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Revitalizing Sutton Realty: New leadership sparks excitement and innovation

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At the age of 62, Larry Anderson was ready to retire. With 30 years as a licensed agent, including 28 years as a brokerage owner, along with time as a builder before all of that, he was exploring options for his future. Having been with Sutton Realty since 2000, Anderson was preparing to move on.

“It was getting long in the tooth,” he says. Not long after those thoughts, however, came an exciting change that spurred him to keep going.


A new leader and vision


Ross McCredie, founder and past CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, bought Sutton in December 2023, promising to revitalize and reinvigorate the historic Canadian group. McCredie saw an opportunity in a company with a lengthy history and a vast network of agents and offices around the country.

Almost half a year after the purchase, McCredie spoke about empowering agents, facilitating access to better information and updating an older brand to something more fresh and dynamic.

“In five months we’ve moved the needle quite a bit,” he says. “It’s not easy to touch something that’s been around for 40 years.”

McCredie recently unveiled a new, updated version of the Sutton logo that’s meant to herald a new direction for the iconic name:

Source: Sutton


Empowering agents and advocating for homeowners


Among his main goals is to raise the profile of the real estate agent, allowing them to create a large footprint by being positioned as experts for not just the client’s financial present, but their future as well.

“The biggest thing is empowering agents to have access to data and information they don’t currently have and having them work with clients in advance,” he says, referencing countries like the United States and Australia where there’s more available relevant information, like market trends, net migration and capital appreciation, including the performance of buildings and highrises over a longer period of time. While he’s working with institutions and governments to gain access to more data, he also says, “Agents are going to do a lot more than they used to.”

“We’re advocating strongly for homeowners. The range of experience homeowners get is from amazing to horrible. We want to standardize a level of service. And I think we’re well on that way.”

Part of that endeavor means changing the mindset of agents and the brand as well. 


‘The agent is a true fiduciary, focusing on the client long-term’


McCredie wants to position Sutton as not just a real estate company, but a wealth management group that can work with clients over years. “It’s been a transactional business model in Canada for 70 years. People are reacting to situations, but they’re not proactive.”

“I think Sutton should be positioned as a wealth management company working with one of the most important assets you own,” he says. He talks of agents working with clients over many months and even years to save up money and purchase property at the ideal time, and then continuing to work with them long after the purchase is complete.

“The realtor is not going away, they just need to be a lot better,” he says. “The agent is a true fiduciary, focusing on the client long-term. The real estate agent of the future needs to act as a quarterback and needs to be actively working with the client.”

All of this is why Anderson is excited at the moment and hopeful for the future.

“Change is good,” he says. “I’m always up for change, and for challenges. I put off my retirement to do what I can, to do my part and help Ross and the team.”


Happy with the progress, looking forward to the future


Both McCredie and Anderson want to see the Sutton brand restored after what they feel was some stagnation. Anderson recalls Sutton being the first to give agents branded websites and personal emails and sees McCredie as taking those once innovative ideas and adding to them.

“Sutton did an amazing job when they started,” says Anderson. “The last 10 to 15 years, they’ve lost momentum I guess, I don’t know what caused it. That’s where Ross saw the opportunity to just add a bit more energy and turn it into a powerhouse.”

Anderson speculates he might work another five years now after considering walking away from the industry. “I’m excited,” he says. “I’m excited to be dealing with our marketing department, revamping my office, redoing my personal branding and following the new brands. It’s fun again.”

McCredie echoes the sentiment. He’s happy with the progress and looking to the future.

“We’ve reenergized offices (and) built a new website, we’re adding more people as we go and we’re having fun,” he says. “It’s been a hard five months, but we’re coming out the other side. The foundation has been cleaned up and we’re ready to build a house everyone will be proud of.”


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