Frank Johns, 94, the Calgary Real Estate Board’s first chief executive and a dedicated real estate professional who devoted 50 years to the real estate industry, died May 30.
“Frank was an icon in the real estate business and one of the early leaders in organized real estate. He received enormous respect from Realtors across the country,” says Ron Esch, retired CREB CEO.
Johns started his career in Toronto in 1935 in real estate sales and came to Calgary as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. After the war, Johns decided to move to Calgary and eventually got into real estate sales with Lyle Real Estate.
In 1953, he was elected the president of the Calgary Real Estate Board and in 1954 he was appointed to head of the board, becoming the first salesman to be appointed to head a real estate board in Canada. Johns also held the post of secretary-treasurer of the Alberta Real Estate Association from 1953-1976 and became the first chairman of the Board Secretaries Council of Canada in 1960.
A CREB news release says that when Johns took the helm of the Calgary board, his goals were high: to promote city welfare and see that high standards of real estate were maintained in Calgary. He also wanted to present the public with a study of the new bank financing structure and attempt to achieve closer co-operation with civic authorities in bringing in new industries.
In 1971, Johns decided to run for mayor of Calgary. His professional and community experience made him an excellent candidate, says CREB, but he lost to incumbent mayor Rod Sykes. He ran once more in 1977, but Sykes won again.
In the community, he served as president of the Calgary Home and School Association, general manager of the Alberta Music Festival, chairman of the Salvation Army Red Feather Campaign, member of the board of governors of Mount Royal Junior College and president and then past-president of the Downtown Kiwanis Club.
A strong believer in continuing education, Johns attained his FRI designation and was the president of the Canadian Institute of Realtors, subsequently renamed the Real Estate Institute of Canada, in 1969.
He was the first Honorary Life Member of the Alberta Real Estate Association and received an Honorary Membership in CREA in 1983. In 1985, Johns was named Realtor of the Year.
Johns was also an accomplished speaker, making 80 to 100 speeches a year. He had the opportunity to introduce Prince Phillip in Toronto and his talks were described as entertaining, informative and impeccably delivered, says CREB.
In 1987, Johns retired from CREB after 35 years of service.
He was a mentor and leader amongst executive officers, lending his expertise and wisdom freely. CREB recognized his contributions to organized real estate and his community by funding scholarships under his name at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal College.
Funeral services will be held at 10 am on Wednesday, June 6, at Foster’s Garden Chapel, 3220- 4th Street NW, Calgary.