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Choice History: 40+ years
Choice History: 40+ Years
On September 9th, 1979 in the bustling village of Plum Coulee, the newspaper headlines read:
CHOICE REALTY, NEW FIRM IN PLUM COULEE
Choice Realty, the area’s newest real estate firm, opened September 1st, at 281 North Railway in Plum Coulee (Now 281 Main Avenue). Broker Henry Penner, formerly with Neufeld Realty of Winkler, has had five years experience in the real estate field and he feels his new endeavor Choice Realty, will allow him to better serve his area customers.
From his offices in Plum Coulee, Henry served the public in all areas of real estate, including residential, commercial, farm and village properties, as well as farmland. Expansion and easier access were factors in moving his offices to the Southland Mall in Winkler.
In April of 1990, Choice Realty was purchased by Don Friesen and several years later was moved to a nearby location at 1-720 Norquay Drive, just south of the Mcdonalds restaurant.
In January of 2007, Choice moved to our present location at 507 Main Street.
In 2014, the following partial interview with Don Friesen was published as part of the Pembina Valley Lifestyles magazine written by Lorne Stelmach.
So much has changed for Don Friesen since he came into the real estate business in Winkler 24 years ago. Having bought Choice Realty in April 1990 from Henry Penner, Friesen recalled that market conditions were drastically different at that time.
“We started at the beginning of the recession. It was tough,” Friesen and the firm however persevered, and he said it has been a whirlwind over the last 24 years as the business has steadily grown along with Winkler’s growth from town to city status.
Now operating with over half a dozen staff, Choice Realty has had to move a few times as it outgrew its various locations – moving from the Southland Mall to Norquay Drive in 1994 and then to its current location on Main Street, where it doubled it’s space about eight years ago. Friesen said they have seen the market not only grow but also change in some ways over the past couple decades as the community has developed.
“There’s been so much growth in the surrounding areas, which has kept us very busy,” commented Friesen, who also noted how much the local housing market has stabilized in that time. “As the city has grown, those spikes have leveled off,” he noted.
And immigration has been a huge thing for the area, said Friesen. “It’s always amazed me the different people we get coming through our office doors … from all over the world. It’s been interesting to see that change from when I started.”
Friesen said that Winkler continues to be the primary market for Choice Realty but their reach extends south to the border, east to Altona, north to Highway 23 and now west to Morden. And the pace of business continues steady.
“Year round, there’s always someone looking to move or relocate or upgrade,” said Friesen, who added investment properties have also become a significant market for them now. Condos and rental properties have become a growth area in recent years especially with lower interest rates. They also continue to deal with commercial and industrial properties while they have also been involved in leasing in recent years.
Through it all, he said their strength has been that they “have great people working here. We’ve developed a team-like atmosphere in a straight commission sales world. We have friendly competition in the office but we work as a team. I truly believe that’s why we’ve been successful.”
After being in partnership with him for 2 years, Don Friesen sold Choice Realty to Dave Kasdorf.
Over the years, Choice has moved and expanded along with our community to be where we are today.
Located in the heart of Winkler, serving the Pembina Valley with an excellent team of 10 Realtors, an office administrator and marketing administrator.
We love where we live and we love what we do. We’re your community members & neighbours, and we remain your trusted friends in real estate.