McColly Real Estate: Longevity in Leadership, Stability in Local Business
SCHERERVILLE | November 2017 - The perfect interaction between a business like McColly Real Estate and the communities it serves proves how both contribute to each other’s successes. For more than 40 years, McColly has been an integral part of the growth of Northwest Indiana, so much so that they were voted Best Real Estate Local Company/Team in this year’s Times Best of the Region for the 3rd year in a row. The company was also presented earlier this year with a marketing award from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a selective global network of the highest quality independent real estate firms. Last year, McColly had 4,963 total transaction sides closed with $880 million+ in open sales volume, ranking in the Top 500 Brokers in the U.S.
“I believe that one of the reasons for the longevity of our company is because people have faith in our agents, they’re part of the community, they interact with the community, they’re well trained and that they care,” says Althea Machtemes, a McColly School of Real Estate Instructor and managing broker at McColly Real Estate’s Tinley Park, Beecher & Crete offices.
Machtemes says that the school allows people to consider a very rewarding career and show how real estate can change a person’s life.
“I am so glad to be with a company that wants to help others build a career and gives them the tools to do that--when you work for a company that cares for their agents, I think that the client is the beneficiary,” she says.
“Early on we recognized the need of finding and educating really good agents which is why we developed the real estate school in 1987,” says Tim McColly, Director of the McColly School of Real Estate, adding that it’s now the number one real estate school in Northwest Indiana.
“We’ve been a family owned business who has 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.”
Using the most advanced technologies is also a major contributor to the company’s growth as well.
According to Paul Boyter, managing broker at the Lake Station, Chesterton & Ogden Dunes McColly Real Estate offices, their clients can download the McColly real estate app, which uses smartphone's global-positioning system to figure out where they are and then provide a wealth of information about nearby listings.
“Because we have an affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, when we list a home it’s available to companies around the world,” says Boyter who started working at the McColly Real Estate Hobart office in 1990 and started managing the Chesterton office in 1998.
“Our longevity is because McColly is made up of a lot of talented managers and great agents,” says George Kepchar, Jr., managing broker of the Portage Rt. 6 /Willowcreek /LaPorte offices. “We’re an agent driven company. The company takes care of their agents and so people stay with McColly because they’re treated well. Our agents have, worked in the neighborhoods for a long time and so they can provide clients with the best market information available. They can help them find the best home in a neighborhood that will fit their lifestyle whether it’s being near the highway to shorten the commute to work, close to quality schools or in a rural or urban setting.”
Wendy Embry, managing broker of the Schererville, Cedar Lake and Lowell offices, who has worked for McColly Real Estate for 11 years, says being a truly fully service company with both Community Title Services and Lake Mortgage conveniently located within some of their offices one has been a boon for clients.
“It makes the process of buying or selling go quickly and it takes away a lot of our client’s anxiety,” she says, noting that the full-service aspect is one of the reasons she joined the McColly team. “Another important factor to our success is that we truly train agents, we don’t just say we do it, we have a training program in place. We have a very good success rate of agents staying with us. In our Schererville office, we have agents who have been there for ten years, 20 years or more.”
McColly.com gets 90,000 unique visitors a month says Boyter, noting that about 25,000 of those unique users are from the Chicagoland area.
“People can see from our website the advantages of owning a home in Northwest Indiana such as lower taxes, more house for the money and a great quality of living,” he says. “Mr. McColly calls these online showings. They are because they lead to people giving us a call.”
Giving back is what the McColly Foundation is all about.
Tim McColly remembers when the Duneland Little League called his brother Ron about some land they’d inherited from their father.
“They wanted to buy it from us for a baseball field for disabled children,” he says. “Ron had a different idea and he talked to me and I said okay. So, he called them back and said we won’t sell you the land. We’ll give it to you.”
“I have to commend Ron, there are lot of business people who don’t donate,” says Kepchar. “If you look at the list on our website of the charities that the McColly Foundation supports, it’s amazing. Just recently our founder Ron McColly donated $100,000 on behalf of the McColly Foundation for the construction of the Southlake YMCA expansion being built in Crown Point.”
The 80,000 square-foot addition will include a six-lane lap pool, a zero-entry warm water pool with a slide and other water features, an outdoor pool with a slide, two new gyms as well as walking/running track and six program studios for cheer, dance and group exercise.
Some of the many organizations supported by the McColly Foundation include the Crown Point Community Foundation, 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-America Medical Society, Forest Ridge Academy, Chesterton Little League, Opportunity Enterprises along with dozens of others.
Currently, McColly offices are participating in Toys for Tots during the holiday season.
"I was born and raised in Northwest Indiana,” says founder 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. Affordable recreational facilities in the region are important to the quality of life."