5 Questions with...Colin Hartigan
1.Tell us about your real estate career history, and your family's legacy in our community.
I moved to Fort McMurray in 1986 and graduated from Father Mercredi High School in 1992. After graduating from NAIT, I began my real estate career in 1998 with the Fort McMurray Real Estate Board. It was in 2006 that I opened Coldwell Banker Fort McMurray. Throughout these years I have worked to become a household name in real estate, building the HARTIGAN name to be known for trust & integrity in business. I think my biggest accomplishment, though, has been having the ability to give back to the community as much as we have been able to, as I truly love this community and its people. As a result, I have raised my family here, Carter (13) and Andrew (11).
2. How does the Fort McMurray real estate market of 2013 compare to the current real estate market?
The market has changed since 2013 in the following ways: The average price of a home has dropped due to the slowdown in the economy, and the drop in oil prices. The number of listings on the market are down by 120 compared to this time last year. The volume of sales has decreased, but the low interest rates have helped sustain the market, and even created opportunities for people, which is exciting!
3. What does this mean for people who are moving into the community, and for the people moving out of the community?
Fort McMurray has been so good to so many people that have left, and I can assure you they are Fort McMurray's biggest advocates! I have seen this for myself first hand. Individuals like Leo Roberts, Dale Unruh, and even my dad, Paul Hartigan preach often about this fabulous community and what it offers...how it has so much opportunity. So folks that are arriving on the 5 Year Plan: Be ready to adjust that to the 5 Year + Plan!
4. How long do you expect it will take before the real estate market rebounds?
A rebound is an interesting word to use; I feel like most a price adjustment was coming and it is a form of normalization was needed as things don't always go straight up; it's actually unhealthy for any economy in particularly on the social sector. I think for most the is experiencing the new normal and adjusting expectations and spending to realize that new normal. The "rebound" won't be felt here until jobs return and oil returns and those go hand in hand. I do believe the bottom is in sight and with oil stabilizing we are already starting to see that positive vibe! #weloveymm campaign embodies this 100%
5. What one piece of advice do you have for homeowners in Fort McMurray right now?
Homeowners right need to pay close attention to "wants" and "needs" and be sure to differentiate those two during tougher economic times. Just like a business operates the Income Statement has to end in a NET profit after expenses and still have room to save! Planning is key for moments like this as it can be devastating otherwise. But more importantly than anything you don't let times like this change who you are and what your core beliefs and principles are as this will help you make it through and also HELP others through that need that support when it's most needed. The old saying it takes a village to raise a child could not be more true. Fort McMurray is a truly amazing place!
Bonus Question: Why the #weloveymm Campaign?
It all started in the fall when we did an pictorial aerial tour with Paul Spring of Phoenix Heli-Flight of Fort McMurray which was posted on our Facebook page to share with the #weloveymm which took off; it was a real reminder how beautiful this region is and what it has to offer and people wanted to share that. I gathered a small team in our office to tackle the economic environment and how we can set our self apart from our competition! We instantly realized positivity is the answer and how can we collaborate to share that positive attitude and vibe. We reached out to small and large business retailers in the community and we got an instant yes from each that we initially contacted. Unknown to us was the thirst and desire by these business as well to collaborate in tougher times to share our vision about Fort McMurray and how working together we can accomplish so much more and impact the public in a positive way! Thus the launch of the #weloveymm $95,000 giveaway; with a grand prize of a new Chevy Equinox for the Grande prize winner! The prizes have become secondary to the amount of interaction we have had sharing the message why we love ymm! The passion that exists in Fort McMurray is awesome but the amount of it that is untapped is enormous! We have just been so fortunate to tap into a part of it to help promote our message and business that are associated with it!