Sean Marshall – The Man Behind The Sketch
Why doesn’t he use a real picture? Is he camera shy? Does it really look like him? These are all questions that have been heard many times over Sean’s 25 year career as a real estate professional. So why does he use the sketch? When asked, Sean will tell you that early in his career he wanted to make himself unique and identifiable in all his marketing. From business cards to newspaper ads and now on the internet, the sketch has become his trademark. “When clients meet me in person for the first time, it’s always amusing to hear them debate if it looks like me, or if it makes me look younger or older,” says Sean.
Identifiable it has made him, at least in print as proven by a local newspaper’s contest where entrants had to match names to photos. For several years running Sean, with his sketch, was the most identified real estate professional in the contest. It has even been helpful on lawn signs when prospective buyers call for information on listings. There is no doubt whose listing it is once the sketch is mentioned.
Sean first earned his real estate license in April of 1986. This was a very memorable day as it was the day after his first son, Noel, was born. “I never worry about forgetting Noel’s birthday,” remarks Sean. His career started at Re/max under then-owner Fred Boven. “I was very fortunate to be able to start my career there and learn alongside some of the best in the business,” remembers Sean. And learn he did, as in only a few years Sean went on to achieve the 100% Club, Re/max’s top sales achievement award at the time. As the market in the early 90’s changed, so did Sean. He moved on to Sutton Group, and later Prudential, achieving the top sales award levels in each company along the way.
Jewel and Sean Marshall
Co-Owners of Kingston Homes Realty Inc.
As the recession of the early 90’s melted away, a new technology in marketing started to emerge. Sean, having a technology degree, saw an opportunity to bring better exposure to his listings by launching Kingston’s first real estate photo website: KingstonHomes.com. Within the first few weeks of posting his listings on the site, Sean experienced his first internet home sale. The site continued to stay on the cutting edge with the addition of virtual tours, and it was the first in Canada to offer e-catalogues of homes by email. Today KingstonHomes.com is ranked # 1 by Google for Kingston homes search and attracts over 65,000 visitors annually.
With the website becoming more and more popular among Kingston’s home seeking buyers, Sean recognized the need to form a real estate company around the website and Kingston Homes Realty Inc was born. Now with the freedom to choose the best marketing solutions for his clients, Sean, together with his Kingston Homes Realty team, has been able to maintain a yearly volume in excess of 100 sales for the past three years.
Life for Sean and his wife of 26 years, Jewel, is very busy. Along with running a real estate company full time, they have raised sons Noel and Ian who both have Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Both boys have served as Easter Seals ambassador’s, appearing in the local media several times yearly while father Sean helped run the Easter Seals Regatta. The Marshall’s faced the extra challenges of dealing with the boys’ disabilities not only by creating a fully accessible environment at home, but also by building the area’s only fully accessible travel trailer. In 2005, the whole family spent two months on the road with the trailer touring the southwest US and the Grand Canyon. Many clients and friends toured along with them as they posted photos and a progress map to a website while they traveled. Noel recently moved to Ottawa to attend Algonquin College and Ian is currently attending Holy Cross.
Sean’s career in real estate has brought a variety of work from straight forward home sales to consulting on subdivisions and investment real estate. Prior to his life as a real estate professional, he worked as a handyman, an electrical apprentice and as a professional photographer, all skills that he has carried into every transaction when advising clients on their purchase or sale.
His work in new home sales and knowledge of the special needs world gave him and Jewel the opportunity to assist in the design and construction of five accessible homes. Sean’s competitive side gets expressed not only in his real estate marketing, but also in his passion for racing sailboats. This past year, after acquiring a larger boat, he had the privilege of being the lead boat for Natalie Lambert’s swim across Lake Ontario. This was an adventure not soon forgotten as high winds and waves whipped up in the night to thwart her first attempt.
What keeps a real estate veteran with 25 years experience and over 1650 real estate transactions still enthused with the business? It’s simple: a passion for the people. Sean will tell you there is no greater feeling than to help someone in a real estate transaction. “I get to be there when the stroke of a pen will set a family’s course for years to come. This could be where their kids will grow up, where a career will be established, or an investment for retirement. The joy I get now is serving the children of clients from my early years. It’s a great feeling and I know I picked the right career.”
It’s all in the details: Jewel Marshall takes care of all the “behind the scenes” details of your transaction. A real estate transaction is an involved and often complicated transaction with numerous pieces of paper, and many people who need to know the right information at the right time to make your transaction go smoothly. She ensures that your lawyer and lenders have the necessary documents when they need them. Whether making sure that the paper trail flows smoothly, or creating a wonderful gift basket for a client who has just bought a new home, Jewel makes sure that you receive extra-special treatment before and after the closing date!