Geoff and Gail Grace
 
Personal Service = Exceptional Results

Profiles of Success

“We won’t take on the business if we can’t provide personal service. If a client wants ‘run-of-the-mill’ service, we can’t work with those clients.” Those powerful words from Geoff Grace illustrate the Grace’s business philosophy.

In a competitive industry where many realtors put their own financial goals ahead of their clients’ best interests often at the expense of quality service husband and wife super couple Geoff and Gail Grace are a breath of fresh air. They stand by their convictions and their commitment to optimal customer service. They give each client possibly the best service in the business 100%, personal, customized service, no matter how large or small their property or no service at all. “We provide only fully customized service, which is very important,” says Geoff.

In fact, Gail felt so strongly about the value of customer service that she changed careers. Gail formerly worked for a chief surgeon at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “I helped people every day, who were under high stress levels and during powerful emotional periods.” She later chose to become a stay-at-home mother to their two children, but was so dissatisfied after buying their first home that she obtained her real estate license. “We went through three agents,” she sighs. “Clients want agents who care about their needs. I didn’t feel real estate was an industry that was service-driven.”

Geoff later followed his wife into the real estate business. He began as the publisher/owner of a renovating magazine and later worked in sales and marketing for large corporations including the Globe and Mail, Readers’ Digest International and Maclean Hunter’s Marketing Magazine.

“I did the corporate thing for years. Been there, done that. I got the corner office and pitched the largest corporate accounts throughout North America, including New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. It was exciting and challenging, but I wasn’t helping individuals.”

He says his entry into real estate was gradual. “I helped Gail do the photography and layout for her listings and got hooked. It was a very person-oriented business where you could see how you could improve a family’s situation. What brought me into real estate was the opportunity to make a difference in people’s personal lives.”

Their commitment to personal, honest, service has paid off. These leading producers consistently achieve top results, and are known for their ability to sell a home at top dollar in the quickest time. In fact, they have been in the Top 1% of all agents in Metro East (E01, E02, E03, E04) for the past three consecutive years. “We achieve the best price. We advise sellers how to present and stage the home. We look at clients’ goals, and customize our service accordingly,” says Gail. “Also, as they go through the process, they will be able to get a hold of us for advice each step of the way. We’re also marketing oriented. We do professional, four-colour feature sheets with floor plans, and feature this info and more on our website, www.GraceHomes.com. We also advertise our listings strongly in the Toronto Star.”

Geoff’s strong marketing background is invaluable for clients. “We have a 16-step marketing strategy. We sit with clients and tell them which would work best for their homes. That’s part of what I did for years. I’m used to meeting with people, finding out their goals and working on a marketing plan to achieve their specific needs.”

The Graces also embrace the future, and technology. A large contributor to their success is their website, www.GraceHomes.com, which receives rave reviews from those who visit it. “It’s very powerful, very user-friendly,” says Geoff. “We’ve sold homes site-unseen based on our website. It is a key part of our virtual office, and our virtual team.”

The site contains an abundance of information, including listings with virtual tours and photos, a mortgage calculator, and a resource centre, where clients can be emailed information about every aspect of the real estate process, including professionals such as contractors and home inspectors.

Their personal, customized service, coupled with their strong marketing and technology skills have certainly contributed to their immense success. However, they say their greatest success secret may be their ability to empathize with their clients’ personal situations. During his corporate life, Geoff conducted business in approximately 25 different North American cities. “When I have clients coming in from other cities, I understand where they are coming from, because most likely I have been to and worked in their city. Our family has gone through several job-related relocation transfers. We’ve been through the move process—staying in hotels, commuting back and forth on planes and looking at homes with agents. Thus, with relocations, we can provide excellent service because we know what our clients are going through.”

Gail agrees. “I can empathize very well. I’ve been there. I’ve bought a house. I’ve had two children. I live in the community. I know all their concerns, and I’ve experienced what they’ve experienced.”

Their empathy also extends to help those less fortunate. Geoff and Gail are strong philanthropists, and donate proceeds from every sale to charity. They regularly contribute to “The Red Door Shelter” for women and children who need a fresh start, in addition to many other organizations such as the Red Cross and the Canadian Cancer Society.

With such amazing service, it’s no surprise that they have a long list of loyal clients, and that their business boasts a 90% referral rate. “Their sales professionalism and work ethic convinced us we should list with them. What we appreciated was their genuine concern for our needs and their honest feedback. It is difficult to find sales professionals with such a high level of integrity,” enthuses one satisfied client.Another client raves about the Graces’ personal service, despite their busy schedules: “They still have the time to be considerate and appreciative of the referral. They have great business ethics, and I appreciated their thorough work. I have never worked with an agent as professional and complete. They are a pleasure to work with.”

From another client: “They patiently worked with us, and found us the perfect home that met all of our requirements. Their knowledge of the market and when to time the sale of our existing house was phenomenal. They facilitated us getting multiple offers on our home, selling our house quickly and for much more than the asking price. When people tell us that they are going to sell their home on their own without an agent, we tell them they need to talk to our agent. Even with factoring in their commission, we ended up with more money than we would have had we sold the home on our own (not to mention the headaches we eliminated for ourselves).”

One imagines working with a spouse could be challenging, but the Graces work so well together that they can service each other’s clients seamlessly and effortlessly. “If I’m busier, I know my backup person is my husband, who sees things the way I do. He treats my client base the way I would treat his client base. I never have to worry there’s that trust,” says Gail. Geoff agrees. “We have an excellent relationship. But we also have the utmost respect for the business acumen of the other.”

Geoff adds that clients gain twice the care, knowledge and effort, because they are working with a husband and wife partnership. “That knowledge base is very powerful, because in a 350-day working year, we jam in 700 days of knowledge, because there are two of us. It’s a pooled knowledge. Two heads are better than one. Clients don’t pay twice the fee, but they get two separate agents with many years of marketing and negotiating experience, who care about them.”

In the future, the Graces will continue to be a huge real estate force, and provide the personal, custom service clients count on. They both agree that they love their careers so much that retirement is out of the question. “Since we really enjoy what we do and love working with our clients, this doesn’t feel like work to us,” Geoff says. “For the most part we are living a dream.”

 
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