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.