Itasca County Area Real Estate News

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

July 7, 2020

Coldwell's Up North Team and Pam Gilhousen Named to 2020 America's Best Real Estate Professionals List

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty is proud to announce that the Up North Team of Realtors® and individual Realtor® Pam Gilhousen were recently named to REAL Trends’ 2020 America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list. Those ranked are among the top 1.5% of 1.4 million real estate professionals in the United States.Up North Team

“With today’s release of the 2020 America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list, an elite group of real estate agents across the country are receiving well-deserved recognition. These sales associates and teams are far above average and have built enormously successful small businesses in an extremely competitive field,” says Steve Murray, president of REAL Trends. 

For the eighth straight year, REAL Trends, the trusted source in residential brokerage, and Tom Ferry International, a top coaching and training company released America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list that ranks the most productive agents and teams by state based on closed transaction sides and closed volume.

“Congratulations to everyone who made the America’s Best list,” says Tom Ferry, owner and founder of Tom Ferry International. “There are multiple ways to become successful in real estate. Yet, despite the differences, the real estate professionals on this list have one thing in common—they are the best. Great job from everyone at Tom Ferry International.” 

More than 14,500 real estate professionals from every state are featured. To qualify for inclusion, an individual agent must have closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in sales volume in 2019. For real estate agent teams, the minimum is 75 transaction sides or $30 million in closed sales volume. Teams are segmented by the number of Realtors they have on their teams—small (2-5 licensed members), medium (6-10), and large (11+) teams.

“Those individual agents and teams who make up the 2020 America’s Best Real Estate Professionals represent only about 1.5% of all Realtors in the country yet account for over 10% of the closed transactions and more than 16% of all the sales volume closed last year,” says Murray.  

“It’s also special to note that the average Realtor did fewer than nine transactions and $2.4 million in volume in the same year,” he says. “It’s incredible to consider that such a small number of real estate professionals have found a way to truly build their own businesses. It’s also interesting that these top performers are reaching new levels while they work with numerous different kinds of brokerage firms and regions of the country.”

In Minnesota, the Up North Team ranked 35th in sides among all small real estate teams. Gilhousen ranked 60th insides among all individual real estate agents. Click on https://www.realtrends.com/rankings/americas-best to see the 2020 REAL Trends + Tom Ferry America's Best Real Estate Professionals list.

This is the third straight year the Up North Team comprised of Cathy Beddoe Carlson, the late Jenny McClure, Lynn Ranger, Tim Skelly and Jamie O’Toole, has been named to America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list. For more than a decade, the Up North Team has earned membership in the International President’s Circle awarded to the top 15% of all Coldwell Banker teams worldwide.

In addition to this honor, Gilhousen qualified for Coldwell Banker’s prestigious International President’s Elite Circle earlier this year, awarded to the top 2% of all representatives internationally in the Coldwell Banker system. This is the sixth time in as many years she has earned a top sales distinction.

“Pam and the Up North Team absolutely deserve this recognition,” said Mike Kellin, owner and broker of Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty. “Their drive, care for the customer and attention to detail is inspiring and sets a great example for all of us. I’m proud of the performance of our entire agency, but today we applaud the incredible accomplishments of these exceptional Realtors.”

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty continues to be the top-performing real estate agency in Itasca County, based on sales volume data published by the Itasca County Board of Realtors for the period January 1 - December 31, 2019. 

METHODOLOGY

REAL Trends + Tom Ferry America’s Best Real Estate Professionals honors America's finest real estate agents and their companies and is compiled and analyzed by REAL Trends.

The rankings are compiled based on surveys from virtually every nationally branded network, many state and local associations of Realtors®, MLSs, all applicants from past years’ rankings, and the 900 largest brokerage firms in the United States. Verification from an independent source is required for all submissions. In addition, REAL Trends senior staff reviews every submission for completeness and accuracy.

ABOUT THE REAL TRENDS + TOM FERRY THE THOUSAND

The REAL Trends + Tom Ferry America’s Best Real Estate Professionals ranking report is sponsored jointly by REAL Trends and Tom Ferry International. REAL Trends America’s Best honors America’s elite real estate agents and their companies and is compiled and analyzed by REAL Trends.

REAL Trends is a leading source of analysis and information for the residential real estate brokerage industry. Tom Ferry International is a nationwide real estate business and life coaching and training company.

ABOUT COLDWELL BANKER NORTHWOODS REALTY

Purchased by Mike and the late Lisa Kellin in 1990 from Bob Hill and family, Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty has been family owned and operated since 1947. The Kellin’s son Mitch and son-in-law Brett Beckfeld are realtors and son Lewis serves as Chief Financial Officer. The office of 20 real estate professionals with dedicated marketing and administrative support covers all of Itasca County and the Grand Rapids area as well as parts of Aitkin, Cass and St. Louis counties, and Duluth’s North Shore Region. 

 

May 15, 2020

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty Debuts a Fresh, New Look

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty has unveiled its new look as the Coldwell Banker® network undergoes a visual transformation as part of “Project North Star.” Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty is deploying new office signage, yard signs, marketing materials and more as part of the full network-wide rebrand this year.  

The new logo called the “CB North Star,” features a star as its visual icon intended to represent two distinctive elements that exemplify the Coldwell Banker® brand:

The five-pointed star is a recognized mark of excellence, one that symbolizes the quality of service that the company has prided itself on since 1906. 

Throughout history the North Star has been the beacon that explorers have used to guide them to the place they most cherished — home. Sitting confidently above the CB, the North Star signifies the fact that Coldwell Banker has been guiding people home for over a century, longer than any other real estate brand. 

The signature blue color will remain a constant, while the rectangle has been revised to a sleeker, more compact square—a profile more in keeping with today’s mobile-first culture. 

All of these elements unite to create a symbol that represents the essence of what Coldwell Banker is today, and where it’s headed tomorrow.

“Coldwell is one of the best known and trusted names in real estate,” said Broker/Owner Mike Kellin. “They’ve always been leaders in the industry and on the forefront of innovation. It was time for a new look that reflected those values. It energizes our brand and will make a powerful impact in our community.”

Every visual expression of the agency’s identity, including the office exterior and interior, will ultimately reflect the new contemporary look. 

“Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty is excited to be part of this journey,” said Kellin. “We can’t wait to leverage the fresh visuals of Project North Star for our clients and we believe this look will be a head-turner in Itasca County. We appreciate the opportunity to help guide our brand to success for another 100 years.” 

Since launching the rebrand, Coldwell Banker set upon a path to retell its brand story by solidifying its mission statement and recommitting to its core values, empowering over 92,000 sales agents worldwide to leave their mark on their communities. The words “home,” “awesomeness,” “ingenuity” and “excellence” represent the company’s core values and are intended to guide and inspire offices and agents around the globe.

 

March 3, 2020

Morgan Hanson New Realtor® at Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty

With Years of Experience Under Her Belt, Hanson Makes it Offical

Morgan Hanson of Grand Rapids, Minn., is now a Realtor® at Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty. She will be based in the brokerage’s office at 812 S. Pokegama Ave., in Grand Rapids. 

“This is the equivalent of taking the reins off a thoroughbred and letting it run,” said Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty Broker/Owner Mike Kellin. “Morgan has been working alongside us for years and she has a real passion for real estate. She’s a caring, thoughtful, creative professional who will do amazing things for her clients and our industry.” 

Hanson has been honing her real estate skills by assisting the brokerage with numerous administrative tasks since graduating from Grand Rapids High School in 2010. In addition to earning her real estate license, she has an Associate of Arts degree from Itasca Community College and a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from St. Scholastica. 

“In my early years of high school, I dreamed of being an interior designer, but I couldn’t ignore how I was naturally drawn to the local and national housing markets,” Hanson recalled. “I remember I couldn’t wait to log on to the computers at school and check out the day’s newest real estate listings. That was an early sign,” she said with a laugh.

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Hanson is well-educated on what the area has to offer. She has a strong background in customer service and says she leads with two very important skills when it comes to representing clients: trust and professionalism. 

“Itasca County as a whole provides a unique culture I’m proud to be a part of and share with others,” she said. “I’m the new girl in town when it comes to being a licensed agent, but I am grateful for the incredible experience I’ve earned in 10 years with Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty. This is a brokerage filled with support, knowledge, and wisdom in which I am eager to contribute.”

Hanson can be reached at (218) 244-3415 (cell), morganhanson218@gmail.com or at Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty at 812 S. Pokegama Ave. in Grand Rapids.

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty continues to be the top-performing real estate agency in Itasca County, based on sales volume data published by the Itasca County Board of Realtors. Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty has been recognized 11 times as a Premier Office, one of the highest honors given to Coldwell Banker agencies. 

Dec. 3, 2019

Luke Garner Joins Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty

Solid Communication, Tech Savvy, and Local Expertise are Keys to his Success

Local real estate agent Luke Garner of Grand Rapids, Minn., has joined Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty, the brokerage today announced. He will be based full time in the realty office at 812 S. Pokegama Ave., in Grand Rapids. 

“We are thrilled to have Luke join our team,” said Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty Broker/Owner  Mike Kellin. “Not only is he an outstanding local agent, he’s also an outstanding person. He’s an experienced marketer, laser-focused on helping his clients achieve their goals and is invested in our community.” 

A realtor for the past six years, Garner quickly established himself as a top agent in the Itasca area. Born in Grand Rapids, he grew up on Lawrence Lake and developed a strong understanding of the uniqueness of northern Minnesota. He is well versed in marketing, sales, and negotiation, and describes himself as a perpetual student of technology, which has set him apart. 

“I’m committed to helping my clients achieve their intended goals as buyers or sellers,” said Garner. “Clients have told me they appreciate my clarity and honesty and I take that to heart. I am excited to be able to pair my experience with the resources behind an iconic real estate company and an award-winning team.”

Garner is actively involved in the community, volunteering his time for several different organizations including serving as emcee for the past five years for Second Harvest’s annual chef’s gala. He received the Top Ambassador Award in 2013 from the United Way of 10,000 Lakes and has been recognized by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce with multiple customer service awards. He graduated in 2005 from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a degree in Business Administration.

Garner enjoys family time with his beautiful wife Jennifer and two children. They spend as much time as possible on the lake with family and friends boating, surfing and enjoying lakeside bonfires. He’s a sports fan and enjoys traveling, golfing, reading and listening to music.

Garner can be reached at (218) 259-5342 (cell), lukegarn@gmail.com or at Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty at 812 S. Pokegama Ave. in Grand Rapids.

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty continues to be the top-performing real estate agency in Itasca County, based on sales volume data published by the Itasca County Board of Realtors for the period January 1 - December 31, 2018. For the sixth straight year, Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty was recognized as a Coldwell Banker® Premier Office, one of the highest honors given to Coldwell Banker agencies. 

 

July 30, 2019

Jordan Stejskal Joins Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty

Grand Rapids Native is Second Realtor To Join Team This Summer

Jordan Stejskal of Grand Rapids, Minn., recently joined Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty as a Realtor®. He will be based full-time in the brokerage’s office at 812 S. Pokegama Ave., in Grand Rapids. 

Stejskal is the second realtor to join the Northwoods Realty family in recent months, following the addition of Tammi Bischoff in May. The office of 18 real estate professionals covers all of Itasca County and the Grand Rapids area as well as parts of Aitkin, Cass and St. Louis counties, and Duluth’s North Shore Region. 

“Jordan is going to be an outstanding realtor,” said Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty Broker/Owner Mike Kellin. “He’s smart, driven, local and has proven his aptitude for leadership, business and taking great care of the customer. We are excited to have him on our team.” 

Stejskal most recently worked in sales for Fastenal, developing successful business relationships and a greater interest in the local economy. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and emphasis in sales and marketing.

“I’ve always been intrigued by real estate, from residential to commercial to the amazing lakes and hunting land we have here in northern Minnesota,” said Stejskal. “I love living here and I am excited to work with a great company to help others find their perfect place.”

As a student-athlete, Stejskal played for Stout’s men’s ice hockey team from 2014-2018. He served as team captain his senior season and represented his team on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which served local youth and needs in the community. Stejskal skated for the Grand Rapids Thunderhawks from 2010-12 and served as team captain in 2012. 

“I loved growing up here and enjoy all the outdoors has to offer: summers on the lake and playing softball; hunting and watching football in the fall; and in winter, curling, skating and ice fishing,” he said.

Stejskal can be reached at (218) 398-2210 (cell), jordan_stejskal@hotmail.com, or at Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty in Grand Rapids.

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty continues to be the top-performing real estate agency in Itasca County, based on sales volume data published by the Itasca County Board of Realtors for the period January 1 - December 31, 2018. For the sixth straight year, Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty was recognized as a Coldwell Banker® Premier Office, one of the highest honors given to Coldwell Banker agencies. Purchased by Mike and Lisa Kellin in 1990 from Bob Hill and family, the agency has been family owned and operated since 1947. 

 

June 27, 2019

Selling Your Home: Advice from Experienced Realtors

We answer some of the most common questions asked when preparing to sell your home in northern Minnesota.

June 4, 2019

Tammi Bischoff Joins Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty

Bischoff will Partner with Realtor® Karen Gessell

Tammi Bischoff of Grand Rapids, Minn., recently joined Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty as a Realtor®. She will partner with realtor Karen Gessell as a real estate team within the Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty brokerage. 

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Tammi on board,” said Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty Broker/Owner Mike Kellin. “She’s a smart, savvy businessperson with great knowledge of the area and a sincere passion for real estate. She and Karen will make a fabulous team.”

Bischoff owned and operated a variety of successful businesses in the Twin Cities with her late husband Jon McLaughlin, including a car wash, laundromat and fire truck sales and equipment company. Yet, she’s very familiar with the Grand Rapids area as her family has owned a cabin here since 2005. Tammi moved to Grand Rapids permanently in 2012 after marrying Grant Bischoff. Their blended family includes seven children.

“I’ve always had a passion for real estate, but with our large family, I didn’t have a very flexible schedule. Most of our children are now grown, so it’s the perfect time.” said Bischoff. “I love the process of transforming a house to make it a home. It’s so rewarding to help people find their perfect place.” 

Bischoff can be reached at or (612) 669-1838 (cell), mcbisch2012@gmail.com or at Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty at 812 S. Pokegama Ave. in Grand Rapids.

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty continues to be the top performing real estate agency in Itasca County, based on sales volume data published by the Itasca County Board of Realtors for the period January 1 - December 31, 2018. For the sixth straight year, Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty was recognized as a Coldwell Banker® Premier Office, one of the highest honors given to Coldwell Banker agencies. 

 

April 11, 2019

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty Continues to Lead the Way

Multiple Realtors® Earn Top Recognition from Coldwell Banker® International; Agency Receives Premier Office Designation for Sixth Straight Year

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty continues to be the top performing real estate agency in Itasca County, based on sales volume data published by the Itasca County Board of Realtors for the period January 1 - December 31, 2018. 

“We owe our success to our loyal clients, who trust us with the most important transactions of their lives,” said Broker/Owner Mike Kellin. “We don’t take that responsibility lightly and we work hard to deliver successful results for them time and again.”

Several of the agency’s Realtors® were also recognized for their performance by Coldwell Banker®, landing them among the top representatives worldwide in the Coldwell Banker system:

• Brett Beckfeld and Pam Gilhousen qualified once again for the International President’s Circle, awarded to the top 10 percent of all representatives worldwide in the Coldwell Banker system.

• The Up North Team comprised of Cathy Beddoe Carlson, Jenny McClure, Lynn Ranger, Tim Skelly, and Jamie O’Toole, earned membership once again in the International President’s Circle as a team among the top 20 percent of all Coldwell Banker teams worldwide.

Karen Gessell, in her second year as a realtor, qualified for the International Diamond Society, awarded to the top 15 percent of all representatives worldwide in the Coldwell Banker system.

• Mitch Kellin achieved membership in the International Sterling Society, given to the top 25 percent of realtors worldwide in the Coldwell Banker system.  

For the sixth straight year, Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty was recognized as a Coldwell Banker® Premier Office, one of the highest honors given to Coldwell Banker agencies. The Grand Rapids office has received the designation 11 times in its history.

Mike Kellin says it’s the combined talent of his entire team that drives their success. 

Charlotte McDermott’s exceptional market knowledge and industry experience are second to none. She’s respected for her unwavering professionalism, tenacity, ethics, and loyalty to her clients.  

Jim Affleck is a local legend and has earned a loyal following as resident expert on area lakes and waterways. He’s been matching clients with their dream destinations for decades. 

As a veteran, Joel Perrington has a personal passion for navigating the challenges of VA home ownership and financing. His years of experience with aerial Geographic Information Systems for the Department of Natural Resources has given Joel a unique perspective when it comes to finding clients ideal locations.

In just two short years, Lisa Waldo has built a reputation as a savvy realtor who is incredibly dedicated to her clients. She’s creative, tenacious and the ultimate team player. 

Todd Christensen also joined Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty in 2017. Todd’s local entrepreneurial success provides his clients with invaluable business acumen and insider experience. 

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty is Itasca County’s real estate leader. Purchased by Mike and Lisa Kellin in 1990 from Bob Hill and family, the agency has been family owned and operated since 1947. The Kellin’s son Mitch and son-in-law Brett Beckfeld are realtors and son Lewis serves as Chief Financial Officer. The office of 17 real estate professionals with dedicated marketing and administrative support cover all of Itasca County and the Grand Rapids area as well as parts of Aitkin, Cass and St. Louis counties, and Duluth’s North Shore Region. 

 

March 19, 2019

4 Reasons Spring is the Best Time to Sell Your Home

It's the first day of spring and that means it's the perfect time to sell your home. And there are some good "signs" that the market could be strong in 2019.

As the snow melts away there are far fewer homes are on the market. When inventory is low, it increases your chance of a home sale. Fewer homes on the market mean more exposure for the homes that are. Yeah for you, right?!

Secondly, thanks to our evolving economy, interest rates are on the rise. However, they are still realtively low. That's a plus for you as well.

What's more? God bless those beautiful millennials. This spunky bunch is readying to become first-time home buyers. That's good news for you, too.

But what about home equity? If you are one of the fortunate souls that bought when interest rates were under 4 percent, then you've been building some of the good stuff. This year may be a great time to cash it in.

If you're considering 2019 to be your year, don't hesitate. The early spring market is the BEST!

  

Jamie O'Toole, Realtor®, Up North Team, Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty

Feb. 14, 2019

How's the Market in Itasca County?

Breaking It Down: Itasca County Home Sales Report

A common question posed to brokers and Realtors® from the general public is, “how’s the market?” The responses vary based upon each individual's track record and/or experiences. That being said – the best way to provide accurate information is to refer to the Minnesota REALTORS Monthly Indicators report. The 10K Statistical Reports Activity Snapshot from December 2017 until December 2018 became available at the end of January. 

Results provided a mixed bag of positives and negatives: The number of homes available for sale during the past 12 months was down 10.9 percent, from 375 in 2017 to 334 in 2018, which would be consistent with the number of closed sales also being down by 36.8 percent.  With the number of available homes for purchase being down – it would be logical there would be fewer closings.

On the positive flip side, the median sale price (which is the point at which an even number of homes sold below and above this number) increased by 20.6 percent.  In 2017, the median sales price in the Itasca County area was $115,000. In 2018, that amount rose to $138,725.  

Equally positive is the 16.9 percent increase in average sales price. In 2017 that amount was $136,807, while in 2018 the average sales price increased to $159,949. It should be noted the increased sales price is a “double-edged sword,” a positive for sellers and a negative for buyers.

Most importantly to keep in mind is that ALL real estate is LOCAL. While the sale of lake homes would factor into the above overall averages, their sales prices differ wildly from the quoted amounts. The local MLS/Board of Realtors no longer breaks the sales of homes into specific categories.  A future blog will attempt to explore the monumental role lake homes play in our local market. 

Prepared by Charlotte McDermott, CRS, G.R.I

Coldwell Banker Northwoods Realty