Canada's Condominium Magazine

Realtor named CEO of the year by PR group

The CEO of Canada’s oldest and largest residential real estate company is the latest winner of the Canadian Public Relations Society’s CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations. Phil Soper of Royal LePage was honoured with the award, first given in 1992, for his work in “defining the company’s vision and communicating it with impact.”

According to the statement announcing the award, Royal LePage’s business has more than tripled its revenues and doubled the number of agents working under its banner since 2002 when Soper took over as CEO. He directed the restructuring of the company as it went public and expanded into multi-brand operations. During Soper’s decade leading Royal LePage, the company has also become the dominant real estate company in media share. The number of traditional media impressions—the number of people who may have seen or heard or read a Royal LePage message in some format—was 422 million in 2014, more than the next five real estate firms combined. Soper is frequently asked to comment on real estate market issues in the media. He is also credited with being an early adopter of social media for the real estate business, saying that “an engaged, contemporary enterprise” needs to use both traditional and new media to survive and thrive.
Maryanne Martin, president of the Canadian Public Relations Society Toronto presents the CEO Award of Excellence to Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePAge on January 28, 2015.

Soper is the first real estate CEO to be honoured. Earlier recipients of the CEO Award of Excellence  include Galen Weston of Loblaws, Richard Bradshaw of the Canadian Opera Company, Piers Handling of the Toronto International Film Festival, Robert Deluce of Porter Airlines, and the co-founders of Roots, Michael Budman and Don Green. His most recent predecessor was Sheldon Levy, the president of Ryerson University.

The wide acceptance of social networks allows us to engage with, and learn from, our clients and prospects in a back and forth manner that wasn’t contemplated even a few years ago. Yet the massive reach and impact of television, radio and print media continue to serve us well. If an organization understands which channels best suit the communication needs of a given business strategy, they will undoubtedly accomplish more.

Phil Soper, CEO Royal LePage

Real Estate Marketing magazine called Soper one of the most important leaders in the Canadian real estate industry of the last twenty-five years, and a US publication for real estate executives (Swanepoel Trends Report) called him the most influential leader in Canadian residential real estate.
History: A.E. LePage founded the company in 1913 in Toronto and introduced innovations such as descriptive ads in newspapers and talking clients to see homes. The company merged with Royal Trust in 1984. Photo: screen grab from Royal LePage video on YouTube.

The CEO award recognizes communications excellence. A successful CEO, the award people explain, must be able to “express a clear mission and shared values” with a broad range of stakeholders. The Royal LePage marketing message makes much of its being the oldest real estate company in Canada, with more than one hundred years behind it, as well as being the largest. Unlike “upstart” firms that are just entering the market, Royal LePage has that credibility-building century of tradition which, says Soper in a promotional video, translates into “trust and credibility with clients.” The company’s trademarked slogan, “Helping you is what we do” neatly sums up the core message that the company is, as it says, “dedicated to our agents and clients.” It is the only real estate company with its own branded charity, The Shelter Foundation, which directs funding to women’s shelters and violence prevention.

Congratulations to Phil Soper!


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