2015 Award of Excellence Recipient
The Real Estate Institute of British Columbia (REIBC) has presented its 2015 Award of Excellence to Robert Laing. The award recognizes REIBC members who demonstrate excellence in their contributions to REIBC, the profession, and the community. Mr. Laing was nominated for the award by his peers and received the award at REIBC’s Recognition Dinner in June 2015, where REIBC honoured its members for their service.
Robert’s service to the Institute has been steadfast and remarkable for the last three decades. As EO of the Real Estate Division, he instituted a policy in the late 1980’s (a policy that persists to this day) of encouraging membership for every qualified staff person- a policy that accounts for 16 REIBC members and counting! His recent support of the Institute as CEO of BCREA is clearly evident in the ongoing sponsorship support from that organization, but it is perhaps even more notable to review some of his early contributions to REIBC:
*1990’s: Judge of the REIBC Essay contests:
*Provider of various Input Articles (the first we could find was Ted Sum’s 1995 Psychologically Impacted Properties article);
*Education Committee Member (1980’s and 1990’s);
*Various Conference Planning Committee’s;
*Sponsorship of the first Golf Tournament at Mayfair Links 23 years ago-a tradition real Estate Division maintains today.
More recently Robert has been a presenter at the Land Summit, he is a committed sponsor of numerous Institute functions and he remains a tireless promoter of the benefits of membership.
His dedication to the Industry at Large
For almost 30 years, Robert has served the Real Estate Profession in the roles of lawyer, educator and liaison to all levels of government, crown corporations and regulatory bodies. From 2002, Robert has served as BCREA’s CEO, where he has helped guide the Association to its highest ever membership and education participation numbers, and an influential role nationally for programs such as the community building “Quality of Life” initiative and the Western Connection conferences. Prior to his role as CEO, Robert was the Director of Government Relations, where he focused the efforts of BCREA and its Government Relations Committee to develop and maintain an effective, proactive government relations program that emphasize community interests such as the Floodplain Map updating project and ongoing liaising with government to reduce the effects of various shelter taxes.
Before joining BCREA, he was head of UBC’s Faculty of Commerce Real Estate Division, where he was a founding supporter of the distance degree initiative of REIBC that culminated in the collaborative Open University and the UBC Bachelor of Business in Real Estate (BBRE). His vision was instrumental in strengthening the breadth and depth of the curriculum and options available in UBC’s Diploma in Urban Land Economics (DULE).
Robert not surprisingly is actively involved in the community and is a supporter of the Arts in Vancouver including the Vancouver Opera, Dance House and the Arts Club. He is also supporting the Peter Allard School of Law-UBC Law School, the Ride to Cure Cancer, Qmunity-BC’s Queer Resource Centre, and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). His service includes acting as a Board member responsible for fundraising for the Take a Hike-Youth at Risk Foundation, which is a partnership with the Vancouver School Board.
Not surprisingly, under Robert’s leadership the BCREA has also quietly supported non-real estate related community causes, such as The Lady Bug Foundation, which raises money to help the homeless, and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program, a community policing initiative designed to empower school children with skills to recognize and resist social pressures to experiment with tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.
Robert has made a huge impact to the Real Estate Institute of BC & without a doubt has made his mark on the Industry as a whole and his community.