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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Interview with Winnipeg Realtor Borys Lehkar

1) EZREKLAMA: Greetings Borys. Thank you for meeting with us.  Could you share with our readers something about yourself, and maybe things you enjoy doing in your free time?

1) BORYS: Good day. Certainly. My name is Borys Lehkar. I come from the city of Drohobych in the Lviv region of Ukraine. After graduating from school, I entered the Lviv Technical College of Rural Construction in the Department of Civil and Industrial  Construction. My education, which was the second half of the 1980s, came at a time when the movement for democratic change and protests against the then Soviet system was gaining momentum in Lviv. I tried not to miss any demonstrations. We hung flags, glued posters, and were on duty at the Klumba (flowerbed) now a monument to Shevchenko in Lviv. It was then that I was lucky enough to meet Chornovil, the Horeniv brothers, Helia, the Kalintsy couple, and other dissidents of the time. Lviv, where I had to live a significant part of my life, remains my favorite city to this day. After graduating from college, I started working as a construction foreman, and a few months later I was drafted into the army. 

By the way, the years of my service (1990-1992) coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and Ukraine's independence. It so happened that I took two oaths. The first, to the USSR, and the second to Independent Ukraine. I am especially proud that I had the honor to serve at the time when the Ukrainian Army was born. After demobilization I went to work in business, and then I worked for a construction company as a foreman. 


Many of my relatives had  been working in different fields as teachers, doctors, engineers and lawyers. Actually, my uncle Oleksandr (Sasha) Shvets was a very professional lawyer, and an authority I wanted to be like. That is why I decided to enter the Faculty of Law of Volyn National University named after Lesya Ukrainka. Many years of hard study followed and then I became a lawyer! Even during my studies, I forged ahead by providing legal advice. By the way, Sasha took an active part in the Revolution of Dignity in 2013-14. Later, when the Russian-Ukrainian war broke out, he closed his law practice, bought all his uniforms at his own expense, and volunteered for the war. He served as a battery commander and died during the shelling near Zaitsevo in July 2016. He was awarded the Order of Khmelnytsky. 

After graduating from university and working as a legal consultant for some time, I received documents to travel to Canada. In truth, I had conflicting feelings. On the one hand, I really liked the work of a lawyer, and on the other hand I wanted to try something new. What is life like in Canada? Upon arrival in Winnipeg, I immediately began working. I was not afraid of physical work. From 2006 to 2010 I studied at the University of Winnipeg, and received a Bachelor of Arts, in Political Science. In addition to my main job, my other favorite activities are football, outdoor activities and community participation. I am a member of the board of the Prosvita (Enlightenment) Institute, where since 2005 I have been responsible for the team of FC IPAC-UKRAINE in which I played for 11 years, and now I am involved in coaching, as well as looking for sponsors for the team. By the way, FC IPAC-UKRAINE is the only Ukrainian football club in Winnipeg and we want it to continue to exist. Especially because we already have many young and talented players. Also, together with friends, we organize an annual children's football tournament for the Carpathia Youth Cup and various evening outings at the Prosvita Institute.


2) EZREKLAMA: What prompted you go into real estate? It’s no secret that this business has lots of competitors and you have to continuously strive to gain and maintain customer loyalty? BTW. How long have you been working in this profession? As well, we often hear terms being used like "realtor", "professional realtor" or "real estate agent". Is there any difference between them?


2) BORYS:  I enjoy working with people and learning something new. Once my friend Denis Lozynsky (he is the owner of Century 21 Advanced Realty) asked me if I would like to try myself in real estate. And I thought, why not! After passing the exams, I received a license and have been working for Century21 Advanced Realty for eight years now. The work of a realtor requires some legal knowledge, because the process of buying and selling requires working with documents where you need to take into account all the little things. Some will say that here in Canada there is a different system and different laws, but the principles of law are the same, whether it’s in Ukraine, or here. The requirements for the contract are the same. In addition to working as an agent, I can manage my own time, and feel more independent. 

Of course I have to consider the needs and requirements of my clients. I already mentioned that I have been working as a realtor at Century 21 Advanced Realty since 2013 and I like the atmosphere and the team. I feel doubly blessed that I can demonstrate loyalty to both the company and to my customers. I love what I do for them. By the way, you asked about the terms "realtor", "professional realtor" or "real estate agent.” They all have the same meaning - this is a person who has a special license and right to represent the interests of their client to buy, sell, rent, or even to conduct an "open house". The Manitoba Security Commission, which regulates the activities of realtors in our province, does not use the term "professional realtor" because everyone who has received a license is a professional realtor. It’s the same, for example, if we used the terms "doctor" and "professional doctor" or "lawyer" and "professional lawyer". It matters less what  you call yourself in a business card or in your ad, it’s more important that you perform your work  honorably and responsibly.


 3) EZREKLAMA : Do you have any special approaches when you work with people who want to buy or sell a house? These seem like  two diametrically opposed goals. One wants to buy for less, whereas the other wants to sell at the highest possible price. How do you to deal with such matters?

3. BORYS: When I work with buyers, I try to explain that they are not just buying a house or a condo, they are buying a lifestyle. And so you need to be very balanced in your decisions. Agents should be hired to better understand all the complex details of the purchase. Especially since it is absolutely free for the buyer. As for the sellers, before giving advice, I do a lot of work on the market situation, the condition of the house and then explain to the seller what the real market price is and what strategy we will choose when selling. Then the seller has to decide what the final sale price will be. I never promise the  sellers mountains of gold or buyers that they will buy a house for half the going price. If someone tells you this, they are misleading you. There is a market and there is a price. 


I always try to make the process of buying and selling a home as stress-free as possible for my clients. Prompt communication with customers and other participants in the sales process is critical (instant response to calls and other messages, forwarding documents). Also, I work with various banks and financial brokers, insurance agents, building inspectors, and lawyers. So, if my clients ask for advice, I direct them to any one of these specialists, as required. 


There are cases when real estate is sold at huge discount prices, and one should pay special attention to these offers and check everything meticulously. There are also situations when a realtor acts as a representative for both parties. Then he or she must properly fulfill the contractual both to the seller and the buyer. Manitoba law provides a special procedure in such cases.


4) EZREKLAMA : What guides your activities as a realtor and can you spell out some of your strengths?

4) BORYS: Professionalism, honesty, openness are the cornerstones of my work. In my work as a realtor, I rely on my knowledge and experience. An offer to purchase  is a complex document where you need to prescribe all the essential conditions to avoid future trouble. After all, when you buy a house, the principle of "Buyer beware" applies. In addition, the agent needs to understand the financial details of the sales process to explain to the buyer how the financial mechanisms work. My graduate degree in Management and Administration at the University of Manitoba, where the main subjects were financial and credit relations, allows me to easily interpret and translate what is important to my client in a language they will understand.


As well, I follow real estate market patterns very closely. I keep abreast of trends by reading  specialized publications, and review the stats in related housing and financial sectors.

It is important that the realtor always tells their  client the truth as it is (albeit even if it sometimes not very pleasant). This may disappoint them momentarily , but it will help you avoid trouble later. Sometimes there are situations when the agent is not completely transparent with their client and this can have negative consequences for both parties. I always focus my attention on the client’s needs whether they are buying or selling a house and leave the final decision to them. The realtor must make every effort to achieve a favorable result.

If you have any questions about selling or buying a home, having your home appraised, or any other matters related to real estate, call me at 204-612-8007 or email  me at I also invite you to visit my Facebook page and my YouTube channel. YouTube channel address

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