Quick Interview with Ben Ganje
Q: How did you get started in the real estate industry?
A: I got started in real estate working for small brokerage that specialized in marketing and sales for urban developers. The real estate services provided included pre-construction consulting, branding, marketing, and sales representing a number of developers in the market. I was able to get a lot of exposure, which was a great introduction to various aspects of real estate.
Q: What’s new in the Minneapolis real estate market today?
A: Technology, access to information, and a bubbling economic environment that is showing clear signs of recovery in certain areas of the market. Both Buyers and Sellers have become much more informed from their initial web searches before they even select an agent. Due to the momentum in the economy, Sellers have decreased market time and are seeing multiple offers for well positioned listed real estate. Inventory for sale is becoming less than it was in downtown Minneapolis and the lakes area before the recession, creating more opportunity for Sellers. More and more Buyers are gaining an advantage by making cash purchases rather than seeking a traditional mortgage.Q: What top assets separate your team from the competition?
A: Every client I represent knows there are two clear values I hold at the top of my mission statement: leadership in guiding and informing them to make the right decisions and the experience and insight I have in the market. I focus my energy on how I can best meet my clients needs and stay on top of the market and industry changes. Having a team at Lakes Sothebys International Realty gives me access to state of the art support for my marketing needs, the ability to reach and exchange information enabling more productive time with my clients.
Q: What changes in the market can urban dwellers expect in 2013 and the coming years?
A: Based on the data and what we are seeing, the city will see less inventory on the market in the months to come in the downtown and lakes area markets. In these areas that I focus on, specific product in the market is clearly being absorbed at certain price points. That suggests prices in these areas have reached bottom. In areas where inventory is abundant, price could continue to decline. Moving forward it will be a tale of two cities in terms of pricing for move in ready inventory as opposed to property in need of updates. Another change that we are seeing is that there are more life style buyers and sellers rather than investors.
Q: What makes clients seek you as a Realtor®?
A: Long term relationships and a clear focus in the urban markets. There are times when selling or buying isn’t right for a client and I will advise them accordingly. My business comes from the web and word of mouth—nothing is more valuable than satisfied clients!
Q: What makes Minneapolis a unique city to live in?
A: Where to begin—I love Minneapolis! It will always be home for me. From a real estate perspective, there are so many options and great neighborhoods. You can always find what you are looking for in Minneapolis, great restaurants, shopping sporting events, summer festivals, farmers markets, the arts, Gold Medal Park and endless recreational opportunities most cities right now only dream about.Q: What sets Minneapolis apart from other cities in the United States?
A: It’s a city but operates more like a large town—it is a melting pot for people coming from all areas of the world to work and play. It has a Midwestern attitude, life style and is now the #1 healthiest city in the country. It’s an easy place to live with lots of industry and opportunity.Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a real estate agent?
A: Helping my clients make, what for them, are the right choices in some of the most important financial and emotional transactions of their lives, See how happy they are in their new homes and continuing our relationship long after their transactions have closed.
Q: How do you make a condo, loft or house more marketable?
A: First, make sure that the home is visually appealing. It is in the Seller’s interest to make their home appeal to as broad a set of potential Buyers as possible. Second we need to make sure that our marketing is connecting with the right Buyers. Today both print and web marketing has to be more targeted; most importantly price has to reflect the reality of the market.