Michael and Tristan Ziegler celebrate 50 years of the family selling real estate in Oak Bay. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

A work of art for real estate golden anniversary

Three generations of Zieglers and 50 years of real estate

As you drive along Beach Drive and pass McNeill Bay, it is easy for your eyes to gravitate towards the ocean and to miss the cedar shake house set back on one of the ocean-view lots. But step through the door of this immaculate home and you find a sanctuary: of art, of work, and of family.

This home has witnessed the growth and change of a family and business, as three generations of Zieglers worked together to carve out a unique reputation in the real estate business. For this bloodline, this year marks the 50-year milestone of building relationships and selling homes in Oak Bay. In proper Ziegler fashion, they are doing something unique to celebrate.

Thirty years ago, the Oak Bay Star interviewed Michael Ziegler in this Beach Drive home that he and his wife Vicki purchased in 1976. At that time, he was working with his mother and father, Lorraine and Eric Ziegler, who had begun the family tradition of selling real estate, and his son Tristan was just four years old.

Michael began working with his mother and father in real estate as “a mistake” after graduating from UVic with an honours degree in political science and economics, but failing his LSAT exams – he needed to find a job for the summer and his mother Lorraine asked if he wanted to work with her in real estate. Michael took her up on the offer and ended up working with her for years until he eventually “fired” her when she was 84 and ready to retire. Michael has been heavily involved in the industry since, taking positions as president of the Canadian Real Estate Association and chair of the Real Estate Council.

Woven throughout Michael’s real estate career, discussed in the article years ago and still prevalent today, is his love and dedication to the arts – both as an artist and an arts supporter. It is in fact what distinguished the Ziegler family business from others in real estate.

With a background in art, Michael saw a way to help the family business stand out.

“In the beginning, the primary way to promote properties was by photographing them. Black and white photos that were flat on the page,” said Michael. “I wanted something that would have a little kick to it. So I started doing line drawings with all the properties we sold. That became a very recognizable feature of our advertising.”

He has drawn hundreds of them over the years, and while he doesn’t do many anymore, art still plays a large part in his life and business. Michael is always thinking about how to add art to a business environment.

Today, Michael’s son Tristan, who is around the same age Michael was in the article 30 years ago, is now his business partner.

“I realized what a beautiful opportunity it would be to work with my dad and continue the legacy that my grandma started,” said Tristan. “Grandma was a legend and my dad is my mentor.”

“I don’t think I ever thought I’d be as privileged as to have such a great relationship with my son and actually work with him on a daily basis,” said Michael. “After my mom and dad passed away there was a big vacuum there. It has been absolutely fabulous to put the Zieglers back on track as a family team. My greatest joy is going to work with my son every day.”

As art has been such a thread throughout the business over the years, and in celebration of the 50th anniversary, the Zieglers invite their clients, many of whom have done business with all three generations of Zieglers, to choose a print from the Ziegler collection.

“We decided to provide every one of our clients old and new the opportunity to have a framed piece of original art. It’s an opportunity to say thank you to all the people we have been working with over the years,” said Michael.

As for retiring, Michael doesn’t plan on doing it anytime soon, joking that he is on Freedom 95.

“If you can actually work at something that you enjoy so much that it doesn’t feel like you’re working, I think you’ve been truly blessed,” said Michael. “This profession, real estate, has given me that opportunity.”


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

 

Michael Ziegler then and now. (Submitted)

Ziegler featured in a 1988 Oak Bay Star article. (Submitted)

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Meet Your Candidates: Oak Bay candidates outline the issues

Deer, infrastructure and more among top concerns

Homeless Action Week: Our Place Society asking for blankets, sleeping bags

The fundraiser is off to a slow start as the days get colder

Victoria among Top 10 sunniest Canadian cities

Victoria ranks 6th in sunny days per year

Video: An up-close look at beluga whales in Hudson Bay

An up-close look as some belugas greet whale watchers off the coast of Churchill, Manitoba

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

ELECTION 2018: Vancouver Island politician ending unprecedented 40-year run

Mike Kokura served on the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District board since 1972

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

Most Read