WICHITA — When Marie Stewart started her Sterling Realty Professionals this summer near 21st and Ridge Road, the business opened as a general real estate office. Though the company still will help anyone buy or sell a home, Stewart is now focusing on one group in particular.
“We decided to make our niche seniors,” she says. “We kind of chose that name because we want to go with that niche.”
Stewart says she has a passion for helping older individuals.
“Working with seniors has just always been something natural for me to do,” she says. Her plan is to help someone who is downsizing or moving into a retirement community make the move with as little stress as possible.
“They should be able to feel overjoyed and not overwhelmed,” Stewart says.
She’s collaborating with other companies, such as estate sale businesses, to be what she calls a one-stop shop to handle all of someone’s downsizing needs. She says that could be someone younger than a senior, too. Stewart says seniors may need extra care, though, so she’s offering at least 10 free seminars a month to help them through the process.
“We’re trying to offer people free information,” she says.
Her “five easy steps” advise people to create a plan, communicate with the right people, surround themselves with professionals and handle their house full of possessions.
“Five is celebrating your new lifestyle,” Stewart says.
She says the Seniors Real Estate Institute has named her a certified senior housing professional and a senior real estate specialist.
The idea, Stewart says, is “just to show seniors people do care.”
“We are doing the homework for them,” she says. “We just have to know the total package for them to be able to help them out.”
Stewart says it’s rewarding work.
“They just feel comfortable and feel like they’re being taken care of.”