Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.

Steve Caswell

Steve Caswell


Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.


Moving Sucks

(Published on - 9/2/2023 10:55:13 AM)

I said it a thousand times as of late – “I can’t believe we do this to people for a living.”  Although it is a necessary evil, it is cruel.  It is exhausting, strenuous and stressful all rolled into a giant ball of “holy shit”.

As you saw in the title, I’m talking about moving.

We had spent the night at my place to celebrate Mishe’s birthday with the crew.  As we awoke tired and a little foggy from a three-day mixed golf tourney in Sean’s honour, we were trying to rally to get back to Jennie’s place.  A friend, who was swinging by her soon to be "old place" to pick something up, called and I hear him say to Jennie, “you’re moving when?  This year?”  This is 48 hours before the movers arrive.

The house was utter chaos.  Tiny pathways through piles of boxes and “stuff” that a Shih Tzu would have difficulty navigating through.  Stools stacked on stools with pillows on top of blankets on top of the stools.  This pile going to storage, this pile going to my place, this pile being donated…… Wow.

In the fall of 2022, we were putting Jennie’s yard to bed and we did a bang-up job on reorganizing the garage….. again.  Her dad had done a bang-up job in 2021, but it only takes a year in the life of a garage to become a giant cluster fuck all over.  Ignorantly, we thought we were in control.

During the long, snowy winter months, Jennie and I ventured into her basement where there was 20 years’ worth of “stuff” that had accumulated.  Outdoor activity gear, a mess of tools, drawers of pics, baking stuff, appliances, etc. etc. etc.  You get the picture and, when you picture it, double the amount of shit you’re picturing.

Not unlike Jennie, and probably 95% of the people reading this, Mishe and I accumulated “stuff” and my basement was a similar disaster.  With emotions rolling after the loss of our spouses, it is nice for us to have each other to be honest about what to keep, what to donate and what to toss.  When your emotions are in control, you question throwing out the one sock that’s missing it’s partner because you remember them wearing them golfing that one day ten years ago.  Having each other to say, “let it go” in our positions is an asset beyond description.

And so began the attempt to organize and be honest, and we did pretty good.  We got a pile of Yard Sale stuff ready to go in the finished portion of the basement that Jennie and Sean never used except as a landing spot for “stuff”.  Beside the yard sale pile was the donation pile – they were nearly equivalent in stature.  We were proud at what we had accomplished, and I know Jennie felt better about her basement going from an absolute shit show to a more organized shit show.

Mother’s Day weekend is approaching, and we see the weather is going to be beautiful.  With shockingly no plans for the weekend (shockingly because Jennie has plans for us every weekend, normally six months to a year in advance), and with her location basically across from Freskiw’s, we knew that plenty of moms out there were going for brunch and then the good kids would drive mom out to Freskiw’s to buy some flowers for the garden.  If you didn’t do that, you’re not a “bad” kid, you’re just a “meh” kid, I guess, but you sure missed a Mother’s Day gong show in Jennie’s front yard.

How we made it through two days from 8am-2pm without having a rear-ender on Skead Rd. or a fender bender in Jennie’s Sudbury Airport Super Econo Lot is simply amazing.  You’ve got an 80km/h highway where people are jamming up the binders to try to squeeze into the full lot to browse someone’s basement junk. 

We just kept putting “stuff” out there.  $20 here, $5 there, a package deal for $150 and by Sunday afternoon Jennie had turned her pile of shit she wanted out of the house into $2000.  But we were exhausted and earned it.  We were sore, we were burnt – both externally under the hot sun for two days and internally with moving all that “stuff” up from the basement, onto the yard, into the garage, back onto the yard, helping load into someone’s car, blah, blah, blah.  We were done and the exorcism of “stuff” had worked.  Little did we know the task was only partially complete…..

Jennie and I had spent the winter of 2021/2022 in Cabo.  When we both got back to Sudbury, we were now embedded in a long-distance relationship.  My house is central on Robinson Drive (aka Robinson Raceway) whereas Jennie’s place was holding up the end of the runway at the airport.  Depending on who’s driving, we were 20-30 minutes apart, constantly packing overnight bags, loading up Zeke (her Bernadoodle) into the car to drop him off at the other house, planning on what house we’re going to stay at and for how many nights based on “the plans” for the next few days.  Then there’s doing groceries for two houses, two hydro bills, two property taxes and two lawns to cut (Jennie’s took me three hours on a riding lawnmower – shoot me).

Anyone who’s been in a long-distance relationship knows the stress and how it can be a pain in the ass as time moves on.  Sure, it wasn’t actually a “long-distance” as Jennie still thinks her house was actually in Garson – I guess officially it was - but to me she should’ve been paying taxes to Timmins.  She loved her house, but the realization that it was in the wrong spot was taking a toll as we both started getting back to work and back into our new reality.

We decided it was time.  As two widows at the age of 46 with plenty of life to go, it was time to try to move past our pasts and start looking forward.  It was time to sell one of our places and it made sense to keep mine seeing as it’s two minutes from Jennie’s office versus the 30mins to South Gogama through the Paris bridge and the Kingsway/Barrydowne gong shows.

Summer is busy, especially with Captain Planner (aka Jennie), so we were targeting a September list date.  We had tons of time to get ready as it was only June at this point.  I had told Jennie during the winter that I thought her place was, surprisingly, worth $500K in these markets.  Three months later, I wasn’t struggling to put a $550K tag on it, although it was still shocking that the market value for this three-bedroom bungalow with basically an unfinished basement in the boonies had shot well over $500K.

As we’re enjoying some cocktails at a friends’ camp on Manitoulin, I see a house get posted to the system at $575K on the same road with similar stature and property.  We were able to get back in time to check it out, but it sold quickly even at that price.  As not only her boyfriend (still weird as hell to say), but also her Realtor®, I told her we should go to market asap while there might still be some buyers sniffing around the area.  It’s almost like fishing – if you’re seeing fish all around the boat, you cast the line in.

All of a sudden, it’s on.  Was she, or were we, ready to go to market?  Not really, but no one ever really is.  Jennie always kept the house clean and tidy, but you could barely open a closet door without an avalanche of golf skorts landing on you.

I’ve always said, “there’s how you live and there’s how you sell.”  Living – you brush your teeth, spit out the mouthwash and turn off the bathroom light.  Selling – you brush your teeth, spit out the mouthwash, wipe down the taps/spout, rinse and wipe out the sink, make sure the toilet lid is down, take a quick peak behind the shower curtain to make sure everything is clean and leave the light on as you exit.  It truly is a pain in the ass to prep for showings, hence the importance of pricing correctly to minimize the disruption to your life and get the house sold.

The photographer is booked and she’ll be here in two days….  AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!! 

The scramble is on.  Tidy, stuff, scrub, clean.  Up on the ladder I go to finally save Zeke’s frisbee from an errant throw that landed on the roof two months ago as you can’t exactly get quality drone shots with a green disc on the roof!  Scrub more, make the beds, straighten the chairs at the table, organize the Yard Sale leftovers in the basement, sweep the garage, pull the weeds, cut the grass…… soaked, sweaty and exhausted and all we’ve done is prep for pictures.

As I always recommend to clients, if you can get out for a few days during the onset of coming to market, do it.  It’s so much easier to have the house tee’d up and ready to go without having to go through the “living versus selling” rigmarole every time a showing request comes in.  In this case, you’re house is ready and the access is unlimited for buyers and their agents.

So, off to settle in at the Robinson Raceway while Jennie’s place is exposed to the world.  We got plenty of activity and tons of good feedback, but ultimately the road noise kept coming up to haunt us.  That said, in less than two weeks, Jennie’s place sold for $585K (this is public knowledge, so I’m not infringing on anyone’s rights here).  This is $85K more than I think it would’ve sold for six months earlier and $35K more than I even thought it was worth around the time we listed it.  That is a big chunk of change and makes the showing prep work all that more palatable after the fact.  I often say to clients, "would you clean and organize your house for $20K?"  Of course everyone would, but now even $20K seems low in today's market conditions.

Although I don’t believe it had sunk in with Jennie, her place was sold and we could get back to our three days in – three days out routine bouncing back and forth between the houses.  We could leave the mouthwash in the sink and dishes on the counter again.  Hell, we had tons of time as it wasn’t closing for seven weeks.  With a little laissez-faire attitude, we went on with our summer plans (and there was plenty of plans!)

Oh shit, it’s August and closing is now three weeks away.  We really haven’t done much – chipped away at a box here and there, started a pile for here and a pile for there, stopped buying groceries for the house in an effort to move less when the time came. 

And holy fuck did the time come…. and fast!

Here we are with one week to go and the three-day Sean Dowling Memorial Mixed Tournament at Timberwolf right in the middle of it.  The time of digging through closets and taking two minutes with every little thing going, “hmmm, what should I do with this?” has quickly turned into, “just get in a fuckin box and get it out the door!!!!  We’ll deal with it later!!!!

Back to the start, our buddy is blown away at the disaster with 48 hours till the movers arrive.  We’re coming off a three-day bender, sitting at my place, so we’ve kind of forgotten what lies in wait a 20-30mins drive away.  We had cut the grass at Jennie's on the Thursday as we knew the buyers were coming for a walk-thru on the Monday evening after the tourney.  HOLY SHIT – IT’S MONDAY AFTER THE TOURNEY!  Of course, I have showings that afternoon, so Jennie races back to start “organizing” (reads – trying to create wider pathways for the buyers to get through the house they last saw looking immaculate).  With the buyers warned of what they were walking into, the walk through went ahead with no issues, however it did take an hour and we weren’t feeling too productive afterwards.

36 hours till movers arrive.  I wake up and say to Jennie, “I wonder if little gnomes came into the house last night and packed everything up for us!”  Spoiler Alert – they didn’t.  I cannot be more blunt when I say the house was a complete fuckin disaster.  Near an unfunctional state.  This is easier to just show you the difference with my new saying – there’s how you live, there’s how you sell and then there’s how you move

Here’s some listing pics and pics taken in the final day before the movers arrived – it’s kind of like the exact opposite of the before and after shots on a weight loss commercial.

Living Room listing pic.....


Living Room moving pic (note Zeke's look of "what the hell is happening right now?"

View from Living Room to Dining area for listing pics...... 

Same view moving style.....

Such a beautiful, bright entry way....

The Minefield....

This was how we were living.  Table gone, so eating lunch standing at the counter.  Make lunch?  Holy shit, no.  When you’re in the final lap of moving, it’s a diet of Subway, Topper’s Pizza & beer for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Taking the time to make food, or the time to find the stuff you’d need to make it, is a luxury you do not have. 

Sitting on the couch?  Only if you move three boxes and are going to pack another.  Lay in bed – not when you’ve got to dismantle and unplug a Tempur-Pedic electronic puppy.  Have a nice, hot shower?  Good luck finding a towel…… ugh.

We awake on Moving Day with plenty of stuff still to do.  Thankfully, the movers call and advise they’ll be two hours late due to their morning move being more than they were told.  At this point I’m thinking, “wait till they see this shit show”.  That said, we had it relatively well separated and had mapped out a packing order so the first stop would be at storage, then a quick stop at Jennie’s mom’s and the rest to finish up at my place.  I thought we had this nailed until the movers arrived.

Um, this is going to have to be two loads.”  Oh shit.  We have a 10 foot x 25 foot storage unit and they have an 8ft x 33ft trailer and they think just the storage stuff is one load!  Thankfully, the boys at Smooth Moves were absolute pros.  The three of them never stopped.  They used almost every square centimeter of the storage unit.  These guys must be so advanced at Tetris.  They head back to Jennie’s and I head to my house to try to make room….

When you’re combining two houses, you have two of everything.  Jennie loves her “stuff” and apparently Mishe and I bought all the wrong stuff for our kitchen.  Add to this that my house is about 1100 sq ft on the main floor with already a shit show for a basement while Jennie’s place was 1500 sq ft on the main, so there’s an extra 800sq ft of stuff when you add the basements that has to go somewhere.

The trailer backs in at 7:30 pm and the gate comes down.  I’ve been doing my best to make some room, but it’s late and we instruct the movers, “we’ll show ya where the big stuff goes, everything else you can drop wherever you can find a spot”.  Oh my fuck – it was a disaster.  The boys finish up doing a magnificent job and they head off after a long day to their homes where they can have a hot shower, make a late dinner and relax on the couch.  I am sooooo jealous, and now we remember both our cars are full of stuff to unload before heading back to Jennie’s for the final night there.

ECHO, ECHO, ECHO…… as we arrive at 10:30 pm, absolutely exhausted with our late-night pizza in hand and only the box top to use as plates, Zeke’s bark is echoing through the house.  It is so empty.  Although we were severely rundown, there was a feeling of elation that we had actually pulled it off, with a side of confusion as to how the hell we actually pulled it off.  But, when you’re moving, there always seems to be still more shit to go, and this situation was no different.

As we awoke, we’re out of boxes, but there’s still more stuff – cleaning supplies from making sure we hand off the house looking great to the new buyers, gas/propane tanks that movers won’t take for insurance purposes, the one towel that I was able to find for a shower, the bedding, a couple lawn chairs, our clothes from the day before that we should’ve burned instead of keeping, the garbage/recycling and, of course, the food. 

No one really understands how much is in that fridge of yours until you try to move it.  “Grab another cooler bag, Sweets!” kept echoing through the empty house as I’m trying to cram 13 different half empty bottles of marinades and three bottles of ketchup into a six-pack cooler bag.  And, again, no one really understands just how many beer and coolers can actually fit in one of those little wine fridges until you have to unload it.  Funny though - when you have people over, you can never have enough in it.  When you move, there’s too much in it……

With both cars fully jammed with stuff, we have a final toast to Sean and Jennie's life togther on Skead Rd. while playing their song on the deck.  I think, at this point, it really begins to sink in for her that the view she’s been looking at for 20 years will be someone else’s to wake up to tomorrow.  For anyone, it’s emotional, but when you’ve lost your spouse and this was the life you had together, it’s even moreso.  We had some laughs and tears, and I thanked Jennie for being the one to take the first leap for us.  We close the door, blow the house a kiss and head off for our new future in the South End. 

As we’re in separate cars, I’m thinking, “just gotta make Jennie feel as comfy and as ‘at home’ as possible at Robinson”.  Then we open the door…… WOW.  It’s almost as though, for that brief drive and saying farewell to the house, we were done.  Apparently, the joke was on us.

We open the door to my place, and it is, quite simply, a massive minefield of shit.  There are boxes, bags, baskets, cooler bags everywhere.  It’s like we’re right back where we started, but we have to do it in reverse order this time.  Imagine running a 10km marathon, get to the finish line and the starter goes, “ok, great job, now do it again backwards!”  Jennie tried to start, but I asked her to just sit on the couch and live to fight another day tomorrow with a fresh start.  The bedroom was the only sanctuary, the rest was as though Jennie’s house had vomited all over mine.

We awake on Day 1 of Jennie’s full-time living in my place and we had to just chuckle.  Where the hell do you even start?  But, deep down, Jennie knew where we had to start – we had to start getting my shit out!  Here we go again. As a side note, if you’re looking for anything, or everything, I’m having a Moving In Sale on FB Marketplace these days.  What’s a Moving In Sale?  It’s a “my girlfriend is moving in, so my shit has to go” sale….

Surprisingly, within 48 hours, we had the main floor resembling and functioning like a place where adults live while the basement will likely maintain its gong show status for awhile yet.  After a GRUELING week, we made it.

Moving sucks – again, I honestly can’t believe I do this to people for a living and I sincerely apologize to all clients for doing this to you.  That said, change is good and moving is just one hell of a big speed bump on the road of change.  If you don’t like change, try not changing your underwear for a week (especially if you’re moving that week) and then you’ll appreciate change a lot more. 

Moving always takes more time than you think, more boxes than you believe you’ll need, more money on fast food and more chaos than you’re used to living in, but it is temporary, and we all get through it at some point. 

Thankfully, after what we just went through, we won’t have to move again until this time next year…. shit.

Broker Caz

Steve Caswell


Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd, Brokerage

Cell - 705.561.8767

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact me immediately at


Death of a Team

(Published on - 8/6/2023 12:20:54 PM)

Based on what I can see in our Blog – ugh, excuse me – my Blog, the last post was from mid-summer 2020 in the midst of Covid-19.  As most of you are aware, LOTS has changed since that last writing…..

To fully explain the title of this blog, I’m going to take the story back, then back further, and back even further…..

In 2005, I was suffering from herniated discs in my neck that were basically immobilizing me.  I was working for Big Brothers of Sudbury as Development Officer at the time, but my issues caused me to walk away – ugh, excuse me – slouch away as I was incapable of fulfilling my duties due to my condition.

As I’ve done my whole life, since losing both my parents by the age of 20, I looked at my options and realized the timing was good for me to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps and get my real estate licence.  With my limited mobility and the availability of online courses, the wheels were in motion for me to bear down and take that new direction in life.

I was licenced in June of 2006, my mobility had improved, and I was running at full speed in those scorching markets of 2006/2007.  My career had taken off at light speed and I was busy.  In fact, too busy according to my wife, Michelle, and we decided it was time for her to get her licence and join me.

In 2008, “The Caswell Team” was born.  We were just a pair, but we were both Caswells and the “team” concept was really starting to take off in the industry, so we opted to join the “team world” in advertising.  That said, we were a team – we were partners in everything and being wholly interchangeable allowed us both to still enjoy our individual free time while the other stepped in.

In 2013, we began looking at expanding our reach into the southern climes of Mexico.  We knew there was a risk involved with leaving our business in Sudbury unattended for the winter months, but then opportunity presented itself in the form of Gary Doyle.

I had caught wind that “Doyler” was getting licenced in real estate.  Here was a successful businessman, a good friend that I had enjoyed a multitude of rounds with, both golf and beer, and the possibility of mutual benefit for Doyler to join two experienced Realtors® to start his career while giving Michelle and I the confidence that our clients would still be fully served while we were South.

For the first couple of years, things were rolling along really well.  In fact, we had a team meeting in the Spring of 2018 where we realized that bringing in an additional team member would be beneficial.  At that meeting, only one name came to mind – Amanda Gervais.

We approached “Gerv” and she is a very diligent operator.  She didn’t instantly say yes, but after she did her homework and realized the mutual benefits to all of us, the team expanded once again.

We were rolling.  Of course, things aren’t always perfect.  In a team setting it’s natural for some individualism to pop up, often in real estate, and we regularly had frank discussions about referrals, who’s clients were whose, etc.  No matter what, we always got back to the basics of just making sure we remained fully interchangeable and the clients were always served.

Going even farther back, I coached Lo-Ellen Park High School hockey team for nine years after I was Captain of the team for two.  For 11 years, I was engulfed in this team.  We were never a dynasty, although my first year playing was pretty close.  When I was Coach, we worked hard as hell to often land middle of the pack in the standings.  Hell, I used to have to fish the hallways just to recruit enough bodies to field a team. 

The one thing that never changed was that room full of guys, who were just a group of somewhat random guys at the first tryout, would always turn into a fortified unit that would do anything possible to not let another teammate down.  We all became close, and continue to be to this day, but at some point the season would end, the gear would be thrown into the middle of the room to go back into storage for the summer and everyone would walk out the door to pursue their own path – whatever was best for that individual person.  We all still had that time together that we’d remember as the “good ole’ days”.

Dynasty teams ebb and flow constantly.  Going even farther back, Edmonton Oilers in the 80’s ring a bell?  The Great One, Kurri, Messier, Coffey, Fuhr, Anderson and even Semenko.  They were amazing and every time I went to the Jets game in Winnipeg when the Oilers were in town, I hoped the Jets could pull it off, but I knew the Oilers were just too good.

Breaking News – Gretzky is off the Los Angeles Kings.  Messier is off to the Rangers.  How does a dynasty just break apart like this?  Although they’re likely all still close friends that remember the good ole’ days of being part of one of the greatest NHL teams of all time, they individually chose to do what was best for them, for their families, and bid farewell to the team for the next chapter in their life.

History is full of this.  As a diehard Colts fan, I hate Tom Brady, but he’s a recent prime example.  A-Rod coming off his second golden glove and being traded.  Wilt Chamberlain got traded to LA the year he wins MVP.  All pro sports have these tales of the hot hands in the game moving on from the dynasty they had helped create.

In December of 2019, while I was pushing off the dock in Cabo for a day of deep-sea fishing, I got a call from Doyler.  “Caz, I really appreciate everything you guys have done, but I’m going to go out on my own starting next year.” 

I can’t say I was shocked – this is a common occurrence in real estate.  We all start somewhere and are trained by our Broker and/or other agents in the office.  Eventually most Realtors® feel they’ve gained enough confidence to be on their own or have enough experience to know there are other options that may be more beneficial to their situation. 

This happened to Michelle and I when we moved from Smith Realty over to Realty Executives of Sudbury – it was purely a financial decision that put Michelle and I in a better position moving forward as much as it hurt us on a personal level leaving John and Luke.  However, business decisions cannot be emotional if you want to be successful.

In January 2020, the Caswell Team was down to three.  We had all wished Doyler well and refined the processes to fit our new trifecta situation.  Then all hell broke loose…..

Covid hits the world and Mishe and I are trapped in Cabo.  Amazingly, the real estate market goes completely off the charts and Gerv is swamped with taking care of all of our clients at once while still being a full-time, pandemic mom.  We eventually commit to driving back to Sudbury only to arrive in early July and Gerv is exhausted.  It’s now mine and “Mishe’s” turn to carry the team for Gerv.  Then, again, even bigger hell broke loose….

As you all know, Mishe was diagnosed with Glioblastoma in Sept 2020.  This disease is a short-term death sentence for most.  I had to put real estate essentially on hold, jumping in to help Gerv when I could leave my full-time caregiver role for brief shots.  Gerv was back in full speed, carrying the team once again, although I would be neglectful if I didn’t acknowledge the entire office and even close friend Realtors® from other brokerages who stepped up to help Mishe and I out during this difficult time.

In Sept 2021, Mishe lost her battle and left a gaping hole in the team, in our lives and in our hearts.  Although we all knew it was coming, it was still overwhelming.  After almost 13 months as full-time, 24/7 caregiver, and after losing my partner in everything, my best friend and the love of my life, real estate was the farthest thing from my mind.  In all honesty, I wouldn’t have been able to provide “competent service” to my clients in my state, as I am legally bound to do, so I took off back South for the winter while Gerv continued to carry the full weight of the team.

In 2022, Gerv and her hubby, Stefano, came for a visit to Cabo.  It was bittersweet as Mishe always wanted them to come down for vacation.  So, here they were, but we were missing the main puzzle piece.  It was a great visit with great friends and my remaining teammate; however, I knew the end was already in sight. 

There were no longer four of us, there was only one Caswell left and, at this point, it realistically should’ve been The Gerv Team featuring me as a part-time assistant.  Like all dynasties, the discussion of dissolvement had begun as Gerv discussed other possibilities for advancement for her career moving forward while I was coming out of a fog looking at reigniting mine.  The end of an era was approaching and there was nothing that could be done.

I attempted to bring on another close friend as a teammate.  The energy was exciting as I started looking at a rebuild, however the excitement was short lived as she walked away from the team shortly after joining with no explanation.  This was the wake up call I needed.

The team was dead.  There was no bringing it back, at this moment anyway, and I am moving forward once again as a lone wolf.  As I mentioned earlier, I have survived a shitload of “life experience” and have always grinded my way through and out of it.  This was no different and, like others, it was time for me to look at my individual needs instead of through the eyes of an “us” lens.  This concept wasn’t new to me, but it had been since Michelle got her licence in 2008 that I solely looked at my real estate career as just me.

The great “reset” has begun.  As I created all the team website content from scratch, it has been a tough process changing the “we” to “I”, “our” to “my” and de-pluralizing.  Every time I remove an “s” from “agents” or I have to delete pics of Mishe and Gerv from the marketing - one reminds me of my greatest loss while the other reminds me of who was so amazing at stepping in to keep my business rolling through it all so I still had all I worked for over the last 17 years to come back to.  It all reminds me that I am once again singular in real estate.

Now, this wasn’t meant to be “dark”, but there was importance in explaining the title.  Would the team still be together if Mishe didn’t leave us?  Eventually it would have dissipated, undoubtedly, as teams never last in perpetuity – individual needs and circumstances will always trump these situations and rightfully so.  We only get one crack at this life, so do what’s best for you. 

The history of real estate is full of Realtors® and Brokers that have been successful on their own – which I was in the two years before Mishe got in the game.  Just because I no longer have a team to refer to in my marketing, doesn’t mean I don’t have a team full of office colleagues, mortgage brokers, lawyers and all professional services attached to the process.

There are benefits to flying solo once again.  I used to spend a considerable amount of time on backend team management stuff, now I’ve got time to write longwinded blogs again!  I used to have to run things by the team before posting, now I can fuckin’ swear anytime I want and hit “post”.  I can spend more direct focus on how to make myself better instead of worrying about how to make the team or my teammates better.  Most importantly, I have more time for my clients.

Let it be known that The Caswell Team is officially dead.  I won’t resurrect it as it will never be the same without my #1 teammate.  Some things can’t be undone, and some things should remain undone out of respect and to avoid stirring too many emotions.  I may be inclined to get another team rolling in the future if the opportunity were to present itself, but that will be a group of individuals all deciding that it’s in each of our best interests to do so and it won’t be heavily weighted with “Caswells” at the onset or require my name in lights.

I hereby bid farewell to The Caswell Team and thank my teammates for the exceptional run and the dynasty we leave behind.  I know Gerv and Doyler are still in the office with me if I ever need some help, and they know that is reciprocal, but this will be good for me, my soul and my mind, to soar solo again for now as I grind out of this new challenge life threw at me.

Let’s fuckin’ do this – ugh, I mean – I’m gonna fuckin’ do this.

Broker Caz

Steve Caswell


Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd, Brokerage

Cell - 705.561.8767


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact me immediately at



(Published on - 8/6/2023 12:11:50 PM)


(Note - this was a broadcast email that went out, therefore some parts read as and pertain to receiving this as an email..... enjoy)

Sudbury? Cabo? Sudbury & Cabo? Kelowna? Istanbul? Leaving Las Vegas style?

Maybe you’re thinking, “why am I getting this on a long weekend?” or “who the heck just sent me this?” I figured the August long weekend is a time when people take a few deep breaths after a chaotic May/June/July and you might just have a few minutes to enjoy an entertaining piece of writing over coffee or chilling around the firepit and even take the time to figure out who Caz is.

As I write this, it is approaching two years since Michelle/Mishe/Mimi/my Babe passed away and left a gaping hole in my life. Almost two years of soul-searching. Twenty-two months of “what just happened?”. Coming upon two years of grieving, laughing, crying, asking “why?”…… you get the picture.

When Mishe and I would discuss our life insurance policies, I always told her, “we don’t need a massive chunk. You’ll need six months of finances covered to grieve and take some time away from it all, but then it’s time to get back to life and move forward.” Note the “you’ll” as our collective assumption, with me looking 75 by the time I was 35 and don’t exactly practice a healthy lifestyle, all indicators were that I would likely go first.

Ignorantly, I was speaking from past experiences of losing both parents by the age of 20 and thought I was well prepared to just “bounce back” if something did happen to Mishe. I also tried to use that language about a quick recovery within six months as an advanced tactic to instill strength in Mishe for when I passed in hopes it would give her the power to rebound quick. In hindsight, and now living through it – WOW - was I way off.

Losing your parents is tough. I see a lot of my friends going through some tough battles right now or posting their parents’ obituaries online. It doesn’t matter if you go through it during your teenage years or if your parents leave you when you’re enjoying retirement. It’s tough regardless of whether you saw and battled alongside them for months or years, or you open the door to the police to tell you the sudden news – every story is just a different tough.

Losing my parents early injected me into a crash course in resiliency. I’ve always fought my way through and kept on grinding, often with more help from my friends than from family. However, battling everyday against an enemy you can't beat and losing your spouse at far too young an age can challenge anyone’s strength and, even with my salient past and experience with great loss, my strength was nearly crushed.

For the first year, while in a foggy state, I almost sold my house, almost moved out West, almost moved back to Cabo, almost, almost, almost. Thankfully, Mishe and I had always agreed that, if something happened to one of us, we wouldn’t make any major decisions for the first six months. I’m beyond grateful to have had Jennie at my side encouraging me to stick to that rule.

Jennie is my girlfriend – aka Sweetie Bird – and it still seems weird to say I have a girlfriend after 20 years of being together with Mishe. Jennie lost her husband, Sean, to the same brutal brain cancer eight months before Mishe passed. We were both living the lives we had dreamed of until Glioblastoma smashed us both into widow status at the age of 46 – what a world.

Together, we’ve been moving forward, leaning on each other in down moments, but mostly trying to enjoy life as much as we can knowing how quickly life can change in a heartbeat. We backpacked through Europe and spent the winter in Cabo together getting through our year of “firsts” – anniversaries, birthdays, anniversaries of deaths, etc. I often explain that we were both launched into a deep hole, and we continue to pull each other up, scaling the sides as we fight our way out of it. People are amazed we’re able to continue but we made promises to Sean and Mishe that we would and finding that combined strength to do it together and be lucky enough to do it alongside someone who knows exactly what you’ve been through has been the amazing part.

Last winter, Jennie got an amazing opportunity with a colleague to restart her career with RBC Dominion Securities in a new role as an Investment Advisor. After sitting in a cove waiting out the storm, her sails went up and this was a huge gust with calming seas ahead to get her back in the game. When you’re somewhat lost, having trouble understanding what happened and questioning what your future holds, this was Jennie’s “epiphany” moment that cleared some of the dark clouds and started to light up her new path forward. (P.S. – she’s nailing it and she’s amazing at what she does)

As primary caregivers, Jennie was always ahead of me during the fight with GBM, including losing Sean those eight months before I lost Mishe. After seeing this opportunity happen to her, I thought, “ok, my moment of revelation will come.” I patiently waited and held out hope some “divine intervention” was going to come and show me the way. I talk to Mishe a lot and even asked her often for some guidance or a sign. And I waited. Nothing came…..

Then it did. My revelation was to not wait to find out where I should go, my epiphany was to get back to the place I know, to surround myself with the people who helped make me who I am today and to reignite my 17-year career in Real Estate by relaunching myself where it all began.

After almost 10 years living part-time in Cabo, there I was waiting and searching for my next path out of Sudbury, all the while my future was to find my path back to Sudbury. It was to get back to my friends, who are basically my family. Back to enjoying pontoon boat rides and golfing Timby and Idy in the summer. Even back to putting on long underwear to snowblow the driveway after the Cabo winters of putting on a sweater and pants where the temp dropping to 20C was considered “chilly” (and that’s not minus 20C). Apparently, my sails were up the whole time, I just needed to repoint the bow towards entrenching myself into the fabric of home to feel them fill up with the massive gusts of support to get back to being one of the top Realtors® in Sudbury.

I’m normally modest, although also sarcastic, and this may seem arrogant to some, but I know I’m one of the best in the industry in Sudbury. I have an ability to see things others don’t, I have a legal mind that creates protection for clients that others might not think about, and I have a creativity in writing that makes deals come together where others might give up. Mishe used to say I was the best Realtor® she knew – obviously seems biased – but my Broker in Cabo said I was one of the smartest minds he has ever seen in the industry based on his 40 years of experience.

I am no B.S. – I tell it like it is and, as plenty of agents in Sudbury will attest, I don’t put up with and call out unethical and immoral behaviour in the industry. Drives me absolutely bonkers when I see some putting their own interests ahead of their clients’ or not properly taking care of them the way they should be. And I write this knowing full well that other Realtors® will read this – there’s even some on this mailing list.

So, back to my opening statement, you might be thinking, “why am I receiving this and, even moreso, still reading at this point?” Glad you asked!

If you’ve received this, you’ve been part of Michelle’s and my life at some point. You’ve been clients while we were The Caswell Team. I’ve served you drinks at the Beef, I’ve tee’d it up with you, we’ve gone tape-to-tape playing hockey or maybe I coached you during my nine years as head coach at Lo-Ellen Park. Maybe you’re on here because you played softball/volleyball/golf/pool/pickleball, went to school or just enjoyed good times with Mishe. Maybe you’re Cabo clients or we spent an afternoon sipping margaritas on Medano Beach or watching the Colts at Hooliganz Corner Bar. Maybe you’re part of our Cabo, Indy, Arizona, Cali, B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario or Quebec families who I miss all too much. Maybe you’re one of our connections in the U.K or friends in other parts of the Caribbean living the good life. Maybe our lives have crossed with just a phone call or an email looking for info on a listing or they cross daily with messages of staying in touch. At some point, you have all been a part of Mishe’s and my life together.

I wanted to reach out to as many people out there as possible to touch base for two reasons. One – as Mishe primarIly ran operations for her and I in Sudbury while I was in Cabo running our business there, I don’t know fully who are clients of Mishe’s. Therefore, I had no choice but to cast a wide net so you know I am still here for you the same way Mishe and I have always been. Secondly, I wanted this to spread wide and end the rumours of where I was living and where I was working. There has been too much “grey area” surrounding my whereabouts and, as noted above, I really didn’t know where that was going to be until recently.

As you can see, there is no more “Caswell Team” and my first blog back touches on this (you can click here to read it – Death of a Team). After 17 years in real estate, most of which as Michelle’s partner, I’ve had to begin completely rebranding myself in the singular. It hasn’t been easy – deleting Mishe’s pic from the ads, erasing her information from the marketing and going through her contacts trying to figure out who were clients has been tough. Losing my wife was unexplainably brutal and grieving took way longer than the six months I told Mishe it would. Now I’m having to go through the grieving portion of also losing my business partner while I try to reestablish myself to move forward.

I get it – some of you on here may be thinking, “I barely know these people”, but please accept my apologies as I couldn’t risk missing a client or close friend who didn’t know. Some of you may have already moved onto or have always dealt another Realtor® and that’s ok too. Some of you may be thinking “don’t spam me with this stuff” and I again apologize if you feel that way.

However, for those of you that care and want to help me bounce back again in life, I’m calling out some simple favours if you have time:

  • Most importantly, if you were Michelle’s client and we’ve never met or chatted, please don’t hesitate to reach out for anything. I would love to hear stories of how Michelle took care of you. Reading or talking about Mishe truly warms my heart. And please know I’m here to help you moving forward with the same combination of patience and tenacity she had. Send me a note any time to
  • Google loves reviews, however, the Caswell Team no longer exists, so our reviews are now inactive. As I’m basically starting from scratch moving away from the old branding, I could use some updated Google Reviews if you have a chance by clicking this link - If you were Michelle’s client, it’s ok to leave a review about Michelle on my profile as people will understand the connection. If we’ve never worked together, character reviews are welcome as well. As I am no B.S., even if you have a negative review, I won’t delete it or run away from it – I’ll endeavor to fix it or use it to better myself.
  • With the Caswell Team FB profile now in a dormant state, maybe you can take a quick second to click here and follow my work profile on Facebook and reach out to connect with my personal profile by clicking here. Those of you that are connected with the Cabo Caz profile, please take a second to reconnect on the Sudbury one.
  • I know there are tons of choices in real estate and no one appreciates loyalty more than me. That said, maybe the next time someone asks about who they could work with for real estate in Sudbury, don’t be shy to spread the love around and throw my name out knowing full well they will be well taken care of the way Mishe and I always have done with everyone we’ve dealt with.

Sure, you can “unsubscribe” from me at the bottom of this email but, if you stick around, I promise this connection won’t be abused. I encourage you to stay onboard for the monthly Newsletter or the odd broadcast about something important – I will not be intrusive, and it certainly won’t be boring.

If you’ve gotten this far, you know I don’t do the “boilerplate”, impersonal nonsense that others pay a company somewhere to send you to make you think they’re thinking about you. I’ve thought about everyone one of you personally while compiling this list and how we have or may have a connection. Everything I send you is personalized, interesting and likely highly entertaining. The worst you’re going to get is quick hit reads to again enjoy with a morning coffee or an evening adult beverage around the firepit without further invasion of your life. Besides, you don’t want to miss these upcoming blogs:

  • The Enormous Feat of Listing Your Girlfirend’s House While Still Keeping a Girlfriend
  • Tricks Realtors® Pull to Make More Money at Your Expense
  • What Time is Appropriate to Crack a Beer on Sunday at a Friend’s Camp?
  • How Years of Free Advice & Help Becomes Another Realtor’s® Paycheque
  • How Wide Does a Fairway Have to Be to Actually Hit it?
  • And a personal favourite, Long Range Planning – Why Your Girlfriend Has Every Summer Weekend Already Booked Thru 2026

So, to end the mystery and clear the muddied waters – CAZ IS BACK. I’m back in Sudbury full-time. I’m back to continue taking care of our clients as Mishe and I always have. I’m back to work together with the great agents in Sudbury and expose the ones flaunting the rules or ignoring the ethics.

I’m back to shoot my 90+ on men’s nights, sip a bevy on the pontoon boat, catch the big bass and hold court around the firepit. I’m back to snowblow, strap on the skates for Nooners, load up the woodstove and complain about how friggin cold it is like the true Sudburian I am.

I’m back to where it all began.

I used to always say to people when they were moving away from Suds – “all roads lead back to Sudbury”. I now know that’s all too true.

Here we go….


Steve Caswell


Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd, Brokerage

Cell - 705.561.8767


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact me immediately at

Sudbury's Resiliency

(Published on - 3/7/2023 12:17:42 AM)

Sudbury is our nest, our family, our friends, our neighbours.  It's our home.

Sudbury is iconic on so many levels.  The Superstack that everyone can see passing by on the Trans-Canada highway.  Known for the “must have been” filming location of the "fake" moon landing thanks to our barren landscape in the 70’s.  The place where the “boys are getting stinko” on Saturday nights.  An area inundated with freshwater lakes and rivers.  A per capita hot bed for NHL product and an incredible number of Olympic medals in many sports for a city of our size.  A place where we complain daily about the weather, city council and road construction only to apologize for doing so while offering the person who had to listen to you “a cold one”.

We’ve travelled the world and, for some bizarre reason, always run into someone who has a connection or a memory of Sudbury.  Whether it’s a night passing through and having a hell of a time at the Coulson back in the 80’s, the fish they caught at their uncle’s camp on Long Lake back in the day or when they say, “do you know Bill?” and we reply with, “ya, small world, Bill is my D-partner at Wednesday night hockey.  Great guy, love Bill!

Sudbury is just well-known.  No offence to our neighbours, but I’m sure people from North Bay don’t come close to getting the same reactions we get when people hear we’re from “The Big Nickel”.  And, for the most part, we rightfully take pride in that.  We are a proud city and that pride is like a rite of passage that has been passed through the generations.

What we’re seeing during this pandemic is something we have likely been taking for granted – Sudbury is a resilient team.  We may seem passive and fun-loving to the “outsiders”, but we’re passionate and strong-willed.  We don’t take kindly to being knocked down and will respond, and that response is even more powerful when you knock a friend down.  Sudbury is the team that loves a good bench brawl when you injure one of our own.

So, our resiliency heading into, and out of, this pandemic will be no different.  Here’s why our team will do better than most…..


We have become the epicenter for mining.  Although gone are the days of INCO having tens of thousands on payroll, this sector has led to a sprawling secondary network of global suppliers and expertise in the field.  When mining was announced as essential, our unemployment rate was stabilized in the private sector.  This was a massive plus for the entire city as we’ve witnessed in the past what a devastating impact to the local economy during a long strike shutdown can look like.

Further, as Sudbury’s mining giants began downsizing, outsourcing and automating, our city was able to secure some massive public sector employers.  We have large public sector employment with Service Canada, Service Ontario, our colleges and universities, our numerous school boards, front line first responders and our health sector.  Most, if not all, of these employees haven’t missed a paycheque through this pandemic and, with the shotgun blasting of money being thrown out by the government, it’s likely Canada Revenue is going to go on one hell of a hiring spree in our city.

Sure, there are plenty of people that will, and do, complain that these people are overpaid union employees and it’s not fair that they got to work from home while collecting full pay.  And I fully agree that municipal staffing at City of Sudbury and some portions of the public sector are absurdly bloated with plenty of waste.

But they've fought for what they got and right now we should be happy they did. In no way should any of us be suggesting pay cuts, wage freezes or mass layoffs in the public sector like others have been vocal about.  That's the ole' "cut off your nose to spite your face" mentality.  More people earning less, or even nothing, right now will not help anyone.  On the contrary, we need people employed right now with good paying careers spending money in the private sector. on Monday posted the provincial job numbers and they were stark.  About 1.1 million people in the province are now unemployed with the unemployment rate standing at 11.3%.  But, digging into the numbers shows the distorted impact with 12.3% of those being public employees and 87.7% of those being private sector or self-employed. 

With our unemployment rate remaining below 7%, we're showing that having a large public sector and essential worker base is a massive community benefit at this moment.  But it's quickly becoming apparent that a large part of the economic recovery will have to be shouldered largely by the public payroll and those essential workers until things get rolling again.  The video below in "The Recovery" section better helps to explain this. 


Another big benefit we have is the per capita retirees in the area.

We’ve often heard how we’re becoming a giant retirement community, like an Elliot Lake on steroids.  From a growth perspective, that can be a dangerous long-term trajectory for a city, but, for pandemics, it turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

Retirees are less likely to foreclose on their house when there is no mortgage on it, they spend money at larger rates in the essential services (think pharmacies, physio, other health care, etc.) and also in the soon-to-be opening businesses we all need (hairdressers, estheticians, lawn care/snow removal, etc.).

No, I do not think that all retirees are flush with cash by any stretch - I know there are plenty out there that are barely getting by and these times have been much tougher.  But I’d hazard a guess that there’s retirees sitting on some solid cash reserves throughout our area.    Therefore, I'm focusing this commentary on those Sudbury Resiliency teammates who can help rebound the city they’ve spent decades growing for future generations.

To those retirees, you've taken great pride in building up this city to a place where we're all proud to call home.  We'll still need your help to maintain that pride through this to get the economic cycle moving again and get back to growing our city.  If you can, consider spending a little outside of your normal.  Maybe get that new boat for the dock on Nepahwin, finally replace those 20-year old golf clubs with the newest Titliest irons, maybe it’s time to finally upgrade to that custom kitchen you’ve talked about, go buy that riding lawnmower or, even better, hire a lawn care crew while you sip margaritas on the deck you just had stained by a painting crew.  Even if it's just ordering dinner from a new spot every week helps ripple money through our community.

If you're one of those that have a bigger stomach, and with the markets poised to suffer for the interim, maybe you could consider helping a local business get back into the success column by looking into being an Angel Investor to help one of your neighbours or that entrepenuer you mentored.  These business owners were successful before and we all know they'll be able to do it again with a little boost in these tough times.

Business Longevity

In Sudbury, not every business will need an Angel Investor or federal assistance to survive.  Our city is full of self-made generations of entrepreneurs that have a proven track record through tough times.  If you’re not one of them, you should pick up the phone and call one of these families and ask them to share the secrets of their longevity.

Of course, businesses open and close, they prosper and suffer and not all make it.  We will witness this in the next year on a much larger scale than most of us can recall.  But there will be those that will reopen and grind it out back to success.  I won’t list the names here, as they know who they are and most of us know what family businesses I’m talking about, but they are as iconic to Sudbury as the Big Nickel itself and they will be the backbone of the private sector recovery for all of us.

Our Sprawl

One of our biggest assets is Greater Sudbury itself.  I’m not talking about the amalgamation, as I know there are plenty that don’t see things as “greater” in the outlying areas, but it’s the actual land and outlying areas themselves that helped insulate us from a far worse outcome.

We’ve all seen how quickly COVID-19 spreads and how bad it gets in densely populated areas.  Italy, New York, Toronto – locations where people are stacked on people and buildings are sandwiched together.  The more condensed, the more rapid and devastating the spread.

As mentioned, with our higher than average age population in Sudbury, we could’ve easily been a disaster zone if we weren’t so spread out.  They recommend staying two meters apart – how about two acres apart?  They recommend sneezing or coughing in your elbow – how about sneezing and coughing when the closest person is across the lake?  Physical distancing?  I’ve been in Sudbury real estate long enough to know that people aspire to have plenty of room between them and their neighbour.

Sure, we have our in-fill areas and condensed spots – Gatchell, Little Italy in Copper Cliff, a few condo towers, some high-rise apartments and some of the newer developments that are trying to create a “new normal” when it comes to lot sizes similar to Southern Ontario but, overall, we’re well spread out on a vast tract of land that gave us a natural defence from this thing spreading on us.

The Numbers

We truly are resilient and, so far, the numbers have proven it. 

Like the provincial numbers noted above, we saw the national unemployment rate skyrocket from 5.6% in February to 13% in April and some even think the numbers used don’t reflect the true percentage that is estimated to be way worse.  And it will continue to get worse - WAY worse.

However, Sudbury’s unemployment rate went from 5.2% at the onset of this to 6.8% in the latest reporting.  No amount of loss of employment is good, but you can see that we’re not even close to what happened on a national and provincial scale.

Yes, there will likely be more unemployment damage in Sudbury.  As we mentioned, there will be some businesses shuttered that will put people out of work.  But to be currently sitting at about half of the national average, and well below the provincial average noted above, with that national number to spike again in the next report, we’re proving our resiliency coming from a pretty similar starting point.

We recently asked everyone to fill out our Caswell Team COVID-19 survey and the responses we received emulate these stats with majority of respondents saying that their primary household incomes were still working or retired.

Financial Resiliency

There were two other main stats from our survey that shows Sudbury’s ability to weather this storm.

Approximately 70% of respondents have not requested any financial assistance through this.  Not even so much as a mortgage payment deferral.  Nothing.  That is good news and falls in line with 62% saying their finances would be the same or better at year end while over 93% said they would have no major concerns at the end of the year.  When we’re surrounded by ample stories of despair, this is pretty solid proof that Sudbury is showing some profound buoyancy!

The Recovery

It's not hard to understand that the government can't continue to pay 75% of a large swath of private sector salaries, pay 50% of private commercial rents and hand monthly allowances directly to Canadians - we all know it's not sustainable.  Governments were already in big defecit positions going into this, and with our current national debt clock adding $10,000 a second and each Canadian owing $20,000 (as of this writing), we are creating catistrophic debt levels for future generations unless we get out the paddles and shock our economy back to life.

The private sector doesn't want handouts, they want to work.  But our economy is currently a house of cards with a hurricane on the horizon.  If those who worked through this and/or are financially secure decide to sit on their wallets and support for the private sector disappears, it will wipe out our current strong, resilient position in Sudbury.  Here's a little video that explains this:

We’re a Tough Team

While the country is getting walloped, we’re hanging in as a beacon of light.  While the country is bleeding jobs like a slag pour, we’re still firing the furnaces.  While others are talking about the one that got away, we’re still reeling them in.  While other areas are shell-shocked, we’re still complaining about the weather.

But we’re a team and our entire team isn’t out of this yet.  No good team leaves a teammate behind and, as part of resiliency, it’s important those who can afford to get the local economy rolling, get out there and make it happen.  Consider yourselves the “green spray” that was used on our “moonscape” – a little here, a little there and, with a little bit of time, our whole area is green and lush again and it's as though the fake moon landing never happened.

Some of our teammates have been knocked down, but we know they're tough as hell.  Let’s put our hand out to help them up so, together, we can brawl this crisis and then head out to get “stinko on a Sudbury Saturday night”.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at

How You Doing?

(Published on - 3/7/2023 12:17:07 AM)

Anyone who is a fan of Friends can hear Joey’s sly voice while attempting a pickup with that opening line.  Although we’re asking you the same thing, we’re doing it more sincerely and certainly not as a pickup attempt!

With the exception of last week, we’ve been consistent in posting weekly blogs in an effort to help everyone through this.  In some cases a blog was written almost directly to help one person who we felt needed it, but others were getting some positive benefits through them as well.  We thank you for all the great feedback we've been getting from these.

These blogs ranged in topics related to Covid-19 and bluntly approached some issues in a tough, but fair way.  You can check out the entire blog train from the onset of Covid-19 which starts with the “We’re All Doomed” blog posted back in the days when toilet paper was flying off the shelves and people seemed in both panic and denial of what was about to happen.

As things continued to evolve, so did our blogs in an effort to help people during the weekly moments in the isolation periods.  We all went through an abundance of emotions through this – fear, anxiety, boredom, frustration, etc. – and we know these emotions aren’t going to change overnight.  We’ve all seen the changes on social media, as discussed in our Covid-19 Human Behaviour blog, go from playfulness with funny memes turning to frustration of having to maintain isolation and even into anger while attacking others views or opinions.  Honestly, it’s no fun watching our fellow Canadians turn on each other in such a stressful time for all of us.  So unCanadian.

We understand the frustrations and wanting to get on with life, but the numbers just aren’t there yet and we’ll take some to get there.  As we said in our last blog post, we shouldn’t be so numb to the numbers that are still showing deaths occurring on a daily basis.  There is still a health crisis upon us, and each one of those numbers is a person, a fellow Canadian, who likely died scared and alone and left behind a family having to mourn without saying their final goodbyes.  And their frustration is completely the opposite of those that want the restrictions loosened so they can get to camp - their frustration is why more wasn’t done to save their loved one.  Think about that next time you turn on the news and they aren’t giving you the green light to pack up the car to head to camp, launch the boat and light a campfire.  Or even consider how shitty some people's Mother's Day will now be this year while you're video chatting with your mom.

That being said, and as we said In The Face of Adversity blog, life will go on.  We can all see the health crisis is slowly subsiding and the focus is now shifting to what is shaping up to be a very serious financial crisis.  With our most recent Covid-19 Weekly Update that we sent out to clients, we’ve done the same focus shift by asking them to complete a survey so we can find out what their general feelings are throughout Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas to get a consensus of what the “new normal” might look for all of us.  The results we’ve seen are nothing short of amazing.

The survey we’ve created asks questions about your current thoughts regarding health, financial and real estate changes we’re seeing related to Covid-19, and we’ve even tried to lighten the mood at the end with a few fun questions for you to reflect back on your own isolation period.  And now we’re opening this up to you – anyone – to help us get an overall feel outside of our Caswell Team family.

If you can spare a few minutes, while you wait for the green light to get to go to the cottage camp, head out to the park or even book that dinner reservation you’ve been hankering for, we’d love to hear your responses to our survey to get more of a provincial and even national perspective.  There are a couple of questions where it requests responses regarding Greater Sudbury, but simply use your own location for your responses to those.

The survey is 100% anonymous and no identifiable information of any kind is provided.  The responses are simply used in aggregate form for us to gauge what everyone is collectively thinking and hopefully provide a bit of a ‘crystal ball” we can all use to work on a game plan to help everyone we can get through the upcoming tough financial times.

But, before we provide you with the survey link, as incentive, and as we mentioned in the FB post, we want to buy you dinner!  If you’re the lucky one, we’re going to contact your favourite restaurant, no matter where it is, and put $50 towards your next to-go order or eat-in dinner.  We’ll randomly select one name from everyone who shares the survey link post or this blog post directly from our Caswell Team Facebook page and, if you’re chosen, we’ll message you to find out where you want us to buy you dinner!  Even if you've already completed the survey through a different message, hit that "share" button for a chance at some free dinner!

We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to help us help everyone we can by completing the survey below. 

Just click the picture to open the survey and tell us, “How You Doing?”

Wishing all moms out there an awesome Mother's Day!

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at


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