Therese Schell founded her real estate company Buy the Shores of Georgian Bay Realty Inc. based on the need to serve clients with a more hands-on approach.
That tailored service is what’s kept the business sought-after and successful since its opening in May 2014.
“I love dealing with my clients directly, and that’s how I do my best business. Larger brokerages have certain rules and ways of working, and I just felt I wanted to do things differently,” she said.
“Having control over what I do, if I provide discounts to long-time clients and other things was important. I can do that with my own firm. The agents under Buy The Shore practice with the same values I do.”
The boutique business is service-oriented and is consistently putting buyers and sellers first in their practices.
“I never pass my clients to another agent. When you call and ask me to work with you, I’m there from beginning to end. I do open houses, meetings, call with feedback and negotiate offers. If a client is upset, they yell at me. If they’re happy, they talk to me. I am there through it all,” said Schell.
Buy The Shores has seen evolution in the industry, but their brokerage – including four full-time sales agents – will always help their clients through all the shifts.
“There have definitely been changes in the market recently, but having an agent with more than five years of full-time experience will help navigate. I was licensed in 1984, and I’ve seen instances when it’s a buyer’s market, a seller’s market and when the market has been dead,” she said.
“Trends always repeat, and it’s about supply and demand. Sometimes there aren’t enough listings on the market (for sale) and bidding wars begin. The pandemic obviously created some changes. I’ve never been a realtor through a pandemic, but in the same breath, the market and pace are familiar. With Buy The Shores, people can rely on our experience to get through challenging times.”
While Schell acknowledges that larger brokerages often try to push out competition, she says Buy The Shores has something others may not.
“We give every bit of advice and guidance we have, but we make sure they understand we don’t control their decisions. We act as their employee, in a sense. We give insight on the market and industry, discuss procedures to follow, but decisions are for clients to make,” she said.
The business is committed to giving back in their community, including being a local food bank depot for St. Vincent De Paul in Midland, & St. Anne’s Church in Penetanguishene.
“My community is so important to me. I do physical fitness at the local YMCA for a mature age group, and I volunteer at the Legion Branch 68 on the entertainment committee and sports committee,” she said.
“People get to know you on a personal level, get a feel for you, and realize you really are integrated in the area you serve.”
Knowing the idiosyncrasies of the Southern Georgian Bay area, as well as the differences between urban and rural homes, has been important for Schell.
“I serve everywhere in the community, and agents need to understand things like wells, waterfront access, seasonal and unseasonal properties, land encroachments, and so much more. Also, when you’re in cottage country, if your realtor is from Toronto and doesn’t understand the septic, that’s an issue. We know the questions to ask, and we understand areas we service,” she said.
“Every agent has the same tools at their disposal. We have the same forms, cell phones, computers and education. But service, knowledge, experience and the ability to educate buyers and sellers is what a good agent does,” she said.
“We constantly strive for better. I love helping folks I’m working for, and the entire crew at Buy The Shore works hard for our clients. We are community-oriented, and we each have a niche where we pay it forward in the community. We care about the people here, which makes us better as realtors.”
For more information on Buy The Shores, visit them online here.