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Real service, the old fashioned way

James Colquhoun talks about being a real estate agent in his hometown of Thunder Bay.

“I’m a lifelong Thunder Bay resident. I never wanted to leave, I always wanted to stay and build something here,” says realtor James Colquhoun.

He became a realtor to help people out and make a difference in their lives. Buying or selling property is a high-stakes decision that most people experience only a few times in their lives, and it is his job to guide clients through the whole process.

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Colquhoun has extensive knowledge of the city and the surrounding areas. Like many other people who live here, he is a big sports fan, and cherishes the time he spends with his family at their camp on Lake Superior. “Thunder Bay has a bit of a slower pace [compared to bigger cities] and it’s an amazing place to raise a family,” he says.

As a realtor, he services all the way from Neebing to Nipigon, and handles residential properties, camp and cottage properties, vacant land and commercial properties.

He has won multiple awards from Royal LePage - the Master Sales Award in 2015 and 2020 and the Sales Achiever Award in 2017.

Although real estate activity slowed to a standstill when the pandemic hit last year, the market has picked up like crazy, Colquhoun says. “It’s a real sellers’ market right now.” In lieu of open houses, people drive by to check out a home for sale, and there are virtual tours to see the interior.

“I had a client in the summer purchase a home virtually. It was a young family with kids; they live in the city and had worries about COVID. The first day they set foot was on closing date,” he recalls. As the father of two young boys himself, he could appreciate their concerns and did everything he could so that they could buy their family home safely.

The average selling time for a house has gone from one month, down to two weeks. With some homes selling in less than a week, Colquhoun says. Starter homes under $200,000 are hard to find and there are usually multiple offers on a home. He has been a realtor for almost eight years, and says that a house that was going for under $250,000 when he started is now well over $300,000.

Colquhoun prides himself on the service he provides - even if that service looks a little different from pre-COVID days. With a global pandemic going on and the housing market heating up, the pressure and stress on both buyers and sellers are extremely high. His job is to help people navigate these unprecedented times safely, utilizing his expertise and insight to smooth the way for his clients.

“Any time I help a client who’s relocating to Thunder Bay, it gives me so much joy because I feel like I’m an introduction to the city. I feel like an ambassador,” says Colquhoun. “I have clients from out of town, from Calgary, Toronto and elsewhere. Before the pandemic, I would drive out-of-town clients around looking for houses. We’d go see three or four houses, then maybe grab a bite to eat, show them some sights, the neighbourhoods.”

Even if the in-person interactions are no longer there, Colquhoun still provides top-notch service tailored to each client’s needs. “I’m passionate about the work I do, I provide good quality service, because let’s face it, these days, it’s hard to get real service,” he says. “I’m truly invested in every connection I make. I give people real, old fashioned five-star service.”

Learn more about James Colquhoun and Royal Lepage and how he can help you by visiting