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Q&A with Shannon Schulz, Realtor® and Associate Broker: Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty

Updated: May 3

Shannon Schulz: Tomlinson Sotheby's International Realty

By Jillian Chandler

Shannon Schulz’s journey in real estate began in yacht management, where she managed 50 to 100 luxury yachts. The owner of one of these yachts she managed, Mousetrap, decided to sell, so Shannon prepared the yacht for the listing, working closely with the Broker on the sale. “I fell in love with the process and immediately knew I wanted to take my career in that direction,” she recalls.

Today, Shannon is a Realtor® and Associate Broker at Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty. She loves living and working in Sandpoint, and she’s passionate about helping others do the same.

Q. When did you join Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty? And what was it about this top-tier brokerage that stood out to you?

A. I transitioned from another brokerage to Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty [TSIR] in February 2023. TSIR is backed by the Sotheby’s brand, a nearly 300-year tradition that stands for trust, integrity and excellence. As a Sotheby’s Realty affiliate, TSIR is able to offer our clients abundant top-shelf marketing materials and exposure in top-tier media outlets. Beyond that, the people in the TSIR office are in a league all their own when it comes to experience and knowledge, and I’ve always been a firm believer that you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with.

Q. How does your commitment to Tomlinson Sotheby’s standards align with your business model of going above and beyond for your clients?

A. My process is firmly rooted in high-level problem-solving, negotiation, transparency, a hyper-focused approach that prioritizes my clients’ desires, and the immaculate execution of real estate transactions. My clientele maintains a certain level of expectation when it comes to service, and that is what I provide. That is directly aligned with Tomlinson Sotheby’s tradition of excellence. One of my marketing taglines for 2024 is “Exceeding expectations. Solving problems before they happen.” I have built, and continue to build, my business on these things.

Q. For those looking to buy or sell, what is your advice for them when seeking out a reliable, trustworthy Realtor®?

A. Ask questions, interview people, and make sure you feel heard and validated. I recommend people visit with two to three agents — knowledge is power. Ask yourself if you could quickly build a relationship with the Realtors® you are interviewing. It may seem odd to view it in those terms, but if you think about it, you will quickly have to build trust and rapport. Will you feel safe asking tough and sometimes uncomfortable questions throughout the process? You’ll also be spending A LOT of time together on the phone and in person. It’s crucial that you feel a comfortable connection with your Realtor® and that they are someone who understands your priorities and expectations.

Q. When working with you, what can your clients expect?

A. First and foremost, my clients are going to feel heard and validated. They are going to come away from our initial meeting knowing they will receive concierge service and have confidence that they are working with a creative problem-solver. As each real estate transaction is unique, I’ve been able to establish myself as a Realtor® who identifies and eliminates issues before they occur.

My husband and business partner, Greg, constantly reminds me that I’m a people person first. He’s right. That’s the primary reason I’m in real estate — to help people. My clients definitely feel like they can be in a friendly, professional relationship with me throughout the process of buying or selling a home, which typically extends way past the closing date.

Q. What do you find most fulfilling about being able to help homeowners sell their homes and buyers find their dream home?

A. For my sellers, it’s helping them make an easy transition to the next chapter of their lives. I tackle roadblocks head-on, taking the driver’s seat so that potential obstacles become a non-issue. One of the most fulfilling things about working with buyers is helping them establish their must-have non-negotiables versus their “would-be-nice-to-haves.” I’m able to talk them through any limiting beliefs they may have, which opens more possibilities for them. 

Q. Since becoming a Realtor®, how has the landscape of the real estate market changed — especially here in Sandpoint … and North Idaho in general?

A. Recent years have seen high appreciation rates due to the strong demand. The rapid increase in interest rates has slowed that appreciation and it slowed market activity as people were looking for things to stabilize. Since the last interest rate increase back in July of 2023, real estate sales have continued to strengthen.

The truth is, people always have to buy and sell homes — for a multitude of reasons that have nothing to do with the market, the economy or interest rates. It can be difficult for potential buyers or sellers to filter through the noise and find the truth about their local real estate market. I recommend people visit with a Realtor® they can trust to truthfully answer their questions, specific to their property and their situation.

Q. What are your thoughts about the proposed settlement from the National Association of Realtors®?

A. I am glad you asked me this because there is a lot of “the sky is falling” information out there! Those of us who have built a business model that leans into integrity, customer service and creating a positive experience for our clients aren’t worried. The settlement is going to require buyers’ agents to thoroughly articulate their value. There is a tremendous amount of value in what a buyers’ agent can offer their client — anyone who has bought a home knows this. But like all businesses, some Realtors® are better than others. Greg and I know our value, and we have no problem articulating it. For agents who were kind of hanging on already, this settlement may cause them to consider a different career. But for talented agents who have a solid business and an ability to adapt —and there are many of them —not much is going to change.

Q. When not devoting time to your clients, how do you enjoy spending your time here in Sandpoint?

A. If it happens in North Idaho, Greg and I love it! We love listening to live music, and we are big fans of supporting local restaurants and events. Living in Sandpoint is a blessing. We have beautiful spaces, a gorgeous mountain lake, a ski resort nearby, clean air and water, and an amazing lifestyle. Like everyone else who lives here, we live for water recreation in the summer and snow sports in the winter. 

Shannon Schulz, Realtor® and Associate Broker

Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty

503 Cedar Street, Sandpoint, Idaho


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