Staff reports

PENDLETON — The Real Estate Pros of Keller Williams recently moved into a new location in Pendleton, at 100 E. High Street.

“It’s just a better location,” owner Heather Upton said, describing why the business moved from its former address at 227 S. Pendleton Ave. “More Parking, a ranch … as opposed to a two-story.”

She said she hopes eventually to purchase the building from the current owner.

The real estate company conducted a ribbon cutting/open house celebration on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Below are Upton’s responses to questions emailed to her last week:

Business name: The Real Estate Pros of Keller Williams

Address: 100 E. High St., Pendleton 46064

Phone number: 317-572-5589

Business owner’s name: Heather Upton

Year founded: 2013

Number of employees: Nine agents, one transaction coordinator and two administrative employees

Business services: Residential real estate sales

What made you decide to open your own business? I love helping people. Buying or selling a home ranks as one of the top three most stressful life events next to death and divorce. I found accomplishment in helping people navigate through buying and/or selling a home. For many years I supported top-selling real estate agents but never put focus on being an agent myself. I finally realized I had enough experience and felt confidant I would be successful owning my own real estate business.

What made you choose Pendleton? I choose Pendleton because this is where I live. I decided early on I did not want to be driving more than 15 to 20 minutes from home to conduct business. Family time is important, and I wanted to be nearby, not spending a lot of drive time to and from appointments. Besides, I knew the Pendleton market the best, and it made doing business easy.

What were the first few years of business operation like — do you have any memorable challenges, successes and/or failures? Our business grew very fast. In 2013, when I launched my business through social media, I was able to create a buzz and demand for my services here in Pendleton. Our team grew very fast out of necessity to serve local home buyers and sellers. The challenge we faced was having to build our foundation, processes and systems after we found ourselves swamped with clients. Most Realtors build their foundation first and then focus on how to get the business. This was the opposite for our team. What we have created in four short years takes the normal agent 15-plus years to build. As of today, our team has successfully closed $30 million in sales volume, 215 homes sold for 2017, a record year for us (putting The Real Estate Pros in the top 24 in sales out of all agents/teams in Metro Indy Board of Realtors.)

What is your proudest business achievement? I have many proud achievements. The awards, trophies and recognition doesn’t compare to the joy I have watching our clients and agents achieve their personal and financial goals. This business is so much more than a transaction; it’s about serving our clients with the highest level of professionalism, all while making a difference in their lives. I am very proud of our team culture and what we represent in this crazy real estate industry, where many look down on the Realtor profession. They don’t understand how hard we work for our clients. I know we are doing something right when more than 60 percent of our business comes from repeat clients and referrals. That is what makes me most proud!

What do you consider to be the biggest challenge overall in running a business? It’s a constant juggling act. As a business owner, I wear so many hats that keep the daily business going and have to find time to focus on the future growth of the business. I have a great leadership team who play big roles in the business, also have big vision, and they are key players in tackling the projects that allow us to grow the business forward.

What is the most rewarding part of running a business? Providing opportunities that allow our team members to live big lives. The real estate business is simple but it’s not easy. I enjoy the challenge of continually improving our services, helping more people and giving back too our community.

What are your future plans? Our future plans include growing our Indianapolis team (which is now forming), and we are in the works of launching a real estate team in northern Indiana.