The Story of
"The Condo Queen"
Often I am asked how I got into the condo market as my specialty. People wonder how I chose this unique niche to build my real estate career, and how I became "The Condo Queen." It really was, funny enough, an accident....
When I started selling real estate in 1995, I struggled to find business like most new real estate agents. Then, a close friend of mine in Downtown St. Paul asked me to sell his condo. Little did I know it was the true start of my real estate career.
Being a new, ambitious agent, I went overboard in marketing the property, contacted many neighbors and other owners, and eventually came to a realization - that most Realtors would not go near these properties; many of which sold at the time for less than $50,000. I impressed many people with my unique marketing and ambitious attitude toward these properties. The more I looked into this niche market, the more it surprised me that no one was working with these Sellers, who were often desperate to get out from under these condos. I kept hearing the same story over and over - that they had tried to sell the property before, with other agents, and either felt that they weren't "important" enough, that their agent didn't care about their little listing, or the agent didn't do anything at all to market the property. I even heard on many occasions that they couldn't FIND an agent willing to take their listing. Unbelievable!!
Now, don't get me wrong; there was a reason agents didn't want to touch these listings. These properties were extremely difficult to sell. There were many foreclosures, and the market was saturated with people practically willing to give their units away just to save their credit. The market time was ridiculously long, and the commission was extremely low. Buyers were scared to buy condos and lenders didn't want to give the money. I actually lost money on many of my listings, by the time I spent the money it took to find a buyer for these properties; not to mention the time I invested and the work I put in. It was a whole lot of work for very little pay, but in return, I developed a reputation in a niche market that was virtually untapped in the Twin Cities in the early 90's.
Some of my clients would joke with me, calling me "The Condo Queen" because I came to know so much about the complexes and how to get these units sold. I embraced the name for a short while but took a lot of joking because of it, and so I dropped the nickname all together. But people kept calling me "The Condo Queen". So a few years ago I decided, "What the heck?" I developed a logo, got a Condo Queen cartoon made of myself, and decided to run with it. Now when I hear the jokes, it doesn't bother me, because I really believe I am "The Condo Queen". What I think this silly name says about me is that I know more about this unique market than just about anyone, and I'm not afraid to market myself as a specialist.
The condo market has changed a lot since 1995, and condos are now the new hot commodity. Many agents are jumping on board and calling themselves specialists, or focusing on the condo market. Many are chasing the upper bracket or new construction market and doing very well. But what many of my clients appreciate about me is that I have been through the ups and downs of the market and even when I could barely make a living doing it, I was the one who could sell the units that other agents couldn't - and yet my clients always got top dollar. I dedicated myself to my clients and learning all I could about this fabulous niche market, and I worked hard to build a reputation based on knowledge, experience, and dedication. It honestly doesn't matter whether I take a $40,000 listing or a $400,000 listing - I pride myself on providing superior service to ALL my clients.
I thank you for your interest in my story - how I became "The Condo Queen." - Angela Larson