Over the years, Whistler has grown from a regional ski hill to year-round mountain resort community and Whistler Real Estate Company (WREC) has grown with it. For more than 35 years, WREC has been the first choice for professional assistance for both locals and those new to the area when making their real estate decisions in both Whistler and Pemberton.
Owner Pat Kelly believes the reason that the company has consistently been the number one real estate company in Whistler is the depth of experience it has in the Whistler market and surrounding area.
“Knowing where Whistler has come from helps us to help people to be part of its future,” says Kelly. “We’re not just sales people; we like to see ourselves as ambassadors for Whistler. Buying real estate in Whistler is an aspirational purchase — most people don’t need to buy it. So you have to market and illustrate all the benefits of being part of Whistler, not just the features of a home.”
The WREC team’s familiarity with Whistler comes not just from the years they’ve spent practicing their profession in Whistler and the surrounding area, but also from their involvement in the community. Volunteerism is an important company value and one that’s widely embraced by all members of the team. Because of this shared commitment to hands-on community work, WREC realtors and support staff possess vast banks of knowledge to share with prospective buyers. Whether clients want to know about sports opportunities available to kids or what neighbourhoods work best for seniors, they get informed answers based on personal experience. And, of course, there is always correct, detailed information when it comes to the buying process.
“We have a first-rate knowledge pool and invest continually in leading edge resources and technology,” says Kelly. “Combine this with consistent administration that know their jobs, excellent sales consultants, and full-time management, and you don’t have to be concerned about the process when you work with us.”
WREC’s 50 realtors and support staff draw from a considerable pool of shared expertise. This ensures that even new team members have a broad understanding of Whistler, its culture and resources. In the last year sharing those resources has become easier with the purchase of permanent office space in the Village large enough to accommodate all of the company’s staff.
“The new location has brought everyone together and that’s been great,” says Kelly. “We’ve made the commitment to buy in the Village, so we’re also Whistler property owners that share the same issues as our customers.”
While being relatable to clients is important, providing an excellent level of service is critical in a business that is characterized by “churn and burn” realtors that dump relationships once commissions have been collected.
“I think what sets us apart from other agencies is our people’s level of caring,” says Kelly. “Most of our people form good relationships with most of their clients after the fact. They ski together and socialize together — the relationship endures.”
“I think what sets us apart from other agencies is our people’s level of caring.”
And that relationship can often begin early on a Sunday morning at WREC’s office, long before prospective buyers have finished their coffee.
“I was in the Village on a Sunday around 10 a.m., and I stopped by the office to pick up something. There were five of our agents getting ready for their appointments, open houses and showings. Where do you see that anymore — particularly given there was fresh snow on the hill that day,” Kelly says.
The WREC team consistently impresses him with their dedication. Some team members, including John Ryan, Jill Notman Colpitts, Liz Chaplin, Sharon Audley and company founder Drew Meredith, have worked with Kelly for decades. Turnover is rare. And realtors often return after trying out other agencies.
Looking forward, Kelly shares his thoughts about buying into Canada’s best-known resort community.
“Choosing Whistler is about being a part of a healthier lifestyle and community, discovering ways to bring family closer together, having fun and reducing stress,” says Kelly. “I think Whistler will continue to evolve as a wonderful year round mountain resort community. Fantastic skiing in the winter, biking in the summer, arts and culture year round — and it’s a great a place for foodies to come — surrounded by some of nature’s most beautiful spots. Whistler will always be vibrant and active and bring forward people who do great things and create memorable experiences.”