Jan. 14, 2021

Trudy Turner on real estate for seniors and downsizing

Trudy Turner  on real estate for seniors and downsizing

Trudy Turner is a full service Winnipeg REALTOR® and Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) with RE/MAX Performance Realty. In this episode we talk about seniors transitioning from a house to a home more suitable for the next phase of their lives.


Trudy Turner is a full service Winnipeg REALTOR® and Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) with RE/MAX Performance Realty. In this episode we talk about seniors transitioning from a house to a home more suitable for the next phase of their lives.

Transcript

Adrian:

I'm joined today by Trudy Turner, who is a real estate agent with RE/MAX Performance Realty. I've known Trudy for many years, both business and personally, and I'm so happy to have her on today's episode. Welcome, Trudy.

Trudy:

Thank you very much. I'm happy to be here.

Adrian:

Trudy, I think one of the things that you always hear in an interview is asking someone to introduce or to tell a little bit about themselves. Instead of that, I'm wondering if you could share with our audience today, what is it that makes you interesting?

Trudy:

Well, aside from the fact that I have a combined family of five children and a lot of interesting passions, as far as real estate, stained glass, all kinds of different things, I don't know what makes me interesting.

Adrian:

Well, don't worry, Trudy. I'm not that interesting. But do tell us, why did you choose to become a real estate agent?

Trudy:

Well, that's something that I've wanted to do my entire life. And in my twenties, I felt I was just too young for anybody to take me seriously. In my thirties, I started having a family and things got in the way, and I thought it would be too challenging with little kids. By the time I was in my forties, my career in nonprofit was well developed and I was in senior management, and that's kind of hard to leave. So I decided in my fifties, this is the right time. And it has proven to be. It's been an absolute fabulous decade, it really has.

Adrian:

I'm afraid you just aged yourself a little bit on a live podcast episode, but that's great, because it leads me to ask you, you apparently have a special seniors program in your real estate practice.

Trudy:

I do.

Adrian:

And tell us a little bit about that special seniors program.

Trudy:

Well, it is a very special program. You know, they say it takes one to know one. So I'm at that age where I recognize what the challenges are for seniors, and I have worked with a lot of seniors. I find that often it is just too overwhelming a project for them to leave their home. Even though they know that they need to leave their home, they go down and they start sorting through boxes, and they just get overwhelmed and put it on hold. And then six months later, they try again. And so they end up staying in their house far too long.

Trudy:

So there needed to be a solution that makes it easy for somebody to move on. And there's many reasons for that, and a lot of them are health-related when you get to a certain age. So I thought, how can I make this easier for people? And so I developed this package, where I come in and we do a market evaluation. And once the clients agree that they're ready to go and they know where they want to go, rather than having them go through all of their stuff, we find them the place that they would like to go, whether that's an apartment or a condo or sometimes a small house. Sometimes they've left it too late and they end up having to go into a nursing home. But however that happens, we get them moved into their new location.

Trudy:

They take with them everything that's important to them. So they're moving with their own possessions and the things that they value the most. And now the rest of the stuff left in the house is just stuff. So I take care of selling it in estate sales or taking valuables to the auction. We do donations. It depends on what the family decides. And then everything else, the house ends up being completely cleaned out and then it's sold.

Trudy:

So in the meantime, while this is all going on, they're living relaxed and happy in their new location. And I can tell you, I've never once had anybody say, "Oh, I wish I was back in the house." They just can't believe how easy it is.

Adrian:

What challenges do most seniors have that you've helped them overcome?

Trudy:

The biggest challenge, I think, is the amount that you accumulate over living in a home for 40 or 50 or 60 years. That little extra box that you stash away every year, after 60 years, there's 60 boxes. And usually it's not just one box. So it just becomes too challenging and too emotional to go through all of these boxes. Oh, remember when I got this handmade card from my granddaughter? And so we eliminate the need for them to do that. If there's a box of memorabilia, we put it over. And if I find anything as I go through, we put it aside. So they have the decision to avoid having to go through all of the stuff. They just, yeah, it makes a big difference.

Trudy:

There's an emotional attachment to the house, too, but it's really to the stuff in the house more than the actual house. And once they have their loved belongings around them in their new location, like I said, they are really happy. It's a big relief and a big stress reliever. It saves a lot of energy.

Adrian:

Do you ever get emotionally attached to some of the clients that you're working with?

Trudy:

To pretty much every single one of them. I still visit them regularly. We have, well, pre-COVID, we had coffee parties. Now we do phone calls. Every story, I mean, there's as many different stories as there are different seniors, and you really do get very attached and just, yeah, you just fall in love. It's a wonderful, wonderful win-win situation, actually.

Adrian:

Now, have you provided the service to anyone in your own family, perhaps? I know your mom is still living and well and healthy, and probably more energetic than I am.

Trudy:

Yes. Mom is 90. So she did all of this herself. When her husband started exhibiting signs of Alzheimer's, she decided to move them into an independent living seniors residence. And so she basically did it all herself, but in a short period of time. They had like two weeks. So it was interesting to watch her going through that. That was just before I went into real estate, so it taught me a lot to see the process, and I think that's what got me interested.

Adrian:

Can you share a little recent success story with us?

Trudy:

Ah, sure. There's actually a couple of them. One was kind of a sad situation, because the senior couple were living on their own. She was taking care of him, because he was in full stage Alzheimer's, but then she had a fall and he did not have the wherewithal to call emergency, and she couldn't reach the phone. So thankfully she had somebody coming over. So it ended up that she went into an assisted living facility. He had to go to a nursing home, and the kids, one who lived in the States and one who lived in BC, were left trying to handle the estate. And so I was able to take care of all that for them, and it was a huge relief. And yeah, both of those seniors are doing well, which is good news.

Trudy:

And the other one was more typical of the situation, where I went and did a market evaluation for a couple in August. And they kind of looked at the market evaluation. They took me on a tour through the house. They showed me all of their boxes and bins. He was very busy in a couple of hobbies. She did quilting and scrapbooking. It was a lot, and they agreed to the home evaluation, but then said, "Well, it's going to take us a couple of years." And I said, "Why would it take you a couple of years to move on?" And she goes, "Well, because you've seen the house. This is going to take at least two years to go through it." I said, "Well, what if you don't have to?"

Trudy:

So what happened is we found them the condo that they wanted in the building they wanted. They bought it. They took with them everything they moved that they wanted. They ended up bringing back a little bit of stuff, too, but they ended up watching while I, in the next three or four weeks, got rid of everything else and cleaned the house and got it sold. And by October 1st, the house was sold, and they were in their new condo, and life was good.

Adrian:

Do you ever experience any family disputes while providing this type of a service?

Trudy:

No. Not yet, I should say, I guess. We did have one situation recently where three girls were left to take care of the assets of the mother, and the mother was in a nursing home, and one of the girls was a little bit more aggressive than the other two, but because I was there as a neutral party, it did seem to smooth things out. Sometimes people are different with siblings or with family members than they are with a third party in the room. And that's another benefit of using a realtor to do this, is that it gives you an objective viewpoint. So it was able to be sorted very, very easily and very comfortably.

Adrian:

Thanks, Trudy, for sharing those very special stories. It must be very different from a first time home buyer or someone moving up the property ladder.

Trudy:

It is. But I think that's one of the things I like the most about this business, is that every day is a different day. So sometimes it's my seniors. Sometimes it's my first time buyers. Sometimes it's the climb the ladder. Sometimes it's investors. It's just wonderful to have that variety.

Adrian:

Can you tell us, what do you love about Winnipeg real estate?

Trudy:

I love the peace of mind that our real estate market is so stable and so varied that there is always something for everyone. And I have never had a case where anybody has lost a nickel on real estate in Winnipeg. Unlike some other markets where you can lose or gain 100,000 dollars in the space of 12 months, in Winnipeg, we are just slow and steady. And sometimes we have, like last year, we have a little bit of a jump in the increase in the values, and they seem to be continuing for 2021, but then it may level off a bit, but it never drops. So it's just a real safe investment for people, and you feel secure in knowing when they call you back in five years for their next step, you can get them their money back plus some, and life is good.

Adrian:

Trudy, how do people reach you?

Trudy:

Very easily. You can reach me on my website, trudyturner.ca, or you can call me on my cell anytime, or text. It's 204-29T-RUDY, 298-7839. But it's a great number, especially for my seniors. They never forget my number.

Adrian:

With that phone number, you should have been in radio.

Trudy:

Yes.

Adrian:

Thank you so much, Trudy-

Trudy:

Thank you.

Adrian:

For being on today's episode of I Love Winnipeg Real Estate. We were joined by Trudy Turner, RE/MAX real estate agent here in Winnipeg. Thanks again, Trudy.

Trudy Turner

REALTOR® & Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®)