According to Feedspot we're a Top 40 Canada Real Estate Podcast You Must Follow in 2021.
Jan. 14, 2021

Catherine Schellenberg on real estate teams, 2020 market results, and forecasts

Catherine Schellenberg on real estate teams, 2020 market results, and forecasts

Catherine Schellenberg is a seasoned Winnipeg REALTOR®, Team Leader and Past President (2020) of WinnipegREALTORS®. In this episode we talk about the real estate “team” trend, past year market insight and 2021 forecasts.


Catherine Schellenberg is a seasoned Winnipeg REALTOR®, Team Leader and Past President (2020) of WinnipegREALTORS®. In this episode we talk about the real estate “team” trend, past year market insight and 2021 forecasts.

Transcript

Adrian:

I'm joined today by Catherine Schellenberg. She is a realtor and team leader with RE/MAX Professionals. She's also the past president, I think year 2020 of the WinnipegREALTORS Association. Welcome Catherine to the, I love Winnipeg Real Estate podcast.

Catherine:

Thank you, Adrian. Thanks for having me.

Adrian:

So, first of all, a team leader, we're seeing a lot of real estate teams out there these days. I'm not sure if any one of us fully understand what that means. Could you explain to us what a real estate team is?

Catherine:

Sure. In the last five years there's been a huge growth in real estate teams, because the fact that it allows you to work together with combined strengths. And in fact, if I'm not available to show a property, then somebody on my team would be able to pick up that appointment, and take the client through. The fact that we all realize that we all have special skills or strengths in certain areas, and it allows us to pull those together to become quite dynamic as a team.

Adrian:

And, what kind of feedback do you get from clients that have worked with sort of a solo agent versus working with a team like yours?

Catherine:

Sometimes there's concern where if somebody comes to work with me specifically that they want to be working with me, not passed off to somebody in my team. So, we definitely recognize that, and let them know that they'll only be working with another buyer's agents in the event that I am unavailable. So, it's just to make sure that we can service them the best as possible. Usually people don't have a problem with that. I like to physically introduce them to team members, then they have a face to the name. They've had that initial introduction, so if they do meet down the road by chance, that they don't feel awkward.

Adrian:

Now, some agents, I think, may declare themselves as listing agents or buyer's agents. What's your view on specializing? Do you think that's an important component of being an agent?

Catherine:

I think sometimes for some people they do specialize either as a buyer's agent or a listing agent, just because that's where their comfort level lies. For me, I like to work with both buyers and sellers. For sure, I have a lot of strength and talent when it comes to working with sellers, I have taken 18 years to perfect my craft. In the world of real estate, a lot of people will assume that a realtor will handle both, and they probably can, but maybe not well.

Adrian:

Yeah, true experience comes with time in an industry, right. Can you tell us a little bit about your Catherine Schellenberg Real Estate Team, and how it's made up?

Catherine:

So, we have three people on the team and we'll be growing soon, but myself and Mark Wiebe... Mark Wiebe's been in the industry for about 27 years now. And, he works in the capacity of a buyer's agent. He does have clients that do contact him to list the home, in which I work with him to do that. We also too, have Lynn Cotton, who is our administrative assistant. Lynn was licensed at one point, but decided to just be the support for the team. That's what she enjoys the most. So, she's behind the scenes, and ensures that we have everything we need to do our job well.

Adrian:

Catherine with so many years in the industry, you're obviously a seasoned professional. Who's your ideal client? What type of a person are you going to do really well with?

Catherine:

I find if I'm working with somebody who is very truthful and genuine about their situation, and that they are receptive to what I have to say in order to get them the best price possible or the best deal possible, that is my ideal scenario where they see me as that expert in the industry. There are lots of different client types out there. And, I understand with the way social media and television, then there's just a lot of information out there to inform buyers and sellers; however, the real life experiences come to somebody who's doing it in the form of a living.

Catherine:

So, I bring an element to the transaction, is years of experience. I can give people a pretty good idea of how the situation is going to unfold, where the risk is, I give them enough information, they can make an informed decision. So, that's typically people who are open and willing to listen to what I have to say, and take that information and use it to the best of their ability.

Adrian:

In 2020, you wore a very interesting hat, you were president of WinnipegREALTORS Association in a very unique year. What was most notable about the Winnipeg 2020 real estate market?

Catherine:

The market was very interesting to see what unfolded. We were unsure of how it would affect us for the year. And of course, we were forced in a sense to shut down, even though we were deemed essential by the provincial government. A lot of realtors and their clients decided to stand back and see what happened with the pandemic. I think once people got adjusted and they understood what they needed to do in order to stay safe, they got back into the marketplace, whether to buy or sell real estate. So, we went from a very moderate beginning, and then it slowed right down. And then by May, June, things started to pick up, and our summer was the busiest summer I've ever experienced as a realtor. And, it carried right through till the end of the year.

Catherine:

So, we had a record year for sales. Our listings grew down considerably. There was a lot of buyers out shopping for a number of reasons. So, the demand in the marketplace was amazing. And it's unfortunate, we didn't have as many listings as we typically would have, but we fared out quite well. And so, anybody selling really reaped the benefits of the market.

Adrian:

What was the biggest surprise?

Catherine:

The biggest surprise was to see how many people are actually shopping in the height of the pandemic. And, we were able to monitor that through our systems. We have systems in play that monitor the agents, making appointments, gathering feedback, and just the overall appointment counts for listings, and they were through the roof. So, that was something we just didn't... It was interesting, but we went with it and it was good news for everybody involved in our industry. But, we did not expect to see that.

Adrian:

You said it was definitely a sellers market in 2020. What effect this have on your typical first time home buyer?

Catherine:

Well, it is a challenging year to buy, depending on what you're buying. So, we saw certain price ranges were extremely busy from that 250 up to, say, 350, 400 was a very popular price point. If you're a first time buyer and you're coming into the market under 200, there was some competition, but it wasn't as popular as the higher price points. If you're shopping condominiums, well you'd have lots to pick from. There was a lot of inventory out there, wasn't as competitive. And, you basically had your pick on the marketplace. Rural was very competitive, Steinbeck led the way. It's amazing how many people are shopping. The bedroom communities, these communities are just bustling right now. There's a lot of services available out there. So, you can live very comfortably out in some of these smaller communities, whereas 15 years ago, it wasn't as family friendly for people that were commuting into Winnipeg on a regular basis.

Adrian:

What do you expect the spillover effects of this past year to be into the first quarter of 21?

Catherine:

I think you're going to see a lot of what we saw in the fall, where anything that comes on the markets in the more popular price points is going to get a lot of attention. So, if you're sitting on a property and you're thinking of making the move, you're going to do well, assuming it's prepared well for market.

Catherine:

I think as time goes on and more vaccines, people have been vaccinated and we're out of code red, the urgency has died down, and people feel more comfortable being out in public, I think you're going to see more homes come onto the market, which will lessen the load. So, the seller [inaudible 00:10:15]... I'm hoping by the fall we see more of a balanced market.

Adrian:

Do we know how many buyers are in the market versus number of available inventory?

Catherine:

No. That's a tough one to say, just because, I mean, I guess unless we were to keep record of how many offers are received on a property, and somehow try to forecast account. But, there's so many variables there. So, buyers come onto the market looking to purchase, but end up renting. Maybe the buyer is looking for an investment property, not necessarily to be owner-occupied. So again, they drift in and out of the marketplace. So, there's lots of things that can affect that. And of course, interest rate, as you know, is a key factor for people.

Adrian:

How do you think the result of 2020 in Winnipeg, perhaps even Manitoba compares against what's happening, or what has happened nationally in the real estate market?

Catherine:

There's a lot of the markets have been forecast, have been dealing with the same inventory issues that we have, and the overbidding in some areas, parts of Canada, they're sitting with five days worth of inventory. So, there's just really limited inventory for the demand that's out there right now, so that's right across Canada.

Adrian:

If there's a shortage of inventory, obviously prices go to unusual places. If a shortage of inventory is increasing values, can those values be sustained a long-term or would they settle back out?

Catherine:

They would settle down somewhat. So typically, people will come on the markets at a really high price. Usually people, and if they're working with a realtor, realtor's going to say, "Come on at fair market value. It's the fact that you've got three or four people competing for that same house, which pushes the price up. If that same house came on at the price that it's sold for into the marketplace, it would not have received as much attention. So, pricing is very, very key, because people need to walk in and say, "You know what?" "The value is here all day long." And, the fact that I like it because of its placement on the block, or my cousin lives down the road, or my kid can walk to school, that subjective value, I can't even get a price.

Catherine:

But for people, that peace of mind, value can be priceless. So, that's when you see buyers going, "I'll put an extra 10, 15, 20,000 on top of the list price to get this property." Can they recoup their money down the road, probably, but they're going to have to stay in their house for a while. If they try to move that property again in six months or 12 months, or even two years, they may break even. They could even have a slight loss. But usually with real estate, if you're buy and hold it, the value will increase over time.

Adrian:

And, have we seen appraisals supporting these purchase prices that are perhaps inflated?

Catherine:

You know that's a very good question, I would love to be able to answer that. In any properties that I have dealt with myself, we haven't had any comeback where the appraisal did not fall in line with what the purchase price was. But, I'm sure there's always situations in real estate where for whatever reason, the financial institution involved does not see the same values as what the buyer was prepared to pay.

Adrian:

What advice do you have for people that are buying or selling a home in 21?

Catherine:

Okay. My first advice is use a realtor for sure. As, it may seem tempting for some people with a quick market to feel they can put a sign up and sell it on their own, there's so much more to the transaction than that. And, with a limited inventory, you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't introduce it in the right way, if you don't price it properly, if you don't prepare it properly, if don't do the right disclosures to any potential purchasers or the public looking at the property. And, that you ensure that there's anything that would have to be completed prior to either going on the market or the buyer taking possession, maybe outstanding permits, maybe there was work that would be considered to be a defect of the property, that could be dealt with prior to putting it on the market, so that it doesn't leave you open to any risk or liability down the road.

Catherine:

So, there's lots of reasons. The realtors know the neighborhood, they know the markets. And in a lot of cases, they have a Rolodex of buyers they can call, and they can command a lot of attention out there in the marketplace. So, that's the one thing I recommend. And also, do your homework. If you're a buyer, go out there, talk to a mortgage broker, see the best rate you can get. Understand the process, so that you don't miss an opportunity. If you see the right property come, and you don't have your pre-approval in place, that holds you back. If you don't understand the due diligence part, what conditions you can put on the offer and the process of removing those conditions, it sets you back. You need to have all that information in order to make a qualified, informed offer and decision moving forward on the property. So, that's my advice for buyers and sellers.

Adrian:

Catherine, with your number of years in the industry, this past year as president of WinnipegREALTORS, you clearly are passionate about the industry. What do you love about Winnipeg real estate?

Catherine:

What do I love about Winnipeg real estate? I have to say, I love the city. I've lived in different cities. I grew up in Winnipeg, but what I like is it's a small enough city that you get to know it on a very personal level. What I like is there's not some big ups and downs, so you don't have to worry about you're putting your client at risk. We have a pretty steady marketplace, which is great. The fact that we are the belly button of Canada, we have a lot of different industries and services here. And, I feel that we're very stable, a very, very stable city. And, we have a lot to offer, whether you want to live in the city or you want to live rural, or you want to head out to cottage country. We have a nice mix of different real estate types.

Adrian:

How do people reach the Catherine Schellenberg Real Estate Team?

Catherine:

Well, there's a couple of ways you can get a hold of me. We have on our website, catherineschellenberg.com , or through our office at (204)477-0500, or feel free to call me directly on my cell at (204)799-7658.

Adrian:

Thanks so much Catherine for being on today's episode of, I love Winnipeg Real Estate. It's a pleasure to have you on the show, and hope to have you on again soon.

Catherine:

Thank you, Adrian. My pleasure. Thank you very much.

Catherine Schellenberg

REALTOR® & Past President of Winnipeg REALTORS®

With over 17 years of experience in the Winnipeg Real Estate market, Catherine Schellenberg is a seasoned, passionate, and customer-focused Realtor®. Her greatest desire as your real estate agent is to help you achieve your goals and find the perfect fit. She has built a career around inspiring others and building up a team around her of passionate, people-focused Realtors®, brokers, and mortgage specialists to make every part of the journey smooth and simple for you. Catherine is fully aware that working in real estate is no simple task. She’s always prepared to go above and beyond for her clients, like the time when she helped a retiree couple donate their furniture and disconnect their cable account to make sure their move out of province went as smooth as possible. Instances like these aren’t just exceptions – Catherine thrives on taking the extra step to make sure you feel comfortable and taken care of during your experience working with her.

When she’s not exceeding her client’s expectations on the job, Catherine loves exploring antique shops and thrift stores for unique pieces to add to her collection. She’s an avid home cook and gardener and she likes getting in some quality time going for long walks with her dog. In addition to her successful career as a REALTOR, Catherine is the 2020 President for WinnipegREALTORS and also serves as a director on the MREA (Manitoba Real Estate Association) board, taking her love of real estate to the next level as a leader in these organizations.

With passion and expertise, Catherine and her team will guide you through buying or selling your home or property – and she’ll be there to explain every step of the process. Driven to achieve results and solutions, Catherine would love to be on your team.