Gail May 5, 2014
Shalan April 15, 2014
Corynn April 15, 2014
Nicole & David July 21,2010
When Nicole and David decided to sell up their Calgary condo and head to the tropics, Fiona was called in to enable their dream of living in costa Rica come true. As the condominium they were living in was a very special style and demanded a special high price tag, they knew it may taker a little longer. In fact the condominium building was built by their family – 3 condos in total, with the idea that each family member was able to in a unit. Not only was Fiona able to gain them a firm sale within their required price, but she was able to also sell the 2 other units in the building all to her same buyer, thus the family was able to all move on at the same time! Nicole and David were so impressed they wrote her a note before leaving to their dream location:
“Fiona, Thank you again for all your help and guidance this year. You are an absolute diamond. Heres to your future, may we meet again somewhere tropical! Love, Nicole, David”
Chrissie Jonah July 21,2010
In real estate, timing is everything. It’s all about knowing when to get in–and when to get out.When Chrissie and Brent Jonah decided to invest in revenue properties, they turned to realtor Fiona Christiaansen. “Fiona knows when to be adventurous and when to be cautious,” Chrissie says. In our case, I was cautious and my husband was gung-ho.” Fiona found a balance between the couple’s different styles and advised them to invest in houses that they themselves would be comfortable living in. She encouraged us to pick what we liked so we’d attract people like us,” Chrissie says. Things went pretty well.” The couple credits Fiona for helping renters they felt confident in and for getting them established in the rental property business during the city’s heated real estate market during the early 2000s. She doesn’t just tell you want you want to hear. She’ll be very honest with you and wants you to be happy with your decision.” During one purchase, Chrissie was pregnant and felt herself succumbing to stress and doubts as one deal neared completion. Her anxiety was quickly relieved after seeing Fiona negotiating skills at work. She’s very strong about dealing with potentially difficult people,” Chrissie says. Fiona stays calm during negotiations so you don’t get as involved emotionally, which is easy to do when there’s money on the table and you don’t want to lose a house.” During another purchase, Fiona guided the Jonahs through a quick–and lucrative–turnaround. In the space a week, they bought and sold a rental property, making a tidy profit in the process. She helped us get in at the right time and she helped us get out at the right time,” Chrissie says of the rental properties they bought and sold with her. Fiona is very strong at dealing with potentially difficult people. In negotiations, she stays very calm and that’s good because you don’t want to get involved emotionally, although it’s very easy to do.” For the Jonahs, it seemed only natural to work with Fiona again when they sold their family home four years ago. We wanted to downsize and find something that was right for us,” the mother of three young children says. Armed with an exceptional knowledge of the communities on the hill” (west of Sarcee Trail and between 16 Avenue N.W. and the Elbow River, Fiona quickly helped Chrissie and Brent sell their Cougar Ridge home and find a new one in Montreaux. Fiona has a big, strong network–she’s definitely connected and know how to put people, buyers and sellers, together,” Chrissie says. She helped us identify want we wanted and how to make an informed decision in the market.” The advice appears to have paid off for the Jonahs. After moving, on average, once a year for the first six years of their marriage, they’ve been in the same house for the past four years. Fiona helped us get into a house that works for us.”
Mark Malette July 21,2010
A house, a hockey game and a happy ending. Those elements are woven into the story of when Marc Mallette met Fiona Christiaansen. It began on a Saturday afternoon, when Marc spotted a home on MLS he though would be perfect for perfect for him and his wife Denise. He knew it would sell quickly. Later that day, as he headed out to a Calgary Flames game, he decided to take a detour and have a look at the Strathcona Park home. He called Fiona made arrangements to see the house. By the time he arrived at the game, an hour after it started, Marc knew he wanted the home. I loved the area, loved the house,” says Marc, who coordinates projects for a top-quality renovation company. It was modern but not brand new and had funky angles and a huge double garage and southwest-facing backyard.” Other selling features included a spacious master ensuite; new kitchen, bathroom and laundry renovations by designer Gail Shandro (who also owned the home); an adjacent pathway; fenced yard and easy access to downtown. Plus, the home was just a short distance from where Marc had gone to school in Springbank. That night as Marc watched the Flames, he though the only drawback to owning the home was selling his current house. We had a unique house in Fairview–a reverse walkout–built in the 1950s,” he says. We’d done a lot of renovations, but we had a lot to finish.” The next morning, Fiona, Marc and Denise toured the house. Denise immediately shared her husband’s passion for it. Then they drove directly to the Mallettes’ Fairview home, where they tallied all the work needed to put the house on the market. Marc estimated it was three months of work. Fiona urged him to (drastically) step up the timelines or risk losing the Strathcona Park home. After a whirlwind of logistics and called-in favours with contractors, the renovations were done–in four days. Plus, Fiona had had professional floorplans, drawings and photos prepared. She’d also made an offer on the Strathcona Park home on behalf of the couple, which was accepted. A week later, the Fairview house was sold. Fiona could really see us living in this house,” says Marc as he looks around the living room of his newest home. Before that move, the Mallettes had lived in four houses in four years, buying and selling each with different realtors or realty services. They’d even sold a condo through We List (a do-it-yourself service). Now, I don’t think I’ll ever use another realtor,” Marc says. Fiona has a vibe, she’s a really friendly lady with a great personality.” While Marc says his days of annual moves are over, he predicts he and Fiona will work together again.
Heather Compton and Dennis Blas July 21,2010
When stockbroker Heather Compton retired early, she and her husband Dennis Blas decided to take a real estate broker course. I wanted to diversify my portfolio, analytically, and wanted to learn more,” Heather says. Nonetheless, when it came time to complete the transaction for their first real estate investment, Heather and Dennis turned to realtor Fiona Christiaansen. We didn’t need to use Fiona,” Heather recalls, but she’s extraordinarily good at what she does and I trusted her.” Heather relied on Fiona to recommend a strategic approach to the investments she and Dennis were planning. During one of the four transactions they completed with Fiona, she advised them of the exact month to sell. That was the month the home’s value peaked–and we sold it in one day,” Dennis says. It’s rare to find someone with her grasp of contracts, real estate and investments,” says Heather, referring to Fiona’s past career in international contract negotiations and her current career in real estate. Fiona could really wear two or three hats.” Dennis says Fiona was the first realtor to clearly understand their unique needs. She knew how to separate what we would have looked for in a home from what we were looking for in an investment,” Dennis says. Had we met her sooner, we might not have taken the real estate course.” While Fiona was the consummate salesperson, she never once over promised. But she did, Dennis says, constantly surprise and over deliver.” Heather says Fiona walks the walk and talks the talk. She goes out of her way to deliver value to her clients,” Heather says. One time, the couple had a condominium for sale but their condo association didn’t allow lock boxes on the doors. Dennis says Fiona immediately came up with a solution: she rented a section of a neighbouring fence and attached the lock box to it. Heather adds: Fiona lives her life from a place of integrity. She’s very attached to relationships but at the same time can clearly divide between the professional and the personal.” Dennis describes Fiona as extremely thorough and forward thinking. Her view of real estate investments and transactions is on the broader implications and longer-term outlooks.” While Heather, Dennis and Fiona all possessed detailed knowledge of real estate, Heather says Fiona never relies on jargon and cryptic explanations. She’s very plain spoken and she gives direct and well-considered advice, even at the risk of reducing her own paycheque. . . . Sometimes realtors are afraid to express their opinion, but that’s not Fiona. She always treats people fairly and with respect.” Heather and Dennis heartily agree Fiona has made their real estate investments absolutely worth it,” despite recent ups and downs in the marketplace and the global economy. We’ve realized our objectives with Fiona,” Heather says, and the objectives weren’t always financial.” For his part, Dennis has only one regret about Fiona: If only she’d take on property management . . .”
Gail Shandro July 21,2010
Gail Shandro quit thinking of Fiona Christiaansen as just a realtor long ago. I consider Fiona a valued partner in a way–not a legal partner,” says the nursing instructor turned designer, but like the rest of my team, Fiona is part of my success . . . plus we have a lot of fun together.” The two have developed a close personal relationship that especially thrives when they’re searching for or moving properties. Gail began buying, renovating and selling houses five years ago out of a passion for designing and creating. Nonetheless, she takes a regimented business-minded approach to every one of the 18 houses she’s bought and sold with Fiona. I’m not buying and selling on emotions and I’m not doing it for personal needs,” Gail says. Because of that Fiona is very business like when pricing and negotiating. If we don’t get the deal we like and need, we walk away. Fiona is young but she has very assertive business skills and a lot of knowledge. And that’s exactly what I need.” Fiona has also repeatedly demonstrated she knows exactly what Gail needs in a property. There can be a thousand houses on the market and Fiona will narrow the choices to the top 10,” Gail says. She knows how to find the houses with the potential for upgrading and she knows their potential for reselling–at a profit.” When Gail was recently trying to close a real estate deal in Hawaii, she kept wishing the realtor could have been Fiona. She gets the job done when it needs to get done,” Gail says, recalling the casual disinterest of the local realtor. Whether on the buying or selling side of a real estate transaction, Gail and Fiona quickly establish the bottom line. Unlike most buyers purchasing a home for their families, Gail prepares a comprehensive spreadsheet mapping out the costs of her planned renovations and her profit margins. Fiona knows exactly what Gail needs to get into and out of every house. She has such business acumen and knowledge of the markets. Fiona knows every hot place to buy in Calgary and because she’s so well positioned, we’ve been able to do quite a lot together,” Gail says. She adds: Fiona is most aggressive on the selling side of a transaction. Let’s be honest, that’s where realtors make their money and Fiona knows how to play that game very well. We ‘dance’ a little bit more when we’re selling.” Indeed, the renovator and realtor have earned to dance” so well, that Gail has forsaken all other partners.
“I would never consider going to someone else. I trust Fiona implicitly and that’s important to me, because I’m running a business. She’s really turned into a great part of my team.”