With the great love and admiration Anne Gain has for her mother, it was likely written in the stars that she would follow in the footsteps of that remarkable woman who sold real estate in Michigan's Great Southwest for more than 30 years. Now, she's essentially paying it forward by influencing a friend who she also has a great deal of affection and admiration for and creating The Anne Gain Group -- a division of @properties in St. Joe.
Gain, who has been a Realtor/Broker for the past 24 years herself -- about 4 or 5 of those years side by side by her mother, Connie -- has established a new team with Erica Mantei, and together they are The Anne Gain Group.
Anne tells me that her time working with her mother was, "Wonderful! I felt like she was such a good role model and was really loved in the community." Much the same can be said of Anne herself, as she has established a niche as a highly skilled professional with exceptional client rapport and a coveted property list of notable and highly desirable listings at every level in the market.
It didn't just happen. Anne, who went to Western Michigan University and pulled a stint with Stryker Medical's marketing team for several years after graduating before taking up real estate says, "I have worked very hard to get to where I am, and have been highly successful." She admits, "We all had a few challenges there in 2008 through 2010, but I'm very grateful that the market has come back, and it has been a really good market the last two years for sure."
Because of her own great affinity for the beauty and bounty of Lake Michigan and the shoreline community, Gain is actually grateful for the Harbor Shores Resort community and all that it brings to Michigan's Great Southwest. She tells me, "We have really all thrived from that. It creates a great deal of interest, because a lot of year-round residents want to be in there around the golf course and the beach, but second-home buyers – we get a lot of Chicago people – love it there, too."
The lake is a true game-changer, and Anne says while the shoreline has suffered from higher lake level erosion, "The lake is certainly not going away and the sunsets are never-ending and priceless." She adds, "In my opinion, South County -- Grand Beach, Forest Beach -- those were the first get-away destinations for Chicagoans and now they’ve realized they can drive about 20 more minutes and they can discover beautiful, quaint St. Joseph, so we’ve gotten a lot of interest over the last several years," making for record market sales.
The newly formed Anne Gain Group, under the @properties flag, is welcoming Erica Mantei to her team. Anne says, "I am super thrilled to have Erica on board. She has always been a very dynamic person, I’ve always admired her, and we’ve been friends for about 10 years." She adds, "Erica’s extremely professional, very organized, she’s going to be a tremendous asset to us, and I mean that wholeheartedly, she really is a wonderful person, she’s got a wonderful spirit and I think she’s going to really excel."
Together Anne and Erica will work for clientele of all types, as Anne notes, "My realm is kind of across the board, and it is nice to have a niche -- I sell lakefront properties from the Indiana border all the way up to South Haven -- but I also enjoy first-time buyers."
For The Anne Gain Group it's all about being fully prepared in the market. Gain says, "I like to educate people -- and I think there’s so much education to be done -- in home buying and selling. A lot of people assume things and once you sit down with them and go through the entire process, I really enjoy that interaction."
Another thing that Anne considers to be very important is being associated with the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors. She says, "I’m on the board of directors for that and I’ve served on several committees there over the years, the MLS Committee, standard forms, and next year I am the chair for our Governmental Affairs Committee."
The call of the lake is decidedly in both women's blood as they ask, "How can you not get excited about a house with a view of the lake? There’s something about it that never grows old, and the lake is a fascinating, intriguing, body of water that we are so fortunate to have." But, Anne readily admits, "I enjoy them all…every house is unique. Every buyer and every seller is different and I think that’s what keeps me going, but I really welcome those who are ready to buy their dream home on the lake."
Newly minted real estate agent Erica Mantei says, "I think what drew me to the real estate trade is that even when I lived in Florida and Arizona I was always into houses." She notes, "We moved often so I always liked doing that, and obviously there’s a lot more to it than just looking at cute houses, but there’s an excitement about finding that perfect house, just like I was always excited to buy my next house. So I want to help people interested in selling their house and moving on to something else, and fulfilling their own dreams."
Erica was born in Southwest Michigan and left at the age of 18 or 19, but later moved back to raise two kids. Now that both are in school full time Erica says, "I want to fulfill that thrill of the hunt for clients of my own."
Anne says it’s a very good career for someone like Erica, where it gives her enough flexibility now that her kids are both in school, but she has the flexibility to participate in their activities and still be a full time real estate agent. She says, "That’s one of the things that I have always liked about the career, is that I have two kids myself and I was able to be there for them and participate in their activities, and school functions and I see that in Erica as well."
As they form The Anne Gain Group under @properties, Anne readily points out, "There are a lot of people that are very naïve to the career, but Erica has seen enough and she’s seen what I do when we work together professionally, so I don’t think she’s at all naïve in what to expect, but it does give you the flexibility. It’s a lot of evenings, it’s a lot of weekends, but yet your children can be your 3pm appointment if that’s what you need."
Mantei also knows, "I have so much to learn, but I’m very much looking forward to learning something new because there’s a lot more to it than just looking at cute houses -- as I learn every day. Anne and I have sat down several times and reviewed a great deal of what it takes to be a realtor." Together they attended the expo-style trade show in Chicago hosted by @properties every year, which Anne calls good exposure for Erica to show her what kind of technology, marketing, and advertising is on the forefront. She says, "We saw a lot of that. She’s ready to go."
Lots of things influence people's desire for housing, and Gain says of Tuesday's mid-terms, "Elections do have an effect on the real estate market, but we’re very optimistic. People will always need a house to live in, and lots of people are moving in and out of the area, Whirlpool’s always a big player, the Spectrum Health merger at Lakeland is sparking a lot of interest with people moving market to market, it’s been a very consistent market over the last 15 to 20 years."
You can expect The Anne Gain Group to employ an amazing array of evolving tools to help market their listings and the community-at-large. Both Anne and Erica have their own website pages inside of @properties where you can learn more about having them handle your real estate transactions. They are backed by the juggernaut that @properties has become since its founding 18 years ago by Thad Wong and Michael Golden who are still the owners and operators of the firm which has become the largest real estate brokerage firm in Chicago and one of the largest brokerage firms in Southwest Michigan, where it has offices in both St. Joseph and New Buffalo.
At the corporate website Gain says, "You can find homes there, agents there, you can call, text, email, Instagram, Facebook and more." Of the latter, she says, "Social media is becoming a game-changer because we can do so much electronically including fly-overs, fly-throughs, slide shows, stat sheets, and more." She adds, "The team of @properties even creates ads for us to use, and that helps set us apart."
The Anne Gain Group will be the first to tell you that, "Real estate is a lot more than just a sign in the yard. People are finding their homes and narrowing down their searches online. The online exposure we get is one of our main points – exposure is everything, and we need to have your homes out there for somebody who is ready." She has become prolific in strategic use of a drone, and notes, "The drone experience helps us to tie things all together. But, it's not just a drone shot here and a random photo there…it’s a well thought-out, planned strategy to effectively market your home and/or attract you as a potential buyer. For the consumer, it becomes very easy to see what that property is like, especially for transferees coming into the market from another country, and they can anticipate what the housing is going to be like. It’s been highly successful."
Anne was actually personally recruited to the @properties team. She says, "I was approached by them and was taken aback by how progressive they were. They’ve been in business for 18 years, the owners are wonderful people, and they are not a franchise, but are locally owned by two people." Thanks to the showcase work of the corporate team Anne says, "I get calls all the time from people who want to interview me and learn my background and find out what we do as far as marketing and so forth, and it's what we do on the buyer’s side, too, and it's very important. You really want agents that know the area and Erica is super familiar with the area. She grew up around here, so that’s a huge asset for a consumer that’s coming in from out of town."
For Anne Gain, "It’s been a great market and it’s moving at a fast pace," and now it's even more exciting as she pays forward the role modeling she got from her mom. As The Anne Gain Group gets momentum she promises, "Erica is going to do amazing things. She’s got the grace and professionalism, and is extremely intelligent. She has caught on very quickly and has really dug in and is doing a fantastic job already. I’m very happy to have her on board, I feel very fortunate that she wanted to come and work with me."
There is no "I' in team...but there are both an "A" and and "E" and they are ready to rock n' roll. Here's the link to learn more: