Mel Foster Co. Website Recognized for Excellence

Mel Foster Co.  has been awarded the Website Quality Certification (WQC) from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a global community of more than 565 high quality independent real estate firms in 65 countries. The certification was presented in recognition of excellence in website design, content and functionality.

Mel Foster Co.’s’s website, www.melfosterco.com, received high marks in a variety of critical areas relating to website performance, including usability, design, content, interactivity, customer service and mobile responsiveness. The evaluation was conducted by Virtual Results, LLC, a real estate internet and social marketing firm selected by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® to review the websites of participating members.

The specific measurements for the WQC are updated each year to reflect the most current online marketing strategies, as well as evolving consumer preferences. Companies must be re-certified every two years to maintain the certification.

“The 135 companies that earned the WQC this year offer consumers engaging websites with effective design, deep local content and the most current information on homes, not only in their local markets, but also around the world. We are delighted to recognize them for offering a superior online experience for consumers and supporting them further with exceptional customer support,” said Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President/CEO Pam O’Connor.

“We know local consumers have a choice when searching for a buying or listing agent.  We want to continue to offer the best tools in the market to be the top resource for buyers and sellers and to help our agents stay competitive.  Mel Foster Co. feels it is essential to invest heavily in digital marketing platforms and we are pleased that our efforts have been recognized with this international award,” said Lynsey Engels, president real estate brokerage of Mel Foster Co.

Mel Foster Co. is the Quad Cities and surrounding area’s representative of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com). With a global membership that spans six continents, LeadingRE connects more than 565 firms and 130,000 sales associates who produce over 1.1 million real estate transactions each year. As a member of LeadingRE, Mel Foster Co. provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in virtually any market worldwide.

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

Mel Foster Co.’s Boland Speaks at Global Real Estate Event

Deb Boland, Director of Relocation with Mel Foster Co., was a speaker at the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Annual Conference, held January 31-February 2 at Wynn Las Vegas. The conference was part of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) Conference Week, a series of educational and networking events that attracted an elite audience of nearly 3,000 real estate professionals from 24 countries.

The conference was open only to brokers, managers and relocation professionals affiliated with LeadingRE, an invitation-only network of the highest quality independent real estate companies. Attendees explored how to leverage the trends driving the real estate market, including the economic landscape, home technology and design, and consumer preferences.

Boland presented information on Leading RE’s Military on the Move®, sharing insights on how active duty and retired military personnel, wounded warriors, or active career policy and firefighters can earn a rebate when buying or selling a home.  She also provided how Mel Foster Co. Relocation has implemented the program to provide the agents the information needed to be successful with the program.

“To be able to share thoughts and processes with our colleagues who have the same goals is important as it helps us grow and enhance our relocation systems for our clients,” said Boland.  Being with some of the best relocation leaders in the industry helps create an engaging atmosphere.”

Boland was among a notable line-up of speakers, which included keynote speakers such as two-time World Series Champion, former Chicago Cubs player and first runner-up on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars David Ross; award-winning journalist and noted host of On Second Thought for Georgia Public Broadcasting Celeste Headlee; renowned real estate speaker and author Darryl Davis and LeadingRE Chief Economist Dr. Marci Rossell. Additional thought leaders from across the industry were on hand to address a variety of timely topics, with a focus on ways to best meet the needs of today’s home buyers and sellers.

One of the things that sets our conference apart is the generous spirit of collaboration among our members,” said Pam O’Connor, president/CEO of LeadingRE. “The speakers who share their professional strategies and insights to support the success of fellow members help ensure our sessions are timely and impactful, as we respond to market trends and strive to offer the very best service to consumers around the world.”

Mel Foster Co. is a multi-generational, family owned business and specializes in residential and commercial real estate sales and offers a wide range of services including new construction, relocations, farm and land sales, land development, senior services, career development and insurance.

Mel Foster Co. is the Quad Cities and surrounding area representative of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com). With a global membership that spans six continents, LeadingRE connects more than 565 firms and 130,000 sales associates who produce over 1.1 million real estate transactions each year. As a member of LeadingRE, Mel Foster Co. provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in virtually any market worldwide.

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

The Davenport Police Department’s New “Lock It Up Initiative”

Protect from theft

The Quad Cities area is experiencing an increase in vehicular theft. Follow these tips from the Davenport Police Department to help reduce the chances of becoming a victim of car theft.

  1. Always lock your vehicle when left unattended. Even on your driveway or in the garage.
  2. Never leave keys in your vehicle or in the ignition. Do not hide the keys or fob in your vehicle.
  3. Do not leave any valuables inside your vehicle, especially in plain view. Electronic devices, cell phones, laptop computers, cameras, GPS devices and eyeglasses/sunglasses are small and easily concealable items that are often left inside vehicles and stolen.
  4. Never leave firearms inside your vehicle.
  5. Do not leave vehicle titles, identification items or financial documents such as your driver’s license, social security card, checkbook or credit cards inside your vehicle.
  6. Never leave your garage door opener in the vehicle when parked outside your residence without locking your car doors. A thief can easily open your garage door and gain entry right into your home through an attached and unlocked door.
  7. If you are going to warm or cool your vehicle before getting into it, consider investing in a remote starter.

Additional Information:

  1. Most stolen vehicles have been easy targets, such as a car running unattended or a car with unlocked doors with keys in it.
  2. Vehicle thefts are occurring throughout our communities in ALL neighborhoods from driveways, unlocked garages, open garage doors, convenience stores and gas stations.
  3. The most prevalent age group for the suspects of stolen vehicles is 12-18 years of age. The youngest was 11.
  4. Once having possession of a stolen vehicle, suspects are driving recklessly, endangering lives and committing thefts and burglaries. Some have been involved in shootings, committing hit and run crashes and fleeing from police.
  5. When recovered, many stolen vehicles are found to have significant damage from crashes.

February Events in the Quad City Area

Looking for something to do?

Appreciate the QCA in February as you experience new and old events.

Rock n Roll Bingo of the Quad Cities at the American Legion in Walcott

Friday, February 2

7pm – 10pm

 

Chocolate Experience at the Quad City Botanical Center in Rock Island

Saturday, February 3

10am – 3pm

Bowl-a-thon with Junior Achievement at Lee’s Lanes in Geneseo

Saturday, February 3

2pm – 5pm

Bacon and Beer Festival at River Center

Saturday, February 3

6pm-Midnight

2018 Young Artists at the Figge in Davenport

Pleasant Valley Schools February 3-11

Geneseo Schools February 17-25

Family Valentine Party at Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center, Clinton

February 10

2pm-4pm

Martini Shake Off for HAVlife at River Center

February 15

5:30pm-9pm

Trivia Night for the Rock Island Music Association at Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 25 in Rock Island

Saturday, February 17

6:30pm – 10:30pm

17th annual Great River Show Choir Invitational at the Adler in Davenport

Saturday, February 17

8:30am – 11:30pm

Wheel n Steppers Square Dance at Square and Round Dance Hall in Bettendorf

Friday, February 16 and every third Friday until December 22

7pm – 9:30pm

Dance Me a Story: Alice in Wonderland at Davenport Public Library

Saturday, February 24

2pm – 3pm

Tips for Being in a Home Owners Association

Home Owners Association Tips
Home Owners Association Tips

Home Owners Associations or HOAs can have a powerful impact on your rights as a home owner. Before moving into an HOA neighborhood, be sure to consider these factors.

  1. Learn Your HOA’s Rules

Every HOA is different. It’s important to take the time and familiarize yourself with your association’s rules. What happens if you break a rule? Is my home currently meeting all HOA rules before I buy it? Pay particular attention to any rules resulting in a fine.

  1. Consider Your Temperament

If you’re not a fan of being told what you can and can’t do, an HOA might not be for you. One of the largest benefits of being a home owner is changing your home as you see fit, so be sure your goals and your HOA’s goals aren’t at odds with each other.

  1. Be Careful of Under-management

Often people are worried their HOA will be overbearing and watching their every move. This is just as troublesome as when an HOA isn’t fulfilling its duties. If the HOA board isn’t making repairs, attending meetings or resolving their residents’ problems, it may be cause for concern. Make sure your needs are going to be met when you join an HOA.

  1. Consider the Fees

In addition to your mortgage, you will also have HOA fees and dues. Be sure to understand these charges, as you don’t want to be caught off guard. You need to determine whether or not the services the HOA provides are worth the annual cost.

  1. Always Stay Up to Date

If you decide to join an HOA, do everything you can to ensure you’re informed of any changes. Attending meetings, or requesting minutes from the most recent meeting, is a great way to be notified of any changes the HOA makes.

Mel Foster Co. Celebrates 2017 Achievements

Mel Foster Co. held its annual awards reception last night at the Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport, Iowa. Rob Fick, president and CEO, Lynsey Engels, president real estate brokerage and Marc Engels, president of Mel Foster Insurance, honored and recognized 130 award winners within the organization for their 2017 achievements.

Fick congratulated sales associates and staff on a strong year and shared with them, “Our agents and staff are some of the best in the industry and the reason for our success. We’ve just finished a very successful year and indications show 2018 will follow many of the same market trends. The economy is still robust, low interest rates continue to make home buying very affordable by historical standards, and more people are employed and in a financial position to buy a home or business.”

The commercial division, led by Thad DenHartog, continued to dominate the market. Their sales volume continued to reach record-breaking levels with a five percent increase in 2017. Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services was ranked number one in the Quad Cities Commercial MLS with over 42 percent of the market share volume in 2017, up 16 percent from 2016.  The next competitor had 28 percent of the commercial sales volume. Three of the company’s commercial brokers ranked in the top 5 in the Quad Cities Commercial MLS.  “We are thrilled to see our commercial division continue to hold such a strong position in the Quad City market,” said Engels.

Mel Foster Insurance continued to grow its footprint in the region and acquired Frazier & Associates of LeClaire, Iowa in 2017. The insurance division increased both total premiums written and policy count over five percent from 2016 and client base increased by 14%.  Marc Engels, president of Mel Foster Insurance, said, “We are uniquely positioned in the market as a local full-service, independent agency with specialized professionals focused on serving our clients with business risk management, employee benefits, individual/group retirement planning, and personal insurance solutions. We are proud that we added 1,283 policies in 2017 exclusive of our acquisition of Frazier & Associates. We have a 95.4% client retention rate agency-wide, which is a testament to the exceptional service we provide to our personal and business clients. We expect our growth and retention to reach new heights in 2018 in part due to the strengthening economy.”

The residential real estate sales team gave another remarkable performance in 2017 with a nine percent increase company-wide in sales volume and number of transaction sides (either listings or selling) over the previous year. All nine office locations reported an increase in sales volume with the Galesburg office leading the way with a 34 percent increase from last year. Company-wide, residential agents averaged 17 transactions in 2017, an increase of at least one per agent. The average time to get homes sold was successfully lowered from 61 days to 55 days in 2017.  In the metro Quad Cities, sale prices rose five percent in 2017 for an average sales price of $191,349 per the Quad Cities Area Realtor Association.  Eleven residential agents were in the top 10 of their respective MLS compared to nine last year.

Construction of new homes surged in 2017 as Mel Foster Co., who is the largest land developer in the Quad Cities continued to develop neighborhoods on both sides of the river. The company developed more than 165 residential lots in six different subdivisions in both Iowa and Illinois in 2017 with plans to develop over 500 lots in future additions.  Lynsey Engels, president, real estate brokerage said, “The increased demand for new construction lots is a great indicator for a strong market in 2018.  We are pleased to be positioned to meet this higher demand with a wide range of neighborhoods offering lots in multiple price ranges.”

The high numbers across all the division are the result of the tireless efforts of a dedicated team of professionals and a focused strategy to provide the best real estate and insurance experience. “This is an exciting time for everybody within Mel Foster Co. We posted the best year since the housing bubble peaked in 2008. Our success would not be possible without the hard work of every single person within each of our divisions,” Fick concluded.

In addition to another impressive year of sales growth, Mel Foster Co. welcomed 26 new agents and staff into the company in 2017. Mel Foster Co. has residential offices in Bettendorf, Clinton and Davenport, Iowa and Galesburg, Geneseo, Kewanee, Moline and Savanna, Illinois.

Ice is Nice!

Enjoy some ice time

Make the most of our winter climate while enjoying family time on the rink.

Davenport

River’s Edge

Bettendorf

Frozen Landing

Moline

Center Ice at Bass St. Landing, Riverside Park Lagoon

Rock Island

Sunset Park, Longview Park

Galesburg

Rotary Park

Rather ski or snowboard? Head to Snowstar in Andalusia where you can also go tubing.

 

Looking For a Seasonal Home or Relocating? Relocation Specialists are Here to Help!

Thinking of a second home?

If you’re considering finding a winter home or moving permanently, start your search with a Mel Foster Co. relocation specialist. Find a property in the U.S. or take your search worldwide with our global connections.

Mel Foster Co. has experience helping families relocate outside of the Quad Cities to anywhere in the world. Our relocation specialists provide multiple services at no additional cost to you. Mel Foster Co. is a proud member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the premier national relocation network. They’ll also be able to connect you with another agent in your desired location to help with your home search.

A relocation specialist can provide cost of living comparisons, including state withholding tax rates. If you’re moving with family, they’ll also be able to provide a list of schools in the area and schedule a school visit. During your home search, a relocation specialist will also assist with finding temporary housing until you find your new home.

Whether you’re looking for a snowbird lifestyle or a permanent relocation, Mel Foster Co. will be able to help you find a home to meet your needs. Get started with relo today.

January Events in the Quad City Area

Enjoy some tea.

Enjoy some of these special events to keep your calendar filled up in January.

Icestravaganza at Freight House Farmers’ Market in Davenport

Saturday, January 13

11am – 4pm

Slay Bells Ring Murder Mystery Dinner at Skellington Manor in Rock Island

Saturday, January 13

6:30pm – 9:30pm

MLK Jr. Celebration: The Time is Now at Augustana College in Rock Island

Saturday, Jan 13

6pm

The Little Mermaid Musical at Kewanee High School

Saturday, January 13 at 7pm

Sunday, January 14 at 2pm

Community MLK Celebration at Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce

Sunday, January 14

2pm – 4pm

Free Swimming at Indoor Pool at the Center in Geneseo

Monday, January 15

1pm – 3pm

Discovery Depot Children’s Museum Pajama Party in Geneseo

Friday, January 19

6pm – 8pm

Mother Daughter Tea at the Butterworth Center in Moline

Saturday, January 27

11am -12:30pm

Chili Cook Off with Hand-in-Hand at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport

Saturday, January 27

2:30pm – 7pm

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Avoid having to do this.

Increase precautions when the temperature drops

Temporary measures:

  1. During extended periods of sub-freezing temperatures, increase thermostat settings to at least 60 degrees F throughout the home to help ensure adequate temperatures are maintained in colder spots.
  2. Open bathroom or kitchen cabinet doors that run along outside walls so that warmer room air can circulate through them. If you have pets or children, be mindful of chemicals stored in the cabinets.
  3. To prevent exterior faucets from freezing, shut them off from inside the home and drain remaining water from pipes. Exterior irrigation systems should be winterized.
  4. Still water freezes faster than running water. During periods of low usage and on frigid nights, turn on a faucet at the highest point in the home.  Keep the water stream low, so that only a small amount can trickle through pipes running through cold spaces.
  5. If the water meter is operating but your water in not running, you may have a frozen pipe. Once the pipe thaws, it could burst.  If you discover a frozen pipe, close the main water shut-off valve and call a plumber immediately.
  6. If you’re away from home for extended periods of time, turn off the water. This may not prevent frozen pipes, but it can significantly reduce the damage.

Permanent measures:

  1. Install an automatic shut-off system designed to stop water flow when a leak occurs. Contact your independent insurance advisor for additional information and a list of approved devices.
  2. Add several low temperature sensors to your central station alarm system. Place them in remote areas of your home.

If damage occurs:

In the event of water damage, take the following steps immediately to minimize the impact:

  1. Locate the main water shut-off valve and close it.
  2. Call an emergency service restoration company to facilitate repairs and stare the dry-out process.
  3. Move undamaged items away from affected area.
  4. Contact your insurance agent, or the emergency contact number.

Source:  AIG Private Client Group

 

 


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