Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. receives Nomination for 2018 Top Choice Award!

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Each and everyone one of us at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is honoured to announce that we have received the nomination for the 2018 Top Choice Award for Top Property Management Services in Calgary, Alberta.

We are thankful to have received this nomination for the third year in a row and grateful for our dedicated team’s efforts to provide responsive asset property management for our valued clients, condominium corporations, and tenants.

The Top Choice Award is a consumer choice award based on votes and to be considered by our community as a top choice nominee, already makes us feel like winners.  To truly be considered a winner, we still need your vote.  By voting for us, you will automatically be entered into a draw for a chance to win $2,000 or one of the many Toppy T-Shirts being given away by Top Choice Awards.

You can vote for Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. by visiting:

Voting is open until January 2, 2018.  Thank you for your support and the opportunity to be of service.

 


Employee Engagement is Crucial

The words may have changed but the business relevance is the same, if not more important than ever.

Traditionally it was referred to as “company spirit” to motivate, inspire and create a feeling of teamwork. In the contemporary workplace, particularly with the recent speed bumps in many Calgary businesses, morale and employee engagement has never been more crucial.

“Whether in tough economic conditions, looking at remote workforces or any other business environment, employee engagement doesn’t change – yesterday, today or into the future,” says Vince Danielsen, an EO Calgary member who is president and CEO of INLIV and WELLO – innovative Calgary organizations that deliver premium corporate, executive, personal and family health services.

“To attract, develop and retain team members, employee engagement must be top-of-mind with every interaction. If we want to remain relevant and competitive, our organization has to be true to our values and hire people who believe in those values. How we treat our people will be a direct reflection on how our people treat our customers.”

The positive sentiments are echoed by Jodena Rogers, vice president of corporate services at Emerald Management & Realty and an EO Calgary member. “Engagement and retention is key for employers, especially during a downturn. It can be tempting to set aside strategic priorities and focus on business survival, but it is more important than ever to communicate with team members about the current climate and the challenges impacting the workplace.

“An integral part of employee engagement in a tough market is to have honest, respectful conversations and empower employees to focus on opportunity. It creates job satisfaction, engages them to be part of the solution and provides a sense of inclusion.”

For dynamic Bill Scott, co-founder of ReSourceYYC (the collaborative coworking office space for entrepreneurial Calgary professionals) and an EO Calgary member, “Employees have been through a lot in the last few years and engagement may be suffering, wondering if jobs are still at risk. Stressful environments wreak havoc on morale and productivity.

“But now is the time to build loyalty and increase employee engagement by asking employees to participate in strategy sessions, being part of more frequent team meetings and activities, and scheduling one-on-one meetings with senior management.” Most business leaders agree: sometimes employee engagement is easier said than done.

“Hire people who fit your core values and test them in the interview process. It’s much easier to engage employees when starting with the same foundation,” Danielsen suggests. “Each interaction with an employee is an experience, and that experience directly correlates with their engagement.”

“Be honest and transparent,” Scott cautions. “If times are tough, don’t sugar-coat it and don’t try to hide the obvious. Employees can feel when management is hiding something. Confront the facts head-on, and avoid injecting emotion into the situation. Ask employees to participate in brainstorming and problemsolving sessions. Have a plan! Even if it’s short term, employees need to feel that the company has direction and the next steps.”

Rogers emphasizes communication efforts with frequent checkins, a genuine open-door policy, team meetings and treating employees like partners. “Especially during difficult economic times, it’s more important than ever.

“Sharing the company vision and plan gives purpose and will go a long way to retaining employees when the good times return,” Scott adds with positivity.


The Family Business …or the business of family

The family business doesn’t need to be an empire like the Shaws, the Molsons, the Westons or the Southerns. But there is consensus that the family business is a unique dynamic.

The good news is that more than 80 per cent of all businesses in Canada are small to medium-size businesses. A majority are family owned and critical to the Canadian economy.

Unfortunately, only 30 per cent of Canadian family businesses survive into the second generation and 12 per cent are still viable into the third generation.

“It’s all about the family business versus the business of family,” says the focused and personable Jodena Rogers, vice president of corporate services at Emerald Management and Realty and EO Calgary member. “But relationships and communication are the most important aspects to family business success.”

The ‘Emerald family’ consists of Gary (father) who founded the business 40 years ago, Mary (mother), Jodena and her sister Laureta.

“As far as I can remember, I always wanted to work in the family business. It was my dream and something I grew up with. One of the most important parts of a family business is a respectful, professional environment with distinct boundaries. Separate business, family and personal relationships. Most people don’t know we are a family business,” she explains.

The successful family business comes with certain musts, according to Paul Valentine, general manager at Valentine Volvo and EO Calgary member. “Staff and clients must realize that the family has earned the right to work there. If they can’t do the job, the business loses staff and client respect. Family members must be active and involved.”

Valentine Volvo is a third-generation, Calgary family business that prides itself on selling more new and certified, pre-owned Volvos than anyone in Canada.

“Emotions are bound to be an aspect of a family business,” he admits. “But addressing things openly and early can ensure that emotions don’t run wild. The family, as a whole, must always be at the centre of all decisions.

”For Brittney Ramsay, president of the dynamic Britt Land Services, with an exceptional reputation for land asset management and an EO Calgary member, it’s all about trust and communication.

“My father Ray started the business almost 30 years ago. Now my sister Breanne and I are building this company and our team to live and breathe like a family. It’s all based on trust, engaging in constructive conflict, expecting commitment, embracing accountability and driving results – things that are also really important to what makes a family solid.”

She points out the positive that making decisions in a family business is actually easier. “We can have the tough conversations, respectfully, and then make a plan of action and commit to it. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and help or give each other a little push, if needed.”

Human nature will always create a stigma about family members in family businesses. “Family must work harder than other staff and prove themselves every day. I am not entitled to be here,” Rogers emphasizes. “I work hard to earn respect with leadership, collaboration, expertise and knowledge.”


CRE: Calgary’s Barometer of Business

Speculation. Positivity. Negativity. Guesswork. It’s all part of forecasting Calgary’s business climate. But with so many factors and variables, such strategizing is like the weather – it is constantly changing.

Although many business strategists have their own measures and formulas, the trend of commercial real estate (CRE), particularly downtown stats, has always been accepted as a telltale barometer of Calgary’s economy.

“An increase in downtown commercial office leasing usually signifies increasing levels of business confidence, that people are hiring again and moving forward with investment decisions,” explains Warren Phipps, real estate broker, co-founder of Mountain Park Real Estate and an EO Calgary member.

Despite the popular myth the downtown is all about giant corporations, small businesses significantly impact commercial real estate.

“When small business does well it can be seen as a direct reflection on the health of the economy,” says Jodena Rogers, vice president of corporate services at Emerald Management & Realty, and an EO Calgary member. “Businesses occupy space, make upgrades and lease improvements. They pay high rents. The true impact of small businesses shows when small businesses start to struggle. Commercial investors see receivables increase, vacancy is created, businesses fail and in some cases close, and tenants scramble to renegotiate the terms of their leases.”

As most Calgary business leaders agree, it’s ultimately a ripple effect. “Commercial real estate is definitely affected by the ups and downs of the Calgary and Alberta economy,” says Bob Sheddy, broker of record, owner of Century 21 PowerRealty and an EO Calgary member. “Clients often comment about how many ‘for lease’ signs they see. But after a focused search, they are often astonished at how few spaces actually fit their criteria.

“In boom times, this is even more amplified. In years like 2008, the market couldn’t build enough space to keep up to demand. The end result is that leasing rates and sale values rise. In 2013-14, the market was heating up to that same point before the oil price started its downward slide in the last quarter of 2014.”

“The Calgary CRE market has always largely been tied to the highs and lows of the oil and gas industry,” Phipps notes. “High oil prices drive business growth, which results in increased hiring levels and places increased demand for office space to accommodate the increased headcount.

“When oil prices drop, especially so severely, the reverse happens. It’s a function of supply and demand, intertwined with a critical global economic event.”

As Rogers underscores from experience, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. “During ups and downs, commercial landlords must be responsive to market conditions, remain competitive with lease rates and improvements, and stay on top with marketing strategies.”

Positivity laced with realism tracks the last half of 2017 and readies for 2018.

“Many businesses suggest it’s ‘the new normal,’” Sheddy says. “Accountants, doctors, service trades and other businesses are seeing growth.”

“In 2018, diversification is the key for Calgary business. And we look forward to the opportunities that come with a diversified Calgary,” adds Rogers.