Whether you are trying to sell, buying a new home, or looking for a job, Royal Heritage Realty is a committed workforce of friendly faces and always ready to help. Families couldn’t go wrong by choosing this company; they will receive the great listings created by experts whether to view for future buying or see what houses are selling for. It feels empowering to see an experienced team of local business owners and their reputable upheld understanding of clients’ needs.
Real estate is not slowing down much around Durham, and it’s thanks to many moving to the golden horseshoe and realtors planning. Kim Bell, one of Royal Heritage Realty’s 260 agents, has further insight into their operations, one of the younger yet rising real estate businesses in the region.
How did you become a part of the Royal Heritage Realty team, and how long have you been a salesperson?
Having been in the business since 2008, my original broker, who I quite liked, decided to close his brokerage, and having been in the industry I knew Paul Etherington. Paul is one of the partners in Royal Heritage Realty. So in 2018, he convinced me to go with him to Royal Heritage, and it was a great decision. The Company prides itself on being a family-type brokerage where you will know our front desk, our agents, our suppliers, our legal team, our financing team, and all work together to make their agents the best they can be.
What special packages does Royal Heritage Realty offer clients that makes the group stand out from the rest?
The company partners have a wealth of experience behind them. Like Paul Etherington, Broker of Record, a Past President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, and a current Director of that Board. Paul also served three terms as a Director of the Ontario Real Estate Association. Paul managed two large RE/MAX offices before partnering with Royal Heritage. Michelle Makos, Broker Manager, is a current Director of the Toronto Real Estate Board (since 2012). She has been an agent at three of the largest Real Estate brands (RE/MAX, Royal Lepage, and Sutton Group) before partnering here at Royal Heritage. Michelle is an internet and social Media Expert who ensures that our client’s properties get maximum exposure.
The Company has three branch offices (Pickering, Whitby, and Oshawa). They have partnered with great lawyers, mortgage brokers who work hard to ensure every deal closes for homeowners, even the difficult ones. Movers and stagers give us preferential rates and just an outstanding administrative staff and support team to ensure the contracts. The Company has over 200 realtors who work together to help each other. There is a communication forum to promote properties for clients and to find properties for clients.
How did you and Royal Heritage Realty overcome the lockdowns and unfolding pandemic? What has worked for the business?
Royal Heritage Realty came up with several protocols to keep everyone safe. They developed procedures with the bank for direct deposits, so no need for the agent or the brokerage’s admin staff had to interact with clients or realtors for deposits. When the office was open, there were strict guidelines on access to the office. Work from home was encouraged, and some offices were closed periodically.
From a realtor’s perspective, we followed the rules designated by the province and RECO. During the lockdown, no open houses, which I have not done since the beginning of the pandemic, strict rules of how many people can enter a home, PPE wearing, and hand sanitizer inside all properties. Virtual tours of homes were always encouraged before physical appointments with safety measures and the clients wearing masks. Realtor Lockboxes were used as a tool by the lawyers to facilitate key transfer on closing day. Electronic Financial exchanges and digital signatures for documents have allowed us to limit physical contact.
What do you feel would add to this young business for future endeavors?
Real estate is an exciting, fulfilling career. Helping someone find their next home or sell their beloved current home is an emotional process for the client. New professionals need to understand that the most important thing is to listen to your client. You need to understand clients’ needs to educate them on what the market is doing and how to approach what they are looking for. As rewarding as helping someone get their dream home, this is not a regular 9 to 5 career job. You need to be available for your clients whenever they need you.
Real Estate transactions can be very slow, taking a long time to find the right property, or can be very quick, demanding an immediate response. Social media for your new professionals is an excellent tool for networking and finding clients. As a new professional to the industry, try to mentor an older experienced realtor as their experience and knowledge are like no other.
Today’s digital tools have helped streamline selling real estate but never forget the value of getting to know your clients and partnering with them to achieve their goals. People relationships go a long way for their first purchase or sale and future purchases and sales and referrals. Referrals are essential in this industry and how you treat people during the buying and selling process is key to successful transactions and future business.
Special tips for first-time homeowners trying to sell or buy a home?
Whether you are educated and experienced in the home selling process or a first-time home seller, have an experienced realtor like me that will evaluate and consult with you to ensure they fully understand – and meet – your expectations. Someone who will walk you through the sales, negotiation, contracts, and disclosures processes to make sure you are informed and protected.
When selling a home, the key is to experience your home as a potential buyer might. Walk outside your property. Look at the front door and the overall curb appeal. Notice the paint’s condition, the trim, the light fixtures, the door hardware, and if you own a detached, home notice the lawn and landscaping. When setting the stage for your house to be ‘for sale,’ you must consider how a buyer will feel while viewing your home. You want to create an environment where potential buyers can visualize themselves in your home.
When buying a home, ensure you have a realtor that is willing to work with you to understand your needs. The basic principle is to make sure that your realtor is accessible and comfortable to work with. You want a realtor that will listen to what you are looking for. I always meet with my clients to help them identify which nuances are essential to their move. This could include location, lifestyle, and financial comfort level. After that, we research using several tools at my disposal as a realtor to find a home that matches the homeowner’s criteria.
We also use our network of realtors to identify something that fits the buyer’s needs. Research is a crucial component to my day to assist my homeowners in purchasing a home. I set them up to receive listings of prospective properties. If you are in a buyer’s market, then you have more flexibility on price and conditions in purchasing a home to achieve a purchase. In crazier markets, like we are in now (sellers’ market), it is imperative to have a realtor reviewing everything daily and watching for opportunities to get that home for you.
Before you jump right into real estate or buy a house, you should always research the housing market; we will fill you in on the annual outlook. Durham’s business is doing relatively well now, considering we are in the middle of an unfolding pandemic, sales still high from last year, one of the highest recorded results. Prices still rise to impress; we are expected to see a 9.1% increase this year, real estate is pushing through a new future. There is a widespread housing supply shortage, a concern to many wanting the desirable properties in a more quiet neighborhood. It is intriguing to think all new homes are planned to be clean, energy-driven, and old buildings will be retrofitted with Durham’s new programs.
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Author: Kayla Stephens, for The Onside Media, Toronto, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: – [email protected]