Diane Trippeer was 36 years old and a stay-at-home mother when she decided it was time to pursue a career.
“That was 30 years ago,” says Trippeer. “After passing my real estate exam I joined McColly Real Estate. Since then I’ve never worked anywhere else and I wouldn’t work anywhere else.”
Trippeer, a Broker Associate, CRS Certified Residential Specialist and ABR Accredited Buyer Representative with over $200 Million in closed sales, says her father helped persuade her to go with McColly way back then.
“When I said I need to make a decision, he suggested doing some research about the agencies out there--he said you want to go where there’s a lot of inventory and that’s growing,” she recalls. “He could tell that was McColly.”
Over the years, Trippeer’s career has grown as has the success of McColly Real Estate which for the last three years was voted Best Real Estate Local Company/Team in this year’s Times Best of the Region for the 3rd year. In 2017, McColly had 4,728 total transaction sides closed with $845 million+ in open sales volume, ranking in the Top 500 Brokers in the U.S.
“A lot of McColly’s success is based upon how they treat both their employees and clients, their commitment to local philanthropic causes and how they are part of the communities they serve,” she says, noting her daughter-in-law, Tracy Trippeer, a former teacher who grew up in DeMotte, has also joined the McColly team.
“What it came down to was life balance,” says Chris Fitzsimmons, who joined McColly last July after leaving his job as a maintenance supervisor in food manufacturing. “I have three kids and was often in my office six to seven days a week. Also, my parents had owned Bordaile Homes in upstate New York so I was used to beautiful homes and real estate seemed a good fit. My job allows me to coach one of my son’s baseball team and volunteer for the Cub Scouts. It really gets me out into the community and I like that.”
Fitzsimmons, who graduated from the McColly School of Real Estate, says he chose not to do the course online but likes that they give so many options. “You can basically set your own time schedule,” he says, noting that he chose to complete the course in less than five weeks. “I decided to go with McColly because I liked that they offered free mentoring and team you up with one of their top producers so you’re working with an agent with $10, $20 million in closed sales.”
Within his first six months of working with McColly, Fitzsimmons had nearly $1.5 million in production.
“We’ve been a family owned business who have been active in the local community since 1974,” says Monica Decker, director of marketing and technology, noting that’s when Ronald F. McColly founded McColly Realtors, Inc. with four agents and one office in Merrillville. “We’ve grown to 24 office locations between Northwest Indiana and the Chicago Southland. 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.”
Cathy Gouwens, who began working at McColly Real Estate early this year, left the corporate world in Illinois to pursue a career in real estate, a long time passion of hers, and she wanted to do that in Indiana. Impressed by the number of McColly for sale signs she saw throughout the area and wanting to find out more about the McColly School of Real Estate, she walked into the office where Wendy Embry, broker manager for the McColly Schererville office, was working.
“She spent so much time talking to me, she was so nice. I thought if everyone working here is this wonderful and caring, this is where I want to be,” says Gouwens, who graduated in December from the 90-hour pre-licensing broker course offered by the McColly School of Real Estate. “I liked the class, our instructor was very helpful, he added humor to the course while still keeping us on track. He gave out his cell phone number and was always ready to help us.” The McColly School, the number one real estate school in Northwest Indiana, was founded in 1987 because the company recognized the need of finding and educating excellent agents. The level of support the company provides doesn’t stop there. Once a new agent joins the McColly team, they’re provided a combination of one-on-one and group training sessions.
“We are very selective in choosing our coaches/mentors and this is a large part of the success of our program,” says Embry. “The coaches/mentors along with the office managers take a genuine interest in the new agent's success. This business is 24/7 and we realize it is vital to a new and seasoned agent that they have the assurance that he or she can count on the support staff. It is imperative that each individual has a thorough knowledge of the contracts, the overall real estate process and how to properly conduct themselves in the market place. Training includes contracts, market analysis, listing presentations, open houses, building strong negotiation skills, navigating through the inspection process, appraisal and closing.”
Along with that, every six weeks, McColly offers an extensive training course called "McColly University" to all new and experienced agents desiring to participate. In addition, monthly company-wide meetings are held that bring 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 Region including Illinois.
“Each of our offices have experienced agents who are experts in the field and provide a huge support element to new agents. There is so much to be learned from those agents who have experienced a myriad of markets throughout the years. It’s one of the attributes of McColly that drew me to this company, we truly are honored to have great agents who enjoy helping other agents become great agents.”
Gouwens says that real estate offers great career opportunities for those who are transitioning from one career to another, who want to be able to set their own schedule and work the hours that best suits their lifestyle.
“McColly offers a close knit, family owned and operated business environment for our agents where decisions that affect the agent's livelihood are made right here locally vs. some of our competitors which are franchises,” says Embry, adding that they have an excellent success rate of agents staying with the company—some for ten years, 20 years or more. “That’s a big part of our success.”
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