined the RE/MAX Western Canada regional operation in 1994 as Director of Broker Services. In 1998 the region was purchased back by Dave and Gail Liniger and became a part of the RE/MAX LLC corporately owned regions. Ash applied his multiple skills being named as Management Consultant in 1998, then as Senior Management Consultant until 1999 when he was named Director of RE/MAX Commercial – Canada. In September 2000, as part of RE/MAX LLC company operated regions, Ash was promoted to Vice President and Regional Director and currently serves as the Regional Executive Vice President.
He convocated from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK in 1977 and is a Certified Real Estate Specialist (CRES), Real Estate Institute of Canada, an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), National Association of Realtors. In addition, Ash is licensed as an Associate Broker with the British Columbia Real Estate Association. Ash and his wife, Jayne have four daughters with 3 grandchildren. His hobbies and favorite activities include downhill skiing, curling, sailing and golf.
When he took over the reins of the RE/MAX Western Canada region in 2000 there were just over 3,700 sales associates in 193 offices. Today the Region has over 6,900 sales associates in 276 offices with a Region wide market share of 32% with 18% of the REALTOR® population. The RE/MAX Brand is a household name with dominant share of voice and media impressions.
Evan Sage is a second generation Realtor who has been working in the fiercely competitive Toronto Real Estate market for the past 14 years. He has loved the challenges of staying on the front edge of a rapidly evolving industry, as his role morphed from sales rep to co-owning a family-run brokerage.
With his brother and father, Evan launched SAGE 8+yrs ago when they recognized an opportunity to develop a full service real estate brokerage that could think a little bit differently and value the subtleties and nuances of their trade. They put quality ahead of quantity and value standards in service, marketing, design and doing what is in the best interests of the client.
As Vice President, Operations, Todd provides CENTURY 21 Canada® franchisees with the guidance and resources to drive profit, growth and market share through recruiting, retention and acquisitions. He also oversees the CENTURY 21 Canada Broker Councils and leads initiatives for broker management training, staff and agent training and support.
With more than 35 years of experience in the real estate industry, Todd has incredible insight into the decisions that brokers face, as well as solutions for dynamic businesses. As the former Canadian regional manager of sales for Interealty, he gained valuable insights into real estate industry board practices while selling MLS systems to Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Ottawa. He was also the co-founder and president of Cogent Step Recruiting, an executive recruiting firm for productive agents.
Kelley Skar is a second generation Realtor® and the Chief Operations Officer at Redline Real Estate Group with its head office based in Calgary. He is the host of the popular real estate podcast, Thrive Not Survive, is deeply passionate about helping agents create their life and business roadmap and has spoken on various topics at real estate conferences across North America. He is an avid football fan, loves to coach baseball, ski the Canadian Rockies and watch his kids play every sport imaginable. He is a lover of life and makes every effort to live every day to the fullest.
Phil Soper is President & CEO of Royal LePage and Bridgemarq Real Estate Services. With 20,000 agents in its Royal LePage, Royal LePage Commercial, Johnston & Daniel, Via Capitale and Proprio Direct businesses it is the largest real estate brokerage firm in Canada, with property sales of $100 billion dollars in 2017.
In the 2019 comprehensive ranking of industry leadership in North America, the Swanepoel 200, Soper was again named the most influential leader in Canadian real estate and 11th worldwide. In 2016, he became the first Canadian to receive the Real Estate Leadership Award at the U.S. National Realtor Expo as “an industry visionary who embraces innovation and blazes new paths.” Real Estate Marketing magazine declared him one the 25 most important leaders of the past 25 years, and he has been honoured as “CEO of the Year” by the Canadian Public Relations Society, a first for a real estate industry executive in the long history of the award.
Soper’s community involvement includes the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, Canada’s largest charity focused on eliminating domestic violence and supporting the women and children who fall victim to it; United Way and Toronto SickKids Hospital campaign leadership; and Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Business (Ryerson awarded Phil the inaugural G.Raymond Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2017). He is a former governor of the University of Alberta.
Prior to his real estate career, Phil Soper was an executive with technology giant IBM where he held national and global leadership roles in professional services and technology sales. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta School of Business, and the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Executive Program.
Phil is married to Toronto lawyer Melanie Yach. They have four daughters.