Q&A with John Krol, Realtor, Royal LePage The Realty Group

John Krol

How long have you been in real estate?
I have been a licensed realtor since 2004. In June 0f 2011, my wife Angie Peters and I purchased the Royal LePage Brokerage in Grande Prairie. In 2014, we were named Business of the Year by the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce. Because of our dedicated involvement and support within the Community, particularly with the Annual Royal LePage “Garage Sale for Shelter” with proceeds supporting Odyssey House, we were the proud recipients in 2015 of the City of Grande Prairie Passionate Heart Award.

In 2019, Royal LePage The Realty Group was honoured by Royal LePage Canada as the Brokerage of the Year for the Prairies. I have also served as President of the Grande Prairie and Area Real Estate Board.

How did you get started?
While farming in the Spirit River area, I could not sit still and always had the desire to learn. So, during a time when I was on crutches and physically could not do my farm work, I came across an opportunity to learn so I enrolled in a real-estate course, not knowing where it would take me. I just knew I needed to learn something. That journey has led me to today where I focus mainly on residential sales but also have experience and involvement in rural/farms and commercial property as well.

Are you from the area? If you are, how does that work to your advantage as a real estate agent?
Yes. I grew up and farmed around Spirit River for the first 50 years of my life. The people of the Central Peace have been very good to me. As a result, it will always excite me to go back and work with people in the area. I will always consider the Central and South Peace my home.

There are so many important questions that buyers and sellers want answered accurately – everything from what is the bordering land used for, which schools are nearby, what is the neighbourhood like, what was the market like five years ago, and even, “there’s a listing I’m interested in; how do I get there?” It is a very broad spectrum of knowledge needed. It is certainly beneficial to have the background knowledge and history of the areas, markets and development of regions that I have, and I am eager to provide all the answers, examples and solutions that I can to my clients.

What is your business philosophy?
Our business philosophy is, “Helping You is What We Do.” I am here to help in any way I can.

Do you have a personal assistant?
Yes, I have a fantastic, full-time assistant who helps me manage the endless details and ensures accurate paperwork on a daily basis as well as provides exceptional customer service to all my clients. Patricia has the added dimension of having worked in the real estate industry for many years, including being a licensed agent in property management. She also grew up in the Peace Region. She helps keep me on track.

Do you use social media marketing?
Absolutely! Facebook and Instagram are valuable tools to promote my listings as well as dialogue with potential buyers. Images and videos are essential in this age of real estate business. The bar is continually being raised. One of my marketing tools is a 3D Tour of properties that allows people to see every aspect and space of a property – virtually. It is an amazing technology.

Why would a potential client want to choose you? What are the criteria one should look for in an agent?
Years of experience and knowledge as well as familiarity of the area. And I listen. In 15 years, I have sold close to 700 properties. It’s about the client – not me. I love to help people. I was brought up believing that we are here on earth to help one another. I believe I also possess patience, thoroughness, perseverance and a strong ability to negotiate successfully. I keep up-to-date on area market statistics as well as market trends. I also keep learning through training and skill development.

Look for positivity, honesty and integrity and enthusiasm.

What is the most important question I should ask you before I choose you as an agent?
Ask: “Could you please explain the buying or selling process to me – from start to finish?” There are many, many steps in a real estate transaction. You need someone to be your guide to avoid traps and pitfalls, to be a strong negotiator and advocate for you. How would I stand out from others? Open communication, active listening, positivity, transparency – all coupled with years of experience.

Do you offer suggestions on how to make a home more marketable?
Yes. I have listing packages that I provide initially to my clients. It outlines all that I will do for them before, during and after the sale process as well as provide many helpful tips. There are key elements that make a property more marketable. Some things you can easily change – cleanliness, paint colour and the biggest factor: price. Some things you cannot change: physical location, for example.

Do you have a feedback system?
For my listings, every time a property is shown by an agent, we request feedback. This information is then passed on to the seller, both good and bad. When hosting an Open House, we also acquire feedback from guests. When showing buyers, I get their feedback on the viewed properties, as it helps narrow down their list of wants, needs and absolute must-haves.

Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and so on?
I work with so many professionals in the industry from mortgage brokers to lawyers to home inspectors. I do recommend a lot of service providers, even long after people have moved in. Like most things in life, there are good and bad. I would be happy to help clients find the “good” service providers. My goal is for all my clients to have as smooth and as easy transaction as possible, so I have built up a network of reliable, knowledgeable and accessible people to help make that happen.

Can you offer any advice to a real estate agent who is just starting out?
Work with Royal LePage. Look for an office that provides training and is a reputable company. Royal LePage is the only nationwide franchise that is only Canadian. With 19,000 agents in Canada, there are a lot of resources to help agents succeed. Also, look for a company where the agents are community-minded and there to really help people.