Emily Green sells houses for one of the smallest real estate brokerages in Minnesota, but she hopes to make a major impact on the industry. She's the 2014 president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, the state's largest trade group for licensed real estate agents, and for the next year she'll be the volunteer spokeswoman and face of the industry.
Green brings a unique perspective to the position. She's been selling real estate in the Twin Cities for two decades out of a four-person office founded by her mother, Sandy Loescher. Her sister, Erin, is an agent for a nonprofit developer, and her stepdad is a sales agent, too. As she begins her appointment, Green shared some thoughts on the business.
Q: How did you get started in the business?
A: Real estate is the family business, so a lot of my childhood memories were hanging out at my mother's office or showing houses. Once I started studying for my license I knew I was on the right path. It was then that I began to understand that my mother had grown a business that reflected her values and commitment to her community.
Q: Have you ever thought about another career path?
A: What I love most about my job is helping people connect with the best services and information available and also problem solving when there are hurdles to overcome. I'm a natural coordinator and negotiator, so any job that would let me assist people in making strategic choices would have been a good fit. I think the career placement test I took in school suggested the FBI! The FBI would have probably been fascinating, but I couldn't tell anyone about it like I can my real estate adventures.
Q: Is there another career in your future?
A: What has kept me in real estate this long is that my phone is always ringing with buyers and sellers who are asking for my advice and I know I can make a positive difference for them. I really can't imagine doing anything else.
Q: What's the next hot neighborhood?
A: Midtown Minneapolis is where I live, and you can bet it is on my list of hot areas. It reminds me of what Uptown was like in the early '90s. I am also very excited about downtown St. Paul. The closer you can get to a transportation hub, the better.
Q: What impact would you like to have during your tenure as president?
A: I would like to look back at the year and say that more people are aware of the incredible work that the Realtor associations do for the industry. There is a large and very dedicated group of Realtors working every day on protecting property rights, making sure that people have access to housing and that they are able to sell without unnecessary burdens. Realtors see the hurdles that buyers and sellers are facing in real-time and are able to communicate that to local, state and national legislators in order to help ease the process and remove unnecessary cost.
Q: What's the oddest thing that's happened during a showing?
A: Things probably don't even register things as odd anymore because everything is a little odd in some way. But people need to feel comfortable being themselves and letting out their true emotions whether they be positive or negative so that they can be addressed or maybe just vented. I have always welcomed complete honesty from clients.
Q: Why haven't you joined one of the big brokerages?
A: I have a very successful business that allows me the flexibility to customize my service to each individual client's needs. I've definitely been courted by other companies, but they know I've got a good thing going that would be hard to beat. The beauty of this business is that there is room for many different company models as long as we deliver what the client needs.
Q: Agents often say that the standard selling commission is 7 percent. Are such fees negotiable?
A: Commission is always negotiable, and Realtors must be careful not to run afoul of antitrust laws by discussing standard rates. That said, percentages can be deceiving, a Realtor may negotiate a much higher percentage for a lower priced property, for example, than a higher priced one. There may be other fees involved so it is important that the customer look at the entire compensation agreement and what services they will receive in exchange.