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Sherry Belcourt-Darby

Sherry Belcourt-Darby

Ms. Belcourt-Darby's family lived in Edmonton but she was born at the Lamont Hospital during a family visit. She was raised in Edmonton and attended the University of Alberta from which she raised a BA degree in Music and, then, a BEd degree. She wanted to work on Masters degree and when that was not possible, she chose to go into the real estate profession. She loved the work and music became her hobby.

She entered the industry in 1976 and was mentored by Dave Crawford at Spencer Real Estate, who encouraged her to become involved in training and organized real estate. This was extremely important for her because there were few women in the industry at that time. This mentoring continued when she joined Canada Trust Realty and Lauren Clark became her mentor. She became a leader in real estate training beginning in 1980 when she began to instruct for the Edmonton Real Estate Board. She went through a rigorous train-the-trainer session and worked with peers to develop and instruct the courses.

She has trained several generations of real estate professionals in her long career and has seen many changes in the industry. When she began potential REALTORS® studied at home and then would go to the Parliament buildings to write a very simple real estate licence exam (e.g., what is a bungalow, how to you measure a bungalow). The program then became a week-long instructed course; then, three-weeks; and, finally three-months. Today, phase 1 is one-day and focuses on the basics of the industry and the characteristics of being a REALTOR®. Instructors want to determine whether the individual has the right personality. A student can drop out at the end of any phase, and each phase has an exam and 70% is the pass mark. Phase 2 involves six weeks of instruction with a focus on legislation (e.g., Real Estate Act, Condominium Act), purchase contract, etc. Phase 3 comprises different modules: residential, commercial, rural real estate, property management. Licensing then follows. She has also played a role in the Alberta Real Estate Council's regulation of the industry.

Ms Belcourt-Darby has also become involved in organized real estate and believes that she has not only been able to give but also receive. This has taken many forms including service on regional and provincial committees dealing with issues of training, accreditation, professional development and service to community. She was President of the Edmonton Real Estate Board in 1997 and, in 2000 became President of their Charitable Community Foundation supporting such initiatives as the Edmonton School Lunch Program, Youth Emergency Shelter and Bright Nights Festival in Hawrelak Park. Inner city children are bused to the Park to see the Christmas light display and receive food and other treats. In 2006, she served as President of the Alberta Real Estate Association.

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