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Spotlight: Jim Kraus

Who is Brookside Real Estate Broker and Realtor Jim Kraus? Many often assume he is the founder of Brookside Real Estate Company, but that’s not the case. In fact, Jim’s original career was in Advertising where he spent 20 years in various marketing/advertising positions – including with the Kansas City Royals as a marketing intern, then a gig selling commercial specialty printing and later in sales management at local radio stations, KMBZ, KCMO and 101 The Fox, to name a few.

After two decades in marketing, printing and broadcast, Jim decided to make a change. He realized the career satisfaction he longed for was not in marketing sales. That’s when Jim decided to take a leap of faith, follow in his father’s career footsteps and pursue a career in residential Real Estate.

Jim received his license to practice in 2003 and decided to hang his license with a local agency called Brookside Real Estate – founded and at the time owned by an old acquaintance of his father named Lee McGraw. Jim apparently was just the kind of guy Lee wanted to carry on the company he created.

Ironically, Jim found out that his very own father was the real estate professional that Lee considered to be his own mentor. Two short years and a fair amount of challenging yet rewarding work later, Jim would become the new owner of Brookside Real Estate Company!

“I love Brookside so much that is was natural for me to buy the company,” Jim said. “It’s where I’ve lived my entire life!” Jim refers to Brookside as his, “stomping ground,” recalling times when he would sled down suicide hill and trick-or-treat through the neighborhood as a child.

Jim continued, “I’ve sold houses that I mowed lawns for as a teenager. I’ve sold houses where I cut through their yard as a shortcut to play football with a buddy. I’ve sold houses where I played basketball in their driveway growing up. For me, Brookside is, and always has been, my home.”

To Jim the real estate business is not about being #1 in a zip code or even having the most sales, it’s about putting people in homes they love. According to Jim, “I see these people at the Brookside Market, at the Barkery, at sporting events or even just walking out of Jimmy Johns. I like seeing them and knowing not only am I their agent, I’m their neighbor.”

According to Jim’s fellow realtors at Brookside Real Estate, one thing that sets Jim apart from other realtors is how he goes above and beyond for every showing – turning on lights, setting the thermostat, making beds (and, well, even picking up dog do-do!).

“I don’t care if it’s a $100,000 house or a $1,000,000 house, I provide the same service,” Jim said. Buyer or seller, Jim wants all parties involved to have the best real estate experience – and deal – possible. Importantly, Jim says he really cares about finding the just perfect home for his neighbors to continue to grow their lives and their families.

Although 15 years ago making a complete career change and leaving a six-figure job was a pretty big risk, Jim says he could not be more satisfied with the positive effect that change has had on his life. Jim says there’s no question, being a realtor truly is in his blood, noting, “It’s the thrill of seeing people walk through that door for the first time after closing – and seeing the kids take off running through the house. Those moments – watching a house magically transforming into a home – there’s nothing better than that.”

So, next time you see Jim Kraus at the grocery store, or The Roasterie, or his favorite neighborhood hangout – Charlie Hooper’s – be sure to stop and say, “Hi!” There’s nothing he enjoys more than catching up with his neighbors, former classmates, clients, and friends. For Jim, they’re all often one and the same.

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Tips to Take on Spring Storm Season

April showers bring May flowers! Though spring is much welcomed after the lengthy KC winter months, it comes with the possibility of severe weather with potential property damage resulting in financial loss for residents. Flooding, high winds and lightning are the most common weather-related causes of damage in the Kansas City Metro area.

Your friends here at Brookside Real Estate Company have seen more than a little weather damage throughout our years in the neighborhood and want to share a little precautionary advice that may help protect you and your home this spring season:

Flooding:

  • Ensure any leaks on your roof are repaired to prevent water from leaking into your home.
  • Make sure your sump pump is working correctly.
  • Clean your gutters and remove any objects that could block water from flowing through down spouts and away from your home.
  • If water does accumulate in your home, be sure to pull-up any wet carpet immediately to prevent mold growth.

High Winds:

  • Inspect your roof for loose shingles – or tiles – prior to storm season. Repair or replace if necessary.
  • Secure – or store – any outdoor items that may easily be swept up by gusts of wind (ex. patio furniture, cushions and outdoor umbrellas).
  • Keep windows shut to prevent high wind or hail damage.
  • Identify a designated safe space in your home for you and your family in case of tornadoes.

Lightning:

  • Disconnect computers and their cables from power sources when travelling or away from home (for example, while on vacation).
  • Keep non-essential electronics unplugged when not using them.
  • Avoid using computers and other electronics during thunderstorms.
  • Avoid showering during thunderstorms as lightning can travel through plumbing systems.

There you have it – some helpful tips for protecting your home and loved ones during spring storm season! If property damage does occur, be certain to contact your insurance provider and take pictures of any damage. Consult the National Weather Service website to monitor weather conditions in your area.

Looking to buy or sell a home this spring? The real estate professionals at Brookside Real Estate Company are always here to help! With over 30 years of experience in Kansas City and significant expertise in Brookside and other surrounding Kansas City neighborhoods, no one is better qualified to assist with your home buying or selling needs. Give us a call at: (816) 333-3330, or stop by our storefront office at 9 W 63rd any time to chat – about the weather, real estate or anything else that’s on your mind!

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Agent Spotlight: Courtney Kraus

Brookside Real Estate agent Courtney Kraus has been selling houses for almost 20 years. After workingin the fast-paced commodity world on the trading floor at the Kansas City Board of Trade, she gave in to fate (both parents were Realtors) and got her real estate license in 1999. ​Her fast pace experience has been a big help. ​

She is passionate about real estate, “I love people and I really care about my clients, said Courtney. “This business can be so technical and at the same time requires a lot of creativity.” This profession fits perfectly for Courtney.  She takes great care in providing excellent service, juggling the technical details of her business along with managing her business relationships. “I want my clients to be happy with my service, said Courtney. “The rewards of the relationships are what make me tick.”

One of Courtney’s favorite experiences as an agent is when she was able to sell a home in Brookside that had already been listed for a year. “I listed the home, brought up some furniture from the basement, didn’t raise the price, and sold the home in less than a week,” said Courtney. After she found the seller a home in Waldo, she also listed her brother’s condo in Meyer West, and her Mom’s home in Mission Hills. “I really love when I’m able to help an entire family with their real estate needs.”

Courtney grew up in Kansas City, just south of the Plaza. ​ “Because of my profession, ​I’m able to get to know all the fabulous pockets of neighborhoods in our great city​,” said Courtney. She and her husband live in Waldo, just south of Brookside.  She believes Waldo is becoming the next Brookside. “It’s still affordable to the first-time buyer and close to shops, restaurants and coffee houses. “​Waldo’s value is appreciating, so now is a good time to buy.”

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling, estate sale shopping, and hanging out with her pets.  If you’re searching for a Realtor who knows the ins-and-outs of real estate, you might want to talk with Courtney. After all, she’s been training for this job most of her life!  Call Brookside Real Estate and ask for Courtney, or check her out on our website. We promise, she will indeed exceed your expectations! ​

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30 Years and Beyond!

2017 was the 30th Anniversary of Brookside Real Estate, and we took that has an opportunity to refresh
our commitment to the Brookside Community and as a challenge to being as accessible as possible to the buyers and sellers in this wonderful neighborhood we call home. As we bid farewell to 2017, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on a great year and thank all the wonderful clients that have made the past 12 months (not to mention 30 years!) so special.

We started 2017 by launching a brand-new website with an updated look and feel and, also, as our smartphone users have certainly noticed, we became mobile-friendly! Our new website has made it easier than ever to connect with any of the agents at Brookside Real Estate – and review up-to-the-minute new listings!

On the “put a face with a name” front, we made it easier than ever to recognize our friendly crew of agents with several new billboards around town. We also created a short video (conveniently linked on our website) so you can get to know our agents a little better and learn more about our Brookside community.

To make our Brookside office easier to spot (especially in these shortened-sunlight days of fall and winter), we gave our 63rd Street office signage a graphic facelift and – drum roll please – powered up the backlights of the sign for the first time in 30 years! Rain or shine, if our flag is flying and our lights are on, stop on by and say “Hi!” – we’re always in the mood to meet a new friend!

Another goal for our anniversary year was to get the word out about Brookside to apartment dwellers and millennials who might not know the ins and outs of what it takes to buy a home. We thought, “What better way to educate and socialize than over an adult beverage on the back deck?” This inspired brainstorming led directly to Brookside Real Estate’s “First Time Home Buyer Happy Hours”!

Beyond sharing a beer and small bites, it was clear that first time home buyers have a lot of questionsand often wanted more knowledge about buying without a major commitment. Our goal was to answer commonly asked questions, clear up any misconceptions, lay out steps along the home-buyer timeline, and take away some of the mystery from sometimes ominous-sounding home buying terms.

The team here at Brookside Real Estate are thankful for the success we’ve experienced in 2017. Without a doubt, it wouldn’t be possible without our great clients! We welcome 2018 and we’re committed to continue to provide our new clients with the same high level of personal service, commitment and dedication that past clients have come to expect. We especially look forward to developing new relationships with even more wonderful clients in Brookside – and throughout the Kansas City community!

We wish you and your family enjoy a very Happy Holiday season and have a safe and happy New Year!