From house to home: How we helped two clients find the perfect space in Byron
On summer evenings, Paul Neto and Jana Starling could sit on the large, cherry-stained deck in their two-bedroom bungalow on London’s Colonel Talbot Rd. and look out over a small pond where wildlife gathered, and frogs would sing.
This was their home for nearly 10 years, in a small, quiet neighbourhood just steps from a busy retail plaza. It had served them well, but they needed more space to accommodate visits from their extended family, and preferably a place with a larger backyard and a swimming pool.
“It was a really nice bungalow,” said Paul, chief marketing officer at a London-based technology start-up. “I was really happy with the size, and it was a nice little intimate community. But ultimately … it was time to start looking.”
They were about three years into their search when Paul ran into Moyra Fenn, a realtor from Tusch Real Estate Group, at an open house in Delaware.
“It was just kind of by happenstance, and we thought she was quite approachable and personable,” said Paul.
“It was time to start looking a little bit more seriously and get a little bit of extra help. So that’s how [we ended up working with her].”
In casual but professional, low-pressure conversations, Moyra learned what Paul and Jana were looking for in a new home and began scouting properties for them to consider.
“We had a lot of fun looking at houses,” said Moyra, who has built a strong reputation by focusing on four key principles: Dedication, communication, determination and trust.
“You have to sit down with a customer and find out exactly what their needs and wants are in a house,” she said. “And even though you find those in a house, you still need to take people through it, and let them decide whether it's going to be a fit.”
While Moyra scouted properties, she also helped vet listings that Paul and Jana found in their own searches.
“She was very open and honest about what she thought about properties and how it potentially worked or didn't work for us,” said Paul. “But she was still more than happy to take us through it.”
After another year of searching, they found a property in London’s desirable Byron neighbourhood that fit perfectly.
It was a spacious, two-storey family home on a secluded, oversized lot with a saltwater pool, a bromine hot tub and four bedrooms — more than enough space to fit Paul and Jana’s lifestyle.
“We did a walkthrough, stood in the kitchen for a couple minutes and said, ‘This is the one. let's do it,’” said Paul.
“We put in an offer and had a couple of back and forths — Moyra helped us through that — and we ended up getting the house before the offer date.”
With their new home in Byron secured, it was time to move out of the bungalow on Colonel Talbot Rd. Moyra quickly set up a real estate listing for the property with professional photography, a walkthrough video and an aerial flyover.
The listing appeared on a Friday, with an open house the following day. By Saturday afternoon, their bungalow had sold at roughly $40,000 above the asking price.
“Quite a few neighbors commented on how good a listing it was,” said Paul, “and how good a job it represented the property, the house and the neighborhood. I think that definitely helped — going that extra mile.”
Although it was a lengthy search, Moyra was unwavering in her commitment to ensure they found a new home that fit — and that made a lasting impression on Paul and Jana.
“Whether it took one showing or 100 showings — one day or one year — she was happy,” said Paul. “She's very personable, and would give us honest feedback.
“And at the same time, was patient with us. We never felt pressured or anything, which is quite good.”
This is the kind of customer experience for which Tusch Real Estate Group is known in London and the surrounding area — honest, reliable service that consistently exceeds expectations.
“I just want to work with clients, to make them understand that it can be a seamless transition and a good transition — and one that they won't be scared to take in the future,” said Moyra.
“I think a lot of people have a lot of sour taste in their mouth about real estate agents … and that shouldn't happen, especially when it's to do with your biggest purchase in your entire life.
“I just want to make sure that my clients, going forward, have a positive attitude — and look forward to it again.”
For more information about how Tusch Real Estate Group can help you find the perfect new home, please contact us today.
Black Sombrero makes authentic Mexican sausage in small-town Ontario
When Alberto Estrada moved to Canada from Mexico City in the early 1990s, one of the foods he missed most was authentic chorizo sausage. This popular, spicy dish is a diet mainstay in Mexico and Spain, but Canadian interpretations of it fell far short of his expectations.
“I used to go out places and buy it,” said Alberto. “And I would never find something close to what I was used to.”
An uncle visited from Mexico one summer and provided Alberto with a chorizo recipe he could make at home. But his uncle listed only the ingredients, forgetting to include the proportions.
With chorizo, the proportions are crucial. Getting the right mix of spices is the only way to deliver a product that hits the mark. So Alberto refined the mix until he found one that worked.
“I've always liked a little bit of cooking myself,” he said. “I played a little bit with it, and I came with [a unique] recipe. We really, really liked it.”
Alberto shared the homemade chorizo with his wife Lisa, their four kids, friends and extended family. They always ran out quickly. Soon, friends of friends were asking to buy some. Demand was so high, they decided to work with a commercial processor to make larger quantities.
They knew they had a seed that could grow into a viable business, but wanted to wait for the right moment to formally launch a company. In 2019, after nurturing the idea for more nearly a decade, they took the plunge and launched Black Sombrero, a family-run artisanal sausage company.
“We decided, you know what? Now's the time,” said Lisa, who grew up north of London. “Let's do this officially. Get retail ready, which included labeling, barcodes, and ensuring we complied with all government regulations. It was a big learning curve.”
The company took off quickly. Angelo’s, a popular Italian bakery in London, was the first retailer to carry Black Sombrero products. Then, Crunican Orchards began selling Black Sombrero sausage at its retail outlet near Elginfield.
Additional retailers in Exeter, St. Marys, Bayfield, Wingham, Straffordville, Strathroy, Komoka and other parts of London, joined in. Today, about 26 locations carry Black Sombrero products, and the company also participates in farmers markets in Ilderton, St. Marys and Exeter, as well as other events in southwestern Ontario.
“It's been really hard for us to keep up with demand at this point,” said Alberto. “We are restructuring our business to be able to grow, because the demand is there.”
And the demand isn’t just local. The company sells products all over the province through its online store. Black Sombrero mini-chorizo (hot and mild pork, or turkey-based) and summer sausage is well-loved in households in Ottawa, Windsor and northern Ontario.
“They'll meet us at a show or something and then they'll try it,” said Lisa. “And they don't live nearby – so next thing, we're getting online orders from people … cottagers try it, and next thing, they're ordering it.”
The company also sells frozen chorizo, but only at physical locations in southwestern Ontario.
At this point, Black Sombrero doesn’t have a dedicated retail store of its own – the company operates out of their family home near Denfield – and it’s still a part-time business for Alberto and Lisa.
But the plan is for Black Sombrero to become a full-time gig for their four kids, who are now old enough to participate in the family business.
“That’s the reason why we held off for so many years,” said Lisa.
“We kind of waited on this so that we could let them grow up, enjoy their childhood, and have time that was dedicated to our family first. Now that we've done that, we feel they're of age that they can be part of it. They can now help us, and hopefully have something for their future.”
Business remained strong the pandemic, and both Alberto and Lisa believe it’s poised for further growth long into the future.
“The number one reason why the business is growing – besides the service and the personal touch that we have direct from our family – is that we have a really good quality and a unique flavour in all of our products,” said Alberto.
“It’s a custom spice,” added Lisa. “It's our recipe, nobody else has it. We're dairy and gluten free, and we're no fillers. We believe we're a higher quality product due to the fact we don't use any artificial colours or artificial flavours. Only the spices and the meat. And source farm-cooperative meat.”
What began as a passion project for Alberto now has the potential to spread across Canada, and beyond.
“Had we tried to take this on a few years ago, I think the business would have suffered,” said Lisa. “The kids would have suffered; we would have been in limbo.
“We waited for the right timing, so that we could give it 100 per cent effort. I think that's why it's able to be successful. It's our fifth baby now.”
For more information about Black Sombrero, and to place an order, visit blacksombrero.ca
How we helped a long-time client get an amazing price for their Delaware home … in just a few days
Just before the pandemic hit, the Goodhands decided to put their five-year-old, contemporary ranch-style home on the market in Delaware, Ont., near London.
It seemed like the right time to move. The housing market was starting to boom, prices were favourable and they just felt like they wanted to move onto another project, said Sam.
“We had bought, sold, built and moved a bit over the years,” she said. “And we always worked with the Tusch Real Estate team to get the job done.”
Immediately, realtor Georgia Tusch set the wheels in motion.
She dispatched a film crew and professional photographer to capture images of the property, and posted the listing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and multi-level marketing (MLM) networks in London.
“Within days the qualified buyers were in place and it sold for exactly what we wanted,” said Sam.
“Georgia is like a breath of fresh air. She came in with the hunger of a new agent, yet the experience of one who has been around for decades. This was important to us.
“She took the listing to a new level with the media coverage so that people of all ages, and on whatever platform, could find our house — making it relatable and sellable to all that saw it.”
The process was quick, and Georgia’s expertise helped a great deal. She knew the market, acted swiftly and maximized the selling price with a unique skillset she brings to every client account.
“Selling can be a stressful time," said Sam, “and who needs the added stress of an agent not representing the house or you like you would like? She was amazing, and the Tusch team just did what was needed to be done to put us into a relaxed and yet excited state with the sale of our home.”
Georgia has been a realtor for about 10 years, and quickly made her mark on the industry in London, St. Thomas and the surrounding community.
Her social media savvy, naturally outgoing personality, elite negotiating skills and confident demeanour have become key differentiators in a market with no lack of competition.
“We're definitely a family business, and I’ve learned a lot from my dad,” said Georgia. “But the real estate industry has changed so much in the last few years, thanks to social media and other digital platforms.
“It's been crucial for us to adapt to those conditions in order to serve our clients in the best way possible. And to be honest, it’s something that comes naturally to me and other members of the team. We see our digital media expertise as a key differentiator from other real estate groups.”
Georgia also has a magnetic on-camera presence that’s hard to teach.
Her listing videos would fit comfortably within an episode of MTV Cribs, and are shot with exceptional cinematography that elevates each property in ways other realtors simply can’t.
“We’re proud of our approach, but it has a very practical purpose," said Georgia. “At the end of the day, we’re here to serve our clients. They invest so much in their homes, and they deserve to see the best possible return. We’ll do whatever it takes to deliver impeccable results.”
As a result, working with Tusch Real Estate Group has become a natural fit for the Goodhands and thousands of other clients in London, St. Thomas and rural southern Ontario.
“Bottom line is, we would always have Georgia and the Tusch team on our side when we buy our next home,” said Sam.
To learn more about how Tusch Real Estate Group can help you sell your home for the best possible price, contact us today.
Supporting Local Businesses and Local Entrepreneurs is one thing @TuschRealEstateGroup is very passionate about. So if you know or have any favourite local businesses, let us know and we would love to support them in one way or another!
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