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McColly Real Estate Climate 2020

Despite a slight pause when the pandemic first hit our shore, the real estate market in Northwest Indiana continues to be robust.

“I listed a $130,000 house in Griffith and within three days we had 20 showings, and four offers and it sold for cash,” says Joe Rogowski, a broker with McColly Real Estate Schererville. “I put up a listing on a $170,000 townhome in Merrillville and we had 14 showing and four offers in 3 days.”

Rogowski, who has been in the real estate business for 34 years and previously managed a real estate office for two decades, says he’s never seen a market move as quickly as this one is currently doing.

“The average time a house is on the market, depending on price range and location is weeks even days compared to months which is what it used to be,” he says. “Multiple offers are pretty much the norm if the house is priced correctly. It’s the law of supply and demand.”

Indeed, he says, if a house has been on the market for ten days without an offer, Realtors often wonder what’s wrong.

Lynn Watkins, a broker with McColly Real Estate Crown Point, is seeing the same continuing surge in the demand for housing.

“When I look at sales of homes during the last quarter of the year compared to the first quarter of this year,” she says, “It hasn’t slowed down as far as I’m concerned. People are calling constantly.”

The market is very hot right now, says Cathy Higgins, a broker with McColly Real Estate in Schererville.   

“There are multiple contracts on most properties,” she continues.  “Inventory is down and most buyers are paying list price or above to be able to buy the home.   If the home is in excellent condition and updated, they can sell in a day or so.”

Part of the increase says Rogowski is driven by the number of Illinois residents crossing the state line to hunt for homes.

“I put another home in Schererville on the market for $395,000, the owners thought that was too much but I said I can get that for you,” he says.  “In a short time, we had four offers, two were $10,000 over the asking price and all four were from people living in Illinois. That home sold for cash as well.” 

According to data from the tax year 2017-2018, 4,300 residents moved from Cook County to Lake County. 

“One reason is that real estate taxes across the border, regardless of where it is, are triple what the taxes are in Northwest Indiana,” says Rogowski. “The hottest markets are Lake and Porter counties and they’re unbelievable. I haven’t had a day off since February. Of the last 30 or so offers I’ve looked at for homes, 75% or more are from Illinois.”

Cities just across the Illinois state line are also popular.

Higgins, who is a licensed broker in Illinois, says she’s seeing an increase in sales in Lansing and Lynwood.

Like the housing market in our area, McColly Real Estate continues to grow.  More than 45 years ago, Ron McColly opened a four-person office in Merrillville. Now, McColly has 470+ broker associates, 100 employees and 23 offices. According to the RealTrends 500 Broker Report®, the McColly Real Estate ranked no. 161 nationally for its closed transaction sides for year-end 2018.

Businesses relocating to Northwest Indiana also add to the growing demand for housing says Watkins.

“Businesses draw new people into an area who want to live near where they work,” she continues, noting that two new companies, HTI Logistics Company, Inc. based in Louisville and Manhattan Mechanical of Manhattan, Illinois are setting up shop in East Chicago. That’s one of the reasons the city has opened  Fitzsimmons Redevelopment. A 19,000-square-foot multi-use residential and retail space located in the North Harbor district at 139th and Main Street right across the street from Unity Plaza and close to such amenities as the beach, I-94, two casinos, shopping and medical facilities.

“It has two commercial units and seven residential units,” says Watkins about the four 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath condos and three 2-bedroom, 2.5 bath townhomes that vary in size from 1,881-square-foot to 2,063-square-foot. Retail space encompasses 4,042-net square-foot and is ready for development.

Watkins notes now is the time to buy in order to take advantage of East Chicago’s first time homeowners’ program that provides $25,000 for those buying one of the condos or townhomes.

But though new projects like this help provide more home buying options, there’s still a significant scarcity of housing stock.  

“Developers can’t build fast enough to keep up with the demand,” says Rogowski.

The iconic Marktown, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in East Chicago has ended its decline says Watkins, noting that she has a new listing there and that investors are moving into what is a unique urban planned worker community dating back to 1917.

Higgins offers recommendations for both buyers and sellers.

“As a buyer, expect to pay full price or over if it's a home you want,” she says. “As a seller, make sure your home sparkles!  To get top dollar, it must look top dollar.  It must be clean and updated.   It must be free of clutter.  Homes with clutter tend to look smaller & not taken care of.  It must have some curb appeal.  Trim the bushes, edge the walkway.”

Rogowski says even though people talk about the real estate bubble bursting at some point as it did in 2006 and 2007 leading to the 2008 bust, he sees the situation today as being very different.

Back then, people were purchasing homes with 100% financing and no down payment, which left several homebuyers upside down / with no equity,” he recalls. However, it’s different this time around.”

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McColly Super Sunday Open House event gives back every 2nd Sunday

McColly Real Estate is offering those attending any Super Sunday open house event the chance to win $1,000 plus another $500 donated by McColly Charities to the winner’s charity of their choice. However, McColly’s generosity doesn’t stop there. on behalf of the McColly Realtor who hosted the winning Super Sunday open House, another $500 goes to the McColly agent’s charity of choice as well. 

Entering is easy. Register to win when visiting any McColly open house on Super Sunday, held the second Sunday of each month, unless otherwise indicated. 

Even better, there’s little waiting to find out if you’ve won. 

“McColly corporate contacts the winners on the Friday in the same week of Super Sunday,” says Monica Decker, director of marketing and technology for McColly Real Estate. “Checks are distributed at the corporate office in the following week, where a photo is also taken for press releases and social media posting the winner and the charity they chose.” 

The McColly Super Sunday open house events were launched in August with the drawings part of McColly’s long-term commitment to the community it has served for more than 45 years. 

Just since August, McColly Charities has donated $3,000 to the following organizations on the winners’ behalf: St. Jude Research Center, Gastric Cancer Foundation, Chicago Youth Foundation, Villalobos Rescue Center and the Women’s Center of Northwest Indiana

“It’s a big ‘thank you’ for the years of support the community has provided McColly Real Estate who help our local Realtors in raising donations and goods for Northwest Indiana’s nonprofit organizations,” says Rhonda McColly-Fleener, McColly Real Estate’s chief operating officer and daughter of founder, Ron McColly. 

These include large entities such as the Crown Point Community Foundation, Crossroads YMCA, Crossroads Chamber of Commerce and 14 other regional chambers as well as the Methodist Hospitals Foundation, Riverside Hospital Foundation, Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Indiana, Asian American Medical Society, Forest Ridge Academy, Chesterton Little League and Opportunity Enterprises.

This year, as the holiday season approaches, McColly will again have drop boxes in each of its locations for people to donate an unopened present for Toys for Tots.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to come in and meet the agents, all while working toward cultivating a strong future and participating in a great cause,” says Decker, adding that one of McColly Charities’ more popular collections is the Peanut Butter and Jelly drive, which occurs during the summer when food banks are often in low supply. Food collected is donated to pantries in Northwest Indiana, Chicago Southland and Central Illinois. 

To add to an already long list, McColly Real Estate offices also host other collections regularly throughout the year. Its brokers keep busy not only providing clients with the best real estate services but also in organizing and running collections to benefit local pantries and holding coat drives.

And they don’t forget our four-legged friends either. 

Last spring before the pandemic lockdown, McColly held a Shelter Buddies donation drive, soliciting items such as pet food, toys, treats and household cleaning supplies for local animal shelters. 

While in lockdown, McColly Realtors continued to think of others with such activities as Kelly White purchasing and delivering food to the Regency Hospital in Portage on Willowcreek Road, all three fire stations in portage, the police department, post office and street department. 

When the outbreak of Covid-19 caused a dramatic increase in the need for the services provided by St. Jude House, Broker Jessica Kish bought lunches from Lincoln Carry Outs, a burger, sub and sandwich shop in Hobart that’s been in business for more than 30 years and delivered them to all St. Jude House’s residents. 

“We support the many organizations that are in our own backyard,” says McColly-Fleener. “For four decades, McColly has made significant contributions to charities and organizations throughout the communities that have been such an integral part of making us the No. 1 independent real estate firm in Northwest Indiana and Chicago Southland.”

All this good work is part of McColly Charities founded by Ron McColly as McColly Real Estate in Merrillville in 1974. At the time, he had one office and four Realtors. Today, McColly remains a local, family-owned independent brokerage but it has grown exponentially and now is the largest independent residential brokerage in Northwest Indiana, Central Illinois and the Chicago Southland.

McColly has 23 offices, nearly 500 brokers in two states and is ranked No. 64 in the RealTrends® Top 500 independent brokerages in the country, as ranked by closed transaction sides for 2019. 

McColly shows caring in other ways, too, by continuing to create a safe environment for consumers to conduct real estate transactions and get information about the market. One example of this is consumers can virtually get a free, no obligation home valuation at mccolly.com/home-valuation, which provides up to three instant valuations for their home and profiles of potential buyers.

“I was born and raised in Northwest Indiana,” says Ron McColly. “I feel it’s important to lead by example for my own family, to give back to strengthen our communities and see them continue to prosper and grow in any way we can.”

 

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Message From McColly Real Estate

In these uncertain times we remain open to serve your real estate needs. Since 1974, McColly Real Estate has provided superior service by understanding your personal needs and that has not changed. 

You and your McColly Broker have the tools to offer buyers additional options to view your home. Our mobile app and website have photos and descriptions of your home for buyers to start their home search. 

When the world begins to regularize, there is expected to be a great increase in real estate activity and interest. 

To learn more about how McColly Real Estate is leveraging technology in these times, read here. If you are thinking about selling or buying call any of our locations and speak to one of our real estate professionals today or you can contact us here

Be well. 

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Looking Forward to Celebrating 45 Years as a Local Leader in 2019

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In 1974, Ron McColly founded McColly Real Estate in Merrillville with just one office and four agents. His overall approach was to start a company that helped to sell and market real estate in a way that had never been done in this area before. Around that time, John Rostankovski was working for an insurance company in the very same building as the newly founded McColly Real Estate. “Ron McColly talked me into joining him so I went and got my real estate license and I’ve been here ever since,” says Rostankovski. “It [the business] was a lot different back then.” Fast-forward to 2018, McColly Real Estate now has nearly 500 sales associates with 22 offices spanning both Indiana and Illinois. For the last four years, McColly Real Estate has been voted Best Real Estate Local Company/Team in the Times Best of the Region. Last year, McColly had 4,728 total transaction sides closed with $845 million+ in open sales volume, ranking #137 in the Top 500 Brokers in the U.S.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

“We had no computers, no internet and no copy machines when we started,” says Rostankovski, who remembers that the first mobile phones came in big bags that you draped over your shoulder. “It’s like coming out of the Dark Ages,” says Realtor Diane Cline, who has worked for McColly Real Estate for 36 years. “Before there were computers and the online Multiple Listing Service (MLS), we had MLS books, which came out every two weeks and listed the homes for sale. That was before lockboxes. Now you’re in touch all the time and buyers can see the houses online.” 31 years after joining McColly, Realtor Elaine Eich remembers how Realtors worried when listings became available online. “They thought clients wouldn’t need us anymore, but that’s not true,” she says. “What is true is if I didn’t keep up with technology, then younger people wouldn’t stay with me. They want to text, they want to communicate instantly and that’s one of the factors that make McColly Real Estate so successful. In order to keep growing, you’ve got to keep ahead of what’s going on,” says Eich. “We really do that here. Nobody likes change, but if you don’t adapt, you won’t be able to give your customers the best service.” In addition to expanding the number of sales associates and keeping up with technology, McColly Real Estate has also adapted their business services with the evolving needs of their clients — adding the McColly School of Real Estate, Community Title Company, an affiliation with Diamond Mortgage, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, McColly Insurance, a New Homes Division, First Developers of Indiana, Inc., award winning mccolly.com website, Luxury Portfolio International®, and McColly Bennett Commercial Advantage.

We’re a Family, Not a Franchise

Rhonda McColly-Fleener, Ron McColly’s daughter says, “We’re family not a franchise”. McColly-Fleener started working at the office when she was in middle school and was given the assignment of organizing a large closet crammed with what seemed like 900,000 message pads (no voicemail back then) and MLS books. Though McColly-Fleener graduated with a teaching degree, her father offered for her to work, at least temporarily, for the business. That was more than three decades ago. “At first I did public relations for the company,” says McColly-Fleener, McColly Real Estate’s Chief Operating Officer, noting that one of her earlier advertising gambits before internet advertising was to dress up like a giant Easter egg and hand out candy at the McColly Real Estate kiosk in Merrillville’s Century Mall. Another pre-internet advertising campaign was when she organized a contest to find the oldest Better Homes & Garden cookbook when McColly was part of the Better Homes & Garden franchise (McColly went independent in 2003, when they were asked to be a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. LeadingRE gives McColly associates compelling global exposure for their listings and the most prolific referral network in the industry, with a qualified client introduction occurring somewhere in the network every five minutes.). “I’ve been here a long time so I obviously think it’s a great company,” says Cline. “Most Realtors move around, changing companies, but at McColly we’re a very tight, family owned company. It’s McColly’s business savvy as well as how employees are treated that have led to their success whereas other agencies have come and gone.” “My dad treats everyone fair,” says McColly-Fleener, who says that her father’s family, who lived in the Glen Park area of Gary, always had an entrepreneurial knack, owning businesses like a corner grocery, a bowling alley and laundromat. “We attend the weddings, the memorials, and as many special events as possible.” McColly also supports their agents by offering an extensive training course called “McColly University” every six weeks to all new and experienced agents desiring to participate. In addition, monthly company-wide meetings are held that bring in experts from various aspects of the real estate community as special speakers as well as community organizations that are vital parts of the Northwest Indiana and Illinois Region.

Giving Back

McColly Charities is a big part of the organization. They are currently finishing up their McColly Coat Drive in partnership with the Salvation Army and have participated with Toys for Tots. However, year round, Ron McColly is very active with numerous charities, such as recently donating $100,000 for the Southlake YMCA expansion in Crown Point. “We have a lot of charities and Ron is very involved in the community--I can’t go to a charity event without seeing him,” says Cline, adding that she had recently attended the 17th annual Pink Ribbon Society Breast Cancer Awareness Tea and saw that McColly Charities had donated a pair of diamond earrings valued at $2,000. “He never talks about those things.” If agents are active in a charity, McColly-Fleener says they’ll help in supporting them.

Old Fashioned Values

“The only thing that’s really changed is the technology,” says Rostankovski. “But McColly Real Estate’s business model is the same. It’s about following a code of ethics and always following through with what you’re supposed to do and what you said you’d do. That’s what working with Ron has been like all these years.

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Celebrating 45 Years of Serving as a Local Leader in Real Estate in Northwest Indiana

In 1974, Gerald Ford ascended to the presidency upon the resignation of President Richard Nixon; “The Sting,” starring Robert Redford won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song “was named the Best Song of the Year.

Closer to home, Ron McColly, who grew up in Gary, opened a small real estate office with four agents in Merrillville, Indiana.

Robert Redford is retiring from acting next year and this year’s top song is Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next.”

But McColly Real Estate, voted Best Real Estate Local Company/Team in the Times Best of the Region for the last four years, now has nearly 500 sales associates with 22 offices in both Indiana and Illinois and in 2017 posted 4,728 total transactions sides closed with $846+ million in open sales volume, ranking 137 in the Top 500 Brokers in the U.S.

As McColly Real Estate grew, so did their investment in the communities they served. 

“Since 1974, Ron McColly has privately been a local philanthropist,” says Monica Decker, director of marketing and technology, noting that McColly Charities are an important part of the organization. During the holiday season, the company participates in Toys for Tots and partnered with the Salvation Army in the McColly Coat Drive. Year round, Ron McColly has been very active with a multitude of charities, recently having donated $100,000 for the expansion of the Southlake YMCA.

“We have a lot of charities we support, and Ron is also very active in the community—I can’t go to a charity event without seeing him,” says Realtor Diane Cline who has worked for McColly Real Estate for 37 years.

A few months ago, Cline attended the 17th annual Pink Ribbon Society Breast Cancer Awareness Tea and saw that McColly Charities had donated a pair of diamond earrings valued at $2000.

“If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have known because Ron never talks about things like that,” says Cline.

“My dad treats everyone fair,” says Rhonda McColly-Fleener who earned a teaching degree. However, she decided the family business is where she wanted to be and took a position in the marketing department after college and remains with the company more than three decades later.

But that’s not unusual. Instead of the typical turnover in the real estate business, many of the McColly Realtors have been with the company for twenty years or more.

“That’s because we’re a family, not a franchise,” says McColly-Fleener, Chief Operating Office of McColly Real Estate, noting that knowing the market and being out in the community are several of the many reasons McColly Real Estate has been so successful. “We aren’t just another agency selling houses in Northwest Indiana—we’re an integral part of the communities we serve.”

General Manager Tracy Parus, who has worked for McColly Real Estate for 23 years, is a prime example of the company’s commitment to community.

“Being a Realtor is so much more than just selling homes,” she says noting that McColly’s mission has always been, since day one, to create long term relationships and trust with their customers and clients in order to develop a culture of sharing and caring for the communities they serve.

That’s important to the McColly staff continues Parus, because the McColly Charities gives their Broker Associates the opportunity to become an integral part in making the lives of others better.

Since 1995, when she began working as an agent, Parus has seen the company’s exponential expansion of market share and locations.

“The growth that I have been part of through the McColly Companies and through our affiliation with the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has been exciting for me--our footprint has been enlarged through the success we are experiencing in Indiana and also with the growth we have had the pleasure to experience in Illinois,” says Parus.

 “Whether buyers are looking for property in LaPorte, Indiana or farmland in Paxton, Illinois and any type of real estate in between, our agents have the local expertise to best serve our clients’ needs, since we live in the same locales,” says Decker. “Our affiliation with the infrastructure of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® network and their Luxury Portfolio International® with headquarters in Chicago, London and Singapore, creates a dominant global presence. LeadingRE is the most productive real estate and relocation services network on the face of the earth. Only 1 in 5 brokerage applicants is granted membership into this exclusive, by-invitation-only organization. With clients moving due to employment opportunities, moving to be closer to loved ones or looking to purchase a second home, the relocation division is there to assist.”

McColly not only invests in the community but also its Realtors, creating long-term agents who are well training and able to use cutting edge technology in servicing clients.

“McColly is all about human interaction,” says Cline. “That includes networking and honesty.”

That is why, says Decker, McColly Real Estate has been in business for 45 years and will continue to be around for so much longer.

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McColly Annual Christmas Party Celebrates a Strong Year

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It was another banner year for the McColly Real Estate team, and they celebrated in style on Thursday with their Annual Christmas Party at Innsbrook Country Club.

The party was not only a celebration of the real estate agency’s business achievements over the year, but also a way for the McColly leadership to recognize and honor the brokers and staff across Northwest Indiana, Chicago Southland and Central Illinois who make everything they do possible. Featuring almost endless waves of gourmet food from the Innsbrook kitchen, live performances from the Wheeler High School Choir, and an appearance from St. Nick himself, the evening showcased everything that makes McColly a special place to work and grow.

“I think people really like this, we’ve been doing it now for about 25 years,” said Ron McColly, Founder of McColly Real Estate. “If I were to boil our work culture to one thing it’d be ‘family.’ What we’re trying to do is create one large family. I’d just like to wish that family the best holiday season ever.”

The Holiday Party is a mainstay of McColly’s culture, and some of their veteran brokers have been attending it for well over a decade. The leadership always strives to be more than just a workplace; they look to perfect work-life balance by not only granting their team the time they need for their families and personal interests, but also by making sure there is always something to look forward to on their calendar.

“What we try and highlight with this holiday party, and any of the various appreciation luncheons or dinners that we do throughout the year, is the idea that we want people to have a true work-life balance,” said Drew Ranich, Director of Broker Relations. “We want to make sure that our brokers can provide for their families and live their best lives while spending as much time with their family as possible and pursuing the thing that they’re passionate about.”

Aside from enjoying food and drinks, attendees also lined up for pictures in front of Innsbrook’s many Christmas trees. Sounds of holiday classics were also enjoyed thanks to the Wheeler High School Choir.

While many of the brokers loved the chance to sit back and enjoy dinner with friends and family, others were so excited about the McColly team’s achievements this year that they could not help but talk shop.

“The McColly leadership is on the bleeding-edge of technology, when we’re the number one company out there, why would brokers consider going anywhere else,” said veteran broker Mary Jane DiMichele. “But even though I say that, there’s a social aspect to our business. It’s not always ‘business, business, business.’ Thanks to events like this, we get to know people on a social and personal level. It’s about families and us getting to know each other, and that’s very important.”

From the newest agents to veterans of over two decades, there was a common theme mentioned when asked what it is that makes McColly Real Estate a special place to do business: every single broker is a whole lot more than just another team member.

“What I love about working for Ron McColly is that he cares about every agent, not just succeeding this year, but succeeding for a lifetime,” said Brenda Versnel, one McColly broker. “He cares about our future, our retirement, he invests in us as people.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS!

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McColly Charities Coat Drive a Huge Success!

McColly Charities would like to send out their sincerest ‘Thank you’ for sharing the Gift of Warmth! It truly warms the heart to know how much our local communities care. Due to an overwhelming response, over 450 adult and children’s coats were collected!

Once again, McColly collected hundreds of clean new and gently used coats to benefit the Salvation Army.

McColly Real Estate, on behalf of the McColly Charities, sponsored a coat drive beginning on October 15, 2018 and continued through November 15, 2018.  All McColly Companies offices throughout Northwest Indiana, Chicago Southland & Central Illinois collected clean, gently used coats. Coats of all shapes and sizes were welcome. 

Giving the gift of warmth is just one goal of McColly Charities, the philanthropic arm of McColly Real Estate, on behalf of the McColly Charities.  

“Working with McColly is wonderful as they have a great presence in Northwest Indiana and are very well-respected,” says Kevin Feldman, director of development for The Salvation Army in Lake County, noting the longstanding collaboration with the independent real estate brokerage.  “Because they have so many locations, it’s easy for people to drop off coats.  We then go and pick them up and they’re distributed to local people, both adults and children, in need.”  

Over the past 40+ years, McColly Real Estate has annually contributed to the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, American Heart Association and the Special Olympics of Illinois, to name just a few great causes. In 2011, McColly Real Estate formally established the McColly Charities to benefit families in need in the local communities that McColly Companies serves. 

Such giving back to the Region is a cornerstone of McColly’s business philosophy.

McColly Charities sponsors charity drives throughout the year.
Pantries / charities who’d like to be considered for our current list of benefactors, please fill out the online application.

 Please include detailed information in terms of pantry/charity name, areas served; contact person and hours open for donation deliveries.

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McColly Awards Ceremony Breakfast

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More than 300 people gathered at “Innsbrook Downs” on Tuesday, June 5th for the “44th running” of the McColly Derby. It was the culmination of the triple crown of real estate – listings, referrals and sales – with many stepping into the winner’s circle for their 2017 achievements.

McColly Director of Marketing, Monica Decker said the group represented Lake, Porter, LaPorte and Jasper Counties in Indiana, as well as Cook, Will, Kankakee, Ford and Iroquois Counties in Illinois. They were treated to breakfast at Innsbrook Country Club in Merrillville, a speech by President, Ron McColly and an awards ceremony.

The realtors’ run for the roses was adorned in theme-appropriate décor, made possible by Operations Coordinator, Rhonda McColly-Fleener, who worked with Merrillville Florist to transform the ballroom into a small version of the Kentucky Derby. Men in bow ties and seersucker suits, and women in organza hats and floral fascinators came together to celebrate a year of successes.

According to McColly, the awards ceremony recognizes top producers and offices and features a new theme each year. “I’m very proud,” he said. “A lot of people make this work and I attribute the overall success of the company to the agents.”

McColly-Fleener opened the ceremony and Mary Jane DiMichele of the Highland office provided the invocation.

McColly spoke about the state of the industry and what makes the company and the entities that operate under the McColly umbrella – McColly Bennett Commercial, the New Homes Division, McColly Auctions, McColly School of Real Estate, Community Title, the McColly Charities and the newest addition, Diamond Mortgage – successful. He also emphasized the importance of networking, referrals and learning from others’ experiences.

The McColly family of real estate, including its other brands, Bennett and Rosenboom have served three generations of clients. McColly noted how fortunate the company is to be a part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, which sells more homes globally than any other real estate organization in the world.

Greg Leutloff, #1 Individual Producer – IL, of the Bourbonnais Heritage office has sold commercial real estate for 17 years with McColly Bennett. “I work hard, and I love it,” he said.

Brent Wright, #1 Individual Producer – IN, in the Portage Willowcreek location said he owes his success to the support and understanding of friends and family, especially his wife, Emily, his mentor, Kelly White, his office and most importantly, his clients for trusting him to help them with their real estate needs.

Lisa Grady Team, #1 Team Producers – IN, of the Schererville agency emphasized the “incredibly knowledgeable managers and support staff and McColly’s cutting-edge marketing trends and market analyzation to help ensure we give the most accurate guidance to our clients.”

Buck Tamblyn, Runner-Up Producer – IL, of the Bourbonnais Heritage office said, “I could not have closed these transactions without the help of our McColly Bennett Commercial Team. Together we finalized projects that will have a positive impact on our local communities for decades to come. I believe the infrastructure offered by McColly Real Estate is unparalleled in our industry.”

Kelly White, Runner-Up Producer and #1 Individual Total Sides Closed of the Portage Willowcreek, IN, agency noted, “With its marketing, legal and referral departments, lenders, and insurance, home warranty and title companies, McColly is a one-stop shop. This gives me an edge and allows me to provide my clients with the best service possible.”

Michelle Arseneau Team, Runner-Up Team Producers – IL, in the Bourbonnais Heritage location said, “I love that you can pick up the phone and corporate is there to help with whatever you need.”

Cyndi Piontkowski, Rookie of the Year – IL, at the Bourbonnais Heritage office explained, “It’s not work if you love what you’re doing. With McColly’s wonderful resources, McColly Bennett’s energetic and welcoming atmosphere, fellow agents, and our amazing Managing Broker, Andy Czako, I definitely love what I am doing.”

Bill Rathjen, Rookie of the Year - Jasper County, in the DeMotte agency added, “As a new broker, McColly has provided the name recognition needed to build confidence with my clients. Support from others in my office has empowered me to become a better broker.”

Lynn Randazzo, #1 Total Sides Closed – IL, of the Bourbonnais Heritage office noted she has made many friendships over the years while helping people sell, relocate or achieve their dream of home ownership. “It’s so rewarding when my clients are sitting at the closing table after finding their perfect home,” she said.

Julie Elisha, Runner-Up Total Sides Closed, in the Portage Willowcreek location said, “This is a demanding job, with hours that can put your life in a tailspin, but it’s a job I love, with clients that become friends. More importantly, my assistant Rachael Lockwood deserves recognition for keeping up with me.”

Estela Lopez Team, Runner-Up Team Producers – IN of the Schererville agency believes McColly is a one-of-a-kind, reputable company that offers outstanding results due to what they offer and their top-notch agents. “The variety of services: titles, lending, insurance, auctions, commercial, luxury homes – you name it, we have it,” she said.

Award winners recognized include: Greg Leutloff - #1 Individual Producer - IL, Brent Wright - #1 Individual Producer - IN, Schreffler-Winterroth Team (Susan Schreffler and Kelly Winterroth) - #1 Team Producers - IL, Lisa Grady Team - #1 Team Producers - IN, Buck Tamblyn - Runner-Up Producer - IL, Kelly White - Runner-Up Producer & #1 Individual Total Sides Closed - IN, Michelle Arseneau Team - Runner- Up Team Producers - IL, Brenda Versnel Team - Runner-Up Team Producers - IN, Cyndi Piontkowski - Rookie of the Year - IL, Laura Sexton - Rookie of the Year - Lake County, IN, Bill Rathjen - Rookie of the Year - Jasper County, IN, Lynn Randazzo - #1 Total Sides Closed - IL, Sandy Boyer - Runner-Up Total Sides Closed - IL, Julie Elisha - Runner-Up Total Sides Closed - IN, Estela Lopez Team - Runner-Up Team Producers - IN

About McColly Real EstateMcColly Real Estate’s local reputation and expertise are backed by its selection as a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a global community of over 565 real estate companies awarded membership based on rigorous standards for service and performance. This distinction ensures that McColly Real Estate clients are working with exceptional local professionals who also deliver connections to buyers and quality real estate companies across the country and around the world. Our strength in Northwest Indiana and the Chicago Southland is mirrored by our fellow Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® members. From London to Beijing to Johannesburg and beyond, McColly Real Estate is proud to work with the very best companies across the globe. Every five minutes a quality client introduction is made within Leading Real Estate companies of the World®. As a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, McColly Real Estate combines authentic, local expertise with global connections to the highest quality real estate firms worldwide. We’re Local. We’re Global®. mccolly.com

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It's a great time to be a seller as the housing market in Northwest Indiana continues to boom

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That’s particularly good news for homeowners who are looking to upgrade to a higher price-range house says Tim McColly, managing broker of the McColly Highland & Winfield offices and Director of the McColly School of Real Estate. Last year McColly Real Estate had 4,728 total transaction sides closed with $845 million+ in open sales volume, ranking in the Top 500 Brokers in the U.S, Realtor word-of-mouth indicates that for sellers who want to buy higher end homes, the market is good.

“Since there is no new construction focused on first time buyers--for homes less than $250,000--inventory will remain scarce, and there will continue to be upward pressure on prices,” McColly forecasts. “With high end properties such as homes over $400,000 though, it is still a buyers' market in most areas. For buyers looking to move up, they might find strong demand for their existing home, while finding more negotiating room on the home they are purchasing.”

Indeed, as more millennials enter the housing market, the options for buying less expensive homes will continue to be very competitive. Add to that, single women are now the second largest buying force for homes. While married couples hold the largest home buying position with 54%, single women come in second with 18%, followed by unmarried couples with 15%, single men with 11% and other with 2%.

Add all that together and it’s tough out there for those looking for homes under a certain price point.

“Currently in Northwest Indiana, buyers often aren’t finding what they want at an affordable price or it sells too quickly because sellers are often getting multiple offers on their homes,” says Peter Novak, Chief Executive Officer of Greater Northwest Indiana Association of REALTORS (GNIAR), which represents more than 1,900 members in nearly 500 offices in Lake, Porter, Jasper, Newton, Starke and Pulaski Counties as well as several hundred from LaPorte County, IN; Cook County, IL and Southwestern Michigan.

According to GNIAR’s Local Market Update, in February 2018 new listings were down by 23% compared to last year at the same time and the number of available homes dropped by 18.2% from last February to this one.

Being in a seller’s market can be difficult when it comes to buying a new home but as McColly says, currently many newly built homes are more expensive than people entering the market can afford. That’s because currently there’s less construction at the lower end of the market as construction remains focused on luxury homes.

Another competing force, according to the National Association of Realtors, cash investors now account for 22% of all home sales transactions in November 2017 which was a 20% increase from the previous month. For sellers, this could mean an all cash offer, often too fantastic of an opportunity to turn down.

Looking at statistics for homes above $400,000, Novak says that the data may indicate that up until last year that section of the seller’s market was lagging.

In 2014, only 287 homes sold in the $400,000 or more market in the seven Indiana counties GNIAR represents. That increased to 308 the following year and in 2016 to 362. Last year the jump was 40% to 507 indicating people may be jumping into the market.

From January 1 to April 17 of this year, 2,397 homes were sold in Lake, Porter, Jasper and LaPorte according to GNIAR’s Market Statistic Reports and though the average time homes were on the market for each county varied, none were over 98 days. List prices per county averaged between $222, 939 (Porter) and $169,767 (LaPorte). In all counties, 3 bedroom homes with an average square footage of 1,800 had the highest number of homes sold.

Also a plus for buyers looking for luxury homes is that interest rates, though rising slightly, are still low by historical standards. Besides that Northwest Indiana is also a bargain in terms of property taxes compared to neighboring Illinois, giving buyers more money for upgrades and more expensive homes.

“The National 30 year fixed interest rate has hovered around the 4.62% mark over the past 30 days,” says Ryan Eberhardt Executive Vice President Diamond Residential Mortgage.  “We anticipate the rates to slowly tick upward toward the high 4’s to possibly low 5’s in the late summer to early fall.  The market is forecasting this potential increase due to the Federal Reserve rate hikes, a growing economy, and strong housing market.  Even though the trend is pointing upward, the market is still at historically all-time lows, which is driving homeownership.”  

About McColly Real Estate McColly Real Estate’s local reputation and expertise are backed by its selection as a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a global community of over 565 real estate companies awarded membership based on rigorous standards for service and performance. This distinction ensures that McColly Real Estate clients are working with exceptional local professionals who also deliver connections to buyers and quality real estate companies across the country and around the world. Our strength in Northwest Indiana and the Chicago Southland is mirrored by our fellow Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® members. From London to Beijing to Johannesburg and beyond, McColly Real Estate is proud to work with the very best companies across the globe. Every five minutes a quality client introduction is made within Leading Real Estate companies of the World®. As a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, McColly Real Estate combines authentic, local expertise with global connections to the highest quality real estate firms worldwide. We’re Local. We’re Global®.

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McColly is One-Stop Shop for Real Estate

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“All Purpose Real Estate. One Source.” is the slogan of McColly Real Estate and the phrase couldn’t be more true. The company has been the powerhouse in the home sales industry in Northwest Indiana since 1974 and has become a company where all of a buyer’s needs can be met through their experienced brokers and their partners in financing and title processing.

“Because there are so many components to buying or selling a home, we tried to make the consumer experience as simple as possible. From the pre-approval letter courtesy of Diamond Residential Mortgage to confirm how much home you can afford; finding the right property with one of our experienced Realtors and closing on the home with our Community Title ancillary company; to acquiring home and auto insurance from McColly Insurance, we've elevated ‘One-Stop’ to a new level of customer service,” said Monica Decker, director of marketing and technology. “Not to mention, having all of these services in-house, creates a smoother transaction and gets our clients to the closing table faster. Organically, it's a win-win for our in-house and external customers.”

With 24 state-of-the-art offices throughout Northwest Indiana and Illinois with over 465 trained real estate professionals, no matter where you are in the region, you’ll find a McColly agent close by to help make the process go smoothly. And, even if you’re moving out of the area, McColly can help.

“Our affiliation with the infrastructure of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® network and their Luxury Portfolio International®, with headquarters in Chicago, London, and Singapore, creates a dominant global presence. LeadingRE is the most productive real estate and relocation services network on the face of the earth. Only 1 in 5 brokerage applicants is granted membership into this exclusive, by-invitation-only organization,” said Decker. “With clients moving due to employment opportunities, moving to be closer to loved ones or looking to purchase a second home, the relocation division is there to assist.”

Whether you’re looking to purchase residential or commercial property, McColly is ready to help make your dream a reality.

“McColly Bennett Commercial Real Estate is pleased to be a piece of the McColly Companies infrastructure,” said Jeff Bennett, commercial manager. “We are a full-service geographically-based real estate company, happy to be part of the growth of Northwest Indiana.”

A close partnership with Community Title Company provides McColly clients with a smooth experience for title and closing services. Community Title is an approved agent of Stewart Title, which is a global leader in the title insurance industry. For three decades, Community Title Company has provided services in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland. With a main office in Merrillville, the company also operates several area satellite closing offices.

“Our dedicated staff, including Attorney Nathan Vis our Underwriting Counsel, understands the needs of buyers, sellers and real estate professionals, and is committed to ensuring a pleasant settlement experience. We maintain state-of-the-art facilities that enable us to deliver fast and courteous title and settlement services at competitive rates,” says Community Title manager, Kathy Shultz. 

With numerous actions to be taken before a title can be successfully transferred, real estate sales professionals working directly with Community Title on a buyer’s behalf can simplify the process. The buyer is able to eliminate some of the stress by leaving the details to competent professionals within both companies.

McColly also maintains a relationship with Diamond Residential Mortgage Company, a well-established resource that works to provide individualized service to buyers with a number of products. 

“Diamond Residential Mortgage Corporation (DRMC) is an independent, multi-state residential mortgage lender. We believe our professional staff combined with the widest possible array of mortgage products represent a unique value to the mortgage industry,” said Keith Eberhhardt, executive vice president. “In recognition of the excellent reputation of DRMC, McColly Real Estate has formed a marketing partnership with the company.”

In 2017, McColly Companies had 4,728 total transaction sides closed with $846 million-plus in open sales volume. McColly’s investment in its Realtors shows in their professionalism and dedication, resulting from a number of training and support tools available to them, including in-house coaching, online tutorials, continuing education classes, agent websites, personalized apps, free signage and ongoing professional development seminars.

The family-owned business has flourished not only in business since starting as a single office in Merrillville, but also in its charitable reach through the McColly Foundation. 

“The foundation was borne out of the philanthropic spirit of Ron McColly, my father and founder/owner of McColly Realtors Inc., and our family,” says Rhonda McColly-Fleener, McColly Real Estate’s chief operating officer. “It only makes sense that being a family owned and operated company, whose roots have always been in Northwest Indiana, is to give back to our community and support the many organizations that are in our own backyard.’” Over the last four decades, the McColly Foundation has supported more than a dozen regional chambers of commerce, the Crown Point Community Foundation, Methodist Hospitals Foundation, Riverside Hospital Foundation, Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Indiana, Asian-America Medical Society, Forest Ridge Academy, Chesterton Little League, Opportunity Enterprises and others as well as arranging food drives for local pantries, clothing drives for women’s shelters and collections of baby care items for organizations that support families in need.  “I’m very proud that each time we announce a McColly Foundation event or drive that our agents and staff rally around it and give 100 percent to make each and every one of our projects a success,” said McColly-Fleener.  To locate a McColly office or find a listing of agents, visit mccolly.com. For more information about the McColly School of Real Estate or to register for a course, visit www.mccollyschool.com or contact a Career Counselor at 800-491-2184, ext. 2 for details.

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