Table Talk with the Stone Sisters
Tamara and Shannon, the dynamic duo known as the Stone Sisters, say that real estate is in their blood. Their parents, Bruce and Patti Stone, were successful Kelowna realtors who taught their daughters the value of negotiating while sitting around the dining room table. Tamara recalls being in Grade 3 when her dad convinced her to negotiate with her teacher for a higher grade on a math test, and she succeeded.
But in 1995 Tamara didn’t listen to her parents’ advice when she got her real estate license. Thinking she was too young to enter a business which they knew firsthand wasn’t an easy one, and unwilling to have her ride on their coattails, they encouraged her to get an education first. But Tamara was determined, and for the next six months she shadowed both her parents at every opportunity, and listened and learned. Then they set her free.
“And I starved!” says Tamara, with a grin. She went five months without selling a house, buying groceries with SaveOn More points. It was a slow market, but she continued pursuing her dream, working hard, and building her own business over the next few years while her parents wound theirs down. Tamara began encouraging Shannon to join her, which she did in 2005. Shannon brought with her a passion and genius for marketing, and the ‘Stone Sisters’ was born.
From the beginning, they upheld the character and values instilled in them around the dinner table of their childhood. First and foremost, they always put their clients’ needs first; implicit in that is a decision to never calculate their commission ahead of time. “If someone’s buying a home, we pretend that we’re them and think about what they would want or need,” explains Tamara. Even if it means discouraging a sale, the sisters hold fast to that commitment. “We always put the needs of our clients first,” says Shannon. “Lots of people do that, and we are in the service industry, but we really, really care. We treat our clients like family.”
Over half their business comes from referrals from past clients or realtors in other areas. “It’s such a compliment,” says Tamara. “I think a great referral is when a realtor or a client refers you their parents or their kids, and they trust completely that you will take care of them."
Tamara and Shannon also believe in giving back. In 2017, the Stone Sisters became a BrainTrust Canada sponsor, recognizing they wanted to do their part to bring more education and awareness to the community about concussion and other forms of brain injury. They speak with admiration of one of their staff members who had a stroke at 30, learned to walk and talk again, and now juggles many tasks as their Operations Manager. In addition, Shannon speaks for many hockey moms when she admits that prior to her sons’ involvement in the sport, she didn’t realize that concussions happen at such a young age and how often they occur. She is concerned that many people don’t know the signs of concussion to watch for, and knows that parents can find some comfort in being aware of the steps to take, if and when concussions do occur.
The sisters want to ensure BrainTrust has the funding to continue educating the community about concussion/brain injury and how to prevent, recognize, and respond to it. “We believe in giving back…and helping get that awareness out there,” says Tamara. “Yes, I think that’s the key thing,” says Shannon. “We really would like to create more awareness of BrainTrust.”
With the Stone Sisters at their table, BrainTrust can’t help but succeed.