The Minnesota Property Group - A Twin Cities Success Story
The Minnesota Property Group
Real estate is about stories. Each seller, buyer, home, and Agent has a tale. Real estate is undoubtedly a challenging and competitive business, and it's also exciting and rewarding. The one thing most agents agree on is that it takes dedication, grit, and hard work to break into the business and to become successful. Being part of a robust and supportive team can often differentiate between a story with a happy ending and the other kind.
One of the critical elements to any successful group is a robust, supportive and talented leader, like veteran RE/MAX Results agent Joe Houghton. As the Minnesota Property Group leader, he brought together like-minded and talented agents and one content and marketing professional to form his team. As Marketing Director for the group, Joe has been an inspiration that led me to challenge myself and go where I had never gone before professionally. We connected three years ago when I had been booted from corporate America, and he wanted someone to create content for his blog and website.
That tentative story that began on a cold January afternoon in 2014 has become a successful narrative still unfolding. I have never regretted that decision even once. Joe has a talent for connecting with people to help them live up to their potential. If there is a harder worker than Joe, I haven't met him yet. If there is a leader more willing than Joe to try something new or make improvements, we have not crossed paths, and in a state known for the kindness and generosity of its people, if there is a more likable human than Joe, I have not found him yet. Now, let's hear Joe's story.
As the team leader of the Minnesota Property Group of RE/MAX Results, it has been my pleasure to oversee the personal and professional growth of 5 successful Real Estate agents. What makes me most proud is that each of them consistently considers the needs of our customers as their priority. The golden rule of this team, to advocate for our clients as if they were members of our family, is always at the forefront of every transaction. Seeing that play out over 150 times this year as a win situation for both the client and the team is both gratifying and validating for me as lead Agent.
My favorite personal real estate story of 2016 actually started the previous year when I was working with buyers who found a home they loved but were not sure how the location would work for them in the years to come. They needed some assurance that if they wanted to sell over the short term, they could at least break even. I knew the negotiated price of $585,000 was a great deal in this area, and based on the fact that I believed the following year the home would sell at $650,000 if marketed correctly, I felt confident that I could give them the guarantee they needed to move forward. I promised them that if by the following year they chose to sell and did not at least get all the money back they put into the purchase of their home, I would market and sell it for them at no charge.
In early 2016 there was indeed a job change, and my clients wanted to sell. What followed was a month of home selling preparations, staging consultations, visits from our marketing team and content writer, three individual professional photoshoots, and 3-D virtual imaging. We set up a website for the listing. We hit social media with a blitz campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn and on The Minnesota Property Group website with a blog post dedicated to telling the story of this fantastic home. After four open houses, we received our first offer of $605,000. Even though the Agent representing the buyers pressured us to accept the offer with claims of being the neighborhood expert, having both lived in the area and practiced real estate there for 20 years, on my advice, we respectfully declined because now I was sure we could and would get more. We had a full-price offer for three days, two very happy clients, and one very grateful real estate agent later!
For me, real estate is not only about buying or selling homes; it's also about making friends along the way. Two other great stories that bear that out involve estate sales. This type of transaction can be very emotional when it consists of selling a family home filled with memories. In both cases, the families I worked with wrote me the most heartfelt letters of gratitude after the homes closed and the long journey to arrive there was over.
One family I helped needed to empty a huge house full of 45 years of personal belongings. I arranged and managed the sale of private property, cleaning, staging, and handyman repairs. All of the profits from the sales paid for the improvements, and in the end, we sold the house for $22,500 more than the highest price any of the six other agents they interviewed said they would sell it for.
The second family didn't believe that they would be able to coordinate the sale of the belongings, the cleaning and fixing of the house, and the marketing, selling, and closing without traveling to Minnesota. Through technology, trust, references, and professionalism, peppered with timing and hustle, we sold their home for $16,000 more than the next highest Agent suggested as a best-case scenario.
In 2017, my team and I expected to serve over 200 families and continue telling stories through our media and writing teams about the incredible homes we choose to market. We are very fortunate to work by referral only, and one primary reason I had such a fun year. Filling 60 hour work weeks with people who already know me or have been referred to me by someone they trust makes me keep loving what I do. This also allows me to spend some time following through on a successful and unique marketing strategy that realizes significantly more money for my sellers. Marketing someone's home is an art, and I am dedicated to my art.
Twin Cities Client Reviews
We had a fantastic experience working with Joe Houghton and Minnesota Property Group. Joe was exactly what we needed as a realtor in helping us find the perfect house for our family. He is diligent, hard-working, and takes the time to understand your needs. We toured homes in south Minneapolis several times with Joe over about five months (we were moving from out of town, so our outings were a bit spread out). Each time, Joe gave valuable insight into housing in general, market values, construction/quality, and potential sources of problems in the future. He also asked questions that helped us understand what we wanted out of a house and allowed him to further tailor our future outings. Joe is patient, a great listener, and can give more or less guidance depending on the buyer's style and preferences. We couldn't be happier with the home we ended up in! I would never hesitate to highly recommend Joe to anyone looking for a top-notch realtor in the Twin Cities. Thanks, Joe! -Ben H
Joe recently helped me sell my home and buy a new one. I'd met him a few months earlier at an open house when I was still in the thinking stages, and I was impressed--he was anything but your typical Agent, looking to snag new clients as they stroll in for an open house. He encouraged us to look around let us know he was there if we had questions but didn't get in our space. That was huge, as that style turns us off. When it was "go-time," I reached out to Joe, and he jumped all over my listing, advising every step of the way. We sold my house and found a new home within just a few days--and he was a true negotiator, representing my interests to the nth degree, all the while maintaining the highest integrity. In short, Joe is a real pro, and I've since recommended him to friends and family. - Ben O