Steve Ramphos and Lionel Shinder were already successful businessmen before starting District Realty in 1987, but something just wasn’t right. They had spent several years at a large Ottawa real estate corporation and gradually grew weary of the impersonal client relations at the company.
“We just weren’t able to provide the level of personalized service that we felt our clients deserved.”
Steve and Lionel did things differently from others in their former business. They believed values like service excellence, accountability, honesty, commitment, professionalism, and integrity were the lifeblood of lasting business relationships. If they were loyal to these values, success and profit would take care of themselves.
Experienced professionals with a proven track record, both Steve and Lionel were highly respected in the Ottawa real estate industry. Lionel’s natural sales ability and his reputation in the community, combined with his passion for working with people, had already translated into a flourishing career. Steve’s extensive knowledge of the Ottawa market and his extraordinary track record helped propel him to be a leader in the selling and leasing of commercial real estate.
“It was the way we treated clients and people in general that brought us success. You have to treat people like they want to be treated.”
Steve is not only a leader, but also a role model. Despite an extraordinarily busy schedule, he volunteered countless hours to many charities and worthy causes throughout Ottawa and Canada.
Early Growth and Success
District Realty continued to attract more new clients years after opening its doors. Originally, the company concentrated solely on the selling of commercial real estate, but as District’s clientele grew and their demand for a broader level of service increased, Steve began to offer property management services as well.
Steve and his wife, Doris, founded Stephos Management Services and merged it with the newly established District Realty Corporation in 1994 to form a full service commercial real estate and property management company.
“We proved that we were extremely knowledgeable, hard-working and creative, and we continue to demonstrate that to our clients each and every day.”
Additional agents and staff were soon welcomed the District team to keep pace with a rapidly growing clientele. Lionel and Steve had proven their original instincts were correct. There was a huge demand for a full service commercial real estate company that operated with honesty and integrity—a true family business.
Our Family Recovers After Tragedy
The untimely death of co-founder Lionel Shinder in 1994 shook everyone at District Realty. After Lionel’s death, his son Jason joined District to learn the business and continue what his father had built with Steve.
Family loyalty also brought Sol Shinder to the company. With the passing of his brother, Sol resigned from his successful law firm to take Lionel’s place in the company. Sol’s son, Neil, also returned to Ottawa to join the company as Vice-President, Finance; a position he held until early 2004. Sol’s skills and years of experience as a real estate lawyer continue to be invaluable to the company.
Jason Shinder spent a few years doing every job at the company and mastering every aspect of the business under the tutelage of Sol, Steve, and Neil. Within five years, he had developed a vast knowledge of the Ottawa market. His ability to remain on the cusp of new trends in the community and industry makes him a leader in the market.
“There are people in this community who say Jason is the best real estate broker in Ottawa. Jason understands a transaction from inception and always takes the time to find the best solution.”
Jason is successful because of his hard work, his honesty and his commitment to his clients. Although this seems quite simple, Jason upholds these qualities with an unwavering tenacity, which is a primary reason why District Realty has quadrupled in size over the past 25 years.
Driven to Deliver Results
Located on Bayswater Avenue in Ottawa, District currently employees a staff of more than 80 experienced professionals with an unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the Ottawa market. District Realty is proof that the values of service excellence, teamwork, communication, and corporate integrity can propel a company to the top of their industry.