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.

DenHartog Selected for Hall of Fame

Thad DenHartogLynsey Engels, President Real Estate Brokerage of Mel Foster Co. is pleased to announce that Thad DenHartog, SIOR®, mangaging director of Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services L.L.C. has been selected as a member of the Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame 2015.  He joins a select group of real estate professionals who have made a true difference in their industry and communities.

The award honors the Midwest’s most prestigious real estate professionals – those who have the vision and leadership to attain significant achievements in the industry and reshape their respective communities.  “We are thrilled to congratulate Thad for this outstanding achievement,” said Lynsey Engels, President of Mel Foster Co. Real Estate Brokerage. “He is passionate about what he does and we are fortunate to have such a dedicated leader on our team. Thad truly exemplifies how hard work can lead to success and a fulfilling career in commercial real estate.”

DenHartog has been in the industry and with Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services for 17 years and is a licensed managing broker in Iowa and Illinois.  He has been recognized as the company’s Top Commercial Producer for the last 14 years, and brought in $71 million in completed real estate transactions last year.  For 16 consecutive years, DenHartog has achieved the Chairman’s Club level.

As one of the most prominent commercial Brokers in the Quad Cities, DenHartog holds an extensive knowledge of a vast number of properties, their history and values. Combined with his knowledge of market and economic trends, environmental needs and community expectations, he provides clients with confident trustworthy assessments, evaluations, and negotiations. Thad gives an expert level of service clients expect for a successful real estate investment, earning him many long-term loyal clients for substantial repeat business.

His expertise lies in Sale and Lease Agreements for Retail, Office or Industrial/Warehouse Buildings.  Thad was instrumental in the development and marketing of a 210-acre project, with an economic impact of $250 million. Forty acres of the property are being developed into a casino and hotel complex in Davenport, Iowa.

He received the Blackhawk College Foundation Leaders Under 40 Award, is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, Illinois Association of REALTORS®, Iowa Association of REALTORS®, Quad City Area REALTOR® Association, SIOR (The Society of Industrial & Office REALTORS®), and ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers).  DenHartog gives back to the community through serving professionally on various boards of directors including Humility of Mary Housing Inc. and Western Illinois University Advisory Board.  When he is not working, he is an active supporter of the area’s youth programs by coaching his children’s sporting team.

He lives in Bettendorf, Iowa with his wife, Jennifer and their two children, Cooper and Kamryn.


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