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In the last year, it has become abundantly clear that being part of a collaborative community is a luxury in and of itself. The ability to wave to neighbours and exchange pleasantries holds an even more significant weight, even if it is from behind masks and at a six-foot distance. As we slowly emerge from times of restrictions and limited in-person connections, the importance of human connection has never been more apparent.
Authentic connections and effective systems have been at the center of our operation since we entered Nova Scotia’s real estate market, which we attribute significantly to our success. We opened officially in 2018 with one Engel & Völkers shop in Halifax. Since then, we have expanded throughout Nova Scotia with four new shop locations in Chester, Lunenburg, Liverpool and Annapolis Royal with a sixth on the way to be located in Wolfville, a charming community ideally situated near wine country.
As we expand across the province, it is a priority of ours to maintain our community approach — both locally and globally — which begins with our real estate advisors.
A collaborative approach to building a community of professionals
We have a growing community of 60 advisors, all of whom we carefully select and fully invest in. We take the time to establish meaningful relationships with our advisors to support them during their onboarding effectively. Each advisor receives approximately 200 hours of systematic training tailored to them, adding the Engel & Völkers standard into their real estate repertoire. The Engel & Völkers brand is designed to support and differentiate our advisors’ businesses, so we give them every opportunity to do so. As they progress in their careers, our in-house academy is always available to advisors interested in taking their education further.
As brokerage leaders with established clientele, we find value in bringing advisors into our sphere through a co-listing approach. We view it as a highly beneficial and unique mentorship opportunity for all involved parties. Through this practice, new advisors are trained in the Engel & Völkers way receiving hands-on experience while growing their personal network at the same time.
We are rewarded by witnessing our advisors’ growth and the resulting success of the shop overall. Our team’s efforts have been recognized with a nomination for the Engel & Völkers Cup, an award granted to the shop that best demonstrates the Engel & Völkers standard of service and acts as a leader in its local community. We consider the nomination a communal achievement.
Prioritizing collaboration between our advisors and us has been an extremely effective tactic in achieving business objectives and forming a community of professionals that can rely on one another. We strive to bring this sense of collaboration into our local communities as well.
Participation in our local community leads to priceless experiences for all
Our local communities welcomed us as an Engel & Völkers real estate shop with open arms, and respectively, our doors are always open to them. We’ve transformed our conference rooms into community rooms, which community members are encouraged to gather and meet in. Building our business by establishing shops in the center of our communities is by design across the globe.
By positioning our physical locations as more than real estate offices, we embrace the opportunity to connect with local community members on a personal level and stay in-the-know about what’s happening around us.
We also make an effort to get involved outside our doors by participating in local initiatives and attending and hosting events. We are especially proud to work alongside the Special Olympics to provide exceptional experiences for these truly-deserving athletes and their families.
This connectivity with our local community sets us apart and fuels our passion. It is something we will continue to pursue, especially as we come out on the other side of COVID.
Nova Scotia’s presence in the global community is becoming increasingly prominent
Nova Scotia has proven itself a leader throughout the pandemic, with its commendable response resulting in record-setting testing rates and low daily case counts. People from around the globe are craving any resemblance of normalcy and human connection, which they’re finding in Nova Scotia.
Domestic buyers are coming from all over the country, including major cities like Vancouver and Toronto. There is also sizable demand from non-domestic buyers, primarily from the U.S. and Europe. 19.8 per cent of last year’s out-of-country transactions were with U.S. buyers, meaning just upwards of 80 per cent were with buyers outside of North America.
Gorgeous oceanfront and lakefront properties are available at competitive price points, which is incredibly enticing to people working from home for the foreseeable future. Properties are selling in a matter of days, sight unseen, as a result of low inventory and demand from outside the province, country and continent in recent years.
Nova Scotia’s admirable response to the pandemic, paired with Nova Scotia’s appeal and an increase in widespread work-from-home arrangements, has put Halifax and the entire province on the map, with homebuyers flocking from around the world. We are more connected to the global community than ever.
Nova Scotia’s ability to cater to its residents’ diverse interests is another driving force. Entrepreneurs can set up shop in Halifax’s booming local business sector; families can take advantage of the exceptional community programming across the province; yacht and water sport enthusiasts can connect along Nova Scotia’s vast coastline; winemakers and connoisseurs can delight in the province’s terroir, which winemakers have told us rivals California and France.
Anyone can feel at home here, making us especially proud to be a part of this vibrant provincial growth.
The global community’s increasing interest in Halifax and Nova Scotia, as well as our commitment to connecting with the local community and building a unified team of advisors, position us well for continued success as part of the global network of Engel & Völkers.
Donna is a visionary thinker who has tremendous passion for people, community and real estate. Her quest for challenge led her on her journey from Senior Naval Officer in the Canadian Navy, to successful real estate Broker and co-owner of Engel & Völkers in Nova Scotia. Donna’s love for real estate was a life-long one, her tenacity and thirst for professional knowledge, along with her client-care focus, earned her immediate success as she and her husband Sebastien grew the company from a “one-woman” team to a highly successful, and well-respected brokerage in only 4 years. In 2018, they opened the first Engel & Völkers franchise east of Quebec and in less than two years, they grew the brokerage to five shops throughout the province in Halifax, Chester, Lunenburg, Liverpool and Annapolis Royal with plans to open other shops in Cape Breton and the Wolfville area.
Donna’s genuine enthusiasm for her profession, innovative approach and love of service to her clients and her advisors, is evident from the moment you meet her. A take charge negotiator; she knows what it takes to sell. As a Broker/Licensed Partner her outstanding leadership and proven market strategies, whether selling or buying, is quickly growing Engel & Völkers in NS.
Donna’s energy thrives off the success of others so she has added teaching, coaching, and mentoring to her portfolio. Amongst her many qualifications, Donna holds the FRI designation and is a member of the REIC faculty and helps other Realtors obtain their FRI designation. Donna’s love of people also extends to the many charities she supports including Parkinson’s, Special Olympics, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 100 Women Who Care and the IWK. The brokerage is also a proud member of the Better Business Bureau and the I Love Local initiative in Halifax and Donna sits on the CUA Board of Directors. As a wife and mother of 2 boys, Donna enjoys spending quality time with her family whether on the boat, or at the cottage.
Sebastien’s entrepreneurial spirit and his keen ability to assess, prioritize and manage has made him an integral force in the growth of Engel & Völkers covering all of Nova Scotia. With over 20 years in the Canadian Navy as a Submarine officer, his leadership whether working with the advisors or clients sets the bar for others to follow in the industry. His vision, and tenacity for the only the best of service and support has led him to much success with his clients and has led to the Engel & Völkers brand quickly becoming known through the province. Sebastien believes that above all else, the valued clients of the brokerage must receive only the best of white glove service and he is integrally involved in the coaching and mentoring of the brokerage and its advisors. He understands the needs and wants of the selling and buying client and the importance of ensuring that all properties regardless of price point are represented with only the highest of service delivery. Sebastien has significant experience in residential and commercial real estate, leasing and his wealth of knowledge in multi-income properties, has led to very happy investors over the years. With a long history of entrepreneurship, Sebastien understands the importance of following the details and does so with persistence and expertise. His perseverance, vision, compassion and integrity are integral to his professionalism and his continual stream of satisfied clients speaks to his success. Sebastien’s mantra to always dream big sets the bar for service delivery inside and outside the brokerage.