As we anxiously await for spring to decide to make her appearance, many are looking forward to new beginnings. Whether it’s to spot buds on the trees, drive with the windows down, or to purchase a new home, spring brings a feeling of renewal to the Region.
Located in Valparaiso, the warm and friendly women of Century 21 Alliance Group are gearing up to help those who are getting ready to buy or sell their home.
“We are currently busy as we head in to the spring and summer peak seasons,” said Kathy Bowgren, the company's manager. “I do advise that the best time is to sell is in between January and February – at that time, there are less houses on the market which then makes it easier to sell.”
Century 21 Alliance Group is just that – an alliance, which is what sets them apart from everyone else. The group also happens to be one of the top three real-estate companies in Porter county, a feat which is only possible due to their all-star team. The company consists of 35 real estate agents who specialize in commercial, residential and land, a company manager with 30 years of experience under her belt, an in-house staff who takes care of all the hard work, and an owner - Jeane Sommer - who pretty much puts Wonder Woman to shame.
The Jeanne Sommer claims to fame: she is ranked in the top 1 percent of all Century 21 agents worldwide, has made more than $370 million in real estate sales to date throughout Northwest Indiana, is a 16-time Century 21 Quality Service Award winner and is ranked in the top five in sales volume, out more than 2,200 real estate agents, in both Lake and Porter counties.
Sommer’s team members have one thing in common – they are Jills of all trades.
“I previously worked in a bank and did a lot of processing loans, closing loans, underwriting and when the market took a fall in 2007, I was referred to work for Jeanne,” said team manager Pam Kandalec. “I came in 11 years ago with the opportunity of knowing first-hand the financial side of the real-estate industry. Currently, I negotiate offers, oversee inspection responses and communicate with sellers on the listing side. It’s a lot of behind the scene paperwork but I do it to ensure that things run smoothly.”
Jennifer Jern-Freitas has been with the company for a little more than three years as a transaction coordinator.
“My mom was loan officer, that’s where my love for the real estate industry came from,” Freitas said. “I handle all of the filing of the paperwork, make sure your inspection and appraisal are all completed, and I make sure everything is on track for closing. If you aren’t stressed, then I know my job has been complete.”
According to Freitas, the company also provides comprehensive packages for those looking to sell.
“Our packages have detailed information tailored to your neighborhood, its price range and much more. That way you have an idea of what your home may potentially be worth. The first step is contacting one of the agents to guide and help you through your journey.”
Jodie Peller handles all of the marketing and customer service initiatives for Sommer’s team.
“I went to school for engineering but I fell in love with the real estate industry, so I made it my second career - I also obtained my real estate license,” Peller said. “My day-to-day duties vary, but I mainly work alongside the agents to make sure the listings are up to par so that everything runs smoothly leading up to and during showings.”
Susan Bushbaum makes sure all of the company’s finances are in tip top order but also lends a hand around the office when things get hectic.
“I came out of retirement four years ago to join this big family; I’m truly happy to be a part of the alliance,” Bushbaum said.
New to the family is Amanda Genovese who recently came from the corporate side of travel planning.
“This is all new to me but the fact that everything is fast-paced and I work among people that have infectious personalities, makes the transition a whole lot easier,” Genovese said. “I’ve been here for a month but I’ve already mastered juggling appointments, uploading listings and maintaining the accuracy of price changes all while making sure everything runs smoothly.”
Cassidy Stewart, the newly promoted processor with a bubbly personality, rounds out the team.
“I originally started off in the Illinois real estate market and primarily handled foreclosures. The economy wasn’t doing so well at the time, so unfortunately it was a recurring thing,” shared Stewart. “My time here at the alliance has been a complete 180. My role allows me to be a part of the positive side of real estate. I handle all incoming earnest money for closing right before it gets sent off for title work. Just knowing that I am helping someone get closer to closing on their dream home makes me truly happy.”
Although many only see the face of a real-estate agent throughout the home buying or selling experience, it’s important to thank and appreciate all of the behind the scenes work that goes into making a dream home, a reality.
For all of your real-estate brokerage firm needs, you can contact the Century 21 Alliance Group at (219) 405-8464.
450 W. Lincolnway Suite 200
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