A Day in the Life: Shawna Risdon, Consumer & Industry Services Coordinator Image

A Day in the Life: Shawna Risdon, Consumer & Industry Services Coordinator


One of the most hectic areas at the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is definitely the Consumer and Industry Services unit. Within the Office of the Registrar, Consumer and Industry Services is responsible for the provision of authorization functions delegated from Council to the Executive Director. This means extensive correspondence, back and forth, between RECA and the industry professionals it serves, and between RECA and consumers.

Shawna Risdon, RECA’s Information and Licensing Coordinator, is the woman in charge of ensuring the lines of communication between RECA and industry members, and between RECA and consumers remain clear. Shawna oversees a team of six employees, who all work to assist industry members and consumers with any question or problems they may encounter regarding trading in real estate or mortgage services in Alberta.

Shawna took some time to answer a few questions about how a typical day for her usually goes.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

A lot of the members of our team are fairly new so I spend a lot of time training them and ensuring that they are up to speed on all the key issues and questions they could be asked. I also spend a lot of my time in a training capacity on issues surrounding licence and information requests that need to be escalated quickly, but occasionally I will get directly involved with stakeholders. I also spend a good chunk of time on policies and procedures surrounding licensing and I am constantly trying to improve those processes and services that we provide to consumers and industry professionals.

How many pieces of correspondence from industry professionals or consumers does your department receive on a typical day?

On a standard business day we receive, on average, around 45 calls a day. That coupled with approximately the same number of emails and trying to process incoming licence requests makes our days pretty busy.

What types of questions are you asked?

We get a lot of questions about licence reciprocity, meaning applicants coming into Alberta from other areas wanting to know the process. We also get a variety of licensing questions; from brokerage amendments to opening brokerages. We do get calls from consumers a lot of the times surrounding complaints regarding industry members. We also deal with some general practice and legislative questions.

Does the Consumer and Industry Services department have any long-term projects on the go?

Currently we are working on a rebuild of RECA Online, which will help us better manage our licensing information. We will also be introducing, hopefully within the next month or two, document recognition software at RECA that will help streamline our team’s work efforts to make the turn-around times for licensing applications even quicker.

What is something that your department has accomplished recently that you are particularly proud of?

Definitely the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, which was introduced last summer and has been modified substantially over the past couple of months. We use a CRM system to manage licensing caseloads; track phone calls, emails and walk-in service requests; and to track our departmental statistics and response times. Our CRM system has allowed all of these activities to become more streamlined and functional. Also last summer, we began using a new call management system that allows us to deliver shorter response times to consumers and industry professionals.