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 550 high quality independent real estate firms in over 70 countries. The certification was presented in recognition of excellence in website design, content, and functionality.

Mel Foster Co.’s website, 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.

“We are pleased to recognize the 107 companies that earned the WQC this year. The restrictions of this past year have heightened the importance of having a strong web presence and giving home buyers and sellers easy ways to explore homes and communities online. Our WQC companies provide consumers with valuable resources through well-designed websites that offer relevant local content and up-to-the-minute housing information,” said Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President/CEO Paul Boomsma.

“We are excited to be recognized again for delivering a superior online experience to our consumers, who have  choices when searching for real estate.  We want to continue to offer the best online tools in the market to be the top resource for buyers and sellers and to help our agents stay competitive,” said Lynsey Engels, President Real Estate Brokerage of Mel Foster Co.

Mel Foster Co. is the Quad Cities and surrounding areas representative of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com). With a global membership that spans six continents, LeadingRE connects more than 550 firms and 135,000 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. and MooveGuru Deliver Services Tailored to Moving Families

Mel Foster Co. has partnered with MooveGuru, an automated moving concierge platform that sends perfectly-timed, move-related, money saving offers, via email and connects utilities and home services to buyers and sellers.

Your Mel Foster Co. REALTOR® will be supplying exclusive email offers and utility connections to home buyers and sellers.  The average mover spends 5 hours connecting utilities, the Mel Foster Co. connections service simplifies this process.  Emails are also delivered to the consumer with discounts on items relevant to a home purchase or selling experience.  The mover program includes money-saving offers from companies like the Home Depot, PODS, Budget Truck Rental, and more. 

“We are thrilled to partner with MooveGuru in a marketing benefit to offer our clients money saving opportunities with some local and national brands and assist them in organizing their move,” mentions Lynsey Engels, President Real Estate Brokerage of Mel Foster Co.  Engels continued, “because it’s so important to support our local businesses when possible, this is another way to do that.”  If businesses are interested in participating in the MooveGuru initiative, contact Mel Foster Co. at marketing@melfosterco.com.

A study by the University of Colorado found that movers spend, on average $10,000 on goods and services during their move.  To help clients transition into their new home, Mel Foster Co. has partnered with MooveGuru to provide savings along the way.

“Consumers spend more money in a 180-day window during their move than they will in any other time in their lives,” says Scott Oakley, CEO of MooveGuru.

MEL FOSTER CO. CELEBRATES 2020 ACHIEVEMENTS

The challenges the pandemic created in 2020 led Mel Foster Co. to develop new ways to advance the use of technology for open houses, marketing and closings. The new technology was well received by buyers and sellers and will likely remain as a standard practice long after the immediate threat from COVID-19 has passed.

Mel Foster Co. President Lynsey Engels said, “The year 2020 made our agents pivot and try new ways to communicate with buyers and sellers, market listings differently and complete closing paperwork virtually. Many of our agents were already using our virtual tools, and COVID-19 made it essential for conducting business. We are so fortunate that we had these tools in place and were ready to modify the way we do business so we could continue serving buyers and sellers.”

Mel Foster Co. typically hosts an event each January to recognize agents and staff and celebrate achievements. This year, the awards were held as a virtual toasting to the year 2020. “While the pandemic prevented the agents, staff and management from getting together in person, the company felt it was important to toast our 2020 successes and kick off our 100-year celebration,” Ms. Engels commented. Each agent and staff member received a customized box with items from local businesses that allowed Mel Foster Co. to support its fellow local businesses.

Lynsey Engels, president of real estate brokerage, Marc Engels, president of Mel Foster Insurance, and Rob Fick, president and CEO, released the company’s year-end results collectively via video presentation. The video also recognized the achievements of 109 agents who received awards for their performance in 2020.

Mel Foster Insurance continues to be a trusted independent insurance agency in the Quad Cities region with exceptional client retention rates and the continued growth of new personal/business client relationships. In 2020, Mel Foster Insurance associates added 725 new clients along with writing 1,600 new lines of coverage.

The insurance division increased both total premiums written, up 2.9 percent, and policy count, up 3.1 percent from 2020.  Mr. Engels said, “We are pleased to have a 97.4% client retention rate agency-wide. We strive to provide a personalized insurance experience and we can’t thank our clients enough for their continued business.”

“Our entire team came together and delivered on our commitment to providing first class service to our personal and business insurance clients. That couldn’t have been more critical than in a year where we were handed a pandemic, major March hailstorm, and the August derecho,” Engels stated. “Our insurance partners and agency personnel all stepped up in a positive way to assist our clients in a year that saw unprecedented claim counts. I am so grateful to our team and the way we handled the challenges of 2020,” continued Mr. Engels.

Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services, led by Thad DenHartog, sold nearly $71 million in commercial real estate properties earning 33% of the market share in 2020. The division employs eight commercial brokers and two staff members. Three of the company’s commercial brokers ranked in the top 10 of the Quad Cities Commercial MLS.  “We saw positive commercial real estate market activity this year,” commented Ms. Engels. “In a year when our clients faced many challenges, our commercial brokers helped them navigate their unique short-term and long-term needs so they could continue to be successful.”

Across the eight residential locations within Mel Foster Co. that serve Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, the company had a combined 13 agents in the top 10 of their respective MLS. The average sales price for the company was $176,429 and the number of days on the market for 2020 was 58.  Like many markets across the country, our region saw record-low inventories as sellers waited longer to list their homes. On average, Mel Foster Co.’s agents closed 15 transactions in 2020, higher than the national median of 12, according to statistics from the National Association of REALTORS®

In 2020, Mel Foster Co. sold 47 lots in five subdivisions. Mel Foster Co. is the largest land developer in the region and continues to expand its existing subdivisions. The company plans to release 65 new residential lots in 2021. Mel Foster Co. residential agents sold 101 new construction homes or condos in 2020. The average Mel Foster Co. new construction sales price was $401,649, up from $377,731 last year.

During the virtual awards toast, Fick welcomed 11 new agents/staff and congratulated 13 on their retirements. Twenty-six agents were recognized for volunteering on real estate association committees or boards at the local, state, or national level. Forty-nine agents and staff were thanked for their years of service with the company. Across all three divisions, the median number of years of service among staff/agents is 15.5 years. This number is three times the national average as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in September 2020.

Mel Foster Co. trademarked their think.buy.be.local logo and slogan in 2020.  Even in a year with a pandemic, agents and staff participated in many projects to give back to the community.  They kicked off 2020 with the River Bend Foodbank – Community Hunger Drive, provided over 300 coats to various non-profit organizations, adopted multiple families over the holidays, made and delivered baskets to seniors, created Valentine’s Day cards for seniors, partnered with WQAD for a school supply drive, held a blood drive with the Mississippi Valley Blood Center, and collected toys and money for Toys for Tots drive. They also supported local businesses by purchasing over 150 gift cards for client appreciation events. During Small Business week, gift cards were purchased for agent and staff raffles to encourage supporting local businesses and encouraging the community to do the same.  All posts were shared and tagged on their Facebook page to raise awareness for supporting local businesses.  

Fick closed the awards virtual toast by offering a hopeful look ahead at the year 2021. “This is our 100th year, and we want to thank the community for its support all of these years.  We look forward to many exciting events and initiatives that we will be rolling out in the coming months.”   

Named America’s Best Real Estate Professionals 2020

Thirteen agents with Mel Foster Co. were recently named one of America’s Best Real Estate Agents in Iowa or Illinois by REAL Trends and Tom Ferry International. Congratulations to the following agents on their well-deserved recognition.

To qualify, an individual must have closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in sales volume in 2019.  All production numbers are independently verified by a third-party to ensure accuracy and report integrity.

Individuals by Volume in Iowa Top 5

Individuals by Sides in Iowa Top 75

Individuals by Sides in Illinois Top 200

Global Network Tops Industry with $257 Billion in Home Sales Among Top 500 U.S. Firms

Lynsey Engels, President, Real Estate Brokerage at Mel Foster Co. Inc. announced today that its global real estate network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, continues to lead the industry in sales volume among the top 500 U.S. firms, with $257 billion in U.S. home sales in 2019, $38 billion ahead of its closest competitor, according to the REAL Trends 500. LeadingRE represents 24% of transaction sides among these firms and 20% of total sales volume. Overall, the global real estate network of 550 firms participated in 1.1 million transactions worldwide.

“We are pleased that our network continues to achieve such impressive sales results year after year, but, more importantly, we take pride in the other ways our members lead. Our true leadership can be seen in the countless ways our members give back to their communities, as well as in their efforts to serve home buyers and sellers safely and responsibly during these challenging times,” said LeadingRE President/CEO Paul Boomsma.

With members in 70 countries, LeadingRE is the largest network of market-leading independent real estate firms. As a member, Mel Foster Co. has access to innovative, performance-driven programs, including award-winning learning resources and events, innovative technology and marketing, an industry-leading referral network, and connections to people and opportunities worldwide.

“The by-invitation-only Leading RE network provided us unparalleled performance and trusted relationships that result in exceptional client experiences, and it gives us one more way to bring together buyers and sellers,” said Engels.

For more information on Mel Foster Co., visit melfosterco.com . To learn more about Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, visit LeadingRE.com.

Mel Foster Co. Challenges Community to #RISEUP

Mel Foster Co. launched a Rise Up challenge today across its company’s divisions and is inviting the community to join the effort through social media to share positive messages of hope, courage and kindness. The goal is to highlight all of the good things that are happening in our community as we navigate this uncertain time together.

To kick-start the challenge, Mel Foster Co. is picking two winners daily through April 10 who will receive gift cards from local businesses. Entering is easy:

Use #riseup and tag Mel Foster Co. (@melfostercoinc) when you post a positive message on social media.

You can #riseup in many ways to inspire hope and bring joy to others:

  • Post any kind of positive message, video, act of kindness, etc. with #riseup
  • Order carry out/delivery from a local restaurant and post a picture
  • Work with your kids/grandkids to write notes to healthcare workers
  • Make a donation to a disaster relief fund
  • Give blood if you are able
  • Post ideas of positive things people can do while they are at home
  • Send a surprise to someone who may be lonely
  • Check in with a family member/friend who may be feeling anxious during this time
  • Get outside with your kids/grandkids to write positive messages in chalk on your driveway
  • Anything you are doing to send positive thoughts and messages to help our community qualifies (of course while following the CDC guidelines for safe interactions and social distancing)

Mel Foster Co. Response to COVID-19

The health and safety of our clients, customers, associates, employees, and surrounding community members remains the highest priority to Mel Foster Co.  In keeping with the recommendations by the CDC to limit in-person contact because of the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning March 20, 2020 our lobbies will be closed in an effort to reduce the person to person contact.

Mel Foster Co. will continue to provide service to its clients by appointment only.  Please contact us by phone or through our website www.melfosterco.com.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work together to safeguard the health of our communities.

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 565 high quality independent real estate firms in over 70 countries. The certification was presented in recognition of excellence in website design, content and functionality.

Mel Foster Co.’s website, 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 120 companies that earned the WQC this year provide consumers with valuable resources through websites that are well-designed and offer relevant local content, as well as the most current information on homes in their local markets and around the world. We are pleased to recognize these firms for delivering a superior online experience,” said Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President/CEO Paul Boomsma.

“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 areas 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. Announces 2019 Achievements

Despite low inventory across the country and locally, Mel Foster Co. President Lynsey Engels said Thursday that 2019 was a very productive year for the company. Engels joins other real estate experts in forecasting home sales across the region will hold steady in 2020.

The company’s year-end results were released collectively by Lynsey Engels, company president of real estate brokerage, Marc Engels, president of Mel Foster Insurance, and Rob Fick, president and CEO. The annual release of performance stats also recognized the achievements of 115 agents who received awards for 2019.

Mel Foster Insurance continues to be a trusted insurance agency in the Quad Cities region with exceptional client retention rates and the continued growth of new personal/business client relationships.  In 2019, Mel Foster Insurance associates added 775 new clients along with tallying 1939 new lines of coverage. The insurance division increased both total premiums written, up 8 percent, and policy count, up 3.8 percent from 2019.  Mr. Engels said, “We are pleased to have a 96.3% client retention rate agency-wide, which is a confirmation that we continue to provide a personalized insurance experience that our clients value. Our entire team collaborates and focuses on providing first class service to our personal and business insurance clients.”   Mel Foster Insurance made a large investment and converted to a 100 percent digital agency in 2nd quarter of 2019.  Engels stated, “This technological advancement is a game changer in the market and will allow us to work even more efficiently, improve customer service, and build even stronger relationships with our clients.”

Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate, led by Thad DenHartog, sold over $62 million in commercial real estate properties earning over 35% of the market share in 2019. The division employs eight commercial brokers and two staff members. Two of the company’s commercial brokers ranked in the top 10 in the Quad Cities Commercial MLS. “Our commercial division continues to be a leader in the Quad City market, and we are quite proud of their ongoing accomplishments,” commented Ms. Engels.

Across their nine residential locations within Mel Foster Co. serving Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, the average sales price across the entire company was $178,238 compared to $170,676 in 2018, representing a 6.5% increase in value while the number of closed transactions stayed flat in 2019.  On average, Mel Foster Co.’s agents closed 14 transactions in 2019 as compared to the national average of 11 according to statistics from the National Association of Realtors.  Average days on the market for their Quad Cities market remained steady at 49 days. Their Galesburg location closed over 45 percent of the transactions in their area and their Kewanee office remained dominate handling over 50 percent of the business in their MLS.  The company had a combined 13 agents who were in the top 10 of their respective MLS.

In 2019, Mel Foster Co. sold 61 lots in six subdivisions. Mel Foster Co. is the largest land developer in the Quad Cities and continues to expand its existing subdivisions. In 2020, tentative plans include opening up to 83 new residential lots. Mel Foster Co. residential agents sold 130 new construction homes or condos in 2019. The average Mel Foster Co. new construction sales price was $377,731, down from $417,200 last year.

The company added 16 new or transferring agents and two new staff and now employs 39 brokerage staff, 42 people in the insurance division and has 204 residential agents and eight commercial agents. At the annual awards event, Mel Foster Co. recognized five retirements and honored 43 agents and staff for their service years with the company. Across all Mel Foster Co. divisions, the average number of years of service among staff is 12.5 years. This average is three times the national average as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in January of 2018.

Looking ahead, Ms. Engels said several economic indicators are continuing to point in a positive direction again in 2020. “Our economy is experiencing low unemployment rates and there is the potential of higher wages to be set in 2020. Experts predict today’s low interest rates are expected to continue into 2020, which will fuel price gains and increase buyer confidence in 2020.”

In closing, Fick commented about some of the company’s greatest achievements in 2019. “While we celebrate our sales success, it’s important to celebrate the work we do in giving back to the communities we serve. Mel Foster Co. has a long tradition of supporting causes and we are so proud of the staff and agents for volunteering and donating to the causes they are passionate about. A few examples of our agents and staff making a difference include: participating in local food, book and blood drives, donating and collecting school supplies, toys and shoes for area children, and purchasing Christmas gifts for families and seniors in need. Agents and staff stepped up during the floods, made Valentine cards and blankets for local nursing home residents, and donated financially to over 25 local organizations and charities. We promoted a successful social media campaign ‘Think. Buy. Be. Local.’ to encourage people to visit local businesses. This is our community and we are proud of the role we play.”

10 Mel Foster Co. Agents Named 2017 REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents

Ten agents with Mel Foster Co. were recently named one of America’s Best Real Estate Agents (Iowa) or America’s Best Real Estate Agents (Illinois), the newly issued ranking report produced by REAL Trends. The following agents are now members of the “America’s Best Real Estate Agents,” in Iowa or Illinois.

To qualify, an individual must have closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in sales volume in 2017.  All production numbers are independently verified by a third-party to ensure accuracy and report integrity.

Individual Iowa Agents by Transaction


Real Trends America's Best
Lucky Lang II, I-74, #6

Real Trends America's Best
Brad Boeye, Bettendorf, #12

Real Trends America's Best
Geri Doyle, I-74, #39

Real Trends America's Best
Sara Smith-DeWulf, I-74, #49



Real Trends America's Best
Candy Reaves, I-74, #85



Individual Illinois Agents Per Transaction


Diana Franks, Geneseo, #80

Real Trends America's Best
Sara Varner, Galesburg, #116

Real Trends America's Best
Paula Nabb, Moline, #204


Real Trends America's Best
Peggy Ramos, Kewanee, #104

Real Trends America's Best
Ty Johnson, Galesburg, #182

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Individual Iowa Agents By Volume


Real Trends America's Best
Geri Doyle, I-74, #2


Real Trends America's Best
Brad Boeye, Bettendorf, #3

 

 



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