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Feature Article


Written By: Kim Vanderleer
Published By: Calgary Real Estate News
Article Used with permission of the Calgary Real Estate Board. © Copyright Calgary Real Estate News, 2007

Recollections of a lifetime of achievements

Ervie Jackson has been a significant contributor to organized real estate through his devotion and support of the Multiple Listing System (MLS) and through his leadership positions with various boards and associations.

Ervie Jackson was born in Strathmore on January 9, 1919 and grew up in the small village of Evarts.

World War II broke out in fall of 1939 and Ervie listed in the Canadian Army the following September. He served in the army as a private in Scotland from 1941 to 1945 and married Kay in 1944 while serving overseas.

After the war, Kay and Ervie returned to Alberta to live in Wetaskawin where his parents lived. Ervie worked in the seismic industry for a while but was away from his family too much and took a job with CPR in Calgary.

It was hard to get a place at that time, we got a room on 12 Ave - that was all we could get, one room, Ervie said. It seemed I was always leaving here in the afternoon and going out to Field and coming back the next afternoon and I couldn't get any sleep.

I went to Quinton Realty, they were looking for salespeople and I did not too bad, I sold three houses.

When Ervie first entered the real estate business, the population of Calgary was between 125,000 and 140,000 and the outer districts were Forest Lawn, Ogden, Montgomery and Bowness.

Ervie left Quinton Realty and joined Campbell and Haliburton Real Estate Company, becoming the second licensed salesmen with the company.

Campbell and Haliburton Real Estate was a popular beginning place for many Calgary Realtors and it was there Ervie met Jack Rich, a fellow salesman.

Ervie had worked for Campbell and Haliburton for three years and was the manager of their North Hill branch when he and Jack decided to strike out on their own - it was 1950.

Rich and Jackson Real Estate Ltd. quickly became the largest real estate company in Calgary with seven offices and over 60 employees.

We did very well because we had a number of offices, we sold more than anyone else in the business, Ervie said. We were the biggest at one time - we had the biggest volume and the biggest operation.

Ervie became Chairman of the former Calgary Co-op Listing Bureau in 1955.

Rich and Jackson Real Estate Ltd were strong supporters of the emerging MLS (known as the Co-op at the time) and it was due to their devotion to it that entered them as CREB members before their three year probation was complete.

You were supposed to be in the business for three years (to be a member of CREB), Ervie said. It would have been hard for us to operate outside CREB. Jack and I were fairly young and aggressive, and they waived the three years and we got into it through the MLS.

When I started there was no MLS, you would pick up exclusive listings or a verbal listings. Then of course MLS came in and it changed a lot of things.

In 1958, he became the president of AREA. In his acceptance speech, Ervie’s dedication to teamwork becomes apparent.

We can't make a success of it (the real estate business) alone, but if we work together and help each other, we can make this a wonderful business, and we have men such as our immediate past president, Don Spencer and many other past presidents' I could name, who have taught us to work together. (Excerpt from Ervie’s acceptance speech after being elected President).

In 1959, Ervie decided to leave Rich and Jackson Real Estate Ltd and opened a new company with Peter Sandall - Ervie Jackson and Associates.

The same year he became the Regional Vice President of the Canadian Association of Real Estate Boards (CAREB now CREA). In 1964, he became the president of CREB.

While Ervie enjoyed the real estate business, he admits there are challenges to it.

Everybody is on commission to be able to make a living and there was competition. There certainly wasn't as many real estate people as there is today, but there also wasn't the population, Ervie said noting that the business is not as straightforward as many believe it to be.

A lot of people come in to the business and they think it’s an easy business. But you have to spend a lot of time, there’s a lot of disappointments, it’s mentally hard with long hours, Ervie said.

I remember one time, I really didn't want to go but a fellow phoned me up and wanted to see a house on New Years Day, so I went and he bought the house and I was back in three hours! he laughs.

Ervie has been retired for several years now, but he occupies his time with travel to Scotland, Belgium and England, his five grandchildren and he also owns some farm property that he cares for. He has two grown children, Andy and Gary.

This article was written for Calgary Real Estate News, a division of the Calgary Real Estate Board, for the series “Legends of Real Estate” showcasing important members of the Calgary Real Estate Board. Please visit the Calgary Real Estate Board online.This article is part of the collection of the Calgary Real Estate News. Please visit them online.

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