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As part of our Agent Spotlight series, today we’re talking with Kristin Shensel, who has been part of the BREL team since 2014.  

the BREL team toronto

Why did you get into real estate? 

Because I am obsessed with houses and condos. Obsessed. From as far back as I can remember I wanted to be a real estate agent. As a child, Sundays were always filled with going to open houses with my parents after church and breakfast at a greasy spoon. 

What did you do before becoming an agent?

Before real estate, I worked in newspapers and publishing for my entire career. I was in charge of The New York Times sections in the Sunday Toronto Star. Before that, I headed up the Marketing team at Penguin Books. Both AMAZING jobs.

What’s it like being on the BREL team?

I love being part of a team & especially love being part of this one. Love that I can call (or text – Hi Lisa!) on my teammates for help and advice. In this crazy job, you encounter so many different situations that you have to navigate for your clients. Knowing that one of the team has been in a similar situation and can help out is GOLD. Also? I love giving advice and telling others what they should do (ha!).

What do you love most about buying and selling homes?

So. True confession time. In 2015, I fell in love with our current home – saw it on a Friday am and it was ours by Friday night. As exciting as buying it was, it was stressful. Super stressful. But selling my house (so that we could pay for the new one)? OFF THE CHARTS stress. Literally. And this is my job people. 

It helped me understand what our clients go through in the buying/selling process so clearly. I love being there as a hand to hold, a person to rant to, someone that helps pack boxes or walks the dog. And then being the friend at the end of it all with a bottle of champagne.

Added plus? I get to see SO MANY COOL SPACES. Basically, my job is shopping for houses. The end.

Tell us about where you live. 

I live in the Beach. I love it here and wouldn’t (probably) live anywhere else in Toronto. It is so great living so close to the water and the running trails and boardwalk. Plus the shops along Kingston Road and Queen Street East are amazing. Some days (when I am not working) I don’t even have to get in my car to do my shopping.

the BREL team

What does ‘home’ mean to you? 

Funny you should ask that question. I was just thinking about this very thing yesterday. We had our surprise baby, Will, a little over a year ago and my daughter Ella is 9. Life is a bit nuts lately, to say the least. 

Over the past 48 hours, we have had throngs of neighbourhood kids run through our house and backyard, then next door to the trampoline (thanks Dona), then across the street to lane play (thanks Kim), all culminating in a sleep-over (not here thank goodness). Will is desperate to join all of the big kid activities and sometimes gets taken along for the ride. One kid was here yesterday morning chilling in our family room just waiting for us to wake up. Plus we had my parents in our backyard yesterday helping an abandoned baby bird (RIP Billy). Everyone here, all of the time, is the way I like it.

It means the world to me that all of the kids feel safe here. Our house is crazy, loud, busy but filled with lots of (communal sometimes) good food, wine, pets and love. And today feels like it is going to go down the same path that yesterday did. Bring it on.

What’s your craziest real estate story? 

Where to start? I can’t even. All of my client’s stories are crazy, complicated, exciting and ultimately happy (thank goodness). I wouldn’t be able to choose just one.

In 25 words or less, what’s your best advice for a Toronto home Buyer?

We have your back. When you work with me you get our entire team behind you. Everyone is invested in your new home purchase and advice abounds!

In 25 words or less, what’s your best advice for a Toronto home Seller?

Hire the right agent. From advice for putting your home’s best foot forward to off-MLS marketing to navigating offers, the BREL team is there. As we say, “we’ve got you”.

What we ❤️ best about Agent K (aka Kristin)

From Mel (Broker/Owner at the BREL team):

I’ve known  Kristin for well over 20 years and was so excited when she decided to make the leap to real estate all those years ago. It was such a natural fit – she was obsessed with real estate and client service, honest and empathetic. Despite what you might think, real estate isn’t all about pretty houses and happy Buyers and Sellers – I know I can trust Kristin to look after the most sensitive situations, from estate sales to divorces to hoarders. She brings a calm to every situation that I’m not sure can be matched by any other agent in Toronto. She’s the agent you can count on to hold your hand throughout the process – and long after the sale is closed too.

Kristin cares. Like legit, truly, cares. We say caring is her superpower. She throws her heart into every situation – and combined with her fab real estate skills, I can rest easy when BREL clients are in her capable hands.

the BREL team just wouldn’t be the same without Kristin. ❤️



  1. Thank you Mel. I can’t imagine being anywhere else than here. Thank you for giving me a shot in April 2014. Wow.

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