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Blog by Ursula Thiessen

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Big City Broker Comes to Winnipeg

Brad Lamb, Richard Cloutier and Bill Thiessen

Brad Lamb, of HGTV fame, made a luncheon appearance May 10th, 2011 in Winnipeg, to a crowd of about 300 at the Delta Hotel. His appearance marks the first time he stepped foot into Winnipeg and he wasn't shy about his lack of knowledge of the local market. But, he provided colour and some true (or should I say blue, as in the f-bomb, as a big part of his communication) big city condo stories.
The stories of selling 100's of condo's in minutes are very cool, from my perspective,  a local Realtor, these circumstances would occur in my dreams, not reality. I spend months selling every project and every sale comes with much effort and negotiations. Details take time, people are careful and will back out at the slightest bump in the road. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and dead condo deals here in Winnipeg.
But the direct, crude (rude?) style of Lamb works for him. He has provided so much proof of performance he can talk like a regular human being. No scripts, no fear of offending, he talks to a public audiences the way we talk to our friends while at the bar or golfing. Direct, sarcastic and funny. He is not afraid of offending or being politically incorrect.
His message was interesting even if the whole Toronto market, with it's huge size, doesn't mean much to Winnipeg. How you get from here to there, even at Winnipeg's speed is still a good lesson to listen too.
And, he loved the Exchange, which tells me he understands character and taste and style all after 15 minutes in the city. I sat in the room with at least 100 or 150 Realtors, all of whom rarely if ever show condos in the Exchange, all listening to the "expert from afar" tell them the real gold in Winnipeg is the Exchange.
This, to some, may be a "ah ha" moment but not to me. The reality is the vast amount of Winnipegger's think River Heights and south Winnipeg hold all the gold. New developments at the very end of St.Mary's and St. Anne's sell like hot cakes (or is it cow pies where they are located) to condo buyers while Exchange condos wait for buyers.
So, being the local expert with the most to gain or lose in the Exchange I will take all compliments from Lamb, f-bombs included. Maybe if enough people who know "the big picture" say the Exchange is the best area in the City, then locals may believe it one day.
I'll say it, take away the cottage country, in all directions, and the Exchange, and what are you left with? Nothing bad, but something that looks like every other suburban area in North America. The Exchange is our flag, our difference in a common world. For all its grit, it is one-of-a-kind and stands up when bigger cities talk about their assets.
So urban renewal for Winnipeg may have been rough to start, lots of blood sweat and tears, and came in like a lion, but after all the good work and effort it may be headed for a better place in our minds and go out like a "Lamb"...
Richard introduces Bill To Brad