Tuesday, December 22, 2020 ~ Updated 9:27 AM
It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Jared Ritter is updating the white board in his downtown Cape Girardeau office with the company’s latest sales numbers.
Business is booming for this six-year-old company.
In 2019, Ritter Real Estate did 214 transactions selling more than $30 million. Year to date, the company has done 314 transactions totaling $53.4 million.
“So we will double our sales of last year,” Jared told B Magazine, “which is so cool.”
The Broker Owner, Jared is smashing his own personal goals for 2020. As of late November, he’s personally sold $33.5 million — making him the top selling agent in the Southeast Missouri Realtors MLS. He’s already set a goal of $50 million for 2021. His mom and now office manager, Laura Ritter, added that just a few years ago you were considered a top agent if you sold $6 million. The 29-year-old Ritter has blown away that standard.
Ritter Real Estate began in 2014 when 20-year real estate veteran Laura Ritter started the company. At the time, Jared was finishing his college degree and preparing for a career in education. Soon after starting a teaching career at Central Academy, he decided to pursue his real estate career full time to sell a few houses on the side. Sister Shannon Ritter, a math teacher, joined the company in 2015 and is still involved meeting her own goals.
By 2016, Jared left his teaching job and jumped into the family business full time selling $15 million in real estate.
Jared is one of the more driven individuals. His alarm goes off at 2:30 a.m., allowing time for a workout and some time reading the Bible before heading to the office. He’s an active volunteer at LaCroix Church and serves on the Cape Girardeau Public Schools Board of Education, among his other community activities.
Most people probably recognize him as the blazer guy. He owns 80 “bright” blazers — they take up a room in his home, he says — and he’s branded himself as the Bright Blazer Broker. It’s a way of life for him — always bright.
By summer 2019, Ritter Real Estate had grown to seven agents. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Ritter Real Estate experienced explosive growth. At the end of January 2021, the company will include more then 20 agents.
“The amazing thing is we’ve grown our own,” Jared said. “We’ve kind of cultivated our own people. Anybody that we’ve brought on besides maybe a couple here and there — 99% of people we have here approached us. We’ve grown with our own. We’ve raised our own, which is really neat because you know it feels like a family.”
That family approach and a commitment to training have been the biggest reason for their success, Laura said.
“I think it’s because we have a good reputation, being good to work with, being good to work with agents,” she said. “I’ve been with a couple other companies, and there was no training. No help. You’re kind of on your own. But we offer so much training.”
The Ritters meet with their agents weekly, providing in-person training and recording each session for future agents.
“I think we do the little things very well,” Jared said. “We talk about every single property, and in our weekly meetings we bring up every buyer need. We individually talk about every single one of our listings. And I think we do a great job matching our listings to our own buyers. We’re constantly thinking about who would be a great fit for the listings that we get personally.”
Success begets success — from the buyer and seller perspective. It’s a big part of their business pipeline, with their trademark purple signs finding a place in front of more area homes.
“You’re taking a person’s biggest asset and basically their property, their home,” Laura said. “That’s typically their biggest asset. So we take that very seriously and market their property the best way we can. We’re always looking at new ways, new strategies. I’m so detailed. How can I change the pictures? I’ll make this the first picture, instead of this one. I want pictures to flow. A lot of times we get pictures and they’re all just a jumbled mess as far as order. I will spend time making it flow through the house so if you’re looking at it as a buyer, you’re flowing through the house. If there’s a picture I don’t like, I kick it out. But we take the time to make their property look the best they can. We write detailed description. We don’t just put a sign in the yard.”
As the company’s grown, they’ve added support staff to build out processes. And new agents are matched with another Ritter Real Estate agent as part of a mentoring program.
“So when agents come in they don’t feel like they’re just thrown out into the sea,” Jared said.
With more people at home during the pandemic the real estate market improved. Ritter Real Estate shifted to more virtual tours for the protection of all involved. And it’s worked.
“This pandemic is probably the only pandemic that would make real estate flourish versus completely deflate,” he said. “So it is kind of wild. The rates have been driven down because of the virus. I think not only the low rates have enticed people, but I think people are trying to find some normalcy. People spent a lot more time in their homes and had time to maybe get a home project done, but also just trying to find some normalcy of getting into a different groove or system or chapter.”
For more information on Ritter Real Estate, visit www.ritterrealestate.com.