Gretta Volkenstein Named to Bold Women of Business for 2021


After going through a divorce, Gretta Volkenstein dove directly into the renovation of a 100-year old farmhouse in Benton Township, and her nominator says that while the project proved to be a bit of a nightmare for her, she learned an incredible depth of knowledge in all aspects of construction and renovation, supervising the complete upgrade of plumbing, electrical service, and the HVAC system at the farmhouse. She was not afraid to grab a sledgehammer and demolish old walls before completing much of the new drywall process herself. That range of knowledge has suited her very well in her highly successful career as a Realtor in Michigan’s Great Southwest, allowing her to take that scope of understanding into consultations with clients looking at properties requiring renovations. She continually amazes clients with her firsthand knowledge of construction and the manner in which she translates that into action by guiding her buyers to wise decisions on both purchases and renovations going forward. Twice the winner of her association’s coveted Realtor of the Year honors, Gretta Volkenstein joins the ranks of the Bold Women of Business for 2021.
Gretta Volkenstein
Where do you live?
St. Joseph, MI
Company or Organization
@properties Christie’s International
What is your job or role there?
How do you think that Bold Women of Business demonstrate being bold?
To me, being bold in business is all about:
·         Trusting that your instincts and experiences will guide you.
·         Believing that risk involves not just blind faith but a deep conviction that you are acting in accord with your own values as well as the good of your client.
Bold women are often defined by a number of descriptors. Please choose from the following descriptors to produce the top three that you would say most exemplify your personality?
Please provide an example of when you feel you were at your very best in taking action on the job or in your role.
Just recently, new clients called me after getting what they feared was a low valuation of their property from several other Realtors. These clients, who were retiring teachers, wanted to be sure they were providing for their future as well as possible. As I worked with their situation, I not only did a thorough analysis of the current market value of their home, but I also explored all possible ways to increase the valuation of the home. We looked at several factors including: professional staging, some minor but important repairs, and the best approach for marketing the distinctive nature of their property. As we worked together, I connected with contractors, and I even decided to cover part of their staging costs because I was so confident that they could do better than others had led them to believe. The day after we listed their home, they received a full price, cash offer which netted them over $100,000 more than what they first anticipated based on the opinions of others. It was a great feeling to see these retired teachers so grateful that the sale of this home created far more security for their future than thought possible.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened on your road to success?
When assessing a piece of land that I was listing, I got stuck in deep mud. The home was a foreclosure in the middle of nowhere. My cell phone was dying, it was getting dark, and I was almost out of gas. As I furiously tried to spin my way out of the mud with dirt flying all over the house, I sent a desperate post on Facebook pleading for someone to come and help me out. Just before my phone died, I got a message from another Realtor, Chris Siriano, who graciously dropped all that he was doing to pull me free!
Who most inspires your personal drive for success every day?
I am inspired each day by my two teenage sons who have constantly encouraged me as I took a big leap of faith to begin this career path as a single parent. They have been there all along the way reminding why I really do what I do.
What is your best advice to women in Southwest Michigan looking to succeed, as you have, in business?
Take the risk to do what you really love. Believe in what you do and approach your career with a servant’s heart that desires to bring the best to your clients and community. Enjoy the happiness that comes from your deep passion connecting with the dreams of others.
What does your selection to the first ever Bold Women of Business from Moody on the Market mean to you?
Being selected as a Bold Woman of Business feels like a milestone that I never dreamed possible just a few, short years ago. It means so much to do what I truly love and to be seen by others as a strong woman making a difference in our community.


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