Tom Hoffman coined the phrase, “Simply the Best,” regarding Hoffman Realty, now known as Prairie Homes Realty, a real estate brokerage celebrating 25 years in business in 2017. Through Prairie Homes Realty’s attention to detail, relationships with professionals across the housing industry, personal care and concern for their clients, that phrase is simply true. Since the business’ inception in 1992 by Tom & Mary Jo Hoffman, they have sold over 1,700 homes and the business has always held the majority of the market, as much as 90% most years.
They provide numerous services to both Buyers and Sellers, assisting with the often multi-faceted tasks of buying and selling a home; a major life change in most clients’ lives. Prairie Homes Realty helps clients every step of the way, listening carefully to their needs and wants, educating them on what to expect, and preparing them for the entire process. After all of that, Jen Riley, owner of Hoffman Realty/Prairie Homes Realty since 2014, says, “It’s a game of ‘hurry up and wait.’ Timing, price, and condition are everything, but it is never easy anymore. It’s our job to try and keep the roller-coaster ride as smooth and short as possible. Plus no one person can know all there is to know in this changing housing/real estate market and fortunately, our office has professional relationships with numerous experts in their fields--from previous brokers, current area agents, appraisers, title companies, attorneys, lenders, inspectors, to city/township/county people who are willing to share their experience and knowledge whenever asked. It gives us the edge that you can only find in smaller communities—when often the answer is ‘it’s who you know’.” The real estate company’s personal, but professional, ability to communicate and present the best options available make them a clear choice in buying or selling a home for many clients in the area.
But it’s not about the number of homes they have sold: it’s about the rich history behind each home and of course, the people they sell them to. “The (homes) that had a story,” say Jen Riley, “The ones that were difficult from day one but so important. Elderly with only the value of their $40,000 house besides Social Security who must sell, singles who have been renting so long, they don’t know how to change their own furnace filter, and young couples scraping together every dollar for a down payment in their first rental investment property. It’s the people connected to the home that make it memorable,” says Jen.
There have been technological changes to the business over the years, which make the business easier in some ways, but also less personal in other ways. “When the company first began, weekly newspaper ads were one of the few ways to promote a property,” Says Lisa Gades, Office Manager of Prairie Homes Realty. “All communications were in person, over the telephone and the occasional fax…Several years later, Hoffman Realty was the first real estate company in the area to develop a website. Currently, the public can view listings and documents at any time, even on their phones.” While this makes it easier for communication with clients, Jen admits it comes with difficulties in trying to keep the business personal. “It’s not easy to convey your concern over a text message. People need to know their situation matters, because of course, it does.” The real estate company prides itself on being available to the public nearly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “As our clients,” says Jen, “You goals matter to us and we’ll do our best to help you achieve them.”