Since he began selling Real Estate in 1995, Nick Profeta has made a name for himself as one of Calgary’s most respected REALTORS®. The recent recipient of the T.W.H. (Bill) Saunders Memorial Award – commonly known as the REALTOR® of the Year award – Profeta has served on 12 different committees/task forces since 1995, and his long-running “Nico Night” raised funds for CREB®’s Charitable Foundation and the Feed The Hungry program. Profeta took a few minutes out his busy schedule to chat with CREB® Now about the city he calls home.

CREB®>> What’s the importance of giving back to your community, and why is it such a priority for you?

Profeta>> The biggest thing is being with people is what makes me happy. I started off in the family business of construction, but as soon as I could I got out into the restaurant and hospitality industry. I just loved interacting and being with people, and I found the combination of work and play is great. Being able to give, live and love and share the joy really happens when you’re volunteering and doing community work. Being Italian, it’s almost an extension of the family. We grew up that way and it’s always been a big part of my life.

CREB®>> What advice would you give someone thinking of buying a home right now?

Profeta>> As a buyer, I would say the most important thing is to hire an agent you trust. Your personalities have to click and you have to make sure you’re on the same page. When you’re looking for a home, when you find the right one you’ll know because it feels right. And when you find it, buy it. Don’t wait. I’ve never regretted buying real estate, so don’t be afraid to just take the plunge and do it.

CREB®>> If you could change one thing about the city, what would it be?

Profeta>> Traffic and bad drivers. I’d get rid of the traffic.

CREB®>> What’s your favourite room in your house and why?

Profeta>> Well it should be the big Italian-style eat-in kitchen, because we love food and wine and family and all that stuff, but it turns out that my favourite room is my family room. I can still be with my family there, but I can [also] sit back and turn on my stereo and listen to music.

CREB®>> What do you think is Calgary’s biggest strength?

Profeta>> The people. I love the city. I was born here in 1966 and I’ve watched it grow. Even with the influx of different people, there’s still something about it. You can say you’re from Toronto and you’ve been here for six months or you’re from Edmonton and you’ve been here 10 years, once you get to Calgary there’s something that makes the people just shine.

CREB>>® What’s been the biggest change in your career as a REALTOR ®?

Profeta>> If you exclude technology and the Internet, which is probably the biggest thing and is still continuing to grow, I think the most important thing that I’ve begun to realize is that it’s more about the people and the relationships now than it’s ever been. Some agents don’t get it and think it’s still about the deal or winning or how they rank. You’ll see the ads and the signs and the billboards, and good for them if that’s what they believe, but to me it’s about the people, building trust, creating long lasting relationships and selling the dream. Other than getting married, most people have a dream of owning a home – for some owning a home is more important than getting married – and that’s the biggest thing. I think some people just don’t get that.

CREB®>> What’s the number one thing you’d tell someone thinking of selling his or her home?

Profeta>> I couldn’t pick just one thing, so I’ve picked three: price it right; keep your home neat and tidy; and hire an agent that uses all types of marketing – old and new – and make sure they can think outside the box. You’ll hear different people say ‘That doesn’t work anymore’ or ‘This doesn’t work anymore’. Well guess what – some of the old stuff works and some of the new stuff works, and they should be able to package it all together.

CREB®>> What’s your favourite way to spend a day off in the city? profeta That’s the problem – I hardly get time off in the city. When I’m here I’m usually working, so in order for me to get some time off I usually have to call forward or put the auto reply on the email and fly away or drive away. My wife and I and the family do really enjoy the inner city and going for walks and for dinner. We like the downtown, Inglewood, the Beltline, Kensington, Eau Claire and Mission and trying to find a nice restaurant by walking around and looking for a good meal.

CREB®>> What are Calgary’s best-kept secrets?

Profeta>> As far as parks go, my favourite park is still Confederation Park. For neighbourhoods I still love Mount Pleasant. These aren’t secrets – I think the word is out that these are great places. As for attractions, I’m still a little bit old school. I still like the Calgary Tower, Heritage Park, walking along the Bow River and heading down to Prince’s Island.

CREB®>> Where do you see the real estate industry headed in the next five to 10 years?

Profeta>> I think the real estate market in Calgary is going to remain strong. I believe the average house price is going to continue to increase. The only concern is how is the city will manage growth. I see nothing but positives for the real estate industry in Calgary in the next five to 10 years.

Nick Profeta – REALTOR® of the Year