Jonathan Stewart’s journey in real estate began in 2002 with a simple conversation after a church service with an experienced local realtor named Evelyn Miller. Jonathan asked Evelyn what she thought of the real estate business given she was in it herself, and Evelyn looked at Jonathan and asked, “Are you thinking of getting into it? You would be good at it! If you decide to get into it, let me know and I will help you get started!”
Jonathan did not know what all that meant. At the time, Jonathan thought real estate agents had the freedom to set their own hours, controlled their own schedule, might show a couple houses, and of course make lots of money in the process! Thinking this seemed like it must be the perfect business, and knowing his desire to still be somewhat free to work with young people and serve in his church, Jonathan decided to take the real estate courses!
Once the courses were completed, Jonathan joined Sutton Group – Sault Ste. Marie Realty where Evelyn worked and in an amazingly generous gesture, Evelyn co-listed each of her many listings with Jonathan – this meant that when one of them sold, Jonathan got a pay check which doesn’t come very easily at first in real estate.
With Evelyn’s help, and as the years progressed, Jonathan established himself as a honest, productive, and effective practitioner of real estate in the area east of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Eventually the roles for Jonathan and Evelyn switched somewhat, and until Evelyn’s retirement at the young age of 91, they continued to work together in real estate encouraging each other.
Jonathan’s sister Ruthie Stewart joined the team in 2008 and managed Jonathan’s first small town office established on Main Street in Thessalon for a number of years until Ruthie decided she would go into the medical field, eventually returning to university and becoming a nurse while still maintaining her Broker’s license.
In 2016, Jonathan and Marney hired Anne Garofalo, a full-time employee to assist them in further building and managing the growing real estate business. Anne does property research, prepares required documents, coordinates our extensive marketing activities, and manages all of then details behind each of our listing and sale files as our Transaction Manager.
In 2017, Shannon Vine joined the Stewart Team as the team’s photographer and began shooting and editing our virtual tours, creating the floor plans, as well as doing our drone photography. Shannon also does the design for our ads and marketing.
In 2018, Jonathan’s wife Marney made the decision to resign as an occasional teacher with the Algoma District School Board and to join Jonathan in the real estate business as partner, owner, and Manager of Client Care. Marney writes most of the listing descriptions, and is actively involved in keeping in touch with our past clients and monitoring and improving our client’s overall experience in the buying and selling process.
2018 saw many exciting changes for the Stewart Team, beginning with the decision by Gordon Henderson, Broker of Record for Sutton Group – Sault Ste. Marie that he would not be renewing his Sutton Group franchise and had made the decision to merge the company with another local professional brokerage, Royal LePage Northern Advantage. Given Marney’s increased role within the company and with a desire to wisely plan for their financial future, Jonathan and Marney decided, as part of this transition, that they would incorporate their own Brokerage to handle their real estate business, and that the new company would now operate under the Royal LePage banner as an affiliated Royal LePage “mini-franchise”, Royal LePage Northern Advantage Stewart Team, Brokerage.
As part of this transition, a rebranding effort for the team was initiated – with the slogan being “Going Above and Beyond.” This simple phrase reflects many kind comments we hear from our clients, and also speaks to our passion and desire to provide the best real estate service possible for our clients – whether that means going above and beyond in our honesty, professional photography, marketing efforts, client appreciation events, and even our drone shots taken above and beyond! We want the care, love, and service that our clients experience working with our team and each of our partners to be “remark-able” – something that stands out, exceeds normal expectations, is always improving, and “able to be remarked” on by our clients to their friends, family, and neighbours.
In 2018, Paul Mathewson, supported by his lovely wife Ruth, joined Stewart Team as our first Sales Partner, and we are very honoured to have him on the Stewart Team. Paul is “all in”, tirelessly serving and loving his clients, ensuring that he finds the right house, buyer or situation for his clients and their desired results! As Paul often says, he just really likes helping people! Helping you is what we do!
In 2018 and 2019, Mary Stevenson and Michelle Litalien joined Stewart Team, working as our stagers, consulting with and helping clients to best prepare their homes for photos and virtual tours, given how essential these things now are in successfully marketing their home!
Mark Hord, our third sales agent and buying agent team member, joined Stewart Team in 2020. Mark moved to this area with his wife Wendy from Lucan, Ontario near London, and having already had 18 years of experience in the real estate business, Mark has been very successful serving his clients, working with them to find the right home or property, and negotiating on their behalf.
Theo Straatsma joined the Team as a new agent in Spring 2021, and is already providing dedicated service to his Buyer and Seller clients in the area east from St. Joseph Island to Blind River. Theo and his wife, Lisa (Trivers), live and work on Big Basswood Lake east of Thessalon and have one young son.
From the start, this business has succeeded only because of two things: God’s good blessing and His never-ending kindness and generosity expressed in so many ways; and the kind recommendations and referrals of our clients and customers over the years. For both of these we can only say “Thank You” to our clients and to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
That’s our story. And we look forward to hearing yours, maybe soon!