Francine Kitkowski is breaking tradition to offer area consumers a better deal when it comes to buying and selling property. The practiced real estate agent opened her offices with Assist 2 Sell Buyers & Sellers Realty, LLC, and the new business has hit the ground running.
Kitkowski began her career in real estate 28 years ago, as a secretary for Century 21. She worked her way up the ladder and eventually became a licensed REALTOR® in her own right, and has worked with several real estate offices across the local area. At one point she ran her own real estate company, Prideland Realty, with three offices in Marinette, Menominee and Stephenson, just before the housing market crash. Even then, Kitkowski was able to sell her business to Coldwell Banker, and she doesn’t regret a minute of her time in the business.
“I really liked it, I liked every avenue of it,” Kitkowski said. “I like diversity, I like challenges, and it wasn’t monotonous at all. Every day is something different, every deal is different, every client’s situation is different. It’s incredible, to be honest with you. Not one deal is the same.”
Kitkowski, who confessed that she is still learning new things about real estate 28 years later, also likes to keep ahead of the current trends in the business. She first stumbled upon Assist 2 Sell Buyers & Sellers Realty, LLC. through a Google search, when she was searching for a new way to connect with clients and get them the best deal possible when looking to buy or sell a home. Assist 2 Sell offered a broker-driven business model, rather than an agent-driven one, and promoted a team-based atmosphere between agents in the same office instead of the usual competitive atmosphere.
Assist 2 Sell began in 1987, expanded to franchises in 1994, and has offices across the U.S. and Canada. Offices are also all independently-owned and operated, and can offer consumers significant discounts when listing or buying a home. The business model offers full service and more for a flat fee based on the average regional home sale price. Kitkowski’s office flat rate to list a property is $2,995.
“People are shocked,” she said. “I can sell your property, no matter what price range, and it’s $2,995 if I sell it.”
That flat fee comes with the full services of traditional real estate, including traditional and online marketing, professional photography, specialized agents, and more. Kitkowski said she was drawn to Assist 2 Sell because it is especially consumer-friendly.
“It’s not about the agent, and that’s what attracted me to it,” she said. “I can still make an honest living, work very hard and help people.”
Having the buyer or seller be the primary focus of a real estate business may sound like a no-brainer, but Kitkowski said that is not necessarily the truth
“For 28 years I’ve been doing traditional real estate,” she said. “Real estate is very complicated. When you hire a REALTOR® you’d better know they know what they’re doing.”
Kitkowski said she would like to see consumers research their brokers and real estate agents the same way they research their doctors, even going so far as to interview before making a final choice. This is especially important in today’s world of social media and digital listings, where the picture of a house online may not tell the full story about who is listing it and who the agent attached is representing.
“It’s more complicated than people think,” Kitkowski said. “You have to be careful. In most people’s lives, this is the biggest purchase they will make. You’re buying a house, vacant land or commercial property. It should be taken seriously and professionally.”
More than anything, Kitkowski said, opening an Assist 2 Sell office is about helping consumers in the area, “doing more and charging less.”
“I’m excited about it,” she said. “It’s new, it’s refreshing, and I really, really want to help people.”
Joining Kitkowski at Assist 2 Sell is Patty Hassemer, another local full-time, professional real estate agent with many years of experience in Wisconsin and Michigan.
Kitkowski currently has a Marinette office for Assist 2 Sell at 3110 Gilbert St., Suite A, (Duda Chiropratic building) and a Menominee office at 1101 11th Ave., Suite B9.
For more information about Assist 2 Sell in Marinette and Menominee, visit www.marinettemenomineehomes.com or the Assist-2-Sell Marinette Menominee Discount Real Estate page on Facebook. Francine Kitkowski can also be reached at her office at 715-504-0925 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.