Denise Harris, FVREB’s Director, Membership & Education – A Family Legacy of Service Excellence 

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s longest serving staff member, Denise Harris joined the Board 42 years ago after graduating from high school. In her first role with the Board, she spent her days uploading civic addresses in the Fraser Valley jurisdiction to areas and sub-areas, supporting the transition to the first MLS® computer software platform. In the summers before that, picking berries instilled in her a work ethic that has served her well: earning money takes hard work but hard work builds character and creates opportunity.      

Members and staff alike who have been part of the FVREB family for the longer term may remember Denise’s mom, Marianne Friesen, who was a valued member of the Board for 23 years. Marianne was highly respected by members, and there was a certain pressure to live up to the high standards that came with the shared family name, “I understood the requirement to meet or surpass the very high standards which she set – I couldn’t disappoint her!”

As Director of Membership & Education, Denise enjoys building connections with members and takes pride in the many growth opportunities over the years. Of this she says, “I am always in pursuit of excellence and take genuine pleasure in reaching the highest standards of service. Leading the Membership & Education team and providing exceptional support to our members with a can-do attitude has allowed me to continuously learn and grow.”      

With FVREB membership reaching its highest in history with 4,800+, the Membership & Education team has never been busier in its commitment to delivering experiences that meet members’ needs and enhancing FVREB’s member value proposition. Professional Development is paramount to the success of our members, and the BCFSA’s mandate is to regulate real estate brokerages and licensees, including mandatory relicensing courses. The required PDP (Professional Development Program) is designed to complement the relicensing courses and contribute to the fundamental skills, experience and knowledge required of REALTORS®.

Overseeing the FVREB Conference & Trade Show, which has been running for nearly 30 years, Denise counts it as her good fortune to have welcomed some huge influencers, motivators, and educators to the conference. Among them are Rick Hansen, Brian Tracy, Michael “Pinball” Clemons, Chris Hadfield and more, with many of these experiences being life changing for our members.    

Through the years, Denise has seen the evolution of the industry, the sector and overall market conditions. “I’ve come to expect there is always something new coming right around the next corner. There are continuous ebbs and flows with market conditions and so many more unexpected influences which can spark change.”

Denise observes that at the onset of the pandemic, as difficult as it was to adjust, there were positive outcomes. As people moved from city centers to less densely populated areas, searching for spaces more suitable for remote work and learning, this caused unexpected and record changes in the market. “It’s tough to make solid predictions in this industry and we’ve all learned to expect the unexpected.”

Of her favourite memories with the Board, Denise recalls rollouts of new MLS® Platforms and when MLSLink® was brought in with fanfare, including member receptions, champagne and a live concert by Bachman Turner Overdrive.

On the horizon for the Membership & Education Department is Denise’s continued focus on enhancing work processes with fillable forms and email automation. In early 2023 in-class sessions will resume, along with live instructor-led webinars and self-paced online courses. As well, planning is underway for the return of the Conference & Trade Show in fall of 2023, following a two-year hiatus.

Reflecting on her years with the Board, she says, “It has been my absolute pleasure to serve as part of the FVREB leadership. Together with my outstanding team, we will continue to deliver the highest standards of service, which we are honoured to do every day.”    

Of her dreams for the future, Denise is starting to anticipate her retirement years. She is a proud grandmother and is loving this new phase of life. And she is still holding fast to her hopes and dreams of spending six months of the year on her favourite Mexican island of Isla Mujeres. To which we say: Muy Bien! 

FVREB Communications