On July 2 2022 Queenswood Real Estate, a fixture in Barry’s Bay, celebrates its 35-year anniversary. Throughout its history, Queenswood has operated out of the same location on Opeongo Square opposite the Barry’s Bay Railway Station. Above: Queenswood office with anniversary banner . Photo supplied.
Broker of record Pat Scott talked about some of the familiar faces over the years and the circumstances that resulted in her becoming broker of record at Queenswood, where she is now part of a team of nine agents working out of the office. Scott was first licenced as an Ontario real estate agent at Queenswood in 1991 when the business was just four years old and the late Hans Wetzel was the broker. She and Wetzel had been friends since the 1970s – long before she got into real estate. Queenswood came about when Wetzel bought out the founders of the business who were more interested in urban living than the rural environment of the Valley.
Initially Wetzel operated the business on his own. He was then joined by the late Glenn Guest and by Eugene Marchand (now retired). Scott herself took a break from real estate in the early 2000s and then had to be re-licenced in Ontario on her return. In 2013 Wetzel acquired the Barry’s Bay This Week newspaper and decided to step back from real estate so that he could concentrate on publishing a community news outlet. Scott and he were already discussing how she could take over the Queenswood reins when Wetzel suddenly died at his home in Barry’s Bay in April 2014. At the time he passed away, Scott was finishing up her broker’s licence and proceeded to acquire the business once his estate was settled. Their children had grown up together and the families knew each other well. Scott said, it just “seemed to fit.”
Despite her short break from the business, Scott said she never felt any other place was home – because she knows a lot of people in the Valley and her children grew up here. She loves the Valley, the Madawaska and Bonnechere rivers, the heritage farms, the forests, the lakeside cottages. “It has the draw,” she said.
Unique tools and expertise
Queenswood is unique in its membership not just of the Renfrew County Real Estate Board, but also the Toronto and Ottawa Real Estate Boards. Scott said that Betty Campbell joined Queenswood in the Toronto office just before she did. Campbell continues to operate that branch and with another agent works primarily with Harcourt Park properties. Membership in three separate Boards – two of them large urban markets – has given the clients of this longstanding Barry’s Bay business a considerable advantage.
Scott herself has had some unique experiences in the business. Recently when the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) decided to improve its education and training for new agents, it called upon an elite group of individuals chosen from some 78,000 registered realtors in the Province. Scott was one of just 20 rural realtors selected to be subject matter experts. Because of her break from the business, Scott had undergone the Ontario training program twice – and said that nothing in the course had changed in the years since she first started in real estate. She feels strongly that new realtors need to be better armed with real world knowledge, and found it very satisfying to be part of helping RECO guide its education process to a better result.
Acknowledging that the pandemic presented challenges for all, Scott feels that overall the Queenswood team navigated those challenges really well. She said the rapid changes in both Covid procedures and market conditions meant they had to stay on their toes and ensure clients made the right decisions.
Time to celebrate
This Saturday July 2 has been set aside for Queenswood to celebrate its 35 years in business with the community. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the office at 4 Opeongo Square will host a party. Everyone is welcome to visit, enjoy some light refreshments, participate in the prize draws and bring the kids along for face painting. MooseFM 106.5 will broadcast live on site.
Scott said, “It’s all about celebrating everyone. As one of the agents from the office pointed out, we sold your parents’ and your grandparents’ homes. And now we’re here for the children and the grandchildren.” She recently found herself selling a home to the children of clients that had purchased their home through Queenswood a generation ago. She said, “It’s pretty exciting that we can celebrate all of those successes and those wonderful clients that have been around and supported Queenswood for 35 years. It’s because of them that we’re still here. We’re really lucky that we have attracted some of the very best clients, and we get a lot of repeat business. They keep coming back, sending their kids, their grandkids, their friends.” Pat Scott (inset). Photo supplied.