Mel Foster Co. logo with Buy Build Sell Insure tag line

Mel Foster Co. Celebrates 2022 Achievements

Mel Foster Co. celebrated 2022 at its annual awards event on January 26, 2023. Lynsey Engels, president of real estate brokerage, Marc Engels, president of Mel Foster Insurance, and Rob Fick, president and CEO, collectively honored 109 award winners for their 2022 achievements and released the company’s year-end results.

Mel Foster Insurance, a locally owned and operated independent insurance agency, had another successful year in a challenging insurance market. With insurance rates rising across the region, the agency was able to capitalize on their numerous financially stable insurance company partners to bring insurance solutions to clients. Agency President Marc Engels commented, “The insurance industry continues to see record catastrophic weather events, nuclear liability verdicts, and unprecedented social inflation, affecting premiums for all insurance consumers. Our people and our long-term relationships in the insurance marketplace make us uniquely positioned to find competitive rates while providing professional and local service.”

In an evolving insurance market, the commercial property and casualty department experienced year-over-year growth of 8.9%. Overall, the insurance division saw increased revenue of 6%, and direct written premium was up 5.9%. Mr. Engels said, “I am proud of our entire team for the outstanding service provided throughout the year, which allowed us to retain 98% of our clients in 2022! We appreciate the confidence clients have in us as we recognize we would not be here without their continued business.”  

“In 2023, we will continue to make financial investments in training and professional development for our employees. We will work diligently to be a trusted independent agency in the Quad Cities region that delivers a great insurance experience,” said Mr. Engels.  

As one of the largest land developers in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas, Mel Foster Co. sold 24 residential lots in six subdivisions in 2022. To keep up with the demand, the company has 103 developed residential lots available in inventory for home buyers wishing to build their dream home. In addition to the already developed residential lots, Mel Foster Co. has four additional subdivisions final platted and ready to be developed.  Mel Foster Co. residential agents sold 69 new construction homes or condos in 2022 and the average new construction sales price in 2022 was $455,994, up from $452,734 last year.

Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services, led by Thad DenHartog, had over $75 million in commercial real estate sales, down 8.7% from last year. Two of the company’s commercial brokers ranked in the top 10 of the Quad Cities Commercial MLS. Ms. Engels said, “Even with the changing marketplace, the Quad Cities commercial real estate industry saw an increase in interest from outside investors. Despite rising inflation, fears of a recession and supply chain disruptions, the demand for industrial space was still high.”

Nationally and locally, residential real estate continued to experience a lack of inventory and rising interest rates sidelined some buyers and sellers in the year’s second half. Mel Foster Co. had a 5% decline in volume from 2021. The average sales price for the company was up 9.57% from 2022 at $213,588, and the number of days on the market dropped to 27 compared to 37 in 2021.

Ms. Engels stated, “The first half of the year was similar to 2021. Buyers experienced strong home prices, limited inventory, and a relatively fast-moving environment. As interest rates increased, inflation skyrocketed, and inventory remained tight, the market changed in the last half of the year. Our agents still successfully closed deals with those challenges.” On average, Mel Foster Co.’s agents closed 13.5 transactions (buy or sell) in 2022, which is higher than the national average according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Across the eight residential office locations within Mel Foster Co., the company had a combined 11 agents in the top 10 of their respective residential MLS. Ten agents were named on RealTrends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list, which honors the finest real estate agents from across the country.

The website, MelFosterCo.com was named one of the leading real estate websites in the nation. The website was recognized for its community section by the real estate industry publication RealTrends Website Rankings, which highlights the top real estate websites across the country in six total categories in an annual brokerage website ranking. A team of technical experts specializing in website design, structure, and functionality analyzes the sites. Mel Foster Co. earned the 2022 Top Workplaces in the USA and Top Workplaces in Iowa, a partnership with The Des Moines Register and Energage.

Fick welcomed 17 new agents/staff and congratulated five other agents/staff on their retirements during the awards. Twenty-two agents were recognized for volunteering on real estate association committees or boards at the local, state, or national level. Forty-one agents and staff were thanked for their years of service with the company, totaling 660 years of combined service. Across all three company divisions, the median years of service among staff/agents is 13.5 years. This number is nearly double what other companies experience, according to NAR. Fick commented, “Our years of service marker indicates that our agents, producers, and staff have collectively created a culture that I am proud of.  We invest in new technology and new products to help our agents and producers find success at Mel Foster Co. We are always seeking talented professionals to join our team.”

Throughout its 100-year history, Mel Foster Co. has prioritized giving back to the communities it serves.

Mel Foster Co. continued its Think.Buy.Be.Local campaign in 2022. In support of this initiative, the company raised money to support local families by participating in the River Bend Foodbank Community Hunger Drive. Mel Foster Co. supported multiple families in need over the holidays, made and delivered baskets to seniors, partnered with WQAD for a school supply drive, held a blood drive with ImpactLIfe, donated to Quad City Animal Welfare Center through a partnership with WHBF, and collected toys and money for Toys for Tots. Mel Foster Co. agents and staff supported over 160 local businesses during Small Business Week, a 62% increase from last year. The company partnered with local breweries and coffee shops in its communities by providing its agents and staff with branded Mel Foster Co. growlers for a complimentary fill on the company at those establishments. The company is also the three-peat defending champion of the Quad-City Times Bix 7 Brady Street Corporate Sponsor Challenge. Ms. Engels stated, “It’s a privilege to work with our staff and agents with opportunities to give back and support local businesses.”

Engels closed the awards by thanking the agents and staff for their continued perseverance, loyalty, and commitment to clients. “We don’t know what challenges 2023 will bring, but our dedicated professionals will be ready to serve our communities.”

For a complete list of award winners, visit https://www.melfosterco.com/agent-achievements

Think Buy Be Local with Mel Foster Co.

Small Business Week Success

As a company with a long history of giving back to the communities they serve, Mel Foster Co. is proud to announce the results of its Think.Buy.Be.Local Small Business week challenge.  Each year, Mel Foster Co. agents and staff are encouraged to support local businesses in the neighborhoods where they live, work, and play during Small Business Saturday.  For 2022, Mel Foster Co. extended Small Business Saturday into a weeklong event to allow more visits to more local businesses.

To help promote the small businesses they love, the agents and staff snapped a photo of themselves shopping, posted to Facebook and tagged the local business and Mel Foster Co.  To encourage participation and further support local businesses, Mel Foster Co. purchased gift cards from local businesses and the agent/staff member shopping and taking photos was entered into a company drawing for each posted photo.

To further help small businesses and add some fun for the company’s agents and staff, Mel Foster Co. provided each person with a custom Mel Foster Co. growler to fill with their beverage of choice from participating businesses. Thirteen local businesses from the Quad Cities and surrounding area joined in by providing growler fills of beer, cider, cold brew coffee, kombucha or soda purchased by Mel Foster Co.

Mel Foster Co. agents and staff supported over 160 small businesses during Think.Buy.Be.Local week.  Lynsey Engels, president of Mel Foster Co. Real Estate Brokerage, stresses the importance of buying local. “We are a local, family-owned business, so we understand how important it is to shop local and use local service providers. When we all support each other with our business, we build a stronger community where more businesses and families can thrive. We understand the challenges many small business owners have faced in the last two years and know there are still challenges finding staff and sourcing supplies that have risen in cost. That’s why we dedicated a full week to supporting small businesses this year. It’s not something we just get on board with one day of the year or even one week each year. Supporting fellow small businesses is an important part of our culture, and we strive to Think.Buy.Be. Local throughout the year.”

Top Workplaces USA

Mel Foster Co. has announced it has earned the 2022 Top Workplaces in Iowa, partnership with The Des Moines Register and Energage, a purpose-driven organization that develops solutions to build and brand Top Workplaces.  The Top Workplaces program has a 15-year history of surveying more than 20 million employees and recognizing the top organizations across 60 markets for regional Top Workplaces awards.” The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through the third-party survey. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“During this very challenging time, Top Workplaces has proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time insights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business.”

Since its founding over 100 years ago, Mel Foster Co. has become a highly preferred real estate company by top-performing agents and staff dedicated to helping clients buy or sell a home.  The company utilizes a team approach that reinforces the family atmosphere at the offices.  A commitment to supporting fellow family-owned businesses that help build strong communities is one of the core values that agents and staff regularly state as a reason they continue working at Mel Foster Co.

Lynsey Engels, President Real Estate Brokerage commented on receiving this prestigious honor.  “Recognition as a Top Workplace in Iowa is a credit to our agents and staff who support and encourage each other.  The people of Mel Foster Co. make the company a great place to work.  It is an honor for the company to be recognized by our agents and staff.”

For more information about Mel Foster Co., please visit www.melfosterco.com.

Understanding The Cost Of Homewownership

Understanding The Cost Of Homeownership

You’re thinking about becoming a homeowner for the first time. What steps do you take in preparation, and what are some homeownership costs? 

Start With A Plan

Start by creating a realistic budget. Jot down your current expenses like car loans, monthly credit card payments and grocery expenses. But what new costs will you need to account for? 

  • Property taxes – Search local tax records on like properties to get an idea of the cost.
  • Homeowner’s insurance – A Mel Foster insurance agent can provide an estimate.
  • Utilities – Credit counseling agencies claim that owners spend 5-10% of their annual income on utilities, including electric, water, gas, garbage, cable and streaming.

Prepare So You’ll Be Ready

Take steps that will simplify the buying process when the time is right to begin your search.

  • Find a Mel Foster Co. agent and communicate what you’re looking for.
  • Continue to set money aside, so you have a down payment.
  • Check your credit score and work to improve it. 
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage so financing won’t hold up a sale down the road.

Financial Assistance Programs Are Available

First-time buyers often have access to state programs, tax breaks and federally backed loans that can be approved even if you don’t have the minimum down payment. For example, take time to search DPA (Down Payment Assistance) loan options that can help cover the upfront costs of a down payment. Government-sponsored and private programs can help you pay closing costs, which often represent 3-6% of the total loan amount.

Find more tips for homeowners.

2022 Fall Parade of Homes

Parade of Homes Fall 2022

See the latest trends in new home construction at the Fall 2022 Quad Cities Parade of Homes. Admission is free! Come and see the Parade of Homes:

Saturday, September 17 & Sunday, September 18 from 1pm-5pm
Wednesday, September 21 from 5pm-7pm
Saturday, September 24 & Sunday, September 25 from 1pm-5pm

5660 Red Fox Road, Bettendorf, IA
5660 Red Fox Road, Bettendorf, IA
  • Ranch Style Villa
  • Zero Entry, 4-Season Room or Covered Patio or Decks
  • 2-3 Bedrooms & 2-3 Bathrooms
  • 9′ Ceilings
4069 Orchard Drive, Bettendorf, IA
4069 Orchard Drive, Bettendorf, IA
  • Townhome
  • Quartz Countertops
  • 3-4 Bedrooms & 2.5-3.5 Bathrooms
  • Walk-Out Lots Available
4892 Lakeside Drive, Bettendorf, IA
4892 Lakeside Drive, Bettendorf, IA
  • Large Walk-In Pantry
  • Oversized Island With Upgraded Appliance Package
  • 4 Bedroooms & 3.5 Bathrooms
  • Stunning Floor Plan
4926 Willow Circle, Davenport, IA
4926 Willow Circle, Davenport, IA
  • Over 1,600 Square Feet Of Living Space
  • Open Concept Kitchen With Quartz Countertops
  • 3 Bedroooms & 2 Bathrooms
  • Full Basement With Bright Daylight Windows

To view all the homes in the Fall Parade or to see more homes for sale, visit Mel Foster Co.


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