Mel Foster Co. held its annual awards reception last night at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa. Rob Fick, President & CEO, Lynsey Engels, President Real Estate Brokerage and Marc Engels, President of Mel Foster Insurance, presented awards to 114 agents who were recognized for achieving membership in the company’s different sales club levels including Chairman, Executive, President and Honor. Top honors were awarded to:
Thad DenHartog – Commercial Top Sales
Diana Franks – Residential Illinois Top Sales
Brad Boeye – Residential Iowa Top Sales
Mike Smith – Insurance Top Producer
The year 2015 in residential real estate was marked by steady growth with increases in both existing home sales and prices. The average 2015 sales price for Mel Foster Co. residential real estate was $161,303, an increase of 5.5 percent from last year. Mel Foster Co. closed transactions per agent was up 6.6 percent from 2014 and overall volume increased by 5.9 percent from 2014. New construction continued to be solid in the Quad Cities market in 2015. Mel Foster Co. residential real estate has a strong presence in the new construction market, offering multiple subdivisions to meet the demands of new construction buyers. Lynsey Engels said, “The local new construction market will continue to see significant gains in 2016, based on the level of new construction starts in 2015 and expected availability of new lots this year. We will open 50-100 lots in Bettendorf and Eldridge in 2016.” Mel Foster Co.’s average new construction sale price remained about the same in 2015 at $387,077.
Several noteworthy achievements were celebrated by the residential division in 2015. Mel Foster Co.’s Geneseo office became the second location to receive a boutique style remodel. The renovated space embraces technology and is configured to meet the changing needs of agents and the clients they serve. The Galesburg office was remodeled in 2014 and was featured as the office of the week in Real Trends, a national real estate publication, in November 2015. The office will undergo an expansion this year to accommodate its recent growth. To the north, Mel Foster Co. welcomed former Mills Realty as they added a new location in Savanna, Illinois.
The brokers for Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services closed 267 transaction sides, averaging $313,192 in sales volume per transaction. Totaling $97 million in commercial sales volume in 2015, four of the brokers finished in the top 15 of the CMLS. Lynsey Engels praised the commercial division saying, “We are thrilled with our continued growth in the commercial market. 2014 and 2015 have been our largest years since 2005.”
Mel Foster Insurance continued to grow it’s footprint in the Quad Cities as a trusted Independent Insurance Agency. Marc Engels commented, “Our value proposition to the region continues to be a hands on customized insurance experience based on each client’s unique needs. Our employees work hard each day to deliver on that promise and our clients reward us with over 95% retention.” In 2015, results remained strong as direct written premium grew 5.1 percent, policy count was up 4.3 percent, and the division added 713 new clients. With a range of product offerings from Personal and Commercial Property/Casualty to Employee benefits, Mel Foster Insurance saw positive contributions from all departments this past year. Marc Engels stated, “Guided by the industry’s Best Practices we will continue to invest in innovative technology to improve the client experience. We realize we still have a lot of opportunity in the Quad Cities and that is exciting.”
As a whole, in 2015, Mel Foster Co. welcomed 29 new agents and staff. Eager to see what success lies ahead for Mel Foster Co., Rob Fick said, “We will continue investing resources into technology, placing emphasis on recruiting and training of new and existing agents, and offering exceptional education programs and tools. Sales of new and existing homes are expected to accelerate in 2016 and our agents are off to a productive start already in the new year.”