Minnesota Real Estate and Community News

Oct. 21, 2019

A Winter Home Prep Checklist



These five tips will help you prepare your home for the cold months ahead.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Here are five tips you must remember as you prepare your home for winter:

 

1. Seal any cracks or crevices around the house. As we’re getting ready for winter, all the critters and rodents out there are looking for a warm place to stay, so don’t let it be your house. 

 

2. Clean your gutters. They need to be clear of any debris so water can drain away from the foundation and ice doesn’t accumulate. 

 

3. Prepare your central air compressor. We usually like to tell people to start by turning off the breaker to the A/C compressor, and there’s a disconnecting lever located out by the compressor that you’ll want to pull and turn upside down. You’ll also want to spray any debris off of it, and some recommend covering it with a tarp to keep snow and ice off of it.

 

As we’re getting ready for winter, all the critters and rodents out there are looking for a warm place to stay, so don’t let it be your house.

 

4. Prepare your furnace and HVAC system. Your furnace and fan work very hard all winter, so if you haven’t replaced your filter in a while, put a new one in. It also wouldn’t hurt to call a professional and have them inspect these items. 

 

5. Remove any garden hoses attached to your outside water spigots. If you don’t do this, the water in the hose will freeze, back up into the spigot, and break the pipes in your basement. You won’t even know about it until spring rolls around next year and your basement floods the first time you use the hose again. This has happened to me before, so don’t let it happen to you. 

 

As always, if you have any questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

Sept. 27, 2019

An Interview With John Alexander, Pastor at Eagle Brook Church



Today I’m joined by John Alexander from Eagle Brook Church in Lionel Lakes to talk about how his church is a great facet of the community.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

John Alexander is a pastor and member of the leadership team at the Eagle Brook Church here in Lionel Lakes. They may not be a perfect church, but they do their very best to welcome everyone, whether they’re long-time church-goers or new to the experience. Today I spoke with John to discuss his church’s mission, their involvement in the community, and the methods they use to help people feel at home.

 

I encourage you to visit their website to learn more about their programs and engagement with the community. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.

Aug. 27, 2019

How RE/MAX Results Became One of the Largest Brokerages in the Country



If you ever wondered how RE/MAX Results became one of the largest real estate brokerages in the country, today you’ll find out.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Today I’m joined by John Collopy, author and owner of RE/MAX Results, to talk a little about his brokerage and how he was able to grow it into one of the largest in the country. 

 

According to John, there were many steps involved in getting them to where they are now. As he recounts, when they started the company in 1986, his late business partner Bill Saunders was a great leader and had certain skills John was lacking at the time. 

 

It took them six years as a real estate company to break even, but as John says, “They did it a day at a time.” To illustrate his point, he recently counted how many times he’d been to work in his career at RE/MAX Results, and his final tally was 6,400 times.

 

“Sometimes it’s a good day, sometimes it’s not, but you accomplish something every day, and that’s how we work on it,” he says. “I hope we continue to grow and everybody prospers in the system, and we’ll do it a day at a time.”

 

It took them six years as a real estate company to break even, but as John says, “They did it a day at a time.”

 

One important thing he learned in terms of life experience can be summed up by another saying someone told him a long time ago: The older you get, the faster life goes. In other words, when you add up the days, it seems like a lot, but when you look in the rearview mirror, it doesn’t seem like that long ago. 

 

“It’s an amazing set of circumstances, and I’m proud of the people I work with.”

 

I want the thank John for joining me today for this insightful interview. If you have any questions for him, you can reach him at (612) 876-9000. 

 

As always, if you have any real estate needs I can take care of, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to help you.

Aug. 5, 2019

Business Spotlight: Skapar Design Build



Skapar Design Build is a full-service contractor that specializes in small interior remodels.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Today I’m joined by Nate Mielke of Skapar Design Build to talk about what makes this company unique among full-service contractors in the Twin Cities area.

 

Nate’s been in the business for roughly 20 years, and his passion for building things started with playing with legos as a kid (which he still does as an adult from time to time.) Over the years, the biggest challenges he’s had to overcome are learning the business itself and switching from the man swinging the hammer to the person overseeing the job. Hiring reliable people that he’s been able to trust has helped immensely in doing this.

 

Skapar focuses on small interior remodels that give them ample opportunity to interact with the homeowner.

 

About a year and a half ago, Nate changed the name of the company from Nathan Mielke Home Services to Skapar Design Build (Skapar is from the Old Norse meaning “to create” or “creator”). Along with this, they revamped their business approach, and they’re plenty busy now that summer is here.

 

Skapar focuses on small interior remodels that give them ample opportunity to interact with the homeowner, and they use a few different architects, depending on the project at hand. Most of their business takes place in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities.

 

What makes Skapar really unique, though, is how they choose jobs that are only a good fit for both parties involved. This point brings us to an important question: If you’re thinking of doing some remodeling, can you stay in the home while the work is being completed or are you better off living elsewhere? According to Nate, the answer depends on the size of the project, whether you have extra room in the home, the size of your family, etc.

 

You can watch the video above in its entirety to see our full conversation. If you’d like to get in touch with Nate, you can give him a call at (952) 250-2300 or visit Skapar.net.

 

As always, if you have any real estate questions for me, feel free to reach out to me as well. I’d love to help you.

Posted in Business Spotlight
June 25, 2019

Don’t Attempt These 3 Home Repair Projects Alone



Certain home repairs should be left up to the professionals, and today we’d like to highlight three such projects.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Do-it-yourself projects have become increasingly popular in recent times, especially among homeowners. However, just because you can do something yourself, that doesn’t mean you should. It’s sometimes best to leave things to the professionals, and the three projects we’ll be mentioning today definitely fall into this category:

 

1. Drywall repairs. If your walls have cracks or holes, you may want to think twice before fixing them on your own. Unless you have a lot of personal or professional experience with this kind of project, these issues should be handled by a professional. The end result will be well worth letting someone else take care of it for you.


2. HVAC repairs. Heating and cooling systems tend to be very complex. Most people simply don’t have the tools, knowledge, or experience to fix them on their own. Attempting to make this repair yourself is not only unwise, it could also pose a threat to your safety.

 

Unless you have a lot of personal or professional experience with these kinds of projects, they should always be handled by a professional.

 

3. Electrical repairs. Much like the previous item on our list, attempting repairs of this sort can be very dangerous. We can’t understate the importance of letting an electrician manage all relevant repairs. 

 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

June 11, 2019

Spotlighting Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping



Whether you’re looking to lose weight, eat healthier, or get stronger, Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping can help you.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Today I’m taking a break from real estate to spotlight Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping, a gym I myself belong to. Joining me is owner Justin Gordon, who’s also an instructor and a coach. 

 

For your convenience, I’ve provided timestamps of our conversation so you can skip ahead in the video above at your leisure: 

 

0:36 - How Justin got his start with Farrell’s

 

2:11 - The biggest concerns people typically have before signing up for a gym fitness program

 

3:06 - The best examples of their clients hitting their fitness goals 

 

4:43 - The different services Farrell’s offers

 

5:53 - What makes Farrell’s different than other gyms in the Twin Cities area

 

7:09 - The challenges Justin has had to overcome as a business owner in the fitness industry

 

If you’d like to know more about Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping or you’re interested in signing up for a free trial session, you can visit their website at FXBWhiteBear.com or give them a call at (651) 407-2942.

 

As always, if you have any real estate questions for me, feel free to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

Posted in Business Spotlight
April 29, 2019

A conversation with Ryan O’Neill, and how he grew the Minnesota Real Estate Team to one of the country’s largest.



Ryan O’Neill is a longtime friend and associate, and he’s also the top agent in Minnesota. I sat down with him recently for a great conversation about real estate.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

I recently had the pleasure of being joined by Ryan O’Neill of The Minnesota Real Estate Team at RE/MAX Advantage Plus. He had a great year in 2018 with over 1,750 transactions completed, and this high-producing agent sat down with me for a discussion about the market, the business, and much more. Here’s an outline of our discussion, with timestamps so that you can skip ahead to the section(s) that interest you the most:

 

1:00- Ryan discusses the beginning of his team back in 2005.

 

1:50- The advantage of working with a great team in the current market

 

3:00- The keys to success in this business

 

4:30- What does Ryan think will happen in the market this year?

 

5:55- What are some of the biggest challenges that Ryan has faced over the years?

 

7:15- Why focusing on relationships is so important to finding success in the real estate business

 

8:00- Switching gears and talking music with a fellow musician

 

Thanks so much to Ryan for joining me. It was great to be able to sit down and talk to another top agent in the Twin Cities area. If you have any questions for Ryan, you can reach him at (952) 649-1456 or Ryan@MNRealEstateTeam.com.

 

If you have any other questions for me in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

April 11, 2019

An Expert Joins Me to Answer Some Commonly Asked Lending Questions



Today Steve Erb from Bell Bank Mortgage joins me for a quick Q&A session regarding the lending process.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Today I’m joined by Steve Erb of Bell Bank Mortgage to answer some common lending questions. 

 

For your convenience, I’ve provided timestamps of our conversation so you can skip ahead to the section(s) that interest you the most:

 

0:34—How difficult is it to apply and qualify for a mortgage?

 

4:29—What are closing costs?

 

6:21—Why are you better off using a local lender?

 

8:10—What are the biggest challenges lenders face?

 

If you have any more questions for Steve, you can call him at (651) 783-5220 or email him at SteveErb@BellBanks.com.

 

If you have any other real estate questions for me, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help.

March 28, 2019

Minneapolis Real Estate Agent | The Story Behind Gluek’s Beer—a Minneapolis Favorite



Gluek’s Beer is a pillar of the life, culture, and history in Minneapolis. Check out my interview with its owner, Linda Rae Holcomb, in today’s video.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Today I’m delighted to sit down with Linda Rae Holcomb of Gluek’s Beer here in Minneapolis. Gluek’s has a special rarity as it’s one of the oldest bars in all of Minneapolis and, as you can imagine, is rich in history. 

 

The story of the bar’s founding is truly amazing. Linda’s great grandfather actually opened the bar for business at midnight on the very night Prohibition was abolished. This year marks five years for Gluek’s Bar and 162 years for the Gluek’s beer brand. 

 

The family name, Gluek, translates in German to ‘good luck’ or ‘good fortunate,’ but in the hearts of the Midwestern consumer, it’s synonymous with beer. 

 

Gluek’s is certainly woven into the fabric of Minneapolis, and the way Linda sees it, there are a number of reasons for this; not only is it one of the original bars in the downtown district, but the brand’s age contributes to the sentimentality it has among Minneapolis residents. 

 

Because the brand has spanned so many generations, Linda has come to discover that, whether it’s the beer brand or the bar itself, Gluek’s significance lies with each individual and their respective story.  

 

An exciting, new development has also materialized for Gluek’s: Linda and the brand have formed a partnership with Fulton Brewers. After pursuing an earlier alliance that proved to not be a good fit, she introduced her product into the Denver market and, as Linda puts it, “the stars aligned” with Fulton Brewers. Her first batch, a cream ale, just recently went into the tank and will be offered in bars and taprooms on the Minnesota Twins’ opening day game. 

 

Linda has come to discover that, whether it’s the brand or the bar itself, Gluek’s significance lies with each individual and their respective story.

 

From an early age, Linda says she was born “into” the bar. She developed an appreciation and love for the family history attached to the brand, so when the label was about to be retired, she simply couldn’t let it happen. 

 

When asked about her biggest challenge working in the business, she points to the fact that, in an earlier time, the brewing industry was thought to be more of a “boy’s industry.” She went on to say that it has largely evolved past this, and she’s happy to see men and women collaborating together in this way. 

 

If you’re curious about Gluek’s and you’d like to further explore all that they have to offer, I encourage you to visit their website at GluekBeer.com and keep an eye out for them on Facebook and other social media platforms as well.   


If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out by email at Troy@Results.net or by phone at 612-308-3395. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Business Spotlight
Feb. 28, 2019

Professional Home Staging Tips with Vane & Gable Interior Staging and Styling



Today I’m joined by Megan Horn and Peggy Anderson from Vane & Gable Interior Staging and Styling to cover a few items that homeowners would do well to pay attention to.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Megan and Peggy have been friends for many years. They decided to start their business out of their mutual love of design and creating spaces for their family and friends. They’ve always loved rearranging furniture, so for them, interior design and staging felt like a natural fit.

 

Vane & Gable, their business and passion project, offers three kinds of services:

 

1.Staging consults. They meet with homeowners, walk room by room through their homes, and provide them with suggestions about what they can do to make their home look nice for their eventual sale.

2. Full-service staging. They bring in furniture and accessories to a home to create an attractive look for potential buyers to enjoy when they walk through a seller’s home.

3. Design consults. They help people with new homes come up with a look that excites them as homeowners, from advising about furniture and paint colors to other accessories that create a well-rounded aesthetic.

 

One of the biggest challenges they face in their business is dealing with a homeowner’s emotions. Their homes are personal to them, and so they might naturally be inclined to be defensive when home designers come in and give suggestions and feedback about how to improve their look. 

 

In the face of emotional homeowners, however, Megan and Peggy respond with patience and gentle encouragement. It’s important to be sensitive to people’s tastes, but homeowners who are selling need to remember that this will no longer be their home, and their decisions need to reflect that understanding.

 

A question that selling clients often ask me is about where they should start in preparing their home for the market. For some, the process can seem overwhelming. Here are Megan and Peggy’s tips for creating a show-ready home:

  • Remove any clutter and begin packing as early as possible. The extra space will help buyers imagine themselves living there, and it will also make for better home photos.
  • Remove personalized items like photos from the walls. Walls that are laden with framed pictures don’t always photograph well, and these personalized elements can distract buyers from their own vision of what to do with the home.
  • Focus on the entryway, living room, kitchen, and dining areas. It only takes a couple seconds for buyers to assess whether or not a house feels right for them, so first impressions are everything. These rooms are the ones buyers tend to focus on, so concentrating your efforts there is a way to get a little more bang for your buck.
  • Decorative elements like throw pillows on the couch freshen a space up and are inexpensive.


If you’re interested in getting more professional advice from our guests today or would like to schedule a consultation, you can do so by visiting their website at www.VaneAndGable.com or by calling (651) 491-3058.

 

For other real estate questions, you can always reach out to us here at the Troy Martenson Group. We’d be happy to help.