Madras real estate agents are shaking things up
While many businesses have suffered due to COVID virus cutbacks, the real estate business is not one of them. In fact, Madras has added a new realty business, had another move into a new downtown office, and a third change its national affiliation to become an independent company.
After two years of planning and remodeling, D&D Realty Group, owned by Delita Cordes, opened its beautiful new office at 63 S.E. Fifth St., in downtown Madras.
To create the new office, D&D Realty purchased the former Stag Restaurant, which had been vacant for many years.
"We gutted it completely, did asbestos abatement, polished the floors and put in nice big offices," Cordes said, noting the construction took longer than they had expected. Hayes Construction, of Redmond, did the work, and Larry Wright, of Tekneek Architecture, in Redmond, did the architectural design.
"The 75-year-old original lumber we found inside was too beautiful to cover over, so we used all the wood to make the front reception desk and corner of the conference room. Student welders at Madras High School did all the inside signs for us, and Rip-Q Signs did the outside signs," Cordes said.
The total cost of the renovation was $330,000, but the business was helped with an Urban Renewal Fund grant of $140,000 from the City of Madras.
The new office, with stylish charcoal gray brickwork and spring green trim, is four times the size of the building Cordes started her business in. She got her real estate license in 1994, while working for Century 21 Realty, then opened her own office in 2008 in a 700-square-foot house on Sixth Street, across from the Post Office.
"We sold 365 homes one year out of that house," she noted.
As she added agents, D&D Realty Group expanded into a 1,100-square-foot building next door, where it operated for 13 years, before moving into its new 2,800-square-foot office, which now houses six agents.
Cordes said her office has been busy with people wanting to buy property, but added, "We're short on sellers due to COVID."
"A lot of people who typically rent are buying now because they can't find rentals. We're seeing people buy houses sight-unseen to get away from the cities," she said.
As for trends, she said the big developers are still moving forward with construction, but the smaller builders are more reserved and waiting to see what happens.
"Real estate is a great investment. It goes up and down, but if you wait it out, you will still have your money," she said, comparing it to stock market losses.
During COVID limitations they have not being able to hold as many open houses, and are trying to be sensitive to sellers by having people wear masks and booties when touring a home. "We were considered an essential business, so we didn't have to close," she pointed out.
Madras has many advantages. "Prices are a little less, we have great views and are the closest city next to Portland. Our taxes are less, and right now our city has been a forerunner and working with some of the developers to get projects completed," Cordes said.
"It's a good time for sellers to sell. If you're thinking about it, I wouldn't wait. It's a great time to put your property on the market," she added.
Corey Graves/Keller Williams
A new real estate business, Corey Graves Real Estate Team – Keller Williams, opened in April at 1036 S.W. Highway 97, next to Six Shooters Salon. Local resident Corey Graves and two other agents operate the Madras Office.
While the name Keller Williams may not be as well-known as some realties, it is a national and international company that operates in a different way. Graves is the head agent and office manager in Madras.
"We're part of a market center in Bend, which also has offices in Redmond, Madras, Sisters and soon Prineville. It's the biggest realty company in the nation. It started in 1983 in Texas and has grown to 180,000 agents," Graves said.
"It's known for its training, which teaches you to run your own business," he explained, adding, "We're looking for more agents and would love to have 150 agents in Central Oregon."
In Jefferson County, he said his office has been the top in real estate sales for the past three months.
"The real estate market is super active, a hot market now. Interest rates are really low and there are not a lot of houses, so when they come on the market, they get bought up really quick," he said.
He thinks the market will stay strong, but said, "New construction is still lacking."
The only difficulty a seller might have is setting the price. "You need to make sure the price is right. People are willing to commute and pay less for property," he said, noting he's had people from Redmond and Prineville buy here.
"In general, because of COVID, there are a lot of people who want to get out in the country and we're selling a lot of land out of town," Graves said. He said they are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and weekends by appointment.
Dick Dodson Realty
Dick Dodson Realty recently dropped its affiliation with the national Coldwell Banker realty firm, and has returned to being an independent business.
"Our contract was up in June with Coldwell Banker, and a new contract to stay with them was a longer term than I wanted," explained Dodson, who said he is eyeing retirement and is "three-fourths retired now."
Dodson has a long history in real estate, starting as an agent in 1987 at Madras Real Estate, then purchasing that business in 1990. In 1993, he began a 27-year affiliation with Coldwell Banker, to become Coldwell Banker-Dick Dodson. He built a new office in 1994, and expanded to double the capacity in 2007.
Starting out with just himself and two agents, Dodson now has 14 agents and is always looking to add more.
"We're not affiliated with the Coldwell Banker branding anymore, but nothing else has changed. We still have local people who know the local market," Dodson said of his agents.
As Dodson edges toward retirement, Mike Ahern is now the managing principal broker, who runs the day-to-day activities. "I run the business side," Dodson said.
The only difficulty he sees currently is that inventory is down – there are not a lot of properties to sell.
But he listed many advantages. "The high quality of living we have in Jefferson County, our views, and properties. The benefits we have are unmatched anywhere in Central Oregon. We have the best value for dollars spent," he said.
He thinks market trends will continue to be good. "The prices are steady -- if properties are priced right, they don't last long – and interest rates are phenomenal," Dodson said.
D&D: phone - 541-475-3030; website – danddrealtygroup.com; address – 63 SE Fifth St., Madras.
Corey Graves/Keller Williams: phone – 541-460-0925; address – 1036 SW Highway 97, Madras.
Dick Dodson Realty: phone – 541-475-6137; website: www.dickdodsonrealty; address – 83 SW K St., Madras.
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