Best Places to Work alumni spotlight: The Real Estate Group

The Real Estate Group, a privately-held company founded in 1997, was recognized as one of the Best Places to Work by Springfield Business Journal and United Community Bank in 2014. What’s changed in the last five years?

First, The Real Estate Group has increased its number of licensed brokers from 125 to 152, including mergers with Grady Realtors and Wrightsman-Musso. While Mike Buscher serves as the managing broker, 33 of the brokers are also partners in the business.

According to Buscher, “The Real Estate Group has remained strong and consistent. Our business has grown. Since 2014, we have gained some great people.”

Buscher has been with The Real Estate Group for 11 years and defines his role as overseeing the day-to-day operations, interacting with salespeople and brokers, conducting training and trouble shooting issues as they arise. He gives credit to the office support staff for handling much of the important business.

While the main office is still located at 3701 W. Wabash Ave., The Real Estate Group has also branched out geographically to include a satellite office in Jacksonville and a downtown Springfield location where Curtis Tillett, formerly of Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Realty, has his commercial real estate office.

Buscher also said, “We try to stay on the cutting edge of trends, like evolving and accommodating those brokers who are working in teams. We do what we can to make it happen for them because it’s their businesses and if the brokers do well, everyone does well.”

However, that’s not to say there aren’t hurdles and barriers to navigate. According to Buscher, the biggest issue facing real estate sales throughout Illinois is the number of people moving out of the state and the lack of people moving in. He noted, “In the last year, we have done more one-sided transactions than we ever have and that’s a concern. More people are selling homes, but not buying homes. And, there’s the lack of job opportunities in the area to consider.”

In spite of some concerns, morale at The Real Estate Group remains high. Buscher said, “I wish I could take credit for the good morale, but it has to do with the people at The Group. It’s a friendly and helpful environment, even though sometimes we are competing with each other. I try not to mess it up. Our philosophy is -- if one does better, we all do better. More listings create more buyers, and our agents do a great job of working together and helping each other out.”

The staff at The Real Estate Group continues to believe in being a part of the community they serve. Buscher said, “Although many of our agents and staff are involved with associations and charitable organizations of their choosing, we also come together and fundraise for the community.” He explained that at company functions, everyone who makes a $20 donation writes down their name and their charity of choice. One name is drawn, and the entire pot of money is donated to the charity named on that entry.

“We’ve given thousands of dollars to local food banks, and Ronald McDonald House has won the bank twice,” said

Buscher. “It’s been fun, and it’s good for morale.”

Overall, Buscher said, “We have a bunch of good people and that works out well for us. We had the best year in 2019, as far as the number of units sold, and that makes us feel good to know we are trusted and can help others.”

Holly Whisler is a freelance writer based in Springfield. She worked with many of the agents at The Real Estate Group when she was previously employed at Chicago Title.

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