When Buyers Real Estate Group was formed in 1995, the owners felt confident in their message, but weren’t sure the home buying public was ready for it. The message that home buyers can have an agent that exclusively represents their best interests at all times throughout the real estate transaction. This was very different from how real estate transactions had been conducted in the past where all agents represented the sellers and nobody took care of the buyers. At the time, the owners, Mary Rugani and Renei Schmitz, came from one of the two largest real estate brokerages in the Twin Cities. That brokerage was just recovering from a significant law suit in which they were found liable for non-disclosure about representation. “When I was working for [that company], I never understood representation, or what our industry calls ‘agency’.” Schmitz said. “I felt like nobody in my company understood it either. When it finally made sense to me, I had an ‘Aha’ moment. I knew from then on, there had to be a better way to do business. My mission would be to focus solely on buyers and what they need from a professional realtor to navigate the home buying process.”
Mary Rugani was working as an agent for the same company and had a difficult time with the process of presenting the sellers with a definite price for their house. “I felt uncomfortable telling sellers I could represent them when selling their house for a certain dollar amount. I couldn’t say for sure what their house would sell for, because I knew I may be in a position to represent a buyer wanting to purchase their house.” expressed Rugani. “I feel extremely grounded in the concept that, now, I always know who I represent and so do my buyers.”
Buyers Real Estate Group was born out of previous home buyer real estate companies. Its current incarnation initially involved three owners, including Patricia Kelly, who has since retired. It has always been a small company dedicated to personal service. They wanted to create an atmosphere of trust for Minnesota Home Buyers as well as for the agents that work for the company. “There is so much pressure placed on agents to make money for their companies. We wanted to create a different atmosphere. We offer a fair deal to all of our agents across the board, so agents don’t have to worry about making money and can focus on generating positive energy.” Mary and Renei both hold college degrees in Education, so it is company policy for agents to be aware of their responsibility to educate the home buyer. “The concept of an Exclusive Buyer Agent is not one that most home buyers understand. It’s our job to make sure they become educated consumers, to know that we no longer have to do things ‘the way it’s always been done’. That education is key!”
The real estate industry is constantly changing and the agents at Buyers Real Estate Group are always up to the challenge. By focusing solely on home buyers, the agents at Buyers Real Estate Group have been able to hone their skills and develop a discerning eye when looking at different levels and types of real estate. “Our buyers are so grateful for our level of expertise; that we’ve experienced so much and can pass that knowledge along to our buyers when helping them assess properties for their own purchase.”
What happens when their buyers eventually become sellers? Who do they turn to? Since there are currently no Exclusive Seller Agents in the Twin Cities, Buyers Real Estate Group can help sellers gauge what level of assistance they require when selling their home and help them find it. Schmitz says, “We are always open to new ideas. We work hard to create a healthy environment for learning, to embrace new things. That mindset makes us better able to provide the most current level of services to our clients.”
With ten years of exemplary service behind them, Twin Cities home buyers can expect Buyers Real Estate Group to be around for a good long time to address the needs of Minnesota Home Buyers, no matter what. “The only thing we request as an expression of thanks for our service is chocolate.” says choco-holic Mary Rugani. From Frangos to Godivas to plain ole’ Hersheys, their clients are happy to comply!
Article by Suan Hofflander