‘It was a magical time in our industry’

Truro real estate business owner embraces 35 years of experiences




SaltWire Network



The days of big hair and shoulder pads may be over but the last three decades are ones Sharon Corcoran, owner and broker at RE/MAX Fairlane Realty in Truro, would never change. And there are countless memories as Corcoran celebrates 35 years as a real estate businesswoman. “We were 80s ladies, my business partner, Barbie Schofield, and I when we opened Fairlane Realty Inc. in March of 1988, empowered by our previous real estate sales success with a big franchise,” said Corcoran. “We had a vision of a more customer focus boutique style setting and we were truly entrepreneurs and self-motivators. Our first motto was getting the job done. And later bringing homes and families together. In 1988 we had big hair, shoulder pads and plenty of positive attitude,” continued Corcoran. With that, Fairlane Realty Inc. opened at 787 Prince St. on March 8, 1988. “We chose it because it was International Women’s Day and it was our time,” said Corcoran. “Our loyal clientele embraced us and we never looked back. Our staff grew and eventually our office space grew to where we are today; next door at 791 Prince St.” This is a time Corcoran looks back on fondly. “It was a magical time in our industry, really, a very social time. The way we conducted our … business was to physically go to each other’s offices to pick up and deliver keys to use to show houses and take our cursive handwritten offers to each other to be presented. Imagine we even went to each other’s homes after hours and sometimes at all hours when there was a counteroffer to be delivered before a short timeframe,” said Corcoran. Today, there is the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors (NSAR), which is one provincial body. In the 1980s, they were regionally operated. Corcoran’s Many things have changed since Sharon Corcoran first opened her real estate business in the 1980s but she would not change a moment of her experiences. Corcoran is the owner of RE/MAX Fairlane Realty in Truro. region was called the northern region and encompassed Amherst and New Glasgow. “I was president during that time which meant I had a seat at the provincial association which led me to joining the committee who were tasked with creating the framework for what became known as co-regulation. Prior to this, the real estate industry in this province was governed by the superintendent of insurance,” said Corcoran. In 2002, Corcoran’s business partner retired, and Corcoran became sole proprietor. In 2005, Fairlane became RE/ MAX Fairlane Realty. Technology has made dramatic changes in the way they do business. “When I look back, we never used inside photos, only outside ones and we waited for film to be developed and buyers had to physically view a property,” said Corcoran. “Today our buyers enjoy walk-through videos that can be sent to their cell phones.” In the 1980s it was a slower market pace and a 90-day market was considered the norm. “It feels like most of our industry’s changes have helped to speed up the pace and make for a better customer experience,” said Corcoran. Among other changes, they went from a common law brokerage to a designated brokerage where the agency is formed between the client and agent, not the brokerage, which is unique to Nova Scotia. “It works well because a buyer can now be fully represented by one agent from our firm, and the seller who already listed their property with our firm, can also be fully represented by their listing agent,” said Corcoran. Another huge shift in the industry has been marketing. Although they still rely heavily on a ‘for sale’ sign on lawns, RE/ MAX Fairlane Realty no longer uses print media. “Now a new listing pops up on a buyer’s Facebook feed or on their phone in our match program called Collaboration Centre,” said Corcoran. RE/MAX also has a global website that translates all RE/MAX Fairlane Realty writeups into 55 different languages. “Now I feel like artificial intelligence and our smart phone advancements will take us to a whole new way of doing our business and I can’t wait to watch it unfold,” said Corcoran, adding she wouldn’t trade her experiences for anything. “Do I still love bringing homes and families together? Absolutely! People have asked me what my biggest challenge is in owning a real estate firm and I say it’s always been finding the right mix of people and today I can truly say that I found that mix. My people are this company’s greatest asset.”