An 11-year veteran of the business, Andrew Russell helps clients in Blackfalds, Penhold, and the Red Deer County. Cited as one of the area’s most versatile and reliable real estate professionals, he specializes in construction, investments, condominiums, luxury homes, and residential acreages.
In your experience, what sets Red Deer apart from other markets?
Red Deer is not just diverse in terms of its people, but also in its economy. While oil does account for about 10% of our job market, we’ve weathered the downturns well because there are so many other industries with steady employment unrelated to the price of oil.
What are the kinds of buyers/investors that you usually encounter in the line of duty? What have been your most memorable transactions?
Our primary focus is residential homes as a primary residence (mostly young families, first time buyers, etc.). However, lately, I’ve had a handful of investors from Edmonton/Calgary looking to invest in Red Deer as the price of multi-family units here is substantially more affordable than what they’re finding in the larger cities.
As far as memorable transactions, we were able to help 2 families avoid bankruptcy and foreclosure in 2016 by helping to negotiate with their banks/lenders and getting their homes sold. To assist somebody who thought they were about to lose everything, and watch them walk out with their credit and finances reasonably intact, is a great feeling.
What do you see as the most challenging parts of being a real estate professional in Red Deer?
Alberta’s rollercoaster economy is certainly a challenge. In 11 years, this is the third downturn I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot of agents come and go in the process. Too many agents just look for their next transaction, rather than building their businesses to generate repeat and referral business from their existing and past clientele.
What industry advice would you give to younger brokers who are just starting out in Alberta?
Build relationships. People will refer business to people they know and like, regardless of your experience, so spend time building genuine relationships without the expectation of receiving something in return.
Also, communicate well. Agents appreciate a broker who keeps us updated on the progress of our deals, and we’re more likely to refer more business to those people.