Real Estate News Feed - NWILife Wed, 18 Sep 2019 20:29:15 +0000 en hourly 1 Brace yourself: Sublime Homes’ latest model is bold and a bit funky Sat, 07 Sep 2019 06:29:49 +0000 Kole Rushmore It’s true what they say—if Sublime Homes builds it, you’ll love it. As one of Northwest Indiana’s leading home builders, Sublime Homes is known for its signature homes, designs, and features. 

Their newest model home in St. John is a testament to that unmatched quality. This Elizabeth model floorplan is more than 3,000 square feet curated with the latest trends in home design. 

“We always want that curb appeal with our model homes and to make it a show stopper,” said Jackie Graniczny, design director at Sublime Homes. “For the outside, I wanted to go for a bold color to showcase the painted brick, and navy blue is a classic, bold color. You can’t go wrong with it—it’s timeless.”

Inside the house, this model features a modified main floor plan that includes a redesigned mudroom area with both a customized walk-in closet and pantry by California Closets. The open concept kitchen flows effortlessly into the heart of the house: the kitchen.

“For the inside, I wanted to keep it kind of subtle, and that’s where you’re going to see the marble and gray colors,” Graniczny said. “Since building in Indiana for such a long time now, I really learned this market and I know how far I can take it. I can get a little bit more fashion-forward than the market calls for. I had to get a little funky; the black trim is my funkiness.” 

During the design process, Graniczny used feedback from clients to change up some design aspects, such as expanding the kitchen and surrounding rooms. 

“None of our homes are built with the same layout,” said Amy Alexander, sales and marketing director for Sublime Homes. “In the butler’s pantry, there is some really cool and unique tile. It’s a floral-like pattern and is unexpected when paired with the floating shelves.”

“That tile is gorgeous,” Graniczny added. “When I saw that in the showroom, it looked like artwork to me. There’s blue in it, and I wanted to bring the blue inside, as well as with the tile.”

Upstairs features a beautiful master bedroom suite, three additional bedrooms, a laundry room, a bathroom, and, to top it off, 200 square feet of loft space. Off the master bedroom is a luxurious master en-suite with a free-standing bathtub sitting in front of a geometric designed focal wall. The suite doesn’t stop there—on the other side of the wall is a spacious shower for two and a walk-in closet. 

“I’m a huge fan of the master bathroom,” Graniczny said. “I love the geometric iridescent wall and the bathtub with the charcoal apron that plays into the black accents around the case opening, door opening, and crown molding.”

Aside from the breathtaking design of the house, Sublime Homes built this house with some of the latest tech gadgets. The home builder strives for energy-efficiency, which is why NEST Thermostats are incorporated into every home. 

“We’re seeing more of our clients wanting more ‘smart home’ options,” Alexander said. “That’s why we’ve added the NEST Thermostat and a built-in speaker system in the house. To be able to have music play and control your home from a smartphone adds to the experience.” 

“Also, when we have models, I like to get people talking,” Graniczny said. “When I’m designing, I want it to be powerful. I want people walking out of here remembering this house.”

The model includes a three-car garage, a basement, a fully-landscaped yard with irrigation system, and a concrete patio. This home, among all other Sublime homes, sit a level above the rest.

Within the time span of our initial interview to publishing this article, the home has been sold. However, there are plenty more just as exquisite as this one. Visit their website to discover more and plan a tour today.

Brace yourself: Sublime Homes’ latest model is bold and a bit funky
Latitude Commercial (L.C.) offers full service commercial real estate Tue, 03 Sep 2019 21:32:17 +0000 Kole Rushmore Latitude Commercial (L.C.) is a full service commercial real estate brokerage firm that specializes in the Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland area. The firm focuses on one-of-a-kind experiences for their clients and provide solutions to reach their commercial real estate goals. This firm is here to help your business find timesaving, cost-effective, flexible solutions to meet your current and future real estate objectives.

Working with L.C. means having access to their Chicagoland area expertise alongside worldwide marketing and networking ability. Being a part of CCIM and ICSC Network at L.C. is, means having the ability to network with more that 60,000 members across the world.

L.C. Services

  • Retail Group
    • The retail services division is a market leader in the representation of retail tenants for the purpose of site selection, disposition, and market position. They work closely with their clients to create a strategic plan for store development. L.C. serves as a client advocate and uses its knowledge of every trade area and retail development throughout the market to purse all possibilities and ensure new vacancies and developments are presented to the client.
  • Land Group
    • L.C.’s professionals are equipped with tools to effectively and efficiently help you buy, lease, or sell raw or entitled land. The Latitude land service team is always prepared to advise clients with the latest information that will affect your investment such as market trends and zoning laws.
  • Office Group
    • Their team of office specialists provide a full range of transaction expertise including single building and portfolio acquisitions, disposition, leases, subleases, lease renewals, lease expansions, build-to-suits, sale/leasebacks, and tax-free exchanges. 
  • Investment Group
    • L.C.’s team of experts with real-world leasing and sales experience will help you determine the right price to sell or purchase your next investment property. They assist investors in a variety of disciplines including, retail, office, industrial, multi-family, senior housing, hospitality and healthcare.
  • Industrial Group
    • L.C.’s industrial services division integrates a suite of consultant, transaction and management services for occupiers and investors. They understand the many factors that accompany the sale, purchase, or lease of an industrial property. They leverage their regional network and relationships to find the right buyer for the property in the shortest amount of time. Their experience means they can deliver the market knowledge and national resources of a large firm with personal attention.
  • Property Management Group
    • The property management division of L.C. has something every owner. They implement a management strategy designed uniquely for the investment goals of the real estate assets for each owner. L.C. manages retail, office, industrial, medical and flex-use space.

The Approach

L.C.’s worldwide professionals have significant expertise in both their areas of specialization and in their local markets. Their team works together with one purpose: to achieve their clients’ commercial real estate goals.

Their team approach encourages out-of-the-box thinking and innovative resources while combining all the company’s talent, skills and tools to exceed their clients’ expectations.

L.C. is committed to giving back to communities they serve as much as they can. They constantly seek out organizations to help such as:

  • Lake Area United Way
  • Salvation Army
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana
  • Crisis Center Inc., NWI
  • The First Tee of Lake County
  • Many Lake County law enforcement agencies

Whether you are a developer looking to sell your property, a tenant looking to expand your business or an investor looking to purchase income property, Latitude Commercial is here to help! Learn more here.

Latitude Commercial (L.C.) offers full service commercial real estate
The Promenade at Founders Square – what does it offer? Thu, 29 Aug 2019 05:00:01 +0000 Mandy Haack Portage’s 15-acre residential community, The Promenade at Founders Square, has taken steps to rise above average living and create the ultimate atmosphere for their tenants and community members of Portage. 

The Promenade is currently in the last phase of construction of the ninth and final building, which will soon be completed. The community features 304 residential units and 10,200 square feet of commercial space. Commercial businesses are located on the ground floor of Buildings 1 through 4. 

As for the residential side, with 18 different floor plans for studios and one-to-three-bedroom apartments, there is sure space to accommodate anyone interested. 

The Promenade is proud to be an energy-efficient community with all units containing Energy Star rated appliances including washer/dryers, refrigerator/freezers, ice makers, electric stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, and garbage disposals. In addition, the community uses  LED light bulbs throughout. 

All of the apartments are up to date with modern ideals and designs, such as open-concept living, modern cabinetry, and luxurious granite countertops. For security purposes, many entrances have video monitoring. 

One of the best parts? Location. The Promenade offers immediate access to Hannah’s Hope Playground and Founders Square Park, which includes a splash pad and amphitheater that holds live music and movies on the weekends. 

The community amenities include a 24-hour clubhouse/lounge, fitness center with Wi-Fi access and outdoor pool that was just completed this summer. The pet-friendly community welcomes both dogs and cats with a two-pet limit and residents are welcome to let their pets enjoy the pet-run located near the pool. 

For those with electric cars, there’s even a convenient electric charging station. If you are a traveler or commute to the Chicago area, the Promenade is only two miles away from the I-80/90 Toll Road entrance/exit.  

Kennita Williams, The Promenade’s Property Manager with Holladay Properties, explained how the Promenade at Founders Square has something to offer for all walks of life.

“The Promenade is an experience. It has something to offer for everyone,” Williams said. “We are conveniently located near everything, not far from restaurants, and close to the expressway for those who may work in downtown Chicago.”

Williams explained that the commercial space is already occupied. 

“The commercial end houses Three’s Kompany Hair Design, Big Time Burgers + Brew, and the Portage Chamber of Commerce,” Williams said. “Hot Sauce Pizza will be opening soon right next to our Leasing Office, and there will be a dentist’s office in Building 1.”

Since there is so much on site available, residents can conveniently spend a night on the town right outside their front door. 

“What we are doing is merging community and, essentially, making community. It’s the first of its kind in Northwest Indiana. It’s starting to make Portage have a distinct downtown, which is what we need,” Williams said. “I’ve been a resident since 2008, so it’s been exciting to be a part of this growth.”

The Promenade at Founders Square is a development of South Bend-based Holladay Properties, a fully integrated commercial real estate with a local office here in Portage. Holladay Construction Group, a full service construction management and design/build firm, is the general contractor for the project.

For more information on the Promenade at Founders Square, visit their website. Take a virtual tour of apartments here. 

The Promenade at Founders Square – what does it offer?
A Boulder Bay Realty Group Employee Spotlight: Jeremy Chessor Wed, 28 Aug 2019 06:00:57 +0000 Mandy Haack It’s the most unique steps taken in our lives that lead us to some pretty perfect destinations. For Jeremy Chessor, his journey as an agent for Boulder Bay Realty Group started in the mint fields of North Judson.

Despite being homeschooled, he proudly represented the Blue Jay’s by going to games and repping blue and gold. From there, he started his professional career after attending Ivy Tech of Valparaiso studying business management and computer programming. 

“After I left college, I started working at Bailey’s Discount Center in the furniture department for a year. Then I became their kitchen designer in their cabinet department, and for the last five years, I managed it.”

There, Chessor assisted clients with a visual depiction of various customized designs for their potential kitchens through 3-D renderings. This planted the seed for his deeply rooted appreciation for homes, interior design, and the connection between the clients’ wants and needs.

“For the last twenty years, I was representing a company, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  But what really drew me to real estate was changing that process and instead representing the person or client,” Chessor said. “When you get to a point where you are on the same level as a customer and really take their wants and needs and transform them into your own, that’s really what attracted me to the field.”

This past May, Chessor left Bailey’s and decided to follow his heart.

“It was a change that I needed to do. I dug deep and figured out what I wanted to do. I decided that I wanted to work with Boulder Bay.”

After several emails to real estate agencies in the Region, Chessor met Lynda Anderson, owner and founder of Boulder Bay Realty Group.

“When I met Lynda, she was extremely inviting and personable. She was so in tune with my path of success.”

Chessor soon found out that many other real estate companies in the region were more concerned with office space rent than personal achievement in their agents.

“Lynda and her team are different. They are invested in your success. They take the time to train agents into becoming the agents they need to be. They have been, and always will be, there for me in any circumstance and answer any questions along the way.”

From his experience, Chessor believes that the kitchen and bathroom are the two most expensive and complicated areas of a home.

“I was already experienced in selling those and knew what I was doing there. The other rooms and the property were just a bonus.”

For him, selling a home comes along with personal attachments that dig deeper than the renovation of a bathroom or kitchen. 

“When someone purchases or sells a home, somewhere they will spend or have spent a majority of their life in, there is a lot of emotional investment in that. More so than any kitchen or bathroom I’ve ever sold,” Chessor said. 

Despite being new to the real estate game, Chessor has been rapidly and unknowingly preparing for this step throughout his entire career. He only foresees himself climbing up the ladder of success at Boulder Bay. 

“Other then meeting my wife and having my four children, this is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Meeting different people and really getting that emotional investment with them.”

Chessor adds his own personal touch by specifically catering to the relationship he has with his clients and building a strong line of trust. 

“I believe in having a solid relationship with our clients. They need to be able to trust me because I am the one taking care of one of the biggest decisions they are making in their entire life.”

In his spare time, Chessor is an avid music lover and singer. He enjoys spending time with his family, which is another benefit of his flexible realtor career.  

As for his career journey, there’s no doubt that Chessor has found his destination. 

“I just wanted to find the best fit, and Boulder Bay was the best choice for me.” 

For more information about Boulder Bay Realty Group, visit their website here

A Boulder Bay Realty Group Employee Spotlight: Jeremy Chessor
Nancy Frigo of McColly Real Estate develops new projects in Lowell Mon, 05 Aug 2019 10:00:18 +0000 Julia Demma Nancy Frigo, New Construction and Development Specialist at McColly Real Estate, starts her day by getting out into the community, pushing to make a difference and making people’s dreams of becoming homeowners a reality.

Currently, Frigo is working on a project titled ‘East Lowell’ in unincorporated Lake County. She is focusing on developing the corner piece of R2 and I-65 to cover approximately 500 acres of land with new residential and commercial property.

“There is a huge need for improved lots in this area. You’re only 50 minutes outside of the city of Chicago; people are really looking to build their lives here,” Frigo said. “I get numerous calls daily from those looking to build.”

Frigo is deeply interested and engrossed in Lowell’s history and looks to incorporate this aspect while getting the developments done within the county.

Back in the 1850s Lowell’s founder, Melvin Halsted, developed the historical Lake County home with 400 red bricks that still stands in the town today.

“I’m looking to take this original concept and design and put a modern twist on it so that when you enter Lowell, and South Lake County, this will be one of the first things you see. A Beautiful building and rich history.”

Frigo says she often is led in her endeavors by taking a step back and looking at the area as a whole.

“I think to myself, ‘what’s missing? what’s needed?’, and then I decide if this is something that the community truly has interest in. If so, I want to get it done. I want the community to grow,” Frigo said.

With this way of thinking being her day-to-day motto, Frigo is currently in the works of providing the community with a home goods store that offers affordably priced products due to the rising population and high number of homes being built.

With so many big projects on her plate, one might think it can be a hectic job, but Frigo has it all down to a science working for McColly Real Estate.

“I strive to have all of my agents understand protocol, know how to get things done, and be knowledgeable about who can do what in the area. They have to know the market at large, and I hope to guide them in this understanding,” Frigo said. “I love helping agents get to the next level.”

While developing new construction, Frigo enjoys being there with her clients every step of the way, and she starts with a wish list.

“As real estate agents, we are problem solvers. I always tell my clients to first make a wish list with everything they want and need in a property, even if they may think it’s the craziest thing, because most of the time, it’s not crazy.”

She noted that in many cases, clients would get back to her with their wish lists written on napkins or placemats, and they would plan on how to make it become a reality from there. 

“I like to see something go from a vacant piece of ground to something beautiful. I like to create something out of nothing,” Frigo said.

One of the most important aspects of this process, according to Frigo, is communication.

“The first thing I do is interview the builder I’m working with. When working on a house, you’re basically entering a short-term marriage with your builders,” Frigo joked. “It’s a very important relationship and every relationship works well when based on one thing: communication.”

Frigo works hard to nurture this relationship in order to ensure a happy, smooth closing process for McColly clients.

“It’s our job as realtors to be on top of all things happening during the entire process of building a home and to be there every step of the way,” said Frigo.

McColly Real Estate’s local reputation and expertise are backed by its selection as a member of ‘Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®’, a global community of over 550 real estate companies awarded membership based on rigorous standards for service and performance.

“We’ve been here for a long time. We are local, as well as global, and that’s huge. We understand the basic economics of our region, and we supply the public the benefits of having experts on their side during a life-changing process,” Frigo said.

Frigo stressed how important it is that McColly real estate agents have one specific trait in particular: credibility.

“In anything in life, credibility is number one. This trait goes a long way, and with all of the experience agents at McColly have, it gives our clients peace of mind and they truly believe in our credibility,” said Frigo. To learn more about Nancy Frigo and McColly Real Estate, visit

Nancy Frigo of McColly Real Estate develops new projects in Lowell
What it takes to be a real estate agent with Lynda Anderson Thu, 01 Aug 2019 14:24:43 +0000 Mandy Haack We sat down with real estate extraordinaire Lynda Anderson of Boulder Bay Realty Group to get the inside scoop on what it truly takes to be a real estate agent in today’s current and competitive field. 

For starters, there are simple characteristics that must be embodied in the aspiring realtor. 

The self-driven, go-getter type. The service heart. Someone who is not afraid to put a client’s needs in front of their own. The communicator. The learner. 

If you have these qualities, then we are off to a great start.

The first steps are basic. To be a licensed realtor, one must go through a schooling program of their choice and pass the real estate test from the school as well as from the state. After both are achieved, it’s time to decide what company you feel best fits you. 

“From there your career starts,” Anderson said. 

Being a realtor is uniquely entrepreneurial because, simply put, you are your own business.

“You are opening up a business,” Anderson said. “Everyday you are unemployed. Every day you are looking for that new job. So when one home closes, you’re unemployed again.”

Despite these challenges, a dedicated realtor has the opportunity to create the footwork for maximized professional and financial gain. 

“You can dream big with this career. I personally started out as an agent and had no desire to own a real estate company. And now, here I am, I own it.”

For Anderson, the energy she put in was exactly what she got out of it. 

“There is no ceiling on what your real estate career can do for you.  You get what you put in. So if you put in a little, you get a little. You have to be self motivated to make it rain.”

As a realtor, you are the charge of your own success. You have the opportunity to choose if this is a part, or full time job. For the aspiring full-timers, Anderson left the following piece of advice:

“If you want this to be your career, you can’t dabble. You’ve got to jump in with everything you have.” 

“Many people want to get into real estate so they can have a flexible schedule,” Anderson said. “But, does a business owner have a flexible schedule?  You must be there for your clients.”

Most importantly, the aspiring realtor must be confident and wise in choosing the company they will be taking their first “real” steps with.

“It’s so important to be with a company that will guide you and be right by your side. When you are starting off, there is still so much to learn,” Anderson said. “You are getting into legal contracts with your buyers and sellers. If you don’t have your act together, it can cause huge issues.  Our training is not for everyone.  It’s pretty intense.  We expect a lot from our agents.  The more knowledgeable our agents are the better service their clients will receive.” 

For Anderson and her team, this is a very serious line of business. Homes, for most people, are one of the biggest investments they will ever make.

For the last 29 years, Anderson has been successfully leading real estate agents in the region. 

“Twenty-nine years later and I love it. It’s my career, my hobby, my passion – it’s everything; my lifestyle.”

“The real estate agent must be driven.  They must be service oriented.” Anderson said.  There is no typical day as it’s a constant learning experience.”

If you have thoughts about becoming a realtor, be sure to find a company that will propel your professional and financial growth. Boulder Bay Realty Group is highly recognized for its hands-on training and guidance. This goes to show in their ultimately successful line of realtors. For more information on Boulder Bay Realty Group, visit their website here

What it takes to be a real estate agent with Lynda Anderson
McColly Real Estate one-stop shop for clients Fri, 26 Jul 2019 22:00:53 +0000 Julia Demma We all know that buying a home can be a complicated, multi-step process, but at McColly Real Estate, they hold true to their slogan, “All Purpose Real Estate. One Source.”

McColly has proven to be a one-stop shop for buyers, offering everything from financial guidance to title processing, making customers’ experience as simple as possible.

“From the pre-approval letter courtesy of Diamond Residential Mortgage to confirm how much home the client can afford; finding the right property with one of our experienced Realtors, and closing on the home with our Community Title ancillary company; to acquiring home and auto insurance from McColly Insurance, we’ve elevated ‘One-Stop’ to a new level of customer service,” said Monica Decker, director of marketing and technology.

With all these services available in-house, it creates a smoother transaction and allows clients to reach the closing table faster.

McColly’s relationship with Diamond Residential Mortgage Company, a well-established Mortgage Banker throughout Northwest Indiana who provides individualized services to buyers with an array of products, is just one puzzle piece that goes into providing clients with a smooth process. The partnership continues to prove to be a powerhouse relationship since the venture started in February 2018.

“[The partnership] is equal and a good fit. Both companies understand their responsibilities and we do our best in order to ensure that the client is well informed and taken care of,” said Ryan Eberhardt, Executive Vice President at Diamond Residential Mortgage. “It’s a great opportunity and we value our partnership with McColly, who is a very well-known and respected real estate company in Northwest Indiana,” said Eberhardt.

Diamond Residential Mortgage’s primary job is to connect with the McColly agents and provide them with a qualified preapproval letter for their clients in order for them to shop confidentially within their respective price range.

“We try our best to simplify the process, make sure everyone involved is well-informed, and most importantly, hold true to our pre-approval letters which allow clients and the agents to focus primarily on finding the right house.

Diamond Residential employees are also available 24/7 to make this process as smooth as possible.

“We want to ensure that we make ourselves as available as possible for everyone in the transaction so they can have direct access to us whenever they need. We want to be able to get that information over to them right away,” Eberhardt said. “This availability and communication is important and beneficial in such a happening and fast-moving market.”

Another close partnership that is beneficial to clients is shared between Community Title Company. Community Title provides McColly clients with a smooth experience for title and closing services.

“Our dedicated staff, including Attorney Nathan Vis, our Underwriting Counsel, understands the needs of buyers, sellers and real estate professionals, and is committed to ensuring a pleasant settlement experience. We maintain state-of-the-art facilities that enable us to deliver fast and courteous title and settlement services at competitive rates,” said Kathy Shultz, Manager at Community Title.

There are many actions to be taken before a title can be successfully transferred and being able to work directly with Community Title on behalf of a buyer can simplify this process. Buyers eliminate stress by handing off the details to knowledgeable professionals within both companies.

In addition,McColly Insurance Agency is committed to providing clients with competitive rates, quality products, award winning customer care, and innovative claims service.

A broad range of insurance products for personal and commercial needs is available along with a wide variety of A-rated companies. McColly Insurance’s experienced professionals will research individual needs, design a customized insurance plan to fit those needs, and find the most competitive rates so buyers can have peace of mind that everything they’ve worked so hard for in life is covered.

Bob Roganovich, McColly Insurance Agent, is concerned with replacement value when working with clients and swears by the saying, “best coverages for the best prices”, during the process.

“I think providing insurance services to customers is important because a lot of people are intimidated by things that they don’t know much about such as mortgages, warranties, etc.,” Roganovich said. “I personally think that McColly Real Estate is everything that other real estate companies should strive to be.”

With McColly Insurance, friendly staff members will work on a one-on-one basis with clients to develop not only the perfect policy, but a lasting relationship. To do so, McColly Insurance offers personalized customer service seven days a week, customized plans to fit your needs, finding and comparing the best rates, getting insurance quotes done quickly, and providing flexible mobility.

“If a McColly insurance agent need to go to another office or a client’s home, we have no problem doing so. Life gets busy and we understand that. That is why one-stop shopping with McColly is an awesome thing,” said Roganovich. “If I knew someone looking to buy a new home was going with anyone but McColly, I would tell them that they are making a mistake.”

To get involved in one-stop shopping with McColly Real Estate, visit

McColly Real Estate one-stop shop for clients
Broker/owner Mike Tezak signs on for ten more years of success with Realty Executives Wed, 26 Jun 2019 22:25:44 +0000 Realty Executives Premier Realty Executives is pleased to announce Broker/Owner Mike Tezak has renewed a 10-year contract to continue his successful Realty Executives Premier brokerage, headquartered in Valparaiso, IN. Recently opening a second office in Crown Pointe and expanding his brokerage territory to LaPorte County, Tezak is excited to continue his relationship with Realty Executives and build the Premier brand.

Patrick van den Bossche, President of Realty Executives International, is thrilled with the renewal and is eager to see what the future holds for Tezak, his team and Realty Executives Premier.

“Mike Tezak has been a model Broker/Owner for us and we couldn’t be happier with his decision to stay with Realty Executives,” van den Bossche said. “It greatly shows the type of professionals we strive to have under our brand and continue to grow within our network.”

Tezak has became an integral part of the Realty Executives network, serving as a member of the franchise advisory council for three years and partnering with the brand to sell franchises across Indianapolis. To better his team’s expertise and market, Tezak is also encouraging his brokers to work across state lines into Illinois.

After becoming a top-producing agent, Tezak opened his own franchise, eventually making Realty Executives Premier one of the most successful and productive brokerages in the company’s network. Over the past eight years, Tezak has grown his business from one to over 70 agents and continues to be the number one brokerage in Porter County.

“This 10-year renewal is an exciting step for the Realty Executives Premier team we look to continue our expansion and consumer reach throughout Porter, Lake and LaPorte county,” Tezak said. “The support from Realty Executives International has been an integral part of the rapid success of my brokerage. I am proud to maintain our relationship and commitment to produce top agents and build highly leveraged teams.”

Focusing on quality over quantity, Tezak ensures every agent joining Premier is working to be a top professional in the real estate industry. Tezak’s wife and business partner, Pam Tezak explains that no matter how much success the brokerage sees, they are always striving for more.

“We never want to have a mindset of, ‘Oh, we’re at the top of our game right now, so let’s stop and slow down,’” Tezak said. “We are always growing and evolving.” 

Broker/owner Mike Tezak signs on for ten more years of success with Realty Executives
Best friends join team culture at Realty Executives Premier Mon, 10 Jun 2019 23:40:13 +0000 Kayla Belec Best friends since 6th grade, Carol Dobrzynski and Jamie Garcia are now working side-by-side at Realty Executives Premier. For years, the two have been each other’s confidantes in all things—from business to family matters. This year, they’ve become a positive force within a company culture that celebrates teamwork. Read on for their stories.

Strength through Trials

Dobrzynski and Garcia grew up in Hammond, meeting in 6th grade at George Rogers Clark Middle/High School. Each came from low-income, divorced households and dealt with their personal share of hardships. Going to school was like an escape, and a lot of their classmates felt the same way.

“Whenever we came to school, or were on the bus, or at dances or football games, that was our ground to hide from all of those struggles and to just be us, not whatever was at home,” Dobrzynski said. “You’re trying to find your identity [in school]. So we didn’t talk about our home lives there. That was how we protected ourselves, we left it at the door. It doesn’t matter that you got evicted today—leave it at the door.”

Both women and their families moved around a lot in those years, forced to evade payments their parents couldn’t afford, and to relocate after occasional evictions. The women remembered walking nearly everywhere or taking the city bus. Having to grow up so soon before their time robbed them of certain comforts, but they became resilient because of it.

“Rather than becoming a product of our environment, we let it build character,” Dobrzynski said. “Though my mother always tried her best, I developed goals for myself in those struggles and a hunger that told me I would grow up and that would never be mine or my children’s lifestyle. We said, ‘We will do better.’”

That sense of character also lends itself to their career paths in real estate.

“Our business changes rapidly, and I think that because we were abruptly moved from one place to another so many times, it made us able to learn to adapt to change way more easily than someone who lived in the same home and stayed in the same school system forever,” Dobrzynski said.

Finding a Passion

Before they were real estate agents, Dobrzynski and Garcia worked in wildly different fields. Garcia owned and managed her own asphalt business for 20 years with her husband, and Dobrzynski worked in customer service at a car dealership. Both women developed skills that transferred to their current roles as successful real estate agents.

Dobrzynski remembered the day the wheels started turning when she waited on a realtor in the dealership.

“We talked. He said, ‘Have you ever thought about getting into real estate? You should really think about it, because you have that personality, you connect with people.’ He piqued my interest,” she said.

Dobrzynski got home and collaborated with her husband that very night.

“He said, ‘You want to do it? This is the time!’ I took my classes, passed them on the first try, and then I passed the state test on the first try,” she said.

She broke the mold in the first company she worked for, a company which did not typically hire new agents. After three years on a team and 13 years total with the company, Dobrzynski now boasts 16 years in the industry.

As for Garcia, she credits Dobrzynski for inspiring her to join the real estate industry.

“I watched her and learned from her,” Garcia said. “I knew I could sell, and my dad was in construction, so I had some existing experience and interest in the field. I talked to her and she encouraged me to do it.”

“I helped her look into different companies, I wanted her to have options,” Dobrzynski said. “But she was like, ‘If I’m doing this, I’m only going to do it with you.’ She was dead set!”

Garcia finally joined Dobrzynski’s team four years ago. Since then, the two have enjoyed successes both together and independently, and Garcia decided to start her own team in 2019.

“I learned everything about the business from her,” Garcia said. “She’s a very good mentor. She still teaches me. I just called her the other day!”

When Dobrzynski discussed making a change in companies by switching to Realty Executives Premier, Garcia described the decision to follow her as a “no-brainer.”

“I trust her,” she said simply. “I know she’s going to have my best interest as well as her own. We love each other, we already feel that we’re feeding each others’ success, and this company reflects our passion for this career so well.”

Continued successes

Both Dobrzynski and Garcia have had unmatchable success in a series of hurdles. As a teen mom and young business owner, Garcia learned how to conquer setbacks early on. Following a divorce she changed career paths and she championed her pursuit of real estate, with 50 closings to show for it.

“I literally had to start everything fresh. I left a 17-year marriage, a company that we had together. I had to reinvent myself and start over,” she said. “Three years into the business, I closed 50 deals. That tenacity was something I don’t think a lot of people have. It was scary some days, but looking back, I feel really good about it.”

Dobrzynski also steered through the emotional pitfalls of a divorce in 2006, single motherhood, and a recession.

“To be able to still be in the business after the recession—where I saw teams fall apart, I saw real estate companies and builders go out of business—to be able to survive that, I knew that this was going to be a lifelong career for me,” she said. “That is my proudest achievement, to say I did it and I didn’t quit. It was so hard financially and mentally to get over some of the stresses of those times. It was a whole different field and you had to adapt to the changes. The biggest feat and success for me was being able to stay in business.”

Working as a team in a team-player culture

No doubt about it, Garcia and Dobrzynski have always been each other’s cheerleaders.

“I don’t think it would really matter what the umbrella was, I think just being best friends, being in the same profession, having respect for each other, it makes all the difference,” Dobrzynski said. “She is someone I love and care for and would take a bullet for, and this is more important, this relationship, than a transaction, two transactions. This is my lifelong friend. But I am glad that we can not only talk about our struggles, whether it be relationship issues or kids. We can also talk about business and strategy.”

“Unfortunately, in our industry, there’s a lot of interruption in our world, but we don’t get offended if one of us is put on hold for ten minutes by the other, because we get it!” Garcia laughed. “We’ve always had that camaraderie, so it’s nice to work together in a place where that’s valued. It’s even better. Because I’ll be honest, most people in this line of work, they don’t always embrace your success.”

Both women were drawn to Realty Executives Premier, in part because of the supportive culture.

“I’ve known Mike [Tezak, owner of Realty Executives Premier] for years. I’ve always liked him as a person, and our personalities are identical. It’s a little scary sometimes!” Dobrzynski joked. “But he’s built something here that he should be very proud of and that was attractive to both of us. I had an opportunity to hang out with Realty Execs outside of the office atmosphere, and I remember just thinking, ‘This is genuine.’”

“It’s not strictly business, it’s a family,” Garcia agreed. “[Mike] has a good energy, and we responded to that kind of energy. When you walk in, his happiness for what he’s doing comes right through. He actually cares about [his employees] as individuals.”

Another way Realty Executives Premier fulfills Garcia and Dobrzynski is in their focus on the customer.

“We do not take chances. We’re very thorough with our paperwork, and we communicate with our clients as if they’re family,” Dobrzynski said. “Every single client. Does not matter if it’s a $10,000 house or a $100,000,000 house. The level of service we give will always be the same.”

“I think that’s what leads to our success, truthfully, because we’re always going to do the right thing by our clients,” Garcia said.

“We’ve had a lot of sleepless nights because we do care. I can tell you, I’ve had a couple this week already!” Dobrzynski said.

The two are looking forward to many more years of business and friendship together at Realty Executives Premier.

“Coming together here is another thing we can share,” Dobrzynski said. “Because we share just about everything else. There’s no stone left unturned. The thing is, I have a lot of friends, but I don’t have a lot of best friends.”

For more information on the team at Realty Executives Premier, visit their website.  

Best friends join team culture at Realty Executives Premier
Must-see tips from Boulder Bay Realty for selling your home successfully Thu, 11 Apr 2019 02:36:48 +0000 Mandy Haack So you’re planning to list your house on the market. Great! But wait! Whether you’ve sold a home before or are a first-time seller, the home selling game can be complex. With a few tips and tricks from Boulder Bay Realty team, you can proceed with confidence for the optimal sale.

Selling Price

Of course, as a seller, you are looking to get the optimal price for your home. To achieve this, or cut close, start by doing research on the market in your area. The best way to do this is to work with your Boulder Bay agent to request a comparative market analysis. Comparable properties should be in close range of your property, similar in age, listed within the last three months, and have similar square footage.

  • Learn from other sellers’ mistakes. Review expired comparable listings to measure original list prices to the final sale price.
  • Check how much similar homes are selling for and try to make your listing in between those to avoid blending in with competition.
  • Make sure that you are considering the national and state level economy when putting your house on the market. If you can afford to wait if the market is low, then do it. You will profit more. Gauge where the mortgage rates are going – the lower, the better!
  • Check the latest unemployment figures and the rate of local home builders building homes in the area.


Nice weather offers the best potential to close on a home. People are out and about, more comfortable with making decisions, and can clearly see all outside landscaping in its prime.

Think about it – There is a difference between listing your home in the spring versus during a snowstorm. In fact, Spring listings in particular are almost always sold at full asking price. All weather aside, serious buyers will be looking all year round, no matter how cold it is outside. Work with your Bould Bay agent to talk through any potential weather challenges to maximize your home sale.


No matter the time of year, weather, or economic climate, proper preparation will always help you maximize the value of your home. Having an agent who is highly skilled in the current market conditions is a must. If you are listing your home or planning to, the Boulder Bay Realty team is prepared to help you reach your full price listing potential. For more information, connect with them on Facebook or send them a message!

Must-see tips from Boulder Bay Realty for selling your home successfully