Welcome to Meet the Agent, an ongoing series profiling real estate agents from across Canada. With more than 150,000 agents, brokers, and salespeople working in 75 different boards and associations across the country, we thought it was about time they had a place to properly introduce themselves. If you or someone you know deserves the same chance, email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
Name: Kate Kozikowski
Brokerage: Right at Home Realty, Brokerage
Social Media:Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook
Years of agent experience: 5
Area of focus: Toronto, York, and Durham Region
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Poland when that country was under communist rule. As a child and young adult, I experienced all the realities of that era, such as Martial Law and the Solidarity movement. I eventually moved to Canada in 1992.
What neighbourhood do you live in now?
I currently reside in the gem that is the Musselman’s Lake community in Stouffville.
What made you want to become a real estate agent?
Investing and real estate have always been of interest to me, so much so that I built my property before becoming a real estate agent. While a serious life-changing health issue resulting in spinal cord surgery prevented me from continuing in the medical profession, it also allowed me to change careers and continue doing what I love — helping people. It just meant switching platforms from medical to real estate.
Being new to the industry with no experience in the business world, it took hard work and perseverance for me to become a top producer. I ranked as the #1 individual agent at the Newmarket Branch of Right At Home Realty Brokerage, and 17th company-wide of over 5,600 agents in 2021. I continue to be one of the top real estate agents in my branch.
What’s the biggest challenge you see facing the market today?
While the Canadian real estate market continues to be dynamic, one of the significant challenges has been affordability. Housing prices, especially in major cities, have been on the rise, making it harder for many people to enter the market. It is a delicate dance to find solutions that maintain a healthy market while ensuring that housing remains accessible to a diverse range of individuals.
With the influx of international students, especially in major cities, there is a strain on affordable housing options. Limited availability and rising rental costs can create a significant barrier for students trying to find suitable accommodation.
What’s the single best advice you have for sellers?
First impressions count. Think about shopping — the same product in a dirty store will sell for less than it would in a shiny, well-appointed store. The presentation (pictures, video, etc.) must be spot on.
What’s the single best advice you have for buyers?
Get pre-approval, be realistic with your expectations, don’t avoid properties that don’t show well, and be aware of the things you either can’t change or that can be easily transformed. Look beyond shine and glitter.
What’s the best thing a realtor can invest in for their brand (a bus bench ad, a solid Instagram strategy, etc.)?
Educate yourself. Become knowledgeable of the rules and regulations about real estate, construction, and common issues. Stay on top of changes and know the market — knowledge is the basis of success.
But remember that in selling real estate one glove doesn’t fit all — agents with years of experience can get by on referrals or repeat business; newer agents are more likely to rely on their online presence.
Who do you look up to in the industry and why?
I don’t think there is anyone in particular, but mostly people such as lawyers, inspectors, agents, appraisers, and mortgage brokers, because they are people with knowledge of real estate matters.
Is there anything you wish people knew or understood about realtors that you think they’re constantly getting wrong?
It is important for people to recognize that not all realtors are cut from the same cloth. While there are certainly some exceptional professionals out there, the industry, like any other, has its share of variations in expertise and approach.
Realtors have a tough job, and they often must work hard to navigate the complexities of buying or selling a property. Sometimes, unrealistic expectations can lead to misunderstandings. It's good to remember that realtors are there to guide and assist, but the process might not always be as quick or straightforward as one might hope. Open communication and mutual understanding go a long way in making the real estate journey smoother for everyone involved.
Tell us about your favourite (or most memorable) sale.
At a showing for a potential home to buy, I knew there was something strange with the walls aligning in the basement. It was like a sixth sense you sometimes have but can not describe. Nothing looked suspicious or wrong, it was just a gut feeling that there was something more.
After talking to the sellers, I was the only one among many people showing the home who had noticed.
I was correct. It was a hidden room that the previous owners used as a safe, an unexpected positive discovery. We had lots of fun talking about it afterward.
The three words you hope your clients use to describe you
Knowledgeable. Professional. Genuine.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside of selling houses?
I would say travel. I mostly like exploring local cultures, meeting people, and seeing smiles on children’s faces when they get gifts.
I volunteer in our community, sitting on the Board of Directors for the annual Strawberry Festival in Stouffville. I enjoy being a part of the group of volunteers to make the Festival memorable for our citizens.
This interview may have been edited for both length and clarity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of STOREYS.