In the midst of a rebounding real estate market and a struggling local economy, a handful of local real estate professionals are working together to try and help.
The group has yet to come up with a name for themselves, but they all share similar ethics and ideals as professionals and about promoting Ennis to prospective businesses and residents, said Melinda Merrill, who is the managing broker for Reed Real Estate.
The group consists of Merrill, Sara Johnson, the managing broker at Prudential Real Estate in Ennis; Tanya Matson, an agent at Prudential, Dawn Myrvik with PureWest Christie’s International Real Estate and Amanda Harris from First American Title Company in Ennis.
The group’s aspirations are both long term – working to attract non-polluting industries and businesses to Ennis and the Madison Valley, as well as short term – helping local buyers and sellers learn how to better navigate the real estate process.
The short-term vision is the focus of an upcoming class May 1 at the Ennis Schools multi-purpose room.
The class is billed as a seller’s forum and provides attendees with some insight into how to sell your home, with information on pricing, staging and marketing, Merrill said.
Selling a home can be an intimidating proposition, particularly in this economy, Johnson said. Sellers need all the advice they can get and who better to help them with the process than local professionals who have the expertise.
“It’s not easy being a seller right now and it’s probably completely different than the last time they sold a house,” she said.
The class is free starts at 5:30 p.m. and should last about two hours.
The group is also planning a buyer’s fair in June, and will announce more information about that class as the time nears.
Beyond providing information for local buyers and sellers, the group is also working on economic development ideas. The premise is that with the fiber optic lines 3 Rivers Communications installed in Ennis during the pass couple of years, any high-tech business can relocate here, Merrill said.
When you step back for a minute and think about it, Ennis and the Madison Valley really have so much to offer – the cutting edge access provided by the fiber optic lines, natural beauty and an easily accessed recreation lifestyle.
“We have so much here,” Merrill said. “We are so blessed.”
The group is working together to get the word out about the benefits of working and living in Ennis, Johnson said.
“The reality is, mostly you have to sell Ennis,” she said.
And the collaborative nature of the group is really unique.
The overarching goal is to use their individual skills to try and benefit the whole community, while making a living at the same time, she said.
“Our profession, historically, is very individualistic, but this group is really service driven,” Johnson said.
But getting the word out about the benefits of doing business in Ennis is a combination of keeping an eye out for larger businesses looking for a new home and serving smaller businesses looking to expand or find a small office, she said.
The task of selling Ennis to new businesses takes collaboration, Matson said. Each of them is working through a long and varied list of contacts to help make connections and find businesses or entrepreneurs who would want to call Ennis home.
But ultimately, real estate is really a business about developing and maintaining relationships with all kinds of people, Myrvik said. And it’s this shared ethic that allows a group of professionals who are also competitors to come together for something bigger than the bottom line.
“We are about building relationships that last beyond the sale,” she said.