• Carl Gresen and Team Gresen:
    He’s Got the Spirit and the Expertise in Real Estate

    For many realtors, the housing market escapade from 2004 to 2006 was a joy ride. Properties were
    hot and flying off the market as soon as they came on, buyers were eager and willing to pay well
    above a home’s value thanks to creative bank loans, and seller’s were jumping at the chance to cash
    in. Everyone was buying into the American dream of owning their own home and realtors across the
    country were loving it. But for Carl Gresen, leader of Team Gresen at Only Way Realty Inc., it
    was just the opposite.

    “I was one of the few agents that didn’t enjoy that time. It was not a fun market, buyers and sellers
    didn’t get to enjoy the process and now we’re paying for it,” he says.

    As a real estate agent for more than 14 years, Gresen has worked in both housing markets of Las Vegas,
    Nevada and Clearwater, Florida—mirrored markets where the housing industry hit crisis mode the
    fastest and hardest. While it may be challenging, the real estate industry is something he’s always loved
    so he welcomes it.

    “Any time I was in a contest when I was younger I was always in 1st or 2nd place. I always had a
    challenge to be the best and do the best,” he says.

    That drive and entrepreneurial spirit started at a very young age.

    “I was always a people person. A friend of mine in JV’s used to sell stuff and one night he took me to
    join him and on the first night I outsold him. His supervisor came over to me and tried to recruit me but I
    said no,” he laughs. “I guess that’s the entrepreneur side of me.”

    His drive to be the best followed him through school with his first paper route at 13 years old and into
    his first career in the restaurant business. At the age of 19, he received his first promotion to run his
    first fast food restaurant. Three years later he was promoted to be the area manager for eight stores
    and five years after that he became the training manager for 35 stores. But even though he enjoyed
    being manager and in charge, he says, the real estate bug had bit him and was slowly gnawing at him to

    “Real estate was always something I wanted to do. I’ve always been more of an entrepreneur. There
    was always something pulling at me,” he says.

    By the time he was 35 he broke away from his restaurant career and the snow of Wisconsin to make the
    move to Las Vegas and entered real estate school. After nine years in Vegas, Gresen decided to make
    the move again. Even though the markets were turning in Vegas, his decision to move was based on

    “My daughter Zoey will be five in January and we wanted to raise our daughter in a more family-
    oriented environment. In Florida you have the beaches, Disney, and Sea World. Vegas is a mirrored
    market to Florida so it couldn’t have worked out better,”

    Based out of Clearwater, Gresen works with Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc. where he’s been three years.
    There his entrepreneurial spirit is rivaled by his team spirit evident in his love for his home team of the

    Wisconsin Green Bay Packers and his personal mantra, “Bring it!” Adopted from financial expert Dave
    Ramsey, this daily philosophy leads Gresen throughout his personal and professional life.

    “Come to work and help people every day. So many people walk through life lazily, but I think you’re
    cheating yourself if you’re not looking for ways to help others. You need to bring it every day“ I want my
    people to be present, have a heart of teacher and be able to lead people by the hand to help our clients
    attain their goals.” He says.

    Every day Gresen does just that by leading his team that is now expanding to 10 agents to make the most of each opportunity
    for his clients. It’s one of the reasons his services stand out from all the rest.

    “Working with a team we can cover a lot more ground than working with individual agents. We have
    more eyes and arms and we can accomplish a lot more. The average agent sells 6 homes a year. Team
    Gresen has sold 90+ homes a year and will probably be doing 150 next year as we grow,” he says.

    Gresen’s team of professionals help him be in 10 places at once, but another reason Team Gresen
    continues to beat the competition is its guaranteed programs.

    In the current economy of the housing industry post-bubble burst, the word “guaranteed” can seem
    almost too good to be true, but Gresen wants home owners and potential home owners alike to know
    that when he says it, he means it.

    Team Gresen offers two programs that guarantee a sale for a client: The “Love It or Leave It” program
    and “If We Can’t Sell It, We’ll Buy It” program.

    The “Love It or Leave It” program allows a buyer a two-year window to sell their recently purchased
    home if they decide it’s not a right fit.

    “If they don’t just love it and want to sell, we’ll help them sell it free of charge and eat our commission.
    The bottom line is we want to help them alleviate the property. Sometimes it happens 12 months later
    if they’re relocated even if they did love the house,” he says.

    Their second guaranteed program, “If We Can’t Sell It, We’ll Buy It,” provides sellers with a guaranteed
    offer on the table from Team Gresen agreed upon ahead of time if his team can’t sell the property
    within 120 days. It’s great for relocations or families who are financially tight, he says.

    Thanks to these programs and his collective team expertise, Team Gresen’s properties average selling
    two and a half times faster than the industry average is 118 days. Numbers aside, for Gresen, it really all
    comes down to helping others.

    “You get to that closing table and you’re helping people move on in their life. My favorite thing is
    helping people who are underwater get back to life. Sometimes they are crying because they feel such
    relief to have a huge debt taken off their backs,” he says.

    His experience in short sales in Vegas make him a sought-after agent in Florida and he feels that no one
    should have to face foreclosure.

    “I get really upset when I see people who have listed their home but are underwater and end up going
    into foreclosure. There’s no reason to go into foreclosure, there are so many programs out there to
    help,” he says. We help families to do loan modifications and short sales every day just to name a
    couple of the options.


    For Gresen, helping clients find direction is a big part of his expertise and his favorite part of the job.

    “When we meet with people buying or selling we can show them data no other agent has. We subscribe
    to a company that does market research on real estate. We receive a report that comes around the 10th
    of the month—I go through it and update our presentation books. It comes down to being an expert in
    the field and we can lead them down the right path,” he says.

    He also notes that it’s about really listening to the clients and paying attention to the details.

    “Early in my career I met a couple at an open house. You could tell they were seriously searching for a
    home but no one was really helping them. I met them at their apartment and I noticed a bowling ball
    in the corner of the room. I used to bowl so I mentioned it and the guy who was a real go-getter like
    me said they might need someone on their league,” he laughs. “He called me up a few weeks later and
    invited me to join. I ended up bowling with him for five years and only quit because I moved to Florida.”

    Despite the time difference, Carl talks to his friend and former client nearly every day.

    “I have a lot of past clients that are friends. I love staying in touch with people and building
    relationships,” he says.

    It’s that generous spirit of helping others and paying it forward that have made this family man at home
    and a success in his second career.

    “If I could go back in time I’d tell myself to get into real estate fast. I love what I do. We help a lot of
    people. I always felt the desire gnawing at me to do it and I’m glad I finally took it. It’s great ministry
    work too,” he says.

    “I tell people I help them build memories. Weather it’s about having a place to grill out, or how you are going to
    use the backyard or living areas we are here to help them find the perfect home. I want to be paying it forward everyday.
    If you do the right thing with people it’s going to come back to you.”

    Written by: Audrey Perrott &
    promoted by Dicks + Nanton Agency