Weekly I try to provide you with information you’ll find of value. What that message will be isn’t always clear to me and then a moment of inspiration will pop up!
Today on our weekly video call with owners, Caroline Ruhl & Chris Beason, they took a little trip down memory lane about the history of Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS®. It was fun to hear their stories, and I thought I’d share some highlights with you.
In the Beginning:
Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS® started out in 1862 as a small German grocery store run by Caroline’s great-grandfather. Over time it grew to include an insurance business and real estate. Today it is the largest privately-owned real estate company in Iowa and one of three of the oldest real estate companies in the nation. That’s cool!
Caroline graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. (My husband, Alan, attended there as well.) She began a career in human resources and eventually assisted relocating employees. After years in corporate America, she became weary of corporate politics. She wanted to move back to the Quad Cities and to get into the family real estate business.
It’s funny that her father and brother weren’t as enthusiastic about her entrance into the family business as Caroline! For one thing…she was a “girl”. And how were they going to find a place for her? She smartly reminded them that other real estate companies in the area would be thrilled to have her! Well, they made the right decision, and Caroline worked her way up the ranks.
Highs and Lows of Real Estate:
When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that a business can thrive for nearly 160 years! Through wars and pandemics, depressions and roaring economies. Caroline talked about being a REALTOR® in the 1980’s. I was starting a family and remember 12%+ interest rates for a mortgage! “In 1985 & 1986, home prices were depreciating at a rate of 1% a MONTH! Many large manufacturers relating to agriculture were leaving the Quad Cities. There were plenty of available homes for sale and a big decrease in the number of buyers,” Caroline said. “I had to tell people the value of their home had decreased, but if they waited to sell, the value was going to get worse!” Not a great message.
What’s different in today’s housing market is that we have a lack of housing inventory across the nation. Plenty of buyers, but not enough homes to meet the demand. So even during stressful times like this current COVID19 pandemic, housing prices are stable.
Chris’s Vision for the Future:
A few years ago, Chris Beason, Caroline’s son, took on the role of President. Like his mother, after finishing college, Chris learned real estate from the bottom up. He started with a real estate company in a different state, so no favors for the owner’s son! He eventually came to Ruhl&Ruhl as a sales agent and then moved up the ranks, learning all the aspects and challenges of selling residential homes.
When asked what attributes or values Chris sees as carrying forward from the beginning of the company, Chris said, “Integrity in doing what we say we’ll do, honesty in all our dealings, and putting our clients’ interests ahead of our own. These are the virtues I see carrying forward in everything we do.”
Chris is leading the way into the future by embracing technology. He sees a consolidation of real estate companies and a greater difference between facilitators and full service agencies. Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS® will continue to be a high-service and high-touch company. Real estate transactions have inherent risk. Purchasing a home is one of the largest, if not the largest, investment made by most people. By providing value, skill and knowledge of the market, Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS, the company and its agents, will continue to help people fulfill their dreams of home ownership.