Montreal Real Estate Success | With Karine Charlebois


We recently had the pleasure of interviewing one of Montreal‘s bright up-and-coming real estate stars, Karine Charlebois, of Royal Lepage Heritage. While she’s only been in business for 3 months, she is already a very successful realtor. Karine’s story is quite unique, though she’s always had an eye for real estate, thanks to her background in interior design. More interested in the business side of homes however, she decided a career switch was in order, and never looked back. She aimed high, and wanted to settle for nothing less than Royal Lepage Heritage, a prestigious faction of the firm which deals with mostly upscale Montreal neighborhoods. That said, it wasn’t just the prospective sales which attracted her; she wanted to learn from the best, as and no less than 3 of Quebec’s top realtors work for the company. And learn she did thanks to her winning attitude, as a mere 3 months later, she is a brilliantly successful realtor herself.

To What do You Attribute Your Success?

Karine attributes her great success to her positive attitude and commitment to dealing with her clients as people. She believes in being completely honest, and to persevere even when the case isn’t going so well. “There are no easy transactions,” she says,  “but you have to believe in their success. If you don’t believe in a positive outcome yourself, then your clients won’t either. Your role is to reassure clients that you’re looking out for their best interests, and to treat their case like you would your own. That’s what I always like to keep in mind.” It seems that her down-to-earth attitude and strong belief in the golden rule have paid off.

What Tips Would You Give Other Realtors?

She advises that the best asset in a realtor’s toolbox is positivity, and the ability to adapt to situations, as no transaction is ever the same. “What’s worked for me is I always stay calm, I always try to reassure the client, and you have to be willing to go very far to search for solutions,” she says, adding that the most important advice of all is that because of its ever-changing landscape, “You have to be an optimist in this business.” 

What Should People Look for when Choosing a Realtor?

“It’s all about your gut feeling,” Karine insists, and she reiterated the importance of honest and straightforwardness. “If you feel doubtful that your realtor is giving you the whole picture, move on.”  In retrospect, she contends that all clients she’s been completely open with, even despite challenges, have always come back satisfied, and appreciative of the honesty.

What’s Montreal’s Real Estate Outlook for 2015

Karine cites the slight economic slowdown in Canada as reason to expect the same in terms of the housing market. There’s going to be a definite cooling-off period in the city, after years of what she calls years of the “buying craze”, thanks to low interest rates. “All those condos that were built are going to have to wait until communities catch up to them. Right now, we’re seeing a lot of sectors with tons of condos and nothing around them. Once the neighborhoods encompassing them catchup with local businesses, restaurants, grocery stores and etc, we may see a change.” Interest rates are also set to increase, and with that, sales will definitely slow, though this also means that prices will go down. That said, Montreal has always varied by sector, and while in general the trends will slow, there are always going to be good, if unpredictable, options.

Where Should People Invest?

Continuing with the thought of Montreal as a city that varies by sector, some areas will definitely maintain their growing trends, even with a probably market slow down. “The Sud-Ouest (south west), Verdun, Pointe-Saint-Charles, and St-Henri are all hot spots.” She cites Montrealers’ devotion to trends as part of the reasons behind this: “If it’s new and hip, Montrealers want to be there, and be seen and heard being there. Social media has a lot to do with it. For example, if there’s a trendy new bar in St-Henri that people have heard of by word of mouth, everyone suddenly wants to be there, and be seen there, because Montrealers rightfully pride themselves on being cosmopolitain, and ‘in the latest vibe’. This trendy open-mindedness is what neighborhoods are being built and rebuilt around.” 

We’d like to thank Karine Charlebois for her precious insights on her success and the Montreal real estate scene.

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